September 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

So, in recent days, I've been arguing over whether, as the political Left claims, the political Right is anti-science. Needless to say, commentators of the Left disagree with me. Responses ranged from name-calling and indignation (which are fairly common), to the Left's new answer to charges of hypocrisy, which is to declare all criticism to be "false equivalencies." Apparently, false equivalencies are like Hebrew writing, traveling only from Right to Left. -- Kenneth P. Green

Tough Room - Tough Love

After praising the Chris Christie keynote address on Tuesday I criticized a portion of his speech, drawing an exasperated reaction from our dear proprietor. As the leading blog promoter of NewNewt, it's only fair that I give him the same treatment.

Newt's draft "21st Century Contract with America" has been released to the world. Newt's plan for Social Security and Medicare is to "save" them, basically by offering alternatives that taxpayers have the option to choose from. For Social Security this means:

We must therefore consider a voluntary option for younger Americans to put a portion of their Social Security contributions into personal Social Security savings accounts. Other countries, such as Chile, have found that this model creates vast savings while giving beneficiaries more control over when and how they plan to retire.

But if we're honestly talking about bold, sweeping, permanent solutions to government problems we need to get something more like The Salzman Plan on the table:

But here’s a plan – call it the Salsman Plan – that would ensure electoral support from all three groups, and thus potentially guarantee a political landslide for the candidate who proposes it. First, tell the elderly that they’ll no longer be subject to political scare tactics, because immediately they’ll be given an account in their name that’s full of U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, whose worth equals the present value of what they’d otherwise receive in Social Security checks for the likely balance of their lives. They can do what they wish with their new account: cash it out now, slowly liquidate it over time, perhaps buy an annuity, or keep most of it as is. Second, tell the young and the middle-aged they will no longer have to pay the 15.3% payroll tax, and they too will immediately receive an account in their name with U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, based on what they’ve already paid in so far. They too can do what they wish with their sudden investment windfall. Social Security, no longer empowered to tax payrolls or send retiree checks, would then be closed overnight.
2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:53 PM | What do you think? [0]

Kudlow on Christie

Larry goes out of his way to say he is not endorsing anybody in the GOP primaries. But we can safely say, he liked the speech:

First, Christie gets the linkage between domestic economic growth, national security, and foreign-policy influence. This was an absolute key Reagan principle.
[...]
Second, at the Reagan Library, Christie talked about the New Jersey model, where in a tough war against government unions and teachers, divided government worked to reform the state’s pension and health benefits, cap property taxes, and hold down arbitration awards for union salaries. (Christie didn’t mention this, but he also stopped the millionaire’s tax in New Jersey.)

And while the governor said there was compromise on a bipartisan basis, and while he emphasized leadership in compromise several times in his speech, he noted that he balanced two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes.

So there’s compromise, and there's compromise.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | What do you think? [0]

Gov. Christie: Clean, Articulate White Man...

If you followed the Rick Newman link below you've likely seen this but I couldn't resist promoting it.

43.jpg

... who can also be trusted to not call Republicans socialists?

But johngalt thinks:

Now that you mention it, I haven't heard Favre say "no" yet either.

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2011 7:13 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think it accurately portrays the GOP reaching for anything and anyone to get away from the vicissitudes represented by the Tea Party. They arrrr nervous me hearties.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 1, 2011 1:00 AM
But jk thinks:

I agree 100% nb. My problem is the suggestion that Governor Christie be considered the establishment candidate. I like him because he the clearest and loudest voice for freedom, not because he will appeal to Peggy Noonan and David Brooks.

To be fair, Brother jg's Speaker Newtzilla has been a good and loud voice for liberty. I can't get past the ethanol support (in Iowa, if you can believe it) and Speaker Pelosi global warming commercials (which he has at least recanted). Love a lot of what he says but I cannot get on that train.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2011 11:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Methinks you are right jk. Were I selecting a candidate merely for myself it would be his Newtiness. Yet I can't get any love for him from any of my female relatives. Call it "First Wife Phobia." Fortunately there's another excellent choice, one we all like "if only he could win." And if he's as saavy as I hope he is, he's working Chris Christie and Sarah Palin for endorsements sometime after the next debate. Herman Cain.

Posted by: johngalt at October 1, 2011 5:51 PM
But jk thinks:

The second I get a definitive no from Christie, both my size 11s will be in the Cain Camp.

He did pretty well at TeaCon, they tell me.

Posted by: jk at October 2, 2011 10:30 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:


@JK: My problem is the suggestion that Governor Christie be considered the establishment candidate

Well someone will be and we can best hope that we get one with enough backbone that he (sorry, Michelle) becomes the establishment and not the other way around. Cain does seem to fit that bill better then Mitt, but I think he's too new, as was Romney in 2008. Recall, Reagan had 10+ years in the GOP (many at very low levels) before he jumped into the presidential ring.

Now, the "Bush" GOP that we have these days might need someone new, but there's a reason one doesn't just go around upsetting applecarts. Today's "reasons"? Ryan, Pence, McConnel, Jindal, Haley, Barbour, Kasich and a host of others that keep me believing (but not registered!)

While I have as much respect for Newt's intellect and output as anybody here, we should all admit to his unelectable stature. If we don't admit, let the tomatoes be thrown!

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 3, 2011 1:29 AM

Praise for 9-9-9

From US News and World Report's Rick Newman.

Enriching the incentive to work or run a company in the United States, however, would have a more direct impact on the U.S. economy. The problem with many tax-cut proposals isn't low taxes; it's the huge cut in government spending that would usually have to accompany them, since most advocates of tax cuts don't suggest ways to replace lost government revenue. But Cain's national sales tax would provide cover for cuts to personal and corporate income tax rates and allow expensive programs like Social Security and Medicare to keep functioning normally. Again, there are many complexities, and Cain's math probably isn't bulletproof. But the principle of higher consumption taxes paired with lower income taxes is a sound one.

In other words, Cain's 9-9-9 plan could bring in the same revenue as the existing income tax only scheme while at the same time stimulating production and growth, moderating consumption, and encouraging individual savings. If this three-headed tax monster could be kept on an unbreakable leash it could do wonders.

Hat Tip: My darling dagny via email

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:19 PM | What do you think? [0]

September 29, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Darla & Glori: this cannot be a good sign.

Julie Benz's photo In London with "my sistah" @clarekramer !!
Julie Benz on WhoSay

Note to non-Buffy viewers: Ummm, this is what the villains look like. Just sayin'....

Hat-tip: @juliebenz In London with "my sistah" @clarekramer !!

Television Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Good thing you 'splained it to me - I thought FNC was interviewing for additional News Readers.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:40 PM

Happy Coffee Day!

You bet your ass that is Devil Dog Brew. Semper Fi, Hank!


Dedicated to Blog Friend SugarChuck!

Greyhound Adoption Program TV Commercial

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Segue: dagny and I have adopted a lab mix who wandered onto our farm last Friday with three pups in tow. Pups adopted out to other friends and family too.

How could anyone just abandon them to their own devices in the countryside? Sad.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Well done, sir!

For a Republican, I have an unnatural affinity for Donkeys. The few I pass around here, I always go slow to look and get excited when I see one of "my" donkeys (it's a city folk concept, I do not pay for feed, though I would).

Followed a Taranto link last week about Donkey Rescue. It seems that the Texas Drought and fires have caused some owners to abandon the animals as the shots and physical exam required for a sale now exceed the price. Heartbreaking.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 4:05 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The donkey situation is also an unintended consequence of the prohibition against slaughtering equines for food. Several years ago, the Humane Society of the United States and PETA successfully closed all equine slaughterhouses. As a result, many owners who no longer want or can't afford a horse will simply abandon it to the wild - where, of course, it starves or is killed by predators. This is a real problem in the Everglades.

As a result, the price of horses has dropped like a stone and in many cases you can't give 'em away. Mrs. Refugee gets countless offers for "free" horses (yeah, so that we can pick up the $200/month food bill, shoes, vet bills, etc. etc.). Rescue organizations are overflowing and unable to take more critters.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 5:23 PM
But jk thinks:

A commenter alluded to that and it seemed to make sense. Thanks for the rest of the story. Maybe PETA could outlaw droughts.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 7:00 PM

Russ Roberts Hears my Plea

The GMU professor, Cafe Hayek blogger, and author of "The Price of Everything" which is the perfect sticking-stuffer for your moonbat friends, takes to the WSJ Ed Page today to rebut Elizabeth Warren's viral progressive sensation comments. (Bonus points for diagramming that sentence in four-dimensional spacetime).

Russ Roberts suggests that if government kept to the activities applauded in her diatribe, most citizens would join her in happily paying taxes.

If the feds stopped all that, Ms. Warren would have a stronger point. We could all feel some gratitude for government's role in helping us live better lives. All of us, rich and poor, would look at government differently.

In a short column, Roberts nails the practical arguments: consent of the governed, local vs. federal, &c. He also makes some good philosophical arguments.
The other part that's missing from Ms. Warren's narrative is that all Americans, rich and poor, benefit from the public spending she mentions. It isn't just Steve Jobs who benefits because Apple iPads come to the Apple Store on public roads. All of Apple's customers benefit too. If her argument is that taxes should be related to benefit, should we raise taxes on the poor and the middle class? Sergey Brin and Larry Page became billionaires by creating Google, but the gains to the rest of us are much larger. Messrs. Brin and Page aren't able to capture anything close to the benefits they've created for the rest of society. So should the rest of us pay a bigger share of the taxes than Google's founders?

Ms. Warren is certainly correct that some rich people aren't carrying their weight--those who live off the rest of us by twisting the rules of the game in their direction: the sugar farmers who benefit from sugar quotas, the corn farmers who benefit from ethanol subsidies and those sugar quotas, and especially the Wall Street executives who have managed to convince both parties that the survival of their firms, even when they make disastrous loans to each other, benefits the rest of us.

But raising taxes on the rich is the wrong way to fix this problem.


Excellent! It chaps my hide that I have to hat-tip somebody for a Russ Roberts piece in the Wall Street Journal -- talk about home turf! But blog friend EE mailed me a link that I saw before I read it. Just doesn't seem fair somehow...

UPDATE: But it did come with a free link for seven days for non-subscribers.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | What do you think? [0]

If I Cannot Have Governor Christie!

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.


Dan Henninger at the WSJ Ed Page counters the "He is great, but..." candidacy of Herman Cain. He's #3 in the polls and he's five points off that incumbent president whose CV he blows away.

I believe I am in the Herman Cain Camp.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | What do you think? [6]
But Terri thinks:

YAY!

Posted by: Terri at September 29, 2011 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I love Herman Cain. I too would love "seeing Herman Cain make his case to black audiences" because it "would be interesting, period." But...

I worry that despite his corporate success he could easily be roadblocked and railroaded in the business of reforming government. That job is better left to a reformed ex-government solutions leader. One who recognizes he will need the continued support of the "fully mobilized" American people to "insist that their elected officials follow through and get the job done."

Newt's 21st Century Contract with America recognizes that:

2.The combined forces of the elites—in the news media, the government employee unions, the bureaucracies, the courts, the academic world, and in public office—will fight bitterly and ruthlessly to protect their world from being changed by the American people.
And
3.Therefore any election victory in 2012 will be the beginning and not the end of the struggle. It will take eight years or more of relentless, determined, intelligent effort to uproot and change the system of the elites—laws, bureaucracies, courts, schools-- and replace it with laws and systems based on historic American values and policies.

Tonight at 9:45 EDT Newt will host a teleconference that you can participate in (just listen is all I do) by submitting your phone number here. (Hosted by TheTeaParty.net) They'll automatically call you at the appointed time.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 12:47 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is open to taking an in-depth look at Cain. He seems to fulfill the Christie call for a leader. Currently, on both sides, we have people running contituency and litmus test candidacies. We do not need another technocrat trying to tweek this or that to fulfill pet projects of narrow interests, left or right.

Newt is a fount of innovative, bold ideas, many of which are quite worthy. Nevertheless, he is a technocrat. He is not a leader in the sense that he inspires people to acheive the best in themselves. Moreover, his personal peccadilloes make even The Refugee queasy. He is absolutely unelectable.

Cain's lack of foreign policy knowledge, let alone experience, is a major concern. However, he certainly did not turn around Burger King or Godfather's by himself. He found the right people with the right knowledge and let them do their jobs. He likely would do the same thing from the oval office. If you could take Cain's sense of leadership and combine it with Newt's policy knowledge, Huntsman's diplomacy and Ryan's fiscal sensibilities, you might have a helluva administration.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 2:31 PM
But jk thinks:

You left out Rep. Michelle Bachmann's heading up the FDA...

Other than that, I agree whole-heartedly.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll be sold if he also co-opts Newt's 'Contract.'

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Another of Cain's benefits is how well his name does in campaign slogans. Dick Morris wrote today Raising Cain. Even better, Dennis Miller coined the bumper sticker slogan: 2012 - CAIN VS. UNABLE

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 4:37 PM

September 28, 2011

You Will Respect Thomas Friedman's Autoritah!

Matt Welch sees disturbing Friedman trends continued in the Times Editorialist's new book.

Let;s see, the exaltation of "authority" and "national unity" and "sacrifice" over the messy independence of individuals...isn't there a word for that?


Exceptionalism

Last night Chris Christie reminded us what the word means. Not that "Frenchmen think France is exceptional" or "Spaniards think Spain is exceptional" but "the condition of being exceptional; uniqueness."

In emphasizing the Q&A, JK says the speech is skippable. Perhaps, but a few choice lines are, shall we say, an exception.

"Telling those who are scared and struggling the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others, trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard, insisting that we must tax, and take, and demonize those who have already achieved the American dream. That may turn out to be a good campaign strategy Mister President, but it is a demoralizing message for America."

The riffs on leadership and compromise, hope and failure, and fixing government were excellent but what impressed me most was philosophical. He defended the idea of American exceptionalism, and explained that what our nation represents over the past few years doesn't live up to that standard. "Real American exceptionalism" is "earned American exceptionalism."

Quoting Reagan describing, in 1989, what he always envisioned whenever he spoke of America as "a shining city on a hill..."

"In my mind it was a tall proud city, built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace. A city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still."

Then Christie:

"That, is American exceptionalism. Not a punch-line in a political speech, but a vision, followed by a set of principled actions that made us the envy of the world. Not a reelection strategy, but an American revitalization strategy. We will be that again, but not until we demand that our leaders stand tall by telling the truth, confronting our shortcomings, celebrating our successes, and once again leading the world because of what we have been able to actually accomplish. Only when we do that will we finally ensure that our children and grandchildren will live in a second American century. We owe them, as well as ourselves and those who came before us, nothing less."
But jk thinks:

Not bad for an East-coast RINO, eh?

Just kidding -- awesome post!

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 10:52 AM
But jk thinks:

Room for one more?

Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other. We are a better people than that; and we must demand a better nation than that.

Full text.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 11:21 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And now, the critical evaluation (that would be prescribed if he had become a candidate but is merely academic now.) I think you know the part of that passage I have a problem with. Please parse, explain and justify for us: "To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other." Unless he misspoke or I misread, this sounds like demanding the unearned. And it stands in direct opposition to his words above. He might call it "balanced" or a "compromise" but I call it hypocritical and contradictory.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 11:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Whoa -- tough dang room!

I think the call is for others to make sacrifices for themselves: put some of y'own damn money away for college or retirement. I suspect you don't accept that one can sacrifice for oneself, but I think it is a common linguistic device used for deferred production and gratification.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That interpretation quite honestly never occurred to me. Thank you. The correct way to say what you suggested, however, is by replacing "sacrifice" with "self-sufficiency." Or by suggesting one "forego" instant gratification in favor of enjoying his rewards when they are earned. But the best, and hopefully his intended, way of saying it is just to remove the word "no" between demand and sacrifice. That would be consistent with the rest of the paragraph and earn my kudos.

*rant*

I had missed the word "sacrifice" in my prior viewings of the speech. It is a poisonous idea. Asking, or demanding, others to make sacrifices for "a people" is a demoralizing message for America, and is certainly not American exceptionalism.

"The failure to give a man what had never belonged to him can hardly be described as "sacrificing his interests." -Ayn Rand

More here.

*/rant*

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

When you compare hard work and delayed gratification to a gubmint handout, it is a sacrifice. And, such sacrifice is for the betterment of society. To wit, one's unwillingness to be a burden on his neighbors.

A welfare mentality turns the concept of sacrifice upside down.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 7:16 PM

Stole My Idea

But Philip Levy probably does it better in Obama's Great Buffett Confusion

I really like bananas. Great way to start the day. Tasty and nutritious.

Wegman's sells them for 49˘ a pound, but I would pay more than that. At 99˘ a pound, I'd still get them. I'm happier paying less, but I could afford the higher price.

So why doesn't my grocery store take advantage of this? It could double the price of bananas and still keep my business

I was going to suggest that Starbucks® could add a quarter or half-dollar to every item on their menu and I would not go one fewer time or buy one fewer item. Egads! That would be billions of dollars in increased revenue -- every day! Why don't those fools on the board see it?

And Warren Buffett wouldn't mind paying higher taxes. Something about a contiguous supply-demand curve...


Olive Branch

I wept a few times during the Q&A session last night. And a couple of times after, thinking that he was not running this time.

I think I have figured out what divides my blog brother(s?) and me on the Garden State Guv. If you want to plot him ideologically on a single axis, Gov. Christie will certainly not be the most doctrinaire conservative. He holds several apostate views, and I have to believe he holds them sincerely and honestly.

But, but. but -- on the issues of entitlement funding, entitlement spending, and entitlement mentality, he is off-the-charts good. And that is the key issue of our time. He also has a warmth and personal integrity. "Leadership, pure and simple" he says of President Reagan. I'd apply it to the big man himself.

UPDATE: By the way, the speech is skippable if you have a job or something, but the Q&As at the end (34:00) are NOT to be missed. I'm with the woman at 43:40.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Peace brother. First we must acknowledge that Br'er KA was right. Whether by preternatural prescience, luck, or just old-fashioned inside information his emphatic prediction held true.

I happened upon the Christie keynote live last night, cold, with no advance billing. I thoroughly enjoyed his rhetoric. I found it erudite without condescention (contra Huntsman) hard-hitting with grace (contra Perry) and delivered with a humor and confidence that seem to elude Mitt Romney no matter how hard he tries.

I might have liked to see if he could carry off the same demeanor through the entire primary season but the idea that his presence might aid Governor Perry, who I've soured on quite a bit, leaves me pleased that he decided to sit this one out. I'm eager to see him campaign for our nominee East of the Mississip while Governor Palin does the same out West.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2011 2:41 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee remains a big fan of Christie. The speech did reignite The Refugee's desire to see a Christie candidacy. The Refugee shares JG's waning enthusiasm for Perry.

Despite a delivery that did Ronaldus Magnus proud, the speech was less than it seemed. The best lines were attributed to Reagan. Being able to read from the bible does not make one a saint.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 28, 2011 4:21 PM
But jk thinks:

The Q&A is the real deal though. He is funny, likable, tough, smart and principled. I could use a little of that in the current GOP field.

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2011 4:29 PM

September 27, 2011

Chris!

The poll found that 54 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the way Christie is handling his job as governor, while just 36 percent disapprove. That's a sharp tick up for Christie since May, when 44 percent said they approved of his job performance and an equal number said they disapproved.
Read more: Daily Caller
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

In which jk Agrees with David Axelrod

A perfect metaphor for the 44th:

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- President Barack Obama's chief political adviser on Tuesday conceded that a dark cloud looms over the American economy and Obama's political future, describing the president's road to a second term in the White House as "a titanic struggle."

Dark clouds and sinking ships. Strike up the orchestra: "Nearer my God to Thee" in Bb.


Read It and Weep

The guy who is not running has written a book.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) said at AEI today that "we're facing a survival-level threat to the America we’ve known" from spiraling debt, diminished optimism, and a turning away from self-sufficiency.

Short thing read whole the.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:19 PM | What do you think? [0]

A Post in which I Call "Bull****!"

Professor Reynolds links to this article on World Contraception Day (Don't forget to bring donuts into work!), based -- I think -- more on the salacious headline than the information contained.

LONDON (Reuters) - Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday.

The "Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception" study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111 percent in France, 39 percent in the USA and 19 percent in Britain in the last three years.

Hmmm, quite a problem. Young people's rights are at stake. Did not John Locke write eloquently 400 years ago about life, liberty, property, and Trojans™?

What can we do? Spend more money, perhaps? If only we could ask an unbiased source...

"What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality," spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Jennifer Woodside said in a statement.

"The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections)," she said.

World Government has so much to accomplish and so few resources.


Might Become a Caps Fan...

I like the cut of owner Ted Leonsis's gib:

The real rift in philosophy though is do you want the Government to create jobs and stimulate the economy or do you want America’s small business to be the engine of growth?

Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.
[...]
I voted for our President. I have maxed out on personal donations to his re-election campaign. I forgot his campaign wants to raise $1 billion. THAT is a lot of money-money-money-money! Money still talks. It blows my mind when I am asked for money as a donation at the same time I am getting blasted as being a bad guy!

Rube.

But johngalt thinks:

Awesome link! Awesome debate in the public square!

A pretty remarkable collection of comments (35 as of my reading) follow the linked post. The pro-class warfare contingent has a recognizable theme: Income growth for the highest earners grows faster than "the middle class;" wealthy and corporations are "given" tax breaks "while the middle class pays income and payroll taxes at a higher rate than guys like you;" Republicans say "the middle class needs to pay" to fix America's indebtedness. All are evidence of a marginal way of thinking - every change viewed by who it benefits compared to someone else. This, boys and girls, is the very definition of class warfare.

But another commenter attempts an analogy: You [wealthy] happen to be "good at making money, but many of us aren't." If what really mattered in life was something else, say "the ability to fight hostile space monsters" wouldn't you want those who excel in that skill to "pitch in a little extra and help YOU out?"

Here's another idea: Suppose that those "not very good at making money" took steps to change that about themselves? Education, hard work, lifestyle choices all have predictable effects. But more importantly, "making money" is not a skill. Making desirable products is a skill. Delivering desirable services is a skill (like, for example, the ability to fight hostile space monsters.) Want to be happy? Want to be successful? Match your vocation to your ambition and your consumption to your income, and stop comparing your income to your neighbor's. Instead, compare it to what it was before you graduated college, or completed that last job training class, or earned your high school diploma. Climb the mountain at your own pace. "Stop complainin', stop grumblin', stop cryin'" and put on your climbing shoes. But climb the mountain under your own strength, don't climb on the back of the nearest guy who happens to be climbing faster than you (and then complain again when he decides to stop because you are too heavy.) We can all make it up the hill. Most of us are willing to help others along the way. Just don't ask us to do it with a gun to our head, "or else."

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2011 3:08 PM

September 26, 2011

SNL The 7th or 8th GOP Debate

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:20 PM | What do you think? [0]

Murphy's Primaries

With the looming potential of a Christie candidacy NYT's Nate Silver theorizes that the big winner could be ... Rick Perry.

The other view is that the campaign has not been about Mr. Romney per se, but instead is simply a struggle between moderates and conservatives. If the median primary Republican voter wants a “movement conservative” as their nominee, then Mr. Christie may not pass that test because of his stances on issues like immigration and climate change.

Mr. Romney could still win under this view if several candidates split the conservative vote and he has the moderate vote to himself. But the entry of Mr. Christie would complicate his equation and lower his odds, while posing less threat to Mr. Perry’s campaign.

In the 2008 race Romney, the Colorado favorite, suffered from also-rans to his right. Four years later he could face the same problem, but this time from his left in Chris Christie.

UPDATE: Added missing links. (Antropologists wish it were so easy!)

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 1:52 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Christie's not getting in. Trust me on this. He's committed to New Jersey.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 26, 2011 2:34 PM

This. Shall. Not. Stand.

Campus Thought Free Zones on the rise:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Firefly and a line from an episode: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed." On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter emailed Miller, notifying him that she had removed the poster and that "it is unacceptable to have postings such as this that refer to killing."

Amazed that UWS could be so shockingly heavy-handed, Miller replied by email, "Respect liberty and respect my first amendment rights." Walter responded that "the poster can be interpreted as a threat by others and/or could cause those that view it to believe that you are willing/able to carry out actions similar to what is listed." Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: "If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct."

Later on September 16, Miller placed a new poster on his office door in response to Walter's censorship. The poster read "Warning: Fascism" and included a cartoon image of a silhouetted police officer striking a civilian. The poster mocked, "Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets."


First they came for the Buffy viewers...

Hat-tip: @adamsbaldwin

Heh-tip: Insty beats me on the headline: "IN WISCONSIN, IT’S BROWNSHIRTS VS. BROWNCOATS"

But johngalt thinks:

Good story, and a likely source in @adamsbaldwin. You still following him? He retweets too much for me. I got tired of wading through his tweets to see anyone elses. He was my first "Unfollow" victim.

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 2:01 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

For Prof. Miller's next Firefly posters, may I suggest these:

"A government is a body of people, usually, notably ungoverned." (Shepherd Book, War Stories)

"People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome." (River Tam, Serenity movie)

"That's what governments are for... get in a man's way." (Mal Reynolds, Serenity pilot)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 26, 2011 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

2nd and 3rd of these are seared in my memory. Awesome stuff that, written by a lefty I'm told? Wheedon?

Quick, send it to Elizabeth Warren!

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Good move, jg. I'm sure there will be no consequences for publicly "unfollowing" Jayne. "Did you hear something Dagny? A metallic click? Sounded like 'Gina...'"

Yup, ka, one of the sweet mysteries of life, that. Whedon wrote all those lines you artfully recall and then ran out to host a big John Kerry Fundraiser. Boggles the mind.

Posted by: jk at September 26, 2011 5:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I need a few more letters in that hint: "'Gina...?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2011 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Hah! I was thinking in this crowd that that allusion would work: Gina is the name of Jayne's favorite gun. [Simon I believe] is disturbed that he names them, and in a later episode he says "even Gina wouldn't be able to pierce that."

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2011 3:24 PM

Breaking...

@baseballcrank calls it "The Most exciting Jon Huntsman story of the year.

Did Huntsman, who was profiled in the September issue of Vogue, join the latest fashion craze? The downward spiraling economy -- and example of the new Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton -- caused fashionistas to start recycling outfits, dubbing themselves recessionistas.

Or perhaps it's a lucky tie? Either way, the Huntsman campaign won't say. When reached for comment, a Huntsman spokesman said tie decisions were above his paygrade.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 25, 2011

R U Ready 4 Some Football?

I've been tough on my beloved Broncos since they booted Coach Shanahan, but I am proud even in defeat today. Tough defense, discipline, good effort -- well done, lads. Try it again with Dumervil and Champ Bailey, shall we?

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

... and always take points on the board when given the choice. (I thought Fox was supposed to be a cautious, conservative coach? An all-or-nothing 4th down conversion attempt? PPPTHT!)

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 1:40 PM
But jk thinks:

I actually like the call to go for it. Encouraged by that rarest of moments when a sportscaster says something intelligent -- our defensive successes had made play from their own end zone dicey. I'm a go-for-it maniac, though, James Surowecki, call your office.

McGahee straight up the gut, however.........we didn't have anything else in the book?

Posted by: jk at September 26, 2011 1:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I yell at the screen whenever a coach takes the points instead of the "two in the bush" gambit. But they generally prove me wrong.

Perhaps conservative coaching staffs shouldn't take such risks if the play calling will also be conservative.

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 2:03 PM

Trade, Hayek, Neanderthals, and the Cloud

Very very good Sunday read: Matt Ridley's From Phoenecia to Hayek to the 'Cloud'
Human progress has always depended on spontaneous collaboration to harness dispersed knowledge.

There was no sudden change in brain size 200,000 years ago. We Africans--all human beings are descended chiefly from people who lived exclusively in Africa until about 65,000 years ago--had slightly smaller brains than Neanderthals, yet once outside Africa we rapidly displaced them (bar acquiring 2.5% of our genes from them along the way).

And the reason we won the war against the Neanderthals, if war it was, is staring us in the face, though it remains almost completely unrecognized among anthropologists: We exchanged. At one site in the Caucasus there are Neanderthal and modern remains within a few miles of each other, both from around 30,000 years ago. The Neanderthal tools are all made from local materials. The moderns' tools are made from chert and jasper, some of which originated many miles away. That means trade.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

Huntsman Defeats Bachmann!

But then, Michele only drew 1.5% support ... in the Florida GOP straw poll. Among 2600 party activists the big winner was the Hermanator with 37 percent - nearly as much as the next three finishers combined.

Miami Herald says Perry "in big trouble."

The vote and spectacle underscored that Cain, who polled in single digits this week, is the new tea party darling. And Michele Bachmann isn’t. She was the big loser, coming in last place. Once a top-tier candidate who won the Iowa straw poll, Bachmann had trouble breaking through in recent debates, failed to give specifics and didn’t reach out to the Presidency 5 grassroots voters.

Or maybe her appeal is truly regional. At any rate, she's losing momentum along with former "white knight" Rick Perry. A Miami-Dade activist said of Perry: “... it’s become increasingly clear he can’t perform. He has electile dysfunction.”

I doubt it will keep him in front but at least the showing gives Cain a chance to be in front for a time. Who knows?

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:26 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

I know that I am not alone in abandoning Rep, Bachmann for her kooky comments on Gardasil. I remember a Twitter eruption of some serious and very conservative pundit types who declared her candidacy "over." at that time. She has done nothing on the plus side to counteract.

I liked 9-9-9 when I first heard it, but it could easily become 20-30-27.5 -- it seems unwise to give future Congresses three numbers to raise. I could certainly support Mister Cain just for the sheer joy of a Cain - Obama race, but I cannot believe he is "ready for prime time."

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2011 12:04 PM

September 24, 2011

Pop Culture Attack

Comic book heroes inherit their wealth; supervillians earn it. What's up with that?

While the pattern in comics inverts the meritocratic ideal that seems to rule in most modern American fiction, it fits quite naturally with a pre-capitalist aristocratic ethos, which persisted at least through the early 20th century in the form of Old Money's contempt for the nouveau riche. Jane Jacobs, in her book Systems of Survival, contrasted this aristocratic view, which she dubbed the "Guardian" moral complex, with "bourgeois" or "mercantile" ethics. In this worldview, while wealth and the leisure time it affords may be necessary preconditions of cultivating certain noble qualities (whether that's appreciation of classical art and literature, or the martial, deductive, and scientific skills of a masked crimefighter), the grubby business of acquiring money is inherently corrupting. The ideal noble needs to have wealth, while being too refined to be much concerned with becoming wealthy. It's permissible for Stark and Kord to be largely responsible for the success of their companies because their contribution is essentially a side effect of their exercise of their intellectual virtues. Along similar lines, while the Fantastic Four have plainly become enormously wealthy from the income stream generated by Reed Richards' many patents, I don't recall many scenes in which we see Richards stepping out of the lab to apply his intelligence directly to their commercialization: His inventions are presumably sold or licensed to others who concern themselves with transforming Richards' genius into cash.

I confess I skipped over comic books, making me most unusual among the Buffy cognoscenti, Sci-Fi readers, and other phyla of geekdom. I'll leave it to others to establish veracity, but it strikes me as both true and insidious. Sort of a wicked plan to take over the world by degrading the rational faculties of America's youth...

Hat-tip: @JimPethokoukis

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

September 23, 2011

Pinch JK

Could it be? Is it possible? JK's dream come true?

Christie promised to make a final decision "within two weeks," the source said.

Christie suggested to an audience at New Jersey's Rider University that the current GOP candidates are not answering the public's appetite for real leadership.

"I think what the country is thirsting for, more than anything else right now, is someone of stature and credibility to tell them that and say, 'Here's where I want us to go to deal with this crisis,'" Christie said.

Christie continued: "The fact that nobody yet who's running for president, in my view, has done that effectively is why you continue to hear people ask Daniels if he'll reconsider and ask me if I'll reconsider."

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 7:10 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the link, but if I may steal from Dave Barry: I thought you meant that dream about the Swedish Gymnastics team and the vat of YooHoo®...

There are certainly rumblings about a Christie candidacy that reach into Paul Gigot's office. We'll have it all out if it transpires, but I would consider it a rescue of my quadrennial.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 12:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was most struck by how Christie's explanation for GOP unease so closely resembled your reason for wanting him in the race. Someone of *ahem* "stature" and credibility to "take on the collectivists bravely and defend his positions honorably." Yeah, I could go for that too.

I attempted to convince dagny and my sister that candidate Christie would not be damaged by doing what he said so vociferously he would never do - run for president in '12. I was unsuccessful. Suggestions?

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2011 12:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Non-issue. A patriot will answer when called. For more public consumption: This country is in big trouble, and it's time somebody told the truth to the American people. The people closest to me suggested that I was the best person for that.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 1:10 PM

Another Shutdown Looms

Faced with the prospect of a cut in federal spending, Senator Reid chose to once again risk a government shutdown in a desperate attempt to protect the federal jack for "a clean-energy program popular with Democrats and the Obama administration."

I love it. Just love it. Go TEA Party Reps!

But jk thinks:

DISLIKE.

We've got elections coming up, we can talk about big issues. President Obama has floated the world's lamest "jobs bill," Eurozone contagion looms, even überoptimist Larry Kudlow says we're likely in a double dip.

And we're going to embarrass Speaker Boehner and pick a fight over $3.6 Billion in aid to hurricane victims?

Yes, I know you're right, the fight is over offsetting with cuts to energy boondoggles, huzzah! But smallball fights with bad optics on the DJIA's worst week since Lehman. NO! NO! NO! Pick your fights -- and pick them a lot gorram better than this!

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 12:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But ... except for the fact that "it's always the Republicans' fault" this is leader Reid's shutdown gambit. The house passed a bill "with full funding for what is needed right now." Reid plans to vote on a different version but there's no time for the House to consider it anyway. As the WashTimes headline said, "Senate Blocks Emergency Disaster Money."

I praise the conservatives for their tactics as much as their principles.

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2011 1:04 PM
But jk thinks:

More worried about WaPo than Times. Even Kudlow is bummed.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 10:15 PM

Elizabeth Warren Elevator Talk

Blog brother jk appealed for Randian elevator speeches to answer the latest liberal female candidate for Ted Kennedy's senate seat who said, "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own - nobody."

My first temptation was to say, "Please read Craig Biddle's (not Bill Whittle) essay on Ayn Rand's Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society. It is superb. But it is far more than an elevator ride. And that is the trouble. Americans have been taught for generations that it is unconscionable for "the richest nation in the world" to let any of our neighbors go hungry or be denied the latest medical treatments. How does anyone counter this belief in even the world's longest elevator ride? Perhaps like this...

A human is a living thing that cannot survive without using his or her mind to identify values and act to achieve them. Values begin with those things which a human needs for survival. They begin with food, shelter, clothing. They then progress on a scale from necessities to comforts and then luxuries.

Civilization and prosperity have made luxuries into comforts and comforts into necessities. But civilization also tries to make leisure into work. Our prosperity has convinced many of us that there is enough wealth to go around to everybody, so nobody needs to work any longer. This fiction is extended even beyond the realm of materials and into services, such as medical treatment and disaster assistance. But there is no free lunch. Without production and commerce there is no prosperity, and production is not automatic. No man will work to create something unless he will profit. No man will learn medicine and care for others unless he receives a comparable value in return.

Businessmen, of all people, recognize the value of a polite society. Why do you think they always tried to hire Clint Eastwood to protect their two-bit town from the local gang? This is why most people are happy to pay a nominal tax to support basic government services, or even a higher tax for some extra-special services. But still more taxes to transfer his wealth to the less industrious are another matter. Take away a man's profit without his consent and he will either stop producing things you used to get from him or he'll leave your civilization and start his own somewhere beyond your reach. Either way, you are worse off than when you worked for your own earnings and traded with him fairly.

Of course, all of this presumes that your goal is to be happy and prosperous in your own life. Some men aspire to nothing more than to harm others. Don't be that guy, and don't demand what you haven't earned.

But jk thinks:

I should be clear -- your stuff is quite good. I was suggesting Mister Biddle had gone a little farther into the weeds than the average political moderate can be led.

Kumbaya!

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2011 3:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. http://i.imgur.com/sHUN2.jpg

Hat-tip Jonah

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2011 4:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome. I'm not worthy!

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2011 5:17 PM
But Terri thinks:

"Focusing on infrastructure as the crucial support of entrepreneurial activity is like crediting the guy who built young Bill Gates' garage with the start of Microsoft."

The two story rebuttal from Rich Lowry.

Posted by: Terri at September 23, 2011 10:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Like!"

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2011 11:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Made my first try today. A Facebook comment makes an elevator ride look long, but my brother got this in response to the picture of her with her remarks;

------------------------------------------------
If given more respect for property rights than Professor Warren showed on the consumer banking project, those successful factory owners will happily fund "the next kid" who comes along.

Nobody gets rich in a vacuum or without property rights -- there is a great weekend editorial on Hayek and The Cloud at WSJ. But it is unconscionable to say that it takes a village to raise a billionaire -- if you remove a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, TJ Rodgers or Andy Grove, it changes the world. Even though there are still roads for iPods and computers to be delivered on. Those visionaries created their wealth ex nihilo and we all benefitted from it.

I disagree with Warren to the central fibers of my being, but I applaud her for making a rational (if boneheadedly wrong) argument in favor of Progressivism. Individual achievement is the most important thing in the betterment of mankind, and man, as the owner of his person is fully entitled to the fruits of his labor.

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2011 7:22 PM

September 22, 2011

The Twitter feed is open!

Reminding everybody to share their GOP debate impressions in real time (or later) by tweeting with the #3src hashtag. It's what President Reagan would have wanted you to do, dammit.

But johngalt thinks:

It's a TWEE Party!

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah!

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2011 9:22 PM

But the Science is Settled!

AP: CERN claims faster-than-light particle measured

GENEVA (AP) -- A fundamental pillar of physics - that nothing can go faster than the speed of light - appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein's theories.

Well, leave it to the AP to make an error in the lead paragraph. The tachyon if I recall correctly is predicted by General Relativity. Providing that time is complex, Albert wouldn't really object.

The point is that -- this being real science -- it is being taken seriously and will be studied, reproduced and attempts will be made to explain. Were it "climate science," some former Vice President would hold a press conference, and there would be a lot of name calling.

Hat-tip: @davidharsanyi, whose version of the snarky headline is "what! scientific consensus was wrong?"

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

QOTD2

At this point four years ago, Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field with 28%, trailed by former Sen. Fred Thompson at 23% and John McCain at 15%, with everyone else in single digits. When the dust finally cleared, neither Messrs. Giuliani nor Thompson was a serious contender--and Govs. Romney and Mike Huckabee pressed Mr. McCain hard before he prevailed. All of which means the 2012 Republican sweepstakes is far from over. -- Karl Rove
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:58 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps, but Steve Forbes thinks one of the frontrunners will go the distance.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

After watching tonight's debate I think Forbes prediction is doomed. Perry didn't even walk fast enough to stub his toe. He repeated more lame versions of his prior rebuttals and didn't drawl on a few answers, he did it on all of them.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 11:44 PM

Tweet of the Day

Yesterday, but I was onsite.


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

As major Solyndra investor and Barack Obama donor George Kaiser told a crowd of his fellow Oklahomans not long after Obama's stimulus was announced in 2009, "There's never been more money shoved out of the government's door in world history and probably never will be again than in the last few months and the next 18 months. And our selfish, parochial goal is to get as much of it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can." -- Matt Welch (a Reason guy, writing for CNN, is the space-time continuum safe?)

The linked article is "Why the $16 muffin matters." I must disagree a bit with my big-L Libertarian friend. Every word he says is true, but it propagates the lie that we can have all the government we want if we just elect candidate x who will clean things up. No need to stop developing programs for the poor and new middle class entitlements, we'll take it all out of pastry savings.


September 21, 2011

JG <3 Elizibeth Warren

At least she is honest about who she is and what she believes. I guess you don't have to hide your progressiove light under a bushel when you're running for the Senate in Massachusetts.

But I think I can suggest this is about as far away from ThreeSources theory as you can get:

In a video of a recent Warren appearance, posted online by an individual who says he or she is not affiliated with the campaign, Warren answered the charge. "I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'" Warren said. "No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own -- nobody.

"You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory -- and hire someone to protect against this -- because of the work the rest of us did.


Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 7:44 PM | What do you think? [10]
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, this JG does love Elizabeth Warren - for bringing this debate into the public square.

And I love Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois for the same reason since she said, "I'll put it this way, you don't deserve to keep all of it. It's not a question of deserving, because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together."

And Rep. Maxine Waters for saying, "The TEA Party can go straight to hell." I love it!

Government will not be restrained before a full and public debate on the role and responsibilities of government.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 11:46 AM
But jk thinks:

That's why I put it up. While Rep. Schakowsky is just another big-city-district fringe House members (cf, Waters, Lee, and DeGette), I smell a rising star in Ms. Warren. She was designing the entire consumer banking sector for the Administration until Congress asserted a bit of its authority. She will be formidable in "the Commonwealth" and has instant intellectual credence on the left.

As we agree on the importance, I would love to see any "elevator talk" responses. I might lean on my respected Randians (whom I love to tweak with that non-standard identifier) because her philosophy so forcefully promotes the individual.

I feel it to he roots of my molars, but could not articulate a better response than my thought experiment of yank out Steve Jobs, and what is Apple?

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2011 12:22 PM
But dagny thinks:

Ok I'll give the elevator speech a stab based on what Rep Schakowsky says above.

If, "what we decide to do together," really means what the majority decides to do by force at the expense of the minority it is entirely immoral. Further it is antithetical to the founding principles of the U.S.A.

Posted by: dagny at September 22, 2011 3:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Allow me to begin in installments. Some distillation may be required to finish in a single elevator ride.

Ms. Warren asserts certain goods come from government: Roads, education, safety. Yet government is but a conduit for these things of value to human life. Whether facilitated by government or by commercial entity their creation is predicated on the value they give to human life.

The difference between government and private facility is the difference between "we" and "I." In a free society "I" am empowered to create as "I" choose, and "we" are free to assemble toward creative ends. But when such assembly becomes involuntary our society is no longer free. And when "we" confiscate from "I" a fundamental right is violated: The right to act on one's rational judgment in furtherance of his egoistic life.

Americans have a proud tradition of cooperative effort and readily commit a portion of their earnings to Ms. Schakowsky's "things we decide to to together" in various and sundry ways, including payment of taxes. But the indispensible word in that description is "decide" for a man without freedom of choice is little more than a slave. Let us aspire to a government of free men, cooperating and persuading, choosing and joining. Let us be ambitious and tolerant. Each of us for our own sake, let us not demand from each other anything which is unearned.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Back-to-back comments giving the long and the short of the matter. :)

Let me put it differently:

Until past due bills are paid, I've decided I no longer choose to do things together with government. Government has shown it doesn't deserve my help.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Nobody gets $192,722 on their own...

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 12:49 PM

Government Shoes, Inc.

Meant to link this this morning. Jonah is off-the-charts good today, riffing off Murray Rothbard:

"So identified has the State become in the public mind with the provision of these services," Rothbard laments, "that an attack on State financing appears to many people as an attack on the service itself." The libertarian who wants to get the government out of a certain business is "treated in the same way as he would be if the government had, for various reasons, been supplying shoes as a tax-financed monopoly from time immemorial."

If everyone had always gotten their shoes from the government, writes Rothbard, the proponent of shoe privatization would be greeted as a kind of lunatic. "How could you?" defenders of the status quo would squeal. "You are opposed to the public, and to poor people, wearing shoes! And who would supply shoes . . . if the government got out of the business? Tell us that! Be constructive! It's easy to be negative and smart-alecky about government; but tell us who would supply shoes? Which people? How many shoe stores would be available in each city and town? . . . What material would they use? . . . Suppose a poor person didn't have the money to buy a pair?"


I get this from my receptive-to-liberty-theory sister all the time. If the USDA did not inspect meat, or the city not inspect restaurant bathrooms, we'd all die in a week.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:56 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

One can easily envision the government shoe store having a sale on left boots due to surplus and being out-of-stock for right boots.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 22, 2011 3:53 PM

Saved by Zero

I knew that big "O" logo would backfire on him eventually...

Bonus link. "Martha Quinn, paging Ms. Martha, Quinn."

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:47 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

Chris Cillizza @ WaPo sez:

In a dark Web ad released on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry embraces the "grim is good" approach to politics and dubs Obama "President Zero" for the struggling economy and the lack of new jobs created by it.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2011 5:51 PM
But jk thinks:

And blog brother HB sent a link with the subject "HOSS" Proving once and for all that the old Internet meme about his being Chris Cillizza is false.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2011 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The first half is indeed grim, as is the state of the American Dream today. I found many scenes in the commercial eerily similar to scenes of this movie. They even included a shot of a thundering locomotive, skillfully bracketed by shots of thundering [western] horses.

HB may not be Chris Cillizza, but is Rick Perry John Galt? (A rhetorical question, asked purely for effect.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 2:36 PM

Fact Checking the Fact Checker

John Hinderaker goes after WaPo's Glenn Kessler for the same "fact check" I whined about:

So, who is stuck in a time warp? Does Kessler not know what has happened during the last 20 years? Does he not understand that the Oslo Accords collapsed under the violent weight of the Second Intifada? Does he really believe that a letter written by the deceased head of a defunct organization in 1993, answers for all time the question whether Palestinians and their leaders actually accept the existence of Israel as an independent nation, let alone a Jewish state?

Great piece. Hinderaker rebuts every item in the slanted piece and awards "four pinocchios" at the end. Superb.


September 20, 2011

Magic

No, Mister Jilette does not perform. But I found his interview with Mick Gillespie to be 16 minutes of magical thought. The main premise is atheism, as he is hawking a book, but they cover God, Libertarianism, Ayn Rand, Hillary Clinton, and Warren Buffett as well. True intellectual exploration:


Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | What do you think? [0]

An Antidote to "Palinism"

"The Republican Party needs an antidote to Palinism."

So said noted authority on GOP political strategy Dan Gerstein, "a New York-based Democratic strategist who worked on Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign as an independent in 2006" last September.

I just posted a comment that referenced the Conservative New Jersey article that included this quote. It was rebuttal to the notion that Chris Christie is the GOP rock star we should all want in this year's presidential race. But I thought it deserved further and more prominent examination.

Republicans and Liberty Movement folk may differ on the New Jersey governor's bona fides (gun control, Obamacare, cap and trade, more...) but when he is defined as the anti-Palin we Liberty types bristle. That seems to be a fight the governor himself would be wise not to pick. For his part it seems he does not, as the CNJ article chronicles the lengths he takes to keep his distance from her.

But johngalt thinks:

I'll posit that several of the candidates don't fit your formula. Bachmann, Perry and Palin can be said to have all three of your conservative creds. It's Romney and Christie who are lacking, although I've thusfar failed in the challenge to find any of them with as good an elevator speech as Gov. Chris.

Posted by: johngalt at September 21, 2011 4:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Aye, but 'e's close!

"Conservative, liberty minded, acceptible to the electorate, not a complete kook -- pick any three."

-------------------------------------------------------

And, and, and. It's not so much the elevator speech; he is quick on his feet. He takes questions from a hostile crowd and answers with Reaganesque replies: non combative, but serious, thoughtful and filled with conviction. I don't think you can learn or fake that. That signifies a man who knows what he believes.

That is moral clarity to me. He speaks out of deeply held principles. I have not seen anybody who was better at that since President Reagan.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2011 6:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Gonna have to quibble with JG a bit here.

Socially conservative doctrine (in the main) is anti-abortion, anti-gay marraige, anti-gay rights, etc. You cannot simultaneously support the codification of morality into law and say that you're all for individuals living the way they want to. We all make those balances and trade-offs both in our lives and how we vote. The trade-off is the essense of the pick-two dilemma.

At this point, I would trade Christie's more liberal positions, figuring he won't try to roll his party on them, in return for his ability to get us back on the right fiscal track.

One clarification for JK, however: Christie can be very bombastic. See his answer to the question about sending his kids to private school instead of public. "None of your damn business!!!" goes into a two minute tirade. Expect to see all those videos get wide coverage if he enters the race.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 22, 2011 11:10 AM
But dagny thinks:

Sorry, I'm a little late to the party here, but I contend that, "socially conservative," and, "liberty minded," are mutually exclusive. This is one of the things that makes politics incredibly frustrating for me. There never seem to ANY politicians that reflect MY values well. When, on occasion, one appears, they are considered unelectable fringe lunatics. I guess that just makes me also a fringe lunatic.

Posted by: dagny at September 22, 2011 2:44 PM
But dagny thinks:

oops! correction! If am going to my kid's school to correct the grammar of the handouts sent home, I better get it right myself. "When, on occasion, THEY appear, they are considered..."

Posted by: dagny at September 22, 2011 2:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

*ahem* "When, on occasion, one appears he is considered a fringe lunatic."

BR is right, of course. I realized my error and said to dagny last night, "Nobody has called me on it though." In the current climate I read "liberty minded" as pro-property rights and little more.

Now, as "fiscally responsible" is a logical subset of "liberty minded" I suggest its place in the triumverate be taken instead by "terrorism hawk" or something similar. In truth, there are probably more than three categories of conservative principles.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:54 PM

It's an Outrage!


This graphic from the WSJ Ed Page really caught my eye.

How can it be that hard working people in the $500,000 - $1 Million income category, like Warren Buffet's CFO, are paying 0.8% more than those earning over a million? When will this outrage be repaired?


Politics Posted by John Kranz at 1:18 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

And how do I get a job as Warren Buffet's secretary, who must be pulling down at least $500K?

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2011 3:50 PM

Right Wing Hate Site Attacks President's Plan

Yawn. Must be Thursday. Oh wait, it's the WaPo Business Section:

The latest Obama plan "doesn’t produce any more in realistic savings than the plan they offered in April," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "They’ve filled in details, repackaged it and replaced one gimmick with another. They don't even stabilize the debt. This is just not enough."

The most disheartening development, MacGuineas and others said, is Obama's decision to count $1.1 trillion in savings from the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan toward his debt-reduction total. Because Obama has no intention of continuing war spending at last year's elevated levels, that $1.1 trillion would never have been spent.


The President's plan, however, has been extremely well received by my moonbat Facebook friends.

But johngalt thinks:

And there we have the true audience for the latest Obama plan. Governing to the middle hasn't worked so well for him so he's returning to the moonbat briar patch.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2011 3:48 PM

September 19, 2011

Can I like both?

The new Fiat 500 commercial has me checking to see if I can fit the whole family in it.

The new Prius commercial? Not so much.

Creepy.

Apparently the 2010 version wasn't ghastly enough. I just can't shake the whole "one world, one people" commune thingy.

And another one, if you're into that sort of thing.

But jk thinks:

Saw the Fiat spot a bunch of times yesterday. It is a very good commercial.

Insty had a post that Toyota expects hybrids to be 20% of the market in 2020. It's an interesting bet, but I can see it coming up short. If they miss, I think they'll have a tough time holding share. I'm still a fan but I don't want to be way long.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 10:45 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Insty also links to this commercial under the caption of "The Worst Car Commercial of All Time?"

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/128337/

Just shows to go you that men of good will can agree to disagree...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 21, 2011 2:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow! The further you click, the more people hate it. I wouldn't buy JLo's music on a bet, but the whole thing seems very hip and fashionable.

A couple grizzled IT people once asked our HR manager why she had booked our bi-departmental Christmas Party in Downtown Denver. She said in her delightful Chilean accent "Eees Fashion!" And I added a phrase to my lexicon.

Why do I like this spot? Eees Fashion!

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2011 7:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

They clearly haven't seen the Prius ads.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2011 12:00 AM
But jk thinks:

Saw the Prius ad last night (at the GOP debate on FOXNews, no less). Creepy.

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2011 10:15 AM

"Fact Checker"

I shouldn't click. I have learned not to read Peggy Noonan and it has done wonders for my disposition.

Someday, I will do the same with the WaPo Fact Checker. But today, it is too late. Mr. Glenn Kessler sees fit to lecture Gov. Rick Perry for "newbie" mistakes, charitably pointing out "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has its own diplomatic code, and it takes time and effort to understand it."

The offending, two Pinocchio quote?

I certainly have some concerns. The first step in any peaceful negotiation for a two-state solution for the Palestinians is to recognize the right of Israel's existence. They have to denounce terrorism in both word and deed. And they have to sit down and negotiate with Israel directly. Anything short of that is a non-starter in my opinion."

LIAR! Kessler provides a letter from Nobel Laureate Yasser Arafat to prove that things are hunky-dory between the Jews and Palestinians:
"The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security," the letter from Arafat said. "The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations. … Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators."

Israel received a promise from Arafat in 1996. Still Governor Perry things there is some problem. What a loser.


Semi-Finalists: Romney v. Perry

I can't say I'm pleased about it but for the forseeable future, the GOP nomination battle has two possible winners: Perry or Romney. WaPo reports the two are a near-perfect embodiment of the two factions of the Republican party. Author Phillip Rucker calls it "the party’s upper-crust establishment" versus "the angry grass roots" and Massachusetts versus Texas. I'll boil it down even further - East versus West.

It is perhaps in the area of personal style that the two men are most different.

Consider how they approached the rite of eating a corn dog when they visited the Iowa State Fair last month. When a fair vendor handed Romney a vegetarian corn dog, he politely took it, turned his back to the cameras following him, took a delicate bite from the side and hurried along so he wouldn’t be photographed sticking the deep-fried foot-long in his mouth.

Perry, meanwhile, took a big bite of his corn dog, top first, photographic evidence of which raced around the Internet.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | What do you think? [7]
But johngalt thinks:

XLV?

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2011 7:35 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JG & JK: Might I propose a compromise? Though perhaps not orthodox Roman-numeral format, "VL" would be "fifty-less-five," and still make
"Very Large." Now comes the litmus test of formal purity versus pragmatic expediency.

You may proceed.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 20, 2011 12:23 PM
But jk thinks:

The correct solution is for jk to issue a mea culpa. I saw what I wanted to see and propagated an error.

I considered telling jg that I was correct in some quantum universe where XL is the Roman numeral for 45.

Then I decided the best plan was misdirection. With JLo (didn't there used to be a hyphen?) shaking it all for Chrysler's parent company atop the page, surely this inconsequential item could roll off the page into obscurity.

It was a pretty good plan. Thanks, Keith.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 1:08 PM
But jk thinks:

And I posit that sub-points about the desirability of a Christie candidacy -- and his facility at corn-dog consumption -- hold.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 1:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

While I said I'm not pleased that our choice will apparently be Perry or Romney, I cast a suspicious eye the way of His Roundness, Governor Christie. A number of unread emails in my inbox declare him "a liberal in conservative's clothing." I went a searchin' and found the Conservative New Jersey 8-part series on the Chris Christie Conservative Myth. From part 4:

So what was the point of Gov. Christie's fifteen state whistle-stop tour on behalf of Republican candidates? Ostensibly, it was to promote the conservative Republican brand, but given the Governor's political history, we suspect an ulterior motive. What could it be?

According to a New York-based Democratic strategist the answer is plain as day:

Christie "has built up a fair amount of political capital, and he's spending it consistently and constructively," said Dan Gerstein... "It's another sign that he's a smart politician, and his success is no accident."

Gerstein added, "First off, it shows he is a player beyond New Jersey. Second, it adds to his juice. He's in demand, which will make more people want him, and more people listen to him."

[...]

"The Republican Party will need moderate, independent-thinking leaders like Christie who can win in blue states, if they're going to compete on a level playing field," said Gerstein. "The Republican Party needs an antidote to Palinism."

"An antidote to Palinism." And what is "Palinism" but the putative face of the Tea Party movement that calls for limited government, lower taxes and restrained spending?

Fascinating. Perhaps Mr. Gerstein is able to discern what so many "Christienistas" cannot: Gov. Christie is a RINO in an ill-fitting Reagan suit who can see the 2013 White House from his porch.

The real tension for party control may one day take the form of Palin-Christie, not Perry-Romney. As I said, West vs. East.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2011 3:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Parts of Alaska are East of New Jersey.

"XLV, huh."

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 4:12 PM

StealthFlation News

A couple of articles on RealClearMarkets today relate to the stealth inflation I mused about some time back. We've Overshot the Fed's Upper Inflation Limit by Alfred Tella and A Little Inflation Can Be a Dangerous Thing by Paul Volcker. But I won't discuss them for fear of driving off readers.

But jk thinks:

Both of them?

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 3:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thus my cautiousness.

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2011 3:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Corporate just faxed that they appreciate it..

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 3:44 PM

Chavez-Obama and International Law

Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez, having looted all the private wealth in his country, moves to protect his wealth.

ExxonMobil’s shareholders can join Chrysler’s bondholders on Obama’s enemies list. If that seems a tad harsh, consider this: When made to choose between millions of American shareholders and one South American dictator, the Obama Administration chose Chavez.

Why is the Obama Administration sitting in paralyzed silence while Chavez removes himself from international accountability? Is it perceived ideological comradeship, a loathing of investors, simple dereliction of duty or some other reason? Now that is a mystery.



BURN THE HERETIC!

It seems that 1973 physics Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever has fallen from the fold. The WSJ Ed Page reports that he "resigned last week from the American Physical Society in protest over the group's insistence that evidence of man-made global warming is 'incontrovertible.'"

In an email to the society, Mr. Giaever--who works at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute--wrote that "The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

Mr. Giaever was an American Physical Society fellow, an honor bestowed on "only half of one percent" of the members, according to a spokesman. He follows in the footsteps of University of California at Santa Barbara Emeritus Professor of Physics Harold Lewis, a former APS fellow who resigned in 2010, calling global warming "the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."


I am in the middle of another pop science book, the fun but überchallenging "The Shape of Inner Space -- String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. And once again I am amazed that more real scientists do not object to the lack of rigor and political hijacking allowed in "climate science." The suppression of disagreement alone would be unthinkable in any other discipline.


September 18, 2011

The GOP "Moderate" Factor

We're told that Republicans need to nominate a "moderate" candidate to attract independent-minded voters into the tienda grande. Some insight into the folly of this thinking can perhaps be gleaned from the much anticipated California straw poll.


...here are the numbers, in a pool of fewer than 900 votes that was predominantly party activists:

Congressman Ron Paul (374, 44.9%)
Governor Rick Perry (244, 29.3%)?
Mitt Romney (74, 8.8%)
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (64, 7.7%)
Jon Huntsman (17, 2.0%)
Herman Cain (15, 1.8%)
Newt Gingrich (14, 1.7%)
Thad McCotter (7, 0.8%)
Rick Santorum (7, 0.8%)
Gary Johnson (2, 0.2%)
Fred Karger (1, 0.1%)
Write-ins (15, 1.8%)

OK, we'll give props to Congressman Paul for taking first. (Word is he bussed in hundreds of supporters.) But look how the others fared. The "extremist" Rick Perry bested "mainstream" Mitt Romney 3 to 1. And uber-moderate Jon Huntsman was in the also-ran ranks (where he belongs, in my humble opinion.) Whether or not Perry organized any support this can't be good for Romney, who managed only 10 more straws than the stout-principled "anti-vaccination kook" Bachmann. It seems clear that in this prototypical blue state, well outside of flyover country, GOP voters have little interest in milquetoast politics this cycle.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:52 PM | What do you think? [10]
But jk thinks:

Land of Reagan (I'll forgive them for Nixon), B-1 Bob Dornan, Tom McClintock, &c. I'd suggest there is a vibrant GOP faction in the Golden State but that it is too outnumbered these days to do any good.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 9:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh. And any word on where Ms. McCarthy finished?

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 10:35 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Brer KA took the weekend off from the computer, and is pleased to report that there is no cause for setting either of you straight, as you are BOTH right. California is highly fractured, and is the state that gave you both Reagan and Schwarzenegger. And Michael Huffington, former husband of Ariana Huffingpaint.

In the major metropolitan areas - greater Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area, and to some degree Sacramento - the Republican party tends to aim for moderates, in hopes of drawing in the independents against whatever raving leftist is running for the Dems in the general. In the greater acreage of the state, the GOP tends to the more traditional conservatives, as the lefties don't fare as well in what they fondly refer to as "fly-over country." Hence, you have solid conservatives arising from the Central Valley, the northern and northeastern part of the state, and much of rural California, plus Bob Dornan's bastion-conservative Orange County (though it's not as conservative behind the Orange Curtain as it once was), and to some degree, San Diego and points east.

It is telling that in 1991, outgoing Republican governor George Deukmejian famously told incoming governor Pete Wilson to be warned that his biggest fights would be not with the Democrats in the legislature, but with the conservative Republicans.

As an interesting aside, in addition to the various proposals to divide California into either two or three states (and I support every one of them, by the way), there has been one to stop awarding Electoral College votes as a single block, and instead to award them by separate voting of Congressional districts. This would be a disaster for the left, as it would change California from a reliable solid-blue block into a majority Republican state.

Also, it's noteworthy that the Republicans who get elected to Congress run as conservatives, and the ones who lose run as moderates. Californians may not be the brightest voters in the country, but they're just smart enough to know that running as a Democrat-lite isn't a motivating strategy. The only moderate Republican I can think of in the California congressional group is Jerry Lewis (no, not THAT Jerry Lewis), and he's been trending more conservative of late.

Now, someone smarter that me explain why South Carolina saw fit to send both Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham to the Senate, and my lifre will be fulfilled.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2011 12:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Final bonus jibe: JG mentions that the crazy Texas guy won. It's noteworthy that Texas went one-two: the crazy one by bussing in his entire cult following from the mothership, and the non-crazy one by more legitimate means. The party insiders may have a reputation for pursuing that electable-moderate chimera, but by dint of being party insiders, they also know how the gears of government work, and can see that Romneycare isn't going to help California's economy, which is well and truly boned (google "California is boned"). California insiders see Perry as more helpful to the state than Romney would be.

And you think that they'd hold a grudge because of all the former Golden State citizens who are now gainfully employed Lone Star State residents.

As far as California goes, you can consider just about anything written by our own Victor Davis Hanson to be pretty close to gospel.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2011 12:38 PM
But jk thinks:

This summer provided the pleasure of reconnecting with a distant step-relative I had not seen in many many many moons, to find that she is a Golden State resident (who'd leave were there any chance) and very conservative.

VDH came up and Mister Liberal Immigration guy says, gently "well, I think he can be a little over the top sometimes..."

"You don't live there," retorts she -- a bit less gently.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 1:15 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee must make one minor quibble with one of Brer KA's assertions. That is, that Republicans nominate moderates in Liberal enclaves in the hope of attracting independents. This may be true, but the fact is that any candidate to the right of Chairman Mao is sunk in the LA and San Francisco areas. That said, he will concede that if one is going to lose, one might as well lose standing for principles as lose standing for nothing.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 19, 2011 2:43 PM

TEA Party "Zombies"

How will we know when the TEA Party becomes an influential force in American politics? When some loser creates a video game, which Allows Players to Slaughter “Tea Party Zombies” Like Sarah Palin and ... Bill O’Reilly??? Yes boys and girls, from the perspective of a Progressive or a World Socialist, the opinionated populist weathervane Bill O'Reilly is a TEA Partier.

Heh. "Big Tent."

But jk thinks:

The one with Sen Jim DeMint and Rep. Jeff Flake didn't sell so well...

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2011 11:13 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If said game is anything close to realistic, it should be noted that TEA Partiers tend to be Second Amendment supporters. These zombies will shoot back, and spend enough time on the range to be accurate.

Ms. Palin's kill ratio alone, even from a helicopter, is high enough to take down most players, and I figure the Perry zombie would do to the player what its real-life counterpart does to coyotes.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2011 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. And while players believe they are training their sights on the fair ex-gov, her father sneaks up behind them with a hunting knife.

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2011 7:39 PM

September 17, 2011

O zapft ist!

Or translated literally, "O" taps is!

Oktoberfest 2011: September 17th until October 3rd

It is tapped!

But jk thinks:

This calls for a song!
Du, du liegst mir im Herzen
du, du liegst mir im Sinn.
Du, du machst mir viel Schmerzen,
weißt nicht wie gut ich dir bin.
Ja, ja, ja, ja, weißt nicht wie gut ich dir bin.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2011 12:36 PM

September 16, 2011

What Motivates President Obama?

Hint: World Socialism.

Much of what Dick Morris says is interesting. Some of it, like this, is also important.

Posted in June, but played live on Mike Rosen's radio show today.

But jk thinks:

Thanks for the segue. Morris is a bright guy but he always goes one step too far up the black helicopter ladder. I think ascribing motives is dicey business. My father warned me that "you can't look into a man's heart." (Followed by "get a haircut" as I recall, but it's kinda fuzzy...)

I'm a strange choice for the President's defender but I am as good as he's going to get around here. I looked at this headline today from the superb demographer Joel Kotkin:

Declining Birthrates, Expanded Bureaucracy: Is U.S. Going European?

I think that a lot of my lefty and moderate friends see that as feature, and that we see it as a bug. David Mamet's Rabbi asks that we be able to articulate our opponent's argument. Here goes: "I was just in <insert European country here> and it's fine. Lovely scenery, happy folks, <insert one or two items in which they're superior>. What is so bad about being Europe?"

Now I have some answers, but the Disneyland vacation destination that Americans see does not frighten them about Socialism. As Democratic politicians improve, that is the argument we'll be having. Just another European nation is fine for the Obamas and a big step up for a Thomas Friedman or Paul Krugman. No hidden agenda, just a lack of American Exceptionalism.

Posted by: jk at September 16, 2011 6:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To summarize: It's dicey to conclude (at present) that Obama wants America to join the One World Socialist Government, but when Democrat politicians improve their messaging that is precisely what they'll advocate.

Posted by: johngalt at September 16, 2011 7:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Another "mixed" economy -- I think the suggestion that Ireland and Canada are in collusion for a world Marxist order is overwrought.

Posted by: jk at September 16, 2011 9:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think Morris' point is that, like a lot of your lefty and moderate friends, President Obama sees Euro-socialism as something to aspire to as well. After all, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." When the World Socialists saw capital flight from socialist France it's doubtful their conclusion was, "Gosh, if we could only establish a socialist system in Ireland and Canada the entire world would follow." Having a man like Barack Obama in the White House must have been beyond their wildest dreams thirty years ago.

But particularly in the wake of NY9 it appears that America is inherently different. The socialists may call it "selfish" or "greedy" when individuals protect their wealth from a socialist government, but those who dare make a claim on the productive gain of others are the truly selfish ones.

Posted by: johngalt at September 17, 2011 11:26 AM

Friday!

Reason

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Don't leave hope without it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 16, 2011 5:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Like." Yesterday's comment-of-the-day.

Posted by: johngalt at September 17, 2011 12:48 PM

Duuuuuuh!

Were I an 18th Century Colonial, I would craft a more astute headline. But this Freakonomics blog post hits home for me.

In 1776, one book, written in complex language, sold over 120,000 copies in Colonial America. That number does seem large on its own. However, to give it even more meaning, I like to convert it to an equivalent number today.

This conversion is a task for proportional reasoning--one of my favorite tools for finding meaning in the numbers that surround us. First convert 120,000 into a fraction of the U.S. population in 1776: compared to the population at the time of 2.5 million, 120,000 is roughly 1 in 20, or 5%. Today's U.S. population is about 300 million--of which 5% is 15 million.

Fifteen million copies today! More surprisingly, Common Sense by Thomas Paine sold this equivalent in just three months. In its first year, it sold 500,000 copies, or 20% of the colonial population.

Author Sanjoy Mahajan compares this to The Da Vinci Code: "Today's equivalent is 60 million copies. On Wikipedia's list of bestselling books, all books that have sold that many or more copies have done so over a much longer time. The shortest time is 8 years, for The Da Vinci Code; several others, such as Heidi, were published in the 19th century."

I don't think you need a Freakonomics degree to see that the readership is spread over a larger selection of books -- Chris Anderson call your office -- but Mahajan's other comparison caught my eye. He prints a few paragraphs from Common Sense to show "the sophistication of the writing and reasoning."

I recently finished John Locke's Two Treatises of Government (~1689). This year included a couple almost-hundred-year-old tracts by Mises, WH Hutt's Theory of Idle Resources and several Presidential biographies written in the Gilded Age when their bewhiskered subjects were still alive or recently passed.

None of these is "The Da Vinci Code." With respect, I read the Dan Brown thriller and liked it allright, but books from the 19th, 18th and 17th Century tend to be far more demanding in concept, vocabulary and diligence. They also assume familiarity with classics and regularly include Greek and Latin phrases without translation.

Again, we have laptops, Internet, voluminous libraries, iPads, free MIT courses online, &c. Yet nobody is graduated from Harvard with the erudition the young John Quincy Adams had when he was denied admission.

The whole short post is worth a read. To really do yourself a favor, click through to read the longer but rewarding The 7 Lesson Schoolteacher

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

September 15, 2011

Hayek Vs. Keynes

It's got less beat than Russ Roberts's opus, but Professor Mankiw links to a discussion of more personal aspects of the two Economic heavyweights.

UPDATE: Wow. The Internet Segue Machine is set to 11 today. "Hayek is Overtaking Keynes."

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

It seems the statists can find justification for their mischief in the last part of the last line of the second Hayek excerpt from the UPDATE link:

The problem is precisely how to extend the span of our utilization of resources beyond the span of the control of any one mind; and therefore, how to dispense with the need of conscious control, [so far, so good] and how to provide inducements which will make the individuals do the desirable things without anyone having to tell them what to do.
Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 11:21 PM

Free to Choose

Anti-vaccination kook Rep. Michelle BachmannAnti-vaccination kook Jenny McCarthy
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Between these and the references to Anna Nicole Smith photos, I find myself wondering where the blog is heading and whether there's been a sudden change in the target demographic.

Just don't turn the blog green again. Not askin' for much. Just that.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 15, 2011 6:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Keith: it's an 8 1/2 year search for some demographic -- any demographic. And it is hardly the first time I've tried.

But if we move to NASCARretards.com, I promise red, white, and blue. Thanks for focus-grouping.

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2011 6:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Where does a guy go who actually wants to read the articles? :)

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 7:36 PM

JK's Big Idea

Following up on JG's tweet, I see the WSJ Ed Page enjoying a paternity hunt for Solyndra loan guarantees:

Committee Democrats and two Administration officials tried to pin the tail on the Bush Administration by noting that the Solyndra loan consideration began before President Obama took office. There's no doubt the late-Bush Presidency slid into big government senescence.

However in the Solyndra case, the Bush Administration's review board declined in January 2009 to act on the loan proposal, calling it "premature" and asking for more information. Two months later, in March, the Obama Administration's board signed off. Energy Department Loans Program Office Executive Director Jonathan Silver told the committee that "additional due diligence" was conducted in the short interim.


Anyway, this gave me a big idea. Now stick with me on this it is pretty complicated.

What if, instead of governments' providing these loans and funding, there were some kind of opportunity for individual investors to offer capital either as a loan or for a partial equity stake. Individuals, or groups, could then share in the profits of successful firms, probably taking advantage of greater distributed knowledge than the government funders. I don't know what to call it, but it's so crazy it seems it just might work.

But johngalt thinks:

In addition to loaning half a billion to Solyndra and killing bin Laden I only wish Bush had also had the foresight to set in motion a new division of the Secret Service dedicated to ensuring Presidential fidelity to the oath of office.

(And let no refuge be taken in that "to the best of my ability" bit.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 2:44 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

But JG, yer missin' the point as well as not properly parsing of the language. Obama has preserved, protected and defended the Constition. As proof, it's right there in the Smithsonian using the latest preservation methods and nobody's touched it on his watch. In fact, I doubt they've even refered to it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 15, 2011 3:22 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, I expect to see you perform John Lennon's "Imagine" in the virtual coffee house soon.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 15, 2011 3:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

BR, I'm just grateful that the Constitution isn't currently hanging on a four-and-a-half-inch cardboard roll in the Oval Office latrine. As for JG's excellent suggestion for a new Secret Service division, I would settle for a single taxpayer, following the President around, quietly reminding him: "You are but a man. Memento mori."

Job created or saved.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 15, 2011 6:03 PM

Quote of the Day

In addition to those of you who've joined us today, I'm told that these remarks are being webcast live for the benefit of Hillsdale students back in Michigan, where it is currently 8:30 a.m. -- or, as most college students call it, the crack of dawn. Your scholarly passion for human freedom must be powerful indeed. -- Rep, Paul Ryan
Well worth a whole thing kinda readin' -- plus a bonus Shepard Fairey parody. But a sad close, not Ryan but Paul Rahe:
Can you imagine either of the serious contenders for the Republican Presidential nomination giving so thoughtful a speech? Does either have any clear idea of what needs to be done? It has long been my judgment that Barack Obama's Presidency could be saved only by the Republicans. Those in the House and the Senate have done splendidly in this particular -- far better than I expected. But the Presidential field is still weak. There is nothing in Romney's background to make one confident that he fully shares Ryan's sentiments. Perry may well agree with Ryan, but he has not yet displayed a genuine capacity for making the argument.
Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

A good President need not be a wonk. He or she should have a sound fundamental philosophy and be an excellent communicator and leader. If there's anyone on NED's green earth who should be delegating it is the President of the United States.

That said, I find my interest in the former Speaker to be seriously re-piqued after viewing the last 3 televised debates. It seems I'm not alone.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 2:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Newtzilla?

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 2:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Speaker Gingrich was incredibly strong in the debates. Perhaps, in an imperfect field, his imperfections need be reevaluated. Ethanol? Really?

I made the argument myself that Chairman Ryan was too wonkish for the job (though I would discard that in a second were he to run), but Rahe is correct that the current crop has difficulty articulating liberty positions.

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2011 2:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

He seems to dismiss Bachmann out-of-hand.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Rep. Bachmann perhaps did the best. But she's a complete kook! (Bless me, President Reagan, for I hath forsaken the 11th Commandment...)

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2011 3:29 PM

Blighted Blue Lagoon II

And now, to turn to ThreeSources entertainment news. Fed Soc Blog: reports:

The Hartford Courant reports that Brooke Shields will be starring in a made-for-TV movie based on the controversial Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court case. The actress will be playing Susan [sic, I believe it is Susette] Kelo, a nurse who was the last holdout against the city of New London's attempt to seize privately owned land under eminent domain. The city said it intended to use the land, which included Kelo's home, to further economic development. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city 5-4. The film, which will air on Lifetime TV, is an adaptation of Jeff Benedict's book Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage.

The Federalist Society asks on Facebook if people can name any other eminent domain movies. One fan comes up with "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Like.

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 14, 2011

Dear AttackWatch

TerriG has linked to a list of LIES in the Wall Street Journal about the Administration's JOBS ACT:

Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now. The tax list includes limiting deductions for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), limiting tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and a tax increase on carried interest earned by private equity firms. These tax increases would not be temporary.

What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. Let's call the expensive roll:


Followed by a lot of LIES about how taxes will go up.

A commenter even refers to the President as OhBummer (I guess that's supposed to be a clever play on the President's name or something) and makes light of Attack Watch as if it is some kind of joke. Shut down her bastion of hatefulness!

Just doing my patriotic duty...


Who Ya Gonna Call?

This may only be funny to current and ex Colorado folk. But Tom Martino, or "Troubleshooter Tom Martino" has been a fixture on Denver TV and radio since I was a kid. He's the tough guy consumer reporter, keeping business honest and sticking up for the little guy and bla, bla, bla...

I was intrigued that he lately expanded from general business bashing to product endorsements. It seemed to undercut his credibility -- for the remaining 100 viewers who think a consumer reporter has credibility, at least. But now, I see he needed the cash:

Denver TV and radio personality and businessman Tom Martino has filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy protection, claiming assets of $1.37 million and liabilities of $78.6 million.

Martino, known as the "Troubleshooter" for his consumer-advocacy shows, appears regularly on the KDVR Fox-31 television station and AM radio station 630-KHOW. He's also involved in businesses including real estate and telecommunications.


It's a small man who laughs at the misfortune of others but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!


Tweet of the Day

On a serious note, the attackwatch may be a laughingstock to conservatives but it is antithetical to a free society.


Henry Waxman (D-CA) Speaks Truth

A lot of that going around lately, isn't there?

In his attempt to explain why predominantly Jewish and predominantly Democratic voters in New York Nine might elect a Septogenarian Catholic white Anglo-Saxon male Republican over a fellow Jewish Democrat, California congressman Henry Waxman, also a Jewish Democrat, inadvertently admitted what the president and congressional Democrats have been doing to America since each of them arrived in office.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a prominent Jewish congressman, said the Jewish vote is a concern for his party.

“I think Jewish voters will be Democratic and be for Obama in 2012, especially if you get a Republican candidate like [Texas] Gov. [Rick] Perry,” he said. “But there’s no question the Jewish community is much more bipartisan than it has been in previous years. There are Jews who are trending toward the Republican Party, some of it because of their misunderstanding of Obama’s policies in the Middle East, and some of it, quite frankly, for economic reasons. They feel they want to protect their wealth, which is why a lot of well-off voters vote for Republicans.”

If this is true then "well-off" Democrats can be expected to defect to Republican candidates across the slate. But more importantly, can anyone cite another example of such a brazen and careless admission that the president and his Democratic allies are literally a threat to individual wealth? A threat from which voters now feel they must protect that wealth? President Obama famously told Joe the Plumber, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." But, for some reason, "well-off" voters in 2008 didn't feel that their wealth was threatened. Perhaps because candidate Obama's next words were,

"But listen," Obama said, shaking Wurzelbacher’s hand, "I respect what you do and I respect your question, and even if I don’t get your vote, I’m still gonna be working hard on your behalf, because small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it.”

Mister Obama seemed to recognize that he'd just uttered a gaffe, and in the realm of a free-press he had. Some of us took the remark for what it was - a warning of what we could expect from a President Obama. Others, like those in New York Nine, didn't believe it until they saw it.


Slate Adds to the Intellectual Debate

Seriously?

Hat-tip: @JonahNRO

But johngalt thinks:

Romneycare is a fairly large monkey to carry around. Ponzi-outing? Not so much. The cartoon is an example of an idea that seems clever but doesn't match reality. I try not to post those when they happen to me.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2011 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh. monkey on your back, I get it.

Prepped with Jonah's less charitable description, I saw something completely different. One could probably do a paper on this. A hundred participants see it cold, 100 read a monkey-on-your-back joke, and 100 read "Hey @Slate here's a tip. If your cartoon looks like masturbating monkeys, go a different way." Then all 300 describe the cartoon to somebody else...

Taranto points out it is an Orlando Sentinel cartoon, not created by Slate.

Posted by: jk at September 14, 2011 3:45 PM

& the Good News Keeps Rollin' In...

Brother jg beat me to the punch on the NY-9 special election. A 20 point 9-point [mea culpa!] GOP win in Sen. Chuck Schumer's old district is a victory to savor.

And yet, Professor William Jacobsen (via Insty) brings what is likely even better news for lovers of liberty. In the long run, it is more significant that many full time Democratic operatives lost their publicly funded jobs in Wisconsin:

Last month [Wisconsin Education Association Council] (WEAC) announced that it was laying off 40% of its staff. With little over which to collectively bargain, and with dues no longer withheld from paychecks, the need for and sustainability of a union bureaucracy could not be justified.

Now WEAC is being boycotted by National Staff Organization (NSO), a union representing educational union employees.

Isn't that great, education union employees have their own union? Is there a union for employees of education union employee unions?

Elections and candidates come and go, but the criminal cycle of public unions donating to statist candidates lasts what I thought to be forever.

If they both reify in 2012, a large GOP majority could cripple this vicious circle by forcing members to choose whether to pay dues. Freedom is always a game changer.

UPDATE Allysia Finley in the WSJ Political Diary:

The United Federation of Teachers, Bill Clinton, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Charles Schumer recorded robocalls for Mr. Weprin. According to Politico, about a thousand Democratic volunteers walked door to door yesterday highlighting the candidate's endorsement by the New York Times. Mr. Weprin also visited several senior centers to warn that Mr. Turner wanted to kill Social Security and Medicare. But even a robust Democratic get-out-the-vote operation couldn't mitigate voters' dissatisfaction. Recent polls showed that frustration with President Obama and the economic recovery had turned voters--including a third of Democrats--against Mr. Weprin.

It seems the two instances of good news might be related.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 11:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

View from the White House

And every other 'rat in Washington D.C.


Revenge of the Jews; Dem Seat Turns in NYC

AP: GOP wins in NY House race, seen as Obama rebuke

Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal.

The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.

Turner has vowed to bring business practicality to Washington and push back on spending and taxes.

The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.

(...)

Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic, vowed to push back on Obama's policies if elected.

Hat Tip to Drudge for the title.


September 13, 2011

Ringer Premiers Tonight!

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Set DVRs to Defcon3! Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on tv! (Colorado folk, that's Channel 2 at 9:00 PM)

Television Posted by John Kranz at 6:16 PM | What do you think? [0]

Found it!

Terri posted video of President Bush's remarks at the dedication of the Flight 93 Memorial.

UPDATE: President Clinton's (audio only). Seriously, listen.


Connecting Both Dots

The WSJ Ed Page sees some correlation between the announced 30,000 layoffs at BofA and the hyperregulation of the financial sector in the 112th Congress and current Administration. Now hang on, it is pretty complicated. But if you think about it, you might see that they have a point:

[Bank of America CEO Brian] Moynihan didn't say this, but we will: These layoffs are part of the bill for the last two years of Washington's financial rule-writing. After loose monetary policy had combined with insane housing policy to create a financial crisis, the Democrats who ran Washington in 2009 and 2010 enacted myriad new rules that had nothing to do with easy money or housing.

Take the amendment that Illinois Democrat and Senator Dick Durbin (with the help of 17 Senate Republicans) attached to last year's Dodd-Frank financial law. Mr. Durbin's amendment instructed the Federal Reserve to limit the amount of "swipe fees" that banks can charge merchants when customers use debit cards.

How exactly does forcing banks to charge Wal-Mart less money for operating an electronic payment system prevent the next financial crisis? Readers may wait a long time for a satisfactory answer, but the cost of this Dodd-Frank directive is straightforward.


Good thing the President is releasing a solid jobs bill today to get these 30K jobs back.


Mental Problems All Right...

Rep Bachmann shows her inner crazy person: suspicion confirmed.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Perhaps it was caused by a childhood vaccination.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2011 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Coffee. Keyboard.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2011 2:53 PM

NR Does not go for Anna Nicole Smith Photos

Too bad, because EE's stunning exegesis on monetary policy deserves wider currency (get it? currency?)

Let's start over. The Everyday Economist (Josh Hendrickson) has been a great friend to this blog. And he has a superb piece in National Review Online today: "The Case for Nominal Growth Targeting."

EE created something of a monster by getting me to read Chairman Bernanke's textbook on Inflation Targeting. It made sense to me and has kept me out of the Ron Paul, mettalism camp that is gaining devotees among Tea Party Republicans with whom I find much to agree. He has pretty well brought me around that income targeting includes the policies I like from inflation targeting yet uses a better model. (The fact that he's an Assistant Professor of Economics with a PhD and I am a hippie dropout guitar player with three out of print CDs should be noted.)

I finally got the great pleasure of meeting the corporeal incarnation of blog friend GD last week. He, jg, Dagny, and I quaffed Starbucks at 8am and discussed, well, monetary policy of course. We each left with some reading assignments for the next bout. I suggest EE's piece be put at the top of the list.

But johngalt thinks:

OK. Good. Nominal growth targeting (NGT) eliminates reliance on inflation indices in the first place. A major plus.

But before laymen like me and Governor Perry can champion this idea we must first understand it. My understanding is that NGT is essentially GDP targeting. A supply of money is created based on the expected growth in GDP and readjusted periodically to match actual growth. Fair simplification?

On first analysis this sounds intuitive. The economy needs as much currency as there are things to purchase with it. More than that is inflationary and less risks a bank panic.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2011 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I see this is EE's first NRO publication. Congratulations! You even have a bomb-throwing commenter already!

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2011 3:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, Mom is pretty hard on him...

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2011 3:54 PM
But EE thinks:

JG,

Stabilizing nominal income is a means to an end. The real goal is to equate actual money held by the public with their desired holdings. This is precisely what would occur under a free banking system (i.e. a world with no Fed and in which banks are free to issue their own notes backed by some type of "outside money", like gold or silver or seashells or whatever).

[I apologize in advance for the terse description that follows. I hope to do a post on this later, but I am going to try to be brief because this is the comments section.]

Under such a system, banks would issue notes redeemable in gold, for example. Each individual bank would accept other the notes of other banks and thus all banks would exchange at par value. In this type of scenario, there is a feedback mechanism through which each bank knows to adjust their note issuances. The feedback mechanism is their reserve ratio (the amount of gold they have relative to outstanding notes and deposits). Since all banks accept one another's notes, they would naturally find notes issued by other banks in the vault at the end of the day because of the fact that a customer made a deposit using those notes. Naturally, a bank would want to redeem these notes for gold at the bank that originally issued them (because this increases their gold reserves). But no doubt there are other banks that have accepted their notes for deposit. Thus, a clearinghouse association settles the balances of notes between banks.

So why do we care about all of this? Well, we care because this process suggests that banks that issue too many notes will see an increase in redemptions and a reduction in their reserves. If the bank wants to remain solvent, they have to pull notes out of circulation. On the other hand, if banks see their redemptions fall, they can expand their note issuance. Thus, if there is an increase in the demand for money in the public at large, the net effect will be the increase of bank notes. In other words, the money supply (all the bank notes in circulation) will vary according to money demand.

We, however, live in a world with a central bank. Thus, in the wake of rising money demand, we are dependent on the central bank to supply to money to meet the excess demand. Targeting nominal income allows the central bank to accomplish that goal.

For those who quit reading, it is safe to return after this point.

What I have described above is entirely too terse to effectively communicate the inner-workings of a free banking system. However, I think that this point is important, especially to those who populate Three Sources, appreciate liberty, etc.

Thus, I would recommend that the group adds The Theory of Free Banking by George Selgin to its list of readings. George's book explains the evolution of free banking, how a free banking system works, and why we care so much about deviations between actual and desire money balances.

As an added bonus, I will throw in this book for free (sorry I thought it was starting to sound like an infomercial). But seriously, you can get an electronic copy of the book free of charge via the Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty. You can download a copy for a Kindle, Nook, and I believe iPad -- for those of you who have such devices. You can also download an HTML or .pdf format as well.

Hopefully this comment was informative in one way or another.

Posted by: EE at September 14, 2011 1:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Your paraphrasing of The Theory of Free Banking makes it sound very desirable. Why not just replace our central bank with a network of free banks? (Probably a rhetorical question, but what say you?)

The book looks very interesting. I'll put my copy under the matress with the rest of my ANNA NICOLE SMITH PHOTOS. Sincerely though, thank you for the education. I hope it inspires me to become a prophet.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2011 3:30 PM
But EE thinks:

JG,

I think that a free banking system would be desirable. However, it would be extremely difficult at present to undertake. It would require the effective abolition of the Federal Reserve, significant deregulation in the banking sector, etc.

A start would be to have the Federal Reserve freeze the monetary base and let individual banks issue their own notes. According to Kurt Schuler, banks might have that ability presently.

In the absence of such reform, however, nominal income targeting is a second-best solution.

BTW, there is a new blog devoted to free banking and George Selgin is one of the contributors. Here is the link:

http://www.freebanking.org

Posted by: EE at September 14, 2011 4:22 PM

Rack Disciprin!

I can handle suckage. I rooted for the Broncos all through the 60s, when a .500 season was received like a championship, and survived the 70s with the heartbreak of the Orange Crush years, the super bowl loss, and the leisure suits.

But I hate to see a team lose for a lack of discipline -- or as Cartman quotes his Karate instructor: "You Rack Disciprin!"

Our dear Donkeys were set to go into halftime down but not out after a bad half. They then took a cheap-shot personal foul that setup the 63-yard field goal. I think discipline is underrated and suggest that it has kept our division foes the San Diego Chargers out of championships even in years when they have fielded the best teams.

Belichick and Shanahan parlayed disciprin into championships. I'm not giving up on Coach Fox but I am very concerned that he does not rate it as highly as I do.

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I think our donkeys need to circle the wagons. They need to publicly support their starting quarterback, have each other's backs, and step up the mental game to match the physical. It was the first game for a new coaching staff. They get a mulligan. Next week I'm expecting to see:

Sound tackling.
Some semblance of a run blocking scheme.
Fewer penalties.

With any two of these three last night the Broncos win by two touchdowns.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2011 3:10 PM

HOSS Alert

George Jones is 80 today.

History Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

Pragmatism. Perceptive writers like David Brooks of the New York Times told us in 2008 that Obama was basically a pragmatist, a slave to no ideology but simply a student of what works. Brooks was apparently impressed by Obama's mention of Edmund Burke and the sharp crease in his pants. -- Michael Barone

STOP TELLING THE TRUTH, DAMMIT!

The true fear is that Governor Perry and Norah O'Donnell are both right.

Yes, Rick, Social Security is something of a Ponzi scheme (many libertarian sites point out that with State coercion, it is much worse). And, yes, Norah, that might make him "unelectable." We don't cotton, as a nation, to our candidates telling the truth. A superb episode of Buffy called "Lie to Me" sums up the mood of the electorate pretty well (and introduces Chanterelle who becomes Lily who becomes Anne).

Buffy: "Does it ever get easy?"
Giles: "You mean life?"
Buffy: "Yeah. Does it get easy?"
Giles: "What do you want me to say?"
Buffy: "Lie to me."
Giles: "Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after."
Buffy: "Liar."

The WSJ Ed Page, wishing to see a principled Republican elected in 2012, is peeved at both Governor Romney and Perry after the debate.
Give Mr. Perry credit for addressing one of the third rails of American politics, but that doesn't mean he has to invite electrocution. The problem with his hot rhetoric is that it can turn off many voters before they even get a chance to listen to his reform proposals, assuming he eventually offers some.

And, don't be looking so moisturized and smug in the back, Mitt:
As for Mr. Romney, he seems to be taking Social Security assaults a notch or two beyond even the Democratic playbook. At the debate he implied Mr. Perry was "committed to abolishing Social Security," and he has since made this a major campaign theme.

His press shop followed up with a memo claiming Mr. Perry "Believes Social Security Should Not Exist," and Mr. Romney told a talk radio show that "If we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we would be obliterated as a party."

We'd give Mr. Romney more credit for his professed political prudence if he were at least proposing some Social Security reforms of his own. But his recent 160-page economic platform avoids anything controversial on the subject.


One of the benefits of the Tea Party has been a lot more seriousness in GOP ranks and willingness to listen to a small amount of only slightly varnished truth. But is the whole country? Are the Bryan Caplan, vote for the tall guy with better hair voters ready for truth?

I doubt it. But I'm awfully tired of the lies.

UPDATE: T-Paw weighs in:

"Governor Romney wants to fix Social Security," Pawlenty said on Fox. "He doesn't believe it should be thrown out. He believes it should be reformed and fixed, and I think that's the right approach."
Miss him yet? Yeah, me neither.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 1:58 PM | What do you think? [7]
But johngalt thinks:

Washington doesn't need a "permanent" solution KA, just a four-year solution. And despite my taste for TEA I don't expect, demand or even want Governor Rick to carry a "full privatization" banner into the general election. Just an incremental improvement, to make it less like a Ponzi, and show voters the sky will not fall.

It's like this, brothers. Some claim the TEA Party will fade, others that the liberty movement has enduring appeal. I'm in the latter camp. For at least a generation the nuveau activists will remain active, and those in the mushy middle will more often gravitate toward our ideal of freedom and realized prosperity than the Progressives ideal of nanny statism and promised prosperity. Our ranks will grow. Our ideas will dominate. The world will learn along the way.

And the Bryan Caplan voters? They'll tune in sometime after Halloween next. Just be sure we're tall and well coiffed by then.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2011 2:55 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm laughing, Keith. Scrub this post? I think the ThreeSources server will need to be soaked in toluene if any of us ever aspire to be dog catchers. Let's not even think about caching.

It is similar to global warming: will the GOP need to tell the same lies to get elected? Can they count on educating voters? If so, I would say one issue, max. Heterodoxy on DAWG and Social Security will just attract the "extreme" label.

Fraught with Peril.

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2011 3:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Washington may not need a permanent solution - if by "Washington" you mean "our elected overlords seeking continued re-election" - but America does. Just changing the band-aids once every four years is insufficient. We do enough accusing the entrenched politicos of kicking the can down the road each cycle, it would be hypocritical of me to do the same.

Social Security has no authority in the Constitution, and should not have ever been enacted. Horatio Bunce would have understood that. If the public cannot be persuaded of that, then the system will crash. We can either make that a controlled crash, or we can have some mild turbulence as we approach the ground and then explode.

Harsh words: if this is truly the untouchable third rail, and the American public expects this to go on forever without costing them more, that perhaps we (collectively, not us individually) deserve for it to crash the hard way. Food for thought...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 12, 2011 4:40 PM
But jk thinks:

The Horatio Bunce reference was a real "sockdolager" as Col. Crockett would say, but I am glad I looked it up. I had read the story before, but it is well worth another time through.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2011 11:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The present sad state of the electorate is why I concede to improving SS in stages.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2011 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On second thought, perhaps the mood of the electorate is more amenable to wholesale reform after all.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2011 3:23 PM

Coffeehousin' (on a Monday?)

I was going to release this last Thursday, but Speaker Boehner suggested I wait for a more appropriate time.

Now I fear I have been duped. I am now competing for time with Monday Night Football. Played again.

Coffeehouse

Heaven Please

"Percy Mayfield. I learned this "on the street" and may not have all the right lyrics. But it's a great tune for a blue guitar."

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


September 11, 2011

Patriot Day

jkflag.jpg

Ten years of quiet and a recent flurry of Reason and CATO articles had convinced me that "we overreacted" to the attacks. And they're certainly right, but.

My Dad, selling advertising to his clients, used to love to quote William Wrigley III. The gum magnate quipped that he knew half of his advertising budget to be a complete waste. If I only knew which half, said Wrigley, I'd cut it out.

The Reason and CATO folk are certainly right. We have done a thousand things that were ineffective and encroached on personal liberties. But, watching video again, one remembers the threat. And at least half, Mr. Wrigley, was overreaction. But the total package prevented additional attacks and severely dismantled the projection capacity of the perpetrators.

I'd suggest a candidate run on taking an honest evaluation of personal liberties versus protection. Finding the half -- starting with TSA screeners -- that violates liberties without protecting citizens and eliminating it.

But nanobrewer thinks:


I really liked the display I saw on Jay Rd. (just west of 75th) this AM: seven properties, seemingly one long fence, seven US flags horizontal ("half mast" for those w/o a flag pole).

In the afternoon, all seven flags now flying high.

Classy move... never forget...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 12, 2011 12:33 AM

September 10, 2011

Not one more word

I know, we are supposed to pull together in unity for 9-11. Had the President not delivered a political campaign speech to a joint session of Congress the night before last, I might comply.

But we have been told of President Obama's oratorical skills sine the Democratic Convention in 2004. I just watched President George W. Bush and President Clinton's remarks at the dedication to the Flight 93 Memorial. Nothing President Obama has said has come close. All of his have been political speeches, or more likely, about him.

Presidents Bush and Clinton delivered memorable and moving speeches. Even VP Biden was doing well when the TiVo stopped. If you did not see them, I would recommend your trying to find video.


Herman Cain's 9-11 video

I liked it. Some did not. "The Other" McCain is as much over-combative as "The Antecedent McCain" is (politically) under-combative. There's a fine line between moving and maudlin and I see room for honest disagreement.

But johngalt thinks:

There is no honest disagreement from the likes of Alex Pareene. Without a doubt he would also label a composition of patriotic music with Pearl Harbor images as an "incredibly tasteless" "monstrosity." Or the Israeli National Anthem played over a pictoral representation of the Holocaust.

Some things must be remembered, lest we become the sort of sanctimonious mollycoddled urban effite who would dismiss documentary memorials such as these as "tasteless."

Posted by: johngalt at September 10, 2011 1:15 PM

September 9, 2011

Look for the Union Label

I might mention that the audio is NSFW

BUT YOU KNEW THAT!! YOU F*****G C********R!!! YEAH! F*** YOU!!! WE'RE THE F*****G UNION! YOU WANT BEDTIME STORIES, GO TO THE F*****G LIBRARY!

Hat-tip, Insty. "This is the face of one of Obama's core constituencies. This is what you voted for when you voted for 'hope and change.' He can't even curse creatively."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

You and Me, Greg!

Harvard Professor N. Gregory Mankiw and I have a few things in common.

Warren Buffett's Taxes, again

I was disappointed to hear the President tonight raise the canard about Warren Buffett's allegedly low tax rate. The story is, at the very least, deeply misleading. I addressed the issue several years ago in this column.


No Doubt AG Holder will Get Right on it!

As Richard Trumke sat in the President's box at a joint session:

It turns out a union can go so far that even the current National Labor Relations Board can't turn a blind eye. A grain operator at the Port of Longview in Washington state was hit with a violent strike yesterday by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Longshoreman walked out at nearby ports in Tacoma and Seattle.

According to police reports, some 500 longshoreman broke in at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning and held six security guards hostage for two hours while the protesters rampaged through the facility. They cut brake lines on railroad cars and spilled grain from boxcars.


Take these SOBs out!


September 8, 2011

Testing...testing

It strikes that the ThreeSources Electronic Content Management platform is not conducive to liveblogging. And that the goofy crap I post crowds out interesting more thoughtful crap that I would like to show more prominently.

What if I added a permanent Twitter widget at the top, set to search for a #3src tag? Then we could post as present -- plus tweet a quick link or joke. For big speeches and debates, we could all post real-time.

Tweet (or comment) any thoughts.


Quote of the Day

From our own HB, when posting a comment regarding last night's Republican debate:

I stayed on MSNBC just long enough to see the panel of experts there to discuss the debate: Maddow, Schultz, Lenin, Marx, and the rest of gang.

A comment worthy of coffee-spewing if there ever was one. Now, to clean up that keyboard...

Quote of the Day Posted by Boulder Refugee at 4:22 PM | What do you think? [0]

Monetary Policy

Tweet of the Day:


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Gov. Perry's Worst Answer

Jim Geraghty brings up one that grated last night. Getting some well deserved whacking for the HPV vaccinations, Governor P lashed out:

Another comment by Perry -- that he'll do "whatever it takes to preserve human life" -- feels a little too casual in its dismissal of balancing the costs and benefits. A 45-mile-per-hour speed limit would help preserve human life. So would confiscating every steak knife in the country.

I said quietly but firmly to the tv: "Whatever it takes to preserve liberty, Governor. Liberty." A small gaffe, but not a small gaffe.

While we're on Geraghty, he has a good line for his ideal candidate: "the mind of Friedrich Hayek in the body of Salma Hayek." Nobody sees their ideal this year, but I console that we are playing in the middle of the Poisson curve: there was nobody I could not support up there last night. Rep. Tancredo and Gov Huckabee were blissfully absent. We are playing in the middle this year.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

You may have noticed that my paraphrase of this was "but at the end of the day I will always err on the side of saving lives." I just couldn't bring myself to write what I thought I'd heard - that he'd do whatever it takes to "preserve human life." I was hoping he hadn't just used the pro-life rhetoric. (I could have rewinded but I was trying to keep up with the live stuff.)

This is what spooks me most about Perry. Not the "anti-science" canard. Not his overt religiosity or "forced" immunizations of young girls (which is largely justified as a way to require health plans to pay for it) but anti-abortion zealotry. I still hold that unnuanced position by Ken Buck responsible for our Senator Bennet (D-CO, six more friggin' years). If Perry fails to soften on this issue he might drive off enough single-issue urban women to cause a second Obama term. Particularly if there's an October surprise replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 2:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

HOLD THE PHONE! I may need to throw a bullcrap flag. According to the Roll Call transcript as published by the NY Times [page 11 of 24, very last line] Perry said:

But at the end of the day, I will always err on the side of saving lives.

So I guess the question is, who was the better journalist? Little ol' me, or Jim Geraghty?

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

You, bro. To be fair, I don't think Geraghty parses the phrase or cares about the difference. Maybe there's a pro-choice contingent at NR but if there is, I'm guessing they sit at their own table in the lunchroom.

You'll take me at my word that I spoke to the tv upon hearing the correct phrase. It grates either way.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2011 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, so we don't really care what the candidate actually said? Maybe we don't really care about all the nuances surrounding the issue either. Let's just put his head on a Liberty pike and let that be a lesson to the rest of them. By that standard Ron Paul will be last man standing. Good luck with him.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 11:47 PM

September 7, 2011

GOP Debate LIVEBLOG

JK has promised to LiveBlog the next debate if I do this one. Sorry for the short notice.

I left work early to see the thing, since I didn't know it was on MSNBC and didn't set it to DVR before I left.

Feel free to chime in real-time in the comments. (And if nobody does I'll blame it on the lack of advance notice. See how this works? :) )

And they're off! After some Bush-bashing Brian Williams asks Rick Perry the first question.
--

And Perry lands the first blow! Romney boasted creating more jobs in MA than Obama has in the entire country. Perry one-upped by claiming Texas created more jobs in the last 3 months than MA did during Romney's 4 years!
--

Awesome Herman Cain line: "If ten percent is good enough for God, nine percent oughtta be good enough for the federal government."
--

Huntsman opens with JKs signature issue: "This is not a time to start a trade war" with China. Thumbs up. Also claims to be best choice to defeat Obama because he "knows something about the world" having lived overseas and being an ambassador.
--

Ron Paul: "The way they [federal government] use the Interstate Commerce Clause is outrageous in my opinion." Two thumbs up.
--
Newt Gingrich. Oh yeah, I remember him. Bunch of statistical claims. Closes with a shot at Obama over class warfare. No argument but not moving the ball.
--
Romney on Obamacare: "I'll issue a waiver to all 50 states on my first day in office." It's bad law. It won't work.
Perry on Obamacare: "Medicaid needs to be block granted back to the states. We'll come up with more ways to cover more people than the federal government. Blames federal government for Texas being last in percentage of citizens covered by health insurance.
--
Michele Bachmann: "An executive order will not overturn Obamacare. It will take a strong leader to repeal it. If we fail to repeal it in 2012 it will be with us forever and we will have socialized medicine."
--
Newt! Slams moderator for trying to get Republicans to fight with each other. "Everyone on this stage thinks Obamacare is a disaster and has to be repealed."
--
Brian Williams asks Rick Santorum about GOP attitudes toward "the poor" vis-a-vis his Catholic faith. Then asks Rick Perry about median white wealth being 20 times median black wealth. Sensing a pattern....
--
Ouch. Jon Huntsman cites Miliken Institute figure of $13 per gallon of gas when including the expenditures on Mideast wars and "keeping the sea lanes open." (Only a smattering of applause.)
--
Ron Paul: I'll give you gas for 10 cents per gallon. You can buy a gallon of gas today for one silver dime, which is worth about $3.50 in today's dollars. It's all about inflation. [WOO HOOOO!]
--
FIRST COMMERCIAL BREAK (8 minutes, including a tribute to Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No.") During the break I "friended" MSNBC so I could post a comment amongst those of the moonbats: "Any one of these candidates would make an excellent president. Newt Gingrich was right: All of them agree that Obamacare is a disaster and all of them agree that they are committed as a team to defeating Barack Obama."
--
Rick Perry repeats assertion that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Romney: "Our nominee has to be someone who does not want to abolish Social Security but wants to fix Social Security." Perry: "You cannot keep the status quo in place and call it anything but a Ponzi scheme." Cain: "Let's talk about solutions and not rhetoric. I believe in the Chilean model where each citizen gets a personal account with his name on it."
--
They're piling on Rick Perry now over the "forced immunization" issue. First Ron Paul, then Michele Bachmann. Perry's response: "There was an opt-out." "I hate cancer." Said he should have talked to the legislature first, "but at the end of the day I will always err on the side of saving lives." Santorum takes a turn whacking the pinata. Romney's turn - Comes to Perry's defense, likens it to Romneycare, then say's Obama's a nice guy but doens't have a clue about how to get this country going again.
--
Cain wants to "fix FEMA" and "fix Homeland Security" not eliminate them. Thumbs down.
--
Strong anti-illegal immigration stance from Romney. Said border patrol told him they come over in such numbers "because we left the magnet on." All right, thinks I - he's going to talk about welfare! Nope. Wants to build a fence, eliminate sanctuary cities, cut education funding for illegals, target businesses hiring illegals. Bachmann to the rescue: "Hispanic Americans have told me they want us to stop giving taxpayer subsidized benefits to illegal aliens."
--
SECOND AND FINAL COMMERCIAL BREAK - Somebody "liked" my comment. 576 comments so far. Not as many Ron Paul supporters as I expected. About an equal number calling him a nutjob for various comments tonight.
--
Some excellent monologues in the final segment. Jon Huntsman on nation building, we should do it at home and not in Afghanistan. Said America has lost confidence.
--
Rick Perry volunteers some props for the president: Gives him credit for killing bin Laden, keeping Gitmo open, and discrediting Keynsian economics forever. Nice!
--
Playing with GOP fire: Jon Huntsman says GOP shouldn't dispute what 98 out of 100 climate scientists believe.
--
Bachmann points out that president had to call off the EPA before it shut down 20 percent of American coal power plants. Said they were promoting a political agenda and not a scientific one.
--
Newt said he would fire Ben Bernake on his first day in office. "He's been the most inflationary, dangerous and power-centric chairman in the history of the Fed. I think the Fed ought to be audited." Two thumbs up. Romney agrees, though less ferociously.
--
Debate winds up a few minutes over the allotted time. Those who were hoping for Rick Perry to stumble were disappointed. Jon Huntsman did well I thought, until his statements on science. He's still running the last campaign in my opinion, giving too much deference to the opinions of climate scientists. While not perfect I thought Rick Perry did a good job of answering that directly, saying the scientific understanding of human contribution to climate change is far too tenuous to risk destroying the American economy in some effort to change that.

Chris Matthews disagrees, however, calling Perry "anti-science" and Luddite," who would make us a "yahoo country" and "monkey-business country."

UPDATE: Forgot to turn off MSNBC before their talking-heads got going. A common theme is that Ronald Reagan would have been the "wild lefty" on this stage tonight. Oy.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 8:00 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

Well done. We should all try to the next.

If Governor Perry has lost Chris Matthews he's lost insane America!


I though they all did pretty well. Ron Paul had a great night. Jon Huntsman said some good things, but tried too hard. he does not seem substantive enough. Too Bad.

9-9-9 is interesting, but I think Mr. Cain's time is up.

Perry is certainly the frontrunner.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 11:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Except for DAWG I thought Huntsman said some very good things. His problem was, intentionally or unavoidably, his erudition shone brightly. He seemed to be talking down to Americans and the rest of the candidates.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 9:18 AM
But jk thinks:

Huntsman's probably still my favorite candidate (that was allowed onstage) but he has a princely air about him. Had he entered early, he would have had some of that rich-kid smarm beat out of him in the early days and might be formidable. But, back in the real world, he muffed his one chance last night.

I, too, left the channel on MSNBC and came back to a Matthews rant that "none of these guys believe in global warming!"

Fraught with peril, kids. Jim Geraghty's morning jolt says "John [sic] should be a Democrat." He served as a GOP Governor in a deeep red state, cut taxes and calls for flatter fairer taxes and lower regulation. And to National Review he's a Democrat because of civil unions and global warming? Jeeberz, boys, tough room.

The left has a potent weapon in combining evolution and DAWG to make Gov. Perry look backwards.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2011 11:07 AM
But HB thinks:

I forgot about the debate last night and turned it on just in time to hear Chris Matthews talking about how we would be a "monkey business country" if we elected Rick Perry. He was literally so over-the-top that I was laughing at what was supposed to be a serious critique. I stayed on MSNBC just long enough to see the panel of experts there to discuss the debate: Maddow, Schultz, Lenin, Marx, and the rest of gang.

I have had a chance to watch some of the debate now and I have to say that my favorite question in the debate was when Brian Williams said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Rick Santorum, you are Catholic and yet you hate the poor, what gives?" It really shows the ignorance of Brian Williams that the extent to which one cares for the poor is determined by how much government funding they are willing to shell out.

The media was going crazy this morning about Rick Perry calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme." First, on technical detail, the Texas governor is correct. You are taking money from one group to give to another hoping that the funding from the first group is enough to pay the second group. Apparently, this is wrong because it is not your neighbor doing it, but rather the government. Unfortunately for Perry, I actually agree with the media that his answer was poor and unlikely to help him with general election voters. However, I think that his answer could have been perfectly acceptable if he had followed up his statement with an objective for changing the program.

Fun with similes:

Huntsman is to JG as GWB is to the left.

Okay, that might be a stretch, but I think JG is too harsh.

Posted by: HB at September 8, 2011 1:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sorry HB, I'm still scratchin' my head.

You think I have Huntsman Derangement Syndrome?
Was it too harsh to say he seemed to be talking down to us? Maybe you disagree with my assessment that DAWG isn't the winning issue it was in 2008. I could be wrong that the majority now disbelieves but it is definitely less credible now and trending downward.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2011 12:21 AM

Golden State Paradise!

One would love to think this was a joke:

The Foreclosure Modification Act, a proposed citizen's initiative, would ban mortgagees from foreclosing on owner-occupied dwellings in the Golden State. It would further require banks and other lenders to help mortgage borrowers struggling amid financial hardship or illness.

Additionally, lenders would be required to reduce loan principal amounts to reflect a drop in local property values of at least 10 percent. Payments would be adjusted without a new credit review, the proposal states.

Lending institutions would have 45 days -- from a borrower's requests -- to refinance a loan maintained for at least three years, the proposal seeks to mandate.

If enacted, the initiative would state a finding that "foreclosure has become a method of increasing a lending institution, loan servicer, mortgagee, trustee and beneficiary's bottom line and profits by turning borrowers out of their homes."


And if enacted, the initiative would state that mortgage holders making further payments on their loans be reclassified as "suckers."

Hat-tip: Cafe Hayek. Don Boudreaux offers an open letter to the petition author that is worth a read in full:

As I say, waaaay cool! But now I must ask: if everyone can be guaranteed what in effect would be a debt-free home merely by amending a state constitution, why stop with homeownership? Why not put to full use the miraculous powers that you've obviously learned to extract from mere ink on parchment? Let's also make automobile ownership "a fundamental right."

Heck, even that's thinking too small! Let's give everyone a "fundamental right" to own a both a yacht and a private jet!

A power so stupendous and costless as the one you've identified ought to be used to its full capacity -- which, given the nature of this power, apparently knows no limits.


California Posted by John Kranz at 7:02 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It's already been tried. It's called "Communism."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 8, 2011 10:03 AM

Review Corner

Hugh Laurie's "Let Them Talk" is out this week -- available on the distinctly non-evil Amazon MP3.

Laurie is best known as TV's (Randian) Dr. House, although I felt the end of the last season discarded all of his Randian cred.

But that isn't important now. Occasionally on House, and much more frequently on BBC shows like "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" and "Jeeves & Wooster," Laurie tickles the ivories with a great penchant for American Jazz & Blues. "Let them Talk" is a collection of New Orleans blues. I'm halfway through and must report I am diggin' it the most.

The Wall Street Journal offers a positive review:

"I wore a suit and a tie everyday as a sign of respect for the music," Mr. Laurie said. "When Irma [Thomas] arrived I was even more on my best behavior. She couldn't have been more gracious.

"Then the thought crossed my mind: Why not Dr. John? I was caught somewhere between hysterical laughter and abject terror."

On the day he was to cut "After You've Gone" with Dr. John, whose real name is Mac Rebennack, Mr. Laurie decided to arrive at the studio early so he could practice. But his guest was already there, working out an arrangement on piano. "Joe said, 'Step away from the piano. We want you just to sing.' Mac gives a performance that appears to be effortless. His phrasing and embellishments are completely spontaneous."


I'm enjoying it a lot. I'll go five stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 5:33 PM | What do you think? [0]

Gibson CEO invited to joint session

Rep Marsha Blackburn, (HOSS - TN)! Mark Perry's Carpe Diem blog:

Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn issued the following statement today announcing that Gibson Guitar CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, will be her special guest for President Barack Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress on Thursday night:

"Gibson Guitar is at the heart of this jobs debate, and is an example of exactly why President Obama has it wrong when it comes to getting our economy back on track. Maybe if the President spent more time finding real solutions to empowering small business owners and less time hindering businesses like Gibson, we'd see more new jobs being created."


UPDATE: Maybe They'll All Break Out in Song during Obama's Speech on a Gibson Guitar!

But mickeywhite thinks:

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension., Supplemental Appropriations, Patriot Act Extension.
Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan, Libya Troop Withdrawal.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :
http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
Mickey

Posted by: mickeywhite at September 7, 2011 5:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Thank you very much for your comment and link.

I promise I will take the time to carefully review the comprehensive list you provided. I have always liked Rep. Blackburn but confess I have not followed her voting record closely.

Having said that, a cursory glance at your list shows support for free trade agreements which I support. I understand a principled Ron Paul-esque opposition to individual bilateral and small zone trade agreements, but I am from the more trade the merrier school. I am fine with the trade agreements and the WTO votes.

Many of the others are lopsided, party-line votes that do not appeal to me but are the currency of a Congressional career of her tenure.

My approbation is for inviting the Gibson CEO as a guest to the speech. If Rep. Barney Frank had done that, I would be applauding him.

But I will read your list and reconsider whether she of the winsome smile and soft Dixie voice is deserving of the HOSS label. I will give that serious thought.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 6:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Rep. Blackburn is guilty of being a Republican in the George W. Bush - Denny Hastert era. I don't get very excited reading about:

H.R. 1298 would authorize $15 billion ($3 billion annually) for fiscal years 2004 through 2008 to provide assistance to foreign countries for the stated purpose of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Much of this funding will be funneled through the Global AIDS Fund and other UN agencies[...]

And yet, "The House passed H.R. 1298 on May 1, 2003 by a vote of 375 to 41." I worked pretty hard to elect some of those 375 and the President who signed it. I will roll my eyes today, but not pull the rug out from under them for not being Ron Paul.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 6:25 PM

ThreeSources Sports Chat Line

Well done Rockies last night. You may have swept us in front of your seven season ticketholders last week. But our house is one of seven run innings.

But I call my doyens of our national pastime to a different game. The D-Backs scored last week on a sacrifice fly. In foul territory.

Now, I have never smoked hash in Amsterdam or frequented a New Orleans bordello. I guess I am quite naive in my own way. But I had no freaking idea that was legal. Izzit? It was right in front of the dugout, so it is not like the umpire missed a fine shading. I had no idear you could do that.

My question is infield fly rule-ish: do you intentionally drop a foul fly deep in the outfield, exchanging the out for the run? And does one ever learn all the rules?

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 4:02 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yes, it is legal to advance on a fly caught in foul territory, provided that the runner tags up. I have never seen a fly intentionally dropped in foul ground to prevent a run, but that would be a heads- up play in a tight game (and always subject to second-guessing).

No, it is not possible to learn all of the rule nuances. Even the umpires get it wrong on occasion.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 8, 2011 9:56 AM

I Agree with Matt Yglesias

And @baseballcrank:

Agreed. RT @mattyglesias Rick Perry contracts on Intrade are a steal right now at 20%: http://t.co/YkUWtJk
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

Swing and a Mitt!

Both the WSJ Ed Page and Larry Kudlow find the same fault with Governor Romney's 6,751 page jobs plan. In point 1504 (out of 9,071), there's a wee bit of class warfare:

On taxes, Mr. Romney would immediately cut the top corporate income-tax rate to 25% from 35%. His advisers say there's already a bipartisan consensus that the U.S. rate hurts American companies, and they're right. Even Mr. Obama agrees.

But on other taxes, Mr. Romney shrinks from a fight. He says he favors tax reform with lower individual tax rates but only "in the long run." His advisers say that means in the first two years of his Presidency, but then why not sketch out more details?

The answer may lie in his proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax--but only for those who earn less than $200,000 a year. This eviscerates most of the tax cut's economic impact and also suggests that he's afraid of Mr. Obama's class warfare rhetoric. He even picked Mr. Obama's trademark income threshold for the capital gains cut-off.

If Mr. Romney thinks this will let him dodge a class warfare debate, he's fooling himself.


Governor Mitt cut an impressive figure on Kudlow last night. The man would represent an astronomical leap up from the policies of President Obama. And, with a good tea-party contingent in Congress leaning him the right direction, would probably make a good 45th POTUS.

But I see a bit of Hooverism in his lengthy plans. And am I correct that he brought up Six-Sigma in an early debate? If it was not him, I apologize but I think it was. The problem is not that government is inefficient, the problem is that government is over-scoped.

I'll support him proudly if he is the GOP 2012 nominee. But several of the other candidates will have to vanish mysteriously before he becomes my choice in the primaries.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:46 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Worse than this, Romney seems to believe that these taxes, while substantial, are the biggest threat to American's saved wealth. Unlike Governor Perry I haven't heard him mention a traitorous FOMC, Quantitative Easing or even inflation.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 2:46 PM

Interstin'

Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2010

Not endorsing OpenSecrets.org, but it looks pretty straight-up at first glance.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 5:38 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. "Evil" bankers give more to Dems than beer wholesalers do. Progressives should redirect their ire toward "Big Beer."

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 12:56 PM
But jk thinks:

That's why I put all my money into beer and not savings. It's the principle of the thing, dammit!

There were several surprises, but not surprising was the crowd of public sector unions at the top with the blue donkeys. "On the fence" for Club for Growth?" Because it was 41% R? Did they support Libertarians? Buy beer?

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 1:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

ROFLMAO: ActBlue, the #1 political donor in the country, spends $55 million on 99% Dem, 0% Rep.

From their Open Secrets summary page: "The organization assists Democratic candidates and committees of all ideological persuasion, helping moderates and liberals alike."

Okay, maybe there aren't any conservative Democrats. Maybe they'd be supported if there were. Riiiight.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 1:08 PM

September 6, 2011

Whither Wind Power?

Unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes rejected by environmentalists in the Green Mountain State.

Hat-tip: Insty


Quote of the Day

All Hail Taranto:

Hoffa describes the combatants in his "war" as "workers" on the one hand and "the Tea Party" on the other. But of course he isn't interested in workers in general, only those who belong to unions--a group that, after decades of private-sector union decline, largely consists of employees of government, government contractors and government bailout beneficiaries such as General Motors and Chrysler. "The Tea Party," meanwhile, is a dysphemism for taxpayers. -- James Taranto

UPDATE: All Hail Jake Tapper for trying to hold the Administration accountable.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 5:34 PM | What do you think? [0]

An Argument worth having

I hope there are many arguments worth having at ThreeSources. If not, I suspect DearWendy to be a better source of general entertainment.

But I suggested that liberty minded folk might purloin Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin motto: "Gradatim Ferociter" (step by step with ferocity). Brother jg suggested "Give me liberty or give me death."

Ragglaw.com, where I found translation help, compared it to Toyota's "Kaizen." Working for a manufacturing firm, I have been exposed to Kaizen. It calls for incremental improvement and represents a superb comparison to gradatim ferociter.

Kaizen was championed at my place of employment by a former COO and while I champion it here, I found it completely inappropriate for that company at that time. "We need 'Banzai!' and not 'Kaizen,'" I told her. "This process we are investigating is too dysfunctional to fix and we would be better off spending the resources scrapping it."

I lost that argument and she has since gone on to other opportunities (of her own volition with sad faces on both sides). But I have internalized it as a fundamental difference in repairing or optimizing a system. The only other manufacturing thing I was exposed to, I will call "pareto improvement." The opposite of Kaizen, you find what is really broken and fix it, purposefully ignoring many small broken things. It's the "put all your money in one basket and watch the basket" [fight about attribution] theory.

I have been pleased with the number of situations about which one can ask the Pareto/Kaizen question: should you use resources optimizing or replacing?

Though our precious constitutional republic is severely broken and its leadership dysfunctional, I posit that gradatim ferociter remains the best choice for liberty lovers. The structure of the Constitution we all revere is not conducive to quick and wholesale changes. The progressive encroachment on our freedoms was calcified over more than a hundred years and will take time to be dismantled.

Bill McGurn suggests the President missed an opportunity when he rejected an early "grand compromise" with House Republicans:

For the president, that deal would have allowed him to do something serious about spending--in a highly public and bipartisan way. Even better for him, it might have split the opposition. For such a deal would likely have left Republicans bickering, with some arguing we should wait for a Republican president and others screaming "sellout."

The president, however, got greedy, and killed the deal when he asked for more. That's been his problem all along. Notwithstanding incessant calls to rise above politics, on issue after issue the president has proved himself incapable of matching his large rhetoric with equally large actions.


Gentle ThreeSourcers, might we be setting a resurgent and reinvigorated GOP up for just such a failure? If we maintain a list of compromisers in order disbar them from office, I fear we are.

Gradatim Ferociter.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:34 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

If we disbarred every politician who ever compromised there would be none left. The issue is how quickly and readily they do so. I don't think we disagree on that. Where we seem to divide is whether our party's leader should be a sometimes rough and tumble "malapropiser" or a smooth, slick ex-diplomat. Which do you suppose would be more persuasive when calling individual congressmen to the Oval Office to lobby for a big vote?

The Gradatim part of the plan is a given. It's the Ferociter half I'm trying to solidify.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 2:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Agreed.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 3:45 PM

Jimi P Talks to Gov. Huntsman

For those who cannot be troubled to watch a six minute video to select the next President of the United States of America*, I offer My chat with Jon Huntsman about his economic plan.

It looks purdy good to me... Contrast it with Gov. Romney's Green Economic Advisors.

* Yes, I am kidding about not watching the video. Really.

UPDATE: Huntsman's guest editorial in the WSJ is pretty good as well:

President Obama believes we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity. We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity. To do that, we must equip the American worker and the American entrepreneur with the tools to compete in the global economy.

Restoring our competitiveness will not be possible without first recognizing our constitutional commitment to limited government, a precondition for unleashing the spirit of American entrepreneurialism.

In the long term, this will mean dramatic education and immigration reform, but in the short term, tax simplification, regulatory reform, and changes in energy and trade policy will jump-start the American economy and allow us to export more and import less, creating sustainable growth and jobs.

We need a revenue-neutral tax overhaul modeled after Ronald Reagan's 1986 tax reform package--which will require taking on sacred cows. This means eliminating special interest carve-outs, loopholes and deductions while lowering rates across the board so our tax code is flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:26 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

"Pickens Plan:" No thanks. But the rest looks good.

* I did finally watch the rest of it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I could surely live without the Pickens Plan myself. Some of the NatGas stuff should probably be read again now that we have fracking, but as to erecting unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes all across the Lone Start State, this shall not stand.

Compared, however, to Gov Romney's indexing of cap gains taxes and China bashing, such apostasy is acceptable. I will certainly be giving a fair shake to Governor Existentialdangertoanenlightenedfreerepublic as well.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 3:52 PM

September 5, 2011

Reagan for kids (especially the 18-year olds)

This post legitimately spans multiple categories. I don't recall it being discussed here when it was first released, last May I believe, so I'll immortalize it in the 3Srcs/EatOurPeas archives now.

For the youth of America who don't remember the economic resurgence that came about under the policies of President Ronald Reagan Mike Huckabee offers a new animated American History series to give them the pro-America version of events they may or may not have ever heard of. Here's a clip from the Reagan Revolution episode.

Mike Huckabee calls it an unbiased telling of history, while those more inclined to a politically-correct worldview see the religion boogeyman as they quote from the video's website: "We recognize and celebrate faith, religion and the role of God in America's founding and making our country the greatest place on Earth," the site reads.

I had attributed this reflexive anti-religion attitude to a majority of the one-third of American voters who are unaffiliated with a party but I'm ready to concede it may be yet another form of extremism that's been made to appear mainstream by the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media. In defense of his product Huckabee claims that, "Ninety-one percent of liberals who were shown the videos said they not only learned something they would buy them for their kids."

But jk thinks:

Ooooooooh i dooooooon't knooooooooow maaaaaaaan....

Perhaps I have been whacking at the Gov for too long and need to better "recalculate pros and cons in real-time" but the tone of this is Reefer Madness meets Emmanuel Goldstein meets a PBS Kids' Recycling Special.

I enjoy a positive portrayal of our 40th as much as the next ThreeSourcer but there is little factual information here and the tone tries too hard to persuade to actually be persuasive.

And those Teeth! Millions of young children will grow up having Ronald Reagan nightmares! That can't be good.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 10:55 AM

Glad Insty Links to These Things

A good excuse for a few minutes of prurience -- "it was linked by a Law Professor!"

I try not to be judgmental. I try to let others live their own lives with the Hayekian idea of distributed knowledge and all. People disapprove of some things I do and I shouldn't be too quick to criticize lifestyle choices, and...

All of which is well and good, but I think this girl is, perhaps, something of a slut.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Whoa, talk about cheapening her currency.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:16 PM
But jk thinks:

No kidding, man. She makes the Zimbabwe Dollar look stable.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 11:14 AM

Wot Green Jobs?

Here I thought Insty's link would talk about California. Nope, it's James Delingpole at the Telegraph. Replete with Unicorn pictures, the article mentions green boondoggles in the UK and that "Obama's America" is just as bad.

There is one thing we share with the motherland:

Yep, it seems like there’s one rule for the political class and its cronies -- and another one for the rest of us. If, say, you're Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt the father-in-law of the British prime minister you can make getting on for a £1000 a week from the wind farms on your estates; if you’re the wife of the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg you can make hundreds of thousands of pounds as a legal adviser to the Spanish wind farm company whose unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes are going to be wrecking the British countryside.

If on the other, hand you're an ordinary punter, you’re expected to sit there and take it as the cost of your energy is doubled, your standard of living lowered, the countryside you love is ruined, and the destruction of your ailing economy is accelerated by the policies of a Government which no longer gives a damn what you think about anything.

"unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes" I may have been born in the wrong country...

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM | What do you think? [0]

It's Wabbit -- I mean Election -- Season!

Dont wear white. Start the campaigns. Happy Labor Day!

Hat-tip: Don Surber

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

President Obama is "shovel-ready."

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:13 PM

September 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

I'm finally reading John Locke's "Two Treatises of Government." I have enjoyed his quotations and paraphrases and others' descriptions, but must admit this the first time I have read him natively. It's quite enjoyable. I had the same experience with Michael Oakeshott, only to find his prose too turgid to navigate. But Locke is fun. I actually laughed out loud (that's LOL to you kiddies) to this bit:

if God made all mankind slaves to Adam and his heirs by giving Adam dominion over every living thing that moveth on the earth, ch. i. 28. as our author would have it, methinks Sir Robert should have carried his monarchical power one step higher, and satisfied the world, that princes might eat their subjects too, since God gave as full power to Noah and his heirs, ch. ix. 2. to eat every living thing that moveth, as he did to Adam to have dominion over them, the Hebrew words in both places being the same.

Awesome.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

A fellow at last Friday's pistol shoot wore a T-shirt with the slogan, "All God's creatures look best next to the mashed potatoes." While I favor it's omnivorous message I was still tempted to ask, "Are you not one of God's creatures?" [Here being another example of the advantage of non-belief as my personal answer is, "No."]

But to the point of the post, Sir Robert's companion T-shirt might read, "All God's creatures moveth under dominion of Robert, son of Adam." While your friendly neighborhood irreligionist would say Adam, and all men who supposedly descended from him, are therefore self-sovereign and not "creatures of God."

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 11:12 AM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps he was descended from Noah. Did he have a nautical air about him?

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2011 11:42 AM

September 3, 2011

But They'll Rock at Health Care!

It's a crapshoot of sorts at the Vegas DMV:

Kara Baldonado has slept outside four times in recent weeks, longing to win the hottest ticket in town -- the chance at a driver's license.

First-time Nevada drivers now have to wait up to a month and a half to schedule a driving test, forcing those who need a license sooner to bear the overnight standby line.

One of the subheads of this depressing article is "STANDBY AND HOPE." I wondered if it were a campaign slogan?


Jon!

I thought the Governor did very well:

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

The tax plan "we" proposed? What is this, a two-for-one candidacy with his wife or something?

OK, a minor quibble but I find it difficult to champion or even trust this penultimate compromiser based on a single red-meat position paper.

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 6:18 PM
But jk thinks:

I guess I don't find "compromiser" as pejorative as you do. I don't want President Lincoln Chafee, but, the world not being ThreeSources, our next prez will have to work in a multi-party, tripartite government.

The candidate I really wanted, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, accomplished most of the same things that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did. But they did not chain themselves to the gates in Indianapolis or recall state legislators who voted for the package.

So, I'll accept results without combat. And, once more, I think you do him injustice in your quick dismissal. It is not a "single red-meat position paper." It is a template of his success as Utah Governor. Unlike Sen. McCain and his awesome health care plan he did not understand well enough to explain, I say Governor H appears quite conversant with it on Kudlow's show.

Posted by: jk at September 4, 2011 11:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

By "penultimate compromiser" I meant a man who, second only to John McCain, is so willing to compromise on what should be core principles that compromise becomes his core principle.

I'll cop to not watching the entire interview. Let's just say he didn't impress on our first, blind, date. Being set up by Howard Dean didn't help. But then, my current favorite is the man I first labeled an existential danger to an enlightened Free Republic. I can recalculate pros and cons in real-time.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:04 PM

Mankiw's Ten Principles in Limerick Form

In deference to Brother jg, I will lead with #9: Prices Rise When the Government Prints Too Much Money.

To her daughter said Mrs. McNeilly,
With a look that was solemn and steely:
"Your currency, dear,
Will be cheapened, I fear,
If you fling it about very freely."

Though I enjoy #3: Rational People Think at the Margin.
Said a rational woman: "What then of it?
Though it's pointless persuading the men of it,
The marginal cost
Of virginity lost
May outweigh the marginal benefit."

Have a great weekend!

But johngalt thinks:

Mmmmm, limericks!

A man from the Fed named Bernanke,

Held inflation at two with his bank;

The index he used,

Was based on a ruse,

And made dollars go straight in the tank.

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 5:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Doh. I just read the rest of them and I clearly missed the genre. I'll try again, though I may risk arrest here in Colorado.

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 6:48 PM
But jk thinks:

His cell mate asks, "What are ya in for?" And the bard of ThreeSources replies:

A dashing young rhymer from Weld County,
Made sport of Fed balance sheet's bounty,
Becoming non-plussed,
A.G. Holder fussed:
"We can do without critics, Barack, Can't we?"

Posted by: jk at September 4, 2011 11:45 AM
But johngalt thinks:

A thousand thank you's for leaving out the ribaldry in a jail cell.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 11:19 AM
But jk thinks:

Reason subscribers are proscribed from joking about violations of the Eighth Amendment.

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2011 11:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:
For trade use these dollars my dear,
They price goods and services near,
But when I print them double,
Your life savings will trouble,
To hooking you'll turn, while I leer.
Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 11:49 AM

September 2, 2011

Verbum Diem

Or did I mean "Soup du Jour?" I really should have paid more attention in school.

The motto for Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin private spacecraft project is "Gradatim Ferociter" (step by step with ferocity): working, or making progress, patiently by frequent and small steps ALL with a steely determination.

I'm thinking that liberty lovers could find a lesson in there.

Thanks raglaw.com for translation help. Glad those guys were paying attention.

UPDATE: A good friend emails: "How many Romans????"

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 6:13 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Always love the Latin stuff. Gradatim ferociter is also a good description of life on a farm, but for a TEA Party or Liberty Movement motto I prefer the well known Patrick Henry translation,

Tribuo mihi licentia vel tribuo mihi nex.

But we can still pursue that motto with a gradatim ferociter strategy. A hockey defenseman knows he's more likely to succeed by staying on his feet and battling the puck handler all the way to the net than by diving for a miracle poke-check, and possibly missing. For our posterity, gradatim ferociter.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 1:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Hmmm. Did I mention I was not paying attention?

Your phrase stumps me and three web-based translators. How many Romans????

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 11:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I didn't take the time to reverse translate. Here's a slightly better formulation:

Adfero mihi libertas, vel adfero mihi nex.
Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2011 2:45 PM

I'm with Roger!


QOTD II

Solyndra -- Obama's Enron?

The showcase firm is now filing for Chapter 11 in an embarrassing blow to the premises of Obamanomics. At least the Obama administration can't be accused of practicing industrial policy the old-fashioned way and picking winners. It is evidently quite ready to pick losers, too. -- Rich Lowry


"Since then, I'm Scared to Import Anything."

The Wall Street Journal has been a good source for Gibson-raid news and all the latest on the 111-year-old Lacey Act. Today, they look at other users and importers.

The wingnuttosphere has taken up this cause celebre, certain that it is purely political retribution. But I am ready to go to my fallback position: it is pure nanny-state incompetence and tinhorn petty bureaucrat gub'mint regulation gone wild:

A good piece today in the WSJ backs this up. It is also notable in that the Martin CEO is quoted -- I got this link from Martin Guitars on Facebook, so it is probably free but temporary,

Exactly who the government could target in the future is a matter of debate in the wood-products industry.

To be sure, musical instrument makers are worried. "I think it's causing panic in this industry," said George Gruhn, owner of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tenn. "Manufacturers and dealers, as well as musicians and collectors feel very much threatened."

One small entrepreneur who got singed by Lacey is Harlan P. Crouch II, who owns Cocobolo Inc., of Pinellas Park, Fla. Mr. Crouch imports rosewood and other woods and sells them to makers of furniture, pool cues, burial urns and art pieces.


I don't know if Harlan P. Crouch II called AG Eric Holder a name in Kindergarten or gave a million to elect Sen. McCain, but [spoiler alert] his story does not end well.

So. No retribution, just out-of-control regulation. Feel better?

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hey, food for thought: if Sir Golfsalot's administration is so bound and determined to put an end to all importing, do we still need NAFTA?

Will this have an impact on the cost of Japanese and German imported cars?

How many new government jobs will have to be created in order to inspect every single container at our ports stuffed with goods manufactured by our strategic ally and trading partner, Red China?

Who's for a trade war? I hereby officially dub this policy "Smoot-Hawley II".

Question for ThreeSourcers: will this have a positive or negative effect on America's economy? I say negative (see "Smoot-Hawley," above).

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 2, 2011 2:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Yer just tryin' to get me wound up, aren'tcha?

These people will not rest until we each grow our own food and freeze in the dark. Gibson stopped buying Madagascar wood after the 2009 raid. I'm sure the lumbermen, shippers, sellers and merchants in the bustling Madagascarian economy (GDP per capita: USD $ 1000 (2008 est.) -- Wikipedia) just went out and picked up jobs doing computer backup software and manufacturing tape libraries.

Guitar enthusiasts lost a choice, exporter and importer lost a job, and the whole world economy became -- if you believe Signori Ricardo -- a little bit poorer. But I've no doubt some affluent white folks feel pretty good about themselves.

But, no, Brother Keith, I am not going to take the bait and deliver a rant on free trade.

Posted by: jk at September 2, 2011 3:40 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I obviously need to find better bait.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 2, 2011 5:02 PM
But jk thinks:

It's just very difficult to get me animated. Calm, Cool, Collected and all.

Posted by: jk at September 2, 2011 5:15 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

"These people will not rest until we each grow our own food and freeze in the dark"

Why would we freeze while lounging around the faculty cafe/breakroom? Did something happen to the electricity grid? And why should we worry about those atavistic types who aren't as elevated as we?

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 3, 2011 4:20 AM
But johngalt thinks:

HA! Good point nb. All those crazy paranoid Tea Partiers, wasting money on generators and bottled water and non-perishable food... In the case of any sort of trouble they could just go to the nearest college campus instead (as long as they have lots of quarters for the vending machines.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 11:38 AM

That's a Number I Did Not Hear

Kudlow's guests last night were speculating that the jobs number might be as low as 50,000 or 30,000. Nobody mentioned "zero:"

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.

The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Speaking as a small business owner in California - http://www.masterescrow.com - I would dearly love add four positions (two officers and two assistants), but in the current economic climate, I can't. I know a lot of people in the trade who are unemployed, and I'd be ready to put some of them to work, but for the actions of the Federal and State government. I guess King Putt and Moonbeam Jerry would rather these good people continue to draw unemployment and be dependent than to be productive and prosperous.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 2, 2011 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

One of the guests was Jared Bernstein, VP Biden's Economic advisor (stop laughing in the back!) He's a bright and decent cat but he reflexively provides the leftist line. In the evidence of complete failure, he goes right into "the stimulus wasn't big enough" and "we have to provide demand."

All this against the ex-Verizon chief who is telling the same story you are.

Posted by: jk at September 2, 2011 12:16 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Hey, nb is bored in Bulgaria (more like avoiding work) and would like a TS summary on this position so's to better talk at large with my liberal Boulder friends.

Succinctly, KA, why do you avoid hiring? Are there concrete regs coming down the pike which you see as dangerous for an employer, or is it just the overall anti-business "climate" that exudes from the Obamanites & allies like Guv Moonbeam?

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 3, 2011 4:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Prof VDH has some thoughts as well. He laments the death of a thousand cuts from the business hostile Administration:

Here is the lament I heard: the near $5 trillion in borrowing in just three years, the radical growth in the size of the federal government and its regulatory zeal, ObamaCare, the Boeing plant closure threat, the green jobs sweet-heart deals and Van Jones-like "Millions of Green Jobs" nonsense, the vast expansion in food stamps and unemployment pay-outs, the reversal of the Chrysler creditors, politically driven interference in the car industry, the failed efforts to get card check and cap and trade, the moratoria on new drilling in the Gulf, the general antipathy to new fossil fuel exploitation coupled with new finds of vast new reserves, the new financial regulations, an aggressive EPA oblivious to the effects of its advocacy on jobs, the threatened close-down of energy plants, the support for idling thousands of acres of irrigated farmland due to environmental regulations, the constant talk of higher taxes, the needlessly provocative rhetoric of "fat cat", "millionaires and billionaires," "corporate jet owners," etc. juxtaposed, in hypocritical fashion, to Martha's Vineyard, Costa del Sol, and Vail First Family getaways -- all of these isolated strains finally are becoming a harrowing opera to business people.

Well yes, Professor, but other than that...

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2011 10:59 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Silver Lining department: As the Obama Administration and its army of enviro-fascists gets to run wild with every regulatory wet-dream they've ever concocted, all at once and without adult supervision, the free-market economy renders its verdict on environmentalism writ large: GUILTY.

Guilty of driving away both producers and customers. In the Bill Gates interview I linked here he also said:

"Rich countries can afford to overpay for things. We can afford to overpay for medicine, we can overpay for energy, we can rig our food prices and overpay for cotton. But in the world where 80 percent of Earth's population lives, energy is going to be bought where it's economical."

What do you mean "we" Kemosabe?

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 11:31 AM
But jk thinks:

Brother jg is unsurprisingly right. It would have been damned unpatriotic to cheer for such misery in 2k8. But we might look at this millenarian moment as a sliver lining at the very least.

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2011 11:39 AM

Must See TV

Governor Huntsman will be on "The Kudlow Report" this evening (7EST/5MST CNBC). I think we'll get a good look at his economic plan.

Discussing it in comments several posts South, I have to hit below the belt and compare my/Jon's opponents to Senator Reid and the President. Governor H has released a plan. His opponents have, let's say, given speeches.

UPDATE: WSJ Ed Page: Better than anything so far from the GOP Presidential field

The heart of the plan lowers all tax rates on individuals and businesses. Mr. Huntsman would create three personal income tax rates--8%, 14% and 23%--and pay for this in a "revenue-neutral" way by eliminating "all deductions and credits." This tracks with the proposals of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and others for a flatter, more efficient tax system.

That means economically inefficient tax carve outs for mortgage interest, municipal bonds, child credits and green energy subsidies would at last be closed. The double tax on capital gains and dividends would be expunged as would the Alternative Minimum Tax. The corporate tax rate falls to 25% from 35%, and American businesses would be taxed on a territorial system to encourage firms to return capital parked in overseas operations.


And repeal ObamaCare®, Dodd-Frank, and SarbOx. And "bring to heel the hyper-regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the National Labor Relations Board."

Don't thank me, it's all in a day's work for Huntsmanman!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:09 AM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Yup. That's what gets the president outraged. Not the "Fast and Furious" scandal, not Bashir Assad's continuing to mow down people, not the number of Americans on food stamps, not the Gibson guitar raid, not waste in the stimulus bill, not the loss of $500 million or so in that Solyndra company. No, having to compromise on speech timing is what really grinds his gears. -- Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter
To which I cannot link, but if you do not subscribe (free), you are quite mad.
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 1, 2011

The Justice David Hackett Souter Trash Pile

Damon Root marvels at the redevelopment in New London:

You seriously cannot make this stuff up. New London, Connecticut, the municipality that received the Supreme Court's notorious stamp of approval in 2005 to bulldoze Susette Kelo’s neighborhood to make way for a "comprehensive redevelopment plan" that would provide "appreciable benefits to the community" is now using that seized land as a dump site for storm debris.
SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 6:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day


2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:11 PM | What do you think? [0]

Free Speech

There's been a lot of talk radio chatter this week about a Colorado man who was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Denver but subsequently had all charges against him dismissed. My judgement of the matter is that the man did intend to solicit but, upon detecting that the young lady he was conversing with was a police officer, spit the hook. But the issue that caught my attention was when the man's attorney recited the legal statute under which his client was charged. C.R.S. 18-7-207

Any person who by word, gesture, or action endeavors to further the practice of prostitution in any public place or within public view commits a class 1 petty offense.

So the list of speech which is no longer free, under threat of criminal penalty, must be amended:

- Yelling fire in a crowded theater.
- Making physical threats against the president.
- Discussing sex and money at the same time.

This petty offense statute is bad enough on its own, but thanks to the Colorado legislature we now have a new $5,000 to $10,000 fine that can be imposed so that, as then Colorado Senate President Brandon Schaffer said, "a major goal of his bill is to increase fines so that cash-strapped municipal police forces have an incentive to go after johns and send them to treatment."

Apparently his intent has been met.

UPDATE: The Legislative Declaration tells us why this unconstitutional measure is neccessary in our state.

(3) Now, therefore, the general assembly hereby declares that legislative action is required to address the scourge of human trafficking and prostitution in the state of Colorado, which action should include:

(a) Authorizing one or more municipal courts to create and administer a program for certain persons who are charged with certain prostitution-related offenses, with the purpose of reducing recidivism; and

(b) Significantly increasing the fines associated with certain statutory prostitution-related offenses.

To "address" human trafficking crimes a new government treatment regime has been instituted and a large new fine created to pay for it, said fine to be levied against offenders of certain "prostitution-related" offenses. Even, it appears, if those offenders only talk about trading something of value for sex. The statute is young and has yet to be tested in a case of college date-night. The phrase, "Aren't you at least going to buy me dinner first?" may become a criminally risky utterance.

This strategy mimmicks that used in the decades-old "war on drugs" and promises to be just as effective, or not. But getting back to that treatment program and recidivism: Over a twelve-year history a similar "John School" cut the recidivism rate nearly in half - from 8 percent to "less than 5 percent." Gosh, it's almost an epidemic!

Just for fun - I found this handy reference guide to prostitution laws in all fifty states on Dating-dot-com. "Because dating should be fun!"


George Orwell, Call Your Office!

Don't bother, all circuits are engaged.

Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek has found: it's not "government." It's more your "Federal Family." He quotes the Palm Beach Post:

In a Category 4 torrent of official communications during the approach and aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has repeatedly used the phrase "federal family" when describing the Obama administration’s response to the storm.

The Obama administration didn't invent the phrase but has taken it to new heights.

"Under the direction of President Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano, the entire federal family is leaning forward to support our state, tribal and territorial partners along the East Coast," a FEMA news release declared Friday as Irene churned toward landfall.


In other news, Mom does not want your eating Cheerios or Peanut Butter.

UPDATE: Heh.


Can We Just Make Them FEMA?

What an awesome story in today's WSJ (News Pages):

WELDON, N.C.-- When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the "Waffle House Index."

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.


We live ten miles from one and have been known to appreciate its rustic charms. But I had no idea that the firm strives to be the first open in an emergency.
The company decided to beef up its crisis-management processes. Senior executives developed a manual for opening after a disaster, bulked up on portable generators, bought a mobile command center and gave employees key fobs with emergency contacts.

In a recent academic paper, Panos Kouvelis, a business-school professor at Washington University in St. Louis, pegged Waffle House as one of the top four companies for disaster response, with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Cos.

Waffle House managers say sales volume can double or triple in the aftermath of a storm. The company, whose annual sales are estimated to exceed $600 million, won't discuss the costs or benefits of reopening quickly after disasters. It says its strategy is more about marketing and building goodwill than profits.


Jimi P Likes Huntsman's Plan Too

Inconsequential after my endorsement, but James Pethokoukis is a fan of Huntsman's economic plan as well.

At first glance, this looks like perhaps the most pro-growth, pro-market (and anti-crony capitalist) tax plan put forward by a major U.S. president candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1980. But it is not without political risk. In addition to killing tax breaks for businesses, Huntsman would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, healthcare exclusion, and the child tax credit among other "tax expenditures." We're talking about a whole herd of sacred cows. Both his fellow presidential candidates and Washington lobbyists will likely attack him for some of those ideas.

Jim Geraghty points out that Ramesh Ponnuru has already attacked:
But here's the problem. The tax code, when combined with entitlements as now structured, overtaxes parents, and the child credit only partially offsets that effect. By abolishing the credit -- a legacy of the Gingrich Congress and the Bush administration -- Huntsman would be taking a step away from neutrality and toward a perverse form of social engineering.

I know I anchor the bottom of ThreeSourcers when ranked by offspring density. But I think subsidizing procreation is as much "perverse social engineering" as not. I would not object to increasing the standard deduction to help parents. But it is disturbing to see a guy as bright as Ponnuru championing the byzantine tax code when it promotes his goals.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:19 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

From the terse explanation given by Ponnuru the present child tax "credit" is not subsidizing procreation, but neutralizing the tax penalty for it. That penalty is what he calls "a perverse form of social engineering." Think of it as China's one-child policy wearing a green eyeshade.

Huntsman's proposal, clearly intended to be sweeping and comprehensive, is thus proven to be not comprehensive. Rather than reform the current code it must instead be, replaced. Let him champion that and I'll start to take a look.

Posted by: johngalt at September 1, 2011 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't think you're being fair (but I am prepared to sacrifice it to see your siding with Ramesh -- writing down the date).

Broaden the base, lower the rate, simplify, and utilize less social engineering. I'm all for that. The plan, divorced for the candidate, looks very strong to me.

And yet. My re-leaning toward the handsome Utah Gov was set back by Huntsman's position on the scheduling contretemps. "This is why people hate Washington" says Governor H. No sir, with all due respect, I hate "Washington" because people there will not stand for what they believe.

An instinctive move to compromise rather than fight. Houston? We have a problem.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2011 3:05 PM
But dagny thinks:

Sorry, I may be confused but I don't see a, "parent penalty," in the tax code as now structured that requires off-setting with voluminous credits.

I understood the, "marriage penalty," in households with 2 working adults but I think that has been eliminated.

Everytime I complete a tax return I seem to be able to reduce my tax burden more for every child. BTW, I don't recommend child-bearing as a tax avoidance strategy in general.

Just because we choose to spend the pittance the government leaves behind on diapers rather than guitars, I DON'T beleive the government should treat me differently than the guy with the guitar.

Ami I wrong here somewhere???

Posted by: dagny at September 1, 2011 7:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Dagny, I think we're on the same page. I want to be treated equally with parents (and am fine with even raising the standard deduction which would help parents).

I would not fight removing the the "child credit" even if it is "a legacy of the Gingrich Congress and the Bush administration." Lower marginal rates and let people choose twixt diapers and guitars, renting or buying, hybrid or not.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2011 8:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...when combined with entitlements now structured..." The "parent penalty" appears to be in one of the many, many ... many entitlements that are part of the byzantine tax code. (A tax code which somebody further up in the comments suggested be scrapped and replaced.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 1, 2011 10:04 PM

Epic Fail

It is almost enough to make a person disbelieve in government's paying people to make things that nobody wants to buy. Almost. WaPo:

A company that served as a showcase for the Obama administration's effort to create jobs in clean technology shut down Wednesday, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans.

Solyndra, a California solar panel maker, had long been an administration favorite. Over the past two years, President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu each had made congratulatory visits to the company's Silicon Valley headquarters.


Ooops.
Although Wednesday's announcement came as a surprise, House Republicans and government auditors had questioned the wisdom of the administration's loan guarantees to the company, backed by capital from billionaire Democratic fundraiser George Kaiser. In July, a House subcommittee subpoenaed White House documents related to the guarantee, and after Wednesday's developments, Republican lawmakers vowed to continue investigating.

Lots more at Instapundit. Even the WaPo and NBC can't spin this as anything but an Administration failure. Can't wait for the "jobs speech."

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

John Hinderocker had a nice line:

It would be interesting to know what Harrison meant by “regulatory and policy uncertainties.” Was he complaining about the same regulatory disaster that countless non-green CEOs have fingered as the enemy of job creation? Is it possible that the Obama administration can’t even do crony capitalism right?

He refers to Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison's complaint that, "Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion." What he's saying is 'Nobody will buy our crap, even when we slash the prices.' Why? Because government regulations and policies don't FORCE them to.

While I'm sure the O Admin. is so incompetent they can't even succeed at crony capitalism, even if the press doesn't make them do it in smoke filled rooms, what he's actually complaining about is a lack of regulation.

Posted by: johngalt at September 2, 2011 3:16 AM

Headline of the Day

Brother jg nailed it yesterday, but I think this one will be tough to beat:

Girl Uses Gadget Blog To Make Fun Of Nerds

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | What do you think? [0]

Coffeehousin'

Had to plug the new guitar in, didn't I?



Coffeehouse

How High the Moon

"Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis wrote this great tune, but I will always associate it with the immortal Les Paul. And I got this new Les Paul guitar..."



Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com



But jk thinks:

Hmm, guitar sounds like crap.

Don't send the Fish & Wildlife boys in just yet, it is a combination of the thin strings they ship with, a bit of inattention on my part, and YouTube/Vimeo's compression. I went to the premium Vimeo Plus to escape this but my subscription has expired.

Don't understand that they allow HD and huge resource use on the video side – and then they compress the hell out if the audio. You can have as much Filet Mignon as you'd like sir, but we cannot bring you another roll.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2011 10:44 AM

Set DVRs to "Stunning"

Charisma Carpenter guests on "Burn Notice" tonight (September 1).

Television Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

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