October 31, 2011

Russ Roberts, Call your Office!

We've gone whizzing past France and are somewhere between the Soviet Union and Orwell's Oceana. President Obama outlawed shortages today! I wish he'd sign a bill making us all smarter and better looking -- that would not require Congress either.
Until that time, at least we will be safe from drug shortages:

At least 232 shortages have been reported through the end of October, said Erin Fox of the University of Utah, who monitors drug shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

That constitutes a record number that has included crucial drugs needed to care for cancer patients, heart attack victims, accident survivors and a host of other ill people. The shortages include some of the most commonly used drugs used in hospitals, and they have led to a spike in the cost of some medications and delays in treatment.

I hate to make light of a serious health issue, but I cannot let the Administration's response pass without ridicule. How do you fix a shortage? [Da daa duh, da da duh duh dunht. Duh da duh da DUN! da da da da daaa...] Umm, Price Controls? Correct, but you did not phrase your answer in the form of a question -- that's going to cost you $14.5 Trillion.
Obama's executive order instructs the FDA to adopt measures to prevent price-gouging and protect consumers.

Seems like it would have been better if he had simply outlawed Cancer...

But johngalt thinks:

There you go again, looking for the simple answer!

And that $14.5 Trillion line? A gem. I'm glad I wasn't drinking coffee when I read it.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 7:30 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And to think that I said that Nixon's greater sins were legitimizing Red China and the Wage and Price Controls. I never knew before that Congress was optional for legislation; if we'd known we could simply legislate by Executive Order, we could have simply dissolved Congress entirely. Who knew?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 31, 2011 8:02 PM
But jk thinks:

You left out the EPA. Thanks, Dick!

Posted by: jk at November 2, 2011 12:11 PM

Word of the Day

Investor's Editorial:

Yet the American Federation of Teachers has "fully endorsed" the Occupy protest and is calling for the rehiring of 1,000 laid-off teachers, presumably to include McAllister.

"We need to listen to what the individuals camped out in Liberty Plaza for Occupy Wall Street -- and those marching in the streets from Boston to Denver to Los Angeles -- have to say," declared AFT President Randi Weingarten in a statement issued after McAllister made her speech.

Fox News has reported that the fraud-plagued community-organizing group Acorn has partially recrudesced as something called New York Communities for Change, a group aligned with teachers.

The Acorn group collected funds for what it claimed was an American Federation of Teachers fundraiser to replace dangerous lightbulbs in schools. The money, according to Fox, went to Occupy protests instead.

But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, poetic indeed.

I'm still working on my three sentences containing 'recrudesced' that I may permanently add the word to my vocabulary.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 4:58 PM

High-Tech Lynching, The Sequel

The American Spectator:

Alas, too many people have seen this movie. So they already know what to call this.

High Tech Lynching of an Uppity Conservative Black man.

The Sequel.

UPDATE: Erick Erickson's take.

Before getting into the details, let's pay attention to what this means.

It means for certain that Herman Cain's lead in the polling is real -- very, very real. People are taking him seriously. Mr. Cain is about to spend a week in Washington answering questions and giving speeches. Someone wanted to make sure he has a miserable week.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | What do you think? [6]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is to be hoped that Mr. Cain had a long, informative conversation with Justice Thomas as the Cain Train was starting to pull out of the station. Forewarned is, after all, forearmed.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 31, 2011 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

What truly concerns is that it will work. The headline lead story on Yahoo/AP all morning has been Herman Cain Denies Allegations of Sexual Harassment.

Stopped beating your wife yet, Herm? This is all most people will see. My Facebook Friends will assert that he is some character out of an Adam Sandler movie, and it will go down in the bad history of President Bush (peré) and the supermarket scanner. All from a hit piece with no named source.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 3:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

All very true, and I am inclined to agree that this is a lynching and not a truth tale.
BUT, if had been a little less backtracky on other subjects depending upon the wind of the masses and how things "sounded", I would not be "inclined", I would forthrightly state that Herman Cain would never misspeak about such a thing and I believe him 100% and will send him another check.

Instead I'll wait a couple of days and see how he handles this.

Posted by: Terri at October 31, 2011 5:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Perfesser Reynolds gets QOTD for what I consider the ultimate word on this:"

I repeat my earlier question: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:53 PM
But jk thinks:

And honorable mention to @jamestaranto:

It sounds as though when @TheHermanCain said America is too uptight and needs to get a sense of humor, he was speaking from experience.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Larry Kudlow:

But there's a sentence in the Politico story that I wanted to point out to everyone. It makes no sense at all: "There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.

What does this mean?

The gestures weren't overtly sexual, but the women were uncomfortable and believed the gestures were improper in a professional relationship. These are all second-hand testimonies from "close associates" of the women accusers, but I don't know what standards are being talked about.

I mean, based on this sort of thing, anybody could think anything about almost anything.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 6:13 PM

October 30, 2011


But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 30, 2011 3:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I saw the color-coded fret bars on that instrument he's holding, and on a hunch, went searching in Google; lo and behold, that's not even a real guitar, but that annoying toy from the game "Guitar Hero," that ubiquitous product of capitalism and mass-marketing.

As are the trendy cargo pants and the posh Ozark Trail dome tent. Sure paints the OWS types as spoiled, overindulged slackers. THAT kind of attention to detail is doubly awesome.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 31, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I dressed as this guy for Halloween today, sans the guitar. I memorized the song lyric but never got to use it. I settled for, We're going to Occupy Boulder City Council tonight, who's in?" and "Where's the free food?"

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 2:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I dress like that every day...

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, I was in Boulder. Nobody thought it was a costume. Heh.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 6:03 PM

October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Shrugs

Robert Tracinski has additional analysis of events such as in the New York Post story JK posted last weekend. In a TIA Daily email he explains how Occupy Wall Street Shrugged.

Over at Occupy Boston, a protester complains, "It's turning into us against them. They come in here and they're looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don't bring anything to the table at all." Another report concludes with a similar sentiment.
"We have compassion toward everyone. However, we have certain rules and guidelines," said Lauren Digioia, 26, a member of the sanitation committee. "If you're going to come here and get our food, bedding and clothing, have books and medical supplies for no charge, they need to give back," Digioia said. "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."

These people had better watch out. If they start thinking that like this, pretty soon they might find themselves at a Tea Party rally.

"Our" food? What did they do to earn it? Who is it who really feels "entitled?"

Then he refrains a tale he dubs The Spaghetti Bolognese Incident.

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a "counter" revolution yesterday—because they're angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for "professional homeless" people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other Spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti Bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep's-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

Behind the hypocrisy, there are real lessons to be learned: lessons about the relationship between productive people and freeloaders. About the need for police to protect decent people from criminals. About how con-men and the power-lusters always take over utopian schemes for their own benefit. About the taxing power and unaccountability of central authorities.

The spaghetti Bolognese incident sums it up. The workers who provide the goods everyone else lives off of are going on strike to protest against their exploitation by freeloaders. Has anyone else noticed that this is the basic plot premise of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? Yet that is the story line they are unintentionally acting out. Call it Occupy Wall Street Shrugged.


I know ThreeSourcers are skeptical, but...

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:24 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Immitation, flattery, etc. But is it too much to ask for them to use Jon's own theme song?

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2011 5:00 PM

Tebow Anyone?

This isn't, as the category suggests, merely a Colorado issue. The Tim Tebow phenomenon is a national one. For some reason this single player evokes or inspires either hatred or extreme admiration. Most seem to focus on his overt religiosity, and either despise or worship the example he sets. I don't see it that way at all.

I marvel at Tebow's ability to inspire and motivate his teammates. While sports professionals in the coaching, scouting and analysis business focus on his objective qualities they almost completely disregard his unique ability to lead. This causes them to make statements like "Tebow can't be an NFL quarterback." But many people believe that statement is wrong and I, for one, know it is wrong. And it has very little (but not nothing) to do with religion.

My sister emailed me a link to this TED Talk yesterday. The title is 'Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion' and it seems an unlikely place to find a key to success in life, but I did. It's 20 minutes long and you'll do yourself a favor to find that much time in your busy life to slow down, sit down, watch and listen and think. Here is Tebow's big "secret."

"It's one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt, for one moment, the capacity of the people he's leading to realize whatever he's dreaming."

Not only does this attitude make Tebow's teammates perform better, it makes him perform better. It does so in a way that manifests itself on the field of competition much more than on the practice field. And understanding it is so elusive that many deny its existence even after witnessing it with their own, "lying" eyes.

Tebow isn't the only NFL quarterback with this quality. I've seen it in Elway, Montana, Staubach, Griese, Jaworski, Fouts and Bradshaw among others. My dad saw it in Daryle Lamonica. It can be seen today in Brady, Rogers and Brees, and glimpses of it in many of the league's younger QBs. And just as importantly, some players of the position clearly do not have it. The ones I have noticed recently are Romo, Eli Manning and ... Kyle Orton. When a play fails each of them is as likely as not to yell, jesture, shrug or shake his head at one or more of his teammates. This is also inspirational leadership, but in the wrong direction.

I said Tebow's big secret has a little to do with religion and that something is "belief." Religion teaches men to believe.

UPDATE: Dad corrects that it was George Blanda he admired so.

UPDATE 2: Macho Duck challenged my inclusion of Donovan McNabb on the list of demotivational NFL quarterbacks. He's right. I put his name in my list before defining what it was a list of, i.e. finger pointers. An error of Saturday morning haste has been corrected.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 31, 2011 8:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Uhhh ... I said I know Tebow is an NFL-caliber quarterback. I did not say he could turn water into wine. (Well, not over a three-hour span at any rate.)

How many other proven QBs have had similar issues this season? (Inaccurate passes, out of sync with receivers).

How many of them played their rookie season without a training camp to prepare?

How many games did Saint John Elway stink out of the stadium in his rookie season, and how many disappointing seasons did he have under a non-supportive coaching staff?

I never said he was a savior but understand that many feel his supporters have suggested exactly that. No, he's a rookie. But even at that he provides a greater sense of possible success than did the veteran Orton. Who thought Orton was going to bring the Broncos back against Green Bay? But before a 14-point meltdown in the last 5 minutes of the first half, Denver trailed by just a touchdown. Personally I think the Broncos suffer from "right handedness" as a team. Their best OT plays on the left side, but Tim's blind side is on the right. And the pass to Decker that went for a 100-yard pick six was an out route on the right sideline - a play that is easier for a lefthanded thrower if it goes to the left sideline.

I could go into greater detail on that meltdown, including a ridiculous 15-yard penalty on Denver's punter for chicken fighting with a blocker, or the two illegal blocks on the same play that the officials managed not to see. But the point is, Denver lost as a team on Sunday. Now they have a choice: Regroup, rally, gameplan around the defensive scheme that beat them and make a competitive effort at Oakland; or quit. My money is on the former.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 2:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

FWIW: Anyone remember the last time the Broncos played the Lions? Cutler, Marshall, Travis Henry, coached by Shanahan. Before Tebow or even Coach McDaniels. 47 yards rushing for the Broncos in a 44-7 loss to a team that, like the Broncos, would finish the season 7-9.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 3:17 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is a Tebow fan and hopes he succeeds. Elway was decidedly mediocre for four years before he really got a handle on reading defenses. So stipulated.

However, Tebow's inaccuracy is a real concern. He has to make 'em pay when they overload the box, and he has missed the targets thus far. The jury is out for now, but an inability to get first downs in Oakland will lead to a long day. Can the Broncos afford a multi-year project at QB? Orton is not the answer, and if Tebow cannot step up this franchise is looking at many bleak years.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 1, 2011 5:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In the 16 year career of John Elway Denver's Broncos had but two losing seasons. In the 23 years of Broncos history pre-Elway their record was over .500 just five times. In the 12 post Elway season the Broncos had a winning record for half of them, were 8-8 three times and below .500 three times. Elway was clearly a savior, but team performance without him is nothing like the bleakness seen before him.

Denver fans seem to feel "entitled" to playoff games and the occasional Super Bowl, yet conveniently forget that 30 of 32 teams don't go to the annual spectacle and most don't even make the playoffs.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2011 4:31 PM

Clean and Attractive Hippies

"I am going to leave College w/so much loans, all because eduction is the first thing to be cut. I AM THE 99%"
So much loans, so little eduction. Don Surber takes some whacks at the 99.
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 28, 2011

Cool Site

The Burning House.

People post a photo of what they would grab were their house on fire.

I always like to say "nothing:" get everything that is alive out and hope for the best for the stuff. But the photos are unusually compelling.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 7:13 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Uth Video thinks:

Nice Site, Great Content Keep It Up the Good Work.

Posted by: Uth Video at November 6, 2011 7:33 PM

Quote of the Day

On the other hand, Supercommittee members have been soaking up campaign contributions from lobbyists. So it's not a complete failure. -- Glenn Reynolds
(He linked to us, only fair to throw a little traffic his way. He's a good kid who might make something of himself as a blogger with a little encouragement...)
112th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:56 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Multiple heh's.

I also liked this: Chart - Gun Ownership by State

Over 50 percent: AL, AK, AR, ID, MS, MT, ND, SD, WV, WY
Under 15 percent: D.C., HI, MA, NJ, RI

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2011 12:36 PM

October 27, 2011

Solar Panels Don't Work

That's not my headline. It was written by solar industry CEO Ray Burgess.

If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.

In the real world, we are just starting to find out how bogus many of those predictions are. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that panels can degrade as much as 4.5% a year. Or more. Put that in your pro forma and see what your banker and insurance agent -- or Congressman -- say about that.

But nanobrewer thinks:

The author sells PV monitoring equipment and doesn't cite an actual NREL study; he cites an AOL page that points back to his own article.

I think the jury is still out on this one....

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 2, 2011 12:29 AM

Truth. On Gub'mint TV!

Watch Does U.S. Economic Inequality Have a Good Side? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Hat-tip: Insty via the superbly named Coalition of the Swilling

Giants. Earth. Walking.

I'll live and die a jazz snob. But John Prine songs light me like a match. And what a format: a short blast of text from the author and a YouTube of a performance. Nice.

Loved the description of "Illegal Smile:"

I have to confess, the song was not about smokin' dope. It was more about how, ever since I was a child, I had this view of the world where I can find myself smiling at stuff nobody else was smiling at. But it was such a good anthem for dope smokers that I didn't want to stop every time I played it and make a disclaimer.

Music Posted by John Kranz at 2:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Which brings us to this week's campaign appearances. The topic was infrastructure. In Las Vegas on Monday, Mr. Obama called for "funding to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our airports." At a Los Angeles fund-raiser on Tuesday, the president was more expansive, saying "Let's get construction workers . . . and let's put them back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our hospitals and our schools." By week's end, Mr. Obama could be promising to rebuild corner gas stations and ugly backyard storage sheds in swing states. -- Evil genius architect Karl Rove

The President's Exciting New Program

As it was unleashed in my hometown, it would be churlish of me to not comment on President Obama's new program to help energize his moribund youth base students racked with crippling debt.

But I am a partisan hack and nobody would expect me to give the program an objective review. So, lets go to The Atlantic -- yeah, they'll be fair, they all voted for him. Well, maybe not Fat Cat Big City Banker David Indiviglio.

Of the many long-term problems the U.S. economy faces, student loans are a big one. Education costs are rising very quickly and incomes aren't. As a result, students will have to borrow more and more money to obtain university degrees and will have a tougher time paying their loans. President Obama seeks to respond to this question with an executive order in the next part of his "We Can't Wait" unilateral stimulus effort. While the president's heart may be in the right place, his effort isn't like to have much impact.

[Spoiler alert] Indiviglio says it will be $4 to $8 for most. Hey, I can have a McRib!

Now that I have been fair… The news showed many clips of the President's visit and speech, which I'd expect, and approbation from his supporters which also seems fair.

One student, in a clip that runs twice, said he's happy that the new program will help him "pay off his loans faster." Umm, by reducing your minimum payment. Let me guess, buddy, you did not major in Math or Finance. I hope.

But Terri thinks:

But he's done in 20 years instead of forever or 25 years, so yep.

Prices will go up.
Loans will go up.
Taxpayers will pay the remainers.

Posted by: Terri at October 27, 2011 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Mea Maxima Culpa. Young knowitallcollegehippieguy was right and I wrong. I did not see that part of the plan where we stick the taxpayers of 2031 with a liability that is politically popular today.

Would it be disrespectful of me to call the President a complete bastard for even thinking of this? Spending the money of those not yet born, by executive order, completely outside the Constitution -- this is about as bad as screwing the GM and Chrysler preferred debt holders.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2011 12:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh no, it's not as bad as you're painting it for the president. CONGRESS made this change. President Gumdrop is only accelerating the implementation date by two years (so it'll be before the election.) I still don't know WHICH congress did it - I suspect the 110th.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2011 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I can be so unfair sometimes.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2011 3:25 PM

New Item for the Store?


But johngalt thinks:

dagny preferred the version without the presidents but I couldn't resist the temptation to put the words in these two men's mouths.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2011 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Hate to pile on, bro, but I think I am with your lovely bride. By making it about Obama and Cain, I lost the saying in the personalities. Just the text, imperative case, is better. IMHO.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2011 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It isn't a very persuasive message anyway. Many people would be happy to occupy a job, if more existed.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2011 4:26 PM

October 26, 2011

TEA Party Anthem

It's a natural fit even though the songwriter, Krista's husband Michael Branch, says he wrote it before the TEA Party ever started.

Its new claim to fame is as the official song of the Herman Cain Presidential Campaign.

I think I've also seen what would make a good "Occupy" Anthem somewhere. If I find that I'll post it too.

UPDATE: Not what I was originally thinking of, but better: The Occupy Anthem

Glad There's Not a $14T Debt or Anything

The title may get advanced to a category. GOP and Dems working out the Big 12 expansion.

Jeeburz. Enumerated powers, anybody?

Posted by John Kranz at 8:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

ThreeSources Fashion News

A very clean hippie:

* "Caleb" turtleneck, $225 at Tory Burch, 797 Madison Ave.
* TEXTILE Elizabeth + James "Jimi" flares, $465 at shopbop.com
* "Fern" heel, $325 at Diane Von Furstenberg, 135 Wooster St.
* Rag & Bone fedora, $150 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave.
* "Palmer" necklace with Swarovski crystal center, $995 at dannijo.com
* Giles & Brother wrap bracelet, $95 at Bloomingdale's, 1000 Third Ave.
* Noir ring, $95 at Big Drop NYC, 174 Spring St.
* Belt, $495 at hautehippie.com

That's $2845 when I add it, although I get a little dizzy and might have made an error. A bargain hunter might make it work with a $350 belt and hope nobody notices. Holy cow, the poor model cannot even afford any food...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That does it. These Occupy Wall Street kids are obviously getting way too much allowance from their mommies and daddies.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 26, 2011 6:57 PM

Quote of the Day

"Gov. Dan Malloy has declared Thursday 'Diaper Need Awareness Day' as part of a campaign by The Nutmeg State to pressure Washington into providing free diapers to low-income families." Rep. Rosa DeLauro, like Malloy a Connecticut Democrat, is pushing legislation that "would allow Uncle Sam to . . . provide funding for diapers and diaper supplies."

Maybe Obama should take it one step further and ask Congress to create a new cabinet-level Department of Infant Care to provide free diapers to all Americans. (Would that include the elderly? Depends.) -- Taranto

Wrong -- Netflix is indeed doomed

Holman Jenkins, whom I admire greatly, spends a little of Rupert's ink money today declaring that Netflix Isn't Doomed. No, that 70% drop in Market Cap is just a blip, and the offerings that people want are not on the way:

Forget about it. That world isn't coming. The hidden lesson of Netflix's fall from grace is that content markets will remain fragmented. In the future, you'll still need a search engine and a credit card, and you still won't find what you're looking for. In such a world, there's no reason Netflix can't survive and prosper with a streaming proposition that amounts to "all the content that $8 per month will get you."

In such a world, it will become clear that Netflix's great innovation was not the discovery that there's a market for streamed content (which surprised nobody). Netflix's great innovation was a price point--a bunch of choices for less than the price of a movie ticket. One strength of this business model is that others with TV ambitions (Apple, Amazon, Google, HBO, the cablers) won't feel a need to challenge it directly. They'll do better to make their own niches and charge a price that rewards them for being different.

It pains me to admit my disloyalty in a public forum, but Jenkins is wrong. They might limp along at 30% of market cap, but this soon-to-be-former customer suggests that the business model is broken.

I have scaled down my plans in the face of their price increases. I had 3-DVDs at a time for about $18. They included unlimited streaming. I was like Scrooge McDuck, wallowing in entertainment. Never enough time to watch all the great stuff lying around. The first increase sent me from three at a time to two. No big. The current increase that cheesed everybody caused a drop to one. Now, about the same price as I was paying is buying me much less. Not the price curve I expect in this sector.

Amazon offers a similar unlimited streaming for free with a Prime® membership, which includes free shipping. And that $16 bucks would rent me four movies a month or buy me one. Who is ascendant? Who has purchasing power?

Netflix built a loyal customer base of cheapskates on incredible value. I used to marvel at the great deal. Jenkins is correct that they still offer a good value. But good is down from great and they now face competition both for customers and suppliers. Their monopoly and monopsony powers are disappearing. That is not always surmountable.


Technology Posted by John Kranz at 4:55 PM | What do you think? [0]

Peter Schiff Represents the 1%

Represents them pretty well, actually:

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

It comes from where?

Somehow, inexplicably, nobody has called to ask that their connection to coal fired power plants NOT be restored.

DENVER -- The October snowstorm is being blamed for numerous power outages.

More than 40,000 people from Fort Collins to Littleton were without power as of 5:30 a.m. By 9 a.m. that number had increased to more than 90,000 without power, according to Xcel's website.

Power outages forced the closure of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and the Boulder County Criminal Justice Center in Boulder.

In the Boulder area, Xcel is handling 157 outages affecting more than 13,000 people.

Boulder officials are treating the fast moving storm as a civil preparedness exercise, in the event that the Utility Municipalization ballot measure passes and city council takes over management of the power company. "The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine," said Boulder's Mayor.*

* Quote is *ahem* non-attributable.

Governor Presumptive

The presumptive nominee is frightening me again. Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter [subscribe] leads with "Romney's Bold, Groundbreaking Form of Hesitation," which opens: "Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

The topic is Gov. Romney's refusal to stand with Gov. Kasich's reforms in Ohio

Terrace Park, Ohio (CNN) -Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped into the middle of the charged battle over organized labor in Ohio on Tuesday, but he avoided weighing in on the contentious legislation that would dramatically limit the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

"Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

Geraghty links to an excellent Walter Russell Meade piece that lists the political peril of going all in on public-sector union reform. We cannot all be Gov. Scott Walkers and capture a plurality. But:

"Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

"If there was a completely unlimited resource then we may have been able to surmount the technical problems," [U.K.] Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne told the BBC. -- WSJ Ed Page
It seems global warming is really, really dead this time...but nobody has told my Boulder friends.
But johngalt thinks:

True 'nuff. Boulder [government's] latest bout of wishful thinking: Government takeover the electric utility will lead to "more renewables in the mix and energy innovation."

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2011 3:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh yes, and this exactly fifty-three weeks after I proclaimed the jig was up.

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2011 3:44 PM

October 24, 2011

Intransigent Congesspersons!

Mean old Republicans!

There has been a complete failure on the part of the Obama administration to address the catastrophic wave of home foreclosures across the country, leaving families in despair and wreaking havoc in countless communities...In order for our economy to expand, an effective policy must be put into place to turn this devastation of housing around. The administration's weak responses have barely touched "the tip of the iceberg". -- Rep. Anna Eshoo

With regards to the president's housing proposal, I'm very concerned that it's more of the same -- Rep.Dennis Cardoza

The lack of urgency being shown by various agencies and the White House is hurting our economic recovery and unnecessarily putting families at risk to lose their home. -- Rep. John Tierney

In my opinion, this is a national economic crisis that has been inadequately addressed for too long, and strong, bipartisan efforts are urgently needed. -- Rep. Elijah Cummings

You smart kids in the back are way ahead of me. Of course, these are all Democrats..

A Cause I Could Support

Talk about burying the lead -- the WSJ Story on "Love under the Tarps" (hey, I can't read Mises all day!) closes with an interesting detail:

The unnamed donor [of the massive prophylactic stash] did not express solidarity with the movement's economic message.

"He was concerned with overpopulation," Barnwell said. "I thought he meant in the park, but I guess he meant in the world. He said, "'Just make sure people aren't breeding.'"

Possibly a Malthusian but possibly well intentioned concerned for the gene pool -- bravo!

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 2:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Big Time Bill, Big Time!

(I predict only Sugarchuck could possibly get the title allusion).

Our humble little blog starts out the week with a link from The Sage of Knoxville.

It was Sunday night just before midnight and to a post of no consequence -- but jg's comment was good!

But johngalt thinks:

Visitors may well believe only "Johns" frequent here.

During whatever spike in traffic this generates we should try to hook some regulars by over-using the terms NATALIE HOLLOWAY PICTURES and ANNA NICOLE SMITH PHOTOS and TIM TEBOW. :)

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2011 3:14 PM

Send Money to Herman Cain

JK and jg conspired to provide me with a log-in of my own when I asked jg to loan me his log in for a post I have been composing for most of a year about the administrative burden on business created by government. THIS IS NOT THAT POST!

Now that I have my fancy new log-in I decided to test it out on something more current and shorter. Jg sometimes sends a few dollars in support of various Republican candidates. I don't complain very much and usually vote for said candidates while holding my nose. I have never before actually wanted to send money to a candidate.

I have lamented numerous times on these pages and elsewhere about the lack of candidates that reflect MY values and as there are no mainstream Objectivist candidates, I expect that to continue.

However, comma, Herman Cain finally said something on a very touchy subject that actually represents my values. He said that abortion is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS. On that point I heartily concur and I am willing to make a campaign contribution.

With the help and support of family, friends and a team of medical professionals chosen by ME, I have been through 3 healthy pregnancies and 1 miscarriage. I vehemently assert that the decisions made along the way were NONE of the government's business. Should my team and I have decided along the way there was a reason to consider terminating a pregnancy, government interference could only have made things immeasurably worse. Further the government DOES NOT have the right to hold me hostage for 9 plus months.

The bad news is that the talking heads seem to think that this comment by Herman Cain is political suicide and makes him immediately unelectable. Sigh... There I go tilting at windmills again.

2012 Posted by dagny at 1:56 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Terri thinks:

Done, actually, done earlier before the abortion comment, but I will continue and if the man still hasn't made a fatal flaw vs rookie mistakes by the end of December, I'll actually become an official Republican just to vote for him.

Posted by: Terri at October 24, 2011 7:57 AM
But jk thinks:

Welcome Sister!

I hopped on just at the disappointing part, dagny. The Journal Editorial Report suggests this is the gaffe that ends his candidacy -- and he is furiously backpedaling. Rick Perry has an attack ad out. Glad there isn't a $14Trillion debt or an existential threat to our liberties or anything.

I sent a small amount early to THE Hermann Cain (THC, get the pot vote?) but am keeping my limited powder dry. If he stops backpedaling, I promise I'll start writing checks.

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2011 10:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No need to wait, Terri. The GOP would benefit from your good judgement! This season's Colorado Republican caucus date is Tuesday, February 7. Mark your calendar and let me know if you can't find the caucus location for your precinct.

Note to unaffiliateds: Not registering with a party, at least in Colorado, means your only choice is between 1 Democrat and 1 Republican. Voting in primaries and caucuses means you get to help choose that 1 candidate for either party. (And since fewer people participate than in a general election, your voice is "louder" by comparison.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2011 2:47 PM

October 23, 2011

I believe...

in Heroes.

Win or lose, nobody walks away from the game in the closing minutes when Tebow is on the field. Nobody.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 9:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

Dirty Hippies

Don't laugh.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Ivey Starnes, paging Ms. Ivey Starnes.

Screw the Fed, audit Occupy Finance!

And what's up with the fundraiser who "kept $650 [of $2000 in collected donations] for my group?" Does he think his effort somehow entitles him to a special dispensation? Filthy capitalist!

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2011 2:52 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Bureauccupy Wall Street.

Posted by: Lisa M at October 23, 2011 5:39 PM
But Douglas Fletcher thinks:

I'm laughing, sorry.

I'm starting to think this is just another reality show being filmed on the sly.

Posted by: Douglas Fletcher at October 24, 2011 1:02 AM


Occupy Denver yesterday ~1000

Zombie crawl ~12,000

99% of what, exactly?

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 1:32 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh - 99% of the state's student loan defaulters.

Q- What's the difference between zombies and Occupy protesters?

A- Zombies have lives to return to after the party.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2011 2:45 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Bureauccupy Wall Street

Posted by: Lisa M at October 23, 2011 5:38 PM

Review Corner

The Economist called it a "resoundingly silly" caricature of economic liberalism and "a sad little book" that is simplistically dogmatic and displays "cocksure superficiality" in an abusive tone. The review suggested that the book would receive "low marks if presented by a second-year undergraduate to his tutor," and that "the case for freedom ... is ill served" by such a book. It accused von Mises of attacking straw men and having contempt for the facts of human nature, comparing him in that respect to Marxists.[1] Conservative commentator, and former Communist Whittaker Chambers published a similarly negative review in the National Review, stating that Mises's thesis that anti-capitalist sentiment was rooted in "envy" epitomized "know-nothing conservatism" at its "know-nothingest."[2]
Huh. I give it five stars.

The other two, I am guessing, were penned in 1956, when "The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality" came out. (BTW Mister Chambers: next year a book is gonna come out that you're reallly reallly not going to like.) With 55 years of hindsight, I suggest Ludwig von Mises's not so sad little book looks pretty fresh and describes Hollywood, the ivory tower, and #occupywallstreet as well as anything released this century.

It is a peculiar book from Mises. The technical, philosophical, economic,. epistemological content one expects is contained in this book -- yet it is wrapped in an accessible candy shell. I suspect Mises purposefully wanted to reach a larger audience, and I will agree with The Economist that is gets rather polemical in spots. But it is a question we still ask. Having the fun of meeting blog friend gd for coffee with a bevy of ThreeSourcers, it came up. My sister has asked. Everybody I know who loves liberty has asked once: "Why the bleedin' heck is liberty such a tough sell?"

It's not that you're fighting Marx and Roseau. You're fighting Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, Stephen King, and every Disney flick ever made. The guys who meet personal needs, who make your life better are villains. Why for? How come?

If you want to chance disagreeing with one of Britain's best magazines and our nation's foremost opponent of Communism. I recommend this book. I do not agree it is sad, but it is very short, completely non-technical, and amazingly prescient. Mises.org offers an eBook for $5, or a complete text or PDF version is available free.

October 22, 2011

Not Getting It

How much longer do we have to endure government economic estimates based on static analysis of tax rate changes?

In November the mail-in ballot votes will be tallied to decide whether Colorado will lose 7,400 to 11,600 private sector jobs [you know, the ones that pay their own way and don't require a new tax every year to keep them going?] The culprit is Colorado's Proposition 103, a five-year plan to hike three different state taxes on individuals and businesses, conceived and placed on the ballot almost single handedly by Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) and his personal fortune.

Voters will decide between the projected outcome voiced by one Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton) who said "she’s optimistic that state finances will not take a turn for the worse," or that of Barry W. Poulson, Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy and Professor of Economics (retired), University of Colorado, Boulder and John D. Merrifield, Professor of Economics, University of Texas whose analysis resulted in the job loss estimate in the lede. To understand the magnitude of the job loss you can read the paper or just watch this video from a Jon Caldera press conference that, somehow, I haven't seen reported by Denver's Fox 31.

By the way, there weren't enough dominoes to have one for every job lost. Each domino represents TWO jobs.

But jk thinks:


For our out-of-state friends, this is about the only thing on the ballot most places. It should be very low turnout. And the Fox affiliate Brother jg torques me with runs a commercial every four minutes about "our children try so hard, but some have a four-day week, some have to pay to ride the bus, and our state is 49th in higher-education spending."

Colorado has been good in the past at rejecting these things but I think the polity is changing for the worse and fear this will pass.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes and, setting the statistics straight, while spending may or may not be 49th as a fraction of the state's economy or some other measure it is 30th per capita.

Furthermore, educational results are not directly proportional to spending. For example, more spending on teachers and less on adminstrators would be helpful. American schools have on the order of one administrator per 3 teachers, while those in other, more successful, western nations are closer to one per 20 teachers. And there are domestic differences as well. For our below-average investmentColorado's SAT scores rank 15th in the nation.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2011 2:06 PM
But jk thinks:

A friend had a bumper sicker: Colorado, 49th in education spending. I told him he should have his kids educated in Newark or Washington DC.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 2:28 PM

Now They've P***ed Off Charlie Daniels!

Gibson Raided, Tea Partiers and Charlie Daniels hardest hit.

Daniels, 74, who plays a Gibson guitar as well as his trademark fiddle, calls the raid a form of harassment that may hurt the company and its workers. Gibson has about 1,200 U.S. employees, including more than 500 at the Nashville factory that was raided.

"These people are about to destroy some jobs in Tennessee," Daniels, whose hits include "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," said in an interview. "The federal government is spending too much time for stupid things like raiding a little guitar company."

A Taylor rep displays a disturbing lack of solidarity. Hrmmm, I have a few Taylors, probably no more. On the good side, Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Jim Cooper and Mary Bono Mack -- who says there's no bipartisanship? -- have crafted legislation to protect instrument owners,

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 :

Posted by: mickeywhite at October 22, 2011 7:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mickey, Will there be a TEA Party challenger to Rep. Blackburn in the primary? With a record like the one you listed it would be almost scandalous if there weren't.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2011 10:58 PM
But jk thinks:

We've had this conversation before, Sir (not that I mind having it again -- we do that around here).

The short version is that she was a President-Bush-gop-team-player. I'll grant you that the cause of liberty was not well served by that period of one party rule, but I cannot say that disqualifies her from office. She's a frequent Kudlow guest and I would rank her highly for her present support of liberty and ability to articulate its principles.

Primary my ass, we've got much better battles that to try and replace a B- Congresswoman with a B+.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2011 11:41 AM

Alec Baldwin Making Sense

Hat-tip: Taranto

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 7:08 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Hope! Change! Is Alec Baldwin "Anarchied Enough, Already?"

Did you notice how, when someone speaks calmly and rationally in opposition to their demand, they were left more or less speechless? I enjoyed watching the eyes of the young man holding the microphone. When Baldwin said, "I think most people want change in this country, but they don't want the country to go down the tubes; they don't want the country to become England" his eyes lowered in apparent reflection and contemplation. It almost seems like, he's listening.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2011 1:50 PM

October 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

We concluded: "The question is not whether Obama can live up to the Nobel Peace Prize, but whether he will be able to live it down." At least on the latter score, he has. He's no peacenik, he's a killing machine. -- James Taranto

Sic semper tyrannis -- welcome to the "Freedom on the March" category, Mister President.

If you can read this without laughing...

New York Magazine: The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park
If I started excerpting, kids...
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 3:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

She Blinded Me with Junk Science!

Saw this on the Teevee news this morning:

A major study of nearly 360,000 cellphone users in Denmark found no increased risk of brain tumors with long-term use.

Followed on FOX31 Good Morning Colorado by "advocates claim that the ten year study was not long enough to detect slow-developing tumors" and in the NYTimes it is followed by:
Although the data, collected from one of the largest-ever studies of cellphone use, are reassuring, the investigators noted that the design of the study focused on cellphone subscriptions rather than actual use, so it is unlikely to settle the debate about cellphone safety. A small to moderate increase in risk of cancer among heavy users of cellphones for 10 to 15 years or longer still "cannot be ruled out," the investigators wrote.

One of my lefty friends has become so upset over my Karl Popper "back to the caves" quote that I have been abjured from its use on Facebook. But this ain't Facebook and, at the big kids table, we can draw a generalization about junk science advocates.

I suggest cell phones save thousands of lives every year, allowing people to escape dangerous situations and coordinate efforts more quickly in an emergency. I suspect it is magnitudes above "thousands" but I don't think you can argue a thinking person out of thousands.

Against a real, empirical, substantive benefit of thousands of saved lives, the back to the caves junk science advocates hold a glimmer of possible future harm.

FACT: A cell phone can get you out of a dangerous situation because you can afford it and the person you're contacting can afford it.
MYTH: You might have a 0.0001% chance of developing cancer, though it has never been proven.

FACT: Thousands of people used to die of botulism and food illnesses from canned goods. Resin liners with BPA ended that. Poof. Pretty much nobody dies of that today.
MYTH: You might have a 0.0001% chance of developing cancer, though it has never been proven.

Vaccines, GMO crops, hydraulic fracturing, incandescent light bulbs, the list goes on. Modernity and prosperity save real lives today in large quantities. How much more, life-saving modernity and prosperity would we have with rational risk expectations?

UPDATE: Unvaccinated behind largest U.S. measles outbreak in years Two hundred fourteen real kids, today. Rep Bachmann, call your office -- Jim Carrey on line one.

Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at 2:23 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Dude, you are on fire!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 21, 2011 10:51 PM

Friday Funny

Don't know fair attribution, but I got it here. Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | What do you think? [1]
But dagny thinks:

Ok I admit I am a geek AND a Star Wars fan but I think this is HILARIOUS!!

Additionally, I think the caption should be changed to say, "This is NOT the Hope and Change you were looking for."

Doesn't it seem like an awful lot of this country was subjected to a Jedi Mind Trick in Nov. 2008??

Posted by: dagny at October 22, 2011 3:16 PM

Lies. Dammned Lies. And Statistics.

Blog friend The Everyday Econmist is less than enthused about current statistical data on 9-9-9:

I don't know nearly enough about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan to offer meaningful commentary -- in fact, given the limited information available to the public, I would suggest that many of those commenting on it don't know enough either, but I digress. In any event, the policy has recently been criticized on the grounds that it is regressive and shifts the tax burden away from the rich and more towards, well, everyone else. Some of these criticisms are ultimately meaningless unless we assume that the status quo is optimal.

Whole reading worth thing, well.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:47 PM | What do you think? [0]

She's Baaaaaack!

Kimberly Strassel has been on maternity leave. I was concerned that her August column had been up as her latest. She's back, fine, and again hitting them out of the park on Fridays.

Just as I begin to warm to the idea of tolerating a Mitt Romney candidacy (there I go again -- communications director!)...just as I start to think it would not be less pleasant than a plate of live eels and kale...Ms. Strassel dares to tell the big-T truth: Romney's Guilty Republican Syndrome

Mr. Romney has generally espoused the opposing view--smaller government, fewer regulations, opportunity--but only timidly. This hobbles his ability to go head to head with the president, to make the moral and philosophical case for that America. How can Mr. Romney oppose Mr. Obama's plans to raise taxes on higher incomes, dividends and capital gains when the Republican himself diminishes the role of the "top 1%"? How can he demonstrate a principled understanding of capital and job creation when latching on to Mr. Obama's own trademark $200,000 income cutoff?

At a town hall in Iowa Thursday, Mr. Romney took it further: "For me, one of the key criteria in looking at tax policy is to make sure that we help the people that need the help the most."

These are the sort of statements that cause conservative voters to doubt Mr. Romney's convictions. It also makes them doubt the ability of a President Romney to convince a Congress of the need for fundamental tax reform.

In a word: nooooooooooooooooooooo!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

This idea of the "moral and philosophical case" for small government and fewer regulations is the key for me. I'll take back everything I said on October 12 if you'll take back what you said on October 18.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2011 10:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Kudlow played a clip of The Herman Cain, Gov. Perry, Gov. Romney, and the President. He then pointed out that Romney sounded just like Obama.


Posted by: jk at October 21, 2011 11:19 PM
But jk thinks:

And, heh, in my defense: at least mine had Senator Rand Paul in it!

"For me, one of the key criteria in looking at tax policy is to make sure that we help the people that need the help the most."

Hard to think of a quote that would disturb me less.

Kudlow's guests were certain that Gov. Romney would be driven into the flat-tax camp, but Strassel's "GOP Guilt Syndrome" will never go away.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 12:17 PM

October 20, 2011

Some Risks are Worth Taking

Admitting that getting shot can "ruin your whole day," I would not stop going to the range with women in a low cut tops:

A Bristol police officer was shot by his girlfriend at an indoor shooting range in Piney Flats on Monday, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether the shooting was caused by "hot brass" falling down the woman’s shirt.

People get hurt in bowling alleys, you know.

Hat-tip: Insty

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 6:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

The President is Smarter Than You Think

A lot of conservative types are piling on the President for expressing solidarity with the dirty hippies #occupywallstreet protesters. I think they have forgotten President Clinton too soon. Parse the offending comment:

You asked earlier about "Occupy Wall Street" and what I've said is that I understand the frustrations that are being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party, both on the left and the right. I think people feel separated from their government, that the institutions aren't looking out for them and that the most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership, letting people know that we understand their struggles, we are on their side and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don't feel a sense of obligation to their communities and to their companies and to their workers, that those folks aren't rewarded.

Larry Kudlow called it "solidarity." Keith Koffler is offended at the comparison of OWS to TEA. If I may be permitted a small digression, I welcome the comparison. The Tea Party comes out pretty good. I think Tea Partiers should welcome every opportunity to point out the differences -- not say that a comparison is off the table.

But word parsers, mad dogs, and Englishmen: can you point to the offending sentence or clause in the President's remark? We "understand their frustration." We want to create a system which rewards "hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do." This isn't exactly Karl Marx izzit?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Who decides what I'm "supposed to do?"

Also, "irresponsible" and "feel a sense of obligation to their communities" etc? These are value judgements, and are the purview of the private individual - not the state and it's purported power to "reward" good behavior. Bullcrap. The market decides who is rewarded - not government policies, and not government cronies.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2011 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I was not suggesting that he was going to win you over (though I'm glad to hear he did not). I respectfully submit that in this age of demagoguery, you're bringing a philosophy book to a knife fight.

Kudlow and many others suggest that he has tied himself to the movement and can be painted with all its hippie stench. I think he stopped at the edge.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 4:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are right, but this is nothing new for Mr. Obama. Recall Joe Wurzelbacker (sp?) and "spread the wealth around." And I contend the aforementioned stench grows ever closer to the Clean and Articulate One.

How many Americans, particularly westerners, will be content with Washington deciding for them, their "responsibilities, obligations and rewards?" Or telling them what they're "supposed to do?" Those who bristle at this thought are the subset of America that comprises my vast and ever less-silent army.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2011 5:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Half silent at best.

I don't know that we disagree. The President's philosophy is now as clear to the rubes as it was to ThreeSourcers in 2008. That, he will have to run on/against.

I'm suggesting that his electoral opponents will be hard pressed to pin even the worst excesses of #OWS on him. He left himself outs.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 6:19 PM

9-9-9: Women, Poor, Hardest Hit?

Readers may have heard reports that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax reform proposal "will raise taxes on 84 percent of Americans." Presidential candidate Rick Santorum even repeated the claim in the Las Vegas debate. In actuality, what the analysis by the "non-partisan" Tax Policy Center (which Cain describes as a well-known left-leaning think tank) concluded was that 84 percent of families earning $10,000 or less annually will see a net tax increase, averaging about $110 per month. But this includes the elimination of refundable tax credits - negative taxes, funded by higher earning taxpayers. It assumes that consumption behavior will remain unchanged. (To fully avoid the 9 percent consumption tax individuals need only forego the purchase of new goods, buying used instead.) And it assumes that earnings will not rise and retail prices will not fall in a reduced tax environment. This is just specious.

Furthermore, the entire analysis is biased by its comparison to existing tax burdens. Where is it written that current tax liabilities, with their myriad deductions, ceilings, floors, and politically motivated preferences is fair? What is the moral case for 47 percent of the working public paying no federal taxes in the first place? Their cost of living is too high? Well, reduce the hidden tax burden in the form of corporate taxes and tax compliance costs - two more examples of government being the problem, not the solution.

But talk of fairness may face a tough hearing compared to the rest of the study. The summary table also shows a net tax increase for more than 90 percent of families earning between $10,000 and $50,000, and more than half of families earning up to $200,000 per year. Meanwhile, 70 plus percent of families earning $200,000 or more are shown to benefit from an average tax cut of about $20,000 to $487,000 per year. Unfair or not, this is easy to demagogue in 30-second spots.

UPDATE: Mea Culpa - The complicated summary table also includes a figure for percentage of all households with a tax increase ... 83.8 percent. So the headlines are accurate but so is, I believe, my analysis.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 1:07 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

I believe your analysis accurate and your thesis fair.

Real live, flesh and blood fairness is going to be a tough sell after 100 years of progressive nonsense. The FAIR Tax folk are politically if not philosophically sound to bribe the poor with "prebates" and set-asides.

My high school physics teacher used to say "models are what we hang our ideas on." Real legislation will never be as clean as 9-9-9, but THE Herman Cain is driving the debate toward flatter, broad based, competitive, and less intrusive taxation.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 12:27 PM

October 19, 2011

Do We Have a Pulse?

I'd say it is a serious testament to the overexposure of GOP debates that a bunch of junkies like us don't even bother commenting on them anymore.

Last night's was pretty grizzly. It made me start to dislike several of the candidates. Maybe in the Lone Star State Gov. Perry comes across "tough" but I found him unlikable. The guy who couldn't land a punch on Romney as a flip-flopper suddenly is tenacious on his lawn help?

Rep. Bachmann "Every house in foreclosure has a WOMAN in it: a MOM a WIFE"

Sen. Santorum can't imagine not subsidizing reproduction.

A long evening.

But jk thinks:

I will cheerfully accept reproach for dismissing tax credits for children and dependents (it was the sanctimony more than the policy). Do my more fecund brothers and sisters feel they would come out poorly in 9-9-9?

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 6:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I will happily relinquish the tax credits for my three young children, my home mortgage deduction, the miscellaneous and minute multitude of mind-numbing mumbo jumbo that only Turbo Tax can keep straight in return for the 9-9-9 tax. My wife and I and our two incomes may do better or we may do worse, but we will understand it and we'll know that it is FAIR.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2011 11:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I see the questionable tactics you cited as hail-mary plays revealing how each of those candidates feels about the closing of his or her window of opportunity.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2011 1:03 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Perry did not appear "feisty" or "energized." He appeared to be small and truculent like a 5-year-old having a fit.

I was shocked that Ron Paul attacked 9-9-9 as "regressive." Apparently, Libertarian principles only apply when they're politically convenient.

The only reason the other candidates attack 9-9-9 is because they didn't think of it and it's getting traction. Sadly disingenuous.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 20, 2011 11:52 AM

Mondo Heh!

This makes up for Bad Lip Reading Video's being funnier with GOP targets:

Hat-tip: Insty

Saint Arthur Sanctifies NINE-NINE-NINE

Okay, put a gun to my head and I'll excerpt. But it's an Art Laffer Editorial in the Wall Street Journal. On 9-9-9. I think whole-thing-readin' is in order. Dr. Laffer's in:

The whole purpose of a flat tax, á la 9-9-9, is to lower marginal tax rates and simplify the tax code. With lower marginal tax rates (and boy will marginal tax rates be lower with the 9-9-9 plan), both the demand for and the supply of labor and capital will increase. Output will soar, as will jobs. Tax revenues will also increase enormously--not because tax rates have increased, but because marginal tax rates have decreased.

By making the tax codes a lot simpler, we'd allow individuals and businesses to spend a lot less on maintaining tax records; filing taxes; hiring lawyers, accountants and tax-deferral experts; and lobbying Congress. As I wrote on this page earlier this year ("The 30-Cent Tax Premium," April 18), for every dollar of business and personal income taxes paid, some 30 cents in out-of-pocket expenses also were paid to comply with the tax code. Under 9-9-9, these expenses would plummet without a penny being lost to the U.S. Treasury. It's a win-win.

Co-hat-tip: Blog friend EE, who includes a free link (good seven days)

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Excellent. A much better expose than the brief video you linked for us earlier. Laffer defends 9-9-9 as, in the end, the "good" we should not sacrifice to some unspoken "perfect" form of taxation. But I think he's too modest. In an update to yesterday's 'Fair' post I make the moral and philosophical case for 9-9-9 being the perfect. If candidate Cain begins to defend 9-9-9 on these grounds as much or more than on the economic merits he could preside over a modern renaissance.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2011 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup, I'm a pretty big 9-9-9 fan myself.

-- It gives us the lowest corporate tax rate in the world;
-- while future Congresses can always raise rates, this is so transparent they'll have a tough time fiddling with it;
-- Kudlow (and a lot of establishment GOPers)wants to ditch the sales section, but I love shifting the burden from investment to consumption and capturing revenue from "off-da-book" income.

I hate to use "perfect" and "tax" in the same paragraph, but we're getting close...8-8-8 maybe...

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 5:37 PM

October 18, 2011

Warren Buffet's Wife?

Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?

Hint: yes

Hat-tip: @bdomenech

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 6:59 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Does a wild hippie sh_t in the park?

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 10:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Most know there is not a lot of love lost between me and my home town, but the sprinklers in Denver's Civic Center Park mysteriously went off at 2AM on a 26° night in October.

Well, done Mayor Hancock! Bravo!

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 11:14 AM

One thing I dig about Gov. Perry

In a referendum on the Texas model versus the California/Michigan model, liberty comes out looking good. And a Perry candidacy would push that to the forefront.

Where are the underperforming Lowe's stores located? On election night 2008, 19 out of 20 painted their state the color of the Lowe's logo.

Don't see none in Texas.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | What do you think? [0]

THE Herman Cain

Is this for real? Has everybody else seen this?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:32 PM | What do you think? [0]

All Hail Pethokoukis!

Jimi P delivers five reasons why income inequality is a myth -- and Occupy Wall Street is wrong. All well and good, and the first four are solidly backed up by economic research and published papers. But his number five is one I always think of, and one I'd love to ask Paul Krugman someday.

5. Set all the numbers aside for a moment. If you've lived through the past four decades, does it really seem like America is no better off today? It doesn't to Jason Furman, the deputy director of Obama's National Economic Council. Here is Furman back in 2006: "Remember when even upper-middle class families worried about staying on a long distance call for too long? When flying was an expensive luxury? When only a minority of the population had central air conditioning, dishwashers, and color televisions? When no one had DVD players, iPods, or digital cameras? And when most Americans owned a car that broke down frequently, guzzled fuel, spewed foul smelling pollution, and didn't have any of the now virtually standard items like air conditioning or tape/CD players?"

Maybe I'm a reaaaly old guy, but I remember all of that. Also that my father was technically above where I am today in social rank and income, yet our standard of living was much lower.

But nanobrewer thinks:

I've been arguing just this for ... cheesh, must be over a decade... since whenever I first heard it I suppose.

Most alarmingly, those who make the claim live in bigger, nicer houses than the ones they grew up in and drive nice cars etc. The one-liner I've learned to throw out when hearing this bit is "why do those studies always use pre-tax income?" It makes people stop the tirade and... well, 'think' may be stretching it, but at least they're ready to question the concept.

"What about the destruction of the middle class?" only gets an eye-roll from me anymore.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 18, 2011 11:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Alan Reynolds's Income and Wealth does an incredible job of demolishing the statistics which "prove" stagnation. It's a book length version of Jimi P's four points.

But I always like to compare the 1972 Ford Pinto with a 2012 Focus. Yup, no improvement. My 42" LCD versus a 19" CRT Color set. Yeah, same diff.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 11:30 AM

Property Rights II

They're not only educated -- some are proving themselves educable.

I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!"

Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers who'd fallen asleep after a long day whipping up meals for the hundreds of hungry protesters, the volunteers said.
Security volunteer Harry Wyman, 22, of Brooklyn was furious about the thievery -- and vowed to get tough with the predatory perps.

"I'm not getting paid, but I'm not gonna stand for it. Why people got to come here and do stupid stuff? All it does is make people not wanna come here anymore," Wyman fumed.

Coundown to "Lord of the Flies" T minus 70:00:00...

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 3:25 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

So, all these protestors whose signs say that can't find jobs and can't pay back all their student loans... have $5,500 Macs and camcorders and stuff they can afford to buy and object to seeing redistributed to others in greater need?

Are we seeing an ironic moment - or just a bunch of slackers whose mommies and daddies give 'way too much allowance to?

Or, both?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 18, 2011 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Irony? What's that?

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:43 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, it's what you do to your shirt before you head off to a job interview. Which is why this crowd is unfamiliar with it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 18, 2011 4:34 PM


(adj.) 1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.

President Obama is on the campaign trail urging more government spending, in the name of fairness.

He also spoke at the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington D.C., where King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, claimed that her father "moved us beyond the dream of racial justice to the action and work of economic justice."

No, I do not believe he did. The man who dreamed of a day when all of us are judged not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character, would have cheapened the ideal of racial fairness by linking it with President Obama's ideal of economic fairness. What he and King's daughter speak of is a sort of economic affirmative-action program. Fairness in government spending must be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice" just as must be legal treatment by race.

Fairness in taxation must also be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice." Like 9-9-9. If any contemporary black man is following the teaching of the Rev. Martin Luther King it is not Barack Obama, but Herman Cain.

UPDATE: (19 OCT) I have amended my construction slightly to comport with my brethren's comments, calling out my uncertainty about Dr. King's ideas about the concept we call "fair" or "fairness" in the realm of economics. And this was my intended focus: Some see fairmess as "everyone pays the same tax" while others will not accede to this position until everyone has the same ability to pay that tax, i.e. equal distribution of wealth.

This leads me to what seems the winning tack in the pro-liberty argument: No man is more or less important, relevant or responsible for our civil prosperity than any other. Taxes must therefore be equal. (This is my ideal of egalitarianism.) But since equality does not, can not and will not exist in the human domains of effort, ability and aspiration, some men will produce more than others. This inequality is to be celebrated, for the alternative is anti-prosperity.

But since the self-made man recognizes the benefit he derives from a more prosperous society he may accede to paying a higher tax than his less able neighbors. A natural mechanism for this is taxation as a non-variable percentage of income, or spending, or both. But this imposition of a greater burden upon oneself is voluntary. It is a grant that may be revoked, in spirit and deed if not in law, when the self-made man sees the fruits of his labor being wasted - such as to line the pockets of looters and grafters and influence peddling politicians, lobbyists and crony capitalists. He may declare that he is Taxed Enough Already and engage in civil rebellion of various sorts.

Herein lies the beauty of the 9-9-9 tax plan. It is a non-variable rate of taxation proportional to prosperity. It taxes income and consumption equally, such that neither is disadvantaged versus the other. It is a progressive tax, since those who earn more and spend more are taxed more. But for the man who knows a beggared neighbor is a liability rather than an asset, an unequal tax burden such as this becomes not only fair, but desirable. For those who are comforted by such things, let us call it a "compromise." But, most importantly of all, it is a tax in which all citizens participate and do so on a par with the greatest and least accomplished amongst us. Tolerance of government waste will diminish, while lines of class and station will be obliterated. America's prosperity will be shared, and it will be bountiful.

But jk thinks:

Like. But I must mention Thomas Woods's "33 Questions about American History You’re not supposed to ask." This superb book challenged conventional wisdom and revisionist history. Almost all of the 33 whacks were landed hard against the left, but his most serious suggestion for the right was to accept that Dr. King was pretty much a communist.

Conservatives, claim Woods, love to extrapolate meritocracy from the "content of our character" line but many of King's writings called openly and forcefully for redistribution.

I cannot say he is right. But I have made the claim many times myself and am getting a bit leery...

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:41 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

As I understand, Dr. King was very much a socialist in his younger years. However, after seeing socialism in action in Cuba, he became disillusioned with it and was moving more politically to the right as he grew older. Even so, he was decidedly left-of-center economically.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 18, 2011 4:42 PM

Romney - Paul 2012

Don't thank me -- no, go ahead and thank me -- I have saved the nation, the party, and the Republic. While watching Kudlow.

Larry had Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY) on last night. I always enjoy listening to Paul filé. While others might be called "Tea Party Darlings" am I wrong to call Rand Paul its intellectual cornerstone? Of course not.

It's frequently a fool's errand to look for a running mate that plugs a candidate's ideological lacuna; better to pick off a state with rich electoral votes or possibly appease a sectional split. But I am going to call this election different. The Tea Party types in the GOP are not ready to "fall in line" with a conventional, establishment candidate like Governor Romney. The PowersThatBe, conversely, are not going to sit still while a national Christine O'Donnell is nominated. Either side staying home would spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

Gov. Romney has the money, organization, backing, smoothness, smarts, and hair to be elected. Senator Paul has the conviction that the Tea Party craves and a Christieesque ability to articulate its merits. The Tea Party and a good portion of the Ron Paul rEVOLution will have a tough time not supporting this ticket.

At the same time, the out-of-mainstream beliefs of libertarians will be off to the side. Governor Romney can say responsible things about Social Security, Paul can call to schedule its demise. There might be some tension -- but no worse than Kennedy-Johnson!

You're welcome.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Very intriguing. If Romney can stand Paul, and more importantly if Paul can stand Romney, I could rally behind that ticket.

But I'm seriously considering Romney because he strikes me as more "electable" than Herman Cain. However, Scott Rasmussen says, Who's your electable daddy now? (Or is someone going to convince me that Cain is "a national Christine O'Donnell?")

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

I use the comparison with care but with purpose. I actually liked Ms. O'Donnell, but respectfully submit that THE Herman Cain comes awfully close. The "liberals are destroying this country on purpose" excited the base and one Lawrence Kudlow, but I think it was ill advised.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:22 PM

Quote of the Day

For Democrats, millionaires are the new Gypsies--a minority whom it is perfectly acceptable to persecute because its wealth is ill-gotten, not the product of hard work. -- Shikha Dalmia

October 17, 2011

What the Internet was invented for

Put away the coffee or cover the keyboard -- there are awesome:

Mitt Romney, I will force Spiders and Badgers on the Enemy:

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg.

There are a bunch. President Obama's didn't do it for me, but Michelle Bachmann... Lawdy!

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 6:52 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Damn, no Hermain Cain!

Campaign T-shirt spotted today:

"Here I am, rock you like a Herman Cain"

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 12:03 AM
But jk thinks:

Rick Perry, Rick Perry, Rick Perry!

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 1:11 PM

It's Not Faaaaair!

Heh. Hat-tip: Don Surber (Scroll down for "They put $300,000 in a bank while they protest bankers?")

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 6:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

Property Rights


Hat-tip: Professor N. Gregory Mankiw

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

"That's not fair - You have it, and I need it. I'm sure there's enough to go around."

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 8:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Before you know it, these guys will be taking up residence in caves to safeguard their "stuff."

And taking measures to secure it while they're away...

And defending their caves and their "stuff" using clubs...

And using their "stuff" to attract a mate...

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 8:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But the ultimate caption to this photo [Context: At the "Occupy Wall Street" protest demanding the "equal" sharing of wealth, no matter what its origin.] is an installment of Atlas Shrugged QOTD.

There wasn't a man voting for it who didn't think that under a setup of this kind he'd muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn't a man rich and smart enough but that he didn't think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better's wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he'd get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who'd get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who'd rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss's, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the truth of it - but we didn't like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good.
Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 2:48 PM

But johngalt thinks:

"First they came for the one percent, and I did not speak out - because I was not one of the one percent;

Then they came for the two percent, the three percent, four-five-six, until one day they came for me;

Now I'm ready to speak."

Not I. I speak for the one percent. And I do it now.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 3:24 PM

Not Bad for a Sunday

Unloaded some hay, baled and stacked a little more, trimmed hooves for Sampson (2250 lbs. of heavy horse), re-graded the new road down to the arena, caught a few minutes of football here and there and wrapped it all up with a Roger Daltrey concert in Broomfield with dagny.

Roger was friendly and prolific, singing the entire Tommy set before another hour or so of Who favs plus a medley of Johnny Cash hits. The band used two guitarists - Simon Townsend and session man Frank Simes, whom I had never heard of but was quite talented and covered the elder Townsend riffs authentically.

We were also delighted to discover Welshman Paul Freeman as the opener. One should expect Roger to be a good judge of vocal talent.

UPDATE: Westword has one of the most thorough reviews I've read, including those from St. Louis, New Jersey and somewhere in Canada. Aside from writing that 'Baba O'Reily' and 'Teenage Wasteland' are distinct and seperate songs, Goldstein's review pretty much agrees with the opinion of these two characters.

Music Posted by JohnGalt at 1:51 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 16, 2011

Nowhere to go but up!

I have talked up Shelfari.com on a couple of occasions.

It has a clunky GUI and fails at its main mission of being the social media site for booklovers. But, as a personal or sharable database of books, it is extremely useful. This eBook reader and condo dweller finds a virtual bookshelf a superb solution.

For my whining, it appears that I am perhaps, not holding up my end of the bargain:

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 6:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 15, 2011

But johngalt thinks:

My army is silent but vast.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 1:35 AM
But jk thinks:

You must share your secret; my army is simply half-vast.

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2011 10:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Try as I may, yours is clearly the dryest wit in the west. Or, at least, in ThreeSources.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 3:10 PM

Heckuva Pastime for a Republican

I have a new friend.

I emailed Charles to offer a little help with hay and mentioned that I could help with web programming. It looks like I am not the new webmaster for texasdonkeyrescue.org. But don't go there yet, I will immodestly let you know when there is something to see.

But Terri thinks:

You're the best! (but you say you are "not" the new webmaster...eh?

Posted by: Terri at October 16, 2011 9:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Mea maxima culpa. Hope I do better on his site than ours, eh?

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2011 11:00 AM


The Administration's Friday afternoon bad news dump this week had a toothsome tidbit. The CLASS Act is unsustainable:

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted Friday she doesn't see how.

"Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time," Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.

After months of insisting that it could be fixed...admitted she didn't see how. Now, that's a quote for our times.

Also of interest is that this little piece of subterfuge was part of the claim that ObamaCare® would lower the deficit.

The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next ten years. That's because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.

The AARP, unsurprisingly, is displeased. We were well on the way to long-term nursing home and home care as a federal entitlement.

UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page is on it.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 8:22 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 14, 2011

Someone put the snack in the refrigerator!

Taranto links to a NYTimes piece on the great chow available for the dirty hippies anti-property-rights protesters of #occupywallstreet. Being Taranto, he jokes that our First Lady may disapprove of the man who gained five pounds since he arrived.

Following the link, I noted that food for the gallant 99% just shows up:

Tom Hintze, 24, was volunteering in Zuccotti Park last week. "Just now there was a big UPS delivery," he said. "We don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, and we eat it."

It put me in mind of my favorite part of one of my favorite recent books: David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture." He tells of a time that his daughter had befriended a young heiress her age, and she was visiting:
The two were discussing their various bedtimes. And the heiress said that every evening, at ten o'clock, she went to the small refrigerator in her room, and took out her usual snack: fresh berries and organic yogurt dripped with honey.

My daughter asked, "Who puts it there?" The heiress paused for a while and said "...I don't know."

Mamet comes back a couple times and says "Who puts the snack in the refrigerator? Someone does."

Perhaps the best part is the credulity of the young lady who has never thought of this question before. Who puts the snack in the refrigerator?

But johngalt thinks:

Isn't this one of the things for which Elizabeth Warren took credit? "Nobody gets to be an heiress on her own. She eats the honey-dripped organic yogurt that the rest of us prepared for her and delivered to her boudoire."

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 10:06 PM

Headline of the Day

Well, we'll call it a nominee for Headline of the Day unless you guys have a better one:

Three-Way Hot Tub Lutherans for Perry

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:40 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

That's Tatooed Three-Way Hot Tub Lutherans...

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 9:59 PM


I thought that everybody who liked THE Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan coincidentally happened to have ThreeSources logins.

But now I see Art Laffer is on board. I cannot embed or link directly, but if you follow the link to the NRO Site, look for "Former Reagan Economist: '9-9-9 Is A Wonderful Plan' 3:25"

UPDATE: James Pethokoukis is generally favorable.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:36 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Laffer on opening the door to future tax hikes:
"If I could do anything to stop future politicians from ever raising taxes I would love to figure it out but I don't know how to do that."

Laffer on prices going up because of 9-9-9:
"As long as you're collecting the same amount of total revenue in a fairly efficient way none of these systems will lead to higher or lower prices than the others."

I was trying to remember where I read the convincing argument on 9-9-9. Turns out it was a post by one of this blog's handsome and scholarly contributors.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 10:56 PM

Quote of the Day

If a more conservative third party could rise, destroy the GOP, and still win elections, I'd be just fine with that. Or, if the Democratic party decided to become a thoroughly libertarian party, I'd be perfectly fine picking and choosing sides on an issue-by-issue basis between the two major parties. Also, maintaining the same level of plausibility, I would be totally psyched if Frodo had simply flown the Millennium Falcon to Mordor, saving all that time. Or we could use the proceeds from Meghan McCain's invention of an all-in-one cold-fusion, perpetual-motion, and dashboard-mounted smoothie blender to simply buy a slice of America from the federal government and create our limited-government nation-state. -- Jonah Goldberg
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

No likey link.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 1:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Also, no findey right one.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 1:38 AM
But jk thinks:

I have been enjoying Jonah's and Jim Geraghty's email newsletters but they do not lend themselves to linking. I forwarded the G-File to you (and will provide this service free of charge to other ThreeSourcers on demand).

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2011 11:01 AM

Job Creators Alliance

My first impression of it was a "Creators Union." A collection of free-market capitalism's best informed businessmen and women speaking out against government interference with the American dream. I heard founder Bernie Marcus talk about it during a teleconference interview with Rusty Humphries of theteaparty.net yesterday. He espoused views of competition and creation that would make Ayn Rand proud. And with this effort he's standing up for his values as Rand insisted that businessmen must do, or perish.

JCA acts as a public advocate agressively making public appearances and interviews to evangelize the free market private sector's role in creating wealth, prosperity and jobs. Marcus' recent interview in IBD is a good example.

Are they making a difference? Perhaps I was too sanguine in a comment last October when I said, "Capitalism is becoming 'cool'". The nationwide "Occupy" protests underway might contradict my optimism. But an equally likely verdict is that the "we want our fair share" crowd is playing to an empty theater. Despite media attempts to portray it as "a pretty massive protest movement" that "could well turn out to be the protest of this current era" (- That NBC lead anchor guy with the crooked nose, Brian Williams I believe) there really aren't very many people involved. Compared to the TEA Party demonstrations of 2009 and 2010 the self-proclaimed "ninety nine percent" are a mockery.

President Obama is quick to make villains of anyone who earns "too much" money. Job Creators Alliance is a long overdue voice that counters, "Hey, wait just a minute."

But nanobrewer thinks:

Another problem for the crowd from Oz Occupying XYZ is the apologizer-in-chief has run on (therefore, away with) all the good lines.

My first choice to be slain with a splintery stake is "fairness." Who remembers this?

Gibson: So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
Obama: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 15, 2011 1:52 AM

October 13, 2011


Blog Brother jg suggests that I might have included a photo of Eliza Dushku more to build blog readership and less as an important and practical way to advance the storyline.

Ergo, in fairness, THE Governor Mitt Romney:

UPDATE: Smooth as Governor Romney is, Dan Henninger says he's not there yet.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:23 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Following up Eliza Dushku with this cold shower is just... wrong.

For the record, what's that thing on his necktie - the Olympic skating logo? A subliminal message that he's going to skate to the nomination, or is this a jab at Barry Soetero's failure to get the Olympics for Chicago "Chicago is OUT? Chicago is OUT?")?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2011 7:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Saw the Henninger piece earlier but hadn't read it yet. I think a Frank Luntz observation from Hannity's radio show today is most germane here: In 2008 neither Obama or Hillary attacked each other. But Republican's internecine battles damage them all. Instead of a field from which "any of them would be a fine choice" the casual voter is left with the impression "they're all bums." Henninger doesn't do anything to reverse that trend with this column.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 1:37 AM
But jk thinks:

I think Henninger actually voices the opposite theory: that a good candidate is forged in the hottest flames (or maybe that was "Zoolander...")

I remember candidates Obama and Clinton in a debate, and then-Sen Obama savaged the then-Sen from New York. I felt that he won the nomination at that moment.

For those playing the home version, the topic was health care, and Mister Obama ridiculed Mrs. Clinton over the stupidity of the individual mandate in her plan. Ah, happy days.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2011 12:39 PM

THE Mitt Romney

A surprising consensus seems to be forming amongst the commentariat that big-city eastern RINO Mitt Romney is persuasively pivoting to become TEA Party friendly THE Mitt Romney. Personally I haven't given up on Herman Cain, and I admit I'm a little unsure about TMR when my sister and her husband derided him right after the Bloomberg debate as a "political chameleon who knows what he has to say to get elected."

Philip Klein echoes them saying, Tea Party is Losing the GOP Presidential Primary.

The Tea Party movement was fueled by opposition to the Wall Street bailouts, President Obama's health care reform legislation and out-of-control spending in Washington. Yet the current favorite to win the Republican nomination has rejected the Tea Party line on all of these issues.

Well, his tune seems to be different now than it once was. Call it the Cain Effect. Both men still contend that protecting the currency is a necessary evil but that is the extent of Romney's defense of bailouts. He's also called for repealing Obamacare and slashing spending - a return to private sector implementation of, well, nearly everything. It's probably time for a closer look at that 59-point plan.

Another factor in Romney's favor is that former fellow RINO Lincoln Chafee now says, Romney 'a different person' as he woos GOP base.

"It's the same thing I saw with John McCain, and I saw with George Pataki and with Rudy Giuliani," Chafee told WPRI.com during an interview at his office Wednesday.

Referencing a speech on foreign policy Romney gave last week at The Citadel, Chafee said: "The appeal you have to make to the Republican primary audience -- that's just alien to what's in our best interests as a country."

Linc Chafee didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left him. Cain effect indeed.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Still, OWS' defenders correctly say it represents progressivism's spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful.-- George Will
Hat-tip: Blog brother hb, via email.
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | What do you think? [0]

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Ms. Eliza Dushku introduces an animated shot of Catwoman, for whom she provides vocal talent.

And, I did post Glori and Darla pictures, I might as well show "Faith:"

Television Posted by John Kranz at 9:32 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Whoa! Gratuitous.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2011 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:


I guess I am busted. I had an internal debate on adding the picture, but it strikes me as an exceptional photo. Ms. Dushku brings much to the photographer's palette. Even beyond that, this is a really good picture. So, to brother jg, I am sorry; to everyone else, you're welcome.

Besides, I've done worse.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2011 6:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"I'll be in my bunk..."
- J. Cobb

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2011 7:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Mayor Willkins called. He'd like a word...

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2011 9:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ha ha ha ha haaa. No, not the Eliza pic. She is charming and delightful. The Catwoman animation. Whips and guns with her one-piece cat suit unzipped to her bellybutton? On the stage in a topless bar? Reaching into the unzipped garment at *ahem* breast level to retrieve some piece of evidence? This is not your father's (I guess I'm that father guy now) Catwoman! The intended demographic will probably lap it up but I aspire to something a little more subtle.

No, you're not the gratuitous one brother - Ms. Lauren Montgomery seems to be the guilty party.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 12:24 AM

October 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

Just look at all those unemployed and heavily-indebted #Occupy protesters. I didn’t notice any Petroleum Engineering graduates among them. -- Glenn Reynolds
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | What do you think? [0]

Dear Dirty Hippies for Paul:

October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street
Zuccotti Park
New York, NY USA

Dear Dirty Hippies and Ron Paul supporters:

Not all of you, just the supporters of Rep. Ron Paul who have joined forcers with the #occupywallstreet movement. I see "End the Fed" signs during news coverage and I have read about your presence in Reason and CATO.

I fear you have made a mistake in your choice of solidarity. You have found those who share your temperament and emotions, rather than those who share your ideas, philosophy and values. Why does Doctor Paul want to end the Fed? Because he considers it an assault on property rights. He makes an eloquent and substantive case that to devalue the currency is to steal the loss in value to currency holders. I don't agree with every facet, but it is a serious argument and well worthy of discussion.

Hans Hermann-Hoppe says of Ludwig von Mises: "Mises condensed the definition of liberalism into a single term: private property" and I surmise that Paul considers this both a foundation of our liberty and cornerstone of his philosophy.

Your newfound friends at the protests share your distrust of government, bailouts, too-big-too-fail banks, and Corporatism in general. But they do not share your belief in property rights. Quite the contrary, their demands seem to center on loan forgiveness. Ordinary Americans borrowed money in a legal market with all protections of contract law for housing or education, and have now decided that the lenders have zero right to the contracted repayment.

This turns Ron Paul's beliefs on their head. He worries about 2 or 3% annual theft of the value to a saver's cash holdings -- your fellow travelers advocate a 100% immediate theft of the property of legitimate debt and bond holders. They are not your friends.

Leave them. Go home. Take a shower.

, evoL

But johngalt thinks:

Five stars. The best synopsis of the whole Occupy Movement I have yet read, heard or pondered.

And also the best Elevator Talk, evah - while also using the 'Dirty Hippies' tag! I am so jealous in my awe.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 3:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Thank you for the kind words.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 4:37 PM
But gd thinks:

Incredibly well said jk. I read a quote from the ancient orator Isocrates the other day that made me think of you and jg: "Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress."

Posted by: gd at October 12, 2011 5:12 PM

Should've had the ThreeSources GOP Debate

We have as many viewers. Hell, we could have lined them up in front of the fireplace at le condo d'amour and peppered them with questions, cutting to Keith and AlexC on YouTube. Woulda been great.

As brother jg and I see both seem to be passing along others' tweets, I am guessing I was not the only one to miss last night's debate. All my tweeps seem convinced that he has the skills to take on President Obama.

I've no good reason to abandon @THEHermanCain and suspect it will boil down to a Romney and a not Romney. As long as THE Herman Cain is in it, put me down for "not Romney." In the end, I'll fall into line. I suppose.

But jk thinks:

Oh no, Keith I don't think there are any benefits to Governor Romney other than the two you enumerated.

He has no beliefs. If he did, he would not have the spine to stand up for them. I was on a telephone town with him last week and he pandered to every question.

You've picked Perry and that's fine. The best knock on Perry is that he is not adequately prepared for the debates. They are more important this year than they should be. But they are. You wanna win, try not to suck so bad.

I'm with THE Herman Cain because I like a guy with an article in his Twitter handle and he is the only one in the field having any fun at all.

Speaking of the field...it is missing Govs. Christie and Daniels. The choices are not that good. Romney is the best credible candidate to defeat President Obama. You put a wimp in the White House and elect a strong, principled Tea-party infused Congress. And life is good.

(Wow, I should be, like, his communications director with an endorsement like that, huh?)

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 1:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I tweeted last night that Romney leapfrogged Cain for me. I actually like the 9-9-9 plan, which I'll defend if you care, but energy and regulation and entitlement reform are getting drowned by 999. They're part of a set of anti-statism policies that must be implemented to restore American liberty and prosperity. Maybe not a fifty-nine point set, but a set nonetheless.

I imagine Cain giving a deer-in-the-headlights answer like the one he gave on his choice for Fed Chairman last night in a debate with Obama and I see the current president becoming a fountain of competence by comparison. Not better than Cain, but on a par.

Call it coaching or cramming if you will but Governor Romneycare is three moves ahead on every topic you care to name. And no, I don't agree that he is Obama-lite, or even a big government RINO. His fresh message inspired me in 2008 and with his outward adjustment to a TEA Party world he's starting to win me over again this cycle. "What?" thought I, "I'm falling for the establishment easterner?" Yep.

For some of the details you can refer to @dickmorristweet thread last night but he combined exceptional policy depth and breadth with overarching themes of American Exceptionalism and world leadership. He will make Obama look puny and will draw a stark contrast between the worldview of the two men. And I objectively believe he would be a better president than Herman Cain in addition to being more electable.

We've talked in the past about a big-tent candidate. If even I can admire this east coast establishment darling that only leaves one fork of the GOP clan undecided - evangelicals. Their opening gambit: He's a cultist. Well, I'd be more inclined to consider their man if he, Rick Perry, were not such a simpleton. He's George Bush without the cowboy charm. Actually, I think Bush got better grades.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 4:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dick Morris isn't as hard on Cain as I am.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 4:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps if he were willing to be known as @THEGovernorMittRomney...

Did y'all catch Dan Henninger's column on Governor Christie? He said, and I basically agree, that our appreciation for the big man was due to his skills as a prosecutor. When a sniffling Garden State teacher would whine that it was a hardship for her to pay $200 toward her health insurance, Christie would devastate with facts. He knew the national average, the percentage paid in the private sector, the number of years it had been free to workers -- and he would blast that into 11 words that did not include a pause for interruption by opposing counsel.

Henninger thought it was a concern for his ability to move into national discussions. And he may be correct; it is a compelling case. I suggest here that factual preparation is important (what else could make our former Speaker from Georgia so lovable?) Governor Perry slept in and missed the train. THE Herman Cain walks pretty close to the edge. I missed the Maestro Greenspan answer (defensible if you qualify it with a time period) but remember watching him flail on Palestinian Rights of Return and the Murfreesboro, TN mosque. It's not pretty.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 4:59 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is all in with JG. As much as Cain and 9-9-9 appeal to him, it is clear that Cain simply does not have the breadth of knowledge to run or govern effectively. He is no doubt very bright, but he is just not ready. Run for the Senate again or maybe the House.

Perry is done as far as The Refugee is concerned. Refusing to repudiate the insult to Romney's religion was a deal breaker.

The #1, NĂşmero Uno, most important attribute in 2012 is electability. If Obama gets re-elected, then we have socialized medicine in perpetuity until it brings the country to
it's knees. Ideological purity is a distant second. We. Must. Beat. Obama.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 12, 2011 6:10 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@BR: If Obama gets re-elected, then we have socialized medicine let's not forget a 10% reduction in electric power generating capacity, cuba drilling the Gulf dry, more apologies and ACORN-funded mayhem.

The primary process is particularly dehumanizing (it's taken place of hazing I think). Watch Mitt tack right after appearing to be the moderate "centrist" during this process. So, another strength of his is this implacability: while certainly appearing too slick, this also gives those faith that he can bend, not break. I can see all the others breaking on OBL's millions (& willing attack-minions).

A moderate Romney with an energized Ryan should be a'plenty to undo Uh-bama.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 15, 2011 2:22 AM

Quote of the Day

Free societies have always been societies in which the belief in individual responsibility has been strong. They have allowed individuals to act on their knowledge and beliefs and have treated the results achieved as due to them. The aim was to make it worth while for people to act rationally and reasonably and to persuade them that what they would achieve depended chiefly on them. This last belief is undoubtedly not entirely correct, but it certainly had a wonderful effect in developing both initiative and circumspection. -- FA Hayek
Hat-tip -- well, completely lifted from -- Don Boudreaux, Cafe Hayek
Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | What do you think? [0]

Headline of the Day

NM firefighter poses as cop, pulls over detective
Hat-tip: a cop friend on Facebook who asks "Why is it firemen always pose as police, but you never hear of a police officer posing as a fireman?"
On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Headline is paced just like joke from my big brother: an illegal alien, a Communist, and a Muslim walk into a bar. Bartender says "Waht'll you have, Mister President?"

Don't forget to tip your walrusses and barbenders...

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 11:08 AM
But johngalt thinks:

If a policeman posed as a fireman, how would you know? He'd sit around all day (and night) in a nice house with his compatriots and swap gourmet cooking duties while waiting for a phone that rarely rings. Cops get all the action.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 3:11 PM

October 11, 2011

Headline of the Day

"Stoner arrested for alleged possession of marijuana"

Save you the click:

Daniel Stoner, 26, was arrested early Friday for possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Bloomington Police Department Lt. Bill Parker said a foot patrol officer first noticed Stoner and two others sitting on a step in an alleyway on the south side of Brothers Bar and Grill. The officer thought he saw the men passing around marijuana, so he approached the group. He reportedly saw a bag of marijuana and a glass pipe.

Happy 47

Today is the second to last day that can be shown in the mmddyy format as a binary number. November 11 or 111111 or 63 will be the last until Jan 1, 2101, and the two digit year seems unlikely to be popular, even if global warming has not killed everybody.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:46 PM | What do you think? [0]


We are the 53%

UPDATE: Extra double awesome, they put up mine.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 4:03 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

A little blurry but yes, awesome.

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2011 7:31 PM

"When do we want it? Now!"

The leftist media copes with the TEA Party by finding the handful of whacked out nutjobs in their ranks and making examples of them. But with the Occupy protesters [could anyone have thought of a more appropriate name than they've given themselves?] one wonders if any of them are NOT whacked out nutjobs.

Weekly Standard's Matt Lebash gives a hilarious eyewitness report from Wall Street.

They seem to know they’re a spectacle, since they stand in front of a cardboard sign that reads “Pictures for change or a dollar.” Meaning the passing fanny-packing tourist hordes or smirking financial sector barbarians can get their snaps taken with Spooky and Newport as if they were mascots at Disney’s new Protester World Experience.

And more truth than humor...

Many Wall Streeters inarguably were ethically challenged plunderers, doing their fair share to help turn the American Dream into a waking nightmare (along with profligate government spenders, promiscuous lending institutions, and gluttonous consumers who were all too happy to buy high six- and seven-figure homes on five-figure salaries, slopping at the trough of easy credit and no-doc loans). But in the Great Rewrite that has followed the Great Recession, it has now become fashionable to blame Wall Street for everything from your dog getting hit by a car to your wife getting cellulite on her thighs.

There's more hippie-loathing goodness at the link if you haven't had your fill. Like "What do we want? (We're not gonna tell!)"

But jk thinks:

My brother shares a Krugman column on Facebook.

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police -- confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

You mean when they picked up trash?

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 4:21 PM
But jk thinks:

The Labash piece is indeed great (miss the Galley Slaves Blog still). I'll add an excerpt, though you are right that you'd never really stop:

Between all the Tweeting and blogging and livestreaming, it almost feels like you’re missing something if you’re actually here.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 4:45 PM

Greenwald is Right

Stopped clocked, twice a day, Glenn Greenwald...let's say every once in a while.

But he is correct that the Democrats will find it difficult to co-opt #OccupyWallStreet.

Given these facts, does the Center for American Progress really believe that the protest movement named OccupyWallStreet was begun -- and that people are being arrested and pepper-sprayed and ready to endure harsh winters -- in order to devote themselves to ensuring that these people remain in power? Does CAP and the DCCC really believe that most of the protesters are motivated -- or can be motivated -- to turn themselves into a get-out-the-vote machine for Obama’s re-election and the empowerment of Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Party?

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

Stolen from @DrewMTips, but I'll add an original thought: Ev'ybody says they will clear out when the weather turns cold. I would think that might keep the stench down a little.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Umm, that's the dirty hippies, not the Rangers fans... Me like Rangers fans.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 2:00 PM

October 10, 2011

Dirty Hippies

I had my moment of open mindedness about the #OccupyWallStreet mob civil unrest. That was Saturday, and it lasted a good part of the day.

Now, I am back to grumpy old straight uptight white guy mode:

But as the protest ground on for a 23rd day, it was evident that there were challenges.

Zuccotti Park smelled like an open sewer -- with people urinating and defecating in public.

And some couples have taken advantage of the free condoms distributed by organizers to do the nasty in full view of other protesters.

"It kinda makes me think of what Woodstock must have been like," said one protester, Sarah, 19 from the Upper West Side.

"I haven’t hooked up with any guys ... but one of my friends did have sex in a tarp with a guy last night."

The free chow offered to protesters was boosting the crowd.

"People say they are here for the cause, but the real reason is the free food," quipped Cameron, 26, of Jersey City.

"On my third day, they had smoked salmon with cream cheese. You know how much smoked salmon is a pound? Sixteen dollars. I eat better here than I do with my parents!"

Reminds me so much of the Party rallies I attended last year. I'm over-freakin-whelmed with nostalgia.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 7:52 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

There's the name of the next Lady Gaga hit: "Sex in a Tarp With a Guy Last Night"

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2011 3:01 PM

Quote of the Day

In short, every single need, want or desire of their lives has been supplied every step of the way by Big Corporations. Were it not for Big corporations they would have had to have heard about the protest from smoke signals from fires lit by flints and burning wood cut with stone axes. They would be dressed in animal skins and would have walked barefooted on dirt paths to get to NYC. They would be doing their business behind trees and wiping with their bare hands. At night they‘d be snuggled up under a homespun blanket made from the fleece of their own sheep. -- Rick Parker, commenting on the picture below
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 6:08 PM | What do you think? [0]

Happy Columbus Day!

I'm going to blog extra because I know everybody has the day off today for Columbus Day.

It is always fun to watch somebody step into a public political discussion when they really do not expect it. A slightly grouchy vendor I patronize and enjoy on Facebook hit return before he had completely thought it through:

Put basically, JustStrings.com can't operate when the USPS isn't open and I have today off because of Columbus Day. I understand that this is basically a Catholic holiday but can't it be substituted with Mother Teresa Day or some person who deeply cared about people? Columbus enslaved and murdered Caribbean Indians to achieve his goal which was to map a spice route for Europe.

Fifty one comments as I type; mine is #51:
a) Just got my order from you via UPS (thanks!) Maybe the problem is more with government unions than holiday legislation.
b) Not going to launch a full-throat defense of Señor Columbus, but it is more nuanced than your suggestion. He wanted to explore. He explored. I would neither credit him with civilization’s gains nor saddle him with every fault.
c) 0.11s on top, but I used a wound G on the archtops and a plain G on solidbodies – does everybody think that’s okay?

You can be wherever you want on Chris, really. I think it is funny that my Dad was taught that he was a great hero and my nieces are all taught he was a genocidal monster. I don't remember what they told me but would a little nuance kill the education system? As far as an American holiday -- no way in hell: recognize somebody who contributed to the American experiment. Fredrick Douglass is next in line if you ask me.

But here this poor small business guy is out of work for a day because the postal union is the only outfit in the nation that gets this lame day off off. That's sad. I was telling the absolute truth. I did just get an order. I paid a couple bucks extra to use UPS because it comes all the way to my door. (And you know how many guys die lugging their guitar strings all the way from the mailbox...) No idea it would save a day.

Happy WTF Day

Monday, October 10, 2011, the 3-day weekend observation of that well-known holiday traditionally observed on October 12 every year because of something noteworthy that happened on that day in 1492: Discoverer's Day!

Yes, my Scenic Hawaii calendar actually uses this term. I'm gonna have to throw out this politically correct piece of ... wait a minute.

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

Beat me. I was still typing...

Frederick Douglass married Anne Murray on September 15, 1838. It's a little close to Labor Day, but I'm in: Frederick Douglass Day, anybody?

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2011 3:58 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Anne Murray? I think I had one of her albums years ago.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 10, 2011 5:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Still have "Croonin'" in my MP3 collection. Very good album.

Mea maxima culpa -- it was Anna Murray who was married to my hero for 44 years.

Douglass first tried to escape from Freeland, who had hired him out from his owner Colonel Lloyd, but was unsuccessful. In 1836, he tried to escape from his new owner Covey, but failed again. In 1837, Douglass met and fell in love with Anna Murray, a free black in Baltimore about five years his senior. Her freedom strengthened his belief in the possibility of his own.[16]

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2011 6:15 PM

Down With Wall Street!

From mises.org Facebook page, they could not attribute...

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 3:10 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:


P.S. Anyone in this picture look like a parent?

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2011 3:25 PM
But dagny thinks:


I think this is the one you should post on facebook for your lefty friends. It goes a long way to showing how ridiculous it is to demonize, "corporations." All corporations, much like Occupy protests are made up of PEOPLE. Some good, some bad, some greedy, some generous. However, at least the corporations are people working together to accomplish something.

Posted by: dagny at October 11, 2011 4:08 PM

eppur si muove

The WSJ Ed Page goes grasping for a present day parallel to this tale

Mr. [Dan] Shechtman, who last week won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is credited with the discovery in 1982 of quasicrystals, patterned but nonrepeating atomic structures that resemble the mosaics found in medieval Islamic art. For observing under an electron microscope what the scientific community held to be a physical impossibility, Mr. Shechtman was accused of "bringing disgrace" on his lab. Linus Pauling, the chemistry (and peace) Nobelist, called the discovery "nonsense" and denounced Mr. Shechtman as a "quasi-scientist." It took two years before a scientific journal would deign to publish his findings.

Today, Mr. Shechtman's observations have been fully validated and quasicrystals are beginning to have commercial applications. But his story is a reminder that a consensus of scientists is no substitute for, and often a bar to, great science. That's especially so when the consensus hardens into a dogmatic and self-satisfied enterprise


But johngalt thinks:

Those in the engineering field are familiar with the term Not Invented Here, describing the contempt heaped upon ideas that come from some department other than that of the favored bureaucrat. This story is the research science equivalent: Not Discovered Here.

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2011 3:10 PM

October 9, 2011

His Tedness

I don't know that Lou Dobbs "does the Lord's work" (Thou shalt not manipulate currency in my Father's Temple!) but the rest of this Ted Nugent screed is awesome:

Current Events Posted by John Kranz at 11:52 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 8, 2011

Libertario Delenda Est!

I've been waaay too nice on the lads at Reason lately. Pari passu perhaps with my dark mood on the GOP. But this one brought me back to the fold. Michael Tracey, whose "work has appeared in The Nation, The Guardian, and The Washington Post" has an article defending the dirty hippies Occupy Wall Street protesters. Nick Gillespie and Matt Welsh both tweet with approbation. "Go beyond the caricatures," suggests The Jacket.

Tracey finds a few Ron Paulites and suggests Sodom and Gomorrah are actually Disneyland.

By and large, the folks I've spoken to have not come off as "woolly-headed" in the slightest. On Wednesday, for instance, I chatted with Jack Zwaan, a self-described "Tea Party Libertarian" and Ron Paul supporter who had flown in from Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend the demonstration. Zwaan wielded a humongous Gadsden flag--yes, the kind of flag commonly seen at Tea Party protests.

While there's no question that the Occupy movement has an ethereally left-leaning tilt--and to be sure, the appearance of traditional unions can make that tilt more pronounced--all the "End the Fed" advocates, Ron Paul supporters, Internet freedom activists, and even some who identify as "Tea Party Patriots" in the mix make this phenomena difficult to characterize with pithy soundbites.

Were pithy soundbites my forté, I'd be President already, but let me try one for the occasion:
"They are anti-capitalist! Anti-capitalism is not conducive to liberty!"

UPDATE: In the spirit of fairness, I must link to Robert David Graham's Independent Reporting (Hat-tip CATO). Graham does not endorse the protesters, but he seconds the motion that the media is stereotyping them. After my exasperation with the portrayal of Tea Parties, I should remain open to that.
If I were a reporter, I would then follow this thread: The protest started as a chaotic event put together haphazardly via Twitter and the Internet, with no actual leader. How, then, were they able to organize a garbage detail? The answer is self-organization. Protestors have developed a General Assembly of all the people that gives authority to the "Central Committee," made up from the hard-core protesters who are sleeping in the park night after night. The Central Committee has many subcommittees, like the "Media Team" responsible for recording the proceedings or the "Arts and Culture Committee", responsible for making signs and running the drum circle, and the "Sanitation Committee" team keeping the park clean. They have organized the park into specific areas, dedicated to different tasks.

UPDATE II: But in other fairness, Reason.tv posts this:

UPDATE III: Fairness fatigue setting in...our own LatteSipper sends a link to The Daily Show.

But johngalt thinks:

I am curious if blog friend GD sees the Paulite participation in #Occupy as the revelation of their true colors that I see: Anarchy, mostly.

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2011 1:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What we have here is a "comment-rich environment."

Firstly, Jon Stewart clip - awesome.

Secondly, "Two hundred dollars a week. How am I supposed to live on that?" Less hungrily than on zero dollars a week. I can only conclude that "plumber's assistants" are not in short supply, nor is the job particularly distasteful. Otherwise they'd have to pay those undeniably shortchanged by our government-run cartel education system way more money to do this job. This wage is also an inducement to learn more and aspire to ever greater earnings. You know, something you could "live" on.

Thirdly, whatever organization they have for sanitation is apparently a failure. And who could expect otherwise? How do people with no money to buy food pay for porta-potties or for their trash to be carted off? (Or pay the dump fee if they haul it themselves.)

I welcome these sort of "urban burning man" festivals. The participants are learning first-hand that every toilet flush costs someone money. Porcelain and running water don't just appear spontaneously in nature. Maybe they'll grow an appreciation for civilization and, perish the thought, man-made objects.

It is said the Occupiers don't have a coherent message. They rail against corporatism, capitalism, cronyism, bankers, lobbyists, politicians. In many cases these gripes overlap those of the TEA Party. But the big difference I see is after the day's work is done the T.P. crowd goes home and watches Sunday Night Football. The Occupiers don't appear to have homes. Which leads to my keystone observation of the Occupy Movement: "We don't actually have any money." There is no sustainable public policy solution to this problem. Instead, see point two above.

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2011 3:03 PM

Teachable Moment?

If you can endure one more story about "Facebook Friends...." Two of the most collectivist I know have both changed their profile pics: one to the Apple logo, and one to Steve Jobs. Each has posted clips from his commencement address.

How. Can. This. Be? Our favorite two-lettered-lefty is hosting a thread on the importance of public broadcasting and one on the evils of America's disparity between CEO pay and worker pay. I did suggest that Steverino likely made a touch more than the guy who affixed the shipping labels to the iPods. And I had the temerity to suggest that, contra his stats, said clerk would be happier with a 10% raise than the news that his CEO took a 50% cut.

Sing, little piggy! No...Breathe from your diaphragm!!!

But johngalt thinks:

Here is my answer to our FF: iCapitalism.

The progressives who want to bring down "Wall Street" will snipe that Jobs was one of "theirs," not "ours."

He belonged to no one. He was transcendently committed to excellence and beauty and innovation. And yes, he made gobs of money pursuing it all while benefiting hundreds of millions of people around the world whom he never met, but who shed a deep river of tears upon learning of his death this week.

From "I, Pencil" to iPhone, such is the profound, everlasting miracle of iCapitalism -- a triumph of individualism over collectivism, freedom over force and markets over master planning. To borrow an old Apple slogan: It just works.

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2011 12:58 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Everyone needs team mates, and clearly they think that they were on Steve's team (or vice versa)...

... and you never speak ill of your own. Only of the "others".

Posted by: AlexC at October 8, 2011 5:01 PM

October 7, 2011

Going to Great Lengths...

...to avoid a vote on President Obama's jobs Son-Of-Stimulus bill.

Philip Klein in The Washington Examiner:

In a stunning turn of events this evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used an arcane legislative maneuver to effectively rewrite Senate rules to make it harder for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes on the majority.

The buildup to this point started on Tuesday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tried to force a vote on President Obama's jobs bill as well as other Republican priorities by offering them as amendments to the China currency bill. Reid blocked the move.

Wait a minute. Hasn't the President been flying all over the country imploring Americans to call their Senators and tell them, "Pass this bill?" Other reports, notably Politico, downplayed this cause. Instead they pushed Reid's story-line that it was necessary to limit dilatory tactics.

Does anyone else get the sense that Senate Democrats are increasingly nervous about the looming election? The sweat on their collective brow is palpable.

But johngalt thinks:

Oops. I was supposed to strike through Son-of-Stimulus, wasn't I? Not "jobs." Mea culpa.

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 5:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I assumed this was in order to comply with some new Internet "Truth-In-Advertising" law or something.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 7, 2011 6:01 PM


Well, what's sort of fascinating about the Occupy Wall Street/Tea Party comparison is how much overlap there is between their complaints. Scrape off the 31 different kinds of Marxist mold growing on the surface of the 99 Percenters, hose off the stench of urine, bong water, and failure, and you'll find a complaint that many Tea Partiers can appreciate: disgust at corporate bailouts, crony capitalism, and economic mismanagement. -- Jonah Golberg G-File (subscribe)
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 1:50 PM | What do you think? [0]

Avuncular Pride

My nephew's EP is released today. There's a release party at the Gothic theater in South Denver tonight, but Uncle John is just gonna enjoy the MP3s from Amazon.

Not my usual stuff, but it is quite good.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:46 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

At the risk of dragging unbeloved Washington into thoughts on the legacy of Steve Jobs, let it also be noted that President Obama spent the better part of his hour-long news conference yesterday moaning about Washington's "failure" to bring his job-creation bill to life. The bill's details aside, it is hard not to notice the differing results of the Washington model of creating jobs and the Jobs model of creating jobs. Perhaps Washington should think different. -- WSJ Ed Page

I want out of the Tea Party

Although I think I might order one of these cool Gadsden Flag Shirts.

In the early days, the GOP establishment told the Tea Party folk to grow up and understand political exigencies. And the establishment was clearly wrong. They had internalized limitations on expectations that were clearly false.

The Tea Party is blamed for losing Senate Seats in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada. It might be a fair cop, but I watched Sen. Ron Johnson (HOSS - WI) on Kudlow last night and thought that we would be missing him and Senator Lee in Utah and Senator Rubio in Florida and dozens of great Reps in the House. A huge net positive. They changed the debate as Chairman Ryan would say.

So why do I want out? As the tea party educated the establishment, they must accept some schooling in pragmatism.

Faced with an existential threat to liberty, the Boston Tea Party (what do those guys know about tea parties anyhow?) think they might "sit this one out."

But don't expect tea partiers to be happy about it.

"Scott Brown has disappointed us a few times," Carlos Hernandez, state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, told TheDC. "So are we going to go out there and hold signs for him everyday? I don't think so."

"Now, does that mean we're not going to hold our nose and vote for him? No, because the other option is not an option," added Hernandez, referring to the Democrat roster challenging Brown

The challenger is Professor "nobody got rich on his own" Elizabeth Warren. If it were some washed up SNL Comic or trust fund baby grown to Senate age, I could give up the people's seat with a small sting. This woman is poised to be the intellectual leader of the lefties as it were.

Sorry Senator Brown "disappointed" you. Now lift those signs! I can't heeeeear you!

UPDATE: Hmm, this is a little problematic as well...

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

In his state the endorsement of TEA Party "extremists" would be a hindrance. One could argue that this public stance is strategic.

Oh, and your flags? Look at the prices - they're practically giving them away (meaning they aren't very popular.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 2:02 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

$22.05 for a six-pack of sh*t paper? That must be some TP.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 7, 2011 2:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good point. Wonder how many wipes one could get out of 17.1 of them dollar twenty-nine flags. And they look great hangin in the sh*tter too! (Welcome to www.nascarretards.com)

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I KNEW I should've cropped the last one out.

As an Amazon fan, I must clarify that that order is for six packages. I don't know that this is the exact offer pictured (there are an amazing number of varieties of packaging and product). But it is six packs of three: 18 rolls for $23.50. With subscribe and save, you could get it for $19.97 (1.11/roll).

Still a little pricey for le condo d'amour but I am reminded of the words of the great comic Richard Pryor, in response to Charmin's "too good to be toilet paper" campaign: "Ain't nothin' in the world too good for me to wipe my ass with."

You guys started it.

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2011 3:13 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:


The C stands for "clean."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 7, 2011 4:52 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

You got an invitation?

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2011 2:39 AM

October 6, 2011

Tele Spotting!

Robert Bryce offers Five Facts about Climate Change to match his WSJ Editorial. Alert viewers will note a handsome sunburst telecaster in the bookshelf behind him.

Do I get a free sandwich?

Worth 1027 words

The president visits a Texas school and reads them a book about...um...himself.

Hat-tip: @KatMcKinley

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Given the job he's done on the economy, the justice system, and everything else that comes to mind, it's a wonder that the people at the kennel think he's responsible enough to be trusted with a puppy.

Do you suppose that Bill Ayers ghostwrote this book for him, too?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 6, 2011 4:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

By the way - whoever drew the picture of the SCOAMF-in-Chief standing at a podium left out the TelePrompTer - but sure remembered the shining, glowy aura.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 6, 2011 7:42 PM
But jk thinks:

I love that picture. Much as I love to engage on policy and reason, that picture sums up his presidency. Some seek the office to do something and some seek it to be something.

And I think this Pulitzer-worthy provides the answer.

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2011 10:13 AM

Whaddya Do for an Encore?

I'm up early this morning, and Ms. McArdle is on fire:

If we add in the Medicare surtaxes which start in 2013, then for a person earning a million dollars a year (we really need a better word for this than "millionaire", which already has a meaning), the marginal tax rate on long-term investment income for this group jumps to 24% in 2013, from 15% now, while the marginal tax rate on earned income will be (assuming the Bush tax cuts expire like they're supposed to) 48.5%. This of course does not include any state income taxes, or property taxes. The tax penalty on earned income seems likely to rise well over 50% for the typical high earner under Democratic plans. Most left-leaning pundits and wonks do not seem to believe that millionaires pay attention to decreasing returns to effort. I confess, I'm a bit more skeptical.

The real question, however is this: what do you do for an encore? They're hiking taxes on this lucky group 5% to pay for one temporary jobs measure. What happens the next time Democrats need some money to pay for something? Surely we need to leave millionaires a little something for themselves on their marginal dollar, say 10%--a sort of tip for good service. And the state and local tax people will want their bite too, so you'll need to leave another 10-15% so that those high-tax jurisdictions where sound Democratic politicians like Senator Schumer campaign can enjoy their full bite.

A tip for good service! Again, Megan McArdle is few people's idea of a right-wing nutjob. She's that rare breed of an honest lefty (well, left of center anyway). I'm comforted that she is giving this little respect to this in The Atlantic.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

But johngalt thinks:

The looting Democrat's response to "Surely we need to leave millionaires a little something for themselves?"

"No we don't. They're millionaires! Get it?"

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 2:04 PM

Quote of the Day

Mr. Jobs's contribution to the world is Apple and its products, along with Pixar and his other enterprises, his 338 patented inventions -- his work -- not some Steve Jobs Memorial Foundation for Giving Stuff to Poor People in Exotic Lands and Making Me Feel Good About Myself. Because he already did that: He gave them better computers, better telephones, better music players, etc. In a lot of cases, he gave them better jobs, too. Did he do it because he was a nice guy, or because he was greedy, or because he was a maniacally single-minded competitor who got up every morning possessed by an unspeakable rage to strangle his rivals? The beauty of capitalism -- the beauty of the iPhone world as opposed to the world of politics -- is that that question does not matter one little bit. -- Kevin Williamson
Requiescat in pace, Mr. Jobs.
But jk thinks:

The entire Williamson piece is a great elevator talk in itself.

Posted by: jk at October 6, 2011 9:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes it is, and Rush made it the focal point of the first hour of his program yesterday. It made for awesome listening (while I bounced around in front of a hay baler in a windstorm, but that's another story.)

I particularly enjoyed KW's description of the "occupy" protesters as "undeniably shortchanged by our government-run cartel education system." What a delightful way to say they are dumbasses!

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 2:13 PM

October 5, 2011


It's not even Buffy-related! Tonight 8PM Mountain on the Discovery Channel

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie

Television Posted by John Kranz at 5:59 PM | What do you think? [0]

jk Defends Rep. Bachmann

Against a common enemy of the Washington Post, we must put aside our differences and stand as one. The WaPo afternoon politics mailer (which really is pretty good, and free) shouts:

Video: Bachmann agrees with 'impeach' Obama wish

Oh my, oh dearie me, what has our brunette of the lakes done to disgrace us now? Thinks me. But if you click through (only 30 second clip), I think you could call it a joke or -- at worst -- some hard edged political persiflage.

Paging the WaPo: a sense of humor was found in the parking lot; please claim it at the front desk.

Quote of the Day

In other words, this is just like Obamanomics in general. It provides a short-term gimmicky gain at incredible expense that is designed to do nothing except give politicians a headline and a photo op. It would be cheaper in the long run to buy politicians a camera and get them a blog. -- Ed Morrissey, Obama's green-jobs training program a flop
But nanobrewer thinks:

Most of you know I work with WindPower, although not as much as I used to. I don't believe in MMGW (and think the recent cooling has stopped), I just think Wind Power is cool. Damned geekiness apparently is still not out of my system.

I'm cognizant of the studies that show that 1 green job created = 1.6 (other) jobs lost. It's on my list to parse through them and issue a prognostication. But that's lagging behind real life and a post on energy subsidies.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2011 12:04 PM
But jk thinks:

I think wind power is cool too. I just want to see it compete. (Looking forward to your subsidies post.)

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2011 12:17 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

The other day Cornel West showed up at the Occupy Wall Street protest with a sign reading, "If only the war on poverty was a real war, then we would actually be putting money into it." Funny. But the premise is flat-out wrong. In 2009 alone Washington spent $591 billion on means-tested anti-poverty programs. (Others, such as Medicare and Social Security, are not means-tested.) By comparison, 2009 federal appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were $130 billion. Since the War on Poverty began, Americans have shelled out more than $13 trillion to fight it.

A. Barton Hinkle in The Poverty of Nations

But Keith Arnold thinks:

War on poverty? Quagmire.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 5, 2011 3:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Support the troops - send them home!"

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 4:47 PM
But jk thinks:

No blood for government cheese!

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2011 4:53 PM

All Hail Harsanyi

He's pretty good with an "Occupy Wall Street: a Manifesto."

First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness--even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context...

...and the rest!

Remember the early Gilligan's Island episodes? The theme song singer got tired of enumerating the island's residents toward the end and dismisses the last two with "...and the rest." It was replaced by the iconic "the professor AND Mary ANN" as America's ginghamed sweetheart rose in fame.

I was singing that at the last GOP Presidential Debate. Bret Behr going down the line and I fully expected him to give up somewhere Huntsman-ish and sing "and the rest!"

Yet we find ourselves, as the WSJ Ed Page laments, with the field we have. Gigot and his minions are more upbeat than I, but we see the same lacunae:

Most notable is the absence of those, like Mr. Christie and Congressman Paul Ryan, who have been most engaged in the fiscal and economic debates of the last three years. The field is weaker for their absence, and Mr. Christie's remarks yesterday about the lack of current Presidential leadership showed why so many people wanted him in the race.

I did a telephone town hall with Governor Romney yesterday. It is a great format and I am always appreciative of candidates (and officeholders, my Representative, Jared Polis, has done several) who put these on. The Governor was himself in all his glory. His mellifluous baritone makes up for not seeing his excellent hair and skin tone.

But, I am going to be hard pressed to swallow hard and support this guy. If I may quote blog friend Sugarchuck without permission, early on in the race he said "I look at Romney and I see 'the enemy.'" The Governor was a "pander bear" on the call. I don't expect him to pick fights with potential supporters, but there is the Evelyn Waugh "up to a point" agreement. No, the Governor is everyone's friend and agrees with everyone's position.

The main question about Mr. Romney is whether his political character matches the country's huge current challenges. The former Bain Capital CEO is above all a technocrat, a man who believes in expertise as the highest political virtue. The details of his RomneyCare program in Massachusetts were misguided enough, but the larger flaw it revealed is Mr. Romney's faith that he can solve any problem, and split any difference, if he can only get the smartest people in the room.

Amen, WSJ folk. Amen.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Boston Globe: GOP Elite Still Not Sold On Romney

Yeah, seems they don't think he can appeal to the TEA Party.

Others, however, said it reflected lingering concerns among some establishment Republicans about Romney's ability to connect as well with Tea Party activists and anxious middle-class voters as he does with party leaders.

"Mitt just really hasn't caught on yet," said Michael Reagan, a son of President Reagan and conservative commentator. "He can relate to the people who own the water cooler but, to win, he has to relate to the person who drinks water from it."

So in this view, he was just meant to be the TEA Party Palatable version of Romney. Without him though, they're stuck trying to get us to warm up to Romney, candidate from "the experienced governor/Northeast wing of the party."

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 2:48 PM

October 4, 2011

jk was once ahead of his time

In July 24, 2003, your humble correspondent cited Schumpeter and Kodak.

I was reading a story of job layoffs at Kodak when the title of this column came to me. Some nine thousand in the film and film processing division will be let go this month. I feel sad for the people and have a certain empathy as it has been 18 months since I have had a regular paycheck. Politics and Economics both require a certain cold rationality that does not come naturally to me. Liberals will be in business for many years.

At the same time, this article, in the Wall Street Journal no less, read as if this were ample evidence that the slowdown is still in force. It is quite obviously a sign of wealth creation and economic vitality. Quick. Grab a 3 x 5" white index card with no lines on at least one side and a fine point marker and a ruler - got it? Great. Chart your film purchases over the last decade. The x-axis is time and the y-axis is the amount of film you bought that year. The area under the curve is your total film purchases in the last ten years and the slope of that line is why Kodak is releasing 9000 workers.

Now. all the kids are doing it...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:31 PM | What do you think? [0]


We're the last blog to not write about the #occupyWallStreet protests. And I have not used the "Dirty Hippies" category in some time.

So please accept this link to blog friend Terri's FREE CHALK!

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 6:27 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh - a movement in search of a goal.

Reminds me of a story my dad likes to tell about college protesters in the late sixties on the DU campus. He asked a young man wearing a sandwich board sign what he meant with his slogan. "It's not my sign," he replied. Repeated inquiries met with the same response. It's not the message, it's the marchin'.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2011 6:36 PM
But jk thinks:

I enjoyed this yesterday. A very serious minded and rational young lefty exposes the idiocy of the marchers.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2011 7:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The government is fully privatized." Brilliant!

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 3:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watched the whole thing. Good stuff, keepin' it real with whiny entitlement kids. You could tell they were hearing ideas that never cross lips on their college campii. "Most educated and least employed" indeed.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 3:20 PM

Be Right Back after this Brief Message

Ford isn't running this anymore, but I'll happily give it some play:

Otequay of the Ayday

Perhaps no other sector of American society so demonstrates the failure of government spending and interference. We've destroyed individual initiative, individual innovation and personal achievement, and marginalized anyone willing to point it out. As one of my coaches used to say, "You don't get vast results with half-vast efforts!"

The results we're looking for are students learning, so we need to reward great teachers who show they can make that happen--and get rid of bad teachers who don't get the job done. It's what we do in every other profession: If you're good, you get rewarded, and if you're not, then you look for other work.

-Fran Tarkenton, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and nouveau "anti-working class extremist."

But jk thinks:

Awesome! On education, I think ThreeSourcers would dig Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education

It is a collection of essays/papers on the teaching of the Constitution, rights, history and government. A diverse panel is represented: Justice O'Connor, Alan Dershowitz, Insty, Juan Williams, Charter School operators, &c. Very thought provoking.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2011 3:40 PM


Gov. Christie is not in.

UPDATE: Five reasons b'rer ka was correct.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Toldja. I wouldn't have minded seeing him in the race, and I'd have no hesitation voting for him were he the winner of the primary - but, toldja, just the same.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think he read the TEA leaves correctly.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2011 12:23 PM

Couldn't Have Been Their Customer Service...

I don't wish to be too hard on the Borders employees who constructed this screed. It's fair that they're a little grouchy.

But as much as the romance of a bookstore endures, I shall recall a bit of attitude that I don't miss at Amazon.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Amy thinks:

This and the blog post Larry Correia put up (here: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/on-borders-closing/ ) are making me think that the employees might've gotten caught in the middle. Bad management decisions are so quickly felt in retail, but the customer service/sales people are the ones that interact directly with customers...so that's where problems are going to be most keenly noticed.

Still, yeah. I'll be sticking with Amazon, while they continue to be so awesome.

Posted by: Amy at October 4, 2011 1:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, Amy -- interesting link!

It seems like Borders' demise might be as much Dale Carnegie as Joseph Schumpeter.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2011 1:32 PM

October 3, 2011


My client will not be bullied out of exercising his First Amendment right to make clear his belief that your client is a spoiled, brainless twit who is cheapening the political discourse in this country. Therefore, henceforth, the "Totally Meghan McCain" series may be found at http://pajamasmedia.com for your client's reading pleasure.

On the off chance that your client actually files the baseless litigation you
threatened in your September 23, 2011 letter, Mr. Wolf will pursue all available remedies
available under any applicable anti-SLAPP statutes, State law malicious
prosecution/abuse of process actions, and/or Rule 11 sanctions. Although I do not envy
you the Herculean task before you, please make sure your client understands the potential
consequences to her personally -- in addition to those her attorney would face -- for
pursuing this ill-advised course of action. -- Christopher Scott Badeaux

You rilly gotta read the whole thing.

Quote of the Day

I would remind Mr. Stephenson of this bon mot from the early career (Governorship) of Ronald Reagan:
You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers. ..." Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, Reagan said, "You’re right. We didn't have those things when we were young. We invented them."
It is that "student" who is today unable to deal with the "big stuff" in life. That "Free Speech Movement" that Mario Savio started sure has made things better for us.-- Insty reader Drew Kelley
But jk thinks:

The topic reminds me of a book I've not been able to shake. I emailed the Professor:

I have been disappointed with my generation on several occasions. But reading David McCulloch's "Brave Companions" makes one weep. Building the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge at the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives -- we won't pay our doctor bills, spoil a vista, or harm a small fish.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 7:32 PM

Watch and Weep

Coulda been the Senator from Colorado, if only our media market was not so cheap to buy:

CO Senate Posted by John Kranz at 7:01 PM | What do you think? [0]

Paris of the Midwest

Today's Bing wallpaper image of Cleveland, shown below, made me think of another midwestern city with an ornate history and a rust-belt reputation - Detroit.

That ornate history is tangentially referenced in the "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign for new Chryslers, and more directly so in this one they didn't use. Adorned with original architecture and art works funded by the private wealth of twentieth century industrial prosperity, Detroit was dubbed "the Paris of the Midwest." Today, however, articles are written about the city's death. Investor's Business Daily wrote last March ?Who, or What, Killed Detroit? Union Greed."

Two years ago, the Center for Automotive Research estimated that for every job created by a foreign transplant, 6.1 jobs were lost by the Big Three - many of them in Detroit. No city can take that much economic abuse.

Nor has the $77 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler - which enriched the UAW at the expense of bondholders and shareholders - helped. True enough, sales have bounced back some, but neither one is out of the woods.

Even as Detroit collapses, new UAW chief Bob King promises to "pound" the transplants into submission and force them to drink his union's poison, too.

And in November 2008, Patrick J. Buchanan had his own explanation for the Motor City's demise: "What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II​."

Obviously both authors are correct. An overburdening regulatory government and big-time labor unions were both responsible for the demise of Detroit's industrial base, and that of the nation. Indeed, they were co-conspirators, for without each other they could scarcely exist.

Remember this the next time you hear President Obama make a speech about how government "needs to create American jobs."

But jk thinks:

Kinda like Paris, but I don't think that's cheese I'm smelling...

If you have not seen Reason.tv's "Drew Carey saves Cleveland," do yourself a favor.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 4:36 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If that's cheese you're smelling, perhaps it's government cheese.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 3, 2011 4:48 PM
But Sy thinks:

More RW whining

Posted by: Sy at March 1, 2013 2:03 PM

Good Answer

My Facebook friends keep posting the "super brilliant" Elizabeth Warren video, and I still lack the courage to post my favorite parody. But Robert Murphy at the Mises Institute provides a strong and short rebuttal on both practical and philosophical grounds.

Regarding skilled workers, here too the factory owner already pays for it: we call these payments "wages" or "salaries." If someone goes to the University of California at Berkeley and becomes an excellent engineer, who is able to deliver an extra $150,000 in revenues to a factory owner, then with competitive labor markets we'd expect the engineer to earn close to $150,000.

This analysis doesn't mean that business owners are indifferent to educational quality, but it does show that things aren't quite as obvious as Warren makes them out to be. If students at state schools are receiving subsidized education that raises their productivity, the primary beneficiaries are the students themselves. So Warren should be asking them to cough up more money, not the employers who have to pay full freight for their services.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:32 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, this is a good rebuttal, and it might actually convince some people who know how to read. But for the Facebook crowd we need something more multimedia rich. Like Lady Gaga singing and dancing, alternately, in a Detroit city in her heyday and in a gloriously lush Amazon rainforest - both at night. (But no fair airbrushing the mud off of her pumps.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2011 3:31 PM
But Terri thinks:

Here is an elevator rebuttal from House of Eratosthenes.

"Let me state it much more concisely: You do not get to tell a business “hey, I used a hand truck to haul that copier paper to your office two weeks ago and I can’t pay my cable bill — you need to pay more.” If it worked that way, a) it wouldn’t be capitalism and b) it wouldn’t work for long. So there’s your other social contract, Greg and Elizabeth: Everyone needs to take responsibility in order to participate. Anyone who doesn’t, is part of the problem and not part of the solution."


Posted by: Terri at October 7, 2011 5:07 PM

Monday Funnies

"We don't serve faster-than-light neutrinos in here" said the bartender.

A neutrino walks through the bar.

Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Two more from the same genre:

Precocious daughter- "Knock knock."
Adoring father- "Who's there?"
PD- "Interrupting cow."
AF- "Interrupt..."
PD- "MOOO! "

And from my dad, who worked with parapalegics for a time:

"Why can't cerebral palsy's tell a good joke, timing."

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

Or: "Okay, you have to ask me two questions. First is 'Aren't you Kranzimov, the great Uzbek comedian?' and the second is 'To what do you attribute your great success?'"

"Aren't you -- "

"Yes, timing!"

[My condolences to the Uzbek community. I tried to edit the joke for another racial group, but it just isn't funny.]

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 4:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

There once was a fellow named Dwight,
Whose speed was much faster than light.
He set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 3, 2011 5:07 PM

October 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

This goes back to the Insta-Daughter's theory of presidential opposites, in which each President is chosen to be the opposite of his predecessor. What's the opposite of a skinny black guy from Hawaii? A fat white guy from New Jersey!

UPDATE: Roger Simon emails: "What's the opposite of a phony black guy from Hawaii? A real black guy from Georgia." Good point! -- His Instyness
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 1, 2011

Had I Any Courage Whatsoever,

I would put this up on Facebook. But I can't. I will make certain that y'all saw it, and keep it where I can find it when needed. LOL:

Stolen from an Insty FB Friend

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:55 AM | What do you think? [0]

Don't click this. Comments (2)