December 31, 2011

I'll DIe on this Hill

View the new ad and give generously


You've given generously, and your $[I hate to flaunt my wealth...] will help us campaign on conservative issues, in a new, long-forgotten tone that respects both the process and the American people.

Our candidate would have it no other way. Because Jon Huntsman is different.

Decent, calm, wise. Knows the world. Never a flip nor a flop. No loud voices, no drama. Instead, a clear, well-defined path for America to reverse the sad course we're on.

Jon Huntsman is the Republican who can actually win back the White House in 2012. Gen H is working hard to make that happen. Your support is what we need!

Will you take the next step and help spread the word about Jon?
Sign up and become a volunteer today.

Thanks again,

Jeff Wright
National Finance Chairman
Jon Huntsman for President

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

I hear you but that proves how fundamentally broken this system is. Not a single vote has been cast, yet you declare it over for the candidate I like best.

He needs money to have a chance in NH. I do not relish settling for any of the others.

Posted by: jk at January 1, 2012 5:23 PM
But dagny thinks:

Somehow this conversation has a familiar ring to it. Sounds like the one we had when I was suggesting sending money to Herman Cain. Only, now JK is on the other side. Hmm...

Posted by: dagny at January 2, 2012 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There are others who could also be preferrable to any of the current front runners - Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson. But their appeal was narrow and they couldn't form a sizeable enough core of followers.

I bristle whenever someone says, "the system is fundamentally flawed" because they usually want goverment "reform" of the process. I think you agree that what is "flawed" is democracy itself. At its fullest, it is incompatible with liberty. The founders took care to isolate the citizenry from a democratic goverment through Constitutional limits on that goverment.

The GOP is accused of favoring "the next person in line" at each nominating opportunity. This is often portrayed as a cadre of Republican "insiders" pulling the levers of power to give an "establishment" candidate an unfair advantage. In actuality, candidates who have run before have been vetted more thoroughly and thus engender more confidence in their staying power. After test driving all the models on the lot, Iowa voters are gravitating toward the ones with higher mileage - Romney, Paul and Santorum. If Obama is re-elected, and if Huntsman can clarify his message a whole lot between now and then, he could be the favorite to run against Hillary in '16. I don't see enough voters taking a chance on him this late in the process.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2012 1:16 PM
But jk thinks:

@dagny I am less surprised to be caught in a flipflop than to have forgotten a conversation. I did send a little to TheHermanCain, though less than Huntsman.

@Jg One must remember that the party is a private corporation., we could throw darts to choose. Honoring Iowan supremacy gives social conservatives permanent control. Marathon primaries hosted by lefty journalists did not advance ideas of liberty. I am all for some changes.

Posted by: jk at January 2, 2012 1:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Looking at Iowa this year one might say we ARE choosing by the throw of a dart. Three different caucuses over three subsequent weeks might produce different outcomes.

I thought Eric Odom of Liberty News Network (but via email) had a good take on the Iowa exercise:

It's not that Iowa perfectly represents the mindset of all 49 other states; Rather, it's that Iowa presents a challenge that exposes weaknesses and strengths, and provides us a good look at how each candidate performs when the horse race heats up.
Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2012 2:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Both arguments have merit, and show our system is not yet broken IMO. I'd like to hear how Huntsman compares to other real conservatives, perhaps like Santorum or {insert preferred candidate here}.

I think any success gained by Huntsman will help influence the campaign (as I think Cain's 9-9-9 did), and possibly.... hopefully the eventual presidency of the people's choice. The money shan't be wasted unless H-man turns out to be a "public figure" that Noonan talks about.

Peggy Noonan had a great column on Friday; noting some interesting observations on Election 2012:
"the sitting president's own party doesn't like him"
"the continuation of a half century-long trend. National trumps local, federal squashes state, the force of national culture washes out local culture. Primaries are fully national now."
"It's odd that people who care so much about politics rarely use one of politics' biggest tools, humor. Mr. Romney did (Gingrich in VA was like Lucille Ball @ chocolate factory) and scored. More please, from everyone."
"The worst trend in politics that fully emerged during phase one? People running for president not to be president but as a branding exercise, to sell books and get a cable contract and be a public figure"

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 2, 2012 7:54 PM

December 30, 2011

Embracing Schumpeter

James Pethokoukis tweeted yesterday "@JimPethokoukis For 2012, I think GOPers need to think more about Schumpeter than Hayek."

Last night on The Kudlow Report, Larry had a friendly interview with Senator Rick Santorum. At the very end, Larry blasts him (deservedly) for his 0% manufacturing tax. Senator Santorum was pretty bummed that he did not have time to respond, but the panel, which included Jimi P, established that "real supply side economics" means to get rid of cutouts and let the market decide.

Pethokoukis develops the theme further on the AEI blog today.

But two other elements are also necessary. First, America must remain open to the change and Schumpeterian creative destruction that innovation brings and not try to stifle it through regulation, crony capitalism, and anti-competitive trade barriers. Second, America needs to improve its supply of human capital so, as economist Joel Mokyr puts it, there is a "cadre of ingenious and resourceful innovators who are both willing and able to challenge their physical environment for their own improvement."

This "cadre" can be both imported from overseas (via more high-skilled immigration) and developed at home (through an education system that better cultivates and challenges high-ability individuals). Education reform, in particular, should be the next great battleground for supply-siders. And just as the supply-side tax revolution started at the state level with California's Proposition 13 in 1978, supply-side education reform is starting local, too, in Wisconsin and New Jersey as republican governors there battle government teachers unions. This is going to be one my big policy themes for 2012, and hopefully I won't be alone.

Sadly, Schumpeter will be a harder sell to voters than Laffer. "Good economics dictates that I lower your taxes" is a winning message; "good economics dictates that I let your plant close"

But johngalt thinks:

You could try reminding them how South Carolina textile mills were replaced by Toyota and BMW plants. Where would you rather work?

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2011 12:53 PM

Obama is the President of Equality

Ayn Rand Institute's Yaron Brook on

But johngalt thinks:

Yaay Yaron!

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2011 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was going to post this as 'Obama is the President of Equality II' until I saw that a blog site license for the cartoon is priced at $10. And they don't even offer the English language version that was printed in the Denver Post December 12!

Translation: "...TO KEEP THINGS FAIR."

I didn't pay but I will suck up - Click on the "Eric Allie" hyperlink to see more great work by this talented cartoonist. ('Impartial Cheerleader' Heh.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2011 1:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Yaron Brook, by the way, is the best thing to happen to The Ayn Rand Institute. He comes across so well in interviews, explaining the ideas well without the crazy guy demeanor.

You and I have talked about Leonard Piekoff. I was thinking of all these guys again of late as Lew Rockwell (The Mises Institute) is suspected of being the author of the Nazi stuff in the Ron Paul newsletter. As I've griped, these people don't do many favors for those whose names and ideas they are promoting.

We've differed but I s'pect we both like Yaron.

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2011 12:41 PM


They pick corn in Iowa, they pick Presidents in New Hampshire

Good line.

UPDATE: Hmm, the WaPo embed seems dead. Here's the post.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:35 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Apparently, they pick favorites in Virginia.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 30, 2011 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Noses in Arkansas...

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2011 12:51 PM

From the Coffeehouse Vaults


What are you doing New Year's Eve?

"Happy New Year, Y'all!"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

December 29, 2011

Targeted advertising

The banner ads are getting wicked scary good at conforming to my personal interests. I looked at an item on the Musicians Friend website last week and saw an ad for it on Instapundit four hours later.

But this is just eerie. I mean, how did they know I was buying an Aston-Martin?

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 6:28 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Don't let Mr2 find out. He'll be jealous.

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2011 12:49 PM

One of My Giants!

The good folks at @Epiphone and @GibsonGuitarsPR salute The Band's Rick Danko.

Danko was under-appreciated. In a band of fairly good singers like Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson, too few noticed the all-time vocal chops he put on so many of those great tunes. I was quite taken by his voice and impish humor in "The Last Waltz" (which I saw about 100 times the summer it came out in a pique of adolescent angst, but that's another story...)

I saw him live with Paul Butterfield at the old DU arena; I bought the solo album he is working on in one scene of "Last Waltz;" and I'd stop to hear the little background vocs he added to Clapton's "No Reason to Cry" album.

I lifted this video from the Epiphone page. If you don't want the (odd) bass lessons, skip to 1:50 for a sweet little blues jam.

In peace, brother Rick, in Peace.

Or this one.

Hoss Music Posted by John Kranz at 5:05 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Managerial progressives see only the end -- preventing free-riders from riding for free. And they ignore the collateral damage done by way of the means selected. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have no understanding of first principles. For both of these social engineers, citizens are subjects to be worked-over by the government for their own good. Both men are inclined to treat us as children subject to the authority of a paternalistic state under the direction of a benevolent and omniscient managerial class. -- Paul Rahe in an awesome, comprehensive takedown of the individual mandate.
Hat-tip: Instapundit
2012 Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweets of the Day


Lots more fun for viewers -- and likely the best shot for Mary Kaye's Husband!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 PM | What do you think? [10]
But jk thinks:

Au Contraire! You awaken my inner Gunn with that one. May I tweet it in your honor?

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 4:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Too late! I have already stolen it!

Anybody going to get the allusion?

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 4:39 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, Jonah DID say Gilbert & Sullivan, and Dagny DID bring up "the big, big D"... but I am flattered...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 29, 2011 6:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You boys are waaay over my tech geek head with this one. I'll ask dagny to 'splain it to me this evening. :)

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 7:41 PM
But dagny thinks:

I'm fine with Gilbert and Sullivan but sorry, I don't get inner, "Gunn???"

Posted by: dagny at December 29, 2011 7:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, that was for Terri & SC...

Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) is a character from Angel: a street fighter from a rough LA neighborhood who fights on the side of good and ultimately joins Angel's cadre. When they take over the law firm of Wolfram & Hart, he has a mystical operation which gives him a thorough understanding of law. As a side quirk, Gunn -- normally more in touch with hip-hop than show tunes -- acquires a similarly comprehensive knowledge of the entire Gilbert & Sullivan opus.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 8:00 PM

Dr. Laffer's Gingrich Endorsement

The Kudlow Report from last night. Art is all in for the Speaker.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

I read this as being as much or more a personal favor to Art's longtime friend than a policy preference. No "Reagan-like" economic policies in Romney's 59-point plan?

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Really? I was surprised at the fulsomeness of the endorsement. He tepidly proclaimed his respect and "long time friendship" with Gov. Romney (peré and filé) but almost got me on board with his enthusiasm for Newt's "straight down the alley supply-siderism."

Have to do a "Coals-to-Newcastle" Kim Strassel link. Ms. Awesome ledes with:

[...] hoping to stem his slide in the Iowa polls and draw a strong policy contrast with Mitt Romney, is now focusing on economic growth as a campaign theme.

It is clearly a campaign tactic for a guy forced to look at Sen. Santorum's ass in the polls more than conviction.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 12:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Still feel the same way after watching the video. He fulsomely endorsed Newt's policy. "I would love to see Mitt have a flat tax."

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 3:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's the secret to this entire nomination puzzle - none of the candidates' economic plans matter one iota. None. Bills are written in the Legislative, not the Executive branch of goverment. As Ann Coulter explains again today, we need a candidate who will make Obama and his policies the topic of discussion, not himself. "2012 is not a year for a wild card."

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

<John McLaughlin voice>WRONG!</John McLaughlin voice>

The candidate needs to understand and articulate a clear economic agenda against the President and his intellectual fellow-travelers in the media.

After explaining the superiority of freedom to the people and securing election based on those principles, he or she needs to demand those principles (not legislative language) and secure their passage against the same forces.

I thought the same about Senator McCain in 2k8 that Ms. Coulter feels about Governor Romney in 2k11. Then I watched him flail in the economic debate and flagellate in the TARP discussions. There is great danger in giving the nomination to a man who does not care about economic liberty at the "kernel level." Not saying you can't but don't kid yourself that it does not matter.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 3:53 PM

No factual basis for that claim

Brother jg's beloved Denver Post was caught publishing phony numbers on children's firearm accidents. Centennial State freedom lover Ari Armstrong is on the case:

In their article for today's Denver Post, Joey Bunch and Kieran Nicholson claim, "More than 500 children in the United States die in gun accidents each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2007 report, which estimated 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are kept." However, there seems to be no factual basis for that claim.

The email exchange between Armstrong and the Post's Joey Bunch is a good read.

In related news, my equally beloved FOX31 Good Day Colorado peeps actually let a bit of free market capitalism spill out in today's show. The new guy (possible holiday substitute) on traffic reports suggested that on snowy days, drivers might consider using E-470 (toll road) as "they have more plows because they need to take care of their 'customers.'" MURRAY ROTHBARD, CALL YOUR OFFICE!!!

But johngalt thinks:

This is great stuff. I'm inspired to do the same sort of fact checking on energy stories. Here's the Post's correction:

Editor's note: This story was corrected. Because of a reporting error, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics on fatal shooting accidents involving children in 2007 were overstated. The number of children under 18 was 112. Also, the story misstated the number of children believed to be living in homes with guns. A survey published in Pediatrics magazine indicated, with a 95 percent confidence level, that between 1.57-1.82 million children live in a home with loaded and unlocked guns.
Doing the math, 112/1.57 million = .000071 or .0071 percent. We all wish it were zero, of course, but this rate is below and roughly equal to the rate of unintentional fall deaths.

Moral of the story: Don't leave a cocked, locked and loaded 1911 where a child can find it - empty chamber is much safer, and don't have any firearms in the house without teaching gun safety to your kids.

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Our local dishrag pales in perfidy to the New York Times. D'ja see this? Insty roundup

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 12:56 PM

December 28, 2011


One of these quadrennials, the Rudy plan is going to work!

James Pethokoukis:

4. Jon Huntsman needs no worse than a close loss in New Hampshire to keep his campaign going. But should he do that, or even pull off an outright win, maybe voters elsewhere will take another look at his conservative record as a pro-lifer who instituted a flat tax as Utah governor and supports the Paul Ryan approach to entitlement reform.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:22 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

But what did he ever help Reagan do? :-P

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 6:32 PM

National Treasure

Lenore Skenazy has appeared frequently on John Stossel's show and I have long appreciated her writing.

I suspect she is the last reasonable person in the whole nation. Her primary message is that people should evaluate statistics and not hide in the basement over whatever the media are hyping this week ("I can't go out -- there are Toyotas on the roads...")

She has a superb year-end piece in the WSJ Ed Page today on the difference between an isolated incident and a trend.

This collective decision not to distinguish between rare screw-ups and systemic dangers is turning us into neurotic Nellies who worry about, warn against and, finally, outlaw very safe things. My favorite recall from the Consumer Product Safety Commission a few years back concerned a chair that had a screw protruding from the underside. While the commission reported that there had been "no reports of injuries to humans," there had been "one report of a dog's fur becoming entangled in the screw."

Call my lawyer! When a twisted tuft is enough to prompt a 20,000-chair recall, that's setting the safety bar pretty high.

Ms. Skenazy is raising her son, not only to have the delightful sobriquet "Izzy Skenazy" but also to be a confident young man who can walk around his neighborhood and ride the subway by himself. The whole article is excellent.

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 6:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

Review Corner

I have put this particular Review Corner off because I wished to do a serious post. Yet, Professor Reynolds serves up a sweet segue today, linking to How the Government Has Caused America's Obesity Problem.

The book, of course, is the oft Reynolds recommended Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. And the surprise is that it is really not a diet book. In fact, I was forced to pony up another thirteen bucks for an actual diet book to follow Taubes's precepts.

Good Calories, Bad Calories is an epistemology book. He examines data from more than a century of dietary research. At the risk over over-synopsizing 500 pages, he suggests that the accepted wisdom is built on unproven concepts and weak data, while dispositive results are thoughtlessly discarded. The fundamental bedrock principle of "eat fewer calories and exercise more" to lose weight is (my words) a bunch of hooey.

We've broached the idea of bad government programs on these pages, and I like to reference "The Four Food Groups" and "The Food Pyramid" when my interlocutor suggests government involvement in our private lives to be a good thing. But Taubes documents the medical community's misfeasance and government's malfeasance in propagating these bad ideas. Of course, it continues to this day in FLOTUS's "" which I understand is being quietly withdrawn.

Epistemologically (a great MadLibs® adverb), I cannot help but draw a parallel to climate change. You start a logical assertion: "more CO2 in the atmosphere will retain more heat" or "calories ingested must be less than calories expended." Both statements are demonstrably true -- and yet, both operate in the context of a sophisticated, un-modelable, incomprehensibly complex and chaotic system. Neither the Earth nor your body is designed for ceteris paribus. The Earth can raise clouds and you can moderate your metabolism or digestion.

Yet the science is very much settled in both fields. The core principles are never truly proven but are accepted. Then a body of work investigates ancillary principles with scientific rigor. It's as if we accept that the moon is made of cheese, then commission elaborate measurement of cheese viscosity and density to complete our understanding.

Before the hate mail comes: of course both could be correct. Global warming might be real and low-fat diets and exercise plans might be effective weight loss in some group of people. But both should be evaluated by scientists who exhibit a bit of skepticism.

Five stars for what it is. He has a follow up, "Why We Get Fat," which is shorter and has more practical advice. But the comprehensiveness and serious of Good Calories, Bad Calories is a great read.

[Personal note: I lost 70 pounds and never felt better when I was on Atkins several years ago. I convinced myself that it would be difficult now but have reconsidered. Cliché though it may be, the new year will bring my triumphant return. I will start "induction" Jan 3, so that I might enjoy beer for the NHL Winter Classic on the 2nd.]


Not even a week after I declared Not Newt over his "pro"-life uber-pander, my favorite (living) economist has joined my favorite columnist in endorsing him.

"Like Ronald Reagan's tax cuts and pro-growth policies, Newt's low individual and corporate tax rates, deregulation and strong dollar monetary policies will create a boom of new investment and economic growth leading to the creation of tens of millions of new jobs over the next decade. Plus, Newt's record of helping Ronald Reagan pass the Kemp Roth tax cuts and enacting the largest capital gains tax cut in history as Speaker of the House shows he can get this plan passed and put it into action."

Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. But Sowell contradicts-

Do we wish we had another Ronald Reagan? We could certainly use one. But we have to play the hand we were dealt. And the Reagan card is not in the deck.

Fortunately for the indecisive, Iowa voters may make take the decision out of our hands. Perhaps taking my advice?

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:35 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Glad your "favorite living economist" coincides with mine. Larry Kudlow is undeclared but you can tell from his voice that he is pleased with the Speaker.

And yet, Speaker G was lambasted last night on Kudlow's show both for not buying his domain name and also for failing to get on the ballot in his home state. As a tiebreaker, I suggest you consider his un-seriousness as a candidate.

Posted by: jk at December 28, 2011 4:38 PM

I Gripe about the RNC

But this is solid gold:

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Watch for tire tread marks across Corzine's balding head soon.

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 2:20 PM

December 27, 2011

Magnitudes of Bull****

Oh man! Or, as they say on ESPN, "C'mon Man!" I'll be the first to concede that the figure of 250,000-in-federal-jack-per-Volt is a salacious, audacious figure. It's a headline grabber, it's link bait. It's a bit high.

But now that I have read the defense, it's standing up firmly. Insty links to Sebastian Blanco at AutoBlogGreen. Blanco disputes the $250,000 figure, with a flourish:

Oh, how easy it is to go viral on the Internet. All you have to do is be really, really bad at math. Or have an agenda.

The folks propagating 250K had an agenda. But were they bad at math? They divided subsidies by the current production. Likely that is not fair. Investments -- coerced from the taxpayers or not -- should be amortized over a longer run or perhaps all of production,

The goes looking for the denominator:

Here is the point: Why divide whatever amount -- $1.5 billion or otherwise -- by the number of Chevrolet Volts sold to date? If he had done this study one year from now, when we could be looking at 60,000 Volts made, as GM repeatedly has promised, the headline number would be $25,000 per car -- not $250,000.
Thus, if you divide this $1.5 billion "investment" over 60 million cars over the next 25+ years instead of the 6,000 made over the last year, or the 60,000 to be made next year, the alleged government subsidy comes to $25 per car, or what you will pay for two movie tickets in Manhattan, popcorn excluded. That's very different from the nasty $250,000 per Volt headline floating all over the Internet in the last couple of days.

Less than two Manhattan movie tickets, you cheapskate! When you realize the government is designing the next 60 million cars! That's nuthin'!

I suggest the's stirring defense actually provides a realistic figure of $25,000 -- which I consider completely and totally insane. Twenty five K of tax money to build a $40,000 car for a buyer who makes (avg) $170,000 per annum. I trust ThreeSourcers would be upset at $25 (enumerated powers, anybody?) but the whole nation should be upset at $25,000.

Of course if you divide by everyone born in the next million years...

But Keith Arnold thinks:

The fallacy is in the presuppositions. They presume GM will build, and sell, 60,000 Volts in the next year. Based on recent sales figures, that would be wildly optimistic, unless you presume that the guv'mint will either buy them all themselves, or put a gun to our heads and force us to buy them.

Which they might.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 27, 2011 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Agreed, ka. And that is to get to the only $25,000/car figure.

Full of Christmas generosity, call that a few years' production, which will be that most influenced by our [cough!] investment. That is what causes me to take the 25K figure as accurate.

That's about what I paid for my MR2 in 2004...

Posted by: jk at December 27, 2011 5:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fans of government "investment" will retort, "$1.5B is far less than was spent on the moon program, and look at all the benefits that accrued humanity from that." But the real difference is not in the dollars, it's in the technology. NASA had to oversee the invention of hundreds of new technologies to go to the moon. Electric cars were invented in the 19th century.

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 2:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Plus, Tang®

Posted by: jk at December 28, 2011 2:30 PM

The King of the Blues vs the TSA

Spoiler alert: the TSA wins. Here's the end to a superb interview with the great guitarist Elvin Bishop:

On the way to see B.B., I was at the Oakland airport going through security, and I had a jar of jam -- see, I make home made jam and I raise a big garden and can vegetables and stuff -- and B.B. loves my jam, so I was bringing him some. I forgot all the new rules and I had it in my carry on. So there was a black guy named Elvin there. He took the jam out and says "Is this home made jam?" I said, "Well, yeah." He says, "It looks delicious, is it any good?" I said "They tell me it’s pretty tasty." He said "That’s great, but you can't carry it through." He stuck it under his table here on a shelf. He didn't toss it into the trash, you know. I tried to cop a plea. I said, "Oh please, that's for B.B. King. Can't you make an exception in this one case?" He looks at me, thinking for a minute and says "Well, you tell B.B. King that the thrill is gone, and so is his jam." (Laughing)

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Guess Mr. Bishop will think twice before the next time he's gotta put on his travelin' shoes.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 27, 2011 4:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And there's yer reason why I didn't comment on this post: Waay not clever enough.

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 2:26 PM

My Inner Economist Cheers!

A niece who is Berkeleyian in geography and philosophy was in town for Christmas and came to visit Uncle John yesterday. Aside from some sharp comments about the desirability of Blu-Ray discs and the infield fly rule, we made it several hours of Christmas comity.

She told me something that is so perfect as to give me hope for the future. Did you know the San Francisco Giants change ticket prices based on the starting pitcher? Is that the coolest thing ever? I suggested it could be slightly more perfect if they gave the pitcher a bonus based on his ticket premium, but baby steps, baby steps.

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 2:12 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

You didn't mention what dear niece thought of the practice.

Posted by: johngalt at December 27, 2011 3:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Generally bemused with the attention paid to sports figures as I recall, though, baseball does not engender the opprobrium that other sports do.

Her Republican-leaning mom, however, did start in with a "so, do the poor poor children have to watch Madison Bumgarner?" but that did not get further development.

Posted by: jk at December 27, 2011 3:50 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

A few years back, I worked with a claims examiner named Desmond, who prided himself on being the ultimate Lakers fan. Desmond was ducking out of work early one day, and I asked where he was off to, and he said he was going to the Staples Center to watch the game. "The Lakers are out of town," I said. "Tonight's game at Staples is a Clippers game." (I do not follow basketball, but I do know that the Lakers and the Clippers both play their home games at Staples Center.)

"I know that," Desmond answered, "I'm a big Lakers fan, but on my salary, I can only afford Clippers tickets."

It should have been no surprise to me that even though the cost of mopping spilled beer and cleaning up dumped programs and nachos is constant from day to day, the price of tickets changed based on who was on the marquee. This was back in the day when the Lakers could do no wrong, while the Clippers' ad campaign was basically "come watch the (Nuggets/Mavericks/etc) kick Clipper butt up and down the court!"

Of course, if you REALLY want free-market economics in professional athletics, then we'll be having a discussion about ending the salary cap...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 27, 2011 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...on my salary, I can only afford Clippers tickets." To which you retort, "But at least you're earning enough to support your family AND fritter some of it away on a few hours of non-productive diversion. Ain't capitalism grand!"

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 3:02 PM

The End of a Great Blog

I thank those of you who have enjoyed this blog. I fear it may never be the same as I plan to mention Kim Kardashian. There. I did it. Turn out the lights.

One hears of Ms. K all the time, but I prided myself on the little piece of snobbery that I did not know who she was. A month ago, I saw an attractive exotic figure on a magazine cover and inquired "who's that?" Virginity ends so abruptly sometimes...

Bill McGurn sullies the WSJ Ed Page by discussing the pop icon under the rubric of taxation. Some Golden-staters are ready to forgive her promiscuity -- but not her profitability:

The organization is called Courage Campaign and its website reveals it to be a California mélange of activist groups and labor unions. In a video that presents Ms. Kardashian in some of her more conspicuously consumptive moments, Courage Campaign claims that while Ms. Kardashian made more than $12 million in 2010, she paid only one percentage point more in taxes (10.3%) than a middle-class Californian (9.3%).

I'm not posting a photo (the WSJ's is modest and not especially flattering), but I am linking. Because, yesterday's announcement that good looks were as valuable as a college degree clearly shows that it is time to institute the hotness tax. Clearly, Kim and I will have to pay our share based on the additional abundance our winsomeness has provided. It's a fair cop, guv.

But johngalt thinks:

Best McGurn line - "It says much about the progressive Puritanism of our age that what these folks really find most sleazy about Ms. Kardashian is not her sex tape or her marriage, but that she's unembarrassed about making money."

First Michelle Obama, and now Kim Kardashian. Quick, somebody tweet #Occupy!

Posted by: johngalt at December 27, 2011 3:38 PM

Full of Christmas Spirit!

It may be the 27th, but the generosity still lives in my veins.

The Hawaii Reporter well, reports, and Instapundit links that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also vacationing in The Aloha State.

Pelosi spent the last two Christmas holidays in Kona at the same hotel in an elaborate suite that rents for $10,000 a night.

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai's details its luxurious setting and amenities on its web site: "Gloriously revitalised, this natural tropical paradise offers more than ever to explore -- with a newly expanded Spa, beachfront dining, fashion boutiques and new Deluxe Suites, in addition to Jack Nicklaus signature golf. Set on the Big Island's exclusive Kona-Kohala Coast, this showpiece resort captures the essence of Hawaiian design, culture and tradition."

She's richer than God and spending her own dough, is she not? There is $34K for security, but she is in the line of succession, so we'd pay that in Poughkeepsie probably.

Coming soon: Senator Chuck Schumer is really a saint...

112th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

No, she is not in the Presidential line of succession. At least, not in the first 18.

Alas, she still behaves as though she is.

Posted by: johngalt at December 27, 2011 3:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Ah yes, I had forgotten that she had lost. Talk about waking up and not realizing it is Saturday and you don't have to go to school...

She was #3 for a bit. Is security offered in perpetuity?

Posted by: jk at December 27, 2011 3:56 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Historians in the future will remark that, at the low-water mark of partisan politics, Nancy Pelosi was two heartbeats away from the Oval Office - and the guy in front of her was Joe Biden.

A republic, ma'am -- if you can keep it...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 27, 2011 5:18 PM

December 26, 2011

That explains it!

Brother ac and I have both enjoyed successful careers without a college degree. The 2008 German General Social Survey (Allbus) conducted by the Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences has finally resolved this seeming conundrum.

The Local: Higher Ed Bubble: Being Hot is as Valuable as Having a College Degree

Hat-tip: Insty

Education Posted by John Kranz at 5:51 PM | What do you think? [0]

All Hail Taranto!

He may be on vacation, but you can't stop a writer from Tweeting. James suggests "The dangers of refined carbohydrates"

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a published recipe for churros, a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

December 25, 2011

Gift from Terri!

She didn't really give it to us, but I know she'd want us to have it on Christmas:

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:10 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at December 25, 2011 11:29 PM

December 24, 2011

Extra Coffeehousin'

Just like Santa, whippin' things out on Christmas Eve!

Merry-Merry, Yall!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Thanks for the holiday cheer!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 29, 2011 1:21 PM

Joyeaux Noel

NED bless America, girls in pink dresses, and free market capitalism. T-Mobile produces a flash mob production of a Robert Allen / Al Stillman favorite. Go fullscreen and crank it up.

But jk thinks:

Awesome. I liked it okay on TV (maybe I was distracted as my beloved donkeys were getting spanked) but I really enjoyed taking a second look here.

And yaay for the free market capitalism reference. I'll go one more if I may. In another fruitless Facebook discussion, I was extolling the virtues of division of labor -- not just for prosperity but for freedom. I don't want to farm or fish or hunt for my food and suspect I would be very very thin were I forced to.

I looked for the "how this came together" video, clicked the wrong one and watched Carly, her dresses and the dress designer, Debra LeClair. Ms. LeClair detailed the time she spent designing each dress, and Ms. Foulkes spoke to the selection process.

Hate to go all "Devil Wears Prada" on you, but thinking of the (well spent if you ask me) millions of dollars to put that pink dress on that young lady makes me appreciate an economy that creates creative jobs. Lotsa dress designers in North Korea? I'm guessin' not.

Posted by: jk at December 24, 2011 8:27 PM

Not a Creature Was Stirring...

It's Christmas Eve and the magical hour is nigh, but in the internet age it's not too late to write a letter to Santa Claus.

(It's a great option for kids too.)

Fort Lupton, Colorado, United States

Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Eric. I am a boy and I am already 48 years old!! I live in the great city of Fort Lupton. Of course, that's in Colorado, United States but I'll bet you knew that! This year I've been so good that I should be the angel on top of the tree!

Santa Claus, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
- smart phone;
- new pair of hockey skates; and,
- Rush Limbaugh endorsement for Mitt Romney.

Santa Claus, I almost forgot to say... Please also give something nice to Timmy Tebow and the rest of the Broncos. A deep run into the playoffs would be nice!

Love, Eric

Quote of the Day

[Instapundit] Reader Marian Booker writes: "A group of people organized by True The Vote in Houston went to Austin to shine light on the need for photo ID in voting, on the day of Eric Holder's speech. One speaker noted the irony of declaring photo ID to be too onerous a burden in the voting booth, but that photo ID was required to get into the building where Eric Holder was speaking against requiring photo ID. I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue!"

December 23, 2011

Frohe Weihnachten

I had this in mind all day, and dear blog brother KA's holiday cheer in an unrelated comment made it a must. Please join in the merriment with your comments. Merry Christmas to all.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here I am, scarcely a trebuchet's throw from Hollywood, and there you are, in the winter wonderland of Colorado. A hit, a palpable hit!

I have taken the liberty of crediting JG when I re-posted the video to Facebook. A Joyous Christmas wish goes out to all -

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 23, 2011 6:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Nice. It looks quite a bit like that today.

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2011 11:18 PM

Eagle Scouts!

Eagle Scouts

Boy Scout Troop 62 in Erie, Colorado recently graduated three Eagle Scouts. Fewer than 4 percent of all scouts achieve this rank. The effort took 6-7 years for each scout, each participated in more than 200 scout meetings, earned at least 21 merit badges, six rank advancements, went on at least 120 nights of camping and performed more than 200 hours of community service. To paraphase Joe Biden, it's a big deal.

One of the scouts was Son of Refugee (who's real name is Brett). Pictured above from left to right are Nathanael, Brett and Dylan.

But johngalt thinks:


Congratulations to the scouts for such a hard-won achievement. At the same time, kudos to the parents and scout troop that make such greatness possible.

Posted by: johngalt at December 23, 2011 3:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Outstanding!! Thanks for posting.

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2011 11:15 PM

Last Minute Gift Idea

The Refugee had been sweating .30 caliber, 150 grain bullets trying to think of the perfect gift for Mrs. Refugee. Along comes an ad on the local talk radio station, 850 KOA, for laser hair removal. "What better gift than a laser hair removal monthly subscription?" says the ad.

"Indeed!" thinks The Refugee. Won't the Little Mrs. be pleased when he presents her with an envelope, not for a day of luxurious spa and facial treatments, with an opportunity to get rid of that unwanted hair? And for just a little more, varicose veins and non-invasive fat removal! But that's not all - for a limited time they are offering a 2 for 1 special. What better way to spend a little romantic time together than getting those stubborn hairs lased?

"Perhaps they have side-by-side beds," thinks The Refugee with unrestrained anticipation. He can hardly wait to see the look on Mrs. Refugee's face!

Shhh... don't tell her... this has to be a surprise!

Humor Posted by Boulder Refugee at 1:30 PM | What do you think? [0]

Michelle Obama - Randian

Whoops, I hope moveon-dot-org doesn't find out about this.

Barbara Walters, ABC News: "Mrs. Obama, you've recently said something that I thought was very interesting for other women to hear. You said 'you put your own self highest on your priority list.' That sounds selfish?"

Michelle Obama: "No, no, it's practical. It's something that I found I needed to do for quite some time, even before the presidency. And I found it other women, in similar situated balancing career family, trying to do it all and a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we're so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others."

Yes, Michelle, it is selfish. What it is not is a shameful act. The next thing you know you'll be saying people should pay their own way. Baby steps.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Point of order, Mr. Chairman:

Mrs. Obama may in fact may in fact be - obliquely - getting in touch with her inner Randian, but only as regards herself. She puts herself first, which is one important aspect, and one for which none of us here would fault her, if that aspect were taken on its own. However:

(1) That philosophy also requires that she respect that same right of others to put themselves first and manage their own lives. Trying to dictate how we live, what we eat, and what we think violates that.

(2) Putting herself first in her own life is fine, but someone genuinely true to our philosophy would do so on the strength of their own resources and abilities. She should, as you write, "pay her own way." Her vacations are not being paid for by the family resources and the Obama paycheck; they are underwritten from the public coffers, funded by confiscatory taxation, and extravagantly so. The product of our labors is redistributed to her to finance her lifestyle. Ergo, there's a lot more looter and moocher than Randian in this recipe.

I realize that the post has the tongue firmly planted in the cheek, but if I can play Counterpoint to your Point, I'd brand her not so much a Randian as a self-involved, self-indulgent, extravagant, elitist beyotch. It seems to me that her Marie Antoinette street cred is secure.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 23, 2011 12:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, yes, yes and yes - minus the satisfying but counterproductive ad hominem. ;)

What I liked about this story is that even a doctrinaire statist like Mrs. Hussein Obama has to admit that she is the best person to decide what is good for her self. I don't really expect her to disavow her statist ways because of this contradiction but it is a good example to others that no amount of government will replace one's own self-interested effort. (Stop demanding, start producing.)

It's also another rare opportunity to explain that selfishness isn't immoral, it's survival.

Posted by: johngalt at December 23, 2011 1:25 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Satisfying? Most assuredly. Counter-productive? Perhaps, perhaps not; definitely not as counter-productive as most of the economic policies of the current Administration (and I mean "productive" in the economic sense, I suppose). You have no idea how much restraint it took to spell "beyotch" with seven letters. Ad hominem? The truth is an absolute defense, though I will defer to my gracious hosts who allow me to participate here: your house, your rules, and if I have been too off-color, please accept my apologies.

Today, I choose to celebrate the high degree of agreement you and I share on all the points we do. And, it being December 23, Happy Festivus to one and all. Should I not have the opportunity to post again in the next couple of days, a joyous Christmas to everyone at ThreeSources, friends and family included.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 23, 2011 3:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are the picture of decorum brother. It's just that I make every effort to keep my posts as objective and defensible as possible in a probably misguided effort to be persuasive to Kool-Aid drinkers. It's a personal thing. (And if that's the only part I choose not to agree with you on it was a damned good comment!)

Posted by: johngalt at December 23, 2011 5:13 PM

December 22, 2011

Colorado's First 'Lectricar!

Oh joy, the future has come to the Centennial State:

Passarelli said the sticker price on his [Nissan Leaf] was about $38,000 -- OK, so it isn't exactly a gift -- but with federal and local tax credits and rebates, the final price was about $26,000.

The other $12,000 will be provided my magic wands and faerie dust...

But johngalt thinks:

... and Mary Katherine Ham, et. al.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 5:19 PM

Not Newt

Yesterday I wrote of my indecision between Newt and Romney. Today, I've decided. Based upon this report, Newt has lost me.

Gingrich holds that a microscopic clump of largely undifferentiated cells inside a woman’s body deserves the same legal protections as a born infant living independently outside its mother’s body. His dogmatic position utterly defies the facts of pregnancy and the status of the zygote or fetus, as well as the basis and meaning of individual rights. Individuals need rights to live successfully with others; the concept cannot apply to a zygote or fetus wholly contained within another’s body. A woman is an independent person with the right to live her own life in accordance with her own judgment. A zygote or fetus is not. Abortion bans severely harm women and their partners by violating their rights.

Do I believe Romney is "pro-choice?" No more than the Personhood crowd trusts him as anti-choice. But I do find him wise enough to bury the issue, not highlight it.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:44 PM | What do you think? [8]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You've just gotta hate these single-issue voters. (just kiddin').

"A woman is an independent person with the right to live her own life in accordance with her own judgment. A zygote or fetus is not."

Oh, by the way, newborns, toddlers and even some young adults are not capable of living life by his or her own judgement, either. Some mentally and physically disabled persons are also not able to function independently. Is Ari Armstrong suggesting that it's OK to terminate their existance as well? The argurment is a rather un-nuanced sound bite.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 22, 2011 4:40 PM
But jk thinks:

From a purely political perspective, I think Armstrong is correct to suggest that the Speaker's "walkback" and subsequent pander to Hawkeye State voters is a little too doctrinaire.

"Fools rush in," said Johnny Mercer, "where angels fear to tread." I struggle with the interstice of viability but want to afford rights to adult women.

The "Point of conception" reasoning equates the blastocyst with a human being with a developed brain. I'm a squish but cannot go that far. Armstrong's point is that a plurality of the electorate can be scared off with that comparison as well.

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2011 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A little context-dropping, BR? How does a medical procedure on one individual cause "termination of existence" of another?

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 5:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I left this for the reader to infer but the reason I reject Newt is not for his position on this issue, but how ham-handedly he deals with it. Colorado suffered greatly when Senator Bennet stole a second term from Ken Buck. I refuse to be a part of that scenario in the presidential race.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 5:59 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Not sure that there is any context dropping, JG. The article does not appear to have a more nuanced position. The Refugeed continues to maintain that a science-based definition of life (i.e., the opposite of the definition of death) must be adopted (no pun intended). However, he realizes that such is not the case.

The real issue here, however, is Newt's position. JK is likely correct that this is nothing more than Iowa Evangelical pandering, similar to his Iowa Ethanol pandering. When it comes to pandering, Newt takes a back seat to no one.

There may be many reasons to not vote for Newt, but abortion probably isn't one of them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 22, 2011 7:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Show of hands: Who thinks thinks Newt's opportunistic pandering won't, should he be nominated, come back to life as one of these?

Not much nuance there either, eh?

Posted by: johngalt at December 23, 2011 12:01 PM

Tebowing on Ice

I haven't made a habit of posting "Tebowing" pics. In fact, only once before, but this one is almost as worthy.

According to center Tyler Bozak, Orr wasn't the only Maple Leaf planning to strike a pose.

"I'm a Tebow fan, too, and I thought about doing it," Bozak told the Toronto Star after the game. "(Orr) knew he was going to score -- he's a breakaway guy, he's a breakaway specialist."

A commenter wrote, "tebow is the antichrist. people doing a prayer pose to symbolis him instead of the man JC. when he tries to rule the world remember you heard it hear first." No, mike9ersfan, Tebow is not the anti-Christ. I am, and I say Tebow is Just Allright With Me.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 3:24 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I don't think I've ever seen a Doobie Brothers allusion here at ThreeSources before. Extremism in musical references is no vice, and what were vices are now habits.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 22, 2011 3:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Without blogs, where would you be right now?

I actually posted the Orr video on Facebook the other day. I suggested the goalie might not have appreciated the gesture, and brother ac added that he might go All Ron Hextall on him.

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2011 3:54 PM

We Could Sell Him "Dogs for Bush!"

ABC News:

RICHMOND, Va. -- Forget the back and forth attacks with Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich's campaign has decided to take another route on his bid to the Republican nomination: pets and music.

Mister Speaker! Might I suggest: Pets and Music.

UPDATE: ThreeSourcer newbies: In a more innocent time, we ran, inviting users to submit pictures and stories to support President Bush's re-election. We attracted enough hate attention to make the exercise worthwhile.

I got tired of paying ten bucks a year to keep the domain name, but all the entries are available at

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 PM | What do you think? [0]

Christmas Coffeehousin'

[Bumped to match the weather!]

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

"Keep those Sammy Cahn tunes coming!"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Featuring the oft discussed but rarely seen new Tablebeast Amp!

ThreeSourcers who want to hear the amp in all its glory should download the MP3 (audio) or MP4 (video) to escape the compression enforced by YouTube and Vimeo.

December 21, 2011

The Risk-On Trade II

One must collect and enumerate one's investments and assets before the new year.

I have a Starbucks gift card with $2.17 on it, some change in the ash tray, and a bet I plan to collect on next August.

After gold got hammered, I got to wondering whether I could find the details of an internecine ThreeSources wager and its status. I found it and am glad to report that I'm looking good (like I'd post an incremental update t'were I losing!)

To recap, Brother jg and I placed virtual $100 bets on August 27, 2011. He whose is worth more on August 27, 2012 will be drinking on the other's tab:

JG: GLD 0.578 * 157.16 = $ 90.84
JK: SPY 0.862 * 124.17 + $ 107.03

But johngalt thinks:

Buy high, sell ... err ... well, I'm not sellin' yet. Still got my fingers crossed for a Euro collapse to send those GLD shares soarin'!

(And I'm pleased, as much as I consider myself an optimist, that b. brother JK is more so.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 11:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Chins up, Jimi P and Mohamed A. El-Erian have a less-than-rosy outlook: Is this as good as it gets? 2012 could see big downshift for U.S. economy

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2011 1:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Friends, it's never too late to invest in precious metals. And by "precious metals," I mean lead.

I note that there are exactly two industries in America that are having an upswing in retail sales: McDonald's and gun shops. McDonald's' new-found profit may well be spite buying as a response to the First Klingon's pronouncements; on firearms, draw your own conclusions, but my take is that if your wish-list of stocking stuffers includes "ammo" at any point, it's no longer a sign that you might be a redneck.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 22, 2011 1:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Mondo heh! But don't forget the 100W light bulb. I fully expect to use them as currency in a post Obama dystopia.

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2011 2:04 PM

I Would Call this Stupid

The Speaker ran for President, and nobody acquired ? WaPo:

The pro-Democratic super PAC American Bridge has bought the domain and programmed it to redirect to various Web sites, a clever attack on the former House speaker. The link might take you to Freddie Mac's Web site, Tiffany’s, information about Greek cruises , or to the ad Gingrich cut with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in favor of addressing climate change. Sometimes the page goes to a Post article about his campaign's June implosion.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

Newt - Romney - Newt - Romney

For two days I rested comfortably with my hypothesis that Newt's unpredictability and questionable ideas are best avoided and we'll just go along with Ann Coulter and get behind Romney. "We don't need or maybe even want a conservative crusader in the White House" I mused. "A potted plant with an R after his or her name is what we should seek in order to produce Oval Office signatures on the bills of a TEA Party congress. Leave the ideologues in the smaller, more divested offices of national government."

Then, yesterday, Thomas Sowell wrote this:

Can you name one important positive thing that Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts? Can anyone? Does a candidate who represents the bland leading the bland increase the chances of victory in November 2012? A lot of candidates like that have lost, from Thomas E. Dewey to John McCain.

Is losing with the firebrand less palatable than losing with the "sure-thing moderate Republican with great hair?" Here's to not having to decide before February 7, the Colorado Caucus date.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

Which Superhero?

Nine year old Ari seeks the truth.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | What do you think? [0]

I'll Be Taranto this Week...

Two Internet Alternative Media Outlets in One:

The Objectivist with the Dragon Tattoo (March 12, 2011)
With his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, for reasons that will likely forever remain unknown, a Scandinavian leftist managed to create a libertarian parable for the ages.

Pulp Fascism: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (December 21, 2011)
This series of potboilers, like The Silence of the Lambs, involves a serial killer, sadism, women in peril, a secret cell where awful things happen to captured victims, and an unusual crime-solving partnership between a man and a woman. What it doesn't offer is the slightest instance of plausibility, psychological depth, or even clever dialogue. And as directed by David Fincher, the Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo isn't far from being rated X.

JK's take.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

December 20, 2011

The Other Side to the Story.

Lest we be tagged unfair, here is the pro-totalitarian side of the story. From The Guardian, of course:

Václav Havel: another side to the story: The Czech leader was a brave man, but the voices of those who lost out after communism's demise are seldom heard
A 2011 OECD report found that Havel's Czech Republic had the joint-second largest rise in income inequality in OECD members since the mid-1980s

Boo freakin' hooo! Leave it to the folks at The Guardian to long for the equality of Soviet Czechoslovakia.

co-Hat-tip: @JimPethokoukis and @radleybalko

One Handed Economist Watch

As a lover of liberty and free markets, I join the WSJ Ed Page in disapprobation for the scuttled ATT - T-Mobile merger. Fatal Conceit writ large:

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA announced a tie-up in March because the former needed spectrum to serve its customers better, and the latter was faltering and wanted out of the U.S. market. AT&T customers would benefit from faster service, and T-Mobile shareholders would get a fat premium that other potential buyers weren't willing to pay. Union workers would benefit from more jobs as AT&T built out its 4G network. AT&T even agreed to hand over $3 billion in cash and spectrum rights with a book value of $1 billion to the Germans if the deal fell through.

Enter the Justice Department, which sued in August to block the deal on antitrust concerns, a move later seconded by the Federal Communications Commission. The regulators claimed the merger would crimp competition, based on ancient market-share models like the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index.

On the other hand, as a television viewer, if this means six more months of Carly Foulkes ads, I am willing to abandon my ideals.

But johngalt thinks:

I've been a T-Mobile customer since 1997 when they were little ol' Voicestream. Good service at the best price has kept me a loyal fan. I was leery of the AT&T merger for reasons of quality, not economy. Some say the $4B payoff from AT&T was a stroke of genius by T-Mobile that could even lead to AT&T's demise. (see comments) But yes, "Justice" Department, FCC - politics and ideology trump economics - jackwagons.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:48 PM
But jk thinks:

I was on T-Mobile for many years and miss my old rate. Sadly, I do not get T-Mobile service at le condo d'amour and switched to AT&T. I have been happy but pay quite a bit more.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2011 3:33 PM

If not for its veracity, this would be humorous

The notoriously bankrupt MF Global's assets apparently will cover about 82 cents on the dollar of its obligations to customers. The de facto bankrupt Social Security's assets will cover about 83 cents on the dollar of its obligations to beneficiaries. Jon Corzine, meet Social Security! -- Alex J, Pollock

Segue of the Year

Like the Oscars, they always pitch their best in December to try and get the coveted pick. But Bret Stephens, at the WSJ Ed Page schools this segue lover on how it is done.

As cosmic coincidences go, the deaths of Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong Il in the same week the U.S. pulled the last of its troops out of Iraq is hard to ignore. Havel made the exposure of tyranny the great task of his life. Kim was tyranny personified. And the war in Iraq was the bruising leap over the wall of global indifference behind which all tyrannies subsist.

The power of indifference is something I first understood from Havel himself after interviewing him, over a beer, in the gardens of Prague's Czernin Palace. The occasion was a June 2007 conference of international dissidents that he co-chaired with Israel's Natan Sharansky. I asked him about his views on the war in Iraq. He had once supported it, but now he was more tentative. The rationale, he said, had not been "well-articulated." The timing of the invasion was "questionable." As in the 1960s, the U.S. risked becoming an emblem of William Fulbright's "arrogance of power."

Then Havel stopped himself and, as he seemed wont to do, put the train of his thought in reverse. "The world," he concluded, "could not be indifferent forever to a murderer like Saddam Hussein."

I once read somewhere "During my long journey through the world of evil, I had discovered three sources of power: the power of an individual's inner freedom, the power of a free society, and the power of the solidarity of the free world." I have not given up on Sharanskyism, but feel that we face an existential crisis in domestic policy. If we are to follow Europe's economic example, we will accept Europe's inability to alter events. This will please my Facebook friends and my big-L libertarian friends. But the cause of liberty and prosperity is not served.

But johngalt thinks:

And yet, in honoring those who served in Iraq, the president never mentions the dismantling of a despotic regime. Not once. Instead it's an opportunity for partisanship and ideology:

"See, there's a reason our military is the most respected institution in America. They don't see themselves or each other as Democrats first or Republicans first. They see themselves as Americans first.


This cannot be a country where division and discord stand in the way of our progress. This is a moment where we must come together to ensure that every American has the chance to work for a decent living, own their own home, send their kids to college, and secure a decent retirement."

"Our" progress? Every American had a better chance at all of those things, before government resolved to "help."

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:27 PM

Headline of the Day

Like Woodstock for Tyrants: Cuba Declares Three Days of Mourning for Kim Jong-il --
North Korea Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | What do you think? [0]

To Do List


North Korea Posted by John Kranz at 11:09 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:



Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 11:47 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm an insufferable MSFT apologist, but a liberty lover and web programmer with IE and Ahmadinijad in range with one bullet would be facing a serious conundrum.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2011 12:22 PM

December 19, 2011

True Grit

A Facebook friend (in law enforcement) posted this.

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 7:21 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

"Just a few days ago she learned how to shoot a rifle. 'I felt, proud of myself." Well said!

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:36 PM
But jk thinks:

The pink .22 -- I love it!

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2011 2:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: Last minute gift idea.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:52 PM


Professor Reynolds totally scooped me on the fancy East Tennessee cheeses thing. I was gong to do a nice write-up and BANG! he's already got it.

I Hired Greg Mankiw to Write my Blog Post

No, not really. But that was an awesome headline, huh?

I wanted to write a devastating takedown of Yoram Bauman's evil NYTimes article. Bauman is the very humorous "Stand Up Economist" whose work has graced these pages. I've drawn some cold air around my molars at some of the political/philosophical positions in his comedy routines, but they are funny and smart, so I enjoy them as one might enjoy NPR.

Bauman proves that economists are greedy bastards, because -- and here I must borrow heavily from @ModeledBehavior 's 140 character takedown -- "Students are 'free riding' by not donating to left wing interest groups?"

That's the gist of it. It is pure tommyrot, wrapped in a bow and presented as data. I was determined to show my beloved ThreeSourcers its folly. Thankfully, Professor N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard beat me to the punch:

Yet I am not persuaded by the evidence he gives that economics classes are failing to do that. Maybe, having heard both sides of the story, the students make better decisions, just not the ones that Yoram appears to approve of! Perhaps the students were persuaded by this famous insight: "By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it."

And no, that is not Gordon Gekko.

Midgets Walked the Earth!

I'm suspending the rules of de mortuis nil nisi bonum (more a guideline, actually...)

This guy watched as hundreds of millions were released from tyranny and privation, only to grab the reins of despotism more tightly. May Hitch and Ms. Rand be wrong, as there should be a hell -- if only to house this man.

Photo Credit and more sic semper tyrannis-y goodness: AP

UPDATE: Homage to the ThreeSources logo: It's so Ronery in the Dark!

North Korea Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [6]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If Hitch and Ms. Rand are in fact wrong on that point, then perhaps Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi are no longer ronery.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 19, 2011 11:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The diminuative dictator's timely death presents an opportunity to show how America could achieve a "fairer distribution" of wealth. No greedy millionaires in the DPRK! Well, except for "Dear Leader" and his minions. If we have a "one percent" the communist role model has a one-per-million.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2011 2:30 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It was just shared with me that that the Twitterati were hard at work last night, shocked at the sudden and unexpected death of Lil Kim. Not the height-challenged Korean dictator, however - the rumor circulating was about a thug rap "artist." Note the identity of Twit #2; you might recognize the name:

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 19, 2011 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And twit #22 seems familiar too.

(Honestly, I'm just impressed there aren't more misspellings in those tweets.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2011 4:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Heh! That was exactly the headline The Refugee considered when seeing the news.

Nice cogent comment, JG!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 19, 2011 7:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Like I could ever tell them apart...

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2011 7:32 PM

December 18, 2011

Giants Walked the Earth

The Velvet Revolution's Vaclav Havel has died. I celebrated Christopher Hitchens for his gift of spreading ideas. Havel turned ideas (and in my opinion less than-stellar rock and roll) into freedom for . . . how many? We can't count. Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch like to credit Havel with the fall of the Soviet Union. I'd give equal billing to President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, Pope John Paul, and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

But Havel gets bonus points for continuing to speak out for liberty long after the USSR was vanquished. Havel remained a player until his death at 75.

Gillespie digs up Welch's 2003 Profile in Reason. I'm going to steal his pull quote comparing Havel to George Orwell. Then I'll suggest you can read it to encompass Havel, Orwell, and Orwell's recent biographer Christopher Hitchens.

Like Orwell, Havel was a fiction writer whose engagement with the world led him to master the nonfiction political essay. Both men, in self-described sentiment, were of "the left," yet both men infuriated the left with their stinging criticism and ornery independence. Both were haunted by the Death of God, delighted by the idiosyncratic habits of their countrymen, and physically diminished as a direct result of their confrontation with totalitarians (not to mention their love of tobacco). As essentially neurotic men with weak mustaches, both have given generations of normal citizens hope that, with discipline and effort, they too can shake propaganda from everyday language and stand up to the foulest dictatorships.

Unlike Orwell, Havel lived long enough to enjoy a robust third act, and his last six months in office demonstrated the same kind of restless, iconoclastic activism that has made him an enemy of ideologues and ally of freedom lovers for nearly five decades.


UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page weighs in:

Havel was given many awards in his lifetime, though never the Nobel Prizes (for peace or literature) which he so richly deserved. But notable among his prizes was Germany's prestigious Quadriga Award, which he won in 2009 and then returned earlier this year when Vladimir Putin was named the 2011 recipient.

It was that old disgust with hypocrisy again. When he died Sunday at age 75, he knew his legacy lived on with freedom-seeking people around the world, not least the imprisoned signatories of China's Charter 08 who took their inspiration directly from him. Their day of freedom is coming.

December 17, 2011


Jim Treacher institutes a caption contest for the Obama's Christmas Photo. (And starts it off with the humorous "But I do think, at a certain point, you've got enough presents.")

But I think it is a charming picture and will set aside my fulsome disagreement with all of the President's economic policies to salute his darling children and revel that my life has seen the progress from segregated drinking fountains to an African American President. Yes, I wish it had been Secretary Rice, but Merry Christmas.

But johngalt thinks:

"A politics of class-warfare is so inhumane - the ultra-wealthy are human beings too, you know?"

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2011 7:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Happy Holidays from the White House. Well, actually, we'll be in Hawaii for Christmas this year, and probably in Spain or Greece next Christmas. But you know what we mean. And of course, the next Christmas after that, we'll be back in Chicago, permanently."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 17, 2011 8:25 PM

Giants Walked the Earth

Christopher Hitchens was one of -- if not the -- last element in the set intersection of journalist and public intellectual. He embraced ideas of the left and offered me the most sincere and rational challenges to my beliefs that I have encountered. He did a great book with The Weekly Standard's Chris Caldwell: Left Hooks, Right Crosses. Each submitted a dozen or so favorite articles or papers which captured or reinforced his beliefs and wrote an introduction. His half of this compilation and his Letters to a Young Contrarian represent the most logical (if still unconvincing) arguments for left wing ideas I have ever encountered.

Of course, my introduction to Hitch was his magisterial No One Left to Lie To, which perhaps wins the award for greatest title ever

He crossed the road so frequently to become an object of true affection for those on the right. Reading The Long Short War or No One Left lead many to claim him for our side. Jonah Goldberg pens an awesome G-File today, comparing Hitch to Whittaker Chambers. Jonah brushes with claiming Hitchens.

I first got the idea that Hitchens might be a man of the Right after watching him on C-Span discussing the Odyssey. He was on with, among others, Jody Bottum and a left-wing female academic who (at least as far as I remember it) had little to offer other than blah-blah-blah-white-males-blah-blah (I'm paraphrasing). Hitchens had no use for the woman and really had nothing to say to her. Meanwhile, he could have a real argument with Bottum because they could at least agree that the text matters and that indictments of the heterosexist norms of the Pale Penis People were not that interesting. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to me that Hitch -- who believed in the importance of Western Civilization (he said he'd rather defend Western Civilization than denounce John Ashcroft), gloried in the splendor of the Canon, admired other cultures but rejected utterly the asininity of multicultural leveling -- was certainly not a man of the contemporary Left, or maybe not of the Left at all

If you do not subscribe to Jonah's letter you are mad, but let me know and I will forward this superb column to you.

Beyond polemics and his evangelical atheism, his brief biography of Thomas Jefferson, books on Henry Kissinger and Mother Theresa, and Why Orwell Matters deserve a serious place in scholarship.

Hitch was a man of reason, a man of western enlightenment, and a man of great intellectual and physical courage. At the suggestion of a Facebook friend, we toasted his Hitchness at 7:00 last night. I don't think he'd appreciate a "requiescat in pace" so Cheers, Hitch!

But johngalt thinks:

I'm glad you posted a tribute to Hitchens. When I read of his passing I thought it should be done, and also thought I could not do him justice. Your effort proves both points.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2011 7:44 PM

December 16, 2011

Newt goes Turtle?

The warts were just too big, too numerous for someone as outspoken and as long standing in DC, tho' I think Mitt got too testy too quick; his last comment should have ended after "He went to DC to do good, and stayed to do well."

Prof. Douthat chimes in: Conservatives may want catharsis, but the rest of the public seems to mainly want reassurance. They already know Barack Obama isn't the messiah he was once cracked up to be. What they don't know is whether they can trust anyone else to do better.

If Newt were the nominee, the campaign could too easily be turned away from the story of O. It's got to stay there; just too big a winning combination to be put down lightly. No, the suited-to-gray Romney is the oatmeal candidate needed, IMO. The story of O must be crushed, such that the Pelosi's, Reid's, Van Joneses, Jaczko's, etc. go into the night as quickly as possible.

I'll leave the last to the professor: Newt Gingrich might debate circles around Obama. He might implode spectacularly, making a hot mess of himself while the president keeps his famous cool. But either way, setting up a grand rhetorical showdown seems unlikely

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:14 AM | What do you think? [7]
But johngalt thinks:

Watched last night's debate with dad. At the beginning he was heckling Romney and cheering Newt. I watched him jump horses midway through, after both had given multiple answers. I think he'd have done so even without my encouragement. I agree that Newt's futures contracts are in the toilet. And those Ann Coulter columns aren't helping him any.

Posted by: johngalt at December 16, 2011 11:50 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Nano: whether your reference in the title was intended to aim at "turning turtle" or to the old "post turtle" joke, I heartily approve.

Remember, one and all - even Ronald Reagan didn't have his nomination locked in until June. Six months is a political eternity. We've watched four candidates soar and plummet in the last couple of months as they've taken turns being the not-Romney flavor of the weeks. Anything could happen between now and the convention next August.

Totally off topic, by the way, but since this site follows the careers of Whedon alums, I thought you'd be interested to know that Our Mrs. Reynolds is the new spokeslady for Johnnie Walker. Draw your own conclusions...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 16, 2011 12:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I will drink to that and Christopher Hitchens.

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2011 6:13 PM
But jk thinks:

And I need some help on the Turtle allusion...

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2011 11:25 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Turn turtle" is to be upside-down and unable to right oneself - often heard here in California about an overturned motorist on a freeway, wheels skyward, and usually blocking traffic.

The "post turtle" comment is an old backwoods story I've heard many times: "Suppose you're driving down a back road and you see a fence post with a turtle, balanced on the top of the post, flailing its legs about. That's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself; he doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 17, 2011 1:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Aha, thanks! The second story rings a bell.

The first reminds me of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Did you watch that? Cameron (Summer Glau -- you knew there would be some Whedon tie) cannot understand that Sarah takes time out to rectify an upside down turtle. John later explains it is a kindness, "something we do."

The show ends with her kicking the stuffing out of the giant FBI man who has been trailing them, throwing him around the room and leaving him in the broken glass shards of what was his coffee table. Walking out, she decides to go back and turn him over before leaving. The best grace note in a non-Whedon show of all time.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2011 1:33 PM

December 15, 2011


Okay, I am all in. Leadership, Tebow style.

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 3:09 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2011 3:28 PM

An Open Letter

An Open Letter
To Mr. Josh Kroenke
Owner, Denver Nuggets Basketball Club

Dear Mr. Kroenke,

$67 million for Nene. Are you insane?

The Boulder Refugee

Sports Posted by Boulder Refugee at 3:04 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

I think I may have mentioned the economic benefits of ending the walkout.

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2011 5:32 PM

TEA Time for Romney?

He's been the GOP's consistent second-choice since the season began. Not principled enough, activists engaged in a serial struggle to support a challenger to defeat His Presumptiveness. Now they've all had their moment in the sun and the last non-Romney standing, Newt Gingrich, shares too many atributes with a certain Doctor Jekyll.

This morning I was invited to vote in a Townhall-dot-com online National GOP Primary. Huntsman and Santorum, polling below five percent, were not allowable choices. I was asked to pick my first and second choice from the remaining five: Bachmann, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Romney. The exercise has enough of a sense of finality to it that I was unable to bring myself to pick Newt for either choice.

As the Corn Caucus looms, with primaries close behind, prominent TEA Party folk seem to be facing the same deathly-cold dilemma: Newt tells us what we want to hear, but do we believe it? And will America elect a man with so many negatives?

It's true that the liberal media attack Republicans unfairly. But that's a fact to be dealt with, not ignored by nominating a candidate who keeps giving the media so much to work with.

JK brought us news of TEA Party "troublemaker" Christine O'Donnell's endorsement of Mitt.

A quick Internets search reveals that South Carolina's state treasurer Curtis Loftis is now officially a Romney man, as is New Hampshire's Tom Thomson.

Thomson, a tree farmer and son of former New Hampshire governor Mel Thomson, is an influential conservative activist in the Granite State. He is the honorary chairman of the Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire chapter and organizes annual tea party rallies at the New Hampshire State House on tax day.

The endorsement is something of a coup for the Romney team, which hasn’t had much luck wooing tea partiers.

Romney may or may not be the most electable of our choices [Jon!] but he's the most electable of those with a chance to be nominated. I told dagny last night, "All we really need in a president is someone to sign the bills that come out of Congress" anticipating GOP control of both houses. Reaching for more, and falling short - that would be disastrous.

Okay then, how about Romney-Paul? (No, not that Paul.)

UPDATE: Another TEA Leaf - Tea Party fave Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

And Gov. Christie's endorsement.

If we absolutely have to, I will certainly pick him over Speaker Gingrich. But look, is that a perfect candidate I see falling from the sky?

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2011 5:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JG wrote when praising Newt: I think Americans of every stripe appreciate, admire, and will reward, candor.

To which I say: sure they'll reward candor, but how?

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 15, 2011 11:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Odd, the server dumped the rest of my missive...

I think people do respect candor and will offer a bit of reward: say paying for speeches and/or books. Still, I don't think a workable majority will elect a scold who will constantly bring up bad choices (in part, no doubt, to bury memories of his own).

I think the Speaker is a valuable member of the team and whose voice mostly adds value, but he is not electable and would be shredded to the point of self-immolation by the attack-dog pros lined up behind Sir Golfs a Lot.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 16, 2011 12:00 AM

I Should Not Have Been So Harsh

I won't say my criticism on ThreeSources pulled the plug on Speaker Gingrich's candidacy, but I do hope that his unschumpeterian lash at Gov. Romney played a part:

James Pethokoukis wonders "Is the Gingrich bubble bursting already?"

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Another figure endorsing Romney is Christine O'Donnell, who declared, "He's been consistent since he changed his mind." Nathan Wurtzel observes, "Yogi Berra wishes he had thought of that one." -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:32 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Related: "After O'Donnell endorsement, Romney reverses himself on Salem witch trials. Was for, now against." -Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2011 2:38 PM

December 14, 2011

War on Christmas!

Bill O'Reilly, call your office!

Quote of the Day


RINO -- Rabbi I(n Name Only -- Yid With Lid

Click through for Tebow-y goodness!

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 3:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

December 13, 2011

Otequay of the Ayday

After the game, Brian Urlacher referred to you as a good running back. How do you take that comment?

"Coming from a really good player, that means a lot."

Tim Tebow in his post game press conference after the Bears game.

But jk thinks:

That is one change in the Tebow World. I never ever ever watched post game interviews before. Perhaps it is being so gobsmacked by each improbable victory, but I watch every minute now, waiting especially for Tebow. His presence is magical.

I'd add his compliment of Charles Tillman for coming up with his (Tebow's) first pick in five games. Who is this guy?

Posted by: jk at December 13, 2011 8:00 PM

Quote of the Day

Jonah Godberg corrects Karl Marx as an Iranian news service reports President Obama "Begs Iran to Give Him Back His Toy Plane."

It’s "first as tragedy, second as Farsi."

Iran Posted by John Kranz at 1:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

December 12, 2011

Humble Pie

While I'm in a mood to humble myself I feel like I have more work to do and this time in all sincerity and with nary a hint of tongue-in-my-cheek.

Six weeks ago, just prior to the Broncos-Lions game, I wrote what I thought to be a masterful integration of music, philosophy and sport. As I will sometimes do, I extended the essay a step beyond its original inspiration. In doing so I created an impromptu list of NFL quarterbacks who, I contended, demotivate their teammates. It made sense to me at the time, if I were listing examples of the right way to lead a team of men, to give examples of how not to. My list was, to be charitable, a miserable failure. First Macho Duck had to take me behind the woodshed for putting Donovan McNabb in the group. I was defenseless. And while I've seen Tony Romo, seemingly everyone's favorite pinata, berate a teammate at times, I also watched him gut out a six field goal win while injured. (Not to mention he has to perform on a team owned by Jerry Jones.) He deserves more credit than I gave him. And now we have Eli Manning, who last night engineered a fourth-quarter comeback that would be the story of the week if some Broncos QB hadn't been wearing out the same story line. CBS Sports observes,

in this so-called Year of the Quarterback, the one story everyone seems to be missing is the incredible fourth quarter play of New York Giants QB Eli Manning. In a 37-34 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys, Manning led his team to two fourth quarter touchdowns in the final 3:14 of the game. It was Manning's sixth fourth quarter comeback of the season.


Manning has racked up 14 fourth quarter touchdown passes this season. That ties an NFL record held by Johnny Unitas and older brother Peyton Manning - elite company for any quarterback.

By the same measure I challenge folks to judge the "Tebower" - winning - Manning is showing his mettle. His teammates credit him for "carrying us on his back." And finally Kyle Orton. His six-game winning streak two seasons ago earned him a multi-million dollar contract extension last year. And yet even that couldn't keep the Tebow train from running him over and right out of town. The frustration and pressure he endured through the collapse of the McDaniels era and subsequent rebuilding must have been suffocating. Almost certainly I sold him short.

As I look back on my mindset at the time I believe I felt defensive. Not personally, but for the tender youth Mister Tebow. Critics in print, broadcast and corporeally were lambasting the lad. And those other guys I mentioned? They were the ones we were told a good QB must emulate. So I made them my foils. Mea culpa - they are all heroes, each in his own right.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 11:54 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Nicely said. But don't be too hard on yourself. As the great Senator Barry Goldwater (HOSS - World) said: "Extremism in the ridicule of sportswriters is no vice. Moderation in support of TV sports broadcasters is no virtue."

On your point: Larry Kudlow had a bit on the business side of the Tebow phenomenon: merchandising is through the roof and networks are rushing to schedule our 8-5 minor market team. Kudlow is a converted and devout Catholic and I expected him to appreciate Tebow's graciousness and sincerity. I'm sure he does, but he's a New Yorker first and he responded that Tebow "had not done anything Eli Manning didn't do." And that was before last night's game.

Posted by: jk at December 13, 2011 11:42 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the support. I agree vis-a-vis sportswriters but I feel contrition toward any fans I may have offended.

Posted by: johngalt at December 13, 2011 1:01 PM

Picture of the Day

Here's yer thousand words, bub:

From The Class Warfare We Need, by Steve Conover

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 7:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

Huntsman - Gingrich Debate

Make you cry for the weakness of the other debates:

I think they are replaying it tonight on C-SPAN

UPDATE: Seriously, watch the C-SPAN replay if you can (7:42 Mountain) It is how Presidents should be chosen.

UPDATE II: Or on YouTube (though it does not seem ready yet...)

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:43 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Huh? Huntsman (around 21:00): "They [China] have never been involved in anything like that before." Namely, securing a neighboring state, in this case Afghanistan, with a failed government. North Korea doesn't count?

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2011 4:55 PM

Denver Donkey Rescue

It was obvious. I couldn't resist.

And who could say that what Tim Tebow has done to the Denver Broncos season is anything other than a rescue?

Tebow took over a team that was 4-12 last year, 1-4 this season, and has since led them to a 7-1 record. He is on the brink of leading the Broncos to their first playoff appearance in six years. And he still can't get any respect.

"There's no one else I'd rather have the ball in his hands when it counts," Broncos linebacker Von Miller said.

Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs must really be frickin' pissed, since they weren't able to "stop that crap" by "a quarterback that [sic] doesn't throw the ball well." Teammate Brian Urlacher seems to be, a little sore.

"He's a good running back, man," Urlacher said. "He runs the ball well."

By calling Tebow a running back, it would follow that Urlacher was taking a hardly veiled shot at Tebow's ability to play quarterback. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Tebow completed 18-of-24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. For the second time this season, his team had zero points and was down two scores with less than three minutes remaining. And for the second time this season, he overcame those seemingly impossible predicaments to lead his team to victory — 18-15 at Miami and Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High against sore loser Urlacher.

"Class is dismissed, Chicago." -DP's Mike Klis

Oh yes, and here is the shameless self-promotion part.

UPDATE: The irony of my shameless self-promotion embedded in a Tebow post was lost on me, but only briefly.

My belief in the new Denver quarterback's competitive greatness is noteworthy now only because of the tremendous volume and certitude of those who were proclaiming "he can't play; he's not an NFL quarterback" back then. "But great things are only possible if you're under very tough circumstances." Timothy - 12/11/11

Furthermore, I could not have shared this remarkable feeling with the world without the love and support of my blog brothers and sisters. I am proud of all of them. And I am especially grateful to JK for trusting me with a login and a password.

But jk thinks:

If memory serves, my blog brother may have been born in Missouri. Yet it is this Colorado native who requires one more "show-me." If Mister Tebow and the Broncos play well against the Pats (and "Coach Hoodie" as a good friend of this blog calls Belachik) then I will believe.

I am not demanding a win. We have picked a bad week to have so many important injuries on defense. Plus that would be churlish. If we are in a serious position to win the game in the 4th quarter (as if there are others), then I will put on my believin' shoes. If we lose 45-3, it will confirm my concern that we had a nice run in a weak schedule.

I know, blessed is he who has not seen and yet believes...

Topic 2: your Bears' quotes flew contrary to what would have been in my football post. I thought the game to be the best example of sportsmanship I have seen in professional athletics in some time, and I adopted Da Bears as my second favorite team yesterday. The image of Julius Peppers and Tim Tebow walking back to the huddle was a Coke® commercial come to life. Young Tebow had fooled Mister Peppers on an option; the next play, he tried it again and got flattened. "Nice play kid, but don't push your luck." They patted helmets and had what appeared to be a respectful exchange as the two great champions retook the field.

I'm getting thirsty for a Coke just thinking about it.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Honestly, I thought so too - until I read some of the post-game comments. The Vikings seemed much more sporting about being "Tebowed." Perhaps that's because they were already out of the playoffs and not fighting for a spot like the Bears were.

Dagny and I like a lot of things about the Chicago team and wish them well. In fact, we hope they win out. Some friendly advice: Their chances will be better if they become more introspective.

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 4:00 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If Denver loses to the Pats, it won't prove that Tebow is not a good QB. It will only prove that Denver is not yet an elite team, which it surely is not. The 7-1 record does not prove that Tebow is great nor that the schedule is weak. It reflects a combination of some timely big plays and fortunate ball bounces.

One must give Tebow credit for helping the team to change its attitude and overachieve it's potential. That alone is a validation to his leadership.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 13, 2011 5:17 PM

Quote of the Day

Oh, come on, governor. This isn't like memorizing the periodic table.There are the good guys, Roberts and Alito and Scalia and Thomas. And then there's the guy who determines everything, Kennedy. And then there are Dasher, Dancer, Comet, and Blitzen. -- Jim Geraghty, in Morning Jolt Item #2: Rick Perry's Over-Under on Supreme Court Justices: 8.5 [subscribe]
UPDATE: All Hail Taranto!
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm mentally substituting "Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, and Dopey." Reindeer bring Christmas, which is a good thing.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 12, 2011 1:55 PM
But jk thinks:

I counter offer: Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey and Comet. Justice Ginsberg -- alone -- put a 24 hour stop on the auto bailout for its assault on the 5th Amendment rights of the GM and Chrysler bondholders. For that, she earns a permanent floor on my esteem.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 3:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Stopped clock. Blind squirrel.

But it's Christmas, so I'm feeling charitable. But it's a low floor.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 12, 2011 4:59 PM
But jk thinks:

God Bless Us Everyone.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 5:13 PM

NO! Newt, NO!!!

I saw a few tweets about this this morning and hoped he was misquoted or that it happened in a parallel universe, or that somebody accidentally got Speaker Gingrich confused with Sen. Bernie Saunders (I - VT). Look, I'm even too upset to make a (Communist - VT) or (I - Venezuela) joke. But no, I think this happened: "Newt Strikes Back"

Gingrich: "If Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to then listen to him. And I will bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won't take the offer."

I'll confess I may nave been looking for a dealbreaker against Mister Speaker -- he makes me quite nervous.

But I have found it. Gingrich has been in the public sector too long and has forgotten that the private sector creates wealth. On Kudlow, Gingrich said "Mitt Romney ought to thank me -- it is because of my supply side policies that he got rich." Kudlow loved this line and called for Romney to respond for several consecutive nights on his show.

I'll respond for the Governor, and I am not even on staff. Romney created wealth at Bain Capital with his work and intellect. If a Democratic pol asked a venture capitalist to give him credit for wealth creation, we'd be grabbing for pitchforks. I lost a little respect for Mister Speaker over this -- and actually quite a bit for Kudlow, who knows better.

Gingrich has reviewed some 94 million books on Amazon. I suggest he read a little Joseph Alois Schumpeter before criticizing a successful venture capitalist for directing capital to its best use.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

I like when he speaks the truth but that's not what happened here. He was clearly defensive about his Fannie Bux. I expect he'll walk this one back. (I hope.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 12:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Yyyyyeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh Buuuuuuuutttt... I want a walkback with flowers and candy and this will never happen again.

We're all running from Governor Romney for fear that he has no real conviction. This speaks to me that Speaker G does not either, more correctly that his conviction is contrived, or in Newtspeak that his fundamental convictions are disturbingly and alarmingly contrived.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Maybe Newt will sign a No Bashing Creative Destruction Pledge

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 1:48 PM

Texas Donkey Rescue in the News

Great article in the Austin Statesman

BERTRAM -- The sores under Burnet's eyes were healing nicely one sunny November afternoon in Bertram. The white donkey stood close by Charles Munro, the man who rescued him one day before Burnet was scheduled to be euthanized.

Munro, a designer for an architectural firm, has just started a nonprofit organization called Texas Donkey Rescue on an acre in Bertram.

Burnet, found wandering on a county road by a Burnet County sheriff's deputy, is one of three donkeys in Munro's small pasture. Munro hopes to rescue several more by persuading people to foster the animals on their land. In the few months since his rescue efforts became public, people have contacted him about 100 donkeys needing help, Munro said.

And, yes, you can still get T-Shirts in time for Christmas!

Donkey Rescue Posted by John Kranz at 10:55 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. When I saw "Donkey Rescue" in the title I thought this was another Tim Tebow story.

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 11:57 AM
But jk thinks:

Heh. No I have not recovered enough to write a football post.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 12:01 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Neither has Marion Barber.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 12, 2011 2:24 PM

December 11, 2011

"Newt Romney" Rumble - Round 1

For those who enjoy such things, tonight's GOP Presidential Debate on ABC may have been the best one yet. With his second place in Iowa polls, Ron Paul supporters are burning up the Twitterverse how their guy won. But he didn't. He said many good things but still believes America's interests end at the water's edge. Pity. Tonight's debate was the first round of the "Newt Romney" grudge match. ("Newt Romney" is Michele Bachmann's new term for the co-leaders with very similar and somewhat mercurial positions, versus her "true conservatism.")

Chris Cillizza did a very good job summarizing the night's developments, and this was the most important one I saw:

For all of those folks predicting (or hoping) that Gingrich would implode, tonight was not their night. Make no mistake: there are genuine concerns within the party about what Gingrich leading the national ticket might mean for downballot race next November. But Gingrich gave his detractors very little reason to think that his collapse is in the offing.

But Chris didn't mention what I thought was the quote of the night by Newt Gingrich. [Nothing linkable on this yet as the media kids are focusing on Romney's offer to "bet you ten thousand dollars I never said that" with Rick Perry.] After a prolonged back-and-forth over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and specifically, Newt's prior comment that "the Palestinians are an invented people," Romney chastised Newt, and Newt responded.

Romney: I've also known B.B. Netanyahu for a long time, we worked together at Boston Consulting Group, and the last thing B.B. Netanyahu needs to have is not just a person who's an historian, but somebody who is also running for President of the United States, stand up and say things that create extraordinary tumult in his neighborhood. And if I'm President of the United States I will exercise sobriety, care, stability, and make sure that in a setting like this, anything I say that can effect a place with, with rockets going in, with people dying, I don't do anything that would harm that process. And therefore before I made a statement of that nature I'd get on the phone to my friend B.B. Netanyahu and say, 'Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?' Let's work together because we're partners. I'm not a bomb thrower, rhetorically or literally."

Gingrich: "I think sometimes it is helpful to have a President of the United States with the courage to tell the truth, just as it was Ronald Reagan who went around his entire national security apparatus to call the Soviet Union an evil empire, and who overruled his entire State Department in order to say to Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall. Reagan believed the power of truth restated the world and reframed the world. I'm a Reaganite. I am proud to be a Reaganite. I will tell the truth, even if it is at the risk of causing some confusion sometimes with the timid."

Romney didn't help himself, I thought, by mispronouncing the Israeli Prime Minister's name "B. B. Not-an-YA-hoo" (rather than Net-an-YA-hoo.) Not once, but every time he said it.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:49 AM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

I was out partying until the wee hours last night. When I got back (at 9:30), I watched a bit of it on TiVo. The debate seemed good, and I was very impressed with the moderators, whom I expected to be awful.

I did see the brutal and elaborately planned "Newt Romney" attack. Yawn. It sucks to have to listen to Rep. Bachmann and Senator Santorum but not have Gov. Huntsman on stage.

But, if nobody cratered at the end, I became more comfortable with both Speaker Gingrich and Gov. Romney last night. Supporting one of them does not seem completely unthinkable.

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

On Fox News Sunday I just heard Juan Williams say, "Are Republicans really thinking of nominating Newt Gingrich?" The answer is clearly, "yes." Voters are frequently advised, "Don't fall for a cult of personality." That advice works in reverse too - don't reject the candidate with the best message because you don't like the way he _______.

Newt's new "tell it like it is" campaign is resonating with GOP voters who want a direct frontal attack against Obama and his policies. Some will say this will kill his chances in the general election. I disagree. I think Americans of every stripe appreciate, admire, and will reward, candor.

Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2011 11:54 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Point of order, Mr. Chairman. It is "Bibi" not "B.B." This is a nickname for "Binyamin," his given name.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 12, 2011 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Correction noted and heartily appreciated. (I was so put off by Romney's mispronunciation of his "friend's" name I failed to look up the correct spelling of his nickname.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 2:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Jay Nordlinger at NRO is with ya:

If Mitt's going to claim buddyship with Netanyahu, he's got to work on the pronunciation of the prime minister's name.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 5:40 PM

December 10, 2011

jk's Big Idea

I've been thinking about a new degree -- not for myself, PhD (Philosophical Dropout) suits me just fine. I think we need a new a hybrid educational vehicle to move ahead.

I'm a big fan of Professor Glenn Reynolds and consider his "higher education bubble" theory dead on. More importantly, what some now call Reynolds's Law: that the markers of a middle class lifestyle such as housing and a college degree do not produce a middle class life when handed out.

Also creeping up on Instapundit is recognition of a genuine lack of skilled labor and realization that a good plumber, electrician, roofer -- or a person with a handful of the same in his employ -- can enjoy a pretty good income and lifestyle. I painted and hung wallpaper through the frequent interstices in my music career and I saw these guys all the time. They drive a nice new truck every couple of years and live in a nice house.

Yet our educational system still bifurcates between Ralph Cramden vs. Mister Mooney, when in many cases the laborer has a similar or better income than a great hunk of the professionals. Now, with the Internet, inexpensive travel, and wide distribution of information, these folks are not impoverished intellectually either.

We need to recognize this with a new curriculum. Instead of choosing twixt Diesel Repair Academy and Harvard, I suggest a two or three year education where you learn HVAC in the morning and Poetry in the afternoon. Community Colleges and for profits might lead the way, but I want to provide a) a college experience to socialize and grow; b) real world employment skills suited to an individual's preferences and proclivities; and, c) an intellectual framework to build upon and claim a place in society that is not inferior.

Education Posted by John Kranz at 12:28 PM | What do you think? [8]
But dagny thinks:

As the accounting manager for a small manufacturing company I am all in favor of this. Despite the 8.6 percent unemployment rate, a lack of skilled labor still exists. We and other companies like ours often have trouble filling machine operator and programmer positions. Johngalt tells me there's a shortage of trained welders in Indiana. I can report the same shortage exists in the Denver metro area. If the candidates for these careers are going to four-year colleges to learn kinesiology instead it is a tremendous waste of time, talent and careers.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2011 10:38 AM
But jk thinks:

My blog brother hits a nerve. I've worked with so many gifted engineers who celebrated graduation day because they would never have to read a book again. I would hope these graduates would be prepared for a lifetime of discovery and reinvention.

Yet I’m straying a bit from topic. I don't imagine I can rework the entire curricula and fix all the evils of higher education. But I think there is a hole for creating educated laborers -- and a concomitant perception that their life is inferior.

Posted by: jk at December 11, 2011 11:20 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I can suggest a book for those folks that might open their eyes.

"Take heed, however. If you have already made up your mind to reject a derivative part of her philosophy, such as laissez faire capitalism or the ethics of one's own life as the standard of value, and are unwilling to question your pre-established beliefs, then you will derive no benefit from this reading."
Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2011 12:20 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Would it be boring if The Refugee agreed with his blog brothers and sister? His children's public high school has the motto, "Preparing every child for college," or some such BS. This is a pet peeve of The Refugee for all of the reasons already enumerated. With two degrees of his own, he believes fully in education. But a knowledge of Chaucer, calculus or biology (or God forbid, marketing) is not necessarily the best for the student.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 12, 2011 1:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To fine tune The Refugee's statement I would say a knowledge of Chaucer, calculus, biology and marketing are good for every student, although not the first priority for any of them. Every student must be taught, in order: Reading, writing, arithmetic, and the means and importance of earning a living. Then we'll commence with the history, literature and how to post a video on YouTube.

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Huh. We've never disagreed before.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 3:40 PM

December 9, 2011

Otequay of the Ayday

"I've never been part of an ugly win, I know that much. I've been in some ugly losses but ugly wins don't exist."

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, when asked about those who say Tebow's style can be a bit ugly.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 1:37 PM | What do you think? [0]

Historical View of Campaign Finance

Now JK's linking to The Objective Standard! End times, baby!

In my ThreeSources Home Version, I should have found a spot for McCain-Feingold and the McConnell v. FEC decision which upheld it.

Steve Simpson documents the history of campaign finance, including many of the pertinent laws and judicial decisions. Nice, but I have heard it. He goes a bit further showing the interest of early Progressives like Herbert Croly, John Dewey, and John Gardner.

Speech, they said, should be protected only to the extent that it serves the "public interest"--which, in their conception, did not include the interests of businesses and the wealthy. The progressives pejoratively dubbed the interests of businesses and the wealthy "special interests"--interests contrary to the "public interest"--and held that the First Amendment did not protect speech in the service of such interests.

Not a quick read, but an interesting piece. Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong

Posted by John Kranz at 9:34 AM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

John Dewey was prominently criticized by Ayn Rand and thus, by Objectivists. The father of the Dewey Decimal System, he also introduced moral relativism into public education. (The two are unrelated.)

I look forward to reading the article, but the pull-quote is awesome. If nothing else, re-read it three times until it sinks in: "Nobody may be censored, except those who speak against collective interests, for they are evil."

Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2011 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Shorter JG: Some pigs are more equal...

Posted by: jk at December 9, 2011 12:18 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"How dared you, gutter cleaner," spoke Fraternity 9-3452, "to hold yourself as one alone and with the thoughts of the one and not of the many?"

"What is not thought by all men cannot be true," said Collective 0-0009.
"What is not done collectively cannot be good," said International 1-5537.

"Many men in the Homes of the Scholars have had strange new ideas in the past," said Solidarity 8-1164, "but when the majority of their brother Scholars voted against them, they abandoned their ideas, as all men must."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 9, 2011 4:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

YESSS! Are those quotes [Brother 1-0007] or are you paraphrasing?

Well done.

Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2011 5:01 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JG: Those are direct quotes, lifted directly from the pages of Chapter 7 of Anthem - my introduction to Ayn Rand at the comely age of thirteen. Given that the topic at hand was quashing individual freedom in the face of the purported "public interest," this passage seemed to be... on point.

Forget Nostradamus - it was Rand that saw our day coming.

They say that to cop the thoughts of another person is plagiarism, while to cop the thoughts of many is genius, so I'll borrow from a different source. How long do you think it is before we who share thoughts on these pages are branded as "unmutual" as regards the Collective?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 9, 2011 8:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A frightening prospect. I'll let you know on November 7, 2012.

Posted by: johngalt at December 10, 2011 10:20 AM



Christmas in New Orleans

"Merry Christmas Y'all!"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

But Boulder Refugee thinks:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 9, 2011 11:01 AM

December 8, 2011

The ThreeSources Home Version (BUMPED)

A good friend of mine and this blog sends the following to a few friends. I choose to steal it outright and open it up the ThreeSourcers everywhere on the Internets:

Here is a game that's fun for the whole family; name the single worst political, cultural or judicial event in your lifetime. And in the bonus round describe the bright shiny world we'd now inhabit if that event never occured.

Game on.

UPDATE: I rarely "bump" but there is some fun stuff here.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:56 PM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

Good answer, jg.

First, the exercise cheered my up. Because I realized all the realllly bad stuff was baked into the cake before Walt & Dee brought their bouncing baby boy home from St. Joe's. But here she goes:

3rd runner up: Goldwater loses in 1964. This is my version of the game, I like to flip elections and 1964 is a fave. This is an even shinier version of jg's world. To be fair, this was not a close, tipping point, event, and while we would be more free, there might be a bit of Mad Max to the world, I dunno.

2nd runner up: Arthur Burns appointed Fed Chair in 1970. I do not long for Bretton Woods, but the US Lost Decade of inflation and stagnation in the 1970's can be blamed on bad monetary policy, leisure suits and disco music. We would have a much higher per-capita GDP if we could have posted regular growth.

1st runner up: Robert Bork is not confirmed to SCOTUS. Instead of David Souter, a triumvirate of Scalia, Thomas, and Bork revisit Wickard v. Filburn, the Slaughter House cases, and we get a Constitutional Republic instead of Kelo.

The winnah: The Johnson - Mozilo axis of evil at Fannie Mae. This was a tipping point. Gretchen Morgenson's Reckless Endangerment documents a few close calls where regulators or congressional oversight was close to limiting their activities. And without the banking crash, we could have escaped TARP I & II and quite possibly the Obama Presidency and GM Bailout (which was screaming for a spot on the list).

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 11:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Indeed. I had plans to file a ghost-written entry for my 103-year-young grandmother citing the fraudulent "ratification" of the 16th Amendment. (The link eludes me.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2011 7:00 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

I'd like to nominate Jimmy Carter's feckless response to the Tehran embassy seizure. Rather than negotiate with terrorists, creating a template we still use to this day, he could have promised a massive retaliation against military and government institlations should any of our captives come to harm. A region that recognizes and respects power would have intervened with the "students" and solved the crisis for us. It was no coincidence that the hostages were freed as Reagan came into office. Carter's inability to respond with force emboldened not only the Iranians, but the Iraqis and the countless free range terror groups we face today. In my bright and shiny world there would be no nuclear Iran ready to disrupt world energy supplies, finance global terrorism and destroy Israel, because the cost of provoking the United States would be too certain and too devastating to contemplate. Carter allowed the mouse that roared to become an existential threat to not only the Mideast, but to global security and peace. I fear we haven't begun to pay the cost for Carter's timidity but it's starting to look as if the bill is coming due soon.

My runner up is Woodstock. This seems to be the cultural pinnacle of the 60's people and what a fine time it was. A handful of incompetent rock and roll impresario's trying to make a buck off of music and failing miserably, a bunch of college kids that want everything to be free and communal so they tear the fences down and walk in, some great and some very marginal rock artists making darn sure they get paid before taking the stage and half a million stoned idiots rolling around naked in the mud for three days. Well done 60's people! and now your spawn is camping out in parks and demanding their college loans be forgiven! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But as Woodstock became Altmont so too has Occupy This and That become Lord of the Flies! Screw that! I'll take Buck Owens and the Super Bowl every time.

Posted by: sugarchuck at December 8, 2011 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Nicely done and I agree all around.

Has my friend heard Ayn Rand's Apollo and Dionysus? At the risk of starting a fight, it is my favorite thing she has ever done.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 7:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is going to nominate the Watergate break-in. Nixon was cruising to re-election and there was absolutely no reason to play dirty. The episode completely discredited Nixon, the Republican party, the war effort and sane government policy. In his effort to recover, Nixon put us on the path to appease Ho Chi Min at a time when we had militarily killed 80% of the NVA. (Contrary to popular reporting, Tet was not a victory for the North. In fact, they were beaten pretty badly. But, the Liberal media had a narrative to follow.)Nixon bent to the enviros and founded the EPA (how's that workin' out?) and left us with the incompetant Gerald Ford who lead to Jimmy Carter. The success of knocking off Nixon has given the Liberal Left a template that they pound to this very day. A totally unforced - and colassal - error.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 9, 2011 12:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Well played all around; thanks for the thoughtful comments. ThreeSourcers rock!

Posted by: jk at December 10, 2011 11:55 AM

Welcome to the Blogroll!

Central Standard Times.

A superb find of blog brother jg. Please feel free to email or comment with blogroll suggestions -- the current list seems dated.

A Lindsey to be Proud Of

The one from Colorado, not the one from California.

Like most, I've been a big fan of Lindsey Vonn since she burst on the scene with her 2010 Winter Olympics performance. I admired her before her controversial photo shoot, and after as well. Now the Vail Colorado skier has another accomplishment to admire. With a win in her home town yesterday she became the first U.S. skier to win four consecutive World Cup ski races.

But there's more. While anyone can drop to a knee to "Tebow" on the street or in his office, only a few people get a chance to do so while in the gold medal position on a victory stand.


"I asked [Tim Tebow's brother Robby] if Tim would be upset if I did it," Vonn said. "I said that if I won in Colorado, I would do it, 'Go Broncos.' And I did it. Gotta represent."


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


Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Yyow! And sign me up for those not abandoning a great American sports hero for a "controversial photo shoot."

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 5:29 PM

BATFE So Eager to Exploit Illegal Gun Sales, It Arranged Them

CBS News has some commendable investigative reporting that includes emails between gun dealers and ATF agents:

ATF's group supervisor on Fast and Furious David Voth assures the gun dealer there's nothing to worry about. "We (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into detail."

Two months later, the same gun dealer grew more agitated.

"I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands...I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country."

"It's like ATF created or added to the problem so they could be the solution to it and pat themselves on the back," says one law enforcement source familiar with the facts. "It's a circular way of thinking."

For his part, Attorney General Holder says, "We do not know who the particular person was" who decided that "this flawed operation should be conducted."

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here in my office building in Glendale, CA, I have the opportunity on a regular basis to share an elevator ride with BATFE members whose office is several floors below mine. And yes, I plead guilty to regularly baiting them.

About two weeks ago, one decided to strike up a conversation with a smartmouthed comment. So I responded with "so, how's that whole Gunwalker thing working out for you people?" Mr. BATFE got visibly angry and came back with "you don't know what the f**k you're talking about."

Based on the last week's worth of unraveling stories and today's hearings, I'm pretty sure I won that exchange.

Good times...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 8, 2011 6:17 PM

The Ryan Plan as Litmus Test

Like James Pethokoukis, I wish it were.

The Ryan Plan is now a "litmus test" for Republican presidential candidates? That would be great if true. Gingrich made a cataclysmic, unforced error earlier this year when he dissed Ryan's bold Medicare reform as "right-wing social engineering" and too big a change too quickly. It was a ridiculous statement when you consider that a) the shift to a premium-support system would not kick in until 2022, b) the plan would operate like the current prescription drug benefit plan, and c) the plan would only affect younger workers.

My strongest point about Gov. Huntsman is that he is the only candidate to embrace the Ryan Plan. And my strongest point against Mister Speaker is his disapprobation.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:32 PM | What do you think? [0]

Headline of the Day II

Maybe I gave it away too soon.

Corzine sorry, puzzled by missing MF Global money -- Reuters

Not that I would give my money to a Democratic Garden State ex-Gov...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Gov. Christie on #OWS

When a HOSS encounters Dirty Hippies:

Once the room quieted and the protesters were locked outside, Christie resumed speaking and offered his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"Here's the way I feel about it: They represent an anger in our country that Barack Obama has caused," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd. "He's a typical cynical Chicago... politician who runs for office and promises everything and then comes to office and disappoints, and so their anger is rooted not in me or Mitt Romney, their anger is rooted in the fact that they believed in this hope and change garbage."

Christie called them disillusioned and said he "feels bad" for them.

"Now they are angry but they're not mature enough to know they should be angry with themselves," he said.

We should recognize that the big man was there to support Governor Romney. Just sayin'

Headline of the Day

Romney on ObamaCare Relief: Waiver? I Don't Even Know Her! --
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | What do you think? [0]

At least we agree we are in a ditch

Well brothers and sisters, I have just read the president's Osawatomie speech, almost in its entireity. Those of us who wondered how he thought he could win re-election can see the answer in this speech. It is a brilliantly deceptive blueprint for a bait-and-switch shell game on the American people.

I actually agreed with most of what he said in the opening, right up until "I am here to say they are wrong" which I would replace with "I am here to say that I am wrong." This comes right after the following passage:

But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what's at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. [Agreed.]

Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that's happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

Yes, Mister President, you are advocating a return to exactly the same practices that got us into this mess: Ever higher taxation, goverment spending more and more of our GDP, greater burdens on private businesses, further layers of coverage mandates for health insurers, interference with supply and demand in higher education which drives costs through the roof and causes shortages of trained blue-collar workers - in short, making life and business more expensive in America and driving jobs overseas. There really is a grave threat to the existence of the American middle class: You, and the repackaged, recycled, and retreaded egalitarian values you seek to "reclaim" demand.

An honest review of history shows us that such wealth-sharing demands - not, as you claim, free market capitalism - have failed to produce economic prosperity. Every, single, time. Free market capitalism has never been allowed more than enough rope with which to hang itself.

UPDATE: IBD Ed Page refutes the top five lies from Obama's Osawatomie speech.

But jk thinks:

You are perhaps being kinder to the President than was the WaPo Fact Checker (three pinocchios). I blame this on rampant left-wing bias at ThreeSources.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 12:00 PM
But jk thinks:

The folks at IBD are somewhat less than impressed...

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 2:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ha! If I were awarding "Pinocchios" I'd have given him four. The highest ranking, it means the statement consists of "whoppers."

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2011 3:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought "Pants on Fire" exceeded the dreaded four-Ps. So hard to keep up with politics -- I guess that's a different site.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 3:52 PM

December 7, 2011

Bull Moose Bull ****

Since hearing soundbites of President Obama's "I'm channeling Theodore Roosevelt" speech yesterday I've wanted to deconstruct one or more of his specious points in a blog post. Before I could do so, Wichita Wordsmith Bud Norman beat me to it. And unlike his evaluation of candidate Newt Gingrich, he has a definitive conclusion this time.

Obama’s favorite straw men were once again eviscerated with all the gusto of John Brown swinging a saber at some pro-slavers. He accused his Republican opposition of wanting to “return to the same practices that got us into this mess,” as if they were all clamoring for the government-enforced subprime lending and exorbitant deficit spending. He characterized the Republican philosophy as “We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules,” which strikes us as an unfairly simplified description, although we must admit it is still a more attractive option that relying on Obama to care for us and playing by his rules.

Just one of many delightful paragraphs, and I'll leave the ending for you as a surprise.

Is it too early to nominate Bud's Central Standard Times for promotion to the blogroll? I'm not sure I could have given the subject such sublime treatment. Indeed, I'd be tempted merely to stoop to a lowly video example of Obama's America.

A Brief History of Newton

Not the classical physicist, the Speaker of the House. I linked two articles yesterday showing the strong plusses and strong minuses of the "more conservative than Romney" candidate leading the GOP primary polls at the moment. While searching for supporting material for my "worst event in my lifetime" entry I found a very well written post on a two month old blog out of Wichita that gives the most frank and objective view of Gingrich's political career as I've seen. But be forewarned - the conclusion of blogger "Bud Norman, American" is no firmer than was mine.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Well written, indeed

Such obligatory caveats aside, it still strikes us as notable that Gingrich's long, strange journey through political history has arrived at this moment, however brief it might prove. The novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald famously remarked that "There are no second acts in American lives," but Gingrich has already had more acts than Wagner's Ring Cycle.

I will support the Speaker as nominee, but I will not vote for him in primary or caucus. He invoked our 26th President. I did not force him into it.

I watched him on Kudlow last night and he is good -- but he is TR. He's gonna do Six Sigma. He has BIG ideas for government. He's going to make it efficient -- but not smaller.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2011 4:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Should I do this? I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna cross the beams.

This passage from The People Who Hate Tim Tebow makes me think Newt might be the worst choice to put up against Obama:

Throughout the 20th century, there were only two presidents who won reelection with a bad economy and high unemployment: FDR in 1936 and Reagan in 1984. In both cases, the incumbent presidents were able to argue that their preexisting plans for jump-starting the economy were better than the hypothetical plans of their opponents (Alf Landon and Walter Mondale, respectively). Both incumbents made a better case for what they intended to do, and both enjoyed decisive victories. In 2012, Barack Obama will face a similar situation. But what will happen if his ultimate opponent provides no plan for him to refute? What if his opponent merely says, "Have faith in me. Have faith that I will figure everything out and that I can fix the economy, because I have faith in the American people. Together, we have faith in each other."

How do you refute the non-argument of meaningful faith?

You (usually) don't. You (usually) lose.

One thing that can't be said about Newt is that he doesn't offer a plan.

Posted by: johngalt at December 7, 2011 5:08 PM

Quote of the Day

Oddly enough, Obama also praises [Theodore] Roosevelt for supporting a minimum wage for women. Chapter 4 of Rehabilitating Lochner describes the impetus for such laws, and much of the relevant the information in that chapter can be found in this paper published in Law and Contemporary Problems. The history is too rich to give an adequate summary here. Let's just say that the history of such laws is not pretty. The laws' primary supporters included male-only labor unions that wanted to keep women out of the workplace--women-only minimum wage laws almost never passed without strong from unions that typically opposed minimum wage laws for men; eugenicists who wanted women to stay home and take care of their children; bigots who thought that only the lower order of men (including Eastern European immigrants) would allow their women to work for wages; moralists who believed that low-wage women were susceptible to vice and should therefore stay out of the workforce; and economists who believed that, as Felix Frankfurter summarized in his brief in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, women who wanted to work but could not command a government-imposed minimum wage were "semi-employable" or "unemployable" workers who should "accept the status of a defective to be segregated for special treatment as a dependent." -- David Bernstein
UPDATE: Plus, an All Hail Harsanyi! Two of my favorite guys blast one of my least favorite Presidents -- it's like Christmas!
Obama, after all, is such a towering economic mind that in Osawatomie, he once again blamed ATMs (and the Internets) for job losses. This is a man we can trust. "Less productivity! More jobs!"
The Harsanyi quote does not reflect the seriousness of the piece, but I thought y'all might like it. These two articles, together, provide a superb view of Progressivism versus Liberalism.
Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

A Valuable Lesson.

Pupils at Ansford Academy in Castle Cary, Somerset, were forced to grip their pens through thick gloves and wear their coats and hats in class as temperatures dropped to 1C.

The school's headmaster, Rob Benzie, shut down the radiators as an experiment to show students how the school could cut its carbon footprint.

Freeze in the dark! That remains the best way to cut one's carbon footprint. And yet, the Daily Mail reports that some parents are angry.

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


A blog friend sends some video links.

Also: this and this (~3:06 "Passed the plan Massachusetts and the country should have studied.")

UPDATE: Remember reading things on the Internet, before they invented videos? James Pethokoukis discusses his interview with Mary Kaye's husband.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Fourth place in NH with 9 points, but last in IA and SC. Nowhere to go but up, I s'pose.

Some signs of life on the Hannity show last night including an excellent answer on trade with China. But I'd like to see him show more toughness. For example, after Sean closed with the quip, "I hope you're ready for the incoming fire from Trump" I wanted to hear something like, "I'm not concerned with Trump, my focus is defeating President Obama."

Posted by: johngalt at December 7, 2011 11:44 AM

December 6, 2011

Hooray for the Forces of Light!

The WSJ Ed Page joins our unholy nexus:

But if the Trump brand is a net negative in the Granite State, snubbing Mr. Trump could get candidates fired by Iowa caucus-goers. Mr. Trump has a small contingent of populist supporters in the tea party who are drawn to his anti-Obama, anti-China, anti-immigrant rhetoric. Mr. Gingrich and Ms. Bachmann are vigorously courting these voters in Iowa. Now that Mr. Gingrich has accepted the debate invitation, Mr. Romney and Ms. Bachmann might feel compelled to follow suit. Let's hope not.

Mr. Paul is right in saying that participating in a debate moderated by Mr. Trump -- a "birther" who says he's not convinced that President Obama was born in the U.S. -- would demean Republicans, an outcome that the White House is no doubt cheering.

Don't Forget to Tip Your Waitress & Bartender

Good news: Government Motors offers a replacement vehicle to users worried about fires:

"The program we put in place (earlier this week) hasn't changed," said Faye Roberts, GM Canada spokeswoman. "We're going to reach out to our Volt customers and make them aware of the investigation and as part of that, we want them to get any questions they have answered and if they feel uncomfortable then they do have the option of getting a loaner vehicle."

Bad news: It's a 1972 Ford® Pinto! [Rimshot!]

On the serious side, I am willing to admit that the fire fears are likely overblown. As hard as I root for the Volt to fail (there's a disclosure!), I suspect the small sampling is not indicative of a pattern. That said, the suggestion that safety information was suppressed regurgitates the bad taste of having the regulatory agency, in this case the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a political position. This administration has a huge stake in GM and especially Volt sales vis-à-vis other automakers it regulates.

Perhaps -- and hopefully -- the NHTSA would not accentuate Toyota safety issues and downplay the Volt's. But their boss would sure be happy if they did. And that, my friends, is not how free people run a railroad.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:46 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Question: If'n we're gonna nationalize producin' isn't it only fair that we privatize the regulatin'?

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2011 7:29 PM
But HB thinks:

The way I understand it, the problems with the battery are the result of some type of instability following a serious accident (the first fire happened a few days after a crash test). GM believes that if the battery is properly drained after the crash, the problem is avoided.

Posted by: HB at December 7, 2011 9:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Yes, it's probably just the growing pains of learning how to use coal-powered automobiles.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2011 10:17 AM
But jk thinks:

Back to regulation, which is the real issue: Insty links to the startling revelation that the battery is to be redesigned.

I am reminded of the billion dollars worth of bullshit (sorry, my '*' key is broken today) that Toyota went through to keep Ray LaHood's NHTSA off its back. They recalled thousands of vehicles, played with floormats, filed accelerator linkage, &c. All to fix "Driver Error."

Government Motors, curiously, did not have to engage in such exercises.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2011 2:00 PM

Which to believe? Both.

There's a reason why support for Newton Gingrich runs hot and cold.

Ramesh Ponnuru-

The race for the Republican nomination appears to have come down to two intelligent, knowledgeable men in Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Neither of them has a history of down-the-line conservatism. Gingrich can match Romney flip-flop for flip-flop and heresy for heresy. He has supported cap-and-trade legislation, federal funding for embryonic stem- cell research, the expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs and a federal requirement for everyone to buy health insurance. He has been neither more consistent nor more conservative than Romney.

Anne Kornblut-

Perhaps most significantly, Gingrich has an extensive Hispanic outreach organization, which he has been building for years. Unlike anything in the Romney playbook, that network could give Gingrich a head start slicing into Obama’s base in key states in the Mountain West, where Hispanics are a fast-growing swing voting bloc. Polls show Hispanic voters, two-thirds of whom backed Obama in 2008, still favor the president — but GOP strategists believe that winning 40 percent of that vote could disrupt Obama’s electoral college strategy by putting Colorado, Arizona and Nevada in the Republican column.


GOP strategists acknowledge that Gingrich could well self-destruct before winning the nomination. But if he survives, they say, he may be more formidable than some predict.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:16 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Between the two of them, Romney and Gingrich have more flip-flops that two whole battalions of Viet Cong. If it comes down to a choice between the two of them, I'll be choosing Gingrich - but I'm hoping it doesn't come down to a choice between the two of them.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 6, 2011 4:04 PM

Quote of the Day

If Congress raises top tax rates on capital gains and dividends, the highest income earners would report less income from capital gains and dividends and hold more tax-exempt bonds. Such tax policies would reduce the share of reported income of the top earners almost as effectively as the recession the policies would likely provoke. The top 1% would then pay a much smaller portion of federal income taxes, just as they did in 1979. And the other 99% would pay more. As the CBO found, "the federal income tax was notably more progressive in 2007 than in 1979." -- Alan Reynolds

The Epidemic of Sexting!

I salute blog brother's efforts to expose the idiocy and bias of The Denver Post in his The World According to DP series.

I have been tempted to establish a regular feature on the cluelessness of the FOX31 morning show, Good Day Colorado. I suspect very little actual bias on that program, even though all the errors tend to go one way. I am far more concerned about a lack of curiosity, or even a keen interest in truth. They are just doing a show, and if they tell you Thursday that potatoes will kill you and tell you Tuesday that a new study shows Potatoes to be the cure to Cancer -- I don't think anybody there really cares.

A day seared into my memory is a day they did three stories in a row. I turned to the lovely bride and said "the last three stories were all complete falsehoods. They just did three stories and I don't believe any."

Falsehood is a big word. Ignoring any real context, you could defend all three stories. Yet each has been shown incongruous to the attention and tone used in the story. Here they are:

1) Runaway Toyotas! Hide the children, there are Toyota's out there!

2) Unbundling bag fees. The first airline (Jet Blue?) dropped its fares $20 and added a $20 bag fee. Channel 31 sent a reporter to DIA who all but cried in the camera "What about a young Mom travelling with kids, that could be $60 for three!" You can say that they were right and the community at large has not accepted unbundling, but the savings offered a light traveler were not discussed. Economists booed.

3) I had to wait months for this one, but the first story was "the epidemic of sexting!" Your kids can't even answer their phones 'cause they're all so full of the friends' genitalia! I'm not saying it never happens, or that kids should be lax about sharing, but this was one of those "for God's sake, stay home and lock yourselves in your room!" stories they love. The NY Times (HT: Taranto) suggests it might not have reached pandemic proportions.

One in 10 children ages 10 to 17 has used a cellphone to send or receive sexually suggestive images, but only 1 in 100 has sent images considered graphic enough to violate child pornography laws, a new study found.

Kids behaving stupidly, anybody? I don't want to condone bad behavior, but I fear it might lead young ones to take their eyes off real danger. Like Toyotas...

December 5, 2011

Must See TV

Abby Huntsman sends "My Daddy's Media Schedule," and top of the list is:

Tonight, December 5
7:00pm ET - Gov. Huntsman with Larry Kudlow on "The Kudlow Report" (CNBC)

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | What do you think? [0]


I find political boycotts of consumer goods tiresome, and generally oppose them even when I agree with the goal.

But I think I may lead one here. Those Coke® commercials featuring a donation to the WWF over the junk science claims of endangered polar bears graduated from eye-rolling to perturbation yesterday.

Now the Telegraph (HT: Taranto) claims that customers don't like the white cans and the company is backing off.

The cans featured the company's iconic logo in red, set against an all-white background and featuring a picture of three polar bears plodding through the snow, in what the company described as a "bold, attention-grabbing" move to publicise conservation efforts by the World Wildlife Fund.

"We're turning our cans white because turning our backs wasn't an option," read the campaign logo, with the company urging buyers to make $1 donations to the cause, which it pledged to match up to the value of $1 million, to help protect polar bear habitats.

It just goes until March, I don't buy that much, and I can easily choose another brand (prob'ly store brand). My way of sticking it to the man! Just a few months, join me -- the WWF is one of the worst environmental groups out there.

Environment Posted by John Kranz at 5:56 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

I've enlisted dagny in a private boycott of Target stores because of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Target part owner and heir, whose position in that state's budget battle was opposite that of the TEA Party "influenced" state legislature.

Now it appears we're not alone, albeit for far different reasons.

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2011 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Hey, I used to work at Target®!

Now I don't know your personal involvement or preference for Target but I suspect, like most boycotts, it is doing you a lot more harm than Governor Dayton. And that if it is effective, it will be to spur them into a donation of $63.7 Trillion to better support Democratic Gay Candidates and this win their loyal customers back.

My Coke nonsense may not be any better, but a) it is temporary; b) it really does not discommode me much if any; c) it adds up to the desirable outcome of their focusing on business and not politics. Purists are PO-ed because the can is not Red, Enviros are grouchy that they caved, and I am miffed that they supported a bad cause in the first place. Lesson: Milton Friedman was right!

But good luck all around!

Posted by: jk at December 6, 2011 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And there you've hit upon my reason for limiting the boycott to myself and dagny. Target has nothing we can't get from either WalMart or Costco. Ergo, NO WAY TARZHAY.

Whether for having lefty ownership or for trying to placate lefty activists in the first place, I shed no tears for Target's lost business.

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2011 7:48 PM
But jk thinks:

It can feel good that "my money" isn't going someplace. I don't know about Costco but watching Walmart line up behind Obamacare, then get a waiver irked me to no end. Tarzhay really worse?

Posted by: jk at December 6, 2011 8:00 PM

I knew it was coming

But I am still pleased:

Cheater at haiku
Instead of 5-7-5
It was 9-9-9

All Hail Taranto!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 5:36 PM | What do you think? [0]

Frightening Nexus

Rep Ron Paul, the editors of National Review, and your humble blogservant, jk, agree.

In announcing that their candidate would not attend the Newsmax debate set to be moderated by Donald Trump in Iowa later this month, the Ron Paul campaign wrote, "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity."

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | What do you think? [0]

Huntsman Rising!

At least in my eyes:

Trump, via Twitter, countered that Huntsman "has zero chance of getting the nomination. Whoever said I wanted to meet him?"

In other news, Huntsman and Gingrich will debate "Lincoln-Douglas style" in New Hampshire this month. "Michael Levoff, a spokesman for Huntsman's campaign, said the date, place and debate rules are still being worked out" but other reports cite December 12.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

If we're not very careful, I will fall into a rant.

Who the Hell crowned Trump?

I'm glad he made a lot of money, and even understand that a New York developer has to give much of it to Democrats. I was the height of unenthused about his candidacy and that carries over to Mister-single-digits's self appointed capacity as Kingmaker.

Larry Kudlow had him on and treated him with great deference on this debate moderation. El Donaldo went on with his insufferable populism. It seems none of the candidates are anti-trade enough for the real estate man.

I've got to stop. But I die a little each time somebody treats Mr. Trump as a serious force in GOP politics -- he is not.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 3:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But if he could somehow manage to get the debaters entered as contestants on "America's Got Talent"...

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2011 2:54 PM

Addicted to Oil?

Take this shiny new "The World According to DP" category out for a spin...

Amy Oliver responds to a guest editorial:

The Denver Post gave Greg Wockner of Clean Water Action prime newspaper real estate in Sunday's perspective section. Wockner's guest editorial "Is Colorado Addicted to Oil?" was nothing more than a list of typical anti-fossil fuel questions that he tried to associate to Colorado's and Weld County's economic struggles as a result of the Great Recession.

Oliver's response is the jewel. Are you "addicted" to civilization?
Are we addicted oil? Only if you enjoy and are "addicted" to a modern lifestyle made possible by the discovery of fossil fuels. I'll revisit this question at the end of this series of blog posts.

Huntsman a Conservative?

Jeopardy® champion and frequent Kudlow guest James Pethokoukis says yes.

If elected president, Huntsman says he would like to slash tax rates to their lowest levels since before America entered World War I and eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends. Powerful supply-side medicine for an anemic economic recovery. Huntsman has embraced Representative Paul Ryan's transformational, market-oriented debt-reduction plan, calling it "the model I would work from." He's also pro-life, a dedicated free trader and--at least as evidenced by his sweeping bank reform plan--an ardent anti-crony capitalist.

To be fair, Jimi P comes out of the closet for Newt two tweets later. But the Huntsman piece is a powerful argument that should sit well with a lot of ThreeSourcers.

UPDATE: Misread. Pethokoukis was MTing @ellencarmichael, not endorsing the Speaker himself.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

With due respect to Jimi, it will carry more weight when Rush Limbaugh says Jon is a conservative.

And by my read of the article, he says Jon's ideas are more conservative than is Jon.

Posted by: johngalt at December 5, 2011 3:21 PM

Making the Wrong Argument

The infamous "Rick Perry moment" in which he forgot the third of three federal agencies that he would abolish, while Ron Paul upped the ante to five agencies, fosters an image that Republicans want to take a meat cleaver to government. While that plays well in Three Sources, it does not engender thoughtful reform more likely to win over the masses.

Instead, The Refugee would suggest that candidates focus on the programs that they would privatize. Perhaps a poster child for this effort would be USDA's crop forecasting, profiled in today's WSJ for its highly inaccurate corn estimates. USDA sends out field personnel to stake out 15'x15' field plots and then measure the length of ears and extrapolate total crop size from there. Estimates are updated on a monthly basis. USDA corn estimates during the past two years have been more than 10% off, causing enormous price swings that damage both producers and buyers.

Seriously? 15x15 plots? Monthly reports? Surely entrepreneurs could find a way to use easily accessible satellite images, highly accurate rainfall guages and other calculations to generate more accurate estimates. It would seem that such a system could be updated on a daily basis for the effects of rain, flooding, drought, etc. Competing firms would give farmers and markets more data points from which to reach their own conclusions.The total cost to the economy might or might not be less (farmers and investors would likely have to buy a subscription to the data), but it would more accurately match cost with revenue and be borne by those who directly benefit.

There are likely a myriad of other programs that can be performed as well or better privately, such as the National Weather Service, National Earthquake Center and on and on. Could we not easily identify at least 30% of the government that can be done as well or better privately?

Targeting specific programs for privatization, rather than lopping off whole agencies, is much more likely to be politically palatable. Eliminating departments is a right-wing pipedream that lefty debate moderators use to frame Republicans as "extreme." Let's change the argument.

2012 Posted by Boulder Refugee at 12:06 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

JK is gobsmacked by his blog brother's insight. I share your political view, and was tinkering with the idea of 50% reductions to try to trim them back to "essentials."

Your plan is about a million times better. I even have the T-Shirt.

Awesome on stilts.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 1:18 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Heh! Great T-shirt.

The Refugee struggled with the term "privatize" because the Left has successfully stigmatized it. For the same reason "outsource" does not work, either. Market-based, market solution, re-sourcing - there's gotta be a better moniker.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 5, 2011 4:24 PM
But jk thinks:

That shirt looked kinda familiar.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 5:17 PM

Harold & Kumar Recession

I'm a huge H&K fan. While I have not seen the latest, I love the allusion. I hope young people listen to the Forbes writer and not the interviewer. (Hat-tip: Insty)

December 4, 2011

Colorado Native Lager

Last spring I made my first attempt at growing hops. The plants never sprouted and I was quite disappointed, but others had better luck than I and the 100% Colorado brew from Coors brewing has been completed.

As soon as today, a batch of Colorado Native made with homegrown hops will hit store shelves, thanks to the efforts of 130 volunteer growers.

A year ago, AC Golden Brewing put out an invitation to its Facebook fans to accept a free hops rhizome, plant it and donate the harvested crop to the brewer.

The intent was to get AC Golden closer to its goal of producing a beer with all-Colorado ingredients. It's 99.89 percent local with Colorado barley, water and yeast. The missing fraction is hops — the flowery green herb that gives beer its sublime bitterness.

The yield was not enough to produce a year's worth of the brew, but it's a start. As for the product? I posted the following on the beer's Facebook page:

My two rhizomes never broke ground - perhaps they languished in the fridge too long before I planted them. I'll try again in the spring. But I picked up a 12-pack yesterday and ... love it! I love highly hopped beers but the first bottle I drank (from a glass) almost blew me away. I got a headache it was so hoppy! (Had just returned from a day near Blackhawk though so was perhaps O2 deprived.) Second bottle today was more mellow but very tasty, well balanced and on its way to being the only beer I drink for as long as I can get it. Lovely red-amber. Five stars!

Back in the day, Coors Banquet Beer, brewed only in Colorado, was not available east of the Mississipi River (a fact capitalized on in the storyline for the movie "Smokey and the Bandit.) Coors is now also bottled in Virginia and available nationwide. CO Native, however - only in Colorado, brothers and sisters.

But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at December 5, 2011 11:40 AM
But jk thinks:

I remember sneaking Coors was a big deal when I was a lad. Visiting easterners would load a couple of cases in their car. My folks shipped a case to a relative in Alabama. When Reverend <name changed to protect the guilty> showed up to pick up his "canned goods" shipped from Denver, the wrapping was torn. The Huntsville postal workers delivered the contraband amid much jocularity.

I will try the native, though I had some of the New Belgium seasonal Snow Day and I am under its spell.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 11:57 AM

Iowa Caucus - 4 Minutes Left in the 4th Quarter

Upon castigation by my brother for "gravitating toward" another "sure loser" I've reevaluated the differences between the records of the two Mormon ex-governors in the race. Not long ago br'er JK had me purt near convinced Huntsman is the best man to debate President Demand-the-Unearned for all the marbles. But that's sorta like letting Oregon go to the Rose Bowl for beating UCLA while Stanford watches helplessly due to an accident of arbitrary divisionalization. In our patented alternate universe, make Romney governor of Utah and saddle Huntsman with Massachusetts - then see which one shares nicknames with an anthropomorphic teevee dolphin.

I'm not jumping off his bandwagon yet, but if Jon really has the chops to "Tebow" the GOP field there are 4 weeks left, Herman Cain just punted the ball and it's first down on his own 2 yard line (while Newt also has the ball at his 25.) Time to start making plays and gaining ground, in big chunks.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 5:21 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Iowa is the opening drive if I may borrow a metaphor. The social conservatives are unlikely to pick Mr. Mary Kaye. He has put all his eggs in the granite state basket. If he is not close in NH, then I'll reevaluate.

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2011 8:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair extension of the metaphor. We'll call the current game "regular season" and what starts with Iowa "playoffs."

Posted by: johngalt at December 4, 2011 9:16 PM

GOP Presidential Primary - December Preview

Last night's Huckabee Forum on FNC did a good job of summarizing the state of the nominating campaign as we begin December 2011, on "2012 Eve" if you will. While Florida AG Pam Biondi was the most pleasing to watch, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli was by far the best questioner. In this video segment he discusses several of the candidates and declines to name his current favorite, instead saying "there's opportunity, even in the next month, for these candidates to flesh out their positions in ways that make them unique and special and make them somebody that conservatives in particular could get behind." That really validates my current mood that the question is not settled.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 5:09 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

An "Environmental Solutions Agency" to replace the EPA (~4:40) -- yeah, I feel better.

I think the noocyuler bomb over the weekend was Senator Tom Coburn's staunch distancing of himself from the Speaker. Coburn was there in '94 and said Gingrich lacked leadership qualities.

D'ja see that? Didja? I would think a lot of the Speaker's supporters would both watch FoxNewSunday and give great weight to Sen. Coburn.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 12:13 PM

Quote of the Day

"I was so shocked by being handed this bag today at your Portland, Ore., store that I literally WALKED BACK to return this horrific bag," one customer wrote on Lululemon's blog. "In this political and economic climate, I find it baffling that your company would choose such an inflammatory and offensive statement."
That's from a NYTimes story on Lululemon Athletica: "the retailer of yoga pants and hoodies, has long decorated shopping bags with slogans that appear to have been lifted from self-help books. But this month its bags have asked a question that some may find more provocative: 'Who is John Galt?'"

December 3, 2011

Word® Doesn't Get Me

Quote of the Day

In 1783, William Pitt warned the British Parliament about the dangers of those who would reflexively employ "necessity" as an argument in favor of their preferences. "Necessity," Pitt exclaimed, "is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves!" -- Charles C. W. Cooke
Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

December 2, 2011

Tebow Touches

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." -Robert A. Heinlein

Tim Tebow is still being told he can't play quarterback in the NFL, despite winning 5 of 6 games, and 4 in a row. "It's a passer's league" you see. If you can't pass from the pocket (and have a quick release and be able to anticipate defensive schemes and evaluate three or more potential receivers in 5 seconds or less) then you can't reliably win games. But despite the tutelage of football "experts" there are other ways to achieve offensive success.

"Over 16 games," said Lahman, "Tebow projects to 19 touchdowns, three interceptions, 2,061 yards passing and 1,112 yards rushing with five rushing touchdowns."

That doesn't make him Johnny Unitas. But it would make him an incredibly efficient quarterback.


Still, because the nine games in which Tebow has appeared (six as a starter, three in relief) are an admittedly small sample, Lahman came up with a better way to gauge Tebow's effectiveness. It's a spread sheet that ranks quarterbacks by "Adjusted Yards per Touch" ("a touch" being defined as pass and rushing attempts plus sacks). By that measure, Tebow gains an average of 2.61 yards every time he touches the ball. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but only four quarterbacks have doe better this season. In order, they are Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brady and injured Matt Schaub. Tebow is No. 5.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 11:38 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

I don't mean to be a Tebow naysayer, I am fulsomely undecided and enjoy watching the answer unfold.

Yet, I think reliable statistics would require either a larger sample or COUGH! COUGH! factoring in the quality of the opponent.

Posted by: jk at December 3, 2011 11:26 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The phenom has hit Wall Street:

It's a good read; Rick Reilly would be smiling.

Tim Tebow never lets you relax. He never puts a football game away in the first quarter. He forces you to watch the whole thing, with commercials and no fast-forwards. It's never pretty.

He doesn't put up Tom Brady's numbers. He doesn't put up Tom Brokaw's numbers. He's not impressing Broncos legend John Elway. John Elway acts as if he'd let the Broncos bus abandon Tim Tebow at a rest stop.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 3, 2011 12:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mondo heh! A good read. I really liked this line:

"Tim Tebow doesn't fight the law, but if he did, the law would surely win. Okay, maybe not."

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

Another W today. And yet when Green Bay comes on after, one wonders if Rodgers and Tebow are really in the same league.

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2011 9:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

One might also wonder if Rodgers and Brady are in the same league. Brady's Patriots, Denver's opponent two weeks hence, have lost 3 games this season. That's only two fewer than the Broncos (and two more than the Tebow version of the team).

Posted by: johngalt at December 5, 2011 11:42 AM

December 1, 2011

Oh My!

No, it is not April Fool's Day. Nor was I perusing the magnificent Onion.

No, the WSJ Ed Page actually carries a piece from SEIU thug boss and most frequent White House guest Andy Stern. And I know I have a reputation for hyperbole. But I am serious: Stern claims the free market has failed us and that we need central planning like...wait for it...China.

While we debate, Team China rolls on. Our delegation witnessed China's people-oriented development in Chongqing, a city of 32 million in Western China, which is led by an aggressive and popular Communist Party leader--Bo Xilai. A skyline of cranes are building roughly 1.5 million square feet of usable floor space daily--including, our delegation was told, 700,000 units of public housing annually.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government can boast that it has established in Western China an economic zone for cloud computing and automotive and aerospace production resulting in 12.5% annual growth and 49% growth in annual tax revenue, with wages rising more than 10% a year.

For those of us who love this country and believe America has every asset it needs to remain the No. 1 economic engine of the world, it is troubling that we have no plan--and substitute a demonization of government and worship of the free market at a historical moment that requires a rethinking of both those beliefs.

There's plenty more and I suggest you read the whole thing. Contra Tom Friedman, Stern does not really even do a "yes but they do murder all but first born babies and occupy Tibet and incarcerate those who would do Falun Gong exercise in the park,,," No, it is really a full-on Walter Duranty cheering session for central planning.

UPDATE: James Pethokoukis did not seem to care for it either...

China Posted by John Kranz at 2:47 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

What's not to love? China has one union, and everyone's a member. Even children, convicts, and political prisoners. It's Card Check on steroids.

Of course, it means ignoring the recently increasing labor unrest, an economy that's shakier than a Mexican space shuttle, and a built-in inability to collectively bargain for wage increased. But like J.R. Ewing once said, once you give up your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 1, 2011 4:26 PM

Mittstant Replay

A great friend of this blog shares a bit of GOP ex-Governor Mormon Presidential Candidate Smackdown:

UPDATE: And, if you don't go away, I will taunt you another time!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 PM | What do you think? [8]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This ad angers The Refugee almost to the point of first person. If your only strategy is to beat down other Republicans and give grist to the Democrats, then get the hell out of the race. He was not particularly inclined to vote for Huntsman before, but this tears it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:05 PM
But jk thinks:

It did occur to me, br, that Reagan's 11th Commandment may have been contravened in this ad. But Gov H is back in the polls and swinging for the fences in Hew Hampshire, so an attack on the likely winner doesn't seem completely misplaced duzzit?

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2011 5:11 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You attack using superior ideas and strength of conviction. could have produced this ad. First Cain and now Newt are rising because they present ideas, not attack ads.

The ad featuring three daughters was not effective because was not about ideas, it was about, "Gee, our dad sure is swell." If that were the criteria, Michelle Bachmann's 23 foster kids would trump Huntsman's seven offspring. The Obama machine would destroy this guy because he has no clue how to package voter value.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly, br, is waiting for this video.

On a slightly more serious side, the second link is a more positive video.

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2011 5:54 PM
But HB thinks:

I think the refugee needs to re-assess the race. It is important that the issues that are likely to come up during the general election are heard now rather than when we are stuck with a particular candidate. Romney is someone who will say anything to get elected. The people who think he is most electable are, I believe, overlooking that point.

Similarly, Newt needs to become spokesman for Southwest Airlines where baggage flies free.

The only candidate that has a chance to win the general election is Jon Huntsman. He has superior knowledge of foreign affairs, he has produced the best economic plan, and his views do not change. In fact, I would argue that Huntsman has all of the characteristics that people like in Mitt Romney without all the flip-flopping.

Posted by: HB at December 2, 2011 10:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome Newt line, HB!

I think we all need to reassess the race. There are so many moving parts that the big picture transforms weekly, if not daily at times. And I think we may find more agreement that Huntsman could have the best chance to win a general election rather than the only chance.

At this point I see Jon as a sort of "too-good-to-be-true" candidate who is completely tone-deaf to the GOP mood and has no sense for how to appeal to fellow Republicans. Further, he seems to have no desire to do so. His natural advantages in a general election will do him no good until and unless he fixes this other problem. I'm as erudite a TEA partier as there is and I wrote him off in the first debate, and kept shoveling dirt in the subsequent ones.

Posted by: johngalt at December 2, 2011 12:23 PM

Newt Apostasies

Jim Geraghty is getting some pretty nasty emails.

Yesterday, he posted a list of quotes from Speaker Gingrich that he felt would not excite the serious, tea party, conservative, republican base that seeks to keep that serial flip flopper Romney away from the nomination. They are somewhat devastating.

Today, he defends himself from the hate mail (some dared to call him "RINO!") in a superb Morning Jolt email. You're mad if you don't subscribe, but I cater to the afflicted by copying the entire Newt section as an extended entry (click "continue reading...")

If I may join the Speaker in using more adverbs to prop up my apparrunt intelligence: it's singularly devastating.

UPDATE: Verum Serum unearths product of his lobbying professorial history advisement for Freddie Mac: (HT: Insty)

The housing GSEs have made an important contribution to homeownership and the housing finance system. We have a much more liquid and stable housing finance system than we would have without the GSEs. And making homeownership more accessible and affordable is a policy goal I believe conservatives should embrace.
Well, it’s not a point of view libertarians would embrace. But I am more in the Alexander Hamilton-Teddy Roosevelt tradition of conservatism. I recognize that there are times when you need government to help spur private enterprise and economic development.

You read the grand collection of easily forgotten Newt quotes on Campaign Spot yesterday, right? I went to Memeorandum last night to find it at the top of the page.

Unsurprisingly, those who preferred somebody besides Newt loved it; Newt fans insisted that it was A) evidence that NR will endorse Romney, B) evidence that I've been bought off by Mitt Romney, C) a tirade (somehow quoting Newt constitutes a tirade), or D) RINO!

It's just so farshtunken tiresome.

Streiff at RedState suggests I'm a "gnome," scoffing, "I'm sure there is an army of gnomes out there, this very instant, researching every exotic statement Gingrich has uttered in his career. This will be a full employment plan not only for those gnomes but their children because every time Gingrich has had a thought he has told a newspaper somewhere about it."

Of course. I suppose all true conservatives shrug nonchalantly at the thought of a candidate and potential president who feels the need to publicly proclaim every thought that comes into his head.

I don't doubt that Gingrich is brilliant. But he's also extraordinarily undisciplined, quick to come up with ideas, quick to tout and celebrate them, and quick to discard them, a form of intellectual attention-deficit disorder that marks his post-congressional career.

For example, in 2003, he offered an explosive and provocative argument that President Bush's foreign policy was being undermined by his own diplomatic corps, and he passionately declared, "Only a top-to-bottom reform and culture shock will enable the State Department to effectively spread U.S. values and carry out President George W. Bush's foreign policy." This was (and still is!) bold stuff, his article caused a big stir, his contentions outraged then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and every diplomat, Gingrich got a lot of attention . . . and then nothing happened. No reforms were enacted. Gingrich moved on to his next big idea for American renewal, and for all the hubbub, we have the exact same culture at Foggy Bottom that we always had.

Most of Newt's big initiatives since leaving office have had this big-talk, little-action pattern: the task force on U.N. reform, the Hart-Rudman Commission (it talked a lot about terrorism in 1999, but nobody was listening), etc. I suppose you could argue that his Center for Health Transformation was an exception, as it helped create the prescription-drug benefit for Medicare, but then again, a lot of conservatives see that as another unfunded expansion of an entitlement program.

He proposed U.S. efforts to remove Yassir Arafat from power in April 2002. Bold idea, went nowhere (became moot in late 2004). Later that year, he attacked Walter Mondale (the Democrats' Senate candidate in Minnesota after Paul Wellstone was suddenly killed in a plane crash) by saying that Mondale wanted to privatize Social Security and raise the retirement age. He constantly blurts these things out, and because he's a former speaker, there are rarely any lasting consequences. As the Republican nominee or as the American president, there would be big consequences.

Hey, look, if you've written me off as a hopeless RINO, how about Mark Steyn? Jeff Poor at the Daily Caller caught Steyn sitting in for Rush earlier this week:

Filling in for Rush Limbaugh on his radio show Tuesday, Steyn referenced a Pundit & Pundette blog post that suggested Gingrich sounds smarter on the debate stage because he uses so many adverbs.

"You watch him in the debates," Steyn said. "It's all 'profoundly, dramatically deeply compelling. All the action is in the adverbs. One of my problems again with Newt is like he's bursting with ideas that sound all as if they are coming from a self-help manual. If you remember back in his heyday, he had something called 'The Triangle of American Progress.' And that evolved into the "Four Pillars of American Civilization,' which in turn expanded into the 'Five Pillars of the Twenty-First Century.'"

And the growth of those programs, from three-to-four-to-five points, doesn't lend a lot of credence to any hopes Gingrich would scale back government.

"And by the way, just the sort of grade inflation going on in his plans," Steyn added, "makes him sound as a wee bit of a dodgy prospect when comes to actually slashing back government."

A couple of people wondered when we would see a similar list of Mitt Romney's deviations from conservative thinking. Well, there's this thing that Tim Pawlenty called "Obamneycare," and he used to emphasize that he was pro-choice, and he used to boast that he was an independent during Reagan-Bush and . . . what's that? You've heard all of that? Yeah, me too. In fact, we spent most of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 hashing this stuff out. The primary difference (no pun intended) between last cycle and this cycle is that the enactment of Obamacare has put the issue of the individual mandate front and center, and Romney's view is that we must fight all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure that the federal government never thinks it has the authority to make us buy health care, so that the states are free to make us buy health care instead.

Despite having deep worries about Gingrich's temperament in office, I'm not that anti-Newt. If he gets the nomination I'll be strapping on my helmet and doing my best to replace President Obama with President Gingrich. And I'll really be hoping for some kick-tush veep who will hopefully be able to keep Gingrich focused on enacting his best ideas. (Hint, hint.)

If you prefer Gingrich to Romney or any other candidate, fine. But don't tell me you're choosing Gingrich over Romney because the latter is an inconsistent, unreliable, fair-weather conservative, and the former isn't.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Terri thinks:

Thanks. That does leave Huntsman eh?
Ok then. I've been too down in the dumps thinking that Obama may actually win that i haven't looked too closely.
While it would be fun to see Newt debate Obama, i dont think he can win.

Posted by: Terri at December 1, 2011 3:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, he can win. After all, isn't it becoming apparent that he's as slippery as Mitt? My question is whether or not we want him to win. The ol' "Democrat policies in Republican wrapper" thingey.

And yet, there will be "disqualifiers" in Huntsman's past as well.

I love sausage, but I hate makin' it.

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2011 5:02 PM

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