January 31, 2012

Another Appeal to Authority

Perhaps these are becoming counter-productive, but I see your Obama's Uncle and raise you Alan Freaking Reynolds! Including extra bonus David Stockman whacks. Oh man, it's like Easter and Christmas and my birthday all at once!

Newt Gingrich's alleged role in the development of supply-side economics sometimes looks like a deliberate distraction from deeper questions about why he claims to be more "conservative" than other candidates. Gingrich is the only candidate who repeatedly advocated federal legislation making health insurance compulsory. He has enthusiastically supported federal subsidies for ethanol and other green energy boondoggles. And he dismissed a thoughtful plan from Paul Ryan to slow the growth of entitlements as "right wing social engineering." Other candidates have their own faults. Romney seems hawkish for my taste, too prone to blaming our problems on China, and too harsh on immigration. But those are very common views among conservatives, arguably making Newt more moderate than Mitt in these respects.

For Newt Gingrich to toss out strikingly grandiose and obviously unworkable ideas about scrapping many taxes and slashing others is for him to reveal that he's far from moderate. But being immoderate is not the same as being conservative. And voicing flippant disregard for budget problems of the magnitude we face is not the same as being any sort of economist, supply-side or otherwise.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 8:43 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

Cannot lie, the Speaker's speech was very very good tonight.

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2012 10:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had to wait 24 hours before commenting to see if I still felt the same way or if it was just "irrational exuberance." I emailed my family yesterday:

Did you hear Newt's speech? What did you think?

I thought it was great and signaled the real start of the presidential campaign: Newt or Romneybama, because if Newt (or Paul) doesn't win the nomination then nothing much will change. It will only be a question of how quickly they"manage the decline."

The replies were universally approbational and included this link to a video recording of the speech.

Today I sent Newt a hundred bucks. I hope dagny will forgive me.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 12:38 AM
But jk thinks:

He's got Trump's money now -- you shoulda kept Mister Franklin in your pocket! As I bled as much plus memorabilia orders into the Hunstman trough, I should probably keep quiet (saddened that I never got the T-Shirts).

But my friend, my brother, my compatriot: one good speech does not a candidacy make.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 10:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Ooooops - got caught believing Internet rumors again. It's Governor Romney that gets Trump's hair.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 12:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

I forgive you for sending money to Newt. I don't forgive you for not telling me first. See what politics can do to people. Imagine what it must be like for James Carville and Mary Matalin.

Posted by: dagny at February 2, 2012 5:22 PM

The gig is up

The historical accounts of the 2012 Presidential election are already being written. From Steve McCann's 'The Republican Establishment's Strategic Blunder' in the American Thinker:

The one major accomplishment of Barack Obama has been to bring a sudden and abrupt end the people's ability to tolerate this tacitly understood game between the two major Parties.

(...)

All the other challengers were easily eliminated or made irrelevant, as they did not have the money or experience of knowing how the game is played, but Newt refused to just slink away. Never has the Republican Establishment trained its guns on any one candidate in such an unbridled and unrestrained way.

Perhaps Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul are not the right candidates to face Barack Obama, but that decision should be up to the voters. While it maybe the role of the conservative pundit class to proffer their opinions of the various candidates, it is not the role of the overall Establishment to so marginalize candidates that there appears to be only one viable alternative.

The Establishment could not have made a more strategic blunder. They will, in all likelihood, succeed in securing the nomination for Mitt Romney, but the damage they have inflicted upon themselves is approaching irreversible. The public now sees the length to which the Establishment will go to make certain their hand-picked candidate is chosen regardless of the dire circumstances facing the nation.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I dunno. This really smacks of conspiracy theory. My assessment of conspiracies is that the theorists give way to much credit for intelligence to the conspirators.

It reminds me of when Gore and RFK Jr. blamed Bush for Katrina. Sure - a guy they claim to be to stupid to read a book somehow has God-like control over the weather.

Similarly here, the "GOP establishment" is too incompetant to organize a campaign, but somehow as the skills to do a Jedi mind-trick on the electorate.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 11:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm confused. What's the "conspiracy theory?" That negative campaign ads work or that "an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings" dominates national party politics?

Posted by: johngalt at February 1, 2012 2:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JG, you're a friend, so I'm happy to un-confuse you. :-)

First of all, the definition of "The Establishment": "an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings." Who in the polical debate does that NOT describe?!? We at Three Sources would love to control the government purse strings, if for no other reason than to tie a knot in them. Indeed, it is the disagreement over government gathering and use of funds that animates most of us.

Second, the idea that dozens or hundreds of prominant politicians - who can rarely agree on lunch - got together and derived a consensus and a grand strategy for electing a particular candidate seems highly implausible. The fact that a number of prominant politicians support a particular candidate does not mean that they got together and decided to do so, though no doubt many of the talk regularly.

Finally, "...it appears that those who are nominally identified as the "Republican Establishment" are doing all they can to alienate the vast majority of the current base of the Party." Seriously?? The party appartchik is sitting around dreaming up ways to piss off the "vast majority" of its base? Again, implausible. Moreover, how can they alienate the "vast majority" of the base and simultaneous convince them to vote for their chosen candidate?

This a sour-grapes theory to explain why Newt is losing to Romney. The truth is that while Romney may be deeply flawed, Newt is deeply, deeply flawed. Finally, just because a bunch of party insiders don't believe that Newt is electable doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 4:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

What he said. BR, that is...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 1, 2012 11:43 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

"Republican Establishment trained its guns"
in non-partisan, unelectioneering, bomb-catching plainspeak, people established (aka, whose opinions are sometimes sought) within the republican party exercised their right to free speech and called a Newt... well, whatever they thought he was.

The idea of Ann Coulter colluding with anyone behind a closed door is silly... until ... it becomes oddly disturbing >:-0

I caught a bit of the ads and speech from the FL campaign. I didn't find the selected Romney ad objectionable (and you'd think they'd picked a nasty one). A bit harsh perhaps, but way less harsh than Newt calling anyone else a Washington insider: that takes gall and a forked tongue well-used to the taste of bile.

Gall don't necessarily impress independent voters. I already can't stand listening to His Whineyness anymore.

P.S.: the prohibition on posting comments still afflicts NB; but only with FireFox.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 1, 2012 11:56 PM

Sowell: Oppose the tactic, not the candidate

In what seems to be shaping up as a personality contest between Mitt Romney and supporters Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, George Will et.al on one side and Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Arthur Laffer and more on the other side, Thomas Sowell weighs in to say it isn't one candidate or another that must not be rewarded, but his tactic.

Gingrich is by no means above criticism. He has been criticized in this column before, over the years, including during the current primary season, and he will probably be criticized here again.

But the poisonous practice of irresponsible smears is an issue that is bigger than Gingrich, Romney or any other candidate of either party.

There have long been reports of people who decline to be nominated for federal judicial appointments because that means going before the Senate Judiciary Committee to have lies about their past spread nationwide, and the good reputation built up over a lifetime destroyed by politicians who could not care less about the truth.

The same practices may well have something to do with the public's dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates in this year's primaries -- and in previous years' primaries. Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud.

There is no law against it, so it is up to the voters, not only in Florida but in other states, to punish it at the ballot box -- the only place where punishment is likely to stop the practice.

A vote for anyone but Newt at this point in the process is a vote for the politics of personal destruction, and the continuation of business-as-usual in Washington D.C.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Excellent point, and it makes me rethink my idea of applying libel and slander laws to campaigns. Perhaps instead, it would be better if we instituted the Burr Solution. One candidate would be less likely to smear another if he considered that his opponent might just shoot him dead to defend his sacred honor. And armed society is, after all, a polite society.

Better yet: perhaps we should just repeal all of DC's unconstitutional gun control laws and let politicians settle their differences on the field of honor. Bring back dueling! As an added bonus, it would both reduce the number of politicians we have to deal with, and drastically reduce the number of hoplophobes in Congress.

For the record: if the 2012 Presidential election is settled by a duel, I want Perry back in this race.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 31, 2012 7:18 PM
But hb thinks:

Jg,

You're kidding right? Newt Gingrich has been smearing Romney as well. For example, the robocalls that claimed that Romney denied Holocaust survivors kosher meals. That is the politics of honesty and integrity?

Gingrich is egomaniacal. He doesn't stand for anything. He has 10 new ideas a day, 8 of which are completely nonsensical and utterly crazy (jk, I chose multiple adverbs purposefully). The idea that he has any support defies logic. Vote for Gingrich at your own peril. A vote for Newt is a vote for Obama.

Posted by: hb at February 1, 2012 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

He forcefully and purposefully used two adverbs. I like it.

I received a call from a neighbor last night who had a GOP call list. You could tell this was one of his first calls, and he ran down a list of questions. He asked "if the caucus was today, who would you caucus for?" For the first time, I said it aloud: "Ron Paul!"

His wife whooped in the background. They're RP folk too. Since, I have been called three more times -- I get a little prouder each time.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2012 7:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, Newt is using every electoral trick in the book except "carpet bomb your opponent with your superior campaign funds" which I'm sure he would do if he had them. "Egomaniacal?" Just a tad ad-hominem. I see him as determined to succeed in a cause that he (and I) consider crucial.

And if Ron Paul were both i) as determined and ii) as politically saavy he'd be polling even or ahead of Newt. But he ain't. We can Hope that will Change. In the meantime I'm supporting Newt.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 4:21 PM
But hb thinks:

jg,

Normally when someone accuses another of an ad hominem attack it is an accusation of a logical fallacy in which the attacker has ignored the issue at hand. I am not debating the Speaker (or you) on an issue, but rather calling into question his character. When one runs for president, character is important. I think that Newt is severely lacking in that category.

The disdain for the mythological establishment that is starting to arise on this blog is worrisome. Who is this establishment? Has everyone ever seen them? Do they live with Big Foot? Perhaps, the Loch Ness Monster?

Posted by: hb at February 2, 2012 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

First, hb, I appreciate your stepping up and challenging my assertions. That is the only way they can be tested.

The "establishment" of any party is whoever currently holds a political office under its banner. Generally speaking, the longer a politician holds office the more likely he succombs to the allure of cronyism. There are many exceptions - a notable one is SC Senator Jim DeMint. I do not tar all with the "establishment" brush.

But more than the personalities, the political establishment is a way of thinking: Bureacracies must be maintained, power must be aggregated, control must be exercised. The corporate cronies support the government cronies and vice versa. We can't "unelect" corporate cronies so defeating the politicians is the quickest path to reform.

I referred to your Newt criticism as slightly ad hominem because, as with most Gingrich critiques, I read yours as exagerated and more personal and emotional than fact-based. I have rebutted all of the fact based criticisms with varying success but to say the man has ideas that are "utterly crazy" and then that supporting him "defies logic" strikes me as a non-sequitur.

Newt deserves much of the bad image that he suffers from but certainly not all of it. He gives his opponents plenty to work with, but they are more to blame for any notion that he is "unstable" than is factual.

Finally let me say that my support for Newt is primarily for his courage to start using TEA Party rhetoric. I am rewarding the rhetoric. I find it superior to the Romney rhetoric. Let them both be heard for as long and as far as possible.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 1:04 PM

The Trouble With Newt

Not a promising, conciliatory beginning, izzit? Portends poorly for the tenor of the whole piece...

We start, as James Pethokoukis did, with Art Laffer's (HOSS alert!) shining guest editorial on the Speaker's bold 15% flat tax plan.

Imagine what would happen to international capital flows if the U.S. went from the second highest business tax country in the world to one of the lowest. Low taxes along with all of America's other great attributes would precipitate a flood of new investment in this country as well as a quick repatriation of American funds held abroad. We would create more jobs than you could shake a stick at. And those jobs would be productive jobs, not make-work jobs like so many of Mr. Obama's stimulus jobs.

Sounds pretty good, huh? Well it is, and Jimi P likes it as well. Unfortunately...
If only Gingrich were as bold and specific when it came to cutting spending. Even Laffer admits in the op-ed that the Gingrich plan--despite faster economic growth--would be a revenue loser to the government. Now, that's not such a big deal if you also plan to slash the size of government. But Gingrich doesn't say what he would cut, aside from, dare I say it, grandiose projections like this one in his "21st Century Contract for America": [Hint: Six-sigma, baby! Waste, fraud and abuse!]

Sorry to be bellicose, but that is what a bass player I knew called "the crux of the biscuit." Government is going to be leaner and more efficient. It is going to do things you like and not things your lefty Facebook friends like.

But I want less government. I want government to do less. And I continue to believe in an existential threat if we continue down this road. And all the current GOP candidates except one will continue down this road in some fashion. Ergo, with some trepidation, I will be caucusing for Rep. Ron Paul. And I hope he wins the nomination and the general election.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:46 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

I think if he wins the nomination Ron Paul could win the general election. And I'm sure he would try even harder to cut government than Newt would, but I'm not sure he would be more successful. There's much to be said for a man's leadership ability, philosophical purity notwithstanding.

But the real reason Newt is promising the world in every local campaign and refraining from the "I'm gonna destroy things" rhetoric we all want to hear is that, quite simply, it's the way to win elections. Want proof? Where are Ron Paul's poll numbers?

The campaign will be long and multi-phased. The present phase is establishment v. laissez-faire, one versus two, Romney vs. Gingrich. Supporting Paul at this phase is to abdicate control to the establishment. Not that I like it - that's just the way the game is rigged to play out.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 2:55 PM
But jk thinks:

But Governor Romney and the Speaker are both establishment GOP figures, no matter how many times Speaker G claims he isn't.

I am reminded of Phil Gramm's adage: "How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four -- calling a tail a leg does not makei it one."

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2012 3:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Check your definition of "establishment." Experienced former leader in the party? Gingrich. Manchurian candidate of those currently pulling strings in the halls of power? Romney. Indeed, it is this insider experience that I believe gives Newt a much greater chance of successfully changing government than the now-and-always on the outside, Ron Paul.

Also consider this from Dr. Milton Wolf, cousin of President Obama:

Mr. Gingrich may be an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, as the former Alaska governor has said, but in truth, if you connect the dots between the ideals of the Reagan Revolution, Mr. Gingrich’s Republican Revolution and the Tea Party movement, you get a straight line. The GOP establishment is right to fear Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party, just as they once feared Ronald Reagan.
Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 3:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ha - that tail-versus-leg story goes back farther, to a different Republican entirely:

http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/05/23/lincoln-quote-sourced-calfs-tail-not-dogs-tail/

Back on topic, JG is right - Ron Paul could win the nomination, and the general. The Giants could beat the Patriots - that's why they make the teams actually play the game and not just make it a foregone conclusion based on odds. If they face each other enough times, even the Raiders can beat the Patriots. How many times out of a hundred that might happen is conjectural. Is Ron Paul to the election what the Raiders are to the Super Bowl? Perhaps November will tell us.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 31, 2012 3:23 PM

D'ja Read Paul Krugman This Week?

Don Luskin is right, this guy really is Ellsworth Toohey:

Mitch Daniels, the former Bush budget director who is now Indiana's governor, made the Republicans' reply to President Obama's State of the Union address. His performance was, well, boring. But he did say something thought-provoking -- and I mean that in the worst way.

There is a cottage industry devoted to criticizing Krugman: from economic, political, and stylistic perspectives. I generally prefer to pretend that he doesn't exist. But my (biological) brother posted a link to this column, and a friend of his with whom I've tussled comments:
I so enjoyed the SOTU, I didn't want to ruin it by listening to one of my fellow Hoosiers. It started out sounding like the usual fur-ball coughed up by Republican puppets who can't think for themselves and it seems it didn't get any better after I turned it off.

Yes. When someone says something you don't agree with, stick your fingers in your ears and yell "la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!"

But that's not important. And the etiquette of reposting friend's comment is borderline at best. What is important is the anti-Randian thesis of the piece. China (leftists and dictatorships, no no pattern, move along, pilgrim...) is economically swell because they have a concentration of factories. Apple is not swell because they outsource and do not contribute to the collective industrial community in the good old USA.

Now, I am an underlying fan of the first half. Colonial Connecticut, Silicon Valley, and the Jazzmen of 52nd Street demonstrate the power of critical mass. But Krugman wants to do it via top-down economics.

But the current Republican worldview has no room for such considerations. From the G.O.P.'s perspective, it's all about the heroic entrepreneur, the John Galt, I mean Steve Jobs-type "job creator" who showers benefits on the rest of us and who must, of course, be rewarded with tax rates lower than those paid by many middle-class workers.

And this vision helps explain why Republicans were so furiously opposed to the single most successful policy initiative of recent years: the auto industry bailout.


In '88, Gov Dukakis championed the "Massachusetts Miracle" and touted that he would bring Route 128 prosperity to the whole country. Vice President Bush's team responded with video of a filthy Boston Harbor, decrepit homes in Roxbury, &c. I suggest that "President Obama wants to bring Detroit to the whole country" would be a good campaign issue -- for both sides.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

I don't read it as anti-Randian, but anti-free market and anti-creative destruction. GM and Chrysler weren't failing because government had too little involvement, and it wasn't President Obama on a white horse that made them solvent again. It was a political hit-job on their private creditors that won that relief. And if Washington didn't prop up GM and Chrysler with public "venture funds" then private interests would have, and at much favorable terms than were awarded to the UAW.

Yes, it takes groups, collections even of talented people to make big business successful. Nobody claimed that Ford was in better shape because the CEO carries the family name. The only help businesses need from government is to not be punished or hamstrung too much.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 4:43 PM
But jk thinks:

I suggested anti-Randian because Krugman needs to denigrate individual contribution.

Steve Jobs wasn't so hot. A lot of the 700,000 jobs he created were not in the US.

What a loser.

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2012 5:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mea culpa. Yes it is anti-Randian also. I should have said "not so much" anti-Randian.

(Like how I've come to accept that term? I've grown a lot here at 3Srcs.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 1, 2012 1:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Maybe there's hope for me...

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2012 3:14 PM

January 30, 2012

All Hail Taranto

Mondo heh.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 6:51 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Being as testicularly-challenged as Obama is, Mr. Jackson's 2008 statement poses no threat or insult to him. But to a person who's made his legacy out of pointing fingers at the opposition ("eight previous years... stubborn Republicans..."), finger-pointing is a recognized weapon. I understand the rationale.

In a Bizarro-world sort of way...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 30, 2012 11:14 PM

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Decisions... Both Amazon Prime & Netflix offer free streaming versions. But you don't get commentaries &c. I have drooled over this set at $200. Seventy-two-ninety-nine today...

Buy through insty

Television Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

TEA Party Red Meat

Fun reading for TEA Party crazies - Newt Gingrich vs. the Republican Establishment by Keith Koffler in Politico

An appetizer:

And they don’t want Gingrich to run things. They want him to destroy things.

"It's Not About Newt"

I had planned to do a writeup on the American Thinker article by this name but I'll leave it to Terri at ILinkThereforeIErr. I mentioned it to dagny this morning as she's still refusing to caucus for Newt - I thought it might help sway her. Terri does a bang-up job with the piece (except for still presuming Mitt will be the nominee.)


Dad would be proud

One of the greatest concerts of my life was Arlo Guthrie up at Red Rocks. He is a gifted showman/storyteller who entertains with just the right amount of political bite. Nor am I at all certain his bite matches Papa Woody's doctrinaire Communism. All the jazz and blues greats I have been privileged to see, I remember Arlo Guthrie most vividly.

Submitted for your approval -- Arlo Guthrie "I'm Changing my Name to Fannie Mae:"

Hat-tip: CATO


January 29, 2012

SKEPTICS: our (Chilly) Day has Come!

Yawn. Another bit of news contravening DAWG. But the source is noteworthy. Take it away, überskeptic Don Surber:
From

Climategate Central: The skeptics were right

Forget global warming -- it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)

Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.

The supposed 'consensus' on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.


East Anglia Climatic Research Unit...now where have I heard that name...

But johngalt thinks:

TIME Magazine: Gets it right half of the time.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2012 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup -- just hang on to them for 40 years.

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2012 6:17 PM

The latest from Sarah

Via Facebook.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

Click continue reading to see my comment to the FB thread.

My Comment:

There are 5 men in this country from whom we may now choose to be its next President. None are perfect and each has flaws for which some of us will "disqualify" him. I have disqualified ALL of them at one point or another. Ultimately, I believe, the greatest threat to America comes from Crony Capitalism - cozy personal and financial relationships between establishment politicians and CINO businessmen (Capitalists in Name Only.) Our greatest hope for ending bailouts is an electable Republican - Newt Gingrich. I trust Sarah and Michael and Nancy Reagan. They are great Americans. Romney is a nice guy with the wrong friends and backers: Republicans who give the brand a bad name. I don't oppose Romney so much as I oppose THEM. Watch this (especially after 21:30 mark): http://vimeo.com/35369616 Who am I? I am the TEA Party.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:34 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

Jim Geraghty' "Morning Jolt" struck me as unusual. He was telling Republicans to listen to those who championed other candidates and not think that their guy is perfect. Funny, I've seen some disagreements, but our discussions have been more of a "My guy doesn't suck quite as bad as yours!" In that spirit...

I am not buying the Speaker's claim to disestablishmentarianism. (And, yes, I have wanted to use that word in a sentence for a long time). The Speaker is a wily politician and has looked for ways to capture the affection and passion of disaffected Tea Party voters. He therefore, pitches himself against "The GOP Establishment."

Did I mention that he was Speaker of the House?

You fault Governor Romney for his backers. Boo hiss, hate us some John McCain and Bob Dole! I don't think either the level of antipathy heaped on our previous nominees or the guilt by association of their endorsement is fair.

Yes, Governor Palin's almost-an-endorsement endorsement is a blue chip, as is The Herman Cain's more fulsome one. In the spirit of the moment, Cain even used two adverbs. But I am not holding Romney responsible for his backers -- I am actually quite keen on Governors Christie and Halley.

On FOX News Sunday, the Speaker was his disappointing self -- lashing out at Gov Romney as "Wall Street's Man!" and referencing "foreign" accounts. He backed off a chance to walk back the bitterness to say that Gov. Romney has the character to be President.

You've done a great job selling, brother, but I ain't buying. I lean toward Rep Ron Paul but might caucus for Romney. And who knows, I am hearing Senator Santorum speak this Saturday! (Hope his daughter is well.)

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2012 2:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If I might offer a clarification: By "backers" I don't mean the ones out front, putting their names on endorsements. I mean the financiers and, yes, "Wall Street Bankers" who backed those past candidates. And while we can like much about them, consider this from the "Red Meat" article I just linked.

This orderly process of selection does not succeed because the Republican establishment is a kind of omnipotent secret organization that meets every Tuesday in the bowels of the Chamber of Commerce to plot the fate of the GOP.

Rather, it is a loose network of Republican thinkers, politicians, lobbyists, staffers and journalists based in Washington who share common experiences — like being educated in the same ivory towers as liberals and having to answer to them at cocktail parties.

This is the best description I've ever seen of the Republican Establishment.

Whether they are liberal apologists, crony capitalists or agents of such, or merely just clueless - it is their judgement and leadership that has helped get America into this mess. And Mitt Romney is their candidate.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2012 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

FWIW, Jason Lewis agrees with you, saying "there's no ideological tug of war between Romney and Gingrich."

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2012 6:44 PM

Hope for Colorado

I linked to Senator Mark Udall's survey for Congressional priorities. The results are in:

Udall was my old Congressman in überliberal Boulder, and I first thought that this extremely balanced distribution represented CO-2. I've calmed down a little that it is the whole state. But having watched it go purple and then indigo -- I think this augers well for liberty.

112th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 10:08 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

I would have liked to see "Veterans" and "Environment" switched but yes, this reassured me also. If memory serves we were asked to choose three priorities from his prepared list (eliminate Department of Education wasn't on the menu) without ranking them. My priorities are all represented in the top four.

I could read a sinister motive into including "jobs and economy" in one priority to ensure it gets top billing but I won't. Coupled with my newfound "fond[ness]" for Bill Moyers I can imagine reaching out to the senior senator from Colorado: The bipartisan 'Crony Capitalism Caucus?'

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2012 10:49 AM
But jk thinks:

Sinister motives abound. What percentage of Energy is "let a thousand Soylendras bloom" and what is "Frack, baby, frack!"

Love me some veterans, but top three priority? Wasn't one of mine.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 10:58 AM
But jk thinks:

Senator Udall has become a frequent Kudlow guest. Hate to say it, but and he ain't a bad guy for a Democrat!

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 11:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I was also a bit disappointed that building a moon base wasn't one of the choices.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2012 11:37 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sense a TEA plot; who slipped the word "resposibility" in there and who excluded "social" ?!?

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 2, 2012 9:46 PM

January 28, 2012

Unearthly news we must have missed

Via email my brother mocked his Newtness for the moon colony contretemps.

"Do you think putting a manned colony on the moon is a good idea? You're kidding me right! Moon colonization and Obama care are both bad ideas."

He still likes Newt mind you, he just thinks this is a stupid idea that Gingrich should take out of his bag of tricks. Maybe he's right, but I remember the sense of wonder and national pride that gripped this nation during the Apollo age. I could live through that again without complaint. At any rate, it got me wondering why all the moon colony talk all of a sudden. This led me to a related discovery that we didn't notice at the time, possibly because Judge Vinson had just vacated Obamacare in Florida.

Here's the NASA press release from February 2, 2011 - NASA Finds Earth-Size Planet Candidates In Habitable Zone, Six Planet System

"The fact that we've found so many planet candidates in such a tiny fraction of the sky suggests there are countless planets orbiting sun-like stars in our galaxy," said William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., the mission's science principal investigator. "We went from zero to 68 Earth-sized planet candidates and zero to 54 candidates in the habitable zone, some of which could have moons with liquid water."

"In our galaxy." Imagine giving the "Palestinians" not just their own state, but their own planet.

Science Posted by JohnGalt at 10:49 PM | What do you think? [0]

Otequay of the Ayday

Electability? The gender gap? Two very liberal women friends of mine who voted for Obama have come up to me recently and said they like and would vote for Newt. Why? Because he’s “so damn smart”! --Melissa O'Sullivan in "Send Us Newt"

Even more good quotes lie within, like the one about Newt's replacement as Speaker after his own party ousted him. (Hint: Dennis Hastert)

Hat tip: Terri


You Are Invited...

Several mentions have been made, some recently, of a Three Sources Blogger Bash. It is in this spirit that I propose a ThreeSources.COM blogger table at this year's Weld County (Colorado) Republican Party "Lincoln Day Dinner."

The Lincoln Day Dinner is an annual fundraiser and kickoff event for the election season by the Weld GOP. Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-4) is the Featured Speaker and former Senator Hank Brown is the Master of Ceremonies.

I realize this is very short notice - next Saturday night at the UNC Grand Ballroom in Greeley - but I received news this morning that I believe gives the event much more appeal. Since the state caucus date was moved up to February 7 by last year's state legislature, there will be some high profile visitors to our state that week. And being one of only two such dinners statewide that were scheduled in advance for February 4 it is one of the best opportunities for politicians to address a large gathering of active Republicans.

At this morning's Weld County Republican Central Committee meeting it was announced that former Senator Rick Santorum has confirmed that he will appear and speak at the dinner. Since the dinner is a fundraiser for the County party organization and not the candidate(s) the cost is a paltry $50 per person. Such dinners are usually at least $250 for presidential fundraisers (which this is NOT.) To sweeten the offer just a little, the party Chair also said she has been in contact with the staff for two other presidential candidates and "there is a 50/50 chance that one or more of them will also appear and speak." (She did not name the candidates.)

I don't know about y'all but the idea of meeting all you folks over dinner and listening to these guys tell us all their political lies sounds like a right jolly good time. I've already asked the party secretary to reserve a table (8 seats) for me and I need to give her a confirmation by Monday. Let's do it! Spouses and other guests are encouraged. I should be able to get additional tables, if needed, if we move quickly. Please chime in with questions and RSVPs in the comments.

Time is of the essence! Please try to RSVP no later than Sunday, January 29 (tomorrow.)

But jk thinks:

Lovely bride and I are in!

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2012 6:17 PM
But Terri thinks:

Count me in! And thanks!

Posted by: Terri at January 28, 2012 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

gd emails an rsvp. -- SEE UPDATE

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 5:47 AM
But jk thinks:

D'OH! That's nb with a RSVP OUI. We'll hope for gd...

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 10:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Current status: Table is reserved and paid for. Still hopin' br and gd will check in soon, maybe in the morning.

Those who've accepted, please indicate meal preference (Monday afternoon deadline): Prime Rib or Monterrey Chicken.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2012 7:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For those watching this thread longingly from afar, the THREESOURCES.COM table is reserved in a sold-out UNC Grand Ballroom (surely they'll put us up front with the rest of the power brokers) and carpool arrangements are being made (for the social benefits, not the pseudo-environmental ones.) We'll exit-poll for who does the blog write-up afterward.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 1:37 PM

January 27, 2012

Romney's "Establishment" Smoking Gun

While Bob Dole was endorsing Romney yesterday, former Reagan administration official Elliot Abrams loudly denounced Newt Gingrich's Reagan cred. Everyone remembers, right?

The best examples come from a famous floor statement Gingrich made on March 21, 1986. This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: "Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing. Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.”"

Context man, give me context! American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord, himself a former aide to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan, today writes of a former Gingrich foreign policy aide, Chris Scheve, and his dilligent work to keep the record correct.

That's right. Mr. Scheve, incensed at what he felt was a deliberate misrepresentation of his old boss by Abrams and the Romney forces, specifically of Gingrich's long ago March 21, 1986 "Special Order" speech on the floor of the House, and aware "that most of his [Abrams'] comments had to have been selectively taken from the special order" -- Scheve started digging. Since the Congressional Record for 1986 was difficult to obtain electronically, Scheve trekked to the George Mason Library to physically track down the March 21, 1986 edition of the Congressional Record. Locating it, copying and scanning, he was kind enough to send to me.

So now I've read the Gingrich speech that is the source of all the hoopla. All seven, fine print pages worth of it exactly as it appeared in its original form.

I can only say that what Elliott Abrams wrote in NRO about Newt Gingrich based on this long ago speech is not worthy of Elliott Abrams.

And here's the money quote:

• Abrams quotes Newt for saying in this speech that Reagan's policies towards the Soviets are "inadequate and will ultimately fail." This is shameful. Why? Here's what Newt said -- in full and in context:
"The fact is that George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Irving Kristol, and Jeane Kirkpatrick are right in pointing out the enormous gap between President Reagan's strong rhetoric, which is adequate, and his administration's weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail."

So he criticized Reagan's administration, not Reagan himself. Add to this the frequent reminders that "the establishment never trusted Reagan" and you start to see the bigger picture.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

Bambi-nomics

Better throw a bone to Brother jg; I have been pretty harsh of late.

Here's a great piece in AEI's The American on Bambi-nomics, where Robert McHenry fleshes out a jg theme -- this time with maggots!

Businesses that do what Bain does are sensitive about the common analogy comparing them to scavenger species in nature. In large part this is owing to how we are trained from childhood to think of nature in terms of postcard vistas, pettable furry things with large eyes, and the romantic notion of some sort of sweetly cooperative community of creatures. We tend not to teach children about vultures, fungi, slime molds, or maggots. More importantly, we do not teach them why such things are every bit as important to the ecology as Bambi. Without them, the world would soon be tree-deep in corpses, large and small, and life would become impossible. With them, the soil is constantly enriched with recycled nutrients, and life continues abundant. But this kind of comparison clearly doesn't help Bain's image very much.

But johngalt thinks:

Feelin' the love! Thanks bro. But fortunately, a password isn't needed for a sneak-attack in the comments. :)

I also liked this passage:

Imagine that the world consists of just you and me, and that you have $10 and I have $12. After some time, during which various things happen, you have $11 and I have $379,842. We are both better off, and our average wealth has increased enormously, and yet you are noticeably ungrateful. Surly, even. This is why Romney is presently in the hot seat.

I will award or withold my endorsement of this scenario depending on the nature of those "various things." Verily, McHenry even mentions me (and brother PE) almost by name in the succeeding paragraph:

Ignoring the disruption at the human scale that flows from the creative destruction so celebrated by economic enthusiasts is certainly possible, just as it is possible to pretend that jackals and hyenas aren't really part of dear Mother Nature's realm. Strident Austrian or Randian pundits do it all the time, comfortable in the knowledge that, unlike a worker in an auto plant or a textile mill, their own skills are conveniently portable.

And workers with non-portable skills can learn new skills, but I'll not abide the need to retrain oil-field workers when their industry is harmed by enviro-regulation and wind/solar subsidization - two classic examples of crony capitalism - rather than free-market evolution. And neither should Bill Moyers.

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 3:01 PM

Can't We All Get Along?

Two weeks from the Colorado Caucuses (just got my location: Coal Ridge Middle School in Firestone!) it is unlikely that ThreeSourcers will agree on a candidate.

Some have grown fond of LBJ's Press Secretary and GHWB's Economic Architect.

Don't get us started on immigration, drug legalization, or prostitution...

But I think everybody will like "Sixteen Concerned Scientists: No Need to Panic about Global Warming." It seems, mirabile dictu, that the science may actually not be settled after all:

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before--for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word "incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question "cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.


Measured and professional -- yet pointed at the same time. You're all going to love it. I'm certain!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

See ya at Coal Ridge. Lemme know if you need a ride.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 27, 2012 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Sounds interesting. I'm just worried we wouldn't have anything to talk about and the truck would be full of awkward silence...

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2012 2:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

R O F L M A O !

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 2:43 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I second JG's sentiment!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 27, 2012 2:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Y'all sure you've got the correct precinct numbers? 70 some-odd precinct boundaries (of 100 some-odd) were redrawn because of redistricting.

Verify your precinct here:
https://www.sos.state.co.us/Voter/secuVoterSearch.do

Determine your Weld GOP "District" here. You'll have to read through every precinct number for each district until you find yours.
http://www.weldgop.com/
Caucus locations are listed for each District.

And if you want to see the geographical outline of your precinct, it is here:
http://www.co.weld.co.us/Departments/ClerkRecorder/ElectionInformation/PrecinctMap.html

Posted by: johngalt at January 28, 2012 7:30 PM

January 26, 2012

Stossel & Palin

Before his account was hacked, brother jg had convinced me to reevaluate my perception of Governor Sarah Palin. I suggested that her populist appeal was swell but that she lacked intellectual heft.

My appraisal is extremely complicated. I still feel that picking her was the best thing Candidate McCain did in 2008. I feel she was undeservedly savaged by the media with zero support from the McCain team. I think the lefty "Palin Derangement Syndrome" is laughable. And I like her. The lovely bride and I watched her Alaska series, and I have followed her political moves with interest.

All this can be true and it does not mean that I wish to see a Palin candidacy (although this year, I've been looking at some three-legged, diabetic dogs...). Nor does it mean that I am comfortable with her having an oversized voice in GOP politics.

Tonight, she is guest on Stossel (Fox Business Network) and I will recalibrate all measurements to zero and start again.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 6:32 PM | What do you think? [0]

Bob Dole Endorses Newt Gingrich

Well, not directly. He meant to endorse Mitt Romney. In a statment, the former Senator from Kansas said:

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich, but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich served as speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. Already in 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as speaker. But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when the writing was on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads, and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty ice-bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it.

In my opinion if we want to avoid an Obama landslide in November, Republicans should nominate Governor Romney as our standard bearer. He has the requisite experience in the public and private sectors. He would be a president we could have confidence in.

When Mitt Romney is endorsed by Senators Dole and McCain, arguably two of the weakest Republican nominees since Adlai Stevenson, it can only help the former Speaker.


UPDATE: Mea maxima culpa. The Refugee meant to say Thomas Dewey, not Adlai Stevenson. He regrets the error. (And should fact check himself from time to time.)

2012 Posted by Boulder Refugee at 4:59 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

A perusal of the Drudge Report today reveals a full-court-press media carpet-bombing of Newt. A coincidence that all these stories come out at once? Sure.

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2012 5:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Stevenson?

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2012 6:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Lessee... Romney endorsements... George H.W. Bush, check... Bob Dole, check... John McCain, check...

The list, my friends, is now complete. Every living Republican who has LOST a general election for the Presidency now endorses Romney in his run for the Presidency.

What could go wrong?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 27, 2012 12:33 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Keith, that's just a function of having most of the establishment lined up behind him (ex: 77 members of congress vs. 11 for Newt).

I am desperately waiting for his I paid for this microphone! moment. Still, he'd be a better standard bearer for the GOP as it tries to take back Congress... and I don't think Newt will shut his trap (heh, make a great VP), 'cause someone has to hammer BHO on his record.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 27, 2012 2:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

HA! In Romney's case he probably really DID pay for that microphone! Come back nb, come back! Don't walk toward the establishment light! Take the red pill! It's not too late!

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 3:33 PM

Gravitas

Those of you who count Newt Gingrich's portliness as one of his many electoral handicaps, and I admit such a bias, may rest assured at least on this one count. In a lengthy and entertaining piece by RCP's Carl M. Cannon entitled Newt vs. Mitt: Can a Fat Man Beat a Thin Man? the author summarizes the social science:

Once again, the sexist double-standard manifested itself. Female "candidates" who carried excess weight were routinely devalued more than similarly girthed male candidates. But that wasn’t all. There was fascinating data about portly men: Overweight men -- but not truly obese men -- actually were judged more positively than thin ones. "Larger body size may be an asset for male candidates," Miller and Lundgren stated in a subsequent paper, postulating that this finding was not inconsistent with the gender bias they detected. "There is significant pressure for women in western society to be thin," they wrote, "but for men there is pressure to have muscle mass."


But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee will not be quite so pejorative. He would gladly take Chris Christie, cheeseburgers and all.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 26, 2012 5:17 PM

Thousand Words

IndyStar.com:

Hat-tip: Run,Mitch,Run FaceBook page

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:00 PM | What do you think? [0]

All Hail Stossel!

I was pundited out on Tuesday night and left John Stossel's special "libertarian response to the SOTU" on TiVo. MERCIFUL ZEUS! It was awesome. David Boaz from CATO, Matt Welch from Reason, Megan McArdle and Gov. Gary Johnson joined Stossel and a hard-Stossel-leaning studio audience to react to the speech.

Boaz has posted a large section of it:

Megan McArdle:

As David Boaz said last night, Obama's talk of blueprints was telling. A blueprint is a simple plan that an architect imposes on an inanimate object. Obama really does seem to think that he can manage the economy in the same way. No, I don't think that he is a socialist. Rather, I think that he really believes there are technocratic levers that can make the income distribution flatter, the rate of innovation faster, and the banking system safer, without undesireable side effects.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

McArdle: "All it took was a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown that wiped out the supply chain of their largest competitor." [To make the US auto industry "number 1" again.] AWESOME!

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2012 5:26 PM

Jon!

No, not the Governor of Utah. Jon Stewart, on the SOTU, in the funniest clip of him I have ever seen. I'm starting to understand the fascination:


Corporations are not people!

After watching a large part of this David Stockman interview with Bill Moyers I'm about ready to adopt the dirty hippies #Occupy meme. When they villified "Wall Street" and "Greedy Corporations" I always had a mental image of Fidelity Investments and WalMart. But if I replace that with Goldman Sachs and General Electric I think we would agree on more than we differ.

This also magnifies my distrust of the GOP establishment and, by association, the Romney candidacy.

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

But jk thinks:

Made it through. Clearly I'm going to have to change brother jg's password. It's one thing to hack somebody's account for personal gain, but this character assassination borders on libel.

Okay, he doesn't like Jeff Immelt -- thus 50% as reliable as a broken clock.

What what what did you like? A constitutional amendment to keep corporate money out of politics -- a $100 limit on contributions? Government dictating the size, structure, and allowed transactions of banks (my largest disagreement with Gov Huntsman)? Or did you just dig the repudiation of Reagan's economic vision?

If I may quote In Living Color's "Men on Film" segement: "hated it!"

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2012 6:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, I came in at about 21:30 when I switched on PBS last night. Anything before that I'll defer to a future debate.

I liked the expose of GE's bailout and how it should have been done through a dilution of shareholder value and not by a FED bailout.

I liked the assertion, "Free markets are not free. They've been bought and paid for by large financial institutions."

I liked the identification of the "entitled class" of "Wall Street financiers and corporate CEOs" who "believe the government is there to do whatever is necessary ... whatever it takes to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward."

And most of all, I appreciated Stockman's correction that "it is important to put the word crony capitalism on there, because free-market capitalism is a different thing. True free-market capitalists never go to Washington with their hand out. True free-market capitalists running a bank do not expect that whenever they make a mistake or whenever they get themselves too leveraged, or they end up with too many risky assets that don't work out, they don't expect to be able to go to the Federal Reserve and get some cheap or free money and go on as before. They expect consequences, maybe even failure of their firm. Certainly loss of their bonuses, maybe loss of their jobs. So we don't have free-market capitalism left in this country anymore, we have everyone believing that if they can hire the right lobbyists, raise enough political action committee money, spend enough time prowling the halls of the Senate and the House and the office buildings arguing for the benefit of their narrow parochial interests then that is the way things will work out. That's crony capitalism and it's very dangerous. It seems to be becoming more embedded in our system."

What's not to like with any of this? We can argue about causes and solutions, but can we agree on this particular problem?

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2012 7:40 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee listened to all 34 scintillating minutes and can't quite see what sent JK 'round the bend. Yes, Moyers is an insufferable nincompoop, but we knew that going in. The irony, of course, is that the far left and the fiscal right have finally found common ground in deploring crony capitalism.

The most objectionable part of Stockman's comments was his assertion that we need to change the First Amendment to deny corporations the right to lobby and give political contributions. (Why corporations should be muzzled but not unions or enviros remains a mystery.) Nevertheless, his comments against crony capitalism and in support of pure capitalism seemed to make a lot of sense.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 26, 2012 9:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, at least our ratings are up. I got an email from a good friend of the blog who is enjoying this argument very much.

You know, brothers, Governor Howard Dean doesn't like bailouts and crony capitalism either. I'm sure I can find a clip of his discussing it with Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Rachel Maddow. I'll post it and we'll all agree how very swell it is.

I do not trust either of these men. Both have done extreme damage to this great nation and our concept of liberty and personal achievement. Just because we all agree Jeff Immelt is a dickhead, I am not going to embrace them.

When Stockman longs for the Republican Party of his youth, he is longing for Eisenhower and Ford. Moyers, of course, never came to grips with the idea of a Democrat Party without LBJ.

"Free markets aren't really free" does sound like ThreeSources and I'm sure he'd like to sell us each a copy of his book. But when it comes from a guy who wants to dictate banks' size and business practice, propose extreme campaign finance rules, and has an, ahem, history of government expansion -- I do not accept that he is now calling for lasseiz faire.

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2012 10:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I must say my first reaction to this recording was one of excitement over the fact that it could lead to a bridge between left and right so wide and so strong as to absolutely overpower the entrenched crony establishment with a popular laissez-faire revolution. After a second viewing I remain hopeful, and as long as my password continues to function I will strive to advance the topic. (Yes, I know yer just joking about yanking it.)

Let me ask that we seek a point of agreement before we debate whether Stockman is the GOP antichrist or Phil Gramm precipitated TARP. I'm sure we're all on board with "crony capitalism is very dangerous" so how about, this:

When the net worth of a collection of six financial services conglomerations and their six boards of directors approaches the annual GDP of the entire United States private sector, and the members of those boards of directors have unprecedented influence throughout the depth and breadth of the federal government, our principled free-speech rules may no longer be sufficient for preventing this "entitled class" from manipulating the government for their own narrow interests to the detriment of individual liberty and property, particularly in a mixed economic system with fiat currency.

In my youth, "Ma Bell" was deemed "too big" and was broken up. Today, "Wall Street" is deemed "too big to fail" and is instead propped up - by devaluing the net worth of every dollar-denominated individual. Cui bono?

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 12:44 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

While The Bad Guys and Three Sourcers can agree that crony capitalism is bad, our reasons for believing so are very different. The Bad Guys view capitalism, in toto, as undesireable. Thus, anything that props it up in any form is a bad thing. Three Sourcers, on the other hand, view crony capitalism as a misuse of taxpayer funds, misallocation of resources and questionable ethics. Because The Bad Guys believe that all things good emanate from the government, when crony capitalism falls capitalism will fall with it. Three Sourcers believe the opposite, and that a lack of crony capitalism will lead to better allocation of resources and therefore economic expansion. Thus, we are willing to accept this deal with The Bad Guys (all other things being equal).

We don't have to embrace them, we just have to outmaneuver them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 27, 2012 12:46 PM

January 25, 2012

Jobs vs. Environment

Thousands of loggers lost their jobs in the American Northwest because of dubious claims about wiping out the last of the spotted owls. This is just one example of environmental extremists' non-linear cost benefit analysis doing irreparable harm to the livelihoods of American workers.

The latest glaring example of this is TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Pipeline project. Despite the safety record showing pipelines to be the "safest, most efficient and economical way" to move the natural resource called crude oil, environmental activists have chosen spill hazards as the primary reason to oppose private construction of the new pipeline. But America is already criss-crossed by 55,000 miles of oil pipelines, many of which are small, old and in disrepair. And the spill rate [pg. 9] for those lines is 0.00109 incidents (spill of 50 bbl or more) per mile per year. That calculates to 60 spills every year. The estimated spill rate for the modern new Keystone XL [pg. 10] is 0.186 spills per year, anywhere over its entire 1371 mile length. (.000136 incidents per mile per year)

So the question every American voter should ask himself is, would I quit my job and ask 19,999 of my neighbors to quit theirs in order to avoid increasing the pipeline spill incident rate by 0.3 percent? (And have you even noticed any of the sixty-odd spills that already happen each year?)

But J thinks:

"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief. - Frantz Fanon

Three Sources should consider re-branding to "Three Sources of Cognitive Dissonance" ;-) Rationalize, ignore and deny anything that does not fit within your core beliefs. Spotted owls, fracking, deforestation, pollution, environmental degradation and job loss included. Cheers! ;-)

Posted by: J at August 8, 2012 5:22 PM

Doin' our job for us!

Keep at your work, ThreeSourcers, CATO has you covered:


Thus Spake Sarah Palin

It seemed like a big deal last Wednesday when Sarah Palin said if she were a South Carolina voter she would vote for Newt to keep the nomination contest going a while longer. In retrospect, big deal is a giant understatement. Weekly Standard:

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, Newt Gingrich now enjoys the support of 52 percent of Tea Party voters, and his huge advantage among such voters has vaulted him into the national lead in the GOP presidential race. The poll was taken yesterday, two days after Gingrich's win in the South Carolina primary, and it shows the former speaker leading Mitt Romney by an overall margin of 7 percentage points -- 35 to 28 percent. That result marks a 10-point swing between the two candidates from six days earlier, when Romney led Gingrich by 3 points in Rasmussen's polling (30 to 27 percent), and a 20-point swing from 19 days earlier, when Romney led Gingrich by 13 points (29 to 16 percent).

(...)

No doubt buoyed in part by the recent near-endorsement of Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin -- as well as that of Allen West (R., Fla.) -- Gingrich's level of support among Tea Party voters has risen from 24 percent shortly after Iowa (at which point he was tied with Romney among such voters), to 39 percent last Tuesday, to 52 percent in current polling.


2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 12:27 AM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

I'll award the full ten points for the title.

But I think (and hope) that you overestimate Governor Griz's influence. The Speaker helped himself with very strong debate performances and abandoning his attacks on Capitalism. Governor R did himself no favors with the unforced error on his tax returns.

A good friend worries that his lefty friends are right, er correct, in suggesting the Republicans really have been taken over by the crazies. Exhibit A was Gov. Palin's oversized influence.

Y'all will be glad to hear I protested, and I understand there is more demand for unabashed free voices than supply. But we desperately need a more intellectual voice.

Like Governor Mitch Daniels -- whom I swear is the embodiment of our nation's greatest President: "Silent Cal" Coolidge!

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 10:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Good feedback and I mostly agree. (I said "mostly.")

First I'll caution against discounting Ms. Palin's intellect. It plays into a lefty meme that anyone with a regional accent and a faith tradition (and heaven help them if they like motorsports of any kind) is an uninformed dope.

Second, I believe the electorate hungers more for someone with the energy and determination to fight and win an aggressive campaign. "Intellectualism" per se is greatly overrated. Enthusiasm is a major factor holding Romney back and, I'll bait you again, Mitch Daniels registers even lower on that count. I agree with you that Newt largely made his own success but I can't ignore the perception that TEA Party voters, after test driving almost every model on the lot, were just waiting for a sign to coalesce around one of them.

(Let them try calling me a rube after using 'coalesce' in a sentence. It's French ... ain't it?)

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2012 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Dude! You're quoting Nietzsche on a right wing blog -- you be an intellectyual giant!

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 12:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Agree to a point of the Gov: she's much smartier than her lefty critics admit. But is she as smart as her righty fans believe? I suspect not.

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe Sarah Palin is as smart as:
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Tim Geithner
Tim Pawlenty
Mitch Daniels
You know, "politicians."

And:
David Gregory
Katie Couric
Christiane Ammanpour
Brian Williams
Juan Williams
You know, "left-wing populism editorialists."

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2012 2:56 PM

January 24, 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline Economic Impact is "Settled"

As luck would have it, President Obama actually saved US and Canadian energy companies billions of wasted dollars by using the power of the regulatory state to stop construction of their "disastrous" tar sands pipeline. How do I know this? Al Gore says so.

"The analysis from the final EIS, noted above, indicates that denying the permit at this time is unlikely to have a substantial impact on U.S. employment, economic activity, trade, energy security, or foreign policy over the longer term." Source: Climate Progress

This is an important win not only for the thousands of activists who risked arrest—and for the hundreds who went to jail--but for all of us who want to try and role [sic] back the effects of the climate crisis, not magnify them.

And who could doubt the objective fiscal evaluations of Climate Progress?


SOTUPlatitudes

That's the working name for my new drinking game and boy, am I hammered.

Thanks to the boys at Real Clear Politics here are the transcripts:

Full Text of Obama's Speech

Daniels: State of Union Is Grave

No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others.

As in previous moments of national danger, we Americans are all in the same boat. If we drift, quarreling and paralyzed, over a Niagara of debt, we will all suffer, regardless of income, race, gender, or other category. If we fail to shift to a pro-jobs, pro- growth economic policy, there'll never be enough public revenue to pay for our safety net, national security, or whatever size government we decide to have.

As a loyal opposition, who put patriotism and national success ahead of party or ideology or any self-interest, we say that anyone who will join us in the cause of growth and solvency is our ally, and our friend. We will speak the language of unity. Let us rebuild our finances, and the safety net, and reopen the door to the stairway upward; any other disagreements we may have can wait.

The speech itself was excellent, and the delivery by Indiana's Governor Daniels had the added benefit of making Mitt Romney sound, by comparison, like a dynamo.


One word

The Refugee challenges all Three Sourcers to offer one word - you only get one - to describe the State of the Union speech. He will go first.

Vapid.

Obama Administration Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:18 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Platitudinous.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 11:38 PM
But Terri thinks:

Smug

Posted by: Terri at January 25, 2012 7:51 AM
But jk thinks:

Unconscionable!

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 8:06 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Avoided.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 25, 2012 3:00 PM
But dagny thinks:

hypocritical

Posted by: dagny at January 25, 2012 4:17 PM

Texas Donkey Rescue in the News

In case some of you did not see Picayune.tv today:

Donkey Rescue Posted by John Kranz at 7:50 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

dagny, can I have one?

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:16 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Donkey vaulting?? I wanna see that...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 24, 2012 9:09 PM
But dagny thinks:

@jk Hey, What happened to the video???

@jg I don't know dear... Do you think you are responsible enough to take care of pet? Feed it and clean up after it, so your parents don't have to do it?

@br Never seen Donkey Vaulting, but there was a club a while back that had vaulting Mule. :-)

Posted by: dagny at January 26, 2012 12:47 PM
But jk thinks:

@dagny: found another location to embed. Hope this lasts.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2012 1:57 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

A fun quote from a just as fun column:

All the organization and money in the world can’t force folks to vote for you if they don’t want to, and now that Newt’s inoculated himself against further Super PAC attack ads and renegade ex-wives, it’s unlikely that Romney can carpet-bomb him as effectively as he did in Iowa. Newt’s now like one of those nuked Japanese film creatures that not only was not destroyed but is back, bigger, badder and more cheesed off than ever. -- NRO Michael Walsh

Read on to find analogies to the Battle of Gettysburg (primary election) and the boxer vs. the puncher (general election.)

But jk thinks:

Excellent. If I may tag on, as you link to The Corner, I share a description on its Ten Year Anniversary from Jonah:

The basic idea was for us to have arguments. Friendly arguments. Not just about politics and philosophy but about TV shows, sports, and the best kind of cocktail nut (cashews, obviously). The Corner was about disproving the claim of "epistemic closure" on the right before anybody ever thought to use the phrase. A couple times the arguments got testy. But for the most part we stayed pretty close to the ideal of showing those who cared to pay attention that conservatives could disagree about all sorts of things and that we had interests outside of partisan politics. Personally, I’d like to see it get back to some of the arguments of yore.

Just sayin'...

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2012 3:57 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... like one of those nuked Japanese film creatures that was only not destroyes but is back, bigger, badder, and more cheesed off than ever"? Newt?

Cue the Cult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7gFlSGXt_k

Each Not-Romney who had a surge did so because, for the duration their candle burned, a bunch of people believed that he would fight against Washington for them. If Newt can convince people that he is to Obama what the Kaiju Gojira was to downtown Tokyo, I'm willing to listen.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 24, 2012 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Of course, you're right. I had nearly forgotten. From last May, Newtzilla. CRANK IT UP!

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Whoops. "This video has been removed by the user."

Maybe Team Newt finally has the resources to scrub the web for him, although I thought it was promotional for him. I also noticed that the newtgingrich.com problem has been taken care of.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:11 PM

But What About His Opponent?

The establishment GOP punditry has been dutifully besmirching Newt Gingrich as "radical" and "erratic." Too much so, they say, to be elected president much less hold the office. But what about the other guy? IBD's editorial page appreciates the way that Newt goes about reminding the media, and the voters, who that guy in the Oval Office really is.

Alinsky's radicalism despises capitalism, entrepreneurship, individualism and, most of all, American exceptionalism. It is the genesis of Obama's demonization of the successful and his passion for the redistribution but not the creation of wealth. It's at the heart of his ongoing apology tour where he tells the world we are sorry for acting like we are mankind's last best hope for mankind, a belief Newt Gingrich shares with President Ronald Reagan.

Obama's is the belief system that Newt Gingrich told NBC's David Gregory, "is fundamentally different from probably 80% of this country." That would be a comfortable electoral majority, would it not? Does Mitt Romney even know how to pronounce "Alinsky?"

But johngalt thinks:

Exhibit 1: The latest Romney tweet-

Mitt Romney @MittRomney This President's agenda made these troubled times last longer. He made it harder for the economy to recover http://obamaisntworking.com

Memorable, eh? I can smell the formaldehyde from here.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 4:15 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The former governor can certainly turn a phrase.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 24, 2012 10:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It reads like he took a normal sentence and ran it through a software algorithm designed to lower the grade level of the speech. Maybe he's trying to "connect with the folks."

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 11:40 PM

Makes ThreeSources Look Cheerful!

<understatement>Bret Stephens is a little down in the dumps</understatement>

In The GOP Deserves to Lose, he makes our commentariat look energized and enthusiastic. You'll want to read the whole thing, but the ThreeSources Style Guide dictates that I excerpt. Where to start? Where to stop?

As for the current GOP field, it's like confronting a terminal diagnosis. There may be an apparent range of treatments: conventional (Romney), experimental (Gingrich), homeopathic (Paul) or prayerful (Santorum). But none will avail you in the end. Just try to exit laughing.

Getting a taste?
Finally, there are the men not in the field: Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour. This was the GOP A-Team, the guys who should have showed up to the first debate but didn't because running for president is hard and the spouses were reluctant. Nothing commends them for it. If this election is as important as they all say it is, they had a duty to step up. Abraham Lincoln did not shy from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If Mr. Obama wins in November--or, rather, when he does--the failure will lie as heavily on their shoulders as it will with the nominee.

"Cheer up, Brian!"

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sadly, he seems to be spot on.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 24, 2012 7:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My take was that those guys probably just didn't want their mistresses outed. I wasn't gonna say nuthin', then br chimed in.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:05 PM

Quote of the Day

A lot of viewers were expecting Gladiator Newt to burst upon the stage, unsheath his sword, behead a moderator or two, hurl the decapitated-anchor noggin into the audience and bellow, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?" But this was a comparably subdued Newt. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:32 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 23, 2012

One Man Makes a Difference - Again

Heh. Makes me think of Tiananmen Square! The Boston Bruins were honored with a White House reception today marking the occasion of their Stanley Cup victory last season. The team's players were in attendance, except one.

Nearly every other member of the Bruins was at the ceremony, where President Obama congratulated the team on its victory. Thomas is a staunch conservative and is expected to explain his snub of the president on his Facebook page this evening.
But jk thinks:

I'm a big Tim Thomas fan but cannot approve of this. It's an honor and was outside the political realm and I think the great netminder makes himself look small.

I go to my moonbat friends' houses and would be happy to accept an invitation to the White House.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 7:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I dunno, it seems to be going around.

I would accept an invitation to your moonbat friends' houses, but I've already been to the White House.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 12:41 AM
But jk thinks:

I saw that too. Maybe I am very old fashioned, but this is not going to play well. Feeds right into the "Democrats are trying to fix things and Republicans are petulant babies who won't play nice" meme.

I am, however, softening on Thomas:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

Yeah, that's pretty good stuff.

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2012 10:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That was my sinister plan - Make sports star Thomas look better by spotlighting a man whose JOB is to listen to the other side's best arguments, and REFUTE them.

Operation Sport TEA, successful!

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 2:11 PM

Conservatism Won't Sit in the Back of the Bus

The WSJ Ed page analysis of The Gingrich Challenge is 20/20. If Romney can't beat Gingrich he probably can't beat Obama, and if Gingrich doesn't discipline himself, stay on message, and broaden his appeal then he won't succeed either.

The Republican nominee will have to make a sustained and specific case that Mr. Obama's policies made the recovery weaker than it should have been (stimulus, health care), squandered resources on political boondoggles (Solyndra), and how and why GOP policies will do better. Mr. Romney's 59 economic proposals are fine but forgettable little ideas. He needs a big idea.

Gingrich has been talking about these big ideas. However...

Mr. Gingrich will also eventually need a more inclusive message than he is now offering. He made a stab at it in his South Carolina victory remarks by mentioning the strengths of his competitors. His bow to Mr. Paul's "sound money" platform was especially shrewd, but then he kept talking and talking in his familiar undisciplined fashion.

(...)

He needs to practice the politics of addition with independents and nonconservatives.

The TEA Party is dead, they say? Not so quick. But remember it's the message, not the messenger, that we will reward.

But nanobrewer thinks:

Listening to a few of Hugh Hewitt's callers tonight led me to the insight that Newt's biggest appeal is to those who want to see someone who can "Sock it to Him" (so to speak). The dramatic reversal from the polls to the result in SC must have quite a bit to do with his retort over Marianne's interview.

I understand this appeal to conservatives and ... well, hell... anyone with working synapses sick of the abominations that emanate from the chattering class in this Obamanation. Besides, a negative campaign is easier to map out.

Yo', I say, to said synapses: how does this get us the independents? I think it a bad idea to engage in sucker punch campaign with a media-backed, immoral, Chicago politician whose got a $B+ war chest and the executive branch ready and willing to lay mines, false trails and trip wires. So much for easy map-making.

I think we need a more positive message than Newt is able to deliver, and let Obama slink into the gutter.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 23, 2012 11:41 PM

On Liberty (now he thinks he's JS Mill!)

What a great weekend for blogging and, pari passu, a rotten weekend for getting other stuff done.

The discussion of the GOP race was thoughtful and fun and spirited and serious -- everything I love. With several threads going, I risk another to address a direct statement: "So what you're saying is, Newt doesn't love liberty."

Yes. I am saying that at the bottom of the Speaker's [adjective], [adjective] heart is a Teddy-Rooseveltian desire to wield the levers of government to do great things. As Professor Reynolds would say, "What could possibly go wrong?"

I back this scurrilous charge with the Speaker's support for ethanol subsidies, and his lobbying-but-not-really-lobbying for Freddie Mac and previous support of the GSE model.

If we need a man to school Juan Williams and John King, by all means. If we need a consistent voice for liberty, then we should vote for...ummm...wait a minute...it'll come to me...

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

There's a distinct possibility we need to lower the bar on ideology just as SC voters were willing to do on marital success. In his State of the Union speech tomorrow President Obama intends to explain how he will Return to America's Values [Like slavery and "Robber Barons" no doubt.]

"We can go in two directions. One is towards less opportunity and less fairness," Obama said in the video, which was released by his reelection campaign. "Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few. On Tuesday night, I'm going to talk about how we'll get there."

We all know that Obama's prescriptions will have the opposite effect than the universally popular goals he claims to champion. Newt can effectively counter this. Mitt has not yet demonstrated that skill. And even if he eventually does so, how effective will it be for one of the "wealthy few" to explain how he's going to end protections for the "wealthy few?"

I think I could find where br'er jk wrote "liberty is not on the menu" in recent weeks or months. To some extent I agree, but I'll also add that the menu is offering collectivism writ large. The GOP must make certain that American's don't decide to see what it tastes like. The "American Values" that President Obama speaks of are those of the Great Depression.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 12:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank blog brothers nb and br for their hearty contributions to the blog's nomination struggle discussion. Those of us planning to caucus in Colorado on February 7 appreciate the active dialog. I'm still hopeful we'll all reach agreement by then. I fear that jk and dagny may stick with Shaun Doll as a protest/platform-shaping exercise but I won't give up on them!

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 3:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Mark Steyn tees off on "The Man Who Gave us Newt."

Why is the stump speech so awful? "I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love." Mitt paid some guy to write this insipid pap. And he paid others to approve it. Not only is it bland and generic, it's lethal to him in a way that it wouldn't be to Gingrich or Perry or Bachmann or Paul because it plays to his caricature -- as a synthetic, stage-managed hollow man of no fixed beliefs. And, when Ron Paul's going on about "fiat money" and Newt's brimming with specifics on everything (he was great on the pipeline last night), Mitt's generalities are awfully condescending: The finely calibrated inoffensiveness is kind of offensive.

Didn't want to just do two-minute-hate, but I think Steyn -- who knows stagecraft -- is on to something. Governor Romney didn't have a bone for the Tea Partiers, didn't have a defense for Capitalism and didn't have answers for the most obvious opposition.

Irritating, I want to be all pragmatic and fall into line, really I do. And I'll cede Brother nb's point that the gov is a good guy, with integrity and character and intellect.

But Senator McCain had his war record and a dozen speeches that brought me to tears. Leader Dole had a superb wit and a consistent message of "a 15% tax cut." I see nothing better in the Gov. After all, I'm a pretty good guy...

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 3:39 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Mmm-hmm, and lots of good guys finish last. So, it sounds like you're suggesting Romney may be underestimating the intelligence of the independent voter...

After reading "Gingrich Challenge" article (and more comments here) I must say I didn't realize Romney's long game was as weak as his ground game was strong.

SC voters have forced a confrontation. Perhaps Romney will now step up his game and Newt tone his down a bit?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 24, 2012 12:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

YES. That is exactly what Rush Limbaugh suggested yesterday. He called Gingrich a "vessel for conservative ideas." Primary voters are rewarding him for his message and discounting his personal history. Every other candidate is free to follow his lead. Who knows, maybe one of them will do a better job of carrying the flag.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 2:15 PM

January 22, 2012

Rick! The Pragmatists' Choice

Note the possessive plural; I have been out-pragmated, Big time.

I appreciate the good words about Governor Romney. They are indeed palliative. But take a little walk with me (anybody read Issacson's Stove Jobs book? Five stars!) If your number one goal is defeating the President, isn't your best choice Senator Santorum?

The guy drives me nuts and has anchored the bottom of my list since Rep. Bachmann left the race. But somebody suggested that this is a time to be positive.

  • Articulates Free Market Principles. This has indeed been a nice surprise. He quietly and convincingly keeps making the case in interviews and debates. Now I think his manufacturers' tax break and his family engineering contravene those positions -- but there's been worse and he has a good story for each.
  • Evangelical Electoral Power. Libertarians love to talk, evangelicals vote. And give money. And walk precincts. And call their friends. And go GOTV. And serve as election judges. They put George W. Bush in the White House two times. Why not put them to work?
  • "Reagan Democrats." That's his spiel -- but is there not underlying truth? Middle class, Catholic kid. Grandson of a coal miner (never tire of hearing that one -- you?). Neither Gordon Gekko nor Long Dong Silver nor Crazy Uncle Wilfred. He loses Colorado which may be hopeless, but he puts Pennsylvania in play and pulls Ohio into the Red.

Don't know that I am riding on the Rick Bandwagon, but as we settle down to pragmatic choices of imperfect candidates, we should not leave anyone out.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | What do you think? [8]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.

"That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture."

Rick Santorum apparently never heard of the "culture" that founded this country. He never heard of Thomas Jefferson. "Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."

To hell with him and his ilk. The devil can't drag him down to damnation soon enough.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 22, 2012 5:18 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@Perry;
I'm more careful about allow textual snippets to over-confine or define anyone. It is good to remind TS'ers that he is a SiC, he is all that.

I'd also like to hear someone clarify his economic model (so far, I'm underwhelmed), but I don't think he'll be able to defend it the way the Romney-Baron could. What's his background? I really don't care anymore what his grandpa did over Romney's or Gingrich's.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 23, 2012 1:15 AM
But jk thinks:

Do youse guyz watch "The Journal Editorial Report" on weekends on FOXNews? It's a great reason for the continued existence of the network.

Dorothy Rabinowitz took jg's side, Paul Gigot reminded that California and New York are lost -- doesn't matter if he loses worse.

The GOP has had an official pro-life plank in the platform for some time. I can support that on a national level as I am a pro-choice squish but Federalism absolute. Even Lawn Crawl is anti-abortion.

Santorum has pushed -- surprisingly eloquently on some occasions -- for a flatter, fairer tax. Two rates for income, 15 for cap gains and dividends. All real good, until... He wants 0% taxes on manufacturers so he can <strike>pander to populists</strike> keep a strong manufacturing base and provide jobs for American workers.

He'd also jack up the child tax credits. A bit of right-wing social engineering, but we're going to need more youg'uns to pay off this massive debt, umm, that will be enlarged by these special exemptions for the , umm, never mind.

I'm of course yanking everybody's chain. I am not seriously considering Senator Sweatervest. But I could make as good an argument for him as for any of the others, and if "electability" rises to the top, a better one.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 10:57 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No, I'm not trying to have the last word on every thread - honestly.

The GOP has had a "pro-life" plank for as long as I can remember. And yet, nothing has changed. One can be forgiven for expecting a President Santorum to make this the purpose of his presidency. And one should certainly expect the Democrats to try convincing voters of this. For Rick Santorum I'll stand by my prediction of "maybe less even" general election success than Shaun Doll.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 11:54 AM
But jk thinks:

On queue: Senator Santorum has a rousing pro-life piece on the WSJ Ed Page today, marking the 40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 1:20 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

So put simply, Santorum will let you think you're "free" because your taxes are reduced, but he wants to control how you dispose of your property.

We don't need to overcomplicate things. I never paid attention to what his forefathers said or did -- I take him for what he's said and done. It is unforgivable to attack, or at the very least forget, the very individualism that built this country from wilderness.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 23, 2012 10:42 PM

January 21, 2012

Romney Corrects a Journalist

This is when I first became aware of Mitt Romney, politician. I think I'd forgotten, or perhaps never knew, of his rescue of the 2002 Olympic games, since he was the unUberroth.

The payoff is at 0:40. J: "I represent the people" MR; "No, I represent the people. You represent the media." I remember it as more acrimonious, but that must be my projected feelings. The governor is his usual, unflappable and generous self.

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:42 PM | What do you think? [2]
But nanobrewer thinks:

That was bizarre. Here's the URL for the video I meant to embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-S9Ntek9QE. Still, I like this one I don't want it down... just yet.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 22, 2012 12:16 AM
But jk thinks:

Looks good to me, man -- hit F5!

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:16 AM

Character 101

Now that I'm hopefully done defaming (and defanging and nearly degrading) Newt, let's move on to positives. I think Paul, Santorum and Huntsman all have exemplary character, and not just because they aren't divorced. There's no corruption, no awful see-saws, no odd deals or confabs with Pelosi-types.

Stay and don't stray... we're talkin' about character.

Romney? Let's start with a story from 1996, concerning the daughter of one Robert Gay. There's an endorsement that should be saved for the week after some Obamattack comparing him to Gekko is taking hold. I think Mitt has more than a few of these. Why? Character.

I'll finish with this Gipper snippet: "there's no limit to what you can accomplish in politics, so long as you don't care who gets the credit" and point you to the 2002 Olympic games. Did Romney turn that into a horn-tooting endeavor? I think not, in fact he's been quite gracious when asked about it.

2012 Election Posted by nanobrewer at 10:24 PM | What do you think? [3]
But dagny thinks:

As long as were discussing character, can I play too? I have just a few questions. Does anyone remember the kerfuffle with one President William Jefferson Clinton (D) - Arkansas and various extramarital activities and lies associated with such? Republicans at the time were shrieking that such activities were immoral and illegal and indicated that this made him scum of the earth.

Now the same Republicans are proposing to nominate someone admittedly guilty of extramarital activities of his own. Doesn't this seem just a little hypocritical? Are we really saying that this adulterer is a scumbag but this other one is fit to be president because of excuses X,Y, and Z?

We each have to evaluate the candidates based our own values but I will NOT be caucusing for Gingrich.

Posted by: dagny at January 22, 2012 2:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Didja see @jimantle's tweet? "Ideologically, Newt has been in an open marriage with Goldwater and Rockefeller for years." It is for that reason I will be joining Sister Dagny in caucusing for not-Gingrich.

But I must call point of order. I remember l'affaire Lewinski very well. Thoughtful Republicans were outraged because our nation's Chief Magistrate perjured himself in front of a Grand Jury and denied Ms. Paula Jones her day in court.

Added to this was disgust for disrespecting the Oval Office. Presidents Reagan and George W Bush never entered it without a suit jacket.

Actual marital infidelity was third at best -- for me far behind sending out political surrogates, including his wife, to L-I-E to journalists and publicly to Americans.

The Democratic spin ever since was that it was "all about sex" and I must reflexively (or in Gingrich speak reflexively and praxeologically) correct the record everywhere I go. Saddle up Sancho!

If a responsible and consistent candidate with a love of liberty and capacity to express it were in the race, and if he or she had been married three times, and if he or she were stably married now -- I must admit I would be able to overlook it.

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:16 AM
But johngalt thinks:

So what you're saying is, Newt doesn't love liberty.

Pawn Rall loves it but can't express it without straying into madness, at least in pragmatic political terms.

Rick Santorum loves it unless you are female and pregnant.

Mitt? He loves his wife. Beyond that I'm not sure. But what worries me about his nomination is not his personal agenda, rather that of the entrenched, yes 'crony capitalist' interests that are supporting him to the hilt.

Newt does still spend quality time with the Goldwater half of his ideological marriage and his support comes from fed-up individual Americans of the average variety.

I could be off base but these are my impressions.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2012 12:23 PM

Thosand Words

Hahahaha! Thanks Legal Insurrection!


Obama at Disney


"When the Horse Dies, Dismount"

It's primary election day in South Carolina so I write this not to lobby for a candidate, but to defend his character and that of millions of men who, like him, experienced divorce from a wife.

This issue is a minefield of conflicting opinions and values but I think all would agree that people who divorce, more often than not, disagree on the root cause. As Taranto summarizes, Marianne told Brian Ross (with prompting) "Oh, he was asking to have an open marriage and I refused." Taken with her claim that he first asked for a divorce Taranto sees an important distinction:

In either case, there is an enormous difference between offering such an arrangement as a "compromise" to a spouse who does not wish to divorce, which is what Mr. Gingrich appears to have done, and flat-out asking for an open marriage.

This was my surmise even before reading of the details. "When she refused to divorce he probably said something like, 'What, do you just want to continue a marriage in name only?" He was determined not to be kept in servitude to a marriage that had died 12 years earlier. Taranto continues:

There is also evidence that the Gingriches' marriage had been troubled for years before the split. National Review's Robert Costa notes a 1999 Associated Press report on their separation, which revealed some background:

Documents related to the divorce filed Friday in Cobb County Superior Court include a separation agreement signed by the couple and notarized in December 1987. There is no indication it was ever filed.

Browning said Marianne Gingrich called her husband on his birthday in June 1987 to tell him she was leaving him. Gingrich, he said, came back to Georgia to find his home emptied out.
Browning said the pair maintained separate residences for six years before reconciling in late 1993 or early 1994.

There's no way to know who was at fault in the first separation, and while it is not in dispute that Mr. Gingrich committed adultery before the actual divorce, the 1987 story leads one to wonder if he was completely to blame for the ultimate breakup.

Newt and Marriane reportedly married in 1981 and just six years later, Marianne moved out taking everything but a television and a guest bed. In retrospect I'm sure Newt regrets not finalizing a legal split with his estranged wife in less than the 12 years it ultimately took, but only a bitter shrew would maintain that he owed any matrimonial duty to her during that time.

And what of the 6 years they were married? It's apparent to me it was a bad match from the beginning. If either is guilty of anything it is first and foremost poor judgment in marrying to begin with.

Now can we get back to the 100% of GDP national debt, economy-wrecking taxation and regulation, evisceration of our military and national security secrets and Euro-socialization of American society? By all accounts Newt, Mitt, Rick, Ron, Rick, Jon, Michele, Gary, Herman and Tim are all now happily married. Thank you very much.

But nanobrewer thinks:

I am happy to see SC voters not take the 'treat' offered by ABC, tho' as you all have figured out I disagree with their choice (perhaps I can view it as a bitch-slap to the MSM?).

Here's why: character. I don't fault Newt for divorce 1 or 2, but note that I grant credit to those who make sound choices that don't require annulment. I agree with Taranto that Marianne's allegations weren't sordid or defaming. What was defaming was Newt's response: calling her a liar and to shut up (brother JG will correct me if I cited the record poorly). Didn't he tearfully claim to have done her wrong and beg for forgiveness once upon a time?

#2: anybody remember when his entire campaign staff quit? How many successful presidents suffer mass resignations?
#3: lobbyist-cum consultant for Fan/Fred
#4: lack of endorsements from the people with whom he enacted the Contract with America... have any former congressmen or women endorsed him?

@JK "The real battle now turns to the Senate. If we can send a few more Tea Party GOP Senators"

Yup, and a bumbling, shrill, (heh, I can add "two-timing") scold will not aid this. Newt is not the leader anymore. While I was interested and intrigued as to what sort of policy and platform changes the Huntsman and/or Paul delegates might have gotten from a Romney-elect, I shudder to think what Newt would ask for.... I really do.

JK: don't forget Rand Paul! He'd be one of my top picks for VP, if anyone asked....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 21, 2012 10:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Called that one Last October and would lose my mind with delight if it happened.

Not really betting on it mind you...

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"May he who is without divorce cast the first stone."

The response I heard, from Newt's own lips, was "The story is false." I'd like to see the citation where he told her to "shut up" and said she is a "liar." That would be newsworthy, I'd think.

South Carolina voters had every opportunity to take the more upstanding non-Romney in Santorum instead of Newt. Rick was, in fact, almost banking it. They made Rick an also ran./a> I wonder why?

Gingrich's past sins – his ethics charges, $1.6 million in controversial payments from the bankrupted Freddie Mac, his affairs and marriages – bothered Catherine Inman, a 40-year-old technology coordinator at a software company in Columbia.

That is why Inman first chose former Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished third in Saturday's primary, ahead of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

"And then, because I just don't think (Santorum) has a chance, I went to the one who I thought had the most intelligence about just America in general and what we are going through, and that's why I chose Newt. So I just kind of had to let that go," Inman said.

I really would rather support Romney. He seems a truly good guy. But did you see his SC concession speech? Jeesh.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2012 7:03 PM

January 20, 2012

Mitt!

The Refugee, having successively jumped from the Pawlenty bandwagon, to the Perry conestoga, to the Cain train, to the Newt pull-toy and finally to the Romney Radio Flyer, feels qualified to enumerate the many reasons why Mitt is The Man.

So, let's go through the list: first there's his position on... er, also he would.... well, not to mention... plus, we can count on... Uh, OK, there aren't that many reasons to affirmatively vote for the former governor. In the final analysis, it comes down not to who is best, but who is least bad. Here are The Refugee's disqualifiers for the other candidates:

Newt:

1. His "go negative, write the Obama book against Romney and attack Capitalism" is, perhaps, even more dispicable than an open marriage. Newt compares himself to historical figures. Unfortunately, the only appropriate comparison is Benedict Arnold.
2. With Newt's history, the press has more than enough on him to ignite a new scandal every week. By the time November rolls around, even Calista would be grateful for a secret ballot.
3. Newt will be unable to govern. The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the press would turn his presidency into a four-year circus.
4. Newt has many great ideas, but he also is more than willing to stray into populism if it seems politically expedient (see: Ethanol; Global Warming; #1 above). He is, in many ways, a no more reliable Conservative than Romney is.
5. He has almost as many negatives with Republicans as he does Democrats. Rallying the troops is not a given.
6. His national organization is minimal and he can't beat Obama on YouTube.

Rick:

1. His positions on abortion will turn off enough female voters to make winning almost mathematically impossible.
2. If he lost PA by 18 points as an incumbent senator, does anyone really think he has a shot at a national election?
3. The only difference between Big Government Santorum and Big Government Obama is one of priorities.
4. He has no national organization and one can't be built in three months.
5. His sweatervests make him look like Fred, the doofus in the FloodSmart.gov commercials. (OK, a bit snarky, but still...)

Ron:

1. His positions on Iran make him unserious and unelectable. Not to mention a lousy Commander in Chief.
2. "Abolish the Fed" is a non-starter nationally.
3. He's 76. He's running for President, not applying for a job, so age discrimination applies.
4. Even Ron doesn't think he's electable.

Sorry, folks, it does boil down to electablility. Mitt is by no means a shoe-in and needs to up his game to avoid getting clobbered, i.e, developing a positive agenda. But he's the only one with a shot; defeating Obama is Job 1. There is no such thing as a moral victory with Obamacare and the future of free enterprise hanging in the balance.

The issue is settled. Kinda like the science, no doubt.

2012 Election Posted by Boulder Refugee at 7:11 PM | What do you think? [8]
But jk thinks:

Is acceptance the last one, or does another round of anger come after?

You're likely right Mister Refugee, sir. I might still caucus for Rep. Ron Paul because I an intrigued what he will do at the convention with a powerful hunk of delegates.

The real battle now turns to the Senate. If we can send a few more Tea Party GOP Senators in the Ron Johnson-Mike Lee mold, a Romney Administration could be positive for liberty and a second Obama one less destructive.

Posted by: jk at January 21, 2012 11:35 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

As a point of clarification, in point 1 about Newt, I should have said, "...more despicable than questions about an open marriage..." my intended point was a comparison of relative despicability, not a condemnation of the proposed arrangement. Newts decision to assure that every Republican dies with him was unforgivable despicability.

JK, what actions do you hope for from Uncle Ron at the convention? If it's constructive then OK, but if it just poking a finger in the party's eye, then he deserves to stay home.

Before anyone falls on their sword in the name ideological purity, they should ask themselves if they want Obama picking the next two, maybe three, SCOTUS justices.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 21, 2012 1:06 PM
But jk thinks:

As I admit in a new post today, you have "out-pragmated" the soi disant blog pragmatist.

But is your underlying, foundational argument secure? Gov. Romney does not have the winningest electoral record, and "Gordon Gekko!" will sadly be as effective as it is lame. Some may have trouble with his religion, and my Facebook friends have not forgotten the dog on the roof.

If you are correct that he's the best chance, count me in. But, like Taranto, I see a bit of Democrats-in-2004 nominating Senator John Kerry because he was the man to beat George Bush.

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:49 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Democrat 2004 Redux, The Movie: Playing the part of John Kerry is Mitt Romney; the part of Wesley Clark goes to Ron Paul; standing in for John Edwards is Rick Santorum*. And starring in the role of Howard Dean is our very own Newt Gingrich!

The parallels are scary. What you're really saying is that the Republican field is as weak as Dems '04. There was no strong, obvious winner that got shirked by the process in that race.

*Apologies to Rick Santorum for juxtaposition. There really is no comparison, but there were no other parts left.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 23, 2012 2:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've been tempted more times than I can count to draw similar connections to NFL quarterbacks but have thusfar been able to behave myself. This is much better. Well done. But let me pile on:

Playing the part of George W Bush: Barack Obama.

We didn't fully realize how bad GWB's policies were until his second term. Barack has outperformed in that category.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I, for one, am proud to be part of a party which includes no direct parallels to Senator John Edwards.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 6:33 PM

Lady Hoss

Etta James, Requiescat in pace, girl!

Music Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | What do you think? [0]

Friday Funnies

Thanks Reason:


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:13 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Before we get into it, let me just say, I disagree with Newt here. I can imagine a lot of things that would be more despicable. A lot more despicable.

Just off the top of my head: John King could have held a gun to a panda cub's head and opened fire every time one of the debaters went over his time limit. Even more despicable, he could have pulled the trigger before the time limit, just to know what it feels like. CNN could have doctored videos of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum so that they appeared to be playing Stratego with each other. Oh, wait did I say "playing Stratego"? I meant to say "having wild gay sex, with a midget riding a pogo stick in the background and an expression that says 'Things are going to get a lot weirder than this.'" -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:06 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

But other than animal cruelty on live television or a Dan Rather video expose... Trotting out a Republican ex-wife's one-sided tale of betrayal 2 days before a crucial vote is at least a 9 on the despicable scale.

If Mitt really is more electable than Newt in the general election then why is the Obama media trying to sink Newt in the primary?

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2012 3:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Pretty despicable for ABC and Nightline. Once it is in the aether, I'm not sure it is off-limits for a debate. I just like Jonah's humor, though I realize it is not pointing your way today. Here's a couple paragraphs down:

Moreover, what John King did really wasn't that despicable. I think he had to ask the question. Maybe he didn't have to open the debate with it, but it had to be asked, Newt knew it had to be asked, and he was waiting for it like a lion at the coliseum on "Punish the Blind Beggars Night."

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2012 5:20 PM

Romney as robber baron?

Not even.

Henninger argues, effectively I think, that Bain and cohorts kept America from slipping into the Euro trough two decades back when Brokaw and brothers were crowing about how Japan would own most of the US by the end of the decade.


When large-scale hostile takeovers appeared in the 1980s," Messrs. Holmstrom and Kaplan write, "many voiced the opinion that they were driven by investor greed; the robber barons of Wall Street had returned to raid innocent corporations. Today, it is widely accepted that the takeovers of the 1980s had a beneficial effect on the corporate sector and that efficiency gains, rather than redistributions from stakeholders to shareholders, explain why they appeared."

I've seen the bolded passage echoed here, I think perhaps? The smart guys know what's happening now:
The new world order was made plain in a Jan. 12 Wall Street Journal headline: "Reversal of Fortune in Debt Market." The story told how global investors who routinely bought the debt of Italy or Spain were now buying the 25- and 30-year bonds of Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa and other so-called "emerging market" nations.

I wrote a paper in college debunking the conventional wisdom about the robber barons. My point was that of those who made the most wealth, that were in effect monopolies, used the GubMint to do so and become so.

Heh, and now that I've outed my feelings on Newt's candidacy, can I say that "Bain was Newt's Bane" ?

ohhh, I think I'm going to be insufferable for a few days....

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:39 AM | What do you think? [10]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

As the most recent political orphan, JG's last paragraph resonates with truth for me. Instead of focusing attention on issues and on records, we (not us here, but the ordinary voters on the party at large) are focusing on whose appearance or demeanor is Presidential. I've regressed from Acceptance back to either Depression or Anger, I suppose.

We should not be looking for a Jeopardy contestant, or an American Idol contender. By my count 1.8% of the convention votes have been decided, and we're down to four candidates ranging from something above mediocre to worse. The issue candidates have been eliminated.

We're down to four candidates for whom I'm have to hold my nose to vote for, and none of whom I'd be motivated to man a phone bank for or knock of doors for. Whether the party is falling victim to establishment string-pulling, media complicity, majoring in minor issues, voter ignorance, or a combination of all, we now have these four competitors: two big-government technocrats (one a moralist, and the other with his moral failings on public display), an architect of government-run medicine, and an eccentric conspiracy theorist with some really good ideas and a lot of wacky ones. I find myself wondering, and perhaps hoping, that the dissatisfaction among big party donors and movement leaders might cause them to conclude that the Republican party is beyond remediation, and the establishment of a new party might be in order.

This week, we've seen Democrats in congress talk about establishing an oversight committee empowered to decide what a fair profit is for certain businesses. Free people should have no problem opposing this. And yet, a big segment of the population seems to think that's just fine. How far are we from an Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule if the masses go along with it? These things simply are not possible without the sanction of the victim.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 20, 2012 4:00 PM
But jk thinks:

My fellow GOP voters in the early primary states certainly have their flaws. But I am offended by the implication that they are voting for "hair." (Not you, but everybody is extremely willing to disparage other Republicans for a choice that is far from clear.)

I would not think less of anybody for supporting one of the remaining (or even departed) candidates. All of them are heavily flawed and I trust voters, Hayekian-style to weigh those flaws against their own interests and priorities.

Santorum is not my guy, but if you overlook the ridiculous and nakedly political manufacturer cut out, he espouses free market principles better than the others. Ron Paul is the only one who believes in limited government. Gingrich has passion. Romney "wore a suit to the job interview." He has money a ground operation and many of the right supporters (Govs. Nikki Haley, Chris Christie &c.).

Had I clicked off the TV at the end of the debate or not allowed the TiVo to record an extra 30 mins of a live event, I would probably be in the Gingrich camp today.

And I salute those who are. People are doing their best to make a very difficult decision.

BTW the next best chance of getting me on the Speaker's side was Mickey Kaus today pointing out Newt's Weakest Spot! (He thinks too much like jk on immigration!)

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2012 4:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JK, there are moments when your optimism and good humor are a kindness, and this is one of them. I hope you are right about voters, though I fear otherwise. So much of what I hear ("He acts presidential!" "He's the only electable one!" "The other guy looks like the guy who laid you off!") are window dressing compared to what to me has to be the critical point: "What has he done in the past that confirms he will do in the future what he is saying in the present?"

I wish I had more of your optimism, and I'm open to being convinced.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 20, 2012 5:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I waver between "they're all terrible" and "they're all better than Obama." Ultimately what I think tips the scale for me is a desire for a bare-knucked brawl with the president. (Rhetorically, of course.) I think Newt is willing and able. Mitt, I fear, will take the "high road."

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2012 6:12 PM
But jk thinks:

@JG: They are all terrible AND they are all better than President Obama. If F = kx in your oscillation, k = 0.

@KA: I'm a disciple of Tyler Cowan, but I hold primary voters in higher esteem. Perhaps that goodness and optimism and modesty are all getting out of hand, but I have struggled mightily this time around and have watched serious and diligent ThreeSourcers struggle and swap.

I merely raise a toast of a famed Democrat in a GOP primary. "To Mutual Forbearance!" counseled Secretary Van Buren in the wake of President Jackson and VP Calhoun's more famous toasts. The tweets I see assure that every candidate except the one I support is "a RINO!" and every supporter is not paying attention.

I find much to like about the Speaker, not least the pugnacity that brother jg seeks. But his embrace of anti-capitalism for populist points is too much for me to bear.

Lastly, I take nothing from a person who places a high value on electability. We do want to win, and I am completely (or as the Speaker would say completely and irrevocably) sympathetic to the argument that none satisfies philosophically, so let's pick the best chance in the general.

And, Governor Romney's hair is quite nice. Boy, howdy, I'd be in the race if I had hair like that.

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2012 7:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

You're all missing what I think is terribly more important than what he did: I think character is most important of all. "Electability" it's more easily described and digested cousin.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 20, 2012 11:34 PM

January 19, 2012

Rick!

Not Santorum -- Santelli!












Hat-tip: Instapundit


He said, she said

Or did she? ABC News "Exclusive" shock headline: Gingrich Lacks Moral Character to Be President, Ex-Wife Says is not supported by said ex-wife's words. At least not in the article that carries the headline.

The reader can be forgiven if he concludes that the "lacks moral character to be president" opinion belongs to ABC News, and not to Marianne Gingrich who "In her most provocative comments" ... "said Newt sought an "open marriage" arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife."

Yes, that's provocative. Don't see the words president, character, or moral. Read into straight news reports much ABC? I propose that ABC's claim in Marianne's own words would have been much more provocative than this.


Then There Were Four.

Heartfelt condolences to brother Keith. I remember the hurt. AP:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry will abandon his presidential bid and endorse Newt Gingrich, two Republican officials said Thursday, a move coming just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary as Republican front-runner Mitt Romney struggles to fend off a challenge from the former House speaker.

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

I'd prefer a nominee who has good hair, tall and trim, deadly shot with pistol, rifle or shotgun, relates to average Americans, has never divorced and can forcefully advocate for western values in stirring prose. [Paging Dr. Frankenstein.] Alas, I must settle for just the last of these traits.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2012 3:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

C'est le guerre.

I'm discovering I've skipped denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and gone straight to acceptance. Or is lingering over which of the remaining four I'll go with considered bargaining?

Perhaps my experience supporting Fred Thompson four years ago prepared me for this...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 19, 2012 3:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Come home, Fred! All is forgiven -- we neeeed you!

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2012 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, jg, I'll run next time.

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2012 3:55 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd settle for one who's a deadly shot with a metaphor, riposte, or simile; alas, Hitch is off this mortal coil.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 19, 2012 11:50 PM

They've brought back the Virtual Coffeehouse!

By popular demand, and without any Tebow references whatsover:



Coffeehouse

Prelude to a Kiss


"Duke Ellington's magical weave of chromatic melody and beautiful changes."



Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com



But Boulder Refugee thinks:

...and not a moment to soon!

When I saw "Duke!", I immediately thought this was a John Wayne tune. Or perhaps John Elway. But this one is good, too.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 20, 2012 12:57 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the kind words. And be glad I did not use Duke's given name: "Edward Kennedy."

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2012 2:08 PM

January 18, 2012

Orwellian

Orwellian is overused, trite, and a lazy substitute for thought. But --

Normally, I criticize FOX31 Good Day Colorado's anchors for being blandly apolitical. Less that they're biased as they don't connect politics or government to any of the stories they cover. This morning I got my wish and Ms. Melody Mendez displayed actual bias.

One good feature is a daily segment with FOX Business Channel to discuss markets and Wall Street. It functions as "adult supervision" and the most frequent of the network talent is the lovely and intelligent Lauren Simonetti. Ms. Simonetti had the throttle today. Mendez brought up the SC GOP debate, specifically Speaker Gingrich's "Food Stamp President" remark. Mendez said "It sounds like Gingrich should have done a little research" -- and closed with a smug smile I've never seen from her before.

Simonetti played it casually -- I could not see if she agreed or not -- and started reciting figures. As she spoke, they put the figures up on the Krylon (clearly it was not a total surprise). The figures distinctly show that Food Stamps have doubled under the Obama administration. This viewer was thinking that this particular "fact check" was running off the rails. How can they call him the Food Stamp President when he has only doubled it in three years?

Simonetti then said "but the increase started when George Bush was President." And they went on to the next story. Oh. Well, then. Glad we cleared that up.

John Hinderacker at PowerLine actually does clear it up. Apparently, Mendez's line was the current White House spin

The White House apparently doesn't like the association between Obama and food stamps; Jay Carney said that the claim that President Obama's policies have added to the food stamp rolls is "crazy."

As happens so often with White House statements, Carney's characterization had no basis in fact.

PowerLine is never afraid to use strong words, but if you click through and see the graphs, I don't see how anybody can quibble.


Occupy: Mission Accomplished!

I'm considering instigating a Facebook fight. I haven't really started one in a long while, and Megan McArdle's piece on New York would be an excellent foundation.

Shorter McArdle: You won! Income equality is waaay down in New York.

After a disappointing year, the big banks are pulling back on their bonus pools. A lot. This is going to be hard on bankers whose salaries are usually a very small part of their overall compensation--and yes, yes, before you drag out the world's smallest violin, let me agree that they have no entitlement to anything more. Nonetheless, people tend to build their life around their expected salaries, and in New York, this choice is particularly important. You not only acquire a large mortgage that's often difficult to unload quickly (closings in New York take months at minimum, longer if it's a co-op), but also things like enormous school fees, higher food costs, and so forth.

So, those fat, greedy bankers have finally got what's coming to them. And they won't have money to spend on, um, schools and restaurants and museums and tips and taxes and things.

Income equality is on its way to Gotham. Woot!

Could the creatives pay the bills if Wall Street stopped? New York's bills are very hefty; about one in three people in the city (and one in five in the state) are on Medicaid, with the city paying half of that; the MTA has an operating budget of over $11 billion a year; and the city's annual pension bill runs about $7 billion. New York's generous social services are what nearly bankrupted the city in the 1970s, until they finally found an industry that would just pay hefty taxes instead of moving south and west.

Raising that money from the creatives means, among other things, raising money from the less affluent--people who are less able to shrug off a tax increase as the cost of living in the Big Apple. Creatives may also be a bit more mobile than folks who needed--until the last decade, anyway--proximity to a trading floor.


I recall Ms. McArdle has her detractors around ThreeSources. But, Facebook friends, this is an Obama supporter whose mentor is Professor Austan Goolsbee, President Obama's economic architect. And it's in The Atlantic, not AEI's American or the WSJ Ed Page or FOX News.

Income equality suddenly looks less like Steinbeck and more like Mad Max.


January 17, 2012

THANKS BROTHERS!

My October surprise just arrived early. I am getting yet another appraisal-free, closing costs paid by you refinance from the FHA.

You taxpayer dudes are so swell. I hope you know how deeply I appreciate it.

But dagny thinks:

If jk is gloating AGAIN, does that mean I get to complain AGAIN about the other side of the coin? Those of us who choose not to live in FHA shaped boxes STILL cannot get a thirty year fixed rate mortgage at today's rates!!!

Posted by: dagny at January 18, 2012 11:52 AM
But jk thinks:

Abso-tively, dagny! Even I am disgusted. My 15-fixed will go from 4.25 to 3.65. That's nice for me but totally lame. "President Goldman Sachs" can shovel money to bankers with this, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? This won't help the real estate sector or seriously impact anybody's chances of keeping up with their mortgage. I guess I'll stimulate the economy with my extra $50. The last one was philosophically stupid but had practical value.

New Year, let's get the ThreeSources beer bash put together in earnest (Scotch for Atkins-boy). The first two rounds are on me.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 12:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Found it! It was April 8, 2011 My first payment was in June.

I think it is a reward for being the only FHA mortgage holder to actually make six straight payments.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 8:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did the "just sign here for your pre-approved unsolicited instant refi" documentation have the president's photo on it? A pre-addressed thank-you postcard to the DNC? A "Democrat and Proud" ID card with protective vinyl sleeve and neck lanyard along with a lucite holder for your 2012 ballot card pre-marked for the Democrat slate of candidates?

I really liked it better when politicians at least pretended they weren't breaking multiple laws.

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2012 11:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Actually, I had to pry it out of them both times. They like to present it as a gift from Quicken loans. I say "this is some government thing" and they mumble something about FHA -- I never got the actual name of the program.

So you can at least hope its primary purpose of reelecting the President is ineffectual.

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2012 9:08 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Whew - that was close. My faith in good governance is restored.*/sarcasm*

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2012 2:16 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

If you don't want to spend the better part of the next year trying to drag this sad sack of Mitt across the finish line so he can disappoint us for the next four years, then stand up, speak out, and stop letting the mainstream media and a bunch of Beltway conservatives tell you that the race has to be over with just 1.8% of the delegates needed for a victory awarded. The Tea Party didn't rise up, fight Barack Obama, and help the GOP have its best year in half a century just to see the Republican Party ideologically slide all the way back to the pre-Reagan years as a reward. --John Hawkins
But jk thinks:

I respectfully disagree. Not that Governor Griz's endorsement will carry weight, but that the Speaker represents the Tea Party.

Gingrich champions activist, technocratic government -- not "limited" in the Tea Party, Madisonian sense. That was okay in 1994, pitching Gingrich's good ideas versus President Clinton's bad ideas. But even the 104th had to provide guardrails.

I remember his advocating that the government buy a laptop for every child in public housing. This was in the late 90s. Not only were laptops $1500, but it would have enshrined a "government standard" laptop that we'd still have today. 512KB RAM and a 3.5" floppy drive.

The attack on Bain was not a bad day but a window to his worldview. In conclusion, I'd like to say "Freddie Mac."

o. it is so on.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 1:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking there's a "butt-whup" sandwich in my lunch bag today. Tune in around 12:30. :)

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2012 1:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Speaker Gingrich does not "represent" the TEA Party but his off-again, on-again penchant for challenging various entrenched paradigms - political correctness, Wall Street mercantilism, nanny state redistributionism - makes him TEA Party friendly. This GOP primary has been a slow slog through ideological soup where none of the candidates emerged with the precise mixture to rally all the GOP factions. [How could they?] But South Carolina's primary is a watershed and TEA Party VIP Sarah Palin knows it is time to pick the best non-Romney and start pushing. Despite ideological preferences you and I may have, Ron Paul is not that guy - Newt is.

Some, even much, of what Newt espouses is anathema to TEA Partiers. This is irrelevant. He is a loose cannon but at least he's not shooting blanks. When he gets his "work not welfare" and "we're in this together but we're not our brothers' keepers" guns ranged in on Obama he can do some real damage.

Yes he's erratic, undisciplined and sometimes undependable. But he inspires greatness from time to time and is the only candidate I've heard receive thunderous applause in debate after debate. He connects with people and his appeal spans generations and classes. He has a strong hispanic following and will do better with the black vote than Romney could ever dream.

Who we nominate will dictate what issues will be debated in the public square. Instead of defending Ron Paul's age, frailty, haphazard prose and way out-of-the-mainstream ideas, or Romney's high-powered corporate fix-and-flip or fleece-and-fold "private-sector experience" I'd prefer to have debates like this with the New York Times. We may lose, but I prefer to believe we will win - the debate and the election.

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2012 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:

True points all and well said. I'll counter with foolishness while I ponder the substantive issues.

Remember in '96 how all the anti-Dole commercials paired the moderately popular Senate Leader with the supremely unpopular Speaker? All the commercials opposed the mysterious Siamese twin "Gingrich-Dole." I found it odd as the Speaker was not on the ballot. I wonder if he is the nominee, whether they might bring in Bob Dole to tarnish him. I wonder if Mitt should try it.

You may have me, brother. Thankfully a couple weeks on the Atkins diet has given me a stronger constitution and resilient digestive tract. I don't think I could have taken any of this in December.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 3:28 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JG wrote:
When [Newt} gets his "work not welfare" and "we're in this together but we're not our brothers' keepers" guns ranged in on Obama he can do some real damage.

Which he can do while supporting the nominee, yes? Palin does (well, she's even shrill comp. to him). Almost anyone can deliver this message, perhaps not as pithily, but neither with the caustic that's almost as much his brand as anything.

he's erratic, undisciplined and sometimes undependable. But he inspires greatness from time to time

In whom? Think about it, did he leave the GOP positioned for increased gains and a positive direction in the 90's, or did he mainly make a name for himself and lots of flotsam?

He's got thin skin, corruption in his background and can't stay on message. Ohh, but he does have stirring rhetoric at times ... is this sounding familiar?

is the only candidate I've heard receive thunderous applause

From GOP audiences and mostly when bomb-throwing.... we need the indies and a positive message delivered by someone who's an inspiring leader. Not to mention someone unflappable, with stellar morals and good instincts for what works in the real world. Character, my brothers and sisters, character....

He connects with people

TMI, brother. :-) Now if Palin could cause a rumble that would make Mitt stand up & out even more on conservative principles, I'd say the system is working our way, for once.

If Newt were nominee, I'd probably vote Libertarian. He would be awful and never get elected, I'm nearly certain of it.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 20, 2012 12:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Whenever I've been "certain" of something in politics, something has changed and upset my calculus. Sarah Palin's Gingrich endorsement was one of those events. Today I see Michael Reagan is endorsing Newt again.

We cannot afford a candidate backed by the same Washington insiders who repeatedly tried to undermine my father and the Reagan revolution.

It's time to choose.

Do we go forward with bold ideas or continue with failed policies?

So I ask my fellow Republicans and conservatives to join me in supporting Newt Gingrich for president.

Christie, Halley - eastern Republicans.

Palin, Reagan - western Republicans.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2012 6:20 PM

QOTD2

The debate is getting so boring, I wish Huntsman were around to throw in some Chinese. -- Jay Nordlinger
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:56 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

If I may, dear brother, I think it is time you moved on to the bargaining stage.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 3:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On second thought, make that "acceptance." :)

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 3:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Just be careful one does not slide all the way to the bats**t-crazy-caucus-for-Ron-Paul stage...

Outta choices people.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 6:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Had Huntsman called a debate moderator a "hwoon dahn" or told his competitors "Ta ma de! Nimen de bizui!" he could have picked up a small but dedicated voting block.

Dong ma?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 17, 2012 7:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Gorram right, brother, gorram right!

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 12:17 PM

British "Stiff Upper Lip"

"We apologize to customers for causing them undue concern."

That is a British Airways spokesperson responding to an alarm and a "this plane is about to crash into the sea" recorded message that was mistakenly played twice at three am [insert bonus Sec. Hillary Clinton joke here...]

Sorry.

Hat-tip: @jamestaranto UPDATE: Now that's a pretty good riposte:


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day


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

Quote of the Day

(The audience sounded as if they did whiskey shots during the commercial breaks. Newt would begin, "Frankly, I believe that fundamental reform requires . . . " and then you would hear, "WHOOOOO! FRANKLY! FUNDAMENTALLY! WHOOOO!") -- Mark Geraghty
I'll add: no buzzers == best debate. Jeeburz, it might take a guy 45 seconds to explain his position on the peace of westphalia instead of 60. Other than Bret Baier whining about it, I thought it was perfect.
But johngalt thinks:

Not laughing at the quote. I find it unfairly dismissive and an attempt to distract from the intense connection Newt made with these "NASCAR Retards." Sure a contingent of them booed that Mitt's father was born in Mexico, but their standing ovations were reserved for one of the candidates telling his smug interlocutor "No, it is not racially insensitive to promote jobs over food stamps."

I've taken a closer look at Ron Paul and can't take him home to mamma. I was ready to acqueisce to Romney in the name of unity and a temperate judgement. And I've even dismissed Gingrich as ever being worthy of my caucus support. But I'm now putting him back on the list.

I crossed him off for poor tactics more than bad ideas but he does have some bad ideas. Fortunately he also has some good ideas and is a damned powerful orator. Given the choice I would rather see a brighter and sharper contrast to the sitting president. "Temperate judgement" and "don't rock the boat" aren't as likely to unseat Obama and the October Surprise in his hip pocket.

And remember the Art Laffer endorsement voice of McLaughlin.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 3:29 PM
But jk thinks:

The crowd was pretty well juiced without him -- I elect to laugh.

Yes, the Speaker was very good in the debate. And I completely and fundamentally* agree that he is entitled to a revisit. To tie another thread, he might be a great candidate to lose with. I cannot yet inure to the former Governor if The Commonwealth. I will vote for him in November if he is the nominee, but I find myself longing for Bob Dole and John McCain more every day...

My Dealbreaker was weeks after your Dr. Laffer endorsement. It still seems insurmountable.

* If Speaker G wins, we will all have to use two adverbs in every sentence.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 3:51 PM

You're not going to believe this, but: Ron!

When in the course of a weak field, a blogger flip-flops chooses to reëvaluate a former position, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him.

Rep. Ron Paul hit one question out of the park for me last night. Bret Baier asked about military budget cuts and bases in the Palmetto State. (This was early on, before most people fell asleep.) Paul said we might need more bases for his military. We could close bases in Germany and South Korea and open them in South Carolina. He bifurcated spending for "defense" and what he’d call "Empire." I must reluctantly meet him halfway.

So, I'm a Ron Paul guy. I might grow my hair out, maybe join a truther club -- no, seriously, Presidents don't get all their wishes or accomplish all their goals (thank NED!) The correct foreign presence is likely somewhere between the status quo and Rep. Paul's ideal. Nobody else will ever yank a single soldier out of South Korea and I am not convinced that we can afford our current global presence.

So, I hope President Paul does not abandon Israel (still my largest concern) and give Al-Qaeda an "olly-olly-oxen-freeee." But our country's greater, existential threat is four more years of progressive socialism.

We have to fix home and hope the world does not crater during the process. Else, there will be no significant American presence in the world economy or military theater. We have to have our cancer surgery -- even if it means losing the house.

Ron Paul 2012.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

That actually had a pretty good score...

Bringing me to point #7b: it is pretty incredibly totally unlikely that Rep. Paul will be the nominee. Yet if my support garners him additional delegates, he will have a stronger hand shaping the platform and a brighter stage to deliver a message of Constitutional government. I would not do that if I would regret his winning. So, I pitched for the win.

If he did win, he'd certainly get creamed by President Obama. Israel is still safe. But we would have had our "Goldwater election" to build on.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 12:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. No, I'd rather win this cycle.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 2:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I'd rather lose with Rep. Paul. When President Obama does something preternaturally bad (hypothetical, roll with me) our complaints are tempered by: a) President Bush probably did the same thing if less spectacularly, and b) President McCain would probably have done the same thing, perhaps more spectacularly.

Freedom has left the room. Liberty is off the menu. I suppose this is the same as my Huntsman support -- you beautiful, wonderful people have not yet accepted how bad our nominee is going to be.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 3:04 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

So, somehow four more years of Obama is better than "the existential threat of four more years of socialism?!?" Aren't they the same thing? You can't avoid the threat of Obama by assuring the re-election of Obama. Dude...!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 17, 2012 6:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The biggest immediate threat to Liberty is a second Obama term, not Republican ideological purity.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 17, 2012 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

The threat of "four more years of socialism" is worse than the threat from terrorism. Ergo, Rep. Paul's unconventional-to-GOP ideas regarding prosecution of the Global War or Terror are concerning, but at least his economic ideas leave a nation to save.

Romney is, without doubt, marginally better than the President. He would sign good legislation from a GOP 113th and Obama would veto it. I do not discard that margin lightly.

And yet, a victory will be required in a battle of ideas -- not just at the polls. Governor Romney cannot and will not be in that arena.

In addition, his supporters may be overstating his electability. My nominally-Republican-moderate sister visited this weekend. "I hate Mitt Romney!" says she. A majority of Republicans oppose him, I'm not positive the moderates and soft Democrats are going to swoop in. The Kerry comparison starts to look at least as valid as the McCain.

Say we swallow hard, throw away all our principles, and lose. How do you advance ideas after that? You nominate Ron Paul and you get months of good ideas. If he loses, you say he was a little bit kooky -- but he was right a la Goldwater.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 7:25 PM

"Wishcasting"

Don Luskin is quite good at it. He pens an instant classic of the genre on the WSJ Ed Page today:

Newt Gingrich's claim about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital--that its business model was "figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company"--is an egregious lie. Yet Mr. Gingrich is not stupid. He and the other Republican primary contenders who have echoed his attack have calculated that the only way to beat President Barack Obama, who uses the words "millionaires and billionaires" as insults, is to join him. It's unanimous, then--capitalism is immoral.

At last, Mitt Romney finds himself with an issue that can define him, an issue about which the 2012 election can be a referendum. This is Mr. Romney's moment to distinguish himself by proudly making a moral case for free-market capitalism.


I fear this is "Mister Romney's moment" in the manner that last Saturday night was "Tim Tebow's moment" and the New Hampshire primary was "Mister Huntsman's moment."

Should Governor Romney prove me wrong, I'd be the happiest blogger in the whole USA, but I suspect Luskin's Jedi mind tricks will fail -- and the guy who wants to institute the first ever progressive cap gains tax will be our nominee.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 16, 2012

Newsweek

I did the screengrab just to capture it. In the "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" issue of Newsweek, ("Garsh! I dunno...") we are treated to an insightful piece about Senator Santorum's wife who, before she met his sweatervestness -- and I hope y'all are sitting down -- dated an abortion provider.

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) who reminds that Kerry's war record and Jeremiah Wright were out of bounds.


Taleb on Antifragility

Got an hour-thirteen you don't know what to do with?

Of course not -- but listen to Russ Roberts's econtalk podcast anyway. Nicholas Nassim Taleb discusses his forthcoming book at least nine months before its expected release.

Fascinating.

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

Let's play juxtapose!

1. Pick one image from a current news story.
2. Pick text from a current news story.
3. Enjoy!

Huntsman ends campaign

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (Reuters) -- Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman suspended his bid for the Republican nomination on Monday, endorsing rival Mitt Romney and calling on his party to end "an onslaught of negative and personal attacks."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

Jon! -- The final Installment

I cannot disagree with a word of Byron York's post-mortem, yet I remain unapologetic.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- A number of Jon Huntsman's core positions were deeply conservative. His pro-growth economic plan was nearly everything the Wall Street Journal editorial page could have wanted. He was strongly pro-life. Strongly Second Amendment. Yet conservative Republicans stayed away from his candidacy in droves, and the few people who were attracted to the Huntsman campaign were moderate Republicans, independents, Democrats -- and the media.

Why? Huntsman's problem was that, whatever his position on some key issues, he sent out political and cultural signals that screamed NPR, and not Fox News, that screamed liberal, and not conservative. Even though conservatives agreed with Huntsman on many things, they instinctively sensed he wasn't their guy. It wasn't hard for them to figure out.

I'll be quiet for awhile, I am still adjusting. I had hoped his candidacy would last long enough for the T-Shirts to arrive. C'est la guerre.

UPDATE: @jamestaranto Huntsman touts "refusal to pass down to the next generation a country that is less powerful...prosperous...and competitive." So negative.
Fair cop, guv. That was my least favorite aspect of his campaign. He didn't get the "sunny Reagan" memo.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

The Huntsman Hate from the Conservative Twitterverse is pretty disappointing. You don't have to support him, but each tries to out-clever the others to put down somebody whose positions he never bothered to learn.

Third grade crap. I think I'll stay off the blogs today.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:25 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't know that I get it. Mister Liberal instituted a flat tax, cut spending, and instituted pro-market health care reform. Then he ran for prez on the Ryan Plan for entitlements and a tax proposal that the WSJ Ed page, Club for Growth, and James Pethokoukis all loved.

No, he never cut a gay person's heart still beating out in the public square, but the "moderate" and "liberal" tags elude me. (I guess compared to the rock-ribbed philosophically pure guys who constitute the rest of the 2012 field...)

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and the "liberal" tag I hung on him comes from the words I heard come out of his very mouth.

If you detect bitterness in my tone it is with Huntsman, who positioned himself as a "conservative with a record to prove it" and then sounded like the anti-Reagan with all of his kumbaya rhetoric. Want to promote American Exceptionalism? Focus on everything we have and are doing right, not all of the mistakes.

Water over the dam now, eh brother?

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2012 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Mayhaps. Tweets outside ThreeSources are making me cranky. The only free-trader whose name does not rhyme with "pawn call" leaves the race and its open season.

In addition to good old hostility, I guess I remain curious what all these people saw that I did not. I never considered myself the champion of the moderates before. I guess Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich are the real deal and I've been drinking GOP Lite®. Really?

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, it's a process.

My objection to Huntsman was that his main messages, or at least those that I heard, were slamming other Republicans. If that's the best he's got, then I'll tune him out - as I have Newt and Pawn Call.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 16, 2012 3:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 4:18 PM

January 15, 2012

Pandora

Recently tried this and was happily surprised; I started with Xmas songs after the ComCast holiday music channel got repetitive. Very close to Xmas I found ComCast had revamped its play list with selections that were turning Xmas carols into something that was once again interesting. Let's be honest 80% of the Xmas music we hear - even rousing remakes with 21st century effects - are songs from the 50's and 60's.

Right after Xmas I tried Pandora with a fun selection from my past sure to evoke an eclectic response: King Crimson. I found their selections quite good - the really strident stuff from Tarkus just showed they really had the genre down - if their matching groups was strange (Genesis is like The Police?). The Bio's were cool, but the "Buy it" links not so good. Wow, Beck sure is one interesting guy, and I hadn't quite seriously considered Zeppelin's R&B influence before.

Now how much extra spam and Malware is on my computer is an open question. A little distressing was how the dominant pop-up ad was aimed at meeting age-appropriate women... but later put that down to the site noting I'd chosen a group who was dominant in the late 60's and early 70's. Sheesh, date 50+ women; I can barely handle two!

back to regularly scheduled political prosthelytizing....

Music Posted by nanobrewer at 6:54 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

ROFLMAO A long post, but what a payoff!

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 8:05 PM

DAWG Update

Thought all that arctic ice was gone, didn't you?

The people of Nome, Alaska, know well what it takes to survive the long, cold winter in an isolated town. But a confluence of bad weather and other circumstances has left them lacking the fuel needed to heat homes and power vehicles. Now, America's lone Arctic icebreaker is carving a path to Nome that will bring relief to the city--but it also highlights the critical state of U.S. ice-breaking capabilities.

Hat-tip Instapundit

But johngalt thinks:

Never fear, DAWG "lives" on: Hail Could Vanish from Colorado's Front Range, Scientists Say

Future storms along the Front Range may become more intense and produce more hail inside clouds, the team found. However, because those relatively small hailstones fall through a warmer atmosphere, they melt quickly, falling as rain at the surface or evaporating back into the atmosphere.

Riiiight. Assumption upon assumption upon assumption leads to "findings." Science, I hardly knew ye.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 6:28 PM
But jk thinks:

No hail? What will insurance adjusters do?

The humanity...

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 8:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Insurance adjusters? Think of the roofing contractors. They'll go the way of a Bain Capital investment!

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2012 12:24 PM

Facebook Post of the Day

The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal includes a 2000-word, 2/3-page interview with presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who finished 5th in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary with 9 percent of the vote. The interview is entirely about economic issues. To do a long interview with Santorum and never ask him about his opposition to contraception, his years of homophobic comments and policies, his attacks on "this whole idea of personal autonomy," "this idea that people should be left alone," and the pursuit of happiness is like spending an hour with Barack Obama and asking him only about his "plan to streamline government." -- David Boaz
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | What do you think? [0]

Jon!

South Carolina's largest newspaper endorses Gov. Huntsman.

Both men get tagged "moderate," but for different reasons. Mr. Romney is a technocrat, a business leader who focuses on getting the job done. As governor, that meant governing in a way that suited Massachusetts. Today the job is winning the presidency, and if that means "evolving" in his views as the primary electorate swings further right, and running away from his signature accomplishment as governor, so be it.

Mr. Huntsman is a true conservative, with a record and platform of bold economic reform straight out of the free-market bible, but he's a realist, whose goal is likewise to get things done. Under his leadership, Utah led the nation in job creation, and the Pew Center on the States ranked it the best-managed state in the nation.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:01 PM | What do you think? [7]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

And, by the way, how would you like to be on that editorial board? Print your endorsement hours before the guy announces that he's pulling from the race.

What's the best cleanser for getting egg off of your face?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 15, 2012 11:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I saw. I guess Romney is now the only guy left. Sad day for me and South Carolina's largest newspaper.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 8:45 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"Mitt Romney: Everybody's Second Choice"

How's that for a tagline? He just might ride it to the nomination.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 16, 2012 9:40 AM
But jk thinks:

As the great Republican strategist Yogi Berra said, "It's like dèjá vu all over again." McCain was everybody's second choice.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 10:29 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Fret not. Romney is a far better second choice than was McCain. In fact, Romney was Colorado's first choice over McCain. (And many other states' as well.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2012 12:21 PM
But jk thinks:

You're mad. I mean, with all due respect, you're mad.

Senator McCain was a paragon for national security: a patriot and a warrior President for a bellicose age. A clear voice for a Sharanskyite freedom agenda and a strong national defense.

His domestic economic agenda was unsurprisingly weak, and his effectiveness as a candidate was surprisingly weak.

But McCain, for all his failings had the big idea. Governor Romney -- well I'll let Jim Geraghty say it: "Can You Feel the Romney Euphoria? It Tastes Like Tap Water! "

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:18 PM

Madame Prime Minister!

Professor Reynolds brings this clip. It may be "Coals to Newcastle" to embed it here, but I'll take that risk.

But johngalt thinks:

I've always believed the better answer to the "wealth gap" argument, even than Madame PM's, is that the depth of poverty can be plumbed no further than zero, and even as the poor rise out of poverty they are replaced by new low wage earners entering the workforce - there will always be workers at society's lowest wage. However, the wealth one may achieve is bounded by nothing but his ability, ambition and the good graces of our government overlords. Why should anyone want to restrict the growth of this "prosperity gap?" That is, anyone other than government overlords.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 5:56 PM

January 14, 2012

FOOTBALL!

A friend of Brother AlexC:

"Mommy, teacher says everytime the Patriots score a demon gets his horns!"

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

In that case, I forecast a demonic January in New England. Not that I'll be rooting for them, but I think they'll make it to the Super Bowl. If there's any justice in the universe they'll get a rematch with the Giants.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 11:42 AM
But jk thinks:

B'leev I will be rooting for the Pats: a classy, disciplined organization with phenomenal talent, though I can say the same about the Packers and will have Cinderella twitchings about Houston.

I just don't look forward to listening to the "Tebow Haters" all off-season. He's essentially a rookie (16 starts) that never had a training camp (3rd string in 2010, strike and 2nd string in 2011).

I don't know if young Mister Tebow has it or not, but I have seen nothing that proves "not." He came up wanting on the road, in the playoffs, to one of the league's premiere teams playing at its top capacity. It was a long night but it was not proof.

...and another thing -- and I said the same for Kyle Orton -- no, he's not Tom Brady but he surely doesn't have the Patriots' receiving core to throw to. Decker was hurt. You cover DT. He throws it to ????

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2012 12:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Bueller?

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2012 12:12 PM
But dagny thinks:

Don't like the Patriots. Sorry, JK, but I'm for ABNE (anybody but New England) at this stage. And it's not just cause I'm a sore loser (which I am). Belichek got caught cheating with a video camera a few years ago. Brady is a playboy. And Coach Pinhead errr Hoodie errr McDaniels set the Broncos back 3 years in their re-building process by being an arrogant a**.

On another note, has anyone noticed that all the press conferences before and after games are very civil these days. Everyone is saying (win or lose) how good the other team is and they did a good job and how much they appreciate their teammates. No more Rex Ryan and Superbowl guarantees. I think some of this is example set by Tim Tebow. Or maybe they are just all afraid to be next team to get Tebowed... Are you listening Brian Urlacher???

Posted by: dagny at January 16, 2012 5:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Your opinion is not unique at ThreeSources. I know a household where the name of the Pats coach shall not be invoked... But if I may spill any remaining cred from my Huntsman fling:

-- The taping incident disturbed somewhat, but I am given to believe that similar nonsense goes on all the time. The operative words were your first three: "Belichek got caught."

-- Playboy? A devotee of Ayn Rand decries consensual promiscuity?

-- Coach McD indeed devastated the Broncos. He's a good guy who got in over his head. But I do not hate the Patriots organization because he is in it. A part of me has never forgiven Pat Bowlen for swapping Coach Shanahan for the child, but I'm not one to hold a grudge.

I cannot comment on interview comity -- I never watched them before Tebow. Now I will not leave the set until I've seen the Tebow interview.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 6:02 PM

Response to Professor Warren's Manifesto

Yet another -- not another, the best -- response to Elizabeth's Warren's "Nobody go rich on his own" diatribe, which lives on at moveon.org and in the (cold, dark) hearts of my Facebook friends. Richared Epsein, hoss of hosses, provides a clear and stirring response. Keep a link to this baby for the upcoming Massachusetts Senate election:

Her first sentence is meant as a direct assault on the notion of radical individualism. Yes, it is obvious that no person "ever got rich on his own." But that statement does nothing to undermine sensible forms of laissez-faire individualism. The reason why people do not get rich by themselves is not that they lack self-reliance or ambition. It is because the individuals who succeed understand the key proposition that personal gains result only through cooperation with others. The common business school refrain of win/win deals is not an observation about one person: it is, at its core, about two (or more) people, all of whom win through cooperative arrangements.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 2:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

January 13, 2012

On The Road -- with GPS

If I could write just one paragraph like this, I'd put up the keyboard for all time:

If the displacement of Huck Finn -- its relegation to the realm of imagination -- was what made On the Road possible, it was also what made it necessary: the citizens of the automobile age still needed a River God. It was Kerouac who reincarnated that god, in the form of The Road, showing how the possibility for revelation can be achieved even when the means is much more under human control, and the things discovered more tamed by human hands and populated by human affairs. There was still, Kerouac showed us, something wild in the West that was won.

Ari N. Schulman looks at the literary tradition from Homer to Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac and posits the effects of modern conveniences like GPS and Location Awareness. By removing the wonder and danger then obviating our need for discovery, their features become bugs.

There is a faint Luddite undertone for a future-looking magazine like The New Atlantis. And I'll confess the first part recounting his experiences with GPS could have been trimmed. But this magazine-length piece on Place and Placelessness is a great weekend read. Bonus Walker Percy references for Sugarchuck!

Posted by John Kranz at 7:09 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Forgive me for the reflexive response I'm about to deliver, which is so incongruous with the richly evocative nature of the linked prose, but the wonder and danger were clearly not removed by GPS until Microsoft got in on the act.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2012 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Heh. I liked this for the prose but wince more at the Luddism. On further reflection, you can turn the gorram GPS off or leave it in a drawer if you want to have an adventure. Having it when you do not (cf. Microsoft feature) want an adventure is a huge benefit and enabler of more travel and exploration.

I should have hat-tipped Jonathan V. Last. He pointed me to this excellent magazine (and Buffy ten years ago -- dude is on a roll!) He celebrates technology much less than I. While he did not point me toward this exact article, I suspect it finds his level of comfort with the changes from tech.

It's an article for quiet thinking -- I read too little of that.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2012 3:01 PM

Mark Udall Survey

Hey, Centennial Staters: Senator Mark Udall wants to know What are you priorities for Congress?

One page survey, but a chance to be heard.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 4:59 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Dear Senator Udall,

"I am the TEA Party. I believe in liberty, not social engineering (left OR right wing.) The federal government should do ONLY what benefits EVERY American, not favoring select groups. The environment should be protected from egregious pollution, not minutiae. CO2 is essential for plant life, not a pollutant. I could go on.

You appear to be a reasonable man, but until you denounce the policies of your party and our president it is difficult for me to trust you."

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 1:26 PM

Gordon Moore, call your office!

IBM has reduced -- from ~1,000,000 to 12 the number of atoms to store a bit of information on a disk.

Twelve. Atoms.

Six years ago, I was impressed by a 1GB USB drive -- what a dork! But I also referenced paper tape, which used a 1.83 mm hole in a 0.10 mm paper to store a bit. Being generous and ignoring the space around, drive requirements, and parity bit, I figure the punch to be 0.263 mm3.

How many atoms in that? A goddam lot more than 12. Well done, IBM-ers!

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 4:09 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tebow's Coming

To Boston.

With apologies to Three Dog Night.

Tebow's comin' Tebow's comin' (Tebow's a-comin') Well you better hide your heart, your loving heart Tebow's a-comin' and the cards say... a broken heart

Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl
Tebow's comin', hide your heart, boy
Tom, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Bill, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Josh, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Tebow's comin', better walk

Walk but you'll never get away No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache I walked to Apollo by the bay Everywhere I go though, Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Tebow's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya (she walked but... she walked but...) Get down on your knees (she walked but she never got away)

Tebow's comin' (hide it, hide it, hide it)
Tom, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Bill, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Josh, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Tebow's comin', better walk

Walk but you'll never get away
No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache
I walked to Apollo by the bay
Everywhere I go though, Tebow's a-comin' (he walked but she'll never get
away)
Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she'll never get away)
Tebow's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya (she walked but... she walked
but...)
Get down on your knees (she walked but she'll never get away)
Get down on your knees

No-no, no-no
Lord, I said no-no, no-no, no-no

(hide it) She can
(hide it) hide it
(hide it) You better
(hide it) Somebody
(hide it) You got t'
(hide it) Oh, my
(hide it) Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

But jk thinks:

Bring back the Virtual Coffeehouse.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 3:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Now it's your turn BR.

Posted by: johngalt at January 13, 2012 4:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahaha! But is that a young John Bolton I see in the center?

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dang, first JK and now my own dear dagny "doesn't like that kind of music." I think it's both fabulous and nostalgic. I've been a fan of Three Dog Night's music since before I knew who they were (or what kind of bad life choices they made.) I have vivid memories of walking around the backyard singing "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" while listening to KIMN radio on my transistor radio.

["Pundints?" "PUNDINTS?" Why can't anyone properly pronounce that word? AAAARGH.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2012 11:48 AM
But jk thinks:

I was being flippant; I like 3DN okay. I would have preferred "Joy to the World" or "Never Been to Spain."

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2012 2:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wasn't sure. I thought maybe you considered them an acid rock version of 'Chicago Transit Authority' or something.

I've always liked the way that Eli song gradually intensifies, and the image of an approaching inevitibility fit, I thought, with the Tebow-led Broncos march through the playoffs. Clearly, I was wishcasting.


Joy to the world
All the football fans, now
Joy to the Broncos down in Dove Val-ley
Joy to you and me

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 12:07 PM

Presented without comment.

Jimmy Fallon's Tebowie

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 11:37 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Bring back the Virtual Coffeehouse.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 13, 2012 12:35 PM

Greatest Generation

Hat-tip: biological brother via email. [High-rez version]

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 1:58 AM | What do you think? [0]

Romney Steps Up and Out

I understand the lack of "enthusiasm" that has been noted about Romney. I've found it to be a positive for his campaign, without even considering the effect of the momentum of enthusiasm. I oddly wondered (but have no way of recalling what was my first ever vote for president), when exactly Reagan built the enthusiasm we all now remember of him.

Certainly being positive, consistent and confident (even with a zero message) is possibly the best foil to the bitterly failed messianic image of BHO. Think for a second; what else did RR have to offer at first? We can all see how powerful the "feel your pain" message had become in political circles with the - frankly pathetic - attacks by Perry and Gingrich (who were the two giants amongst the contenders).

I'd also like to state I think "the system" has worked, as noted by Taranto:
"Gingrich has helped to define Romney as the defender of free enterprise.
... exactly the right counter to the social-democratic demagogy of the failed incumbent.
Romney has now committed himself to a campaign with a powerful theme"

I now hope that Huntsman and Paul can have similar positive affects. Gingrich did so unwittingly... one truly wonders why he ran.

Reading Romney's speech from NH, I'm seeing many winning themes, and am having trouble thinking of anyone else able to deliver them so effectively (which is as it should be: Romney shouldn't take on Christie's crusades...). MR may falter as a president, which is why we have Ryan and Pence and Jindall, and Haley and hopefully Rand Paul. RR surely did falter, Churchill had many and some were epic.

Short excerpt of Romney's speech below (my 1st experiment with the extended window), but only after one last closing thought. One way RR became hated in DC and Manhattan but loved everywhere else was letting these attacks build until just the right moment to thump them soundly ("there you go again"... "I refuse to exploit my opponent's age and lack of experience as a campaign issue"). Partly he did this by being comfortable with himself, not letting the turkeys get to him, and it showed with the wit, charm and humor with which he disarmed his accusers. Disarmed... so much better than even a deft parry, and loads better than the waspy snapbacks the media cheers on. Romney can do this unlike anyone else I've seen in the political arena (save for perhaps CC, but we've not seen him attacked by his own party). He already has on three occasions in less that many months. He'll need to many, many more times as November nears. I look forward to seeing that happen... there's my enthusiasm for a Romney campaign!

President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. In the last few days, we
have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him. This is such a mistake
for our Party and for our nation. This country already has a leader who divides us
with the bitter politics of envy. We must offer an alternative vision. I stand ready
to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed,
not dragged down by a resentment of success
. In these difficult times, we cannot
abandon the core values that define us as unique — We are One Nation

2012 Election Posted by nanobrewer at 12:09 AM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

Excellent post, nb. If/when I come around to the inevitable, your thoughtful words can take a lot of credit. I do appreciate the speech; James Pethokoukis has been no warmer than I to Gov R, but he was taken by the speech, as was Kudlow.

And yet, I need to take a swipe or two at your main thesis.

President Reagan, blessed be on the supply-side-prophet's eternal soul, delivered a stemwinder at the 1964 GOP Convention for Sen. Barry Goldwater. He took on the Eisenhower-Ford-Rockefeller establishment in 1976. And he was known for his GE speeches: decades of clearly articulating the benefits of liberty and free markets.

I don't know what year you cast your first vote, but I live in eternal shame because mine was for John Anderson -- against the Gipper -- in 1980. I was a punk-ass hippie guitar player drop out who knew no better, but the ThreeSourcers of the time had a very clear picture of who Ronald Wilson Reagan was and what he stood for.

Larry Kudlow compares Romney's 59-point economic plan (with accompanying PowerPoint® presentation) to Reagan's message: strong money, lower taxes, peace through strength. I may indeed be underselling the Governor, but I think your comparison is a stretch to the upside.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 10:41 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee quite likes NB's larger point here, which, if he is reading correctly, were Romney on fire right now, it would be too early. Romney's 59 point plan has been attacked as arcane and timid; guilty on both charges.

However, if Romney were to propose a bold vision now, it would be demonized to death by the Dems and old news by September. As in sports, one does not want to peak too early. Let's hope that Romney has a long-term strategy that includes ways to build enthusiasm with boldness as the election nears. On the other hand, he can't wait too long or the narrative sticks.

Either that or The Refugee is wishcasting.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 13, 2012 12:54 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

NB's first presidential vote was cast for RR, but I recall little about it, only he wasn't that sad-sack Carter and my parents always liked Reagan. To me, he was friendly and genuine - thereby believable (ah, those were the days) - vs. the preachy, bitter, pedantic and ineffective (even to an 18-yr old's ears) incumbent, or at least I think I thought that as I cast my vote. THIS is how Romney sounds/feels like "a RR Republican" to me. I also really liked MR's comment (from ~4 yrs. back) that "Ronald Reagan wasn't a Reagan Republican at first either."

Agreed with JK's points: RR spent a long time building up the Republican brand name B4 he strode forth in the national spotlight in 1976. This I recognized four years back when Mitt announced his first candidacy. Mitt has been making amends, but he has nowhere near RR's bonafides in terms of building the GOP nameplate (and yet with the policies of the last two decades, can one blame him too much?). If anyone in the race is the face of today's GOP it's Newt. 'Nuff said.

Yes BR, I worry that Romney-on-fire would flame out by October; especially in today's 24/7 media-flames-frenzy-and-calls-it-journalism culture (double-down on that with them so heavily in the tank for Obama). Given all that, I prefer the cautious approach. I knew Newt was wrong, wrong wrong for our time for that alone (and B4 I'd heard him smackdown Ryan). Noonan said something a while back about America wanting - no, craving adult leadership. Romney feels like the right adult for our time: passionate, with some vigor left for the fights to come. Even Huntsman seems a bit too much like a rumpled professor by comparison.

Thereby, I understand his quite timid economic approach: take it slowly, esp. with the media frenzy on every gaffe, missed citation or errant statistic (unless it leads to more gubmint). I'm absorbing what's being said by NR, Reason and I like James Pethokoukis (even w/o that Greek name) writings on all this. I like Tom Woods in many a case, but he shows again how the Paulista caucus will never parade down main street. I miss Arnold Kling: kick that damned entrepreneurial habit and get back to writing my opinions!

I don't want Ryan-on-Steriods running for the GOP ticket, but believe there is much more to Mitt than just a snake-charmer. I don't know for a fact that Romney is more like RR than like Clinton, but I know he's not dissing the Ryan's and sucking up to the DC cognoscenti like a few R's we know....

This is the decade for tax reform, but I think it too bold to call for complete restructuring in this election. I believe we need a minor revolution right now just to start the gestalt in the direction of flat taxes. Problem #1 in getting that moved? DC can't have a flat tax because they're spending/revenue ratios can't be hidden. The debate has to be moved to a whole new level. Only Christie & Romney have the right stuff in making that happen IMO.

Defeating BHO is so important, I'm willing to give on many an issue. Like WFB, I'm voting for the most conservative candidate who can be elected.

Oops, when must I drop my "L" registration to be able to caucus?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2012 2:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Fair points all. My only defense is that in the wake of Tea Partyism, I expected -- er, make that "hoped for" -- a bolder, firebrand candidate for limited government.

I read a great line that I almost posted. "Romney is the only one who wore a suit to the job interview." I did not post because it didn't much match the theme of the (anti-Romney) article. But it nails it and I think speaks to your point.

I think thou art hosed for caucusing but could still get in by the primary if you think it will still be in play by then. Colorado is not Iowa.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2012 11:29 AM

January 12, 2012

How is JK Different from Mick Jagger?

I can get no. Satisfaction!

A Gingrich fundraiser just called up and got an earful. I was my polite self, but said; "I wish you good luck as a person, but not in your effort to raise money for a Republican who attacks Capitalism."

Where is Rick Perry when you need him? I am having a great day! Woooo!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:50 PM | What do you think? [0]

Jon Stewart on the NH Primariy

Funny, and the Huntsman barbs are saddeningly true.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:26 PM | What do you think? [1]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Stewart has a guest host skewer a would-be journolist (look that one up, too) who was calling for "civility" yet, unsurprisingly, not practicing what she preached. It's quite clever, and demonstrative on how to do 21st century humor and irony.
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-12-2012/civil-disservice

(hat tip to Taranto)

This stuff is just awesome; how the 4th estate is now the brunt of the next-generation's infotainment specialists (the last GOP debate provided some examples of GOPers getting on board... perhaps a separate post)

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2012 10:19 AM

Great News for Liberty Lovers!

The world's worst Republican will not be returning to his seat in the 113th Congress.

Rep. Jerry Lewis ($$ - CA) was an appropriator first, and a Republican -- well I'll be kind and say "second." He leaves after 17 very expensive terms.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, Congressman!

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Second that motion - I first met Rep. Lewis in 1978, when I was still in high school; I had the privilege of going to school with his daughter, for whom I had a ton of respect, and his twin sons. The first time I met him, he was showing time-lapse pictures of the incoming smog wave each day in San Bernardino. I seem to recall he was talking about the need for environmental legislation and funding.

"Appropriator first" is more than true, and "Republican... second" is more than charitable. "World's worst Republican" has a crowded field of competitors - and I have friends in Maine - but if you're looking for big-spending opponents of limited government and reasonable taxes, he'd be a fierce contender.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 12, 2012 6:18 PM
But jk thinks:

My habit of superlatives frequently gets me in trouble. "Really? the WORST ABBA song????" There is a crowd for certain -- I was thinking of friends one might have in Alaska. Not the former Mayor of Wasilla, but Frank Murkowski and his sweet and lovely daughter. Ted Stevens. Don Young... I gotta go wash my hands just after typing 'em!

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 6:28 PM

Quote of the Day

For what it's worth, my forays into hoping for divine intervention didn't work out. I prayed fervently before each of the three Super Bowls we Minnesota Vikings played in. We played against the Dolphins, the Steelers and the Raiders. I don't know about the first two games, but I was sure God would be on our side for the game against the Raiders! After all, they were the villains of the league, and it was hard to believe they had more Christians on their team than on our saintly Vikings. We lost. -- Fran Tarkenton
The great QB's column is good and rather complimentary, but feeds into the Tebow-haters' theme that he is "praying for touchdowns" ("belittling real suffering," my hero Penn Jillette said). I'm no football theologian, but it seems pretty clear that the young man seeks personal strength and clarity more than a favorable spot.
Sports Posted by John Kranz at 3:31 PM | What do you think? [1]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Every time the former QB pops up, I like him more and more (including several quite good appearances on SNL). Mike Rosen read this today in entirety and I thought it excellent.

If I could wish for one thing going forward, it's to be able to write effortlessly with self-effacing grace, like he did. And yes, he did Mr. Tebow a great service.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 12, 2012 11:47 PM

Newt Gingrich meets Michael Moore

Fortune Magazine editor Dan Primack reviews the new "Winning Our Future" PAC smearomercial about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. He says, "The 'Bain Bomb' is full of wet fuses."

We've been keeping regular track of claims made about Mitt Romney's business history over at our Mitt Meter, but today's video "documentary" from the Gingrich-affiliated Winning Our Future PAC requires its own post. The ominous music, deep-voiced narrator and tails of worker woe were all to be expected. But I also thought that the video would get most of its basic facts correct (and then cover them in innuendo). I was wrong.

Gotta admire Newt's tenacity and dedication to political victory but objectivity, fairness and free market fundamentals obviously escape him.

But jk thinks:

Stephen Moore (who called himself a "libertarian" and came out for legalized marijuana on Kudlow last night) sez:

The buzz is getting stronger that GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will pull back on his planned $3 million ad campaign that accuses rival Mitt Romney of "looting" companies and ruining workers' lives when he headed Bain Capital.

One can only hope.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 3:25 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... came out for legalized marijuana..."

"'The buzz is getting stronger...'"

You just can't write that kind of straight line. Precisely how buzzed?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 12, 2012 7:43 PM
But jk thinks:


If Stephen Moore is suggesting legalization for reasons of his own personal use, I might join with the ThreeSources Drug War crowd and oppose.

It was actually an interesting segment, where Robert Reich suggests Ron Paul followers are dirty hippies and not Austrian Economists.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 8:02 PM

We Lost!

Our Quote of the Day proves there is no hope.

Indeed, the liberal group Americans United for Change has already launched a website suggesting Romney pick Gekko as his 2012 running mate. It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of suggesting similarities between the two men, one of whom the American Film Institute named the 24th greatest movie villain of all-time (just ahead of ax-wielding Jack Torrance from The Shining and two behind Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator). -- James Pethokoukis

I take hope that chopping your wife and child up with an ax is still considered a bit worse than "being greedy!" But then I think of Terminator...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:53 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

HA! If you're gonna pick the most damaging words from a thoroughly exculpatory article you should have selected this:

Later, Bain switched its focus to friendly, leveraged buyouts of struggling companies suffering from some sort of mismanagement--whether high labor costs, bad products, or poor execution of business strategy.

*sarcasm*"High labor costs!" See, he wanted to kill the high-paying jobs! */sarcasm*

Besides, I don't understand why the left would attack Romney over "raiding" and "killing" these companies. It's not like corporations are people or anything like that.

Posted by: johngalt at January 12, 2012 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I was interested in the movie villain rankings. "Jimi P" is second to none as an anti-anti-Bain crusader -- he should get a spandex leotard with a dollar sign on front!

Pethokoukis, who has shared ThreeSourcers' concerns with the Commonwealth's guv, also wrote about the strength and philosophical clarity of Gov. Romney's victory speech. It's the most upbeat assessment of a Romney nomination that I have encountered.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 3:45 PM

I'm a Uniter -- Not a Divider!

We may support different candidates, but we'll all share revulsion with Cato's Patrick Michaels as he surveys the Gub'mint Motors Chevy Volt.

At the Detroit Auto Show this week, CEO Dan Akerson admitted that General Motors may have to cut back production of the Chevrolet Volt because the 4,600-plus Volts on the market now are about three times the monthly sales. Other figures put the GM hybrid car’s inventory at an outrageous 120-plus days.

And, yet I read about their big month last month. It was great! They sold 1529! Man, things are really turning around. And all those naysaying bloggers are going to have to eat their... Umm, what?
More than a third of those were fleet sales to corporations. None of these were the traditional large-fleet purchasers, i.e. Hertz, Avis and the other big rental companies. They were more like Verizon and General Electric -- with GE having committed to buying 12,000 and having already purchased unspecified "hundreds," with continued "daily" deliveries, as The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

Then there are the direct taxpayer buys. Fifty to New York City. The city of Deland, Fla., brags about buying five with an Energy Department grant. The federal General Services Administration has bought 101 so far, but President Obama has ordered it to procure only hybrid or high-mileage vehicles by 2015. (The taxpayers buy about 60,000 cars a year for GSA.)


So, in addition to our taxpayer subsidy of $11,467,500 (no, that's not a lot in government speak -- but it's for fifteen hundred cars) we're buying the damn cars?

CATO suggests "Kill the car now. It's not cost-effective, and it's irritating taxpayers in an election year." But some folks might lose their jobs. And Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry wouldn't like that.

(Ooops, I said I was gonna be nice...)


Better than Gingrich's and Perry's attacks!

Dogs Against Romney. A Facebook frined is, of course, a proud member.

Should I tell her about Dogs for Bush?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

Nanny Bloomberg -- On Your Dime

Blog friend Terri has an awesome scoop today. With all the, deserved, strum and drang about Mayor Bloomberg's pitiful liquor store reduction fiasco, most missed the worst part:

The big story should not have been the nannystatishness of such a statement. (since retracted with all the Drudge outrage)

The big story should have been his use of a "Community Transformation" grant funded by your health care tax dollar through Obamacare to pay for all of this.

Yes -- that would have been ok had people not protested the ridiculousness of the proposal.
Your tax dollars to pay for fewer jobs in NYC, fewer business establishments in NYC, and fewer opportunities to imbibe in said city.

UPDATE: And scroll down for a great Gov. Christie vid!

UPDATE II: Wow. Really. Watch the Christie video. It is13:18 but worth every second.


January 11, 2012

Picture of the Week

That's it! I am never ever ever flying any airline but United:

Photo credit and more rub-it-in-alicious text: LA Times

Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll @ Insty

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 7:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

The cold dark heart of the Left.

David Corn in Mother Jones. Move on jk, nothing to see here...

Too late. Gov. Jon Huntsman says:

Well, an example would be that when given the first two years to lead out on the economy, he failed to do so. When given a chance to address Afghanistan--drawing down troops when we've done everything we can do--he has failed to do so. When he had an opportunity to embrace a bipartisan deficit spending proposal called Simpson-Bowles, it hit the garbage can. You get enough of these, and a kind of a pathology emerges here. People say, there's no more trust in the executive branch. There was an opportunity to lead, and it wasn't taken.

David Corn hears:
Was the former Utah governor calling Obama pathological--as in pathological liar (the common usage)? It sure seems close.

I take Corn's complaint as a blatant defamation of Huntsman's Mormonism. "Utah Governor!" Notice how he had to slip that in? And if you take every 19th character in the article, you get...


Our Friend, the Vulture

The South Carolina gambit of the non-Romneys is to call the front runner a "jobs killer" and a "vulture capitalist." I admit it has a lyrical ring, but is it criticism or praise?

12. By consuming the carcasses of diseased animals, vultures prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases such as rabies and anthrax among animals and humans. Check out how declining vulture populations are linked to the spread of rabies in humans.

Unsuccessful or "diseased" businesses are a threat to overall economic health by preventing their labor and capital from going to productive enterprises. And he took them over by buying them, at a market clearing price. What's so awful about any of this? Only that the business failed in the first place, which completely predated any involvement by Bain or Romney.

But jk thinks:

This has the feel of Governor Palin defending her Paul Revere comments. If the Perry campaign is clever enough to make this literal walkback, you can color me impressed. But you guys are (my new @baseballcrank word) "wishcasting."

Gov. Perry was not giving a biology presentation. He was using the pejorative, metaphorical "vulture:" the creature who flies lazy circles around you waiting for you to die.

He is also distributing the "I like to fire people!" ringtone. But, surely, as a compliment to the business acumen and strict devotion to economic liberty of his rival.

You guys may be sellin', but I ain't buyin'...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 3:38 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Being the official Perry guy here, my take is that Perry intended the "vulture" comment as criticism rather than praise, and he is wrong for having done it. My candidate screwed up on this point. And I am disappointed in him for it.

I've monopolized the bandwidth this morning on the subject (and thank you all for indulging me on that!) - and therefore I won't bore you with a repetition. Suffice to say that I now harbor a desire to own a professional curling team, and I will name them the Schumpeter Vultures. Perry's gaffe is not sufficient to cause me to switch allegiance from him to Romney, but I would be a fan of the Vultures.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 4:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes yes, of course he meant it as criticism.

Hey you, back in the back, stop distracting the other students or you're going to the Principal's office!

Now class, repeat after me:

"Selfishness is a virtue."
"Vultures eat dead stuff so you don't have to worry about it."

7. Vultures are equipped with a digestive system that contains special acids that will dissolve anthrax, botulism, and cholera bacteria.

(Yes, I know that Facebook automatically filters out this kind of rational thinking, just like it filters out anything else remotely related to science. - But this ain't Facebook!)

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 4:47 PM

Rainbows and Unicorn Sweat!

Starting with a more family-friendly -- if less poignant -- version of a favorite jg line, I give you Kenneth P. Green with a a classic of the genre. His short post encapsulates everything that is wrong with renewable fuels mandates. Nope, not gonna excerpt.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Awesome comment from the post:

Lew Schuerkamp says:
January 11, 2012 at 11:03 am
You left out the contradiction of requiring more ethanol in gasoline and at the same time imposing higher mpg requirements. Since all forms of Alcohol contain roughly 33% less energy per unit volume, immutable laws of physics dictate that mpg will drop at a rate commensurate with the portion on Alcohol in the gasoline.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 4:36 PM
But dagny thinks:

Since when do immutable laws of physics apply to Democrat ideas?

Posted by: dagny at January 11, 2012 4:51 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

When conquering generals returned to Rome in triumph, they were followed in the parade by a person who constantly reminded the general, "Memento mori! Remember that you a but a man, and must die!"

Democrat officeholders need to have a similar functionary - a Chief Engineering Czar, to remind them "I canna change the laws of physics! I'm giving her all she's got!"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 5:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Politicians never really care if their policies work. All they care about is moving the money around under very large walnut shells, and sometimes some of it happens to fall out in fortuitous (for them) places.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 6:01 PM

Now for local news...

If I may provide a little background for those outside the Centennial State: it has been a rough year for the Denver Police Department. A few beatings were caught on camera. While they were not Rodney King class infractions, they surely did not highlight DPD professionalism. There was a suspicious death of a prisoner in custody, which I think was under the aegis of the Denver Sheriff. I didn't complain when they were accused of excessive force clearing out the Occupy Denver encampment, but 99% did.

A new chief was brought in, reputations were to be repaired -- our thin blue line would shine up their badges. And -- what's this?

Even the teevee news people are ridiculing this settlement of a 2007 lawsuit from the police union.

There are a few items in there, but all anyone is talking about is retroactive and future pay for the officers to put on and take off their uniforms (15 minutes each). Ten million dollars will be paid out to officers and 1.75 million to the union's attorneys. Money the city does not have.

Public sector unions love to hide behind "teachers, police, and firefighters" as the good face grafted on the DMV administrators. I wonder if this does not start to threaten that goodwill. Everyone the news interviewed said "I don't get paid to dress."

The lovely bride suggests naked officers -- kinda like the police themed strippers. I dunno...

The Union Label Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The sad part is that it could result in the layoff of some personnel. Then, ask them if they'd rather get paid for getting dressed or have a job at all.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 4:31 PM

Facebook Post of the Day

I know one ThreeSourcer who likes this show; I am a squish. But "but we defend its right to be unfunny" Maahvelous!

The link.

Television Posted by John Kranz at 10:27 AM | What do you think? [0]

Keeping your Integrity

Or: We are so totally screwed!

Gov. Huntsman's 17% portends poorly for his chances. He needed a Santorumesque close second finish, and I don't think the Palmetto State polity favors him. I'll "go down with the ship" I suppose, but see myself settling for Gov. Romney as all the non-Mormon candidates go completely insane. A strategic caucus for Romney vis-á-vis Sen. Santorum or a quixotic one for Huntsman looks like the decision.

But I don't have to like it.

Dan McLaughlin (I'm guessing that's my buddy, @baseballcrank) sees danger in dropping our integrity to support Governor Romney -- just because he is not President Obama, just cause he has an 'R.'

The other point I would make about integrity is that it goes close to the core of why a Romney nomination worries me so much: because we would all have to make so many compromises to defend him that at the end of the day we may not even recognize ourselves. Romney has, in a career in public office of just four years (plus about 8 years' worth of campaigning), changed his position on just about every major issue you can think of, and his signature accomplishment in office was to be wrong on the largest policy issue of this campaign. Yes, Obama is bad, and Romney can be defended on the grounds that he can't possibly be worse. Yes, Romney is personally a good man, a success in business, faith and family. But aside from his business biography, his primary campaign has been built entirely on arguments and strategies -- about touting his own electability and dividing, coopting or delegitimizing other Republicans -- none of which will be of any use in the general election. What, then, will we as politically active Republicans say about him?

Bueller?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 9:13 AM | What do you think? [8]
But johngalt thinks:

Well, perhaps not just like McCain. He has said he will criticize Obama's record.

But you're right - I searched YouTube for "romney defends liberty" and the best I found was Romney Defends Small Government. It's a famous clip, where a woman in a townhall meeting repeatedly interrupts him. But he did come close when he said he "likes being able to fire people." That's subtley different from liking to fire people, by the way. I was happy to see this controversy flare up, for it could lead to a public discourse over actual issues, instead of photographs with money falling out of clothing.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 2:50 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee will join his blog brothers and sisters in lamenting this election's crop of candidates. Nevertheless, he is growing weary of the pundits and others whining about a situation over which they have no control and there is no remedy. It's a bit like complaining about the weather - grab an umbrella and deal with it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

As George Bernard Shaw said "He who is sick of pundits is sick of life!" I think that was Shaw...

Does the Refugee disagree that a change in campaign finance laws and nomination process would help future Christies and Danielses as they ponder the race?

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 3:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

He will agree that the current campaign finance laws are an abomination. Whether or not they are inhibitors to mm. Christie and Daniels is speculation above his pay grade.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 3:53 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has nothing against pundits. Being a real-life computer storage pundit, he is sensitive to punditry that pontificates about problems for which there is no solution without offering a work-around. He thinks this veers into the cardinal sin of punditry, "didactic bullshit."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 3:59 PM
But jk thinks:

We really do need a "like" button on comments...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 4:01 PM

Quote of the Day

In other words, if the election is going to turn into a contest over the future of the free enterprise system, the pro-free enterprise side of it sure doesn't want to wind up losing because of a flawed messenger, because the consequences of losing such a fight could be really devastating. The message of New Hampshire is that the people of that state, who know Mr. Romney well, find him a better messenger than any of the other candidates who were running. These are the same primary voters who chose Senator McCain on the last go-round. -- Ira Stoll
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 9:01 AM | What do you think? [0]

Don't Shoot the Message

On Iowa caucus night Sarah Palin commented that the GOP marginalizes Ron Paul and his supporters at its peril for they understand that "a lot of Americans are war weary and we are broke." Coming from an ardent supporter of Israel this is a rather bold, and welcome, statement.

An old friend went into greater depth on the Paul candidacy on his website yesterday. I've been missing the rational insights of Minneapolis' Jason Lewis since Denver's KHOW radio foolishly replaced him in their lineup with *yawn* Sean Hannity. But I've since reconnected courtesy of iheart radio (iheart.com) 1130 AM in Minnesota. I'll excerpt only his close but the concise explanation he gives of Paul's three major issues that have "tapped into an emerging national sentiment that not only transcends party politics but speaks to a new generation of Americans fed up with the status quo and desperate for real change" is well worth your read.

Whether Ron Paul is the right messenger remains to be seen; as the GOP field winnows, polls show that he’s unlikely to be the second choice of Republican voters looking for a new candidate. But the message isn’t going away, and the two major parties ignore it at their own peril. As the Arab Spring demonstrated, cultural and political change usually begins with a select few, but those who are pushing the envelope today are often considered mainstream tomorrow.

A flawed messenger certainly, but America would clearly benefit from a less paternalistic relationship with the rest of the planet. Not disengagement as he sometimes seems to advocate, but closing a few hundred overseas military bases and a nearly complete end to foreign aid would be a good start. Strategic alliances must continue but the foreign national defense welfare business is long past due for the Bain Capital treatment.


January 10, 2012

Why Doesn't Huntsman Run as a Democrat?

I sent Professor Reynolds a nasty email a few minutes ago, complaining that Gov. Huntsman was always the butt of a joke on Instapundit. He links to a Bryan Preston piece with video of four very young Huntsman supporters who are well spoken and intelligent. Shooting from the hip, one exuberant lad applauds his moderation (which his friends define as not pandering to social conservatives) and says his Democrat friends wonder why he doesn't run as a Democrat.

Game, set match for Preston -- and sadly Reynolds who links with the same headline.

I suggest Larry Kudlow provides the answer, buried in a story about Gov. Romney:

So far as I know this is the first time that Governor Romney has endorsed the modified flat tax embodied in Bowles-Simpson. Jon Huntsman, who I think won the Sunday-morning debate in New Hampshire, has endorsed this from day one, with three rates of 8%, 14%, and 23%, plus a corporate tax rate of 25% (which Mr. Romney shares). The Wall Street Journal labeled this plan "exceptional." Governor Huntsman would blow out nearly all the deductions and exemptions in the code to properly broaden the base and generate additional revenues along with the revenue-generating growth impact of new incentives.

This is the guy who is "too moderate" for the Tea Party? I have too few hairs to waste pulling them out, but...

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:16 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

I really like the story your quote was buried in. Thank you.

As for the other silver-haired Mormon ex-governor in the race, what this TEA Partier keeps hearing from him is "trust gap, trust gap." Why doesn't he talk about his tax plan? It's a pity Mr. Kudlow can't be his surrogate in the debates.

All things considered, a candidate's organization and messaging is at least as important as his policies.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 7:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Larry's piece was very good, yet I must pass along a germane hat-tip: @baseballcrank tweeted a link wrapped in:

@baseballcrank Dan McLaughlin
Larry Kudlow engages in the popular sport of wishcasting the next new Romney position http://bit.ly/yAUAcu

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 8:01 PM

A Tale of Three Governors

The numbers are in. AEI's Christopher J. Connover compares state heatlthcare and medicare spending during the tenures of "My Three Governors."

I'll cede that Utah and Texas likely had more helpful legislatures than "the commonwealth," but Gov. Huntsman comes out very well.

The available evidence suggests that Huntsman has a slightly better record than Perry in "bending the cost curve" both for health spending in general and Medicaid spending in particular, along with a decidedly superior record in that regard compared to Governor Romney. Also, Romney has overseen a rising burden of health spending during his time in office, whereas both Perry and Huntsman have seen this burden fall relative to the rest of the nation. The caveat is that Romneycare may possibly have begun to reverse the trend of relatively rising health spending for health facilities in Massachusetts. But we cannot be absolutely certain of this, given that the recession arrived just as Romneycare was being implemented. As with so many indicators of performance and characters, voters will simply have to make up their minds using imperfect information.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And imperfect candidates...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 5:09 PM

Dealbreaker!

As goes the speaker, so goes Governor Perry:

FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is likening front-runner Mitt Romney's former private equity firm to "vultures" that ruin workers' lives.

Perry is sharpening his attack in hopes of drawing a clearer contrast on jobs with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who touts his business credentials. The issue has special salience in South Carolina, where unemployment is high.

Addressing a retiree community in South Carolina, Perry criticized Romney's Bain Capital firm for two business deals that caused job losses in the state. He said private equity firms are "just vultures" that feed off sick companies no matter the human toll.


Wellsir, that re-evaluation was quick. Aren't these people tuned in at all? Kudlow did a whole show and all but bit a Gingrich surrogate last night, Michelle Malkin is furious, the WSJ Ed Page, ThreeSources. UPDATE: Rush, FOXNews... UPDATE II: James Pethokoukis adds himself, National Review, Jennifer Rubin and Akiy Roy, asking "Are there any right-of-center commentators or pundits who think the attacks on Mitt Romney’s Bain career bolster the case for free-market capitalism driven by 'creative destruction?' I haven’t found any yet." UIPDATE III: Taranto

Hey! Romney's a uniter -- not a divider!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:27 PM | What do you think? [7]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What say you, KA?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 1:07 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I actually penned a response yesterday, and deleted it without posting. It was too harsh for ThreeSources. It would probably have been too harsh for Ace of Spades or the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Now that I'm calmer, and in something of a better mood...

Point the first: "vultures" do not ruin anyone's life. As anyone who cherishes his roots from hardscrabble rural Texas must know, vultures make their profit from those whose lives have already been ruined by other outside factors, such as coyotes, dehydration, rattlesnakes, bullets, or in this case, underproductive workers and crappy management decisions. So Gov. Perry loses style points for that.

As literal vultures serve a much-needed place in the ecology of life, Bain Capital served a very similar purpose in the economy of business. Imagine how much better a shape several sectors of the economy might have been today if a Bain Capital had stepped into AIG, or General Motors - closing or selling off failing and unprofitable business units, fostering the viable ones, and reorganizing what is left as a smaller, but potentially successful, enterprise, not dependent on taxpayer bailouts.

Like JK, I'm still letting my guy slide, but not without a scolding. I choose to believe, based on Perry's actual record, that in the press of the campaign, he is saying not what he believes, but what he thinks will resonates with voters in an effort to put a knife into an opponent. Who would have guessed that this would become the one time that voters and the usually-complicit media get a core principle of free-market economics right? It can back to hurt him, and rightfully so.

The cynical view: we, along with anyone else with a voter registration and an IQ above room temperature, know that candidates on the campaign train make promises they have no intention of keeping, say things they don't actually believe, in an effort to sway voters. Clinton triangulated, Obama pretended to be a moderate. Perry here said something that was intended to get a lot of people turned off to Romney. I would never have expected MSNBC, CNN, and so many members of the public to suddenly become members in good standing of the Austrian School. So, dark cloud, silver lining. Break here...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh what I'd give for two minutes in Brother Keith's recycle bin...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 1:52 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

... So, notwithstanding what candidates are saying (or claiming they will do once we trust them with the office), I select candidates based mostly on what they have already done, how they have previously voted, what measures they have previously enacted. My support for Perry is based in large part on the success he has already had in Texas - very pro-business, pro-small-government, pro-small-taxes. I don't hold Romney's work at Bain against him - my issue is MassCare and the wreckage that has ensued, and how he favors big government and big programs to fix what he thinks is wrong with the country. Were he the nominee, I would probably give him grudging support against the incumbent. He and Gingrich both have persuaded me that they are technocrats, big-government guys who believe that if the elected experts in DC do enough and take charge of enough, they can improve the country.

I would have applauded Romney had he said "I like being able to fire people. And when I get to Washington, I plan on doing a lot of it - to people, programs, and agencies who are costing this country far too much, doing more harm than good, and giving the public little or nothing as a return on their money."

I would have applauded Perry had he said "I'd rather contribute to an environment where, if a company fails, productive workers have a likelihood of finding a new job with good pay, instead of having to depend on the government dole. Oh, by the way, I have. My state is pretty much carrying this country, and I have a plan to help do that for all America."

Think twice, speak once; hindsight, and all that.

None of these candidates are perfect, or anywhere close to perfect. It's really a matter of what they've already done, to prove what they're likely to do in the White House.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 2:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JK: on the off chance that I ever get angry enough to run for high office myself, my recycle bin could be a dangerous place. I'd suspect that you'd find yourself fighting for elbow room against the same hacks that were felching through Sarah Palin's garbage cans on trash day.

Sometimes, a low-level format is your friend.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 2:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

KA, thank you for protecting our tender mercies. I get the vapours at the very thought...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 4:45 PM

Brass Tacks

Rush Limbaugh, discussing Newt Gingrich being interviewed by FNC's Megyn Kelley about his criticism of Romney's history at Bain Capital:

GINGRICH: There has to be some sense of everybody's in the same boat -- and I think again, as I said, he's gonna have to explain why would Bain have taken $180 million out of a company and then have it go bankrupt, and to what extent did they have some obligation to the workers? Remember, there are a lot of people who I had a that $180 million, it wasn't just six rich guys at the top, and yet somehow they walked off from their fiduciary obligation to the people who had made the money for them.

RUSH: (sigh) Folks, things happen. Sometimes they happen for a reason. Now, one of the things that you have to say that is happening here is (whether he intends it or not) we're finding out some things about Newt that we didn't know. We're finding out that he looks at "these rich guys," six rich guys and they have an obligation. He sounds like Elisabeth Warren.

"Fiduciary obligation?" I do not think it means what you think it means!

Newt = TEA Party, NON.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"At some point, you've made enough money."

The words that set my teeth on edge are: "...their fiduciary obligation to the people who had made the money for them..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 4:05 PM

No Controlling Legal Authority

One of the joys of following politics is the collection of great lines you pick up along the way. I love to say about a person "I Knew X. X was a friend of mine. And, son, you're no X." And yet some of my friends fail to catch the allusion to the VP Debate of 1988 -- hell, some of them don't even know who Lloyd Bensten was! I knew Lloyd Bensten. Lloyd Bensten was a friend of mine...

When're a pol on either throws up the obfuscation screen to explain the inexplicable, I turn to VP Al Gore's superb and astounding "no controlling legal authority." I'd have to Google the context (spending campaign dollars on hookers?...) but it is a true classic.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty [come home, Mister Excitement -- all is forgiven!!!] gets that one today. for his answer to "So how come you're supporting the 'ObamneyCare' guy? And how will his magical, mystical waivers work if it doesn't kick until 2017?"

"I don't know if the range of options for waivers is limited just to the waivers addressed in the Obamacare bill itself, or whether there's some existing authority that goes beyond that, that would allow either the president or the Secretary of Health and Human Services to grant waivers," he responded.

I feel better -- you?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:04 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, I believe Gore was making fundraising calls from his government office.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Ahhh, yes. It sounds almost quaint in the days of the President's $100,000 tour busses and "official" visits to key swing states.

Happy times, those...

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 3:08 PM

Larry!

Thank NED for Lawrence Kudlow. Most of his show was about the anti-capitalist sniping at Bain Capital. Gov. Huntsman was great in some spots and okay on some:












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

I'm glad Jon is "a leader who's willing to put their [sic] country first." I'm not so glad he called Mitt Romney "absolutely unelectable." That sound you hear is Ronaldus Maximus rolling over. Gee thanks, Jon.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 3:08 PM

Jon!

Awfully sporting of them to let Governor Huntsman put on that soft piano music in teh background when he answered the question. Nice touch:

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I recall the applause being a bit more polite than this as well. Overdub include more than just music?

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 2:57 PM

January 9, 2012

Mitt!

Huh? What? A kind word about Governor Romney?

Yup, a serious and substantive collection of kind words from Jay Nordlinger. For all the Governor's failings, Nordlinger is right that the treatment of Capitalism from his rivals has been unconscionable:

The last two presidential election cycles have revealed a stinking hypocrisy in conservatives: They profess their love of capitalism and entrepreneurship, but when offered a real capitalist and entrepreneur, they go, "Eek, a mouse!" And they tear him down in proud social-democrat fashion. In the off season, they sound like Friedrich Hayek. When the game is on, they sound like Huey Long, Bella Abzug, or Bob Shrum.

Last time around, Mike Huckabee said Romney "looks like the guy who laid you off." Conservatives reacted like this was the greatest mot since Voltaire or something. To me, Romney looked like someone who could create a business and hire the sadly unentrepreneurial like me.

I've been off the handle at Speaker Gingrich about this, and I guess the Gov. Perry campaign is having fun with the carefully edited audio clip of "I like to fire people." (For those who have not heard it, the context was how he could control a private contractor but not the government.)

I do not recall a single instance of another candidate saying "Whoa, cowboy! I have many differences with the Governor of the Commonwealth, but we should all accept Schumpeterian creative destruction."

The whole piece is good.

UPDATE: Jimi P: Romney doesn't need to apologize for his Bain career.

UPDATE II: Et tu Jon? "What's clear is he likes firing people, I like creating jobs," Huntsman said in Concord.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | What do you think? [8]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

jg: you bring up a killer point, that of candidates trying to claim the TEA Party mantle - and while I understand Romney's opponents using Bain for political reasons against him, any of those opponents who does so needs to face the fact that it is an anti-capitalist argument. And it begs the question: is there a real TEA Party candidate?

A big part of the problem is the definition of the TEA Party movement. The limited-goverment wing lays claim to the title, and so do the social-cons. Members of both sects see the TEA Party as their own, partly because there are plenty of voters who consider themselves, vaguely, in both groups.

But the origin of the TEA Party - "Taxed Enough Already," hence the acronym - is firmly owned by the economic limited-government wing, whether or not the social-cons have jumped onto that vehicle, and whether or not the movement has morphed into a social-con stream. The events I participated in seemed to be primarily about dealing with a government which spent too much and taxed to much.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

That has been my shock. After the rush of Tea Party enthusiasm and the sweeping electoral success in 2010, there is no real Tea Party candidate.

I'll cede that your man, Gov. Perry, is probably closest even though he piled on Bain Capital. He might be in for a reevaluation but a) he has performed poorly (this is harsh coming from a Huntsman guy!); b) his hard line on gay rights and social issues detract from chances to sell him as a liberty candidate; c) "noocyoolur" and "Eye-rack" are going to be a tough sell in 2012 -- it may not be fair, but it is what it is (cf. Jebediah Bush, R- FL).

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Whether or not the social-cons have jumped on that [TEA Party] vehicle?" Not this social-con. And I, for one, appreciate him distancing himself.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee can certainly find fault with the anti-Capitalist attack line coming from Republicans. It serves some purpose in that it become an intra-squad scrimmage in which Newt/Jon/Ron/Rick play the part of the opposing team. Romney will be hit with all of the Bain stuff by the Democrats. Vetting it now can help hone the counter-message and make it old news. The risk is that coming from both sides, it becomes a narrative that sticks.

One can hope that the silver lining comes through. Nevertheless, shame on Newt/Jon/Ron/Rick for cynically reinforcing (if not outright creating) a Democrat message.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 10, 2012 12:59 PM
But jk thinks:

When the Tea Party Died. Kevin McCullough is not feelin' the love and settling into the Mitt groove:

It is almost impossible to believe and violently sickening to accept that in light of the clear mandate of the Tea Party that the GOP stands on the cusp of returning to "establishmentism." (Imaginary word mine.) But it appears that for all the big talk, tens of thousands of local rallies, and the single largest non-inaugural event to ever occur on our nation's mall, the Tea Party has died.

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 1:24 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

McCullough could not be more misguided or wrong. The GOP does not manufacture candidates; individuals must step up and choose to run. The shame of this election is that we have so much talent that has chosen to sit out the game.

Moreover, the Tea Party is not an entity that can "do something." It's a movement based on certain ideas. If anyone is to blame for the dearth of Tea Party candidates, it is the individuals themselves who subscribe to these ideas and choose not to get involved. Blaming the GOP is completely out of line.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 10, 2012 3:05 PM

The Lions, However, Did Indeed Lose.

Jeff Bennett and Neal Boudette think all is swell in the Motor City

But today, there are renewed signs that Motown is back. The latest evidence of its revival will be on full display this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

After gut-wrenching restructurings--GM and Chrysler in government-backed bankruptcies, and Ford on its own—the Detroit Three are all making money. Instead of having to spend a lot on labor costs and retiree benefits, they are pouring money into engineering and designing cars that can go head to head with the best in the industry.

Armed with good-looking, fuel-efficient and technology-packed cars, Detroit's revived auto makers insist they have a historic opportunity to strike back at their Japanese rivals and regain the upper hand in the North American auto industry.


This appeared in the Wall Street Journal (news pages) and I scrolled down to see whether these were union stooges or automotive pr people. Apparently, they are staff journalists for the WSJ. The entire, very long, piece is as fluffy as the excerpt. Rah rah! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:29 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Sales figures and the last line of the P&Ls for the Formerly Big Three will tell us whether they're informing us of actual profitability, or just cheerleaders blowing smoke.

That "blowing smoke" reference, for the record, is NOT commentary on Chevy Volt fires. Just so you know...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 9, 2012 4:30 PM
But jk thinks:

No, clearly all of us are above such a cheap shot [snicker].

I think they had a great quarter ending 12-31. But are they poised to "take share" in the compact space with "with good-looking, fuel-efficient and technology-packed cars" and somehow rekindle the blue state model of big business, bug unions and big government? I'm going to go out on a limb and say "no."

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 4:39 PM

HOSS

What is the downside of having an endorsement/supporter who makes you look insignificant?

Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 1:48 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Is it just me or is our buddy Chris growing more portly?

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2012 3:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

P.S. I didn't mean that as a cheap shot.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:45 PM

How many layers of tinfoil make a good hat?

Ask any young person and you'll be told that as you get older you (tend to) get more cynical. Perhaps it's a fair cop, guv. I think it is certain that one gets more skeptical - perhaps the gold prize is to acquire skepticism without cynicism.

Because there's a damned lot about which to be skeptical!

Andrew Ferguson has an awesome article in The Weekly Standard, lovingly titled "The Chump Effect."

Entire journalistic enterprises, whole books from cover to cover, would simply collapse into dust if even a smidgen of skepticism were summoned whenever we read that "scientists say" or "a new study finds" or "research shows" or "data suggest." Most such claims of social science, we would soon find, fall into one of three categories: the trivial, the dubious, or the flatly untrue.

I use the tinfoil hat title and mention cynicism because I am seriously concerned with both the frequency and amplitude of my heterodoxy. Even people who like me dismiss my thoughts on liberty because "he doesn't even believe in global warming!" I only tell my closest friends -- and the Internet -- that I don't believe oil comes from dead dinosaurs. I scoff at the Keynesian multiplier, Hegelian didactics, almost everything I see on teevee news, and now -- thanks to Gary Taubes -- all that is holy and sacred in dietary advice.

If you're on Facebook and have one friend who is not in Club for Growth, you've probably seen a picture of a woman who, 99% style, holds up a handwritten note with her life story. She is 34, doesn't get heath insurance at work, and now has cancer. Thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Crappy Care Act®, she is able to sign up for insurance. Ain't life grand.

My brother and two of my friends have posted this. I have made comments about right to contract, the blessings of liberty, and the suggestion that we could help people without outlawing insurance and redesigning 16% of the economy (obviously I want this poor woman to die of cancer). After all the democratic imposters over the years whose tearful plights have withered under scrutiny, I wonder a) if the woman has any health problems at all; b) what things did a working, 34-year-old prioritize over health insurance; and c) what is this job and how much does she make?

Two layers of tinfoil make a pretty nice capacitor -- you could charge your iPod from the government's rays.

But dagny thinks:

The FB friend that I saw post this included the comment that, "this makes it oh so clear..." Funny I disagree. I have more questions to add to JK's list. Who does she think paid for the care she received? Are the doctors and nurses expected to work for free? Are her neighbors and co-workers expected to pay? If she embezzled the money from her company to pay for the surgery, she would be in jail, but if the government steals it for her from the same company, somehow that is moral?

P.S. This showed up on my Facebook page beneath a plea stating, "Let's work hard to make 2012 the year in which corporations are stripped of the legal personhood that makes it legal for them to buy election and politicians." It was accompanied by a poster saying, "I will believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

P.P.S. I don't have the guts to post this reply on FB. It will have to stay here with the 3srces choir.

Posted by: dagny at January 9, 2012 7:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Maaah-Maaay-Meeeeee-Mooooo-Myooooou... Welcome to choir practice!

I posted very moderate responses. I have seen each that you list but never together -- my word you're tough!

It's funny because I endure mounds of completely out there lefty stuff, and normally roll-eyes and continue. Yet when I post a thoughtful piece from AEI or WSJ, I am some kind of crank.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 8:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's a thought: Maybe we should all try being less reasonable and more vitriolic, condescending and dismissive in our treatment of FB friends. Hey, it seems to work for them!

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Maybe. Pig. Sing.

Really, at the end of the day they don't appreciate reason. I suspect they won't like rough treatment either. This is the conversation at our dinner table three times a week. How do you reach those people?

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Try, "Ha ha ha. That's funny!"

What's funny?

"That you still believe _______."

Well, everyone knows _______.

"Yeah, and everyone knew Pittsburgh would beat the Broncos too. Wouldn't life be boring if it really was all predetermined like the smarties on TV like to say it is?"

Oh please, that's just a football game.

"Alright, please tell me which group or groups of people are heretofore certified never to be wrong ever again. Sportscasters? Scientists? Anyone? Pshaw!"

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 1:55 PM
But dagny thinks:

They don't appreciate reality much either. At the end of the day, if those of us who are rational cannot turn the ship around, reality will smack them in the face. Check your ammunition supply (cynical I know).

Posted by: dagny at January 10, 2012 2:02 PM


January 8, 2012

In the UK, guess who would have survived?


Sarah Dawn McKinley & her son or Justin Shane Martin? I want to shout this one from the rooftops.

Now taking nominations for re-branding the 2nd Ammendment: what was Sarah's son's name?

Gun Rights Posted by nanobrewer at 11:21 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"Oh no, it's the wild, wild west. We can't just have people shooting people who break into their homes. Lawdy!" NED bless Oklahoma, the west, Sarah Dawn McKinley and John Browning.

This story is too important not to dwell on for as long as possible. Here's Doug Giles' telling of it.

None of the reports will include the name of a 3 month-old minor. We can just call it "The Sarah McKinley Amendment."

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 3:21 PM

Sanitation On Santorum

Either TS'ers are fixed more on candidates that have something to say or were too polite to admonish my inclusion of Santorum in the categories of "Conservative" candidates. Let it not be said that I will not eat crow when I've put it on a plate and be called out for not serving chicken.

NRO did a nice rundown (in all senses) on him:
"embraced W's 'big-government conservatism.'"
"never met an earmark that he didn't like."
" The quintessential Washington insider"

nb is much more of a spending hawk than a social issues conservative. In fact, I don't meet most of the criteria of a "SIC" and would be barely perceptible as one if I were elected. For the record: I do have strong opinions on the issues typically lumped into that category, I just consider them more personal issues, in the "render unto Caesar" vein.

That much to say that Rick Santorum doesn't even rate as a conservative on the TS meter.

Now, what about Gary Johnson running as the Libertarian candidate?

2012 Election Posted by nanobrewer at 10:52 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"...if I were elected." NB, are you preparing some sort of announcement? Hopefully, you'll carry it exclusively on Three Sources. You've got three votes pretty much locked up.

The best label for Santorum is "big government Conservative." Can we coin the moniker "CINO?"

Gary Johnson? Great candidate for Sec. of the Treasury.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 8, 2012 11:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watched both NH debates. Just when I think Ron Paul has been his weirdest, he gets weirder. If even I can't keep up, the average Republican is just gonna keep shaking his head. It's seeming less and less likely I can caucus for him in CO.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2012 1:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh I think I did tweak you a little bit, nb. Either you were travelling that day or my Trademark Subtlety™ kicked in.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 11:14 AM
But jk thinks:

@jg: Actually, Doctorrepresentative Paul was at his least weirdest in a FoxNewsSunday interview. That and some distinctly non-weird Kudlow appearances had me thinking about leaning.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 11:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, me too, as noted elsewhere. I'd just like him to put his good ideas in less goofy rhetorical clothing.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:46 PM

Your vision or mine?

The idea for this contrast of visions came to me yesterday, when I searched for a suitable cartoon to highjack and found an excellent cartoon in its own right from the Sarasota Chronicle by way of the (Montana) Missoulian. Being Broncos Playoff Sunday and having chores to do before the game I almost didn't post it, thinking it deserved a good writeup accompaniment. JK's Motor City Madness segue's well: New Orleans says, "Leave us alone" while Detroit still moans, "Take care of us."

Occupy Tea Party

But nanobrewer thinks:

Better (perhaps even more accurate) titles for the signs would have been:
"We can do it" vs. "You have to do it for us"

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2012 9:19 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"We can do it" vs. "Do it for us." I like it.

So much talk about TEA Party "extremism." A simple contrast here can be devastatingly effective.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 1:45 AM

Motor City Madness

I'll admit it. I watched (sniff) football last night. The 117th debate sits on my TiVo (I saw a half hour), now with the 118th (starring David Gregory -- I can't hardly wait!)

But I am still prepared to offer political commentary. One of the sportscasters offered heartfelt discussion on "how much the Lions mean to Detroit," "a city coming back," "just like the Saints meant so much to New Orleans after Katrina."

I was glad to see the Lions do well this year, though I'm a big fan of Drew Brees when he does not play for the hated Bolts. I was pulling for the Saints, even before the sportscaster compared Governor Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to a Cat 4 hurricane. The good people of Louisiana had the sense to get rid of their destructive force. Michigan just replaced theirs with newer models.

What "comeback" the Motor City makes is a sugar high of stimulus and Nationalization of GM. There is no fundamental improvement in a city where arson is entertainment and a state run by kleptocracy.

New Orleans rebuilt from destruction by fixing its schools with private incentives. Detroit will double down on Union control and progressive politics waiting for more Federal jack -- which is not likely forthcoming. Walter Russell Meade is not so kind in his assessment:

If you want to know what it feels like to be Greek or Italian right now, you might consider moving to Detroit. Elected governments in both Greece and Italy were forced to step aside under EU pressure to put "technocrats" in power. The same fate could be in store for the Motor City soon -- with the story complicated by the politics of race.

The city of Henry Ford continues on its road to nowhere. Elected officials don’t want to make savage cuts in pay and benefits for some city workers while firing many others -- for understandable reasons both political and humane. On the other hand, there isn't any money and neither the state nor the feds will bail Detroit out.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:58 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Huh? Was there a game yesterday? What happened?

Posted by: jk at January 8, 2012 9:40 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Wuh? "sportscaster compared Governor Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to a Cat 4 hurricane" Really? You should have gotten that on Tivo!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 8, 2012 11:39 PM

The Time for Pragmatism Has Come!

It is easy to be disappointed when a candidate speaks against one's philosophy. Sometimes one feels that someone is self-aggrandizing against the best interests of the party and the nation.

And when one cares, deeply, about politics, government and philosophy it is easy to hold grudges. But those grudges can contravene the party's and the individual's best interests -- and that is the time for a pragmatic forgiveness.

So, yes, I've decided I will watch the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice, February 12, 2012. I've never watched El Donadlo! before, but Penn Jillette is one of the contestants.

Oh? You thought I meant the GOP Presidential candidates? No way, those guys are all losers.

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

Yeah, just ask David Gregory who kept asking the non-Romneys if they thought Romney is "unelectable." (And none of the non-Romneys called him on it, not even Newton.) All 999 viewers of today's Sunday, 9AM ET debate can be forgiven for concluding "those guys are all losers."

Posted by: johngalt at January 8, 2012 1:47 PM

January 6, 2012

Racist?

I like to stay out of this game, but this is insane. Thou shalt not say anything bad about FLOTUS.

A baldly racist depiction of First Lady Michelle Obama that appeared Tuesday on a right-wing website is based on a 1775 portrait of Marie Antoinette by Jean-Baptiste André Gautier-Dagoty (1740-1786). The full-length painting hangs outside Paris in the Palace of Versailles.

And who you calling baldy? Seriously, to suggest this parody is badly or baldy racist is off the deep end.

But nanobrewer thinks:

As Mike Rosen is fond of saying: behind every double-standard there lies a single standard. Thou shan't bring up BHO's record.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 8, 2012 10:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Another clue to the secret identity of nanobrewer - he's in Rosen country. Hmmmm. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 1:41 AM

Blast From the Past

@JimPethokoukis calls it the "Toothpase and Orange Juice ticket," but dares to suggest Romney and Rand Paul.

I dared to send him my post of October 18 and he graciously replied "You never know!"

Trying to pull this one out of the fire, I'm getting where I'd dream of that ticket.

-- Then again, Mary Kaye's Husband is third with 16% in NH!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:20 PM | What do you think? [0]

I'd Prefer the Boston Globe Endorsement!

In a thinking world based on reason and free will, David Brooks's endorsement should kill a GOP candidacy. The guy who fits the NYTimes definition of a conservative suggests that Santorum's intrusions do not go far enough:

Santorum doesn't yet see that once you start thinking about how to foster an economic system that would nurture our virtues, you wind up with an agenda far more drastic and transformational.

If you believe in the dignity of labor, it makes sense to support an infrastructure program that allows more people to practice the habits of industry. If you believe in personal responsibility, you have to force Americans to receive only as much government as they are willing to pay for. If you believe in the centrality of family, you have to have a government that both encourages marriage and also supplies wage subsidies to men to make them marriageable.


Worth a read just to bathe in its weirdness, Hat-tip @jamestaranto David Brooks wants "wage subsidies to men to make them marriageable." What could possibly go wrong?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | What do you think? [0]

A Mistake Reagan Would not have Made

All hail Kim Strassel! She catches the fundamental flaw in the GOP top-tier candidates.

What both campaigns are in fact doing is following Democrats down the class-warfare rabbit hole. Spooked by the Democrats' inequality theme, the Romney and Santorum campaigns are taking the narrow view, catering to the blue-collar vote, playing the class game.

In an election that needs to be about contrasts, this is point Obama. Game on for candidate Santorum, who gets to explain why his own policies for government to reward certain classes of citizens over others are any different than Mr. Obama's. Or let's see candidate Romney knock Mr. Obama's proposals to further tax America's job creators, those Mr. Romney thinks are doing "just fine." The bigger risk is that a Republican president actually pursues these distorting economic policies, sacrificing growth.


UPDATE: Brother br highlighted a Huntsman apostasy from HuffPo, and does not accept my complaint that it is not a direct quote:
Huntsman, by contrast, has argued for banks to be reduced in size, and for stricter limits to be placed on the type of financial activities they can undertake.

Taken as 100% face value: we currently regulate banks and we have proven that we will not allow the largest to fail. I remain the lasseiz fairest of them all, but in that world, keeping private institutions away from presenting systemic risk to global liquidity is not exactly nationalization.

And taken at its 100% worse, it is far less a threat to liberty than the things I routinely hear -- and Strassel highlights -- from the Romney and Santorum campaigns.

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

My apostate is not as heretical as your apostate! So there.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 6, 2012 3:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha. BURN THE HERETICS!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 4:00 PM

Jon!

Isaac the goat, and The Boston Globe:

Hat-tip: Blog friend Terri

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

The "ThreeSourcers for Huntsman" section has been trading emails since the story broke, and I will save your typing fingers: yes, the Globe is owned by the NYTimes and is a very liberal newspaper. Kudlow dissed the announcement when it was "Breaking News" at the end of his show, and Jim Geraghty thinks it is bad for the campaign.

I'll take what I get, but do fear it plays in to the "oh yeah, he's Howard Dean's candidate!" If I may paraphrase the other half of "ThreeSourcers for Huntsman:" he doesn't pander to the base.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 2:30 PM

Quote of the Day

Mr. Obama is claiming an open-ended authority to determine that the Senate is in recess, despite that body's own judgment and the factual realities. That is an astonishing and, so far as we can tell, unprecedented power grab. -- David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey
But johngalt thinks:

Ramirez.

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2012 1:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Investors Editorial: "Constitutional Crisis" "Impeachment"

"Now we have the makings of a banana republic, where the rule of clearly written constitutional law is compromised by a ruler's subjective whim."

I agree. Like a spoiled child trying to find out just how far his parents will allow his liberty, the President has crossed a bright red Constitutional line. Congress must, at minimum, put him in time-out.

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2012 1:52 PM

Rick!

I'll give him a pass on earmarks but still consider them a gateway drug to big spending and a tool to cajole extra votes for bad legislation.

The anti-libertarian and anti-Tea Party lnes, however, disturb.

Hat-tip: Tea Party Patriots on Facebook.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:49 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 5, 2012

Vote Ron Paul!

Not fer one of them furrener lookin' dudes:

Go Ron Paul! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:00 PM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

A non-sequitur to be sure. Did you read the comments?

"I'd just like to join all the other Paul supporters in saying that this xenophobic idiot does not speak for us."

316 views - posted by "NHLiberty4Paul"

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2012 7:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair points. Had a rouge Romney element crafted this, I'd have laughed (I laughed at this one).

You have to remember the respect I have for Bill Buckley. He is a real hero to me for chasing out the Birchers and racists and other crazies in the Conservative/GOP movement. The foundation for Goldwater and then Reagan would not have been possible without NR's spring cleaning. (Even Jonah Goldberg suggests that Chambers's Atlas Shrugged Review should not have been published -- let's push that aside.)

In the wake of the newsletters, we are reminded that Doctorrepresentative Paul has never undertaken such a task. He was quiet about occupiers perverting his message, and participated, condoned, or ignored recruitment from the paleos.

So, no, I am not prepared to give him a broad pass. Many people much smarter than me have pointed out that big-L libs need a Buckley to clean house (though it will be harder to spot the crazies...) If I ever saw him admonish prominent nutjobs, I'd give him a pass on the fledgling NHLiberty4Paul.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 7:24 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"In the wake of the newsletters, we are reminded that Doctorrepresentative Paul has never undertaken such a task. He was quiet about occupiers perverting his message, and participated, condoned, or ignored recruitment from the paleos."

If any candidate tried rooting out rogue elements, he'd have no time for actual campaigning. Part of the dirty nature of politics is to have infiltrators for another campaign make it look like a bunch of loons. On the other hand, we know RP's supporters are all far off the deep end: believers that government is too big, taxes too much, spends too much, starts too many wars, destroys our money, and takes our money instead of its stated purpose of protecting us.

In your previous post, you wrote, "He worries about 2 or 3% annual theft of the value to a saver's cash holdings." And do you believe that is ALL he worries about?

RP references class but does not make it about class warfare. He doesn't attack "the rich," but those with political power to enrich themselves at our expense.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

There are many many things I like about Rep. Paul. I do worry that he has too-willingly accepted some crazy followers. I point to the Occupy folks -- if they carry an "End the Fed!" sign, they're cool, even if they wear a Che Guevara shirt and "End Capitalism!" in the other hand.

The newsletters are old and poorly sourced, but I saw a current YouTube where a 9-11 truther asks him why he won't come out and he tells her something to the effect that it wouldn't be politically expedient. We are hurting bad for good ideas in 2012, but I also need to see some stability.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 7:04 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I would like to see that particular video. Many things can be taken out of context, and you don't know if he necessarily understood what a person was asking.

If we're hurting bad, why are so many supporting a modern Nazi like Santorum, or a collectivist like Romney?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 7:49 PM
But jk thinks:

About 0:50 here.

Romney and Santorum are Exhibit A in "hurting bad." I meant that the field is so weak that I am giving everybody a shot.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 8:17 PM

Answering Obama

The President of the United States wants to run America "on behalf of the American people" unilaterally, without the consent of Congress, the Supreme Court, or the governed.

On the other hand: [at the 3 minute mark]

"And we had the task, where we are very successful, is reintroducing some ideas Republicans needed for a long time, and that is the conviction that freedom is popular. But once again we have had a fantastic showing for this cause and challenging people, not the status quo that we have been putting up with for decades after decade, but challenging them and saying, you know, let's challenge 'em - let's go back to this real old-fashioned idea, this very dangerous idea - let's obey the Constitution!"

I don't know about y'all but I'm beginning to be "scared straight."

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

It has become distressingly clear that our Constitutional system is strictly opt-in, even allowing for differences of interpretation. When any branch of government chooses to ignore or distort any given provision, it is relatively difficult for other branches to correct it, at least in the short-term. We are only as good as our elected officials and there is much room for mischief.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

This was a great speech. Paul used the "We're all Austrians now" line on Kudlow last night.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Some may be tired of this repetitive recommendation, but Gene Healy's "Cult of the Presidency" shows how and why the other branches bend to Article II.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 4:12 PM

Found: Obama's "Stash"

And he could use it to purchase this year's election.

I couldn't believe my ears on this one. Partially because the prospect of Obama giving new lower rate mortgages to every Fannie and Freddie mortgage holder is so outrageous, and partially because I heard it from Rush Limbaugh before JK posted it. (And Rush is on 2-hour delay in Denver!)

And the beauty part for Obama? He wouldn't need approval from Congress to do it. Even though many Republicans would scream that the plan would reward irresponsible homeowners who took on too much leverage -- indeed, talk of a housing bailout is what launched the Tea Party movement -- they probably couldn't stop it.

Looking through this lens, the President's statement on the contra-constitutional recess appointment of his new "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" head is rather ominous:

But when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. (Applause.) I've got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I'm not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. (Applause.) Not with so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans. We're not going to let that happen. (Applause.)
2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Queue Dire Straits: "Money for Nothin' and Chicks for Free..."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This is sounding more and more like it could be lifted straight from "Atlas Shrugged."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:29 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Er... make that cue... the don't need to stand in line.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 5:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm thinking this is Atlas Shrugs. California Boondoggle Gub'mint High Speed Rail!

Monorail! Monorail!...

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 5:57 PM

Quote of the Day

Yesterday, Barack Obama was in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to deliver his awful class-war speech again. On page 39 of Mr. Romney's 160-page economic plan, he attacks the president's "inflammatory" rhetoric against "so-called millionaires and billionaires." Mr. Romney adds: "He actually includes every household earning more than $250,000 in that category." But turn to the next page, and you read that Mr. Romney will eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest "for any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of under $200,000." -- Dan Henninger
Houston? We have a problem.

UPDATE: A great friend of this blog emails a link to Paul Hoffmeister in Forbes.com. This is a read-the-whole-thing piece.

The most important question to predict a presidential race is whether the GOP nominee is sufficiently pro-growth. Jude Wanniski, one of the godfathers of supply-side economics, noted that, since 1896, only supply-side Republicans have become President. Voters only elect Republicans that credibly support sound money and low taxes.

This was true from McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft between 1896 and 1908, to Harding and Coolidge during the 1920's, to Reagan and George W. Bush during the last 30 years. Of course, some Republicans faked it during their campaign and won; for example, Eisenhower (1952), Nixon (1972), and George H. W. Bush (1988). And, predictably, "austerity" Republicans have never been elected president; for example, Hoover (1932), Goldwater (1964), George H.W. Bush (1992) and Dole (1996).

This simple but powerful historical pattern is testimony to our remarkable democratic system. American democracy has developed two political parties: a party of economic growth and a party of income redistribution. If a credible plan for growth is offered, the electorate will vote for it. If such a plan is not offered, then it will vote for income redistribution, hoping that the party of growth will get its act together someday.


UPDATE II: The author's name is "Hoffmeister" not Huffmeuster (corrected). I managed a typo and a misspelling in one word.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:38 PM | What do you think? [0]

The Twitterverse Responds to Brother BR


2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:18 PM | What do you think? [0]

Big News!

IT'S NOT A "RECALL," IT'S A "CALL BACK:" GM to call back 8,000 Chevy Volts."General Motors will strengthen the structure around the batteries in its Volt electric cars to keep them safe during crashes, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday. GM will ask Volt owners to return the cars to dealers for structural modifications, said the person, who did not want to be identified because GM executives plan to announce the repairs later Thursday." -- Instapundit.
They sold 8,000 ????

UPDATE: GM Recalling Volts, White House Headed to Detroit to Celebrate?


January 4, 2012

Huntsman the spoiler in Iowa?

Splitting the well-moisturized, salt&pepper, Mormon guy vote?

Right now, Huntsman has only received 700 votes, or about 1 percent of all votes cast. In a normal race, this would be nothing more than a blip. But this isn't a normal race.

With 96 percent of the vote in, Rick Santorum is leading Mitt Romney by a razor thin margin of 79 votes.

Entrance poll data suggested that Huntsman's support came exclusively from "moderate or liberal" voters, a subset which made up just 17 percent of the electorate, but which Romney carried over Santorum 35 percent to 8 percent.

If the final numbers are similar to these, Santorum might want to send Huntsman a belated Christmas present.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Well, if Huntsman's moderate appeal earns him a Christmas present from Santorum for the 3% he took from Romney, Rick rightly owes his first-born child to Ron Paul and his 40 percent. [2nd comment] Dang, that "invisible candidate" stuff is no foolin'.

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 6:37 PM

Quote of the Day

What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the president knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it. -- Andy Warhol
Warhol published his journal many years back. I recommend it highly.
But johngalt thinks:

I saw a Chevy Volt driving down Hover Street in Longmont this week, with a private license plate. (First I've ever seen.) The driver seemed rather self-conscious, looking back at me when I peered in to see what kind of person drives a Chevy Volt. A - Middle-aged white guy.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2012 2:32 PM

Still not Sure

Blog Brother JK has made numerous impassioned cases for Gov. Huntsman to be the GOP standard bearer versus the current Duffer-in-Chief. The basic argument, as The Refugee understands it, is that the former governor from the state geographically to the left of Colorado would be better at promoting Liberty. The Refugee is not so sure. The Good Gov seems to have taken a page from the Newt Gingrich playbook of attacking capitalism in an effort to get at Romney.

In an "exclusive interview with the Huffington Post," Huntsman characterized Romney as an "agent for Wall Street." ["Why would any self-respecting Republican give an exclusive interview to HuffPo," pondered The Refugee. But that was just him being snarky.]

Hoping to establish a competitive position once the Republican presidential primary contest shifts its focus from Iowa to New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman sharply criticized Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying the frontrunner would be an agent for Wall Street and protector of the status quo if elected.

Huntsman goes on:

"It is the fact that he has raised so much money from the large banks, the banks that need to be right-sized. If you are the largest recipient of funds from Wall Street, and in particular the large banks, you are not going to be inclined to want to change that model. Because those who run those banks want no change, they profit off the status quo and clearly they are not going to be inclined to want to bring about any change."

It turns out that Romney has received 24% of his contributions from financial interests. Ouch. But wait - Huntsman has receive 21% from financial interests - is 3% really the magical difference between an agent for Wall Street and an agent for change?

The really disturbing thing, however, is that Huntsman - the alleged purveyor of Liberty - believes that his administration could judge what the proper size of a bank should be and what products it should offer:

Huntsman, by contrast, has argued for banks to be reduced in size, and for stricter limits to be placed on the type of financial activities they can undertake.

Romney's take is somewhat different:

"I believe that institutions have the capacity to go through bankruptcy if necessary to reorganize their obligations," Romney said. "I think what happened in 2008 was not a matter of one bank, Lehman Brothers, having caused the entire collapse. I think the matter was that we had a massive problem in our economy, which was precipitated by the subprime mortgage crisis, that threatened not just one or two banks but threatened the entire banking sector, our entire financial services sector. And that was a setting very different than that that would be caused by one institution getting in trouble."

Is The Refugee cherry-picking quotes and issues? Perhaps, but he continues to be troubled by a candidate who often sounds and behaves more like a Democrat than a Republican.

UPDATE: link

Internecine Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:42 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

Unsurprisingly, the HuffPo piece is not my favorite description of Gov. Huntsman's bona fides. Most of the offending quotes are actually the author's and without links or attribution. Maybe he is guilty as charged, I want to hear it from someone other than Sam Stein.

As long as government will step in and ensure too big to fail, lassiez faire may not be the best or most popular option for the financial sector. Gov. Romney's "we're really going to let them go this time!" sounds good on paper.

I do not offer the Governor as an ideal candidate. Today's HuffPo piece has him aggravating Granite State seniors by sticking with the Ryan plan and others by suggesting that ObamaCare rules on existing conditions be kept. That's batting .500 but I'd take the trade any day of the week.

Now is the part of the comment where I point out that Phil Gramm is not running this year and that Steve Forbes is on Gov Perry's team instead of his own.

Huntsman sounds like a Democrat?" [sharpen knife sounds...]

-- Gov Romney, of individual mandate fame, phases out his cap gains tax cuts for those making more than $200K. Don't remember that in the GOP playbook.

-- Speaker G wants Romney to give back the money he made bankrupting companies at Bain Capital and says Gov R should "thank him for making him rich" rather than "Romneyboat him." Ryan's plan is "rightwing social engineering" and a spot on the climate change couch besides Speaker Pelosi is comfy.

-- Gov Perry supported forced vaccinations and Rep. Bachmann suggested they caused retardation.

-- Senator Santorum wants the government to define manufacturers and charge them 0% tax. Maybe a "Department of Sector Coolness" could be established to allow the Executive Branch to assign tax rates based on political favor. Wasn't that Taft's idea?

This year's field features the philosophical purity of a Snoop Dogg urine sample. In that field are two governors who have successfully passed free market principles at a state level and fostered impressive growth. One of those guvs has featured ostentations displays of religiosity and bashed gay people. These might be GOP values but I think they'll be a tough sell.

The one left. Yeah. That guy!

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 4:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I offer, for consideration, Iowa Caucus Entrance Polls

The Iowa frontrunners:

"Is a true conservative"
Romney - 1%
Santorum - 36%
Paul - 37%

"On most political matters, do you consider yourself Moderate/Liberal"
Romney - 35%
Santorum - 8%
Paul - 40%

Take away the names, the faces, the first ladies, the dirty hippies ... A "true conservative" candidate with tremendous appeal to moderates and liberals. Is this not a dream candidate for the GOP?

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 5:43 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"What is a self-respecting Three Sourcer doing quoting HuffPo?" is certainly a valid question.

Point of order, Mr. Chairman: The Huntsman quotes are purported to be direct statements in a first-hand interview. They are therefore in themselves attributed and a link is a nonsequitur. Now, if Stein fabricated them from whole cloth, that's another matter.

This is indeed case of having to make the best choice from a bad lot. Very sad, considering we have so much talent on the sidelines, a highly vulnerable incumbent and so much at stake.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

During the '10 Colorado governor's race, newcomer Dan Maes applied the terms "institution" and "revolution" to the GOP establishment and the TEA Party rabble, respectively. It may be instructive to contemplate which of those labels applies to each remaining candidate. Then think about which element you want to put in charge of the national government.

My recent acceptance of the Romney Inevitability was made possible by a self-delusion that Romney is not a party "insider." His political career has been outside Washington and he was endorsed by South Carolina TPD Governor Nikki Haley. I believe these are merely finer shades of gray on Mitt's thousand-dollar suits. I think a bolder distinction is required to ignite an anti-Obama landslide. And no, I don't mean the good-looking young white Catholic boy.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2012 12:09 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The remaining few who would fit the "revolution" moniker likely have no shot to win. The white Catholic boy has no shot, either, and he definitely is not worthy of the "revolution" designation. In his case, Newt's comment that right-wing social engineering is no better than left-wing social engineering might actually apply.

Mitt the Inevitable is a technocrat, not a visionary, but he appears to be the best we've got. The election is likely to be a squeaker either way.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 12:09 PM

Headline of the Day

Beware the frappucinos of hate.-- Instapundit

Iowa

A friend emails a great analogy:

Yes, Iowa has pulled that old realtors' trick. You take someone to two houses with similar characteristics and the same price, but one is clearly better than the other. It makes the decision easier. Iowa has taken us to those two houses and Romney's is much better.

Yes, I was up late last night "Go Mitt!!! C'mon Governor Romney!" I don't have a Huckabee-esque antipathy for Senator Santorum in spite of the sweater vests. But he is far down my list as he clearly wants to use government power to advance social agendas. Subsidizing reproduction is likely defensible and I appreciate his nuance on immigration.

But I search like Diogenes (if I may steal Brother BR's metaphor) for a small-government candidate. Senator Santorum is another George W. Bush. While we have seen worse, that is not what I seek.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

And when Mitt looks in the mirror he doesn't exactly see GWB, but there's a resemblance.

Combined with Romney's recent endorsement by Senator McCain, methinks the time is right for GD to chime in with the most up-to-date case for the third candidate who won Iowa. You know, the invisible one. [Gosh, that comment over there seems eerily prophetic.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 12:51 PM
But jk thinks:

The phone lines remain open. I am pretty disturbed by the newsletter stuff, on top of a monetary policy that frightens and a foreign policy that terrifies.

|
|
V

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 1:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

| I'm looking at those concerns through a
| different lens. I'd like to give GD a new
| hearing on the merits of his man.
| |
| |
V V

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 2:50 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Come on, you fell for the newsletter "December Surprise" horse dung? So much was taken out of context, which was clearly written by someone else. Listen to more RP speeches, and either he's had, or someone did ghostwrite them.

I've seen only one person, ONE, who ever produced genuine archives (scanned PDFs). Everything else is about someone posting a quote that was ripped off from another site. There's no scholarship, no research involved.

Here's an example. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." From Proverbs, right?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 6:35 PM

Jon!

I'll make my last pitch to Brother br: at least we would have some clever commercials were Governor Huntsman the nominee:

Hat-tip: another ThreeSourcer goin' down with the ship!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sure, but should we really be aiding and abetting the DNC? Isn't that what MoveOn.org was started for?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 11:43 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

To put a finer point on it, I'm not looking for someone who can beat the other Republicans; I'm looking for someone who can beat Obama. If he'd turn such cleverness on the appropriate target, I'd be more likely to jump on board.

1% in Iowa and likely the same result in NH. Not seeing how this ends well for the seven girl's father.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 11:47 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm looking for someone worthy of support. I'm looking for someone I won't be embarrassed to vote for. And I am finding it rather difficult.

He did not participate in Iowa; he is running ~10% in New Hampshire, not too far from where Senator Santorum was a week before the caucus.

He needs good fortune to be sure, but Granite Staters might be in a mood to reassess. Gov Romney, as Dick Viguerie reminds, had 75% of Iowans vote against him. He gained no support, as Bill Kristol reminds, in four years (lost a few handfuls of votes). Mister inevitable? Mister electable? Oh, yeah, Mister Good Enough.

Rep. Paul's missing expectations open a crack in the liberty segment. Some of his actual Republican supporters might enjoy a second look at Governor H. Most notably, the non-evangelical wing might be scared of Santorum's New Groove and seek an acceptable candidate.

Yes, he has to run to table. No, it is not likely. But exactly ZERO delegates have been committed so far. I'm not giving up on a guy I like.

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 12:39 PM

January 3, 2012

All Hail Taranto!

Missed his keen insight last week.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:58 PM | What do you think? [0]

Short Bisquik®!

Chevy Volt "selling like hotcakes!" sez Democrat, Michigan, Superannuated Congressman.

Romney is the only fellow in the United States who appears to think that the Volt is an idea whose time has not come. Clearly it has not come to him. The Volt is selling like hotcakes. -- John Dingell (D - Dreamland)

Hat-tip: Insty


Schumpterian Gales

July 24, 2003: jk writes about Kodak.

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

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


January 3, 2012: Kodak is threatened with de-listing off the NYSE.
Kodak last closed above $1 on Dec. 7. A year ago, it was around $5.85.

Kodak has six months to fix the below-a-buck situation, although with directors jumping ship -- three over the past two weeks -- it's hard to have much confidence in the struggling photography icon.


Quote of the Day

As a person with some modest experience of life under east-AsianCommunism, I've had a lot of people asking me whether the tears being wept at the funeral of Kim Jong Il are genuine. Here's my answer: Those tears are more genuine than Newt's. -- John Derbyshire
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | What do you think? [0]

Pre-Register for Colorado Caucus

The Colorado state caucus date is February 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm. You can pre-register and be emailed your caucus location (when it is determined) online. KOA Radio:

The Colorado Republican Party has set up a website for GOP voters to pre-register for the February 7th Caucus. State chairman Ryan Call believes Colorado will play an important role in deciding who becomes the Republican nominee. It will be the 6th state to weigh-in on the race.

Because districts and precinct lines have been redrawn, Call if urging Republicans voters to pre-register at www.caucus.cologop.org . Once you sign up there, you can be emailed your caucus location.

Call believes the turnout on February 7th will be huge. He claims Republicans aren't just choosing a nominee, they're choosing the person who will be our next president.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

Way Cool, Thanks. Should be enough time for my Jon Huntsman T-shirts to get here.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 3:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Thanks for the tip, JG. I called the Weld County Clerk and Recorder, who referred me the Weld County Republican Party. According to them, the precincts have still not been redrawn, so they have can't establish precinct caucus locations.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 3, 2012 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Aye, br'er Refugee. And the chaos created by the latest Democrat gerrymander is one of the reasons cited for creating this "pre-registration" site. From my completed pre-registration form:

YOUR CAUCUS LOCATION HASN'T BEEN DETERMINED YET BY THE COUNTY PARTY. We will send you an email when your caucus location has been determined.
Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 5:45 PM
But jk thinks:

I got the same message, but was able to print the lovely bride's and my registration forms. No doubt that will save a lot of time next February.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 5:53 PM

Why I'm Sancho Panza to "Jon Juan"

Is giving money to Gov. Huntsman a complete waste? Possibly, yes. If Mayor Giuliani was unable to pull off a New Hampshire - Florida nomination path in 2008, it is pretty hard to imagine the less well known and less polished Jon Huntsman doing it.

I see two other choices and like neither.

One. Join George Will in acceding to a second Obama term and focus all efforts on a GOP Senate. With Senator Nelson's (D - ObamaCare®) retirement, I don't think even the Republicans can muff this one. But, without the A team running, resign to losing the White House.

Two. Settle for a "front-runner." As blog pragmatist, I am supposed to be the first guy on this train. Surely either a President Romney or President Gingrich will be way better than the current occupant. But I can't.

I meant to blog about this but hoped it would go away:

Incensed by the negative ads that have spoiled his campaign, Newt Gingrich recently complained he'd been "Romneyboated," an allusion to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose ads helped derail Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.

John O'Neill, the swift-boat captain who led the anti-Kerry movement, is none too pleased with the comparison. "To me, it reflects Gingrich's very cynical hypocrisy, which he shares with Kerry," O'Neill tells National Review Online. That hypocrisy "is the reason why he can appear with [Nancy] Pelosi in climate-change ads and why he can take money from Freddie Mac: If you're part of the political class, [you believe] you're free from any public scrutiny of what you've done." [Bracketed comments in original]

Words cannot describe how offensive that is. That he brings it up. That he identifies with Senator Kerry instead of his critics. That he cannot appreciate other Republicans pointing out what a crappy, lying faced, flip-flopping, unprincipled, hypocritical weasel he is. Perhaps I shouldn't say that. Perhaps I should have said crappy, lying faced, flip-flopping, unprincipled, hypocritical, fat weasel.

Governor Romney is the architect of ObamaCare® His bold tax reform offers capital gains tax breaks for everybody -- everybody who makes less than $200K that is. "The rich" will "have to pay their fair share."

NB likes Senator Santorum. He is on the "Faith, Family, and Freedom" tour -- 33% of which is actually under government purview. He's not "picking winners and losers," he's offering 0% tax rates for manufacturers because their jobs are easy to move overseas. How about the Financial Sector? I think BofA should get 0% too. Can you imagine the lobbyist action on defining "a manufacturer?"

I'd start in on Doctorepresentative Ron Paul but this would turn into a rant. No, my last chance of having somebody I could support is to see Gov. Huntsman stay in.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | What do you think? [10]
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Dagny may disown me for not knowing, but I just looked up Sancho Panza. (I knew the story but usually remember only the broad themes.) Now knowing your 'Jon Juan' reference I find it necessary to explain mine: 'Jon' Huntsman and 'Juan' JK.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 5:48 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK is merely following the same path traveled by JG and The Refugee 14 months ago in first refusing to support Tom Tancredo and eventually pulling the lever for him. Well, actually, tapping the touch screen, but you get the idea...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 3, 2012 5:58 PM
But jk thinks:

I will happily darken the oval next to Gov. Romney next November (dang, you're a literal lot!) There is not issue on which I cannot support him.

What I dread is the debate. I am thinking of Candidate-Senators McCain and Obama "doing economics" (the slang meaning of the verb is apropos) in the second debate. We will not have a candidate who can articulate liberty because we will not have a candidate who believes in it.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 6:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

Unlike JG, I didn't take the time to look it up, but isn't Sancho Panza sidekick to Don Quixote and not Don Juan? Does that make it Jon Quixote? The Impossible Dream seems an apropos metaphor for Jon and Tim both.

Posted by: dagny at January 3, 2012 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You would have to invoke the name "Tancredo" BR. And I was having such a good day up to now!

Let us all hope that any Republican presidential candidate fares better than did Turncoat Tom.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 7:08 PM
But jk thinks:

@jg: yes.

@dagny: yes, yes, and yes.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 8:04 PM

Stay Classy, Philly!

I was sad to see on Facebook that blog brother ac was travelling for work and was unable to attend the NHL Winter Classic at Citizen's Bank Park.

If you held a gun to my head (violent 2nd Amendment advocate that you are) and told me I had to miss the Super Bowl or the Winter Classic, I think I'd miss the Super Bowl -- even though the Eli Manning -Tebow matchup will be great this year. Seriously, the Winter Classic is the best sporting event of the year. I share one thing with Steve Jobs; he and I both cry when we encounter purity in music, art, operating systems, what have you. The Winter Classic has a purity about it that is unmatched in other sports.

But, if AlexC were there, I was going to tweak him. The Philly faithful booed the Canadian National Anthem! Jeeburz, guys! A lovely young lady comes out and just nails "O Canada!" and the rafters erupt in boos and "U-S-A!-U-S-A!" It's bad enough our great neighbors have to deal with the State Department on the Keystone XL Pipeline; we could at least show a little courtesy...

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | What do you think? [3]
But AlexC thinks:

Philly has booed Santa, snowballed the Dallas Cowboys and at the alumni game booed Mark Messier.

It comes with the territory.

Posted by: AlexC at January 3, 2012 12:26 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Canadian crowds regularly boo the US National Anthem. Tit for tat.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 3, 2012 1:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahaha. Okay, I'm in.

On a similar thread, did anybody else see the "Cold War on Ice" documentary on NBCSports/Versus after? Man that was great. If you get a chance to see it, take it. "Canada F*ck Yeah!"

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 1:17 PM

January 2, 2012


Tweet of the Day

@TweetOfGod For God so loved Tebow, he made it so he could win without even winning.
Kinda harsh, but...
Sports Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I thought the Donkeys would make the playoffs as a result of both Denver and Oakland winning their final home game vs. a division opponent. Instead, in true AFC West *three teams at 8-8* fashion, the two teams who knew they were playing their final game of the season did more to win.

The Broncos have already accomplished more than anyone believed they could when the season began. Congratuations. And now, in the playoffs, Denver is the team with nothing to lose. Innovate more on offensive schemes, take more chances with the deep ball, and go back to missing them long instead of underthrowing and Denver had a gambler's chance to beat the Steelers next week.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2012 1:34 PM

Quote of the Day

Whether the ads are fair or not, it's not as if Mitt Romney did anything that the Obama campaign wouldn't do in a general-election contest. Er, let me revise and extend that: If you can't handle what Romney's PACs are sending your way over the airwaves, how will you rebut attack ads coming from the Obama campaign AND the Democratic National Committee AND the unions AND the Soros-funded "independent" groups AND the eager recitation of the criticism from their mainstream-media allies? -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | What do you think? [0]

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