February 29, 2012

Stealthflation to hit 15% by 2014?

I've said it a few times since August and been chastened for it, but this time it comes from the pen of an actual economist. UConn's Steven R. Cunningham writes in IBD, The Fed's Anti-Recession Effort May Unleash 15% Inflation

For about a decade before the autumn of 2008, when the U.S. economy tanked, the multiplier stood steady at the 8-to-9 range. That means every new dollar in the monetary base resulted in an $8 to $9 increase in the money supply. After the financial meltdown, bank lending dried up and the multiplier fell roughly to the 3.5-to-4 level.

At the same time, the Fed made a decision to ensure liquidity for transactions in order to encourage the recovery. To do so, it boosted the monetary base through the expansion of bank reserves and currency, at whichever rate was required to keep M2 expanding at around the same rate it had been. Between October 2008 and December 2011, the Fed expanded the base by $1.45 trillion, more than doubling the base to nearly $2.6 trillion.

The problem is that as the recovery progresses, the multiplier will move back toward normal levels, and the money supply will expand. Because of this, inflation could increase significantly beyond the 7.2% projected from 2011 data.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Fed is working on methods to drain the excess reserves from the system and lessen the risks of high inflation. But there are reasons to doubt the Fed's ability to do so.

Maybe if some huge national emergency were to materialize, prompting the spending of those reserves "in the national interest." A war, perhaps.

Cunningham's conclusion is less ambiguous:

Despite the many uncertainties, one fact remains: An enormous wall of money has built up in the banking system. If it finds its way into the general economy at pre-recession rates, the United States is in for quite a ride.
But EE thinks:

What's the standard error on that 2 year forecast? Regardless of what one believes about inflation, there are simply too many variables and too much time between now and then to make any meaningful predictions.

Posted by: EE at February 29, 2012 6:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't know which ThreeSourcers are on record saying there will never be inflation; the FOMC is certainly playing with fire. I'm just not sold on stealthflation. In spite of the cool name, I disagree that severe inflation is already here and just not accounted for in the Core PCE defaltor.

Stay stealthy, my friend. Else they'll kick me outta the Ron Paul club.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2012 7:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

CPI: 3.1 percent

American Institute for Economic Research's EPI: 8 percent.

Causes notwithstanding, the dollar buys less than CPI says it does.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2012 12:38 PM
But EE thinks:

JG,

Did you read the article? It says at the bottom of the article that this really isn't a representative sample of what people actually purchase. It is meant to be provocative -- just like the study that will come out next week about lower productivity due to March Madness.

Along with Barry Ritholtz, I used to make fun of "inflation ex inflation" where somebody would dispel fears of rising inflation by saying, "if we remove...then inflation really isn't that bad." I used to make fun of this by saying that "if we remove the rising prices, there is no inflation." However, this isn't one of those times. Inflation is low.

Do excess reserves pose a threat? Perhaps, but not at the present.

By the way, the CPI thinks housing prices have risen. So that means that it overstates inflation.

Posted by: EE at March 2, 2012 1:33 PM

jk Very Competitive in MLB Pitching

I have learned a great trick from CNN. To mislead their viewers and advance a high-tax agenda compare US corporate tax rates with other developed nations, they showed this handy chart:


Indeed, CNN host Soledad O'Brien said to guest Jack Welch, "But when I look at the corporate tax rates around the world, we have a little graphic of this, I'll throw it up. We see United States is at 35%, France is at 34%, Belgium at 33%, Spain at 30%, Japan at 30%, Mexico at 30%. It sounds like we're kind of competitive, right?"

So I have compiled this handy graphic. It seems as if I am among the five greatest pitchers in MLB history:

Numbers don't lie.

But dagny thinks:

ROTFL

Posted by: dagny at February 29, 2012 3:08 PM

Krugman Curve

We all know the Laffer Curve. James Pethokoukis introduces us to its intellectual adversary: The Krugman Curve!
But johngalt thinks:

It just naturally slants to the left.

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2012 3:20 PM

Birthright Liberty

Lawrence Lindsey has a superb guest editorial in the WSJ today, critiquing Secretary Geithner's call for more taxes from the "most fortunate Americans." Geithner said this was responsible for the "privilege of being an American." No phrase has hit me harder than this in some time. I suggest the WSJ Editor who wrote the subhead nailed it:

The Founders argued that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were rights that preceded government--not things to be granted by it.

The whole piece is great and reminds of the stakes in the next election. No the Governor of the Commonwealth still fails to excite me. But I suggest that he would nominate a SecTreas who comprehends birthright liberty.
This is an age-old view that our Founding Fathers rejected. First, they argued that the basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (i.e., economic liberty) were natural rights, endowed by our Creator, not by government. Second, the governing powers do not out-rank the citizens. Rather it is the citizens who grant government officials their "just powers." As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, governments are instituted among men based on their consent in order to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The notion that a governing authority grants privileges to those it governs directly contradicts Jefferson's declaration.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:50 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Jefferson. Hmmm, he was that guy in the sitcom, right? "Moooovin' on UP!"

The Declaration of Independence is indeed powerful - spine-tinglingly so. But I sense most Americans who have heard or read the words come to take them for granted. What is needed is a new formulation for "birthright liberty."

I found a candidate in my Hoss of Hosses Otequay of the Ayday post last week: "Equal Liberty." You want equality? Where better than in freedom?

"What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal & falacious!"

(I'm working on the 3Srcs bumper sticker.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2012 3:12 PM

February 28, 2012

Tweet of the Day

The hero of Canton!

The link

Television Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

What's the matter with Minnesota?

The clever folks at the New York Times have discovered some grotesque hypocrisy among the Tea Party crowd. Only they have not.

It seems that Ki Gulbranson of Lindstrom, Minnesota is a Tea Partier.

He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region's long-serving Democratic congressman.

But the intrepid NYTimes reporters turn up his dirty little secret and it is their fiduciary duty as professional reporters to share it with paying subscribers:
Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.

Sorry, Mom, suffer -- I'm a Libertarian!

I have two large complaints with the article and one about the carb count of lo-carb tortillas. First, they lump in Social Security and Medicare, which are pretty much mandatory; Veteran's Benefits, which nobody has begrudged since President Cleveland; and Unemployment Insurance which is subsidized but considered by most a State program funded by premiums. So the Times is uncomfortable when Republicans oppose a program in which they are forced to participate.

Second, you can oppose a program and take the money. I closed on my refi last week (thanks, dagny!) I think it is insanely stupid and would have gladly chosen to cancel the program before it started. But I did not eschew participation or seriously consider it. Call me names but my mysterious $2500 credit on closing costs would not have gone to reduce the debt. If a snooty NYTimes reporter wants to write me up, he may -- just make sure I get a good photo.

The story is not lack of purity in the Tea Party. The story is, as Walter Russell Meade reports, that Huey Long was right: "If you aren't getting something for nothing, you aren't getting your fair share."

More and more Americans seem to be buying into that logic. According to this piece in the New York Times (with accompanying interactive map), the share of government benefits in personal income has doubled over the past four decades and now constitutes close to 18 percent of all personal income in America.

Liberty balances on a knife edge. I don't blame Ki Gulbranson.

But johngalt thinks:

He probably drives on federal interstate highways too. Ingrate!

The point of the article, it seems to me, is to anesthetize as many voters as possible against what I'll dub, 'TEA Party Fever.' "It's okay, neighbor" you can imagine the author saying, "just keep taking this blue pill and everything will be fine. There, doesn't that feel nice?"

After all, "Seventy percent of respondents to a recent New York Times poll said the government should raise taxes."

Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2012 3:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Or do they?

Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation's top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill.

(...)
The new data seem to run counter to several polls that have found support for raising taxes on high-income earners.


Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2012 4:39 PM

It's Pronounced EVE-ell-en

Don't forget that [DAWG-fraudster Peter] Gleick had been chair of the [American Geophysical Union]'s task force on ethics. Evelyn Waugh couldn't make this stuff up. -- Steven Hayward

MS Society Delenda Est!

I'm too political, I tell myself. I need to capture the spirit of Matt Welch and The Jacket's superb "Declaration of Independents" that I touted. I need to back off a little.

For instance, The National MS Society. These guys are in my corner, n'est ce pas? Helping families, funding research, sharing information, raising awareness, advocating for socialism... Yes, I was going to let it go and be casually supporting of other endeavors and forgiving of their misguided but probably good hearted support for health care initiatives.

Then I got the Colorado-Wyoming chapter's email newsletter. Fourth item:


MS and Healthcare--Tell Us Your Stories!

In order to educate legislators, policy-makers, funders, consumer advocates, the media and others, we're hoping you will tell us about issues which directly affect you--before MS and with MS. Our Chapter is a member of Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and we are gathering information for education and outreach related to the health benefits exchange. Therefore, we want to get real stories about people impacted by healthcare reform. Are you/have you:

  • Been unable to receive preventative care because Medicare did/does not cover it?
  • Saving money by the shrinking of the "donut hole" in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage?
  • Impacted by annual and/or lifetime coverage limits in private insurance?
  • Filed for personal bankruptcy due to medical costs?
  • Had a negative experience(s) with Cover Colorado insurance?
  • Involved in another issue which is important for others to know?

Please contact Matt Pfeifer at [number] or [email] to share your issue(s). You may remain anonymous if you'd like.

So, share your stories -- providing that your story reinforces our agenda for more and more government involvement in health care! Was it just me, or did none of the story suggestions include "How was your life enriched by a private Pharma company's developing an effective treatment?" "Did you ever get good care from a provider paid for by private insurance?"

I'm foolish to think those people would write in (though I will). The folks who want and expect more from the government certainly will. But what MS patients need is a gorram cure -- and that will be less likely if their society's crusade is successful.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 9:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

February 27, 2012

Where's my White Leisure Suit?

I'm on record as being extremely interested in fuel from algae. You needn't bother searching for approbative remarks. But I differ with the President in thinking that it will be part of our fuel mix in the near future or that its promise justifies impeding petroleum production.

Ergo, I am not the least bit inconsistent in sharing a second Jim Treacher joke. To the tune of the Rolling Stones' "Angie:"

Algae, algae
When will those cars you run appear?
Algae, algae
The process still ain't too clear

To Obama we give thanks
As we're fillin' up our tanks
You can say he patronized
Algae, algae
His excuses: agonized

Algae
You're plentiful, yeah
But your worth is undefined
Algae
I slipped on ya
On that boulder at low tide

People think youre kinda gross
As you squish between their toes
Scrub you off, you reappear
Algae, algae
With our drains you interfere

Oh, algae, how you creep
In the shallows and the deeps
Can we use ya when we drive?
Algae, algae
Barry's hopes will you revive?

To Obama we give thanks
As we're fillin' up our tanks
You can say he patronized
But algae, we still love ya, baby
Some use for you we will devise
There ain't a fuel source that comes close to you
At least that's what we theorize

But algae, algae
You're called nori when you're dried
Algae, algae
Hey, at least Obama tried


Quote of the Day

And what, if someone doesn't agree with Obama's plan, they're not earning their place as an American? If someone doesn't agree to send more tax money to a free-spending, inefficient central government running record deficits as far as the eye can see, they're somehow leeching off Uncle Sam? Being Treasury secretary is a privilege, one earned by pushing policies that keep America prosperous and solvent--even in an election year. -- James Pethokoukis, The Economic illiteracy of Tim Geithner
(Jeopardy champion should know that "someone" is singular, but the rest of the post rocks.)

Sheer Partisan Hackery

Worthy of no place on a serious political website.

You're welcome.

Hat-tip: Autoblog via Insty.

But johngalt thinks:

In a new TV commercial GM says, "This isn't just the car we wanted to build, it's the car America had to build."

The remaining question is where GM has to go to make America have to buy it.

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2012 2:16 PM

February 26, 2012

Eviewray Ornercay?

I recently ordered, partially at JK's urging, a high-powered spotlight and David Deutsch's 'The Beginning of Infinity.' The "spotlight" is a piece of crap. The book, however, is a gem. Its premise involves one of those foundational ideas that affects, well, everything.

At this writing I've read only the recommended chapter 17. It contrasts two distinct worldviews: In one the survival of mankind is assured by living within the natural limits imposed by one's environment; in the other man's fate is secured by manipulation of that environment. But this isn't all. Those in the first camp say the manipulators are all wrong. In their unnatural, untested solutions and innovations they unwittingly create consequences. One such consequence is resource depletion, which the naturists claim they avoid by minimizing their numbers and moderating their consumption. This strategy is superior, they claim, to relying upon innovation after innovation to provide a healthy lifestyle for ever greater numbers of humans.

Before reading this and for as long as I can remember I have believed that we, mankind as it were, would always find a solution to any problem we may encounter. It was barely ever anything more than a curiosity. Now Deutsch has explained to me that this is why enviros, naturists and other advocates of primativism in its many forms believe the way they do - an inherent mistrust of human ingenuity.

I'm still plumbing the depths of how these ideas integrate with Rand and Heinlein, but they do. Quite thoroughly, in fact.

But jk thinks:

Clearly I need to expand the Review Corner franchise to include outdoor lighting.

Glad you dug it so far. I also think the quantum theory chapter will unite us; he separates the good science from the bad philosophy and mysticism.

Posted by: jk at February 27, 2012 7:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I'll skip ahead to that one too. I'm also reading Chris Kyle's American Sniper. A much easier read.

I'm looking forward to reading how, if, someone chooses to defend "static societies."

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2012 11:23 AM

Quote of the Day

I've been enjoying a trip back through the original liberty thinkers. John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women are all available for little or no money on a Kindle®

But more importantly, they show how we stand on the shoulders of giants. Centuries ago, these people all got it. While the language is sometimes archaic (not too bad in most I referenced) the thoughts and ideas are modern and germane. Here's some JS to whet your liberty whistle. Our hero is concerned with conformity and authorities' using differences with custom to exclude and diminish original thinkers.

There is now scarcely any outlet for energy in this country except business. The energy expended in that may still be regarded as considerable. What little is left from that employment, is expended on some hobby; which may be a useful, even a philanthropic hobby, but is always some one thing, and generally a thing of small dimensions. The greatness of England is now all collective: individually small, we only appear capable of anything great by our habit of combining; and with this our moral religious philanthropists are perfectly contented. But it was men of another stamp than this that made England what it has been; and men of another stamp will be needed to prevent its decline.

Mill, John Stuart (2010-06-24). On Liberty and Other Essays (p. 46). Neeland Media LLC. Kindle Edition.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 3:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

February 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

This does not mean, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said earlier this week, that Buffett "should just write a check and shut up." It's a free country, and Buffett's recommendations should ultimately be weighed on their own merits.

But on that score, it's worth noting that Buffett has profited one hell of a lot more than the country that was supposed to benefit from all these Buffett-approved bailouts and stimuli. He gets billions; we get a big coulda-been-worse! Meanwhile, even the sitting treasury secretary acknowledges that the country's fiscal trajectory is "unsustainable," with no solution in sight to the bailout-exacerbated problems of debt and entitlement-commitments. -- Matt Welch
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Berkshire Hathaway is renowned for purchasing companies who will yield great returns, usually in the long-term. GM at its bottom market capitalization was a mere $2 billion, and was no problem for Buffett to have bought personally.

As I've said, if these bailed-out companies were such great deals, there would have been no need for taxpayers to rescue them. The private sector would have been fighting themselves for the opportunities.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 28, 2012 8:38 PM

Three Deadly Sins?

HOUSTON--Former Halliburton Co. executive Albert "Jack" Stanley told a federal court on Thursday his decision to bribe Nigerian officials in order to win enormous construction contracts was fueled by "ambition, ego and alcohol."
Kewl.
Posted by John Kranz at 3:53 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Bribing Nigerian officials works?

Does that mean those e-mails I've been getting about money being transferred to me might have been real?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 24, 2012 4:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, God, yes! I've made thousands off of those -- don't ever delete one!

Posted by: jk at February 24, 2012 4:29 PM

Tweet of the Day



Is it April First Already?

Economic insight and analysis from The Wall Street Journal. That's a prestigious subhead for you. Clearly the "Real Time Economics Blog" is probably a serious force in the spread of Free Markets, Free People and...oh dear.

Economists Argue Government Should Boost House Rental Stock

As they see it, assisting investors to buy the unoccupied and distressed supply of housing is a win for all concerned. They recommend the government offer "bulk" financing to investors, and support a relaxation of lending restrictions currently put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"Most investor buyers are currently paying cash and very few have government sponsored funding," while a lot of the easiest to convert housing has already most likely been bought up. The government could help get the rest of this housing inventory back into play.

Fixing the rental situation aids those displaced by events. Because of the collapse of housing, the paper sees a "seismic population shift" away from owning to renting, and adds ongoing home foreclosures could put 7.5 million more families out of their home, and create between five and six million more renters.

As it now stands, "the housing stock is not prepared for this flow of renters," the paper said. Given the current housing landscape and the level of new construction, there currently is very little capacity to deal with the new flow of prospective renters.


Where does one start? I know the news pages lean left and I cannot hold Paul Gigot responsible, but what drivel!

If 7.5 million families are kicked out of their homes, math dictates that there should be somewhere around . . . let's see, divide by seven, carry the one . . . oh, roughly 7.5 million empty homes available to rent (I'll check my figures later).

Of course, this could never reify without Fannie and Freddie relaxing standards ("What," I hear a Tennessee law prof whispering, "could possibly go wrong?") and brings to mind my favorite free market rant: "How are we going to get shoes for all these people???? We'll need different colors and sizes, and each will need a left and a right, and some will need laces! 'Economists Argue Government Should Boost Shoe Production'"

One wonders, further, if those "Economists" ever encountered the idea of unintended consequences. If this keeps the market from clearing (as it is 99.5% likely to do), it will hurt the chances of investors buying up houses to rent.

It sounds like a great plan to create a housing shortage while 7.5 million homes lie empty. Another day's work for gub'mint man!

But johngalt thinks:

There is only one good way to respond to this: In song.

A Red Solo Cup is cheap and disposable,

In fourteen years they are decomposable,

And unlike my house they are not foreclosable,

Freddie Mac can kiss my a**.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2012 10:02 PM

Whitehall versus Washington: Who's Worse?

Dan Michell is leaning against Britain, based on this:

UPDATE: Don't close the voting -- my buddy at JustStrings.com posts:



Schadenfreude

Could this story possibly get any better?

[Soylendra] plans on paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up its own property in Fremont, Calif., but a separate leased property in nearby Milpitas sits vacant with barrels of unknown chemicals and lead-contaminated equipment, attorneys for the landlord, iStarCTL I L.P., said in recent bankruptcy court filings.

Okay, maybe barrels of goo with a picture of the Vice President on each...that would be better.

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | What do you think? [0]

Guitarnomics

The musical instrument trade is great for considering economic principles. You can explain price, scarcity, supply and demand. Moving on you can consider currency risk and arbitrage. I made a mental exercise in my (brief) student days to translate all the principles to guitars.

I bought this jewel for $1200, which is the bottom end for the Les Paul model. There are a few reasons why, but the ostensible reason was to allow Gibson to get rid of some wood that had cosmetic flaws from the 2010 Nashville flood. The high end models would select the most cosmetically pleasing wood and use a translucent finish to show it off. The archtop jazz guitars that are my true weakness vary by thousands of dollars depending on the finish color -- and the finish color is defined by the quality of the wood. A natural Super 400 would be $10K-ish, but the lowly Wine Red one that I had saved about $4K.

To protect this important input investment, the good folks at Gibson spend quite a bit of money controlling humidity, temperature, and everything short of 100 year floods and US Fish and Game SWAT raids.

Anybody thinking the government is taking good care of the wood in their custody? Six months, no charges, a half million dollars worth.

Citizens or subjects?


February 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

Hold on to something, Randians -- this baby's gonna hurt!

"The American story has never been about what we just do by ourselves; it's about what we do together," -- President Barack Obama

Hat-tip: @GayPatriot

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 7:34 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This, coming from a man who has no accomplishments of his own; edited the Harvard Law Review but never apparently actually wrote for it; benefited from grandparents, a stepfather, and patrons along the way; served as arm candy at a law firm without doing any real legal work; published nothing during the period he was a lecturer on Constitutional Law; and rose through the political realm as a result of ties to a political machine.

Of course he would say this. People who accomplish things on their own don't have to say stupid things like this.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 7:59 PM
But dagny thinks:

This is a particularly insidious form of misrepresentation. I actually agree with the statement of BHO on its face. Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden built a railroad together and much of the, "American Story," is about what individuals accomplish freely working together.

However, BHO is not talking about individuals working together freely! He is talking about working together under the coercive hand of government and that is whole different matter!

Unfortunately, the majority of people listening don't consider that very crucial distinction. They believe that if the statement is correct for the freely built railroad it must by correct for whatever BHO is proposing.

Pretty sneaky Mr. President!

Posted by: dagny at February 24, 2012 1:50 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... working together under the coercive hand of government..."

It's been productive in the past. That's how the pyramids were built, after all - one Pharaoah, a bureaucracy with whips, and several million slaves.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 24, 2012 2:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

KA, you forgot the Nobel Prize.

"...it's about what we do together."

Yeah, "I work, you eat." Teamwork!

Posted by: johngalt at February 24, 2012 6:38 PM

Will they have Black Helicopters?

YOU PEOPLE THINK I'M CRAZY OR SOMETHING, BUT I TELL YOU THE YOO-ENN IS COMIN' TO TAKE AWAY YOUR...incandescent light bulbs?

Oh, please.

Philips and OSRAM are both part of the "en.lighten initiative," an organization that promotes policies in developing countries that encourage or require the use of fluorescent and LED lighting products. The group is slated to release a full set of policy recommendations for leaders in developing countries, but their website offers a preview of their general policy approach:

Yessir, that's what developing nations need -- more expensive light! These people should be boiled in some environmentally friendly oil -- putting crony capitalism and unearned profits ahead of helping people progress in poor nations.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"LEDs and CFLs tend to be more expensive than incandescent bulbs, so consumers would not likely make the transition of their own accord."

Well, that explains that ominous sentence if the paragraph prior: "It does not rely on market forces." Of course, it might help if the UN - and the American taxpayer, by extension - grab the check for the lights. Also, it appears that this isn't just enlightened do-goodism; they expect to make a few bucks in the process. Crony Capitalism: The World Version.

When they pry 'em from my cold, dead lamp sockets...

Here's a nifty idea: for a cheap source of light and warmth, why not just light a few UN manuals on fire instead?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 7:14 PM

Constitutional Sheriffs

Among the "gifts" afforded us by the advent of the Obama Administration has been talk of state nullification of federal authority over American citizens. Now there are similar musings at the next closer level of government to the individual - counties.

I could highlight some between-the-lines disdain in author Nancy Lofholm's write up but instead I choose to commend the Denver Post for running the story at all, much less on its February 12, 2012 front page under the headline: Emerging movement encourages sheriffs to act as shield against federal tyranny

The headline tells enough of the story for my purposes here so I won't excerpt. Please click through if you want the details. Unsurprisingly, news of the Arizona Convention that prompted the story has generated controversy. A Denver blogger wrote about it as "Sheriffs for Treason." But is it? Does our nation not operate under the "consent of the governed?"

I wanted to post this as a companion to JK's Craig Colorado vs. Renewable Energy Mandates post last week. The mental image of Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz and his deputies meeting briefcase-wielding EPA bureaucrats at the front gate of the Craig power plant is a reassuring prospect. And today's story about the Gibson guitar raid is another case where one starts to wonder, Who is the sheriff in that county and what was he doing that day?

But Keith Arnold thinks:

WHOA. The article you link to includes this:

"Colorado had the largest representation at this convention, along with California and Utah."

California? Can it be?

Well, just as Boulder is not Colorado Springs, California outside of the big metropolitan areas - the big eastern and northeastern counties especially - might fit right in with this. I've visited their website, and am very interested in what I see.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 5:48 PM

Romney - Paul - Mentum

Romney - Paul 2012 is in the mainstream news today courtesy of, Rick Santorum's top strategist:

"Clearly theres a tag team strategy between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. For all I know, Mitt Romney might be considering Ron Paul as his running mate. Clearly there is now an alliance between those two and you saw that certainly in the debate."

The story was also mentioned by Rush Limbaugh in his first hour today:

The partnership is all speculative, but its clear theres a hands-off policy with Romney and Paul, Limbaugh said, noting it will be interesting to see how Romney supporters would handle the possibility of a Paul vice presidency.

At the same time, Reason Magazine contributor and Ron Paul book author Brian Doherty sez, 'Move along, nothing to see here.'

Alas in some quarters, such as this diary entry by a user of Erick Erickson's RedState.com, there is not much love for Congressman Paul potentially being a sellout.

I hope Libertarians who thought Paul was a honest broker can go to Libertarian party rather than support this fraud Ron Paul! Ron Paul turned out to be the "typical Washington insider that wheel & deals to get himself & his family taken care of ". This guy, just like Obama, fooled all his followers especially the youth! Also, I feel sorry for the Judge Napolitano, Stossel & few other openly libertarians who thought this guy is for realshame on you Paul especially aligning yourself with a MA liberal!

Sigh.


Fifth Amendment, Anybody?

Half a million in wood confiscated, no charges filed.

"nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Not from this Administration.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 2:53 PM

Video Review Corner

I enjoyed Tea Party: Three Principles mightily, and Professor Reynolds interviews the author.

I'll agree with Reynolds that it's far above most output from academic presses. And I enjoyed, being the wierdo I am, the precedent-setting Constitutional cases discussed. It's a great book and well worth the read.

I did not agree with her three principles, but that is because she asserts immigration as a Tea Party issue, making an eloquent link to American Sovereignty. I prefer to consider the Tea Party a limited government organization with many members who have strong opinions on sovereignty and immigration. But it's not a crazy thought.

Well worth a read, four stars!

UPDATE: Now with yummy, embeddity goodness!

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 PM | What do you think? [0]

White Man's Burden

I had an email exchange with a workmate the other day who had met Brother jg at a pistol match. After I fixed a defect in some code that was ruining his day, he motioned that he enjoyed ThreeSources. He looks forward to blogging and running for office. Swell, but I am convinced they are mutually exclusive.

To prove it, I am going to put one more nail in my public service coffin and pen the most outrageous thing I have ever said on these pages.

I think it's time for a return to old time, Rudyard Kipling Colonialism. Funny because I thought this last night and providence in the form of the Internet always provides. I wake to a WSJ Editorial relaying how much better Hong Kong was run under British rule.

Above the civil servants sat the career-grade officials appointed from London. These nabobs were often arrogant, affecting a contempt for journalists and other "unhelpful" critics. But they did respond to public opinion as transmitted through the newspapers and other channels.

Part of the reason they did was that Hong Kong officials were accountable to a democratically elected government in Britain--a government sensitive to accusations of mismanaging a colony. Still, local officials often disobeyed London when it was in the local interest--for this reason frustrated Colonial Office mandarins sometimes dubbed the city "The Republic of Hong Kong." And for many decades the city boasted a higher standard of governance than the mother country.


Here's my thought, and it is more Kiplingism than Colonialism. Why don't we raise an army, invade some third world nation, and install a Constitutional Republic and rule of law? We're out of uninhabited space, sea-steadying is dicey and planetary colonization is too far away to save liberty. Why don't we go all Columbus on Eritrea?

Now, I do not want to repeat Jacksonian cruelty or the abrogation of treaties that mar American colonization of North America. We should treat people kindly and fairly. But holy freakin' cow, they have had thousands of years and never assembled a competent modern government. Let's help.

What percentage would welcome a shot at liberty and respect for property? I think, Mister Vice-President, that we might be received as liberators if we played it right. In future generations, black, white, brown, yellow, Christians, Muslims, atheists, and Yankee fans will live in peace and prosperity in the Republic of ThreeSources. Sun, sand, surf -- and rule of law.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [11]
But jk thinks:

And I need to read up on Nicaragua -- this after the canal and railroad? Any books to recommend?

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2012 1:58 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

No particular books, but here is a source for starters:

http://countrystudies.us/nicaragua/10.htm

Lessons to be learned:

(1) Love of freedom can be lived as an example, but cannot be imposed by force on a culture that does not understand it.
(2) Nation-building (see also: Marshall Plan) is a nice, charitable thing to do, but before you can invest in things like nation-building and infrastructure, it is essential that the enemy has surrendered and you have eliminated their capacity for shooting at you (see also: Iraq).
(2a) Corollary to the above: charity to other nations is not an acceptable use of tax dollars taken from your own citizens. There's nothing preventing that country from coming to your citizens directly and passing the hat, though.
(3) Military occupation is a poor substitute for trade and industry as a way of two nations to become good friends.
(4) The correct response to any foreign country coming to you for money is: "so, you need ten million dollars? Sure. What do you have that's worth ten million dollars that you can trade?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 2:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I love the idea, and the idealism. It is very Heinleinian. It also reminds me of the previously discussed effort to dominate the political economy of the Granite State. (How's that goin' by the way?) I read your idea more as colonizing a deserted land more than converting an existing society. What few natives may be around would have to be dealt with, as you suggest.

BUT... I fear that any place that we made worth living would attract the same types who want to live at the expense of others. It would be a lot of work just to, ultimately, move away and start all over again.

P.S. 'Beginning of Infinity' arrived yesterday. I read 10 pages or so into chapter 17 so far and I'm liking it very much.

Here's a thought experiment: How might your Kiplingism proposal play out on Easter Island?

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2012 3:20 PM
But jk thinks:

I think the C-world ruined my message. It's not colonization; it's armed overthrow, but I think it would have the benefits of Colonialism without the cruelty -- we are enlightened individuals. Brother jg grasped my intended meaning. I want to take over and possess a third world nation as the Europeans took North America many moons ago. "We," kimosabe, is not the United States, but whomever joins me in a 21st Century Pilgrimage for Liberty.

The Free State project is the perfect comparison. But even when the 20,000th signs and everybody moves, there will be no freedom from an oppressive Federal government. The Fish & Game SWAT Team (don't let a day go by where you forget the US Fish and Game Department has its own SWAT team!) can still raid my guitar factory. In ThreeSourcesAtria, that **** ain't goin' down.

We would save the Easter Islanders from themselves brother, that's the moral suasion to justify theft. Hope you dig the book! (I am rather excited, I sold three copies for Deutsch to three very different folks – can’t wait for reviews.)

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2012 4:52 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ahhhhhhhhhh... I went off on the wrong tangent. My apologies, and please feel free to table my observations for a good foreign relations post.

So it's peaceable colonization we're talking about. This brings to mind the idea of the British Raj extending the courtesy and benefits of proper civilization to India (you DID bring up Kipling, my brother), turning the land that gave the Kama Sutra to the world into a nation of proper British functionaries. Question: doesn't this violate the Prime Directive, or something?

Easter Island. You know, I've long possessed a dream of buying Santa Catalina Island and seceding to form a free land. Good weather, nice natural harbor, and not that many residents to displace.

Oops, you specified "third world nation." In that case, consider Detroit. The housing there is really inexpensive right now. Downside: crime, weather, rap artists.

On the other hand, I'm very tempted to tie this in with JG's new post on Constitutional Sheriffs and nullification of federal diktats. I've got just three words for you (repeat after me): "Republic of Texas."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 5:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Not overly peaceful...I think the pirates will object at the very least. But we come in with big guns and clean water, promising American prosperity and protection from warlords -- liberators Mister Cheney?

I have heard talks about libertarians' buying Detroit. But then you establish your libertarian paradise in the State that elected Jennifer Granholm a couple of times and you must still fear a Federal presence.

I know this is apocalyptic, but American liberty might well not last this generation. I've decried that there is nowhere to run, but maybe there is.

Kipling indeed (I married one of those "new-caught, sullen peoples, half devil and half child" that he describes). It won't get me faculty tenure but I must point out the wake of British colonialism was rule of law in USA, Australia, Canada, India, and for the most part Hong Kong. The French and Belgians did, let’s say, less well.

The subcontinent was ruled by and plundered from afar. I suggest that the Eritrean Gandhi will have less desire to kick us out because we will be living and working there. The criminals can all get jobs at the DMV.

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2012 6:29 PM

COFFEEHOUSIN'



Coffeehouse

Don't Fence Me In


"Cole Porter -- ©1934"



Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com



But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This really is a nice tune.

Son of Refugee has an English report to write on Fats Waller. He found "All that meat and no potatoes" on the web and really got into it. Maybe there is hope for his music taste beyond the technocrap that he currently listens to.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 23, 2012 11:49 AM
But Terri thinks:

One of my most favorite songs!
Thanks.

Posted by: Terri at February 23, 2012 11:58 AM

February 22, 2012

Tweet of the Day

I'll be glued to my seat, but this is still pretty funny:


2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:43 PM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

I thought Senator Santorum had a bad night. He got caught weaselling a couple times -- I think that might break his momentum.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 10:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I liked the way Paul took Santorum apart for voting for NCLB and then campaigning for its repeal. He said that is a recurring theme for many Republicans: Campaign as a fiscal conservative and then spend when you get in office. He also did an excellent job deflecting Santorum's critique that he is one-hundred-forty-something on the list of "most conservative" congressmen: "I don't vote for foreign aid" he said, or any other spending bill.

Hey, has anybody heard the rumor that Ron Paul Is Electable?

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2012 11:28 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

As an interesting follow-up, former candidate (and popular name around here) Jon Huntsman made a bold statement:

http://thehill.com/video/campaign/212187-huntsman-gop-debates-wasting-time-party-lacking-in-big-ideas

The debate floor is open.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 11:50 AM
But jk thinks:

Maybe I'm still carrying H2O for the Governor, but I think the headline gets a little out front of what he said. I winced at the story, but the actual interview seemed reasonable.

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2012 12:08 PM

"FakeGate"

That's the name given by Chicago's Heartland Institute to the attempted smear through forgery by global warming activist Peter Gleick. Heartland's official response, in part:

"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

"A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

"In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.


But jk thinks:

Thanks for breaking ground on this. This is either a huge story or a huge story as to why it is not.

Megan McArdle was the first I saw to expose the faked docs, and she is still on fire. Here, Insty links to her and several other good posts/articles.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 3:05 PM

Hoss of Hosses

He's already garnered Otequay of the Ayday. Perhaps Quote of the Day also, some time before the morrow. And on this auspicious day, the 280th anniversary of General and President George Washington's birth, I share news that author and historian John White leads a 3 year-old campaign to award General Washington the Medal of Honor. Soldier, statesman and patriot, George Washington was also the very definition of bravery in battle.

Washington's willingness to lead his troops from the front, while shots from British sharpshooters and his own men flew across the battlefield around him, inspired the American forces to hold together throughout the war. A young officer who observed Washington in combat at the Battle of Princeton wrote, "I saw him brave all the dangers of the field . . . with a thousand deaths flying around him." The sight of his commander in chief, he said, set an example of courage such as he had never seen.

One may wonder where else a commander would lead but "from the front" although other styles are fashionable of late.

Awarding the Medal of Honor to Washington would accomplish three objectives. First, it would properly recognize his bravery in battle. Second, it would bring public attention to that fact, which in turn would encourage greater public awareness of American military history in the Revolutionary era. Third, it would elevate Washington as a role model for young people, showing them the courage that defines a true hero, as distinguished from entertainers and other celebrities.

Huzzah!


Otequay of the Ayday

"What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable & tremendous! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal & falacious! Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend." --George Washington, Letter to John Jay, 15 August, 1786

HOSS ALERT!

Thirty-six seconds to start your day (sorry I could not embed): Christie To Warren Buffett: "Just Write A Check And Shut Up"

Woot! Hat-tip: Brother hb.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 10:17 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

*sarcasm* That guy could never be elected president. He just blurts things out without thinking about their fallout. */sarcasm*

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 2:59 PM

February 21, 2012

There's Hope!

Heritage highlights a Rasmussen Poll. It seems Americans are not completely keen on paying ten grand for some rich ass****'s 'lectricar (and I'd love to see the results if they used my wording):

Just 29% of Likely U.S. Voters favor $10,000 government subsidies to encourage the purchase of electric cars, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifty-eight percent (58%) are opposed to such subsidies. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

29% of likely voters are in need of a trip back to school - or we should at least require an explanation from them as to why they think we all need to pay for a piece of someone else's car.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 21, 2012 5:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I caught a man-at-the-pump interview this morning wherein the subject, probably one of this 29 percent, said, "Gasoline is a precious resource but it is a dwindling resource and the only way to get us to use less of it is to make it more expensive." As though organic hydrocarbon molecular chains are some sort of "endangered specie" that must be preserved for posterity. If it is dwindling then we'll use less of it when we "run out."

If George W. Bush (or some other Republican) were in the White House the press would be screaming "Big Oil price gouging" and "profiteering." But while the same oil companies make the same higher profits on President Obama's watch the narrative is, "fossil fuels should cost more, in order to pay for their harm to society and nature." Note to "Big Oil:" Should Obama be granted a second term, prepare to be nationalized - either de-facto or "in"-facto.

Posted by: johngalt at February 21, 2012 6:50 PM

Two Minute Hate: Sen. Santorum Edition

"Satan has his sights on the United States of America!...Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition." -- Sen Santorum circa 2008
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | What do you think? [7]
But johngalt thinks:

You are posting from where, exactly, KA? California? That kind of linkage evaporated there 'round about the Beach Boys. Rural Pennsylvania on the other hand...

A good friend who is no stranger to this blog once told me he considers the religious right more of a threat to liberty than the collectivist left. Today, more still than then, I hold the opposite view. I read the Santorum remarks, much like the bible, as a figurative rather than literal description. In that light his remarks are quite valid.

As for Beezelbub, his precinct is in Cook County Illinois.

Posted by: johngalt at February 21, 2012 6:35 PM
But dagny thinks:

Pride and sensuality are virtues and not vices. I might even be able to make a case for vanity if I tried. No wonder Senator Sweatervest keeps dropping in the dagny approval ratings.

Posted by: dagny at February 21, 2012 7:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Lest anyone suspect I have no love for anything Chicagoan I now link to the Heartland Institute - "The mission of the Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 2:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dear dagny defends "pride" from Senator Santorum's apparent besmirchment. However, she refers to the fourth definition while Santorum's warning certainly referred to the first.

America's first president surely felt the civic pride that dagny so cheerfully defends, while a good example of faulty pride embodied is the Oval Office's current occupant.

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 3:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I will step in to defend definition #2 -- in fact all of them.

Amid Keith's serious points, I hate to step into minutia (especially in my best shoes), but I feel very strongly that courageous folk like ThreeSourcers must uncompromisingly reject all the "seven deadly sins." None is sinful.

Nothing wrong with pride, even in the personage of the 44th President. As the great philosopher Yoda said "Luminous beings are we, not this stuff..." Eighty percent of the universe is dark matter and I am an adult human being with free will and reason. Look the hell out!

The obverse of my coin is to succumb to the Hijab, claiming "modesty" as a virtue when it is the sin -- not pride. Lust, Anger, Jealousy, Envy, Greed, Gluttony and even a little bit of Sloth each has its place in a productive free person. Distrust anyone who seeks to remove them!

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 4:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wouldn't downgrade this topic as minutia - vice versus sin, inordinate versus immoral - these are important distinctions on an essential topic - morality. I'll borrow again from today's favorite quotes page:

"It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government."
Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 5:05 PM

Sun Rises in East! Astronomers Perplexed!

That intrepid AP has discovered an astonishing fact that seems to reflect poorly on Republicans.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An unmistakable dynamic is playing out in the money game among Republican presidential candidates: New "super" political action committees are growing more powerful than the campaigns they support.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, AP/Yahoo: you suggest that unregulated, unlimited, anonymous organizations are collecting and spending more money than campaigns, which are limited to small amounts and have onerous disclosure rules?

Where would we be without serious journalism?

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 2:01 PM | What do you think? [0]

Yeah, but what about supply?

I'm pretty reluctant to argue with Richard Epstein. I might challenge Jeremy Lin to a game of one-on-one first. But, with all due respect, Professor Epstein...

Without question, the problem [high price of oil] can be traced back to a renegade Iran. For good and sufficient political reasons, the West has come to see that the Iranian nuclear threat is not just bluster. Indeed, it poses far greater risks to world peace and the political order than even a major disruption in oil supplies.

Hence an anxious West has now put into place a reasonably effective concerted effort to cut off Iran from the world's banking system, and to block the use of Iranian oil internationally, which has been made easier by the Saudis' willingness to expand their own shipments into the world markets. Nor have the Iranians sat back idly. They have cut off exports to the United Kingdom and France, a move that is largely symbolic. But the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about one-third the world's oil supplies travel, is not symbolic. Nor is the movement of the U.S. aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, into the Strait of Hormuz, merely symbolic.

You are dead right that markets should set oil and gas prices. I'll also concur that both parties and most of the presidential candidates are prepared to use the issue stupidly (in Speaker Gingrich's case, profoundly and stupidly) wrong to attract votes.

But I read a great tweet last night. Sorry I have forgotten attribution, but some 140 character genius celebrated the tenth anniversary of the enviros rejecting ANWR drilling because "it would take ten years for any of that oil to come on line." In a just world, this would get a little press.

Oil futures would respond positively to not only the Keystone pipeline but also liberal permitting in the gulf, and a strong defense of fracking in the States which permit it.

UPDATE: Brother Keith's cartoon deserves an embed:

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 12:47 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The tweet you reference brings to mind a cartoon done a few years ago by the great Michael Ramirez:

http://townhall.com/political-cartoons/michaelramirez/2008/04/30/1468

According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know...) drilling in ANWR has been a political hot topic since 1977. Even someone who attended the California public education system could tell you that was 35 years ago. Think of what the price of a gallon of gas might be today if we were pumping that today. Think of what state our economy might be in. Think of how much less important certain Middle Eastern nations might be if that were online today.

Of course, speaking of California, we have all these rich oil fields right offshore. Good thing we have all those resources that we could be leasing out to oil companies, keeping this state from bankruptcy...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 21, 2012 1:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Very good 'toon!

My understanding -- and know that I get all my info from FOX News or Koch Brothers-funded corporate shills -- is that the Santa Barbara oil of which you speak just leaches out into the sea and that drilling would likely relieve the pressure and clean things up. Am I listening to the wrong crowd on this?

Posted by: jk at February 21, 2012 1:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"... the Saudis' willingness to expand their own shipments into the world markets."

Does Epstein mean to say that, in Saudi Arabia, "big oil" can just arbitrarily adjust output to fit market conditions in real-time, without any restriction or limitation? Gosh, what if every oil producer in the world had such ... freedom?

Posted by: johngalt at February 21, 2012 2:23 PM

Lovely in Lime

Proud of our SecState! As @mkhammer says "America, F yeah. We wear what we want"

Didn't get the memo? Hillary Clinton dons lime green shirt for G20 'family photo' while everyone else wears white


Quote of the Day

[Randy] Paige: Let us deal first with the issue of legalization of drugs. How do you see America changing for the better under that system?

[Hoss of Hosses, Nobel Laureate Milton] Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there's a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they're sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.

Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.


Hat-tip: @radlybalko

War on Drugs Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | What do you think? [0]

February 20, 2012

THAT'S DISGUSTING!

Amazing that they are allowed to publish this smut:

Hat-tip @jamestaranto

But johngalt thinks:

Alright, I've put up with every sort of affront to deceny to which these pages have subjected me and our other dear readers. This is crossing the line. Of all the things you could have linked in that magazine, you chose ... Paul Krugman. Sickening. And pictures too? Right out there in the open, without even burying them in "continue reading?" You should be ashamed.

Now that I've seen this I must read three chapters of Atlas Shrugged and repeat twenty times: "Without money the only means men would have of dealing with each other is force."

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 5:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Just be grateful that Krugman ain't Miss February.

I'm sure that Krugman is there SOLELY for all those guys who swear they only get that magazine for them articles.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 20, 2012 6:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Talk about corruption of the mind. This is it, brother.

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

In spirit of atonement, I offer a link to the superb Who Is That Hot Ad Girl? I can pretty much guarantee a Krugman-free zone at WITHAG.

Posted by: jk at February 21, 2012 12:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Safe to say, nobody reads Who Is That Hot Ad Girl? for the articles, though the prose style is quite entertaining.

Posted by: jk at February 21, 2012 12:42 PM
But hb thinks:

Nsfw

Posted by: hb at February 21, 2012 7:45 PM

Colorado Caucus Update - February Edition

Unlike every other county in Colorado, Weld holds an intermediate set of local assemblies for selection of delegates to the state political conventions. As the next step after caucus night, the District Assemblies convened on Saturday morning and yours truly was elected as one of twelve delegates from District E.

My optimism in America and in freedom was renewed by this meeting of neighbors. The evangelical conservatives and the libertarian conservatives played nice together and exchanged views in what I thought to be a very constructive and open-minded way. No Ron Paul delegate or mention of the name Ron Paul was booed, or even grumbled. I made new acquaintance with several neighbors, including a gentleman who boards horses a few miles north of Atlantis Farm. A couple more questions revealed our mutual friend, blog sister Terri. And if this gentleman hadn't fully endeared himself already he would have when he requested, after the meeting was closed, that it not be held in a school building in the future since that pre-empted his Second Amendment right to self-protection. [PSA - Never attempt to rob a conflagration of Republicans.]

While we're here I'd like to share a link to Rick Santorum's speech to the Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner on February 5. I haven't watched the video yet but the speech was very good in person.

UPDATE: Skip to 13 minute mark if your time is limited.

Next caucus update in March.

But Terri thinks:

That's excellent! He is definitely, as they say, good people.

Posted by: Terri at February 20, 2012 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And he spoke very highly of you too, Terri. Meeting him kinda made me rethink my idea to woo your horse over to board in our indoor arena. ;) Now, if he were a Democrat...

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 5:36 PM

Archie Bunker

I don't hold the Norman Lear oeuvre in the esteem some people do. But I did an "Archie Bunker Call your Office" last week on the item at 2:08. I remembered this from my youth and have grown to suspect that Meatheads father-in-law and Glenn Reynolds are correct.

Hat-tip: Don Surber

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 1:17 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The Hollywood template:

Stereotypical character: "People should be empowered to defend themselves."
Laugh track: 'hilarity'

Stereotypical character: "People should get what they pay for."
Laugh track: 'hilarity'

Stereotypical character: "If every culture is valuable then so is the western white anglo-saxon culture."
Laugh track: 'apoplexia'

And thus, "everybody knows" that these ideas are "stupid."

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 2:24 PM

Google never sleeps

Page-top banner ad from the Reason article about Nick Gilespie and Ann Coulter's fiscal/social conservative debate.



Quote of the Day

"The difference between same sex marriage and civil unions is what you pay the caterer," quipped Gillespie. "Gay marriage is upon us and will continue in the future. The poll numbers are there. Gays are moving into a place of legal equality under the law. That is right and proper and good," Gillespie maintained....
From a Reason write up of the Coulter-Gillespie debate in Colorado. Worth a click for the illustration alone.
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Anyone else get the same Google banner ad that I did when clicking through?

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 12:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Nope. "Lease a Chrysler 2012 Town & Touring for $299/mo." Better clear your cookies, brah...

Posted by: jk at February 20, 2012 1:00 PM

I Feel a Great Disturbance in the Force

As if thousands I follow suddenly spoke up and were silenced...



February 19, 2012

Wow

In case some of you lack lefty Facebook friends, I will share some of mine. My pal Dave shares two today from "We Survived Bush, You'll Survive Obama." I flipped a coin and this one won:


But johngalt thinks:

You can't. That is the point.

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2012 2:05 PM
But hb thinks:

Classic failure of the left to understand the difference between impositions based on choice and those based on coercion. Employees could always choose to work for a different employer.

Posted by: hb at February 19, 2012 7:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Or, horror of horrors, they could -- pay for it.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2012 8:20 PM
But hb thinks:

jk,

I was actually referring to the pre-mandate world. Besides, don't you know that it costs as much as $600 per year?

Posted by: hb at February 20, 2012 9:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think a more interesting discussion actually revolves around "We Survived Bush, You'll Survive Obama." Where to start?

Obama has largely continued Bush policies, differing primarily in that the current president's deficit spending has no air of restraint. The open question is, will any of us survive the two of them?

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 12:06 PM

February 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

As one lunch story fizzles, another rises to take its place:

By the way, I purposely skipped over the part of the story that describes the lunch Zambrano packed for her daughter. BECAUSE IT DOESNT FREAKING MATTER. It's not about whether chicken nuggets from a school cafeteria are more or less healthy than whatever parents choose to feed their kids. It's not about whether a homemade lunch meets a government agencys "necessary guidelines." It's about the fact that there are "necessary guidelines" in the first place, and now they're even sending agents around to enforce them. It's about yet another busybody government bureaucracy intruding on yet another aspect of our daily lives. You're never going to see a Bureau of Leaving Everybody the Hell Alone. -- Jim Treacher @jtLol


Atlas Shrugged & Public Choice Theory

Have to hat-tip Brother Keith for this. It was one click from the Alex Tabarrok piece he linked.I don't know if anybody had a chance to catch the Bryan Caplan debate I linked last week, but Tabarrok links to Caplan's superb "Atlas Shrugged and Public Choice: The Obvious Parallels" (It's an MS-Word dcoument --- holler if you need conversion.) This particular quote caught my eye:

The economic condition of the country was better the year before last than it was last year, and last year it was better than it is at present. It's obvious that we would not be able to survive another year of the same progression. Therefore, our sole objective must now be to hold the line... Freedom has been given a chance and has failed. Therefore, more stringent controls are necessary. (p.503)


February 17, 2012

Craig Colorado vs. Renewable Energy mandates

A five minute (Embedding disabled by request, sorry) video that is well worth a watch.

"An attack on the very energy sources that have powered our economy, that have made this engine run."

Also love the display of output (~2:05) of the Craig coal plants and the Unicorn farms.

Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong


Friday Funny

Onion Sports: New Sitcom To Feature Blocking Tight End Living With Pass-Catching Tight End

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Immigration...Incendiary...Internecine...

If only I had an incendiary article to lob over the fence on Friday and run away. Oh, wait --

Reason: Ayn Rand was an Illegal Immigrant

But this proud naturalized American, who arguably did more than any contemporary figure to restore the faith of Americans in America, might have been hounded out of the country if one of our current crop of Republican hopefuls had been president when she arrived. Why? Because Rand lied and bent every rule to gain entry into the United States.

Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 5:27 PM | What do you think? [0]

Not Taxed Enough, Yet

dagny shares a financial "article of the day" via email. "The interesting thing about this is the comments" she writes. "The majority of commenters seem to think that reducing business taxes (i.e. letting business keep the money they made) is a, 'handout,' or, 'corporate welfare.' Betcha they don't think that about refundable tax credits like the EIC."

And why wouldn't commenters such as Chicago's own "gsdfhdgjhfdhjjjjjkgkjgjks" believe that accelerated depreciation and an R&D tax credit are handouts to corporations. President Obama and groups like Clean Energy Works are turning the entire English language upside down:

A memo circulating from Clean Energy Works, an alliance of about 60 groups, outlines a strategy of framing tax benefits the industry receives as corporate welfare. The memo calls the messaging plan a "line of attack" to counteract the description of climate legislation as a national energy tax.

(...)

"What they don't want anyone to know is that the American people already have a national energy tax -- The Big Oil Welfare Tax -- in the form of billions of dollars in subsidies to the wildly profitable big oil companies," the memo adds.

So first, "subsidies" to specific corporations equate to a "tax" on individuals. Well, I can see the logic here if the effects of economic growth spurred by a larger (and cheaper) energy supply and continued government spending on unrelated programs are ignored. But this misses the real point that taxing something less than it might be taxed can not in any sense be considered a subsidy. The government is taking wealth from wealth-producing companies. In English this is known as "taxation."

But even if one believes, as I do, that "Big Oil" should be taxed just as much as any other industry it is erroneous to examine a few specific tax categories where rates may differ and proclaim preferential treatment.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the industry's effective federal income tax rate is more than two-thirds higher than the average for all manufacturing industries.

Furthermore, those throwing stones at the oil industry over corporate welfare would do well to first look in the mirror, for the vast majority of them are vocal proponents of so-called "renewable" energy.

Another EIA study shows renewable energy industries enjoy double the incentives of those for oil and natural gas."

But punitive taxation is nothing new in America or anywhere else where wealth is produced and standards of living have been raised. And despite taking one-quarter or more of the freely created wealth of for-profit corporations and individuals, they still manage to keep working and producing and, getting the shaft. Our commenter from Chicago put it succinctly in the comments to the original article. In reply to a previous sarcastic comment which read:

"Nice. kick businesses in the teeth--the ones who hire the most-- and increase gov spending and deficits. Now THAT'S the way to make jobs!"

gsdfhdgjhfdhjjjjjkgkjgjks wrote:

Still works so far
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, as long as our government is kicking job-producing business in the teeth:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/02/not-from-atlas-shrugged.html

The text from the bill now in Congress (or is that, "incongruous"?) includes the following text. Where have I read something like this again?

"(4) REASONABLE PROFIT.—The term ‘reasonable profit’ means the amount determined by the Reasonable Profits Board to be a reasonable profit on the sale."

And people think Rand wrote fiction...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 17, 2012 4:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Keep in mind, you'd be grouchy too if your parents had named you "gsdfhdgjhfdhjjjjjkgkjgjks"

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2012 5:32 PM

February 16, 2012

I'm glad I never saw this.

The spirit of LiveAtTheCoffeeHouse.com, plus some big stars, a great band, and incredible production values. I was going to post that Daryl Hall had stolen my idea. Then I saw he has been doing this since 2007. Am I the only one who doesn't know about these? They are awesome!

Keb Mo: The Whole Enchilada

Jose Feliciano: Light My Fire

Or just go to the episode list and gape.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:13 PM | What do you think? [6]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Daryl Hall, as in "... and Oates"?

And since JG brings it up in the Mitt/Rick bromance post south of here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzh1IMhdMOo

That Daryl Hall?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 16, 2012 7:47 PM
But jk thinks:

The same.

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 7:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

See, all you need is a world class backup band and a quarter mil worth of studio equipment...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 16, 2012 11:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah. But.

I've thought much on this in the last 16 hours and there is much truth to your comment. Add to that his Rolodex (do you figure Hall & Oates are on LinkedIn?) Had Jose Felciano and Keb Mo dropped by to jam in front of the fireplace, we'd have had a few more hits.

Yet none of this is a good excuse. [Folks who wish may tune out now. I'm going to do a post-mortem on a failed project. This is a good venue as it was a solo effort. I can't really schedule a meeting in Outlook. But you really don't have to read it.]

I give the Daryl link because he captured what I wanted to do -- I seriously give him props for it. Hall & Oates was just another pop band to me, but the feel of this is just right. I would not have so much persiflage. The cooking and interview segments don't capture me, but the tunes are very good and you are spot on about the backup band. Mercy!

One of the joys of being jk is that I don't live in a world of my sometimes real limitations. No I don't have the quarter mil. But I am experienced in audio and know many ways to make it better. The equipment I use can provide good results with a good tech running it. If not, better equipment is within my means. I play and film and engineer simultaneously -- and fear all of them suffer. I should have hired a tech or stayed away from playing.

I did the crappy logo and graphics to get started, certain that I would get a professional rework in the first few months. That never happened.

The key to the enterprise was never to be my shining talent, but capturing people I know, talented players I run across, then people they knew. That was to make it not only more interesting, but also the key to developing a following by having X's fans click in and seeing that they also liked Y. It was not supposed to have weeks of my solo work, but I got into a habit where that was easier than recruiting.

I love the saying "experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted." I cannot look back with regret because I had quit playing for four years and the stuff I've done was enjoyable and somehow cathartic. I'm glad to have captured the sessions with Sugarchuck, Mike, and some of the Berkeley Square players.

But I wish I had worked harder. It still exists, perhaps I will. I could steal some things from old Daryl. Like having a Chef prepare food...genius!

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2012 11:39 AM
But jk thinks:

Actually, Sugarchuck hired a chef for a recording I was part of a few years ago. I should not act surprised because I never did it.

Also, when Curious George assembles a band in the PBS cartoon, he learns that the only way to settle Compass (pidgeon), Charkie (dog), and Gnocchi (cat) down to rehearse is to give them free food.

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2012 12:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had never thought of it before but have you perhaps just revealed the successful pro agent's biggest secret? Free food!

Posted by: johngalt at February 17, 2012 2:26 PM

Cool

Youngest kid to achieve nuclear fusion.

As the guide runs off to fetch the center's director--You gotta see this kid!--Kenneth feels the weight coming down on him again. What he doesn't understand just yet is that he will come to look back on these days as the uncomplicated ones, when his scary-smart son was into simple things, like rocket science.

This is before Taylor would transform the family's garage into a mysterious, glow-in-the-dark cache of rocks and metals and liquids with unimaginable powers. Before he would conceive, in a series of unlikely epiphanies, new ways to use neutrons to confront some of the biggest challenges of our time: cancer and nuclear terrorism. Before he would build a reactor that could hurl atoms together in a 500-million-degree plasma core--becoming, at 14, the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion.

Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong

David Deutsch, call your office!

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 2:10 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

One can only hope to live long enough to see what this kid creates.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 17, 2012 12:09 AM
But jk thinks:

Hope he meets up with a good future lobbyist in Junior High who can get him funding and protection from regulators.

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2012 11:06 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yeah... about those regulators...

Anyone else watch Gold Rush on Discovery? The Refugee is addicted to it like JK is to Buffy. Anyhow, during Season One no gub'mint inspectors, er, "helpers", showed up at all. In Season Two, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (M-shaw)"coincidentally" showed up at each of the mines on the show to do a safety audit (and of course shut 'em down for egregious violations.)

After this article, young Taylor can expect the NRC and about 50 other government agencies on his doorstep within two weeks. Once he gets to meet those guys, he will fully learn the meaning of "can't." (If you read the article, you'll get the reference.)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 17, 2012 5:18 PM
But jk thinks:

I am NOT addicted to Buffy. I could quit anytime...

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2012 5:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"1. We admitted we were powerless over Buffy -- that our lives had become unmanageable."

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 5:39 PM

Occam's Razor

I love a good media bashing. But I hate a conspiracy theory. This internal dichotomy leaves me torn on George Stephanopoulos's grilling Governor Romney on contraception. I'm rent in frickken' twain, people.

Nah. I am going to defend Stephanopoulos.

ThreeSources fave, Paul Rahe, mentions it in a superb piece on l'Affair Abortificient

The decision appears to have been made before the New Hampshire primary. Otherwise, it would be hard to explain why, at the debate in New Hampshire in early January, George Stephanopoulos -- who pretends to be a journalist but is still obviously nothing more than a Democratic operative -- repeatedly pressed Mitt Romney to spell out where he stood on the question of contraception. Stephanopoulos' disgraceful performance, which drew boos and catcalls from the crowd, is an indication that Obama and at least some of his aides thought that they had something to gain by injecting this question into this year's campaign.

With all respect, Professor, I watched that debate and while it was stupid, I don't think it is otherwise inexplicable. I heard it in the context of Griswold v. Connecticut. Am I mad? I have heard several smart people assert that this was what Rahe claims. But the question was whether a State could outlaw contraception: the heart of Griswold.

It is a pretty serious accusation to take the other side. And, again, I love accusing Stephanopoulos. But I'd need to see more smoke in the gun.

But johngalt thinks:

Yeahbut, as conspiracies go this one is not exactly Machiavellian. Stephanopolous' role as the virtual creator of Clinton's rapid-response "War Room" spin machine helped convince me it was a setup. And does the fact that Dems have a name for this strategy - The Colorado Model (from my second link at the referenced comment) - not serve to prove that they do this stuff intentionally?

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I told you I had heard it from smart people.

Thanks, I missed the linked article last time and it is very good. But I think I agree with you and still hold to my original point. The semi-retired Clintonista (like Marines, there are no ex-Clintonistas) was certainly trying to paint Romney as 'extreme" for opposing Griswold.

That's an admittedly crappy thing for a debate moderator to pull, but the blood has been dry on that contract for some time. What it is not is proof of collusion with the current White House as "battlespace preparation" for the ObamaCare ruling on contraception.

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 4:35 PM

Getting Worser all the Time!

Governor Romney's guest editorial on China was not as bad as I feared.

Then again, I expected it to be incredibly bad.

Unless China changes its ways, on day one of my presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction. A trade war with China is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.

Day One, huh? I think the Governor is lifting this riff from Speaker Gingrich's effective South Carolina speech: "On my way to the first inauguration ball, I will repeal ObamaCare!" It works better with a crowd, a good idea, and a fiendish glint in the presenter's eye.

I happen to be a fan of the yuan/dollar peg. But a larger issue is our countries' relationship. Not content with a trade war, Governor Romney wants to prepare for a shooting war -- with our banker and best customer.

We must also maintain military forces commensurate to the long-term challenge posed by China's build-up. For more than a decade now we have witnessed double-digit increases in China's officially reported military spending. And even that does not capture the full extent of its spending on defense. Nor do the gross numbers tell us anything about the most troubling aspects of China's strategy, which is designed to exert pressure on China's neighbors and blunt the ability of the United States to project power into the Pacific and keep the peace from which China itself has benefited.

Maybe I've been watching too much Rep. Ron Paul lately, but I see managing the China relationship in the context of trade. Intellectual property theft and human rights are legitimate concerns. And, to be fair, the Governor discusses them eloquently.

But bluster seems unlikely to win the day, and -- more importantly -- it marks Romney's being outside the free-trade camp. Larry Kudlow would join him on human rights and piracy; so would I. But currency manipulation is a canard. And, while military strength should be watched, who is surprised that an advancing economic power with a long history is spending newfound wealth on its military?

We could influence them a lot more with trade.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:19 PM | What do you think? [2]
But hb thinks:

So fixed exchange rates are now considered currency manipulation?

Posted by: hb at February 16, 2012 2:05 PM
But jk thinks:

If used to sell us things too cheap, yeah! Dirty Foreigners.

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 2:16 PM

Couldn't get any Worse? Couldn't get worse?

I did not think the GOP presidential nomination process could possibly get any worse. But I was a fool.

Romney doesn't rule out Santorum as veep.

Nooooooooooooooo! Do not even joke about that, Byron!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

As long as it is not the end of "An Officer and a Gentlemen" with Governor Romney swooping the Senator up in his arms...

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 1:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Governor Romney, in the big picture could you see a scenario where you and Donald Trump team up?"

This serves to illustrate two points:

1) There are very few Republicans about whom Mitt would answer anything other than, "it's possible."

2) There is still something worse than Romney/Santorum.

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 3:58 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Governor Romney, in the big picture could you see a scenario where you and Donald Trump team up?"

"Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. Full of other bad ideas."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 16, 2012 4:09 PM
But jk thinks:

The ThreeSources Variety Show is especially good today. Thanks for the good cheer!

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 4:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey KA, have you "lost that lovin' feelin'?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 5:57 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Righteous rejoinder, JG - righteous.

(See above on JK's CoffeeHouse post to continue the mild amusement.)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 16, 2012 7:50 PM

February 15, 2012

Forty minutes of fun!

Bryan Caplan and Karl Smith discuss "How deserving are the poor?"

Video: http://vimeo.com/36262871

Slides and commentary: http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/smithdebate.htm

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 7:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

"Pro-Life Statism"

Although it's already been linked in a comment I'm giving a full post to syndicated radio host Jason Lewis' 2nd hour yesterday [audio.] It was a searchlight of objective probity into the status of the GOP nomination.

[Mitt Romney] "is no less conservative than Mr. Gingrich or Mr. Santorum. Newt 'cap and trade' Gingrich. Newt have a health care mandate, he proposed that in May of 2009, a health care mandate. Newt Mr. environmentalism. I mean Newt Gingrich, if you take a look at his voting record, is every bit as fiscally liberal as Mitt Romney. And Rick Santorum who apparently we are told is surging in the polls now, well, this isn't even close. Rick Santorum is running to be Pastor-in-Chief. He's running on the social issues, and the people who have swarmed to Mr. Santorum are not swarming because of his fiscal record, they are swarming because of religion. Let's be blunt about this. Here's a guy who supported Arlen Specter, and Arlen Specter turned out to be the sixtieth vote on Obamacare. He could have sided with the conservative Pat Toomey but he supported Arlen Specter.

Here's a guy, when it comes to Supreme Court nominations, voted for Sonia Sotomayor, the radical judge now sitting atop the court. Here's a guy who voted against the National Right to Work Act; voted against repeal of Davis Bacon, the union prevailing wages law on taxpayer-funded projects; voted for Alexis Hermann as Secretary of Labor; voted for mandatory federal child-care funding; voted for Job Corps funding; voted twice in support of unionizing FedEx; voted for minimum wage increases six times on small businesses; voted for background checks on people who pawn a gun; voted twice to make it illegal to sell a gun without a secure storage or safety device; voted for a federal ban on possession of assault weapons, of course by those under 18; voted for funding of the Legal Services Corporation; voted twice for a congressional pay raise; voted for every single earmark you can imagine; has stated his opposition to a flat tax - he thinks that because you make more money you should pay more; voted for tobacco taxes to fund health care subsidies; voted for internet taxes, I mean I could go on and on and on here. Do your research on Rick Santorum, he's not a fiscal conservative.

(...)

If social issues are your thing and you think that's all that matters that's fine, it's a free country vote for Santorum, but don't give me this hooey that Rick Santorum is more fiscally conservative than Mitt Romney. It's simply not true.

(...)

If you take a look at Santorum's record or at Newt Gingrich's record, that's what it is. It's pro-life statism, it's pro-life liberalism."

He isn't endorsing Romney mind you, but does say liberty will be vastly better with Romney than either Rick or Newt. His real game-changing candidate is ... Paul.

"The President's budget is a full-scale assault, a full-throated assault on the American dream, Capitalism. You've got a guy like Ron Paul who's saying I'm going to elimnate the Department of Commerce, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Energy, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Education, I'm going to cut one trillion from the budget in my first year. That's Congressman Paul. The budget the President released yesterday not only keeps all those departments but increases spending for the rest of them."
But jk thinks:

To date, he has been more economically conservative than Governor Romney.

Not sure if I am the paragon of fairness or simply an argumentative bastard, but --

Senator Santorum has done an admirable job speaking on economic and freedom issues. Lefty journalists feed him a string of gotcha questions and his supporters often seek clarification that he remains in their camp. But left to his own devices, I have been impressed with his discipline and his focus on real freedom from government.

The Obamacare-contraception-abortifacent contretemps reminds us of the benefits of fusionism. I want gub'mint hands of my economics and So-Cons want gub'mint hands off their religion. We have an overlap wide enough to land a Boeing Dreamliner® on.

I never got on the Santorum bandwagon and am seeing more to scare me off. But I am not certain that the full-court press against Senator Sweatervest is warranted.

Posted by: jk at February 15, 2012 5:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heard Jason Chaffetz (TPD-UT) shillin' for Romney tonight. His is a voice that I trust. He talked about all the MA bills the Guv vetoed. I'm not sure what you're basing your "more economically conservative" judgement on.

In defense of Mr. Lewis I'll point out he is comparing only their records, not their rhetoric. I famously ignored the record of one Mr. Gingrich and it seems many are doing the same with Santorum. The lure is tempting, given all the red meat those two are throwing to evangelicals and TPers. Maybe they're genuine, as I allowed myself to believe, or maybe they're pandering. Either way it's a winning strategy that, curiously, Romney has not adopted.

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 10:33 PM

The Coveted Megadeath Endorsement

BUZZFEED: "Dave Mustaine, frontman of the '80s heavy metal band Megadeath, has evaluated the Republican field and made his considered endorsement."

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:16 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. Didn't see that one comin'. Ron Paul is good enough for Kelly Clarkson but metal-head rocker guy here, he wants who Jason Lewis yesterday [about 5 minutes in] named, candidate for "Pastor in Chief." Strange days.

Gotta agree though that Paul is often his own worst enemy. But, Ron Paul is electable!

(hb is now convinced that I am clinically schizophrenic.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 2:37 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Wow - that changes everything.

BTW, is that a shotgun shell belt on the underside of the microphone?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 15, 2012 5:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I think we're all reevaluatin'; word is Slash will not be endorsing anybody this year...

Don't quite see the shotgun shell (but it would be a great feature in NRA magazines -- spot the shotgun shell hidden in this picture, kind of "First Freedom" meets "Highlights.") It's plugged in, in a clip, on a boom stand, and some 500 guitar picks are taped to stand for rapid replacement dutring Mustaine's more frenetic solos.

Posted by: jk at February 15, 2012 5:43 PM

Badge of Honor

The lovely bride found this on Facebook:



SUGARCHUCK -- YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN HACKED

It's spamming your list that you were mugged in Barcelona last night and need me to wire you money right away.

Of course, I did. I'm a friend. You owe me $25,000.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Sugarchuck thinks:

I hope you sent it to the Minnesota address. Hopefully all is well now. I did get robbed in Paris last year but that's another story.

Posted by: Sugarchuck at February 17, 2012 9:57 AM

Gunny!

Awesomeness.

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I can roll with this. Lovin' me that double-shot of Ted Nugent.

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 11:41 AM

February 14, 2012

A Flight Manual for PIGS

A companion post.

mrzFNL021512_color_jpg.jpg

Investors' Ed Page today.

But jk thinks:

All Hail Ramirez!

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 8:25 PM

JK's really really smart budget idea

I have seen these piles of blue books on TV and in the Wall Street Journal. They make great "B-Roll" and news illustrations.


Beyond that -- who the hell wants hardcopies? PDF anybody? Searchable XML? Kindle? Lots of money, fuel and paper for a photo op. You're welcome!

Government Posted by John Kranz at 4:35 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Whaddaya wanna bet the document runs 2000-some odd pages?

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 5:25 PM

Thousand Words

Even Kenneth Green says so:



Reagan says...

I made a cursory search to see if this had been posted on these pages since the first of the year. If it has never been so in the blog's history we should all consider ourselves ashamed for the oversight.

Ronald Reagan, interviewed by Manuel Klausner in Reason Magazine, July 1975:

REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that youre doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two?

REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberalsif we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now, I cant say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we dont each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.

So what Reagan lovers should be asking is, it seems to me, which of the GOP presidential nominees are hostile to libertarian thought and which are the very embodiment of it?" Ron Paul for President. Do it for the Gipper.


Greece

Micro review corner: "My Life in Ruins" is a Chick Flick romantic comedy that is enjoyable across genders. Screenplay by and starring Nia Vardalos (of Big Fat Greek Wedding fame), it has some superb performances and good pacing. Vardalos plays an American who returns to Greece and does not immediately appreciate its Old World charms. Quoting from memory: "Greece led the world in art, athletics and philosophy. We invented Democracy and Science! Then, we discovered 'the nap...'"

Today's bloggers' coffee klatch discussed the woes in Greece and whether enough Americans see the riots and fires as our potential future. The WSJ Ed Page lays it out well: What happens to countries that choose economic decline

To top it off, the technocrats in Brussels and at the IMF have misdiagnosed the crisis from the beginning. First, they thought Athens had a liquidity problem that could be eased by large infusions of loans, rather than a fundamental solvency problem. Second, they believed that what Athens needed most was a balanced budget and a smaller debt load, to be solved arithmetically with less spending and higher taxes. But Greece's real problem is the lack of economic growth, itself a product of policies that discourage private enterprise. That's why Greece ranks 100th on the World Bank's most recent rankings of "ease of doing business"--right behind Yemen.

In other words, the fires in Athens are the result of the combustible mix of a desiccated welfare state and the burning embers of Keynes's cigarette. Don't expect those fires to be put out by this latest round of austerity. In theory, Athens has agreed to carve €3.3 billion out of this year's budget (including €300 million out of pensions), slash the minimum wage by 22%, and eliminate 150,000 government jobs by 2015.


The piece ends "The larger question is whether the rest of Europe and America will learn from Greece's chaos before they experience the same fate. " To which we all agreed this morning that the investment advice of the day was to "go long European Tear Gas."

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

European tear gas... is that the stuff that hooks to the left when you throw it and disperses its contents with a Gallic hiss?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 14, 2012 3:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...combustible mix of a desiccated welfare state and the burning embers of Keynes's cigarette."

A poetic description of the wages of demanding, and granting, the unearned.

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 7:41 PM

Two Things to Like in the Obama 2013 Budget

One. He has one. <BenSteinVoice>Reid? Reid?</BenSteinVoice>

Two. Cheapening the currency. Not to be confused with monetizing the debt, he saves money by using cheaper materials to make nickles and pennies. I'd nuke them and round everything to a dime -- but it's a start.

Obama wants to change the composition of nickels and pennies to save money. The president's budget would give the Treasury Department the ability to "change the composition of coins to more cost-effective materials," pointing out the current cost of making the penny is 2.4 cents and the nickel is 11.2 cents. Of course, the value of the U.S. dollar isn't pegged to the materials that it's composed of, but it's still a compelling argument on its face. The composition of U.S. coins hasn't changed since 1981, the Wall Street Journal notes, while major components like zinc have become more expensive. Industry lobbyists stalled the proposal when Obama brought it up in 2010, but it may have new appeal to the frugally-minded.
.

But johngalt thinks:

And if pennies were still made of copper, as they were prior to 1983, they'd cost even more than nickels to produce.

I s'pose nobody is now willing to accede to my notice of Stealthflation (TM)?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Not me, man, sorry. "Doctor" Copper is a proxy for world economic growth. I s'pect Zinc is similar.

I'm downright Bernankian on Core PCE, making me a wierdo among the wierdos who support Rep. Ron Paul. It's a wonder anybody will drink coffee with me anymore.

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair cop.

Ned, do I hope you are right.

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 3:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heard a news report this morning about gas prices going up already, and $4 regular/$5 premium by summertime. Also mentioned was "health care and food prices rising" with the word "inflation" bandied about in there somewhere.

But as I understand it, you're saying the price of everything can go up without being indicative of currency devaluation. Instead it represents only a higher demand for, everything. Right? We 'mericans just have to get used to greater competition for the trading of our dollars for goods from the dollars of other nations?

Please correct my oversimplification as required.

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 6:04 PM
But jk thinks:

True for certain values of "everything." If everything = food + fuel + health care, then everything can cost more without inflation. (Not coincidental that you picked three heavily regulated commodities. Toss in tuition "inflation" while you are at it.)

Food and fuel are excluded from core CPI and the core PCE deflator for their volatility and you are in great company calling "shenanigans" on that. I'd say all "price basket" measures of inflation are flawed, but valuable enough that you pick one with the least flaws and make use of it.

My many economic betters are going to wince at this, but I still hold that the inflation missed by core PCE is offset by hidden disinflationary effects of technology and trade. Like leap year, it is not perfect, accurate, or fair but it holds the system in balance.

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 6:46 PM

Quote of the Day

[Prof. Glenn] Reynolds, a gun rights advocate, said that with a reported $32 billion total package of proposed airport fees and cuts, "for that kind of money, they could give every frequent flier a gun, which would do more to stop hijackings than the TSA clown show." -- Boston Herald
Archie Bunker, call your office!
Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 11:21 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A-frickin'-men!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 14, 2012 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"As long as it improves passenger safety," said Ben Herrick, an engineer from Boxboro, "I'm pretty much OK with it."

BAAA-A-A-A-AAAH

They don't need to "give" guns to anyone. Just repeal the misguided and paranoid prohibition of lawfully permitted concealed-carry extending into airports and aircraft. Americans are happy to buy their own guns.

But hey, doesn't the Constitution grant a "right" to gun ownership? Why are the most needy among us, particularly single moms, still denied "access?" The Democrats' War On Women(TM) must be stopped!

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 11:33 AM

New Conservative Supreme Court Justice?

If there is any truth to the adage, "A conservative is a liberal who got mugged," then can we expect a change in jurisprudence on the part of Justice Stephen Breyer?

While being grateful that the justice and his wife were unharmed, a new rightward direction in his legal opinions would be a silver lining to the episode.

Probably not.

SCOTUS Posted by Boulder Refugee at 9:51 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Jim Geraghty wonders the same and with as little optimism:

Thank goodness the justice, his wife, and guests are all right. Of course, past history suggests that not every Supreme Court justice who is unlucky enough to be the victim of crime shifts to the right:

The last time a justice was the victim of a crime was in 2004, when a group of young men assaulted Justice David Souter as he jogged on the street in Washington.

In 1996, a man snatched Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's purse while she was out walking with her husband and daughter near their home in Washington. Ginsburg was not hurt.

You notice nobody ever tries this stuff with Scalia. I've always wanted to hear a Supreme Court justice ask, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 1:23 PM

Starbucks Buy-cott [Bumped]

I have a date on Valentine's Day. The lovely bride has agreed to sip a latte (rather an Atkins-friendlier super-dry-breve-cappuccino) with me to support our Second Amendment Rights.

No one put it better than Mike Crenshaw at the respected firearms forum found at www.thehighroad.org. A moderator who posts there as "hso," Mike sent the following message to Starbucks headquarters: "I've just heard that there's a planned boycott on Feb. 14 by anti-Second Amendment groups attempting to punish Starbucks for their decision to follow state and local law instead of changing company policy on law abiding customers carrying firearms legally. While I'm an occasional customer I'll make a point of doing my share to offset any business Starbucks may lose due to this proposed boycott. I'll see to it that my family and I are in Starbucks at least once on Feb. 14.Thank you for not caving in to the radical beliefs of a small vocal group of marginalized extremists."

It won't be easy, mind you, but my rights are sacrosanct and I'll step up when their defense is required!

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 AM | What do you think? [14]
But dagny thinks:

We're still in. We just have to get up early enough to care for 11 horses, 3 dogs, 6 cats, and 3 children by 6:45. Never mind, scratch the cats, they're on their own. :-)

Posted by: dagny at February 13, 2012 8:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah. 6:45, I will try to find pants.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 9:01 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I am so not the SB type, but I'll go in for something... probably kinda early. Near the SunFlower mkt near my place.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 13, 2012 11:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Enormous fun. Everyone who missed should be vaguely disappointed

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 12:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, much fun!

P.S. We're determined to make it a monthly recurrence. Now taking suggestions for preferred day of week, monthly date, even convenient location. (I think CO 119 exit from I-25 has more available seating.) I think we should stick with Starbucks though - they've stuck with the 2nd Amendment after all. C'mon NB, a fresh brew is only a buck or two!

And 7 am seems like a good time to me (and my farmer's hours neighbors) since it precedes our commutes to far-flung places (like *cough* Boulder.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm in. Later in the week always equals fewer meetings for me. Thursday or Friday mornings rock. C-119 Starbucks works, especially if we could entice Northern neighbors.

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 3:18 PM

February 13, 2012

"American Catholicism's Pact with the Devil"

Hillsdale College's Paul Rahe has done it again. Being thrice granted Quote of the Day honors on our humble blog (here, here and most notably here) his posting of last Friday explains in grand detail and with far greater authority the warning I've been sounding for just a few short years of my relatively young life - that Christian altruism enables Marxist-Leninist policies in the west. I called it The Virtue of Selfishness. Rahe calls it American Catholicism's Pact With the Devil and says it goes back to FDR and the New Deal in the 1930's.

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States -- the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity -- and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism -- the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people's money and redistribute it.

Amen.

But jk thinks:

My brother-in-law just signed up for Hillsdale's Constitution 101 10 week online course and suggested I check it out. A new one starts on Feb 20.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 6:38 PM

Internet Segue Machine™

UT Knoxville: UT Researchers Find China's Pollution Related to E-Cars May Be More Harmful than Gasoline Cars

KNOXVILLE--Electric cars have been heralded as environmentally friendly, but findings from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers show that electric cars in China have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than gasoline vehicles.

Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji, analyzed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities, focusing on dangerous fine particles. What Cherry and his team found defies conventional logic: electric cars cause much more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars.

Well, that's in a command-and-control top down economy. Here in the good old USA, surely the market will be able to sort this out. Right?

Daily Caller: Obama hikes subsidy to wealthy electric car buyers

The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles -- to $10,000 per buyer.

That mammoth subsidy would cost taxpayers $100 million each year if it is approved by Congress, presuming only 10,000 new-technology autos are sold each year.

But the administration wants to get 1 million new-tech autos on the road by 2015. The subsidy cost of that goal could reach $10 billion.

The planned giveaway will likely prompt populist protests from GOP legislators, but it will likely also will be welcomed by auto-industry workers in the critical swing state of Michigan.

Stupid Chinese! Why don't they follow our example and adopt free-market principles?


Aspirations.

We should aim for inclusion on the Nixon White-House Media Matters Enemies list.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

All of us are already terrorists, according to the Department of Homeland Security:

http://reason.com/terroristquiz

I'm going to have to resume blogging to get onto the Media Matters list as well. Gotta get 'em all!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 13, 2012 3:31 PM
But jk thinks:

There is much power on the Dark Side, Luke. Consider a ThreeSources Login...

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 3:54 PM

Ooops.

Anybody can make a typo or a small error, even the benighted Wall Street Journal.

They put the subhead for one story under the headline of another. I found it humorous:

I know, I should get out more...


The Immaculate Contraception

"Immaculate Contraception" is Dan Henninger's line at the WSJ. I give him the full ten points for that bon mot.

I assume we have not discussed this much because it is perhaps too stupid. I just can't get my head around "the compromise." Neither, it seems, can Prof Greg Mankiw:

A. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance that covers birth control.

B. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance. The health insurance company is required to cover birth control.

I can understand someone endorsing both A and B, and I can understand someone rejecting both A and B. But I cannot understand someone rejecting A and embracing B, because they are effectively the same policy.

But dagny thinks:

Too stupid indeed, but I am going to throw in my 2 cents anyway. The word that gets me is, "access." Seems like everytime I hear a liberal defending the Obama policy on this, it is because women have a, "right," to, "access," contraceptive health care. I have not heard of anyone denying them access to birth control. Go to the Dr., pay your bill, get a prescription. Go to the pharmacy, pay your bill, receive your pills.

Women are not being denied access to health care. What they are being denied, "access," to is other people's money (aka FREE contraception). On this point I am 100% with the church. Whew, never thought I'd say that again, being a recovered Catholic myself.

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."

Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, 1966)

Posted by: dagny at February 13, 2012 8:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yesterday I also thought it was "too stupid" to comment on. Today, I know better: "Republican war on women.

The DSCC said it was "hard to believe" that such a controversy could erupt, urging supporters to give money in support of the mandate.

"It's hard to believe that in the 21st century we have to fight for access to birth control, but that is the fact -- and there will be many more fights in the weeks ahead."

Does anyone remember the curious non-sequitur debate question from George Stephanopoulos "Do states have the right to ban the use of contraception?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 6:02 PM

Quote of the Day

A panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend took on the question of what differentiates the Tea Party movement from the Occupy protests. While the most common refrain might have been "soap", the real difference is in what the movements do to the individual spirit. One embraces it, nurtures it and strengthens it. The other movement attacks the human spirit and drive to succeed and seeks to control, punish and minimize it. I choose the Tea Party movement because it ultimately asks me to do more for myself, my (future) family and my country. The Occupy movement asks me to admit I can't face this world, as past generations faced and conquered their world. I am too optimistic to give in. -- 22 year-old-and-between-jobs Justin Higgs
Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

A W E S O M E.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2012 12:10 PM

GOP Nomination - To be Continued

I have previously highlighted the public statements of Sarah Palin as a sort of Pied Piper for the TEA Party movement [and I remain interested in JK's appraisal of her Stossel appearance.] Yesterday the theme continued. Sarah was on Fox News Sunday telling Chris Wallace that Romney "is a great candidate" but that she isn't hearing a TEA Party message from him.

"He still needs to be able to articulate what his solutions are to the challenges facing America -- but not just Mitt. All four of them," she said.

"What I want to see is that candidate and I believe that most voters in the GOP and independents, we will want to see that candidate whom we can trust will just inherently, instinctively turn right, always err on the side of conservativism, which means smaller, smarter government, more empowerment for the individual, for the private sector," Palin said.

While Palin has previously encouraged a vote for Gingrich she's backed away from that and, as this quote confirms, is waiting for the best small government, pro liberty message from any one of them. If the "Ron Paul is unelectable" meme would somehow die out I think she would even back him. And for his part, Paul said on Face the Nation yesterday:

"I think the problem is that all three of them have represented the same system, the same status quo ... None of them talk about real spending cuts. None of them talk about real changes in monetary policy. So they're not a whole lot different. So I think when it comes down to those three, it's probably going to be management style more than anything else," Paul added.

And Palin encourages the GOP faithful to embrace the extended contest, not fear it.

Palin said each of the candidates has his strengths and they are able to hone them -- and deliver a more concise message -- if the race keeps going.

"Each of them I believe they are getting stronger, they're getting better and that's what competition provides and that's why I want to see the competition continue," she said. "They all have something to offer and that is why it is a good democratic process in our republic."

Love the phrasing there... "democratic process in our republic" i.e. the US government is not a democracy. I'll add my voice to what I sense is a growing chorus: "Ron Paul is electable."

But jk thinks:

No, I did not bring closure to that. The Governor's performance was good, but the interview was not the philosophical throw down I envisioned. It was short and polite. Every Good Boy Did Fine, but it did not move the needle either way.

I enjoyed her appearance on FOX News Sunday yesterday as well. I just do not yearn for a Palin candidacy like I do for Govs. Christie or Daniels.

I'll agree that she is undersold by many -- and not just her political foes. But I cannot escape that she is frequently oversold by some of her supporters. Perhaps that is not unusual.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 12:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A very fair assessment. I think my personal affection comes more from how she proves her enemies wrong at almost every opportunity. They've set such a low bar for her that I sit down to watch prepared to cringe, and when the things she says are original and insightful instead it leaves me blown away. I also acknowledge with objectivity her very widespread influence. I believe she is wise enough to parlay her influence where it already exists and to work on enlarging it, rather than become a candidate herself - at least for now.

You've said the movement needs a more intellectual leader, which is true, but it also needs an inspirational one. I think she fills those shoes right now.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2012 2:38 PM

February 12, 2012

Review Corner

First. I am innocent. I did not actually hijack my blog brother's post with a pre-review of David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World." It happens that I was correct in including Deutsch, and this book, in the epistemological pantheon of Robert A Heinlein and Ayn Rand.

Second. Drop everything and buy this book. If the $17.10 (Hardcover) or $14.99 (Kindle) is a hardship for you, it would be an honor and privilege to buy this book for you. If you could not possibly spare the time for its 496 pages, read Chapter 17 and decide if you want to make time for the rest.

Third. I'm going to go with five stars. I'd hate to pick a favorite between his "The Fabric of Reality" and TBoI but I am guessing most ThreeSourcers would prefer TBoI. The non-physics contingent will find it more accessible. Aside one chapter on quantum theory, the new book concentrates more on Popperian epistemology -- two of the four theories from which "The Fabric of Reality" was woven. It also includes nods to the others: computational theory and evolution. Make that two nods to evolution.

I shook while reading the second to last chapter (the famed 17). The intrinsic optimism of the primacy of reason and the very real dangers of choosing a static society made me want to walk around with hardcopies as PM Thatcher did with Hayek and say -- as the post I "hijacked--" This is what I believe!

There are some good excerpts in the pre-review. I marked a gob more of them but will instead ask you to trust me just once and buy this incredible book.


Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

It's on its way, along with a million candlepower spotlight for hunting the skunk that has made itself an unwelcome new resident of the farm.

I never really thought of myself as "insignificant" whether in comparison to the universe or to Whitney Houston. Instead I marvel at the inhospitability of the universe. Insignificant? That was the speck-sized insect on a piece of firewood I added to the waning flames yesterday. I was beyond a giant to him. And yet, I took his notice and think about him still -I wonder if he escaped the heat.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2012 7:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and I thought highjacked was your word. It evolved in my consciousness from the memory of "crashing." "wondering why it exists" indeed.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2012 7:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Great news -- I think you'll dig it mightily.

You know what I mean. There's a Carl Sagan, "we are the insect" mentality that correlates highly with leftism in the people I know. Funny, while there is not an overt political thought in the entire book, I find it to be the answer to and explanation of many of my infamous "Facebook friends."

PS Any high, medium, or low dudgeon on the hijacking accusation was self-inflicted or meant otherwise humorously.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 10:19 AM

Lighten Up!

I will accept a "Lighten Up!" on my severe [that's the conservative word of the day] condemnation of Associate Justice Sotomayor's Sesame Street jurisprudence. It's a fair cop, guv. But I am going to dish one out to my favorite blogger (well, except for you guys, and Terri, and the Everyday Economist, and Perry...)

Professor Reynolds and his lovely bride, Dr. Helen, frequently have a point about gender injustices perpetrated on males. Lack of due process in campus sexual assault accusations are a serious issue. And the female advantages in alimony, child support and custody seem anachronistic. Yet when they criticize TV commercials, I always think they need a "lighten up!"

Today, it is this Super Bowl commercial:

Insty says "Imagine if the genders were reversed. If you can. There certainly wouldn't be excuse-making from lefty publications. Instead we'd hear that there's no excuse for domestic violence!"

I clicked through to see this interview with actress Jessica Blackmore. I did not sense a strong domestic violence meme. There are a lot of jokes that don't work with the genders reversed -- this is one of them.

Television Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | What do you think? [0]

February 11, 2012

Country Mouse, City Mouse

On July 21, 2011 Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies joined county animal control personnel in a warrantless raid on a private farm in Arvada, Colorado. Goverment agents were acting on an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.

The owner, Debe Bell, 59, was charged with 55 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty after Jefferson County investigators found "deplorable conditions" at the Arvada farm. Nearly 200 animals were seized from her property at 12820 W. 75th Ave. in Arvada. The "deplorable conditions" included: Cages the animals were kept in were urine-soaked, caked in feces and had little or no food; with few exceptions they had no water; animal's fur was matted and caked in feces; 20 dead animals were found in a freezer.

After seizure the 200 animals were moved to a private animal shelter where they were cleaned, fed and watered then, adopted out to other owners. The original owner filed a legal motion to halt the adoption, which included sterilization of the confiscated breeding stock. "The court denied the motion," Mollie Thompson with the Foothill Animal Shelter said.

On January 27, 2012 a jury found Debe Bell guilty of 35 counts of animal cruelty. Sentencing is scheduled for March 20. Each misdemeanor count carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in jail, according to the Denver Post.

According to Bell's attorney a potential fine of $1000 per count may also be assessed. The private shelter may also seek reparation for costs it incurred.

You've noticed by now I intentionally omitted the animals' breed. I did so to prevent your prejudice in this case from being affected by cute cuddly bunny rabbits. The County Court judge in Ms. Bell's case, however, had less concern over prejudice - she granted a motion by the state to prohibit defendant's council from referring to the rabbits as "livestock."

Ms. Bell and her attorney, having lost the legal battle under terms imposed by the court, appealed their case to the court of public opinion in an interview with Jon Caldera on the Mike Rosen Show Friday morning.

Among her comments:

"Rabbits are food." "Yes, I put the rabbits in my freezer. I also put in some chickens and some pork chops." "I sold rabbits to the Denver Zoo. Now they buy them from China." "Rabbit is the number one meat sold in California." "I thought I lived in America."

Also discussed (11:30) is the Crime Stoppers program and its well publicized $2000 reward for animal abuse tips.

No word yet from Colorado 4H.

I'm also including a link to the first account that I read of this story. It is on Huffington Post. The comments are, I believe, indicative of the mindset that enables our legal system to apply anthropomorphic attitudes to livestock and their producers.

UPDATE: More attentive blogs were on the case six months ago.

But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I've so little free time nowadays, but I should post a reply here, and turn it into the blog post I've in fact wanted to make for a long time.

It is an absolute necessity that animals be seen as mere property, whether it's this case, Michael Vick with dog fights, or a case in Utah some years back I'll never forget. A father went nuts and stomped a poor dog to death in front of his kids.

I often like animals more than people. Animals can't be blamed for acting out of instinct, when I detest most of humanity for not having the sense God gave them. However, either animals are property, fit to dispose of as the owner wishes (without harming others), or they aren't. There is no middle ground. Once you say, "They're the person's property, but there are conditions," then you are saying they are not truly property. Once "society" can attach conditions, then society is the true owner, and the "owner" is merely using the animals with permission.

This is precisely what happened to Bell. She wasn't harming anyone, but the state declared that she didn't meet the conditions to keep the rabbits. They could have been Greyhounds, lions or salamanders, and the principle would stay the same.

Once you say that there are limits to how a person can peacefully dispose of property, then anything goes. While specifics always differ, you are advocating the basic idea that a person's neighbors, via "elected" representatives and their armed enforcers, can order someone about. This is how the state claims the power to control phosphates in our detergent, to make us apply for permits to add onto our homes, and to forbid us to farm because some worm might be on the land.

I don't want my neighbors to rule my life, just as I have no wish to rule theirs. If I noticed someone mistreating a horse, I'd confront the person with reason, not a threat to get government involved. I'd ask why, and ask if there's something I could help with. There was a news article a while back about an old horse taken far out somewhere, tied up and left to die. I think it's a shame it wasn't put down peacefully. Horses aren't really used for glue anymore, but if the idea was to leave it for the buzzards, at least it wouldn't have suffered. It's not my right to demand the owner do that, however. If he told me to go mind my own business, so be it.

Most people, however, would never talk to the person first. They'd simply call the police first when they think an animal is being mistreated. Government has conditioned them to be both cowardly and lazy.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 12, 2012 5:25 PM

February 10, 2012

Matt Welch - Jonah Goldberg Debate

I caught the live stream and recommended it. Here is a link to the video. An hour and a half, but a good 90. What if presidential candidates talked this substantively?

I dunno, in an awful year, I'm just happy to hear a full-throated defense of fusionism.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:31 PM | What do you think? [0]

It's Halftime.

Reason/Remy style.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 4:47 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The Rush Limbaugh parody version is pretty good too, but it's only for subscribers. (No, I'm not.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 11, 2012 12:37 PM

Two Minute Hate: Sen. Santorum Edition

Yesterday brought two events to wake me from my "Senator Santorum is okay...nothing to worry about...move along..." stupor. I must confess, I have given him too much benefit for a world of doubt. Blog sister dagny was right all along.

Event one: I don't want to speak out of turn, but a good friend of mine confided to be "done" with the GOP. I've heard this 100 times and said it seven or eight, but this was pretty serious. The confluence of an anti-gay-marriage initiative and Santorum's Tuesday Sweep was too much to bear. I'll leave out the back-and-forth but share the conclusion without permission. "I'll vote against Obama and puke in the parking lot."

We all get a little down; this is something worse. And what do I say "Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney!!!?"

Event two. I'm never sure what to make of Fox Business's Judge Andrew Napolitano. He puts on a good rant, but he never weaves it into anything pragmatic. Still, it's good to have truth tellers. [Side note: A guy put one of Napolitano's rants on FB and all his liberal friends said "That was on FOX? Boy I bet the censors were sick that day!" Umm, guys, he does that every day and I cannot think of another network that would put it on.]

Last night he had Reason's Matt Welch on for a brief segment to whack the Senator about his stated aversion to libertarianism. Santorum looked at the camera and said "I want to drive libertarianism out of the Republican Party." That stings a bit.

Then one remembers his debate performances. Rep. Ron Paul would make a statement. Speaker Gingrich would grind his teeth a little and wait for "Crazy Uncle Ron" to finish. Gov. Perry might roll his eyes. Gov. Romney probably did not play "Bizz-Buzz" in college, but he would have been good -- he combined a friendly smile with a blank stare, the essence of non-committal.

But Senator Santorum would pounce! High dudgeon and incredulity: "You really believe X?" While one can consider many of Paul's ideas out of the GOP mainstream, I suggest we at least join Senator Jim DeMint and give these ideas a basic respect to keep their believers in the party.

Perhaps life is good in a very bad year. Senator Sweatervest and Speaker Crazyman can split the non-Romney vote, each keeping the other out. We might well end up with Governor Romney (what, no disparaging sobriquet?) but maybe it is time for least evil. Ron Paul could continue to tell the truth and concomitantly place third or fourth.

And were Gov. Doginthecrateontheroof (who's your daddy?) to choose a Paul or Rubio for Veep, I might find some enthusiasm.

And, we've always been at war with Eurasia!

UPDATE: Kim Strassel suggests he needs a message beyond "Faith, Family, and Freedom."

2012 Rant Posted by John Kranz at 12:52 PM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

Yeah, but the Democrats are a) lying and b) won't do anything about it. Republicans are signing petitions and shouting applause lines.

Both immigration and gay rights present conservatives with opportunity for a reasonable legal foundation -- but one that can quickly devolve among rank-and-file to unseemly yeah I'm going to say it bigotry. I appreciate nuanced serious positions that differ with mine but also get quickly irked among the less nuanced populists.

Both "Two-minute hate" and "We've always been at war with Eurasia" are from Orwell's 1984. Work would stop for two minutes and Emmanuel Goldstein would be displayed on giant TV monitors so everybody could yell at the traitor. Only the actual enemy used to change with the politics of the leaders, who would never explain, but would always assert that we have always been at war with xxxx.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 2:46 PM
But Terri thinks:

JK, you have just put the final nail in the coffin that was my support for Santorum.

Consider the Kool-Aide drained. Go Romney. yay

Posted by: Terri at February 10, 2012 4:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Mitt-mentum! Feel the excitement!

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 4:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll part with you only on the characterization "bigotry." My dear neighbors who may express a profound opposition to the cultural modifiers you cited do so out of a sense of defending a heritage and a way of life that's pretty swell, and if guilty of anything it is a misdirected rage that should rightfully be aimed at a collectivist government that, despite its many and variable claimed goals, seeks nothing more than to destroy the good for no other reason than that it is good. They are absolutely positively, with a very few rare exceptions, not bigots.

I wonder what "Senator Sweatervest" would say if he learned just how close he came to one of the epicenters of libertarianism in the party when he shook hands with the denizens of the ThreeSource.com table at the LDD. Personally I think he suffers from the same misdirection. Give me half an hour with him.

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2012 4:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Calling the word parser. Can a non-bigot be guilty of bigotry? I say "Certainly, you greasy dago!"

Seriously, I don't think the great unwashed are bigots but I do think I've seen them do/say things that I would call bigotry. On immigration, ThreeSourcers have made intelligent distinctions of sovereignty and incorrect but serious evaluations of economics.

But on the street, at the Tea Parties, and at Thanksgiving dinner, I hear complaints about Spanish restroom signs at Target, "Dial one for English" at private companies, and an Aurora Pizza joint's accepting Pesos (George Selgin, call your office).

I remember Amendment Two many years ago in Colorado, where I found myself on the other side of my normal political allies. Of course, there were good people on both sides, but I remember some pretty unenlightened comments that went far beyond the legislative question. I've already spoken too much for another but I sense there might be some of that underlying.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 5:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That's correct, as the great American "melting pot" experiment, having been proven a resounding success, is forceably abandoned in the name of multiculturalism. We are told this is necessary to celebrate and honor other cultures when in fact, it is merely to denegrate and dismantle America's. Of the portion of the citizenry that recognizes this and wishes to reverse it, some react differently than others.

Yes, that plays into the hands of the destroyers and we must help our misguided neighbors understand: The pernicious threat to Americanism is not "others" but the redistribution of wealth and property.

Posted by: johngalt at February 11, 2012 10:18 AM

HOSS

Hat-tip: Blog friend hb via email. He just said "HOSS" too.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You can say Hoss too, or Hoss 2, but I say Hoss (superscipt)2.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 10, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Amen. It reminded me of a Governor Romney speech. There was a mictrophone, a dias, and he used words.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 5:39 PM

February 9, 2012

Thousand Words of the Day

Hat-tip: @radlybalko

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

I Was Right

I suggested (did I do it aloud? I am potentially getting into trouble, here) that President Obama's Supreme Court nominations were less dangerous than they could be because he was more interested in "affirmative action" than jurisprudence or intellectual heft.

This is NOT to suggest that Justices Sotomayor or Kagen are not up to the job; I am sure they are both fine. I suggested quietly on both occasions that neither was a Brandeis, Frankfurter or Homes who would intellectually pull the court to the left. I suggest Thomas, Scalia especially, and Ginsberg on the other side possess this heft. I am keen on Roberts and Alito but have less empirical evidence of their efficacy.

I steal Ann Althouse's embed and declare "I told you so!"


Althouse: Notice the emphasis on conflict resolution and building community. Fine. But I'm not satisfied with the observation that Goldilocks didn't intentionally break the chair. Goldilocks intentionally broke into a private home. Why is there no attention to that? If somebody broke into my house when I was away, I would be outraged, even if nothing were broken. I would also not accept a glued-together chair as an adequate replacement for an unbroken chair.

So "Sesame Street," in classic left-wing fashion, pays no attention to property rights. Also, consider the gender dimension of this problem. If a male had intruded into the home of a female, I don't think "Sesame Street" would focus on how nice it would be if the 2 could now become friends.


Hat-tip: Instapundit

UPDATE: Great comments on YouTube (a sentence I never expected to write -- I'm sure they'll devolve into name calling soon). But I dug this:

I'm pretty sure Baby Bear's state law tort claims for trespass to chattel and conversion don't fall within the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction under Art. III, s. 2.

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 1:41 PM | What do you think? [5]
But dagny thinks:

This is very funny despite my ignorance but would someone with more intellectual heft (like that word) than I please tell me what Art. III, s.2. says?

Posted by: dagny at February 9, 2012 2:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I just liked the pedantic formalism versus baby bear. But, for the record:

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2012 2:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Does anyone really believe a Sesame Street skit is indicative of judicial philosopy or heft? C'mon Ann, lighten up. As lefty indoctrination goes, this barely twitches the needle.

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Good point. It's not like she had Sudafed or something.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2012 5:40 PM
But jk thinks:

And I think Justice Thomas could have worked the Privileges & Immunities Clause in.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2012 5:43 PM

Quote of the Day

Monsieur Bastiat, call your office:

Here's a good mandate: Let's mandate that every time a government official says that the government is going to "help" some category of voter, he or she has to say who they are going to hurt in the same sentence. Because it has to be someone. -- John Cochrane

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

You highjacked my post for a related tangent so ...

Yesterday morning I followed a young man driving a late-model Toyonda something or other sporting a single bumper sticker:

A Democrat thinks the glass is half-full. A Republican thinks the glass is his.

I oh so much wanted to pull him over and say, "Hey buddy, it's someone else's turn to drive this car you're in."

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2012 2:30 PM

The Wages of Sin: Catholic Edition

Dan Henninger hits one out of the park today. I enjoy his work, but he is one of my least linked from the WSJ Ed Page. Today, he sums up the Catholic - Health - Charity - Birth Control imbroglio. Faustian, indeed. Pardon an extended excerpt, Rupert, but this is good stuff:

But the depth of anger among Catholics over this suggests they recognize more is at stake here than political results. They are right. The question raised by the Catholic Church's battle with ObamaCare is whether anyone can remain free of a U.S. government determined to do what it wants to do, at whatever cost.

Older Americans have sought for years to drop out of Medicare and contract for their own health insurance. They cannot without forfeiting their Social Security payments. They effectively are locked in. Nor can the poor escape Medicaid, even as the care it gives them degrades. Farmers, ranchers and loggers struggled for years to protect their livelihoods beneath uncompromising interpretations of federal environmental laws. They, too, had to comply. University athletic programs were ground up by the U.S. Education Department's rote, forced gender balancing of every sport offered.

With the transformers, it never stops. In September, the Obama Labor Department proposed rules to govern what work children can do on farms. After an outcry from rural communities over the realities of farm traditions, the department is now reconsidering a "parental exemption." Good luck to the farmers.

The Catholic Church has stumbled into the central battle of the 2012 presidential campaign: What are the limits to Barack Obama's transformative presidency? The Catholic left has just learned one answer: When Mr. Obama says, "Everyone plays by the same set of rules," it means they conform to his rules. What else could it mean?

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:47 AM | What do you think? [0]

February 8, 2012

Matt Welch debates Jonah Goldberg NOW

AEI live stream

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Awesome on stilts. Find it on AEI.org. It is the smarterest hour-and-a-half you'll spend in a long time: "Are Libertarians part of the Conservative Movement?"

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 7:40 PM

This I believe with all my heart

I've long felt that Heinlein and Rand were intellectual partners. Rand gave us the indisputible philosophical foundation for mankind's heroic existence and Heinlein provided the warm, soft, yet grittily-realistic interpretation that makes us more comfortable with the idea of individualism and self-sufficiency within and around a community of others. Rand denounced religion. Heinlein explained it. He really did have an amazing way with words:

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them.

I believe in my neighbors.

I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece --I'm not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and lovingkindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee -- no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, 'To heck with you -- I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'

I know that, despite all warnings against hitchhikers, I can step to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in, Mac. How how far you going?'

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime.

I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses...in the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies.

I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River.

I believe in -- I am proud to belong to -- the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown --in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth --but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure --will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage --and his noble essential decency.

This I believe with all my heart.


© 1952 Robert A. Heinlein


But jk thinks:

a w e s o m e .

I may have another for your Pantheon. I am halfway through David Deutsch 's "The Beginning of Infinity." I have recommended his "Fabric of Reality" too many times on this blog. It is a fascinating cosmology book that draws heavily on epistemology.

Infinity is almost all epistemology ("Nobody's studying physics anymore -- they're doing epistemology!") and it is stunning in 1000 ways.

Heinlein kicked off the recollection because Deutsch, who I assume must be an unreconstructed lefty -- living in Oxford, disputes the tedious Stephen Hawking - Carl Sagan assertion that we are insignificant pond-scum because of the breadth of the universe. Humans exercising free-will in a post-British-Enlightenment acquisition of knowledge are more special because of their improbability, not less. For starters, 80% of this universe is dark matter. Ergo, we're one in five special just for emitting light.

He is a full blooded disciple of Dr. Karl Popper (perhaps not an unreconstructed lefty) and seems the physics and cosmology counterpart to co-disciple Virginia Postrel.

I have been highlighting sections for what might be the first 25,000 word review corner. But here's a taste on the topic I mentioned.

I was wrong to be impressed by the mere scale of what I was looking at. Some people become depressed at the scale of the universe, because it makes them feel insignificant. Other people are relieved to feel insignificant, which is even worse. But, in any case, those are mistakes. Feeling insignificant because the universe is large has exactly the same logic as feeling inadequate for not being a cow. Or a herd of cows. The universe is not there to overwhelm us; it is our home, and our resource. The bigger the better.

Deutsch, David (2011-07-21). The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (p. 35). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow -- talk about crashing another guy's post. One more and I'll go back to work:

That means that, considered as a language for specifying organisms, the genetic code has displayed phenomenal reach. It evolved only to specify organisms with no nervous systems, no ability to move or exert forces, no internal organs and no sense organs, whose lifestyle consisted of little more than synthesizing their own structural constituents and then dividing in two. And yet the same language today specifies the hardware and software for countless multicellular behaviours that had no close analogue in those organisms, such as running and flying and breathing and mating and recognizing predators and prey. It also specifies engineering structures such as wings and teeth, and nanotechnology such as immune systems, and even a brain that is capable of explaining quasars, designing other organisms from scratch, and wondering why it exists.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:36 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heinlein is one of my favorites and this seems apropos to all of our caucusing last night.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671721577/wegrokitcomshein

Can't imagine why it costs $164.00 though.

Posted by: dagny at February 8, 2012 4:05 PM
But jk thinks:

I requested it on Kindle -- maybe they'll be able to do that at $80.37...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Just clicked through and got the audio. Double awesome.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 4:38 PM

2,000 Words on the Buffett Rule

c/o James Pethokoukis:


That's right, Buffett and Obama failed to mention the double tax on his income and how he chose to leave most of his massive fortune to charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and avoid estate taxes. And the Buffett rule is somehow supposed to help create an economy that's "built to last"? Not if this new economy is built on a foundation of demagoguery and deception.


Ann, we thought we knew ye

I hope I shall not be thought less of for posting this Ann Coulter takedown from American Spectator, so long as I don't suggest Newt Gingrich as the best Romney antidote (which, I'm learning, he is not.)

Yet Coulter, once the scourge of such malleable "moderates," has gone through some sort of transformation that has rendered her blind to Romney's cheap opportunism. And if the primary voters are foolish enough to follow her advice, they will rue the day they listened to her and the establishment Republicans with whom she has now made common cause. As Coulter herself pointed out last year when she spoke at CPAC, Barack Obama will be reelected in 2012 if the Republican Party nominates Mitt Romney for President.

Feel the Excitement!

Waiting in line to see Governor Mitt Romney! These kids'll never forget this!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Our kids insisted they wanted to go with us to the Lincoln Day Dinner. Fortunately for them, we overruled.

Did anyone notice the update on the LDD post? There weren't any comments about "movers and shakers." ;) (shameless self-promotion)

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I kid, but I remember sitting on our lawn to watch President Johnson drive by. The street was lined with people and I had flowers in my hand. Flowers attracted a large bumblebee that still visits my nightmares and I got stung.

F*&%^@' Democrats!

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 12:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Funny story. Plus flowers ... Johnson ... Daisy Spot

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 1:11 PM

#COcaucus Selcted Tweets

denverpost The Denver Post
With 100% reporting, Santorum wins #COcaucus with 40.2%; Romney 34.9%; Gingrich 12.7%, Paul 11.7% http://dpo.st/y6DdWi
11 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

KyleClark Kyle Clark
Well, it's official. The conservative grassroots told the CO GOP where to stick it. #cocaucus

EliStokols Eli Stokols
Santorum sweep is as devastating a setback to Romney as any suffered by a candidate thus far. High expectations, totally unmet in #COcaucus

HuffingtonPost Huffington Post
Paul: "We should have a right to keep the fruits of all our labors" #cocaucus #mncaucus #moprimary

BrandonRittiman Brandon Rittiman
Turnout in #COcaucus on track to be slightly less than the 70k who turned out in '08. Less than 9% of reg'd GOP voters.

Alex_Shrugged Alex Johnson
@anneherbst RT @denverpost: WATCH: Romney gets glitter bombed at watch party in Denver (VIDEO): http://dpo.st/xsunHn #COcaucus #Colorado

NARALColorado NARAL Colorado
#Santorum contradicts #Colorado values! http://www.prochoicecolorado.org/news/press/201202071.shtml #CoPols #CoCaucus

But nanobrewer thinks:

So what's the total delegate count so far?
MR 94
RS 71
NG 29
RP 8
Huntsman! 2

A long way to go to 1144... shewt, bag on the CO caucus, I want to vote in the Marianas! Any way you look at it (Mitt's, Rick's or Newt's), we're going to need the Ryan's, Barbour's, and the Christie's to lead the "idea parade."

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 9, 2012 11:33 PM

February 7, 2012

Where the Media and Dems Have it Wrong

The media is all a-twitter about the Republican "enthusiasm gap" regarding this year's crop of presidential candidates. And it's true that most of us are doing the lesser-of-evils calculus to arrive at a vote. That does not foster enthusiasm and Dems are hoping for a low Republican turnout.

But here's where they've got it wrong. When November rolls around, there will be enormous enthusiasm for beating Barack Obama. The Refugee will crawl naked over broken glass* to vote for the guy with an (R) after his name, regardless of which one it might be.


*The Refugee sincerely apologizes for leaving you with that visual.

2012 Election Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:48 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

I will have a leopard print g-string on, but I too promise to support the GOP nominee in November.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 6:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Aye aye. 100 percent.

Fortunately, thanks to the Second Amendment, I have the power to insist I have the right to wear clothing of my choice while crawling across broken glass.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 7:55 PM

A Pragmatist's Plea

As Republicans bicker their way through the primary process, The Refugee hears various individuals (not necessarily in these parts) who cannot abide by this position or that, could never vote for this guy or that, and so on. Having earned the coveted title of Blog Pragmatist, can The Refugee respectfully remind everyone of a teensy, weensy detail?

Over the next five year (starting from now to the end of the next presidential term, it is highly likely that at least two Supreme Court justices will leave the bench (John Paul Stevens, age 91, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, poor health). If just one of the other justices experiences an unforeseen health complication and retires, then a President Obama will have appointed the court's majority for the next two to three DECADES.

If that does not scare everyone into the pragmatist camp, then nothing will.

(Did he shout that loudly enough?)

2012 Election Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:27 PM | What do you think? [8]
But jk thinks:

Wow. Big turnout for our precinct and also Brother br's.

Romney 13, Paul 10, Gingrich 6, Santorum 2, Bachmann 1. Santorum won the block of precincts meeting at the school.

Six propositions passed unanimously. [UPDATED -- I forget the Bachmann vote last night, we had the national campaign manager in our precinct.]

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 12:24 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Our precinct had 41 people, more than half of whom had never attended a caucus. No enthusiasm gap here. Results:

Santorum - 16
Romney - 10
Paul - 8
Gingrich - 7

Overall, our group of precincts voted:

Santorum - 146
Romney - 136
Paul - 75
Gingrich - 61
Bachmann - 1

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 8, 2012 12:36 AM
But johngalt thinks:

My precinct in Southwest Weld county:

Santorum - 14
Paul - 6
Romney - 6
Gingrich - 4

UPDATE- District totals:

Santorum - 85
Romney - 34
Paul - 31
Gingrich - 28

You guys voted on the resolutions too, eh? We just collected them and turned them in. My brother co-opted our 11 3Srcs resolutions for his Boulder County precinct. They voted also - all 11 (and loads more from the Longmont 9/12 and Boulder County TEA Party) passed unanimously.

I showed my preprinted list to a few voters as an example. They wanted to read them. Then their neighbor, and their neighbor. Two copies made it around the entire table. The comments I received were universally favorable. A pastor in my precinct asked if he could keep a copy! "You wrote these," he asked? "You really wrote them?" As I recall, he agreed with every one.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 12:55 AM
But johngalt thinks:

BREAKING- Just tweeted by @cologop:

Santorum wins the Colorado GOP caucuses. Final tally with 99% reporting Santorum 40.2% Romney 34.9% Gingrich 12.8% Paul 11.7% #COcaucus 27 seconds ago · reply · retweet · favorite
Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 1:14 AM
But jk thinks:

Several precinct members came up after to speak favorably of the resolutions. I was the only one packing and they started to just turn them in, but we all said they were to be voted on.
Shy jk made it through six.

Big night for Sen. Santorum.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:22 AM
But Terri thinks:

I introduced your coexist resolution. It was passed. Thanks for the list, it was great!

Posted by: Terri at February 8, 2012 8:32 AM

She's Just not that into you, Mister President

Not sure her taste has improved that much, but:

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

JG's Bi-Annual Exhortation to Resolutions

The non-binding Presidential Preference Poll is getting all the Publicity but for my money, the most important way for individual caucus-goers to be influential in party politics is to help shape what the party stands for. A significant part of this is the party platform. We're familiar with this at its completed stage but it has its origins at the most basic level of self-governance: the individual party member.

The process begins with individual "resolutions" being submitted tonight at each neighborhood precinct caucus meeting. Each and every resolution is accepted and, after a process of aggregation and distillation, voted upon at each county's party convention. Approved resolutions are advanced to the state convention, re-aggregated and re-voted, with the approved resolutions going on to the national convention for their final votes.

If one of your aims in "getting involved" is to help shape the values and positions of the party then this is your most urgent action item: Draw up the ideas that are important to you and hand them to your precinct captain tonight. If your idea is clear and compelling and popular with your fellow party members it could make its way to the national convention and help guide the thinking of current and future office holders. (I'll promise you more influence than possible from your single vote on election day. How much more I shall not promise.)

The formulation is usually, "The _________ county Republican Party resolves (or supports, affirms, opposes, etc.) ...

But johngalt thinks:

Excellent kickoff. And I add my offerings, borrowing heavily from JK's comments to the TEA Party Platform.

Everyone please borrow from everyone else. These should all be submitted in every one of our precincts. Resolutions appear higher on the list in their rank of precincts submitting them.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that the United States Constitution remains the best example for a self-governing people in the history of mankind.

The Weld County Republican Party affirms that Constitutional limits upon government powers are sacrosanct and if not respected by the various branches and agencies of federal government must, in turn, be protected by the people and the governments of America's individual states.

The Weld County Republican Party will not tolerate political favoritism or "crony capitalism" on the part of any of its elected or appointed members, and exhorts those members to oppose and defeat such favoritism when exerted by members of any other political party.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that The US Constitution and all ratified Amendments must be followed scrupulously by all branches of the Federal Government.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that any federal legislation that exceeds Constitutional purview is to be voted against or vetoed by every elected Republican.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Executive actions that exceed Constitutional purview shall be investigated and censured by Republican legislators in Congress.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Judicial decisions that exceed Constitutional purview will be swiftly met with clarifying and remedial legislation by Republican legislators.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Judicial nominations will receive Senatorial consent from Republican legislators only after demonstrating a full understanding and willingness to adhere to a strict reading of the Constitution.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all elected or appointed Republican officials shall voluntarily swear to craft and approve all future legislation expressly to restore and protect our rights as granted in the Bill of Rights.

The Weld County Republican Party affirms that the term "right" or "rights" does not apply to the involuntary redistribution of the property of one or more Americans from their ownership to others.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 3:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nearly missed this one: COEXIST

The Weld County Republican Party reaffirms, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, that peaceful coexistence among free peoples requires a fastidious respect for the religious freedom and the property rights of each and every citizen.
Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 4:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow. Blog readers who know me from my big talk may be unaware of the depth of my shyness in person.

Do you really intend to present that many? I can see myself doing two. Three if I have Scotch.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 4:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sure! They'll all fit on one page. With yours it's an even dozen, or just one per quarter since The Otastrophe began.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 4:56 PM
But jk thinks:

One suggest: I would roll your #4 and #5 into a single planque:

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that The US Constitution and all ratified Amendments must be followed scrupulously by all branches of the Federal Government and that any federal legislation that exceeds Constitutional purview is to be voted against or vetoed by every elected Republican.
Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 5:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Copied from a later post: Our composite resolutions were quite popular in Boulder and Weld counties:

My brother co-opted our 11 3Srcs resolutions for his Boulder County precinct. They voted also - all 11 (and loads more from the Longmont 9/12 and Boulder County TEA Party) passed unanimously.

I showed my preprinted list to a few voters as an example. They wanted to read them. Then their neighbor, and their neighbor. Two copies made it around the entire table. The comments I received were universally favorable. A pastor in my precinct asked if he could keep a copy! "You wrote these," he asked? "You really wrote them?" As I recall, he agreed with every one.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 2:06 AM

Got Yer Constitutional Imbroglio Right Here

Too many good things to discuss at too great a length on Caucus Day. But I'll add this to Brother br's awesome and frightening post.

A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. "The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere," according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.

The study, to be published in June in The New York University Law Review, bristles with data. Its authors coded and analyzed the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them.


It is disturbing and chock full'o NYTimes smug, but the greatest blueprint of all time for the organization of society is losing out to those "that offer more rights" (I'm guessing heath care and dry cappuccinos in the lunch room but I have not completed the requisite research.

I need more time with this, but it strikes me as extremely sad.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Related: SCOTUS Justice Ginsberg - "I would not look to the US Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012." (Shoulda clicked through first and seen this was also mentioned in the article, but I'll leave it here for its sheer breathlessness.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 3:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm playing with fire now, but I will defend the petite, opera-loving, über-progressive Associate Justice.

Like then-Professor Wilson, Progressives are entitled to yearn for a government structure that puts more power into the voters' hands so that they can move faster to shape it.

I fulsomely disagree, but do not consider it treasonous to serve in a government whose structure you question. I would accept your nomination to the US Senate (keep that in mind on Caucus night -- and I am over 30) even though I abhor the 17th Amendment.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 5:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll politely contend that government office holders surrender the right to yearn for a supra-Constitutional government when they swear the oath of office. I find this essay quite credible.

I have begun to understand that those in our government repeatedly take oaths that they do not understand do not actually believe. Taking an oath and not understanding what that oath means, is the equivalent of taking no oath at all.
Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 3:12 PM

Quote of the Day

Dirty Harry says if you didn't support the taxpayer bailout of General Motors and Chrysler back in 2008 and 2009, you quit on America ... punk! -- James Pethokoukis
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I know what you're thinking. Did he spend six billion dollars, or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is America, the most powerful economy in the world, you've got to ask yourself one question: do I feel lucky?

Well, do you - punk?

(Yeah, I've already fired my answering shot to Clint in the Santorum Hate post. But I'm feeling lucky.)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 7, 2012 1:47 PM
But jk thinks:

They're both good, man, both good.

I was despondent upon viewing the ad. I took "halftime" as halftime of the game (that they spent $14 million of my money buying) and not the interstice betwixt Obama terms. But the celebration of the bailout is unambiguous.

The boys at WSJ beat it up pretty well today.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 1:56 PM

Ask Senator Buck about that.

I must address the best argument of the Speaker Gingrich team, including the Speaker himself, who just delivered it on a robocall.

[SIDE TRACK: Is it not the greatest thing ever to be in a state still in play? My phone rings each hour with a survey, recording, operative, precinct member or something. I've done live telephone town halls with both Governor Christie (HOSS- NJ) and Speaker Gingrich. It rocks to be wooed.]

The Speaker notes he will challenge President Obama to x Lincoln-Douglas style debates, each lasting y hours. My blog brother yearns for a pugilistic campaign.

Obama will say "no" x times and the campaign will devolve to super PAC nonsense about the Speaker's background both real and imagined. Ain't gonna be no Lincoln-Douglas debates. They will sit in front of some PBS septuagenarian and have two minutes to address some CW question. Then they will go home.

Speaker Gingrich was lackluster in the last debate and claimed it was because Governor Romney was "fundamentally and [other adverb] dishonest." Good thing the President is the Paragon of Probity® then.

Sadly the campaign will be insubstantive (cf, Colorado Senate 2010) and Gingrich's advantage will not be usable.

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

I've been hanging my hopes not on debate(s) but on all the other opportunities Newt would have to offer a contrasting vision. Sadly, Barack's opportunities (and obfuscation) will certainly be greater. Along JK's line of attack, which I find persuasive, I also find this to be nearly conclusive.

Add the respected opinion of Jon Caldera who said this morning that Rick Santorum is a good man who just doesn't have the nationwide organization that will be necessary to win. "Ain't gonna happen" were I think his exact words.

Romney-Paul anyone? I'm leaning ever stronger toward the Texas congressman. Fitting, given my preference for western Republicanism to the eastern variety.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 2:33 PM

Colorado Caucus Study Notes

For those who haven't yet made up their mind who to vote for in the Colorado Caucus Presidental Preference Poll this evening, here are interviews with three of the four candidates from Monday's 'Caplis and Silverman Show' on Denver's KHOW radio.

Or maybe you've made up your mind and just aren't tired of this stuff yet. I thought the best of the three interview performances was Santorum's. If you only listen to one of them, make it his. If only I could picture him being taken seriously in a head-to-head with President Obama. His boyish good looks seem a bit of a handicap to me. Tell me I'm wrong.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Forget ideas and substance - Santorem has neither the organization nor the resources to take on Obama head-to-head; it would be the junior varsity playing in the Super Bowl.

The Refugee maintains that Santorem is running for VP. There could be worse in that regard, but he does bring enough electoral swing to be viable. Rubio could deliver Florida for the Republicans, but Santorem could not deliver Pennsylvania at any level on the ticket.

There is still that small matter of electoral math.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 12:53 PM
But jk thinks:

My "blog pragmatist" nameplate goes to you. Can I still hit you up for a ride? You could pick it up tonight.

I agree that Senator Santorum is second-tier, but I don't see him out of the running. A couple big finishes and he could grab the non-Romney vote from a self-destructing...other guy. If nominated, he gets the GOP's resources and the evangelical ground troops that anyone is foolish to dismiss.

Not my guy but he has a knack for exceeding expectations while the others consistently come up way short. I have wondered, a few times, why I am not in his camp.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 1:07 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Probably because he's a Big Government Social Conservative who got pasted in his last election.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 4:18 PM
But dagny thinks:

After Santorum's speech with (mostly) the right ideas on Saturday night, I got one foot halfway into his camp until his brochure showed up on my doorstep last night. The pretty color brochure LEADS with his social conservative bona fides...defense of marriage and partial birth abortion bans and such. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of partial birth abortions. I just think that such horrifying and difficult decisions should be made by, women, families and doctors and NOT by governments.

Then there is this manufacturing tax thing. I am the accounting manager for a small manufacturing company. Did you know that Colorado already has a sales tax exemption for machinery and tools purchased for manufacturing in Colorado? The bureacracy and paperwrok involved in this one little exemption is enormous! It is a royal pain to document and collect. Much taxpayer money could be saved by eliminating the special exemption and firing all the associated beauracrats. On the federal level it would be even a disaster.

Sorry Mr. Santorum, you seem like a nice guy and all, but despite the nice speeches, I don't think you really get the idea of individual liberty. Rep. Paul for president!

Posted by: dagny at February 7, 2012 5:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes!

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 5:44 PM
But dagny thinks:

Whoops Typo, I meant, "even more of a disaster."

Posted by: dagny at February 7, 2012 5:47 PM

February 6, 2012

Reliable Answers

After months of searching for clues and answers in the Presidential Election contest I've finally found the authoritative website with the answer to all of our questions.

"Will Mitt Romney be elected America's next president?" Most likely

"Will Barack Obama be reelected as president?" Don't count on it


I feel better now.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 4:08 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Brings new meaning to the term "behind the 8-ball."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2012 4:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That's the good news. The bad news is that the RNC used Rock-Paper-Scissors to pick its candidates, except for Ron Paul, who merely needed to make his saving throw against insanity with twenty-sided dice.

You want games? We got games.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 6, 2012 4:38 PM

Wither go Jersey schools, so go Colorado's?

Last month, Denver District Judge Sheila Rappaport ruled that Colorado school funding system is not "thorough and uniform" as mandated by the state constitution. The ruling could cost Colorado taxpayers billions. To see how this movie ends, examine New Jersey.

Steven Malanga, writing in the City Journal, provides a comprehensive expose on the impact of the New Jersey Supreme Court's mandated school funding. Plot spoiler alert: New Jersey's Supreme Court makes the US Ninth Circuit look positively reticent. The piece is so long and detailed that pulled quotes would simply do it an injustice. If you live in Colorado, this is a "must read." Have your blood pressure medicine close and your firearms locked up.

The article is interesting on serveral levels, beginning with the parallel between where New Jersey was in the 1960's and Rappaport's recent ruling. The other interesting levels include:

- How easy it is for the Judicial branch to usurp Executive and Legislative authority - The dangers of a "living Constitution" - How our system of government depends heavily upon judges willing to restrain themselves

Gov. Christie declined to run for president in order to fix a "broken" New Jersey. According to Malanga, this is what he meant. The Refugee certainly does not know Christie's strategy, but he ultimately can see no remedy other than one body of government forcing a constitutional crisis. If the Executive Branch refuses to abide by a court decision, where do we go from here?

New Jersey's court activism may embolden and portend other courts to follow the same blueprint as is apparent in the case of Denver District Court. If Christie stays in New Jersey to untie this Gordian knot and saves the 50 states and the Republic from a similar fate, he may well have served a far more useful service to limited government than occupying the White House. Otherwise, the courts may do by fiat what Obama cannot through legislation. Maybe there is a silver lining.

hat tip: realclearpolitics.com

Education Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:57 PM | What do you think? [9]
But Terri thinks:

Wow. Just wow.
To cover the disadvantages, they've ended up funding these schools at close to $30,000/pupil. They should hand the money over to the families if and only if they stay together and raise their kids. I suspect their would at least be results that way!

Posted by: Terri at February 6, 2012 6:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee was hoping to stimulate a discussion among Three Sourcers about the virtues of a constitutional crisis imbroglio - thoughts?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2012 11:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'll step up to the plate, br.

For my money, we're been building up to a Constitutional crisis for a long time - the beginnings of it going back to... well, you have to include Lincoln, I suppose, but in earnest with FDR. The issue is Federal overreach. I'm going to be uncharacteristically charitable and voice the issue that both sides of the aisle have had a hand in it.

I am NOT a supporter of a Constitutional Convention, and that may surprise some readers here. I think the Constitution we've got is fine (short of avulsing a few pesky Amendments); I'd be quite content if we went back to what that Constitution said, and abide by it. My thought is that in a Con-Con, everything is up for grabs, and do you really want Kucinich and a bunch of OWSers having a say in the next one? I sure as Hades don't.

What I think we need to see is each branch calling out the others and calling BS when they overreach. The problem I see is that none of the three branches right now are exactly faithful to that original parchment. Right now, short of taking back the Congress and using it to chasten the other two branches, it's really going to come down to the states. Various states are going to have to defy the Federal government if a real original-intent Constitutionalism is going to happen.

Jefferson famously penned that the people themselves are the final safe repository of freedom in this country. Here's the problem: I begin to think that more than 50% are either happy with government handouts or with DC ruling over us, and I wonder if those wanting that Constitutionalism will be able to muster a majority to vote it back. Hence we get back to panem et circenses; a once great nation fades and falls through addiction to welfare, distraction, and letting the government handle the rest. The fall-back plans beyond that aren't appetizing.

So, who's next?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 7, 2012 12:00 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Agree with most of what you say, KA. We have far more to lose than gain in a constitutional convention. Most issues could be solved with adherence to the doc we have, and that's where the constitutional crisis comes in.

If the judiciary demands more funds for education, say, and the Legislature refuses to approriate them, what will the courts do? They can try to hold the legislature/legistlators in contempt, but there usually rules against that. Moreover, it would require the executive branch to haul them in. (Same thing if they try to hold the exec in contempt.) If the exec says, "Sorry, we're on their side," what remedy does the court have? They can try to persuade the voters to throw the legistlators out, but that would only be in the next election when the voters can decide for themselves anyway.

Ultimately, branch over-reach can only be solved by the other branch(s) saying "Hell no." Someone will have to back down. I think it is very possible to win a showdown with the courts and if anyone can do it, it's Christie.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 5:05 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

One other thing: Even if 50%+ of the population likes government patronage, activists normally carry the day. During the Revolution, 1/3 of Americans were Tories, 1/3 Patriots and 1/3 didn't care. The activist Patriots carried the day over the other two-thirds.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 5:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Now THAT is the most optimistic thing I've read in the last three years! Thank you BR, from the bottom of my nuveau-activist heart. "Today is a good day to die! (Or, at least, caucus and write resolutions.)"

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 5:46 PM

Two Minute Hate: Sen.Rick Santorum Edition

Christina Romer punctures the argument that manufacturers need special tax treatment. (Y'know, I work for a manufacturer and should probably check my love of liberty at the office door -- Go Rick! Yeah!)

A successful argument for a government manufacturing policy has to go beyond the feeling that it's better to produce "real things" than services. American consumers value health care and haircuts as much as washing machines and hair dryers. And our earnings from exporting architectural plans for a building in Shanghai are as real as those from exporting cars to Canada.

Is it just me (it can't be the shoes) but is it disturbing when a GOP Presidential candidate needs a lesson on the benefits of the free market from a U Cal-Berkeley professor and former Obama Administration official?

Hat-tip: Prof Mankiw

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:48 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Romer has a good point. In the spirit of a recent Jon Caldera tweet - "Why not make all of Colorado an "enterprise zone?" - we should be asking, Why not give non-punitive tax treatment to all American businesses?

Yes, Rick is wrong on principle to advocate special treatment for certain businesses but, he is right to advocate rescuing American business from the ravages of the federal government.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 2:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's like Jack Kemp and his "Enterprise Zones" all over again, except this time, we're favoring particular lines of business instead of particular geographic sinkholes.

Speaking of geographic sinkholes, did you all have the same reaction to Clint Eastwood's "Halftime In Detroit" commercial during the game? I'm trying to decide if there was some other Detroit besides the one in Michigan that he was referring to, or if he was saying that a massive transfusion of bailout money to the UAW and the Volt was his idea of Americans Coming Together To Revitalize A Community.

Somewhere in the blue Pacific Ocean, there's a shark, saying "What was that? Was that Dirty Harry that just jumped over me?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 6, 2012 3:51 PM

Coulter: "Three Cheers for Romneycare!"

[Exclamation point hers.]

I linked this previously in a comment but I've repeated it so often to so many folks it deserves a post of its own.

If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles -- as it was at the time.

Yeah, like that "conservative free-market principle" that says if someone can't afford something the government will give it to them free of charge, just as long as it's really really important, like a house or something.

Sorry Ann, you're so in the tank for Romney you're misleading even yourself.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Make that three Bronx cheers.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2012 12:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Next thing, Sean Hannity or Pat Robertson might say something stupid. These are fascinating times! [Exclamation mark mine.]

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 1:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think I'd better start using the "internecine" category label again. At least while I still have a working password on the blog.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 1:48 PM
But jk thinks:

I might change it to "eye-patch" but I would never remove it.

I'm all for holding the Governor responsible for Romneycare; I just don't think he is responsible for Ann Coulter. Donald Trump maybe...

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 2:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did I imply that?

Romney is responsible for Romneycare. (Unapologetically I should add.)

Coulter is responsible for telling America there's nothing for the Governor to apologize for.

Fair?

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 2:33 PM

How would Mitt say this?

Before anyone casts a vote for Mitt Romney in their state primary he should really watch this short clip and ask himself, how would Mitt answer this question?

Of course in this case the question is about a policy idea Newt has and Mitt doesn't so he wouldn't actually be asked this question. In fact, I'm not sure what questions Mitt gets asked. What does he stand for that media types want to call attention to?

Newt is the media's worst nightmare. And liberal women are right. He's just "so damn smart!"

But hb thinks:

The Gingrich love here is getting old. Apparently, the love for Gingrich really represents a dislike of Mitt Romney. Why? Purportedly, it is because Mitt is a flip flopper or not a "true" conservative (or at least advocate for freedom). What precisely does Gingrich offer otherwise?

I have been accused of making ad hominem attacks against the Speaker, but I don't view them as such. I think that character is an issue and I think that Newt has a lack thereof. In addition, when I called some of Newt's ideas "crazy", jg used scare quotes to suggest that I was being unfair. Below is a short list of reasons I think should give one pause about the speaker. Note, of particular importance that Romney's biggest weakness (RomneyCare) is one shared by Gingrich. (As an aside, I also think that it is funny when Newt flip flops, he is defended as simply changing his mind.)

1. Just a few short years ago, he sat next to Nancy Pelosi on a couch and professed to believe that we need collective action to solve global warming.

2. In 1993, Newt Gingrich appeared on Meet the Press and stated that he was "for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."

(a) A lot has changed since 1993, right? Wrong. In 2009, Gingrich stated, “We believe that there should be must-carry, that everybody should have health insurance, or if you’re an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond, but we would not allow people to be ‘free riders’ failing to insure themselves and then showing up in the emergency room with no means of payment.”

3. Newt was paid $1.6 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Contrary to what he says, he was not paid to tell them they were going to cause of financial crisis.

4. Moon colony.

5. He sponsored the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, which would have given life sentences to individuals who brought as little as two ounces of marijuana into the U.S. Repeat offenders would be executed.

6. Just in case you think the moon colony is a joke, here is one in which we would use space mirrors to light up the sky. Gingrich's own summary:


"The climate group at the Woods Hole conference suggested that a large array of mirrors could affect the earth’s climate by increasing the amount of sunlight received by particular areas, citing recent feasibility studies exploring the possibilities of preventing frosts in Florida or enabling farmers in high altitudes to plant their wheat earlier.

"A mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways. Ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in the darkness. Mirrors could be arranged to light given metropolitan areas only during particular periods, so there would be darkness late at night for sleeping."

7. We all know the pattern with Newt and his marriages. I won't belabor the point, but again, I think this speaks to his lack of character.

8. He criticized the most sensible downsizing of government (The Ryan Plan) and has presented no alternative.

9. His flat tax idea is an exercise in pandering. We aren't getting a flat tax.

Newt knows how to wow a crowd and give a good speech, but he is not a good candidate for president and, in my view, would not make a good president. He routinely espouses crazy ideas (no scare quotes necessary unless you want to defend space mirrors), he lacks moral character, he routinely takes positions that are not pro-freedom, and he "changes his mind" on issues at his convenience.

I understand those who aren't happy with Mitt Romney, but why Newt? Santorum and Paul are going to lose also, why not go down with their ships?

Posted by: hb at February 6, 2012 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Tell me about it, hb. Tell me about it.

I will absolutely and fundamentally agree, however, with Governor Romney's flaws. It's not so much about flip flops as whether he has any fundamental beliefs in free markets, limited government, or birthright liberty. His gaffes have been most telling: "the poor," "the middle class," "the safety net," "increasing the minimum wage." All of these contravene classical liberalism.

Having said that, I do not trust the Speaker as far as I could throw any two of his wives to follow through. He has elevated pandering to mortal sin status. Ethanol in Iowa, Rebuilding Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, and limited government and American Exceptionalism to my blog brother.

I hated the video clip. Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR? Three-point five* Presidents who grossly over-stretched Executive power. Long time blog readers will know I consider that the heart of our loss of liberty.

I don't know the 1802 Jefferson contretemps he cited (but suspect Ms. Kelly had a point -- really? Nobody in 1802 objected? I don't think that's so damn smart.) But every one of his other examples grossly and dangerously arrogated Executive power over courts THAT WERE DEFENDING LIBERTY! I can think of no worse examples.

*Jefferson exceeded his authority in the Louisiana Purchase, but I neither object nor feel he otherwise overstepped authority -- he is the half.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 11:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Did I say I appreciate your challenge to my assertions? Be careful what one wishes for indeed.

I think I'll begin with what I consider the most pernicious slur against the speaker - that his being twice divorced belies a lack of character. I know of many men who, having married a horsewoman, tired of playing second-in-line to her horses and divorced her. Do they have bad character? They made a bad decision with incomplete information. This is called "life." I don't know what led to Newt's divorces. That's between them, where it should be. Calista seems content to play the political wife and they have their writing pursuits in common. Good for them.

"Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996." That's a new one to me. By my reading the death penalty was for cartel leaders, not pot mules. Manned space exploration is a very human sort of pursuit, and orbiting solar reflectors is not crazy talk in a technical sense, although I'd prefer to have my dark night sky than longer growing seasons for my neighbors. But this was think-tank stuff, was it not? Not legislation.

I know I've said many times that Newt has enough baggage for a Queen's voyage but I am also not the first to say he would carry the fight to Obama in a way that Romney can't and won't. He'll take swings at Obama's glass jaw - government enforced redistribution, while Mitt will have to protect his "1 percenter" gaffe-prone personna and his own $250K cap on tax deductions.

I don't expect to change your mind or your point of view. I've backed and disqualified every one of the remaining candidates at some point and yet, at this point I see Gingrich as a greater threat to 'Obamanation - The Sequel' than Romney can hope to become. Rick or Ron could take over that position. That would be fine with me. Until then I'll vocally back the Speaker.

I think our difference of opinion may have much to do with what style of campaign we favor. I want to see a bare-knuckled brawl over the core issues of fairness, economic growth, personal freedom and property rights. I see a Romney campaign as a carefully choreographed exercise in poll-driven milquetoast distinctions between he and the president.

Why am I wrong? How does Romney stand an excellent chance of defeating Obama? After all, the president should be completely vulnerable after a presidency marked by economic stagnation and bald-faced political payoffs.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 3:16 PM
But hb thinks:

jg,

A few clarifying remarks.

1. I have never said that I am a Romney supporter. I simply believe that he will be the nominee and I don't think that Gingrich would be any better. In fact, I think he would be quite worse. Virtually every candidate when placed in a hypothetical poll against President Obama has at least been within the margin of error -- except Gingrich. The American people do not seem to like him -- I think for good reason.

2. You're defending space mirrors? I fail to see how someone who can float the idea of space mirrors could also be for limited government.

3. You like Gingrich's rhetoric. I think that is being selective. It is great when Gingrich tells Maria Bartiromo that her question is ridiculous. However, we must also remember that he brought anti-capitalist rhetoric to the race as well. You have claimed that he was making a nuanced point, but by all accounts this nuanced point didn't apply directly to Romney. In addition, as jk points out above regarding the courts "every one of his other examples grossly and dangerously arrogated Executive power over courts THAT WERE DEFENDING LIBERTY!" Gingrich's rhetoric is all over the map.

4. Regarding Gingrich's divorces. I never said that being divorced says something about one's character. Rather what I referenced was that the circumstances surrounding the divorces. In each case, Newt was cheating on his current wife with the one that was next in line. I think that Rick Perry was correct when he used this to call into question Gingrich's character. It's the cheating -- and the pattern of cheating -- that gives me pause about the man's character, not the fact that his marriages ultimately ended in divorce.

Posted by: hb at February 8, 2012 9:33 AM

February 5, 2012

Weld (CO) County Lincoln Day - Caucus Minus 72 hours

I feared that last night's ThreeSources Blogger Bash might be falling apart due to the substantial snowstorm we endured from Thursday through Saturday. But what snow taketh, snow giveth back. Blog brothers JK and BR traded places as BR's weekend plan was outdoors - in the mountains.

The night began with some contretemps and dirty looks as our assigned table had been swiped by a Mr. Bud Johnson and 7 other senior citizens. An honest mistake I suppose - I might also have confused the "table tent" sign reading "THREESOURCES.COM" for the one reading "Bud Johnson." They must have chewed and swallowed our sign so we made a replacement.

So after considerable hunting around we were awarded Bud's assigned table way to the side of the room. (I could see the speaker at the podium from behind the loudspeaker on the stage so it wasn't that bad.) I asked the nice young man who helped us find Bud's table to please let Mr. Johnson know we had found his table. I said that since they were our elders we would not ask them to move.

We had the last laugh though, I think, since ours was one of the tables Rick Santorum visited while pressing the flesh. We were the last table in our row but it was, after all, the front row. Rick was quite generous with his time, making leisurely visits to each table. He shook hands with several of us but he seemed to know better than to engage in conversation, and nobody I saw tried to. We all thanked him for coming.

Once we were settled we enjoyed a nice dinner, rolicking conversation and speeches from Rick Santorum and Cory Gardner. I'll discuss those in a separate post at some point but for now I'll refer you to Terri's excellent writeup on Santorum with another great photo. I didn't think he was as flat as she did but he could have done better. He was the best speaker of the night though and I thought he made a good case for the "doomsday" message he's been derided for in some quarters.

It was an excellent night. I was very happy to meet Terri and Nanobrewer in person and find out how much more we have in common than just political views.


Speaking of common views, before we entered the hall I decided to go visit with some demonstrators we saw on the sidewalk (and heard from across the street.) I chatted with three or four of them and would have liked to talk much longer. They were friendly and well spoken, although some of their signs were stereotypical of the #Occupy mentality's darker (egalitarian collectivist) side.

I was offered an "overturn Citizens United" petition to sign. Given my propensity of late, and considering the well-meaning young man (Josh, if I remember correctly) only had four signatures before me, I signed it. We talked about whether corporations should have the rights of people and I suggested that, like people, some corporations are good and some are bad. "When you talk about Wall Street I think corporations like Fidility Investments are good while Goldman Sachs is bad. The distinction is cronyism." They were like, "Yeah, that's right." To which I said, "See, that's the same point of view we have in the TEA Party." This was met with some skepticism. I'm sure If I'd stayed five minutes longer we'd have been in an argument about something. I didn't see the "ROBIN HOOD WAS ONE OF US" message on the 99% sign until I'd left - If I had we'd certainly have talked about that. But they encouraged me even more to attempt to bridge the gap, somehow, somewhere. I plan to spend some time on their website: occupygreeley.org. If I can get through or around the Marxism to connect with real people I think we can make progress together on common ideas. And I gave them our web address, twice, so maybe one or more of them will reach out to us as well.

Peace on, brothers!

UPDATE: Perhaps because I had so much fun talking to the demonstrators out front, dagny gave an interview to a local newspaper. (Not just a bunch of *bloggers* mind you.) The UNC campus newspaper The Mirror quotes her in the fourth paragraph:

"I'm glad we came," said Jodi Rinard, a member of the WCRP. "It's a great chance to discuss ideas. It's a great chance to discuss politics."

Well done dear! She told me she'd talked to them but the story wasn't in the online edition when I looked this morning. It's a pretty straight account of the themes Rick Santorum discussed. It soft pedals the importance Rick put upon repealing Obamacare saying only, "Once the people become dependent on the government for their health, there is nothing the government won't be able to control," Santorum said. Santorum contrasted the Romney and Gingrich records of "supporting an individual mandate at some point in their careers" with his "authorship of the law implementing Health Savings Accounts (HSA) 20 years ago. Rick also quoted Margaret Thatcher as saying Britain's NHS was the biggest obstacle to free-market government reform.

UPDATE: [2/20/12] Video of Rick Santorum's speech can be seen here.

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A fine night indeed! Many thanks to JG and Dagny for organizing and driving the effort. It was great to meet NB and Terri. Mrs. Refugee has texted about everyone whom she knows with the picture of Rick Santorem and her. (However, she still plans to caucus for Newt.)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 5, 2012 10:24 PM
But Terri thinks:

I will second the "fine night" feeling.
Thank you all for the invite and ride. I spent the day in research and am now solidly leaning Santorum.
He doesn't strike me as a leader of men, but he does have the basics down pat.

I admire you Mr. Galt for reaching out. Perhaps one day a youtube video of you doing TaiChi in the midst of an occupation will go viral. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkW0bt-9kO8....it just makes me chuckle)

A joy to meet you all!

Posted by: Terri at February 5, 2012 11:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Looks grand! Thanks for the report and pictures. Maybe something in late spring...

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 11:34 AM

Don't Politicize the Super Bowl!

While you're waiting for kickoff, read Nick Gillespie's hilarious and somehow sweet column on American sports.

To be fair, it's not only the right that tries to claim certain games or even athletics writ large for its side. The Nation devoted a whole issue last year to sports, with the unappetizing subtitle, "Views from Left Field," and featuring such ripped-from-the-Comintern-headlines as "Class Struggle on the Court" and "Revolution on Eight Wheels: Roller Derby marries an underground vibe with the fun of athletic competition" (as if we needed another pinko take on roller derby after Raquel Welch's epic Kansas City Bomber, easily the agit-prop equal of anything Eisenstein churned out).

Better that the pre-game show -- guaranteed.


February 4, 2012

Don't fight the Tape!

My GOP friends are falling into a trap, led by my favorite Jeopardy champion.* I tell them "Listen to Kudlow! Walk towards the light!"

The American economic engine is an amazing, robust, self-correcting system. Even the policies of the 111th Congress and 44th President cannot keep it down forever.

Sure, Pethokoukis has a point "trying to place in context the Great Recession's aftermath and the nature of the economic recovery." But I see The Herman Cain, and Jimi P, and a host of bloggers yelling "Obama's Recession!" after 847,000 jobs are added (household survey).

We can say it could be better, we can say the Obama Recovery is tepid and fragile -- hell, we can ask to see his birth certificate (just kidding on that last one...) But, if we deny a recovery and create a general election strategy against the recession we think his policies will cause, we run the risk of looking foolish, losing the election -- and having to cover shorts at high prices.

Don't fight the tape; the economy might be improved by November. That's why we should choose a candidate based on ideas. I fear "Obama's Recession" is the only arrow in Governor Romney's quiver.

(* Who is James Pethokoukis?)

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:27 PM | What do you think? [0]

Brother's Keeper, Huh!

Take it away, Mark Steyn:

"Oh give me a break," Steyn said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show on Thursday night. "For a start, when he says, 'I am my brother's keeper,' his brother is back in Kenya living on $12 a year. That's what he was living on at the time of the 2008 election. So all the president has to do in terms of shared responsibility is put a $10 bill in an envelope and mail it to Nairobi or Mombasa or wherever and he will double his brother's salary."

"This version of shared responsibility means the state should be your 'brother's keeper.' And this is the point for the Catholic Church. Separation of church and state is one thing, but big government means the state as church, the sole legitimate source of moral authority whether it's on contraception or gay marriage or abortion or any of the rest. And that's what you see in Europe. Big government drives out other sources of moral authority."


Hat-tip: Insty


Tempt not ye the Deities...

The lovely bride and I will be safe at home this evening. Our two tickets to the Weld County GOP dinner and appearance by Senator Santorum are up for grabs (as are I think two others). Be our guest if you can make it to Greeley tonight. jk [at] threesources [dot] com.


2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | What do you think? [5]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, perhaps my 4-seater may be of service after all, since we may not need the minivan. I will still be going and @ the mustering point. However, as JK is the only one I've met.... I'll send back an eMail to make sure we have a way of ID'ing each other.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 4, 2012 12:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Shouldn't be hard: Johngalt is 7'3", bald, has an eye patch and walks with a limp. Dagny is 4'7" and always wears a long camo trenchcoat. Never met Terri -- that could be tough...

If you have any friends you'd like to bring, I'd love to see the tickets put to best use. (Happy to support WELDGOP, of course, whatever transpires).

Posted by: jk at February 4, 2012 12:51 PM
But Terri thinks:

I've been on the roads and they are not bad and getting better. I'll be there at the Starbucks at 5 with my little blue Subaru. I will be happy to drive if needed, though I would recommend not wearing too much black, lest you be covered in white dog hair.

Posted by: Terri at February 4, 2012 1:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Pleased to confirm that all four open seats have been filled. One even by a blog brother - Boulder Refugee. The DNC-DAWG induced snowstorm may slow us down, but it can't stop us!

News at eleven. (Or whenever.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 4, 2012 3:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Freshly shaved. Anybody seen my good eye patch?

Posted by: johngalt at February 4, 2012 4:44 PM

February 3, 2012

Quote of the Day

A reader emails Jay Nordlinger:

A while back we had some friends to dinner and got to talking about global warming. My friend -- a pediatrician -- is a down-the-line green believer convinced that Al Gore has it right and the rest of us are in denial. I -- with graduate degrees in physics and fluid mechanics / heat transfer -- am still somewhat skeptical, to say the least. His comment: "Well, I probably just have a different perspective on this because I have a technical background."


Who Will Carry the Reagan Mantle of Optimism?

Take it away, Rick!

Perhaps a bit of editorializing on the AP's part. But he provides material:

"Go back and read what the sirens did once you arrived on that island," Santorum warned students at Colorado Christian University this week, invoking mythology. "They devour you. They destroy you. They consume you."

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

GO PATS!

Super Bowl Predictor Fumbles?: Does the winner of the Super Bowl predict the presidential election? The formula goes something like this. If the AFC team (in this case the New England Patriots) wins the Super Bowl, a Republican will take the White House. If the NFC team (NY Giants) wins, a Democrat will.

After the Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC) won in 1980 and the Los Angeles Raiders (AFC) did in 1984, Ronald Reagan won the election. George W. Bush also won after the 2004 New England Patriots (AFC) victory. But the NFC results haven't been as clear. In some instances, like when the Washington Redskins (NFC) and Bill Clinton won in 1992, the Dallas Cowboys (NFC) and Bill Clinton won in 1996, and the New York Giants (NFC) and Barack Obama won in 2008, the formula holds up. But in 1988 (Redskins (NFC) and George H.W. Bush) and in 2000 (St. Louis Rams (NFC) and George W. Bush), the Super Bowl did not predict the winner. -- AEI Blog
Sports Posted by John Kranz at 3:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

Did I Mention that we are totally hosed?

I got on a live town-hall call with Gov. Christie (HOSS ALERT!) last night. That was cool and hearing his soothing joisey voice praising Gov. Romney was starting to help.

We did not get to my question "Governor, I'm a voter who could be pulled into the Governor's camp, but I am disturbed by the underlying philosophy, highlighted by the Wall Street Journal editorial this [Thursday] morning. Are indexed cap-gains taxes commensurate with free market capitalism?" But the final question -- from a woman in Aspen no less -- was similar and at least as tough.

I hung up thinking that, after the four other steps, I will make it to acceptance of Gov. Romney as the GOP nominee. Then I watched Kudlow & Co.

Joe Scarborough (R - MSNBC) of all people was a guest. And did the best destruction of Mitt I have ever heard. Start at 12:55 and go through "he probably thinks Hayek is the field goal kicker for the New England Patriots."

I turned to the lovely bride and said "we. are. so. totally. hosed."

Today, the WSJ brings worse news:

Serves us right. Yesterday we tried to defend, or at least explain, Mitt Romney's remark that he didn't worry about the poor because they had the government to help them. Then Mr. Romney tells the world he favors a rising minimum wage indexed for inflation that really would hurt the poor.

Mr. Romney reaffirmed his minimum-wage views to reporters as he tried to extricate himself from the controversy over his "poor" remarks. (See "What Mitt Really Meant," Feb. 2.) It was a classic political gotcha moment, and Mr. Romney's response was more troubling than his earlier marks.


Totally.

UPDATE: Piling on -- James Pethokoukis: Mitt Romney, meet Jack Kemp.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Fear not. Ann Coulter called and said everything will be all right. We just have to get used to Obamacare. And why not, since "Romneycare [is] a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles..."

(Her chicken and egg analysis fails to mention mandatory "treatment on demand" however.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 2:17 PM

RU Ready 4 Some Football?????

Is there a game this weekend or something?

I won't opine on Brady v Manning for fear of disturbing dagny and sugarchuck, but I will point out a Fran Tarkenton column about what works in the NFL: "financial parity among teams and ruthless meritocracy among players." The financial structure is often credited with league parity. And -- as a private institution -- the NFL may structure any way it sees fit.

My beliefs give me an under-lust for Darwinian selection. Football has finally eclipsed hockey as my favorite sport. Yet, part of me thinks that the Yankees should be able to use their considerable resources as a major-market team to "buy" championships. At the end of the day, however, I must agree with Tarkenton that the "any given Sunday" parity of the NFL provides a superior entertainment product.

Go Pats! (Hey, I'm an AFC guy...)

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 11:58 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

I'm expecting an exciting, hard-fought game. I'll be happy whoever wins as my bro-in-law is a huge Giants fan, but I'd rather see the Pats win by double-digits. That would make the Broncos playoff loss "to the eventual Super Bowl champ. And look how bad the beat the Giants."

Toast up some nachos and, let's play!

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 1:59 PM
But dagny thinks:

jg and I disagree on very little outside of pumpkin pie and, apparently, presidential candidates. But...I don't get this. You don't root FOR the guys who stomped on your team. You root AGAINST the guys who stomped on your team. You want them to get stomped too! So they know what it feels like. GO GIANTS!

Posted by: dagny at February 3, 2012 5:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread... Forgive me Johnny Mercer, but I'm going in!

I'm 100% with my blog brother on this (with you on presidential candidates and pro-pumpkin pie, wherever that puts me). I lean AFC but switch in special circumstances. But yes, I love to defend my team's performance with "oh hell, we lost to the champs."

Well, I probably just have a different perspective on this because I have a technical background.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2012 5:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. My perspective is rooted in my medical background.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 6:22 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Having no affiliation either way, I'll vote for the Patriots, in hope of becoming a better one.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 4, 2012 3:56 PM

Ten Thousand Year Clock

Okay, get your geek on -- it's Engineer's Corner Time!

Everything I create has a useful life of 3-5 years, possibly living on in a fossilized state for ten years or at best revised to include recognizable elements. Let's say I ain't exactly Milton.

Some clever guys -- sick of this -- are creating a clock to last 10,000 years, which they suspect to be about the history of human engineering.

It sounds like science fiction, but this is the real vision for the 10 000-Year Clock, a monument-size mechanical clock designed to measure time for 10 millennia. Danny Hillis, an electrical engineer with three degrees from MIT who pioneered parallel supercomputers at Thinking Machines Corp., worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, and then cofounded the consultancy Applied Minds, dreamed up the project in 1995 to get people thinking more about the distant future. But the clock is no longer just a thought experiment. In a cluttered machine shop near a Starbucks in San Rafael, Calif., it's finally ticking to life.

Duracell product manager: "We just got an order from Jeff Bezos for six million AAAs!!!"

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 11:50 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What a country!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 3, 2012 2:29 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Holy high-tech glockenspiel blogbrothers (and any lurking sisters): I've seen this, and had no idea what it was...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 4, 2012 4:56 PM

Headline of the Day

Picking up where Brother jg left off

Obama Insists His Tax Hikes Are Simply Divine! -- Jim Geraghty


Colorado Weather Update

Non-Centennial-Staters may or may not have noticed, but a plan is afoot to gather a quorum of ThreeSourcers to attend a Weld County GOP event this Saturday. It will be the first corporeal meeting of many of us, and I have been looking forward to it.

Here is the first half of the 17" my area is predicted to accumulate. The very Gods themselves fear our confederacy!


But jk thinks:

Insty: AT AMAZON, Top Deals in Patio & Garden.

Thanks, Glenn!

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2012 11:54 AM
But Terri thinks:

Be afraid , be very afraid.

Posted by: Terri at February 3, 2012 1:31 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee's boy scout camping trip was canceled due to 36" of snow in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Apparently, one cannot get around even on snowshoes.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 3, 2012 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

There are 15 hours left, and a guy who walks like me should be cautious when tempting fate.

BUT -- I think it might be overblown. My bro-in-law got a call to provide the network with footage of devastation and urban paralysis. He drove around and saw "wet streets."

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2012 3:46 PM

February 2, 2012

No more symbolic votes

The Refugee just received his voter information concerning his new precinct. The notice also indicated that The Refugee and family have been redistricted from CO-2 to CO-4. Since CO-2 has not sent a Republican to Congress since 1972, his reliable "R" vote has been largely symbolic. No more! Cory Gardener for Congress!

2012 Election Posted by Boulder Refugee at 8:23 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Woohoo! Me too! CO-4! Boulder lives on as a bad dream...

Well, no. My employer's headquarters is in Boulder and I think I should be updating my resume as the city switches to municipal electric generation to ensure use of unic -- I mean, green power.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2012 11:13 AM
But dagny thinks:

Welcome aboard Gentlemen (and families). jg and I got to vote send Cory Gardner to congress the first time. I think jg still has a working cell phone number for him. We occasionally give him a call to remind him of what his constituents think.

Posted by: dagny at February 3, 2012 12:44 PM

A nice guy would not post this picture

No political or philisophical merit to this at all. Just a mean whack at the sincere people who feel that the Speaker would be the best choice to lead our nation away from the brink of Socialism. And -- if the first comment were not so good, I would have demurred:


2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:37 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Nazis!

Seriously though, "Big Brother?" If anything that cropped picture of what looks like a campaign bus carries a likeness more in keeping with the Wizard of Oz. "Pay no attention to that thrice-married man behind the TEA Party Rhetoric!"

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 5:45 PM

WWJD? Soak the Rich

President Obama addressed his third National Prayer Breakfast this morning. Given the setting a highly theological theme is expected, and the President did not disappoint:

"It's absolutely true that meeting these challenges requires sound decision-making, requires smart policies. We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can't dictate our response to every challenge we face.

But in my moments of prayer, I'm reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems, in keeping us going when we suffer setbacks, and opening our minds and our hearts to the needs of others."

Uh-oh. Here it comes. Open our minds, and our hearts, and ... taxpayers' wallets?

"But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that "for unto whom much is given, much shall be required." It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who've been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.

When I talk about giving every American a fair shot at opportunity, it's because I believe that when a young person can afford a college education, or someone who's been unemployed suddenly has a chance to retrain for a job and regain that sense of dignity and pride, and contributing to the community as well as supporting their families -- that helps us all prosper.

It means maybe that research lab on the cusp of a lifesaving discovery, or the company looking for skilled workers is going to do a little bit better, and we'll all do better as a consequence. It makes economic sense. But part of that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother's keeper and I am my sister's keeper; that as a country, we rise and fall together. I'm not an island. I'm not alone in my success. I succeed because others succeed with me."

Don't say the President implores us to personally address "the needs of others" for what he really wants is an electoral mandate to redistribute wealth from some individuals to "others" and to do so himself. And also don't say I didn't warn anyone who was listening.

Preaching to the choir here I s'pose, but when I heard the President of the United States say "that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother's keeper" I just couldn't let it pass without notice.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | What do you think? [8]
But jk thinks:

You beat me to this and did it better.

It is a challenge to square the tenants of Christianity with the vicissitudes of the free market [Insert plug for Michael Novak's "Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" here). I would love to hear the GOP candidates react to this -- but am pretty sure we won't.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 3:41 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Brethren and Cistern: I generally tend to politely butt out of conversations on this subject here. However...

I've discussed Wallis and his ilk (McLaren, Bell, and several named Campolo) elsewhere; I'm hesitant to do so here, other than to point out that most within the church can tell you that the lot of them left the reservation long ago. Post-modernism and the Emerging Church are not so much faith, as they are collectivism and worldliness masquerading behind religious words. What faith Obama gives voice to is very much within that stream.

Squaring the tenets of Christianity with the free market aren't difficult - and aren't difficult to do consistently. I've done a sermon on Acts 5:4 that most readers here would applaud - and maybe add an Amen to. I'm right in the middle of free-market applications in Exodus, too. If you're interested.

Consider this quote: "I also consider that genuine, biblical Christianity is not an altruistic, collective religion, but one in which the individual is of infinite value, and the collective’s claim on the individual is limited, voluntary, and only valid where it is rational."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 2, 2012 5:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I would have you speak up more. I am intrigued.

I was going to retract the word "difficult" -- but want to keep it, just in a very literal sense. Not to say that it cannot be done but that the easier (lazy?) position is to accept "brother's keeper."

I've hawked that Novak book a hundred times on these pages. A good friend of this blog turned me onto it many years ago and it is a gem which I think about and apply constantly. Novak -- and you, brother Keith -- do the difficult work of a deeper reading and understanding.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 5:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I too absolutely welcome the full scope of your commentary KA. In fact, I've been informally trying to draw you out on such themes for some time now. Thanks for breaking silence.

You speak of "genuine, biblical Christianity." I wonder how many of our brothers and sisters, of every and no faith, even know such a thing exists, much less its differences with pop-Christianity. My contention has been that Christian leaders have long used altruism to the benefit of the church. The collectivists, knowing a good thing when they see it, were bound to co-opt it for their secular purposes.

I was surprised to learn of the true story of Robin Hood given the way it was twisted and distorted as a tool for egalitarians. I submit that honest, healthy Christian charity has suffered the same fate, becoming altruism and justifying the leader of the free world saying proudly and publicly, "I am my brother's keeper."

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 7:55 PM
But Terri thinks:

I'm confused. Didn't our President first say "We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can't dictate our response to every challenge we face."

Surely that means each of us gets to decide the amounts to give while talking it over with our own spiritual advisers or directly with God(s)....right? Right?!

Posted by: Terri at February 3, 2012 7:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

To your first paragraph, yes, that's what he said. But the only word in the sentence he really cares about is "dictate." This is his standard technique - first disarm the most likely counterpoint to what he is about to say and then say what you really mean. In this case: Unless you're a poor excuse for a Christian, you can't object when I take from you and give to "others."

To your second paragraph let me paraphrase brother hb: "You're kidding, right?" :)

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 2:05 PM

0:43 Hate: Speaker Gingrich Edition

James Pethokoukis is a little concerned:

My goal is to find steps for every American to have a job, every American to work, every American to be able to buy a house.

We could set up these GSEs see, and they could buy bundled mortgages with access to the US Treasury. Every American buys a house! What could possibly go wrong?

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage." Seems I've heard that before.

Added to that: and that garage part of a single-family residence, owned courtesy of the Community Redevelopment Act, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac...

What could go wrong?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 2, 2012 1:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The way James tells it, yeah, failure on stilts. But perhaps the Speaker has read JK's inaugural elevator talk. Perhaps everybody should.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 1:21 PM
But jk thinks:

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

Jimi P's tweet made it sound awful. Reading it in context, I have to admit it is part of a prosperity theme. AND YET -- "did he learn nothing?" is appropos. After Gingrich's entanglement with GSE's and the Tea Party mood toward gub'mint promotion of home ownership, I do not think a poorer example could have been chosen.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 1:31 PM

Bad News: Atlas Part II starts filming in April

Smug movie criticism? No way -- I was hoping that Pt II was being filmed quietly without a lot of attention and would open on April 15, 2012.

Rube! For you realists: Great News! ASII greenlit!

Santa Monica, CA -- February 2nd, 2012 -- Atlas Productions, LLC announced today that "Atlas Shrugged Part 2", the second installment of the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy, has been officially greenlit with principal photography to begin this coming April in Los Angeles, Colorado, and New York.

But johngalt thinks:

Last I heard the planned release for II was to be an "October Surprise" rather than a Tax Day Protest. Thanks for highlighting.

D'ja watch the teaser trailer? "...rrreversed and rrrejected." HOSS.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 1:17 PM

Two Minute Hate: Gov. Romney Edition

I'll admit it; I think Speaker Gingrich would make a terrible President. I think Gov. Romney would be a perfectly mediocre POTUS, but it does not matter because he is demonstrably the worst candidate since, well, his "brainwashed" Dad.

The wingnuts at the WSJ Ed Page take him to the woodshed for his "I don't give a rat's ass about those little street urchins! Are there no workhouses?" remark. Inartful to start with, they point out that there were excellent educational opportunities he missed for his walkback. But, Paul, Dan, and Stephen -- is there perhaps a larger mistake that we overlook?

Mr. Romney's larger mistake is to think and speak in "class" terms. He touts his concern for the "middle class" all the time, as if he's trying to show that a rich guy can identify with average Americans. But this is a game that Democrats play better, and it leads Mr. Romney into cul-de-sacs like saying the poor are fine because they benefit from government, while the middle class don't. Mr. Obama will turn this into an argument for hooking the middle class on more government.

Mr. Romney's failures to communicate are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts but haven't spent their lives thinking about politics. He also recently ran into trouble when he said he liked firing people, when he was really talking about the discipline of market competition.

Still, his business now is politics, and as the Republican front-runner he has an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address America's current problems. We'll be happy to translate for him in these columns, but it would be less politically painful if Mr. Romney sat down for a week-long tutorial with, say, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush and others who can help him avoid such obvious liberal traps.


Ron Paul 2012.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:52 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Newt Gingrich a terrible president? Perhaps. But not when compared to the current office holder. And the shine of his star brightens further when compared to a second term for 44. Ron Paul might be a less terrible president - if he could become president. When he starts polling above wehre Ross Perot finished, give me a call. In the meantime - GINGRICH/PAUL 2012. (Which Paul? Pickem.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 11:54 AM

February 1, 2012

Cannot Add Approval Workflow in SharePoint 2010

After a large restore, the out-of-box workflows Approval and Collect Signatures could not be configured. When the association form (CstWrkflIP.aspx) was called, it threw this exception:

System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: g at System.Guid..ctor(String g) at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.WrkAssocPage.AssociationOnLoad(EventArgs ea) at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.CstWrkflIPPage.OnLoad(EventArgs ea) at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)

Several forums referred to an underscore in the host name (nope!) or setting httpCookies (nope!) or uncommenting this line in web.config (still nope!)
<add name="Session" type="System.Web.SessionState.SessionStateModule" />

What did work for me was to open the root web site in SPD. Then open the affected OOB workflows. Delete all the associated forms, then save and publish the workflow. SPD will generate new forms and publish them to the Gallery. I repeated that for both the broken workflows and it works.

Until I enable HttpCookies or have an underscore in the host name...

What is this?
Political hacks: my life is enriched by finding small things like this on the Internet to save time figuring out what somebody has already done. I'm just trying to give back...

Tech hacks: this is a mostly political blog. Poke around if you are so inclined and not easily offended.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:20 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee had to Google it... You're the fifth entry down.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 8:57 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I don't even know what problem you were trying to solve...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 1, 2012 11:41 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

But let not my likeness with luddities preclude progress. Here's what the server said when I tried to post a comment with Firefox, and I quote:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@threesources.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
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Posted by: nanobrewer at February 2, 2012 12:07 AM
But jk thinks:

What am I, tech support?!?!?!?

Posting this from Firefox (dang it is indeed fast!)

That error always shows if the password is wrong. -- positive you got it?

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 10:11 AM

Wow! That was Fast.

I certainly enjoyed the appreciation for innovation that shone ever so briefly in the wake of Steve Jobs's death.

Wasn't that awesome? Lefties, moderates, and wingnuts all celebrated the cool things Apple wrought, the prosperity, the freedom, the benefits to other industries like music. One corporation, it seemed, was -- dare one say -- cool. As the Hollies Youngbloods said "just a moment's sunlight, fading on the grass."

Memo: Jobs's corpse is cold and Apple is no longer cool. Two NYTimes stories in a week reveal that anyone who appreciates the greedy corporate conglomerate was caught in Jobs's famous "Reality Distortion Field." As I mentioned, Paul Krugman led the charge last week. Apple didn't really create any jobs in the US (those Apple products unload, sell, and compose software themselves). Not like the GM bailout! Now that was a little-j jobs machine!

Today my niece (no, not that one -- I have nine) posts this NYTimes News story to Facebook, with the caption "Yikes. The hidden costs of our addiction to technology..."

In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers -- as well as dozens of other American industries -- have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.

However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious -- sometimes deadly -- safety problems.


Sweatshops! It's like Lochner v New York never happened over there.

I provided some gentle avuncular wisdom in this instance (that was actually pretty well received). But clearly the word is out. The shine is off AAPL.


Internet Segue Alert!

President Obama's Devils, c/o Theodore Olsen (HOSS Alert!):

How would you feel if aides to the president of the United States singled you out by name for attack, and if you were featured prominently in the president's re-election campaign as an enemy of the people?

Me? Great, but I get your point, Ted.
What would you do if the White House engaged in derogatory speculative innuendo about the integrity of your tax returns? Suppose also that the president's surrogates and allies in the media regularly attacked you, sullied your reputation and questioned your integrity. On top of all of that, what if a leading member of the president's party in Congress demanded your appearance before a congressional committee this week so that you could be interrogated about the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in which you have repeatedly--and accurately--stated that you have no involvement?

Consider that all this is happening because you have been selected as an attractive political punching bag by the president's re-election team. This is precisely what has happened to Charles and David Koch, even though they are private citizens, and neither is a candidate for the presidents or anyone else's office.


The President's Angel, c/o Charlie Gasparino (whom I always considered a lefty in his WSJ days)
Now, Buffett's hypocrisy on taxes is well known to readers of these pages: He decries the fact that rich investors like him get taxed mainly at the lower capital-gains rate of 15 percent. Yet he made his vast fortune enjoying that favorable treatment, and largely kept his mouth shut until now, as he nears the end of his long career. Plus, he plans to use a charitable trust to further shield much of his income from taxes.

Much less has been said about Buffett's unsaintly investment record. I won't bore you with every gory detail of his questionable associations, which include no-lose investments in Goldman Sachs and General Electric just before the companies received massive federal aid during the financial crisis.

But other items really take the shine off St. Warren's halo -- like his insistence that the ratings agencies didn't play a key role in setting up the 2008 financial meltdown.


I love how he advocates higher estate taxes and sells Insurance to avoid them. If they don't buy it, then Berkshire-Hathaway buys the family business from distraught heirs who can't afford the tax at fire sale prices.

Saint Warren, indeed.

But nanobrewer thinks:

So glad to see "Change" come to Washington...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 2, 2012 12:09 AM

On the Trail 2012

@amaeryllis leaks classified info:

Romney family Secret Service Codenames: Mitt - Beige; Ann - Ecru; Tagg - Cream; Matt - Khaki; Josh - Buff; Craig - Taupe; Ben - Other One

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If they did this with the Obama family, there would be Hell to pay in the public media.

That being said, my prurient curiosity is hankering to know what the First Family's codenames are.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 1, 2012 11:16 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Nevermind... I hate linking to HuffingPaint, but a Google search led me to this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/obama-family-secret-servi_n_142767.html

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 1, 2012 11:17 AM
But jk thinks:

Very cool. But aren't they supposed to be secret? Somebody might read Huffington Post.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2012 11:53 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sure, people might read it, but they'd never believe it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 12:08 PM

Tweet of the Day

I love Mark Perry and will probably read the post. But you gotta have a little fun:


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:19 AM | What do you think? [0]

Don't click this. Comments (2)