November 29, 2014

100 percent! Now that's a consensus!

The blog has been slow for a couple days so I hope nobody minds if I re-post a comment made on an IBD editorial article.

Not only is global warming not accelerating, it is, in the words of Cato analysts Paul C. Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, "actually decelerating, or, (nearly) stopped."

In fact, there is apparent 100% agreement among scientists that the planet isn't warming.

Knappenberger and Michaels looked at 35 scientific papers published in recent years and "every single one of them acknowledged in some way that a hiatus, pause, or slowdown in global warming was occurring."

They arrived at the figure using the same methodology that John Cook used to arrive at his famous claim that 97% of researchers endorsed the "scientific consensus" that man is causing Earth to warm.

Their 100% claim, found on the Watts Up With That blog, was made with their tongues firmly lodged in their cheeks. But even if only one scientist truly believes that, the facts are still the facts, and they say there's been no warming in 18 years and one month.

You remember the 97% claim, don't you? Well, Bart_R couldn't help himself and waded in to prove the veracity of the piece's title, 'Warming Has Stopped But Eco-Radicals' Lunacy Accelerates.' To wit:

While Knappenberger and Michaels have been industrious workers for Cato, one must ask oneself what sort of person industriously works to promote fossil waste dumping without consent of or compensation to the rest of the world?

What sort of business model is that, where waste disposal isn't paid for by the businesses responsible to the businesses and consumers they dump their wastes on, without limit or consideration?

What sort of investor takes advice to conduct themselves so unethically?

So I dutifully replied:

"Fossil waste dumping?" "Waste?" We're talking about CO2 here. The respiratory by-product of every mammal on earth, and the essential molecule for terrestrial plant life. CO2 could only be called "waste" by a mammal. Well, maybe also a reptile. Or invertebrate.

"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees, MORE CO2, NOW if you please!"

The key words in your comment are "consent" and "compensation" i.e. EPA administrative law and redistributive taxation. A true environmentalist, one who cares about human progress without careless disposal of pollutants, should not support the use of pollution laws in furtherance of this agenda because when people see the so-called "Environmental Protection Agency" classify this life-promoting gas as a pollutant, they begin to lose respect for the mission and the credibility of the agency.

But jk thinks:

Thank you, Lorax, for giving voice to those who have none in this Kingdomist Mammalarchy.

There are many blogs I enjoy from my browser, but I subscribe to Cato's on Kindle. For a dollar or two a month, I always have something if I'm stuck waiting somewhere, but usually I get to read a whole week's on Saturday. Knappenberger and Michaels ("Chip & Pat") are in every week with a devastating, data-driven response to the catastrophists. Great stuff.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2014 1:56 PM

November 27, 2014

"...and snacks and stuff."

The funniest stuff I've read in a long time is in this "article" on the California ballot initiative voters "approved" to build a high-speed rail line to Hawaii.

"This is a great day for California," says Walter Miller, leader of the Yes on 49 campaign. "Sure it's relatively easy and cheap to fly to Hawaii. But why would you want to take a 5-hour flight, when you can take a 15-hour train ride in an underground tube?"

November 26, 2014

I do know me some folks...

Wow. I have mentioned that -- in addition to my moonbat crazy lefty friends on Facebook -- I do have some on the right who should probably have their meds monitored pretty carefully.

A great guy and superbly talented musician I know put this up:


I suggested that "Slavery" was a pretty special word which should not be debased to equal "my job sucks." My friend did not respond, but two of his did. Oh yes, Oh, yes this is life. We had some respectful banter but they are not buying what I am selling.

The url in the cartoon features posts to cure your diabetes with yam juice and the like. The original Facebook poster was the FB group "The Matrix Report." I am afraid to link to either: Matrix Report is Rothschild/New World Order stuff "Wake Up People!".

I have a great new Libertario Delenda Est FB friend who was actually the LP candidate for CO Attorney General this year. Enlightened debate with he and his friends, but they are so convinced of the existence of a big libertarian majority I find non-extant. To even get close, you have to start counting some people who may not be entirely reliable.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

And yet, I may be willing to compromise with your friend's point of view on the cartoon.

Consider the concept of "Tax Freedom Day," a concept I believe all ThreeSourcers are familiar with. The popular theme is that for the average wage-earning American, we labor for between three and a half and four months out of twelve to satisfy our tax burden. We are - dare I use the word? - indentured to our government to do that. Imagine! Our government, at all levels, represents a 30% frictional loss for the operation of the national production machine.

Beyond this, the distortion of the economy as reflected by higher prices - how much has a gallon of gasoline gone up since 2007? How about meat and bread? How about medical costs and health insurance? Ethanol drives up the cost of your grocery bill; that's been discussed on these very selfsame pages. So have gasoline prices. When the cost of necessities (fuel, heating your home, groceries, electricity, medical) all eat a greater and greater part of what we earn, then we have less disposable income to spend; our want-tos become dwarfed by our have-tos.

"Slavery" is certainly a harsh word to use, but I do see the point your friend's trying to make. Perhaps it would be more charitable to say that we're experiencing a large patch of Mr. Heinlein's "bad luck" and we're not accustomed to it.

On Facebook, I've been trying to help my friends to prepare for that "bad luck," and you've been gracious enough to take note. When we have an Administration in DC that is bound and determined to plunge this nation headlong into the bad luck, there's nothing wrong with being a little prepared. If I've helped just one person...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 26, 2014 7:34 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm not sure whether that means my meds ought to be monitored, unless you're thinking of the pleasant little bottle of Merlot I'm hoping to crack open.

Which reminds me, I've picked up a few nice books on homemade wine, beer brewing, and the like...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 26, 2014 7:38 PM
But Jk thinks:

Well, it happens that that was right where I went. I thought there would be some common ground. But I next objected to Monoply Man and the bag of $

I view that as a charge against business, not government. Somebody choosing that "villain" is not suggesting tax freedom day be moved backwards.

Cheers, my friend, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: Jk at November 26, 2014 8:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Send them the article linked in 'Democrats - The New "Party of the Rich" two posts down. Maybe that will open some eyes.

I'm a big fan of Cory Pate at The Party of Choice [watch a few vids] who explains that the most effective way to reach people who disagree with you is to find the part of what they believe that you agree with and reinforce it first, before politely and methodically correcting the wrong parts. Most of us, even if we do remember that first step, go for a one-move checkmate with a pithy one liner smacked on the top of their head.

You're right, I can't believe how much harder it's become to earn a living anymore in this country. In our parents' day they could easily advance their career earnings by going to work for another company who needed them and was willing to pay more to get them. And one parent could almost always afford to stay home if he or she wanted! Which do you think is the biggest cause of this, the higher prices or the lack of job choices? Maybe it's both? I'm not sure, what do you think?
Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and Keith, it is 4-1/2 to 5 months.

And another way government robs "the folks" without them knowing it is a favorite point of my dad's: Inflation drives up prices and wages, meaning it takes more dollars to do the same things, but since progressive tax brackets are not indexed to inflation this amounts to a perpetually creeping tax rate hike on everybody, as we are ever so slowly pushed into higher tax brackets.

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 11:14 AM

Potato, Potahto

Is it best to pass an 18-wheeler on the left, or on the right? Or perhaps another side?

It wasn't worth creating its own category so I'll just file this under "science."

Science Posted by JohnGalt at 5:33 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

And one does not argue with science.

Posted by: jk at November 26, 2014 6:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Aren't we capitalizing the "S?"

"One does not argue with Science."

Posted by: johngalt at November 28, 2014 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

ThreeSources regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2014 2:03 PM

Democrats - The new "Party of the Rich"

I could write an eloquent flowing post, where I lay out a premise and support it with pull quotes, but that would take too long. Besides, this one almost writes itself, given the pull quotes.

From Thomas B. Edsall's NYT editorial - Who Will Save the Democratic Party From Itself?


Webb is one answer to the weaknesses of today's center-left, the so-called "upstairs-downstairs" coalition described by Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University. Kotkin argues in his recently published book, "The New Class Conflict," that the Democratic Party has been taken over by what he calls "gentry liberals," an elite that has undermined the historic purpose of the Democratic Party.

Kotkin contends that

The great raison d'étre for left-wing politics - advocating for the middle and working classes - has been refocused to attend more closely to the policy imperatives and interests of small, highly affluent classes, as well as the powerful public sector.

I asked Kotkin what he thought of the themes Webb intends to raise, and he wrote back "I think he's onto something."


As much as such a shift to a class-based strategy might result in economic policies more beneficial to less affluent Democratic constituencies, and therefore to more votes in the long haul, so far there has been insufficient intraparty pressure to force a change in strategic orientation.


The current approach depends on a Republican Party that refuses to adjust to the transforming composition of the electorate. The 2014 elections demonstrated, however, that the Republican Party and its candidates are not immune to feedback and will change if they have to in order to win.

Insofar as the Republican Party tempers its retrograde stance on social-sexual and moral-racial issues, Democratic campaigns stressing alleged threats from conservatives-- the threat to freedom and privacy posed by the Christian right; the threat to Hispanic family unity posed by anti-immigrant activists; the threat to programs serving the poor posed by deficit hawks -- will run out of gas.


The Democrats' lack of credibility on economic issues will hobble, if not extinguish, the party's prospects. Unless the Democrats develop a coherent, comprehensive strategy for the have-nots, it won't matter whether the party's nominee is Clinton, Webb or anyone else.

Okay, a smart man once said, "If you have something important to say, don't be subtle about it."

I contend the Republican Party is in a perfect position to not only temper its stance on retrograde moral and social issues, but also to develop a coherent, comprehensive strategy for the have-nots. One that cuts across white, black and Hispanic "identity" boundaries and undermines the entire "demography is destiny" strategy of the Democrats.

Politics Posted by JohnGalt at 4:03 PM | What do you think? [4]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Uh-huh, and I have to wonder what or who will be arbiter of what is "retrograde" ? In today's pop-culture climate, which sadly is little different than when I went to college (though the slippage of NewsTime and other Media dinosaurs gives hope), I assume that "progress" on moral/racial/social/sexual matters will be judged by the same yardstick whereby the definition of "bipartisan" is in practice "whatever Ted Kennedy would have done."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 26, 2014 7:00 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

And now for a moment to try to move this ball forward: agreeing with JK that the GOP is now primed for a primary thrust of how free markets and reasonable regulation benefit the poor & middle class.

I suspect that it will be easier for the party to assert the failure of over-regulation/taxation and in general the gov't picking winners & losers (of course always picking the loser, even in the best case falling just short of picking the plucky underdog). Easier partly b/c of the environment whereby the Mass Media still mostly drives the common gestalt, and easier b/c making the case for "blood, sweat, toil" is always harder than "let Senator Asskiss fight The Man for you."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 27, 2014 1:14 AM
But Jk thinks:

Quick point of order: while I like this post, I cannot in good conscience take credit for Brother jg's work.

Didn't you notice that all the words were spelled correctly? That's usually a giveaway.

Posted by: Jk at November 27, 2014 8:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Discussions on how to make the case for "we'll create a better life for the 'have-nots'" will wait for another day. As for "who will decide" what is retrograde in moral and social issues, the correct answer is the same as who will rightly decide what kind of health insurance to buy or whether to have ham or turkey or tofu for Thanksgiving - each of us, individually. Them's free markets.

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 10:57 AM

Tweet of the Season

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 3:53 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

I am compelled to add one caveat - Don't use port wine for basting in a gas-fueled oven. The open flame can ignite the vaporized alcohol and, BOOM!

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 4:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Volcker's tenure on the FOMC was not predicated on that kind of timidity. He had an Inflation Dragon to slay -- and if some things got a little crisp around the edges so be it.

Posted by: jk at November 27, 2014 12:33 PM

Underpants Gnomes -- Solved!

How do we cash in on this great new business craze:

1) Form a minority-owned business;
2) Get looted and have somebody start a Kickstarter to rebuild;
3) Profit.

KIDDING!! KIDDING!! I think it is awesome on stilts. Neil Cavuto had the owner of an Antiques store on last night and it was absolutely gut-wrenching; I thought Cavuto was going to cry and I know me and the lovely bride were. You can rebuild a Subway or McDonalds, but how do you do antiques? Any help tweeting Cavuto to pursue something like this would be appreciated.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:41 PM | What do you think? [0]

Happy Thanksgiving!

A day early -- so sue me!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:02 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

I invite you to share this to my FB page - and tag our pal Paul. (I'm sure he can find something to be depressed about with it.) Ugh.

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not believe Paul and I are friends. But it is on your wall and you may get into whatever mischief you feel warranted.

Posted by: jk at November 26, 2014 5:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks! I'll take it from there. :)

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 6:04 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

This is awesome; feeds well into my reply to JK's
"Party of the Rich" post. I hope they link Human Progress to that of free markets & freedom of movement/speech/association.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 26, 2014 6:53 PM

November 25, 2014

Nothing good ever happens after midnight

CNN: Ahead of the announcement about the decision, the Brown family had urged people not to react with violence and destruction. Their lawyer said the violence that took place on the streets of Ferguson overnight was "completely inappropriate."

But Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, and Michael's stepfather, Louis Head, reacted much differently when, overcome with the emotions of the situation, this happened at, according to the New York Times, about 12:13 am.

The video is embedded at a new CNN article here with appropriate context.

Michael Brown's stepfather consoled the dead teen's distraught mother after Monday's controversial grand jury announcement, and then turned to the crowd of demonstrators, saying, "Burn this mother f---er down" and "Burn this bitch down," according to a New York Times video.

Just prior to that another man yelled, "That was somebody's son. Y'all murdered her f---in' son!"

In fairness, the pyromania began before midnight CST, but this couldn't have helped quell any "violence and destruction."

But jk thinks:

Help me out if I'm wrong (read "nod your head and agree with me") but why are "peaceful protesters" out at 11PM, Midnight, 1AM?

I'm not saying there were no peaceful protesters and I would not say for a second that they did not have every right to be out. But I would ask, firmly: what was the upside? Was some goal advanced?

I had this argument with a niece of mine. When Bush was president, they had these things they called peace protests (really, look it up on Google!) My niece would march in them and tell me that she was not throwing rocks at cops or torching cars. I pointed out that her presence was a great benefit to those who were.

My whole protect career consists of two Tea-Party rallies. Had they gotten out of hand, I would have left. Had the first one destroyed property, I would not have been at the second.

So yes, peaceful protesters -- you absolutely have a right -- but you are playing into the hands of those who will move you further from your goals of nonviolence and justice.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2014 3:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Partially because the verdict was scheduled for 9pm, I suppose. Not that any other time of day would have been better, save maybe 3 am?

I understand the one-sided perspective of Brown's friends and family who believe, because he was black and unarmed, his shooting death at the hands of the "po-lice" was, on its face, unjustifiable and therefore criminal. But I believe they ignore the many mistakes the late Mr. Brown made which, in totality, appear to amount to a case of "suicide by cop."

My sense is that if there is one mistake Officer Wilson made, it was to engage the suspect without backup.

This morning on CNN I watched a woman, whose name I did not notice but who professed and exhibited legal training, suggest that because of the circumstances of the shooter being an agent of government the judgment of a grand jury convened by that same government amounted to a one-sided trial adjudicated solely by defense counsel. I thought that charge had some merit and would be willing to explore it further - if half of Ferguson, MO were not on fire.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2014 5:24 PM

I bet they do

It's like they do not totally get this Capitalism thing. WSJ:

Venezuela Seeks Oil Price Up Back at $100 a Barrel
Ahead of OPEC Meeting, Foreign Minister Says His Country and Others Want a Fair Price

VIENNA--Venezuela wants oil prices to return to $100 a barrel, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday, ahead of an OPEC meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Rafael Ramirez, who will represent Venezuela at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathering on Thursday, said "the [oil] price has to be $100 per barrel, [that] is a fair price."

And Fender Stratocasters should be $700.

UPDATE: In completely, totally, unrelated news: US Imports from OPEC at 30-year low.

Venezuela Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Minimum price for oil? Why not? Governments seem to believe they can mandate minimum prices for hourly labor.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2014 2:54 PM

November 24, 2014

All Hail Taranto!

He's back from vacation. Our ten day national nightmare is over!

Anyway, this isn’t the first time a journalist has "fact-checked" a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. As we noted in 2009, CNN's Wolf Blitzer did the same thing back then. By amazing coincidence, that was also a sketch making fun of President Obama. -- James Taranto


Military campaigns should be constrained, to the extent practicable, to declared wars. And in this country, Congress declares war. Not the POTUS. To wit:


This joint resolution may be cited as the "Declaration of War against the Organization known as the Islamic State".

Thank you candidate, err, Senator Paul.

Iran moves foward

PowerLine notes that the expiration of the Obamanites latest deal making with Iran ends up not as a simple stalemate, which the Lamestream Media (Motto: "Live, from Obama's little finger!") will probably report as such.

It's a good article, if depressing: noting Iran will get $700 million in assets unfrozen. So, their economy will grow, and that bargaining chip is lost.

This is the point from Mirgenoff's article that I wished to present, as it provides a window to BHO's recent actions on illegal immigrants:

Obama will feel pressure to make additional concessions. Clearly, he wants a deal; otherwise he would have walked away in the face of Iran’s intransigence. Obama wants a deal for his legacy. Two of the three major components of that legacy — Obamacare and Obamnesty — are subject to possible reversal. The third component — pulling out of Iraq — has exploded in his face

I am beginning to wonder if he's gone from a goal of Fundamentally Transforming the Country to a snide and cynical attempt at giving the fundamental finger to the country and all the things he despises about it (which is nearly everything, it seems).

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

All Hail Insty!

Vicious. Partisan. Ad hominem. You're welcome.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 2:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

Meme, Answered.

Seen this piece of nonsense? President Lincoln asks "You know what else was an Executive Order that bypassed Congress and affected millions?" and answers "The Emancipation Proclamation, bitches."

This passes for wit and history among my lefty friends. One could respond that it was not an Executive Order; a lunatic like me could argue that our 16th president is not a model for Constitutional restraint; or, one could summon his inner 10-year old, boot up Photoshop® and:


UPDATE: The Wikipedia link.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hmmm. I like all three of your given options there - after all, I am a firm believer in the principle of negotiating from strength.

Strictly speaking, the Emancipation Proclamation was not an Executive Order; it was an order to his military forces to recognize the freedom of all former slaves within the Confederate states. It made no changes within the United States remaining in the Union, created no new law, and changing no one's status within the Union, only within occupied territory, similar to the status of occupied Japan after World War Two. If San Fran Nan wanted a more applicable Lincoln reference, she might have gone with his suspension of habeus corpus - oh, but wait, that was later found to be an illegal abuse of power by the executive; the more applicable Lincoln reference actually works against the SCOAMF, doesn't it?

And yes, Honest Abe did certainly expand the role of the Federal government at the expense of the States, and the Constitution. "Before the Civil War, the states were all separate. People used to say 'United States are.' Wasn't until the war ended, people started saying 'The United States is.' Under Lincoln, we became one nation." That, from the mouth of no less a Constitutional scholar than Nicholas Cage himself.

And yes, the FDR comeback is a delight. There is no joy in this world quite like seeing a fool hoist upon his own canard.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 24, 2014 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the kind words and ever-trenchant commentary. I just hope my biological brother, against whom I first deployed this, enjoys it just as much. Well, it is the holidays and all...

I was trying to remember the plot of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln -- was it not about SecState Seward's and the President's arm-twisting to get Congressional support for the proclamation? Anybody recall?

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 12:43 PM

November 22, 2014

Wherein jk Parts Company with Jonah Goldberg

Jonah -- proudly -- represents Burkean conservatism and I am grounded more in a Lockean, rights-based libertarianism. So we have parted on shading and nuance several times. But my history with, respect for, and appreciation for Goldberg has always provided the benefit of the doubt to his case.

But we have found a cross product of -1 on an important issue. Jonah finds mondo-scientist and hateful shirt-rocker Matt Taylor culpable in shirtgate -- not of misogyny, but of fashion violations and a class 3 abuse of casual Friday.

Many of my friends and colleagues on the anti-PC right have responded with understandable outrage. And it's true: Taylor's confession of wrongdoing did feel forced -- awfully North Korean.

Still, the feminists have a point. Although I like the shirt (which is now selling like hotcakes), I would never wear it to a nice restaurant, never mind on a globally broadcast TV interview. The reason I wouldn't wear it has very little to do with my fear of offending feminists. It's simply unsuitable professional attire. I'd ask critics of the feminist backlash, would you wear it on a job interview? How about to church or synagogue?

So the Burke-Locke split is just a small creek compared to the sartorial ocean that divides me and Mister Goldberg. I always wanted to explore things more deeply with blog friend Perry. He was a Wall-Streeter and his blog linked to the occasional "Ten Must-Do Men's Dressing Tips" of which I would follow . . . zero.

There is a huge split between East Coast and West US, more between urban and rural, and a monstrous divide between technical professions and New York Journalism. I don't know that I'd wear "the shirt" to a job interview but I have interviewed and hired many who were dressed equally casually. Nor would I refrain from hiring a candidate who showed up in that. I would shave points off only if it reinforced some other concerns.

I think a lot of people choose technical professions because they don't like to dress up. And on a higher plane, most want to be accepted for their achievements if not the content of their character -- certainly not the color of their shirt. Law and Investment Banking might be swell occupations, but to the tech worker they appear capricious with the attractive, well dressed and obsequious worker advancing faster than his or her better qualified rivals.

Doctor Taylor probably went into science to avoid being judged by his shirt. Jonah Goldberg makes a mistake to apply his standards outside his profession.

Internecine Posted by John Kranz at 12:14 PM | What do you think? [5]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sounds like a finalist for defining kerfuffle, but I'm happy the news cycle is slow. For what it's worth, I agree 100% with JK, right down to agreeing with Mr. Goldberg 99% of the time.

I've noticed this sartorial divide as well.... strengthens my resolve to never live east of Denver!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 24, 2014 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps I need modify my pronouncement of Friday last - "Only women, and gentrified easterners, notice clothes." I realize this suggests our blog friend Perry is gentrified but I'll guess he prefers that to "blue collar."

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2014 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm still doing the math. Brother nb agrees with Jonah 99% of the time; jk agrees with Jonah 99% of the time. Yet, jk & nb agree with each other about 90% of the time.

It's not quite the Riemann Hypothesis, but it does give one pause...

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 1:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just nobody, ever, say "97%" and I'm good.

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2014 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 5:03 PM

November 21, 2014

"Universally accepted"

While looking up the prescribed quarantine period for persons exposed to the Ebola virus I found this gem of an edit as the second sentence of the Ebola Virus Disease Wikipedia entry:

It is universally accepted that the Ebola virus scare was the brainchild of the pharmaceutical industry. (Witness the H1N1 panic that resulted in millions of unused vaccine doses.)

I checked the date of the latest edit and found it to be ... today.

It has since been edited again and that passage removed. Interwebs. Sheesh.

Plain Old Quote of the Day

By the power of greyskull, this is ridiculous. This guy is supposed to be a lawyer. The question of his authority to do X is independent of what Congress does. The executive branch may not write laws. You could look it up. Let’s imagine China pulls a Pearl Harbor and sinks the Seventh Fleet. On the merits, the U.S. should declare war. Those merits do not entitle the Gary, Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles to usurp Congress's authority and declare war unilaterally. -- Jonah Goldberg [Subscribe]
But johngalt thinks:

Help me out here. I'm not slow, per se, but I am literal-minded.

If Congress declares war and the Executive does not wage it, the states may not? Same for invasion by immigrants?

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2014 7:02 PM

Quote of the Week

Perhaps Emperor Obama has an effective plan. It's not a Constitutional plan, and it's not really even an American plan -- but it could be a strong plan for tyranny, based on new imported demography.

As we have seen, the Founders worried greatly about Caesarism, and they did their best to safeguard against it. But back in the 18th century, they couldn't be expected to foresee every possible subversion of their new Republic. Today, in the 21st century, it's our job to assess the new threat to our Constitution, and to make a new strategy to preserve and defend it.

- Breitbart columnist "Virgil" in A Republic, If We Can Keep It: The Founders vs. 'Emperor Obama'

November 20, 2014

And They Wonder Why Men Don't Do Punditry

Katie Pavlich and her hurtful shirt:

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 2:45 PM | What do you think? [2]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Took me 4-5 clicks to figure this out... and I think I've gotten part of it. I do like the AAS reply to the ShirtGate kerfuffle:

the AAS is committed to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all members, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason not related to scientific merit.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 21, 2014 3:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Only women notice clothes.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2014 7:51 PM

November 19, 2014

Eppur si muove

Princeton's Galileo:

Hat-tip: Insty

But johngalt thinks:

Golum! He's clearly evil.

*end sarcasm*

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees; They need CO2, More, if you please!


REAL tree-huggers *heart* CO2!
Posted by: johngalt at November 20, 2014 2:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The problem with your "eppur si muove" premise - that the warming since 1998 has been zero, rather than 0.3 C - is the relatively short interval, in geological terms. (But then, so is a century.)

Warmists dismiss this with heaping helpings of Kant/Heisenberg/uncertainty mumbo jumbo.

Posted by: johngalt at November 20, 2014 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

I like this quite a bit -- it hits most of my favorite points against the alarmists.

If I could separate a couple parts per million from the good Doctor Sm&eacture;agol: anybody hear cotton to concerns of ocean acidification? A dark part of me wonders if, while we have waged war over "global warming," we might have missed a more serious and measurable issue.

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2014 4:10 PM

Major Media Reports on the Gruber Videos!

Well, Jon Stewart did.

Happy that some of my friends will see a reference to this. But the allure of this man still eludes me. There are a couple good lines (video at the link) but the "comedy" drags on for minutes of angry, passive-aggressive rants. I watch the show 1/1000 as much as my friends and I tire of the same setups. De gustibus, I guess.

But nanobrewer thinks:

Do those same friends regularly heap opprobrium on Fox? A little bit of JS goes a long way; once every 8-9 months does me fine (that's about as often as I'm aware of him taking on the left).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 21, 2014 2:44 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, how'd you guess?

Now, I know we're the stoopid ones and all, but the divide is not MSNBC vs. FOX News -- the ratings make that clear. The real divide is FOX News vs. The Comedy Channel. A news organization with thousands of journalists, foreign offices, and a network of local affiliates -- against a guy who sings "Fuck You" songs.

Stewart's biggest schtick is bashing FOX. I've said a thousand times I'm not FOX's biggest fan. But Stewart intentionally conflates commentary, news, and the light entertainment news. Then he edits them to make them look as bad as possible and feeds to his crowd. They then know they are the smarterest people in the world, and that anything on FOX is wrong.

All's fair to a point. But when only FOX covers Benghazi, and now #GruberGate, he effectively brings the only non-lap dog to heel.

Like you, I suspect, I see him when a clip comes around of him bashing the Administration or figures on the left. (And this link doesn't count. He has been tough on his side but not here.) I cannot even enjoy it then. I don't like his style and I strongly oppose what he stands for. Fair and accurate journalism is difficult, discarding both in an attempt to make it funny (but still take me seriously) grates.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2014 10:24 AM

Quote of the Day

Air Force records show that Barack Obama charged the taxpayers $1,539,402.10 for his Labor Day travels for "fundraising, personal business, and politicking." As Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton put it, "This Labor Day back-and-forth shows President Obama seems to confuse Air Force One with Uber." -- Roger Kimball

Otequay of the Ayday

Capt. Quick was last seen leaving his mother's home on the way to his girlfriend and their newborn. He was not last seen assaulting a storeowner and taking products. Yet, we know nothing of 45-year-old Capt. Kevin Quick. Apparently, Quick's crime was being a white man in America and not considered a victim -- just someone who got what he deserved at the hands of society's victims, young black men, gang members who have been badly treated and denied social justice.

Allen West on black attackers charged in murder of white officer.

Correction: It Is Easy Being Green!

Don't believe everything you hear on live at the coffeehouse dot com. This story in the New York Times suggests that -- thanks to generous subsidies -- it can be quite easy Bein' Green.

"I have never seen anything that I have had to do in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk than these projects," [NRG's chief executive, David W. Crane] said in a recent interview. "It is just filling the desert with panels."

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that even some ThreeSourcers will be surprised by the cravenness.
The government support -- which includes loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates -- largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come. The beneficiaries include financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, conglomerates like General Electric, utilities like Exelon and NRG -- even Google.

A great deal of attention has been focused on Solyndra, a start-up that received $528 million in federal loans to develop cutting-edge solar technology before it went bankrupt, but nearly 90 percent of the $16 billion in clean-energy loans guaranteed by the federal government since 2009 went to subsidize these lower-risk power plants, which in many cases were backed by big companies with vast resources.

The NY Times includes this charming bit of understatement:
The windfall for the industry over the last three years raises questions of whether the Obama administration and state governments went too far in their support of solar and wind power projects, some of which would have been built anyway, according to the companies involved.

Ya Think? Just maybe? A hair too far?

Even if you are not surprised at the depths of cronyist depravity, I think you might want to bookmark this as an enumeration that you can share with friends. Considering the source, it is stunning.

But AndyN thinks:

...some of which would have been built anyway...

This may not technically be a lie, but I suspect that the percentage of these projects that would have been built with the owners own money, and without government price guarantees is vanishingly small. The people running those companies didn't get rich by being stupid.

Posted by: AndyN at November 19, 2014 12:54 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Or by producing a lot of energy, either.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 19, 2014 1:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Energy companies would naturally have made some investments in new technology simply for the sake of innovation. But the key element behind "would have been done anyway" is "contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates."

"Subsidies and government support have been part of many key industries in U.S. history -- railroads, oil, gas and coal, aviation," said Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman.

So has slavery, Mr. LaVera. So has slavery.

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2014 1:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Advocates say these policies "create jobs" and "promote economic growth." Sure, it's a freakin' perpetual motion machine - just keep adding money and money will "come out."

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2014 1:57 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Old time TS'ers know my history with Green Energy (summary: a guarded optimism). That optimism been slipping b/c of just this type abuse, which I've been watching grow for over a decade. Yes, some of these projects would have been "built anyway" but far, far fewer.

It's a good time to review how Green Energy crazy programs have worked in other places:

Here's the Economist (summary: much more a fan of gov't programs than free market solutions) "The Cost del Sol"

Another report (Puffington Host, of all places!) notes: Spain's expensive green energy failure can serve as a lesson to Ontario. A recent study shows for every 'green job' created 2.2 real jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy due to the impacts on electricity pricing.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 20, 2014 2:28 PM

November 18, 2014

That Guy

But johngalt thinks:

Why can't this be smoking gun proof that PPACA is a hoax and "catnip for conservatives" at the same time?

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2014 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, I'll put a dollar in the jar.

Imagine, for one shining second, if an "architect" of a George Bush legislative achievement -- say, the 2003 tax cuts -- were to be found being similarly candid on YouTube about any efforts to game the system on CBO scoring.

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2014 2:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or, if a Republican candidate for President said, "47% of Americans will never vote for us because they collect too much in government cheese."

Posted by: johngalt at November 20, 2014 2:24 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Hopefully, this will finally blow the lid off the idea that CBO estimates are to be believed. Ideally the head of CBO will be subjected to some "Lerner" style hearings.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 20, 2014 2:11 PM

Doesn't Sound Settled to Me...

So. Climate Change -- we gonna freeze or bake in the winter in America?

If anything, [Martin Hoerling of NOAA] says, the warming world will see fewer extreme weather shifts because the Arctic and mid-latitudes will be nearer in temperature.

But Jennifer Francis, a researcher with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University who studies the impact of Arctic warming on the global climate, disagrees. Her research predicts that as Arctic warms (and it is warming extraordinarily quickly) the jet stream will weaken and narrow. "When you have a strong jet stream it's like a thick rope. You can give one end a tug and not much happens." But as it weakens, she says, it's more like a string. A shake (or a typhoon) will send waves all along its length, causing the Arctic monster to move south more often.

Uh huh.

Prepare the Shocked Face...

"We have been thinking that if young children choose healthy food, they will eat it," said Susan Gross, a research associate at Johns Hopkins. "But our research shows that is not necessarily so." -- Kate Scanlon, Daily Signal
So hard to save the world.

Quote of the Day

Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense. -- Alan Dershowitz
Hat-tip: Glenn Reynolds

UPDATE: I had mistakenly attributed the quote to Prof. Reynolds. ThreeSources apologizes for the error.

Movie Review - Interstellar is Stellar

First quick note: NO SPOILERS here!! Also, if you don't like spoilers, try to stay away from too many reviews. If you do, or don't care to see the movie, then revel in more than a bit of Climate Realist schadenfreude.

The movie has inspired a bit-storm by not embracing the Hollywood meme about CAGW, and much electronic flame is unfurling. I suspected as much when reading a review on Rotten Tomatoes (which only gets two stars in my books), that lamented over an opportunity lost to scold movie goers about CO2 emissions. This reviewer also struggled with too much technobabble, which I found (as did my date, who had a year of college that is now happily forgotten) to be trimmed to bare necessity. There was a terrific (short!) scene demonstrating wormholes cutting through space-time, and the background to astronomical singularities and time dilation seemed appropriate (interestingly synergistic with the new movie on Dr. Hawking), and even added to the story. First script I've ever seen that treated Time as a resource (tho' Prisoner of Azkaban may qualify).

So, w/o spoilers, I can say that TS'ers who wish to see this will not have it spoiled by Hollywood proselytizing. It's excellent, scientifically weighted but not too jargon-laden, has several nods to what me and my friends refer to "Yankee Know-How" which (as noted in reviews at NRO and WS) is a pro-American, pro-liberty theme. It's 168 minutes; take a pit stop before going in!

My favorite quote was:

We used to look up and wonder about our place in the stars. Now, we look down and worry about our place in the dirt.

Matthew McConaughey is excellent and family themes are very powerful. Jessica Chastain is every bit - perhaps even more - as intensely engaging as she was in Zero Dark Thirty. Micheal Caine and John Lithgow are very good, and there are no T&A distractions. Cinematography and effects are as fantastic as one expects from the Nolan brothers, and the script moves quickly, but takes time to allow us to get to know characters. The score is powerful, but a little too much so, as it overwhelms dialog at times, which may or may not have been important.

The bad guy is strange, and not done very well is a problem that delivered on all the wrong levels but one (which is another spoiler). The script is tight, grants suspense without mustache-twirling, and is more than up to the mind tricks that so intrigued in Memento and Inception.

4/4 stars; tho' not quite enough to knock Contact or Serenity off my personal pillar as the best of sci-fi. If not for Fury I might go back and pay theater prices again!

Posted by nanobrewer at 1:12 PM | What do you think? [16]
But jk thinks:

I look forward to any help I could provide and know all ThreeSourcers feel the same.

The approbation was honest -- as is the jealous rage I feel from the others 'round here. "How come JK got to read a preview?" The answer was that I made a fortuitous reference in a post to an plot element. Keep swingin' kids.

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2014 3:57 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm going to come to JK's defense; my enlisting his opinion did result from an exchange on a post that had touched on a plot element I was using. It was my fault for not broadcasting it at that point; I suppose you can write that off to what passes for humility in me. I would gladly share with the others here; JG, I believe I still have your e-mail address tucked away for safekeeping, but if you'd like to send me a reminder of it by way of a Facebook private message or something, I'll be happy to make use of that.

Atlas Shrugged Part 4? I'm not worthy. I'll posit that I've set it against a background of a future Earth that results from the worst of an Atlas Shrugged kind of world.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 19, 2014 5:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Huh. Did I imply that I disliked being the object of jealous rage?

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2014 5:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

No jealousy from me, with or without rage. Envy, yes. JK was indeed the best choice for this assignment but I prefer to, much as the chef whose senses are overwhelmed by the work in the kitchen to the point he doesn't fully enjoy the meal, wait and enjoy the full, completed product.

Perhaps a more suitable subtitle would be: "Picking up after Atlas shrugged."

(Or, "A funny thing happened on the way to the end of humanity.")

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2014 6:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Shrugs." I meant to say, "Picking up after Atlas shrugs."

Posted by: johngalt at November 20, 2014 1:23 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Brother KA: please open a new post on this when it's ready for publication. I'm interested, in the story and in the journey (one I've thought of taking, and whose BFF is already 3/4 down).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 20, 2014 2:42 PM



Midnight Sun

Lionel Hampton & Johnny Mercer ©1947

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


Two Cheers for Small Politics!

Ron Fournier has made some friends on the right for his rare willingness to criticize the President. Surely they'll seize his mainstream journalist rewards card. I, too, applaud independence.

But my pal, Insty, links and lengthily excerpts his latest "The Extraordinary Smallness of Washington." I like a whack at President Obama as much as most (well, the lovely bride enjoys it more). But let's be careful what we wish for, can we? Fournier shows his lefty stripes:

On immigration, we need durable new rules that give 11 million illegal immigrants some form of legalization without punishing those who followed the old rules, and that acknowledge the steep social costs of porous borders. In other words, true reform would be bipartisan, addressing credible concerns of conservatives and liberals alike.

Instead, we're about to get temporary half-measures issued by fiat from Obama.

On energy, we need a national policy that balances the threat of global warming against the hunger for jobs--one that acknowledges the economic and national security benefits of diversifying our energy buffet.

I'd love me some comprehensive immigration reform. And I'd equally hate me some notional energy policy. What Fournier misses is that we have had some pretty sweeping legislation: ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, TARP, The Stimulusticus, Auto Bailouts, Cash for Crunkers...

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. had a nice cottage industry ranking the Presidents. "Bigness" was his key indicator. Grover Cleveland's firm vetoes, Warren Gamaliel Harding's releasing Eugene Debs and daily meetings with Charles Dawes to trim spending score low. Fournier makes the same mistake.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 17, 2014


Monetary Policy and ISIS. Gotta love the WSJ Ed Page.

ISIS is swimming in capital--more than $1 billion in cash and reserves, by conservative estimates--and has established sprawling taxation in Iraq and Syria. In practice, however, the ISIS economy is notable only for generating large flows of refugees. That probably doesn't bother its leaders too much. But armies won't march on propaganda alone, and operational overhead adds up.

Forget weapons and ammo: ISIS's 20,000-plus fighters also require square meals, secure transport, lodging and first-aid. Oil production in Syria has fallen by 70% since the start of the U.S.-led bombing campaign, and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday formally designated ISIS a terror group.

The ISIS treasury--Bayt al-mal, or house of money--had the foresight not to respond to its liquidity woes by issuing paper currency. If the group had forged better relations with Muslims worldwide, it might be laundering cash through hawala--a global money-transfer system that relies on Islamic honor-codes instead of promissory notes. To put it mildly, though, most Muslims wouldn't wipe their feet with ISIS's "honor." Hence the terror group's decision, "by the grace of Allah, to mint a currency based on the inherent value of the metals gold and silver."

Trouble is, the market value of gold and silver is not "inherent" but dictated by supply and demand. Citizens in ISIS territory can now be expected to hoard gold and silver to trade for whatever foreign goods and currency they can find. Friedrich Hayek in 1977 aptly described "the gold standard" as "the only method we have yet found to place a discipline on government." What ISIS has failed to understand is that metal-backed currency helps protect ordinary people from money-minting despots--not the other way around.

Say what you will about FOMC Chief Janet Yellen -- she does not generally open the Jackson Hole meetings with a beheading.

But johngalt thinks:

On those grounds, Yellen is indeed a "moderate."

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2014 5:59 PM

Quote of the Day

The late Karl Popper started to think about what distinguishes science from other social practices by confronting the apparent "irrefutability" of ideological systems like marxism or psychoanalysis. The problem with such world views is that they never seem to be testable, there is never any clearly identifiable fact "in the world" which can refute them. The "timidity trap" argument gives me a horrible deja vu feeling in this sense. Each time things don't work out as planned what Mr Abe and Mr Kuroda have to do is more of the same, no matter if you blow Japan clean out of the water, since the only reason the recommended recipe hasn't worked to date is that the balance sheet expansion and the associated stimulus haven't been big enough. I think it is time Paul [Krugman] came of age intellectually speaking and started to identify for us some concrete indicators which could prove his hypothesis wrong if they moved in the expected direction without producing the expected result, and stop telling us repeatedly that he has normally been right. -- Edward Hugh
But jk thinks:

And I'll take an LT in the pewter. Seriously -- I like it.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2014 6:07 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

My opposition to AGW was based on my thoughts of natural systems: I needed to be sure the rises reported in the "hockey stick" scenario were clearly outside of statistical norms. Boy were they ever!

I line like to use in coffee klatches is: "If I were a devout christian, then I'd consider the AGW theories to be blasphemous. Since I'm not devout in that way, I merely see them as hubris."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 18, 2014 12:00 AM
But jk thinks:

Sorry, nb, lost me there -- was that a "Hockey Stick Yay" or a "Hockey Stick Boo?"

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2014 10:05 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I have a phrase which brother JG's comment evokes:
In more civilized times, you might have said 'I don't know.' As a greek philosopher noted long ago, that phrase embarks one on the way to wisdom. Sigh; I suppose one of man's enduring truths is that Wisdom is not conventional (nor convenient).

I consider things that are "Concrete" the only things that gov't can do properly, like firestations, McCloskey ships and border fences (though I'll make allowances for an LCS-1 here and there).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 18, 2014 3:11 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

JK: I meant so far out of statistical norms as to be fantastic... as in Fantasy land. I am not a fan of Doktah Mann.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 18, 2014 3:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I love the phrase, NB. "In more civilized times..." Personally, I like to say, "I don't know. Let's find out." I think that expresses the same sentiment, with less poetry.

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2014 3:18 PM

And it doesn't get enough credit...

That guy the President has never heard of seems to remember the President.

Hat-tip: Guy Benson @ HotAIr

But johngalt thinks:

40% of the $5.9M that Gruber has been paid for various consulting contracts related to the government takeover of the health care sector is $2,360,000. Please contact the IRS to make payment arrangements, Mr. Gruber.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2014 4:35 PM

GruberGate HIts Colorado

If I read this correctly, Colorado paid MIT Health Care Wiz Jonathan Gruber an undisclosed amount for his standard sample pack of lies -- but did it after the State decided to do its own exchange.

Over a year after this controversy erupted, the Colorado Health Initiative, a private non-profit dedicated to "serving as an independent and impartial source of reliable and relevant health-related information for sound decision making," issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) COHIEX #0001 for a study to analyze the effects of the exchange on the Colorado insurance market. The RFP was titled, "Independent Consulting Firm to Conduct Background Research to Support the Development of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange." Gruber was awarded the contract, briefed CHI on the basics of his findings in September, and published his final report in January of 2012.

The Legislature had already adopted SB11-200 which created the exchange. Nevertheless, the paper has been cited in a number of different policy discussions, from a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment brief on unintended pregnancy to a February 2012 article in Health Affairs titled, "Colorado's Health Insurance Exchange: How One State Has So Far Forged A Bipartisan Path Through The Partisan Wilderness." The paper was cited in a July 2012 assessment of state exchanges by the Commonwealth Fund (Unfortunately for Commonwealth, its glowing assessments of Maryland's efforts weren't born out when the exchange actually launched.)

While the paper didn't influence the state's decision to launch a state exchange, it was cited in a Colorado Health Foundation paper pushing for full state Medicaid expansion. That paper was released in February of 2013; the bill to expand Medicaid, with the federal government picking up most of the initial tab, was passed in that legislative session (SB13-200).

Thanks, Amy! And Hat-tip: Insty

Tweet of the Weekend

November 14, 2014

Berkeley With Snow

Steven Hayward gives a talk on Climate Change but takes some slaps at Brother jg's Alma Mater in his intro,

But johngalt thinks:

All in good fun!

Enjoying the lecture...

Posted by: johngalt at November 15, 2014 12:11 PM
But jk thinks:

He's funny -- did you see him at LORT-F? He had just started in Boulder. Great talk.

Posted by: jk at November 16, 2014 6:15 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I thought the 97% claim was simply from a blogger, who was an artist! Perhaps Prof. Hayward found the source of the blogger's claim....

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 17, 2014 6:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Brother jg posted this 97% explanation on FB the other day. It's from the G-g-g-g-g- Guardian

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2014 6:34 PM

Tweet of the Day

But johngalt thinks:

Awesome tweet.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2014 4:14 PM

Quote of the Day

"But this Court does not revise legislation . . . just because the text as written creates an apparent anomaly as to some subject it does not address. Truth be told, such anomalies often arise from statutes, if for no other reason than that Congress typically legislates by parts -- addressing one thing without examining all others that might merit comparable treatment. Rejecting a similar argument that a statutory anomaly made "not a whit of sense," we explained in one recent case that "Congress wrote the statute it wrote" -- meaning, a statute going so far and no further. . .

This Court has no roving license, in even ordinary cases of statutory interpretation, to disregard clear language simply on the view that . . . Congress "must have intended" something broader. -- Justice Elena Kagen in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community

John Jordan wonders if she will feel the same hearing King v. Burwell.

But johngalt thinks:

Snap. A very large tea leaf there.

But it raises a question under my tinfoil cranial adornment: If the CEO of a minor winery can find this morsel in a SCOTUS opinion so soon after King v. Burwell was granted certiorari, why could none of the GOP king's men find the Gruber (not MacGruder) tapes before the election?

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2014 4:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2014 4:19 PM

An Impure but Intriguing Alternative

Obama supporter and vocal ObamaCare critic Megan McArdle offers an alternative to the PPACAo2010. It ain't libertarian per se, but it fits on a postcard, does not require Gruberesque obfuscation to pass it, and restores pricing information to the sector.

As it happens, however, I did have an alternative plan for the Affordable Care Act, one that I was very fond of. It preserved the basic market mechanisms in health care while protecting people from catastrophic risks. It was so simple it could be explained in a couple of sentences. And it wouldn't cost that much. Ready? Here we go: The government picks up 100 percent of health-care costs above 15 to 20 percent of adjusted gross income. For people below 150 percent of the poverty line, there's Medicaid, which picks up basically all your costs. Hard to game, preserves consumer incentives to shop for prices and keeps people out of bankruptcy.

Anybody wanna bite? Or still too statist?

Hat-tip: Insty

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

"In a country as prosperous as the United States nobody should have to ..."

Huh? Oh, good morning.

Let's just say that the enduring effect of the soon-to-be failed experiment we knew as "Obamacare" may well be that most people are willing to accept a more statist form of health care coverage.

As for poking holes, how about:

- Is there still a board (____ panel) that determines what procedures are covered, or not?

- Being tied to AGI the IRS would still be involved.

- Does anyone really believe this is hard to game?

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2014 4:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Like the "mincome," it's not a libertarian manifesto. Accepting this is accepting responsibility for every American's healthcare expenses. McArdle asks "how beaten down are you?"

I assume the legislation once known as ObamaCare will collapse into what I've long called "The Irish Model," where the government provides shitty care for everyone with death panels and long lines and constant bickering from the left to add more resources. The non-indigent purchase private insurance that is reasonably priced (because the hard cases be dumped on government) and can use bona fide pricing incentives.

Watching that unfold, McArdleCare® looks very attractive.

Death Panels? Yes, for government paid expenses. Private citizens can do what they want, paying out of pocket or by insurance.

IRS? Yes. If you repeal the 16th, we can create a form 1651/QZ to apply for U.S. Medical Reimbursement based on your income. If you don't claim it, you may keep that information private.

Hard to Game? No. I might push back here, conceding the high end, but the vast middle class too stoopid to understand Jon Gruber will be spending mostly their own money. And that changes everything in the world.

Yes, everybody who gets Cancer is going to be on the taxpayer dime. But the bulk of Family Practice and non-catastrophic care is going to moved into the free-market realm of Lasik and Maternity Care. We've seen incredible advances there in concierge care.

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2014 4:30 PM


Professor John Cochrane ("If the exchange rate tanks, you cannot acquit the central banks!") from the University of Chicago asks "Who's Afraid of a Little Deflation?"

With European inflation declining to 0.3%, and U.S. inflation slowing, a specter now haunts the Western world. Deflation, the Economist recently proclaimed, is a "pernicious threat" and "the world’s biggest economic problem." Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, called deflation an "ogre" that could "prove disastrous for the recovery."

True, a sudden, large and sharp collapse in prices, such as occurred in the early 1920s and 1930s, would be a problem: Debtors might fail, some prices and wages might not adjust quickly enough. But these deflations resulted directly from financial panics, when central banks couldn't or didn't accommodate a sudden demand for money.

I salute Cochrane for the direct question. I greatly appreciate the Austrian school for their contributions to liberty theory, and am even graced by some Österreicher ancestors with Austrian features. But I cannot call myself of the Austrian School, because I retain a fear of deflation.

And now, I am being tempted to join by someone -- literally -- from the Chicago School; it's almost too meta to bear.

The case is compelling. But there is a maddening strawman argument of Paulites, Austrians, and gold bugs that says if you fear deflation, you must want an activist central bank with top-down management of the economy. Cochrane does not disappoint:

The weight you put on this argument depends on how much good rather than mischief you think the Fed has achieved by raising and lowering interest rates, and to what extent other measures like quantitative easing can substitute when rates are stuck at zero. In any case, establishing some headroom for stimulation in the next recession is not a big problem today.

I suspect Professor Cochrane could find a Milton Friedman book in the University of Chicago library. I'm not claiming to be more knowledgeable, but I would like to hear him contradict a rules-based currency regime. We can agree on dangers of "fiat money," but I hold a target based on nominal GDP or price -- Friedman's Central Bank Computer -- addresses deflation feras without handing oversized authority to central bankers.

Monetary Policy Posted by John Kranz at 10:03 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The Hawaiian Tropic Effect: Why the Fed's Quantitative Easing Isn't Over

But quantitative easing is the gift that keeps on giving. Even after the purchases end, its effects will persist. How could that be? The Fed will still own all those bonds it bought, and according to the agency itself, it’s the level of its holdings that affects the bond market, not the rate of addition to those holdings. Having reduced the supply of bonds available on the market, the Fed has raised their price. Yields (i.e. market interest rates) go down when prices go up. So the effect of quantitative easing is to lower interest rates for things Americans actually care about, such as 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

I did not know that.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2014 4:01 PM

November 13, 2014

Journalistic Malfeasance

Interesting story on the "why didn't the Gruber tapes surface earlier?" question we've pondered below. It's a good story, ridiculing at one point Bloomberg's choice of a pull quote of the self-deprecating citizen journalist.

I'm going to risk pulling a single quote out of their piece. But why didn't they find it? They were not looking.

The Associated Press deserves a special mention here. AP assigned eleven reporters to review 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's book in 2009, but wire service health reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and others involved in covering the Affordable Care Act during the past several years somehow never found (or if they found it or knew it, never reported it) what Weinstein was able to find. How can that be? (That said, Obamacare's opponents didn't find it either, which makes one wonder how they could also be so ineffective.)

But johngalt thinks:

The right needs a better grade of internet troll. Or at least, more of them.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2014 2:50 PM

Another From the Boxed Set

My Brother-in-law shot a very cool promotional video for me when I launched my "jk sings songs from even numbered decades" career in the early 1990s.

I'm going to add it to the JK Boxed Set site over the next few weeks in single song chunks.

More Than You Know

Billy Rose ©1929

jk sings songs from even numbered decades

Somewhere Between RINO and Rebel

I suggested that everything can evolve, even the GOP, and this post is written with hope that the GOP "establishment" evolves as well. Indications are positive, if you look at the serious analysis instead of the fever swamps on either side of the spectrum. I've heard my liberty friends wail that "the day after the election McConnell is swearing off the government shutdown and promising to work together with the Democrats to make the Senate productive again." I don't know that he actually said that, but I do know that with GOP majorities in both chambers, Republicans only have to work together with each other to make the Senate productive again.

To that end, what effect can the incoming class of Republican legislators have? National Journal's Josh Kraushaar writes that they will make all the difference in the world.

"All of them ran because they want the Senate to be a functioning institution. They're not looking for crisis moments as leverage points," said Billy Piper, a former chief of staff to McConnell. "This is a pretty unified bunch."

That's not to say the new wave isn't conservative, but there's a huge distinction between being conservative and being uncompromising. All of these GOP senators-elect have an interest in policy, and already showcased governing aptitude.

So, liberty friends, would you rather try to ramrod our principles the way the Dems did in 2009, while we have the chance, or would you prefer to lead with sound policies and maintain a GOP majority for a few more cycles? I'm willing to get on board for the latter. Mitch, don't let me down, you formerly watered down collectivist RINO traitor who I once wanted out of office. Prove to me that the "formerly" is warranted.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ever the optimist. I'm more like a pragmatic Missourian; they've got to show me.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 13, 2014 2:54 PM

Silly Lefty, This is What Mandates Are For

The Daily Camera reports: Boulder plots path to climate goals

The city also needs a marketing campaign to engage the community in a shared goal, he [Boulder Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn] said. (...)

"What motivates a community to participate in this level of transformation?" he said. "The way we have been framing the problem and the goal is now part of the problem. Aspirational goals are deeply personal. Climate as catastrophe is not a good motivator."

Question: Once regional drivers pass the city limit sign, don't they belong to someone else's ambitious climate goals?

Don't Frack My Mother...


Health concerns about oil field fracking have been focused on the mixed brew of chemicals injected into wells. But it is another innocuous-sounding substance -- sand -- that poses a more serious danger to workers.

Government overseers of workplace safety first highlighted the problem three years ago and issued a hazard alert a year later warning that high levels of fine quartz sand around fracking operations could lead to silicosis and other lung illnesses.

Congressman Polis -- call your office!

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 11:44 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

And just in the nick of time too, since "Fracking Fluid No More Toxic Than Common Household Products." But that's only if you believe the big-oil shills at CU Boulder.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2014 12:18 PM

Apologies to Brother Keith...


114th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Where are my manners? The correct headline is "With Apologies to Brothers KA and NB"

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2014 1:20 PM

Not Impressed with the Sino-American Pajama Party

The romance of the fresh princelings of Beijing is that they needn't abide such barriers to enlightened governance as elections, a free press, transparency, the rule of law and two political parties. They can simply order economic transformation in the next five-year plan, and censor any dissenters as Al Gore wants to do in the U.S. Thus in China Mr. Obama has found the ideal climate-change partner: A technocratic elite that can instruct the bourgeoisie how they must light their homes and commute to work.

We and many others have been skeptical of a U.S.-China carbon pact, though that was because we assumed the White House and green lobby would demand terms that imposed at least some discipline on Chinese behavior. We discounted the possibility that Mr. Obama preferred the illusion of progress, and that his green allies could be rolled as cheaply as the terms of Tuesday's accord.

Under the nonbinding, no-detail agreement, Supreme Leader Xi Jinping promises "to intend to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030," and then maybe after that to decline. This is another way of describing the status quo. -- WSJ Ed Page, "Green Leap Forward"

But Keith Arnold thinks:

If I recall correctly, any treaty, including a climate treaty, depends on the approval by the Senate (see: Kyoto; see also, Law of the Sea Treaty). I'm hoping McConnell has the testicular wherewithal to tell the SCOAMF and China they both can go to hell.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 13, 2014 1:49 PM
But jk thinks:

But that Constitution thingy is, like, 100 years old!

I suspect the key word is "non-binding." The President will not subject himself to a repeat of the 0-95 resolution against Kyoto(sounds like an Avalanche score...) His phone and his pen will attempt administrative compliance. As the WSJ Ed Page suggests, much in the same manner as his Chinese Counterpart.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2014 2:22 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The Onion is already all over it:

China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers,37429/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:2:Default

I think Obama's teflon coating (and ablative armor) is all but worn off....

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 13, 2014 11:41 PM

Good Morning!


Yet a balmy -4.4°F at Atlantis Farm

Posted by John Kranz at 10:01 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

It was 13 below overnight.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2014 12:22 PM

November 12, 2014

Sputnik Would Be Proud!

After traveling four billion miles since its launch ten years ago, a man-made spacecraft landed on the surface of a speeding comet today. Just, wow.

Rosetta, which was launched in 2004, had to slingshot three times around Earth and once around Mars before it could work up enough speed to chase down the comet, which it reached in August. Rosetta and the comet have been traveling in tandem ever since.

The mission will also give researchers the opportunity to test the theory that comets brought organic matter and water to Earth billions of years ago, said Klim Churyumov, one of the two astronomers who discovered the comet in 1969.

Philae's instruments include devices to measure light, electrical magnetism and heat. The lander will also drill below the surface of the comet to extract a sample that will be analyzed onboard and it will provide plenty of images of a world no human has ever seen close up.

The lander's batteries are expected to last just 64 hours. But that should be enough for scientists to gather a huge wealth of data. In addition, the lander has a solar panel that should be able to provide an hour's worth of battery life each day.

I will not bite on the chances to belittle batteries, solar panels, or NASA. This is too big an accomplishment to sully with cheap (but well deserved) political points. Another accomplishment not mentioned in the article is proof that a spacecraft can be landed on a small body. This could be handy one day in the not too distant future.

UPDATE: What would the world do without Twitter? #WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant isn't the stream of egalitarian "wouldn't it be better to spend that money on _____" that I expected. A lot of them are very funny. A lot of them I wanted to reply, "Yes we can!"

The coolest by far was this tweet about the Comet Song. Actual frequency is in millihertz. What you hear is sped up at least 1000 times.

UPDATE: The first picture has been released to the public. Looks like a nice place for a picnic lunch. Or not.


Science Posted by JohnGalt at 3:46 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

We're one step removed from summoning the whales with the "comet song", and two removed from V'Ger. Both of which, you'll recall, threatened to destroy all life on Earth.

Some days, it just doesn't pay to mess around with the Universe.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 12, 2014 8:57 PM
But jk thinks:

You play it backwards, it says "I buried Paul."

(Way cool -- sorry I could not resist the joke...)

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2014 10:05 AM

Tinfoil -- SHiny Side Out?

All Hail Insty:

If the Gruber video had come out before the election, would the GOP have picked up Virginia and New Hampshire? Quite possibly. -- Glenn Reynolds

But jk thinks:

Plus, the GOP could have won Virginia if not for a Libertarian candidate's serving liberty by electing Terry McAuliffe. Go Team Freedom!

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 4:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Three Sources: Where conspiracy theories go to die.


Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 5:32 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Why wasn't it released before the election?"

Brothers, I've been asking that question about the Los Angeles Times' famous Rashid Khalidi tape since 2008. Where the heck have you guys been? Welcome to the party, glad you could make it.'

And the SCOAMF's academic records, and his passport history... and so on, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, amen. The records are sealed; so let it be written, so let it be done!

Seriously, the fourth estate is a fifth column. The Russians learned this long ago, when they invented the dictum, "In Pravda there is no news, and in Izvestia there is no truth."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 12, 2014 8:44 PM
But jk thinks:

I think I have been with you on most of it. I really do not know the provenance of this one. The Khalidi tape was in the hands of a media organization in time and they discarded a scoop for partisan purposes. This was found by an investment analyst pouring over old tapes. I don't know if it was known three weeks ago -- have you seen otherwise? I'll trade Occam's Razor for the tinfoil chapeau if appropriate.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2014 10:12 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I don't like the "populist" slant towards electioneering, but I think the Gruber comments need to be flogged constantly, especially as the GOP moves to gut and replace Obamacare.

Here's hoping: I've been impressed with the previously-gutless versions of McConnel and Boehner, but the post-eletion reboots seem to be, indeed, new & improved.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 13, 2014 1:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Glad I'm not the only one with an improved opinion of McConnell, NB. Holding my ruling on Boehner. Check out my latest post above: 'Somewhere Between RINO and Rebel' for my take on Mitch.

As for O-care, let's all just sit back and see how SCOTUS does on King v. Burwell. With a little luck we'll get to watch it rip itself apart, in slow motion, in HDTV, when the federal subsidies are ruled unconstitutional.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2014 2:55 PM

Quote of the Day II

Bring it on, H8Rs, but Ithink this might be more important than Sen. Cruz's legislative proposals.

The best mechanism we have for working through our differences and arriving at a durable consensus is the Senate. An executive order can't do it. The fiat of a nine-person court can't do it. A raucous and precarious partisan majority in the House can't do it. The only institution that can make stable and enduring laws is the only one we have in which all 50 states are represented equally, and where every single senator therefore has a say in the laws we pass here If America is to meet the challenges we face, he concluded, we will need the Senate the Founders in their wisdom intended, not the hollow shell of the Senate we have today. -- Presumptive Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R KY)

But johngalt thinks:

Dang! Almost HOSS-worthy. BUT, actions are more expensive than talk. Or something.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 1:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Serious and tough question: should the 114th reinstate the supermajority rules that Sen. Reid abolished? I am leaning toward yes, reinstate the Republic.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 1:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It's an easy question in my mind. It's the same one faced by one General George Washington, when he was offered the chance to be the King of the United States.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 1:53 PM

How Many GOP State Senators?

We've had a real nail-biter in Colorado. Gov. Hickenlooper (D) won handily, and the State House was not in danger of flipping from D, but the State Senate was down to one seat. And a write-in election for surveyor in Adams County impeded ballot counting. It took a few days, but we learned that Republicans had won a majority. This should be handy for stopping most Democrat nonsense.

So, how many seats is that? And how lucky they were able to all find shirts in Colorado with that number on the front?


Photo credit: Denver Post

2014 Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Au contraire mon frère, the CO house WAS in danger of flipping. The GOP needed to defeat 5 incumbent Democrats, without any losses of their own, and it looks like they will end up flipping 3, including some who thought they were in safe districts.

Also, my new senator, former Weld Sheriff John Cooke, who appears to be the tallest of the bunch (2nd from left) has now moved to the other side of the hearing bench as he was one of the most outspoken critics of the legislatures gun law frenzy last session. I expect him to demonstrate to Democrats what it means to actually listen to testimony at a hearing.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 12:12 PM

Quote of the Day

All Hail Harsanyi! From a very good post about MIT-Pointyhead-ACA-Architect Jonathan Gruber's letting the mask slip.

One imagines that any ruling that inhibits Progressive policy is knee-jerky to the staff writers at The New Republic, but surely somewhere there are still people who believe the Supreme Court should concentrate on the constitutionality of laws rather than worrying about the imaginary genocides cooked up in the minds of guilt-tripping pundits.

Hole thing read should ought to

But johngalt thinks:

I second the HTRSOT recommendation.

Another bite:

But Gruber also implicitly admits the first eternal truth of all liberal experiments: money is no object. It is the moral objective that matters most.

Yes. The "moral objective." The "pure principle." [first comment]

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 1:52 PM

The 21st Century Coffee Machine Company, Inc.

Remember this?

I have a dream. I have seen the future. There is a home appliance that will bring its developer a huge fortune.

The device uses all existing technology, it just requires smart design and integration: a single serve coffeemaker that takes whole beans on one side and serves one cup of hot and fresh coffee on the other. I love my Senseo® machine; it is the Betamax® of single serve -- great, but losing market share to Keurig. The flaw in both is the expense, waste, and lack-of-freshness in the pods or cups.

I want the convenience and freshness of of single serve with the freshness and diversity of whole beans. Is that too much to ask? In America?

I suggested we should buy the Senseo business from Philips as a platform. If this re-inspires anybody, my machine is malfunctioning (I go through one every two years) and crafty folks on the Intertubes are selling the discontinued $69 appliance for more than $400.

Ow! I bought a used one with all the accessories missing from a vendor with no history for $50. I'll see how that goes, but I may have to give up my Betamax Senseo and move over to VHS Keurig.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

The WSJ Ed Page on "Net Neutrality:"

These rules weren't at the cutting edge of innovation even in the 1930s. As former FCC attorney Randolph May notes, this regulatory framework was written into the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 to oversee monopoly railroads. The Communications Act drafters then copied the 1887 law, replaced the references to railroads and clarified that the new regulations would apply to telephones as well as telegraphs. Eighty years later Mr. Obama has decided, in his market wisdom, that these rules should apply to the Internet.

BONUS UPDATE (same column):
Like the telephone companies of old, broadband providers would be required to "file a tariff" at the commission, meaning they would submit mountains of paperwork and ask the government to approve the prices they intend to charge for services. The bureaucrats would then consider whether the prices are fair. FCC bureaucrats would also hold sway over plans to expand or build digital networks. Under such conditions, who would invest to build the next generation of broadband technologies?

But jk thinks:

If only they looked to 1887 for tax rates.

Posted by: jk at November 11, 2014 11:53 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You have something against the 19th century? That's where the left gets its ideas for transportation and energy too.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 4:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This article seems to be a main source of the argument that, because of his Tweet that "Net Neutrality is Obamacare for the internet," Senator Ted Cruz is "the world's stupidest, most bewildering whack job..." Problem is, he was repeating what the WSJ called it.

"The Wall Street Journal is the world's stupidest, most bewildering whack job..."

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 7:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I did get exposed to some intemperate language on Facebook directed toward the Junior Senator from the great state of Texas.

I'm not exactly a "no labels" guy, but it is too bad that an issue deserving of nuance is thrust into partisan camps. I'm willing to blame my buddy George Takei. He came out full throttle (see what I did there?) for it, sprinkling a full screen paean among his funny nerd jokes and gay rights offerings.

That and the President have placed all the good thinking people and SJWs (I had to look that up yesterday -- it's Social Justice Warrior for the other slow kids) onto one side.

I might fault Sen. Cruz for adding more heat than light to the argument. ObamaCare for the Internet is a bon bon mot, but it is not a good description.

The real issue is that this has failed legislatively in GOP and Democrat controlled Congresses. Along comes President Pen-and-a-phone to resuscitate some New Deal regulations and apply them to the freest, most Hayekian thing this world has ever encountered.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 10:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Holman Jenkins at the WSJ is ready to double down:

You have our solemn assurance that Mr. Obama doesn't know any more about net neutrality than slogans he could have picked up listening to Jon Stewart. Oh, and that it polls well with his "base." This is not policy making: He has no idea what incentives guide the behavior of broadband carriers, or how regulation might affect the ability of intelligent networks to deliver a growing and potentially infinite variety of services in the future over a common digital network.

Hard to argue, though I would have included some name-calling.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 10:29 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Sure... ad hominem is FUN! I tried to pick a FB argument with Dave Perry (no, not Berry) editor of the Aurora Sentinel, but no bites. My last comment: "Government never met a problem it couldn't make worse. This is no exception." still stands unchallenged, 16h later.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 12:24 PM

Jon Stewart on the Midterms

Mister Stewart generally bugs me a little even when he is agreeing with me. But his take on the elections is worth a watch.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:55 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 10, 2014

Market Failure

I don't lightly admit that the free market has failed. But I was reminded, reading "Why everyone still hates the airline industry, in one tweet" of a near intractable problem.

The Expedia/Priceline/Yahoo Travel booking methods have succeeded wildly in providing a competitive market for airfare Sadly, it has provided a market where price is the only factor. We all type in our dates and destinations and generally choose the lowest fare. There may be some margin for brand preference, but an uncomfortable three hours in a few weeks is heavily discounted against savings today.

I don't know that it is insuperable, but it is quite possible that we will continue buying the cheapest ticket and complaining the loudest for many years. United emailed me recently the night before a flight with an offer to upgrade to "plus" seats that were larger, closer to the front, and included a checked bag or two. I did that and was disappointed that it was not available of the return.

Maybe the last minute upgrade is a good method. I suppose smarterer people than me have given this much thought, but it intrigues me that nobody has successfully upsold people to a premium alternative to something everybody hates. We don't drive across town for $0.49 coffee and complain that it is bitter.

Is there an opening for a new Herb Kelleher to provide the "Motel 8" experience?

I Guess I am a Troll

I was thinking it was one-off. But this is two days in a row.


Then again, some large work projects are on hold -- this may not last forever.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:13 PM | What do you think? [0]

Beauprez Post-Mortem offers a look back at the 2014 Colorado Governor's election titled "How To Lose an Election in 10 Easy Steps (& why Beauprez lost the CO Gov's race in a GOP swing year)"

It's worth a read. You can probably guess from the headline that said chicks would have preferred Rep. Beauprez to connect with the grassroots and energize the base and refrain from bringing in establishment GOP figures like Governors Christie and Jeb Bush.

Or . . . perhaps . . . "Ten Reasons to not Nominate Rep. Bob Beauprez" might have been a better -- if less provocative -- headline. I've come neither to praise nor bury Bob. He is a good man whom I was proud to vote for. He self-funded and freed resources for expensive races for Senate and CO-6. He doesn't have Hick-arisma but is likeable. He pulled no Todd Akins; he hurt none on the ticket.

And he made a race. Yes it was a GOP year, but Colorado hands out gubernatorial second terms like ribbons at the Preschool field day. And the Governor remains likable, popular with moderates, and has some actual successes in the flood recovery. So thank you for getting in the arena, Congressman.

But. Those of us not wanting an establishment candidate should have a voice before the loss next time. And the answer is to demand a culling of the field before the primary. I met Steve House at a LOTR-F event and would have chosen him above all others. Yet his deeply shaded equine-ness was obvious. I asked him whether he expected the field to narrow before the primary. At the time I was worried about Rep. Tancredo who would have collected less than 15% of the approbations dealt Rep. Beauprez above.

He thought so. We all thought so. But it never happened. And Rep. Beauprez won the nomination with 30%. I would like to have seen the establishment push out Tancredo and the Tea Party push out House, Kopp, and Brophy. Then we would have a Tea Party vs. Establishment primary of Beauprez vs, SecState Gessler. And I would vow to support the winner.

But we need to focus on whom we nominate and not changing their stripes after.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

Good analysis on an interesting topic. The Politichicks article was okay too.

Personally, I'm surprised I never heard a rumor that Bob's campaign was intentionally inept, to serve as a foil for Cory Gardner's "New Kind of Republican" campaign.

Also personally, I wondered if Tancredo would have succeeded where Beauprez failed? I know jk prefers Hick to Tanc, but at least we could have had the bully pulpit on our side, and a favorable pen hand at the governor's desk.

And, had Tancredo lost, it might have shown that hard-line policies on illegal immigration are political suicide. (Or, had he won, shown the opposite.)

I was pleased when Gessler announced early. Then came the parade of special-interest self-nominations. [first comment]

But, in the end, at least the "old guard" Republican didn't take the whole party down with him.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2014 4:53 PM
But jk thinks:

I have evolved in four years and would have voted for Rep. Tancredo over Gov. Hickenlooper.

But my objection is that had Tom been on the ticket, the insufficient War on Women would have been replaced with the War on Hispanics which might have been more effective unless Tom exhibited perfect discipline. Is that his strong suit?

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2014 5:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My recurring nightmare, had Tancredo been the candidate, was endless TV ads with his voice saying, "We should bomb Mecca."

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 11:39 AM
But jk thinks:

At least he now has a hobby:

If you follow Tom Tancredo you know he makes it clear where he stands on people, like Colorado Republican Chair Ryan Call (dislikes him), and places, like Mecca (bomb it).

So, even as Republicans are still warm from hugging each other, it's no surprise that Tancredo is launching a new campaign to stop New Jersey Gov. Chis Christie's presidential aspirations.

Tancredo doesn't like Christie, and you can't blame him. You recall Tancredo's promising path to the Colorado governor's office was upended this summer by his own party, through a vicious ad campaign orchestrated surreptitiously by the Republican Governors' Association, which is chaired by... Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Tancredo is fighing back now with his "Stop Chris Christie PAC."

Always "fighting back!" But always at . . . Republicans.

Posted by: jk at November 11, 2014 11:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

As Christie is a RINO I consider it a rear-guard action.

But I admit it comes of as churlish and self-serving.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 4:10 PM
But jk thinks:

A "Nominate a Constitutional Conservative PAC" could provide the same action with less churl.

I delivered a rousing speech at the GOP caucus against Rep. Tancredo because he had run against the Republican nominee in the previous election. He had the most votes in our precinct and I don't think I swayed anybody.

Posted by: jk at November 11, 2014 6:43 PM

November 7, 2014

Quote of the Day II

Imagine [Ezra] Klein explaining the Super Bowl: "1) The Broncos lost. . . . 2) The night had few bright spots for the Broncos. . . . 5) Hillary Clinton is arguably also a winner here." -- James Taranto

Quote of the Day

Or, All Hail Jonah! The greatest G-File Newsletter of all time was sent today. Find it in your inbox, spam filter, or ask me to forward a copy. He explains the modern Democratic Party with an allusion to The Brady Bunch. I. Am. In. Awe.

Selling your soul (for personal gain or glory, at least) only really makes sense if you don't realize you're selling it. In a properly functioning market where players have perfect information, the commodity market on souls is pretty moribund. That's what makes "Adios, Johnny Bravo" so allegorical. Greg Brady recognized that he was being asked to sell his soul. -- Jonah Goldberg

Not one of the 9% I'm guessing

A little trolling today...

Thanks to my lovely bride, I follow the Heart and Stroke Foundation on Facebook. They are slightly lest fascist than the egregious MS Society, but they don't shy from coercion.

A post concerning the Province of Ontario failed to mention the Leafs' loss the Avalanche last night but did congratulate the government:

We applaud the Ontario government for taking action to strengthen the Smoke-Free Ontario Act through regulatory changes designed to protect children and youth from the deadly effects of tobacco use. This achievement will go a long way towards helping Ontarians live healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke.

I posted a snarky comment (this is the Internet, dammit!) and was pleased to see that the first 12 or so comments all took exception to nannying. Hooray for us. However, I just received a reply:



Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Looking forward to your snarky counter-reply keeps me from running, screaming, from the keyboard.

And the fact that I was in attendance at last night's game with a friend, and witnessed the Avs split of the season series with the not-so-rivalrous Toronto Maple Leaves 1-1.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 4:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Nossir, I got nuthin'. She thinks that; we've both made our points. Life goes on.

Jealous -- I saw it on TV and that was one of the greatest regular season games I've ever seen. I consider myself a traditionalist but do not hate shootouts like many I know. That said, the accidental 3-on-3 shows how much better that would be. A 4-on-4, then a 3-on-3, then a shootout. That would rock.

And while they're incurring the expense of reprinting the rule book, we could remove that goddam trapezoid behind the goalie. Sheesh!

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 4:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The 3 on 3 was awesome. It didn't last long enough to form an opinion whether it was good or bad, but it was definitely different. It seemed that one bad pass would have resulted in a breakaway for the other side. When it returned to 4 on 4 they were able to return to positional play.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 4:12 PM

Obamacare SCOTUS - Part II

JK scooped the latest Kim Strassel piece, but I can still work his side of the street on the SCOTUS beat:

In the wake of the historic reversal of the 2008 election Tuesday the wish lists for the new Congress are already being written. This one is typical:

5 Actions Republicans should take in the new Congress:

- Approve the Keystone Pipeline.
- Block Obama's Executive Amnesty.
- Fully repeal Obamacare.
- Unshackle our energy resources by removing unnecessary energy regulations.
- Secure the southern border.

Like If You Agree

But news of a surprising move by the US Supreme Court today is enough to convince me that no time or political capital should be expended on Obamacare, at least not until the Supremes rule later this session:

One thing we can be sure of is this: If the Court throws out the subsidies on the federal exchange, ObamaCare will have to have a massive fix, and Obama will be in no position to veto what the Republican Congress puts in front of him. Surely it will include a lot more changes than simply the fix to this issue, and Obama won't like that, but ObamaCare with subsidies only for people in 16 states cannot survive.

H/T: Brer jk for finding the "historic reversal" linked article.

But jk thinks:

Could not be more excited, this is great news.

Also agree that it's a superb reason for the 114th to kick full repeal down the road.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 3:38 PM

Cheery News, Deux

I'm not going to let anybody else link to Kim Strassel first. This one's mine!

As Billy Gibbons would say. "How, how, how, can I get my libertarian friends to read this trenchant punditry?"

She compliments the new class as the maturing, pragmatic-but-principled political class we all hoped the Tea Party would grow into. I hope she is not too complimentary, but she underscores everything I thought I was fighting for in the midterms.

[The focus on races and electability] doesn't give credit to voters, who on Tuesday elected one of the more solid and reformist freshman Senate classes in decades. Conservatives have been overhauling the GOP for years--replacing an older, lazier, spend-happy generation with Republicans who have run on policy change and principle. The tea-party wave sent 87 new Republicans to the House in 2010, churning over more than a third of the GOP caucus.

The pace has been slower in the Senate, though it too has seen a steady growth in reformers: Marco Rubio , Ron Johnson , Pat Toomey, Jeff Flake, Kelly Ayotte , Mike Lee, Rand Paul , Ted Cruz . Up to now, their influence has been largely internal--putting the older guard on notice and helping shift the Senate Republican caucus mostly in smarter directions. Harry Reid's Senate lockdown hasn't allowed for much more. But that's about to change, as Republicans take the Senate reins, and as the reformers' ranks swell with Tuesday's victors.

The particular skill set, military and business acumen imported by the new class is mentioned, as well as political deftness. No, the New Deal did not end Tuesday night. But the change in slope, the foundation of principle that we all fought for bore some fruit.

2014 Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

That last paragraph looks like link-bait to James Taranto's "Metaphor Alert" feature. ThreeSources apologizes for anyone offended.

Some of my style flaws offend me and I attempt improvement. That one seems a schoolbook rule that does not really endanger comprehension. In the middle of the stream, as it were.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 11:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Everything evolves and changes over time, even the GOP.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 1:09 PM

The Cheery News Keeps Rolling In

The WSJ Ed Page's Alyssa Finley enumerates the incredible drubbing the teachers' unions took in the 2014 midterms. It's a Schadenfreudepalooza for ThreeSourcers and a response to the libertarian mantra of "oh nothing happened yesterday, we traded big spending Democrats for big spending war mongering Republicans."

Besides the high profile wins of Govs. Walker, Kasich and Snyder, Thom Tillis withstood a barrage of union ads targeting the voucher program he got through the NC State legislature. It was a good night up and down the tickets.

Unions also got clobbered in statehouse elections and, in some cases, on Democratic turf. A pro-charter group defenestrated three Democratic state senators in New York, giving Republicans control of the upper chamber. School reformers warned that re-electing the Democratic senators would give Bill de Blasio , New York City’s progressive mayor, and his union cronies hegemony over Albany.

The American Federation for Children, which supports private-school scholarships, elected all 13 of its legislative candidates in Alabama despite being outspent by the state teachers union 27-to-1. In Tennessee, the pro-school-choice outfit toppled Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson, a teachers-union favorite.

At the end -- and I hate to torque poor Brother Keith -- but we cannot hide from the truth because it is unpleasant.
A rare silver lining for the unions was California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson's slender victory over school reformer Marshall Tuck, a fellow Democrat and former head of the nonprofit Los Angeles-based Green Dot charter schools. Mr. Tuck, who was backed by other Democratic school reformers, including San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson , was blasted by teachers-union ads as a creature of Wall Street who would turn "our schools over to for-profit corporations motivated by money" and "those who profit from high-stakes testing would take the joy out of learning."

Forty-nine states took on "the blob" and won. This will diminish their power and influence in 2016 -- and perhaps cause more teachers to shorten the leash on the unions' activities.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

No offense taken, brother. I can always point at Tuck as proof of my broadmindedness - I voted for a Democrat (running against another Democrat, of course).

Torlakson/Tuck was a rare collision between two wings of the Dem party. Torlakson is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State-employee union wing, and Tuck is one of the bright lights of the reformer wing. Torlakson waged a completely libelous campaign financed by the unions, promising in return that charter schools will become a thing of the past and easy tenure for even the most incompetent of the teachers will continue to be protected.

The straight-ticket Dem win - highlighted by our famous governor and or radical Attorney General - goes to prove how out-of-step California is. On a related note, the city of San Francisco just voted to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. The only good effect that will come of that is it may remedy the sky-high unemployment across the bay in Oakland.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 7, 2014 11:22 AM
But jk thinks:

I suppose the non-cheery news is the success of Minimum wage referenda. Many are surprised at how well that did in Nebraska (who is surprised at anything SF does?)

We need to spend some cycles figuring out that coalition. I thought that Lou Dobbs, like the city in which Tony Bennett lost his heart, could not surprise. But the FBN populist is an avid supporter and encourages conservatives and Republicans to champion increases. Et tu, Lu?

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Beyond just minimum wage hikes, Sally Kohn points out many "genuinely progressive reforms" that passed by initiative Tuesday night, and quoted a Tweet which summarized:

"So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation. Ok then."

Yep. Ok with me too, since none of the Progressive agenda that passed contradicted any of the priority issues that appear on most of the new Congress wish lists. And while minimum wage laws are anathema, they are being passed at the state level where their failures can be compared to states that do not outlaw entry-level jobs, and not at the federal level. All of this adds up to a happy conclusion:


Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 2:35 PM

November 6, 2014

Review Corner Followup

Glenn Reynolds interviews Russ Roberts about his "How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness," which garnered a favorable Review Corner.

UPDATE: Now on YouTube:

Posted by John Kranz at 6:40 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Not really on board with the "approval/disapproval of others" as a universal motivation. It's part of the story, but not the ultimate conclusion. I think that is a stepping stone to "because of my actions, nobody wants to harm me."

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

You need to hang out with more musicians. That's all [1st or 3rd person pronoun] care about.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 3:46 PM

Quote of the Day

For tonight, it's enough to say that what we've just watched unfold does not fit easily into the models that many pundits have been using to analyze American politics these last few years -- models which allowed for a good Republican performance this year (it being an unrepresentative midterm and all) but did not allow for anything quite this good, this sweeping, this geographically-comprehensive. Seen in this light, these results are an implicit rebuke to an entire "past is prologue" school of political analysis and strategy, which looks at existing trends and assumes that they can only continue, watches winning strategies and assumes they can be perpetually repeated, projects demographic patterns forward and then passes judgment on today's politicians from the vantage point of a still-hypothetical 2035. -- Russ Douthat
(Whole piece is pretty good...)

Fox Butterfield...

James Taranto has a regular feature: "Fox Butterfield, is that you?" The allusion is to the former NYTimes editor who expressed astonishment that crime was reduced at the same time we were building and filling more prisons.

We can discuss metaphysics another time, but I wondered if he ended up at the Post:


In spite of failure, voters still won't give them more money. It's a conundrum wrapped in an enigma to be sure.


Somebody call a Waaaaaahmbulence!

My lefty and Democrat Facebook friends have been pretty quiet since the election (Bette Midler is a fine person but not on my feed, so this does not count). But the libertarians are in full mouth-foam. They gave the GOP a chance for these last 20 hours or so, but dammit, the Grand Old Party has let them down. Again.

The offending thing is an interview with TIME, where Senator McConnell said no government shutdowns and no full ObamaCare repeal. I posted a couple of places that I did not expect a small majority to dismantle the New Deal. (I was called an apologist by a candidate for Attorney General -- how's your day?)

I know some ThreeSourcers find Sen. McConnell too tentative, but I am pleased with two editorials. The second is Dan Henniger's WonderLand. He talks about economic growth.

If allowing economic growth to persist below the U.S.'s historic achievement is a political death trap for the party in power, the future looks bleak for the Democrats. The election eliminated the senators who passed for the party's political center. What's left is . . . the left. Operating from behind the Blue moats of California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut--the left is fine with 2% growth. Progressive Democratic policies on Keystone, power-plant closures and oil exports crushed younger, unionized job seekers. For them, a politics of "sustainable" but low growth amounts to, Let them eat sunshine.
The ascendant GOP congressional majority needs to do one thing: Liberate the locked-in U.S. economy. Start opening every valve the Obama Democrats turned shut. That's the real gridlock. Voters didn't do this just so Washington could work. Voters did this in the expectation that Washington will now enable them to work. There's a difference. This is a bet that the class of 2014 gets it.

The first editorial would be Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell's "Reform the tax code, redefine "full time" as working 40 hours a week, move on the Keystone XL pipeline--there are plenty of tasks ahead."

It is not a libertarian manifesto. There are some eye-rollers in there. But there are some good ideas that would tee-up properitarian principles for 2016, and some things that might pass before then.

But johngalt thinks:

Do you mean to say that Libertarians are upset that the majority-elect party prefers to stay in the majority? That they advocate Democrat and Republican tactics that would make those parties as unpopular as their own?

Your excerpt is a reminder of why the election we interchangeably call "wave, landslide, tsunami and ass-whuppin'" still had about 45% support on the losing side. As far as they're concerned, everything is fine.

As for the "apologist" ad hominem, it sounds sadly similar to being called "not black enough." Dude! Let's both just take a hit and mellow out first. I'm not surprised though that he is angry and bitter. He needed almost 7 times as many votes as he got before he could even claim to have only received an ASS-WHUPPIN'.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2014 2:38 PM

One From the Boxed Set

Cleaning out the hard drive, I stubbed my toe on an old file. My Brother-in-law shot a very cool promotional video for me when I launched my "jk sings songs from even numbered decades" career in the early 1990s. He is a pro with pro gear, and this was before home video really took off. It is a slick piece destroyed by transition to a VHS copy and them to digital -- but it was way cool in the day.

I'm going to add it to the JK Boxed Set site over the next few weeks in single song chunks.

It's Only a Paper Moon

Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg ©1933

jk sings songs from even numbered decades

Only a White Man...

... would think that you could cut $3 Million from one end of a blanket, and sew it onto the other end, and have a longer blanket -- Chief Johnny


Seriously. I love a Mom and Pop store along with the rest of my Facebook contingent, but I find these claims lacking in verisimilitude.

(Perhaps in this case, a white woman with dreadlocks...)

But nanobrewer thinks:

Hopefully this owner is better with recipes and service than with math!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 6, 2014 3:18 PM
But jk thinks:

One hopes. Strange, though, how money spent in a chain store disappears. And how those jobs don't count.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2014 5:32 PM

November 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

Had to lift this from James Taranto:

Two things were clear long before the votes were counted on Tuesday night: President Obama would face a Congress with more Republicans for his final two years in office, and the results would be seen as a repudiation of his leadership. But that was not the way Mr. Obama saw it. The electoral map was stacked against him, he argued, making Democrats underdogs from the start. And his own party kept him off the trail, meaning he never really got the chance to make his case. "You're in the Final Four," as one aide put it, "and you’re on the bench with a walking boot and you don't get to play." . . . Sagging in the polls and unwelcome in most competitive races across the country, Mr. Obama bristled as the last campaign that would influence his presidency played out while he sat largely on the sidelines. He privately complained that it should not be a judgment on him.”-- Peter Baker, New York Times, Nov. 5

But johngalt thinks:

Apparently, however, the president did campaign for one candidate: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

On the bright side, the First Lady's husband probably didn't mangle the candidate's last name... or mistake what office he was running for.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2014 6:12 PM

Libertario Delenda Est!

Things are tense on Facebook. I will share this here:


I'll even accept that Mike Dunafon (THC - Glendale) perhaps pulled his votes equally from Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and guys who thought they'd get free Doritos if they turned in a ballot.

But I met Matthew Hess and he is a thoughtful guy. He has no apologies, nor do his supporters for capturing a vote count which likely exceeds the delta. I'm not saying they should, but I cannot see how liberty was served.

But dagny thinks:

If you are going to assume that all the LIB votes would have gone to Beauprez, it is equally reasonable to assume that all the GREEN votes would have gone to Hick, pushing the total back to the Hick side. I think its reasonable to figure that all the 3rd parties sort of cancel each other out and not that the LIBS cost us.

Here's my question. I want to talk to the people who voted for Cory AND Hick. What would cause someone to reach THAT conclusion?

Posted by: dagny at November 5, 2014 1:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Much truth in what you say, dagny, but I see the LIB votes as potentially advancing my interest in liberty. I'll let my progressive friends try to scoop up the green vote, but it concerns me that people who want the same things I do are not advancing the cause. And yes, I know they think the same about me.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 4:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Those voting the Gardner-Hickenlooper ticket are clearly those you always hear about who choose the man with the best hair.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 4:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or, as I suggested in a separate comment thread, they chose the most friendly guy in the race. Bob can have a gruff demeanor when he talks about issues.

So there you have it - our country is most likely to be governed by jackals... laughing hyenas.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 5:46 PM
But jk thinks:

The all-important "whom would you rather have a beer with?" primary. I'll go with that.

Let me take mine out for a spin: Younger/Cooler has won every presidential election after 1988. Clinton and Obama beat Dole, McCain and Romney. Bush was similar in age but a little spryer and cooler than the automatronic Gore and Patrician Kerry.

It may not match ThreeSourcers love of base principle, but nor is it totally American Idol. As Americans, we are a forward looking nation and as humans, there is an atavistic desire for a vigorous leader hard-wired into our genes.

If you accept my premise at least as important at the margins, would you choose Sec. Hillary Clinton as your party's nominee? Historical, yes. But perhaps a little too historic?

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2014 10:00 AM

What, Is This a Gloat-free Zone?

Two losses:

1. Colorado Guv: You cannot win them all. Colorado rarely denies a sitting governor term two, and Rep, Beauprez was a solid but not wildly exciting candidate. I would have relished spanking Gov. Hick for his signing the gun control and rural renewable bills, but with a GOP State Senate, he won't do much mischief. And a pro-fracking D (he has a Geology degree) might come in handy.

2. Jean Shaheen in NH Senate: I am signed up for the "Free State Project" where 20,000 liberty lovers vow to move to the Granite State and turn it into libertarian paradise (like Somalia?) The Free State Facebook page touts their liberty bona fides. But, kids, if you send Sen. Shaheen back in a Republican wave year then you have lost jk.

Innumerable wins:
1. The US Senate Majority: Woo hoo.

2. CO Senate Cory Gardner: The War on Women actually fails.

3. All CO Ballot initiatives: We have a "robust" citizen initiative process in Colorado, derided by some for "how easy it is to get something on the ballot." Jon Caldara points out most of those have not tried. Caldera has a few times -- and his Prop 104 to open meetings with teachers' unions to the public passed 70-30! All the others went down in flames: personhood, GMO labeling, and a crony-arrangement for gaming at one location (for the children).

We hates us some plebiscitary democracy on these pages. But there was a GOP speaker at a recent LOTR-F who pointed out that liberty does very well in statewide referenda. I pushed back on the first question but he said "trust the people. not the legislature" and provided many examples. Last night my citizen brothers and sisters were perfect.

4. Everybody I donated to, with non-zero expectations, won. Lookit me! I'm a Kingmaker! Mia Love, the new Congresswoman elect from Utah; Joni Ernst, Senator-elect from Iowa; Mike Coffman (R - CO6), and of course Sen-elect Gardner. I don't think I gave to Bob Beauprez. Sorry.

(I gave to George Leing's quixotic tilt at Rep. Polis in CO-2. He may be my favorite candidate ever, but Polis has a safe seat and more money than God. I think 12-points is considered a nail-biter in CO-2. Next action item is a nasty letter to Reason magazine. George Leing is exactly the kind of candidate they want, but they undercut him with two puff pieces on Polis ["He's a gamer!' "He accepts contributions in BitCoin!"] the "libertarian-democrat" who votes for the ACA, Dodd-Frank, and personally finances gun-control state-house candidates is somehow a darling of Reason and FBN's The Independents.)

5. Sen. Landrieu is going down. you know it, I know it, we're just going to have to wait a month. That will be like desert.

6. I received a personal apology from one of my "libertario delenda est" FB buddies who regrets not voting for Beuprez. The others are recalcitrant. But? Hope?


2014 Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [8]
But johngalt thinks:

More specifically, I view last night's results in Colorado and elsewhere as an endorsement of Rand Paul Republicanism and a repudiation of Mike Huckabee Republicanism. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush? As soon as anyone can tell me any Republicanism that they represent, let me know.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 1:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I agree with JG - "Centrism" didn't benefit anyone last night. What paid off was a lot of things - some bad Dem candidates, and some very intelligent, very reasonable Republican candidates who campaigned with positivity.

I posted the following this morning at another site:

"If I may…

"There needs to be a serious discussion about McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. Yesterday was a repudiation of Obama and his policies (such as Obamacare, but many, many more), but don’t for get that it was a wave AGAINST Democrats more than it was a wave FOR Republicans. Some elections, such as McConnell’s, or the Florida governorship, were hold-your-nose votes. There’s no evidence that yesterday was a mandate for McConnell.

"What is was was a mandate against Obamacare, against statism, against aberrant candidates (looking at you, Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke), and against governance against the will of the people. The Republicans have a two-year audition to prove they can lead and win the hearts of America on a more permanent basis. That doesn’t mean compromising with the people and policies that just got roundly rejected. That doesn’t mean America wants them to “reach across the aisle” to partner with Harry Reid and his ilk. America wants Obamacare dead and buried, the borders secure from illegals and Ebola, ISIS stomped to a stain in the sand, and the IRS and the NSA not being used as a blunt instrument against our own citizens. America wants elected Republicans to get down to the business of fixing this country. If they do not, the gains made last night will not hold, and we’ll be facing President Hillary.

"McConnell has been a spine-free engineer of compromise and collapse. I’m not convinced he merits the job of Majority Leader. He has almost no part in bringing the GOP to the Majority. To be honest: I changed my party registration from Republican to American Independent as a response to the GOP’s refusal to seriously oppose Obama’s policies. If they want me back – and I’m open to being wooed – a good way to show that they want me back would be to make someone who represents last night’s tsunami the next Majority Leader. I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Senate Majority Leader Ted Cruz, for example; it would be a good way of telling me that they’re serious about getting this country back on the right course. There are probably a dozen other names I wouldn’t mind seeing, but McConnell and the other Dem-lites that have gone along to get along aren’t among them.

"Submitted for your consideration…"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 5, 2014 1:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suggest that my like-minded brother has the right idea, but the wrong tone. I believe that Americans can support all of the worthy items he listed, but what they really want is just for everyone to get along. As "the people" see it, they elect representatives to make sausage, and have no interest in knowing what's in it. They just want it to taste good, and part of that is to not hear constant whining and bickering from the kitchen.

Ted Cruz started out with the right temperament to be a face for friendly Republicanism but, as I myself often do, he adhered too tightly to the rectitude of his principles and was caught being mean to worthless, corrupt Democrats, some of them women, and that has harmed his brand. Not irreparably, but it needs some rehabilitation. The same is not true for Rand Paul. But I'd rather see him as the GOP presidential nominee than the Senate Majority Leader. So, who then? We need a young, fresh, friendly face. Ron Johnson, perhaps. Mike Lee would be good. Marco Rubio! Yes, I'd like him.

But "friendly" is not the way the senate works. None of these has the ruthlessness to take on McConnell and depose him. McConnell will be majority leader. We just have to make the most of it.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 2:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

On the subject of gloating on Facebook, by the way -- here's the awesomest comment I saw last night:

"The election wasn't a wave; it wasn't even a tsunami. It was a 'Game of Thrones' season finale."

Red wedding, indeed. The Lannisters send their regards.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 5, 2014 3:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not being a GoT devotee, the full impact of that analogy is over my head. But I can feel the meaning of Joe Manchin (Blue Dog-WV) who called it "a real ass-whuppin.'"

[I notice that the headline is an accurate quotation, but the hyperlink was clearly written by a yankee: "a-whooping." What the hell's an a-whooping?]

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 5:41 PM
But jk thinks:

I love Ron Johnson. What did he ever do to you that you want to make him Majority Leader?

We did this on Speaker Boehner a while back, and I would put McConnell in the same bucket: leadership is not the place for your firebrand. Let Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Lee and Johnson appear on the Sunday shows and campaign for President if they want. Leader is a necessary evil, and Sen. McConnell is just the man for the job.

I also give him points for taking McConnell v SEC all the way to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 7:18 PM

November 4, 2014

Liberalism 101, 201...

Something a bit different from obsessively following a dozen senatorial and gubernatorial races.

A terrific issue of Imprimis, headed by William Voegeli, whose The Pity Party must be on the TS review page soon (hint, hint). To best defeat something, one must first understand it. My BFF and I have gone back and forth on "what liberalism is REALLY about..." Voegeil nails it to the wall, then takes it down!

He sets the stage nicely;

All conservatives are painfully aware that liberal activists and publicists have successfully weaponized compassion... it follows that its adversary, conservatism, is the politics of cruelty, greed, and callousness. Small-d democratic politics is Darwinian: Arguments and rhetoric that work—that impress voters and intimidate opponents—are used again and again. Those that prove ineffective are discarded.

Properly noting that conservatives have yet to bottle a sufficient (nay, any!) rejoinder to the uncaring meme.

He cites both sides: first FDR from 1936

“Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.”

then some Mitch Daniels:

disciplining government according to “measured provable performance and effective spending” ought to be a “completely philosophically neutral objective.” Skinflint conservatives want government to be thrifty for obvious reasons, but Daniels maintained that liberals’ motivations should be even stronger. “I argue to my most liberal friends: ‘You ought to be the most offended of anybody if a dollar that could help a poor person is being squandered in some way.’ And,” the governor added slyly, “some of them actually agree.” The clear implication—that many liberals are not especially troubled if government dollars that could help poor people are squandered—strikes me as true, interesting, and important.

Then gets to the meat:

if you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, the failure of government programs to alleviate suffering is not only an acceptable outcome but in many ways the preferred one. Sometimes empathizers, such as those in the “helping professions,” acquire a vested interest in the study, management, and perpetuation—as opposed to the solution and resulting disappearance—of sufferers’ problems. This is why so many government programs initiated to conquer a problem end up, instead, colonizing it by building sprawling settlements where the helpers and the helped are endlessly, increasingly co-dependent.

The money quote: liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring.

Sprinkled with some awesome quotes:
“If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t.” -- Prof. David Schmidtz
as well as Barbara Oakley, and Rousseau and the OED: “compassion” means, literally, “suffering together with another”—it’s the “feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it.” then Voegeli notes, suffering together does not mean suffering identically.

All in under 3 pages; can't wait to see what he does in his book! It's supposed to feature some wicked humor. He doesn't bottle or provide a response, rejoinder or weapon against the uncaring characterization, but I took these away by (1) quoting one and (2) obverting one Voegeli's sentences:

1. "The problem with liberalism may be that no one knows how to get the government to do the benevolent things liberals want it to do."

2. it’s more important to accomplish something rather than to be seen doing something.

Now I'm remembering a phrase, which might indeed be that rejoinder:

I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.
-- Ben Franklin

Now that the election has taken liberalism down a few notches, I say put the stake in 'em!

But jk thinks:

That's a very very good article. A great companion to Yaron Brook's LOTR-F speech. And a good rejoinder to the "mincome" concept.

Review Corner will take the suggestion under advisement. Or, as I traverse 1800 pages of Catholic theology, I'd happily turn over the keys to your steady hands.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 12:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The author has posted a preview at Power Line. Wow. Money quotes:

> "The perfect liberal is someone so compassionate that he cares profoundly about how you are, but so nonjudgmental that he could not care less about what you do. It is on this basis that liberalism believes it has reconciled the demands of individualism with those of community"

"The liberal view is distinctly hopeful on [human nature]. We can understand this perspective by contrasting it with the American founding, which viewed human nature with suspicion and resignation. In the Federalist Papers, for example, James Madison said the least bad way to avoid both tyranny and anarchy was to arrange for ambition to counteract ambition, and thereby supply the defect of better motives through opposite and rival interests."

I clearly need to reread TFP... The full post - well worth a full reading! - at PowerLine is here:

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 6, 2014 11:28 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I have to say that Voegeli's comment about "caring about you, but not what you do" resonates with me when I view the (admittedly, very successful) mega-churches, which I refer to as "buddy Jesus" houses.

They are so overly solicitous with the 'God Loves You' theme (Jesus, y'know; young, cute, hip & forgiving) that the godly part (expecting one to take the proper steps) gets muted, if not totally lost.

But back to quoting a wiser and harder-working man than I (and themes more important to the bulk of TS'ers):
I submit that American conservatism’s task is to conserve our republican experiment in self-government. Because republics are permanently vulnerable, the work of sustaining them is endlessly daunting but permanently necessary. ... I’ve been a conservative as long as I cared enough about politics to try to make sense of it … and even I wish liberalism were true.


Posted by: nanobrewer at November 6, 2014 11:48 AM

Why America Can't Lose Weight

Hint: This post is categorized under "food" and not "exercise."

The Adkins diet has earned approbation on these pages, and here's another data point in favor. The new Qdoba burrito configurator web app that I stumbled upon shows, interactively, how many calories and how much fat is in your delicious, foil-wrapped "football." And the first question is the most important one: Tortilla or bowl? choose carefully... it is a 300 calorie decision you are making. Depending on your other choices that could double the calories of your meal. Or conversely, cut them in half.

But that bowl just adds more trash to the landfill! Boo hoo. You would protect the landfill from overflowing, rather than your beltline?

Electronic Voting! Yaay!

Electronic cryptography has come a long way, and is being used by several companies to implement online balloting systems. One such provider, Helios Voting, has an FAQ page discussing some of the finer points of election administration. And then discusses the competitive landscape:

Is Helios the only system that provides this level of verifiability?
No, there are other systems. Scantegrity and Punchscan provide true verifiability in paper-based voting systems. We like those systems, and we like the people behind those systems. VoteHere, a company that has since folded, was a pioneer in this area, too. The Helios System packs a number of innovations focused on enabling true verifiability for online elections to help everyone get a taste if this groundbreaking technology. But we are not the only game in town.

And then, almost as if they were reading my mind, they answer the question: Should we start using Helios for public-office elections? Maybe US President 2016?

No, you should not. Online elections are appropriate when one does not expect a large attempt at defrauding or coercing voters. For some elections, notably US Federal and State elections, the stakes are too high, and we recommend against capturing votes over the Internet. This has nothing to do with Helios itself: we just don’t trust that people’s home computers are secure enough to withstand significant attacks.

If you’d like to use a truly verifiable voting system for your public-office election, we recommend an in-person election. Helios could be adapted to the in-person, precinct voting setting, but we have not done this work yet, and we intend to focus on online elections first.

Refreshing! So, a leading edge online voting company says that "a truly verifiable voting system" is best achieved with an "in-person election." Dang, if only!

But Keith Arnold thinks:

You heard it here first: "Colorado Looking Good?"

Enjoy the comments.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 4, 2014 3:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This was my favorite comment:

I won't stop worrying about the fraud from Boulder and Denver till the #s are announced. I was so hopeful in '12, I had never seen so many R signs and bumper stickers but the cheat districts cranked out so many votes that the higher GOP #s in honest counties were overwhelmed.

And as I linked in a comment yesterday, there's reason to suspect the same thing today in the CO governor's race. (Even dagny is suspicious, and she is the model of non-tin-foil-hattery.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

When I woke up to "it's tight but they're still counting in Denver and Boulder Counties" I got a sinking feeling. I'll take Reynolds wrap, glossy-side out in a 8-1/8, but that's how LBJ did it. "His" counties counted last -- how many do you need?

If it's a five digit lead at the end, I will withdraw, but after big changes facilitating fraud, losing a close one hurts.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 11:59 AM
But johngalt thinks:

On the other hand, Bob proved to be a crappy candidate. Cory was likeable and telegenic and talked about fresh ideas. Bob did none of those things. (Gessler would have, though.)

Bob earned 40-some thousand votes fewer than Cory.
Udall earne 50-some thousand votes fewer than Hick.

Even if the D's did "steal" the election with ballot stuffing, they only had the opportunity because R's gave them a weak opponent. The other races were won by R's with margins comparable to Gardner's.

Plus - I did some egghead comparisons of early vote returns to final vote totals. I'll spare the details here but I didn't find anything overtly fishy.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 12:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Agreed an all parts. There's a 20K spread as I type -- I'd call that a real loss.

I mention in my gloating post that I received an apology from a libertario delenda est friend. I don't want to pile on but need to tell him that I need him more in the primary. Of course, he's way too cool to be a Republican... Hrrmph.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 1:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Try to sell him on being a secret agent Libertarian, behind enemy Republican lines. Perhaps, like Susana Martinez (another big win last night) he'll find it wasn't what he thought it was.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 1:51 PM

Election Day!

There was one more ballot return count from the SoS office this morning. The next count will be the final one, and will be proceeded by the actual vote tally, so only eggheads like me will even care.


While a far cry from the heady day of October 24, when the R-D differential was 12 points, we're still looking at 7.3 points at the moment - 5 points better than in 2012. And another ray of optimism for Republicans, or everyone who's opposed to redistributionist, authoritarian Progressive Democrats, is that this election has seen significantly fewer young voters and significantly more "seasoned" ones.


UPDATE: RNC Chief of Staff Mike Shields talks about Colorado early voters:

"Our work has been focused on getting these voters to the polls early or to vote absentee if possible, so that we build up our vote totals ahead of Election Day and cut into the Democrats' traditional early vote advantage," Shields added. "While we're turning out low propensity voters, our data tell us that Democrats have actually been turning out voters who would vote regardless."
But johngalt thinks:

" only eggheads like me will even care." Unless the Democrats capitalize on their 30% chance to re-elect Udall, when many may be interested in how many votes came in at the last minute. And in what counties. *cough* Boulder *cough*

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2014 5:29 PM

November 3, 2014

Best Economics Intro of All Time

Russ Roberts has been treated well on these pages.

Blog brother Bryan posted a link on Facebook that is a gem -- Ten Key Ideas: Opening the Door to the Economic Way of Thinking

I've recommended Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson as a good 0-60 for economic principles. While you would not ever go wrong reading Hazlitt -- this is free and well organized into bite-sized hunks. An ordered read would be edifying, but it is also a chance to share something with somebody who might not have a foundation. Roberts is accessible and engaging.

Sen Udall Heckled by Wealthy Donor

Or so says that rightwing, Koch-funded . . . ummmm, The Guardian.

In a populist, energising speech, Udall mocked the "plutocrat" Koch brothers, who bankrolled TV ads for his Republican rival Cory Gardner, and praised "the clipboard army" who were about to begin knocking on doors.

"I know you can do it. We’re surging. Ignore the polls."

The crowd cheered and autumn leaves fluttered about the senator like confetti.

Then, finally, came the only reference to policy in Udall's speech. "And by the way, I'm proud to stand with Colorado's women," he said, almost as an aside. "I'm proud to stand for reproductive freedom."

An angry voice from the crowd jeered: "That's not the only thing you stand for! Jesus Christ!"

But johngalt thinks:

That wasn't all he said. There's more, including an F-bomb. And the disgruntled donor's name, at this link. Colorado Peak Politics is offering $100 to anyone who produces video of the moment.

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2014 11:31 AM

All Hail Taranto!

On a ThreeSources's favorite:

"Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18%," reported the California Energy Commission.

OK, that may not seem like much. But little numbers eventually add up to big ones. By our calculations, if turning back the clock one hour saves 0.18% of energy used, turning back the clock three weeks would yield a saving in excess of 90%. -- James Taranto

Posted by John Kranz at 5:49 PM | What do you think? [7]
But Jk thinks:

My favorite parlor game: flip one presidential election. Close to you, I lean toward 1916. Charles Evans Hughes narrowly lost California, and most of Wilson's worst mischief was in his second term. Besides which, if you're not careful on '12 you get extra Teddy.

Then again, 1964 . . . 1940 . . . 2012

Posted by: Jk at November 4, 2014 6:54 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If the "infinite parallel universes" hypothesis is true, then somewhere, there is a universe that never had a Wilson, a Roosevelt, or an Obama. Dewey really did defeat Truman. Adolf Hitler grew up to be a mediocre artist to whom no one paid attention. There was no Sixteenth, Amendment, Seventeenth Amendment, no Eighteenth, no Twenty-First. The Fourteenth was better and more clearly written, and what was intended by those legislators was made plain and inarguable.

In that universe, William the Conqueror may have still taken England, but the net result wouldn't have screwed up the language, and the first chapter of Ivanhoe would have required a revision (a pet peeve of mine). Marx would never have met Engels, and as a result, would have had to actually get a job instead of being supported to spend his idle time scribbling idiocy.

To quote Louis Armstrong, what a wonderful world...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 4, 2014 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

The "Red Dwarf" version of this was "...and a universe where Ringo was a really good drummer."

Seriously, indulge me if you've a minute -- you can flip one US presidential election: which?

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2014 12:40 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"We should go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"

(Forgive me for this...) Flip Wilson.

I see your reasoning for choosing 1916; my thinking is that without 1912, he's not the candidate in 1916, so I get a twofer. I'm greedy that way. If I can only flip one of his two terms, then you're right, 1916.

As for the extra Teddy, I share your concern. We've had too damb many Roosevelt administrations as it is. Here's an idea: how 'bout a Constitutional amendment barring any President with the same last name as a previous President? Think about it:

* No FDR, because Teddy.
* No John Quincy Adams, because John.
* No George W. Bush, because George H.W. Bush.
* Another Jesse Jackson run? Andrew says no.
* Sorry, Hillary.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 4, 2014 1:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I almost forgot: we'd also have been spared LBJ. How could I have left that fringe benefit out?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 4, 2014 1:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And no Jeb Bush. Hey, I like this!

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2014 1:38 PM

Quote of the Day

Or "All Hail Insty:"

KIND OF A METAPHOR FOR AN ENTIRE PRESIDENCY, REALLY: One Day in an Elevator With Obama, Then Out of a Job.

Plus: "He said one of the Secret Service agents had told him that it was remarkable that Mr. Obama had talked to him, considering it had taken the president two years to acknowledge the agent. . . . Now unemployed, he looks back with sadness on the day he met the president." So do we all. -- Prof. Glenn Reynolds

But johngalt thinks:

Uh, if you're an ex-con and you're job requires you to carry a weapon, try not to become the subject of a national news story?

"Nuze u kin uze."

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2014 4:28 PM

The "Bejewelled Bus of Awfulness"

You've worked hard. You've done what you could for the midterms. Treat yourself to the merciless destruction of Russell Brand's economics book by Michael Moynihan.

Most of us have the benefit of growing up politically in private. Not too many people remember the naive and silly views we held; the late night college bull sessions (during which we discover that utopia is possible, if only they would listen to us kids) are forgotten in the haze of pot smoke and advancing age. But Brand, as he always reminds us, was doing a mess of drugs when all the other kids his age were at university doing a mess of drugs. So Che and Chomsky had to wait.

But now, two decades later, Brand is now doing the rounds promoting Revolution, a meandering and pretentious mélange of student politics, junk history, and goofy mysticism. Now he will just proselytize and wait. He's Lenin in Switzerland, Mao on the Long March, Castro in the Sierra Maestra.

And then he stops being nice. Mencken would be proud.

Colorado Early Vote: Election Day Eve


Some analysis here, including more pretty graphs.

The Unaffiliated sentiment is the biggest factor. It looks like we'll soon know whether or not there's a War on Womyn. *

* It can't be called a war on all women anymore, now that our president has told us that "we" don't want moms to stay at home and raise families. Or at least, not a war on those women by Republicans.

"Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that's not a choice we want Americans to make."

Video at the link.

But johngalt thinks:

In a radio news interview today, Quinnipiac polling spokesman [somebody] Malloy estimated that unaffiliateds are breaking for OOH-dull, 43/36 percent. Applying those weightings to the early U vote through today results in a Gardner win, 49.9% to 43.6% for Uterus.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2014 4:26 PM

Five Thirty Eight

They all laughed at the "anti-science" Republicans who doubted Nate Silver's "scientific" 538 polling. Especially as he nailed 2012 against the last suggestions of optimism on the right.

With that in mind, enjoy:

In the latest FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast, Democrats still have a 27 percent chance of holding on to control of the chamber. But the more pressing question now may be the size of the Republican majority come next Congress. New polls out this weekend suggest that Republicans may not just win the six seats they need for control, but quite possibly eight seats -- Republicans now have a 41.4 percent chance of doing just that.

Harry Enten likes GOP Senate chances in Colorado and Iowa. It seems JK's money is working, but I have not heard much good news for Mia Love in Utah.

But johngalt thinks:

On the flip side, the same pollster has Colorado's squishy Governor 59% likely to remain in office. That's the statewide race I've been least sanguine about. Still believe Gessler would have done better. But maybe this will help.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2014 1:01 PM

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