March 31, 2016

Of Interest to Coloradans

I am a huge proponent of disproportionate representation in the Colorado Legislature. For all our positives, we have a structural problem in the balance between rural and urban polities. The best solution I have heard was to give equal representation to each of her 64 counties.

Enacting that would face intense political hurdles from those losing power, plus the "sacred principle of 1-man, 1-vote" would be contravened.

Ilya Somin has a great piece in the Volokh Conspiracy examining the principle, obvious contradictions like the US Senate, and case law and legal challenges going forward.

Before Reynolds, the most common form of unequal apportionment was one in which rural districts got greater weight relative to urban ones. But urban areas have relatively greater concentrations of celebrities, intellectuals, academics, journalists, lobbyists, unionized public employees, and others who wield disproportionate political influence by means other than voting. Giving extra voting power to rural areas may, at least in part, simply counterbalance these advantages of city-dwellers. Other types of unequal apportionment might also help offset non-electoral forms of political inequality. Inequalities in apportionment might also, in some cases, help diminish the negative effects of widespread political ignorance by giving greater weight to areas with higher proportions of relatively well-informed voters.

Short, informative, and interesting -- I think all would dig it.

Colorado SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

One man, one vote? That's rather anthropocentric isn't it?

If it is proper to seek laws to protect and secure rights for "nature" is it not also proper to give electoral representation to nature? Nature is proportionally overpopulated in rural areas and, under current legislative allocations, proportionally underrepresented.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2016 5:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Liked the article. Considering who else to share it with.

Meanwhile, this legal analysis [PDF] is related. It considers voting schemes for special districts, which often apportion votes based on land ownership. Such schemes have been sanctioned by SCOTUS. The conclusion is on page 200 if you're in a hurry. Hint - the author is hostile to the principle. (Not sure the current status of this. The analysis is dated 1981.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2016 12:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Also related: The current case which prompted Somin's article - Evenwel v. Abbott

Issue: Whether the three-judge district court correctly held that the "one-person, one-vote" principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population, when apportioning state legislative districts.
Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2016 12:28 PM

Quote of the Day

Keep in mind that Trump had no winning hand to play for abortion. He could either offend his base and not get nominated or he could poison his chances in the general election. He had two losing options. So what did he do?

He chose ambiguity and chaos. At least he is consistent that way. -- Scott Adams h/t James Taranto

But nanobrewer thinks:

Just brilliant; "ambiguity and chaos" -- he's a liberal alright!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 1, 2016 1:54 PM

"It's all just a little bit of history repeating"

A line from the chorus of The Propellerheads 'History Repeating' came to mind as I read RCP's Caitlin Huey-Burns piece on Cruz and the Convention Chess Game.

Kasich might hope that Cruz is a mere vehicle and not a galvanizing force. The Ohio governor's only hope of becoming the nominee rests at the convention, as it is now mathematically impossible for him to secure the requisite delegates before then. His campaign argues that both Trump and Cruz would be unelectable in November, which would also have consequences for down-ballot GOP candidates.

"If you looked at the history of conventions," said Kasich spokesman Mike Schrimpf, "in the majority of the cases the delegate leader does not wind up with the nomination and it's often the most electable candidate who winds up with the nomination."

Well okay, mister campaign spokesman, the perceived most electable candidate... according to the well-known conventional wisdom. The well-known historical parallel here is the 1976 primary contest between the incumbent President Gerald Ford, former vice president of Richard Nixon, and a little known governor of California named Ronald. The "electable" Ford won the nomination over Reagan and then went on to give us President Jimmy Carter. Certainly we wouldn't repeat that mistake. Would we? Huey-Burns continues:

Kasich recently hired operatives Stu Spencer and Charlie Black, both former Ronald Reagan advisers, to guide his convention strategy. Spencer aided Gerald Ford in the contested party gathering of 1976. The campaign is eyeing unplugged and unbound delegates to the convention.

You can't make this stuff up.

But jk thinks:

Would you find the example of 1920 more persuasive?

I thought you loved this inside-baseball-republican-delegates-choose-at-the-convention-bizness. I have a soft historical spot for it (Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, Harding) and if it saves us from nominating Trump, I am all in!

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2016 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm all for the delegate wrangling. Direct democracy is a)simplistic, b)corruptible, and c) boring. And sending representatives to reach a "consensus" nominee prevents naming a winner based on a mere plurality, as Trump so self-servingly prefers.

I agree with the two Radoshes that a candidate other than the frontrunner should be nominated, but I disagree that the delegates should "turn to John Kasich, or to draft someone else." I think they should coalesce around Cruz who, like Harding - and possibly Kasich - has long been most everyone's second or third choice. But since Cruz is far more people's first choice than is Kasich, he is the natural choice for unifying the party. Provided he continues on a higher road than he's traveled of late, with the frontrunner.

Kasich will be the first choice only of Ohioans and Beltway Bandits. But if he brings in the Columbus, Ohio Glee Club to entertain in Cleveland, I'll start getting nervous.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2016 5:00 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, I was thinking that Reagan and Romney provide better examples for how a 21st century candidate could win the nomination at an open convention, but am not so sure, after the editor crashed and killed my overlong reply.

To recap, they both waged serious but unsuccessful campaigns against better-known opponents, eventually winning the nomination by old fashioned politicking - speeches, fund raising, and general glad-handing - and perhaps more than a few cigars in the back parlor in the intervening years. Still, they were outright convention winners on the 1st ballot.

If this is the model for a 21st century convention, none has a clear lead, IMO, but Trump is probably last based on his support of Democrats and liberal causes in general. The GOP is NOT in the mood for a middle-road deal maker.... Kasich could have been in the lead in this vein, but he's had his gaffes and generally has not pushed his background with the limited gov't/freedom agenda. Trump's lead as the 'majority' candidate is finally sagging, and ideally his plurality lead will be minimized by July. Kasich has a small lead in the "happy guy" category, but I don't know that goes far in this anti-establishment year. If we wanted a glad-handling deal-maker, Marco would have done better. To my thinking Cruz has never gone deeply negative; Iowa was one-time, apologized for and thereby generally old news.

So, we're most likely left with someone who has some general appeal and has won some chunk of delegates. The only road Trump has after the 1st ballot is opportunistic nepotism - the lack of a wobbly 2nd or 3rd tier candidate (sorry, Ben) further attenuates this option.

Cruz OTOH, as shown "a dedication to the delegate hunt and [sic] foreshadows his capabilities at the convention" as well as quick wit and sharp prosecutor's eye for details and appropriate quips or tweets. For instance, should an open-book convention that goes past the 1st vote provide for a Maccaca moment Cruz has shown great strength - second only to Carly - in standing firm against this sort of KOS-ian slime-by-association. I also like his trajectory in what brother JG's identifies as the hidden primary.

Let's hope this is enough, and he's won 10 states or so, so the is GOP compelled to keep 2012's rule 40. Much fertilizer would adhere to the ventilator if Kasich, or a non rule-40 eligible candidate is chosen!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 1, 2016 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Rafael (Cruz) has apparently won exactly eight states,

Iowa, Maine, Kansas, Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alaska and Texas.

Hmmm, sounds like an impressive list of warships.

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2016 3:25 PM

Headline of the Day

Maybe headline of the campaign:

Hillary Clinton's entourage blocks up traffic in New York as she gets $600 haircut at luxury Bergdorf Goodman salon before heading to Harlem on the campaign trail -- Daily Mail

Dem2016 Primary Posted by John Kranz at 10:14 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

"She don't like crap games with Barons and Earls,
Won't go to Harlem, in ermine and pearls
[...]
That is why the Lady is a Tramp." -- Rodgers & Hart

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2016 11:37 AM
But johngalt thinks:

A little human compassion is in order here, brothers. After all, Ms. Clinton is reportedly mere days away from an interview [interrogation?] by the Director of the FBI himself. She'll want to look her best.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2016 3:17 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

She'll want to look her best -- both full face and profile.

Sigh. I can dream, cant I?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 31, 2016 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Interrogation? She said it was a "security review" last I heard... But, as per usual, your decency is an example to us all.

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2016 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

And, in the spirit of the upcoming "security review," my prior elision was poorly founded. The skipped line in the great Lorenz Hart lyric was:

"Won't dish the dirt with the rest of the girls."

Criminal omission.

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2016 3:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The Esprit d'Escallier Gendarmes are en route to your locale.

Accouter vous.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2016 6:03 PM

March 29, 2016

The "Hidden Primary"

That's the name given to the political endorsement "game" that is a major part of electoral politics. Aaron Bycoffe at fivethirtyeight blog has a weighting formula that gives ten points to an endorsement by a governor, five from a senator, and one from a lowly congresscritter. Using these point values, Hillary Clinton is swamping Bernie by a score of 489 to 7. No surprise there. The surprise is on the GOP side, where "frontrunner" Trump has less than half the points of Cruz, and a mere 4 points more than John (who's he) Kasich.


(click to enlarge)

In the book "The Party Decides" (2008), the most comprehensive study of the invisible primary, the political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller evaluated data on endorsements made in presidential nomination contests between 1980 and 2004 and found that "early endorsements in the invisible primary are the most important cause of candidate success in the state primaries and caucuses."

Another interesting observation - in the GOP half of the chart above, at this point in the campaign, "invisible primary frontrunner" Ted Cruz has almost the same number of points (91) as did Ronald Reagan when he led the endorsements race, late and grudgingly, in the 1980 primary campaign (96.)


All Hail Taranto!

The president "delivered a forceful critique on Monday of politicians and the journalists who cover them, lamenting the circuslike atmosphere of the presidential campaign and declaring, 'A job well done is about more than just handing someone a microphone,' " the New York Times reports.

Obama spoke those words into a microphone handed to him by journalists. -- James Taranto


Stop! It hurts.


March 28, 2016

take a vote on balancing the budget

I will probably post this on FB as well. It's terrific if nothing else than laying out our federal budget on one easy page with decent graphics for a snap-shot view.

Help balance our budget, TS'ers!

But jk thinks:

BALDERDASH!!

Excuse my language, case, and punctuation, but this is an egregious example of pretending to offer choices but all the bad ideas of government are already built in to the model. This is the movie "Dave" in web form: "if we just take a little from the Army to help the poor, and medicare agrees to not raise rates everybody is happy."

First up is "Health Care. $1.1Trillion." Cool, where do I set that to "zero?" Well, no, that is not how it works. Here's how it works:

Choose one:

-- No additional cost control
-- Moderate cost control
-- Aggresive [sic]cost control

They can't even spell aggressive cost control -- that might be hint #1...

The others are worse. Now, I am sorry to rant on somebody else's post (well, a little sorry) but this is shows how you lose when your opponent sets up the argument. The real question is not how best to "balance" our bloated and un-constitutional Federal largesse.

It is about defining the purpose of government. As it happens, this Jefferson fellow did this pretty well back in July of 1776. This web page accepts every deviation ever since.

Bah! Zero stars!

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2016 12:22 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Rebukes fully accepted in the vein offered. ;-)

And you can zero out any category you want... it does take a whole lots of clicking. I should have looked at the who first:
"Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell."

I was thinking it's a good start to understand the budget as is, for instance how #1+2 outweighs the rest, but fully agree with JK's point - that THE debate really should be about what the Gov't should be doing rather than into which we've been stumbled.

Correct me if wrong; THE debate doesn't even have it's first permit application in hand? I don't think Sen. Paul even ever got there... sorry, if that's a broad application of grainy, scratchy sea salt.

For the record, I'd wave my wand and declare the budget to be 15-18% of GDP (based on biz best practices), and they can all fight to the {whatever} to parcel it up. A step towards the right idea would be for these folks to post REVENUE ($3.1T) in bold, right next to SPENDING (instead of "Budget")... hmm, this model says spending is $3.9T which doesn't sound scary enough.
"Spending is 125% of revenue" could be at the top.

I'm thinking of my own version of this that might turn the 'budgeting' debate (if there actually is one, ever again) into a rant against wanton spending and general scope creep. Here's an idea: "$ sent on valid purposes of government" {click to add category}, vs. "all else."

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 29, 2016 1:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Liberty, free markets and property rights need better info-graphics. "Interactive" would be a cherry on top.

Posted by: johngalt at March 29, 2016 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

It would not have bugged me so badly except that it made me think of the movie "Dave."

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2016 4:51 PM
But jk thinks:

No graphics, no interaction -- but a very crisp and concise description of economic fredom from Jeffry Tucker at FEE. You're welcome.

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2016 6:33 PM

Rarely, One Story Has it All.

Got some WHO fans, got some guitar lovers, got some free-traders: we may even have a few Trump opponents 'round these parts. No matter, Chris Edwards at CATO has everyone covered.

Watching Pete Townshend wailing on his Fender Stratocaster last night at the Verizon Center reminded of what I'd read about Fender's history. Part of the Fender story regards how the firm got hammered by Japanese competition in the 1970s, but then bounced back by refocusing on quality. So while I was listening to "Won't Get Fooled Again," I'm embarrassed to say I was pondering Donald Trump's misguided statements favoring protectionism.

Apologies to those who saw this on Facebook. But it is worth a read in full. Twice.

But nanobrewer thinks:

And a nod to what really makes America great (but is too complex for a USA Today story): "Fender was bought out in 1985, and Gibson in 1986, by teams of investors determined to revive the firms’ traditions of quality."

True greatness, innovation, drive and profit-motive; not the idol-obsessed treatment the media prefers *WHINE - where's the next Steve Jobs?!?*

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 29, 2016 1:44 PM
But jk thinks:

nb wins "comment of the day."

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2016 1:56 PM

Maybe They'll Listen This Time!

Prof Mark J. Perry reprises his 1995 essay "Why Socialism Failed." His biggest regret is his use of past tense. In the shadow of the fall of the USSR, he wrote that it was "the Big Lie of the 20th century [...] that it would be forever considered only as a discredited system of the past, and never as a viable option going forward into the future."

As Nelson would say: "Ha Ha!"

Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially as it is now being embraced by young Americans, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit my 1995 essay to review why socialism: a) failed in the 20th century, b) is failing in the 21st century (e.g. Venezuela, see photo above), and c) will always fail. And that's because it's a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren't consistent with human behavior and can't nurture the human spirit.

It is a good read and a better share for those who might be #feelintehbern.


147 FBI Agents

One hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey.
Says the right wing nutjobs at the . . . wait for it . . . Washington Post:
From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary's desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.

Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.

Senior officials who helped Clinton with her BlackBerry claim they did not know details of the basement server, the State Department said, even though they received emails from her private account. One email written by a senior official mentioned the server.


Anybody else, I'd think this person was in trouble.


Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

Time After Time

Sammy Cahn - Julie Styne ©1947

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


Permalink

March 25, 2016

Research project

I'm going to select the Rant category in case I lapse into all caps.

The scolds. The scolds. The Scolds. I swear if see that lady with the voicebox one more time, I'm taking out a second mortgage and buying a carton of Marlboros.

But today's topic is the Epidemic Scourge of Texting-while-driving." Nossir, I'm at home at my desktop. No worries that I'll -- "STAY IN YOUR LANE ASSHOLE! WHERE'D YOU" -- oh. where was I?

A 12th degree black belt scold posts this "everybody must watch this and pass it on" video. I bet you've seen it: Hong Kong movie theatre shows driving video then sends a text to all the theatregoers (invasive little bastards) [oh yes, definitely "Rant"]. As they all peek down at their phones CRASH! the film driver hits a tree. DON'T TEXT AND CINEMA, KIDS, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

Then it says (1:15) "Mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel." I am calling shenanigans. (Maybe in Hong Kong, three of their five annual fatalities involve a phone.) I called my friend Google up to ask if she thought this was true. And it gets interesting. Whom to believe?

Up top: The No. 1 Cause of Traffic Fatalities? It's Not Texting by Philip Cohen Oct 8, 2014

The article says some researcher estimates "more than 3,000 annual teen deaths from texting," but there is no reference to a study or any source for the data used to make the estimate. As I previously noted, that's not plausible.

His first hint was when the texting deaths exceeded the total deaths by 40%. Hmm, maybe these numbers a little shaky? We counting Cook County ballots or something?

Then there are a few that say yeah right it sure is. But three out of four are from tort lawyers. Hmmm.

How about some gub'ment stats? For all my libertarian whining, I do credit a Federal imprimatur on data. The NSC admits it may be low, but the headline is underreporting.

This is some serious Gospel among my friends. And I do not know why but it correlates to left wing beliefs. Any strong feelings, wisdom, or random speculation from ThreeSourcers?

Rant Posted by John Kranz at 7:05 PM | What do you think? [5]
But nanobrewer thinks:

My brother studies alertness (for accident aversion) professionally. I asked him a few years back about TXT-induced accidents and he said it's not major, but DISTRACTION is a major cause of accidents (speed being the other I recall him citing), and cell phones do contribute. Cohen's data is fascinating tho...

So, why are liberal sites hyping this no-data nonsense? Well, to cite Phil Cohen, who opposes

scare-mongering manipulations of data that take advantage of common ignorance
we should note that both scare mongering and leveraging ignorance is high-fashion these days, and profitable on many of those days, thanks in part to the machinations of Dr. Mann.

Generally, liberals tend to love panic for reasons that go beyond this post... triggers the "Daddy!!!" response, perhaps?

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 28, 2016 1:19 AM
But jk thinks:

My lefty friends tend to carry over the scold/tell people what to do in both politics and personal lives.

Interesting story about your brother. Generalized distraction I accept. "I never text and drive" assures the guy in the silver MR2 with the Starbucks in one hand and the Havanese dog on his lap...

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2016 11:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Even before cell phones and texting, I had far more accidents and close calls as a beginning driver (read: teenager) than I do as an experienced driver. Perhaps tech is not really the culprit today after all.

That said, tech is already being brought to bear to solve the problem, with talk to text functions integrated on the dashboard. But then, if the car is self-driving doesn't it become guilty of texting while driving too?

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2016 12:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And let's not forget, it isn't just driving while texting that they - the scolds - want to criminalize.

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2016 4:11 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

American culture is guaranteeing Yeats' near-century old poem remains prescient.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ are full of passionate intensity." Tip to Krista Kafer's blog at KNUS

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 28, 2016 4:25 PM

Happy Easter and Holy Week

I am not endorsing the theology, economics, politics, or propriety of posting this on Good Friday. But I got a laugh -- hope I'm not the only one.

CaesarsCoin.jpg

Hat-tip: The Statist Idiot

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 6:14 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"Hey, Caesar. You didn't build that. You had help from taxpayers who paid every penny of material and labor and administration and graft and corruption expense."

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2016 2:59 PM

Libertario Delenda Est

Way past quota on "All Hail Tarantos" this week, but he noticed an item I noticed.

On my Facebook feed, it was a triumphant boast: "Gary Johnson Now in Double Digits!" I almost blogged that his amazing 11% seemed a bit short of a majority in the maths systems I was taught. James is a bit more blunt:

This is a shock: Johnson only gets 11% against such weak opposition? He should just drop out.

I had been thinking more than usual about possibly pulling the lever for Governor Johnson and I will not rule it out. But it remains unlikely. Yes, perhaps it sends a message of sorts to the GOP, but The LP is not the answer and I'd hate to provide any encouragement.

Seriously Big-Ellers, this is your golden year -- yet your most promising candidate polls less than a tenth of Trump's and Clinton's combined disapproval ratings. You don't have to be Nate Silver to find some answers in those numbers.

Libertario Delenda Est. Yes, even in 2016..


Carly for america

Has relaunched; anybody know why?

Her eBlast said:

That's why I'm proud to announce that our team has relaunched Carly for America with a new mission: using our resources and our experience to help conservative outsiders win in November, restoring citizen government at every level.

First, we will identify principled conservative candidates from outside the political class, who aren't afraid of a fight and aren't afraid to shake up the status quo—and we will introduce them to the American people.

Second, we will give them the critical boost they need to win: by campaigning with them, supporting them, and fundraising for them. Anything we can do to make sure they have all the resources they need to amplify their voices, bypass the media and the establishment, and win over voters.


I think political action has become an independent life form, constantly morphing, like Dilbert once postulated (gads, Dec. 15, 2001 for those who care to do the research!).

Posted by nanobrewer at 9:50 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Gotta do something with all that campaign cash. Seriously, I believe she intends to do good and patriotic work. Just like Sarah Palin did before she went full-revenge and endorsed Trump over Cruz.

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2016 11:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Great way to stay in and continue spreading her message. Yay Carly!

Posted by: jk at March 25, 2016 12:30 PM

March 24, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

I do not have a Best of the Web problem; I can stop anytime...

taranto160324.gif


March 23, 2016

Three Cheers for President Obama

Stir things up on a cold day -- and provide a sad reminder that if election directions persist, we will soon be calling the Obama years "the good old days."

But seriously, I call on ThreeSourcers to reevaluate the President's Cuba Speech. Not from some Facebook post but either watching it in its entirety or reading Ron Radosh's honest review. It seems our President deviated from the prepared text in several places.

These are, of course, things that all people share, and say little about the real differences between the U.S. and the Castro regime. But Castro must have been shocked when Obama praised those Cubans who had fled to America on planes and makeshift rafts "in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, sometimes leaving behind everything they owned and every person that they loved." (Castro's term for such people are "gusanos" or worms.)

Later in the speech he delivered another surprise, praising the initiative and work ethic of the Cuban people. He was not referring to the Communist regime. Instead, Obama said, there is a "clear monument to what the Cuban people can build ... [and it] is called Miami." Eluding to Cuba's dismal economy, Obama said: "American democracy has given our people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and enjoy a high standard of living."

Obama said that real differences between the two countries could not be ignored...


How about it friends? Freedom on the March?

But johngalt thinks:

So, what you're saying is, the President of the United States has to steal away to a communist dictatorship before he's willing to say complimentary things about capitalism and businessmen. Well hip hip hooray, I guess.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2016 12:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

He also spoke in Argentina, saying that because Americans don't learn languages besides English, we have little understanding of what goes on the in world outside our borders.

Says a President whose multiple foreign policy fiascos are a nonstop nightmare.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 24, 2016 12:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I did not hear that one, Keith. Another push back on that would be to be uncharitable and point out his horrible Spanish. I cringed every time he rolled out his "Yo Soy ein berliner" stilted Spanish, because I remembered his predecessor's easy fluidity.

Brothers, brothers. I was not claiming that Bastiat had managed some anti-demonic posession of our 44th President. I wish he'd do a lot more a lot more often. But I think it's churlish to deny him props for a good policy and a good speech.

I accuse not you but a general bellyaching Conservative press. I heard a dozen bad things about before I saw it and two dozen complaints about his photo under the big Ché pic. (Clever Democrats have produced a nice collage of Nixon, Regan and both Bushes under Mao, Lenin and the like.

It's really a very good speech. Doesn't mean I am down for the rest of his agenda.

Posted by: jk at March 24, 2016 5:52 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Agreed with JK; I thought I misread the "It is called Miami" statement (and the article obfuscated with comments from B.Aires). It appears he actually did a - for once! - dis a dictator!

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 25, 2016 1:33 AM
But jk thinks:

Brother nb and I will be forming the "ThreeSourcers for Obama" club. I'm not sure we will require a large hall for our meetings.

Posted by: jk at March 25, 2016 11:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Your ranks may swell around the end of next January. "The only good president, is an ex-president."

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2016 11:28 AM

...and the First Lady's Dress

The two floral dresses that first lady Michelle Obama sported in Cuba this week would not be affordable for the wide majority of individuals living in the repressive country.
Well, duh! In Capitalism, second class citizens who face discrimination their whole lives because of skin color can raise themselves up to wearing $4000 dresses. And in the developed world, free trade provides opportunities for artists and designers to command these prices.

Pacé The Devil Wears Prada, these beautiful looks will filter down to the American Hoi Polloi. If you people would discard your socialist overlords, you could play too.


Scientist Chooses Science!

STOP THE PRESSES! Steve Savage, "an agricultural scientist (plant pathology) who has worked for Colorado State University, DuPont (fungicide development), Mycogen (biocontrol development), and for the past 13 years as an independent consultant" chooses not to buy organic foods. It is notable because of his background.

By all rights I should be an enthusiastic advocate and consumer of organic. I was a child of the generation influenced by "Silent Spring." I was a dues-paying member of the Wilderness Society in high school. I grew up helping my beloved grandfather in his organic garden in the 1960s. Some of our best friends in the late 1970s were pioneers in the development of the commercial organic industry. I've spent a significant proportion of my career developing biological and natural product-based pesticides which are applicable to organic.

But it is also notable because he lays out very clear reasons for his choices, each couched in language that would appeal to a lot of Whole Foods Shoppers. I still think Penn & Teller have the last word, but Savage's language is Safe For Work (SFW)


Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

There's one in every crowd.

Please pardon my cynicism. I would just rather that ALL scientists choose science. Really, that everyone who calls himself a scientist actually was fully committed to the scientific method and not some socially-conscious consensus based approach to knowledge.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2016 12:25 PM

March 22, 2016

If Only the Republicans did not Stop Them!

Oh, let's have a bit of fun in this dreary political season. This was posted on Facebook by a very nice if hopelessly leftist woman I used to work with. I cannot taunt her beliefs over there (maybe when Trump is President I will...)

But -- jeeburz!!


In their superb BS episode on Fast Food, Penn & Teller interview Andy Puzder, the libertarian HOSS CEO of Carl's Jr and Hardee's. "We have lots of low-fat options on the menu," he says, "but nobody buys them."

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 11:31 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Then she should open one, and see if there's a market that will support it.

Or, she could invest in a small knife, head over to the produce department at the nearby Kroger's -- or better yet, a Locally Grown, Environmentally Responsible, Pesticide-Free, Certified-Organic, Non-GMO Farmers' Market), and pack herself a lunch.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 22, 2016 1:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup. It's not only that nobody else would patronize the Qwik-E-Berry, but you know the people posting this would never go there either. "Why would I pay $2 for a banana?"

Posted by: jk at March 22, 2016 5:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The free market is a harsh mistress.

Posted by: johngalt at March 22, 2016 7:26 PM

March 21, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

taranto160321.gif


March 20, 2016

Review Corner

The Spirit of St. Louis was based on an existing model, the Ryan M-2, but many adjustments were necessary to make a plane suitable for an ocean flight. The inordinately heavy fuel load meant Hall had to redesign the wing, fuselage, landing gear, and ailerons, all major jobs. Of necessity, much of what the Ryan workers did was based on improvisation and guesswork-- sometimes to a startling degree. Realizing they had no clear notion of how far it was from New York to Paris by the great circle route, they went to a public library and measured the distance on a globe with a piece of string. By such means was one of history's greatest planes built.
I remember the gasps in the theatre when, in the middle of Apollo 13, all the engineers whipped out their slide rules. And we all realized these guys went to the moon without calculators.

Bill Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927 takes us back to, shockingly enough, 1927. Quite a few things happened that summer which are still remembered today. Bryson weaves them into a narrative but starts with Charles Lindbergh and his solo flight across the Atlantic. "Lucky Lindy" (he hated the name and the song) was a skilled aviator -- a tremendously skilled aviator -- but lacked interpersonal skills and struggled badly in school.

Charles attended eleven different schools before graduating from high school, and he distinguished himself at each by his mediocrity. In the autumn of 1920, he entered the University of Wisconsin, hoping to become an engineer. Charles survived in large part by having his mother write his papers for him, but ultimately even that wasn’t enough. Halfway through his sophomore year he flunked out and abruptly announced his intention to become an aviator. From his parents' perspective, this was a mortifying ambition. Flying was poorly paid, wildly unsafe, and unreliable as a career -- and nowhere were those three unhappy qualities more evident than in the United States.

'Twenty Seven was also the year of the great flood, Babe Ruth's home run record and the race with Lou Gehrig, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Dempsey -Tunney's boxing match with the "long count," Al Capone's arrest, President Coolidge's surprise announcement to not seek another term, and Fed rate increases which Bryson credits with the '29 crash and recession.

Here we must pause. This is an interesting and well written book. My brother recommended it, but warned "(alas) dripping with liberal ooze. Well worth the slog." I pride myself that I read a lot with which I disagree. A hard core polemic from the left is somehow much easier than this. Bryson writes the whole book with the smug assumptions of today's Zinn/Schlesinger imbued academic. Harding was corrupt, Coolidge napped when he should have expanded the scope of government.

Sigh. Again all presented as "known fact;" everyone who has taken a college history course knows these. And they creep in pretty constantly. Bryson ties the different items together nicely, even with some incidental references just to keep the calendar square. He refers incessantly to Coolidge's Siuth Dakota vacation (where Mount Rushmore was dedicated). Every time something bad happens in this great nation in 1927, we are reminded that the President was in South Dakota -- on vacation!

Clearly, to Bryson, he would have stayed Sacco and Vanzetti's executions would it not would spoil his vacation. He cannot for a moment imagine that law enforcement and punishment were State matters to this federalist, strict Constitutionalist, and former Governor. It becomes exasperating. One wishes to ask the author: "have you read your own book?"

Sacco and Vanzetti were prosecuted under Wilson's Espionage and Sedition laws. Bryson describes the Palmer Raids without using name Woodrow Wilson.

Crazily, it became riskier to say disloyal things than to do them. A person who refused to obey the draft law could be imprisoned for one year, but a person who urged others to disobey the draft law could be imprisoned for twenty years. More than a thousand citizens were jailed under the terms of the Espionage Act in its first fifteen months. It was hard to know what could get you in trouble. A filmmaker named Robert Goldstein was imprisoned for showing the British in a bad light in a movie about the American War of Independence.

Now that's some energetic government! And, government lovers, how is that Prohibition-thingy working out?
Nothing, however, was stranger than that it became the avowed policy of the United States government to poison a random assortment of citizens in an attempt to keep the rest of them sober. Wilson Hickox was unusual only in that well-off people generally weren't the victims, since they were careful to get their booze from reliable suppliers. That was why people like Al Capone did so well out of Prohibition: they didn't kill their customers.

And, lacking an overly-energetic executive, had America "gone Somalia" and lapsed into libertarian dystopia? No. Unemployment and inflation were minimal, industry, innovation and culture (Jerome Kern's "Showboat" was released in 1927, and "The Jazz Singer" launched talking pictures) were booming like the capital markets. Without the shackles of government, America was blossoming into a world power, exemplified by Lindbergh.
For Americans, there was also the gratifying novelty of coming first at something. It is a little hard to imagine now, but Americans in the 1920s had grown up in a world in which most of the most important things happened in Europe. Now suddenly America was dominant in nearly every field-- in popular culture, finance and banking, military might, invention and technology. The center of gravity for the planet was moving to the other side of the world, and Charles Lindbergh's flight somehow became the culminating expression of that.

At the central bankers' meeting, which he describes as being a bit nefarious, the european bankers are in a position of despair and America is booming -- after six years of those non-Wilsonian layabouts!

Double sigh. But I will close in agreement with my brother. It is an interesting time and Bryson expertly brings it to life. If you can check in your love of liberty at the front cover, you'll be enthralled. Three-point-seven-five stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 11:52 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Fascinating review. It's amazing just how much today's academic believes that nothing can be done without government help, mandate or at least direction. And looking at America's history through that lens must place strenuous demands on the modern historians creative faculty, to ascertain how things managed to ever happen, with government's hands off.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2016 3:14 PM

March 18, 2016

Pedantic Conservative Pragmatist?

The Kevin Williamson article jk cited below does more than brutally expose Donald Trump as anything but a conservative - it also explains why your "pedantic conservative friend" [yours truly] will correct anyone who claims that America's form of government is a democracy. "It's a republic!" he will insist. (...) Your pedantic conservative friend probably is supporting Ted Cruz."

Why is this so important to pedantic conservatives?

Democracy, he [John Adams] wrote, "never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty."
So yes, I do support Ted Cruz. I believe he would be an excellent president and would do more than any other viable candidate to "take the government boot off the back of the necks of America's small business owners" and to reduce the size and burden of government in general.

But I must admit serious doubts that he can win a general election. His strategy seems to be rooted in energizing the Republican and free-market base and beating the Democratic election-winning machine at its own game. Color me skeptical, or at the very least fearful.

Donald Trump has demonstrated a tremendous talent for magnifying turnout, yet of the twenty statewide contests he has won to date, fourteen of them have been open contests - meaning some of his support likely came from Democrats and may not be reliable when his opponent is another Democrat. (Not to mention that "isn't a conservative of any stripe" thingy.)

So who can defeat the Democrat and save the Supreme Court, and the very idea of individual liberty in America for the next few generations? If you don't know, he will happily tell you:

"Neither of those guys can win a general election, so maybe they're spoiling it for the Republican Party and for the conservative movement," Kasich said of Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) "It's unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention, and for those who worry about a convention, it'll be right in the open. I mean, there's no closed rooms, there's nothing but total transparency . . . and you talk to people in Pennsylvania, they'll tell you, I can win a general election."

And if Kasich stays in the race it is most likely that not only Trump will be denied a majority of delegates on the all-important first ballot, but so will Cruz. In such an instance it is difficult to imagine someone other than Trump being nominated by a peaceful process - difficult, but not impossible. Imagine that Kasich and Cruz were to form a unity ticket. I can see that alliance uniting the party (except for the Trump zealots) and winning the nomination. And, most importantly, I can see it winning a general election. Although to do that I'm afraid the top slot on the ticket will have to be assigned to the candidate who thinks "humans contributed to climate change." Very well then, it's better than any other realistic alternative. Damn. Having now said this out loud, I need a stiff drink.

UPDATE: Regarding the Kasich-Cruz, or even Cruz-Kasich ticket, NRO's Maggie Gallagher doesn't see it happening.

So Kasich must be betting that the party’s donor class and insiders will be so tickled by his pro-immigration, don’t-worry-about-religious-liberty stance that they will be willing to destroy the party by nominating him.
But johngalt thinks:

Some updates to this from my visit to the Boulder County Republican Assembly today. All of the delegates who sought election to the state assembly were Cruz supporters, except one each for Trump and Kasich. Predictably, neither of those two was elected. I told the young woman who spoke of Kasich's electability that I thought she had the right idea and she did a brave thing supporting Kasich after a steady stream of Cruz endorsements. In the balloting she earned 6 votes from a cadre of thirty-some.

Among other things I found remarkable was that the GOP currently has no candidate for Boulder District Attorney or for the County Commissioner seat in the first district (the incumbent Democrat is the chair of the BoCo commissioners and is an alternative energy, anti-GMO zealot - but you already knew that because I said she is a Boulder Democrat.

The news of the day was the Republican nominee for the 2nd district commissioner seat - Mr. Paul Danish. Yes, "The Danish Plan" Paul Danish.

"That's curious" thought I, "I didn't know he was a Republican." That's because he isn't. Err, wasn't.

Danish was misquoted in the linked article. He didn't say "Democrats no longer do" believe in American exceptionalism. He said they no longer believe that when America fights wars, it should win them. He also said the environmentalists anti-GMO stance is anti-science, and that the Democratic party's "group-identity politics is the new racism."

The fellow sitting next to me said, "Took you long enough to notice." I chuckled and then responded charitably, "Well, he had a lot of political inertia to overcome."

Posted by: johngalt at March 20, 2016 1:05 AM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the post and update.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

A testament to the bizarro world campaign that Gov. Kasich is starting to look better all the time.

Yes, he's a "compassionate conservative" who would greatly expand the size and scope of government. But he's the last Republican without a caveman attitude on immigration. A third Bush term has sadly started to look like the best case scenario.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For an "elephant" I have a short memory. I remember Kasich being part of the "contract with America" crowd that balanced the budget (for which Bubba took the credit) and therefore think his positions may be redeemable as "mainstream" more than "big government establishment crony." More investigation is certainly in order, and as times change so do a country's needs in a chief executive. The nominee who would stand athwart Leviatian's progress and shout "STOP" doesn't do the country any good if he doesn't win.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2016 1:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Good memory. His Chairmanship in the 104th, "Spirit of '94" Congress is a testament to all that is good and true. In 2000, he was my first pick; when he dropped and threw support to Gov. Bush, I dutifully followed.

I did not use the word "crony" but he is somewhat proudly the antithesis of the small government crowd. He boasts of his Medicare expansion in the Buckeye State under Obamacare. Bush said "when people are hurting, Government has to step in to help" and Gov. Kasich is very much in this mold.

Third Bush term -- hey, we could do A LOT worse.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 7:57 PM

John Adams Warned Us

Kevin Williamson at NR says "John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as 'passion.'" It is all good but one section is particulalrly Quote of the Day worthy:

I write "so-called" conservative talk radio because the radio mob dropped conservatism with something like military parade-ground precision the moment it looked like the ratings -- and hence the juice -- were on the other side. Donald Trump, talked up endlessly by the likes of Hannity and Laura Ingraham, apologized for by Rush Limbaugh, and indulged far too deeply for far too long by far too many others, rejects conservatism. He rejects free trade. He rejects property rights. He rejects the rule of law. He rejects limited government. He advocates a presidency a thousand times more imperial than the one that sprung Athena-like from the brow of Barack Obama and his lawyers. He meditates merrily upon the uses of political violence and riots, and dreams of shutting down newspapers critical of him. He isn't a conservative of any stripe, and it is an outright lie to present him as anything other than what he is.

But johngalt thinks:

Furthermore, it would seem Williamson is suggesting, John Adams protected us - not from ourselves, individually, but from Ourselves, as a majoritarian mob. The Republic will survive Obama and it could survive Trump, I agree.

Yet I also agree that the forces within the party who are attempting to make Trump its nominee may and should be rightly opposed by other forces within the party who are willing to nominate nearly anyone else other than Trump. The candidate isn't nominated until 1237 delegates have sung.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2016 6:25 PM

Strange Bedfellows

My, how things have changed since Super Tuesday Two - with Rubio losing Florida and going from "committed to stay in this race until the end" and "suspending my campaign" in a mere twelve hours, and Kasich winning Ohio and becoming the new "momentum" candidate. Senator Lindsey Graham, having said that choosing between Trump or Cruz is like choosing between being shot or poisoned, has now endorsed Cruz and will hold a fundraiser for him in Washington.


"He's certainly not my preference, but he's a reliable Republican, conservative, which I've had many differences with," Graham told CNN. Graham said Kasich is the most electable general election candidate, but "I just don't see how John gets through the primary. This is an outsider year, and he is an insider."

For what it's worth, I don't believe we've seen the last surprising alliance in this race.

But nanobrewer thinks:

I downgraded Graham from RINO to a Squish a long time ago... god knows what he'll say next! I like Cruz, and will take the endorsement, but don't think of it much more than that... well, that and something's gotta stop the Trump train....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 23, 2016 4:38 PM

March 16, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

Talk about perverse incentives.James Taranto does a "Bye-ku" for every candidate who leaves the race. I've come to look forward to them so much, I get excited even when my current favorite bows out.

taranto160316.gif


Clearly, we can all get along

An überleftist friend posts on Facebook bashing a Republican Congressman from Texas! Clearly, it 's time for me to clear up some misunderstanding or defend liberty or something something about the infield fly rule. Umm, No

A Congressional resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

The resolution (in full below) was sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), with six additional Republicans also attaching their names to it.

The problem, the resolution says, is that magic gets no respect. It has "not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance."


Rep. Sessions bears a string resemblance to my buddy, Senator Jeff Sessions (R - 'Murcah!), but that could be just me.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | What do you think? [0]

the rise of the protectionists

Good article from Hoover, if wonkish. I think the growing consensus here is that this is driven by "populist" pressures on our reps - which is also a factor in Trump's ubiquity, no?

Hmm, I get the Dem's part in this (aka, unions), but why the GOP is struck with this fever is currently beyond me. Bad press -even internal - is all I can think of!

Personally I draw a line - let's say purple for now - between general free trader ideas and the TPP. I don't have hard ideas on why TPP is bad or "not free" mostly just total and complete distrust for the current POTUS, and am willing to listen to reason (but not read Reason ;-)

But Jk thinks:

Great article. To be fair, a big portion of my TPP support was predicated on its being a good tool for the next President. That is before I saw the parade of total losers seeking to succeed Presudent Obama. I won't retract my support but it is freightening to contemplate what how President Sanders or President Trump might wield it. President 6492377 would perhaps be okay.

No Reason, but Russ Roberts's EconTalk podcast was a very fair look at benefits of trade to everybody, but a realistic appraisal of the individual harm to displaced workers. I highly recommend it.

Posted by: Jk at March 16, 2016 2:34 AM

March 15, 2016

Stop the administrative state!

I've always feared the un-elected government more than the few who risk the voice-sprain of constant pressers, and the occasional onslaught of overwrought lefties....

Hat tip to KHOW's excellent morning host, Ross Kaminsky, and a speaker from American Commitment (check them out, nicely summarized by SourceWatch.org as "a conservative, right-wing 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded by right-wing operative Sean Noble and led by Phil Kerpen, former vice president of Americans for Prosperity" I like them already....), is a summary of the REINS* act.

Here's a pretty good summary article (sigh, again, with awful flash-ups) from The Hill, noting

Last Tuesday, by a vote of 243 to 165, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act. Introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young (REBEL-Ind.), the bill "would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more — designated by the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a 'major rule' — to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted." Sen. Rand Paul (HOSS-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate.
and
According to The Economist, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported that in 2013, the compliance cost of federal regulations was $1.86 billion, or $15 billion per household. [ed. my math says $5.23 per household, for population of 319M, now if the cost is $1.86T, then the cost/household is over $5000]

Wow; this is cool; Google "cost of regulation" and you get a lovely, very large banner-ad headline "1.88 TRILLION" leading to an article courtesy of USN&W Report!

The Unauthorized Spending Accountability USA act also appears to be valuable and worthwhile; call your Senator! The article notes

Congress appropriated $310.4 billion to 256 programs and activities that are no longer authorized.

* Heh; If they'd have called it the REIGNS act, I wonder if some clever fixer could have plied the EGO and gotten Obama to sign it on the 19th tee!

But johngalt thinks:

I think you mean Administrative State, yes?

Posted by: johngalt at March 15, 2016 2:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Why, yes; thank you!

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 15, 2016 6:20 PM
But Stakes thinks:

Ah yes, the unelected government. I recall, hazily from my long-since-past youth, a hard-bitten cynic telling me that "voting doesn't make any difference; if it did, we wouldn't be allowed to do it."

Given the outsized influence of lobbyists, (frequently former congress-critters who know where all the bodies are buried), who are accountable to no one, it seems your concerns are well-founded.

Posted by: Stakes at March 16, 2016 10:13 AM

Senate candidates sounding out

I go this eMail from the Robert Blaha campaign. Submitted for your perusal...

BRIAN,

In a few months, I am asking Colorado conservatives to nominate me to challenge liberal incumbent Michael Bennet for a seat in the U.S. Senate. I’m not a career politician, I am a political outsider from the real-world, where you don’t ask for something and promise nothing in return.

So here’s what I’m offering. In my first term, I pledge to:
Cut the deficit
Secure the border
Reform the tax code

If I fail to accomplish even one of these things, I will step-down and return to Colorado to help you find a Senator who can. It’s that simple. I call it my Succeed or Leave philosophy.

The Republican primary field to take on Michael Bennet is a crowded one, with members of the permanent political class feeling entitled to be your Republican nominee.

As an entrepreneur, I know I am entitled to nothing.

But this doesn’t win me any favor with the DC establishment. The last thing they want is a committed conservative like me who is running exactly because of their failed insider politics.

This means I don’t have establishment backers. I don’t have big-government special interests funding my campaign. I’m counting on the help of conservatives like you who want an outsider.

But jk thinks:

Probably a swell guy. Probably would make a fantastic Senator.

Would he make a great candidate? I'd have to see. And without a track-record, it is hard to evaluate. Choosing "an outsider" for his or her outsiderness has not served the GOP too well. Tax reform is swell and all, but the seat will be fought over 93% uterus issues. Senator Gardner survived the onslaught, would Blaha?

I don't think we have much of a chance to unseat Bennet. Therefore, I would look to support either a candidate with a real shot (a thin list) or a true believer who will lose by double digits but make me proud. Ryan Frasier still leads the pack, but if I found a fellow-traveler in the unknowns, I may go quixotic.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2016 4:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I heard many of the senate hopefuls speak at Lincoln Day dinner. Blaha was high energy. I liked him. Other data points are, Tim Neville (R-RMGO) purportedly has the highest Principles of Liberty score in the state senate (yet to be verified). And Jon Keyser just received a trio of (establishment?) endorsements - Bill Owens, Hank Brown, Tom Tancredo.

There is a $30 per plate Women of Weld senate candidates forum next Wednesday night (3/23) at Mulligan Joe's in Fort Lupton. Info and registration on the Republican Women of Weld facebook page.

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2016 2:30 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

To me, Blaha blusters on the edge of bloviating, which could be a winning strategy in the The Year of Trump; say it aint so!

I heard Keyser on the radio today; very, very solid sounding guy who reminded me a lot of Tom Cotton. Not just a two-war vet, but a jumper, a lawyer, former CO-rep (who quit to campaign full time) and a CO-native "from a blue collar family." The endorsement that caught my ear was our last GOP governor.

Bennet was born to the purple for sure....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 17, 2016 12:08 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Let's remember that Udall lost his seat by becoming beclowned as "Mark Uterus."

And what is RMGO, anyway?

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 18, 2016 12:41 AM

March 14, 2016

Political Polls in the Age of Trump

In short, sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong. In at least one case, even stupendously wrong.

kansas%202016%20caucus%20final.jpg

Also, Oklahoma.

Idaho?

So when it seems like Herr Trump is unstoppable based on a review of all the latest polls, take it with a yuge grain of salt.


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March 13, 2016

Just like Smoot & Hawley

In the spirit of Senator Reed Smoot, Representative Willis C. Hawley and President Herbert Hoover, I give you today's Republicans.

SessionsTrump.jpg

What happened to Harding, Coolidge & Dawes?

But johngalt thinks:

"Trump hopes to dispatch with Kasich Tuesday by winning Ohio, in large part on a platform of opposing free trade and open borders."

After Tuesday, however, it may become negotiable.

Cruz has tried to walk a fine line on trade, saying Trump's tariff threat would harm the economy but then promising his own tariff, effectively, via a "tax on imports." I'm chalking this all up to election year hot air. None of this passes congress.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2016 2:42 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Good to hear... I guess. Totally agreed with JK that these 'campaign promises' are going universally the wrong way. Then again, this could be a clarion call to the GOP to either support free trade (ack! NAFTA = Clinton!), or come up with a 'third way' which ideally is rhetoric in line with Clinton's promise to "Change the way Gov't operates"

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 14, 2016 4:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I respectfully urge more caution. Trade policy -- especially with fast track-track authority -- remains an area where the executive enjoys broad powers.

Even were that not the case, individual legislators will always represent some affected industry seeking protection. The only hope for free trade, Obi-Wan, is leadership from 1600 Pennsylvania. It cannot come from Congress.

Persistent. Global. Depression.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2016 5:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Caution on whose part, brother? The world is not Three Sources. All of the cautious candidates not rhyming with "mace ick" have suspended their campaign. Caution does not seem to be the path to victory in the chief executive this cycle. Unless you're willing to subvert the grassroots choice with an establishment gerrymander. But I hear that comprehensive immigration reform is in his 100-day plan, and he was just endorsed by John Boehner. Really?

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2016 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Caution on the part of supporters (or potential tolerators) who think his rantings harmless.

Curiously, Sen. Sanders's Socialist rantings are pretty harmless. I think Congress would be an excellent check on his ambitions. He could create much mischief in the Executive/Administrative state and I cannot bear to ponder his SCOTUS picks , but single payer medicine and free college paid by Wall Street are not worth losing sleep.

Sanders is also almost as bad as Trump on trade.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2016 4:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't blame me, I voted for Paul-Fiorina '16!

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2016 2:43 PM

March 12, 2016

we can't let this guy go

Stories are abounding that Rubio's political career is over, if (which seems extremely likely) he ends up dropping his presidential bid. If the GOP is smart, they will not let a man of such obvious political talent go. Here Mike Ciandella of MRC's NewsBusters squad summarizes the way the GOP as a whole should avoid the 99/97% of scientists follow the consensus* slippery slope argument:

What there’s no consensus on is how much of the changes that are going on are due to human activity, in essence it's a sensitivity argument. ... these people pushing this are acting like it’s some sort of a religious tenet they want us to admit.
and when
(Mario Cuomo's brother, btw) CUOMO: You get painted denier, though, senator.
RUBIO: Is the sea level rising? You can measure that. You can measure whether sea level is rising. That's not the question you should be asking a policymaker.

The question you should be asking a policymaker is: what can we do in government to affect the rise of sea levels? And the answer is “oh, pass these laws we want you to pass.” So I asked the environmentalists and others who are supporting those laws, “well, how many inches of feet of sea level rise will that law prevent?” And there answer is, it won't prevent any.



Where can the GOP fit this guy that he can maintain the dignity to run again?

* stupendous review here of the 99% / 97% ruckus that gets toted around and used as either a club or a shield against rational discussion.

But jk thinks:

I like him and don't know that he is "over" with a loss. I would support his dropping out at any time to try to unite all the #nevertrump folk.

NR put up a nice video.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2016 1:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Agreed, and I consider it one of those over-top comments we're likely to hear from the Dick Morris' of the world... mainly repeating it to hope "it ain't so."

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 13, 2016 5:13 PM

March 11, 2016

Movie Night!!!

Some killer movie recommendations:


Poverty, Inc: an outstanding, not a quarter as polemical as it sounds, look at the failure and harm of the current, NGO foreign aid model. ThreeSourcers will weep at the universal human nature to be productive. Cheap rental or purchase from Amazon digital.

Tim's Vermeer: How, how how did I miss this? Tim Jenison is a regular guy save for three things: 1) he made enough money in the dotcom boom to pursue eccentric pastimes; 2) he is buddies with Penn & Teller, so his eccentric pastimes can be recorded in film; 3) he is bright enough to discern the method he believes that the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer used to create his paintings.

With engineering skills but no particular art skills he first recreates a copy of Vermeer's studio in a warehouse in San Antonio Texas. Then, he paints one of Vermeer's famous works. It's a stunning celebration of the great heights of humanity. Currently available om Starz®, which I have added to my Amazon account.


Trust me -- I'll refund every penny spent to anyone who is less than enthralled with either of these.

Art Posted by John Kranz at 7:27 PM | What do you think? [0]

QOTD -- Special Mention

Mrs. Clinton would have us believe that the 31,830 emails she deleted from her server pertained to yoga and weddings. And yet look at what the press has gleaned even from the few emails and foundation details that were released.

Foundation cash after Russian mining approvals. More than a dozen speeches by Bill to corporations and governments with business pending before Hillary’s State Department. Dozens more donations to the foundation from companies that were lobbying the State Department. Checks to the foundation from a Swiss bank after Secretary of State Clinton solved its IRS problem. An email to Ms. Abedin, while she was at State, asking for help winning a presidential appointment for a Clinton Foundation donor. -- Kim Strassel: Hillary's Other Server

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Pay-to-play, baby. The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a gigantic money-laundering machine on steroids, and Clinton influence is what's being peddled. That's one of the biggest reasons Hillary is running, at least in my mind - if both Clintons are out of office, the going rate for Clinton influence plummets.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 11, 2016 7:35 PM

On Immigration - Pick Hillary Over Trump

The internet segue machine kicked out a gem today. In last night's GOP presidential debate I heard candidate Trump defensively state that he has used the H1B visa system many times, and profited handsomely as a result, but that the program "is unfair and should be ended."

Most of the news stories on this are in the Indian press, including this story in the India Times financial section:

Donald Trump's comments are the latest in a sling of attacks on the Indian IT industry and India in general. The real estate mogul, who is favourite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has blamed India and China for stealing American jobs.

Trump's oppotential [sic] Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton, doesn't discuss the H-1B visa. Instead, she has been talking of naturalisation of citizenship by waiving fees for more immigrants eligible to become US citizens.

And in related sporting news, the Miami Dolphins are outsourcing - cheerleaders to foreign lands.

"The Dolphins started auditions last week, and is targeting soccer-crazy countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Although few of the Brazilian candidates knew much about the sport... Ah heck, I'll just cut to the chase.

Doing the jobs that American swimsuit models won't do?

But jk thinks:

I knew you guys would see it my way.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2016 7:18 PM

Quote of the day

from Gary Kasparov's article published by The Daily beast (excellent article, but the flash pop-ups are awful) of all places! Of course, the publishers had to splash up a contrary video of voters hemming, hawing and how Iowa Dems were much more socialist.

"It's capitalism that brought billions of people out of poverty in the 20th century. It's socialism that enslaved them and impoverished them. Of course Senator Sanders does not want to turn America into a totalitarian state like the one I grew up in. But it's a valuable example of the inevitable failure of a state-run economy and distribution system. (Check in on Venezuela for a more recent example.) Once you give power to the government it is nearly impossible to get it back, and it will be used in ways you cannot expect."

He notes two other interstings

1. My [FB} post on the nature of socialism was 113 words long, a quick response to critics of a cartoon I had posted ... A week later and it has over 3,000 comments, 57,000 shares, and a 9.3 million reach that is in the category usually reserved for photos of pop stars and kitten videos.
and
I often talk about the need to restore a vision of America as a positive force in the world, a force for liberty and peace. The essential complement to this is having big positive dreams at home as well, of restoring America's belief in ambition and risk, of innovation and exploration, of free markets and free people.
He's a TS'er... we need to let him know!

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"He's a TS'er... we need to let him know!"

Kasparov is definitely one of us. There's something about Russian-born intellectuals (Kasparov, Rand, Sharansky) who've tasted both Russian Communism and western freedom that must foster a real appreciation for the latter. I wonder what causes this.

Off topic, but I've got to ask: Mark Sanchez? Really???

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 11, 2016 4:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Bronco football is NEVER EVER off topic at ThreeSources. That said, I have not heard that one until just now. I was calm and moderately positive to the suggestion of RGIII, Colin Kaepernick, and was even warming to a warmed over Tebow. Sanchez is not "on my color wheel."

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2016 5:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, it's a done deal. The trade's been made:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14951086/denver-broncos-trade-quarterback-mark-sanchez

Congratulations, brother!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 11, 2016 5:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Loved that article, nb, and thrilled that you blogged it. The title is not to be missed, and answers brother keith's pregnant question as well: "Hey Bernie, Don't Lecture Me About Socialism. I Lived Through It." My favorite of Kasparov's lines were these:

My goal was to remind people that Americans talking about socialism in the 21st century was a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism in the 20th. And that while inequality is a huge problem, the best way to increase everyone's share of pie is to make the pie bigger, not to dismantle the bakery.

As for Mark Sanchez, my thumb points up.

- He is an experienced NFL starter, including six postseason starts, with roughly the same completion percentage as Andrew Luck with a comparable number of attempts.

- Denver does not need a Dan Marino to plug into the proven system that our aging hall of famer leveraged into a career-closing Super Bowl win. We need a game manager who can complete passes (sorry Tim). I think Mark can put up career highs in wins starting for this Broncos team, and even repeat the Super Bowl feat.

- And if you're still not convinced of his value as, at bare minimum, a capable 2nd stringer, word is that the 49ers were interested too. Denver struck first, trading a conditional 2017 7th round pick to get him from the Eagles before he was released.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2016 6:08 PM
But jk thinks:

And I read it right here -- ThreeSources, your one-stop shop for sports news and monotonous din of Trump coverage!

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2016 7:14 PM

New study on ACA

Now, how would they possibly know how the people of the state had been helped? Sounds like another case of "who you gonna believe, your own lying eyes, or the ever-trustful media!"

NPR%20Study%20Fig18.PNG

The full study is here, commissioned by NPR, which will probably get airplay.... ohhh, right after the next Kardashian photo shoot!

Shows the ACA to have played the socialist song like a fine violin: promise 10 things, deliver one, promise more "on the way" and charge us for five. Even more egregious is the modern, cynical trick of saving the charges for things 11-25 down the road 5-10 years). Figure 6 shows that the portion of Americans satisfied with health care has dropped to nearly 70%, which was widely reported at 85% prior to the ACA.

Oddly, the study has about 4-5 versions of the data presented in Figure 6 (including figure 6a), but I couldn't find any clarification of what was different in their sample groups for the "an alternative view of the data from Figure 6." If they wanted to bury that data, why even put up the graphic?

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:27 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

I saw this and do not find it as damming as some. "Even NPR admits..." I see on Facebook.

Hard to say that I am the big ACA defender, but I'm not sure I know someone who would be swayed -- even if they accepted the figures at face value. Progressives are notoriously "Gotta break eggs to make an omelet" folks and the ones I know would say "Look! 71% of the people were helped or had no direct impact. This disproves all those right-wingers who said the sky would fall."

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2016 1:25 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Agreed it's not chapter+verse for the 'unmitigated disaster' storyline, but they must be continually reminded of the cost, the whole cost, and I'm not just talking about the $300M failure of the Oregon exchange (who promptly tried to blame it on Oracle!), or the $2B+ ($72M in CO) plowed into various Co-Ops, over half of which failed, nor the slide of Medicare, which the ACA has hastened.

I'm talking about doctors' quitting private practices (for the big hospitals), Insurance Co's quitting, nurses quitting... the general meltdown of our healthcare system. The camel's whole nose is now in the tent, and it needs to be shoo'd out!

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 11, 2016 4:35 PM
But Jk thinks:

Hmm, enrollment off 25%

Posted by: Jk at March 11, 2016 11:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Can anyone help me out here? When Obamacare was crammed down America's throat, we were told it would solve the problem of some number of millions of uninsured folks. I thought that number was 16 - 16 million uninsured.

And now candidate Sanders tells us there are 27 million uninsured in this country! Do I remember the pre-Obamacare number correctly?

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2016 2:11 PM
But Jk thinks:

I was going to say 40 million was popularly bandied about. This article claims 8.5 million gained insurance in 2014.

Posted by: Jk at March 12, 2016 4:23 PM

The Monotonous Din of Trump Posts...

Very good posts and comments over the last couple of days. Rather than respond individually, I'll give an elevator-talky post on my current Trumpian "feels."

First, props to brother jg for the awesome "Why I Support Trump" link. Kluge (rhymes with "Yuuuge?") is truly a "well-spoken" supporter who cannot be dismissed. It is well worth a read in full. I'll cop that I've been dismissive. So let me promote his and attempt a well spoken response. Grab a cup of coffee, his is long but worthwhile.

First point of discussion is "Conservative" as a scalar quantity: is x more conservative than y? Kluge has his own, well thought version of conservatism that sounds Kempian and right up my street in many ways. But it is always difficult to traverse conservatism, big-R Republicanism, and appreciation for liberty. Almost anybody would find huge swaths of agreement with Kluge.

First, I spent the last 20 years watching the conservative media in Washington endorse and urge me to vote for one candidate after another who made a mockery of conservative principles and values. Everyone talks about how thankful we are for the Citizens United decision but seems to have forgotten how we were urged to vote for the co-author of the law that the decision overturned.

He earned his check for that paragraph alone. Damn.

No, we should not oppose Trump because he is rude. We should not oppose him because he isn't PC. We should not necessarily oppose him because he is "not conservative." Kluge says conservative and small government are not on the menu. And that once you accept that, Trump doesn't look so bad. Maybe he's right, though Sen. Cruz has done well in an unusual year with -- albeit imperfect -- overtures to small government.

I'll return to trade (surprise!) and link another great WSJ editorial, but there is one every day: Trade Tutorial for Trump. Kludge might accuse me of fetishizing free trade and free markets; It's a fair cop. But it undercuts his "you can't have liberty, you might as well have a good businessman and strong dealer" argument.

It's not for boorishness or bad hair that I oppose Trump. I think he fundamentally misunderstands liberty and economics. And that his misunderstandings are potentially catastrophic to world prosperity. Herein lies the problem with my being a serial exaggerator -- I don't know the secret word to make you think I am serious about global extended depression. Not good.

Kluge is a bit disingenuous in one segment. I do not think that it is unpardonable or overtly-unRepublican to attack President Bush or even the war in Iraq. Trump piled in with the "truthers" that he "lied us into war." That's a different level of ungenerosity than suggesting an end to nation-building. Kludge has a bad taste having served in theatre which I will not begrudge, but I think it colors his judgement.

Also fair to say that Sen Rubio will continue Bushian, neocon policies. Looking at the choices still on the menu a third Bush term sounds like the best case scenario.

On that cheery note, I'll leave you to your Friday -- don't forget to set your clocks over the weekend!

But johngalt thinks:

Nicely done brother, and despite my occasional defenses of the reality TV presenter I hope you remember that I caucused for Rubio (as, at the time, the best general election candidate in my opinion) and today, with Rubio sliding fast, am still a strong Cruz supporter.

I also hope to earn points from you with my brand new criticism of Trump's immigration stance.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2016 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just home from my county GOP district assembly, where we elected 12 delegates to advance to state assembly. ALL of the nominees expressed a preference for Ted Cruz. The one who also said the most nice things about Trump was relegated to Alternate delegate.

Coupled with Weld County's preference poll win by Cruz, the anti-Trump sentiment remains quite healthy in my county.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2016 2:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Adams county also conducted a straw poll:

Cruz 37%
Rubio 27%
Trump 22%
Carson 11%
Kasich 4%

(results rounded)

I'm not aware of any other county polls at this time.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2016 2:29 PM

March 10, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

The real mystery isn't why the neocons would return to the Democratic Party if the GOP were to nominate a skeptic of foreign intervention. Given the profound tensions on the right between the statist neoconservatives, and the small-government movement conservatives, the wonder is that they stayed in the GOP so long.

If the neoconservatives do bolt the GOP, a new conservative foreign policy might congeal around prudence, self-reliance and restraint. And if the neocons seek to fasten themselves once again to the GOP in four or eight years, after having helped elevate Hillary Clinton to the presidency, no one should be surprised if Republicans aren't anxious to let them back in.

-Cato's Christopher Preble in 'Marco Rubio: The Neocon's Last Stand?'


Six Reasons That Trump Voters are Not Embarrassed by Him

This morning I suggested to dagny that Donald Trump has already told us who his running mate, or mates, will be - Smoot and Hawley. But Trump voters aren't completely ignorant on trade and economics, they've merely been misled. They see (or think they see) job growth and prosperity in China, Mexico, et. al. and wonder why if trade is so great for them, why isn't it great for us too? The answer, of course, is that it is great for both of us. But demagogues like Trump and Sanders tell eager listeners that trade is to blame for the damage done by big government, through tax and regulatory expansion, not to mention mandates to do things less economically.

Red-blooded, patriotic attorney and combat veteran John C. Kluge explains six reasons why he is a Trump voter, and resents those who tell him not to be:

1- Trump isn't a "conservative."

What Republican presidential nominee in the last 25 years has been?

2- What has "conservatism" become today, anyway?

"Conservatives have become some sort of schizophrenic sect of libertarians who love freedom (but hate potheads and abortion) and feel the US should be the policeman of the world. The same people who daily fret over the effects of leaving our society to the mercy of Hollywood and the mass culture have somehow decided leaving it to the mercies of the international markets is required."

Kluge seems to be conflating "conservative" with "establishment" or more precisely, neoconservative. But he has a good point here.

3- Mismanagment of the war on Islamic extremism:

"I fully understand the sad necessity to fight wars and I do not believe in "blow back" or any of the other nonsense that says the world will leave us alone if only we will do the same. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand how conservatives of all people convinced themselves that the solution to the 9/11 attacks was to forcibly create democracy in the Islamic world."

4- Donald Trump's vulgarity, combativeness and incivility are virtues, not vices:

The standard Democrat playbook is to lie, slander and mislead voters about their Republican opponents. "And now you tell me that I should reject Trump because he is uncivil and mean to his opponents? Is that some kind of a joke? This is not the time for civility or to worry about it in our candidates."

5- "I do not care that Donald Trump is in favor of big government."

This one is a swing and a miss. "That is certainly not a virtue but it is not a meaningful vice, since the same can be said of every single Republican in the race. I am sorry, but the "We are just one more Republican victory from small government" card is maxed out. We are not getting small government no matter who wins. So Trump being big government is a wash."

Ted Cruz' message* is not reaching this man.

6- Help us Donald Trump, you're our only hope:

"Trump offers at least the chance that he might act in the American interest instead of the world’s interest or in the blind pursuit of some fantasy ideological goals. There is more to economic policy than cutting taxes, sham free-trade agreements and hollow appeals to “cutting government” and the free market. Trump may not be good, but he at least understands that. In contrast, the rest of the GOP and everyone in Washington or the media who calls themselves a conservative has no understanding of this."

And this is where one might ask, "But what about Ted Cruz? The establishment hates him. The Senate hates him. He constantly harps on Constitutional limits - doesn't he offer at least as much a chance to "act in the American interest" as Trump?"

"Marco Rubio would be nothing but a repeat of the Bush 43 administration with more blood and treasure spent on the fantasy that acting in other people’s interests indirectly helps ours.

Ted Cruz might be somewhat better, but it is unclear whether he could resist the temptations of nation building and wouldn’t get bullied into trying it again. And as much as I like Cruz on many areas, he, like all of them except Trump, seems totally unwilling to admit that the government has a responsibility to act in the nation’s interests on trade policy and do something besides let every country in the world take advantage of us in the name of "free trade."

*Sigh*

* Click "continue reading" for a snippet of Cruz' message last night when interviewed by Megyn Kelly.

Now, let's focus on the third area which is where you want to go, which is legislation. Legislation is the hardest lever to use because right now Congress is fundamentally broken. It is dysfunctional. I am campaigning based on two big legislative policy initiatives. Number one repealing every single word of ObamaCare.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And number two, passing a simple flat tax and abolishing the IRS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Control of the House and the Senate and the Republican Party if you want to get that done.

CRUZ: Now, listen, you are right. And neither of those are easy. I am not remotely naive or Pollyannaish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're behind you, Ted.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: That's actually the key. Listen, could I get either of those done in this current Congress? Not a chance. Because right now the Washington cartel, all of the lobbyists, all of the special interest, they depend on the status quo. The IRS tax code, the reason it's so long is that's where all the carve outs, all the subsidies, all the handouts are buried in that tax code. How do you change it? You know, if you look at the last time we broke the Washington cartel, it was 1981. It was the Reagan revolution where Reagan took it to the people and there was a tidal wave from the people. The way we get that done is I intend to make 2016, the general election against Hillary Clinton they referendum on repealing ObamaCare and abolishing the IRS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)



Trumpian Danger

No. Donald Trump is not Hitler. But Trump could be a horrid amalgam of Presidents Nixon and Hoover. Feeling Better?

A scene from a future Donald Trump presidency? Actually, it's what Richard Nixon did in 1971.

As Mr. Trump closes in on the Republican presidential nomination by promising voters he'll crack down on foreign competitors, the rest of the world should take stock of the extraordinary power a president has to take the country in a protectionist direction.

Mr. Trump says he's for free trade and not a protectionist. Nonetheless, he has threatened steep tariffs on imports from China and Mexico and disparages trade pacts, from the North American Free Trade Agreement to the signed but unratified 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Greg Ip's [Review Corner] WSJ editorial laments a concern that I have voiced -- the President has broad powers on trade policy that are less entangled with other branches. President Sanders will have a tough time enacting single-payer healthcare, but he or President Trump can wreck the world economy with a phone and a pen.
Smoot-Hawley was largely the product of horse trading between individual legislators to protect favored industries. As a result, in 1934, Congress decided to forgo "the business of tariff logrolling," as trade historian Doug Irwin writes, and delegated most authority over tariff negotiations to the president.

This division of power has insulated the world trading system from Congress's parochial tendencies. By the same token, it puts the world more at the mercy of presidents whose latitude over trade has steadily expanded.


Hillary 2016 -- Vote for the crook! It's important.

But johngalt thinks:

Some well-spoken Trump supporters dismiss "free" trade as some utopian ideal. Even if the U.S. decides to go down that road, every other country on earth rigs trade relations in their favor, just like Mr. Trump has told them.

"Lost in all of this is the older strain of conservatism. The one I grew up with and thought was reflective of the movement. This strain of conservatism believed in the free market and capitalism but did not fetishize them the way so many libertarians do.

This strain understood that a situation where every country in the world but the US acts in its own interests on matters of international trade and engages in all kinds of skulduggery in support of their interests is not free trade by any rational definition. This strain understood that a government's first loyalty was to its citizens and the national interest."

Not mentioned here is that what is really in the US interest is to use our negotiating power to insist that while we trade on a level marketplace, our international partners must do so as well. But, true or not, Trump voters don't believe that the numerous international trade pacts have accomplished this. And they blame that failure for a moribund domestic economy, whose true cause is a national government that taxes and regulates ever more relentlessly.

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2016 2:29 PM

March 9, 2016

Quote of the Day

Remember the "Midwestern Beachhead" that was going to give Kasich this awesome bargaining position at the Cleveland convention? Kasich finished third in Michigan last night, 8,000 votes behind Cruz. He won less than 6 percent in Minnesota. He was eighth, with less than 2 percent, in Iowa. He was fourth in Kansas, with 11 percent. Kasich is a rare example of a regional candidate who can't win in, you know, his region. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Not THAT rare. You don't seriously think Rubio's going to win Florida, do you?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 9, 2016 2:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Sen Rubio (C12H22O11 - FL) disappoints on a national scale. He was expected to well all over. Gov. Kasich was expected only to capture midwestern voters and he is n danger of failing.

I'm not ruling out a Rubio win in The Sunshine State. But I am ready for him to bow out even though he is my favorite of the remaining candidates.

Posted by: jk at March 9, 2016 5:17 PM

March 8, 2016

Did Somebody Say "Monotonous Din of Donald Trump?"

Three Sources apologizes for not posting enough of the awesome work of IBD's Michael Ramirez.


March 7, 2016

GOP primaries as a chess match

The champion Garry Kasparov considers Parties, Pledges and Principles from a chess-board layout. Letting us know (actually, far down the article) where he sits It’s never too late to fight for principles. The values of conservatism, of individual freedom, of small government, of an America that is a positive force in the world, these values matter and must be defended. then gets rolling.

We say in chess that you have to attack when the position suits it, and that failing to do so will inevitably hand the initiative to your opponent. Here is an excellent case of life imitating chess! Declining to attack Trump for months was a tactical decision made by the entire Republican field, as well as the GOP establishment. This allowed him to get a free ride on the huge wave of media coverage
He then parries the fear - which I shared - that Trump would go rogue with his own party (rightly concluding Trump would not blow his own dough to play spoiler) and moves on to note
After finally [unleashing harsh attacks on Trump], especially Rubio, who had been the only major candidate to present a positive vision of change, Cruz and Rubio still promised to support Trump should he win the nomination! This embarrassed admission made all the valid criticisms of Trump sound hollow.

Lastly, he shows how strategic thinking works

The last GOP debate was an ideal time for Rubio and the others to say that their consciences would not allow them to support Trump after all he and his supporters had said and done. Perhaps breaking the pledge would have hurt them with some voters, but the answer would have been that this pledge was to the GOP and Trump does not and should not represent the GOP, and that it was a pledge to party loyalty that Trump has not displayed himself, not a suicide pact for the party and country.

From Star Trek to chess, no run of the mill analysis on TS! Hat tip: PowerLine.

Posted by nanobrewer at 10:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

QOTD -- Special Mention

Ed Driscoll on the opening credit sequence for "The Prisoner;"

What an awesome piece of Bond-era twangy electric guitar music and opening title sequence. As James Lileks once wrote, "Life rarely provides the Number Six Resignation Moments. Not that I want to resign from anything, no -- but one of the reasons the TV show 'The Prisoner' had such a hold on my imagination in college was the resolute assertion of principles displayed by Patrick McGoohan in the opening credits. The walk down the corridor with a look of steely resolve. The passionate denunciation. The resignation, slapped on the table, the leaping tea-cup... What made him resign? You really hope it was a matter of high principle, like assassinating a dictator's children, and not over his parking space being moved to the other side of the ramp, away from the elevators.”

I was turned on to this fine program by my blog siblings.

Television Posted by John Kranz at 6:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Feminist and postcolonial theories enrich and complement each other by showing how gender and colonialism are co-constituted, as well as how both women and indigenous peoples have been marginalized historically (Schnabel, 2014). Feminist glaciology builds from feminist postcolonial science studies, analyzing not only gender dynamics and situated knowledges, but also alternative knowledges and folk glaciologies that are generally marginalized through colonialism, imperialism, inequality, unequal power relations, patriarchy, and the domination of Western science (Harding, 2009). -- University of Oregon paper: "Glaciers, Gender, and Science--A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental climate change." hat-tip: Reason
Education Posted by John Kranz at 12:09 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

World Burns: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2016 12:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Numerous eighty-thousand dollar student loan debts later... we are bestowed with this.

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2016 3:35 PM

Why do Enviros Hate the Disabled?

"Grampa, where were you when they fought the peeled orange wars in 2016?"

I was particularly bemused by the unfolding of this story. One of my überleftist Facebook friends had asked why they don't sell pre-sliced cucumbers. It was a self-effacing slap at her own laziness, but my father used to say "many a truth is spoken in jest." She has three sons and a full-time job. I'd be the last to deny her modern convenience.

The same day, I saw Whole Foods's being bashed for selling oranges:

PeeledOranges.jpg

I rushed to share it with my sliced-cucumber friend but, alas, was too late. It was not only shared by had attracted several comments.

I thought about posting it here to break the monotonous din of Donald Trump news. The rubric was to be "artificial scarcity." People are so certain that we will run out of plastic and landfill space to dispose of it; it is a pernicious lie. I have read that the creator of the Keurig K-cup wishes he had not -- because of all the trash produced. That each little bit of polywhateveritis trash represents a delicious cup of coffee enjoyed is lost.

But the better segue arrived this morning and hits very close to home. Convenience means quite a bit to the disabled.

Preparing food with limited mobility is both hugely time consuming and potentially dangerous. While adapted cooking tools do exist to help offset those issues they are really expensive (I wrote about that here).

Anything that helps make my regular acts of daily life safer and more convenient is always a plus. So I was one of a number of disabled people who pushed back against the wholesale shaming of preprepared foods. The responses I got were informative in looking at how nondisabled people disregard and try and shut down discussions of accessibility. Rebuttals to inserting disability and accessibility into the conversation included what I consider the most ridiculous attempt to maintain the moral high ground.


We buy a lot of prepared food. Walmart sells apple slices which I assume to be not only prepared and packaged but have to be GMO to not brown.

So. This is a superb defense -- but why is one required? If you think it a waste, don't buy it! So tiresome to have the Orange Social Justice Warriors (OSJWs) tell Whole Foods what they may sell -- and Whole Foods buckle to their anti-disabled hate speech.

Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at 10:11 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

A (liberty loving) friend corrects me on Facebook -- the apples are likely dipped in citric acid and the bag filled with argon. No GMOs were hurt to prepare my snack.

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2016 12:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And you're cool with eating acid? What's wrong with you man, stand up and say "stop spraying my food with acid!"

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2016 3:37 PM

March 4, 2016

Quote of the Day

The Republican in Compton, take note: You are suddenly the most important person in America! A lonely nation turns its eyes to you! -- Megan McArdle
But nanobrewer thinks:

Appears that Coloradans chose door #2; Ted Cruz for the win! His campaign should be pushing the CO-GOP to clean up its act.

In other news, I heard from Dems that they didn't much like their caucus implementations, either. Huge lines reported in Lafayette (and on the cover of the Daily Comrade). Their attendance was way up too.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 6, 2016 11:21 PM

A Progressive Sees Sanders's Lacunae

"Bernie Sanders Isn't Pro-Science (and Neither Are Most Progressives)"
Lawdy! Self-described Progressive Jenny Splitter <3s her some of Sen. Sanders's (I- Ben&Jerry's) positions on Climate Change, but she sees the truth:
But Sanders isn't as pro-science as that tweet suggests. While his position on the existence of climate change is certainly in line with most climate scientists, his agricultural and climate change policies, as well as his views on alternative medicine, aren't really informed by science as much as they are by Sanders' Vermont hippie vision for America. When it comes down to it, Sanders is as erratic in his belief in science as everyone else and, yes, that includes progressives. Progressives love to cast themselves as the smarter, more forward-thinking, science-minded wing of the electorate, but they’re as inconsistent in their regard for science as the so-called "anti-science" right.
Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

I'm a Genius!

Okay, here's my best idea ever. Nothing to do with politics except that it was partially inspired by "approval voting."

The new SAT test will not deduct for incorrect answers. I have a much better idea for scoring multiple choice exams. Allow multiple selections but discount for the number. Imagine a question with four choices, and the correct answer is 'C'
-- If you chose C you get 100% credit
-- If you chose A and C you get 50% credit
-- If you choose A, C, and D you get 33%

This matches real-world problem solving much more closely. More importantly, it demonstrates knowledge of the material. "Well, it can't be negative if its the square root of a real number..."


March 3, 2016

Trifecta

Much that will be appreciated 'round these parts.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 3:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

The Walmart of Abortion Providers

Man, I do not care where you stand on the topic of abortion, and I suspect we cover much spectrum at ThreeSources, Chuck Donovan's guest editorial in the WSJ today is interesting.

Donovan is "the president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. The List is a nonprofit organization that supports pro-life politicians." The timing of the piece is predicated on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. But the most interesting bit for me is a dispassionate look at the "retail economics" of the provider network.

Demand for abortions has been falling for years and is now at pre-Roe levels ("safe, legal, and rare, one might say...") The Wendy Davis's of the world decry the number of providers which are closing in the Lone Star State. Obviously, the fault of those knuckle-draggin' Rethuglicans, #amirite?

Donovan is pretty convincing that it is more driven by declining demand and consolidation as Planned Parenthood goes all Sam Walton on the market:

This is merely one of 21 mega-clinics--typically able to see more than 17,000 patients a year, versus 5,000 in an average clinic--Planned Parenthood has opened or planned nationally since 2004. Three of these were in Texas, including two that opened after the passage of the 2013 bill that is the subject of litigation. This increased capacity affects the competition no less than when a Lowe's or Home Depot moves into an area and the local hardware store closes, or when locally run stores are unable to compete with national box-store giants like Wal-Mart.

The co-founder of a clinic that closed in Washington state in 2010 said, "We would not be closing today if Planned Parenthood had not started providing abortion services in the same town." A June 23, 2008, article in The Wall Street Journal quoted clinic operator Amy Hagstrom Miller saying "This is not the Planned Parenthood we all grew up with . . . they now have more of a business approach, much more aggressive." Ms. Hagstrom Miller, whose network of Whole Women's Health clinics is now the plaintiff in the case against Texas that the Supreme Court will hear this week, told the Journal back then that Planned Parenthood "put local independent businesses in a tough situation."

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Well, that explains why Donald Trump is pro-Planned Parenthood. The PP business model would even, one can imagine, make Mitt Romney proud. But the similarities between those two putative Republicans clearly ends there.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2016 1:55 PM

Adios Marco?

Sen. Rubio Out? The jk kiss-of-death endorsement lives on!

UPDATE: Randy Barnett has revised and extended his remarks. He now prefers a Dos Hermanos Cubanos alliance to a 3rd party.

UPDATE II: And this could be rumor -- I have not seen it elsewhere.

UPDATE III Either the greatest scoop in the history of Journalism or a complete fraud: I call "heads."

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Rubio knows that if fails to come in first place in his home state on March 15, his political career is OVER. He's already made it clear that he's disinclined to run for reelection as Senator, and there's been a large segment of Florida Republicans unhappy enough with him to work to see that happen. Suspending his campaign before he gets stomped on his home turf may be his best face-saving option.

Would Cruz offer him the second slot on the ticket, after the bad blood that the two of them have traded? I think he would; it would be a great opportunity to unite, bro-hug, and tell the voting public "it's a good thing that the two of us can be so passionate about minor political points and still be able to work together." And, in the process, consolidate most of the voters and delegates who were firmly in the Rubio camp.

Would Rubio accept? He'd be a fool not to. He's looking down the business end of a Thelma-and-Louise end of his political life, versus accepting the title of Heir Presumptive for 2024.

Dos Hermanos Cubanos? At least the cooking in the White House kitchen would be good. And it would be interesting to see the reaction of the Castro regime in Havana to the news...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 3, 2016 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I really like Randy Barnett's solution: keep campaigning with the understanding that the one who gets fewer delegates will deliver his to the other.

This is predicated on there not being a lot of "bad blood" between them. I do not recall seeing what you describe -- but I don't have cable.

Posted by: jk at March 3, 2016 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My [biological] brother has asked for my "grand plan" for a Republican to win the White House. Until this morning, I had nothin'. Then it occurred to me that Marco's talent for delivering an optomistic message about the future of liberty and free market politics needs to be retargeted - not at youts or Progressives, but at blue collar Bud drinkers. You know, Trump voters.

After 2 terms of President Obama they don't care so much about limited government as getting government power supporting them instead of ________ fill in the blank who isn't them. I think it started today. I saw a big chunk of Rubio's CPAC speech and it seemed to have some new content explaining how a right-wing strongman is no better than a left-wing strongman. I didn't have time to watch the whole thing - I had to get back pool-side at a Tucson resort - but concluded I will know that it is happening if pundits start talking about it too, not just me reading into it personally.

I like the idea of a Cruz-Rubio ticket, in that order. Not just philosophically and to diminish the influence of the "Washington Cartel" but because it will blunt the negative impact when Trump wins Florida in 2 weeks. I do think they need to name a top of the ticket soon, so that voters can line up behind one name before the convention.

My two cents.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2016 2:09 PM

All Hail the Judge!

Big news in l'Affaire Clinton Server is hidden in the detritus of election news, but Andrew Napolitano is on it!

He directed the Judicial Watch lawyers to ascertain whether there was a conspiracy in the secretary of state's office to violate federal law. If those lawyers find evidence of such a conspiracy, they may then seek the oral examination of Clinton herself.

This search for a conspiracy will take Clinton down the road to perdition--to the end of her hopes. Along that road are instructions to a subordinate to divert all her government emails through her private server. On the side of that road are emails instructing her aides to remove "secret" markings from documents and resend the documents to her via a non-secure fax machine.

On that road are emails revealing the names of secret undercover intelligence assets, the locations of North Korean nuclear facilities, the transcripts of telephone conversations among foreign intelligence agents, and the travel plans of then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in the days before he was murdered.

Democrats who indulge in Clinton's false hopes will do so at their peril. Don't they want to know of her potential status as a criminal defendant before they complete their nominating process? Or do they, like her, think that they can just hope that all this will go away?


I suspect many Democrats believe -- like me -- that the rule of law is so damaged in America that big fish walk and little fish go to jail. Here's hoping!

Dem2016 Primary Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 2, 2016

Madame Vice President!

Thrust:


Parry:


Hat-tip (and further backstory, if required): Matthew Stevens Fox28

But nanobrewer thinks:

I hear it from reliable sources, that phrase in South-speak means: ".... and the horse you rode in on!" I'm sure The Donald has no idea....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 4, 2016 10:40 PM

All Hail Taranto!

taranto160302.gif

Television Posted by John Kranz at 1:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Cruz Out Front!

Now, I am not a geography wiz, but I think it is clear that Sen. Cruz's victories in Alaska, Texas, and Oklahoma put him out front, providing that delegates are apportioned pari passu with surface area.

But nanobrewer thinks:

In other good news, with the dust settling (and informal reports that Trump'ism is not running strong in CO), we now see that Cruz+Rubio > Trump!

Trump - 319; Cruz - 226; Rubio - 110.

Feeling better about a brokered convention, and the Trumpsters hopefully not feeling too (or "two" in the Trump world) disenfranchised when HE is Not the One.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 2, 2016 6:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, cautiously peeking out around the dark clouds myself.

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2016 6:46 PM

Sooper Tuesday

Nice graphical summary here c/o Google. Glad to see Rubio win one, have to wonder if Carson's wasted 6% could have netted VA for the young Floridian, or at least a handful of delegates in TX (PL reports that 20% floor is necessary in many primaries to get any). Thank you, Doktor, now please exit stage right!

Sooper%20Tuesday.PNG

One thing I noted was the allotted delegate counts not accounting for most the states' totals (VA and MA being the exceptions).... ahh, it's b/c the numbers aren't final. Shoot, more than half of TX's are still uncommitted; .

Assuming these totals are final (AK still not reporting as of this writing, Cruz up by 2 points), this leads to the math of there being 189 uncommitted delegates, including all of CO's 37 (thanks to our goofy status). That is heartening; while (Cruz + Rubio) is only 70% of Trump's total, Trump only has 65% of (Cruz + Rubio + UNC.). [updated: UNC is now down to 160, but I'm off to bed!]

I can report that my little caucus packed out the middle school's cafeteria, with many, many seated on the floor or standing. Precinct 305 had 12 voters present (up from four in 2012!) from nearly 170 on the roll call sheet and our tiny straw poll (shhh...) came out: Rubio - 5; Cruz - 4; Carson - 3. Heh.

But jk thinks:

Thanks. Glad to hear that there are still 12 Republicans in Lafayette :) That five like Sen. Rubio is a bonus.

My Facebook feed is full of heartening news of non-Trump delegates being sent.

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2016 10:24 AM

March 1, 2016

thumbnail sketch of Bennet's competition

Sounds like the non-run of Mike Coffman and Aurora prosecutor George Brauchler set the GOP a scrambin', hence the scrum we're seeing. Here is USA Today's take: “Right now the race is Bennet versus a cast of relative unknowns. “ B has $8M, only Glenn has reportable cash ($40k).

Roll call says there's no consensus, establishment pick yet. I'll say....

Tim Neville; small biz owner, staged shocking win in a 2011 State Senate in a race special election. claims to be an anti-establishment, no-compromise conservative (warning: Catholic!) willing to stand up and fight for his conservative principles and values. Didn't say anything about small gov't, but his blog says

no-compromise approach infuriated the Big Government crowd in Denver, who immediately redistricted Tim into a "purple" district where he'd have to face the powerful Democrat Caucus Chair.”
Won reelection in 2012 even though outspent 3-1. DP says: “Neville is considered more akin to U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a strong conservative who lost to Bennet in 2010, and less like U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who cast himself as more moderate” Two Sons both did Army time and one runs his campaign.

Ryan Fraser: navy vet, small biz man, Senior Fellow of the Health Research and Education Trust. Two term Aurora city council. Website sez:
- achieve 4% economic growth by …. fixing our tax code and embracing energy independence.
- We must strengthen our military and national security capabilities as the growing threat of anti-American militant extremism expands its reach. Protect our people. …
- real fiscal responsibility
- improve education with local control and returning tax dollars to the states
- Criminal justice reform is needed for our community.
- Fixing the student loan crisis is a matter of great importance to our college graduates.

Peg Littleton former teacher and education consultant, in 2014 she was elected, (by 60%) as the Colorado Springs commissioner on the Board of El Paso County Commissioners. Her website has Jobs/Economy, Education, National Security, Military and Energy at the top of her thumbnails, saying

advocate responsible spending cuts that maintain a social safety network and protect our national defense. I am a fiscal conservative.

Daryl Glenn is an El Paso County commissioner & Colorado Springs City Council. He is a lawyer and graduated from the Air Force Academy. After 21 years of active duty, he retired as a lieutenant colonel. Running (as is Blaha) b/c of the Iran deal.

Robert Blaha, kind of brash entrepreneur type as I'd reported before. Runs Human Capital Associates, (leadership training stuff). Alan Keyes-ian stuff in white face.

John Keysner: Bronze Star recipient vet of Iraq and Afghanistan, now a corporate lawyer (Hogan Lovels) and willing to give up his seat in the State House (Neville isn't)

Also running: Greg Lopez, former Colorado director of the Small Business Administration, and Charles Ehler, a retired military computer programmer.

Neville's name is most familiar to me... and let's face it... that helps more than small-gov't cred! Too bad Gale Norton was so shafted....

But johngalt thinks:

The name most familiar to you is an RMGO guy, I believe.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 6:20 PM
But jk thinks:

I am a fan of Ryan Frasier. Were there a high-profile opponent, you could try to talk me into the more electable candidate, but as all of them are relative unknowns, I can play my heart.

My shoes are on and the weather is nice - could I do Councilman Frasier any good at caucus this evening?

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 6:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Lucky 13: Jerry Natividad

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 6:56 PM

If You Want Me, I'll Be Here

Is it time for a new third party? Not yet. But if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination, then a new third party will be an imperative -- and the time for organizing it is now.

I have long vocally opposed third parties as irrational in our two-party system. They inevitably drain votes away from the major party closest to them, thereby benefiting the major party that is even worse. But strategies must adjust to circumstances. If Trump wins the GOP nominations, one of two things will happen, either of which would be disastrous for the Constitution and for the country. -- Randy Barnett


Sadly, I have seen what happens when you give Colorado one-party, Democrat rule and it ain't pretty.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:00 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Was this one of the same people telling the libertarians to fall in line with the GOP? I'm not sure but it seems like the people talking about running a third-party candidate now - the Washington D.C. establishment Republicans (in name only?) were calling other folks "irresponsible" and "idealistic dreamers" a cycle or two ago.

Democracy ain't pretty. I wish we didn't have it. [I prefer to let state legislatures pick presidential delegates, like the Founders had in mind.] But for now, it's all we have.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 6:07 PM

Lileks on Trump

Umm, I think you can put him down as a "no." But I link for the bonus Star Trek clip at the bottom.


Whither TEA Party?

Rising with the Inauguration of President Obama, the TEA Party said "We don't want to struggle to get by on our own earnings while some of our tax dollars are given to our neighbors to buy a bigger house." Since then, the message has been co-opted and distorted by various interests to mean "anti-gay marriage" or "anti-welfare" or, most despicable of all, "racist." But as a Slate columnist observes, the rise of "Trumpism" reveals the true nature of the TEA Party uprising -

One of the hallmarks of the Trump campaign has been his support for Social Security and Medicare, and his insistence that he would protect these programs from budget cuts. To many conservatives, Trump's defense of these old-age entitlements is his greatest heresy. What they fail to understand is that conservative voters are very fond of these programs, and their fondness can’t be chalked up to simple hypocrisy.

We saw this dynamic at play during the early days of the Tea Party, the last time elite Republicans faced a serious populist challenge. Many conservative intellectuals viewed the Tea Party movement as the realization of their fondest wishes: a grassroots rebellion demanding fiscal austerity. In fact, as Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute has observed, Tea Party members were chiefly motivated by a theory of economic fairness. They believed, in Ekins' words, that "everyone should be rewarded in strict proportion to their achievements and failings and that government should not shield people from the consequences of their decisions." This is why Tea Party conservatives are more favorably disposed toward programs like Social Security and Medicare -- to which workers contribute over a lifetime in exchange for benefits when they need them -- than they are to programs that lack this contributory element.

I confess that my appreciation for Trump's populist appeal runs counter to my unfettered free-market principles, and it is an unsettling cognitive dissonance. But as my blog brother often reminds me, the world is not Three Sources. Peggy Noonan reminded me that economic dislocations affect and frighten the "unprotected" with greater intensity than those of us with the time and inclination to bloviate on philosophy, politics, and government policy.

Reihan Salam, author of the Slate article linked above, makes many other suggestions for a populist reform of the GOP platform in the "post-Trump era." Some of them are palatable:

- A Pay-Your-Own-Way Immigration Policy Admit new immigrants based on earning ability, not family connections.

- Eat China's Lunch
"On more than one occasion, Donald Trump has said that "China's just eating our lunch," and that we ought to retaliate. He's not wrong."

- Defend the Safety Net
Accept the reality of Obamacare, but make it a safety net program and not a mandate on every American.

- Respect, Not Compassion
Reform the tax code to make refundable tax credits proportional to earnings, and other things to stop disincentivizing work.

I can endorse all of these things. What I can not abide is rent-seeking. Government favoritism for the well-connected. Corporate welfare. Cronyism.

I would rather not see a President Trump. I don't share the assumption that he cannot win a general election with Hillary. And perhaps Senator Cruz' principled opposition to many of these things is so strong that he could never compromise and let them happen, for the good of the country, for the good of the party, and for the good of the American people. But as Trump is so fond of saying, "Everything is negotiable." I can only hope that even that statement itself is also negotiable when it comes to issues like SCOTUS nominees.

UPDATE: Robert Tracinski's endorsement of "Rubio-ism"

Calling Rubio the only leading Republican with an aspirational message, a writer and thinker I admire greatly has just endorsed the "establishment candidate." He doesn't address my concern about routing the cockroaches of the Washington cartel, however.

But one thing I am coming to accept is that Cruz is probably the least electable of the three, due to his lack of positivity.

But jk thinks:

The TEA Party I saw on the Denver Capitol steps was dedicated to constitutional limits on government. One fellow in a Tri-Cornered hat carried a sign upon which was lettered Tenth Amendment. That has always been the Tea Party to me.

I have my faults but am not a fool. The populism frightened me and it was obvious that the bulk of my fellow revelers were far more conservative and far less libertarian than me.

But, at the caucuses, our precinct sent a batch of Ron Paul folk to be delegates, and I thought that this plan was working -- or that it had the chance to win.

Trump is the grave marker for the Tea Party. The scary populist side won and the libertarian-minarchist fringe has been dissipated.

"That didn't work." I don't care that I devoted six years. It was a good time and I took my shot.

But I'll be home for caucus tonight. I no longer believe that my participation matters. The last throws of a dying empire can be quite comfortable. And young people will have unprecedented tools to discover liberty and see its fine examples.

People will be free again somewhere. I hope in America. I hope soon. But the last gasp, Tea Party effort to save it here and now has come a cropper.

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm going to caucus. In the county wide presidential preference poll, I have decided that I must hold my nose and cast by ballot for "little Marco."

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 6:54 PM

Public Service Announcement

HeyKids.jpg

Dem2016 Primary Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM | What do you think? [0]

All Hail Caldera!

I have a hard and fast rule against responding to direct mail fundraising. You support something, you get more of it.

But Jon Caldera has sent a brilliant eight page letter warning of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's continued intrusion into Colorado politics. It begins with "Heeeeeee's back" and closes with this clever appeal:

Caldera001.jpg

You could do much worse with you money: www.i2i.org

But johngalt thinks:

I might be able to part with $17. Or $22, $38 or even $40. $308 and $454 are outside of my sight picture, however.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 12:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Marketing.

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 12:55 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)