September 21, 2017

Very Bad Man, Vol XLVII

CRY HAVOK! AND LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF WAR!

jk_methane_risk_comment.png

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 12:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

September 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

"You deserve all the finest things in the world," a young Homer Simpson once wrote to his beloved Marge, "and although I can give them to you, they will be repossessed." Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Act of 2017 (MFA) makes similarly sweeping promises while relegating financing to a Post-It note, affixed to our national refrigerator: "To do: design and implement the single largest tax increase in human history."

To his credit, Homer Simpson understood where his generosity would lead. -- Robert Graboys

But johngalt thinks:

Two words: Wealth Tax.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2017 5:04 PM
But jk thinks:

And three back: "Damn straight, Skippy!"

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2017 7:13 PM

September 19, 2017

A Salute to Renewable Energy

I have seen untold approbation for our good Australian friends' successes in implementing renewable energy. The lads down under may talk funny, but they're truly leading the way on environmentally responsible energy.

As shown in this graph . . . oh, wait, no . . . this graph shows energy costs:

AustraliaRenewables.jpg

Ronald Bailey at Reason seems to think they are somehow related.

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 10:12 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

Megan's husband does not seem totally down with Sen. Sanders's single payer plan.

To call it a plan is, in some sense, too generous: Although it envisions a sweeping and generous system that would make government the primary payer for nearly all health care in the United States and virtually wipe out employer health coverage in the space of just a few years, it is not really a plan. Instead, it is a legislative fantasy built on a combination of wild overconfidence in government and an almost comical refusal to grapple with costs or trade-offs. -- Peter Suderman

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

There are no trade offs. Everything is free, but there's none to be had. It's an all of the above and none of the above plan, at the same time!

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2017 1:28 AM

September 12, 2017

But johngalt thinks:

I don't see it. Did you pull it?

No, I've got it - Facebook spiked it! ;)

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2017 1:37 PM

September 7, 2017

More Trump Revolution

I'm in a good mood today. Two Trump Revolution posts. You're welcome.

I'll even tweak a favorite of mine. Reason magazine sends an email highlighting some stories they're certain I'd enjoy:

Hey Libertarians for Trump, How Much More #Winning Can You Take?
The president is doing everything he can do to alienate libertarians who believe in shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government.
by Nick Gillespie and Todd Krainin

Okay, typical Reason scathing of any elected Republican, much less President Donald J. Trump. But, what's this other one?
Betsy DeVos: The Era of Weaponized Title IX in Campus Rape Cases Is Over
Through intimidation and coercion, the failed system has clearly pushed schools to overreach.
by Robby Soave

Who made Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education? Was that Ron Paul?

The DeVos piece is worth a red in full.

No one could accuse DeVos of pulling punches. Her speech accuses her predecessors of "weaponizing" federal regulations and turning them against students.

"The era of 'rule by letter' is over," her speech says, referencing the Obama-era Education Department's infamous "Dear Colleague" letter, which fundamentally changed the way schools handle sexual misconduct issues.

But johngalt thinks:

Serious question: Which of Donald Trump's primary opponents would also have appointed DeVos?

One for sure who would not have is Jeb! Bush. What professional politician would appoint a disruptor to his or her cabinet?

That's an excellent adjective for POTUS 45 too, by the way - "disruptor." After nearly a century of barely-checked Progressivism, America's 2-party polity is in desperate need of some disruption.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2017 6:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Zero. And I think I have admitted that. Same for Ajit Pai at FCC and Scott Gottlieb at the FDA. A Jeb Bush / George Bush / Mitt Romney would not tolerate the backlash, and I admit that's being a key advantage -- removing the "media veto" of a controversial candidate is a huge plus.

But the other side of the coin (or sword) is "to whom does he pay attention when he is indeed wrong?"

Posted by: jk at September 10, 2017 12:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Having endured eight years of President Obama, I'm not really that concerned about what damage Trump might do. Now, Hillary, on the other hand...

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2017 3:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, I did start this post to be nice. But that was yesterday and two comments ago.

I'll die on this hill: Really? The last guy was bad and the President's opponent was bad. Therefore, I am going to let him do whatever the hell he wants! Seriously, man, this is grossly worrisome to me and you are far from the only offender.

The folks at Reason can be a little tiresome because they recognize no pragmatism or marginal improvement, but the basic idea to be a little suspicious of EVERY politician seems well warranted by recent history.

Posted by: jk at September 11, 2017 4:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not "going to let him do whatever the hell he wants" although the idea of me personally stopping any president from doing anything seems more than a little Quixotic. What I meant was, President Obama didn't completely destroy America in eight years, with virtually no counterbalance from the Fifth Estate. President Trump can't go to the bathroom without mass media pushback.

The risk they run, however, is the same as the boy who cried wolf. When President Trump "is indeed wrong" how will the voting public know it is any different than, say, media criticism of the first lady's footwear?

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2017 5:28 PM

The Mask Drops

Correction: In New York in 2017, you don't need a mask at all:

It is no surprise that New York's progressive mayor believes that private ownership of wealth and property is a hindrance to the creation of a just society, but it's remarkable that [Mayor Bill DeBlasio] would state his utopian vision so bluntly. "If I had my druthers," he said, "the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents."


Trump Revolution, Indeed

I'm nothing if not fair. James Freeman has some kind words for the President, on the WSJ Ed Page:

Former President Barack Obama sure seemed upset this week that his illegal gambit to avoid resolving America’s immigration argument now has an expiration date. So imagine how distraught Mr. Obama must have been over President Donald Trump's Wednesday speech in North Dakota.

In his typical rambling fashion, with various asides more or less related to the topic at hand, Mr. Trump nevertheless offered impressive coherence. In both style and substance, virtually every moment was a repudiation of Mr. Obama and his economics.

Mr. Trump never mentioned his predecessor by name. He also never mentioned biofuels or any other type of alternative energy. Proudly standing in front of the Andeavor Refinery outside Bismarck, he talked about unleashing restrictions on U.S. oil production, approving pipelines and dominating world markets. Come to think of it, this speech may have annoyed Vladimir Putin almost as much as Mr. Obama.


Let's March!

"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." -- Abraham Maslow
I have long groused that the left's protests are complete waste of time. There may be a few exceptions, but they are rare. People with a voting franchise have better methods at persuasion.

But in the case of #DACA, I think it counterproductive. All the Trump supporters are going to see young people marching and holding signs -- and demanding things given out of compassion. It will only harden hearts against their cause.

daca-mass-walkout.jpg

A frustration of opposing the President is that so many of his opponents are -- what is the term I am looking for -- batshit crazy. There's never a hope of a reasonable alliance.

But johngalt thinks:

But... #Racism! (R)[TM]

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2017 12:44 PM

#DACA

It will probably not shock anybody that the WSJ Ed Page is close to my position on President Trump's dream squashing. But it is not just me, La Raza, and CNN.

As America's problems go, these young adults shouldn’t even be on the list. And it shows the Republican Party at its worst that the state AGs and Attorney General Jeff Sessions want to make this an urgent priority, rather than let Congress take it up when it has a less crowded schedule. They are pandering to the restrictionist right that is a minority even within the GOP.

The complete editorial has some harsh words for President Obama's overreach.
This was Mr. Obama at his most cynical, and it takes gall for him to scold Mr. Trump as he did Tuesday for making a "political decision" about "a moral question" and "basic decency." Mr. Obama's "political decision" to act as his own legislature teed up this moral crisis and created the legal jeopardy.

And it includes limited credit for President Trump's acting less harshly than his campaign rhetoric. But it is still well summed by its headline: "The Dreamer Debacle."

But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps a better moniker would be, "The Dreamer Maneuver."

"We discussed that [DACA] also today, and Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I," Trump said. "And I said if we can get something to happen, we're going to sign it and we're going to make a lot of happy people."

That's "Chuck and Nancy" as in "Schumer and Pelosi."

"Hey congressional Republicans, if you don't want to play ball with my White House then I'll just have to see what I can work out on the other side of the aisle."

I see the 3-month continuing resolution as a shot across the right side of the aisle, and if they don't get their act together on tax cuts and/or Obamacare repeal and replace, there will be a longer CR with the Democrats next time.

Call him unprincipled if you like, but it looks to me like he's not going to let anyone make him a lame duck president for his entire first term, followed by an ignominious defeat - even fellow members of the Republican Party.

The best-case scenario is it gets congressional Republicans asses in gear to work together for once.

Rather than "pandering to the basest part of his base" he may be playing three-dimensional chess.

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2017 3:54 PM

September 4, 2017

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer ©1951

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

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The Dream has Ended

Again, much of the Trump presidency has been a pleasant surprise to this non-supporter. I was wrong about some things and insufficiently appreciative of others.

Yet I am astonished at news that he is ending DACA. I roll my eyes at "The Wall," but get it. I think the "Kate's Law" concerns about non-citizen predators represent misguided attention to statistics and risk but, okay, you want to deport criminals, have fun stormin' the castle.

I have also been critical of the President's opponents: they tend to oscillate between irrational and completely crazy. But they are right this time. We will see a parade of talented and productive young people who only know life in America and are making great contributions toward her. The President's supporters can call them cherry-picked but they are in fact representative.

All the things going on today, and President Trump is going to deport productive people who came here as children. He is going to steal their labor from their employers, tuition from their teachers, rent from their landlords. To be in the program, these people have to have clean records. All to pander to a cruel populist section of his base.

Bad policy, bad economics, bad politics -- and cruel effects.

Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

"Slow down, lie, I'm still tying my shoes," truth said.

If President Trump had refused to act, many States were prepared to pursue litigation to end DACA by court order.

Under the change announced today, current DACA recipients generally will not be impacted until after March 5, 2018, six months from now. That period of time gives Congress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions.

Further:

The DACA program was never intended to be permanent—even President Obama admitted it was a temporary, extraordinary measure. And President Obama repeatedly recognized that such unilateral actions were in excess of the Executive’s appropriate role.

But I'm not surprised if none of this was reported by "the news."

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2017 4:17 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not believe any part of my post qualified as "a lie." Yes, I said "end" instead of "phase out in six months." But I think if you were going to be deported to a country which you had not seen since you were a toddler, the idea that it would not happen for six months would be little relief. "Oh, not 'till March? Whew -- I was concerned for a moment."

Immigration being important to me, I was aware of each of your truths -- and I'll add executive overreach on your side. It is still bad.

Need I quote Milton Friedman here on the August pages? "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." I think we can safely say that had we elected President Hillary Clinton it would be mysteriously extended. Likewise President Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker...)

These people are -- by definition -- the last people you ask to leave. Productive, non-criminal, residents without culpability for their crossing and little connection with their place of birth.

You get to these when you're being cruel. Or you start with them to prove a point.

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2017 6:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or you start with them to create an intractable problem.

"Every president since Ronald Reagan, since 1986, has said hands off on these folks," Napolitano explained. "The only president that reduced that to writing in a series of 12 executive orders was Barack Obama. And when those 12 executive orders were challenged in court, the court invalidated them, saying this is for Congress to do."

He said if Obama had dealt with this "quietly and under the radar screen" as his predecessors had done, there would be nothing for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to invalidate.

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2017 3:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Also, I didn't mean anything you said was a lie, only that the media talking points that helped work you into a lather are, if not lies, intentionally misleading demagoguery.

And it has gotten "halfway around the world" already.

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2017 4:15 PM

September 3, 2017

Harvey Helpers

Best article I've read yet (only had time for a few), from Kevin Williamson (one of my faves) at NRO. It has this great quote:

Texas’s culture may strike some as atavistic macho-cowboy silliness, but, as it turns out, when the water gets high you really want to have some atavistically macho cowboys around.

And,
The now-famous Houston Chronicle photo of a stoic-looking man wading through the flood waters while carrying an exhausted woman who is herself carrying a child is an iconic expression of certain realities that are not, whatever the voguish academic nonsense claims, “socially constructed.”

And this really good primer for us liberty-lovers, which I can confirm from my days as a safety engineer:

our buildings do not collapse and will not fail absent extraordinary circumstances. This is, as I have argued before, partly the result of one of the great regulatory success stories of our time: our building codes, which are developed through a decentralized, organic process involving everyone from architects and engineers to fire marshals and elected officials. The robustness of our building standards is, in fact, sometimes silly: Commercial glass must be able to endure hurricanes of a certain determined force, and it is tested by using a pneumatic cannon to fire lengths of two-by-four at a certain speed into the windows. An engineer of my acquaintance, suspecting that these standards were in fact superabundantly high, puckishly decided to point the cannon at the walls rather than the windows, and the two-by-fours of course blasted right through them. Standing in front of the plate glass may very well be the safest place to be in a commercial building during a hurricane.

Houston's over-buiding in flood plains however can be laid at the feet of our beloved Federal Gov't, however, in the wonderfully titled "How Washington made Harvey Worse,"


September 1, 2017

Elecric Car + H20?

A Houstonian ponders an aspect of EVs:

What would it take to persuade you to buy an electric car?

An electric Jeep that can ford 2-3′ of water, with a 360 mile range and be rechargeable in less time than I might have to wait in a gas line in Houston next week... might be what it would take to persuade me to buy an EV... Only if it cost less than $40,000.  But that's just me.. What about you?


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