October 31, 2017

All Hail Freeman


Posted by John Kranz at 5:40 PM | What do you think? [0]

America's "sin" isn't racism, it's freedom

I have to link and quote this article too, since it is such a personal hot button for me.

First, a definition:

I-con-o-clast. . [īˈkänəˌklast]


1.a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions.

John Daniel Davidson in The Federalist explains why it was inevitable that The Iconoclasts Come for George Washington. Yes, THAT George Washington. The first president. The father of our country. The man who "couldn't tell a lie." Except that, to hear the progressive SJW's tell it, it's ALL a lie. He was a heel, not a hero.

By now we should all be familiar with the inexorable logic of the iconoclasts, which goes like this. Lee, having fought for the slave-owning Confederacy in the Civil War, is more offensive than Washington, who merely owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln didn't own slaves but he did sentence a couple dozen Dakota Indians to death in 1862 for war crimes against defenseless men, women, and children on the Minnesota frontier. For that, student activists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have demanded the removal of Lincoln's statue from their campus. Frank Rizzo, the mayor of Philadelphia in the 1970s, didn’t own slaves or sentence any Indians to death, but he was insufficiently supportive of the civil rights movement in his day, so his statue must come down, too.

Once it takes hold, iconoclasm knows no distinctions or subtleties. It sweeps everything away. When progressive activists began clamoring for the immediate removal of Confederate monuments across the country, I and others noted that since this wasn't really about the historical legacy of slavery but the imperatives of identity politics, there was no limiting principle to ensure that once they had finished with the Confederates they would not move on to the Founding Fathers, or Lincoln, or even the hapless Rizzo.

Identity politics. For what purpose? Civil rights? No, something else:

But the relevant history here is not what matters. The complexity and messiness of our nation's past - the irony, for example, that in the years leading up to the Civil War, Grant managed his father-in-law's 850-acre plantation in Missouri, including its ten slaves - is what makes American iconoclasm such a slippery slope. But it's not what inspires progressives to plunge down it. They do it because they believe it will lead them to power.

Never mind the irony that one of the things that truly made Washington great was his refusal to accept the mantle of King when it was offered up to him, no strings attached.

Politics Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"Leading them to power" is why progressives attack America's historical figures, and is also why the attack the Constitution - as DNC Chair Tom Perez did recently when he said "the electoral college is not a creation of the Constitution." His goal is to subvert the electoral college, and make the United States of America a democracy - something the Constitution was designed to prevent.

In such case the correct terminology is not "iconoclast" but "revolutionary" or "subversive" or "traitor." Take your pick, Democrat party.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2017 2:51 PM

Cultural Rapprochement?

Finally, a mainstream journalist attempts to actually see the world through the eyes of a Trump voter. And he doesn't do half-bad!

From a Robert Leonard column in the Kansas City Star: [Robert Leonard is an anthropologist and hosts a public affairs program for KNIA/KRLS radio in Knoxville/Pella, Iowa.]

Doing my best to understand how my conservative friends might read Trump's speech, I read it again. Only this time, I contrasted Trump's messaging with how rural conservatives often view Democratic messaging. Here goes.

Trump began by saying we are a nation of believers and that "together we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer." Democrats want prayer out of the public sphere.

Trump called the Las Vegas shooting a "horrific mass murder" and an "act of pure evil." Democrats blame the guns and want to take yours away.

Trump honored the heroes of Las Vegas, including the police officers and other first responders. Democrats elevate thugs and view our protectors in blue with disdain.

Trump quotes scripture. Democrats ridicule those who do.

Trump stresses unity. Democrats divide American society into victims and oppressors.

Trump says, "We love our country." Obama went on an international apology tour.

Trump says, "We cherish the sacred dignity of every human life." Democrats murder babies.

Trump says, "We believe in strong families." Democratic policies pull them apart.

Trump says, "We are proud of our history." Democrats tear down monuments.

Trump says, "We respect our great American flag." Democrats take a knee.

I could go on. There's much, much more in Trump's speech that's fodder for conservative thought.

So, big media, keep up the great writing, thoughtful analysis, logic and reasoning. And fact checking. But, remember here in Trumplandia, you won’t change any minds. The cultural fissure is too deep, and relates to fundamentally different worldviews with respect to freedom and the nature of man.

UPDATE: More Robert Leonard fun (in case you doubt his "mainstream" bona fides.

"Build the Wall" - "To Protect Dreamers"

That's my case for the wall. True, it would be costly. One common estimate is $25 billion. Still, even this amount is a rounding error in a $4 trillion federal budget. The price would be tiny if the result protects the "dreamers" and inspires real bargaining on many immigration issues: sanctuary cities, family preferences, and a path to citizenship, among others.

Compromise involves giving up things you want and accepting things you don't want for a result that, despite its defects, leaves you better off than when you started. In that sense, a grand compromise on immigration is conceivable. The open question is whether both sides are willing to compromise -- and today's agendas are simply negotiating positions -- or whether they prefer endless political theater.

Trump is willing to compromise. Schumer and Pelosi say, "No way." What do the ever-so-thoughtful libertarians say? (He asks, knowingly.)

But jk thinks:

I did not see this little gem hiding down here in today's embarrassment of blogging riches.

I suppose I'm in. For the exact reason in Samuelson's article. I don't want it, but would trade it for legal immigration. Just the Dreamers? I need a little more than that. Increased H1-B or something or something?

Or, more likely a smaller wall for the Dreamers.

Side note: we talk about ideals and rights and what should be done around here. From a practical standpoint, do you think a physical wall on the Mexican border would be effective? Cost-effective?

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2017 7:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In select locations, yes, absolutely effective. Cost-effective is a complex discussion but in general, yes, cost effective too. The cost must be amortized over decades, however. Which is one reason that proponents want it and opponents don't - it's PERMANENT.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2017 2:41 PM
But jk thinks:

They thought so in Berlin in 1961. Oh well, 28 years is pretty good return on investment.

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2017 4:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Apple, meet mister orange.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2017 6:02 PM

October 30, 2017

inside the energy industry

Just to give y'all an inside peak at the new DOE in action, in great detail.
Backdrop DOE is pushing via a rarely used obscure rule, FERC to issue a rule ("NOPR") to compensate coal & nuke plants for their on-site fuel storage capacity under the rubric of "resiliency." FERC can issue rules that change how power plants (or transmission lines, or utilities) are compensated.

Here is a very well argued article which sounds rational and balanced, but really is against the DOE effort (the author is a GreenTech consultant). He likes to say "Facts Do Matter" but ... well, I'll let others try to ID the bias... if any of you read it!

I'm inching closer to pushing my writing skills more widely on this topioc, against the knowledge that the green-weenies will tear into my realism, and perhaps cause collateral career damage.

October 27, 2017

The 12th of Never?

If I may steal an Insty riff: On election night, Paul Krugman said "If you're wondering when the market recovers from this, the answer is 'Never!'"

Shhhhhh, don't wake the Nobel Laureate:

UPDATE: And it spreads to the Editorial Page:

Ever since Election Night last November we've been seeing measurements of rising confidence among business owners. Now they are not just telling pollsters how confident they are. They are also acting on that confidence by spending their money on new plant and equipment to create more and better products.

But johngalt thinks:

What the hell are we now, the Drudge Report? Good news? Under President Xenophobia? >/sarcasm

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2017 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm proud to assess, objectively and grammatically, good and bad policies from a complicated administration. I cringe that many people I admire have not yet found anything to like or dislike.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2017 4:14 PM

Check your premises on Immigration

Those who believe a country should protect its borders from a bloodless invasion are routinely disparaged as "racists" and "xenophobes." But what is the context of the high priority that many voters assign to this issue?

First it was Confederate generals. (Or maybe the assassination of Republican legislators was first, I can't remember.) But then they came for the other "dead white dudes."

Black Student Alliance, Student Council co-host student-led forum on Thomas Jefferson’s legacy

Vandals Attack Theodore Roosevelt Statue at Museum of Natural History In NYC, Defacing 'Symbol of White Supremacy'

ICYMI: Some UW-Madison Students Thought Lincoln Owned Slaves

The condemnation of old white men not being enough, they also condemn the great achievements of those "supremacists."

Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege

So, yeah, faced with the prospect of more people inclined to vote for "social change" along the lines of this discourse, rational people might conclude that a pause in the invasion is prudent. At least until calm, rational, freedom of thought and speech and property returns to the fore. Unless you're ready for the national ballot initiative to mothball that "racist" Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Immigration Posted by JohnGalt at 11:22 AM | What do you think? [6]
But jk thinks:

And, as Penn & Teller pointed out, "they keep putting up those Shakira posters!"

You are setting up a triple bank shot my brother. You have piled a lot of "bad stuff" into a basket and linked it to immigration. I posit it at least as likely that expanded immigration would draw freedom lovers who come here for opportunity. (Not having to hide in a 100%deg; railcar would be a draw to the entrepreneurial class).

I see the common thread in your list as education and not immigration.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2017 12:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I realize that it looks like I'm drawing a cause and effect conclusion. What I'm really suggesting is that all of these issues are evidence of manipulation of public opinion for political ends. The left manipulates toward a larger, more socialist government. The non-left (I'll avoid calling it "the right") manipulates to defend against the left.

Regular folks who love their freedom will pay any price and bear any burden to prevent America becoming Europe (or worse) and that includes eschewing free trade and immigration.

My further contention is that such a stance is temporary, and only reluctantly taken in the emergency situation we find ourselves in. Restore the crumbling edifice of Constitutional limits on government and your immigration and trade arguments will not fall on defensive ears.

In other words, the popular "nationalist" sentiment is not poorly educated, as you seem to be suggesting, but fully informed on the historical rise and fall (and rise again) of socialism. And not just in the USA.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2017 1:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Point of order: "did I say "uneducated?" I thought "uneducated" but I'm too clever to say it out loud. No, I meant that the common thread was our great nation's failed education system, not that people who disagree with me are uneducated.

I'm unmoved that a bad idea is temporary. We still have the Mohair subsidy and the ethanol mandate has been extended a few years.

More to the point, it is not a policy to me, it's a guiding principle that we chase freedom and prosperity through an enlarged economic sphere, it is not to be regulated and deferred.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2017 1:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, like they used to say, "There's a war on you know."

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2017 4:02 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Why not just shorten it to:

"Immigrants vote for Democrats, and thus give demographic strength to their other projects, regardless of what they may be?"

Seems to be a simpler, and much more defensible, statement of your drift, if I understand it right.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 28, 2017 1:27 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Good question TG. I don't say that "immigrants vote for Democrats" because I don't think that's true. I don't even think all illegal [undocumented] immigrants vote for Democrats.

Further, when it comes to discrediting America's history or her contributions to the world, I don't think even blue collar Democrats will vote for a Democrat.

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2017 3:47 PM

Quote of the Day

Again our Free Trade plan is quite simple. We say that every Englishman shall have the right to buy whatever he wants, wherever he wants, at his own good pleasure, without restriction or discouragement from the state.-- Winston Churchill 1903
Hat-tip: Don Boudreaux
But johngalt thinks:

What a great idea! Freedom to consume freely! How about freedom to produce freely too? What is it called when you have one but not the other? Economic suicide, for one.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2017 11:43 AM

October 26, 2017


I am switching my party affiliation to "Independent" today. These are not my peeps:

Although he hasn't launched a campaign yet, Tom Tancredo holds a wide lead in Colorado's crowded Republican gubernatorial primary field and is in a statistical tie with leading Democratic candidate Jared Polis, according to a survey conducted by the pollster who set up the polling and data operations for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.


Posted by John Kranz at 10:05 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 25, 2017

On Sen. Flake

I'm not sure I grasp Ed Krayewski|'s headline: "GOP Anti-Flake Anti-Trumpers Just Want Trumpism Without Trump" But he first uncorks a beauty of a Simpsons reference, and then pens some wise words about the backlash to Sen. Flake.

[Ben] Shapiro developed his argument about Flake at The Daily Wire, pointing out that Flake became an unpopular senator early on in his term after trying to work on a bipartisan effort to reform immigration. "Many immigration reform Senators have fallen askance of the base," Shapiro noted.

Yes. That's the problem.

It was little more than a decade ago that President George W. Bush's efforts at comprehensive immigration reform failed. Since then, the GOP establishment has largely embraced the faction of the party that torpedoed reform.

Rather than making the economic case for immigration, as Republicans of days gone by did regularly, much of the party was content to exploit voters' economic ignorance and fuel their anxieties.

It's all anybody cares about in the GOP base anymore: getting the amnesty folks out.

So, now "Chemtrail Kelli" has an uncontested path to the GOP nomination in the Grand Canyon State. I apologize for suggesting that she was exploiting racism in her campaign. Why her "SanctuarySenator.com" has pictures suggesting the diversity GOP primary voters cherish:


Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 5:44 PM | What do you think? [10]
But Terri Goon thinks:

I believe my online presence precludes running! Conveniently!

Posted by: Terri Goon at October 26, 2017 4:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Trump lost Colorado. Primary AND general. I don't see Tanc winning either either. [eye-thur ee-thur] Despite what a self-important pollster happens to preach.

And do you really see race first in the web photo, or the gangsta guns and gang tats?

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2017 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I am hoping the poll was bad. It was some Trump-affiliated operation, who knows what scoundrels and scurrilous tactics underlay it. :)

A friend suggested it might be my bad choice of FB friends. I left two groups today as well. But the reaction to Flake's retirement was "Huzzah! We got rid on another McConnell-loving, amnesty-voting, RINO bastard!" Is that not the base?

Rep. Tancredo may not win the primary, but he will force the winner to adopt 85-100% of his views on immigration. The free traders are gone.

Funny story: I see "Grand Theft Auto" -- isn't this the advertisement for the game? I'm not a gamer, but I am pretty sure it is. Let's suggest it to be much less subtle than the lone brown, janitor corn pop.

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2017 5:28 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:
I think the immigrants: legal, illegal, and refugee, will do good things and bad things in roughly the same proportion as native born. Statistically, the bad things are fewer. But you'd never know it from my Facebook feed.
I posted not long ago that illegals were popping up in the grey hotel queue significantly more than their share of the general population. I don't consider that the final word at all, but found it compelling. Pew's recent study shows that your FB feed is representative of a general trend. Posted by: nanobrewer at October 26, 2017 11:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I clearly need to get out more. "Grey hotel queue?"

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2017 10:59 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sorry: "Gray bar hotel."

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 28, 2017 12:40 PM

Dare they call this "fake news?"

Holman Jenkins writes in the WSJ: [No paywall. They must think everyone should read this.]

Mr. Mueller's tenure may not have bridged the two investigations, but James Comey's, Rod Rosenstein's , Andrew Weissmann's , and Andrew McCabe's did. Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller as special counsel. Mr. Weissmann now serves on Mr. Mueller's team. Mr. McCabe remains deputy FBI director. All were involved in the nuclear racketeering matter and the Russia meddling matter.

Let's stop here. All this needs to be sorted out, but not in a spirit of panic and hysteria. We are a prosperous, successful country, in pretty good shape right now by historical standards, even if our officials behave in the frequently dubious, self-interested way they always have.

But still: By any normal evidentiary, probative or journalistic measure, the big story here is the FBI - its politicized handling of Russian matters, and not competently so.

"... frequently dubious, self-interested ...?" Try completely illegal.

As for me, if our federal justice system can't successfully investigate and prosecute these crimes our nation is doomed.

But nanobrewer thinks:

the big story here is the FBI
Yes, and by extension: Obamanites. Tracking comments at PowerLine, I already see the left's distract-tack: "so the HRCampaign hired someone shady to do a shoddy OpFor report; nothing burger!"

PowerLine has been flogging this pretty hard (all 3 main authors) under titles like "Investigate This!" and "Fusion Contusion." A contributor with FBI background submits:

in the anti-Trump conspiracy that’s exactly what was needed: FISA coverage, “wiretaps.” There was no time to do the painstaking research on Trump and his associates–they needed FISA and they needed it NOW. They’d already been turned down at least once. The NSA info was essentially useless, because what they really wanted was to get conversations between Trump and his associates here in the US–all USPERs–not international conversations (those were either lacking or harmless). Yes, NSA probably scoops up internal US communications of USPERs, too, but to use it without a FI and without a FISA order would be illegal. Therefore, the “dossier.”

This is what it'll take for the media to drop the Russia-Collusion story; that it nets negative for Democrats. Face it, the media by and large has become the AV Club of the Democrat Party.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 28, 2017 12:31 PM

October 24, 2017

Et tu Bannon?

Besides the threesources-friendly headline, Bill McGurn's "Et tu, Steve Bannon" covers the ground we've been exploring pretty well. I do not suspect my appeal to the überelitest WSJ Ed Page will sway anybody, but McGurn says they need a larger majority more than a purge.

Certainly Mr. McConnell's leadership has taken a hit from the failures to get an ObamaCare repeal through. But slim majorities always disproportionately empower dissenters and outliers, regardless of who the majority leader might be. So long as GOP bills can be defeated by the defection of three Republicans, the Trump agenda will be held hostage to those on the margins, whether it's John McCain or Lisa Murkowski.

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

Must Listen EconTalk

Okay, I've cajoled and importuned. But I must actually insist that you listen to this week's EconTalk.

Jennifer Burns has written a historical biography of Ayn Rand. She tells Russ Roberts that "the Ayn Rand shelf" is full of people who worship her and who hate her; Burns thought a serious thinker deserved a serious book.

I dig that Roberts and Burns place her in the libertarian movement with Milton Friedman, Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard. I learned quite a bit of biography. But it is refreshing to hear an objective look. Acolytes and enemies may find much to disagree with, but it's EconTalk. And what I dig most is that ideas are explored in a spirit of fairness and understanding which is becoming all too rare.

I'll read or listen to anything of your choosing if you'll indulge...

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:00 AM | What do you think? [9]
But johngalt thinks:

And I see the bright sunlight. According to this take, there was a Jeff Flake 1.0 and a Jeff Flake 2.0.

And as far as Bannon's impact, and the free trade idealism, the RedState writer concludes:

The recent GOP love affair with free-trade for the sake of free-trade is going to run hard aground on the mass of Americans who feel that their children will have a poorer lifestyle. If politicians like Flake can't make a cogent case as to why free-trade and essentially open-borders benefits their constituents, they are going to be cannon fodder in the coming primaries.

And it will be that conflict that beats them, not Steve Bannon.

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2017 1:19 PM
But jk thinks:

I admit that Flake did not bring the verve to the Senate that he had in the House. I have no idea why. The linked article's suggestion of a paucity of similar beliefs in the upper chamber has a whiff of truth.

One thing that has not changed was his devotion to trade and immigration -- there's no 1.0 and 2.0 there. The purge is coming, and those who choose prosperity over Xenophobia will be extirpated.

At which point I will leave. Colorado passed a referendum by plebiscite to allow independents to vote in primaries. I fought it tooth and nail, but think I will take advantage of it. I can leave the GOP and vote in a primary if any liberty candidates show up.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2017 3:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suggest there's a giant chasm between wanting free trade to be a two-way street and xenophobia, with an upper or lowercase "X". If and when such a vicious ideology ever does manifest in the party, I won't leave - I'll man the barricades to defeat it. But for now, the charge is scurrilous.

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2017 3:58 PM
But jk thinks:

I cannot help but feel all of Red State's theses would have been forgiven if he were sufficiently tough on immigration.

Almost everything I am reading today celebrates his leaving. Your link opens "Count me as one of the folks who was glad to see Jeff Flake pack his sh** and get off the battlefield."

Just finished Jonah Goldberg's The Remnant Podcast with Sen. Ben Sasse. Jonah says "Now we'll get 'Chemtrails Kelli Ward' or it will flip blue."

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2017 4:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Chemtrails Kelli" Ward doesn't promote the chemtrails theory, she merely stood up for the right of those who do to speak. She's a physician, not a Scientologist. I looked for Chemtrails on her "Principles" page but apparently it's not important enough for her to mention. But name calling is nothing new in politics, so there you go.

As for her cakewalk to the nomination, Mr. "glad to see Jeff Flake pack his sh**" sees it differently:

If Flake had stayed in and lost the race to Kelli Ward, then possibly the victory could be attributed to Bannon, but even then there was a lot more at play. But Flake decided that even if he did beat Ward that he was not going to be able to turn out enough Republicans to support him in the general and, being a company man in Mitch McConnell’s company, he took one for the team. To me, this speaks to the weakness of Bannon because a ward heeler can turn out votes for anyone. We’ll see who jumps in the race now that Flake is not running and my suspicions are that Ward is going to find her support withers once she is not facing Jeff Flake and that she will not be the nominee.
Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2017 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

I watched a FOX News interview and she did disavow Chemtrails. The ex-pragmatist in me says "And Christine O'Donnell denied being a Witch."

She did NOT deny her devotion to immigration enforcement and used "America First" to describe her own policies. (I thought that was like "Browns Fan," that somebody might call you that but you never use it on yourself.)

Some folks were happy that Flake's leaving clears the way for a more mainstream GOP candidate, so that might be good.

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2017 3:57 PM

October 23, 2017

"This is the death cry of the Republican Party"

My blog brother laments the caliber of primary opponents that Bannon is backing with GOP big money that used to go to "electable" candidates. As a life-long Republican I gotta say, this doesn't sound like a recipe for winning elections.

MSNBC love bird Joe Scarborough shared video of Bannon addressing a California GOP gathering, where the crowd booed such scions of the Republican Party as George W Bush and John McCain. "This is the death cry of the Republican Party," is the analysis by Scarborough. (Never mind that Scarborough himself pointed out that Bush was a deficit-spending Wilsonian, while he was still President.)

So is Bannon trying deliberately to destroy the GOP? I think it's worth listening to him in his own words (1:30) before passing judgment. If you do, contemplate what is more important, more necessary, for the preservation of liberty and the American Constitutional Republic - Republicans, or republicanism?

Voters have been fooled by Republicans in the past... and stood by them when, perhaps, it was a bad idea. The cold reality of hindsight has them now feeling, "I don't want to get fooled again." Don't feel bad though, it has happened to all of us.

But johngalt thinks:

Beware the modern day Royalists.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2017 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm sorry, I am not sure I got the Scarborough thing: a choice of Rep. Scarborough and Steve Bannon? Nothing else on the menu? "Your either with Mika or you're with the terrorists."

I certainly don't think he's "trying to destroy the party." I suspect he is trying to ride the populist wave to have greater influence. I rarely speculate on motives, perhaps it is 100% patriotism. It could happen.

But I think his ideas are "wrong as pants on a trout" as Mr. Quint would say. I think it fair to say he'd like to do to the GOP what he did to Breitbart News: stoke emotional responses to populist conspiracy theories for fun and profit.

I can get leaving Senator McCain out of the big tent. But our party no longer has room for George W. Bush? Wow. Papa Bush was softer, Reagan was a free trader and unabashed immigration supporter. Ford, Nixon, Eisenhower seem unlikely . . . do any Republican presidents ever make the cut in Bannon's new rump party? He has already said only Sen. Cruz escapes a primary.

Yeah, we've been disappointed by Republicans. We have also recently lived through all-Democrat rule in the US (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Cash-for-Clunkers, Solyndra) and Colorado (magazine limits, clean power plan) -- neither were best described as a golden age or republicanism.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2017 7:14 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Let's be honest: McCain's freshness date long expired, probably around 2002. I nearly had to hold my nose to vote for him in '08. I'm not going to cry about the occasional Flake-offs or Cork flying loose (though I'd prefer to shed Maine and IL).
I think both AZ and TN senators have chosen real-world discretion, hidden behind media-driven fau-trage at Trump or perhaps voicing "GOPe" frustration. I say, let Bannon have his day, but let's all stay active and vigilant... open primaries are a bigger threat to the liberty agenda, IMO.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 24, 2017 10:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Let's agree on something real quick before the floor drops out: I remember watching Sen. McCain and then-Sen. Obama debate economics in '08 and thinking "oh crap, one of these guys is going to be President." Many Republicans were heartbroken when Obama won, but nobody was sad that McCain lost.

Sen. Flake is different. He was the principled liberty voice in the House long before it was cool. He has been less spectacular in his Freshman Senate term, but remains dedicated to free trade and responsible immigration policy long after that was cool.

In short, if there is no room for Sen. Flake in the party, I cannot believe there remains a spot for me.

Okay, Bannon's day it is:

[Roy Moore] is a twice-disgraced former judge who believes 9/11 was divine retribution for our sins and an anti-Muslim bigot who can't quite bring himself to rule out the death penalty for homosexuals.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2017 10:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You're speaking in defense of Jeff Flake 1.0. The updated version is a different creature:

The real resentment voters have is for Republican politicians who pretend during elections to be on their side, to share their priorities, to be ready to defend their beliefs – but turn out after the election to only defend on the things they’re comfortable talking to the media about… in other words, the only time when it doesn’t matter.

Jeff Flake 1.0 would have far fewer problems in the Trump era. He was a populist who raged against government corruption and cronyism. He would absolutely still criticize Trump, as many House conservatives still do, on trade and on transparency – but he would also be able to be with Trump on key issues instead of wagging his finger impotently on the way out the door. Draining the swamp is something Flake 1.0 would be all about getting right, and he’d be sticking around to make sure it got done. Flake 2.0 spent more time writing a book that now reads like an exit interview with Brave Brave Sir Robin.

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2017 1:30 PM

October 20, 2017

The World Isn't ThreeSources

Y'all are going to have to up your game. A member of my überconservative Fans of Best of the Web group posts "Who here is boycotting all things NFL?"


I do give him points for using the possessive with the gerund.

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The road to hell passes through the moral high ground, apparently.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2017 2:24 PM


1,000 words:


Education Posted by John Kranz at 12:42 PM | What do you think? [3]
But dagny thinks:

I'm speechless.

Posted by: dagny at October 20, 2017 5:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Can you believe I didn't figure this one out? I was focusing on the words, not the picture... of a mechanism. Me - of all people!

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2017 2:10 PM
But Bobbo thinks:

Now that is what I call "gridlock"!

Posted by: Bobbo at October 23, 2017 4:50 PM

In case Judge Moore was too Mainstream for You

Karl Rove takes to the WSJ Ed Page to decry the quality of Steve Bannon's preferred primary candidates. I'll concede his lede is a bit over the top. But skip to the descriptions with me:

The first House candidate Mr. Bannon has blessed is former Rep. Michael Grimm, who was forced to resign his New York seat in 2015 after pleading guilty to tax fraud. Recently released after seven months in the federal pen, Mr. Grimm will challenge his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan. Presumably Mr. Grimm won’t campaign in his orange prison jumpsuit.

Mr. Bannon has also tried recruiting his first gubernatorial candidate: Colorado's former Rep. Tom Tancredo, a nativist who once said President Obama was "a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda," who routinely attacks immigrants for turning America into a "Third World country," and who earlier this year accepted a speaking invitation from a white-nationalist group.

Mr. Bannon is also throwing support to upstart Senate challengers. In Nevada, where Sen. Dean Heller is up for re-election, Mr. Bannon supports Danny Tarkanian, a perennial candidate who has lost five races for four different state and federal offices. Mr. Tarkanian's sixth time is unlikely to be the charm.

On Tuesday Mr. Bannon was in Arizona campaigning for Kelli Ward against Sen. Jeff Flake. As a state senator, Ms. Ward held a June 2014 town hall to explore the claim that jet contrails are really chemicals sprayed by the government for weather, mind or population control.

You might not even find Rove's descriptions fair. But join me in seeing the common thread of candidate unviability. Rep. Tancredo is not going to be our lovely state's next governor. How badly do you want to gum up the works and damage the GOP brand for a quixotic run?

Internecine Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

I'll answer your question with a question: Are we better off with Republicans who don't believe in republicanism?

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2017 2:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, if I want to join a party of principled purists who never win, I will join the gorram Libertarians.

I don't know anything about "Ms. Chemtrails," but Sen. Jeff Flake is as good a friend to the true republicanism you crave as there is in the US Senate. He is being primaried because he is not sufficiently devoted to immigration enforcement.

We don't like to do a lot of name calling around here, but I'll start with Senator-Elect Roy Moore(Lunatic - AL). Do you disagree that he will make things far more difficult for Republicans as he builds a monument to the Ten Commandments in his mashed potatoes in the Senate cafeteria?

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2017 3:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So much to rebut in that comment but for now let me just make a simple historical reference:

"Donald Trump can never win."

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2017 11:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Good, but I suggest "Donald Trump cannot win in Colorado" still holds. He found his electoral votes elsewhere, bully for him. But to extrapolate from that that "Tom Tancredo can be elected Governor of Colorado" or "Wind Power will replace fossil fuels" is rather like dividing by zero.

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2017 11:46 AM

October 19, 2017

All Hail Harsanyi

In the extremely unlikely event that I join Brother Keith in boycotting the NFL, it will not be because of pink shoes, or horrible relay decisions, or anthem kneeling. It will be to avoid the teaser commercials for "60 Minutes."

Without football, I can pretent that 60 minutes doesn't exist. I know it does, it's not denial. It's like "The View," or "Judge Judy," or whatever vehicle Dr. Oz is using to spread pseudoscience this week. It's there but it does not affect me.

With football, especially Denver Broncos / AFC football, the story is hyped all through the game. When I heard about the forthcoming exposé on Big Pharma fueling the opioid crisis, I knew <southparkvoice>we were gonna have a bad time.</southparkvoice>

Of course I did not watch. But Reason and now David Harsanyi have filled me in.

A number of reporters in my social media feed were especially enthusiastic about the article. The purity of the drug czar seat had been saved! This, they explained, was why journalism still mattered. One hopes not, considering how the article illustrates that a trumped-up non-story can drive coverage on important issues.

People "curing the opioid epidemic" by denying medication to the people who need it should get their own special place in hell -- I'd free the usurers to make room if needed!

Won't Get Fooled Again!

Oh, whom am I kidding? Of course I will. But it's good to know I have a compatriot in Jim Geraghty:

Evan McMullin? I didn't realize that when I voted for him, I was helping pass the "Evan McMullin-Eternal-Presence-in-Media-as-a-Trump-Critic-Who-Never-Sounds-All-That-Conservative Act." Unsurprisingly, McMullin's entire Twitter feed since the election has been relentless criticism of Trump, a general credulity of claims of election collusion with Russia, and denunciation of GOP leaders for being insufficiently opposed to Trump.

When McMullin appears on television, do you ever hear him arguing for a larger defense budget, tax cuts, originalist judges, or any other conservative priority?

I would not have used the "C" word, but agree with every word. Thankfully, I don't follow Mister McMuffin* on Twitter, but what a huge disappointment he has been.

*Intentional name misspelling jokes are the lowest and least intellectual form of political humor. I hate them. When other people do it.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | What do you think? [0]

more winning

... as the gents at Power Line like to say (for the record, only halvsies on Trump... Paul nearly hates him, John is OK and Steve will take a poke whenever it'll make for a good joke).

On the EPA, one key monster in the swamp has been slain on Monday, by GodEmperor (I wish!) Pruitt:

Administrator Scott Pruitt pledges to put an end to the controversial practice of settling lawsuits with special interest groups behind closed doors, often while paying their attorneys' fees.
The Obamanites pulled this trick 100+ times, even happened under W.
[Pruitt] said the practice "risks bypassing the transparency and due process safeguards enshrined in the Administrative Procedure Act and other statutes." He also called it "regulation through litigation" and an "abusive" policy, in part because it excludes state involvement in any settlement between the EPA and private litigants.
According to PL, in the footnotes to the memo he cites the Federalist Papers.

In other news (what I don't like): his tweets, hands-off the IRS, his speeches, and I don't think I've heard him say anything close to right on trade.

Current Events Posted by nanobrewer at 12:35 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Yes, these are great things. And to be fair, they have been replicated across the Executive departments. One cannot imagine a person with thinner skin pulling off these appointments.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2017 10:18 AM

October 18, 2017

Book Recommendation

If you're looking for an entertaining trip of historical fiction through multiple cultures -Imperial Japan and the British Isles during the Middle Ages - may I suggest 'The Rose and the Crane' by Clint Dohmen. The manuscript has been in development for several years and the finished product has gone on sale, today!


I haven't read the whole book but I did review an early draft of one chapter. It was captivating and adventurous - exotic and worldly. I look forward to embarking upon the complete journey.

Full disclosure: Clint is my brother-in-law. To that end, multiple early book sales and online reviews are greatly appreciated. Tell all yer friends!

But johngalt thinks:

Available now in paperback, and Kindle!

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2017 11:13 AM
But jk thinks:

Excellent! By the way, when you're on the Paperback page the Kindle version does not show up in "Show Other Formats."

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2017 11:30 AM
But dagny thinks:

JK, Did you order on Kindle? Some crazy Dohmen seems to be keeping score on who has sold more of Clint's books. :-)

P.S. I'm currently winning.

Posted by: dagny at October 20, 2017 5:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes I did, but you may take credit for it.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2017 5:49 PM
But jk thinks:

I just started "War & Peace" last weekend. I should get around to this in . . . oh 2019 . . . maybe Christmastime.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2017 5:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sales update: Today The Rose and the Crane sales rank is up from the eleven thousands to #971 in the Kindle Historical Fiction category.

Keep up the good work spreading the word, ThreeSourcers!

And get busy reading your copy. I hear there's a great "grasshopper dinner" scene. And something about Percheron horses.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2017 2:56 PM

Hypocritcially Whistling Past the Schadenfreude

The cognitive dissonance is somehow not disabling to those on the left who, with no choice but to denounce the sexploitation of Harvey Weinstein, completely ignore the same by their political heroes. George Neumayr sums it up in the American Spectator:

[The New York Times' Michelle] Goldberg, desperate to absolve the Democrats of the taint of Weinstein, works hard to inflate the misdeeds of figures such as Roger Ailes and equate criticism of feminist policies with misogyny. Fox News was "like his personal sadomasochistic brothel," she writes. (Ailes was accused of asking subordinates out and making leering comments, but he wasn't accused of sexual assault. There is a long way from his asking Megyn Kelly to twirl to the "sadomasochistic brothel" of Goldberg's imagination.)

All is better now on the liberal side, she declares, now that Weinstein's "impunity has come to an end" and he has been stripped of all his power:

He has lost his job and been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. France has taken steps to strip him of his Legion of Honor Award, the country's highest civilian distinction. He is being repudiated for violating progressive ideals about sexual consent, workers' rights and the fundamental equality of men and women.

Imagine her writing that last sentence about a long line of sexual goats in the Democratic Party. Or calling for the Edward Kennedy Institute to be renamed. Or demanding that Bill Clinton's honorary doctorates be taken away from him. It would never happen. And it never will happen. The obituarists of Harvey Weinstein will keep the progressive memory of Bill and Teddy alive forever.

October 17, 2017

Unicorns Are Awesome!

But, there are no unicorns.

CANBERRA, Australia--The Australian government returned coal to the heart of its energy policy, after blaming blackouts and rising power bills on a too-aggressive rollout of renewable sources and a surge in gas exports.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday junked a plan promoted by the country's chief scientist, Alan Finkel, to require power producers to generate a minimum portion of their energy from low-emission sources by 2020.

I wish they would not include the exports among reasons, but a bit of reality is good for the national soul.

But nanobrewer thinks:

PL posts from a powerful: "Daring to Doubt" speech by Abbot.
First, he waxes philosophic:

There are laws of physics; there are objective facts; there are moral and ethical truths. But there is almost nothing important where no further enquiry is needed. What the “science is settled” brigade want is to close down investigation by equating questioning with superstition. It’s an aspect of the wider weakening of the Western mind which poses such dangers to the world’s future.
then gets down to it.
Palaeontology indicates that over millions of years there have been warmer periods and cooler periods that don’t correlate with carbon dioxide concentrations. The Jurassic warm period and the ice ages occurred without any human contribution at all. The medieval warm period when crops were grown in Greenland and the mini-ice age when the Thames froze over occurred well before industrial activities added to atmospheric carbon dioxide.
I'm still reading...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 20, 2017 12:38 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Here's another winner:

There’s a veneer of rational calculation to emissions reduction but underneath it’s about “doing the right thing”. Environmentalism has managed to combine a post-socialist instinct for big government with a post-Christian nostalgia for making sacrifices in a good cause. Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods. We’re more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 21, 2017 10:47 AM

October 16, 2017

Not my favorite topic...

I said something reaaaaaally nice about the President late last week. So I'm owed one.

I had deluded myself to believing that Nafta was safe, save for a lot of bluster. But the WSJ Ed Page has some bad news for free tradin' Republicans:

Mr. Trump's obsession with undoing Nafta threatens the economy he has so far managed rather well. The roaring stock market, rising GDP and tight job market are signs that deregulation and the promise of tax reform are restoring business and consumer confidence. Blowing up Nafta would blow up all that too. It could be the worst economic mistake by a U.S. President since Richard Nixon trashed Bretton-Woods and imposed wage and price controls.

Well then.

But johngalt thinks:

True, "it could be." Alternately, that could also be an assumption based upon "the loud conventional wisdom of the past."*

* I know you read it - I'm just linking these two posts for posterity.

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2017 4:55 PM

Potato, Potahtoe

Last week we engaged on these pages in fairly strident internecine dialog about Trump and Bannon and the Republican party, such as it is. None of us is wrong per se, so there was no chance that anyone might "see the light" and change his position. But perhaps we can all better understand each other's perspective. With help from the inestimable VDH, Victor Davis Hanson. Perhaps too much of a "nativist" for some, but hear him out.

In his latest column "It's 1968 All Over Again" Hanson succinctly describes two perspectives on the open warfare in Washington D.C.:

Is the problem too much democracy, as the volatile and fickle mob runs roughshod over establishment experts and experienced bureaucrats? Or is the crisis too little democracy, as populists strive to dethrone a scandal-plagued, anti-democratic, incompetent and overrated entrenched elite?

In closing, he poses the following observations:

Is the instability less a symptom that America is falling apart and more a sign that the loud conventional wisdom of the past -- about the benefits of a globalized economy, the insignificance of national borders and the importance of identity politics -- is drawing to a close, along with the careers of those who profited from it?

In the past, any crisis that did not destroy the United States ended up making it stronger. But for now, the fight grows over which is more toxic -- the chronic statist malady that was eating away the country, or the new populist medicine deemed necessary to cure it.

But jk thinks:

Yes, Professor VDH is too nativist. But, after enjoying several of his lectures in Hillsdale's Athens & Sparta MOOC, and his magisterial introduction to the Landmark Edition Thucydides, he is a superb choice for appeal to authority.

I enjoyed the piece, but am prepared to "embrace the healing power of and:" Trump's supporters and critics can both be wrong. I know many in both camps and am not at all startled by the rigidity on the left. Yes, if he's Hitler and likes lemon in his tea, we must not ever use lemon.

I will not lie; I have been surprised by the stridency of his defenders. Zero politicians are perfect and the President is not the closest I've seen. Healthy skepticism of gub'mint and the people what people it seems well warranted.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2017 5:10 PM
But Terri Goon thinks:

It's hard to see, but if you squint your eyes, the skepticism exists, it's just that da other side is so very much over the top that even fence post sitters are almost required to defend the man.
I see a lot wrong with him, but I will defend him in conversation so that people can at least hear another version of whatever new outrage is current.

Posted by: Terri Goon at October 17, 2017 9:58 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I with Terri: I don't like the guy and agree with him perhaps half the time but my FB feed has gone from Outrage Theater to Kabuki Theater (over and over) in less time than POTUS can thrice tweet about NFL idiocy.

I've even taken to knee-capping my opponents at times; picking on the picayune to denigrate their threads... *sigh* it's just so much easier than lengthy debate (and I'm too irregular on FB).

What's my pick of the 50+% "good"? I've been told his picks for judges are outstanding, and I can attest that DOE & EPA are both going strongly in good directions.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 17, 2017 11:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Ummmm, yeaaaaahhhh, sortof, he said hesitatingly...

I frequently find myself defending him. He has done some fantastic things and exceeded my expectations in many areas. I agree the opposition is unhinged.

But, where would you good people admit he was wrong?

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2017 12:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

He's wrong on many things. "Afflicting the comfortable" in Washington D.C. isn't one of them.

I want to push back on your "healthy skepticism of government" position. That was fine when Barack Hussein O was president, or George W Bush, or Bill Clinton or ... But Donald John Trump was elected for one reason more than any other (in my humble opinion): To wrestle government power away from the political elite. Trump is the present embodiment of voters' skepticism toward politicians.

There is no chance - zero, none, nada - that the administrative state will become a nationalist police power under the charismatic leadership of President Trump. Any weakening of the president strengthens the liberty-sapping Leviathan.

I know that's not a very nuanced analysis but statism thrives in the gray area between liberty and government power. The power of our free society goes up when the power of the administrative state goes down.

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2017 7:25 PM

October 12, 2017

The Trump Connundrum

Alternate title: "Why President Trump is so Great!"

I would join the President's critics -- if I had time -- in condemning his tweet "challenging" NBC's "license." In fact, take it away Matt Welch. Surely Reason will not let this stand!

Is it a day ending in the letter "y"? Then yes, President Donald Trump has said something flippantly authoritarian, made a wholly empty threat, and blasted the media, all before lunch. Helpfully, he accomplished this all with just one tweet:

There is no license; there is no mechanism for the executive branch to challenge. I find it distasteful and banana-republic-ish. Will he approve or deny every episode of CSI?

But the Republic limps along. Nobody is harmed, the base is fired up, his opponents howl, but nothing bad is going to happen. Why? Because this same man put a stellar pick in the FCC, the great Ajit Pai, who has been lauded by, well, Matt Welch in the same article:

The #NeverTrump Republican political consultant Rick Wilson is fond of saying that Trump ends up ruining everything he touches. That's more sour than my take--after all, Trump has decisively touched his own regulatory state, with such salutary picks such as Ajit Pai. But I think we may soon conclude that just when conservatives were inching tantalizingly close to the free-speech high road, their hero led them down a Culture War highway to hell.

Ajit Pai == important; The President's tweet != important.

But Terri Goon thinks:

I like what you did there. :-)
What's more I continue to be pleased as punch that this is the president we got out of the 2. People are on the lookout for all sorts of misbehavior. I no longer have to dig deeper and deeper for source material.
Clinton levels of deception were too much for mere mortals to sort through. Trump levels of whatever, much less so. Yay democracy and transparency. Go Trump.

Posted by: Terri Goon at October 12, 2017 2:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ummm, yes... there is a license.

But the only ones who believe such a review is a serious possibility are Progressive "lib-tards" (I think that's the clinical term), have no sense of humor, or both. Meanwhile, they caterwaul about this through the whole news cycle. Until the next Tweet to end all Tweets comes out. Usually the next morning.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2017 4:34 PM

October 11, 2017

jk vs. Bannon

Steve Bannon to Sean Hannity this week, discussing efforts to recruit primary challengers to incumbent Republican senators: "Nobody's safe. We're coming after all of them." If every Republican senator is going to get a primary challenger backed by Bannon, no matter what, then what's the incentive to vote Bannon’s way between now and Election Day?
From Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter (now linkable!), subtitled "Trump Doesn't Need Different GOP Senators, He Needs More of Them."

Perhaps Mr. Bannon has indeed captured the TEA Party essence. But I suggest he has captured the worst parts. He will give us a Slate of Christine O'Donnell and Ken Buck candidates, who will *ahem* lose to Democrats. You can possibly elect a Roy Moore in Alabama, but his is not the ticket to a majority party.

It would be a moral victory to get rid of Susan Collins but the James Conrad PAC would not help repeal Obamacare or complete tax reform.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 7:13 PM | What do you think? [0]

TEA Party v. Bannon

What does the TEA Party stand for? What does Steve Bannon stand for? There is not a single answer to either question but I submit that there is one "big idea" for each, and they go hand in glove. Hunter Lewis zeroed in on that idea in his criticism of a Weekly Standard piece on Bannon:

Mr. Caldwell gets to the essence of it when he writes: "Steve Bannon … has … the same idea that tea party activists have: a class of regulators in the government has robbed Americans of their democratic prerogatives. That class now constitutes an 'administrative state' that operates to empower itself and enrich its crony-capitalist allies."

Yep. That's why I marched on my state capitol with my "Enemy of the Statist" sign so beautifully hand-lettered by my dear blog brother.

Mr. Lewis then adds, "He also notes that Bannon thinks that "capitalism ought to rest on a Judeo-Christian foundation."

I can think of worse ideas than this. So, really, where are Bannon and the TEA Party now "debased?" Immigration? Trade? Bath water. The baby Republic is in desperate need of a washing. We'll throw out the dirty water later.

But johngalt thinks:

I respectfully suggest that when contemplating anything attributed to Steve Bannon, one should consider the imaginary universe where the protagonist is not this individual white male, so readily villifiable, rather any one of the Forgotten men or women of every race and faith who want merely to not be disadvantaged in the name of "equality" or "compassion." Or "national prosperity" as a result of erasing all distinctions between the nations of the world. Cui bono?

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2017 12:32 PM

October 10, 2017

Gipper on Trade

Republicans. Makes you want to weep with pride.

Hat-tip: Don Boudreaux

Trade Posted by John Kranz at 7:22 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, of course. Trade good. Protectionism bad. Are we done?

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2017 2:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let me apologize for my flippancy. I just don't see international trade agreements as either black and white or the most urgent issue of our day.

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2017 5:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Building the party on a foundation of the prosperity and liberty produced by a dedication to free trade versus, well the Don Boudreaux link phrases it less delicately than I:

Twenty-nine years later, in stark and sad contrast, today’s G.O.P. president proudly flaunts his seemingly bottomless ignorance about trade.  Truly, the contrast on this matter between the wise and knowledgeable Reagan and the knavish and stupid Trump could not be greater.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2017 7:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I would love to see how the 1980s era Ronald Reagan would interact with today's Congress, and today's media. Somehow I don't think it would be pretty.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2017 4:43 PM

The "Forgotten Man" declares "war" on Republican Senators

When was the last time we used the "TEA Party" category? I think this fits.

Steve Bannon had a long interview with Sean Hannity last night. I missed most of it but this RCP piece excerpts a host of hard-hitting quotes from the heir to the Andrew Breitbart battlements.

Bannon said that establishment Republican senators exemplified by Tennessee's Bob Corker have committed "economic hate crimes" against working Americans.

When you want to talk about why there's no repeal and replace, why there's no tax cut, why there's no tax reform, why there's no infrastructure bill, you saw it right there. Corker, McConnell that entire clique of -- establishment globalist clique on Capitol Hill have to go. If we need any more proof about what they think, you heard it tonight. It's an absolute disgrace...

They have total contempt for the forgotten man. They have total contempt for the base.

His strategy is to take Mitch McConnell's donors away from him and to use their money against him and his cohorts. Kind of a two-for-one strategy that makes a huge amount of sense.

That's why I left the White House. Remember, I said I'm going after the Republican establishment. And we're going to go after them. We're going to go after them and challenge them.

HANNITY: Give me the states.

BANNON: There's a coalition coming together. It's going to challenge every Republican incumbent except for Ted Cruz. Whether it's Utah, Wyoming, whether it's in Oregon.

He's not mentioned by name, but that list of "every Republican incumbent except for Ted Cruz" would seem to include our friend Senator Gardner.

And what was that I said about TEA Party?

HANNITY: Does that mean the people that voted in 2010, and 2014, and 2016, now they have to wait to have a victory in 2018? That's a long time for the American people to wait.

BANNON: To take your country back it's not just going to happen in any one election.

This is something you have to grind out day in and day out for the next 5-10-15-20 years. It took us a long time to get here. There's no magic wand we can wave and drain the swamp, there's no magic wand we can wave and blow up this establishment.

I hate to tell people, you're going to have to work but the grit, determination, and courage of the American working men and women, we're going to win.

Tea Party Posted by JohnGalt at 3:45 PM | What do you think? [6]
But jk thinks:

Not a fan of Mr. Bannon's. And rather surprised to find such kind words for him from my blog brother.

Yes, I'm sure Bannon would primary Sen. Gardner. And his first pick would be Tom Tancredo.

Bannon's dream is a slate of Judge Roy Moores in the US Senate. Does my brother want that? The man who gave all to keep the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Courthouse? He'll be a constant source of "Do you agree with your colleague, Senator Moore that ... " embarrassing gotchas and a halt to outreach.

Perhaps Bannon does carry the TEA Party mantle; that's how far it has been debased.

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2017 6:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe I reported this one straight. At least as straight as what passes for "journalism" these days. Where did you find "kind words?"

The success or failure of Mr. Bannon will be determined by a market test: Do traditional GOP big money donors want to continue supporting McConnell and his cohorts, or would they prefer a smaller government approach?

While you consider the possible debasement of the TEA Party, I'm with those who wish to do something productive about the long and deep debasement of the Republican party.

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2017 2:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, kind as compared to my formulation which would be "Known nut-job, dangerous theocrat, and incorrigible economic ignoramus Steve Bannon said..." So, yeah, kind.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2017 7:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You left out doo-doo head.

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2017 11:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I did not want to appear unhinged. An active campaign to replace Luther Stranges with Roy Moores does not excite me. Do you really think that represents "a smaller government approach?"

I guess I'll play the goofy libertarian (stretching my roles a bit) but I see this great nation in danger of trading a left-wing authoritarianism for one on the right. President Trump is a significant step up, but the Bannon-faction is likely not.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2017 11:01 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Roy Moore over Luther Strange is one example for a GOP primary choice. Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst, who was endorsed by Rick Perry, James Inhofe, and Michael Reagan, is another. Does my brother suggest the senate would better serve liberty had voters followed the advice of those proven, respected conservatives instead of the "theocrat"ic, economically ignorant "nut-job" Sarah Palin?

On the matter of theocracy, I see many more examples and dangers from the left than the right - environmentalism and Islamism being just two. Jesus Christ is not a prophet of absolutism, but of cautionary guidance to a man's own free will.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2017 12:20 PM

It Comes With You...

A friend of mine chortled that he was finally moving out of Boulder. I cautioned him. "Careful," sez me, "it follows you."


Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 1:10 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 9, 2017



Blues in the Night

Harlod Arlen & Johnny Mercer ©1941

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


October 6, 2017

All Hail Freeman

Our current President has often been criticized, and sometimes with good reason, for his harsh comments about celebrities, professional athletes, political rivals and foreign dictators, among others. His predecessor, on the other hand, fought with nuns. Even though much of the country was exempted from the mandate, largely because many insurance plans were grandfathered under the law, Mr. Obama and his team evidently thought it was important to force the Little Sisters to bend to his will.

But Mr. Obama seems to have picked on the wrong nuns. And the nuns for their part seem to have picked the right lawyers -- Lames Freeman


Comes from a brilliant column by Matthew Continetti on the media meltdown and how Trump burns this at both ends.

What passes for news today is speculation and advocacy, wishful thinking and self-fashioning, mindless jabber and affirmations of virtue, removed from objective reality and common sense.
It's a wide-ranging column with many an excellent point.
Donald Trump changed [journalists hiding their ideology and political bias], of course. He is so unusual a figure, and his behavior so outlandish, that his rise precipitated a crisis in a profession already decimated by the collapse of print circulation and advertising dollars. The forces that brought Trump to power are alien to the experience of the men and women who populate newsrooms, his supporters unlike their colleagues, friends, and neighbors, his agenda anathema to the catechism of social liberalism, his career and business empire complex and murky and sensational.

This is a runner up for QotD, IMO:
Can't say I was shocked when Schieffer's finding [20% of journalists live in LA, DC or NYC] passed barely noticed, the consciences of the press untroubled by the fact that their experiences and backgrounds are so unlike the majority of the public whose interest they presume to uphold.
Thorough and well written, worth reading the whole thing.

But jk thinks:

Very well worth the read in full -- thanks!

I'll even add another honorable mention:

Journalists are trapped in a condition of perpetual outrage, seizing on every rumor of discontent and disagreement, reflexively denouncing Trump's every utterance and action, unable to distinguish between genuinely unusual behavior (the firing of Comey, the tenure of Anthony Scaramucci, the "fine people on both sides" quip after Charlottesville) and the elements of Trump's personality and program that voters have already, so to speak, "priced in."


Posted by: jk at October 6, 2017 6:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Truly a great piece. Brother nb beat Insty to the punch. He linked to this article late last night with the longest Instapundit except in the history of the blog.

I added a link to this a comment on Facebook yesterday as well. Somebody asked "How come this Trump opponent always ends up defending him?" I said "Here's how."

And I woke up thinking about "priced in." If you recall the 2016 General Election, the Democrats and sympathetic PACs talked about Trump's treatment of the disabled NYTimes reporter in more than half the commercials. I don't know that it was his finest hour, but I remember thinking that everybody knows this story. The 11th mention is not going to switch a vote. But they were so certain it was a dealbreaker, they couldn't stop. They did not understand "priced in" and still do not.

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2017 11:21 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And, as the article explains, that's not the only thing the "elite" "experts" in journalism don't understand.

Posted by: johngalt at October 9, 2017 3:52 PM

October 5, 2017

All Hail Freeman

It's been too long...


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 5:41 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 3, 2017

Quote of the Day

Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science? -- Heather Heying
But johngalt thinks:

Excellent observation. But I'll take it further and suggest that, eventually, the same thing will happen to the left's custody of the NFL as has now happened to its one time so-called custody of science. Something I like to call "reality can't be faked for long."

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2017 3:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The linked article is short, and very important to read in full. Here.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2017 2:51 PM

Trump Revolution, Indeed

"Mister Fair," they call me: Mister Fair.

After grousing about the President's participation in the NFL contretemps, I will -- again -- praise one of his stellar picks. Blessed be this great nation to have Rick Perry as Energy Secretary. Ronald Bailey at Reason describes his rational evaluation of renewables::

As more subsidized renewable power has been added to electricity markets, along with power produced by burning cheap fracked natural gas, conventional power plants have been unable to pay for themselves and are increasingly being shuttered. Good riddance to fossil-fuel and nuclear dinosaurs, right? Not so fast. Renewable power is highly variable, so back-up generation is needed to ensure that power still gets to consumers. As conventional power plants close down, there is less capacity available to cover renewable power shortfalls. This could produce power outages and price spikes.

In his letter, Perry asks FERC to "issue rules to protect the American people from the threat of energy outages that could result from the loss of traditional baseload capacity."

Grown-ups looking at the energy grid. I like it.

But johngalt thinks:

Meanwhile, California runs the other way, as fast as it can:

If California were to enact a ban on sales of new vehicles with combustion engines, it would continue the state's leadership role in the U.S. climate resistance to the Trump Administration denial of climate science.

That's the editorial slant of 'Green Car Reports' for you, who end every article with the following directive:

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments on topic, civil, respectful, family-friendly, and fact-based.

Unsurprisingly, my comment of "Censoring inconvenient facts? You should be ashamed." was censored: "[CLIMATE SCIENCE DENIAL REMOVED BY SITE MODERATORS]

I was scolded that "We do not permit claims that deny climate science just as we don't allow claims that the earth is flat."

When I replied that, "I did not deny anything. I criticized you for censorship." I was advised thusly:

A brief scan of your comment history indicates numerous comments elsewhere that deny the accepted scientific consensus. That's enough to get your comment on the topic moderated on this site. We censor comments that detract from fact-based discussion.

Based on your comment history elsewhere, I would suggest you probably shouldn't be commenting on this site.

This is me, knuckles dragging, skulking away...

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2017 2:35 PM
But jk thinks:

"I was banned by Green Car Reports dot Com!" 100% cotton T's available in Forest, Hunter, and Kelly Green, in a wide variety of sizes. Get 'em while they last!

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2017 2:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll take seven in XL - one for each day of the week. And I'll also need that bumper sticker to plaster on the back window of my plug-in hybrid electric minivan. [third comment]

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2017 3:12 PM

October 2, 2017

The Welfare State Strikes Back

Selected passages from the UK Telegraph write up of Catalonia's landslide independence vote (all emphases mine):

On a day marred by clashes between police and voters, 2.26 million people took part in the referendum, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said. That represents a turnout of 42.3 percent of Catalonia's 5.34 million voters.

Few things are more dangerous than 2-plus million rampaging voters.

In violent scenes beamed around the world, officers in riot gear fired rubber bullets into crowds and beat would-be voters with batons as they queued at polling stations.

And some say that American police are dangerous.

Violence broke out across Catalonia as armoured police moved in to break up the vote.

Video footage showed officers from Spain's national police - 4,000 of whom had been brought in by the government to help quash the ballot - fighting with elderly voters, some of whom were left bleeding, and dragging young women away from polling stations by their hair.

Amid tense scenes, uniformed Catalan firefighters appeared to act as human shields to protect voters from advancing lines of police.

Renegade, lawless firefighters - where will it end?

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last night said: "We did what we had to do", describing the ballot as a "premeditated attack on the legality of the Spanish state faced down with serenity by the forces of order".

Making no mention of the large number of people injured in police charges outside polling stations, Mr Rajoy said: "Democracy won today because the Constitution was upheld".

Is this what a victory for democracy looks like? National police trying to disrupt the most democratic act there is - voting?

Finally, here's how the EU weighed in:

The European Commission, the EU's civil service, has repeatedly backed the Spanish government and constitutional court's stance that the vote is illegal.

Yesterday the EC told The Telegraph it had nothing to add a statement made by Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, when he backed "the rule of law" in Spain.

King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I could not be reached for comment.

But jk thinks:

I confess to having not watched closely. Reason, fairly unsurprisingly, is with the separatists.

The minarchist in me worries that long-term separatist decentralization produces more Hobbes and less Locke. I join Brother Keith in rooting for the Kurds. And I am nominally a Brexit fan. But Catalonia, then the Basques, I am not certain
that ends well.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2017 12:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And California. And Northern Colorado. YAAAAAAAHHH!

The point is that there is widespread pushback against overreaching national governments. When those governments refuse to negotiate with their "subjects" then free men will do what free men do.

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2017 2:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I just read the short Reason piece you linked. It is excellent, and gives a better description of what I alluded to in my last paragraph: "By contrast, devolution of power has given regions like Scotland, with strong cultural identities of their own, more ability to chart their own course. In turn, that has often lowered interest in independence movements."

But I was even more interested in Krayewski's second paragraph:

The right to self-determination is enshrined in international law and is core to democratic norms. In a democratic society, people have the power to choose their leaders, and that requires having the power to choose who you choose leaders with.

No, I'm not here to quibble about democracy vs. republic, it's the other thing. The last sentence: "...and that requires having the power to choose who you choose leaders with."

I'm not sure I've heard that before. Or thought it. Or where it comes from save the author's assertion.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he justify restrictions on immigration right there? In the pages of Reason?

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2017 3:03 PM
But jk thinks:

First, point of order: here is a perhaps even better and still short piece on separation.

Methinks you're stretching to equate drawing borders with enforcement of their crossing. But I have stretched on occasion, too.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2017 11:41 AM

Makes You Appreciate Kneelers

In a Headline of the Day-worthy column: "Paying for Standing Rock:"

The Standing Rock protests ended seven months ago, but the saga is far from over. On Monday North Dakota’s Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to protesters.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 people camped out to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, many from outside the state. Locals frequently reported protesters who had trespassed on their land or stolen property. At state offices the phones rang off the hook; throughout the 233-day protests almost 90,000 people called to discuss the pipeline. A large portion of these calls were hostile or abusive, and state employees had to listen, screening for threats.

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 10:25 AM | What do you think? [0]

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