May 29, 2018



Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Duke Ellington, Bob Russel ©1940

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


May 28, 2018

We're Doomed!

I may have mentioned the new Mayor and Board of Trustees (BoT) in my beloved hometown. A resident posts:

Erie Middle School saving money and the environmental footprint by utilizing solar power. Other schools in Erie have solar or are currently under restoration too [sic] follow.

The comments take off, and I am not sure why I chose to dive in, but I did:

The original poster is the Admin of the Erie page and is accused of blocking or ejecting opposing views, thus relegating renegades to the "Erie CO Snowflake-free Zone," or as I call it "The Erie Dirty Joke Page."

I chose a funny hill to die on, but we'll see.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Erie residents of this I'll, like prairie dogs, are encroaching dangerously close to Weld County. I'm sworn to shoot the prairie dogs.

Posted by: johngalt at May 28, 2018 6:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Erie has fallen! Both sides of the county line have been overrun.

On the plus side, my snarky-ass comment engendered no incident.

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2018 10:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

(That should have been "ilk" not "I'll.")

But yes, Sanctimonious environmentalists do not recognize organizational boundaries so I'm not surprised they're encroaching into the county bordering Boulder on the east. Just like prairie dogs.

Posted by: johngalt at June 6, 2018 2:34 PM

May 22, 2018

Promises Kept!

How about that Trump fellow. He's really something, isn't he?

I'm nothing if not fair -- and James Freeman has some kind words for the President today.

History shows that when a new President arrives in Washington, many elements of his campaign agenda do not survive the first 100 days in office. Others are jettisoned over the course of the following several months as political hopes collide with Beltway reality. Yet after a promising start in 2017, it appears that Donald Trump's effort to eliminate government red tape is not only still active but may even be accelerating.

That's the news today from Washington's unofficial scorekeeper of the federal regulatory burden, Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Over the years, candidates too numerous to count have promised to streamline and reduce Washington's myriad rules and regulations. By Mr. Crews's tabulation, the current occupant of the White House is one politician who is actually exceeding his signature promise in this area.

Mr. Crews recalls that Mr. Trump promised that his administration would knock out two rules for every new one added. The tabulation gets a little complicated, but Mr. Crews reports that Mr. Trump is delivering more than he promised. Specifically, Mr. Crews counts five deregulatory actions for every one regulatory rule-making during the Trump administration.

Well done.

But johngalt thinks:

Yeahbut. Yeahbut.

This is some serious hackery to federal red tape. It's reminiscent of Al Gore's infamous claim that under Clinton, they would wipe out waste, fraud and abuse to make our government do more and cost less. Except this POTUS is actually doing it.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2018 4:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

No wonder Washington hates him - delivering on campaign promises?!? What next; peace in Korea? The Horror!

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 27, 2018 12:14 AM
But jk thinks:

Or ripping children out of their mothers' arms at the border. Something...

Posted by: jk at May 27, 2018 12:48 PM

May 21, 2018



Stormy Weather

Harold Arlen - Ted Koehler ©1933

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


May 15, 2018

True North Strong & Free

I don't usually do the throwbacks here, but Facebook gave me this as a memory today.


May 10, 2018

Was He Tired of Winning?

Politicians always let you down. But if I've a favorite real-live, corporeal politician it would Sen. Phil Gramm (HOSS - TX). He has a guest editorial in the WSJ today: "Trump's Trade Threats Are Hurting Growth"

I know, we've been down this road before. But I wish to appeal to you Machiavellian side. Tax cuts and deregulation (Yaaay President Trump!) set the economy on fire. One should be cautions using the DJIA as a proxy for the economy -- but it roared up thousands of points after the tax cuts (to 26,616), stalled at the trade talk, and remains moribund at 24,772 as I type.

I'm a dollar averager and far from retirement, so I am not complaining, but I think in this instance it is a good proxy. The market and economy loves the corporate tax cut and deregulation. The consumer loves the personal tax cuts (though they're not as pro-growth).

The trade uncertainty contravenes the message and success. Senator?

The University of Michiganís April consumer-sentiment survey noted that respondents who mentioned the tax cuts expressed high confidence in the economy, while those who mentioned tariffs expressed low confidence. The Institute for Supply Management recorded the largest drop in its manufacturing index since 2015, with more than a third of respondents citing tariffs as a source of their worries.

Trump Agonistes Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | What do you think? [3]
But nanobrewer thinks:

My vote for HOSS (after the imitable, but never matched Ronaldus Magnus) is Mike Pompeo, with Ben Sasse as Miss Congeniality and Tom Cotton as the stern, and steady elder brother.

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 22, 2018 12:11 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

My mistake: Nikki Haley for Miss Congeniality (all irony intended), and Tom Cotton as runner up. Chief Muckraker goes to either Scott Pruitt or Mick Mulvaney.

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 23, 2018 9:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Populism Alert: Today I heard Rush Limbaugh refer to POTUS as "Donaldus Magnus."

I believe it was in the context of the NFL kneeling ban.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2018 3:51 PM

May 9, 2018

Overreact, Moi?

I'll borrow my mea maxima culpa from Jim Geraghty:

Whew! Was all of that worry about Don Blankenship much ado about nothing? Blankenship finished with just under 20 percent.

The Blankenship panic probably reflects what occurs when there's a dearth of reliable polling in a state primary, coupled with a hangover from the GOP's Roy Moore debacle in Alabama. (The fact that West Virginia Republicans rejected Blankenship pretty thoroughly makes the Alabama Republican primary voters look even worse. This isn't a national madness, driving Republicans to support the wildest, most controversial and outrageous nominee available.)

Me and #CocaineMitch are feeling pretty good today! [Snifffffff!]

I should admit to have overreacted. The rot in the GOP is not as deep as I feared. I've shared a party with religious wackos for many years (and many responsible, sensible, and devout liberty-loving patriots). Surely, I can sit next to the odd protectionist, populist. I'll just wash really good when I get home.

And President Trump will only be in office for, what, 15-20 years after dismantling the Constitution -- then things will get back to normal...

117th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | What do you think? [5]
But Terri Goon thinks:

Just curious....why do you think he'll dismantle the constitution?
And I'll grant you he doesn't understand the constitution, but I'm not at all sure how he could dismantle it in this clime or what it is he wants to dismantle.

Posted by: Terri Goon at May 9, 2018 12:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

First let me just apply a bit of salve - it's quite possible that the deep and wide denunciations of Blankenship, including by Trump himself, changed voters minds. Sometimes overreaction has a positive effect. And if the result had been different, it wouldn't have been overreaction. [Werner Heisenberg had something important to say on this point.]

Terri's question is apropos, but I sense that you're venting more than predicting. If not then I would also ask, what do you consider "get back to normal" to look like?

Finally, did you see the meme that Cocaine Mitch Tweeted after Blankenship hit the blankenberg? (Of course you did, you retweeted it.) Mitch looks like he's standing and smiling in an airborne cloud of white powder! OMG.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2018 2:31 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought you both were more used to me by now. I was totally, 100% kidding about President Trump's usurping the electoral process and staying in office. Tongue firmly in cheek -- promise.

And the Ohio primary results were favorable too. If my Town of residence had not belly-flopped into the deep end of Boulderism last night, I'd be politically quite content.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2018 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

James Freeman has a funny angle: you win a primary and every headline features the name of the guy you beat.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2018 4:21 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Religious wacko? Hey! I resemble that remark! (you should see some of my friends when I try to describe fasting...)

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 22, 2018 12:04 AM

May 7, 2018



The Look of Love

Burt Bacharach and Hal David ©1967

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


But johngalt thinks:

What has happened to me? After hearing Burt Bacharach's name and his many popular songs on my dad's "Hi-Fi" as a lad, I have at last begun to appreciate them.

Nice variation here. I admire your talents.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2018 4:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Many thanks!

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2018 4:38 PM

Wait a Minute, I've Seen This Before

Let us inaugurate the 117th Congress category and briefly toast this humble blog's longevity.

And we open with -- WHOOOBOY! -- Don Blankenship, running for the GOP Senatorial nomination in West Virginia:

Jim Geraghty says:

(Separately from being a bad person, but in the category of being a bad candidate, his onscreen persona is . . . challenging. I've seen more natural and comfortable statements in hostage tapes.)

But, less amusingly:
If Republican primary voters in West Virginia select the worst possible candidate, right after Republican primary voters in Alabama chose the worst possible candidate . . . it starts to become really difficult to get emotionally invested in the fate of the Republican party. What's the point of pulling for this party if its voters keep nominating the worst possible choice over and over again?

To the President's credit, he has come out early and strongly against Blankenship. The worst part of the Roy Moore fiasco in Alabama was RNSC and Administration complacency.

117th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 10:17 AM | What do you think? [7]
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. Not a senate candidate from "central casting" but he's doing one thing I'll stand up and applaud - speaking out about government regulatory and judicial corruption. Whether running for senate or not is a good idea, opening the dome to let the sun shine in most certainly IS. Let's agree that his claims of unfair and even illegal prosecution deserve to be investigated, even though he was the CEO of an eevil coal company.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2018 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

1 . . .2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . 6 . . . 7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . 10


So, if a candidate does "one thing you'll applaud" it is fine for him to make outrageous, baseless accusations ("Cocaine Mitch?" Really? Out of any disagreements with the Majority Leader, the one thing I never leaped to was "Dude looks hopped up on Coke.") and FILTHY, real-live racist slurs against Secretary Chao.

No, no, no, no, no. He doesn't have a point. It's not worth looking into. If this is where the Republican party is -- and I fear it may be -- I cannot run from it quickly enough.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2018 4:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Cocaine Mitch" undoubtedly alludes to this:

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2018 4:38 PM
But jk thinks:

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . oh, hell...

Thanks, I was not aware of the charges against his Father-in-laws' boat. It answers a question (I suspect Leader McConnell would be all the better for a few snorts).

It does not improve my impression of Mister Blankenship.

For the record, I defended Christine O'Donnell and Ken Buck. I wish they had not defeated more electable candidates but politics ain't beanbag.

I cannot and will not defend Todd Akin, Roy More, or -- now -- Don Blankenship. We are allowed to say "you may be of my party, but you do not speak for me."

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2018 4:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Turns out he only speaks for 1 in 5 WV Republicans. He finished in third place.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2018 11:01 PM
But jk thinks:

Yessir. Mea culpas above.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2018 11:38 AM

May 4, 2018

13-Dimensional Chess?

In his freewheeling interview on Fox & Friends, Trump told his hosts: "I would rather have a popular election, but it's a totally different campaign. If you're a runner, you're practicing for the hundred-yard dash as opposed to the mile. . . . To me, it's much easier to win the popular vote." -- Josiah Peterson
On what planet is that Republicanism?
But johngalt thinks:

If he thinks it's easier for him to win the popular vote than the electoral college - presumably by running a different campaign than the one Hillary bested him in the popular vote - then he really isn't a Republican. Only once since 1992 has a Republican won the popular vote.

Maybe in the 2020 election though, someone will run as a capitalist.

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2018 9:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, that was not really where I was going. Though your point is well taken.

I was hoping -- and I apologize in advance for the hyperbole -- for the briefest tether to governing or political philosophy over self-interest.

Of all the punditry in which I immerse myself, perhaps my favorite quip of all time is my blog brother's suggestion that the Republican Party might choose Republicanism as its governing philosophy. Bloody Brilliant, that is!

The Electoral College is the live beating heart of republicanism in the United States to me -- the last vestige of Madison.

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2018 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Little-r republicanism as a guiding principle for the big-R Republican party. Yessir, it's so simple it's brilliant. And many thanks for noticing! But why does it have to be said by a lonely blogger in a flyover state?

Do I wish that the president were a principled, fact-based statesman who could lead the nation and re-educate it at the same time? That candidate was Ted Cruz. I've been forced to support a president who leads and fights entrenched self-dealers instead. I've come to terms with that. You can't always get what you want, but if you're lucky, you can get what you need.

I'll push back on your claim that Trump chooses his own self-interest over principle. I find that he chooses against the interests of cronies, and in support of the individualistic American ideal, more than anything else.

The electoral college is Constitutional bedrock, 'tis true. I don't want to see it dismantled, or even dismissed or disrespected. But I'm not completely convinced that is what Trump did. I read his statement as saying he would rather campaign for a popular election, not that as a thoughtful citizen he believes it would in any way benefit the nation to move in that direction.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2018 3:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps it was idle speculation. But one can be forgiven for wishing he had used it as a teachable moment.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2018 4:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think it was Gail Wynand, newspaper mogul, who went insane over the fact that the public didn't want to read what he thought they should read. That character comes to my mind quite often in the Trump era.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2018 11:39 AM

May 3, 2018

Walk Down Memory Lane

Jeh Johnson.
Arne Duncan.
Tim Geithner.
Loretta Lynch.
Regina McCarthy.
Samantha Power.
Susan Rice.
Eric Holder.

I really miss seeing all of these names in the news, and knowing that they make decisions every day that effect the lives of American citizens in one way or another.


I'm actually quite pleased to be rid of them, and that a quite charitable accounting of the legacy of President Barack Obama is not really that charitable at all.

But jk thinks:

Fair. All of whom would have just beep promoted to a higher level of incompetence and mendacity in a Clinton Administration. I get it.

And, yet, the victories reinforce the party's move to populism (tribalism from enlightenment values after reading Jonah Goldberg's fantastic "Suicide of the West.")

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2018 1:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Tribalism is, in essence, socialism. Populism is something different, is it not? The idea that we can have individual rights and share certain values (c.f. individual rights, i.e. liberty) does not lead to de facto tribalism.

What specifically about a muscular resistance to and rollback of anti-American European style socialism (or worse) constitutes the literal "suicide" of the West?

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2018 3:04 PM
But jk thinks:

The book's point is that the two are similar and similarly destructive to enlightenment values.

Socialism, nationalism, communism, fascism, and authoritarianisms of every stripe are forms of tribalism. The tribal mind despises division. It despises the division of labor and the inequality it inevitably fosters. It despises the division between the religious and the secular, between the individual and the group, between civil society and the state. Whether it takes the form of religious orthodoxy, communist dogma, the divine right of kings, or some variant of "social justice" theory, the same underlying impulse rules: We must all be in it together.

I don't think he's objecting to reducing regulation. (Heh, I have his podcast on as I type, and he just celebrated three administration achievements.) But the #MAGA, wall, protectionist rhetoric is as tribal as anything Marx said. The President actually used the phrase "America First" approvingly. VP Pence celebrated Joe Arpaio's commitment to "rule of law" the other day. There are not conducive to enlightenment values.
And while my use of the term "pluralism" includes all of this, it also includes something even larger. Modernity both requires and creates a plurality of meaning and identity, not simply among the population, but within each and every person. This is in stark contrast to primitive society, where identity and meaning were bound up and inseparable from the tribe.

Goldberg, Jonah. Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy (Kindle Locations 1149-1151). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2018 4:00 PM

May 2, 2018

All Hail Freeman


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM | What do you think? [0]

Don't click this. Comments (2)