June 24, 2018

Western Conservative Summit

The speakers were typically very, very good, if not excellent, and I was only there for Saturday morning & afternoon sessions (missing Candace Owens, Scott Pruitt, Ed Meese, Dana Loesch, etc.).

Biggest splash was the standing ovation granted Jack Philips, and the very solid and inspiring talk given by his counsel; Dr. Michael Farris of ADF. Great line:

what a dream job for a lawyer, defending students (from their college) for handing out the constitution!

Biggest impression (aka, hitting above expectations) was Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. I followed up with his hour long break out session as he described - and briefly pitched - his "leadership workshops" approach and philosophy designed for 18-25 year olds. Clearly it's a christian ministry, but apart from a quip from II Timothy 2, he didn't mention God or Christ at all. Fascinating presenter... he's on my list for a summer workshop some day my kids decide they don't want or need summer jobs :-)

John Andrews sounded old and tired (sadly, I've always liked him), Jon Caldera only slightly more likeable than when he's on air, George Lopez felt quite scripted, and "Chuck & Julie" did nothing to endear me any more towards their mediocre afternoon radio show - just the opposite, actually, which I didn't think possible.

Frank Gaffney (a frequent Hugh Hewitt guest) was decent in presenting the top issues being considered at the Center for Security Policy but I was unconvinced of his theory about an EMP propbably wiping out a significant percentage of the 2100 very large power transformers running the U.S. electric power grid's main backbone. My professional opinion - very small risk, even with a perfectly executed air burst weapon: Some breaker trips & disruption? Surely... but minuscule chance of significant damage.

John Stonestreet was very powerful for such a young guy presenting on a topic of limited interest to me (Colson Center for Christian Worldview), and John Erwin of "I Can Only Imagine" fame was also excellent. Lastly, Ainsley Earhardt was poised and engaging, even while discounting for her stunning good looks and Fox fame. I didn't buy it, but am much more intrigued by her book than I expected - that is to say: how much strife can a blond bombshell who committed to Christ at 21 really have experienced??? Still, as a father to two girls, I found her story, quietly dignified faith and saga compelling.

Interesting breakout session or two (I mentioned Summit Ministries) that spoke about Millennials, college life (Yay: I got to meet Dr. Hayward!) and the like.

A very exciting takeaway was large crops of young people, a very well staffed and energized group of T.P. USA'ers, and lots of infectious, positive enthusiasm. I'll certainly go next year, perhaps even for more than a day.

Tea Party Posted by nanobrewer at 3:38 PM | What do you think? [0]

June 19, 2018

All Hail Harsanyi

I got into exactly one discussion about the current immigration contretemps. It was in a private forum, with a very good friend who is bright, reasonable and irrigid on ideology. It did not go well.

David Harsanyi captures my thoughts pretty well. Here's the lede:

When emotionalism meets scaremongering, it's difficult to have a useful debate about anything. Yet for immigration, those seem to be the two choices.

My appreciation for immagrants and my compassion for their humanity has been well dpocumented on these pages. Left to my devices, I would hand each family who arrived at the border a bottle of water, some coupons for Carl's Jr., and a small American flag -- and say "Welcome to America!"

Yet I have been gravely disappointed by the furor. It sucks that families encounter the cold concrete sterility of the DMV after making an arduous journey. Anythiing the Administration is actively doing specifically to make it worse is wrong.

But it's the DMV, not Auschwitz. I encountered a hundred people yesterday who cannot tell the difference. I bet it is pretty horrible. But I saw a tweet saying "children numbered -- just like Nazi Germany!" I clicked on the accompanying photo, and a child has a puffy, fabric wrist band with "45" on it in an NFL font. Not tattoos and yellow stars.

Perhaps things will be improved by the outrage but I am pretty skeptical. I think, pacé Harsanyi, that the emotional reactions are likely to impede a better solution.

Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 10:09 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. Water, coupons, a flag. What about Social Security numbers?

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2018 7:32 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, you don't have an emotional blunting-blade like I do: "I am concerned about MY children!" Still, being an open borders type, didn't you have that to offer as a bridge (as that's what the Dems are proposing as a solution to this synthetic crisis). Synthetic b/c the law has been in place since W signed it into law... it took Sessions to enforce it to get Congress to open their eyes: ah, that's what happens when the coyotes figure out the weak spot!

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 22, 2018 10:54 PM

GOP Gubernatorial

I attended the Western Conservative summit, which was quite impressive (review to follow). I heard George Lopez and Victor Mitchell give their pitches. Lopez was very scripted, Mitchell much better.

Made me think: who do TS'ers like for Guv'nor? I'm guessing Stapleton best meets the "Buckley Rule" of being the most electable conservative?

As an aside, CUT noted how Lafayette tried to pull a fast one on Erie... dirtbag Dems all over again!

GOP Planks Posted by nanobrewer at 12:03 AM | What do you think? [6]
But jk thinks:

I'll be voting for Doug Robinson in the primary. Then, when he loses by 40 points, I'll suck it up and vote for Stapleton in the General.


Posted by: jk at June 19, 2018 9:44 AM
But jk thinks:

This is based mostly on the Channel-12 debate, which is still available on the PBS app.

Mitchell really rubbed me the wrong way -- going very negative in the debate and on TV, and he comes across as dour. You need a smiley, Cory Gardner Republican to have half a chance.

I liked Lopez, but Robinson hit it out of the park for me on the first question, assessing President Trump quite a bit like I would: very complimentary on deregulation, picks, tax cuts but wary on tariffs and trade.

Posted by: jk at June 19, 2018 9:56 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I recall liking Robinson's campaign literature - which showed up very early. I'll give him a 2nd look. Et tu, JG?
FYI, CUT gave Polly Lawrence an F- (RINO a la Bernie's spending habits...)

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 22, 2018 12:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, Polly is an F.
My favorites are, in order, Lopez, Robinson, Stapleton, Mitchell. The polling order is Stapleton, Mitchell, Lopez, Robinson. Plus Lopez has an embarrassing domestic assault charge deep in his closet. He was cleared, but it's smearable.

Looking like our household will be voting Stapleton in the primary. And Everett for Treas.

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2018 11:31 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JG: why do you like Lopez?

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 22, 2018 11:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey nb, sorry it took so long, but what I liked most about Lopez was his strong showing at the GOP state assembly and his native Hispanic heritage. I always put too much emphasis on that but the idea of a Republican explaining republicanism in Spanish seems a powerful weapon to me in our state.

Glad Stapleton won, just hope he's got a plan to get pro-America turnout above the anti-Americans.

Posted by: johngalt at June 29, 2018 3:10 PM

June 12, 2018

All Hail President Trump

I'm splitting with some of my "never-Trump" buddies on the North Korea summit.

Jim Geraghty says "North Korea Wins Suspension of U.S. Military Exercise in Exchange for Promises, Magic Beans " And his esteemed colleague, Jonah Goldberg has been tweeting a storm of NorK atrocities -- upset that the flags were side-by side.

I close my eyes and see Sec. Madeline Albright toasting his Dad with a champagne flute. I recoil in horror at President Obama's pallets of cash provided to the Iranian Mullahs. Do I think the Korean peninsula is destined for sweetness and light? Prob'ly not. But I am ready to call the President's diplomatic mission a success.

The "diplomacy curve" upon which I grade is pretty generous. As I mentioned, not much works -- ever. Tyrants gotta tyrant. But the suggestion that the status qup was working -- in any sense of the word is what the diplomats call "cray-cray."

Fewer American troops on teh peninula? Hell yeah! An implicit invite to participate in world markets instead of hermit kingdom? Why the hell not? Difusing tensions? I'm in! Restoring Dennis Rodman's diplomatic career? Umm, can I get back to you on that?

Worst case to me is status quo ante. Bets case is anythng else -- well done, Mr. President.

Even Reason is in

Is it gross for a president to flatter a vile dictator? Yes. But let's be clear: Presidents flatter vile dictators all the time. (Google "Saudi Arabia.") At least in this case there's the hope of cooling off those nuclear tensions, and of boosting rather than undermining South Korea's push for peace. Trump is even skylarking about perhaps one day pulling America's troops out of the peninsula. ''ll believe that when I see it, but it's surely better to have it on the rhetorical table than to have it be as unthinkable to the president as it is to the foreign-policy Blob.

But nanobrewer thinks:

It bears noting that DJT has assembled a dream team to take the deal forward, Pompeo, Bolton, Haley and (if it comes to it) Mad Dog Mattis!

So, this deal is already better than anything BHO could have put together!

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 19, 2018 12:15 AM
But Steve D thinks:

'At least in this case there's the hope of cooling off those nuclear tensions'

For now, until North Korea turns back to bad cop again...

The summit merely postpones conflict (until North Korea is more prepared and has mass produced more weapons. It doesn't prevent it.

'So, this deal is already better than anything BHO could have put together!'

So it's the second worst deal in history?

Posted by: Steve D at June 29, 2018 3:00 PM

June 6, 2018

A View of Brexit - From Britain

Now that a majority of Britons have voted to leave the EU, Britain's government is down to the business of carrying out the directive. The simplest avenue is referred to over there (I know this because I just returned from a weeklong tour of London and the countryside to its west) as a "no-deal Brexit." Anti-Brexit forces are lobbying for side deals which effectively maintain EU membership in certain regards. See: Camel. Tent.

During my travels I witnessed Pro-EU activists lobbying in the street market areas of both Oxford and Bath. I didn't have time to engage with them but could imagine the scenarios they painted for those who did.

Conservative MP Daniel Hannan penned an op-ed on their efforts yesterday, which I was able to read in the print edition while waiting at the Heathrow boarding gate last morning.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a leaked document by Whitehall officials, supermarket shelves in remote parts of Britain will empty within days.

The RAF will have to carry medical supplies to stricken areas. Petrol will run short. (They have forgotten the invasion by giant man-eating squirrels.)

We went through all this during the ­referendum. Precisely the same mandarins told us that, if we voted Leave, unemployment would rise by 500,000 within two years. In fact, it has FALLEN by that amount.

They told us that the Stock Exchange would collapse, wrecking our pensions. In fact, it has RISEN to record levels. They told us that France would end our bilateral deal, and that the Calais migrant camp would move to Kent. In fact, France has renewed the deal and the Calais camp has been DISMANTLED.

Yet here they go again with their childish threats. Who do they think they’re kidding?

It's almost as if these Britons don't believe their nation can succeed on its own, without the collective might of the EU. Hannan disagrees:

We are a G7 country, a nuclear power, and a permanent member of the UN ­Security Council. We have the best universities in Europe, the most innovative tech companies, the best audiovisual sector. Our capital is the greatest city on the planet. Our language is the world’s common tongue. If we can’t succeed on our own, who can?

Indeed. Sir Winston is face-palming in his grave.

But jk thinks:

Brexit has been fun to watch. I hope to be forgiven for reducing the post-Westphalian sovereignty of the cradle of liberty to so much reality-tv, but it is like watching their President Trump. The elites are outraged and refuse to accept electoral results.

On the merits, I have been a soft "leave"-er. It is decentralization -- an alloyed good, and as you quote, the idea that they require Brussels is pretty laughable.

Yet, it interferes with trade and immigration, like a certain other election. And like a certain other, it fuses honorable intentions of personal liberty with less-honorable populist and nationalist sentiments.

You talk of camels' noses -- I wonder if they will ever successfully evict the rest of the animal. Can't they (aren't they?) delay, litigate, miss deadlines and keep the status quo until a new election makes it official?

Posted by: jk at June 6, 2018 5:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes - delay until there's a new election to return to the previous order of things - I think that is the strategy being employed.

Posted by: johngalt at June 7, 2018 6:32 PM

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