March 11, 2009

What? No Gulfstream Vs?

Imagine is a Republican -- oh never mind:

Pelosi, who clashed with the military to get nonstop service when she flies home to California with police protection on government planes, revealed a particular fondness for Gulfstream's sleek G-5 - a plane glamorized in Hollywood films and rap videos.

"It is my understanding there are no G-5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable . . . The speaker will want to know where the planes are," a Pelosi aide wrote in an angry e-mail to the military.


Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Can't her entourage travel in a squadron of Air Force Priuses?

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2009 5:02 PM
But jk thinks:

It was pointed out that she is hypocritical, not only on environmentalism, but also on her anti-militarism.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2009 5:13 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Michelle Malkin has been covering this so well. Pelosi also wants the unprecedented transfer of a plane to an airport 30 minutes away from where she "has business" (meaning her country home), instead of 1.5 hours away from her official residence.

My personal note to Pelosi: "Go fly coach, bitch."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 14, 2009 11:41 PM

March 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

When you are dealing with kids, who are our future, how can you consider it pork or unreasonable spending? -- Tony Pearsall, former police captain and city councilman in Vallejo,, CA, whose nonprofit group would get one of those earmarks.
You can't waste money on children? I think I might be able to find some emprical dispositives.
Posted by John Kranz at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2009

Specter for Spendulus

Well, here we are.

I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country cannot afford not to take action.

The unemployment figures announced Friday, the latest earnings reports and the continuing crisis in banking make it clear that failure to act will leave the United States facing a far deeper crisis in three or six months. By then the cost of action will be much greater -- or it may be too late.

Wave after wave of bad economic news has created its own psychology of fear and lowered expectations. As in the old Movietone News, the eyes and ears of the world are upon the United States. Failure to act would be devastating not just for Wall Street and Main Street but for much of the rest of the world, which is looking to our country for leadership in this crisis.


In related news, the Washington Post graphs how immediate the stimulus really is.

Answer: 10% gets spent this year... in the year we cannot afford to delay (tm).

(Click to enbiggen)
total-spending-in-stimulus1

Posted by AlexC at 3:29 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"The" economic stimulus package, Senator Specter? Do you also purchase the first car you test drive, or the first house you look at? How about love - did you marry the first woman you dated?

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2009 12:48 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

GWB's misguided decision to back Specter over Toomey in the primaries continues to haunt the party and the nation.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 10, 2009 6:01 PM

January 12, 2009

Not with a bang but a whimper

This is how you lose liberty. If an FBI agent looks at a terrorist's library records or Larry Flint has to pay additional postage for child pornography over 12 ounces, there will be PBS specials and cover stories in the weeklies. And I'm fine with that, of course. If we want to establish an absolutist, zero-tolerance appreciation for our liberties, you can sign me up.

What chaps my hide is that these brave defenders are nowhere to be found when our First Amendment rights to political speech are threatened by McCain-Feingold, Second Amendment rights completely stripped by gun legislation, or our sacred Fifth Amendment right to contract is decimated by a do-gooder Congress. The WSJ Ed Page has an important piece today discussing "cramdowns" or allowing bankruptcy judges to change the terms of mortgage contracts. On one hand, this is a very bad idea:

[Sixteen House Democrats who opposed a similar bill] realized that the consequences would fall hardest on those hoping to buy a home, if markets logically respond by setting mortgage interest rates closer to those on, for example, auto loans or credit cards. A bankruptcy judge is now free to reduce amounts owed on many types of consumer debt. For mortgages, the iron-clad requirement to pay off the loan or lose the house is precisely to encourage lower rates on a less risky investment.

Defending the right to contract has a bad history because it was an effective legal defense of slavery and its use in Lochner v. New York preventing labor ordinances. But we didn't stop using airplanes because of 9/11. It is not only a fundamental right, it is also the foundation of our innovation and prosperity.

The incoming class will happily shred (I'm auditioning for a Kos slot) this right for cheap political gain. Not many people will pay attention. But, pretty soon, when you have to be a "Friend of Angelo" to get a loan, we will find that a key instrument that allowed us to live a free life (cf. Martini in "It's a Wonderful Life") is gone.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)
But T. Greer thinks:

I sympathize entirely. This is always my problem with the ACLU- I really, really try to like them, but I can never get over their selectivity in protecting American liberties.

~T. Greer, hopin' for a bang.

Posted by: T. Greer at January 13, 2009 12:15 PM

January 6, 2009

Welcome 1-1-1

Don Luskin offers a dark look at the incoming 111th Congress on its first day from his D.C. Friend "Mick Danger:"

The legal authority for the Nevadan to say no? Burris suffers from a contagious disease well-known to every grade school child.

Meanwhile, Al Franken was "certified" in a process where the only certainty is that those counting the ballots are accused of fixing the outcome before it's finished reviewing ballots from all of Minnesota's counties.

So, you can't get into the Senate if you have cooties but you should get in the Senate if an obviously suspect, incomplete process which is still under litigation "certifies" you.


It doesn't get much nicer when he looks at the House side. But I don't want to spoil it.

I'm a little more hope-infused than Luskin or his correspondent. But the seating of Senator-elect Franken is deeply disturbing. Minnesota is known for clean elections and fair play. I was a lot less surprised when Christine Gregoire stole the Washington Gubernatorial race (the first time -- incumbency took care of her the second) but expected better things from the guys with the lakes who talk funny.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2008

No Longer an "Alleged" Crook

I don't think I ever gave Senator Ted Stevens (R - Leavenworth) the Constitutional courtesy of calling him "an alleged crook" but I won't have to feel bad about it anymore. He is the real, convicted deal:

WASHINGTON – Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that tainted the 40-year Senate career of Alaska's political patriarch.

The verdict, coming just days before Election Day, adds further uncertainty to a closely watched Senate race. Democrats hope to seize the once reliably Republican seat as part of their bid for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.


Classy the way he steeped down so that his party could try and keep his seat. Oh wait, he didn't.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:04 PM | Comments (5)
But AlexC thinks:

He thought he could beat the rap.

He thought wrong.

Awesome scenario:

1) He wins election
2) McPalin win
3) McPalin pardons
4) as part of pardon, he must step down
5) new AK Gov Parnell appoints himself to the Senate.
6) lib-tard rage x10000000

Posted by: AlexC at October 27, 2008 6:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Slightly less awesome:

1) McPalin loses
2) Stevens loses
3) We become France, without the wine and cheese.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2008 6:14 PM
But AlexC thinks:

My wife still shave her armpits and use deodorants.

Otherwise the awesome would be dampened.

Posted by: AlexC at October 27, 2008 6:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Slightly" jk? There's dry humor and then there's calling America's transition to a flavorless super-France "slightly less awesome."

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2008 9:55 PM
But jk thinks:

You are right; I was wrong. It is "definitely" less awesome.

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 10:57 AM

October 6, 2008

545 People

With every senator, representative and both major tickets racing to blame everyone but themselves for our societal problems (see the video of Bill O'Reilly and Barney Frank below), this column by Charley Reese is a great reminder as to who is actually to blame. Originally published in the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper, here are a few snippets:

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.


The publication date of this column is unknown, but given the references to Tip O'Neill, Ronald Reagan and Lebanon, it has to be from the mid-80s. That makes it a classic, as true today as it was 25 or so year ago. And it will still be true 25 years from now.


Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:37 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

To blame it on "545 people" is inaccurate. Many thousands of people have held those offices over the nation's history who did unmeasurable damage and engaged in countless shenanigans in their day. And there's no time to spend fixing any of the old problems because the current crop is busily creating more of them. But your point is taken.

Posted by: johngalt at October 6, 2008 3:01 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

In the end, we have to hold ourselves accountable as well. We're the ones who elect these schmucks.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 6, 2008 3:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think you should reconsider blaming "ourselves." If nobody I voted against ever won office then maybe you'd have a point but since that's not the case, we all suffer at the hands of majority tyranny.

In the (once again) immortal words of RAH-

"Democracy can't work. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that's all there is — so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group."

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2008 1:40 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm even more pessimistic. In a democracy, collective wisdom maximizes at the average of the group's wisdom. With the power of majority vote comes the power to dilute, even nullify any individual's good ideas or rational perspective.

As George Carlin said, look at the average American, and consider that half of Americans are even stupider than that!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 7, 2008 10:53 AM
But jk thinks:

ThreeSourcers off on an elitist tear -- and it's only Tuesday! I'll see your Heinlein and raise you a Hayek and Surowecki.

I think "Publius" had it right: self-determination within rigorous limits.

I dig Heinlein, jg, but that quote sounds like the faculty lounge to me. "We can't let these gun-toting, Alabama dirt farmers tell us enlightened PhD's how to live!" You want to be ruled by Mathematicians?

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2008 11:10 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, at least he makes a distinction between peasants and animals.

Heinlein used "mathematician" to describe anyone who could calculate, plan, create, etc. and not the theoretical reality-haters your scenario suggests.

As for being "ruled" by mathematicians I remind you of another recent Heinlein citation (13th comment):

"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

For those who can't otherwise tell, RAH and me are in the apparent minority who have no such desire.

And finally, dirt farmers everywhere take offense at your suggestion that they are necessarily peasants. If they can calculate how much grain to sell from the current harvest while keeping enough to both eat well and make the next planting then they are "mathematicians."

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2008 3:10 PM

August 27, 2008

A Republican I will Not Support

The ThreeSources pragmatist will be cheering for one Republican to lose his Senate Seat.

Reason:

The corrupt and contemptible Republican senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, who first burst onto the political scene shortly after the land bridge between North America and Asia disappeared, is in fine form after winning his GOP primary.


I was sure he would lose his primary contest (I'm starting to wonder about Santa and the Easter Bunny as well...)


Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2008

Energy Freedom Day

Sign the petition created by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) calling on Congress to let the drilling bans expire on October 1, 2008.

The related blog page can be accessed here.

Hat Tip: Human Events via Wayne at jeremiahfilms.com

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2008

Reaching Out to Libertarians

My illustrious Congressman is running for the U.S. Senate. Mark Udall has been a Democratic backbencher and a reliable D vote with a safe seat in CO-2 (Boulder and environs) since 1998. He's "movin' on up" by running for Wayne Allard's seat and one has to think everything is in the Scion's favor in 2008.

I am intrigued because I have seen extensive advertising on the Reason Magazine website and today he has a web ad with video on the (gasp!) WSJ editorial page. I wonder if his GOP opponent, Bob Schaffer, will make as much effort to reach out.

Safe to say Udall will have buckets of money. Colorado remains an inexpensive media market which a George Soros or Rob Reiner can saturate with change from the couch cushions. He can afford to go after these voters. I also question whether he will change any polity, or if it is all marketing. His website trumpets his bipartisanship:

Mark is known for his willingness to elevate the policy debate above partisan politics in order to find workable solutions to difficult political issues. Most recently, he worked across party lines to pass legislation to reduce wildfire risk and bark-beetle infestation in Colorado, and to pass legislation to protect the natural beauty of the Roan Plateau while still allowing some access to the area's mineral wealth.

Yeah, bucking the pro-bark-beetle lobby is a profile in courage! That's change we can believe in.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2008

Lying to Win

Pa Congressman Paul Kanjorski:

"I'll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we...the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn't say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn't true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts...and people ate it up."

Democrats lying about the war for electoral gain? You're kidding!

Read the whole post, and watch the video.

(tip to Ace)

Posted by AlexC at 12:04 PM

April 1, 2008

Thanks Dems

Our Democratic Congress decided to say "no thanks" to an anti-pork measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a former member of the pork-dispensing Appropriations Committee, strongly opposed the moratorium, as did all but a handful of Democrats.

House Democrats such as John Murtha, D-Johnstown, a longtime Pelosi ally who got the "porker of the year" award from Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based watchdog group, weighed in as well. If the Senate won't give up its pork, they argued, why should the House?

Earmarks for road and bridge projects, contracts for local defense companies, and grants to local governments and nonprofits can mean jobs back home. Then there's the political boost that lawmakers running for re-election reap from earmarks, especially endangered freshmen such as Nancy Boyda, D-Kan.


Can we at least pretend they're not trying to bribe us for their jobs?

Or is that too much to ask?

Posted by AlexC at 1:16 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

If the GOP didn't have Sens. Stevens, Cochran, &c, they could take this up as a defining issue. The rallying cry of "we don't suck quite as bad as them!" lacks energy.

Posted by: jk at April 1, 2008 11:10 AM

February 4, 2008

Doctor Mankiw and Professor Hyde

Gregory Mankiw has some good weekend posts and a superb article in the NYTimes. The good professor is 50 and realizes "My welfare now falls within the mission statement of AARP."

My birthday wish is for all of us to stop asking what the government can do for us today. Instead, we should focus on what we can do together to prepare the economy for our children and grandchildren. That means getting ready to care more for ourselves in old age, perhaps by retiring later, perhaps by saving more. I hope that when I celebrate my 100th birthday in 2058, my descendants won’t look upon Grandpa and his generation as the biggest economic problem of their time.

It's well worth a read in full. Happy Birthday.

Sadly, the dark side of Mankiw rears its ugly head in the previous post, "Welcome to the Club, Jay." Jay is Astronaut-Physician Jay Buckey, who is running for the US Senate in New Hampshire in 2008. Jay wants to levy a tax on Oil and emailed Mankiw asking to be in his damned "Pigou Club."

The professor's heart swoons. If you want to tax oil, you've got the Mankiw Vote! (He can sneak across the border and vote in Nashua.) It doesn't seem to matter what else you believe -- as long as you believe the government has a duty to change our behavior through capricious taxation. I look at Buckey's Web Site, and I fear for the party and the Republic. The party, because this Democrat has a compelling biography, the pretty political, photogenic family, the works -- anybody running against this guy will look like Nixon after a four day bender.

And fear for the Republic because his ideas are conventional, Democratic Party boilerplate. He opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, though he served in the Air Force (thank you, Jay); global trade is swell and all "But the risks involved in global trade (outsourcing, closed businesses, wage competition) are hitting our middle class hard and the benefits are not reaching everyone;" "Despite the enormous wealth of our nation and the highest quality healthcare available anywhere, many of our citizens are not receiving any care and many more are not receiving good care."

These are not my ideas -- nor are they Mankiw's but wait! He wants a National Security Levy on Oil. <ericcartman voice>He's the most awesomest candidate ever!</ericcartman voice> And he has a declaration of energy independence:

Over the course of the last century, we have lost the freedom to choose our energy supply. Today we depend critically on petroleum. This dependency means we are no longer free to make choices. Instead we have no choice but to do whatever is necessary to maintain the flow of oil. If we don’t, our economy will suffer greatly.

We, the undersigned New Hampshire voters, are deeply concerned about our freedom and the future of our planet. To fight global warming, protect our economy, and preserve our freedom we are resolved to:

[insert Democratic party Boilerplate here...]


Does he believe for one minute that a Senator Bucky, mellifluous as the name sounds, would contribute one thing to his birthday wish? I do not.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:04 PM

February 1, 2008

Our Friend Arlen

So what's Senator Specter up to lately?

Well, John McCain is busy and all, what with running for President, so Senator Specter has stepped in ably to be Senator Kennedy's best friend.

So they're probably not about to sign a lease together, but U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter and Ted Kennedy are getting along swimmingly these days, notes William Fisher, a former reporter who spent more than 30 years managing economic development programs for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development.

"So it's both rare and refreshing when two titans from opposing political parties actually come together to do something important," says Fisher on The Huffington Post.


(emphasis added above -ed)

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment. (tm)

Oh! ... and he wants to investigate the NFL.

For cocking up the "evidence" of the Patriots stealing the Jets' defensive signals.

Yes, really.

"That requires an explanation," Specter said. "The NFL has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It's analogous to the CIA destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed."

This obligates ExtremeMortman to write...
OK, we gotta throw the yellow flag on that one. 15 yard penalty. Unsportsmanlike conduct of an analogy. Specter compares the Patriots spying compared to the CIA destruction of tapes? What’s next for the great conspiracy mind: a single bullet killed John F. Kennedy? Thank goodness the Zapruder film wasn’t shot by a professional athelete.

Posted by AlexC at 5:11 PM