December 17, 2014

In his own words

My last comment on the Ted Cruz "hate-fest" entry featured an excerpt suggesting that the negativity surrounding the Senator is a result of the media filter. Here he is without that filter, talking about the vote in question.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:43 PM | Comments (16)
But johngalt thinks:

The people are wrong to distrust Washington? That was my chief assertion on the people's behalf, though I realize it may not have filtered through my tortured prose. They want immigration changes to be done slowly, in the light of day, so we see what happens and can make changes as needed. Instead, Washington does everything with thousand-page bills passed the day after first reading. C'mon, man!

Posted by: johngalt at December 18, 2014 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm neither making friends nor believing that we are really communicating. We're obviously not that different on restraining Washington.

I remain disappointed with Sen. Cruz. Out of all the abuses, he latches onto immigration which gives him a cheap win with a large part of the base. Many are true believers and perhaps they have Cruz to be their advocate. And I should smile and choose another. Let me highlight ways I am affected.

1. Sen. Cruz does not say "I have this position and others have theirs;" Sen. Cruz says "I represent the people and the others have been swallowed by the Establishment." His positions are far holier than thou's.

2. I have been a thin reed against the tsunami of CRomnibus complaints. It is both a "libertario delenda est" issue and it a :don't jump off the ledge, Republicans!" issue. He profits from that anger (he's the only one listening to you) and he stokes it. You'll concede verisimilitude in the accusation that "he doesn't know politics is a team sport?"

3. He is becoming the face of the party and further associating the GOP with a hardline position.

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2014 6:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

> I remain disappointed with Sen. Cruz.

Put me down as shocked... SHOCKED! ;-)

> he latches onto immigration

That, and spending are the two biggies, IMO. That he chose the one that could catch fire is a positive sign in my book. Oh, and we should note that spending does not break any law....

Sen. Cruz says "I represent the people and the others have been swallowed by the Establishment."

Well, you gotta admit he's got polling data and the letter of the law on his side.

"he doesn't know politics is a team sport?"
This is where the venerable Mr. Will has lost his way in the DC swamps: he missed the qualifier BAD POLITICS is ...

Good politics is nearly always a lonely bluff (think of a geological feature, not poker). Ask RR's ghost, who was vastly unpopular for a long time. Shoot, so was Honest Abe....

He is becoming the face of the party and further associating the GOP with a hardline position. Mainly by the liberal media and RINO's who are desperately trying to hide their lack of principle, knowledge and backbone. I don't know that the TP are flocking to his banner, but I'm pretty disconnected.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 19, 2014 12:43 AM
But Jk thinks:

My gripe about immigration is not priority, my gripe is that I think him wrong -- and he prioritized it. He hinges on the "unconstitutional amnesty" and I appreciate the unconstitutional part. The A-word is a dog whistle to the populist right. I'll listen to any point on immigration, but when I hear the word amnesty, you've lost my serious consideration.

Ronald Reagan was a pretty good party man. Even through disappointing primary losses, he was there from Goldwater to his own nomination. I can't recall his undercutting party leadership in the manner of Cruz.

Posted by: Jk at December 19, 2014 10:57 PM
But Jk thinks:

... And check out thus month's Reason. You'll like their take on Sen. Cruz.

Posted by: Jk at December 19, 2014 11:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Reagan was a good man. So was Mister Smith.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2014 12:07 PM

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like CRomnibus!

Another nugget unearthed from the 1600 page CRomnibus "a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy."

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress' action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states' right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

"This is a victory for so many," said the measure's coauthor, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. The measure's approval, he said, represents "the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana."

I realize this is not uncontroversial around ThreeSources. For the record, I think the medical benefits of Marijuana are wildly overstated. I like "medical" marijuana as a stepping stone to decriminalization. And I like it as recognition of what Randy Barnett calls our "inalienable right to property in one's person." A sick person (or even a well person on planet jk) should be able to try what they want.

But I'll ask those who do not approve to see this as a step toward 10th Amendment Federalism.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:25 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Today, Kim Strassel brings word of even more GOP policy wins in the Cromnibus:

The omnibus as a result contained more conservative policy progress—from blocking a sage grouse listing, to trucking rules, to EPA authority—than Republicans had gained in the previous four years.

This will be the model for most GOP policy victories. Every spending bill it creates will contain dozens of policy riders, and Mr. Obama will have to choose the ones over which he’ll threaten a veto. The rest, presumably, will pass. Mr. Boehner recently said that he may attach GOP border-security priorities to the Homeland Security funding bill that is due in February. Republicans may not be able to force the president to rescind his immigration executive order, but they might end up with a start to immigration reform.

That sage grouse listing is a big deal in the Rocky Mountain west, as it had the potential to derail oil production in multiple states.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2014 5:11 PM

December 12, 2014

Can we Keep CRomnibus in our hearts all year long?

...or "Let's put the CR back in CRomnibus!"

Seriously, I have solidified my whole political philosophy around this unfortunate piece of legislative sausage. It's the best the current cooks can do, and I am ready to wait for the 114th.

The epiphany is a Prosperitarian one. Nobody hated government shutdowns worse that Prosperitarian Patron Saint Larry Kudlow. It interfered with business! The market might go down! You libertarian kids -- it's all fun and games to cut spending until the S&P dips below 1600!! I -- sadly -- have realized that the GOP was NOT sent to Washington to cut government. They were sent because the Democrats overreached. They broke health care!

My libertoid and my Tea Party friends are pretty sure there was a mandate for praying to Hayek in the public schools. Would I 'twere twue, but they sent us in because the last folks stunk up the joint. The non-partisans might want lower taxes or more privacy on some level, but the folks who rush to pick up Junior at soccer practice really want tomorrow to look like today. They figured out today, mostly. Health care was broken for 50 years, but people learned ways to make it work. The Byzantine tax code sucks -- but if you have enough to worry, you hire dagny.

I got very excited on Facebook last week over a citizen initiative to establish year-round Daylight Savings Time in Colorado. This topic was near and dear to my heart -- where do I sign? A string of comments from people of all stripes convinced me that change was madness. It is the stupidest gorram thing there is and everybody hates it twice a year. But Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt will stop any chance of extirpation. Will it be all year Standard (Like Arizona?) Oh, no, it will be too dark for little Marchem at the bus stop. Year round Daylight? Will computers be able to handle that? Put us in Central without adjusting is my favorite suggestion A good friend asked if I was some kind of flat-earther that did not realize it gets darker earlier in Illinois than Colorado.

So, no. We'll never ever fix that. Everyone has learned to deal with it. And I have become the Jonathan Gruber of the wristwatch. The pointy head reformer looks back in the mirror!

Nossir -- from now on, incremental change.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:26 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

the GOP was NOT sent to Washington to cut government . I sure hope you are wrong, but I wholeheartedly agree (and have used many words here in support) the GOP is stocked full of what I call "DC Insiders" who are only there to play the Plenem game. Witness their horror and near scorched-earth reaction to the TP.

Still, the new crop, specifically those like Ernst, Gardner, Cotton, and Col. McSally are good heads onto which to hope the new Defender of Liberty hat may perch. They must have the fortitude to challenge the current leadership, and I do not like the odds facing McConnel and Boehner!

McSally alone could take on the entire leadership, I think. A10 pilot, Cmdr. of FS 354 climbed KJ...

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 13, 2014 12:23 AM
But jk thinks:

I am a big fan of the new crop -- and would add Rep. Mia Love of Utah. I look forward to the 114th. I'm just counseling an incremental approach: do not overreach.

And by overreach, I mean do what ThreeSourcers and their friends would like done in a time scale they'd enjoy.

I'm being very serious here; please tell me where I am wrong. We seek a certain philosophy but we also look for ways to accomplish it in the current electoral framework. I suggest that a calm, incremental, go slow pace of reform would go over well with the fabled moderates and low information voters.

Therefore, the CRomnibus is a hit (As Rosemary Clooney sang: It's not the things you do at CRomnibus time, but the CRomnibus things you do all year). Imagine, Ebenezer, this scene from CRomnibus past:

Had there been turbulence and drama of government shutdown three weeks after an historic GOP win, had the DJIA dropped 400 points or more, it would establish a narrative of "there they go again."

Instead the 113th ends with a whimper (sorry to mix Dickens and Eliot) and the new crop that excites both of us can pick their battles and enact structural reforms instead of a budget battle on their first week.

Posted by: jk at December 13, 2014 10:20 AM

Cromnibus Silver Lining

I am on record as opposing Cromnibus but despite my no-holds-barred effort at lobbying against it, passage was achieved with 7 votes to spare. Drudge is in mass-mutiny mode with the headlines:

Republicans accuses leadership of breaking promise to kill bill... Even First Lady's Lunch Program Funded! PALIN: 'Stinks to high heaven'... BoehnerObama Deals Have Increased Debt $3.8 TRILLION...


But dear dagny finds something to like in the #TooBigToRead measure - 'Congress moves one step closer toward allowing pension cuts.' CNN Money

The Congressional proposal would allow plans that are projected to run out of money in the next 10 to 20 years to cut the benefits they pay to both current and future retirees. Benefits would not be cut for disabled pensioners or those 80 years and older, while cuts would be lessened for those between 75 and 80.

The PBGC projects that more than 10% of the roughly 1,400 multiemployer pension plans, which cover more than 1 million workers and retirees, currently meet this criteria.

Under current law, cutting the benefits of those who are already retired is off-limits. Instead, troubled multiemployer plans can take other actions, like reducing the benefits employees earn going forward and raising employee and employer contributions to the plan.

If the Congressional plan passes, cuts would require participant and government approval first, although the largest troubled plans could slash benefits even if retirees vote against it.

Paying employees who are no longer employed has got to be the biggest miscalculation ever made during the heyday of the postwar era. It is well past time for the unsustainable and morally hazardous practice to end. This would be a good start. Your turn, Senators.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:37 PM | Comments (5)
But Jk thinks:

All hail dagny!

Posted by: Jk at December 12, 2014 4:04 PM
But Jk thinks:

Or . . . "How I stopped worrying and learned to love the CRomnibus."

Posted by: Jk at December 12, 2014 4:11 PM
But Jk thinks:

Cher does not approve.

Posted by: Jk at December 12, 2014 4:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm with Cher. (Did I just say that?) But Gardner, Coffman, Tipton? They approve.

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2014 6:52 PM
But Jk thinks:

You're with Cher, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Leader Pelosi. I'm with the President and Speaker Boehner. Cray cray.

Doesn't matter. Reading Facebook, all life is over, we've been betrayed.

Posted by: Jk at December 12, 2014 8:46 PM

December 11, 2014

Ehrmigawd Someone Sneaked Freedom in the Cromnibus!

Folks have derided the government funding bill lovably named "Cromnibus."

"See!!!???" intone my LP friends with spittle marks on the monitor, "Your lousy GOP clowns have folded already!!" And it is a hard bill to love, spending $1.1T, shutting down DC's voter approved marijuana decriminalization attempts, and keeping the nanny state firmly in place.

My response was that the new Congress has yet to be seated, this is a lame duck 113th, better to wait for larger majorities in the House and GOP control of the Senate . . . okay -- so I'm stalling. Schucking. Jiving. BUT I have seem a few jewels:

Party fundraising provision, crafted in secret, could shift money flow in politics.

Secret deals! More money in politics! How awesome is that? They're really loosening the execrable McCain-Feingold repeal of the First Amendment.

Under the language in the bill, a couple could give as much as $3.1 million to a party's various national committees in one election cycle -- more than triple the current limit.

The move was heralded by party supporters, who said it would replenish the official Democratic and Republican organizations, which were left weakened by a 2002 ban on soft money and the subsequent rise of super PACs and other outside groups.

Senator McCain "told The Washington Post, 'No, nobody came to talk to me about anything. I don't even know who originated it.'"

But that is just one little piece of freedom smuggled in to a pork smoothie, jk, surely you can't find . . . Well, yes, I can

The [ACA] is still funded, but there's no new money for it. There's also no new ACA-related funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the two agencies most responsible for implementing the law. The bill also would cut the budget of the Independent Payment Advisory Board -- what Republicans have called "the death panel" -- by $10 million.
In a win for Republicans, the spending bill blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from applying the {Clean Water Act] to certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches -- a move that GOP aides said would benefit farmers.
The [EPA] gets $8.1 billion, down $60 million from the last fiscal year. The agency's budget has been slashed by $2.2 billion, or 21 percent, since fiscal 2010, according to GOP aides. The cuts mean that EPA will have to reduce its staffing to the lowest levels since 1989.

Cromnibnus -- hell - they should call it "Christmas!" Ho, ho, ho!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:01 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

If the Cromnibus does any substantial damage to Leviathan it won't pass the Senate anyway, so there.

Purely coincidentally (well, after reading this article) I sent this email to my congressman.

Dear Cory, I encourage you to vote "NO" on the Omnibus Spending Bill currently under consideration on the principle of equal treatment under law. While I endorse tax rate cuts, special tax breaks for favored industries or companies amount to a de-facto Corporate Welfare. I suggest you offer an amendment that replaces the total dollar amount of the combined tax breaks with an equal reduction in across-the-board tax rates, or even a simple tax rebate for every individual taxpayer (persons, not businesses.) "Those of us who advocate for a fairer system of taxation must take a stand on every opportunity to end, in whole or in part, the preferential treatment of some taxpayers at the ultimate expense of others. That is why I am voting no on this omnibus bill and will support a clean continuing resolution instead."
Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2014 1:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2014 7:27 PM
But Jk thinks:

Yeah. You some kind of closet Canadian?

Posted by: Jk at December 11, 2014 10:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Jolly well right old chap.

Awesome. Thanks!

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2014 3:32 PM

August 12, 2014

Rep. Trey Gowdy

You're welcome.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:19 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Holy hell - a good, old-fashioned lesson in Civics, delivered on the floor of Congress. Not since Davy Crockett sat in that chamber have I heard this (yeah, that's a reference).

Trey Gowdy, Jim DeMint, Nikki Haley - there's definitely a lot to make a Carolina boy proud these days. Y'all know that South Carolina was the first state to sign the Articles of Confederation, right?

Hey, you know what else South Carolina gave us? FORT SUMTER.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 12, 2014 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Good stuff. I just watched it again to show the lovely bride.

Blog friend tg and I are big fans of the triumvirate of Clay, Webster, and [South Carolina's] Calhoun. It's laughable -- and cryable -- to compare current members to men of their conviction, integrity and oratory.

But it is nice to hear an echo, is it not?

Posted by: jk at August 13, 2014 9:48 AM

June 25, 2014

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 4:05 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"We Shall Overspend..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 25, 2014 4:28 PM

April 9, 2014

Film at Eleven...

I referenced this in a comment. Watching the video is pretty impressive (although it is on Fox so it cannot be shared...)

Posted by John Kranz at 1:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2014

Don't Let the Door Hit yer Ass on the Way Out, Congressman!

There will be no shortage of treacle-on-newsprint when John Dingell (Satrap - MI) steps down from his 24,000 year tenure in Congress.

Thank all that is good in the world for the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. They offer a more realistic assessment in The House that John Built. Dingell is taking his parting shots at everyone who refuses to bow to him. "I find serving in the House to be obnoxious," the 87-year-old told the Detroit News. "It's become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets."

The WSJ editorial staff he might accept some of the blame for that acrimony.

Mr. Dingell may have intended his "obnoxious" barb at the tea party and Americans angry with Washington, but most of those people don't know how to maneuver through the corridors of power. They can't afford to hire someone from "the Dingell bar," the name adopted with an almost civic pride by the Washington lawyers who were well paid for representing businesses caught in the Dingell investigative cross-hairs. Many were his former staffers.

The "Dingell method," another phrase from the era, was to conduct an investigation, selectively leak what his staff found to a newspaper and TV network (double the media points), then haul the poor business targets for a public grilling before the cameras. The journalists would win prizes for the appearance of enterprise. The CEOs would be advised by the Dingell bar to be obsequious and remorseful whether guilty or not. The acrimony was one-sided.

B'Bye, Congressman.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Yeahbut... Word is his wife plans to run for his vacant seat. I s'pose she could follow a different approach to legislative governance.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2014 12:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, Ferdinand Marcos retires, and we get Imelda...

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2014 1:24 PM

November 22, 2013

"Congressmen" Udall and Bennet Vote to Discontinue US Senate

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

NYT- "Democracy Returns to the Senate"

For five years, Senate Republicans have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the presidents nominees.

Part of the Times' defense of this headlong rush to make the Senate indistinguishable from the House is that it only applies to Presidential appointment nominations, not including the Supreme Court.

But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.

"A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

"Keep it? From what?"

"From becoming a democracy."

Yesterday, Colorado's two Democrat Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet joined 50 other Democrats to resolve that the United States Government shall henceforth have two majoritarian chambers with little difference between them. In the process they essentially "demoted" themselves from Senators to Congressmen, and I for one shall refer to them as such.

UPDATE: Investors Business Daily, on the other hand, says this is the furthest thing from democracy.

Appearing as himself in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," then-CBS radio commentator H.V. Kaltenborn called the filibuster "democracy's finest show: the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form."

Of the excitement surrounding Stewart's fictional senator taking a stand against a majority deluded into believing the slanders spread against him, Kaltenborn said: "In the diplomatic gallery are the envoys of two dictator powers. They have come to see what they can't see at home: democracy in action."

Thanks to Reid and his power-hungry liberals, Americans can no longer see it either.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:13 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, look on the bright side. There's no more basis for me to fret about the need to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment anymore. If they're going to be mere Congressmen, there's no point in having them elected as if they were actually Senators - REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF STATES.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 22, 2013 10:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I actually had something brighter in mind. This anti-constitutional power grab creates the necessity of not only reinstituting the filibuster, but provides a stonger basis for repealing the 17th Amendment.

Posted by: johngalt at November 23, 2013 10:33 AM
But jk thinks:

Dark days, freedom lovers. But I'll run my Blog Optimist Award certificates through the shredder (I've already exercised the accompanying Starbucks gift cards). This will not be walked back and this will not lead to a revival of interest in repealing the 17th. This is a ratchet click toward the majoritarianism that Progressives have seeked for more than 100 years.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2013 2:12 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hey, while we're at it, since the states really are no longer sovereign and have become nothing more that vassal fiefdoms of the Federal leviathan, let's do away with the Tenth as well...

I fear that JK is right, and with every day that passes, I become more persuaded that this will end with a whimper if it doesn't get ended by a bang. We're in Fourth Box territory.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 23, 2013 4:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I hope my blog brother never gets a job on the Suicide Hotline. "Yeah, that's terrible -- and let me tell you something else..."

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2013 11:43 AM

November 21, 2013

Daisy Ad 2013

Posted by John Kranz at 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

Silver Linings Thursday

It seems to me that there is a silver lining to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (Fascist-NV) rule change to eliminate any semblance of a filibuster process and make the Senate's advise and consent function a purely democratic process, subject to the same transient passions as any other majority-rule institution. "Cooling saucer" be damned.

On the bright side, there may no longer be any practical use for the once powerful RINO politician. After all, not a single Republican vote will be required to impose the Democrats' will upon the once Constitutionally protected American citizen.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:07 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

There will be many silver linings. But that is a bug not a feature. The American government lurched one giant step toward majoritarianism today and that is bad. The good guys and liberty derived benefits from the 17th Amendment as well; I'll not celebrate it.

It has driven me to agree with Senator McCain: (h/t @JoshMBlackman) "I wish Robert Byrd had been on the floor here today. To see the travesty seen on a party line vote."

Richard Russell, Byrd -- we needed an "old lion" today and there were none.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2013 5:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Gallows humor" to be sure.

Byrd? He was just another old white dude. It was "so, so very obvious" that the Senate was becoming "obsolete."

It will get worse before it gets better, liberty lovers. But when it gets better it will be much, much so.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2013 5:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I got yer drift. My twitter feed is full of folks anxiously awaiting majority GOP rule in a year or three. Like a whole Banana Cream Pie for dinner, it might be fun for a while . . .

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2013 5:57 PM

October 15, 2013

Senate Chaplain. Really?

Chaplain Barry Black was featured on FOX News Sunday yesterday, prompting the lovely bride to say "they have a Chaplain?" And me to groan assent. I don't get uptight over church-versus-state as plenty of others can be counted on to do it on my behalf.

But I was grossly offended that he took sides. (Maybe he is kind of a Democrat Shepherd Book, keep an eye on him...) It's all well and good for low information voters to seek comity and compromise. But those paying attention should know that to disagree is to take a stand and that arguing for compromise is taking one side's position over the other.

And that, I humbly submit, is outside the aegis of the Senate Chaplain.

"Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable," Black appealed in one of his recent morning prayers that have been doled out like daily scoldings to the deadlocked Congress.

Black sat down with "Power Players" to discuss the critical tone of his recent prayers, explaining that he sees it as his job "to be gadfly of sorts" -- spurring his congregation of senators to action.

"I'm not judging and I'm not scolding, actually," Black said. "My responsibility as a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. I need to be a gadfly of sorts. ... I think that I should reflect the challenges of the environment that I'm working in."

And I think he should say some pretty words when they start in the morning and then sit down. "Afflict the comfortable?" That in the job description?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:02 AM | Comments (5)
But AndyN thinks:

Well, the press used to consider it their job to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. It's nice to see that someone cares enough to have picked up that banner. I'm not entirely sure how exactly the party out of power qualifies as the comfortable, but maybe God explained that all to him.

Posted by: AndyN at October 15, 2013 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To "afflict the comfortable" requires both judging and scolding. But as long as he says he's not doing those things I suppose that is what matters, at least in his imaginings. In the noumenal world we have a different term for this; a term he used earlier in the quote: "hypocrisy."

And why is the adage "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" so popular? Because, in the mirror image construction it has the sound of something fair, and "reasonable."

As activists for relativism go, this one is as easy to read as Dr. Seuss.

Posted by: johngalt at October 15, 2013 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg does a nice send up on the phrase in his magisterial Tyranny of Clichés. Afflict the Comfortable -- what a goal.

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2013 12:33 PM
But jk thinks:


How is that the Senate Chaplain avoided furlough in the Government Shutdown?

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2013 12:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

He must have friends in high places. And I don't mean Heaven.

Posted by: johngalt at October 15, 2013 3:23 PM

October 11, 2013


Posted by JohnGalt at 6:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2013

AP Covers the Shutdown

BUT BUT BUT . . . It's those intransigent Democrats that are "shutting down the government!"

Yeah, I'll even put my fair hat on and say it takes two to tango. When an agreement cannot be reached, it is difficult to pin blame on one side. Yet, John Hinderaker has the scoop: the AP has already found Republicans culpable. [That is a powerline link, apologize to your browser before clicking...]

Tomorrow, the AP will cover the current spending standoff in an article that will appear across the country, likely in whatever newspaper you read. The AP's piece, by Andrew Taylor, begins:
With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the presidents health care law.

There you have it! Our government is "teetering," but those dastardly Republicans have "vowed" to use an "otherwise routine" spending bill to "try to attack" Obamacare. It's all their fault! Nowhere do the Democrats "vow," nowhere do they violate "routine," nowhere do they "attack" anything. So whatever is going on here, it evidently is the doing of Republicans.

And that's the AP. How will it be covered on CNN, The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, local teevee news, and most importantly Stewart/Colbert on The Comedy Channel?

Pro-shutdown forces like to hide behind polls that the polity-at-large is more distrustful than 1995 and that ObamaCare® is unpopular. But this is all before the steady drumbeat outlined above.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, they can win without our surrender we're the protester in Tiananmen Square and they are driving the tank. A huge majority of the electorate is going to hear about this through the AP filter (or as I fear one much worse).

If you will not accept my "impossibility" argument, would you please address my largest secondary concern? Viz: the President finds scandals and bad news overwhelming. But nobody talks about Benghazi, Lois Lerner, Syria fecklessness, or ginormous flaws in the ObamaCare exchange rollouts. We've shifted the debate to the one item where he is strong.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 4:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fear over re-election - alone - is responsible for serial GOP surrenders. It's time to risk sacred honor, at least. (Lives and fortunes are safe, so what the _ell are we/they afraid of?)

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I start with the premise that other members of my party are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. RINOS! COWARDS! UNPRINCIPLED POWERLUSTERAFTERS!

My normally rational tweeps are turning into my Facebook friends. Could it not be true that there are legitimate disagreements about the best way to accomplish the goal? Was Eisenhower a Nazi because he did not storm the beaches in Normandy in 1942?

I don't know what is going to work. People love free stuff and I am not convinced that anything will. But I am very disappointed with the tone of this revolution -- they seem to be taking a position of weakness and splintering the forces.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 5:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There has been compromise: Rather than "defund Obamacare" Boehner has passed a bill to "delay implementation for a year" and "repeal the medical device tax." The senate killed it. Who is being absolutist again?

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 6:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Rep. Peter King (Lunatic NY) was leading the "moderate revolt" on the rule change and only got 6 of 17 required. So, I'm warming............

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 8:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Of course the Manhattan Media and below-the-Beltway hacks support all this gumint rot. I mean, like, that so cool (and kinda cute) prof I first took Sosh from just couldn't be wrong!

But seriously folks, look around. The above still refer to the The Sequester as a "Cut" and yet the country drones on and has ignored their drumbeat. Keep the faith, tweet and blog on!

Oh, and to really piss a liberal off: work hard and smile!

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 2, 2013 12:12 AM

September 25, 2013

Dear Senator Udall

Well, if we must truly try everything... I have been shamed by a less-political-than-me Facebook friend. She likely voted for both our Democratic Senators, but has contacted both to ask them to defund.

We're really trying everything:


I appreciate your position as a Democratic Senator, but I have been very impressed with your independence and your ability to choose constituents over party politics.

And I boldly ask you to do it one more time.

I have MS and my wife is recovering from a severe stroke. We both require quality care and technological innovation -- both of which suffer under the ACA.

I also have privacy concerns -- again I applaud your devotion to privacy even in times uncomfortable by your party. I cannot imagine handing this most personal information over to the Federal government.

Please put your Colorado constituents over party pressure and vote to at least allow amendments to this out-of-control legislation.

Thank you for your time,
<jk & the loveley bride>

& the same to Sen. Bennett with the bipartisan praise toned down substantively.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Perfect. I was thinking of trying this myself and will take your effort as inspiration.

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2013 12:47 PM


I question the efficacy of tactics, but boy howdy, Senator Ted Cruz's not-a-filibuster was great in content, courage and spectacle.

Well done, HOSS!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:03 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

A hearty cheer of agreement from Atlantis Farm. This morning I DVR'd a 15-20 minute segment wherein he read several Ayn Rand quotes and explained how they relate to the situation at hand. Very powerful. When he said, "We have to do something that Republicans rarely ever do; we have to make our case to the American people" this is precisely what I hoped and expected to hear. Too bad the American people may never hear it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2013 2:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I recall another Rand quote from last evening: "A speech is never criticized, only the speaker, for it is far easier to attack a person than an idea."

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2013 3:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I saw both of those live (plus Green Eggs & Ham, plus Bastiat's "The Law" (HOSSNES OVERLOAD!)) I actually watched a lot of this. Anytime the lovely bride or I stirred we would flip on C-SPAN to see how it was going. Once you start, it is mesmerizing.

And yet, my favorite part was at 12:00 Eastern. Sen. Cruz stepped down from a 20-hour tour-de-force of energetically delivered principle and philosophy. Leader Reid took over with his wilty dreary whine saying that nothing new had been said. I said "I'm in the right party." This skeptic admits that that is one of the underappreciated benefits of this exercise.

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2013 4:42 PM

September 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

These critics portrayed the Boehner plan as a sellout because of a campaign that captured the imagination of some conservatives this summer: Republicans must threaten to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare. Their demand is that the House pair the "must pass" CR or the debt limit with defunding the health-care bill. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots. -- WSJ Ed Page
The editorial is titled "The Power of 218." We cannot undo the President's signature initiative from the House. Sad but true. Purists demanding a pointless gesture are endangering actual efforts.

UPDATE: NO! NO! NO! Rasmussen: 51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding

That's a majority, innit? I appreciate research and I am genuinely pleased that the ACA is so unpopular. But 100% of media disapprove. I call to mind the best episode of the best show.

Simon: I don't think my last act in this verse is gonna be betraying my sister.

Jubal Early: You're gonna help me. 'Cause every second you're with me is a chance to turn the tables, get the better of me. Maybe you'll find your moment. Maybe I'll slip.
Jubal Early: Firefly is a good design. People don't appreciate the substance of things. Objects in space. People miss out on what's solid... It's not your moment, Doctor.

It's not your moment, Tea Partiers.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:37 AM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

No no no no no. Firstly, my blog brother bested one of my favorite economics professors in an economic argument.

Secondly, I expected to be the crackpot -- er, outlier -- in this argument with my damnëd pragmatism.

But I will stick with cautious pragmatism here. Larry Kudlow has me truly convinced that these sparring matches which ThreeSourcers so enjoy (me among them) are truly deleterious to prosperity. It is not just a political question: trillions of dollars of GDP are at risk.

The WSJ Editorial makes a good point that the second Obama term is dematerializing right before our eyes and that an easy-to-spin domestic quarrel will take heat off clear failures.

Wait for your moment, Doctor. The difference between pointless gesture and masterful victory can be one of timing. Nothing would have been gained by Simon jumping Early.

Posted by: jk at September 17, 2013 3:21 PM
But Terri thinks:

I'm with JK here. Force the side issues like the mandatory individual coverage vs businesses getting to slide for another year. Force the D's to vote on that. Shutting down the government is a bad idea that will only crash around the Tea Partiers and they will die an all too early death. (as would have Simon)

Posted by: Terri at September 17, 2013 5:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Y'all may be right but success of the "let it proceed so voters can see how crappy it is and vote in politicians who will repeal it" strategy relies on smart voters and principled politicians. While both of those may somehow miraculously appear, there's still the issue of self-interest that Obamacare front-loaded goodies will shamelessly exploit.

Posted by: johngalt at September 17, 2013 9:12 PM
But Jk thinks:

Robert Costa is on Kudlow saying there will be a vote, there seems to be a deal to give "conservatives" a chance. Interesting.

You misrepresent my position. I'm saying we cannot kill it so let us not damage electoral prospects which would put us in a better position.

Posted by: Jk at September 17, 2013 9:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I interpret your position as primarily avoiding the risk of damaging electoral prospects. My position is that we do equal damage by allowing this self-imposed man-caused disaster to proceed. When do we dare to contrast the ideas and priciples of free people and free markets with the statists? If not now, when?

"Democrats tell us we can all have everything for nothing. We're not telling you anything you don't already know when we say no, we can't."

"Would you rather get busy fixing the runaway costs of health care or keep arguing about who has to pay those ridiculous costs? Vote for progress. Vote for prosperity. Vote Republican."

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

An exercise:

Try reading "Vote for progress, vote for prosperity, vote Republican" without the three sentences I wrote before those. Let me know when the laughing stops.

Unless the GOP changes its approach its electoral prospects will continue to be damaged, with Republicans (and independents and economically-literate Democrats.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 3:23 PM

June 12, 2013

Where jk Defends Ed Markey (Moonbat - MA)

End days. But <clenched teeth>Dude's right.</clenched teeth>

Markey: "It's really not math. It's just arithmetic"

Posted by John Kranz at 5:33 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It's also not really "democracy" or "politics." It's just influence peddling.

Posted by: johngalt at June 13, 2013 2:35 PM

May 7, 2013

Headline of the Day

Reters/Yahoo: South Carolina voters decide fate of unqualified celebrity sibling.

Just kidding! It's: "South Carolina voters decide fate of disgraced ex-governor"

Posted by John Kranz at 4:11 PM | Comments (1)
But Jk thinks:

Yes! Sanford wins!

Posted by: Jk at May 7, 2013 9:38 PM

April 26, 2013

Yes, But.

Walter Russell Mead:

And according to the NYT story, Max Baucus, who helped write the ACA but foresaw "a train wreck coming down," now says he's encouraged by how implementation is going.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the powerful Senate Finance chairman who steered President Barack Obama's health care overhaul into law but broke with his party on gun control, has decided to retire, Democratic officials said Tuesday.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:33 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Whatever happened to captains going down with their ships? He was gonna go down anyway, next time he had to face MT voters.

Posted by: johngalt at April 26, 2013 8:13 PM

Callin' this a win!

Smaller Government Republicans 1, Obama Administration 0! The Hill:

On Wednesday, the White House said it was "open" to a legislative fix for air traffic controllers, even though President Obama had previously rejected greater flexibility as a fix for the sequester. In February, he argued that there would be "no smart way" to carry out the cuts.

"You don't want to have to choose between, let's see, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid? Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other one? When you're doing things in a way that's not smart, you can't gloss over the pain and the impact it's going to have on the economy," Obama said Feb. 26.

This is still subject to the full media spin. John Harwood was on CNBC weeping to Larry that this wouldn't fix anything else in the sequester. Harwood is a good newsman as it goes, but his idea of "fix" is raise taxes and throw money at.

But we are reinstating staff just in time for my great Midwestern adventure -- with no additional revenue. This one goes in the W column.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2013

Atlas Shrugged as Owners' Manual

I'd like to sponsor the "Do Not Use Names That Sound Like They're From Atlas Shrugged For Legislation Act." Any co-sponsors?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Oleaginous Weasel - MD) has put together a bill to finally strip Big Oil of all those tax breaks and subsidies that [my Facebook friends assure me] they get. Merrill Matthews suggests on the WSJ Ed Page that the bill shows just how ephemeral these lavish subsidies are. Van Hollen seems intent to replace Rep. Barney Franks as our modern day Wesley Mouch:

Mr. Van Hollen's '"Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now Act" would raise taxes on individuals--what he calls the "Fair Share on High-Income Taxpayers"--and effectively hike taxes on the oil and gas industry by changing the way their taxes are calculated. The problem with the bill is that the so-called tax breaks the industry would lose are not specific to oil and gas at all. They are widely available to lots of industries.

But whatever the percentage allowed, this isn't a special deduction for oil and gas. Many other manufacturing industries--including farm equipment, appliances and pharmaceuticals--take the deduction. Mr. Van Hollen's bill refers to the disqualification of two industries from these benefits as a "Special Rule for Certain Oil and Gas Companies." In terms of fairness, it's like telling oil company workers that they can't take the home-mortgage deduction anymore because they work for politically targeted companies.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, sitting in for Kudlow, did a feature on the rush of manufacturing firms to relocate in the United States to take advantage of inexpensive natural gas. We are seeing a new American manufacturing boom creating good, high-paying, potentially union manufacturing jobs.

Will the desire to punish Big Oil be allowed to derail it?

UPDATE: Prof Mead on the manufacturing migration.

American government got out of the way of innovative drilling companies and allowed the shale boom to take off. Europe took the opposite tack, choosing to stick to its green policies and snub shale. As a result, natural gas prices in the US are a quarter of what they are in Europe. And as industry departs, unemployment in the Euro zone is hitting a record high. That's yet another failure that can be laid at the feet of Europe's greens.

Good thing that could never happen here...

UPDATE II: I am prepared to make an exception for the "Don't Shoot My Dog Bill."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2013

How Dare He??? Well, Okay.

Please, jk. Can we ppppleeeeeaaaaseeee fire up the Internet Segue Machine®?

Why, sure! We start the day with this dreary business found by blog friend Terri at Ruminants. This is hard to watch. How. Dare. That. Little. Freshman. Senator. Turd. Question. The. Great. Feinstein?????

That about ruined my day until I saw this: Savor the Richly Deserved Defeat of Feinstein's "Assault Weapon" Ban

But this time around it was not enough to obscure the absurdity of Feinstein's attempt to distinguish between good and evil guns by reference to irrelevant features such as barrel shrouds and adjustable stocks. With no evidence or arguments to offer, Feinstein despicably invoked dead, "dismembered" children in a transparent bid to short-circuit logical thought.

As Jacob Sullum says "At the risk of reading too much into this delightful development, I count it as a victory not just for the Second Amendment but for rationality in lawmaking."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:19 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Rationality?" We should be so fortunate.
"Pragmatic?" You bet. The survival instinct takes over in Washington (but not, strangely, in Denver.) At least, not yet.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2013 6:44 PM

March 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

The clear premise of all this political activity is that taxpayers are still on the hook if Wall Street blows up again. Mr. Levin's staff doesn't spend a year investigating beer companies that fail to engage the age 25 to 34 demo with new advertising campaigns. Software executives don't have to explain to Congress why they missed the scheduled launch of an important app. In those industries, big mistakes are issues for customers and shareholders, not taxpayers. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2013

Quote of the Day

If I had planned to speak for 13 hours when I took the Senate floor Wednesday, I would've worn more comfortable shoes. -- Sen Rand Paul (HOSS - KY)
Posted by John Kranz at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2013

Rand's Filibuster

Blog friend T.Greer has an interesting post. Did we hear echoes of great statesmen in the US Senate?

Senator Paul's actions are placed in proper context by a simple question: what was the last speech -- or heavens, even the last sound byte -- made by a legislator on the Senate or House floor that garnered this level of national attention? When was it? Was it delivered within the last year? The last decade?

Senator Rand famously downplays the fact that he holds Henry Clay's seat. He proudly asserts -- and repeated in his filibuster -- that he identifies with Cassius Clay, the uncompromising abolitionist over the author of two compromises which preserved the Union.

TG compares Rand to "the Godlike Daniel" and finds him wanting. Me, I heard echoes...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | Comments (11)
But jk thinks:

Perhaps comparison of elocution style is spurious, but a "where we went to hell" study could easily conclude that this Ol' republic of ours was chugging along pretty well when legislative power was ascendant. (Gene Healy, call your office!)

The President is on the local news every night, with his every press release treated like the law of the land. Yet nobody knows their own Senators' names.

TG's post is about reclaiming the body's relevance. The world stopped to hear "the Godlike Daniel" speak. Sen. Harry Reid -- not so much. Clay, Calhoun, and Webster steered the country through the antebellum period Part of reclaiming legislative power is to have Senators like Paul offer the substance and style that the legends used to.

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2013 11:00 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

"art of reclaiming legislative power is to have Senators like Paul offer the substance and style that the legends used to."

Exactly. Could not have said it better myself.

As for the Clay-Adams bit - my feeling is that theres was a bargain and it was real one, but they didn't see it as anything but "business as usual." It was pretty standard practice to groom the President's successor by putting him at the head of State - every other President before had done it. The "corrupt" part of it seems to have been propaganda brilliantly conceived to play off of the new yeoman majority's fear of conniving, monied elites hijacking the country.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 11, 2013 1:04 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps I'm misreading the erudite elocution or oversimplifying but are you suggesting the only antidote to runaway executive power is greater legislative power? Or even, the only practical antidote? Whatever happened to "that government is best that governs least?"

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

"The only?" I dunno.

But I am a Madison fanboy -- separation of powers is a rockin' antidote to runaway power. The Constitution offered balance in spades so that states could check the feds, tripartite branches could check each other -- even the bicameral legislature offers a shot at beautiful gridlock!

I think much of the reason we're in the soup we're in is that Congress abdicated its authority to the Executive, greasing the wheels for runaway government.

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2013 12:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And yet the only parts of said Constitution the tripartite branches adhere to are those which expand the power of one or more of them.

I get your drift. I may be guilty, at some point in the past, of supporting a stronger executive. If that proves true then I was a fool. But it is possible, as evidenced in Colorado today, that all three tripartite branches may come under the control of a single party. In such circumstances the only limits are the collective ambitions of the ruling party and how efficiently the mechanism may be operated before the next election.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 2:48 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

"is the only antidote to greater executive power greater legislative power?"

Well, I guess you could put it that way. The central problem with an unrestrained executive is that it is quite a bit harder to get rid what the executive does - we do not elect bureaucrats, nor can we vote them out of office. Thus we get in this kind of situation:

Under current constitutional law, Congress can delegate virtually all of its functions to the Executive Branch. Indeed, it mostly has. Executive agencies add 60,000 pages of new rules every year, vastly more than the volume of new laws passed by Congress. -Mario Loyala, "The Federal State Crack Up", American Interest January 2013

When done properly, the legislature is closer to the people and has far less capacity to enact regulations, unlike executive bureaucracies.

But I think your broader point is correct. Even the most limited government will be hijacked by foes of liberty and justice if we allow such to be elected.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 12, 2013 7:44 PM

March 7, 2013

A Truly Liberal Thought

An extra bonus QOTD from Peggy Noonan:

The Tanenhaus and Berkowitz essays reminded me of two recent conversations.

The first was with Vernon Jordan, the veteran civil rights activist and Democrat. We met up on the train to Washington in January and he asked me why people weren't making more of the appointment a few weeks before of Tim Scott to South Carolinas U.S. Senate seat. I said it was true that not enough had been made of it, the first black man to serve in the Senate in that state's history, the first from the South since 1881. I asked Vernon why he was moved at the rise of a conservative Republican. He said, "I didnt expect when we were crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge that wed all agree on everything when we got to the other side."

That's beautifully put, and a truly liberal thought.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

Filibuster Hangover

I all but wept when Senator Rand Paul (HOSS- KY) yielded the floor. I, too cheered through the furious gaveling.

While it is not quite a hangover, today dawns a beautiful day in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, but:

  • I was up too late;

  • Nobody else really paid any attention. ThreeSourcers and the liberty crowd were enthralled, but the rest of Facebook has no idea anything happened;

  • My buddies at the WSJ Ed Page were not impressed.

Blog friend Terri shares my joy and woe. Ruminants requires a Wordpress login lately, you can yell at her here.

On the WSJ editorial, I am pretty hawkish for a libertarian-of-any-case, and similarly lenient to executive war power for one distrustful of that branch. I will even confess to wishing a couple of times yesterday that the debate were on spending. The abstract freedoms ("not to be nuked in a café") are more difficult for me to get excited about than consequentialist regulation and taxation policies.

At the end of the day -- into the night in this case -- being a nation of laws and not men, and Fifth Amendment protection of due process have to be defended and celebrated. "A Miss" to the Journal Editorial Board.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:17 PM | Comments (4)
But Terri thinks:

from my sister...a good and loyal Republican regarding the Graham/McCain ridiculousness.

"... but I never get why our own people won't take the opportunity to do a little victory dance instead of just handing over more ammunition to the other side."

Posted by: Terri at March 7, 2013 5:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Eww! You're related to Republicans?

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2013 5:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ask your sister if she thinks it's possible that Graham/McCain doesn't consider the filibuster a victory. Maybe they are more likely to feel like cockroaches when the kitchen light was switched on.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2013 6:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Besides, somebody really did notice.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2013 7:01 PM

February 22, 2013

Quixotic Much?

C'mon, send some money to Paul McKinley. I don't know if he has a shot at Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D -- SingSing) seat, but I would love to see this guy show up to a Congressional Black Caucus meeting:


Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2013 10:01 PM

January 31, 2013

Charges that he is a deadbeat and welcher, however...

WASHINGTON (WaPo) -- Sen. Robert Menendez's office says he reimbursed a prominent Florida political donor $58,500 on Jan. 4 of this year for the full cost of two of three trips Menendez took on the donor's plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010.

More details about the New Jersey senator's trips emerged as his office said unsubstantiated allegations that the senator engaged in sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are false.

And who wouldn't accept the word of a man who pays his debts in three years?

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2013

Understatement of the Day

The district [IL - 2] represents a steep challenge for Republicans; the district gave 90 percent of its vote to Barack Obama in 2008 and was until recently represented by Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., who managed to easily win reelection in 2012 even though he was under criminal investigation and on medical leave. The district scores a D+32 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, but it does have some less heavily Democratic sections, stretching from 53rd Street on the city's South Side through the south suburbs of Chicago, all the way to Kankakee County. -- Jim Geraghty
Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2013

Rob Natelson

Warm up for next Monday's Liberty on the Rocks:

Natelson's book in Review Corner

Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2013

How Do You Deal With?

What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.'"
This is from a Stephen Moore interview with Speaker Boehner. Also well excerpted outside the paywall by Matt Welch. The President thinks we have a health care problem and that once that is fixed (by the addition of large quantities of government, natch) all of our other priorities will be seen to be very affordable.

I don't know where I got the job "President of the Speaker Boehner Fan Club" (my card just arrived in the mail). But how do you negotiate with a man who a) believes that; b) is not a compromise politician; c) has a Senate majority; and, d)can expect sympathetic press? "I need this job like a hole in my head" is the other takeaway quote.

One can find fault with the Speaker but I think it requires context. All in all, another grim reminder of IowaHawk's wisdom:


Posted by John Kranz at 2:32 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The attitude of President Obama is reminiscent of another dismissive attitude: Drinking problem? I do not have a drinking problem. I drink, I fall down, no problem.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2013 3:24 PM

December 8, 2012

The Strategic Retreat Chorus Grows

Larry Kudlow is in. I just caught Thursday's show last night (Yay TiVo and Yaayy Broncos!). It was not one to miss.

Here is the Gov. Dean piece The Refugee quoted. Gotta raise taxes on everybody, not just the rich!

But the jewel for me was Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY). He confirmed my parliamentary suspicions, and favors strategic retreat to getting killed in a compromise:

Senator Rand Paul, who may have the best idea, told me in an interview this week that he's prepared to pin the tail on Obama's tax-and-spend donkey. "In the Senate," Paul said, "I'm happy not to filibuster it, and I will announce tonight on your show that I will work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike, with a simple majority, if that's what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes, and they can own it."
Mister Mencken had it right: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

UPDATE: I left out that Kudlow repeated this to his guests on Friday in the spirit of endorsement. Elections have consequences, right H.L.?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:49 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Yup, and I do NOT mean this in a millenarian, "when we're living like Mad Max instead of Mad Men, they'll see I was right, bwahahaha!" sense. If the Republicans "win" we'll muddle along slowly thanks to other Administration policies. If they "lose" we'll muddle more slowly and have a chance to fix it in 2014. It's not like a flat tax and 91% are the choices.

Good and Hard.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2012 12:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Having listened to both this Rand Paul interview and the 30 second Huntsman blurb that drew adhominem below I'm struck by the contrast between direct yes or no answers to legislative questions in Rand's case versus sweeping generalities devoid of specifics from the governor.

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You're right that the range of compromise on the table is only shades of gray. What I think we also agree on is there is no political gain to be had by continuing to obstruct. Ten pounds of "extreme" for one pound, nay, one ounce of economic liberty. Were the prospects for compromise between the status quo or replacement of federal income taxes with a national sales tax we should all tie our bodies to the tracks.

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Moreover, the principle over which Republicans obstruct is far bigger than the proposed rate hike. We may even suggest that the Democrats pass their one-party soak-the-rich tax at a much much higher rate. It must be done very publicly though, with great fanfare: "The nation has elected Democrats who wish to take more money from those whose success is greatest. If this is such a good idea, why are they so timid about it? If they are in the right to take 39% then why not 49? 59? Mister President, where are your balls?"

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:50 PM
But dagny thinks:

I'm afraid this strategy makes me nervous. As included in a discussion below regarding the ideas of Marx, irrational people are incapable of connecting consequences to the IDEAS which caused them. So why should we expect people to connect the continued economic malaise to the polices of the Obama administration policies they voted for. "Clearly no matter how much we soak-the-rich, it was insufficient if things didn't improve."

Posted by: dagny at December 10, 2012 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

That is a concern and a highly plausible outcome, dagny. That is why I want it to pass without a GOP vote.

It is important in this strategy, as Larry Kudlow says to "pin the tail on the Democrats."

I like this in the context of the other alternatives. We lost and cannot exert our will. The President and Senate Majority Leader are both ideologues who want to punish the rich more than they want growth or prosperity (feel free to rephrase that a little less harshly, but they are pretty devoted).

The other very real alternative is to play brinksmanship right through, drive the economy into recession, get little or no spending cuts -- and then still be blamed for the bad economy but somewhat legitimately.

The retreat is the least worst option. If that makes it the best...

Posted by: jk at December 10, 2012 1:09 PM

December 7, 2012

JK Agrees with Kim Strassel!

I know, hold the presses!

But my favorite opinion writer nails it today. I have said it, she said it better: give the President his stupid tax increase, vote "Present" and let it be the Democrats' gift to a gleeful nation.

The president will also finally have to show his math. He has argued his entire presidency that America's debt hole could be filled by soaking the rich. He'll now get his way, in a bill that likely provides $800 billion in revenue over 10 years, or $80 billion a year. To repeat: $80 billion a year. That is 7% of the $1.1 trillion deficit Mr. Obama ran in fiscal year 2012 alone. His tax hikes in hand, he can now explain why the hole keeps getting bigger.

Especially as no further tax revenue will be forthcoming. The president's grand plan was to pocket the top tax rates and commit the GOP to later tax "reform" worth an additional $800 billion in closed tax deductions. His leverage has been holding hostage the middle-class rates. That hostage will now be dead. The GOP will have no reason to give him more.

Nor will Mr. Obama get any of the spending wish list he sent to House Speaker John Boehner last week, since a deal was his only real shot at slipping in some of that money. No $50 billion in stimulus. No extension of unemployment insurance or payroll tax holiday. No money for his mortgage program.

We're not going to win this one. Strassel suggests a managed retreat, and I think she is right.
No question, the Republicans would suffer a bitter defeat if top marginal income-tax rates rise. Then again, if those rates are going up anyway--either because we go off the cliff or because Mr. Obama maneuvers them into a panicked, last-minute deal--the rational GOP response is to instead choose a deliberate course that mitigates its own political damage, and lands some blows. This is the corner our intransigent president has backed Republicans into.

So, that Obama "victory": On Jan. 1, the president gets to give a news conference gloating over his tax win. He then faces four years and 20 days of a presidency marked by his ownership of a faltering economy, a spiraling debt problem, automatic sequester cuts, no prospect of further spending or tax revenue, and a debt-ceiling time bomb. If that's this president's idea of "victory," maybe it's what he deserves.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:13 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I think it was Kudlow last night showing a clip of Howard Dean admitting that we can't close the gap on the rich alone - taxes will have to go up for everyone. Don't expect such honesty to be widely covered.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 7, 2012 12:33 PM

Quote of the Day

Two years into a six-year term, DeMint decided there was nothing going on in the Senate worth sticking around for, at least in the near future -- another four years of President Obama, another two to four years of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. No conservative reform likely to be enacted, no likely prospect of constructive compromise, nothing likely to get done. That is some depressing stuff there, brother. -- Jim Geraghty
I share his disappointment. Mister DeMint is needed in the US Senate.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

The fact that both parties have at various times desperately wanted to get rid of the filibuster IS THE CHIEF THING RECOMMENDING IT. -- Daniel Foster
Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | Comments (2)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I am beginning the moving process to the fabulous new Wyatt family residence in about one probably won't hear from me for a few days, but back Monday on form!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 29, 2012 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Best of luck, bro!

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2012 3:38 PM

November 28, 2012

Grover "Darth" Norquist

It would be funny, if we had not just had an election and an embassy attack, how the media portrays Grover Norquist as the villain.

This link takes you to a video with a pretty nuanced interview with Darth, but the portentous half photo well-represents the obsession. Republicans are not avoiding tax increases because they disagree -- mean old Grover got 'em drunk and made 'em sign a pledge!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I like FNC's "The Five" and DVR it daily. Earlier this week Bob Beckel, who I actually like even though he's a Democrat, was uncharacteristically harsh in his ad hominem against Grover: "He's an idiot." Said it at least 3 times.

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2012 12:57 PM

September 20, 2012


Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Newsletter [subscribe] is an interesting if maddeningly comprehensive look at polling data (guy's gotta work some).

Dr. S "sticks his neck out" in today's, and revises positions on many House races. Of big interest to me was Ed Perlmutter (Satan - CO)'s seat being moved from "Safe Democratic" to "Likely Democratic." Like a great line near the end of Cabin in the Woods: "We work with what we get."

As our House race charts show below, there are dozens of competitive races for the House, and many of them will be difficult to call, even right before Election Day. However, there is little indication that the majority of the closest races -- the leaners and the toss-ups -- are strongly moving in one direction or the other. A closely contested House race, with no wave building for one side or the other, is by default a good position for the incumbent party. But watch the generic ballot; if races start moving to Democrats en masse, the trend will probably pop up in that number.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

That makes The Refugee thirsty for a good, cold beer.

(For those not in the Centennial State, this is in reference to the fact that Joe Coors, Jr., of brewing family fame, is challenging Perlmutter for this Congressional seat.)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 20, 2012 4:44 PM
But dagny thinks:

Joe came to visit my place of employment. See photo here:

He spoke to the employees and took a tour of the plant. We are apparently in his district. I was invited to join the, "round-table," discussion afterward.

I was pleased that he stated that the social issues were important to some but not his priorites. My conclusion is that he was a nice guy and had a fair grasp of free-market principles and the damage being done to our economy by big government. He would probably be a decent congressman if he can get elected.

BUT, I think he will have trouble getting elected. I asked him how does he convince the guys in the shop that free markets are better for them? He didn't even understand the question. I wanted to shout at him, "Buddy, your last name is COORS, the people around here think you understand their needs about as well as the man in the moon!" I think this is sort of like Romney's problem. I drove home from the meeting considering how to convince people and help them understand and wishing I could help write campaign speeches.

One of the most effective campaigns I ever saw was run by Patty Murray (socialist - WA) when she first got elected to the senate. She called herself a, "Mom in tennis shoes," and ran around the state dressed in a suit carrying a pair of tennis shoes. She convinced everyone she was just like they were and knew what they needed from government. Mr. Coors and Governor Romney need some tennis shoes.

Posted by: dagny at September 21, 2012 7:09 PM

September 15, 2012

Huck a Whack

Can't quite make them "quotidian" any more, but I'll continue playing as long as the Governor does.

I received an email from Todd Akin (Trog - MO) today. Thanks for the missive, Todd, but I think we should start seeing other candidates.


Party boss and Washington insider John Cornyn this week had two words for Todd Akin, and Missouri: "We're done."

Rather than swallowing their pride and admitting they were wrong to not help Todd Akin, Party Bosses are doubling down.

Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, had this to say about the Washington Party Bosses:

I resent the comparison to Sens. Rubio and Paul. Those two strike me as the opposite of Akin. Unsurprising that Gov. Huckabee does not see that.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2012

Did you hear what Todd Akin Said?

To be fair, I was sick yesterday. I could not carry my general equanimity in the face of gloating and venomous Facebook friends. Sadly, some had a point. I'm feeling better today and agree fulsomely with brother jg's trenchant comment. Let us celebrate the instant, unequivocal, negative reaction.

I need some schooling on one thing, though. There were many attempts to tie "Clod" to Chairman Ryan. I understand the lame ones (voted with Ryan 93.427183748% of the time) and can ignore the splenetic and irrational. But they have one good point, do they not? Among the venom and slobber and shouting?

The good point is the "forcible rape" language in HR 3. I am not going to abandon Rep. Paul Ryan over it, but that was ill advised. I have my talking point responses: It was not in the final bill. And: the nerdy, wonkish Ryan was clearly more worried about who was paying for abortions than how rape was defined.

Yet the first version, with Ryan among many GOP cosponsors, tried to sneak through a dilution in the definition of rape more in line with our buddy Akin than civilized people.

Forgive me as I have just read one book and am now an expert, but this is exactly what Justice Scalia's book was about. If I didn't have broken code, I would look up the exact cannon name, but when a new statute adds language to an existing law, it is a signal to judges that the meaning has changed and should be taken seriously. Had it passed, courts would not consider "forcible rape" a scrivener's error or a stylistic equivalent to "rape."

Some folks drafting the law tried -- on purpose -- to water down the definition of rape. Only for federal funding, yes. But post Roe, that's the only place they have authority.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:22 PM | Comments (2)
But dagny thinks:

This comment I posted below, clearly belongs here instead:

Todd Akin (R-MO) is the kind of person that makes me want to turn in my R membership card. And, unfortunately for the R's this year, many other women feel the same way.

Additionally, there was another discussion further down in the comments as to whether Paul Ryan could be considered a, "very dangerous theocrat." In my book, Akin absolutely qualifies as a VDT and Ryan is perhaps further along that road than I had hoped.

Posted by: dagny at August 22, 2012 1:16 PM
But jk thinks:

dagny, I have watched Rep. Ryan pretty closely for a long time and I find that difficult to accept. He is a wonkish, green-eyeshade kind of guy who is a lot more concerned with budgets than ladypart regulation. I find it hard to believe he had a hand in it.

I bring it up to suggest that Clod is not the only one.

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2012 1:39 PM

May 31, 2012

On the Trail 2012


Real photo credit: Boston Globe

Posted by John Kranz at 11:11 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

This must really piss off the lobstah lobby.

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 11:46 AM
But jk thinks:

I love the expressions on the captivated supporters behind her -- her oratory is clearly lighting them up!

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 12:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I had the same reaction to the "captivated supporters" as JK did. I've been to funerals where the attendees looked less downcast.

That the crowd isn't thrilled to be there is as obvious as the pale white on Warren's face.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 31, 2012 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

That's actually an optical illusion -- just the way those high cheekbones reflect the light!

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 1:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Separated at birth?

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 2:30 PM

May 18, 2012

Professor Warren

@MKHAMMER is having too much fun!

Seems the recipes for Pow Wow Chow may have been plagiarized. Mai non!

Among the ingredients for Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing: "Imported mustard," Worcestershire sauce, cognac, and of course crab, all presumably readily available to a, er, 19th-century agrarian Cherokee settlement in Oklahoma. No wonder Scott Brown's campaign is now fundraising off of this clusterfark.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

But isn't Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing and authentic Cherokee recipe? I do seem to recall from a history class once that the Cherokee - or maybe the Paiute - were the inventors of the "seven-inch Teflon pan" referenced in one of the recipes.

As it turns out, it seems the sources of at least three of the five boosted recipes have been found: two from a toney French restaurant in Manhattan (bought from the Indians for a bunch of beads, remember?), and one from Better Homes and Garden in 1959. At least she stole eclectically...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 18, 2012 4:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Rich culture, proud people:

Use a small omelet pan, or, preferably, a seven-inch Teflon pan. Heat about one-half teaspoon butter in the pan. Add about one-third cup of the egg mixture. Let cook until firm and lightly brown on the bottom, stirring quickly with a fork until the omelet starts to set. When set slip a large pancake turner under the omelet starts to set. When set, slip a large pancake turner under the omelet and turn it quickly to the other side. Let cook about five seconds. Remember, you want to produce a flat omelet, not a typical folded omelet. Turn the omelets out flat onto a sheet of was paper. Continue making omelets until all the egg mixture is used.

It was probably challenging for the indigenous people to learn how to pronounce "Worsterchestershire."

Posted by: jk at May 18, 2012 5:14 PM

Professor Warren!

(Don't think I'll share this on Facebook...)

Posted by John Kranz at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

As a grade-school "ute" we took a family vacation in Monument Valley National Park on the AZ-UT border. We met and hired a Navajo entrepreneur name George Holliday to give us a private guided tour. He told us many stories, including some about Hollywood productions filmed on location there. On one of many repeat visits by John Wayne, George claims to have asked the film legend, "Are the Indians gonna win this time?" Wayne replied, presumably with a wry smile, "No George, not this time."

Holliday was a master of self-depricating humor. As we drove past a trail marker that read, "NO VEHICLES" he called our attention to it and said, "Don't worry, Indians can't read."

I was quite young, but I have no recollection of Mr. Halliday having wished those movies were never filmed, or were never filmed near his home where he and his neighbors could be paid for various services, or regretted the stimulation of tourism those films caused.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:05 PM

The TEA Party gets a few right

Jim Geraghty was worried that The Cornhusker State was "pulling a Buck/O'Donnell."

After Tuesday's Nebraska GOP Senate primary, I wrote that I hope Nebraska Republicans know what they're doing.

It turns out they do: "State Senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in the first Rasmussen Reports survey of the Nebraska U.S. Senate race since her upset win in last week's state Republican primary."

November will tell, but I am more proud of the Gadsden Flag Gang with each passing season. The media, the left, and even my man Larry Kudlow suspect that they have fizzled because they're not marching. If I may change to first person, we are demonstrating a superb mix of idealism and pragmatism. We have less time to march now that so many of us are State Delegates and Precinct Committee Chairs.

And, sometimes you have to overshoot or else you don't know your range. While I admit that I'd be happy with "Senator Jane Norton" from Colorado, I can't say I miss Mike Castle in Delaware. Speaking of witches, I'd like another term for Sen. Snowe in Maine, but replacing Hatch and Luger with TEA Party Republicans -- this is shaping up to be an excellent year.

UPDATE: Blog friend Terri links (thanks!) and reminds fo a great post of hers Ihad read but not linked

What is clear is that the "Tea Party" is not dead. Im still here.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2012

I sincerely apologize and wish I had not posted this

Really. It's puerile, potentially racist, and unbefitting a serious blog like ThreeSources. I only wish I were not about to hit "Save."


If I could only go back and think about it further. . .

Posted by John Kranz at 5:42 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is a hateful, hurtful image. What precisely is it that you have against Cleveland?

Oh, and I did detect a mistake in your graphic. I haven't calculated the exact area of the relative parts, but I estimate this to be about 5/8 noble Indian and 3/8 Trail-of-Tears.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 16, 2012 11:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Couldn't help but send this to a big tribe fan (a couple ThreeSourcers know exactly to whom I refer) he says she is only 1/25th tribe fan.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2012 11:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I nominate myself for quote of the day (I share the President's deep sense of humility). A Facebook Foe impugned the seriousness of this offering. In my reply I accidentally wrote something good, riffing off The Refugee:

I find the Native American claim disturbing. This woman is so melanin-challenged to make me look like Chris Rock & Jennifer Lopez’s love child. Yet she checks a box, gets on the academic fast track, is feted as “Harvard’s first ‘Woman of Color,’” but then, when it no longer suits her ambition, her heritage is dropped like a worn moccasin.

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2012 10:27 AM

May 15, 2012

Nonsense! "White" is a color


Elizabeth Warren has pushed back hard on questions about a Harvard Crimson piece in 1996 that described her as Native American, saying she had no idea the school where she taught law was billing her that way and saying it never came up during her hiring a year earlier, which others have backed up.

But a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School's "first woman of color," based, according to the notes at the bottom of the story, on a "telephone interview with Michael Chmura, News Director, Harvard Law (Aug. 6, 1996)."

Hat-tip: @jimgeraghty

Posted by John Kranz at 4:26 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

She's not white, she's melanin challenged.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 15, 2012 11:21 PM

May 8, 2012

You cannot make this stuff up.

Well, you could make this stuff up -- but would yours be as good as this? The Tale of Fauxcahontus takes a curiuos turn:

In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony, not only is it unlikely that Elizabeth Warren's great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, it turns out that Warren's great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:31 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That must make family reunions awkward, huh?

Soooooooooooo, great^3 grandpa and great^3 grandma met at a hate crime back in the pre-e-Harmony era?

I read this morning that Fauxcahontas of the Forked Tongue clan said she checked that box only in order to meet others within that group... but then records show that she never attended a single meeting or function of any "Native American" group on campus. How does that work?

S*itting Bull redux.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 8, 2012 4:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Like my great nieces, she can pay reparations to herself!

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2012 7:13 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sounds like Elizabeth Warren is having a "John Kerry moment." I'm sure the memory of her great-great-great grandmother is seared in her brain.

BTW, why hasn't the press picked up on Warren's racist comment? She said that she believed her g-g-g-grandmother because "She had high cheekbones like all Indians." Sounds racist to The Refugee. Imagine if someone said, "He looked Jewish because he had a big nose."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 9, 2012 8:14 PM

January 12, 2012

Great News for Liberty Lovers!

The world's worst Republican will not be returning to his seat in the 113th Congress.

Rep. Jerry Lewis ($$ - CA) was an appropriator first, and a Republican -- well I'll be kind and say "second." He leaves after 17 very expensive terms.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, Congressman!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Second that motion - I first met Rep. Lewis in 1978, when I was still in high school; I had the privilege of going to school with his daughter, for whom I had a ton of respect, and his twin sons. The first time I met him, he was showing time-lapse pictures of the incoming smog wave each day in San Bernardino. I seem to recall he was talking about the need for environmental legislation and funding.

"Appropriator first" is more than true, and "Republican... second" is more than charitable. "World's worst Republican" has a crowded field of competitors - and I have friends in Maine - but if you're looking for big-spending opponents of limited government and reasonable taxes, he'd be a fierce contender.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 12, 2012 6:18 PM
But jk thinks:

My habit of superlatives frequently gets me in trouble. "Really? the WORST ABBA song????" There is a crowd for certain -- I was thinking of friends one might have in Alaska. Not the former Mayor of Wasilla, but Frank Murkowski and his sweet and lovely daughter. Ted Stevens. Don Young... I gotta go wash my hands just after typing 'em!

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 6:28 PM

November 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

It is a newspaper truism that what is good for journalism is bad for the country, and vice versa. Let's just say that regarding the pending retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, we're delighted to make the professional sacrifice. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Polite, objective and reserved. (As the 2012 campaign season begins in earnest, we may have to make this an acronym.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2011 2:42 PM

September 2, 2011

I'm with Roger!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2011


Diogenes the Cynic searched Athens for an honest man (ht: br); Abraham searched Sodom and Gomorrah for a straight guy.

Now, the Washington State Republicans are searching the Evergreen State for a Senate Candidate:

So far, the GOP has found no one to run against Sen. Maria Cantwell, the two-term incumbent Democrat, despite continued signs that a weak economy may threaten the re-election prospects of President Obama and Democrats nationally.

Although the 2012 election is 16 months away, time is growing short for a Republican here to attract attention from big-money outfits that will pour TV ads into states where they believe Democrats are vulnerable. Last week, for example, the conservative group Crossroads GPS targeted five Democratic senators as part of a $7 million ad blitz. Cantwell was not among them.

The pilgrim's path is never easy...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2011

Tweet of the Day

UPDATE: Taranto dismisses the whole genre: "We've heard some bad puns in our day, but this has to be the wurst."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2011

Tyler Cowen, Call Your Office!

About that rational voter, America is finally serious about tough choices, new wave of teaparyism thing... The initial returns are not promising:

We hope Republicans don't believe their own spin that their candidate lost Tuesday's special House election mainly because of a third party candidate or because New York state is hostile territory. They lost because Democrats ran a Mediscare campaign, and the GOP candidate lacked an adequate response.

Democrat Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk, won 47% of the vote in a district that was one of only four in New York that John McCain won in 2008. She ran a one-issue campaign against Paul Ryan's Medicare reform, and she had the advantage of not having voted for ObamaCare's $500 billion in Medicare cuts. Ms. Hochul also caught a big, late assist from Newt Gingrich and his own-goal attack on Mr. Ryan's plan.

Republican Jane Corwin, a state legislator, won 43% after saying she would have voted for the Ryan plan but then devoted most of her time to deploring Mediscare tactics rather than fighting back. Ms. Corwin admitted Monday that she let the attacks go unanswered until the last minute, and the House GOP campaign committee was remarkably unprepared for what everyone knew was coming.

I am not, cannot, and will not advise the GOP to shy away from reform to elect a bunch of DeLay-Hastert Republicans. But the WSJ Ed Page is dead on: we need an articulate (clean would be nice) spokesperson that can clearly and quickly explain the peril in the status quo and Democratic Death Panels proposed solutions.

It's going to be a long hard slog, and if the right people do not step up the game is over, we'll enjoy our last years of becoming Greece.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:22 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

On the plus side, there's time to craft a winning message before more seats are on the line.

How about: "Democrats want to give you free healthcare. Seniors, of all people, are wise enough to understand that you get what you pay for."

And: "Instead of legislating your health care for you, Republicans want to make you your own congressman - we'll give your tax dollars back and you decide what procedures to spend them on. Meanwhile, we've got your back with this privately purchased group major medical coverage."

I'll leave the commercials to someone with more style than me.

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2011 3:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Or a man with more style than all of us put together: President William Jefferson Clinton

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2011 3:53 PM