July 5, 2016


Dust off your pith helmet and read some Kipling, we're hunting RINOs!

As has been shared, I have a rather different threshold for RINOism than most of my Tea Party peers. The attacks on leadership seem tautologically incorrect. If the people elected by the people your party elected do not in any way represent "your party," then you have some other things going on.

It's fine -- commendable -- to be disappointed in leadership. I'm fine with "those buffoons don't know their asses from their elbows!" or "My grandma could Whip a vote better than those losers and she's blind and deaf!" One needn't worship them, but suggesting that the Speaker of the House and previous VP Nominee is not a Republican seems a bridge too far.

The WSJ Ed Page is somewhat establishment, but they have kept the economic, prosperitarian lamp lit in the GOP for some time. Today, they suggest that a Trump Presidency would elevate the House GOP to a position of thought leadership. And that that might not be so bad.

Donald Trump is running for President by stressing opposition to trade and immigration. That limited-we'd say crabbed--agenda means that if the presumptive GOP nominee does by some chance win in November, the proposals to watch are coming out of the Republican House majority. Mr. Trump will need their ideas to have any hope of governing.

The good news is that this other GOP agenda is the most pro-growth in years. Speaker Paul Ryan's House colleagues have rolled out proposals to reform health care and welfare, make the financial system more resilient, and revive Congressional authority against the administrative state. The overriding goal is to gain an electoral mandate to implement an agenda in 2017 to increase economic growth and lift wages from their Obama-era trough.

These ideas deserve more attention than they've received[...]

Indeed. To be fair, most of the article's props redound to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), but the house leadership as a group deserves better philosophical marks than it gets.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2016

And then there's this...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:52 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm staging a sit-in in my home office today. It's going to be EPIC!!!

Posted by: jk at June 24, 2016 10:21 AM

All Hail Insty!


Posted by John Kranz at 9:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2016

Going to be mean

I'm a huge fan of Sen. Jeff Flake (HOSS - AZ). He has attracted a lot of "RINO" calls for has nontroglodytism on immigration, but I appreciate him as a Fiscal Hawk™ and GOP Happy Warrior™

His reward today will be a vicious rant.Haw fair is that?

But I proport that the watchdog spending lists that he took over from Senator Coburn (HOSS - OK) are poorly placed. Here's his latest and it is accompanied by an admittedly clever video:

My first question is how much Federal largesse was directed at producing that video? But, fuhggedahboutit, it was a rounding error. Yet, aren't most items in the Wastebook as well?

$17,500 to have people wear a fat suit for "weight sensitivity training"
$853,000 to teach minors the art of making wine
$707,000 for researchers to create a fight club for shrimp
$780,000 to study college students and pizza addiction
$276,000 to discover how unattractive people snag a more attractive date

Ha ha. As I mentioned in Sunday's Review Corner, R & D would not be federally funded in Libertarian Utopia™, but is this what's ruining the Republic? Is this jailing innocent people and creating market distortions? Is this shutting down businesses? (Yes, at the margin it's raising taxes, but get out your scientific notation calculator to see it as a percentage.)

The same people (no, not around ThreeSources -- y'all are crazy!) will likely cheer for billions for Cancer Research. Here is where I get prickly. Are we complaining -- and Flake is -- that government is choosing projects badly? We should be complaining that government is doing too much. That it is costing jobs. That it is jailing innocent citizens, That it is shutting down businesses.

The Wastebook and video are a page out of the old, pre-Tea Party GOP which says big government is fine if it does good, right, wholesome, holy and true things. If you believe that, then by all means, argue about Shrimp Fight Club (are you supposed to talk about Shrimp Fight Club?). But if you believe government is off the rails and ruining our liberties and our economy, then this is unserious and unproductive.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | Comments (1)
But dagny thinks:

Hey I actually disagree with jk here. I don't think it is unserious and unproductive. The concept of trillions of dollars that our government deals in, is hard to understand for people. Even accountants (me) struggle to understand the numbers involved. There are just too many zeros. But a concrete list as provided above that totals 2.6 Million is a number that means a lot to me. The government is casually wasting 2.6 MILLION dollars. Why that's MORE than I will make in my lifetime!!! It encourages people to pay attention and to realize that the government is too big. 4 Trillion means nothing to people. 2.6 million, rounding error or not, is how you get them to care.

Posted by: dagny at April 20, 2016 7:34 PM

October 27, 2015

Budget deal? Not a Sesh moment [Updated]

He steps up again to attack yet-another backroom deal between Reid, McConnel, Boehner and .. well, who effing cares?

Once again, a massive deal, crafted in secret, unveiled at the 11th hour, is being rushed through Congress under threat of panic. Once again, we have waited until an artificial deadline to force through that which our voters oppose.
Just what Mulvaney claims the HFC has been railing against for years...
This deal shatters [sequester] commitment by spending $80 billion more than we promised over the next 2 years. The deal also uses a common gimmick where alleged savings in an entitlement program are used to boost unrelated spending in the federal bureaucracy.

[Update: comments are rampant - what I'm trying to ferret out is the widely published "only $80B increase" versus what Bret Stephens noted as "already expected increase of $200B" for 2016. Expected in which scenario? With the sequester's restrictions in place (aka, no deal), were these increases still 'expected' or is that the ugly-sauce that needs to be hidden, and if so, why didn't Sessions do so succinctly? By all the gods ever declared or suspected of being sacred, CLEAR THE SMOKE AND BREAK THE MIRRORS ]

Many quotes and more details from Politico
Majority Whip John Cornyn (squish, TX) "I don’t think you’ll hear anybody popping any champagne corks"

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.): "We're really tired of the top-down, micromanagement where you have just a few people, or in this case just the speaker and his team, determining the outcome"

Tim Scott (rising star, SC) "It’s just hard to justify that we’re not figuring out how to clamp down on spending"
Paul Ryan (earning new stripes - WI) "I think this process stinks."

Oh, I'm sorry; I forgot to include the good news, that increased funding will be paid for by selling oil from the SPR (while oil is near $40; brilliant! I'll bet we refill when it hits $100), John McCain "can work with it" and the increased spending will be offset by spending reductions in ... wait for it... 2025!

A PowerLine article has more, including the nearly unnecessary closing quote from Sessions:

Based on what I know now, it appears the president got whatever he wanted.

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:16 PM | Comments (11)
But johngalt thinks:

"...with fewer entitlement reforms..."

What entitlement reform is in the current budget deal? My impression is that there aren't any. Is that erroneous?

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2015 7:17 PM
But Jk thinks:

"But Republicans did secure modest entitlement reforms. The deal repeals an ObamaCare mandate for businesses to automatically enroll workers in health benefits, regardless of the cost. It also equalizes the Medicare payment rates for hospital and outpatient care to mitigate losses from providers that game the formula to get paid more for the same services.

"Most important, Social Security will get its first upgrade since the 1980s to fix disability insurance. A slack economy and policy expansions under George W. Bush and Mr. Obama have transformed disability from a safety net into a middle-age retirement program and the rolls have exploded. Benefits were scheduled to fall by 20% next year because the program’s “trust fund” is nearly bankrupt."

Posted by: Jk at October 28, 2015 10:25 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Can't read the WSJ editorial yet... I do see this part, which bears the mark of realism... distressing realism perhaps, but powerfully aware of the current environment:

perhaps the only thing worse than passing it would be not passing it
which is a problem with today's GOP, who could not find their Gingrich-foil to the Obamanation.

The most distressing thing is runaway spending and the bureaucracy it's creating, IMO.

What I'd like feedback on is the Stephens article:

... federal spending in 2016 was already expected to climb by more than $200 billion... the budget deal to end the caps spending rises by an extra $80 billion over two years plus another $35 billion for the military. So now we are going to see a $300 billion hike in spending in 2016 which is close to an 8 percent spending orgy

What is the deal with federal "budget"? I thought the sequester had stopped all this... and the current deal only allowed $80B (over two years)... what's with the $200B?? I guess even the sequester (BHO's idea, after all) only temporarily suspended all the rampant spending that Reid had pushed through (HOW exactly? I heard the pundits say he never actually passed a budget).

If, as I expect, that even the smart folks in reach of this blog can't explain in a short paragraph, then I declare that, like immigration, this system appears broken (unless you're on K-street)....

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 29, 2015 11:18 AM
But jk thinks:

One paragraph?


Examining the grisly logic underpinning the sequester is a start: Republicans will be so intent on more military spending, they will trade in their opposition to Democrats' social spending. Some smart guys around here might make a good case for enumerated powers and proper role of government. But I b'lieve that's called logrolling, and I believe it dooms specnding cuts in representative democracy without some structural limits (say Colorado's TABOR or he Tenth Amendment...)

Posted by: jk at October 29, 2015 11:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

What is this "fix" for SSDI? Is it real, or is it another Washington gimmick?

Benefits were scheduled to fall by 20% next year because the program's "trust fund" is nearly bankrupt.

What? So the budget deal will prevent that "austerity" windfall... how, exactly? According to Investor's Business Daily, the capitalist version (as opposed to the corporatist version) of the Wall St. Journal, with smoke and mirrors:

Pension "smoothing" — a Bernie Madoff-type accounting fraud that lets companies delay pension contributions, reducing their tax write-offs and raising their tax payments. Revenues go up in the short term, but fall in the long term because the pension payments eventually have to be made.
Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2015 11:56 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Again, I write poorly while urging others to be concise... physician, heal thyself...
In one paragraph explain how the US Gov't budget is _supposed_ to be done; is it a Congressional act? An appropriation? A Bill? All three?

Heck, I'll put that into my list of columns for when I can get paid by the word.... should be a rainmaker ... explain ("no, eez too much, lemme summarize...") the current imbroglio caused by Harry Reid's cynical manipulation of a tottering colossus that's lead to most of the last decade being run on Continuing Resolutions, which appears to have been gleefully embraced (occasionally leg-humped) by McConnel & Boehner.

more military spending, they will trade in their opposition to Democrats' social spending
Reagan did so; convinced I still be it was the right thing for that time....

Yes, to answer your question: ALL of the "revenue/savings" ideas - save for pumping oil out of the Strat Reserve (while prices are rock-bottom!) - are made of things that would get any citizen thrown in jail.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 29, 2015 12:29 PM

Can we cogitate together?

I've been watching very carefully the news surrounding the 40-member House Freedom Caucus (HFC). Knocking a sitting speaker out is certainly a dramatic move that speaks of a certain power, clearly orchestrated by HFC members, and they one-upped themselves by helping knock off Boehner's best-chosen replacement.

I'm fully aware (and thereby will provide TS'ers with the information necessary to edify themselves) that the HFC certainly strikes a very Buckely-esque pose with its famous "STOP!" motif. But there was something fundamental going on in the people's house that cuts to a deeper theme.

1. HFC's pimples
I was very moved by Tom McClintock's letter describing how HFC was apparently cutting the GOP's nose to spite... an unclear someone's face. Today on the Hugh Hewitt show, John Campell (reasonable and retired -CA) related how the GOP's vision - allowing the Em-Im Bank to persevere but with drastic and far-reaching changes to its structure - was blocked by the HFC members, so the establishment GOP cooperated with Dem's to get an utterly un-reformed bank back on the slate. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good in a way Reagan would surely have shunned.

I was also rather unnerved during the Benghazi committee's session with HRC by Jim Jordan's (Head of HFC - OH, and laudably willing to go to the matt on the now-fading IRS scandal) pugilistically pontificating and postulating at an un-responsive former Secretary of State.

2. My point.
I don't think the HFC ousted the speaker so they could slam shut the door on immigration, nor to put the gavel in Duncan Hunter's (smart, principled if dull - CA) hand. As relayed very well by Nick "Mick" Mulvaney on the Hugh Hewitt show on Oct. 1st and 14th (and by others at other times), the HFC was really railing against the top-down power structure that was foisted on the House by Speaker Pelosi, and seemingly happily inherited by John (headed for the showers - OH) Boehner.

3. What does the HFC really want?
mostly - to use an interesting phrase that meant a lot to both Campbell and Mulvaney a return to regular order. As near as a direct quote as I could get (the wily Hewitt jealously protects his podcasts) also notes

We always thought the conservatives were underrepresented, for example, on committees. We’ve been retaliated against [by] sitting members [who] have raised money in primaries against conservatives. That kind of stuff has got to change. That was part of that poisonous atmosphere that Boehner allowed to sort of fester

And lastly, how "Members must have the ability to bring amendments into committee and on the floor" to which I said huh? what the _____ has been happening up there?

Certainly there's been some good with the Tea Party (any enemy of Boehner...) inspired members helping the new congress classes of 2010 and 2012 greatly stymie the latter parts of Obama's agenda: (1) sequester, (2) immigration "reform" which appeared to be glorified amnesty with very little fundamental reform (tho' the last being stopped was just as much due to a massive grassroots primal scream).

But now, the "STOP!" movement is losing steam to the inevitable and understandable impulse to legislate, make deals and DO things (criminal sentencing reform, budget "deals"). Here is the deeper theme, which possibly played out in small part during our discussion on immigration last week, whereby I poorly expressed the belief we are poised at a delicate, if not quite desperate point in our nation's history. A constitutional crisis, even.

I agree with Mirengoff (Get off my lawn! - PL) where

the left is bent on radically transforming American values, institutions, and ways of living, and will use almost any tactic, regardless of its legality, to accomplish the transformation.

Certainly Boehner and likely Paul Ryan (good speaker - WI) are of the "other" mindset in viewing:

the current moment as a normal clash of opposing parties and opinions — serious, but not exceptional.

Thus we can explain the difference between my "It's a Crisis!" approach to today's immigration scenario:
- crucial that immigration and spending need to be fully and firmly brought back under control.
vs. JK's which is more in line with the "others"
- the nation of historically recordable immigration should press heartily on
to quote Mirengoff:

Ryan probably yearns to strike a grand budget deal with the Democrats. For him, such work is far more fulfilling that saying “no” to Democrats.
Understandable, as the instinct of officials elected with other ideas than filling their pockets is up the instinct to legislate and to deal.

4. Bad press can kill an otherwise mighty offensive
HFC members should well note this instinct, and all the bad press that is likely coming their way and find a way to work circumstances that require dealing with the Dems (and "other" GOP types) is necessary as a tactical matter. In these cases, the bargains should be minimal, not sweeping or far reaching.

GOP voters seem to be thinking “outside the box.” Another way of looking at it, though, is that they perceive our politics as having moved into a new box in the Age of Obama.

Who was aware there is a house LIBERTY CAUCUS? I wasn't.

Were TS'ers aware of the “Pledge to America” – saying in part In a self governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching* judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values.

* - [I argue massively overreaching in NFIB v. Sebelius yet underreaching, in King v. Burwell]

I'll have to get this:

author - and con law prof mugged by working for in DC for a Dem Congressman - Elizabeth Price Foley, put it best: limited government, Constitutionalism, control the borders.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:31 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Heh. I went searching for a Review Corner of Ms. Foley's book. I guess I did not review it, but I did find this comment: "I enjoyed Elizabeth Price Foley's book on the TEA Party but feel she erred in including immigration." JG's "I am the Lorax" comment is much more deserving of a click.

Of course there are substantive, liberty minded folks in House Freedom Caucus. What gave me hope for the last five years was the feeling that thy were ascendant in the Republican Party. My present ennui is based on accepting that they have hit their ceiling and that many hold views on immigration that are orthogonal to liberty.

Trump is now second in the polls, which augurs well for eventual demise. But Dr. Carson, whom I respect and admire deeply, is N-O-T an agent for freedom. Conservatism, perhaps, "common sense" if you hope for that in Government. But he is not a deeply philosophical thinker. He will shut down decriminalization in marijuana because "it's bad for you. He's a Doctor." Maybe bacon is next.

When I do agree with the TEA Partiers and HFC, I question their tactics. Jim Geraghty catalogs the excesses today Ann Coulter calls Jim DeMint leader of "the surrender caucus," Rush . . . well, let me let Jim tell you:

Late last week, Rush Limbaugh called Ryan "the new Cantor" and seemed to suggest the Freedom Caucus was acquiescing to the "donor class" agenda.
Then again, maybe nobody is ever good enough. Dave Bossie is now making the argument that Trey Gowdy wasn't the right man for the job of heading up the Benghazi Select Committee.

Throw all our bums out every two years and allow the other side to accumulate Reps. and seniority in the likes of Elijah Cummings and Nancy Pelosi.

I don't feel I have a place in this party anymore. Maybe I can become a Colin Poweel/David Frum media darling type... There's good money in that.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2015 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I only recently learned of the House Liberty Caucus, separate, apart, and quite different from the House Freedom Caucus. The latter votes as a bloc (not very "free" that) and the former does not.

I'll jump past the subject of last week's sparring and go straight for "agent for freedom." I've been pondering this question: If the "donor" or ("political" "establishment" "chamber of commerce" "Council on Foreign Relations" or "other") class in Washington, comprising the federal Leviathan bureaucracy, really calls the shots, what individual man or woman can be an "agent for freedom" that could slay that dragon?

Short answer - none of them.
Longer answer - we have to find a way to take our money back away from them.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2015 2:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Being less fatalistic, I think the ones with the best intestinal fortitude are, in alphabetical order, Cruz, Fiorina, and Trump.

Cruz and Trump, I imagine, might begin to take the windmill tilting personally and revert to the "king of the hill" masculine form that can distract a chief executive from her true goal - shrinking the power and intrusiveness of government.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2015 3:08 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

JK's comment "don't feel I have a place in this party anymore" recalls to me RedState Eric's comment that I quoted here,

The overarching goal [of The Left] will be to convince you that no one agrees with you and there are no voices echoing you

Since I can't offer you my CLiP T-shirt... perhaps I can help focus on similarities? Starting small, I'll say {cough}Sequester! Given the option of being unhappy with "tactics" vs. considering Freedom's future under an HRC administration, I think the clear choice is to make tough choices, that will continue to forward the cause of freedom, inch by stinking inch.

Agreed that the TP and HFC should go sotto voce on immigration (again, focusing on the above). I kind of hope the HFC will disband after helping get a conservative elected to the Leadership post... the committed ones should then join the HLC, and the pugnacious ones can count their scalps and dry their powder...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 27, 2015 6:50 PM

October 1, 2015

At least she doesn't get all prickly about it..

Madame Leader, the ice queen. CSPAN

Posted by John Kranz at 6:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2015

Trey Gowdy!

Okay, I'm clearly just trolling now. But it's pretty good trolling. Here's Jim Geraghty:

What's the point of deposing a Speaker if you don't have an alternative you like better?


He just said he doesn't want the job.


He doesn't want that job, either. He periodically reminds people that he already has a big job that's unfinished on the Benghazi committee.

If conservatives really want to change the leadership in Congress, they need to--

No, wait, I just said he''


Now you're just yelling his name for no reason.


Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'm all for a 21st century clarion call for Trey to answer the call of his country.... He wouldn't necessarily be a good Speaker, but apparently make a good Majority Leader (acc. to Dreier), but only if he wants it!

I think better is a guy who said he wants it: Tom Price has stepped up. Unless we know him to be lacking.... hmm, perhaps I should post this at NRO...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 30, 2015 2:17 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I sympathize with the people who want Mr. Gowdy as the Speaker, but you can't force a job on a man who has other plans.

I mean, serving as Speaker might take away from his other duties as Attorney General in the next Administration.

I may have made that last part up, or it may represent wishful thinking.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 30, 2015 2:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. Is Trey Gowdy even an empty nester? Something tells me, no.

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2015 2:45 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sowell speaks up about the recent bru-ha-ha:

Nothing epitomized Boehner’s wrong-headedness like an occasion when he emerged from the White House, after a conference with President Obama and others, to face a vast battery of microphones and television cameras. Here was a golden opportunity for Speaker Boehner to make his case directly to the American people, unfiltered by the media. Instead, he just walked over to the microphones and cameras, briefly expressed his disgust with the conference he had just come from, and then walked on away.

This dovetails with a lot I'm hearing (yay! being on the same page as Sowell): Boehner was a good guy, lousy communicator (thereby, I suppose, the predilection for backroom deals?). Hewitt and Dreier are echoing this theme as the first big needed "change:" one who is a good communicator. [Think Newt]

McCarthy is judged "good" for several things:
- a good deal maker & fundraiser (helps his rapport with members),
- being telegenic,
- being willing to go public (which he's sticking to)

I am hopeful....

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 30, 2015 4:16 PM

September 29, 2015

Stupid Party Mounts Circular Firing Squad

Jim Geraghty shares my concern that the endgame was not really in place before grassroots started chopping heads. He links to Allahpundit:

Which brings us to an important question that's being overlooked in the chaos of Boehner's resignation: Why do House conservatives need extra time to organize? Why don't they already have their own candidate lined up? Rumors that Boehner might resign or be ousted have been circulating for at least 18 months now. Boehner himself acknowledged last week that he was prepared to quit last year before Cantor was upset in his primary. The threat from Mark Meadows and his supporters to depose Boehner this fall if he caved on defunding Planned Parenthood and the debt ceiling has been percolating for months. And yet, somehow, House conservatives seem to have been caught off-guard. Jeb Hensarling, whose name always comes up when conservatives start talking about their wish list for leadership, has already said he won't run. Jim Jordan said repeatedly earlier this year that he doesn't want to be Speaker. "What we need is real leadership," conservatives liked to say about Boehner. Okay, here's our big opportunity. Where is it?

We have Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R CA), but Allah points out all is not happy in grassrootsville. Mark Levin calls him "Eric Cantor with ten less IQ points."

Not a Levin fan -- that should be "Eric Cantor with ten fewer IQ points."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | Comments (11)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Let me 'splain why not having an immediate successor to Boehner was a good thing. First, let me say that I really like Geraghty... but well to remember his stock and trade is invective and conflict.

Having a successor in the wings changes the argument from we want our guy! which is Machiavellian to begone with you, for all the non-good you've done! which is, in this case, Cromwellian (in the good way -- hey, good enough for Milton....).

Word is (driving a lot today: Hugh Hewitt is sooo connected) that we are probably getting as good as we can with a Speaker McCarthy, as Speaker needs an uber-majority so he has to be the wheeler-dealer type (the second most 'qualified' is thereby Scalise - I worry would be the second coming of Tom Delay?!?). Also, that Tom Price is in the top five of the ones us liberty-loving constitutionalist-clingers crave and has a shot (thus spake David Dreier)!

I heard that Buck endorsed McCarthy on KHOW or KOA morning news... I'm happy to hear HFC has decided that their strategy is to get one of "ours" and not a RINO into the Leader position (another positive, Dreier confirmed).

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 30, 2015 12:59 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ah, poop; I mis-typed: NOT having a successor in the wings ... is what I meant.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 30, 2015 1:02 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I also see it a positive that Jordan won't run, as it again turns this into a procedure that maintains the appearance of principle over power. I'm sad that Ryan won't run ("job for an empty-nester" is what I heard him say), but Gowdy might!

Hewitt is urging Gowdy to run, saying wait until he shouts a Shermanesque dis-positive before giving up on him!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 30, 2015 1:12 AM
But jk thinks:

Well, you can bad mouth Speaker Boehner all you want. But I'll not stand still while you impugn Machiavelli! More seriously, wasn't the gripe with Boehner's Reign that he was not Machiavellian enough?

Hugh kind of hits my point: the position demands a wheeler-dealer (Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Schuyler Colfax, Sam Rayburn, Newt Gingrich ...) Not sure Trey Gowdy is the right fit and I'm prepared to take him at his word that he's not running.

John Boehner built a substantial majority in a fractious party and unprecedentedly cut spending as a share of GDP. WSJ Ed Page:

In the Tom DeLay-George W. Bush era a decade ago, we often lambasted Republican overspending. But amid all the conservative denunciations of the John Boehner era, a key political fact is typically ignored. To wit, the GOP takeover of the House in 2010 has led to a marked decline in federal spending.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2015 10:07 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That's rich! The congress that follows Democrat control of House, Senate and Presidency - which gave us the "stimulus bill" - cut government spending! George McGovern would have cut spending under the same circumstances.

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2015 11:32 AM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps -- but Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Botox - CA) would not have.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2015 12:00 PM

September 28, 2015

Was there ever a plan?

The problem with adding a "GOP Self-destruction" category is that there are certainly some data constraints on the MySQL database which underlies this blog. I don't know whether it could handle the stress.

Jim Geraghty [subscribe] makes me look rather cheerful, but he asks the same question:

Okay, grassroots conservatives, here's your chance.

You wanted John Boehner out as Speaker, and now he's on his way out. Right now the buzz is that House majority leader Kevin McCarthy is a slam-dunk to replace him.

If grassroots conservatives want one of their own to be Speaker, they have to unite quickly behind an alternative . . . and one who wants the job.

If there is some grand plan underlying this, it is better hidden than any 9-11 conspiracy. I suspect the scalp is good enough. My Facebook feed (the right half) is listing who's next: McConnell, McCain, Graham, Flake &c. I get on each and comment "Umm, guys, how about some Democrats?"

We'll get rid of all those bleeping RINOs and have five brave defenders of liberty left in Congress. Hell, I could join the Libertarians if I wanted that.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (3)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I hope you're right that the scalp is good enough. The focus needs to switch to 'throw the bum(s) out' to "what now?"

Comment threads on other conservative blogs are far too often focused on more defenstrations (love that word!), instead of progress. This, sadly, fits in with a prevailing view of humans that it's easier to destroy than create. However, the history of the USofA and even that shown by HumanProgres.org happily point us away from the negative view being dominant.

Likely that the new speaker needs to be a collaborationist type (too bad Ryan won't run!). Red State claims that McCarthy has a history of working with conservatives (I like everything I've heard about this young gun), unlike the current speaker, but with this warning

If Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) [63% Heritage rating] and Rep. Cathy M. Rodgers (R-WA) [58%] move up NOTHING can change

Soo, TP'ers should probably keep their powder dry and prepare all their favors and cajoling for the votes for Majority Whip and Leader.... so, we should soon see if the really is a plan... the best ones, btw, do NOT make the Sunday morning talk shows.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2015 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Plan? I've got yer plan right here. (It's throwback Monday.)

"We have what they want, but they don't know it. Sometimes I wonder if we know it."
Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2015 2:52 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

This is awesome. "Broaden the base" = blur the lines b/w us and the other party!

Bold colors! Three are enough for me...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2015 5:57 PM

September 27, 2015

house freedom caucus; a recipe for GOP dysfunction?

Brother JG notes:

The whole thing is moot, is it not, unless Senate Majority Leader McConnell changes the filibuster rule the same way as his predecessor, Senate Majority Leader Reid.

I would agree that the Iran deal would seem the time and place to go with this, but note that so far even Dingy Harry only sought to circumvent filibuster for judicial nominees. Invoking it for legislation would, in many ways, dramatically change the Senate in many ways, likely permanently. This should be daunting to any leader. A more incremental approach is (and has been) proposed along several lines, yet perhaps doomed by this interesting issue.

Tom McClintock announced Wednesday he was resigning from the House Freedom Caucus, saying the group’s hardball tactics had undermined conservative goals rather than advancing them

He provides specific examples in his resignation letter to Jim Jordan. who leads HFC:

House Republicans attempted to pass a three-week stop gap bill so we could avoid a catastrophic shutdown of our security agencies while continuing to bring public opinion to bear to de-fund the ["amnesty"] orders. At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with House Democrats to defeat this effort, resulting in the full funding of these illegal orders for the fiscal year.

Last week, the House was scheduled to adopt the Resolution of Disapproval of the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement – the only legally binding action available to Congress under the Corker Act. Once again, the House Freedom Caucus leadership threatened to combine with House Democrats to defeat the Resolution, forcing the House leadership to abandon it in favor of a symbolic and legally meaningless vote.

For several months, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have threatened to shut down the government on October 1st unless Congress unleashes another unsustainable cycle of tax increases and borrowing. Last week, the House Freedom Caucus formally vowed to shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.
A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness – indeed, an eagerness – to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions. As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally.

So, what has been perceived - certainly by me! - as lack of backbone and/or initiative in the GOP, could be a result of this group blocking many a common sense, procedural-based approach to stopping the Obama train. Why? I would like to know.

Example of common sense approach (from Prof. Steven Hayward):

12 separate appropriation bills for the major government departments, as Congress is supposed to do under the modern budget process. If Congress were doing its job properly, they could threaten to shut down just the Department of Health and Human Services, and/or they could attach Planned Parenthood defunding to all 12 appropriation bills and make Obama issue 12 vetoes ... That would transform the politics of any shutdown radically.

So, we've got Jordan and Mark Meadows [wingnut?, NC]; who are the other eight, and WHAT DO THEY WANT besides defunding PP? I can only guess it's about power. Are they Tea Party-driven or "social issues conservatives"? Still, as Dr. Hayward notes above,

the real failure of GOP leadership in both houses—is that we’re once again looking at passing yet another omnibus continuing resolution

So, HFC could be demanding some sort of idealogical purity, or perhaps just trying to move leadership away from what I've see as a surfeit of what "Beltway Syndrome" aka, we insiders will do as we (incumbents, all) and our lobbyists deem necessary.

I'm puzzled by the backroom deals, and not unhappy to see Boehner leave, but would like to know what's going on: I certainly know that the word "conservative" only meaning when published in the MSM is "them." To me, it means mostly the limited gov't, "Liberty" agenda; is that only me? Certainly Boehner's 1st Lieutenant, Eric Cantor, was defeated (deservedly so, from what I could tell) with Tea Party support as being way too steeped in the ways of Beltway Syndrome.

I'm hoping this is the start of a Gladstonian revolt, and not one leading to a Handmaid's Tale...

Posted by nanobrewer at 1:16 AM | Comments (6)
But nanobrewer thinks:

538 blog has an article on HFC, not answering my questions, but nods at the Gladstone approach, noting

The Freedom Caucus members aren’t homogenous demographically, politically or in their attitude toward Boehner.


Posted by: nanobrewer at September 27, 2015 2:33 AM
But jk thinks:

Very interesting stuff, thanks.

I've been Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell's biggest defenders here (or anywhere else, as near as I can tell). I am willing to admit somebody else could do better, but I watch too much Jon Caldara and his Rule #1, Republicans will mess everything up, will likely unfold here.

Somebody else could be better but will get somebody better? It's not going to be Justin Amash (HOSS MI) or Trey Gowdy (HOSS SC); they don't have the votes and I doubt they have the temperament. And, while I don't want the Tea Party shut out of power, I'm not sure I want them driving the train either. We might miss our internal gridlock, mark my words.

And I strongly oppose any efforts to damage the filibuster. It's our final remaining protection from Democracy. The knowledge that "our guys" would have it a couple years is not worth discarding republican government.

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2015 11:16 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Initially worried by the depiction of the HFC (not by the MSM - they will always be shouting "fight! fight! fight!") but from McClintock's letter.

Still, the we can't work with this dude does make sense now that I pause to remember too, too many stories of Boehner being downright nasty to what seemed to be as basic conservative causes (Hugh Hewitt was also a defender, yet could only come up with "Why?"), and quite vindictive to some of the young bucks. I clearly remember him being ... just ugly when trying to force a vote on immigration reform [comprehensive, of course!]

I've forgotten how many times in the last 12 months, even a centrist GOP like Hugh would say things like 'why hand the opposition this ammunition?'

Here's an example of him being the man that doesn't get it, on Face the Nation.

Our founders didn’t want some parliamentary system where if you won the majority, you got to do whatever you wanted. They wanted this long, slow process. And so change comes slowly. Obviously too slowly for some.

Seems oblivious to it's Obama who's been ushering change in avalanche by executive order, in disregard of the founders system. He apparently believes that it’s members of his caucus who are at odds with the founders’ vision.

Or, he's just saying what he thinks needs to be heard to stay on the cocktail circuit and be in line for the next juicy lobbyist post. Time may tell. Good riddance, and here's hoping anew, that next is better!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2015 12:13 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The "him" I refer to in the Face The Nation appearance was Boehner, not Hewitt.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2015 2:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm on record as a defender of republicanism, however, the Republican party shows no sign of doing anything to prevent Democrats from eschewing the filibuster again, or for broader purposes.

Hayward's department by department budget idea is a good one. One can only wonder why the previous leadership passed omnibus spending bills for the last 6 years. Hardly the doing of the House Freedom Caucus.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2015 3:14 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JG: Heh, pick your whinge: [then] We need the Senate! [now] We need the presidency! [soon] We need veto-proof majority!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2015 5:54 PM

June 24, 2015

Goin' Public with our Disagreement

I was amused to see my comment and my blog brother's side by side on Senator Cory Gardner's (Now that is real leadership! - CO) Facebook post.

This morning, the Senate voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority, also known as TPA. I'm a strong supporter of free trade, and I voted in favor of TPA.

Trade supports hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs in Colorado. TPA provides Congress with the authority to approve high-quality trade deals that create jobs, break down barriers for American exporters, and put more goods stamped 'Made in the USA' on shelves overseas. Free trade deals enhance America's standing in the world, building stronger alliances with our friends and putting economic pressure on our rivals.

TPA is the best path forward to finalizing transparent trade agreements that keep America competitive, strengthen our economy, and create better-paying jobs for Coloradans. Now, it's the administration's responsibility to negotiate a good deal and bring it before Congress and the American people for a full public vetting and a vote.


Fairness dictates that I point out that I appear to be the ONLY supportive comment in the long list. But one man with courage makes a majority, right?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahaha! My blog brother is my only "like."

Posted by: jk at June 24, 2015 11:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not afraid to be called a "traitor lover."

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2015 1:50 PM

March 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

Democrats are furious, though watching them try to shame Mr. McConnell into moving up a vote on the first black woman nominee for AG is amusing. Someone had the bad idea to roll out Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), who compared Ms. Lynch to Rosa Parks, railing that Republicans were making her "sit in the back of the bus."

This would be the same Dick Durbin who filibustered Janice Rogers Brown (the first black woman nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals) and who kicked off the bus Miguel Estrada (the first Hispanic nominee to that court)--filibustering him seven times over 28 months, until he withdrew his nomination. Progress, thy name is not Dick Durbin. -- Kim Strassel

Trigger Warning: I'll warn ThreeSourcers that the link contains some approbation for the Senate Majority leader. I don't want to ruin anybody's day.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Also the same dustbin that voted against Condie Rice.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 21, 2015 12:17 AM

March 4, 2015


Both Colorado Senators voted "Yea" on overriding President Obama's veto of the Keystone Pipeline.

Let people whine about fruitless labor, this is how legislation is supposed to go. Well done 114th!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 6, 2015

Three Cheers for Sen. Mitch McConnell

Interesting factoid for my big-L friends.

After a committee hearing, the Keystone bill spent three weeks on the Senate floor, where it was debated at length and amended by senators of both parties. In all, the Senate voted on 41 amendments--almost three times as many amendment roll call votes as the Democrat-led Senate conducted in all of 2014. -- Sen. John Thune (Better Than Dashle - SD)

It is not liberty in its own right, but the return to regular order is a return to following the Constitution.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2015

Three Cheers for Sen. Michael Bennett

My Democrat Senator joins my Republican Senator in supporting KeystoneXL!

No Republicans voted to block the legislation, and eight Democrats voted to approve it.

Well done, Senators.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Would you settle for one cheer? "A single cheer only, please."

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2015 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Huh? The quality of mercy is not jg?

-- One of eight D's voting yea (cheer the one!)
-- 20 months from election (cheer the two!)
-- Potentially pissing off Tom Steyer (cheer the three!)

If my math is incorrect, let me know.

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2015 4:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm willing to suggest that the Senior Senator's strategery is as follows: Cheer the one will do him more good regarding cheer the two than would cheer the three.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2015 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps. One of my gripes has been that he is a backbencher and 100% reliable vote for Team Blue. Just eight strikes me as borderline ballsy (well, on the Michael Bennett scale).

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2015 6:57 PM

January 26, 2015

House Freedom Caucus

I like the looks of this.

"Our main hope is that we can represent the voids and valleys for our constituents back home," Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho told The Daily Signal today. "With a small group that is nimble and able to work on issues that are of importance to our constituents, we can make a difference in Congress."

Called the House Freedom Caucus, the group serves as a conservative alternative to the Republican Study Committee, which has over 170 members. However, it was not formed to be "anti-RSC," a Republican congressional aide told The Daily Signal last month.

Now, I'd love it were the same group to be called, say, "The GOP" or something. And I have generally high esteem for the RSC. But this is a good step.

In related news, with heavy heart I had to un-follow my big-L nemesis on Facebook. He posts outrageous, incendiary things about all those losers and fools who still vote GOP, but he has never engaged me with any kind of intellectual honesty. I will wait for he and his three dedicated "atty boy" followers to vote in a new era of total liberty -- and then I will pile on the bandwagon and brag how I knew him back when. Until that time, I will not spend much time on those who will not honestly engage, whatever side they be on.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:43 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Typo alert: Heh - I thought it said "Frodo" Caucus.

This reminds me a lot of the Principles of Liberty effort in Colorado. Much good could it do.

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2015 6:05 PM
But jk thinks:

"Freedo" fixed, thanks for the sharp eye. Neither the Hobbit nor the legendary session bassist "Freebo" enjoy their own House caucus.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2015 6:29 PM

Enumerated Powers Doctrine Cuts Both Ways

Until seven minutes ago, I was convinced that the Speaker was not only within his rights to invite PM Netanyahu to speak to Congress, but also that it was a good idea to tell our ally that not all of us are pusillanimous appeasers.

But I find this blog post from the Tenth Amendment Center compelling:

First, Congress has no Article I, Section 8 to host a foreign leader. (Moreover, the necessary and proper clause, the usual refuge of Congress when it lacks an express power, isn't available here, because Congress isn't passing a law. The power is only to "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper...").

Second, reception of foreign leaders is an exclusive power of the President. Article II, Section 3, provides that "he [the President] shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers." In this situation, Prime Minister Netanyahu, appearing as the official representative of his country, should be classed as a "public Minister."

I wish my opponents to follow the clear text of the Constitution; I will ask my friends to do the same.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is a compelling argument. If we had a government that was being run in accordance with the Constitution, I would wholeheartedly take your side.

And I have a world of respect for the Tenth Amendment Center, whose aim is to impartially and unpartisanly hold everyone's feet to the fire to govern in accordance with the Tenth Amendment, the amendment in the Bill of Rights that is probably more disregarded than any of the other nine. Kudos to them.

However, we are saddled with a lawless Executive, whose violations of the Constitution and its amendments are far more egregious and far more numerous that this likely overreach by Mr. Boehner and Congress. If this argument were to be used by anyone supporting the pretender in the White House (and brother, be it heretofore known that IN NO WAY do I accuse you of that unpardonable sin), I would invite them to clean their own damb house first.

That being said, I would also submit that Art. II, Sect. 3, is not merely an exclusive power, but an exclusive responsibility. It says the President "shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers." So let him do his job and receive Mr. Netanyahu. As many of my Second Amendment friends will point out, there is a significant difference in the options available between "shall" and "may," as in the words "shall issue" and "may issue." It is Mr. Soetero's job and duty to receive Mr. Netanyahu; let him therefore do some receiving. Calling him a "coward" and "chickenshit" are optional, but receiving him seems mandatory.

And if anyone would care to split hairs, I'd be tempted to suggest that Congress isn't "receiving" Netanyahu by way of acknowledging or refusing to acknowledge him in his capacity of an ambassador or public minister of Israel; Congress is opening discussion regarding the hazards of Radical Islamic Violence (something the Executive Branch continues to refuse to acknowledge, I might add), and in its rightful duty to hold debate and hear witnesses, Mr. Netanyahu has made himself available as something of an expert witness on the subject with something meaningful to say. I for one would be very interested in his thoughts and experiences.

For the sake of snark, does Art. II, Sect. 3 have anything to say about receiving green-lipped degenerates who eat breakfast cereal out of bathtubs? I may have missed that part.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 26, 2015 2:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My point of view requires no disclaimer: Even if our government were operating in an Originalist Constitutional manner I see no barrier to Congress "receiving Ambassadors and other public Ministers." At no place in Article II Section 3 do I see the world "only" or any other term conveying exclusivity.

And if one is inclined to insist that it must be an enumerated power of Congress in Article I, my reply is, "Very well, let the members of Congress receive this public minister as private citizens. This is still a free country, with rights of free speech and free association, is it not?"

And then if yours truly was feeling snarky I might add, "And get off your high horse." But I'm not feeling snarky.

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2015 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

I started this on Facebook and apologize for venue diffusion.

Before switching, I suggested that many of the supporting arguments sound suspiciously like the President's "I'd love to honor separation of powers -- if it weren't for those intransigent Republicans!" I appreciate the more nuanced suggestions made above.

Madison, of course thought the 10th that we revere redundant. Obviously, by enumerating powers proscription of extension and extrapolation is assumed.

I'll call your attention to David Bernstein's response. He also sees a parallel both of absolute Constitutionality and the appearance of honoring the separation of powers.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2015 4:52 PM

January 22, 2015

Et tu Harsanyi?

I'm not betrayed -- but very surprised -- at "Mr. Libertarian" David Hasanyi's disappointment in the GOP's pulling the 20-week abortion bill.

Before the GOP had pulled the bill, Washington Post's Dana Milbank argued that Republicans were needlessly reviving the culture wars, pulling a bait and switch on the electorate--because abortion is not a high priority for voters and it was "rarely" campaigned on as in issue during the midterms.

Now, I can't find a corresponding piece from Milbank griping about the Left's obsession with climate change, an issue that is also consistently one of the lowest priorities among voters, but I'm sure it exists somewhere. What's truly absurd, though, is the idea that the GOP is alone responsible for any "revival of the culture wars." The culture war never ended. Some of you probably remember the Democrats' gynecocentric campaign to paint every GOP candidates as a misogynist.

Can't argue with a word and -- at the risk of setting the first worm-dish out at the ThreeSources Potluck -- I am squishy enough to support a 20-week ban. But I think my favorite journalist errs on the politics. Yes, the Democrats lost by focusing exclusively on gynecology, but the Republicans won not by offering superior uterine legislation but by saying "we are going to accomplish other things."

So having such an early bill on a socially-tinged issue disappointed me, and I was pretty glad to have it pulled. Bring it up this time next year. And think of a principled way to extend it a bit later in the term. And I will support it or vote "present."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2015

Burn the Heretic!

All hail the conquering hero: Sen. Joni Ernst (Squeeeee! IA)

Sen. Joni Ernst scares Democrats because she is a woman who has a strong conservative philosophy and message that appeals to a lot of people. According to the Washington Post everything about her biography and style blunts the Democrats' usual criticisms of conservative women.

I liked candidate Ernst, sent a small sum (I'm not ADM or anything), was happy to see her elected, and pleased to find that she was delivering the dreaded SOTU response.

She did fine, and I agree with Steve Straub (quoted above) that she is an asset to the party. But George Will called her "a new star," and many others have offered effusive praise. I did not see the same speech. She covered the part (and I loved the camo pumps!) but I felt that she was talking down to me a bit.

I gave Governor Bobby "Thin" Jindal and Senator Marco "Thirsty" Rubio better marks than the rest of the pundit class did. Perhaps I am regressing to the mean, but Sen Ernst gets a Gentlelady's B." Me wrong?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

A solid triple off the wall in her first at-bat doesn't make her Rookie of the Year, but it does bode well. I'd like to see how she does as she gets accustomed to the league. Star? We'll see. Talented addition to the roster? Oh, hell yes. Put her in, Coach; she's ready to play.

Loved the shoes, but did you see Mia Love's? Rocking the snakeskin...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 21, 2015 12:47 PM
But jk thinks:

No -- and Google is not helping (complicated by the MIA brand of ladies' shoes). I could not be objective on Rep. Love, her smile shatters me into tiny pieces.

BTW, Ernst & Love (sounds like an accounting firm) were my picks for out of state support this election -- I've convinced myself that I am quite the kingmaker!

Posted by: jk at January 21, 2015 1:15 PM


I caught most of the SOTU performance tonight, in a re-run after a late hockey game. (We won in a shootout after a 4-4 tie.) I'm now moved to comment on some of the most important aspects. ... Did Boehner really wear a PURPLE tie? Come on, man!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:49 AM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2015

I Was Only 217 Votes Short of Being Speaker of the House

At 4:00. (He has Henry Clay's seat in the US Senate; Clay was Speaker).

Posted by John Kranz at 3:55 PM | Comments (0)

Germane Humor

Okay, this is pretty funny. A member of Fans of Best of the Web Today posts this, saying "I don't know which one I find more disturbing."



Posted by John Kranz at 1:22 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Add this one with Joe Biden for the trifecta. Honestly, I think mine's the most disturbing.


Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 7, 2015 2:22 PM

January 6, 2015

Rep. Trey Gowdy Agrees with jk

Rep. Trey Gowdy (HOSS - SC) from the Blaze via The Federalist:

"A canceled flight, due to weather, from South Carolina to Washington this morning regrettably prevented me from being in Washington for today's speaker vote," Gowdy said in a statement. "Had our flight not been canceled, I would have voted for our conference nominee, John Boehner."

"The position of speaker of the House is a difficult job as evidenced by the fact that so few members seek the position," Gowdy said. "Speaker Boehner was approved overwhelmingly by the conference in November. In fact, not a single other name was placed in nomination."

jk from ThreeSources: Nobody. Else. Ran.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:20 PM | Comments (11)
But johngalt thinks:

I see the disapprobation over the Boehner voting as only an annoyance as well. They're mad as hell, remember? It's difficult to bite your tongue in that mindset. But they'll stay in the fight. As a glimmer of hope, I already have one FB like for the following comment:

While some in the liberty camp call for the heads of newly elected Reps who don't vote their conscience, the big-government wing of the GOP is trying to "primary" outspoken small-government Republicans like Mike Lee. Can we stop helping them please, and focus instead on supporting those who DO vote their principles, such that more and more of them will feel empowered to do so?
Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2015 12:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Buck is on http://www.1310kfka.com/ now 1030 MST

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2015 12:36 PM
But jk thinks:

He opened with Nobody. Else. Ran.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2015 12:38 PM
But jk thinks:

He kicked it!

-- No clear alternative. Yolo and Gomert got two or three votes. Webster has a 60% rating from Club for Growth and 63% from Taxpayers Union. To launch a protest vote and lose opportunity to contribute on important committees &c, is a strategic error.

-- Contradicted Brother JG's whip count, said the vote was 11 short.

-- Last November, the entire GOP caucus had elections and nobody expressed any interest in running for Speaker. Boehner won unanimously in private, GOP only ballot.

-- Conservative heroes like Gowdy, Mcculvey, &c. all voted (or professed intent to) for the Speaker. "Get on their Facebook pages and call them 'traitors.' If you want to complain to me -- do it to my face!"

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2015 1:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll not complain to him. I urged him to vote for someone else but I made no ultimatums.

From my "Imagine" link above, 29 needed -25 "defectors" = 4 short. Non? (We are all Frenchmen today.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2015 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

Oui! #JeSuisCharlie

Examiner: "Boehner won on the first ballot with 216 votes out of 408." Sounds like 216 - 11 would have worked.

Rep. Buck impressed me in the interview.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2015 3:25 PM

And I Thought Losing Sucked

I am more disillusioned about politics today than the "don't jump, jk" posts of 2012. FB:

Ken Buck just voted for Boehner as Speaker of the House. He has betrayed the trust of those he serves. This is a huge disappointment given he has run as a Tea Party conservative, but shows Ken's true character - Party over Principle. Another hugely sad day for CD4.

Hilarity: People surprised Ken Buck and Congressman Mike Coffman just voted for Boehner.

Wake up people. The GOP isn't interested in limited government. The few exceptions are notable because they are so few.

Quit collaborating with your own oppression. A vote for Boehner (and a vote for someone who voted for Boehner) is a vote for your own oppression via more big government.

Change starts with you.

UPDATE: The Hon. John Boehner is elected Speaker, and one rational voice appears on my FB feed:
Ok, old folks in the GOP, time to face facts. Your generation either failed to participate or actively aided the GOP in becoming what it is today. I am happy you want to change it, and I am happy you recognize that there are problems.

I also understand that you are old and time is short and you want change RIGHT BLEEPING NOW. You will not get what you want. Turning either party toward liberty is going to take a long time. Keeping it oriented toward liberty will take constant vigilance.

Instead of whining and threatening to leave the party, and therefore politics (this is known as quitting where I come from) keep fighting, teach the youngsters how politics works, stop supporting candidates you know aren't limited government.

In other words, SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE!

Dear people:

Nobody else ran.

Those who mattered did not run; those who ran did not matter.

The second vote getter was of course Rep. Pelosi. The distant third was Rep, Daniel Webster of Florida. The name connotes statesmanship, but he announced one hour before voting. That's the kind of forward thinking leadershio the GOP needs! "Well, gee, I guess I'll be Speaker. Do you still get a really big gavel? That's be cool..."

Sec. General Colin Powell got a vote as did Sen. Rand Paul. All my friends are furious that my new Representative, Ken Buck, voted for the Speaker (with 215 of his new friends). Yet, Nobody. Else, Ran.


Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 PM | Comments (3)
But Steve D thinks:

'Yet, Nobody. Else, Ran.'
I thought Pelsoi ran?

Posted by: Steve D at January 6, 2015 4:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, excellent point. And I had some fear that enough "brave, bold & principled" Republicans would somehow hand the really big gavel back to her.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2015 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And yet, the Speaker came within the votes of the Colorado delegation from being rejected. Had that happened, more would have been considered. And yes, it would be messy. Possibly bloody. For avoiding that it seems we should be thankful. At the same time, Boehner's vote of "confidence" keeps getting weaker. Now that's what I call "Progress."

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2015 12:09 PM

Wild Randians at the WSJ Ed Page

The Internet Segue Machine™ is sending meters into the red on this one. Ayn Rand Institute President Yaron Brook sounds some common themes from ThreeSources:

And the WSJ Ed Page piles on. "Corporate Welfare" is pulled into the subhead, though it is one item in a laundry list of "restrained" GOP goals.

Republicans can use control of the committees in both chambers to educate the public about the problems confronting the country and to advertise failed programs and special-interest abuses. An especially useful early statement would be to oppose corporate welfare to show how powerful government helps the powerful. The last thing the GOP needs is to be the party of the Chamber of Commerce when the Chamber is lobbying for the Ex-Im Bank

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2015

On GOP Leadership

A great friend (who, sadly prefers email to Facebook and Blogging) sent me a message. He was concerned about the GOP leadership elections and specifically about Sens. Corker (Establishment - TN) and Thune (Ditto - SD) appearing on FNS and talking up a gas tax. In fairness to the Senators, they tried to make clear this would be revenue neutral reform to take no more money but direct more toward infrastructure.

I don't have rights or permission to share the missive (he would grant it -- holler if you want) but I do have rights to my response. And I could dedicate this to dozens of Facebook friends and ThreeSourcers:

I have some very interesting friends, David. I would not trade them for the world and all its gold. But I have a lot of friends whom I accuse of impeding the cause of liberty, because their tactics are bad -- although their motives good and their principles sound. Most of those are on your side of the leadership fight and all seem substantively invested.

I, too, wish to encourage the GOP to move to liberty-friendly positions. And I, too, would like to see it happen quickly. But I feel the need to balance between that desire and exigencies. I have rightly been accused of being too cautious and going too slowly but these of whom I speak make no allowance to political exigency.

I am reading John Allison's "The Leadership Cure" where the Cato CEO and BB&T Stud mixes business acumen and Objectivist principles -- it's quite good. I'm less fully invested in Rand than a lot of people I know, I suspect far less than you. But Allison’s book nicely mimics the AS III movie that you cannot ignore reality. Rand-love 'em, my GOP-directin' friends ignore reality worse than stoner wind-power lobbyists at an Earth Day parade. "Fight! Fight! Fight!" can be a sign of courage, but the bravest of Generals know when to consolidate and when to seek reinforcements.

I'm concerned that the leadership seems too cautious, but I cannot abet those who would throw away hard-won electoral gains on a foolish demonstration of bravado. I'd love some cool-headed discussion, and am amenable to persuasion. But the Intertubes are abuzz with a-strategic and ill-founded calls for action which are not likely in liberty's interest.

All the best,

Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

May I suggest, if I haven't already, the following strategy for "fighting:" http://www.thepartyofchoice.com/articles1/message-to-the-gop-go-slow-by-andy-peth

As for leadership, we can and should do better than Boehner. Louis Gohmert would be just fine with me.

And yes, you and everyone within the range of these written words has permission to share the linked article, as widely as possible - and QUICK.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2015 7:08 PM
But jk thinks:

I endorse the "go slow" Andy Peth article. It's a tactical and tonal match for my path forward, though I'd only do the 30 hour work week and medical device tax of ObamaCare. Then I would hope for King v Burwell to lay waste to the rest while making mischief in other areas.

But I think the leadership fight completely contravenes the article. Go slow -- but first, rip out the rightful heir to the majority he crated and put in some madman, diaconal, Sunday School teacher and tea-party favorite to lead the party! That sounds cautious. (Of course I don't think that, but tell me it's not the lead ppg if he gets within 100 votes.)

My larger concern -- and you addressed it in the greatest blog comment of 2015 [Third comment]-- is the spittle flecked demand for blood from the anti-establishment side. To support Boehner on my Facebook feed would be like painting your house in Mohammed cartoons in Copenhagen. If our newly-minted Rep, Ken Buck (HOSS and flat shoe wearer - CO4) votes for Boehner, I am assured it's "A BETRAYAL!" and "Putting his ambition over principle!"

I hate to say it is not important. But in choosing a hill for the 114th to die on, let us say I hoped it would not be the first berm, right outside camp.

And, while I have not "whipped this," it is still a longshot as in "not. gonna. happen." Lacking the numbers to win, they will split the party and drive the liberty guys farther away from power.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2015 7:40 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... But in choosing a hill for the 114th to die on..."

I find it telling that after cave-in after cave-in, the first hill that Boehner finds worth fighting for is his own speakership.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 5, 2015 10:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Again, Keith, I am living life in Bizarro World -- I just don't see anything you are seeing.

So, nine members of the caucus suggest they are not voting for him and he is supposed to resign to prevent a fight? It's all his fault?

Rep. Tom Massie was on The Independents and made a great case that CRomnibus was a failure because the procedure of dumping 1600 page bills for an immediate vote is a relic of broken procedures. I can dig that, that is one of the better arguments I have heard.

On the same show Kennedy said "Who are going to vote for? Rep. Louie Gomert? He's a Crazy Person!" Now, she's not a fan of the GOP but it does play back into my concern. We're going to vote "None of the Above" that's never a great strategy.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2015 12:10 AM

November 13, 2014

Somewhere Between RINO and Rebel

I suggested that everything can evolve, even the GOP, and this post is written with hope that the GOP "establishment" evolves as well. Indications are positive, if you look at the serious analysis instead of the fever swamps on either side of the spectrum. I've heard my liberty friends wail that "the day after the election McConnell is swearing off the government shutdown and promising to work together with the Democrats to make the Senate productive again." I don't know that he actually said that, but I do know that with GOP majorities in both chambers, Republicans only have to work together with each other to make the Senate productive again.

To that end, what effect can the incoming class of Republican legislators have? National Journal's Josh Kraushaar writes that they will make all the difference in the world.

"All of them ran because they want the Senate to be a functioning institution. They're not looking for crisis moments as leverage points," said Billy Piper, a former chief of staff to McConnell. "This is a pretty unified bunch."

That's not to say the new wave isn't conservative, but there's a huge distinction between being conservative and being uncompromising. All of these GOP senators-elect have an interest in policy, and already showcased governing aptitude.

So, liberty friends, would you rather try to ramrod our principles the way the Dems did in 2009, while we have the chance, or would you prefer to lead with sound policies and maintain a GOP majority for a few more cycles? I'm willing to get on board for the latter. Mitch, don't let me down, you formerly watered down collectivist RINO traitor who I once wanted out of office. Prove to me that the "formerly" is warranted.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:25 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ever the optimist. I'm more like a pragmatic Missourian; they've got to show me.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 13, 2014 2:54 PM

Apologies to Brother Keith...


Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Where are my manners? The correct headline is "With Apologies to Brothers KA and NB"

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2014 1:20 PM

November 6, 2014


Somebody call a Waaaaaahmbulence!

My lefty and Democrat Facebook friends have been pretty quiet since the election (Bette Midler is a fine person but not on my feed, so this does not count). But the libertarians are in full mouth-foam. They gave the GOP a chance for these last 20 hours or so, but dammit, the Grand Old Party has let them down. Again.

The offending thing is an interview with TIME, where Senator McConnell said no government shutdowns and no full ObamaCare repeal. I posted a couple of places that I did not expect a small majority to dismantle the New Deal. (I was called an apologist by a candidate for Attorney General -- how's your day?)

I know some ThreeSourcers find Sen. McConnell too tentative, but I am pleased with two editorials. The second is Dan Henniger's WonderLand. He talks about economic growth.

If allowing economic growth to persist below the U.S.'s historic achievement is a political death trap for the party in power, the future looks bleak for the Democrats. The election eliminated the senators who passed for the party's political center. What's left is . . . the left. Operating from behind the Blue moats of California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut--the left is fine with 2% growth. Progressive Democratic policies on Keystone, power-plant closures and oil exports crushed younger, unionized job seekers. For them, a politics of "sustainable" but low growth amounts to, Let them eat sunshine.
The ascendant GOP congressional majority needs to do one thing: Liberate the locked-in U.S. economy. Start opening every valve the Obama Democrats turned shut. That's the real gridlock. Voters didn't do this just so Washington could work. Voters did this in the expectation that Washington will now enable them to work. There's a difference. This is a bet that the class of 2014 gets it.

The first editorial would be Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell's "Reform the tax code, redefine "full time" as working 40 hours a week, move on the Keystone XL pipeline--there are plenty of tasks ahead."

It is not a libertarian manifesto. There are some eye-rollers in there. But there are some good ideas that would tee-up properitarian principles for 2016, and some things that might pass before then.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:37 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Do you mean to say that Libertarians are upset that the majority-elect party prefers to stay in the majority? That they advocate Democrat and Republican tactics that would make those parties as unpopular as their own?

Your excerpt is a reminder of why the election we interchangeably call "wave, landslide, tsunami and ass-whuppin'" still had about 45% support on the losing side. As far as they're concerned, everything is fine.

As for the "apologist" ad hominem, it sounds sadly similar to being called "not black enough." Dude! Let's both just take a hit and mellow out first. I'm not surprised though that he is angry and bitter. He needed almost 7 times as many votes as he got before he could even claim to have only received an ASS-WHUPPIN'.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2014 2:38 PM