November 17, 2010

And I Complained About Colorado

Rep. Debbie Halvorson will not be seated in the 112th Congress. She lost her Illinois seat to that young whippersnapper who is stealing our money from the elderly.

Hat-tip: Jim Treacher who says "Please remember this the next time somebody calls you a fearmonger."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2010

Damn That Independent Connecticut Jew!

Gotta give WaPoWünderkind Ezra Klein credit. He pens a reflection on the 2010 election I have not heard before: It's all Joe Lieberman's fault!

The health-care law doesn't really kick into effect until 2014. There are a couple of reasons for that. The most legitimate is that it takes some time to properly set up exchanges and subsidies, to dialogue with the industry and advocacy groups so the regulations work for both consumers and providers, and to give the various stakeholders time to adjust to the new rules and transition smoothly.

The less legitimate -- but perhaps more important -- reason was that self-described moderates in Congress (and eventually the President of the United States) arbitrarily decided that the bill shouldn't spend more than $900 billion over its first 10 years, no matter whether the bill cut and taxed its way to deficit neutrality. But for the system to work, it would have to spend more than that implied on a per-year basis. So the legislation's architects simply delayed its start. That way, the 10-year price tag was only capturing six years of spending. That got them to a per-year number that could actually work.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2010

Quote of the Week Last Week

I missed this gem on the third:

No matter what happens, for now, we can look forward to two glorious years of hyper-partisan acrimonious gridlock: Washington's most moral and productive state. -- David Harsanyi

Posted by John Kranz at 4:36 PM | Comments (0)

Voters for Property Rights

In last Tuesday's election 1,339,522 Washington State voters chose not to "demand the unearned" when they rejected Initiative 1098 by a whopping 2-1 margin. What did this Democrat-leaning state find so objectionable? I-1098 proposed a new state income tax on people making $200,000 per year or more (adjusted gross income.) A chief advocate for the proposal, Bill Gates Sr., said "Our tax code is unfair" and "Poor people and middle-income people are paying too much to support the state and rich people aren't paying enough. That's the starting point for me." Is it also unfair that poor people get exactly the same number of votes as rich people - one per person? Why then is it unfair that everyone pay an equal share of the cost of running the state?

Michelle Malkin uses the Washington result to urge "outing" the White House's "war on wealth."

I-1098's promoters tried to disguise their wealth-suppression vehicle as tax "relief" by tossing in a few stray targeted cuts. But they were called out by a judge and slapped with a court order to make the income tax burden explicit in the ballot title.

If only the taxmen in Washington, D.C., were required to do the same. Obama's budget proposal is a soak-the-rich scheme adorned with a few business tax breaks that would -- for starters -- impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000. Some "relief."

Now a few words on those who did attempt to "demand the unearned." The I-1098 campaign was naturally supported by donations from Bill Gate's Sr., in the amount of $600,000, but also by many thousands of unwitting supporters who are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA.) These two unions were the measure's 1st and 2nd highest donors, respectively giving a combined $3.3 million. And they committed a moral crime by using union dues to lobby for this new tax against the wishes of doubtless thousands of members. In essence, the unions used unearned dues from coerced members to buy the megaphones they used to demand unearned tax dollars from productive Washingtonians.

But they failed. For their effort, however, I will thank them for the referendum that proves the unpopularity of their "fairness" scheme. Hope for liberty still flickers.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Now there's an idea - let's get someone to sponsor a Constitutional amendment whereby each citizen gets one vote per dollar of federal income tax paid. It would go nowhere, but the resulting uproar from the left would graphically highlight our inequitable tax system.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 8, 2010 4:01 PM
But jk thinks:

For a mere thirty pieces of silver, you can read a good piece in the WSJ Ed Page today as well:

So what's the matter with Washington? Clearly, its middle-class residents understand an economic reality that eludes Mr. Gates and many other already-rich advocates of higher taxes: The absence of an income tax has been Washington's greatest comparative advantage over its high-income tax neighbors in California and Oregon. Texas Governor Rick Perry even sent a letter to Washington state's biggest employers, inviting them to move to no-income-tax Texas.

The larger message, which also eludes the nation's leading proponent of soak-the-rich tax ideas--the fellow in the Oval Office--is that the average person simply doesn't believe that the taxers will stop with the wealthy. To protect both themselves and the greater economy outside their windows, voters prefer a tax system whose rates aren't rising--on anyone.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2010 4:27 PM
But PoppaGary thinks:

Part of the reason we voted this measure down was the fact that in Washington, most initiatives can be changed after 2 yrs by a simple majority of the Legislature. Based on their past behavior, in 2 yrs they would have forced it on everyone.
We had to re-implement the law requiring a super majority to pass tax increases after they repealed it once the 2 yr window was up. Their reason?: it was a fiscal emergency! BUT, if so, then they should not have had any problems getting a super majority (60%) to pass the increases as the PEOPLE wanted.
Gary

Posted by: PoppaGary at November 10, 2010 1:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for bringing that up, PG. (And welcome to our commentariat.) As I read about I-1098 I couldn't stop thinking about my father's explanation of America's first federal income tax: "It was a small percentage on only the highest earners and was gradually revised to soak the middle-class." It is no great conspiracy theory to suspect that I-1098 backers in Washington State had similar intent.

(See above soon for a post on the original income tax.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2010 2:44 PM

November 4, 2010

Tea Party, Again

Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard makes an interesting observation over at NRO:


I'm not sure. I don't know what to make of the Tea Party. What is it? It's not an organization like the AARP or the AFL-CIO. There are no costs to claiming to be a member. It's not even like a political party, where you signal to the state that you belong to it. You can wake up in the morning as a tea-partier and go to sleep at night as a non-tea-partier. My feeling is that "Tea Party" has really been a way for fiscal conservatives to communicate with each other.

They've had to do that because the word "Republican" has been run through the mud. If one fiscal conservative says to another, "I'm a Republican!" that doesn't convey much information anymore. But say, "I'm a tea partier," and that is packed with information.

So my feeling is that if the Republicans in Congress redeem themselves over the next two years, fiscal conservatives will once again feel all right calling themselves Republicans, and the "Tea Party" label will fade. That would be a good thing, as it means that they have regained control over the Republican party.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 12:17 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

My other suggestion is to formally change the name "Republican" to "The Party of No."

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2010 12:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Party of NO" works for me. The problem with today's Republican party is that it's the "Party of Country Clubbers and Religious Righters and Whiny Libertarians who all used to be for smaller government." Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort to make it for smaller government again if it's still going to have all of that other baggage.

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2010 2:23 PM

November 2, 2010

Centennial State

When I vote D, there is no quarter. Hickenlooper wins handily enough that I coulda gone Maes. Karl Rove says they're still in line in El Paso County -- that'l be good for Buck.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

The Post just gave it to Bennet. Regrets anyone?

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2010 11:05 AM
But johngalt thinks:

If you mean "would Jane Norton have fared better" my answer is no. Jane was pro-life, like Buck, and would still have been vulnerable to the well funded "I just can't vote for that" ad campaign. The message was simple - don't forget to be single-issue voters you "enlightened" unemployed feminists.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2010 11:22 AM
But jk thinks:

Huh, we disagree (imagine that).

I posit that Ms. Norton would absolutely have won. The single issue is strong, but Colorado has and will elect pro-life folks. The DSCC successfully demagogued the "extreme," "odd," "out there-ness" of Buck. Norton would have been a more polished, stronger candidate.

My question was whether the rebuke of the party regulars was worth it. Accepting that it cost a seat, I'm still in.

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2010 12:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm glad to hear that because I see only two resolutions to the problem of insurgent candidacies in the GOP: Either the involved, fed-up, activist conservatives stay home or the salaried members of the party get fully behind the party's primary winner. You know which one I recommend.

We rabble rousers are dejected but the party regulars must be doubly so. Want better candidates? Try helping to vet all comers instead of hand-picking the next-in-line insider.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2010 4:16 PM
But jk thinks:

ThreeSourcers will be glad to hear that my blue funk dissipated and I was able to enjoy the election very much. I have high hopes for a new critical mass of pro liberty Republicans. And I feel that those who expanded government were resoundingly rebuked.

But we must all remember that the monster never dies in the horror movie on the first kill. The GOP establishment has a good life and is not apt to give up power without a constant fight.

We deride the sclerosis of "next-in-line" but it is a 200 year old tradition that keeps the downticket candidates slaving away. Replace it with a popularity contest? What?

It is also -- sadly -- defined quite a bit by the integrity of the losing candidate, is it not?

LtGov Norton did nothing to impede Buck's candidacy. I don't know that she pulled out all the stops to ensure his success, but she did not go third party. I look at Senator Murkowski (R Daddy's Seat) and Rep. Tancredo (ACP - out of jokes) who could have learned from her example.

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2010 5:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


I take heart, and mightily so. Not just in the quantity of GOP electees, but more so the quality. Our state can survive a Hick guv'nor; State House & Senate are now in GOP hands, right?

For the national picture, one Allen West is worth a regiment of RINOs and more than army of Armeys. For the PLine authors wondering, "where's our Daniel Hannan?" I say, Cantor, Pence, West, Pawlenty, Jindal... pick one.

Even the GOP suit I saw (RNC? NRSC?) on a quick CNN blurb from a Montreal hotel room noted: "Yes, we're glad to have the first A-A elected to GOP seats since JC Watts, but what we're even more pleased with is that they are both solid conservatives."

As far as poor candidates from GOP/CO, I say: get involved. Hannan said THE big difference between our democracy and those in the EU is open primaries. So the CO GOP has forgotten all that or is squishing innovation in order to reward the oldsters like McInnis or not able to offer the Norton's compensatory packages such that they support the people's choice. Either way, the best option is to get involved!

Don't live the libertarian stereotype: too busy complaining to do the work.

Grrreat video here of Mr. Hannan taking down Gordon Brown: "Prime Minister, you have run out of our money."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lW6Y4tBXs

His "Uncommon Knowledge" show with Peter Robinson is amazing.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 5, 2010 2:43 PM

Golden State

Dang, sorry Keith. Sorry America.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Point taken, ka. You're exactly right but I have been a huge Carly Fiorina fan going back to the HP-Compaq merger.

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2010 11:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Carly Fiorina - "Sanctity of life except in cases of rape or incest."

In California? Really?

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2010 11:27 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I was referring more to Jerry Brown (did we not learn the first time?) and the down-ticket races, which went straight-ticket-lefty. In a state where the voting public's average IQ was above room temperature, a candidate as bad as Brown would have lost to a toaster. California, sadly, is a unicorn of a different color.

The upshot is that we now have a federal legislature that is likely to block further bailouts which will point and laugh at California, which is dependent on a federal bailout to avoid becoming Zimbabwe. California voted for the Brown administration, and California had better be damned ready to own him.

Ross Perot was wrong. That giant sucking sound? That would be California, its unfunded civil-service pension crisis, its looming mass bankruptcy, and its slavish pandering to balkanized client voting blocks, about to go down the porcelain drain.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 3, 2010 11:54 AM
But Mrs. K.A. thinks:

Riding on Keith's comment, we're doomed, absolutely doomed.

Posted by: Mrs. K.A. at November 3, 2010 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

So glad to have another optimist on board! Welcome!

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2010 7:14 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The eastern US seems to have gotten the memo while the west is still in denial.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 4, 2010 2:41 PM

You Do Not Think Your Freedom is at Stake?

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2010

No, YOU'RE the Doo-Doo Head!

The week before last, Denver's David Harsanyi gave us a celebration of the TEA Party's "Stupid Stupidity." Last weekend his antipode, Denver's David Sirota, explains why they're 'stoopid' in "It's the Stupidity, Stupid." He starts out wondering how "red-baiting crusades by the plutocrats" are managing to get such traction with the electorate.

As Wall Street executives make bank off bailouts, as millions of Americans see paychecks slashed and as our economic Darwinism sends more wealth up the income ladder - it's surprising that appeals to capitalist piggery carry more electoral agency than ever.

What could cause this intensifying politics of free-market fundamentalism at the very historical moment that proves the failure of such an ideology? Two new studies suggest all roads lead to ignorance.

But since Sirota is "smarter" than Harsanyi he uses "science" to support his claims.

As Northwestern University's David Gal and Derek Rucker recently documented in a paper titled, "When in Doubt, Shout!", many Americans respond to convention-challenging facts not by re-evaluating their worldview. Instead, they become more adamant in defense of wrongheaded ideas.

So, for instance, we may be aware that our broken economy is creating destructive inequality; we may know the neighbor's opulence is underwritten by loans. We may even see the connection between our personal financial struggles and census figures showing inequality at a record high. But many of us nonetheless react by more passionately insisting our economic system sows equality.

Or we may write opinion columns asserting that free-market economics is a proven failure and that "equality" is somehow the panacea, and if you don't agree with us you are "stupid."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:03 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm going to hijack your post for a segue. I did not know what to do with this but it has captured my heart: The Rally to Restore Vanity.

It's far from perfect, as blog friend tg admits on Facebook, yet it has some important ideas. The most interesting to me was the Stewart/Colbert crowds' primacy to "not appearing stupid." Amid some generational psychoanalysis and some curious political generalizations, lives a superb point that to stand up at a Tea Party (or a Code Pink rally) is to take a stand and risk appearing stupid. Yes, you will be standing near a stupid person.

Yet to not say anything, not take a stand, and if you must stand up have it be at the gathering of those who are waaaay too hip to take a stand. That's cool, baby!

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2010 4:49 PM

October 29, 2010

The Tea Party and the Fringe

One of the most agitating things about the current political climate are discussions about the Tea Party. I do not consider myself a member, but I clearly favor less government. In a roundabout way we are in agreement. Nonetheless, I do not like the populist streak that runs through the group.

Despite my disagreements, I have found it particularly amusing how Democrats have tried to paint the Tea Party as fringe. The reason that it is amusing is that, at least to my mind, the Tea Party does not seem like a group, but rather a movement. There is no leader. It's merely a group of people fed up with the government and, likely, the state of the economy.

The fact that the Tea Party is not a group is what makes it so hard for the accusations about its members positions and sanity to stick. The latest attempt to do so is that of Robert Reich in this morning's Wall Street Journal. Reich argues that the Tea Party's "idiocy" is going to create more uncertainty among businesses because they want to abolish the Fed, get rid of the IRS, are against free trade, and opposed TARP.

Of course, according to Reich's own article 45% of the American public want to abolish the Fed. Does that qualify as a fringe position? And besides, how likely is it that President Obama would sign such a bill? I don't need to consult Vegas to know that probability is zero. In addition, mainstream Republic folks like Steve Forbes have run for POTUS arguing for a flat tax and the elimination of the IRS -- a plan that would be much more desirable to what we currently have. Similarly, it is not clear to me -- or many others -- that TARP was a winner. Even those who believe it was a necessary short-run solution have to acknowledge that it generates long-run problems. Finally, while I similarly oppose the Tea Party's stance toward free trade, I also see such opposition in the Democratic legislature and the in the Oval Office.

My point here is not necessarily to defend the Tea Party, but to point out a larger point. Suppose that we take for granted that the Tea Party is a bunch of fringe wackos with crazy ideas. What does it say about the opposition candidates that the Democrats are running? Are the American people just too blind to see that the so-called Tea Party candidates are psychopathic idiots? Or is it that the American public recognizes that those in office of all party affiliations, who are supposed to be beholden to the people, have abandoned them to push through an unpopular agenda?

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:16 AM | Comments (8)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'll join with you on this, jk. My sense is that the "TEA Party" is not a party at all, but a general movement. It does not have a hierarchy or a nominating process, the way the Reps and the Dems do. That's why I laugh when someone is described as a "TEA Party candidate." Do candidates emerge as the leaders of the TEA Party, or do they attach themselves to the movement after it was already moving and present themselves as their candidate?

You wrote "...the tea partiers left an opening by nominating weaker candidates..." and there's a lot of hidden truth there. There is no mechanism in place for vetting candidates in the movement other than candidates volunteering and making some profession of adherence to ideals.

So in a sense, we are put off by the machinations of party politics and the nominating process, and unsatisfied by the TEA Party's lack of one. Any ideas for a working alternative?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 29, 2010 1:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The other thing that makes it hard for attacks on individual TEA Partiers to stick is that these are ordinary Americans who share most of the same extraordinary ideas as most other ordinary Americans: liberty, morality, happiness, and perhaps most of these is liberty - the liberty to decide the specific form of those others to which we choose to abide. When Americans see their neighbors standing up to say "let me represent you" it is difficult for "community organizers" to lead them in a different direction with their pretty-sounding flute music.

There are many ideas and principles not to like in the popular revolt known as the TEA Party movement but we must not let those detract from its most powerful exponent: That they are Americans and they are moving; forward, actively, amateurishly, progressing but with honesty and determination to protect and defend, for themselves and their posterity, the individual liberties given them by their forebears.

The greatest danger to the movement's success is not, in my mind, what conglomeration of ideas it chooses to advance at any point in time, but that it might stop advancing ideas at all.

I believe and hope that it represents a civic renaissance, aided and enabled by mobile phones and the internet, which is better informed and acts more precisely in its self-interest.

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2010 3:18 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

An article I sent to JK earlier this week may have some relevance to the conversation at hand.

The Tea Party's Other Half
David Kirby. CATO@Liberty. 28 October 2010.


While the Tea Party is united on economic issues, there is a split virtually right down the middle between traditional social conservatives and those who think government should altogether stay out of the business of “promoting traditional values.” Candidates and representatives hoping to appeal to the Tea Party, we argue, need to focus on a unifying economic agenda that takes into account this strong libertarian undercurrent.

These findings help refute the assumption that the Tea Party is just another conservative group, both fiscally and socially. The data should also caution Republicans not to over-interpret potential midterm gains in the House and Senate as a mandate for social as well as fiscal conservatism.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 29, 2010 7:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Darn, tg: that says so elegantly what I said like a babbling, gibbering idiot.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 29, 2010 7:19 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

And they have empirical data to prove the point as well.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 30, 2010 1:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with TG's David Kirby excerpt. Yet I still contend that the TPM is bigger than just social and secular conservatives. It also includes Democrats who are fed up with the takeover of their party by the Progressive left. And I think there is empirical data to also prove this point but I haven't yet found it online.

What I'm referring to is a poll of union rank-and-file that found a 2 to 1 split who: opposed using union dues to support incumbent Democrats; called such spending "a wasteful and unnecessary use" of their dues money; wanted those dues used to "throw the bums out." [Frank Luntz presented these data on 'Cavuto on Business' this morning citing a "National Right to Work" poll of 760 union members.]

More evidence that, across the full spectrum of American thought, a majority know it is both unsustainable and morally wrong to "Demand the Unearned."

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2010 11:12 AM

October 28, 2010

Bringing the Fun In!

Byron York lets us all share in the joy that was the Alexi Giannoulias rally in Chicago:

The event began like any other Clinton appearance: he was late, first a half-hour, then an hour, then 90 minutes. As a crowd of several hundred party activists, volunteers, and labor organizers milled around a ballroom at the posh Palmer House Hotel, a woman in the audience tried to breathe a little life into a group that had nothing to do but wait.

"Fired up!" she shouted. "Ready to go!"

A few people scattered around the room joined in. "Fired up! Ready to go!" After several more turns, perhaps half the crowd was chanting. But the enthusiasm never spread all around.

Dissatisfied, the woman tried again a few moments later. "Yes we can!" she yelled. "Yes we can!"

This time, maybe a half-dozen people joined in before it fizzled out altogether. Nobody cared; they were too busy with other things.


Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

A radio report this morning claimed that mail in and early voting in Colorado thus far represents the votes of 280,000 R's and less than 240,000 D's. That's an enthusiasm gap of more than 16 percent.

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 3:10 PM

October 27, 2010

Barney Isn't Frank

Does anybody remember when politicians used to at least pretend to tell the truth? Now they just deny there is such a thing as truth.

Fast forward now to 2008, after the risky mortgages had led to huge numbers of defaults, dragging down Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the financial markets in general -- and with them the whole economy.

Barney Frank was all over the media, pointing the finger of blame at everybody else. When financial analyst Maria Bartiromo asked Congressman Frank who was responsible for the financial crisis, he said, "right-wing Republicans." It so happens that conservatives were the loudest critics who had warned for years against the policies that Barney Frank pushed, but why let facts get in the way?

Ms. Bartiromo did not just accept whatever Barney Frank said. She said: "With all due respect, congressman, I saw videotapes of you saying in the past: 'Oh, let's open up the lending. The housing market is fine.'" His reply? "No, you didn't see any such tapes."


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Clearly, we have always been at war with Eurasia.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2010 3:28 PM

October 22, 2010

Denver Mayor's "I don't want to be Governor" Moment

(Or as my brother-in-law suggested, "I'm too sexy for this job.")

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

I realize that all of you outta-staters must get pretty bored with the detailed coverage we've been giving the Colorado governor's race. I appreciate the effort it must take to have any interest whatsoever. But this time, this story, will be worth it - trust me. Not since candidate Obama was caught on tape telling a sympathetic audience that rural Pennysylvania voters "bitterly cling to their guns and religion" have I seen such a self-inflicted smoking gun of political idiocy. And to make it that much better, this time we have video.

For those who don't have time to watch at the moment (and because I'm such a sadistic bastard I want this Democrat's words repeated as many times as possible) here is the money quote:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: "I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico."

I can hear his poll numbers crashing in every non-metro precinct in the state. If ours was a 2-party race between fully supported candidates of the 2 major parties I'd be dancing a jig right now. Alas.

[Credit for transcribing the quote to NRO, linked through CompleteColorado.]

UPDATE: I thought the money quote needed more emphasis - MUCH more emphasis.

Posted by JohnGalt at 9:30 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I saw that. Curious if that will come up in the debate tonight (TiVoing now).

Cui bono? Tancredo. I had decided to vote for Maes May have to bail out Hick after all.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2010 10:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought of that. My original intro line was going to be "JK might have to vote Hickenlooper after all" but the last minute quip by my B-in-L was funnier.

This race is so insane it's hard to fault the reasoning for just about any vote. I'm just reverting to core principles: Won't vote for a statist; won't reward an insider hack hypocrite's highjacking of an election; this year's Republican nominee is a TPD - I'm votin' for him.

I feel even more strongly that way having watched tonight's debate. Maes ideas and policy goals are just head and shoulders above the other two guys from a free-market perspective.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 11:22 PM
But jk thinks:

The debate was indeed disturbing. I'll agree on Maes's positions (mostly) but he and Rep. Tancredo sniped at each other like three year olds, making Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper look like an elder statesman. I agree with Maes that Tancredo should have honered the party process, but that's not very convincing in a debate. The three guys he had clapping for him was truly sad.

I went from disliking Tancredo to out and out fear. He is not stable enough to run our state.

Then, at the end, he provodes an eloquent assessment of the drug war.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2010 10:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Friend. Pragmatist. I think you may want to start thinking about the bright side of "Governor Tancredo." [Maes- 5 points?!?!] I am. (His stance on the drug war seems like a very solid seed kernel.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2010 2:04 PM

October 20, 2010

Harsanyi: Three Cheers for TEA Party's "Stupid Stupidity"

Catching JK napping a bit...

Do I wish there were more articulate and intellectual free-market candidates? Sure, I do. But, alas, Americans are in no mood for know-it-alls who think sailing is a sport.

Do I wish that science-challenged believers would resist the urge to raise their hands when asked if they believe the world is 5,000 years old? God, yes. But an election offers limited choices. Take Delaware, where voters can pick a candidate who had a youthful flirtation with witchcraft or one who dabbled in collectivist economic theory.

Only one of these faiths has gained traction in Washington the past few years. And as far as I can tell, there is no pagan lobby.

Plenty more good zingers for those who click through.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Not sleeping; I was just resting my eyes...

Awesome on stilts in high heels, David.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2010 3:42 PM

October 13, 2010

Joe Biden, Salesman

Democrats aren't running on the administration's accomplishments like health-care and financial-regulatory overhaul and the stimulus because "it's just too hard to explain," Biden said. (Link.)

There is so much great material in this one sentence. I will let fellow ThreeSourcers provide the comments.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 12:26 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

In the election, I was appalled at the free-pass the media gave then Senator Biden. Even the evil FOX guys had such a good personal relationship with the long-tenured DC denizen that he got away with factual and rhetorical murder.

I'm starting to come around. Dan Henninger at the WSJ points out that without him the entire Administration is dour, over-serious, and hectoring (think U2 without the nice bass riffs...) Without the scrappy kid from Scranton Pee-Ay there would be no joy at all.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2010 2:06 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Riiiiight. Joe Biden is such an intellectual powerhouse that he understands what we common proles are too stupid to figger out.

Democrats aren't running on those "accomplishments" because we understand all too well. We hate them, we want them repealed, and they're running away from those issues like vampires from sunlight.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2010 3:08 PM

The Taxman

As long as we are posting political ads, I enjoyed this one:

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 12:22 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Like.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2010 2:09 PM

October 6, 2010

Find Your Favorite US Rep. Seat Takeover

This handy scorecard from National Journal shows the 60 most likely Republican takeovers of Democratic House seats. My favorites are:

8. CO-4, Cory Gardner's "strong campaign ... likely enough" to defeat incumbent Betsy Markey.
22. FL-8, Dan Webster's "got the advantage" over Alan "holocaust" Grayson.
24. VA-5, Robert Hurt "is still looking like the big favorite" over Tom "tie our hands" Perriello.
41. CO-3, "If the election were held today" Scott Tipton "would win" over John Salazar.
54. CA-47, Loretta Sanchez "was fortunate" to get Bill Clinton to campaign with her.
56. CO-7, $500K in PAC money gives Ryan Frazier "a good shot" against Ed Perlmutter.

In addition to these 60 they list 19 more who are "knocking on the door."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2010

Rich People Want Higher Taxes

Art Laffer has a great op-ed in the Journal this morning. Here is a taste:


Framed on a wall in my office is a personal letter to me from Bill Gates the elder. "I am a fan of progressive taxation," he wrote. "I would say our country has prospered from using such a system--even at 70% rates to say nothing of 90%."

It's one thing to believe in bad policy. It's quite another to push it on others. But Mr. Gates Sr.--an accomplished lawyer, now retire--and his illustrious son are now trying to have their way with the people of the state of Washington.

Mr. Gates Sr. has personally contributed $500,000 to promote a statewide proposition on Washington's November ballot that would impose a brand new 5% tax on individuals earning over $200,000 per year and couples earning over $400,000 per year. An additional 4% surcharge would be levied on individuals and couples earning more than $500,000 and $1 million, respectively.

[...]

If Mr. Gates Sr. and his son feel so strongly about taxing the rich, they should simply give the state a chunk of their own money and be done with it. Leave the rest of Washington's taxpayers alone.


Indeed.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I have a new hero and I don't know his name. But I will find it.

The Journal Editorial Report on FOXNews closes with "Hits and Misses." Kim Strassel offered a "hit" to a Chinese Businessman who told Gates (fils) and Warren Buffett that he could do more good investing his money than joining them in their little -- well quite large, actually -- PR philanthropy project.

The future of liberty seems more and more in China's hands.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2010 11:18 AM

October 2, 2010

Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Tom!

Heard the first anti-Tancredo ad on radio this morning, paid for by "Our Community Votes" - an issue advocacy group that looks like an ACORN fragment, judging by the rhetoric on its website.

"There's a new political party in this year's election. The American Constitution Party. Its candidates, Tom Tancredo and Doug Aden, are too extreme to represent us. Both want to make English the official language of the United States, which threatens our diverse culture, and eliminate congressional pensions, which would make it harder for people who want to serve in congress as a career."

I paraphrased from memory but this was the gist of the message. Yes, I know I'm a weirdo but those particular criticisms just make me like these two guys more. If they wanted to expose these guys' bad ideas they should have talked about Tancredo getting in the race out of last minute spite or Aden's advocacy of new international trade tariffs to "keep jobs in the US." [I heard him say this at Friday's Longmont Chamber forum.] But it appears they don't actually want to discourage voting for them. Fort Collins Coloradoan:

But the content of the ad seems designed to promote Aden's candidacy with conservative voters who might cast ballots for him rather than Republican Party nominee Cory Gardner.

(...)

Kyle Saunders, a political scientist at Colorado State University, said the ad by a Democratic-affiliated group aimed at boosting Aden was "not at all surprising."
"Every vote Aden gets from a disenchanted or confused Republican voter is very likely a vote that is taken away from Gardner," he said.

Fair enough, but why mention Tancredo? Because Tancredo has wide name recognition and Doug Aden is an insect, politically speaking. Link them together and Aden's vote count goes up by a factor of ten. And their mention of the American Constitution Party? Nobody had heard of them either until Tom and his antics made them front page news. All of this is calculated to siphon support from the GOP. Tom Tancredo must be very, very proud of himself.

Posted by JohnGalt at 9:20 AM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2010

Libertario Delenda Est!

The Boys at Reason are at it again. They want to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that nobody ever mistakes them for Republicans (do Republicans wear leather jackets? Yves St Laurent eyeglasses?)

Ergo, the pre-election GOP bashing is here:

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman speaks repeatedly about offering "grown-up" solutions to the Golden State's fiscal problems. But after reading her new campaign book MEG 2010, Tim Cavanaugh says Whitman's proposals are pre-pubescent. If you think extreme times call for meager measures, Cavanaugh writes, then Whitman is the governor for you.

Yeah! Pull no punches my cool Libertarian brothers! Let's not sit still for timidity! We could have the free market nirvana of a Golden State under Jerry Brown!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:06 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Libertarians will refuse the toast and water.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 7:17 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I take that back. Libertarians will kill the guy with toast so we all get rocks.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 7:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The libertarian would kill? Leave him to freely die, perhaps, depending solely on his own ability to survive, but kill him? And they say naked capitalism is harsh...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 1, 2010 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly you've caught me on a bad analogy day, so I'll have to crowdsource it.

The libertarian, in a zeal for a robust Argentinian Malbec and Filet Mignon, is going to ___________ the toast and water man, not only demying himself nourishment and hydration, but all of us as well.

Maybe not kill, but if you buy a copy of Matt Welch's "Myth of a Maverick" you'll see that a severe maiming is on the menu.

I saw Ms. Whitman on Kudlow awhile back and was pretty keen on her. She has a tough road in überprogressive California and this will hurt her chances. Was Tim Cavenaugh working the primaries to find a better candidate? Nope.

Damned Libertoids.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 8:07 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I voted for Tom McClintock when he ran for the officed, and I'd do it again. He'd have made a great governor. I did my fair share. http://www.tommcclintock.com

Dang it, sooner or later I'm going to have to run for governor myself if I want this state rescued.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 1, 2010 11:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Curtis Harris is the Libertarian candidate opposing Democrat Jared Polis in CO-2. I heard him for the first time at the Longmont Chamber forum [see link in "Another fine mess" post above] on Thursday night. I was extremely impressed by him. He had good ideas without any of the typical Libertarian wackiness (at least in what he chose to talk about.) The Republican in the race, Stephen Bailey, also has good ideas and is intelligent and likeable but answered every debate question with a haltingly read prepared statement. It was painful to watch, knowing how much more he's capable of. As I listened to them speak I wished that Harris had challenged for the Republican nomination instead. I think he could have won it in the district encompassing uber-progressive Boulder.

After the debate I approached Harris in the hall and expressed that sentiment. His response was, "We don't have enough time to reform the Republican party." To which I answered, "We may not be able to reform it as fast as necessary, but that approach would still be faster than using a third party. The two party system is just a fact of life in this country." He didn't argue. My parting suggestion was to consider my suggestion a mere two years from now.

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2010 10:31 AM

When You've Lost Jon Stewart

I'll credit Stewart for being willing to have a little fun with this president before anybody else did. This is savage (and very funny!):

The Night Jon Stewart Turned on President Obama

Posted by John Kranz at 1:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2010

Thumbs up for Colorado's "Ugly Three"

That's the way I'm definitely leaning on Referendum 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 (the latter first mentioned at 3srcs here.) They've been slammed and slimed with voluminous advertising as "extreme" and as promoting "anarchy." They've been denounced by newspapers, state and local governments, and most politicians from both major parties for threatening to "bankrupt" Colorado and touch off a "voter approved recession." But jeez, they seem so tame when you look into the actual provisions.

There is no $1 billion reduction in state revenue. The one-percentage-point reduction in the state income tax rate takes 10 years or more, is never more than 0.1 percent yearly, and occurs only in those years when income tax revenue grows more than 6 percent. If income tax revenue doesn't grow more than 6 percent, taxpayers won't get that 0.1 percent rate reduction. Reduction in state vehicle sales taxes is phased in gradually over four years. It totals well under 1 percent of total yearly state spending, now $19.6 billion.

And it goes on from there.

Now, in this "TEA Party election year" we should be able to count on Republicans to support limited government, right? Wrong. Colorado Union of Taxpayers:

Many Coloradans are frustrated with the economy and the fee and tax increases by Governor Ritter and Legislators, the letter said. They are also suffering the consequences of earlier tax increases by Governor Owens administration. We share this frustration because we understand that in order to roll back and limit the scope of government in Colorado, we can count on neither Republicans nor Democrats.

As I mentioned in a comment earlier today, if we can't get a Republican elected as governor then perhaps passage of these measures is even more vital. Like the man said, we must tie their hands or they will keep stealing.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2010

End State Borrowing?

This may be the first mention of Colorado's three restraint-of-government ballot initiatives - Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Opponents (governments and pro-government groups) have dubbed them "the ugly three."

Is there enough anti-government spending sentiment in the current climate to pass any of these three tough measures? Do any other states have similar limits? Let the discourse begin.

Here's a pro-61 web ad:

There are some well written comments here.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2010

It's all about the revenue

Nick Gillespie has a great post on the idiocy that is the advocacy of tax increases on the rich as revenue enhancements:


The point of my post is given away in its title (sorry, I'm not good at building suspense): Those supporting a reversion back to Clinton-era tax policies constantly blame the Bush cuts for starving federal coffers and, hence, increasing the deficit. Why partisans such as Obama and Pelosi would then argue that 82 percent of foregone revenue - $3.2 trillion out of $3.9 trillion - should go uncollected is understandable in light of electoral politics. But that doesn't make it any less deceitful. Indeed, as I point out in a New York Post op-ed today, Speaker Pelosi is now crowing about "Obama middle-income tax cuts," which apparently refers to Obama maintaining the Bush rates for the foreseeable future.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

NRA-holes

Remember this? Now there's more, but this time it hits closer to home. NRA casts in for Frazier, Markey, Salazar. Markey and Salazar, incumbent Democrats who voted for Obamacare and/or Stimulapalooza, signed on to a token pro-gun measure or two and are suddenly, in the NRA's view, pure as the wind-driven snow. But just how valuable is an NRA endorsement now, in post-TARP America?

The NRA also backs John Salazar in his bid to retain his 3rd Congressional District seat over state Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez. Salazar earned an "A" rating from the organization.

But Tipton shrugged off the endorsement, adding that the group almost always backs an incumbent unless the lawmaker is blatantly anti-gun.

"I am an NRA member and I've gotten an 'A' rating from them before," said Tipton, "so this is not a surprise."


So is the gun-control issue now firmly in the "safe" category as brother BR suggests, or is the NRA merely another member of the power elite cabal?

The easy part is that in either case they don't deserve my donations, or membership.

UPDATE:

Former CO state senate majority leader Mark Hillman adds some details about the NRA Markey endorsement.

The NRAs flim-flam press release touts her co-sponsorship thats Beltway speak for honorary cheerleader of a bill that she knows will never come to a vote in a Democrat-controlled Congress.

On the Second Amendment, Markey is no profile in courage. Her two actual pro-gun votes were meaningless throwaways, cast to gain political cover (which the NRA is now slavishly providing) after the outcome of the vote was no longer in doubt.

He also shares my conclusion, at least in part:

When I cast my vote for Congress, it will be for the candidate I know I can count on. When I donate to groups that support my Second Amendment rights, it wont be to the NRA.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:50 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I think I'll agree with you and defend the NRA (squish!)

ObamaCare® and Simulapalooza® (like it) do not threaten gun rights and should not constitute a good reason to not endorse an incumbent. So you go right along kids -- have a good time.

But our liberty is clearly under greater threat from the SEIU than the Brady Campaign. As such I will direct my scarce advocacy resources accordingly.

I think the Club for Growth is the best deal in town these days. I will keep token memberships in the NRA and RNC but all my contributions will go directly to candidates or Club for Growth.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2010 12:27 PM

The TEA Party Threat - to BOTH Parties

Speaking of Sarah Palin, why does the left hate her so much? Shannon Love at Chicago Boyz blog explains in this very well reasoned post.

In short, it is not the ideas she puts forth, its that someone like her is significant at all.

(...)

Leftism at its heart holds that a small percentage of humans have a vastly superior understanding of everything compared to ordinary people. The point of leftism is to empower these superior individuals to impose their superior understanding upon society by the force of the state. Leftists must be viewed by themselves and others as superior human beings if they are to have a claim to power and status.

(...)

On this basis [perceived superiority] Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college. She lives in the backwoods. She likes hunting, fishing and sports. She likes country music and representational art. She doesnt have the right accent. She doesnt dress appropriately. Shes a Pentecostal instead of atheist, Unitarian, Episcopalian, etc.

Palins success stabs them in the heart of their anxiety. If Palin can be a successful political leader, what does that say about the leftists claims of intellectual and moral superiority? If people dont just instantly assume that leftists are smarter and better than everyone else, why would people trust a leftist government to make so many decisions about the peoples live, e.g., medical care?

Yes, yes and yes.

There's also an interesting observation in the comment thread:

Lexington Green says: "Of course, most conservative pundits treat her with condescension as well. They have a stake in the same status games."

To which Love replies: "That is true. I think we are seeing more of a generic middle-class insurgency against an integral political class than a left-right divide."

Now there is an explanation that fits every example of the GOP intra-party tension. Read back through the quotes above replacing "leftists" with RINOs or establisment-Republicans and see how well it fits.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

Palin to Rove: "Go to ..."

Have you heard yet that, in the wake of Christine O'Donnell's Deleware primary victory, Sarah Palin told Karl Rove to "Go to hell?" Well, not really, but that's how NPR blogger Frank James tells it.

When she got to Rove, at about the 27:54 point in the C-Span recording she said:
And Karl, Karl, go to (she pauses ever so slightly and her demeanor stiffens subtly) here. You can come to Iowa. And Karl Rove and the other leaders who will see the light and realize that these are just the normal hard-working patriotic Americans who are saying no, enough is enough. We want to turn this around and we want to get back to those time-tested truths that are right for America."

So not only does she appear to playfully taunt Rove with the "go to, here" line, she implied that he was in the dark about what's really happening in the Republican Party. For if he weren't in the dark, why would he need to visit Iowa to "see the light?"

The moment has that all important plausible deniability. Palin can say she didn't tell Rove to go to hell and she didn't.

"Plausible deniability?" How about "actual" deniability? I think Mr. James would like the GOP intra-party tension to be a lot more than it really is. He concludes...

The fight for the future of the party continues. And it will involve Republicans violating what the man the fundraising dinner was named for President Ronald Reagan called the 11th commandment. Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.

But I don't hear any Republicans speaking ill of fellow Republicans. What I hear is TEA Party Republicans speaking ill of northeastern liberals masquerading as Republicans. And I hear establishment Republicans cautioning their newly-involved brethren that 'you can't win in certain areas with actual conservatives on the ballot.' And in reply, the Republicans voting in those primaries are saying, 'I'd rather lose on the field of battle than surrender before we even get there.' There's much to like in that strategy.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2010

Our Peggy

Peggy Noonan has taken some pretty well deserved shots on Three Sources pages. It appears, however, that she's back on her medication. So much so, in fact, one might think that she's taken to reading these same pages.

Her piece in today's WSJ captures the true essence of the Tea Party better than any others to date:


I see two central reasons for the tea party's rise. The first is the yardstick, and the second is the clock. First, the yardstick. Imagine that over at the 36-inch end you've got pure liberal thinkingmore and larger government programs, a bigger government that costs more in the many ways that cost can be calculated. Over at the other end you've got conservative thinkinga government that is growing smaller and less demanding and is less expensive. You assume that when the two major parties are negotiating bills in Washington, they sort of lay down the yardstick and begin negotiations at the 18-inch line. Each party pulls in the direction it wants, and the dominant party moves the government a few inches in their direction.

[...]

Democrats on the Hill or in the White House try to pull it up to 30, Republicans try to pull it back to 25. A deal is struck at 28. Washington Republicans call it victory: "Hey, it coulda been 29!" But regular conservative-minded or Republican voters see yet another loss. They could live with 18. They'd like eight. Instead it's 28.

[...]

What they want is representatives who'll begin the negotiations at 18 inches and tug the final bill toward five inches. And they believe tea party candidates will do that.

This is a lot of excerpting, yet there is still much other content in the opinion worth reading. Nevertheless, the last couple of paragraphs or so indicate that Our Peggy is still only 11 steps through the 12 step program. It's progress, though!

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:51 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Being a ThreeSources insider has its perquisites. I met The Refugee for coffee and got a sneak preview of this post. Noonan's is a pretty good piece and I can even live with the last two ppgs.

I'm going to excerpt one more that I liked:

The second thing is the clock. Here is a great virtue of the tea party: They know what time it is. It's getting late. If we don't get the size and cost of government in line now, we won't be able to. We're teetering on the brink of some vast, dark new world—states and cities on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government too. The issue isn't "big spending" anymore. It's ruinous spending that they fear will end America as we know it, as they promised it to their children.


Posted by: jk at September 17, 2010 6:57 PM

September 16, 2010

RSC!

Can we get these folks to take over the RNC and campaign committees?

Posted by John Kranz at 2:58 PM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Like!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 16, 2010 3:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've been trying to come up with a "Not In My Name" slogan against statism.

Posted by: johngalt at September 16, 2010 7:17 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Love it. Lifting it. Posting it at my blog.

Thank you!

Posted by: Lisa M at September 16, 2010 9:13 PM

September 15, 2010

Clinton on the Tea Party Candidates

Bill Clinton on the direction of the Republican party:


Clinton, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, said there was no mistaking that Republicans have tacked hard right and questioned whether former President George W. Bush would fit in among the party's candidates this year.

"A lot of their candidates today, they make him look like a liberal," Clinton told an enthusiastic crowd at a downtown hotel...


Two points:

1. Why is that a bad thing? It seems to me that Republicans seem to win fairly easily when they run on platforms of freedom, free markets, and strong defense. Even Ahh-nold won the governor's race in the People's Republic of California on a Reagan-eque platform -- despite abandoning it once in office. If only folks like Chris Christie had ran more moderate campaigns.

2. Wasn't Bush fairly liberal already -- at least as a Republican? I would submit that Bill Clinton (post-1994) makes Bush look fairly liberal.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 2:14 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Wow, it's a Clintonpalooza today. Who knew?

I fear you're talking to Republicans, hb. Clinton is talking to democrats who believe President Obama's description of the Bush years as some kind of lasseiz faire nirvana. But these Tea Party Quacks...why...they're even worse!

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2010 2:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This speech was foundational for the 2012 campaign to elect his wife as the "sensible, moderate, reasonable" alternative to the "extremes" offered by Obama or the TEA-Party influenced Republicans.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2010 3:07 PM
But hb thinks:

Sorry jk, I was a bit lazy. I can understand why Clinton would emphasize this point, but this is also the meme in the media and the upper echelons of the Republican party as well.

Posted by: hb at September 16, 2010 10:40 AM

September 12, 2010

That's Gotta Sting a Bit...

If Chris Wallace delivered the ass-kicking that Jon Stewart did, they'd burn down Rupert's Headquarters...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2010

Democrat Betsy Markey - Triage Victim

Triage: noun
1. the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine Medical priority in order to increase the number of survivors.

This is the word chosen by the NYT to describe how the DCCC will choose to deploy its campaign funds across the country.

With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Representatives Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio and Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland, whose districts were among the 55 Democrats won from Republicans in the last two election cycles.

This Coloradoan story has claims by both Markey's campaign and the DCCC that the report is "not true" but also gives this explanation:

Colorado State University political scientist Kyle Saunders said the New York Times story could hurt Markey's fundraising among the Democrats' national donor base.

"In making these kinds of statements, the party committees are trying not to hurt any enthusiasm or momentum the campaign has in fundraising and voter mobilization; however, they do want to guide other outside and affiliated groups - without coordinating of course - as to their strategy," Saunders said. "There will be signals to these groups as to their thinking - and chief among those will be how the party and affiliated groups spend their money over the next two or three weeks."

Markey is running out of time before the narrative that she can't win becomes irreversible, he said.

If Congressperson Markey is to survive the disaster that has been the first half of the Obama Administration she'll have to swim from Fort Collins to Washington D.C. without any help from inside the beltway.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2010

Tweet of the Day

@IMAO_ This defeat of Murkowski is disturbing. Is the GOP really going to become a party that no longer welcomes Republicans that suck?
Posted by John Kranz at 7:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2010

Why the TEA Party Gamble Matters

Dear blog brother JK just cautioned, vis-a-vis the Colorado candidacies of Ken Buck and Dan Maes-

But My Pragmatic Heart (spleen at least) is becoming more concerned that our rush to put forward non-professional candidates might have us nominating a lot of wolf-fodder to wolf-like, professional, Democratic candidates in the fall.

I replied that "Voters are tired of status-quo Republicans. There needs to be a difference between them and the Dems." But someone else long ago said this with greater power and eloquence.

"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so's he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. And, uh, if that's what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them, then we'd better get those boys' camps started fast and see what the kids can do. And it's not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again!" - Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

As Smith also said, "EITHER I'M DEAD RIGHT OR I'M CRAZY."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:53 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Only because not enough 'mericans are displaying my Bumper Sticker. Pipe up folks - I'm serious about printing this one and will send you as many as you'd like for cost.

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2010 10:39 AM
But jk thinks:

RE: Bumper Sticker

My vote would be neither the bang nor a question mark, and I like the declarative "Don't demand the unearned." I'm not a bumper-sticker guy but I would send some cash to defray printing if you would add www.threesources.com to the bottom. Then we could pass them out at political meetings. Might be just the schwag we've been looking for.

The other option is the CafePress type of place where you can print them onsey-twosey and people can order online.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2010 10:57 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, I disagree with the premise that Buck is unelectable, but wonder what lead you to that conclusion?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 26, 2010 11:49 AM
But jk thinks:

I do not find Buck unelectable. I'm deeply concerned with Sharron Angle and a bit with Rand Paul. Hearing the "high heels" comment made me worry that he might be a Sharron Angle with excrement on his boots.

My suggestion was that a new class of candidates to which DA Buck belongs has a higher than normal number of unelectable candidates. Not that he is one. Fair?

Posted by: jk at July 26, 2010 2:33 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I guess if you're suggesting that a number of these candidates have not learned (and may never learn) how to conduct themselves and watch their words on the national stage, I would agree. It's not 100% necessary, case in point being Joe "Gaffe-a-Minute" Biden who's done pretty well for himself. That said, neither Buck nor Angle have Biden's charisma to pull them through in a pinch.

On the plus side, their opponents are far from perfect, either. WRT to Harry Reid, 'nuff said. The Nevada election is a referendum on him, provided Angle does not commit political suicide. WRT Colorado Dems, Bennet has the spine of an earthworm and Romanoff is a political suicide bomber. I've also got to say that I just don't trust Norton to stand on conservative principles. I could be wrong, but she just has the slimy politician feel to me

In the governor's race, the GOP is in big trouble. McInnis' goose is likely cooked and Maes is admittedly a long shot. We should probably cross our fingers that the GOP gets control of the legislature. There were some pretty good years with pro-business, moderate Democrats in the governer's mansion coupled with a Republican legislature.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 26, 2010 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm in sunny and cold southern (coastal) California this week for the AVA National Competition. (More on that later.) Local teevee has local political ads. I just saw one for Meg Whitman that showed some pro-Jerry Brown stuff and then explained, "the special interests have chosen their candidate. How about you?" It looked very persuasive to me without being overtly negative or populist. These are the kinds of political messaging that can overcome "gaffes." Restless natives can become enamored of amatueurism in politics.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:29 PM

July 18, 2010

COEXIST II

COEXIST%21bumper%20sticker.jpg

Better?

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:01 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Awesome on stilts!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2010 12:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Or how about: ESCHEW USUFRUCT!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2010 12:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Is that German? ;)

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2010 2:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Nein. A legal term describing a situation wherein a person or company has a temporary right to use and derive income from someone else's property (provided that it isn't damaged).

My internal definition does not include the "not damnaged" clause.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2010 2:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking of changing the exclaimation point to a question mark and changing "don't demand" to "stop demanding."

And if I could I'd add, at the bottom in small type, "(and practicing human sacrifice.)"

Posted by: johngalt at July 22, 2010 3:38 PM

July 5, 2010

Et Tu NRA?

Two weeks ago JK lambasted, and I defended, [here and here] the NRA for their political calculus. This time even I say they're going too far. Word is, the NRA may soon endorse Nevada's Senator Harry Reid over his TPD Republican challenger, Sharron Angle.

Conservative Examiner reported previously that Wayne LaPierre's endorsement of Reid is a signal that the NRA as an organization is on the same page. And unless NRA members inundate the central offices of the organization to protest the pending endorsement, then the thing is a done deal.

Here's the text of my letter to the NRA this morning:

I have been an NRA member for at least 10 years. I have donated to NRA-ILA instead of to individual candidates. I have, several times, considered Life Membership. I heard a report today that the NRA is considering a "calculated" endorsement of Harry Reid over Sharron Angle in Nevada. I am vehmently opposed to such a calculation. The American people are tired of "holding their nose" to support candidates they don't like for some Machiavellian purpose. Sharron Angle stands for freedom and the Constitution, while Harry Reid is the opposite. If the NRA endorses Harry Reid then I will not renew my overdue membership. Respectfully, Eric Rinard.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:10 AM | Comments (10)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I will agree with JG on another issue, however. That is, the NRA must not make Faustian bargains about the First Amendment. Tacit support for selective enforcement of the Constitution is exactly what the Left needs to bring down the Second Amendment. The NRA must stand by the Constitution, in whole and in part, in order to most effectively protect the Second Amendment.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 6, 2010 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Two days of all-day seminar. Man, I hate to miss the fun.

I still suggest that the LP remake itself based on the NRA. I did not educate myself with jg's link, but if Sen. Reid were good on guns, it would be appropriate and important to ignore party,

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2010 10:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, BR, it is the Faustian bargain of endorsing Reid to remain on his good side and "help the organization to remain viable and strong" that I object to, on the basis that Reid is a proven enemy to the Constitution and most of the other amendments.

What good is an individual right to own guns when the very concept of individuality is at risk?

Posted by: johngalt at July 7, 2010 2:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Endorsing Reid to remain on his good side? Sounds a lot like being nice to a hungry wolf, in hopes that he'll eat you last. Chamberlain's tactic at Munich, seen through to the end, might have ensured Britain would be the last to be annexed into the Reich - but in the end, annexed nonetheless.

I duly repent of my comment on single-issue groups. What I should have written was "therein lies the danger in *slavishly following* single-issue advocacy groups to tell me how to vote."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2010 2:58 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I certainly would not support the move, but I don't think it has nearly the sinister motives that you guys seem to imply.

JG, you're position seems similar to the one Reason magazine took in bashing McCain by 3:1 compared to Obama because McCain was not Libertarian enough. Now, we have Obama, Obamacare, Sotamayor and Kagen (soon). If you oppose the NRA, or fail to support it as Reason did McCain, then the next time there is a Columbine-like shooting (and there will be one, humans beings what they are) you're going to get Handgun Control Inc. calling shots [sorry].

The NRA is going to endorse hundreds of conservative Republicans from local to national races and spend millions to get them elected. Yes, they may endorse a few Dems (and maybe ones we don't like), but on balance gun ownership will not survive without them.

BTW, my Faustian deal referred to their First Amendment compromise with Chuck Schumer, not the endorsement of Reid. The Schumer deal troubles me far more than the Reid situation.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 7, 2010 8:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good perspectives, BR. I'll think them over. I suspect a lot of what the NRA does falls under the heading "sausage making" which is difficult work for idealists. I'm just not sure that opposing Harry Reid, lock stock and barrel, is an idealistic venture.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2010 11:54 AM

July 1, 2010

Western Conservative Summit 2010

Will ThreeSources give me expenses and per diem to cover this?

Truth be told, I'd shell out my own dough to hear Michele Bachmann.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

How much extra for no Rep. Tancredo?

The first time I saw Ms. Bachmann was on a YouTube my moonbat niece sent me. Bachman was on the floor of the house demanding the Ten Commandments and prayer time in public schools or such*. I replied "oh, she is clearly a nutjob."

That YouTube is gone (we've always been at war with Eurasia!) but I have not forgotten it. I have eyed her advances pretty warily since.

*I wish I could remember exactly what was said. I realize this is unfair. But I am not bashing religion here -- it was way over the top for a secular nation.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2010 4:16 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Michelle Bachman is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. I honestly have no idea how she was ever elected. Her seat always goes to Republicans, of course, but you'd think they would choose somebody capable to represent them. It is one of the richest areas in Minnesota - they have to have somebody better suited for governance than she.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 2, 2010 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

At the risk of throwing a low blow, you boys did send Mister Franken to the Senate (corruption and theft are not allowed as a defense in such a "clean" State).

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2010 4:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If Rep. Bachmann has ever embarassed her party I haven't seen it. Every time I've heard her speak she's sounded reasonable and mainstream. Yes I know she's a Christian but who isn't, Republican OR Democrat?

I did some searching today for the YouTube video JK mentioned. I didn't find anything on the house floor but I found many left wing blogs villifying the bejeesus out of her. There was one video of her leading a prayer for repeal of Obamacare (as likely to work as any other impediment to bigger government) where she was calm and reasonable and some guy who, maybe it was his gathering she attended, started in with the whoopin' and hollerin' and hallalujah business. THAT guy was an embarassment - to humanity. Michele is still A-OK in my book. And I believe there is no God.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2010 7:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm laughing, jg, as I went through the same process. I asked my niece if she still had the link. She found my reply and the link but the video was no longer available.

Trying to help (sweet girl) she sent me several of the ones you mention. Two minutes of Rep. Bachmann looking no stupider than your average Congressperson, wrapped in seething lefty "See!"

I don't expect you to take my word (I would not t'were our positions reversed) but it was bad enough that Mister Pragmatist called a rising GOP star a "nutjob" to a lefty.

Amusing, too, that the topic was religion in the public square, about which I am much more lenient than you. I wish I could see it again even if I could not share it.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2010 10:42 AM

June 12, 2010

New Categories for Colorado 2010 Campaigns

I've been invited to a Ken Buck volunteer coordination meeting next week. One suggested volunteer activity is blogging. We do that a little bit around here already so I created new categories where new readers might find our best work regarding the local political contests.

CO Senate will cover first the primaries, then the general election to replace Senator Obamacare Bennet.

CO Governor is for primaries and general to replace Democrat Governor Bill Quitter.

By my count there are a dozen archived posts available in the Senate category and two in the Gov. Check them out, share them with friends, and contribute at will.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:40 PM | Comments (0)

Norton on the attack

The Jane Norton campaign team has read the poll results on the wall and decided they need to do something dramatic.

"We can't wait for 2010 to stop Obama. (...) We need to repeal Obamacare, yank it out by the roots, and end all bailouts."

I agree, of course, but as I mentioned while blogging the Colorado GOP Assembly, Norton has previously said that it's not possible to repeal it, at least while president O is still in office.

"Well, realistically, I don't think you can repeal it, with the makeup we're seeing right now, and even if we were able to put in place conservatives in all the seats, you wouldn't be able to repeal it because of the President's veto power. There's two ways that you can approach it. One is not funding those 16,000 new IRS employees that it's going to take to implement and then police this. And then, also, insuring that each component of that 2,700 page bill is indeed constitutional."

But to be fair, she was for repeal before she dismissed it and then started campaigning on it again.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:07 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

This could well be the catalyst for a new American Revolution. The GOP can't save us; they're admitting so right here!

It's going to take every American opposed to tyranny to refuse to obey this law. Only then will we have enough numbers to make it impossible to jail us all.

"We must all hang together..."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 14, 2010 10:37 PM

June 11, 2010

Colorado Abortion Politics

Speaking of the Colorado GOP Assembly, the results are in on the 59 Platform Resolutions put to the 3300-odd delegates. I was interested to see the talies for the Resolutions I blogged about right afterward:

#30: It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection from conception until natural death.
79% YES, 21% NO

#31: It is resoved that Colorado Republicans support overturning Roe v. Wade.
78% YES, 22% NO

#32: It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that pregnancy, abortion, and birth control are personal private matters not subject to government regulation or interference.
74% YES, 26% NO

#33: It is resolved that Colorado Republicans oppose the use of public funds for destructive embryonic stem-cell research.
82% YES, 18% NO

#34: It is resolved that Colorado Republicans oppose the use of public funds for abortions.
94% YES, 6% NO

Conclusions:

While 4 of 5 Colorado Republican delegates support reversal of Roe v Wade, a similar majority believes that life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection but not from the mother, whose pregnancy (or abortion or birth control) is none of the government's business.

What these delegates also denounced was public funding of abortions or stem cell research. Note the common thread - public ... funding ...

And finally, you can now tell all your Facebook friends that 3 out of 4 Colorado Republicans believe that abortion is a personal private matter not subject to government regulation or interference.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:01 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Terri, you've pretty much hit the crux of the argument spot-on. First of all, we can all agree that murder is wrong. So, it comes down to when life begins. You believe that it begins at that moment of fertilization. Others believe that it begins with the first breath outside the womb. This is fundamentally a theological question (even for non-theists, I would argue), so who's theology should reign supreme?

In a secular society, I believe we need to take a non-theological approach. Because we define death as the absense of brainwaves, can we therefore define life as the presence of brainwaves? A fetus begins emitting brainwaves at about 12 weeks and the event is medically binary; they are present or not. Such a definition would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, etc., and would give women a limited time "to choose." But, it would prohibit the beastly practice of partial-birth abortion.

Is this a compromise that would satisfy both sides, I wonder? Probably not - more likely to piss off both of them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 11, 2010 4:55 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

It is a better compromise than we have now, and it has some logic behind it. I would accept this compromise, though it is not my preferred stopping point.* I doubt others would be so reasonable.


*I said this in an earlier argument (with JK!), but it works well enough to explain my reasoning here:

I would place my line at implantation -- blastocysts need not apply. The reason I support this line is twofold: 1.) For every implanted embryo, you have a dozen blastocysts that fail to implant. If the destruction of zygotes is equivalent to murder, then every Mother's body is a serial killer. 2) On a slightly related item, the majority of multiples seperate before implanting, making implantation a fair line for marking the creation of individual beings.
Posted by: T. Greer at June 11, 2010 11:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Personally, I'm with the 74%. (Never thought I'd ever get to say that.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2010 11:53 PM
But Terri thinks:

Actually I am for a woman's right to choose all the way up to the latest date of viability. (I realize this can be fuzzy)
I am against using public funds for any of it.

Posted by: Terri at June 12, 2010 9:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Put me down as a yes for "The BR compromise." And put me down as a yes for numbers 31, 32, 33, and 34. And, no, I don't see any contradiction.

I do have a pragmatic (natch) concern with the timeline. Bear with me as I was never a parent nor was biology my strong suit. But the BR plan -- while philosophically consistent -- provides a very short window between knowing you're pregnant (~8 weeks?), getting a medical evaluation, making an informed decision, scheduling surgery (12 week wait under ObamaCare). Is it realistic?

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2010 11:18 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I agree with BG (yep, brainwaves), and think the sensible, real world compromise that should be sought is at the half-way point of the pregnancy. 18 weeks should be plenty long enough to find out and decide.

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 13, 2010 10:35 PM

Buck Leapfrogs Norton

Shortly after the May 22 Colorado GOP Assembly JK commented that he didn't "see one position where Buck is clearly favorable." But Colorado voters in general seem to be more impressed with Ken's landslide victory at the state convention (where Norton chose not to participate.) In a recent Magellan Strategies poll via RealClearPolitics Buck now leads Norton by 10 points. Looking at where he's come from it is even more impressive.

norton-buck.jpg

As I suggested in my May 25 post, as more people get to know Ken they seem to like his message. Interestingly, the Buck and Norton lines cross almost exactly at the Assembly date.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (12)
But jk thinks:

No.

I would drop it, but if you are volunteer blogging for the candidate, I suggest you get something more substantive than "his wife thinks he's really tough."

Salacious? Geraldo? I'm a self professed tea partier who's sick to death of the establishment Republicans. I’ve begged two of his supporters for two months to give me one thing. Yet I've heard no issue where he differs (I disagree with both on Immigration but maybe mean old Senator McCain will intimidate her into a guest worker program).

BR, I confer with your hunch, but in her favor she has held statewide office and the establishment GOP connections I decry will help her fund and staff a good campaign. I fear you've been away from Boulder too long if you think a GOP win is any kind of a gimme.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2010 7:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, you did imply you were bored by the subject. If it doesn't mean anything to you that the business-as-usual establishment Republicans want Norton and a bunch of average Joes crawled over broken glass to support him at a convention one fine spring Saturday I'm not sure what kind of substantive difference you want. Buck wants a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Norton half-heartedly repeats TEA Party priorities. But I'll ask at the volunteer gathering on Monday and see if I can get you your "one thing."

And if you want me to rise to the bait on Maes you'll need to flesh out what you meant by "I don't hear anything" from us about him. I thought I'd made myself clear in covering Maes' Assembly performance, but maybe I was too objective. I really like the guy and think he'll be a stronger candidate vs. Hick than McInnis would.

Posted by: johngalt at June 13, 2010 1:34 AM
But jk thinks:

Certainly not bored, I might be coming off grouchy but the Geraldo comment stung a little...

We prize ideas around here and -- dare I use the term -- objective reason. I'll dial my grouchy knob down to four if you'll hear me out.

1. Nominating Buck is a risk. Norton has the money machine and experience to be, on paper, a more formidable candidate in the General.

2. Nothing wrong with backing a candidate who matches your principles more closely. Again I support this and am especially sympathetic at this time.

3. But when you take a risk, you have to know risk/reward. I have spelled out the risk. The reward has been pretty touchy-feely: Norton "seems" too establishment; my brother "thinks" Buck is the tea party candidate; Buck's wife "says" he will be more principled.

The highway dollars differential was good; Norton will always be tainted by support for Ref C & D (but she was part of the Owens Administration so I give her 3/4 of a pass); and a good whack at the sclerotic Colorado GOP has some value on general principle. But I am on both of their email lists and Twitter feeds and I have yet to see any empirical difference in their positions.

What are these people crawling over broken glass for?

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2010 11:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Put simply: An end to Republican politics as usual. If a candidate even SMELLS establishment, that's strike one. Dad thinks the candidate with less money actually has an advantage with voters this year. Hard to argue.

I read through Buck's website a bit more this morning. I don't think I've mentioned here that Buck claims to be "the only candidate for the U.S. Senate to sign the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge mean[ing] that I promise not to vote for tax increases as Colorado's U.S. Senator." If true (which I say only because I haven't looked it up myself yet) then that is a differentiator. How big depends on how big tax and spend are as issues for you. For me... BIG.

Ken believes strongly in HSAs as federal health policy. Jane mentions them too, along with a list of other good ideas, but concludes with a promise to "bring that same record of success to the Senate." But her record of success is incremental at best. Where's the passion? Ken talks about replacing employer sponsored health insurance with individually tax-deductable purchased policies. (Shouldn't health insurance receive the same favorable treatment as a home mortgage?)

I think the reason you haven't seen a great divide between the two Republicans is that they're both being careful not to hurt each other. Each contrasts his or herself with Bennet. Give them both credit for that. And if you're chief concern is electability, well, that's what the graph that prompted this post was all about.

Posted by: johngalt at June 13, 2010 2:16 PM
But JohnGalt thinks:

I've looked it up. Norton has signed too.

Posted by: JohnGalt at June 14, 2010 10:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Nope, you had me -- I'm all in!

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2010 3:57 PM

June 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Labor isn't an arm of the Democratic Party"

-- Eddie Vale, spokesperson for AFL-CIO

That is the funniest thing I've heard in years. I will be sure to look for the R's on the next union voter recommendation card.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 1:02 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And technically, Vale is speaking the truth. It's the tail wagging the dog - the Democrat party is an arm of organized labor.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 9, 2010 1:59 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It was the Ku Klux Klan that was an arm of the Democrat party. That's why people are confused.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 9, 2010 2:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Either way, we must always remember: "You can't hug a party with nuclear arms."

Posted by: jk at June 9, 2010 5:36 PM

May 25, 2010

Fourth Strike for Jane Norton

Don Johnson at People's Press Collective writes that Tom Wiens decision to withdraw from the CO race for US Senate and endorse Ken Buck may be seen as a "third strike" against Norton.

On Saturday, Buck gained a lot of publicity and momentum at the GOP state assembly. Satuday night, Sarah Palin failed to endorse Norton as widely expected ... And today, Wiens drops out, forcing Norton to figure out how to stop Buck.

But he didn't mention Jane's fourth strike, namely that her chief campaign argument has now been dismantled by the latest PPP poll. Jane has been claiming that she is the best, or only, candidate to beat Michael Bennet in the general election. Trouble is, that's no longer the case. Either Bennet or Romanoff now lead either Norton or Buck by a few percentage points. (Summary courtesy of RealClearPolitics.com's May 19 page)

Colorado Senate - Buck vs. Bennet PPP (D) Bennet 45, Buck 39 -> Bennet +6

Colorado Senate - Norton vs. Bennet PPP (D) Norton 41, Bennet 44 -> Bennet +3

Colorado Senate - Norton vs. Romanoff PPP (D) Norton 41, Romanoff 43 -> Romanoff +2

Colorado Senate - Buck vs. Romanoff PPP (D) Buck 38, Romanoff 41 -> Romanoff +3

A look at the internals shows that Norton's personal favorability has been slipping, from 25/35 to 20/32 (favorable/unfavorable) but so has Buck's, from 21/17 to 19/24, and Romanoff's, from 45/15 to 31/26 and Bennet's, from 57/21 to 34/44. The biggest differences appear to be in the undecideds:

Bennet - 22%
Romanoff - 44%
Norton - 48%
Buck - 58%

As the only candidate with less than 50% name recognition (nearly 6 in 10 have no opinion of him!) Buck seems to have the greatest ability to make a move past the others (or, of course, fall further behind.) And then there's the factor of PPP being a Democrat polling firm.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:17 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Strike Four suggests a historical anecdote: I was once jg's guest at a football game that was rather famous for being settled with a TD scored on fifth down.

RE: Norton v Buck, I still can't get into this one. I don't see one position where Buck is clearly favorable. He'll likely get my vote in a "throw the bums out" message, but I have yet to hear a compelling differentiation.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2010 3:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Whose guest? I recall building a brick wall on my old Boulder house during that game. And ... it was played in Columbia.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2010 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

No, it was at Folsom Field. I rode my bike from Lafayette to your old house near campus. I broke my chain on the way back.

My recollection is that we did not notice. We cheered the Buffs late victory and read about the 5th down the next day.

It's seared into my memory, though I do not still have the hat. Was there a less famous CU fifth-down game? I fear another round of drug-legalization jokes will ensue.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2010 9:53 AM
But jk thinks:

...and if that doesn't work, I'll do what I usually do when caught in hopeless prevarication and fantasy and say "I was being allegorical."

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2010 1:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For your compelling differentiation I will generalize and say you should view a prospective Senator Jane Norton as a solid vote in the McCain Caucus. To whatever extent Senator Ken Buck tells the Arizona progressive, "No sir, I will vote my constituency instead" I say it's a good thing.

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2010 3:11 PM

May 23, 2010

"Republicans put TEA Party Activist Dan Maes on Top of Their Primary Ballot

That's the way Fox News reported Colorado's GOP Convention vote today. I have the vote totals below and yes, Lynn Bartels did beat me to press with this one, but she only gives the share of the vote for each candidate, not the total votes. In my defense, I conserved my battery until the convention ended and powered up to look for wireless but it was pay to play and that is ten bucks that could be better spent on a Dan Maes campaign contribution.


The GOP state treasurer nomination goes to JJ Ament, with 2,788 votes to 690 for Ali Hasan. Hasan's 20% showing was below the 30% threshold to get him on the primary ballot.


The senate race was a little closer with Ken Buck's 2,701 votes surpassing Tidwell's 522, Greenheck's 56 and Barton's 35. Only Buck was voted onto the primary.


And then there was the governor's race. This one came down to the wire and the close finish was, I suspect, the reason it took nearly 2 hours to count and recount and verify and reverify the vote totals (after state party chair Dick Wadhams estimated 30 minutes.) Dan Maes drew 1,741 votes and party insider and long-time front runner Scott McInnis tallied 1,725. (YJ Mager received 21.) By a 16 vote margin the upstart "people's choice" candidate took the top position on the primary ballot. With 49% and 48% respectively, Maes and McInnis will face off in the primary election in August.

There is no picture of Scott McInnis because he and his family left before the voting ended to attend the wedding of Scott's eldest daughter in Estes Park. A campaign staffer made some cursory remarks to that effect.

In acknowledging his first-place finish Maes told the few of us remaining in the hall, "This is not about me. This is about you, the people, standing up and making yourselves heard. (...) We're just getting warmed up! (...) And to all of you Republicans in elective office out there, don't block me. This train is leaving the station and it's time to get on board. (...) The next step is to start sending in those contributions. It's time to start raising the money necessary to take this campaign to the next level." (Or something along those lines.)

UPDATE: Here's an interesting list of winners and losers from the Republican State Assembly

Winners

2. Dan Maes: Edging out the party establishments favorite Scott McInnis, even by the narrowest of margins, gives an added boost to his campaign. Having given a great speech and recorded a strong showing today, Maes knows he has a lot of ground to make up in fundraising. But hes in the game at least until August.

3. Ken Buck: Once Jane Norton decided to skip the assembly and petition on, a Buck victory was a slam dunk. But the Weld County D.A. put on an impressive showing of 77 percent despite the undervotes and protest votes. Primary race? Game on.

4. Cory Gardner: Clearing the 4th CD Republican field with 60 percent is a big relief for Gardner, as the GOP unites strong in its best chance to take back a Colorado Congressional seat from the Democrats.

5. Tea Party / 9-12 Project: The growing influence and focused energy of these groups was on display in Loveland. Besides the medium-sized sea of red shirts for Dan Maes, how else do you explain Bob McConnell winning 45 percent to make the ballot in CD3 and Dean Madere finishing a respectable second in CD4? Fiscal conservatism is alive and well and ready to rear its head in Colorado.

6. Republican Party unity: I think this point may be lost on some, especially on the other side, who are wishing for the opposite to happen. But despite (or maybe because of) heated primary competition, there was less dissension and infighting evident than at any of the past three state assemblies.

Losers
1. Negative campaign tactics: Ali Hasan banked a lot of his success on attacks suggesting fellow treasurer candidate J.J. Ament is a fiscal liberal. The delegates whom no one could describe as anything but right of center werent buying. Meanwhile, non-participating gubernatorial candidate Joe Gschwendtner bombarded delegates with robo-calls before the Assembly urging them to vote against Dan Maes saying he cant win, a strategy that appears to have backfired. (See #2)

2. Joe G: Gschwendtners campaign spokesman told Lynn Bartels earlier in the day: After Dan doesnt get his 30 percent, it will be McInnis and Gschwendtner. Whoops. The late-entry campaign would have a steep enough hill to climb in a two-way race, but McInnis party establishment backing and Maes outstanding grassroots showing leave very little political oxygen.

4. Establishment backing: Many delegates this year seemed to be looking for candidates of integrity who have fire in the belly, candidates who send signals of running on principle rather than being handpicked by the powers that be. Its certainly a reason Scott McInnis missed top line on the ballot, and it helps to explain why SD 16 candidate Tim Leonard was able to garner 70 percent support and avoid a primary with Mark Hurlbert.

UPDATE 2: Here's another local blogger's summary report.

Maes has won despite dismal fundraising and a few stumbles along the way. Putting some 70,000 miles on your car in less than 12 months while attending hundreds of political events can pay off. I think he comes off as being a bit smarter and more honest than McInnis, and he's willing to talk to both supporters and critics while McInnis is a glad hander who tries to avoid talking issues with supporters or, especially, the media and critics.
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:12 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

The TEA party has established itself as a force. I am still not certain it will be a force for good, but something had to be done.

Without it, Scott McInnis world have cruised to an easy nomination. I hate to harsh on the guy, but his picture is in the dictionary next to "establishment candidate." Bully for the TEA Party to give us a shot at Dan Maes.

PA-12 shattered my hopes for an überdevastating GOP sweep in November. And yet, perhaps better, primary results so far are increasing my hopes for a more supportable Republican Party going forward. In Congress, I have to be pragmatic, but statewide, I'd confess that I'd rather lose with Dan Maes than win with Scott McInnis.

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2010 11:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Again, thanks for your efforts and reporting.

I applaud all of you do this but I'm not sure how much my health permits. I can do the contribution thang and I did just hit Mister Maes's.

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2010 11:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Something tells me you'd find a way to mitigate health factors in order to cover the Miss USA pageant. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2010 6:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I try to be there when my readers need me, yes.

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2010 12:07 PM

May 21, 2010

CO-4 Midway/Final Report

At 4:15 pm MDT the speeches are over and the voting has begun. While waiting my turn I pulled out the laptop to write a few notes. Tom Lucero walked by and asked "are you just on the computer, playing around?" "I'm bloggin' man!" said I. So, ThreeSourcers, Tom Lucero says "Hi."

McInnis and Maes both received strong applause during their speeches but many more people rose from their seats for Dan than for Scott. Dan talked about his three point plan to take back Colorado: Reduce the size of government, cut taxes, and make real progress to stem illegal immigration. The details on immigration were to enforce existing Colorado law that is "much like the Arizona law," require all employers to use E-verify, and require unalterable photo-ID when appearing for social service aid.

Gotta runand vote!@

UPDATE- Just finished voting for Gardner for congress and Sue Sharkey for CU Regent. Now back to the report.

In case you were wondering, the gubernatorial and senate votes are tomorrow but those candidates spoke to our, and the other, congressional district assembly here at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.

Scott McInnis tried to sound tough. Tough on immigration. Tough in taking on Hickenlooper. Tough man, tough. His best line was his last: I can't wait to get to Denver and start the fight against Hickenlooper. Hey Hickenlooper, little buddy, I can't wait!

Low battery so I'm saving, just in case....

Jane Norton, who isn't even on the Convention ballot tomorrow (she's petitioning instead, hmm) and Ken Buck both spoke. Jane told us she is a pro-life, pro-business, pro-freedom, pro-2nd amendment, pro-10th amendment conservative. Polite applause. She said she's running for the senate because "Washington is broken" and she wants to go take it back. Polite applause. She even said she wants to repeal Obamacare. This is a flip-flop if memory serves, since she's said before that complete repeal is a bridge too far.

Here are the election results, as they're announced:
590 total votes (177 threshold to get on the primary ballot)

Gardner 359
Lucero 110
Madere 120

Sharkey 513
Barlean 76
write-in 1

Stunner!

I think I may have scooped Lynn Bartels with the speed of my reporting! :)

I wasn't terribly surprised that Lucero didn't make the 30% threshold to get on the primary ballot, but I don't think anyone expected Dean Madere to out poll Tom Lucero.

More later. Off to the barbeque.

UPDATE- I've renamed this post Midway/Final because the election results mark the end of the 4th CD Assembly. The next event we're attending is Dan Maes ice cream social this evening, then the State Convention tomorrow morning. I'm going to see if I can get Dan's thoughts on the recent PPP (Democratic) poll showing Hickenlooper and Ritter tied at 44% each. The poll didn't ask about Maes. After tomorrow, I predict they'll have to start.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:18 PM | Comments (0)

CO 4th CD Assembly Blogging

1:50 pm MDT: Sitting in the front row of the 4th CD Assembly in Loveland, CO wearing my Cory Gardner T-shirt. I'll try to post a few tidbits that may be of interest. So far:

Collected a Ken Buck T-shirt in exchange for my promise to wear it to the State Convention tomorrow. Huzzah!

Found a fellow Maes/Buck supporter who said "I'm a Republican but I'm for limited government and individual rights, which really makes me a liberal." He is against the drug war and prohibition of abortion. Sorry though, JK, he's also anti-illegal immigration.

Talked for about 10 minutes with Dan Maes. Asked him how I should respond to the next McInnis supporter who says Dan was pro-amnesty on the first version of his website. Dan said he has never said anything of the sort on his website or anywhere else. He told us he had lunch with Tom Tancredo to get the lowdown on the immigration issue and that Tom seemed to come away from that meeting with the sense that Dan isn't "tough enough" on immigration. That impression, after working through the grapevine, became "Dan's for Amnesty." Dan also told us a Post reporter asked him if he, himself, is hispanic. "Maes is a hispanic name" the reporter said. Well, Dan's eldest daughter with his first wife, whose father was from Chihuahua, Mexico, is part hispanic. Perhaps that's where that rumor started from. Dad and I were both very impressed with Dan. He looked me square in the eye. He also suggested asking McInnis supporters what Scott's articulated position is on ANY issue. That gibes with my sentiment. Scott is commitment-phobic.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:49 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

...and I would have attended the CO - 2nd District Assembly, but the other Republican has a cold.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2010 4:41 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Heh. Who does Tancredo think is 'tough enough' on immigration?

Posted by: T. Greer at May 21, 2010 5:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, tg, I was searching for the phrasing.

I know my buddies around here are angry that I see a little racism in the rush to enforce. One can be a principled defender of Law and order and national sovereignty and I accept that all ThreeSourcers are -- I just meet some people whom I am not sure fall into that camp...

I bring it up not to rub an old wound, but "Amnesty!" is the mirror image of "Racist!" Tancredoites hide behind it as quickly as La Mecha.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2010 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of cheering from the delegates (see story above) at every mention of the immigration issue. It definitely resonates, as favorability of the Arizona law indicates, but I hope Republicans don't make it their marquee issue in the governor's (or any other) race. As this post attests, at least Dan Maes won't.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2010 8:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, jg, that is a big concern for me. We can disagree on a lot of issues (and candidates) but immigration is so emotional, a candidate can easily decide to make it a signature issue. Hey, they don't call it populism 'cause it lacks appeal.

I don't think for a moment that the Colorado GOP would support a liberal-on-immigration candidate in the near future. But I can see McInnis leading with it.

-- And great reporting, btw, we're going to have to hold a telethon to get you an extra battery.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2010 11:50 AM

May 20, 2010

Political Dirty Tricks in CO Governor's Race

Earlier today I mentioned the Colorado governor's race in a comment to a post on nasty politics. I speculated that Johnny-come-lately Joe Gschwendtner, whose attacks on the impressive grass-roots candidacy of Dan Maes conspicuously fail to target Scott McInnis, is a stalking horse for the McInnis campaign. Now I can offer evidence that my amateur conspiracy theory is conspiracy fact.

Fellow state delegate Joe Harrington (whom I've never met) shared my suspicions and apparently investigated the phone number that the Gschwendtner calls are coming from (208 515 7472 in my case) and found that McInnis calls have come from the same number!

Here is Harrington's letter:

I have received several calls in the last few days from the Joe G campaign pushing negative information about Dan Maes. I went back and researched the phone number that this campaign is using to call all the State delegates and it is the same number as McInnis used in early March to call us about the caucuses. In talking to the Communications Director of the Gswhentner Campaign (Joe G) this morning he admitted that they didn't have a chance but were merely trying to knock Dan Maes out of getting the Assembly 30% threshold to be on the ballot in the primary.

At the same time information came out recently indicating that McInnis was pro-abortion rights during his term as Congressman (google Republicans for Choice McInnis to see more). It is apparent to me that this is a coordinated counterattack to try to deflect the heat from McInnis right before Assembly onto the Maes Campaign.

Whether you support McInnis or Maes this type of dirty politics should be exposed for what it is, and let the light of day in to show the truth to those of us who cared enough to give up our evenings and weekends to try to honestly assess who should lead our Party in November. Joe G isn't for real - he is a prop candidate set up to try to tear down Maes and that is all he is at this time.

I write this because I don't want any of us to allow negative campaign tactics and smear campaigns discourage us from voting on principle for who we think is right for our State in either the Governor's or Treasurers races as both of these races seem to have fallen into the gutter recently.

Please forward to other delegates that you may know who might want to see this.

Sincerely,

Joe Harrington

I've seen Dan Maes at Colorado TEA Parties. He's personally called me on the phone. He took a massive share of the March caucus support from the monied establishment candidate Scott McInnis - 46% to 52%. He is right on the issues and well qualified to lead our state back from the costly failures of the phoney "New Energy Economy" to a healthy reality of innovation, sensible regulation, and prosperity.

McInnis supporters strongest argument over the past months has been "only Scott can beat Hickenlooper in the general election." I had strong doubts on that count to begin with but the controversies that continue to accumulate around McInnis only weaken his position. In this anti-establishment climate I personally believe Dan is better positioned to beat the popular Denver democrat than is Scott. At this Saturday's Colorado Republican Convention this delegate will vote for, and campaign for, Dan Maes for Governor of Colorado.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:54 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Huzzah!

I have been very impressed with Maes (and simultaneous unwowed by the blinding charisma of Rep McInnis).

It seem that ThreeSources' Colorado division has been consumed with the Buck - Norton GOP Senate race. I lean toward Mister Buck for county solidarity and the enjoyment of seeing an establishment candidate get whacked, but still see no appreciable policy difference.

Maes, conversely, has struck me as a real TEA Party candidate. I wish you both the best at the convention!

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2010 5:15 PM

May 9, 2010

Otequay of the Ayday

Anyone remember my mention of the Senate Conservatives Fund? It was just before our little foray into drug legalization so I'll understand if you missed it. Here's part of Jim DeMint's endorsement of Weld County (CO) DA and GOP candidate for the US Senate Ken Buck:

"There are certainly other good Republicans in this race," said Senator DeMint, "but I believe Ken Buck is a conservative standout who will fight the establishment in both parties when he gets to Washington."

Music to my TEA Party ears.

"The purpose of the Senate Conservatives Fund is to help elect strong candidates who are overlooked by the Washington establishment," said Senator DeMint. "Ken Buck is one of those candidates, and I'm confident he will win if he gets his message out. My goal with this race is to partner with freedom-loving Americans in Colorado and across the country to help level playing field and give Ken Buck the support he needs to win the primary in August and defeat the Democrat in November. I am not trying to tell the people of Colorado how to vote; I am asking for their help because we need Ken Buck to save our country."
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2010

Damn That Recession Thingy!

If you don't care for partisan hackery, go somewhere else.

The AP reports on an AP/GfK Poll, that Democrats have blown a nine-point lead in the field "whom do you trust more to handle the economy?" Gee, could that be because of spending? taxes? entitlements? savaging the property rights of preferred debt holders?

Nope, It is another sad effect of George W. Bush's recession.

WASHINGTON Notch one more victim of the recession: With crucial midterm elections nearing, Democrats have lost the advantage they've held for years as the party the public trusts to steer the economy.

The timing could be fortunate for the Republicans. With jobs and the economy dominating voters' concerns, the GOP will wield the issue as a cudgel in the battle to grab control of at least one chamber of Congress this November and weaken President Barack Obama.


Bad luck, Dems! But don't worry -- it was nothing you did.

(My bias meter broken? Me be unfair?)

Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (3)
But T. Greer thinks:

Lets hear the pitch then. Everybody hates Washington at the moment - they don't need convincing that the Dem's are evil, but they do need convincing that the Republicans are not. So when the Dems start to say, "You saw what the Republicans did to the economy, give us more time to prove that we can turn it around", what is the response?

Posted by: T. Greer at April 27, 2010 5:55 AM
But jk thinks:

First, if I may clarify, my point was that perhaps the public's disapproval of Democratic tactics might be the fault of Democratic tactics. You'd certainly expect dissatisfaction with exigencies in the field right now, but I felt the lede washed away any doubt that people don't like bigger government and bailouts.

The Grand Old Party does have a sales job ahead to me as well as to you. I remain confident in the ideas of FA Hayek and Milton Friedman. I hope that the GOP out of some combination of fear, opportunism, and conviction will champion those ideas.

Because I feel the Democrats have pretty explicitly abandoned them. They used to at least pay lip service, but now seem comfortable (and possibly correct) that they can prosper as the Party of Government.

My sales pitch in late April is that the primaries display a desire to return to limited government. Marco Rubio's performance in Florida portends poorly for conventional Crist Republicans. Senator Bennet is in trouble in Utah, Brother Johngalt is a delegate in Colorado. I don't see any move to those ideas on the Dem side. (Mickey Kaus is anti-elitist, but he is placing tough immigration at the top of his campaign. Plus, he is a quixotic long-shot.)

Posted by: jk at April 27, 2010 10:52 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Bennett is now third in the polls. The PRIMARY polls. A friend of mine is a state delegate, and was he telling me that Bennett got booed at one gathering?

Liberal media outlets have admitted pro-bailout Republicans' woes, using headlines like, "Republicans in trouble for bailout votes." I can't help but suspect it's so Americans who largely just look at headlines (and there are a lot more than we care to imagine) will think these Republicans are in trouble for being against bailouts.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 27, 2010 9:39 PM

April 19, 2010

Pickin' a Fight

My Blog Brother Johngalt has made several dismissive comments about Senator John McCain. And, to be fair, he has a lot of material to work with.

I think blaming him for his offspring's politics is a little too far (cf. Ronnie Reagan) but I would join in a happy thrashing for campaign finance nonsense, opposition to the Bush tax cuts and his general disposition to over-regulation.

But I dropped a fly for a substantive defense of Rep. JD Hayworth's primary challenge and nobody struck. Looking for party purity to principle, I think McCain is better on spending than Hayworth and I am backed by the only decent guy out of 535, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ, Earth, Sky, and Heaven Above).

For all his faults, I was reminded of something I always liked about Senator Crotchety. Yesterday on FOX News Sunday, he was asked about the secret memo that we didn't have a plan for Iran. He flashed his impish grin and said "I didn't need a secret memo to know the Administration had no plan for Iran."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

I tried to stop short of blaming the senator. I just said he must be proud.

I haven't looked that closely at Hayworth, possibly because I'm afraid of what I might find. My attitude on the matter has been that it's a referendum on McCain. That's why I initially thought he'd prevail in the end, and why I later decided it was important to defeat him. My opposition is softening some, but I still think the cause of liberty might be better off without his "support."

Is it just me or does McCain seem to be better for our side when the Dems are in the majority, and worse when they aren't?

Posted by: johngalt at April 19, 2010 3:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair, But aren't they all? Hope and Change -- only President Obama could make the GOP look so good!

Posted by: jk at April 19, 2010 4:17 PM
But sarawilberz thinks:

Every time I start digging into hayworth I come away feeling dirty. John McCain is the man I will vote for.

Posted by: sarawilberz at April 20, 2010 1:33 AM
But clairejo90 thinks:

John McCain is better for America PERIOD. Hayworth is everything that is wrong with politics, personal gain over the good of the country.

Posted by: clairejo90 at April 20, 2010 1:38 AM
But sueoak72 thinks:

Yeah how come hayworth has only released where the money came from in that trust? I would like to see where it went. Proably to some member of his family. Someone do some digging and see if the family dog filed a w2.

Posted by: sueoak72 at April 20, 2010 2:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Here you are, three good reasons why McCain should be voted out of office. His supporters best argument for him are personal attacks against his opponent. Again, where was this toughness when his opponent was a black man? (Or was it because his opponent was a Democrat?)

Posted by: johngalt at April 20, 2010 2:52 PM

April 17, 2010

April 15 - "TEA Party Day"

I posted a TEA Party article by one of JK's favorites... now here's one of mine - Robert Tracinski: American Love of Liberty is Not Dead.

The whole idea behind income taxes and runaway government spending is a reversal of the original meaning of America. It is a switch from a system of individual rights, a nation of independent individuals, private enterprise, and private property-to a system of subservience to the state.

(...)

I didn't think I'd see anything worse than that article-but wouldn't you know it. On Monday, there was a new article in the Boston Globe by somebody named James Carroll, who argues for "the true patriotism of paying taxes." He says that we should show gratitude for paying taxes, because it is our chance to show our dedication to-and this is a real quote-"the sacred treasure we share as a people." That "sacred treasure" is the state. And, he says, "Taxes are its sacrament."

The state as "sacred"? Taxes as a "sacrament"? I've heard it said that the left wants to put the state in the place of God, but I've never heard someone on the left admit it so clearly. Religious folks would view this as sacrilege. I'm secular in my outlook, but I agree-it's a sacrilege against America.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

There isn't enough profanity in the world to describe an asswipe like Paul Regala.

The real Patriot's Day is Monday, the 235th anniversary.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 17, 2010 9:58 PM

Prosperity depends on Constitutional Limits of Government

Larry Kudlow is on board with the 'Contract from America.'

Harking back to the Founders' principles of constitutional limits to government is a very powerful message. It's a message of freedom, especially economic freedom. The tea partiers have delivered an extremely accurate diagnostic of what ails America right now: Government is growing too fast, too much, too expensively and in too many places -- and in the process it is crowding out our cherished economic freedom.

It's as though the tea partiers are saying this great country will never fulfill its long-run potential to prosper, create jobs and lead the world unless constitutional limits to government are restored.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:46 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Larry has been talking it up on his show as well. He had the guy who started it on, and he has asked most of his guests about it.

I'd go for all of them but (always gotta be a "but...") I'd reword #9 as reducing government intrusion into the energy sector. It reads "Less government, Less government, Less government, Less government, Less government, Less government, Less government, Less government, NATIONAL EBERGY POLICY, Less government,."

But that's small beans. Yes, jk is on board with the output -- and celebrates the Hayekian, crowdsourced creation.

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2010 11:25 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm going to quibble a little with the phrasing, but not the sentiment. To say that "Government is growing too fast, too much, too expensively and in too many places" still implies that there's a proper rate for government to be growing fast, to be growing much, to be growing expensively, and that there are many places where it's proper to expand.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 17, 2010 10:02 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Let me put it another way that I heard from someone years ago. Once you say something like, "Taxes are too high," you've just admitted that there's a certain level you find acceptable.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 17, 2010 10:05 PM

TEA Party "Contract From America"

Here's a political platform I can completely support. Comprised from the online votes of over 450,000 Americans are the top ten priorities of those who want to take their country back from the welfare statists. They call it the Contract from America.

1. Protect the Constitution
Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)

2. Reject Cap & Trade
Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nations global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)

3. Demand a Balanced Budget
Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 wordsthe length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitutions meaning. (63.37%)

6. End Runaway Government Spending
Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)

7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isnt restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)

8. Pass an All-of-the-Above Energy Policy
Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)

9. Stop the Pork
Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)

10. Stop the Tax Hikes
Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 AM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

Excellent! What he says.

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2010 11:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It's more awesome-er the more I think about it. It would make a great bumper sticker too. Even dagny would put it on her car.

Posted by: johngalt at April 17, 2010 11:33 AM
But Lisa M thinks:

I can't claim it's my original sentiment--I did in fact get it off of a bumpersticker. But it sums up everything I want to say. Heading out now armed with my camera!

Posted by: Lisa M at April 17, 2010 12:10 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Independence Hall Tea Party pics here.

I had a great time, met a lot of great people and I will definitely go again.

Posted by: Lisa M at April 17, 2010 9:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good pics LM! I share your appreciation of the grandma and "biker dude" conversing. I see plenty of this kind of thing at the TEA Parties I attend too. And a grandmotherly type was the one to told me to "show that one a lot more" about my "What part of 'Enumerated Powers' don't you understand?" sign.

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2010 12:26 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

The funnier picture that I didn't post was the one of the group of gay Obama supporters who were hanging out at the edge of the crowd all day watching being intensely engaged by a Ron Paul supporter wearing and "End the Fed" tee shirt. The more I think about everything I saw and heard down there yesterday, the happier I am that I went.

Posted by: Lisa M at April 18, 2010 9:32 PM

The Making of Electoral Landslides

A new book published this month explains how four wealthy progressives transformed Colorado politics from red to blue in a single election cycle. The Blueprint by Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager describes the targeted use of massive amounts of cash in close races to essentially buy Colorado politics for the Democrats. If they're smart, Republicans will adopt much of this winning strategy.

I haven't read the book but one or both authors appeared on two different Denver radio shows today. In the morning Rob Witwer was on the Rosen show and both authors were interviewed by KHOW's Craig Silverman in the afternoon. A critical concession mentioned in both venues was agreement by the monied donors from the very beginning that they would not bicker with each other over policy differences. Instead, they all agreed that their solitary goal was election of Democrat candidates.

I'm not sure it's that simple for Republicans. After all, we have McCain and his merry band of big-government do-gooders to be wary of. But I do think the advice is useful when it comes to the fiscal/social conservative divide.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2010

Where is the other half of Conservative voters?

Yesterday Rush Limbaugh cited opinion poll results that have shown consistently, since the question was initiated in 2002, Americans consider themselves "conservative" by a 2-to-1 margin over those who call themselves "liberal." So why are GOP and Democrat registrations nearly equal in the 30 percent range? I guess it's because Republicans aren't "chic."

David Harsanyi gives a more pointed explanation in his observations on yesterday's Tax Day TEA Party at the Denver capitol:

And though tea party supporters are more conservative than the average voter on social issues, as well -- particularly abortion, according to a separate Gallup Poll -- The New York Times reports that 8 in 10 tea party activists believe the movement should focus on economic issues rather than cultural ones.

How long have we been hearing from moderate, sensible, worldly Republican types that if only -- if only -- the right found God on economic issues and lost God on the social ones, there would be an expansion of appeal and support? Apparently, they were right.

The rest of the column gives some good polling info on TEA Party opinions. For example, would you believe that most TEA Party activists believe the taxes they now pay are "fair?"

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:34 PM | Comments (8)
But Lisa M thinks:

Yes, jg, I started this post agreeing with your assessment because I do think the abortion issue gets in the way of fiscal conservatism, in that the issue has been so inflated in importance of the minds of the people---it's a RIGHT to kill your unborn child!----that any opposition to it is looked upon as a revocation of rights. (As an aside, I think we've already hashed that out here, and I would say our basic disagreement boils down to when to confer rights on an unborn child.) That all being said if a fiscal conservative is pro-choice, it's not a deal breaker for me.

However, there is such a thing as a pro-life Democrat, PA's own Bob Casey Sr. (Junior is a joke) being the prominent among them. But Bart Stupak, even though his collapse at the end was ridiculously weak, was elected as a Democrat on a pro-life platform. I think there is still a segment of Dems out there--shrinking, to be sure---that still think that this is their father's democratic party and don't understand that their party has been hijacked by the far left. Since the so-called pro-life democrats failed their constituency in the health care vote, it will be interesting to see where this shakes out.

Posted by: Lisa M at April 16, 2010 8:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair enough. But for my part I've always believed that Dems claim a pro-life stance only when they think it's required to win election in a given district, while pro-life GOP'ers are more likely to crawl across broken glass for the issue. And why? Because the (yes, religiously motivated) pro-life lobby demands total commitment, or else they take their money and votes and go home.

I just hope that most pro-life voters are able to join you in adopting the TEA Party principles with at least as much intensity and dedication as they've pursued outlawing of abortion and gay marriage. Events of the post-Reagan era have shown that either conservative faction by itself is no match for the welfare eco-statists.

Posted by: johngalt at April 17, 2010 2:44 AM
But Lisa M thinks:

I agree 100% with this assessment: "Because the (yes, religiously motivated) pro-life lobby demands total commitment, or else they take their money and votes and go home." and agree that fiscal conservatism should be everyone's first priority for government, especially in these times.

Posted by: Lisa M at April 17, 2010 9:04 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Kum Bay Ahhhh!

In re-reading the original post to dagny I noted that Harsanyi already observed that TEA Partiers are more socially conservative than the average voter - and yet overwhelmingly support a "focus on economic issues rather than cultural ones."

I hope I don't risk the shared joy of the moment with a fine adjustment to your characterization of our difference on the abortion issue. I think we agree that an unborn child has rights at conception. The disagreement is over the hierarchy of those rights: I say they trump the rights of every other individual except the mother.

Posted by: johngalt at April 17, 2010 11:23 AM
But jk thinks:

As a great philosopher once said "It's a mixed up, muddled and shook up world 'cept for Lola."

Growing up in a Catholic community, there is a significant vote that goes to Republicans from voters who yearn for a progressive agenda but cannot countenance abortion (through-the looking glass Johngalts and Dagnies).

It's an electoral dynamic that cannot be ignored.

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2010 11:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

We try to ignore them anyway, the same way you try to ignore kids in a public pool who you just know are peeing in it. We (dagny and I) call these types "the worst of both [philosophical] worlds." They want to infringe the social AND economic liberties of others. The ones you speak of are disciples of the social justice movement that Glenn Beck railed against.

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2010 12:46 PM

April 13, 2010

Colorado Primary Scramble

Heard a radio report today that Jane Norton now intends to petition onto the primary ballot instead of counting on 30% minimum support at the state GOP convention next month. ColoradoPols covers it here. She joins Tom Wiens as one of the candidates who doesn't energize the grassroots activists enough to waste a few weekend mornings supporting her (or him.) Apparently John McCain's PAC money can buy petition signatures more reliably than it can buy energetic supporters.

Related: Heard Dick Morris tell KOA Denver's Mike Rosen yesterday that "Jane Norton has to beat Bennet or Romanoff in November. It's imperative. Hopefully not very many Republicans will flake off and support a weaker candidate." Come on Dick. You'll just have to start helping Buck raise campaign cash after he's OUR nominee.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:30 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I received a lengthy email from the Norton Campaign today, explaining their position. If Morris supports Norton, you've just made your most salient pitch for Buck!

Posted by: jk at April 13, 2010 5:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Blind squirrel, at your service...

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2010 11:18 PM

April 12, 2010

Artist for Freedom

Art is great. Art is powerful. The ideas and emotions it can express in a single image are difficult to ignore. Unfortunately a majority of "artsy" types seem to be of the collectivist bent. Obama used art to perfection in his 2008 election campaign to propogate, as Jon Voight said, "the greatest lie." Since the election heard 'round the world I've been on the lookout for an artist on OUR side. Today, I found him: Bosch Fawstin - artist and author, creator of 'Pigman' the anti-Islamist super-hero and much, much more. For example: AMERICANS: GET UP & FIGHT

Here's another good one: "NOvember"

Bonus points for (at least) two Ayn Rand quotes on the main page.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2010

Grassroots GOP Sausage Making

Tomorrow is the date of the Weld County (Colorado) GOP County Assembly. One of my favorite parts of the caucus process is the vote taken on individual policy planks that have been submitted for consideration by precinct caucus attendees. In this way the ideas and priorities of individual citizens can rise to prominence if they are shared by - ahem - a majority of those voting. I think this is a good and healthy part of self-governance and I am always interested to see where my neighbors take a stand and where they don't.

Click continue reading to see the list of all 29 Resolutions for Consideration, listed in order of the number of precincts that submitted them. Resolution number 1 should be no surprise:

1. The Weld County Republican Party affirms the sanctity of human life and supports the God-given, constitutional right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death and therefore opposes public funding of abortion providers and fetal or embryonic stem cell research. Further, the Party supports the passage of an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to apply the term "person" to every human being from the beginning of their biological development. (53/63.9%)

I assume you all know how I'll be voting on this one.

I'll try to update after Assembly with the results of the ballot.

UPDATE: Dad and I both voted NO on the abortion, immigration, gay marriage, term limits and uranium mining resolutions [numbers 1, 4, 7, 22 and 25.] All 29 resolutions passed anyway. (I tried to vote YES twice on the global warming resolution [27] but couldn't hack the electronic voting machine with the tools I had with me at the time.) I'd still like to know how many other NO votes there were, of the 300-odd delegates, so I'm going to try calling the County Clerk's office next week. I asked one of the clerks in attendance if results would be posted on the 'net and she didn't know.

*The figures at the end of each resolution represent the number of precincts that submitted the resolution over the percentage of the 83 precincts (or 73.5% of all 113 precincts in Weld County) that submitted resolutions.

NOTE: Resolutions are listed in the order of most often submitted to least often submitted and are in the order that they will appear on the voting machines for your vote at assembly.

2. The Weld County Republican Party resolves to support only Republican candidates and elected officials who oppose all forms of gun control and uphold the right of all law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (37/44.6%)

3. The Weld County Republican Party supports affordable health care but not through national socialized health care legislation and encourages the Colorado Attorney General to use every legal means to resist its mandate. (24/28.9%)

4. The Weld County Republican Party supports fully securing and controlling all U.S. borders to stop illegal immigration and terrorist infiltration. Further, the Party opposes all non-emergency government benefits, amnesty and sanctuary programs for illegal immigrants; supports heavy penalties for employers of illegal immigrants; and supports amending the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to read: "all persons born of U.S. or naturalized citizens in the United States..." (Italicized and underlined words to be added to the existing wording.) (24/28.9%)

5. The Weld County Republican Party supports the rule of law as well as judges who respect and uphold the Constitution and interpret laws as written, rather than overriding the will of the people who make them by legislating from the bench. Therefore, the Party recommends that Colorado Supreme Court Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey not be retained in office. (18/21.7%)

6. The Weld County Republican Party supports limited national government that is fiscally responsible while providing for strong national defense. The Party also supports the free enterprise system, equal protection under the law and individual and private property rights where U.S. citizens have the freedom of expression and exercise individual responsibility with liberty and justice for all. (17/20.5%)

7. The Weld County Republican Party supports Traditional Marriage Amendments to both the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions that legally establish marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (17/20.5%)

8. The Weld County Republican Party supports only English as the national language of the U.S. (15/18.1%)

9. The Weld County Republican Party supports less regulation of the oil and gas industry to encourage reasonable domestic oil and gas production and decrease U.S. reliance on foreign oil. (15/18.1%)

10. The Weld County Republican Party supports private property rights, including legislation prohibiting the use of eminent domain for the benefit of private business or for government revenue enhancement. (15/18.1%)

11. The Weld County Republican Party supports educational excellence through parent involvement, school choice, charter schools, school vouchers, home schooling, and public school and teacher accountability. (14/16.9%)

12. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all non-federal government officials within the State of Colorado assert Colorado's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution. (14/16.9%)

13. The Weld County Republican Party supports the elimination of income taxes en lieu of a fair tax in the form of either a flat tax or a consumption tax. (13/15.7%)

14. The Weld County Republican Party opposes the implementation of Sharia Islamic law in any form or to any degree anywhere in the U.S. (13/15.7%)

15. The Weld County Republican Party supports strong national defense as well as the War on Terrorism, including current U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, the Party supports, honors and prays for the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families and is committed to providing them with the resources they need to complete their mission. (12/14.5%)

16. The Weld County Republican Party supports primary elections to select Presidential candidates. (12/14.5%)

17. The Weld County Republican Party supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to operate the federal government under a balanced budget annually. (12/14.5%)

18. The Weld County Republican Party supports conserving Colorado water through the development of additional water storage projects to supply the needs of Colorado municipalities, industry and agriculture. (11/13.3%)

19. The Weld County Republican Party supports religious freedom in the U.S. as intended by America's founding fathers, including the public expression of religion guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (11/13.3%)

20. The Weld County Republican Party does not support globalism or the concept of a North American Union because they violate the principles of self-governance inherent to the U.S. Constitution. The American republic form of government and its system of checks and balances that operates under the rule of law has no provision for regulation from non-elected, unaccountable, international institutions. (10/12.1%)

21. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Congress make no law that applies to U.S. citizens that does not apply equally to Congress and conversely, that Congress make no law that applies to Congress that does not apply equally to U.S. citizens. (8/9.6%)

22. The Weld County Republican Party supports an amendment the U.S. Constitution limiting Congressional terms. (8/9.6%)

23. The Weld County Republican Party supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the immediate, comprehensive and objective Congressional audit of the Federal Reserve banking system in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices which will be made public upon completion and conducted annually thereafter. (6/7.2%)

24. The Weld County Republican Party supports tort law reform that reduces frivolous and exorbitant lawsuits, especially against medical professionals. (4/4.8%)

25. The Weld County Republican Party does not support uranium mining in WeldCounty. (4/4.8%)

26. The Weld County Republican Party supports limiting all legislation to a single subject that is of reasonable length and understanding, and the prohibition of earmarking. (4/4.8%)

27. The Weld County Republican Party does not recognize global warming and does not support emissions trading also known as Cap and Trade. (4/4.8%)

28. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all government officials should conduct their duties in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and that all documents pertaining to the regulation of U.S. citizens clearly site the Constitutional provisions authorizing such regulation. (4/4.8%)

29. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Congress be limited to receiving the same Social Security retirement and Medicare health benefits as all other U.S. citizens. (4/4.8%)

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2010

GOTV

I like Bill Whittle's stuff. Don't know that we agree on everything, but I admired his mix of passion and intellect in his old EJECT! EJECT! EJECT! essays. Now he has brought that to PJTV. Professor Reynolds has been hawking this video as particularly important.

It's short and worth a view in full, but the heart is to meet up with five people at a TEA party, then you and your five each bring five new voters on election day. Drive them to polls. People who would not otherwise vote.

This is like admitting that you don't know what that third pedal on your car does, but here I go:

I don't think I have ever once changed a single vote or generated a vote for a candidate I support. I can hope that my small donations may have been used effectively, and that perhaps as a cog in the GOTV effort, that I may have played a part. But my efforts at direct suasion have all turned up goose eggs.

Working the phones at GOTV, I have annoyed many people but I cannot recall one who said he'd vote or vote for my candidate.

Most of my friends are involved and will vote and will choose their candidate without my sagacious counsel. The squishes I do know seem immune to my suggestions. And I'll rent a bigger car if I must but I don't know anyone who doesn't vote because they need a ride.

Whittle and that Rove fellow make it sound simple, but I have yet to knowingly add one vote beyond mine. Maybe I should find another interest.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 5, 2010

'Leave Us Alone' -

'Getting the government's hands off our money, our guns, our lives.' The 2008 Grover Norquist book by this name posited a future politics driven by the "Leave Us Alone Coalition" on one side and the "Takings Coalition" on the other. This dovetails nicely with our recent discussion and Norquist apparently addresses the social values schizm toward the end of the book [Craig Matteson review]:

If I disagree with Norquist on anything it is his rough dismissal of social conservative issues towards the end of the book. However, I understand his emphasis on economic issues and their rough correlation with social conservative issues. That is, if you look at all economic conservatives in the Republican party, they will also include almost all of the social conservatives and some of those who are more liberal on social issues. So, we get more voters to help us win our issues with economics. This ignores the reality that for social conservatives, some issues are so vital that sitting home or creating a new party would be better alternatives than letting them slip out of the public debate.

If there is anything that religious leaders can do to help save America and the American way of life it is to disabuse their flocks from keeping social issues in the public political debate. Take them back to the public moral debate where they rightly belong.

And "Freedom Nationally, Virtue Locally" is a good place to start.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2010

Denver TEA Party III

I don't yet have firm plans to attend tomorrow's Denver TEA Party [4pm at the State Capitol] but if I go, these will be my signs:

And...

Are any of the Colorado brothers interested in going? I have two blank poster boards and need someone to carry the second sign.

UPDATE: 3/31 0850 MDT - According to People's Press Collective the scheduled 4pm start time is unlikely. Travel delays from Grand Junction mean the start time will probably be 5pm instead.

Also, I had assumed that Palin and other headliners were on board for the entire tour. Not so.

In the event that none of us go to the event I invite others to contribute their sign ideas in the comments.

UPDATE II (jk): Blog friend Sugarchuck sends a pic:
trustme.jpg

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:44 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Not out of line at all. Besides not having to walk from a parking spot we'll also be livin' the green life in the carpool lane!

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2010 10:58 AM
But jk thinks:

Posted before update -- whatever you decide. I'm not sure Palin's absence isn't a plus. With all respect to the guv, I'd rather attend a freedom rally than a "Sarah Palin rally."

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2010 10:59 AM
But johngalt thinks:

More signs:

WHAT PART OF "ENUMERATED POWERS" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?


ENEMY OF THE STATIST
|
V


(A couple of these would make good 3Srcs T-shirts!)

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2010 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

News of Ms. Palin's absence serves mostly to explain the dearth of local advertising for the event.

jk: I emailed you to discuss logistics. [@3srcsdotcom]

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2010 1:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Got your email, thanks. $50 seems a bit excessive for gas but we're thinking it over...

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2010 1:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What did you expect in the "new energy economy?"

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2010 2:56 PM

March 28, 2010

Missing the Point

Roughly a year after inauguration of America's most radically leftist president in history, in the wake of a year of grassroots outrage popularly monikered TEA Parties, a pair of "documentary filmmakers and political activists" formed "an alternative to the Tea Party Movement" - the "Coffee Party USA."

By failing to notice the capitalization of all three letters in the word TEA the authors of the linked Wikipedia entry, and likely the Coffee Party USA organizers themselves, fail to recognize that the TEA Party phenomenon is not just about dumping tea into a metaphorical government harbor - it's about being Taxed Enough, Already!

But it isn't just the name that Coffee Statists have wrong, it's the philosophy.

Its mission states that it is based on the underlying principle that the government is "not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans."

TEA Partiers participate in the democratic process but since there is no such thing as "collective will" outside the writings of Karl Marx they seek to address the challenges we face as individual Americans. Today, more than ever before, productive Americans are challenged by a government that forcibly confiscates individual earnings in the name of "helping the people." Unfortunately, they do the former much more efficiently than the latter.

So what does COFFEE stand for? While waiting for the founders to enlighten us we can at least offer our own interpretations. Mine is 'Confiscate Ownership Freedom From Every Entrepreneur.'

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:07 PM | Comments (5)
But terri thinks:

Funny how that philosophy is only official when the new coffee party's side is in office.

Posted by: terri at March 29, 2010 9:12 AM
But HB thinks:

I couldn't help but to be reminded of the introduction of Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom:

"In a much quote passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, 'Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.' It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on it origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic 'what your country can do for you' implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, 'what you can do for your country' implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favor and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served....

...He will ask rather 'What can I and my compatriots do through government' to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom?"

THIS is the issue that divides the two groups.

Posted by: HB at March 29, 2010 1:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well said, Milton, and excellent segue HB.

A contemporary free-market reprise of the JFK line might be: "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask how your country can leave you alone."

I repeatedly lament a "progressive" public education establishment shaped by John Dewey and others that gave us the baby boomer do gooders who now claim to run things "for the public good." This Kennedy quote is a reminder that the collectivist ethos has infected all of civil society for a very long time.

Posted by: johngalt at March 29, 2010 2:59 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

A bit late on this one, but here it goes.

My problem with Friedman's piece is that he makes an assumption I am uncomfortable with - the automatic jump from "country" to "government".

This does not make much sense to me. A country is much, much more than the state that governs it. It is a group of people, a stake of land, a collection of traditions, and the state that tries to govern it all. Thus where Friedman reads, "Ask not what your government can do for you - as what you can do for your government", I read "Ask not what your society can do for you - ask what you can do for your society". Or perhaps "your community". Even "your civilization".

And to be honest, I do not think those latter sentences are half so bad. Then again, I a am bit more on the communitarian side than most you folks...

Posted by: T. Greer at March 31, 2010 8:00 AM
But jk thinks:

We're working tg like a blogging dog today.

Were we France or Germany, I'd agree. Ein Volk and all. But I object to your objection. America is not a race or a people or a piece of dirt, it's an idea and that idea is expressed in *gasp* a free government.

Yup, letters == bad...

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2010 11:26 AM

March 18, 2010

Will She Even Bother to Run Again?

Despite what meager effort I and my family and those I emailed in CO-4 could make, today's fake CBO report gave Betsy Markey the cover she wanted to commit political suicide in this traditionally conservative district. I hope voters remember the "Markey Mistake" for a long, long time.

Markey's decision to vote in favor of the bill will almost certainly become a dominant issue for Republicans as they try to oust her in November. Markey in 2008 became the first Democrat in 36 years to win the 4th Congressional District seat, and national Republicans have made ousting her a top priority this year.

Two recent polls released by business groups opposed to the Democrats' health care bill showed a majority of district residents were against the bill.

Markey said her decision to support the bill was about policy, not politics.
"I'm not a career politician and I've said this before, this is not a stepping stone for another career. I'm not here as a place to retire," she said.

Ironically, I think she just did exactly that.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:15 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

She shoulda held out for the plane ride.

I've seen many TV commercials lately asking me to "call Betsy Markey and tell her to keep up the fight."

I think we lost, boys. I got overconfident less than one month ago. But today it feels very much over. Most have given up on stopping it and are choosing to revel in November's gains. Small damn comfort.

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2010 6:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've been overconfident before. I don't know if my pessimism now is a reaction to that or just to the Markey disappointment. You do realize that if they pass Healthcare with this unsavory process there's no reason for them not to pass every other leftist wet-dream on their wish list too. Perhaps the spectre of that will be enough to stiffen the resolve of the less progressive Dems.

Laura Ingraham told Bill O'Reilly today that Bart Stupak told her for every vote Pelosi switches to a yes, his guys are switching a no. Sounds like Stupak might really be all in after all.

Might there be, dare I say it - Hope?

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2010 1:02 AM
But jk thinks:

My pessimism has the same source. Kucinich covers the left, Markey covers the middle, game over. I see that it is still a fight, but the bogus CBO score and the Speaker's calling for a vote portend bad things.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2010 10:37 AM

March 17, 2010

Partisan Hackery

Oh, those Blue Dogs -- ain't they cute when they're puppies? Big brown eyes and floppy ears. I just love 'em. Professor Reynolds shares an email from Roy Herron, who's running as a Democrat in TN-08:

My top three priorities in Washington will be fiscal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, and fiscal responsibility.

Washington is mortgaging the future of my sons and your children and our grandchildren. And Washington is risking the future of this country with trillions in debt.

I drive a 12-year-old truck with 375,000 miles on it. My sons call me cheap, but Washington needs more of us with 375,000-mile pickups wholl spend your money like our own.


Prompting me to write to his Instantness:
Apologies in advance for filling your inbox with partisan hackery, but:

Roy Herron sounds like just what we need in Congress. Will he vote for Rep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker?

I assume, yes, he is running as a Democrat. Watching her "pass" health care by any-means-necessary-and-some-things-that-are-not-really-means-at-all makes me skeptical of some guys no matter how old their trucks.


See, those blue dog pups grow up to be mangy, mean, bad-tempered congressdogs.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:11 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm going to hurt my arm one of these days from patting myself on the back so much, but remember that I've warned since November 2008 that the Blue Dog is a myth. You'll have an occasional few who will claim to oppose something for the sake of fiscal responsibility, but it's all smoke and mirrors. They'll be House members, whose districts are, of course, not state-wide and therefore have more targetted demographics. Pelosi will engineer votes so those members' votes aren't needed, allowing them to put on "fiscal conservative" masks.

Hell, there's been more obstruction from Kucinich than Republicans. It didn't have a public option, so he wouldn't support it, meaning he wouldn't vote for it because it wasn't socialist enough.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 18, 2010 9:31 AM
But jk thinks:

Until he got a plane ride. I saw him coming out of Air Force One the other day and said "his vote's in."

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2010 11:11 AM
But jk thinks:

These guys do campaign as moderates. I always like to remind people that they will vote for the überliberal Democratic leadership.

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2010 5:14 PM

March 16, 2010

Caucus Nite!

In addition to Cory Gardner I'll be caucusing for Ken Buck tonight:

Whenever your caucus is, wherever you live ... GO. Find the grassroots candidates. Support them. Tell the McCain PAC money boys (and in Colorado's case, girls) to go home. The GOP primary is the only place you can make a real difference. By the time the general election rolls around it's just lesser-of-evils time. In Colorado, tonight's the night. 7 pm.

CO GOP caucus location info here: http://www.cologop.org/

UPDATE:

Caucus Report - There were 13 participants from our precinct who chose 4 delegates from 5 nominees. Yours truly was one of those selected (and the only one to be chosen unanimously, with 13 of 13 votes.) This is even more remarkable when you consider that one of the couples in attendance had expressed their strong preference for Jane Norton, since they know her personally. Even though I was unabashedly for her chief rival, Ken Buck, the both of them voted for me. I had chatted them up about the other races and the general condition of the country. I also volunteered to be precinct secretary and one of two precinct chairmen for the next go 'round. When given my chance at a mini campaign speech I said I'm not a member of any TEA Party or 9.12 groups but I attend the Tea Parties when they happen and that best describes my priorities. I said that I consider over taxation and regulation at the federal level to be the chief reason for the sad state of the economy these days. Charity should start at home and that sort of thing. In closing I joked that everyone should "vote for me because I WON'T buy your vote."

Our precinct/district results were:

Buck - 9/49
Norton - 4/20

McInnis - 7/42
Maes - 6/38

Gardner - 11/49
Lucero - 2/16
Brown - 0/9

Statewide results for Senate and Governor are here.

As of (Good Lord!) 1:15am MDT (last updated 11:25pm with 94% reporting) the numbers are:

Governor
McInnis - 15,213 (60%)
Maes - 9,952 (39.3%)

Senate
Buck - 9,324 (37.9%)
Norton - 9,295 (37.7%)
Wiens - 4,054 (16.5%)

Thoughts:

- If the rankings hold through the final count this is a major coup for the grassroots candidate Ken Buck over the much better funded Norton. I think he was just hoping for a good showing to get some credibility. An outright win is a bonus.

- Wiens spent a lot of ad money too, mostly hammering Norton for supporting the tax grab Referendum C. If he drops out none of his support will go to her.

- Buck's current margin of victory is 29 votes, of which two were my dad and me. It sure feels good to make a difference like that.

Good night. And, goodnight!

UPDATE II:
As of 10:30 AM 3/18, 99.69% reporting -

Governor
McInnis - 15,385 (59.1%)
Maes - 10,421 (40.1%)

Senate
Buck - 9,776 (38.2%)
Norton - 9,613 (37.5%)
Wiens - 4,223 (16.5%)

Buck's margin has grown - from 29 to 163.
Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:04 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Still not sure about Ken, I will keep an open mind. I definitely like the idea of Dan Maes over Scott McInnis.

This video is not compelling. The problem is...Lobbyists? Really? Fat cat bankers in Greenwich, CT? I just don't get it.

He tweets "Tonight, CO has the opportunity to stand against D.C. special interests. Please support my campaign at your..." Sounds like John Edwards! Gonna fight the drug companies for me!

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2010 7:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Headed to Legacy School in Frederick by any chance?

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2010 7:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You didn't like the improved fuel economy promise from his bumper stickers?

For Buck it's all about the national PAC money being funneled to Jane Norton. You can't blame the guy for feeling a little like Rodney Dangerfield: The NRSCC has reportedly reserved domain names for Norton's general election run already.

And no, it wasn't "fat cat" bankers, but "bailed out" bankers. When I hear that I think Lehman Brothers. I understand if you think he's just talking about arm-twisted TARP recipients. In the final analysis though, for me it's about the Republicans who brung us attempted amnesty, half-hearted SS reform, no adult supervision over spending and entitlements, Speaker Pelosi and President Obama versus the mad as hell types who reluctantly chose to take on the careerists and show Democrats what a REAL "party of NO" looks like.

And no, we weren't in Frederick but the other direction - Fort Lupton Middle School.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2010 3:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah, I love the message to the national GOP (cough losers! cough!) I was actually more surprised at Dan Maes's showing. I think the grassroots spoke loudly and clearly.

Ft. Morgan, huh? Big town! You probably went in early for sushi and stayed late to catch a show...

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2010 10:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You made the same mis-identification that my dad repeatedly makes. I have no idea why it's so easy to recognize Ft. Collins but Ft. Lupton is easily confused with Ft. Morgan. As for the civic charms of our nearby little burg, I've come to appreciate that what it lacks in size, demographics and amenities it makes up with history and friendliness.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2010 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

My best to your Dad. I make it <italics>repeatedly</italics> as well. No idea why. I go to Ft. Lupton for license plates and maybe drove through Ft. Morgan ten years ago.

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2010 7:23 PM

March 15, 2010

"I'm Going to Pick a Fight"

Those were the words of William Wallace [1:03] as he set out to meet representatives of English tyranny over Scotland. They're the same words I heard a GOP candidate for CO-4 say to a fellow debate attendee. She had asked him, "How long do you want to keep this job?" Cory's reply was, "I don't want to go to Washington to make friends, I'm going to pick a fight." There were only a few of us standing around him at the time so I don't believe it was a rehearsed line, but it sure made an impression on me: He's going to pick a fight with representatives of federal tyranny over America.

Cory was the only one of the four candidates not wearing cowboy boots so I joked with dagny, "Cross him off the list!" But by the end of the debate the other three had not won me over like Gardner did. I went to meet him afterwards and that's where the quote comes from. My question for him was whether he would have a problem having any of the other three candidates on his "team" to which he said, "Not at all." I had a better question for him this morning, which you can read about below the fold.

I intend to stand for election as a delegate for Cory at tomorrow's GOP caucus.

I called Cory this morning and he called me back. I asked him about his 2010 plan which, for spending reform, only says we need a balanced budget amendment. He said that the 2010 plan is a sort of bare bones summary. He essentially wants to push for a Colorado style TABOR law at the national level, which includes restraints on the growth of spending. He said that neither of these things is required in order to roll back spending. I said, "You're right, if congress wanted to cut spending they could. But what are you going to say when your colleagues say 'You're asking me to vote against something that's popular in my district - what are you going to vote against that's popular in yours?'" He said he's recently gone to the well of the Colorado legislature and proposed a cut in spending by the agriculture department, and that this is a big deal for a representative from a rural district. I agreed and asked if that sentiment would extend to the federal farm bill. He said, "Absolutely." He then explained that the 1996 farm bill was written by Wayne Allard and a senator from Kansas to wean farmers off of subsidies over a 6-year period but subsequent congresses, with Republican complicity, undid the effort.

We also talked briefly about government employee unions and ridiculous pension plans. He said that's a problem at the state and the federal level and it needs to be reformed at multiple levels. I asked if it is as simple as candidate McInnis' pledge to reverse the executive order allowing state employee unions. He said that Gov. Ritter's order gave state employee unions the right to bargain collectively - that's what would be reversed if McInnis or Maes is elected. He said it's an important first step but not the whole solution. (I was impressed by his inclusion of Dan Maes who I'm just learning about since he's getting zero press but is what I suppose you'd call "the TEA Party candidate.")

I told him I know that he has experience resisting the pressures to go along against his principles at the state level but the pressures in Washington will be even stronger. I said that I think Senator Bunning has some regrets about his career in congress. He agreed and said he plans to spend as much time as possible with constituents in his district instead of in Washington.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2010

CO-4 GOP Debate Tonight in Loveland

Published in the newspaper but found on the 'net only at this left-leaning site:

Brought to you by the following five groups who have united for the Great Cause:

Northern Colorado Tea Party
We Will Not Fall 9-12 Fort Collins
Loveland 9-12 Project
Windsor 9-12 group
Longmont 9-12/Tea Party

Gardner, Lucero, Madere and Brown are all confirmed to attend.

Thursday, March 11th
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Mountain View High School Auditorium
3500 Mountain Lion Drive
Loveland, CO 80537

The debate will be moderated by Amy Oliver from 1310 am KFKA Radio.

I'll be attending, vid cam in hand.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:26 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Sadly, I am still stuck in CO-2, even though I escaped Boulder County. Have fun.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2010 3:41 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm sure somewhere in CO-2, a Trotsky-Lenin debate will be taking place...

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2010 3:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Every time I go to one of these things I wish I had a threesources.com T-shirt. Shall we make some? It could read,

TEA Anyone?
www.threesources.com

Now we only need to choose a color. Hmm, red or blue? (Nobody better suggest green!)

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2010 4:29 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm taking tomorrow off, I'll play around on CafePress. I was playing around with some Live at the Coffeehouse.com cups.

I really like how Hank's Devil Dog Brew stuff came out Shirts and mugs on video display here.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2010 5:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Last night's debate started with the excitement of four guys saying, "I agree" but before it was over there were a few areas of disagreement. I'd say the bombshell moment was when Tom Lucero had to defend his YES vote on Referendum C as a "time out" from Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, eliciting criticism from Madere and Gardner: "You can't take a time out from your principles" and "We can't set reasonable spending limits and take a time out when the going gets tough." It's a shame because Tom was looking very good to me up to that point.

I have video of everything but the closing statements and want to put up a few highlights soon, along with more commentary. Until then if you're interested you can see the entire debate on video at People's Press Collective (a weird name for a conservative site if you ask me.)

There were some good one liners:

Diggs Brown: I'm 52 years old and I understand that the US Army won't let me kick down Taliban doors any more. That's fine. Now it's time to go kick down Nancy Pelosi's door.

Cory Gardner: Betsy Markey and Nancy Pelosi have spent more tax dollars in just one year than Bill Clinton did in eight years.

More this weekend.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2010 11:00 AM

March 1, 2010

More Bad News for Jane Norton

And good news for TEA Partiers.

Not only is former CO state senator Tom Wiens now running the first radio ads of the primary campaign against Norton, a national PAC has drawn a bullseye on her too. This is the first I've heard of the Declaration Alliance (as in Declaration of Independence) but for the most part, I like what I see. I definitely like the ad.

They're also targeting Schwarzenneger and Crist.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2010

The Glenn Beck Factor

WSJ's John Fund saw the Beck speech at CPAC about the same way I did: Good for the GOP.

In reality, the Tea Party activists who are the core of Mr. Beck's viewing audience have made a pragmatic decision to forswear splinter-group politics and work within the Republican Party. It's true Mr. Beck's words sting and may show insufficient appreciation for recent GOP solidarity against big government. But given the powerful pressures in Washington for even conservatives to backslide when it comes to spending, the Fox News firebrand is probably doing GOP members a favor by keeping the heat on them.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:13 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee must stand by JG with respect to Glenn Beck. Beck's schtick is often painful, his analogies hokie and his sky-is-falling routines sometimes over the top. He certainly does not have the sophisticated erudition, rapier wit or panache of William F. Buckley. But he tries to engage busy, working people in the concepts of individual liberty and responsibility. We have precious few pundits who try to bring these ideas to more than us pencil-heads. I suspect that more people see Beck in a day than saw Buckley in a year.

I also admire his willingness to hold everyone's feet to the fire, which is the spirit of the Tea Party. I contrast Beck to Sean Hannity, whom I see as an enabler of the Republican downfall. While the Republican Congress was spending like drunken Democrats, Hannity had the likes of Tom DeLay on his show routinely to rationalize and obfuscate their behavior. The party, and the Republic, would have been better off if he had called DeLay to the carpet as Beck is now doing to the Republicans.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 24, 2010 11:01 AM

February 21, 2010

Barnburner

I was going to make this an "Otequay of the Ayday" post but there were too many good quotes. Glenn Beck keynoted this year's CPAC conference. It was brilliant. He told Republicans it's time to say, "I'm sorry."

"It is still morning in America, it just happens to be kind of a head pounding, hung over, vomiting for four hours kind of morning in America."

Why? Progressivism. And it's in both parties.

"I'm so sick of hearing people say, 'Oh, well, Republicans are going to solve it all.' Really? It's just Progressive Lite. (...) Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution. And it was designed to eat the Constitution. To 'progress past' the Constitution."

(...)

"This is the cancer that is eating at America. It is big government. It's a socialist utopia. And we need to address it as if it is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they cannot coexist. And you don't cure cancer by, 'Well, I'm just gonna give you a little bit of cancer.' You must eradicate it.

(...)

"Dick Cheney, a couple of days ago, was here and he says, 'It's gonna be a good year for conservative ideas.' That's true. That's very true. It's gonna be a very good year, but it's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side."

He then played on his own battle with alcohol addiction and mocked the Republican party with the first step of the Twelve Step program: "Hello, my name is the Republican Party and I've got a problem. I'm addicted to spending and big government."

Watch the video to see what he said about the Big Tent concept, and many, many other good points. Like American citizens giving ten times the charitable contributions of France ... per capita. And the depression of 1920 as compared to the "Great Depression." And Calvin Coolidge versus Woodrow Wilson.

Hat tip for the vid link to a critical Ryan Witt at examiner.com.

Some good comments there and he promises to "fact check" Beck's speech "later today."

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:10 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Like a good joke, I enjoyed it the FIRST time (comment on post above).

But this thing kicks off once every hour. No wonder liberals hate Glenn Beck -- he won't shut up!!!

Without objection, tomorrow I will replace the embed with a link.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2010 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, have you heard that Tiger Woods plans to legally change his name? From now on he'll be known as Cheatah Woods.

(Sorry if it's not the first time for that either. I attempted to fix the vid.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2010 2:58 PM
But jk thinks:

And my brother in law told me that Michelle Obama is pregnant!

-- of course, they're blaming George W. Bush!

Sad to say that crazy man once again tried taking over my workday. Jeez! No wonder everybody hates him...

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2010 4:51 PM

February 18, 2010

NRSC Ad

Hat-tip: Don Luskin: "I didn't know the GOP had this kind of style. Very fun and cool."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Nice! They even used AC's "epic fail" but this time for the stimulus bill.

Posted by: johngalt at February 18, 2010 3:33 PM

January 27, 2010

I was wrr.. wrro.. wrooon..

Last week I cast our friend McCain as a RINO. That was not quite precise. A better description would be Progressive.

McCain was best described as a progressive - like Teddy Roosevelt, whom he cited constantly. McCain tended to see politics as a contest between the national interest and the selfishness of private agendas, and he favored a role for government in counterbalancing the excesses of organized wealth.

But that's not all. He's also a flip-flip-flopper.

This is the consensus: McCain's basically a right-winger, but at least you know where he stands.

Actually, this assessment gets McCain almost totally backward. He has diverged wildly and repeatedly from conservative orthodoxy, but he has also reinvented himself so completely that it has become nearly impossible to figure out what he really believes.

Political conversions are hardly new or scandalous. McCain's ideological transformation is unusual for two reasons: First, he has moved across the political spectrum not once - like Al Smith or Mitt Romney - but twice. And, second, he refuses to acknowledge his change.

I wasn't wrr..ong only about RINO vs. Progressive, but also when I parenthetically noted, "I'm even OK with it" [McCain winning re-election on Tea Party coattails.] While consciously aware of the fact that personality often distracts voters from a politician's policies, I was subconsciously taken in. Just as our government needs massive structural reform to rescue the nation economically, the GOP can no longer include Progressives in its Big Tent. They don't help us, you see, they neuter us. There's a place for those people and it's called the DNC, as lap dogs to The One.

And it's not just McCain, to whom I had ascribed Chait's "unwavering authenticity" whose personality clouded my judgement, but Palin as well. These people are right - "Time to pick a side, Sarah - Are you with the people, or against them?" I'll reiterate my willingness to kick her to the curb if she ever strays from the small-government playbook, and if she follows through on plans to campaign for McCain that's either a massive miscalculation or an admission of guilt. Either way, it'll be tough to recover.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:33 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I suspect you're rrrr....right. He does aspire to TRism.

Question is: does a big tent GOP have room for progressives? This pragmatist has to say yes.

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2010 5:07 PM
But Keith thinks:

Progressive in TR's day didn't mean the same as it does today - or for that matter, what it did in Lincoln's day. Ask today's self-styled "progressives," and you're talking about central-planning, tax-raising former listeners of Air America.

Perhaps the problem is that, in both parties, people run for office and seek to get into government because they believe government can fix the problems. Not much future for, or much appeal to, someone hopinge to dismantle large parts of government. Among the Dems, that attracts lefty statists to swell the nannystate; among the Reps, it still attracts people who want to fiddle with the levers of government.

We'd vote for someone who wanted to assume office because he promised to dismantle the EPA, the Dept. of Education, the Dept. af Agriculture, and dozens of others - but why would that guy ever want to run?

Posted by: Keith at January 27, 2010 7:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Surprise! We disagree:

"Just as our government needs massive structural reform to rescue the nation economically, the GOP can no longer include Progressives in its Big Tent."

Posted by: johngalt at January 28, 2010 1:55 AM

A Link, an Analogy

Republicans (and Tea Partiers) could and likely will do worse than to adopt Rep Paul Ryan's GOP Road Map for America's Future.

Ryan lays out outstanding alternatives to Democrats' health care, taxation, and spending policies. I'll suggest you read the whole thing before the SOTU speech extravaganza this evening.

I promised an analogy. I read this and thought "like a broken clock, the GOP is right twice a day." The Democrat Clock is not broken. It provides -- on request -- a perfectly random time value. It's not ever right in a predictable matter.

Call me mean spirited, but that captures my mood these days. I can't go on about the swellness of the GOP -- but when I look at the other guys...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2010

Draft Kudlow

jk, brace yourself.

There is a movement about to draft Larry Kudlow to run against Chuck Schumer. Kudlow hasn't denied interest and has said that, "defeating Senator Schumer would be a noble cause."

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 3:15 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Signed it yesteday, hb -- but thanks for thinking of me! Prosperitarians Unite!

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2010 5:06 PM

January 21, 2010

The Black Vote and the Party of Lincoln

Thomas Sowell wants to know why Republicans haven't given more thought to winning the black vote. "If they get 20 percent of the black vote, the Democrats are in trouble-- and if they get 30 percent, the Democrats have had it in the general election."

Many of the key constituencies of the Democratic Party-- the teachers' unions, the trial lawyers, and the environmentalists, for example-- have agendas whose net effect is to inflict damage on blacks. Urban Renewal destroys mostly minority neighborhoods and environmentalist restrictions on building homes make housing prices skyrocket, forcing blacks out of many communities. The number of blacks in San Francisco has been cut in half since 1970.

But, unless Republicans connect the dots and lay out the facts in plain English, these facts will be like the tree that fell in an empty forest without being heard.

He has some good practical advice. "The teachers' unions are going to be against the Republicans, whether Republicans hammer them or keep timidly quiet. Why not talk straight to black voters... Blacks have been lied to so much that straight talk can gain their respect, even if they don't agree with everything you say." Come to think of it, that last part applies to voters of any race. Just ask Scott Brown.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

One for Brother Keith!

LATimes:

The impact of Tuesday's Senate election in Massachusetts hit California within hours, as Republican office- seekers moved to grab opportunities and nervous Democrats scrambled to assess how vulnerable their party's largest stronghold may have become.

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

Just remember, you heard it here first. ThreeSources has scooped the LA Times.

Sweet.

Posted by: Keith at January 21, 2010 5:44 PM
But jk thinks:

The "layers and layers of fact checkers" at a profession Journo shop like the LA Times has to introduce a certain latency, Keith. I really don't want to make a big deal of it.

By the way, though, Rielle Hunter's kid is actually John Edwards's...

Posted by: jk at January 21, 2010 6:36 PM

January 20, 2010

Unaffiliateds Matter

Much was made of Massachusetts Democrats' 3-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans, but the raw numbers are roughly -

11% Republican, 36% Democrat and 51% Unaffiliated

About one in four Democrats went for Brown but independents were for him three to one.

Wondering how things might fall in the "Replace Bennet" race in Colorado I looked up the statistics:

35% Republican, 34% Democrat, 31% Unaffiliated

Bennet can have all of the Dems here too and it will do him about as much good as it did for Coakley.

Keith dreamed aloud of a threat to his two lovely senators in California. So what are the registration numbers out there brother?

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:12 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith thinks:

The most recent figures (dated 5/4/2009) are 44.6% Dem, 31.1% Rep, 4.4% Other, 20.0% none-of-your-damn-business. Given a candidate with Scott Brown's coalition appeal to conservatives and independents, a win for the good guys could happen. Barb "Ma'am" Boxer continues to poll under 50% with strong negatives; Chuck DeVore, Carly Fiorina, and Tom Campbell are all within striking distance. If anti-Obama polling stays high, California could be very much in play. Here's Rasmussen's take:

http://tinyurl.com/kph7gg

Posted by: Keith at January 20, 2010 3:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The idea behind this post was to show how Democrats are vulnerable in state after state come November but I didn't find an easy reference for registration numbers in all fifty states. Brother Keith showed us that Kal-e-fourn-ya is even more Democrat ridden than Massachusetts but many more Republicans to go along with them.

I think I'll just save myself a bunch of work and analysis and wrap this up with an observation by Lindsey Graham. "We could win Obama's seat in Illinois and Biden's seat in Delaware this November, to go along with Ted Kennedy's seat we won last night."

Sounds good to me!

Posted by: johngalt at January 21, 2010 12:02 AM
But Keith thinks:

Ted's Kennedy's seat, jg? It's the peoples' seat!

If it were Ted Kennedy's seat, it would be upside-down, and under five feet of water.

D'oh!

Posted by: Keith at January 21, 2010 1:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Speaking of Ted Kennedy, the sound we've been hearing may not be Democrats whistling past the graveyard - it might be Uncle Teddy spinning in his grave.

I'll not speak ill of the dead but it's quite ironic that passage of the healthcare bill that Kennedy's colleagues once considered naming after him has been derailed by his successor in office.

Posted by: johngalt at January 21, 2010 5:26 PM

January 18, 2010

The Democrats are Doomed

Overblown rhetoric no doubt, but it ain't mine. It's the sub-head of a TNR article that tries to argue in favor of passing the cap-and-trade bill this year. So what's their definition of "Democrats are doomed?"

"Worst of all, Democrats are likely to lose at least a few seats in November--and with them, their chances of overcoming a GOP filibuster--so this may be their last chance for some time to set limits on greenhouse gases."

With "doomed" now wasted, what superlative will TNR use if Democrats actually lose the majority too?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2010

The Backlash is Coming! The Backlash is Coming!

Before I'm chided for overconfidence, the title comes from the linked article by Boston political analyst Jon Keller, who has standing to make a Paul Revere analogy. He makes some interesting points.

Independents are breaking for Mr. Brown by a three-to-one margin, Rasmussen finds. And many people do not realize that independents outnumber Democrats51% of registered voters in the state are not affiliated with a party, while 37% are registered as Democrats and 11% as Republicans.

"Around the country they look at Massachusetts and just write us off," longtime local activist Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government told me. "But people around here are really not happy with the extremes in the Democrat Party."

Keller enumerates some of the extremes as being civilian legal rights for terror suspects, tax hikes both locally and nationally, crashing poll numbers for Governor Duvall Patrick who was prototypical in many ways for the Obama presidency, and of course - Obamacare.

Support for the state's universal health-care law, close to 70% in 2008, is also in free fall; only 32% of state residents told Rasmussen earlier this month that they'd call it a success, with 36% labeling it a failure. The rest were unsure. Massachusetts families pay the country's highest health insurance premiums, with costs soaring at a rate 7% ahead of the national average, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund.

JK worried that Brown may be "peaking too soon." I have to wonder when would be better - Monday afternoon? But according to Keller, Boston Democrat consultants are still in denial. If Coakley makes a comeback I predict it will be by chicanery, not by heavier turnout among the 37% Dems and 12% pro-Coakley independents.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Better to peak too soon than not at all. I just hate to give them the chance to rebound. They're busing in union thugs, pulling in the big guns.

To answer your question, yeah Monday afternoon would rock!

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2010 7:16 PM
But Keith thinks:

And if that Chicago chicanery (got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) comes to pass, like a couple of thousand previously unnoticed Coakley votes suddenly get discovered in the back seat of somebody's Volvo, f'rinstance, one might expect even higher turnout - with pitchforks, and flaming torches.

Would it not be delicious for Mr. Obama to wake up on the morning of his admistration's anniversary, knowing that he'd lost his filibuster-proof Senate supermajority? Now THAT would be Morning In America.

Posted by: Keith at January 17, 2010 11:31 AM

January 14, 2010

GOP faceoff in CO

JK recently shared Ten Tips for the GOP in 2010 and before that cheered when cold water was poured on an official Tea Party to compete with the GOP. Both posts came to mind as I compared and contrasted the leading GOP candidates for JK's $1000 contribution next fall.

Colorado Republicans will choose between former Lt. Governor Jane Norton and Current Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck as replacements for the ignominious Michael Bennet. Despite being our Lieutenant Governor I know little about Mrs. Norton other than her self-described Issue positions. (I did write her about one of them. Read below the fold.) My brother seems to have a better sense of things, however, encouraging me to attend the March caucuses to support Buck over Norton because "she is the establishment candidate - read: RINO."

Well, I have to say I did see Ken Buck at the 4/15 TEA Party. If Norton was there I didn't see her.

Dear Jane,

I'm a 46 year-old pro-choice Republican and Tea Partier. I've just read your Issues page and have just one objection - to your belief that "abortion should be outlawed" with limited exceptions.

I agree that life begins at conception.
I oppose all federal funding of abortion.
I support constructionist judges.
I agree that the Constitution does not specifically speak about a right to an abortion.

However, your exception for the "life" of the mother must include the mother's freedom to direct her own life. THIS protection IS provided in the Constitution. (Amendments 4, 5, 9 and 10.)

I agree that the unborn should be valued but I disagree that it is moral or possible for the State to coerce individuals to do so. Instead advocacy, counseling, and good role models can change women's hearts.

I have no objection to your personal opposition to abortion - only to your desire to use the power of the State to enforce your will on others. I think many Colorado voters would agree with me.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I am uncommitted but met Ms. Norton at a rally for Governor Owens reelection. Associating her with Owens starts her out pretty high for me.

If we're demanding a prochoice GOP candidate, I think we might be in for six more years of Senator Bennet.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2010 4:49 PM
But kevinallen thinks:

I would encourage you to support Ken Buck above all others, because he is the candidate that has, and will, do the right thing regardless of the political consequences. Ken Buck doesn't pander in talking points, he isn't trying to convince you he is a good republican, he walks the walk every day.
When it comes to virtue by association, have fun looking into who is giving money to help jane win, it is all the wrong people and PAC's- there is a reason for that.
Support Ken Buck, the candidate who will not sacrifice your right to choose, to score political points.

Posted by: kevinallen at January 14, 2010 6:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't demand a pro-choice GOP candidate. My intention was to shape the position of this particular candidate. I think it would help her in the general election. Come to think of it, I didn't even ask her to become pro-choice. Just don't use law to enforce her view on others.

Have you forgiven Governor Owens for supporting the tax and spend referenda C and D?

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2010 8:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup! A few years with Governor Ritter and it's "Come Home Bill, We Need You!!!"

I know where you're going and I completely agree with you, jg. I just think you are playing with fire. (Perhaps I don't agree, LtGov Norton is not wrong on the law, but I do join you in wishing she would not choose to use the coercive power of government.) How-double-ever, if she chooses to make that a plank, I am ready to overlook it.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2010 9:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As am I, but it definitely factors in to my decision of whom to support in the caucus. Ken Buck is looking better every day. Let's not make Norton the presumptive candidate.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2010 1:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Eminently fair.

It strikes me that a perfect function of Internet-blog-new media-whatever would be to communicate candidate's positions in lower races and primaries. The CO GOP page (oh, I do crack myself up sometime) should have an online debate, or questionnaire responses.

Right now, you really have to choose a candidate based on the skill of their web team. Is this something we should be doing?

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2010 2:12 PM

January 11, 2010

Ten Tips the GOP will Ignore in 2010

Why so gloomy, jk? Well, Michael Steele was on FOX News Sunday and...

I don't think anybody at GOP HQ will read this, but ThreeSourcers should. Clark Judge lays out "10 Tips for the GOP in 2010." I don't know that it would match any of our individual list, but I don't think there's a thing on there anybody around here would disagree with.

We could do much worse for an agenda -- and, of course, we will.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:37 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not so pessimistic to think the party leadership will fail to read the tea leaves. It's taken the last 12 months for the current mood to homogenize (heh - he said homo) and it's not unreasonable if the party only starts to adopt it now and over the next 12, errr, 11 months.

Speaking of eleven...

11. Inspire the American underclass to get off the "have-not" track and become of the "haves."

- Trade your welfare check for a paycheck, which actually has a potential for growth.
- Support a flat tax with a very low floor, say the annual sum of a full-time minimum wage, and revel in the knowledge that you are pulling your own weight like the richest of the rich.
- Be willing to try LESS government for a change and watch what happens to job creation. Imagine an economy where employers COMPETE for your labor by offering higher and higher wages. If you build a free economy, jobs will come.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2010 2:56 PM
But jk thinks:

How can you blather on about reliance and job creation, jg? Leader Reid made a comment about President Obama's RACE! We have a lot more important things to do in the Republican party than compile a list of core beliefs and legislative priorities.

I was very pleased when LtGov Steele took the post (the guy is clean, articulate, light skinned, and has no Negro accent!) No, seriously he is a bright guy and I was sorry to see him lose the Senate race in MD.

But I am exasperated with trivial politics and name calling when important concerns are afoot. I see no sign that anybody in GOP leadership has "got" any message.

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2010 4:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, I suggested that they are only starting to "get the message" and have 11 months to ramp it up. If putting the Democrat majority leader of the Senate on the defensive for a few cycles can help keep them from peaking too soon, so be it. I don't want Reid to resign, I just want him to be the butt of more jokes.

And the Boston Herald endorsement of Scott Brown that you heralded above [couldn't help it] should make it easier for other media lemmings to venture over the cliff of politically correct orthodoxy and give individualism a try. Before you know it they may question The One himself.

Posted by: johngalt at January 12, 2010 3:32 PM

January 1, 2010

New Year Thanks

The first decade of the 21st century has come to a close. 2009 is widely regarded as a crappy year (though it did mark the birth of my third, very precious, daughter) and surpassed in crappiness in recent memory only by 2008. 2010 can only be better still, right?

I'll take this opportunity to wish all Three Sourcers a happy and hopeful new year, for knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness, and to invite everyone to list in the comments what you are thankful for on this memorable date. Me? I'm thankful there's only one more year for the 111th Congress.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:42 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

You guys wanna start the decade on a lot of Kumbaya, feel good, be-thankful nonsense, go right ahead. I'm going to pick a fight.

I'm not a resolution-kinda-guy, but I liked this one from the Christian Science Monitor: "Resolve not to repeat the media's mantra of America in decline."

"widely regarded as a crappy year..." perhaps, but I'm going to take a Reason-magazine style approach and ignore all the horrible things happening in government and celebrate technological and social advances.

In 2k10, I am thankful that:

-- Devil Dog Brew is now the official coffee of Live at the Coffeehouse dot com

-- I live in America and Jimmy P enumerates "Why this may still be the American Century."

-- I can look forward to another year of persiflage with the most engaging and thought provoking group of bloggers who ever found their way onto the Information Superhighway (Someone's typing, Lord...)

Happy New Year!

Posted by: jk at January 1, 2010 12:17 PM
But Sugarchuck thinks:

I am thankful for civil discourse and the times when we can agree to disagree, on everything from Rand to Clapton. I too am thankful for 2010 and the day of national house (and senate) cleaning to come. As always, I am very, very thankful for my wife and my three daughters. I am glad that George Bush was our president and that whatever faults he may have had he kept freedom's lamp trimmed and burning in a dark world. I am thankful for Ernests, Tubb and Hemingway. Thank you Lord for telecasters and please bless our Three Sources host and his lovely bride in the year to come. "kumbaya"

Posted by: Sugarchuck at January 1, 2010 10:40 PM

December 22, 2009

He Hate Me

govthatesme.jpg

Capturing my thoughts in the wake of the Nebraska (and Louisiana and Vermont and Massachusetts and Connecticut and NEVADA) windfalls.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:17 AM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

love it. nice XFL connection.

Posted by: AlexC at December 22, 2009 5:27 PM

December 5, 2009

Freedom Nationally, Virtue Locally

Having wished out loud here for a conservative candidate like Sarah Palin to advocate limited government in the economic AND the social spheres I was naturally pleased to hear evangelical Christian Kevin Miller talk about his new effort to "reestablish crucial commonality and shared success among social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians and all freedom-cherishing Americans." (Hey, that got your attention din't it!)

Christians know from the New Testament that virtue is not accomplished even by Biblical law so how much more powerless is civil law to create virtue? No national government can achieve both freedom and virtue: neither will be accomplished ...

Hat tip: Mike Rosen's second hour today [audio file].

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2009

Defeat Pelosi

Bah. Impossible!

It's likely that many readers have seen the following letter circulating via email. It is legitimate and has been verified by Snopes.

DennisGuthrie%20rips%20Pelosi%20Pg1.jpg

[Page 2 is below the fold]

A friend with far better things to spend his time on than politics wrote to Mr. Guthrie:

Dear Mr. Guthrie,

As you probably know, your forthright letter to Ms Pelosi is circulating widely on the internet and has been verified by Snopes.com as actually written by you which is reassuring. I think many agree with you in every regard about Ms. Pelosis despicable behavior; she is the epitome of political corruption and blind arrogance. Thank you for your letter.

I noted in your letter the following comment, I await your defeat in the next election with glee. Of course, that would be a great day to see her expelled from office by disgruntled voters. My understanding though is that she hails from a district in San Francisco where her voter base of hard left liberals is much larger than an opposing constituency. Is this the case or do you know if there is a local San Francisco movement afoot fire her. If so, I would like to contribute financially to that effort and would like know who to contact to make my contribution.

Thank you in advance for your kind response.

Mr. Guthrie wrote back:

In fact, Ms Pelosi has a strong opponent who I had the pleasure of having supper with a couple weeks ago named John Dennis. You can evaluate him yourself by going to johndennis2010.com. I am doing what I can for John from afar. John is a principled conservative CONSTITUTIONALIST. He needs all our help financially, endorsement wise and in merely spreading the word. Please let me know what you think after looking at his web page.

Dennis L. Guthrie

I visited John Dennis' website and found this in his explanation of "why run?"

It's also important that those who can effectively deliver the liberty message do it. The time has passed to pretend that "someone else will do it."

The deciding factor for me came down to this: When things get dark, which they will if we don't change our present course, I know that I will regret not having spoken out on this stage when I had the chance.

I don't believe that ANY Democrat will be safe in 2010. My friend is sending a cash donation to help Defeat Pelosi. I will do the same.

DennisGuthrie%20rips%20Pelosi%20Pg2.jpg

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:19 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I'm in.

Dennis's candidacy defines "quixotic," but I do admire his spirit. I have wasted money on worse things.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2009 4:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, one has to wonder if he can poll a higher percentage than Cindy Sheehan did in '08 (16.8%). It may be completely out of reach due to a gerrymandered redistricting in 1993.

But his views on privacy and the Patriot Act should be popular there.

Who knows, a few more public disputes with the CIA could take her down a few pegs. And making her spend at least some of her time campaigning could keep her out of the devil's workshop for a while.

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2009 11:23 AM