July 23, 2014

Wasn't Expecting to Miss Mitt...

The snot-nosed kid and the grownup.

Some are going too far in their appreciation for Governor R. Had he clearly articulated the case for the economic liberty that has so enriched his life, it may or may not have won the election, but it would have provided a clear choice.

So, I am not crying for the Governor to win the nomination in 2016. But I don't mind pointing out that the electorate made the wrong choice in 2012.

Hat-tip: IJReview

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Supposing Mitt were president today, and had displayed "backbone" for the past 2 years, would things be any different? In Iraq, perhaps yes. In Ukraine? Would the US have sent more bailout cash to them by now? Would the EU? Tensions would certainly be higher with the Russians, and western media would regard Romney as making things worse, not better. (Kind of like those who now go too far in their appreciation for Governor R are doing to President O.)

Is it not a fatal conceit to believe that American "leadership" can prevent bad acts around the world?

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2014 11:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Conceit, perhaps, but I hope it is not fatal; I just bought a new guitar...

Both Mister Putin and the Mad Mullahs of Iran act with impunity because they know President Obama will not act. Do I want a hothead who will launch Slim Pickens at the first disagreement? Of course not. But I do want "American Leadership" in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

Curiously, that requires the threat of America doing things with which you and I would not approve. But I draw the parallel of arming oneself. You don't go out to mow people down, but the serious threat keeps you secure and counter-intuitively prevents violence.

I'm enjoying having William Easterly trash my last remnants of neocon notions about rebuilding societies and spreading democracy. I'm not even a neo-Wilsonian any more and that feels good.

But I am still a Deepak Lal, pax Americana guy. There is one guy sitting at that table whom I would trust to effectively use enough USA-brand WhoopAss™ to keep the shipping lanes (and navigable air lanes) open.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2014 12:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I do agree with you. I also think a plurality of Americans still hasn't yet learned the lesson that President "make no messes" is still teaching them. Everyone younger than GenX does not know a world lacking in American leadership. At this point in history I am content to watch while they poke their finger into the pretty flame.

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2014 2:43 PM

November 1, 2012

Some Serious Libertario Delenda Est

Bill Whittle is sometimes -- well, usually -- over the top for my tastes, but I love his style and language. He has discovered the same thing I have here: I will not sway my lefty friends, but my libertarian friends can be reached with reason.

Pretty good, huh?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:26 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Yup, purdy good. Two thumbs up from me.

But I'll bet you a free beer for each of them that none of your Libertarian friends can be reached with reason. (Little-l libertarians don't count.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2012 6:46 PM
But dagny thinks:

How do I email this link to someone?

Posted by: dagny at November 1, 2012 6:49 PM
But jk thinks:

@dagny: http://youtu.be/wPjBXufufUU or click "share" in the title bar to send it from YouTube.

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2012 6:52 PM
But jk thinks:

@jg "It's my dream, let me live it!" :)

You might be right, but through a mutual friend, I have discovered quite a vein of people of mixed case Ls. They have listened respectfully and I am not alone in my pragmatism.

I have moved exactly zero votes in the previous two Presidential elections, so I am potentially stepping up.

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2012 6:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't think of my wager as discouragement, but a challenge. Not a barrier but a pot-sweetener for your interlocutors.

"...and if this video persuades you to actually pull the lever (in Colorado) for Romney/Ryan instead of [insert favorite wasted vote here] my Objectivist friend will meet us at our favorite watering hole and buy you a beer!"

I'll trust your judgement of each convert's honesty.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2012 7:46 PM

October 5, 2012

Happy Days are Here Again!

While some of the president's more ardent supporters are dancing about the September Jobs report (you can't spell bullshit without BLS...), James Pethokoukis peers a bit more deeply into the data:

1. Yes, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the first time it has been below 8% since January 2009. But that's only due to a flood of 582,000 part-time jobs. As the Labor Department noted:
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

2. And take-home pay? Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by just 1.8 percent. When you take inflation into account, wages are flat to down.

3. The broader U-6 rate -- which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who've given up looking -- stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That's a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market.

But: HOORAY! 582,000 Americans found a part-time job at low pay! Woohoo! And that Romney fellow insists things are not going well.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:14 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

If you believe, after reading this jobs report, that unemployment is actually down that much I have some renewable energy stocks I'd like to sell you. They are for a very progressive tech company that invented a process to produce electricity through non-combustion of magical unicorn farts. (It even consumes carbon in the process!)

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2012 3:34 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Remember that old adage we learned in high school about graphs? "First, draw your graph, then plot the points you need to get there"? Yes, lesson learned; it's happening here. 783 new kilojobs, in this economy? Not gonna happen, Cap'n.

The Preezy and Hilda Solis sat down and figured how many jobs they needed to pretend were created in order for the U-3 number to get down to something that started with a 7, to counter the disaster that was the first debate. They reached down into the Magic Bag-O-Distraction, and their choices were cook the books on unemployment or launch an assault against Libya or Syria. Their third option - count on Joe Biden to trounce Ryan in their debate and save the ticket - is taking 100-to-1 money on the Vegas line.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 5, 2012 5:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Excellent analysis KA. And being so much further from Vegas than are you, I hadn't noticed the 'Biden outwits Ryan' line. But I will disagree with you on one point: This October card had been stacked into the deck long before President Greek Columns waltzed into Romney's chainsaw.

Proof? I have no proof, other than that the President's campaign lies at every opportunity, on matters as important as an al Qaeda terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11 that murdered four American government employees including a freaking ambassador, and then accuses his opponent of being a "dishonest, untrustworthy scoundrel." [chutzpa noun Example sentence: Still stinging from rebuke, the politician accused his opponent of employing the very tactic that he had relied upon for his own very successful political career, thus illustrating an unmitigated display of chutzpah.]

But it has the feel of a dud. Too little, in answer to an epic fail on live TV with seventy-six million watching.

Posted by: johngalt at October 6, 2012 12:02 PM

August 28, 2012

Huck-a-Whack

Allysia Finley calls for Gov. Huckabee to issue a little "tough love" for his pal, Todd Akin

Mr. Huckabee has been the loudest voice--aside from Ms. McCaskill--urging Mr. Akin to persevere. Last Monday he offered Mr. Akin his syndicated radio show as a platform to repent. When Republicans continued to insist that the candidate step down, Mr. Huckabee sounded off on his party for leaving Mr. Akin "behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding."

"He made his mistake, but was man enough to admit it and apologize," Mr. Huckabee added. "I'm waiting for the apology from whoever the genius was on the high pedestals of our party who thought it wise to not only shoot our wounded, but run over him with tanks and trucks and then feed his body to the liberal wolves."

Mr. Akin is unlikely to drop out without encouragement from the pastor. Which means Republicans who want a prayer of winning in November ought to be working on Mr. Huckabee. Regardless of whether they've erred, GOP leaders will likely have to perform an act of contrition in order for reconciliation to occur.

UPDATE: My Facebook friends are having fun with this: "Akin Claims Breastmilk Cures Homosexuality."
Doesn't look very well documented to me (the quote that is -- the science is clearly dead on) but I'm quietly hoping it is true.

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

I really like Governor Huckabee's "wolves" analogy. In politics, as in nature, when a weak and foolish member of the herd wanders too far off in a given direction it is not in the interest of the herd to "rescue" him. Without the weakened member the herd can move faster, and without his genetic contribution future members will be less likely to repeat his particular error.

By all means, let the "liberal wolves" devour him, along with Mark Foley, Larry Craig and Andrew Johnson.

Posted by: johngalt at August 28, 2012 12:36 PM

August 22, 2012

Hmmm.

Potential suckage:

Hat-tip @GayPatriot

Posted by John Kranz at 6:05 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Is it too soon to:

1) Blame the hurricane on human-caused global warming?
2) Declare a Federal emergency?
3) Confiscate all guns from every Floridian?
4) Blame the hurricane on former President Bush?
5) Villify the oil and gas industries?

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2012 8:35 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

It's actually a Republican plot! They can control the weather with their chemtrails jets, you know. So some kid is going to have a palm tree about to fall on him and Mitt and/or Paul will snatch him out of the way, saving his life and winning by a landslide in November...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 22, 2012 8:49 PM

Imaginary Recovery

Hattip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Imagine there's no layoffs,
It's easy if you try,
No unemployed below us,
Nobody wonders why,
Imagine all the people living on the dole;

Imagine there's no voting,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to stump or lie for,
And no elections too,
Imagine all the people living life in chains;

You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will love The One.

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2012 2:58 PM

Well, yeah, those RightWing NutJobs at CU!

That Koch-Brothers-funded rag, Boulder Daily Camera, has a most un-astonishing prediction:

A University of Colorado analysis that has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1980 based on state-by-state factors forecasts that Mitt Romney will unseat incumbent Barack Obama to become the new president in November's general election, according to a release.

The prediction model looks at economic data from all 50 states and Washington D.C., including state and national unemployment figures and changes in real per capita income, according to CU political science professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry.

"Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble," said Bickers in a statement.


Polls look great today. I am trying to climb out of my Akinfunk® -- it's a long way.

Hat-tip: Brother Bryan on Facebook

Posted by John Kranz at 12:09 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Well, yeahbut ... who would ever take the predictive ability of computerized forecasting models seriously?

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2012 2:32 PM
But Bryan thinks:

I KNEW the Koch brothers were secretly behind the Daily Camera, and now I have my proof!!!!!

Posted by: Bryan at August 22, 2012 2:43 PM
But jk thinks:

They try and keep it quiet, but I think we all know...

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2012 3:35 PM

August 20, 2012

Makes Gov. Dukakis Look Good Actually

Vroooom, vrooooooom, vroooooooooooooooooooom!!!!


Posted by John Kranz at 10:07 AM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This comment wins the whole Intertubez for the day with this observation:

"Still no proof that anybody in Elizabeth Warren's family has ever ridden an Indian (@iowahawkblog)"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 20, 2012 11:44 AM
But jk thinks:

!!!

Posted by: jk at August 20, 2012 11:50 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You know, it occurs to me that Lizzie is riding too far forward. There is a name for that aft seat, the one that the British politely call "pillion."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 20, 2012 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder if Ms. Warren would still make that facial expression for the camera if someone told her the slang expression for high-rise handlebars such as those she's grasping is "ape hangers."

Posted by: johngalt at August 20, 2012 6:47 PM

August 17, 2012

No, it isn't just us.

While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn't get an appreciable bounce after naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, the late Ayn Rand sure did.

The philosopher who favored individualism over collectivism has won renewed attention with the choice of Ryan, who in 2005 credited Rand as being "the reason I got involved in public service."

Ryan has since scaled back that praise, citing Rand's atheism. Rand died in 1982.

The Rand box set of two of her works -- "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" -- cracked the Top 100 "Movers & Shakers" list on Amazon.com earlier this week. The online retailer's gauge measures the biggest increases in sales ranking compared with the previous 24 hours. Rand's books jumped 20 percent in the rankings yesterday.
Hat-tip: @yaronbrook
Posted by John Kranz at 5:09 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Giants walked the earth.

Posted by: johngalt at August 18, 2012 1:30 AM

August 14, 2012

Robert Natelson on Romney, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Revival

First, buy Robert Natelson's awesome book.

Second, listen to Ari Armstrong's interview with him:

Third, and I should probably let it lay, but explain to me how Armstrong's associate and last night's Liberty On The Rocks -- Flatirons speaker is still "undecided."

UPDATE: Armstrong is "decided."

Prior to Mitt Romneys selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, I was going to vote "for" Romney in the sense of voting against Obama. In light of this development, however, I not only plan to vote for Romney-Ryan; I also emphatically endorse their ticket, and I urge readers of TOS, Objectivists, and fans of Ayn Rand to do the same.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:41 PM | Comments (5)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

A nice piece from Ari; I agree that this will bring Rand more into the public eye and stimulate real, substantive discussion of core issues--rather than who ate dog.

I disagree with him when he states that Ryan "doesn't understand what rights are or where they come from."

I will expand on that in a future post.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 14, 2012 8:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To clarify, Ari Tweeted the link but the "deciding" was by Craig Biddle, a respected Objectivist and publisher of TOS. I appreciate brother Ellis' comment and would also like to hear brother KA's take on the Biddle piece. If there is anyone on earth I know of who can properly address the Rand/Christianity duality embodied in Congressman Ryan it is he.

This is the cardinal topic of our age, for America - and all mankind - needs Objectivism in order to achieve a lasting freedom and prosperity, but Objectivism needs Christianity to achieve a plurality and a comfortability that Objectivism cannot, as yet, achieve on its own. Paul Ryan may well be a near perfect vessel for the first voyage of this journey. NED, please guide and protect him, and make sure the Secret Service is ever vigilant and undistracted. We embark upon a new Renaissance.

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2012 12:26 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Thank you for the correction Brother jg--I garbled that rather badly. In note in the comments to Mr. Biddle's piece, Dianna Hsieh writes:

Ryan's interest in Ayn Rand doesn't make him any less of a very dangerous theocrat and big-spending statist than he is. If Objectivists actively support him and Romney, I think they'll have to overlook or whitewash their very, very serious defects to do that. As a result, Ayn Rand's ideas will be watered down -- and worse, even more strongly (and wrongly) associated with conservatism than they are already.

I think her use of the term "theocrat" is more than inaccurate. It is irrational.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 15, 2012 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Objectivists face a difficult task in reconciling the ideals of Ayn Rand's philosophy with the far from ideal state of human civilization at any given time.

John Galt had no interest in "saving" a corrupt government, yet Ayn Rand actively supported Republicans in defense of America's Constitional Republic which she called the greatest nation in the history of mankind. In her novel, Rand had her hero destroy the mixed economic system before returning to build a just system in its place. In reality Rand, like myself, had no interest in attempting to live through a complete economic collapse.

Support Romney/Ryan, postpone full-blown American socialism for another four years, and continue to advocate and educate and campaign for liberty. I'm betting that four years hence, this strategy will get Objectivists further than the one that necessarily must pass through collapse and civil unrest. That sort of thing is much more enjoyable to read about in you comfortably heated and lighted parlor than to actually experience - cold dark and hungry.

"To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is think."

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2012 6:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To the extent that Ryan has, or does, attempt to constrain others to his religious beliefs via the law the term theocrat is applicable. I would dispute the adjectives "very dangerous."

Posted by: johngalt at August 16, 2012 3:29 PM

August 13, 2012

The Clerisy

In her fascinating book, Bourgeois Dignity, Deirdre McCloskey picks up the delightful term "Clerisy" from my man Coleridge.

Yet in the late nineteenth century the artists and the intellectuals--the "clerisy," as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and I call it--turned against liberal innovation. The treason of the clerisy led in the twentieth century to the pathologies of nationalism and socialism and national socialism, and in the twenty-first century to the pieties of radical environmentalism, and to the dismal pessimism of the union left and the traditional right.

In Britain, they're called the chattering class, but I never felt we had a good word for these folks in America. But I like "The Clerisy" very much.

Amy Walter of ABC submits a successful application to membership today. She tells what voters want (and don't) and why they voted as they did in the last few elections. How very handy. The Yahoo teaser caught my eye:

More government? Less? An ideological battle that voters don't want
In picking Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney assured an ideological campaign where a debate over the role of government will be front and center.

Icky. Voters don't want that. If you click through, Walter will explain that crazies like us want it
In picking Rep. Paul Ryan, whose eponymous budget plan has become synonymous with political polarization, Mitt Romney assured an ideological campaign where a debate over the role of government will be front and center. It is a debate the Obama campaign and partisans on both sides are also eager to have. But it's not a debate that swing voters want.

They aren't as interested in choosing whether government should be more active or less. They are more interested in simply having it work.

Who's gonna buy my condoms? Huh? Which candidate gives you Cancer? Who has better hair? (you gotta like the GOP this year on that important metric.)

I loathe her hubris. She goes on to explain the last several elections. But I must concede that she has a point. If only there existed some enterprise that could inform and educate people on important issues. Perhaps it would even be popular enough to fund with advertising. Hmm....

Posted by John Kranz at 10:18 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Haven't read clerist Walter's piece yet but I suspect she's alluding to this poll showing that, while more than three quarters of those polled believe the cost of government entitlement programs will cause major economic problems for the country, neither raising taxes or cutting those entitlements could garner majority support.

To summarize: "Voters" may not want the ideological battle but reality has delivered it to them. Time for "voters" to pull their collective heads out of the sand and do something at which they're neither accustomed or accomplished - think.

Posted by: johngalt at August 13, 2012 12:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Her trite close is the most comment-worthy thing she said:

"In other words, voters are looking less at ideology and more at competency. And that's not something that either side has been able to show that can deliver."

These "voters" she talks about are specifically the swing voters. Those with no guiding principle or philosophy. No surprise then that the only metric available to them is "it works." If it is given a chance - enough of a chance that it works - then it is up to all of us to explain to the swing voters why. Rest assured that the ideology of government will spend its dying breath trying to deny it was a predictable result from a competing ideology of success and prosperity.

Posted by: johngalt at August 13, 2012 3:33 PM

Quote of the Day

Goin' meta today. I don't know whether I prefer the interior quote or the wrapper:

The boldness of Romney’s choice surprised some, including the mysterious blogger Allahpundit at the popular conservative Hot Air site, who invoked a science fiction analogy: "It's like watching C-3PO lead the raid on the Death Star." (This comparison of Romney to C-3PO, the comically effete robot of the Star Wars film series, might dismay Democrats who have spent the past several weeks trying to convince voters that Romney is actually Darth Vader.) -- Robert Stacy McCain

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 9:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2012

Veepsteakin'

A good friend of the blog (from whom I learned about the Ryan pick) emails:

Does anybody still think Romney is cautious?

By the way, the New Yorker already is concerned with his lack of private sector experience. I don't drink coffee, but I went and made a pot just so I could spit it at the computer screen.


Hahahahahahahaha!

Super Libertario Delenda Est Man (do I get a cape?) has his work cut out. My Libertarian musician buddy posted this yesterday:

My heart weeps. I suggested that when he produces such an enumeration of VP Joe Biden's great votes for liberty, we'll chat.

I am saddened but undeterred -- he admitted he will likely vote for Gov. Romney. Perhaps my niche is relevant.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:05 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

That list is illustration why it would be difficult for me to personally serve in a legislative body - compromise. Some members are loathe to compromise, e.g. Ron Paul. How much of his legislation has passed? How much influence does he possess?

More importantly, as a member of the executive branch Ryan will no longer have to vote with the caucus against his principles. His principles will help guide presidential policy. Ask you friend to show you the video or the op-eds where Ryan endorses any of those votes on principle. THEN you can talk.

Posted by: johngalt at August 12, 2012 10:55 AM

August 9, 2012

So, we lied -- Romney gives you Cancer!`

Politico gets the Obama campaign to admit that yeah, that guy we said we didn't know about was in a couple of our ads and yes, there is tape of his kinda being on our conference calls, and maybe Stephanie Cutter did tweet about it once or two times at the most.

Jim Treacher summarizes:

"We just lied because we figured nobody would remember, and we'd get away with claiming we had nothing to do with that ad about Romney causing cancer," Psaki didn't add, not having to. "We're really pretty irritated that we even need to explain ourselves to you people."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:19 PM | Comments (0)

August 8, 2012

Libertario Delenda Est

Some go their whole lives without realizing their true purpose. But this morning, I now know my calling. "Libertario Delenda Est: the Libertarian Party must be destroyed."

Reason puts Gov. Gary Johnson's new ad up on Facebook. And, what can I say, it is awesome! (Not sarcastic -- it is a very good ad.)

Jump in the pool -- the water's great! Be a Libertarian with me just this election! Establish the popularity of libertarian principles!

But they are not popular as in plurality popular. Yes, 50% favor treating marijuana like alcohol -- but do those 50% vote? Sixty-five do not believe troops in Afghanistan make us safer. Sixty two believe in marriage equality. I'll take his word on the figures, but how do those overlap? When you do a Venn diagram of who believes all of those, you'll see less than fifty (you're starting with 50 -- there isn't one guy who likes weed but favors traditional marriage?)

Uh-oh, we're already in electoral trouble. And we haven't mentioned -- over the snappy acoustic guitar beat -- that we are going to cut aid for poor people and privatize social security and legalize prostitution and heroin and quite possibly even lower the mandated percentage of ethanol in our nation's fuel supply.

How popular are we now? Before a single unfair withering attack ad is put on TV by an opposing Super PAC.

The answer is 9-19%, which polls always cite. I am proud to be in that small but wickedly intelligent minority. But I am not so naive to think that we will prevail in a first-past-the-post election. We need to make friends and build coalitions.

And that, dear readers, is my new raison d'etre. I cannot persuade my lefty Facebook friends -- they lack devotion to reason and critical thinking skills -- but I can perhaps bend the libertarian contingent into a more pragmatic voting pattern.

Libertario Delenda Est!

Posted by John Kranz at 9:52 AM | Comments (3)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Well, I am with you brother. I voted for Ed Clark for President in 1980 and missed a chance to vote for RWR twice. I switched registration to Republican 22 years ago. As to how hard it was to vote for the George H.W in '92, perhaps I'll write a post someday.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 8, 2012 8:52 PM
But Jk thinks:

I voted for John Anderson in '80! The shame of my life. You can at least claim principle -- I bought into the Reagan is going to nuke us all nonsense.

I was a child, what can I say.

Posted by: Jk at August 9, 2012 8:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I wish I could find some discussion of this but I recall a report that one or the other (I can't remember which) of Gary Johnson and Ron Paul would siphon more votes from Obama than from Romney. An interesting prospect.

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2012 3:25 PM

August 7, 2012

Keeping in mind...

Keeping in mind it is a felony, bad taste, and in direct contravention of the ThreeSources Style Guide to suggest physical harm to an elected official.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:04 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Went to the site. Essentially, the SCOAMF is soliciting "letters to the editor" - I assume to the Dead Tree Media - from small business owners in support of his presidency.

Basically, blatant astroturfing, right?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 7, 2012 4:21 PM

July 31, 2012

Our Position Hasn't Changed...

I like this:

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 7:24 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Waitaminnit- Did he just say, "And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided?" Did he really, truly also say, "The fact is that Jerusalem is Israel's capital." This isn't "right-wing spin taking him out of context" right?

This is important to get right because Saeb Erekat, a Mahmoud Abbas aide, made it quite clear that when Mitt Romney said this on Sunday it was "absolutely unacceptable."

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2012 7:45 PM
But jk thinks:

That Mitt Romney is such a flip flopper -- and unwavering ideologue! And bully! And Wimp!

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2012 8:09 PM

Why Can't Mitt Talk Like This? (Bumped)

I don't think any ThreeSourcers are going to complain about this. I did a screen grab so you could experience as I did:


UPDATE: AP/Yahoo -- more in sadness than anger -- frets over the Governor's gaffes:

GDANSK, Poland (AP) -- It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians on Monday, stirring fresh controversy on his visit to Israel just days after insulting the British on what was intended as a feel-good visit to the Olympics in London.


Brother jg is more concerned about disconcerting-gate than I. Anything that gets the Telegraph readers' panties in a bunch is okay by me. But if a Mulligan is offered, perhaps "fine" would suffice.

But to fail to see that the free, pluralist, racially tolerant state of Israel enjoys economic advantage over its kleptocratic, misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted, religious loony neighbors is such willful sophistry that only an academic could profess to believe it.

UPDATE II: Jim Geraghty compares it to Reagan's tough words for the Soviets and suggests "If a U.S. Leader Isn't Offending Palestinian Leaders, He's Probably Doing Something Wrong" [subscribe]

Regarding the Palestinians, when you teach your kids to become suicide bombers, and glorify that as one of the best things your children can aspire to, you're not going to find a lot of innovation, or education, or long-term planning. When Hezbollah and Hamas talk about their desire for a booming economy, they don't mean the term the way we do.

UPDATE III: Let it be recorded that MSM 100-day war on Romney started on foreign soil

Posted by John Kranz at 10:06 AM | Comments (5)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

The only people he pissed off are people who can't vote for him. I think he should have shut up and smiled in Britain, but who will even remember this in November?

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 31, 2012 1:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Romney's biggest deficit to Obama is the dreaded "likeability" factor. Just try to be friendly and upbeat fer cryin' out loud.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2012 2:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I dunno. Let me lay out my concerns as a sort of syllogism:

1) All "undecideds" are complete morons devoid of any reason.
2) Undecideds will decide the election.
3) Yahoo/AP Headlines represent a conventional media view that likely reaches undecideds,
4) Yahoo/AP Headlines have had a Romney "foreign policy blunder" lead them all week. Olympics, pissed off Palestinians and perturbed Poles today (kiss my what?)
5) Undecideds decide that Governor Romney is incapable of foreign policy. He seems to make a big gaffe every day.
6) Second Obama Term

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2012 2:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I disagree with 1). If your premise is true, however, the end of America is unavoidable and we should all just go to the beach.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2012 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Bring sunscreen.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2012 5:10 PM

Best of the "Didn't Build That" ads

Hat-tip: Terri

Posted by John Kranz at 8:01 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. No, Mister President, YOU didn't build that, and your big-ass government doesn't do anything either without taxpayers "somewhere along the line" making it happen.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2012 2:12 PM

July 19, 2012

Two Guys that Did Build That

The best answer to the President's "You didn't build that" which I have encountered. And it's not even silly.

John Kass describes his Dad and his uncle, getting up every day, driving the old white Chrysler out of the driveway before dawn to open their grocery store.


There was no federal bailout money for us. No Republican corporate welfare. No Democratic handouts. No bipartisan lobbyists working the angles. No Tony Rezkos. No offshore accounts. No Obama bucks.

Just two immigrant brothers and their families risking everything, balancing on the economic high wire, building a business in America. They sacrificed, paid their bills, counted pennies to pay rent and purchase health care and food and not much else.


But what about those government helpers, John? Your Dad didn't pave the streets did he? What about government?
One of my earliest memories as a boy at the store was that of the government men coming from City Hall. One was tall and beefy. The other was wiry. They wanted steaks.

We didn't eat red steaks at home or yellow bananas. We took home the brown bananas and the brown steaks because we couldn't sell them. But the government men liked the big, red steaks, the fat rib-eyes two to a shrink-wrapped package. You could put 20 or so in a shopping bag.

"Thanks, Greek," they'd say.

That was government.


The link requires (free) registration to the Chicago Trib -- no doubt David Axelrod has my IP address now. But it's worth it to read the whole thing and see a brief clip of Kass feeling it.

Powerful -- Hat-tip: Robert Tracinski (RCP email)

Posted by John Kranz at 7:29 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Y'know, I'm just going to keep excerpting more, everytime I read it.

And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads.

And the end:
And [President Obama] offers an American dream much different from my father's. Open your eyes and you can see it too. He stands there at the front of the mob, in his shirt sleeves, swinging that government hammer, exhorting the crowd to use its votes and take what it wants.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2012 8:33 PM

July 12, 2012

Mom Jeans-Gate

We can't be serious ALL the time can we? The President channels Ann Romney:

Courtesy of Lee Stranahan. Warning: if you click through, you see the Romney's picture is cropped and she actually has shorts, Yet as Stranahan observes: "Still. Dude."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2012

If Only

The Onion:

Obama Pledges To Repeal Health Care Law If Reelected

WASHINGTON--Calling it a "poorly conceived and irresponsible piece of legislation, pure and simple," President Obama made a public pledge to voters Tuesday that, if reelected, he would fight to repeal the recently upheld Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 6, 2012

Accomplishments

David Boaz looks beyond the bad jobs numbers to give the President some solid accomplishments: most medical marijuana raids, most fundraisers, most drone strikes -- but I don't want to spoil them all.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | Comments (0)

JOBS Numbers are out

Concerning the abysmal 80,000 jobs figure from the BLS -- did you know Romney once put his dog on the roof?

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

He also cut a kid's hair when he was 15, don't forget. Look, a squirrel!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 6, 2012 1:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Does anyone remember the President's 2009 claim that passing the Stimulus bill would prevent the unemployment rate from surpassing 8 percent? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Congress gave the President his stimulus, then this happened.

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2012 1:34 PM

June 29, 2012

Purdy Good RNC Ad

Hat-tip: Terri

Posted by John Kranz at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2012

A Little Appreciation, Please!

Sen. Claire McCaskill (TV - MO), throws President Obama under the Bus!

Posted by John Kranz at 9:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2012

Getting to like this guy...

Hat-tip: NRO via Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 10:58 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm wondering if Brother JG or anyone else here acquainted with equestrian sports might enlighten me on Mitt's wife Ann and the issue of theraputic riding...

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/06/19/lawrence-odonnell-attacks-ann-romney-riding-horses-combat-multiple-sc

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 20, 2012 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dagny will have plenty to say on the subject but I'll start by saying yes, riding a horse is very therapeutic, both physically and mentally. And dressage is even more physically and mentally challenging FOR THE RIDER than pleasure riding, and much more so than your basic nose-to-tail trail horse dude ride with which Mister "I'm on my high-horse" O'Donnell is likely familiar.

Hey Larry, turn around so I can see what the FRONT of a horse looks like.

As for the cost, riders buy the horse they can afford but ALL horses are ridden by equestrian ATHELETES.

Hey Larry, show us how easy it is to ride ol' Widermaker here!

Posted by: johngalt at June 20, 2012 3:58 PM

June 15, 2012

Headline of the Day

3. Mitt Romney: Rigid Flip-Flopping Ideologue -- Robert Tracinski [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 7:43 PM | Comments (0)

"Professor Reynolds would caution against cockiness"

A very good friend of this blog sends a link to Dr. Krauthammer today:

What remains is a solid, stolid, gaffe-prone challenger for whom conservatism is a second language versus an incumbent with a record he cannot run on and signature policies -- Obamacare, the stimulus, cap-and-trade -- he hardly dare mention.

"Excited yet?" Asks our friend.

I'll accept the Romney critique, though I have been very pleased with the campaign so far. But the raps against the President and the excitement on the right are premature.

I will be cautious until the concession. The President has a winner today in stealing Sen. Rubio's DREAM-ACT-LITE. The Tancredo wing will overreact and we'll be the Old Straight White Boys club again.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:04 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I will confess that when I read the title, "Professor Reynolds would caution against cockiness," my reaction was:

"So would Winston Wolf."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 15, 2012 3:21 PM
But jk thinks:

The allusion ninja strikes again! Glad I nave Bing®

Posted by: jk at June 15, 2012 3:31 PM

When You've Lost Dana Milbank...

WOAH! Dana Milbank, WaPo: Skip the falsehoods, Mr. President, and give us a plan

I had high hopes for President Obama's speech on the economy. But instead of going to Ohio on Thursday with a compelling plan for the future, the president gave Americans a falsehood wrapped in a fallacy.

The falsehood is that he has been serious about cutting government spending. The fallacy is that this election will be some sort of referendum that will break the logjam in Washington.


Milbank does not go on to endorse Gov. Romney or the Ryan Plan or 9-9-9 or anything. Republicans get some harsh words. Yet, none worse than these:
Of more concern is Obama's nonsensical claim that he has a deficit plan that would strengthen Medicare for the long haul. He has called for doubling Medicare spending over the next 10 years, to nearly $1 trillion in 2022. His cuts in the rate of growth amount to just a few percentage points. As The Post's Lori Montgomery has reported, the president's 2013 budget marked "the second year in a row Obama has ignored calls to restructure Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs."

Nothing in Obama's speech came close to a proposal to fix the debt problem; he dealt with that only at the end of the speech -- largely by complaining about Republicans' refusal to consider higher taxes on the wealthy.


Ow! That's gotta sting!

Hat-tip: Insty, in a collection of bad reviews.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2012

When You've Lost Jonathan Alter

Tough room over there at MSNBC

Hat-tip: Weasel Zippers

UPDATE:

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

Whoa, wait a minute. Did he just call President Obama a confusing blowhard?

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2012 12:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Sharper, cogent message:" I'm incompetent, you're incompetent, but there are all these competent people out there making obscene amounts of money that we can just confiscate and share with each other if you'll just vote for me.

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2012 12:46 AM

June 12, 2012

Jon!

Ahh Happy Days...

Recycling a half cubic yard of political mailers yesterday, I saw one from Jon Huntsman and was curious to see what that was about. Glad I was curious as it contained a $55 check.

The Governor says "Hi" to ThreeSources (well, mostly hb and me...)


Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2012

A Damned Good Point

I was licking my chops for a "libertario delenda est" post when I saw Reason's "Why Rand Paul Shouldn't Be Romney's Running Mate."

Surely I was in store for some libertoid belly-aching, unpragmatic nonsense, and perfect as enemy of the good. And Jesse Walker fails to disappoint. Yet, it is difficult to argue with one point:

The problem is the idea that it would be good to take the guy out of his Senate seat, where he's well-positioned to battle actual bad legislation, and stick him in a job where he'll be expected to suppress his disagreements with his boss and serve as a public face of the Romney administration.

The loss of him in the US Senate and the general lack of independence he would have in Joe Biden's job do not seem fitting. And I hereby retract my endorsement.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2012

Gov. Romney in Ft. Lupton

I need to read more -- I had no idea the Governor was so close. Brother JG tweets a picture:

Romney_ftLupton.jpg

"The picturesque setting of Romney's Ft. Lupton, CO visit today. Real energy, real jobs, green fields. #3Src #Mitt2012 http://t.co/bJSdTw5W"

Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Note to East Coast readers: that is not a typo, Colorado residents actually do consider that a green field.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2012 3:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There is more green in the picture in the post above this one, and in the pic at this Denver Post coverage of the event.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or for a more sweeping field of green, this Twitter pic by an ABC News pool reporter.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But yes, absolutely, Colorado has a semi-arid climate. That means, "dry as crap."

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:29 PM

April 30, 2012

Last Man Standing

W. James Antle's The Last Man Standing: Rep Ron Paul's curiouser and ever more interesting plan.

But even when they were disappointed by their popular vote totals, Paul supporters stayed behind and tried to win delegates at the low-turnout state and congressional district conventions. This cost-effective insurgent strategy seemed stalled, but now appears to be finally paying some dividends.

Many other Republicans are demoralized. The near-certain nominee doesn't excite them. There are fewer high-profile Tea Party primaries than two years ago. The other conservative presidential candidates have been beaten.

Ron Paul's supporters remain. They are still trying to win delegates and reshape the Republican Party.

I share Brother BR's concern that some convention mischief might hurt the party's chances in November. Yet, long term, the GOP must shift to embrace some of these ideas or cease to be worthy of Tea Party support. Not today. Not this year. But I am sticking by my Paul-as-Goldwater and looking for Reagan.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2012

The Fallon Contretemps

Nobody seriously believes that there will be a cost to Jimmy Fallon or President Obama for campaign finance transgressions. It's a great example of absurdity of regulation, but far more serious examples are going unpunished.

I almost embedded a clip yesterday -- have you seen it ? Both the American Spectator and Ann Althouse provide the clip and effective criticism.

I agree it is bad but the audience reaction makes me fear for the republic. No, that's not a representative sample of Americans, and it remains possible that many of those people will not get up early enough to vote in November. But ThreeSources has spoiled me a bit.

Anyhow, I have a solution. And some awesome free advice for the Romney Campaign. Demand equal time (It will be granted) and have Governor Romney come on to "slow jam the news." Insist that it is only right. It would be a very funny sketch. I know the NR folks hate the entertainment-political nexus -- as do I but you cannot wish it away. White bread, Mormon, Mitt Romney "slow jamming the news" would be one for the ages.

UPDATE: Danielle Pletka engages in a little wishcasting in "The manifest uncoolness of Barack Obama."

Really, who wants a President Cool? I’d settle for a President Grown-up.

I agree with every word. But the cheers in Fallon's audience (and many of them will indeed vote) tell me to be concerned.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)
But hb thinks:

The bigger problem was the enormous cheer when he said that he was going to freeze student loan interest rates and Fallon nodded approvingly.

On the other hand, Obama was booed at Fenway Park last week.

Posted by: hb at April 26, 2012 12:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Tyler Cowen, call your office, eh?

Well, the President will not likely lose either New York or Massachusetts, but it is a disturbing reminder of how little people know or care.

Posted by: jk at April 26, 2012 1:52 PM

April 18, 2012

Right Wing Twitterverse: too much fun.

As the Democrats prepared for quadrennial Seamus-gate where we whack the Romneys for allowing their dog to ride on the roof in a carrier, somebody found the paragraph in "Dreams from My Father where a young Barack tastes the delicacies of tiger and dog meat.

Hilarity has ensured much of the day "Better the Roof of Mitt's car than the roof of Barack's mouth!" But this one (Hat-tip: Insty) is a keeper:

romneybutton1.jpg

UPDATE: Really? Got this on WaPo:

petloversforobama.jpg

UPDATE II: James Taranto provides the whole story, relays a few good tweets, and grabs "Quote of the Day" for:

It doesn't seem to have occurred to [Josh] Marshall that as dogs are haram, this should put to rest the Muslim rumors.

UPDATE III: IMAO I can’t believe Romney strapped his dog to the roof of his car. That ruins the flavor.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:12 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Now I'm wondering who will get the coveted Michael Vick endorsement.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 18, 2012 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

And Taranto stole Brother Keith's joke!

Posted by: jk at April 19, 2012 10:21 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

What is freely shared cannot be stolen - and I have no objection to it getting some free mileage.

On the other hand - I'm wondering if there's any such thing as Waygu Weimaraner. That's like two references for the price of one, and if that one starts getting around, I expects royalties.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 19, 2012 12:49 PM

April 16, 2012

Colorado & Virginia, Baby!

Walter Russell Mead has an interesting interactive electoral map. Two tabs show President Obama winning and Governor Romney winning. The difference is flipping Colorado & Virginia.

I have not played that game yet this year, but I am not painting Colorado red in spite of its name. I wonder about Iowa, New Hampshire and possibly Wisconsin. But my state is going to be tough.

You can call me negative (yeah), or point out that I spend too much time with Boulderites (yeah). But there is another item which suppresses my natural sunny optimism. Colorado can be bought. I saw that in the 2010 Senate race. Compared to big markets around the country, the media markets are cheap and can easily be flooded by demagogic commercials from campaigns and 527s. I'm not necessarily pessimistic on the entire race but Colorado will be almost impossible.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I don't want to admit it but I fear you are right. Particularly if the GOP nominee is Mitt Romney.

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

No kidding. Dude's going to let a chick pick his VP nominee!

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2012 12:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with yesterday's FoxNewsSunday panel that there's no rush to name a running mate. This seems like a good way to satiate the salivating press without tipping his hand.

But what's with all those grammatical errors in the transcript of Mitt's quotes? "an instead of a?" "an instead of and?"

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 12:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Back to that map again: Romney could afford to lose Colorado if in turn he could flip Pennsylvania. AlexC? Come in, AlexC!

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

The map is sobering. WaPo's nine swing states sound about right, and the WRM maps both assume NC, Florida, and Ohio. Only Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire seem in play and blue.

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2012 3:44 PM

April 12, 2012

Doing The Jobs Americans Won't Do...

I want to give a shout out to Internet-censorship lobbyist and Democratic Apparatchik Hilary Rosen for doing the impossible: uniting the Republicans behind Governor Mitt Romney.

Attack his lovely wife, mother of five, MS patient and Cancer survivor -- man why didn't I think of that?!?!

If anybody doubts this works to Team Red's advantage: Tom Raum of AP is already showing the white flag:

The sides skirmished over assigning blame for rising female job losses.

The latest provocation: an assertion by Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen that Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life."

The candidate's wife fired back on Twitter that she chose to stay home and raise five boys and that, "believe me, it was hard work." She told Fox News on Thursday that women should respect each other's choices.

A cease-fire, anyone?


RETREAT! RETREAT!!! RUNAWAY!!! Chris Cillizza, WaPo:
Mitt Romney was losing the so-called "war on women." Badly. Until Democratic operative Hilary Rosen appeared on CNN Wednesday night and seemingly derided his wife's decision to stay at home and raise the couple's five boys.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

What the Clinton campaign referred to as the coveted "soccer mom" vote, team Obama derisively calls "slacker moms."

Don't forget that the sanctimonious career women in this administration are the same faction the President sided with in the Catholic contraception controversy. It may not be the leftists who are Obama's undoing, but the radical feminists.

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2012 4:17 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Point of order here, Mr. Moderator:

If it's appropriate to say that devoting at least two decades to raising five boys is not hard work, with the attendant hardship and struggle that goes with the job, but is actually a life of leisurely slackerdom... then how is is "punishment" to have to become a mother and bring a child into the world?

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/apr/08040105

I'd REALLY like to have that explained to me.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 12, 2012 5:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Life's mysteries abound, Brother Keith. I'd think that comment would be distasteful across the spectrum.

My lovely bride has another addition to this odd tale (though after my third fund-raising email, I'm willing to admit the dear GOP might overstep...)

Really, Ms. Rosen's complaint is that Ms. Romney made good choices. Had the Governor's wife had no job, a drug habit, and two children with no dad -- then she'd be swell! A heroic figure like the mythical Las Vegas waitress! But choosing a good man (while he is not any of our's dream candidate, I think we would all confer good guy status) getting married and creating a successful home makes her an outlier.

Strange world.

Posted by: jk at April 12, 2012 6:36 PM

Veepwatch!

Let the games begin!

Sabato's "Crystal Ball" emails are awesome, and free! [subscribe]

Posted by John Kranz at 9:57 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Please don't use the word rich!

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2012 3:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm hurt that my man Allen West didn't even make the "total long shots" list!

I could support any of the 1st tier prospects but I really hope Mitt doesn't choose Rob "Dan Quayle" Portman. Of the 2nd tier suggestions only Pawlenty or possibly McDonnell makes sense to me. The others are either baggage-laden, non-photogenic or too charismatic for the "Robin" slot.

I was pleased that most of the slate is composed of individual members of the only non-protected oppressed minority class: white males.

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2012 3:35 PM

April 10, 2012

Tweet of the Day

tweet120410.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 5:32 PM | Comments (0)

Waterloo

It isn't quite a perfect metaphor - General Lee was defeated at Gettysburg but did not surrender there - but the historic civil war cemetery there is apropos for hosting the end of Rick Santorum's GOP presidential nomination bid.

"We were very concerned about our roles as being the very best parents has we can be to our children," Santorum said. "We made a decision over the weekend while this presidential race is over to for me and will suspend our campaign effective today -- we are not done fighting."
Well, okay, technically Santorum hasn't surrendered either. But really, he's blaming the end of his candidacy on the need to be good parents? After all this time? C'mon Rick, say it: "We got our butts whupped."

Larry Flynt's 'Obama 2012' campaign earmarks may not be spent after all. And br'er JK's plea has been answered.

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

And when Gingrich realizes that he's polling below Ron Paul... naw, even then, he won't quit.

You know who this helps, right?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 10, 2012 3:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Umm, he of JK's plea?

Still, he ain't got a snowball's chance at the nomination.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2012 4:53 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Sorry, JG - I'm guilty of being a little esoteric on that one. It's a reference to broadcaster Hugh Hewitt, who in 2008 repeated the phrase "you know who this helps?" or "you know who this benefits?" on the air so frequently - followed by the answer "Mitt Romney" - that it became a meme.

I posted a link to the Santorum presser on Facebook, with the lead-in "And then there were two." I've been waiting with bated breath for someone to correct me and tell me that there are three left. But, as we learned from Highlander, there can only be one.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 10, 2012 7:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm hurt. I corrected you to 1.375.

Posted by: jk at April 10, 2012 7:30 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

HAH! So that's what you meant. I was trying to figure out if that was Celsius, or in Canadian dollars, or something. I can be a little slow on the uptake. I bow to your superior esoterica...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 11, 2012 12:17 PM

April 5, 2012

Anti-Obama Union Boss!

It was only a matter of time...

While the United Mine Workers of America likely won’t actively oppose President Obama’s reelection bid, Roberts said the new EPA regulation could prevent the union from endorsing the president.

“That’s something that we have not done yet and may not do because of this very reason. Our people’s jobs are on the line,” Roberts said, adding that Obama has “done a lot of great things for the country.”

Roberts's [sic] comments underscore the vehement opposition to the new EPA regulations in coal states whose economies rely heavily on the fossil fuel.

I also really enjoyed this quote:

Roberts, in Tuesday’s interview with host Hoppy Kercheval, took aim at the Sierra Club, arguing the environmental group’s campaign to shut down coal plants is killing jobs.

“This is a broader problem for me than it is for the Sierra Club or the EPA,” Roberts said. “And I’m convinced, Hoppy, that if you give the Sierra Club enough money, they could shut your job down. I don’t know how they’d do it, but they’d figure out a way.”

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:42 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Yet they will line up to reelect him. The rank and file might wander behind the closed curtain (Taranto Metaphor Alert!) but the leadership will do all they can to give him another term.

Posted by: jk at April 5, 2012 4:38 PM

April 4, 2012

Put a Fork in it

May I now call the primary contest over? Governor Romney swept the three primaries last night (and Erie Mayor Joe Wilson was re-elected by 41 votes).

Beyond the commanding delegate lead, the reaction of talking heads on FOX News speaks to a race that is over. The people with the most to gain from a continued race -- the FOX News team, panel and paid pundits -- were all on and not one could suggest a plausible excuse for Senator Santorum to stay in. And nobody mentioned Mr. Gingrich's name: he was Speaker Voldemort last night.

I have reconciled to Governor Moisturizer. He gave a good speech and appeared Presidential taking the fight to President Obama while SenSweatervest sniped about evil establishment GOPers like Sens. Marco Rubio (HOSS - FL) and Ron Johnson (HOSS - WI). I can't call myself excited, but you go into battle with the candidates you have. I hope he selects a Tea-Party-friendly VP, but I am ready for prepare for November.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:36 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Works for me, brother. My Thomas Sowell post arguing against nominating Romney almost made me forget my Robert Tracinski post arguing in favor of it.

And last night's speech, with Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Paul Ryan in the wings (and obviously in his ear) sounded much more like the unapologetic fiscal conservative that TEA Partiers have been pining for than any prior Romney effort. "We are for a prosperity that is grown and shared rather than restrained and divided." It is the actualization of what Robert Tracinski described:

"I can live with Romney as the Republican candidate. While he won't be a staunchly reliable defender of freedom, he will at least respond pragmatically to outside political pressure, giving pro-liberty grass roots activists a chance to keep the ideological momentum in our favor."

Messrs. Johnson and Ryan are a good influence on the "well-oiled weathervane" that is candidate Romney.

Another excellent influence would be, running mate Allen West. Game on!

Posted by: johngalt at April 4, 2012 2:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Hasty, hasty! A Santorum loss in Pennsylvania, I am assured, will destroy the Senator's future prospects. He lost badly in his last Senate race, and a Romneythumping will cement his loser cred.

Go Rick, Go! Ignore those pointy-headed establishment bastards saying that you can't win! Delegate math? Schmelligut-math, I say.

Posted by: jk at April 5, 2012 10:42 AM

April 3, 2012

Tweet of the Day II

Primary night, I get another. It hurts me still. But I can at least laugh about it...

tweet120403b.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 8:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2012

Good News on the GOP Primaries

"Nobody ever stops running for President, they just run out of money" -- N. Old Adage
Looks like the Speaker is about to leave the stage. It has been fun, but I think he stopped adding to the dialog some time ago and I will be pleased to see one fewer.

Now, if we can just get rid of Senator Sweatervest, then Governor Romney and Rep. Paul can slug it out, mano à mano...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

This explains why Newt has taken to charging 50 bucks for a photo with him.

I agree it is time for Newt to go. Even if he is the best of the candidates, which is and has been debated, he's not rallying the electorate. In the end, that is what matters most.

Posted by: johngalt at March 30, 2012 2:06 PM

March 25, 2012

Tweet of the Day

tweet120325.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2012

May have surpassed Gov Huckabee

So, the loser will not support the winner. "We might as well stay with Obama."

campaign_o_sketch.gif

Disgusting and tiresome, Senator. Enjoy President Obama's three SCOTUS picks!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:13 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Amen. Not only is this a major fail, but you have to be completely naive to not expect new focii in the campaign once you switch from primary to main election.

Posted by: Terri at March 23, 2012 2:34 PM

March 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

Romney spox Andrea Saul: Other candidates complaining about Romney's spending is like a losing bball team complaining about tall opponents. -- @GuyPBenson
Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Oooh, not the best analogy for a guy who aspires to a game of political one-on-one with President Obama (D-Unionbux).

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2012 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps, but I am awfully tired of the continuous whine from Gingrich and Santorum: "we were outspent X:1 in <insert state name here>."

Senator Santorum did not get a full slate of delegates in Illinois or Ohio, Speaker G did not get on the ballot in his home state (umm, that's Virginia, Georgia is a faded memory of ex-wives and Peaches...) For this one-on-one, organization and money matter.

I'm all for propelling your candidacy through ideas and clear positions. But you have to convince me that you could assemble a good general campaign.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2012 1:40 PM

March 15, 2012

Boo Freakin' Hoo.

Wow. I really respected this guy a year ago! (The WSJ's "Professor Cornpone" editorial precipitated the decline.)

But Speaker Gingrich's petulant whines and destructive lashings-out are truly too much to bear. First it was the brave Speakinator against the WallStreetMachine™; now the system is broke because it does not recognize his total awesomeness:

PALATINE, Ill. -- With the future of his presidential ambitions uncertain in the wake of losses in two big southern states on Tuesday night, Newt Gingrich delivered a gloomy address in this Chicago suburb Wednesday night in which he at once reaffirmed his plans to stay in the presidential race and bemoaned a country and Republican Party that he described as unreceptive to "big ideas" such as the ones on which he.s hinged his White House bid.

Quick! Somebody call a Waaaaahmbulance!

However, the Speaker is going at as he came in -- two adverbs at a time!

At Illinois GOP dinner, a gloomy Gingrich bemoans 'methodically and deliberately stupid' political system

UPDATE: I see the linked "Cornpone" post is dated 1/31/2011. Make that "Wow. I really respected this guy a year five quarters ago!" ThreeSources regrets the error.

UPDATE II: Also: "his total and existential awesomeness." The sell-by date on that joke is coming fast and I don't want to be caught with a whole box.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:44 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2012

Really, Really Scary Thought of the Day

No, I am not making a 2016 category yet, but -- as Republicans always nominate last quadrennial's second-place finisher...

Which brings up the real scary possibility for those of us who find Santorum frighteningly anti-libertarian: He does look positioned to run second, putting him in line for 2016 or 2020. Any rational person would say, come on -- second-place Rick Santorum stronger the next time around than Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Nikki Haley, Rand Paul, Jeff Flake, Bob McDonnell, Bobby Jindal, etc.? But there's that pesky rule -- Reagan, Bush, Dole, McCain, and now Romney all got the nomination after running second previously. So defenders of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should probably start a project now to move Republicans off that rule. -- David Boaz

Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Which is worse, Santorum or Huckabee?

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2012 3:04 PM
But jk thinks:

I have heard Senator Santorum deliver several convincing speeches on liberty and limited government. I fear they both suffer from the same disease (government dogooderism) but I definitely prefer Senator Sweatervest.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2012 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well then, just call me Brother Sunshine!

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2012 5:57 PM

MITT!

Jim Geraghty pens the winning tagline for the Governor of the Commonwealth:

James Taranto offers something of a sales pitch for the Republican front-runner: "I can understand why some people would be scared of President Santorum, and I'm a little scared of President Gingrich, but c'mon, Romney?"

Mitt Romney: He doesn't scare anybody.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2012

My Sentiments Exactly.

An unusual endorsement from a hero of mine. Reading Nassim Taleb's books is enjoyable both for the content and for the peek into his preternatural intelligence.

Taleb is not into politics but sees -- as I do -- that there is only one guy and only one guy talking about repair, as everyone else offers "Novocain."


Posted by John Kranz at 7:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 7, 2012

Ron!

Rep Paul did indeed speak last night, in North Dakota:

Posted by John Kranz at 2:35 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"The dollar of 1913 is now worth one penny." I guess he's basing this on the price of gold, which doesn't account for any increase in demand (or supply fluctuation) in the intervening century.

What say we just, ala daylight saving time, re-state all dollar denominated balances, wages and prices to one-hundredth of their value the prior day? Voila! 4 cent per gallon gasoline!

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2012 3:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Loved hearing the Pauliacs cheer wildly [18:20] for, "If our life and our liberties come from our creator we ought to have the natural right to keep the fruits of all our labors also." Wonder how many of them were #Occupiers.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2012 3:22 PM

MITT!

We interrupt our 24x7 contraception and monetary policy debates for an election bulletin: The GOP primary contest is over. Stephen Green (VodkaPundit) mails my thoughts exactly in a short blog post

Given the choice between Romney and nothing, to turn the old adage upside-down, I'd take nothing. But in politics "nothing" isn't one of the choices.

Correction: You can vote for nothing, but then worse-than-nothing wins by default.

So keep that in mind when I call on Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to surrender gracefully tonight, and to pledge their delegates to... this isn't easy for me to say... to pledge their delegates to Romney.

Green wrote that yesterday and I didn't see any results last night to change my mind. In fact, watching Gov. Romney, Sen. Santorum, and Speaker Gingrich speak (did Ron Paul not? I missed it), I am completely convinced.

I'll concede that the fight to now has been good for Candidate Romney, I was concerned but I was wrong. He improved his positions and his debate performances and his campaign style because of the competition. But that ended about 1:30 AM Eastern this morning.

Speaker Gingrich talks up his "positive campaign" as he blasts Romney as "Wall Street" and tells his small government supporters that he is going to set gas prices.

I feel for Senator Santorum. His opponents in media have distracted him from a fairly cogent economic freedom message to social issues. Entrapment may not be fair, but it put John DeLorean away (I can hold a grudge), and it exposed Santorum for what he is.

Both have served their purpose and added to the debate -- as did Rep. Bachmann, Gov. Perry, and The Herman Cain. It is time for them to follow the others offstage.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Whoa, big fella! The result you seek is the most likely one but with SuperPAC millions I don't see anyone surrendering soon. I agree that the sometimes painful campaign has been constructive. Why the rush to end it now? Best of all, it divides Campaign Obama's attention and resources or, better yet, forces them to sit on their hands this much longer.

I'm also going to defend the Speaker from what I think are unfair charges. Stripping away barriers to production is not "setting" gas prices, and crony investment bankers deserve to be tarred. That Mitt is not one of them will not stop the Democrats from the same tack.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2012 11:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Is there not a scarcity of SuperPAC millions? Is this the best way to spend them? Again, I concede that the last time we had this identical argument you were right and I was wrong (man, I do hate saying that!)

I suggest that in the past the other candidates were offering ideas, enthusiasm, and ideological challenges. I don't think Santorum and Gingrich have much in the tank.

If the message were "get the government the hell out of the way and watch prices fall," I'm all in. But Gingrich surrogate The Herman Cain calls it "the two-five-oh plan." The President does not set the gas price (yet...) it grates on the free man's ear.

Also gotta say that the Speaker was the unquestioned loser, coming in third or fourth except in Georgia. He's a regional candidate who cannot carry his region, and whose region will solidly back any breathing Republican in the General. Been fun, Mister Speaker, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2012 12:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, yes, if our campaigns were centrally planned like the Dems often are. But those SuperPAC billionaires seem to think their guy is more swell than the other billionaire's. I guess I'm just advocating an "accept the things you cannot change" strategy.

Retail politics will always rely on a large measure of populism. I think energy and gas prices are good bludgeons against the incumbent, but Obamacare and other totalitarian mandates are the soft underbelly of the Obama reelection machine. How our candidate and his surrogates choose to sell liberty to the 'Idol generation' is less important than that they do it effectively.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2012 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

Maybe. If Governor Romney were to take up the Speaker's energy position which so energized Kim Strassel, it would disprove my premise.

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2012 3:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let me cut and paste the reason I now accede to a Romney nomination - by Robert Tracinski in last week's 'Santorum Delenda Est' post:

I can live with Romney as the Republican candidate. While he won't be a staunchly reliable defender of freedom, he will at least respond pragmatically to outside political pressure, giving pro-liberty grass roots activists a chance to keep the ideological momentum in our favor. But in Santorum we would be up against a self-righteous crusader against individualism who looks down on the cantankerously independent spirit summed up in that motto on the Gadsden flag.

Romney may be a squish, but at least we will be able to squeeze him too.

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2012 5:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Kumbaya.

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2012 6:03 PM

March 6, 2012

What if?

This clip is about much more than just Ron Paul.

Hat tip: M4GW

And then there's this Whittaker Chambers-esque rebuttal.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I wondered where the Judge went, I have not seen him in some time.

Put me in the Occam's razor group: bad ratings. (I don't have much other truck with in your rebuttal link. The Founding Fathers were horrified at the development of "Factions," not proud developers of the first parties. Rep Paul's spending record is better than Senator Santorum...)

I did get itchy fingers because I have seen several lefty Facebook friends post this -- with approbation. I guess half bashes Republicans, it must be 50% okay. But I was still surprised. My favorite comment was "How did they slip this past the FAUX censors???" Umm, he does this about every night, people.

In the end I have to put the Judge -- entertaining as he can be -- in my "Libertario Delenda Est" camp. I may not be overwhelmed with Governor Romney's liberty bone fides, but the idea that he's "just like Obama" will go a long way to giving us a second Obama term.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2012 5:26 PM

March 2, 2012

Santorum Delenda Est

It does seem the theme of the week...

I read this from Robert Tracinski via email last week. Today I found it posted in full with excellent comments.* The major issue I see is the specter of Santorum highjacking the TEA Party Movement:

Santorum's views have zero cross-over appeal; there will be no "Santorum Democrats." They have no appeal to independent voters, who will peg him as a self-righteous prig who wants to impose his religious views on them. And it's worse than that. The resurgence of the right that produced the Tea Party movement and the huge Republican victory in 2010 is based in large part on an alliance between two wings of the right: the more religious wing and the more "libertarian" wing. They have been able to work together because of a de facto truce on the "social issues" while we drop everything else to save the country from a government takeover of the economy. I would add that there has been no need for any kind of truce on birth control or gambling, because those issues haven't even come up. But Santorum insists on bringing them up, and in doing so he breaks the Tea Party alliance and splits the right. He puts the libertarian wing of the right on notice that if they vote against Obama's version of big government, Santorum will use their vote to promote his version of big government.

Someone needs to stand up and speak on behalf of the Tea Party movement to proclaim that we did not come out and march under the banner "Don't Tread on Me" so that we could be hitched once again under the yoke of the "common good" as determined by politicians in Washington.

* The good comments are the first ones, at the bottom of the thread. The recent ones, as is often the case, seem to have degenerated into various tangents.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:18 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Excellent linked article. Might I be indulged another excerpt?

Note how this concedes Obama's basic premise: that it is the job of the state to decide for us what is in our best interests and to impose it. Obama wants to do what he thinks is optimal for the physical health and economic well-being of young women. Santorum wants to manage our spiritual well-being. Or as conservative blogger Conor Friederdorf puts it, while linking to the statement above, "Rick Santorum wants your sex life to be 'special'," which makes this sound as creepy as it really is.

Any ThreeSourcer want a do-over on his/her caucus choice? If Senator Santorum does well on Super Tuesday I might wish to trade in my principled Rep. Paul vote for a more strategic anti-Santorum vote for Gov. Romney. (Hey, stop laughing in the back, Refugee!)

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2012 1:25 PM
But Terri thinks:

Yes, I'd like the do-over.
I'd now choose door number 3, the Ron Paul even though we aren't going to win vote just to make a louder statement and get away from these ridiculous social conservative discussions that have nothing to do with why everyone I know chose Santorum.

Posted by: Terri at March 3, 2012 9:10 AM

February 23, 2012

Romney - Paul - Mentum

Romney - Paul 2012 is in the mainstream news today courtesy of, Rick Santorum's top strategist:

"Clearly there’s a tag team strategy between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. For all I know, Mitt Romney might be considering Ron Paul as his running mate. Clearly there is now an alliance between those two and you saw that certainly in the debate."

The story was also mentioned by Rush Limbaugh in his first hour today:

The partnership is all speculative, but “it’s clear there’s a hands-off policy with Romney and Paul,” Limbaugh said, noting it will be interesting to see how Romney supporters would handle the possibility of a Paul vice presidency.

At the same time, Reason Magazine contributor and Ron Paul book author Brian Doherty sez, 'Move along, nothing to see here.'

Alas in some quarters, such as this diary entry by a user of Erick Erickson's RedState.com, there is not much love for Congressman Paul potentially being a sellout.

I hope Libertarians who thought Paul was a honest broker can go to Libertarian party rather than support this fraud Ron Paul! Ron Paul turned out to be the "typical Washington insider that wheel & deals to get himself & his family taken care of ". This guy, just like Obama, fooled all his followers especially the youth! Also, I feel sorry for the Judge Napolitano, Stossel & few other openly libertarians who thought this guy is for real…shame on you Paul especially aligning yourself with a MA liberal!

Sigh.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2012

Tweet of the Day

I'll be glued to my seat, but this is still pretty funny:


Posted by John Kranz at 7:43 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I thought Senator Santorum had a bad night. He got caught weaselling a couple times -- I think that might break his momentum.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 10:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I liked the way Paul took Santorum apart for voting for NCLB and then campaigning for its repeal. He said that is a recurring theme for many Republicans: Campaign as a fiscal conservative and then spend when you get in office. He also did an excellent job deflecting Santorum's critique that he is one-hundred-forty-something on the list of "most conservative" congressmen: "I don't vote for foreign aid" he said, or any other spending bill.

Hey, has anybody heard the rumor that Ron Paul Is Electable?

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2012 11:28 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

As an interesting follow-up, former candidate (and popular name around here) Jon Huntsman made a bold statement:

http://thehill.com/video/campaign/212187-huntsman-gop-debates-wasting-time-party-lacking-in-big-ideas

The debate floor is open.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 11:50 AM
But jk thinks:

Maybe I'm still carrying H2O for the Governor, but I think the headline gets a little out front of what he said. I winced at the story, but the actual interview seemed reasonable.

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2012 12:08 PM

February 21, 2012

Two Minute Hate: Sen. Santorum Edition

"Satan has his sights on the United States of America!...Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition." -- Sen Santorum circa 2008
Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

You are posting from where, exactly, KA? California? That kind of linkage evaporated there 'round about the Beach Boys. Rural Pennsylvania on the other hand...

A good friend who is no stranger to this blog once told me he considers the religious right more of a threat to liberty than the collectivist left. Today, more still than then, I hold the opposite view. I read the Santorum remarks, much like the bible, as a figurative rather than literal description. In that light his remarks are quite valid.

As for Beezelbub, his precinct is in Cook County Illinois.

Posted by: johngalt at February 21, 2012 6:35 PM
But dagny thinks:

Pride and sensuality are virtues and not vices. I might even be able to make a case for vanity if I tried. No wonder Senator Sweatervest keeps dropping in the dagny approval ratings.

Posted by: dagny at February 21, 2012 7:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Lest anyone suspect I have no love for anything Chicagoan I now link to the Heartland Institute - "The mission of the Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 2:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dear dagny defends "pride" from Senator Santorum's apparent besmirchment. However, she refers to the fourth definition while Santorum's warning certainly referred to the first.

America's first president surely felt the civic pride that dagny so cheerfully defends, while a good example of faulty pride embodied is the Oval Office's current occupant.

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 3:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I will step in to defend definition #2 -- in fact all of them.

Amid Keith's serious points, I hate to step into minutia (especially in my best shoes), but I feel very strongly that courageous folk like ThreeSourcers must uncompromisingly reject all the "seven deadly sins." None is sinful.

Nothing wrong with pride, even in the personage of the 44th President. As the great philosopher Yoda said "Luminous beings are we, not this stuff..." Eighty percent of the universe is dark matter and I am an adult human being with free will and reason. Look the hell out!

The obverse of my coin is to succumb to the Hijab, claiming "modesty" as a virtue when it is the sin -- not pride. Lust, Anger, Jealousy, Envy, Greed, Gluttony and even a little bit of Sloth each has its place in a productive free person. Distrust anyone who seeks to remove them!

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 4:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wouldn't downgrade this topic as minutia - vice versus sin, inordinate versus immoral - these are important distinctions on an essential topic - morality. I'll borrow again from today's favorite quotes page:

"It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government."
Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2012 5:05 PM

February 20, 2012

Colorado Caucus Update - February Edition

Unlike every other county in Colorado, Weld holds an intermediate set of local assemblies for selection of delegates to the state political conventions. As the next step after caucus night, the District Assemblies convened on Saturday morning and yours truly was elected as one of twelve delegates from District E.

My optimism in America and in freedom was renewed by this meeting of neighbors. The evangelical conservatives and the libertarian conservatives played nice together and exchanged views in what I thought to be a very constructive and open-minded way. No Ron Paul delegate or mention of the name Ron Paul was booed, or even grumbled. I made new acquaintance with several neighbors, including a gentleman who boards horses a few miles north of Atlantis Farm. A couple more questions revealed our mutual friend, blog sister Terri. And if this gentleman hadn't fully endeared himself already he would have when he requested, after the meeting was closed, that it not be held in a school building in the future since that pre-empted his Second Amendment right to self-protection. [PSA - Never attempt to rob a conflagration of Republicans.]

While we're here I'd like to share a link to Rick Santorum's speech to the Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner on February 5. I haven't watched the video yet but the speech was very good in person.

UPDATE: Skip to 13 minute mark if your time is limited.

Next caucus update in March.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

That's excellent! He is definitely, as they say, good people.

Posted by: Terri at February 20, 2012 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And he spoke very highly of you too, Terri. Meeting him kinda made me rethink my idea to woo your horse over to board in our indoor arena. ;) Now, if he were a Democrat...

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 5:36 PM

February 16, 2012

Getting Worser all the Time!

Governor Romney's guest editorial on China was not as bad as I feared.

Then again, I expected it to be incredibly bad.

Unless China changes its ways, on day one of my presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction. A trade war with China is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.

Day One, huh? I think the Governor is lifting this riff from Speaker Gingrich's effective South Carolina speech: "On my way to the first inauguration ball, I will repeal ObamaCare!" It works better with a crowd, a good idea, and a fiendish glint in the presenter's eye.

I happen to be a fan of the yuan/dollar peg. But a larger issue is our countries' relationship. Not content with a trade war, Governor Romney wants to prepare for a shooting war -- with our banker and best customer.

We must also maintain military forces commensurate to the long-term challenge posed by China's build-up. For more than a decade now we have witnessed double-digit increases in China's officially reported military spending. And even that does not capture the full extent of its spending on defense. Nor do the gross numbers tell us anything about the most troubling aspects of China's strategy, which is designed to exert pressure on China's neighbors and blunt the ability of the United States to project power into the Pacific and keep the peace from which China itself has benefited.

Maybe I've been watching too much Rep. Ron Paul lately, but I see managing the China relationship in the context of trade. Intellectual property theft and human rights are legitimate concerns. And, to be fair, the Governor discusses them eloquently.

But bluster seems unlikely to win the day, and -- more importantly -- it marks Romney's being outside the free-trade camp. Larry Kudlow would join him on human rights and piracy; so would I. But currency manipulation is a canard. And, while military strength should be watched, who is surprised that an advancing economic power with a long history is spending newfound wealth on its military?

We could influence them a lot more with trade.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:19 PM | Comments (2)
But hb thinks:

So fixed exchange rates are now considered currency manipulation?

Posted by: hb at February 16, 2012 2:05 PM
But jk thinks:

If used to sell us things too cheap, yeah! Dirty Foreigners.

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 2:16 PM

Couldn't get any Worse? Couldn't get worse?

I did not think the GOP presidential nomination process could possibly get any worse. But I was a fool.

Romney doesn't rule out Santorum as veep.

Nooooooooooooooo! Do not even joke about that, Byron!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

As long as it is not the end of "An Officer and a Gentlemen" with Governor Romney swooping the Senator up in his arms...

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 1:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Governor Romney, in the big picture could you see a scenario where you and Donald Trump team up?"

This serves to illustrate two points:

1) There are very few Republicans about whom Mitt would answer anything other than, "it's possible."

2) There is still something worse than Romney/Santorum.

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 3:58 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Governor Romney, in the big picture could you see a scenario where you and Donald Trump team up?"

"Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. Full of other bad ideas."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 16, 2012 4:09 PM
But jk thinks:

The ThreeSources Variety Show is especially good today. Thanks for the good cheer!

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2012 4:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey KA, have you "lost that lovin' feelin'?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 16, 2012 5:57 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Righteous rejoinder, JG - righteous.

(See above on JK's CoffeeHouse post to continue the mild amusement.)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 16, 2012 7:50 PM

February 15, 2012

"Pro-Life Statism"

Although it's already been linked in a comment I'm giving a full post to syndicated radio host Jason Lewis' 2nd hour yesterday [audio.] It was a searchlight of objective probity into the status of the GOP nomination.

[Mitt Romney] "is no less conservative than Mr. Gingrich or Mr. Santorum. Newt 'cap and trade' Gingrich. Newt have a health care mandate, he proposed that in May of 2009, a health care mandate. Newt Mr. environmentalism. I mean Newt Gingrich, if you take a look at his voting record, is every bit as fiscally liberal as Mitt Romney. And Rick Santorum who apparently we are told is surging in the polls now, well, this isn't even close. Rick Santorum is running to be Pastor-in-Chief. He's running on the social issues, and the people who have swarmed to Mr. Santorum are not swarming because of his fiscal record, they are swarming because of religion. Let's be blunt about this. Here's a guy who supported Arlen Specter, and Arlen Specter turned out to be the sixtieth vote on Obamacare. He could have sided with the conservative Pat Toomey but he supported Arlen Specter.

Here's a guy, when it comes to Supreme Court nominations, voted for Sonia Sotomayor, the radical judge now sitting atop the court. Here's a guy who voted against the National Right to Work Act; voted against repeal of Davis Bacon, the union prevailing wages law on taxpayer-funded projects; voted for Alexis Hermann as Secretary of Labor; voted for mandatory federal child-care funding; voted for Job Corps funding; voted twice in support of unionizing FedEx; voted for minimum wage increases six times on small businesses; voted for background checks on people who pawn a gun; voted twice to make it illegal to sell a gun without a secure storage or safety device; voted for a federal ban on possession of assault weapons, of course by those under 18; voted for funding of the Legal Services Corporation; voted twice for a congressional pay raise; voted for every single earmark you can imagine; has stated his opposition to a flat tax - he thinks that because you make more money you should pay more; voted for tobacco taxes to fund health care subsidies; voted for internet taxes, I mean I could go on and on and on here. Do your research on Rick Santorum, he's not a fiscal conservative.

(...)

If social issues are your thing and you think that's all that matters that's fine, it's a free country vote for Santorum, but don't give me this hooey that Rick Santorum is more fiscally conservative than Mitt Romney. It's simply not true.

(...)

If you take a look at Santorum's record or at Newt Gingrich's record, that's what it is. It's pro-life statism, it's pro-life liberalism."

He isn't endorsing Romney mind you, but does say liberty will be vastly better with Romney than either Rick or Newt. His real game-changing candidate is ... Paul.

"The President's budget is a full-scale assault, a full-throated assault on the American dream, Capitalism. You've got a guy like Ron Paul who's saying I'm going to elimnate the Department of Commerce, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Energy, I'm going to eliminate the Department of Education, I'm going to cut one trillion from the budget in my first year. That's Congressman Paul. The budget the President released yesterday not only keeps all those departments but increases spending for the rest of them."
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:06 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

To date, he has been more economically conservative than Governor Romney.

Not sure if I am the paragon of fairness or simply an argumentative bastard, but --

Senator Santorum has done an admirable job speaking on economic and freedom issues. Lefty journalists feed him a string of gotcha questions and his supporters often seek clarification that he remains in their camp. But left to his own devices, I have been impressed with his discipline and his focus on real freedom from government.

The Obamacare-contraception-abortifacent contretemps reminds us of the benefits of fusionism. I want gub'mint hands of my economics and So-Cons want gub'mint hands off their religion. We have an overlap wide enough to land a Boeing Dreamliner® on.

I never got on the Santorum bandwagon and am seeing more to scare me off. But I am not certain that the full-court press against Senator Sweatervest is warranted.

Posted by: jk at February 15, 2012 5:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heard Jason Chaffetz (TPD-UT) shillin' for Romney tonight. His is a voice that I trust. He talked about all the MA bills the Guv vetoed. I'm not sure what you're basing your "more economically conservative" judgement on.

In defense of Mr. Lewis I'll point out he is comparing only their records, not their rhetoric. I famously ignored the record of one Mr. Gingrich and it seems many are doing the same with Santorum. The lure is tempting, given all the red meat those two are throwing to evangelicals and TPers. Maybe they're genuine, as I allowed myself to believe, or maybe they're pandering. Either way it's a winning strategy that, curiously, Romney has not adopted.

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 10:33 PM

The Coveted Megadeath Endorsement

BUZZFEED: "Dave Mustaine, frontman of the '80s heavy metal band Megadeath, has evaluated the Republican field and made his considered endorsement."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:16 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. Didn't see that one comin'. Ron Paul is good enough for Kelly Clarkson but metal-head rocker guy here, he wants who Jason Lewis yesterday [about 5 minutes in] named, candidate for "Pastor in Chief." Strange days.

Gotta agree though that Paul is often his own worst enemy. But, Ron Paul is electable!

(hb is now convinced that I am clinically schizophrenic.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 2:37 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Wow - that changes everything.

BTW, is that a shotgun shell belt on the underside of the microphone?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 15, 2012 5:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I think we're all reevaluatin'; word is Slash will not be endorsing anybody this year...

Don't quite see the shotgun shell (but it would be a great feature in NRA magazines -- spot the shotgun shell hidden in this picture, kind of "First Freedom" meets "Highlights.") It's plugged in, in a clip, on a boom stand, and some 500 guitar picks are taped to stand for rapid replacement dutring Mustaine's more frenetic solos.

Posted by: jk at February 15, 2012 5:43 PM

February 14, 2012

Reagan says...

I made a cursory search to see if this had been posted on these pages since the first of the year. If it has never been so in the blog's history we should all consider ourselves ashamed for the oversight.

Ronald Reagan, interviewed by Manuel Klausner in Reason Magazine, July 1975:

REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that you’re doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two?

REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.

So what Reagan lovers should be asking is, it seems to me, which of the GOP presidential nominees are hostile to libertarian thought and which are the very embodiment of it?" Ron Paul for President. Do it for the Gipper.

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

February 13, 2012

"American Catholicism's Pact with the Devil"

Hillsdale College's Paul Rahe has done it again. Being thrice granted Quote of the Day honors on our humble blog (here, here and most notably here) his posting of last Friday explains in grand detail and with far greater authority the warning I've been sounding for just a few short years of my relatively young life - that Christian altruism enables Marxist-Leninist policies in the west. I called it The Virtue of Selfishness. Rahe calls it American Catholicism's Pact With the Devil and says it goes back to FDR and the New Deal in the 1930's.

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States -- the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity -- and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism -- the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people's money and redistribute it.

Amen.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:35 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

My brother-in-law just signed up for Hillsdale's Constitution 101 10 week online course and suggested I check it out. A new one starts on Feb 20.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 6:38 PM

GOP Nomination - To be Continued

I have previously highlighted the public statements of Sarah Palin as a sort of Pied Piper for the TEA Party movement [and I remain interested in JK's appraisal of her Stossel appearance.] Yesterday the theme continued. Sarah was on Fox News Sunday telling Chris Wallace that Romney "is a great candidate" but that she isn't hearing a TEA Party message from him.

"He still needs to be able to articulate what his solutions are to the challenges facing America -- but not just Mitt. All four of them," she said.

"What I want to see is that candidate and I believe that most voters in the GOP and independents, we will want to see that candidate whom we can trust will just inherently, instinctively turn right, always err on the side of conservativism, which means smaller, smarter government, more empowerment for the individual, for the private sector," Palin said.

While Palin has previously encouraged a vote for Gingrich she's backed away from that and, as this quote confirms, is waiting for the best small government, pro liberty message from any one of them. If the "Ron Paul is unelectable" meme would somehow die out I think she would even back him. And for his part, Paul said on Face the Nation yesterday:

"I think the problem is that all three of them have represented the same system, the same status quo ... None of them talk about real spending cuts. None of them talk about real changes in monetary policy. So they're not a whole lot different. So I think when it comes down to those three, it's probably going to be management style more than anything else," Paul added.

And Palin encourages the GOP faithful to embrace the extended contest, not fear it.

Palin said each of the candidates has his strengths and they are able to hone them -- and deliver a more concise message -- if the race keeps going.

"Each of them I believe they are getting stronger, they're getting better and that's what competition provides and that's why I want to see the competition continue," she said. "They all have something to offer and that is why it is a good democratic process in our republic."

Love the phrasing there... "democratic process in our republic" i.e. the US government is not a democracy. I'll add my voice to what I sense is a growing chorus: "Ron Paul is electable."

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

No, I did not bring closure to that. The Governor's performance was good, but the interview was not the philosophical throw down I envisioned. It was short and polite. Every Good Boy Did Fine, but it did not move the needle either way.

I enjoyed her appearance on FOX News Sunday yesterday as well. I just do not yearn for a Palin candidacy like I do for Govs. Christie or Daniels.

I'll agree that she is undersold by many -- and not just her political foes. But I cannot escape that she is frequently oversold by some of her supporters. Perhaps that is not unusual.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 12:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A very fair assessment. I think my personal affection comes more from how she proves her enemies wrong at almost every opportunity. They've set such a low bar for her that I sit down to watch prepared to cringe, and when the things she says are original and insightful instead it leaves me blown away. I also acknowledge with objectivity her very widespread influence. I believe she is wise enough to parlay her influence where it already exists and to work on enlarging it, rather than become a candidate herself - at least for now.

You've said the movement needs a more intellectual leader, which is true, but it also needs an inspirational one. I think she fills those shoes right now.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2012 2:38 PM

February 10, 2012

Two Minute Hate: Sen. Santorum Edition

Yesterday brought two events to wake me from my "Senator Santorum is okay...nothing to worry about...move along..." stupor. I must confess, I have given him too much benefit for a world of doubt. Blog sister dagny was right all along.

Event one: I don't want to speak out of turn, but a good friend of mine confided to be "done" with the GOP. I've heard this 100 times and said it seven or eight, but this was pretty serious. The confluence of an anti-gay-marriage initiative and Santorum's Tuesday Sweep was too much to bear. I'll leave out the back-and-forth but share the conclusion without permission. "I'll vote against Obama and puke in the parking lot."

We all get a little down; this is something worse. And what do I say "Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney!!!?"

Event two. I'm never sure what to make of Fox Business's Judge Andrew Napolitano. He puts on a good rant, but he never weaves it into anything pragmatic. Still, it's good to have truth tellers. [Side note: A guy put one of Napolitano's rants on FB and all his liberal friends said "That was on FOX? Boy I bet the censors were sick that day!" Umm, guys, he does that every day and I cannot think of another network that would put it on.]

Last night he had Reason's Matt Welch on for a brief segment to whack the Senator about his stated aversion to libertarianism. Santorum looked at the camera and said "I want to drive libertarianism out of the Republican Party." That stings a bit.

Then one remembers his debate performances. Rep. Ron Paul would make a statement. Speaker Gingrich would grind his teeth a little and wait for "Crazy Uncle Ron" to finish. Gov. Perry might roll his eyes. Gov. Romney probably did not play "Bizz-Buzz" in college, but he would have been good -- he combined a friendly smile with a blank stare, the essence of non-committal.

But Senator Santorum would pounce! High dudgeon and incredulity: "You really believe X?" While one can consider many of Paul's ideas out of the GOP mainstream, I suggest we at least join Senator Jim DeMint and give these ideas a basic respect to keep their believers in the party.

Perhaps life is good in a very bad year. Senator Sweatervest and Speaker Crazyman can split the non-Romney vote, each keeping the other out. We might well end up with Governor Romney (what, no disparaging sobriquet?) but maybe it is time for least evil. Ron Paul could continue to tell the truth and concomitantly place third or fourth.

And were Gov. Doginthecrateontheroof (who's your daddy?) to choose a Paul or Rubio for Veep, I might find some enthusiasm.

And, we've always been at war with Eurasia!

UPDATE: Kim Strassel suggests he needs a message beyond "Faith, Family, and Freedom."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:52 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, but the Democrats are a) lying and b) won't do anything about it. Republicans are signing petitions and shouting applause lines.

Both immigration and gay rights present conservatives with opportunity for a reasonable legal foundation -- but one that can quickly devolve among rank-and-file to unseemly yeah I'm going to say it bigotry. I appreciate nuanced serious positions that differ with mine but also get quickly irked among the less nuanced populists.

Both "Two-minute hate" and "We've always been at war with Eurasia" are from Orwell's 1984. Work would stop for two minutes and Emmanuel Goldstein would be displayed on giant TV monitors so everybody could yell at the traitor. Only the actual enemy used to change with the politics of the leaders, who would never explain, but would always assert that we have always been at war with xxxx.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 2:46 PM
But Terri thinks:

JK, you have just put the final nail in the coffin that was my support for Santorum.

Consider the Kool-Aide drained. Go Romney. yay

Posted by: Terri at February 10, 2012 4:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Mitt-mentum! Feel the excitement!

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 4:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll part with you only on the characterization "bigotry." My dear neighbors who may express a profound opposition to the cultural modifiers you cited do so out of a sense of defending a heritage and a way of life that's pretty swell, and if guilty of anything it is a misdirected rage that should rightfully be aimed at a collectivist government that, despite its many and variable claimed goals, seeks nothing more than to destroy the good for no other reason than that it is good. They are absolutely positively, with a very few rare exceptions, not bigots.

I wonder what "Senator Sweatervest" would say if he learned just how close he came to one of the epicenters of libertarianism in the party when he shook hands with the denizens of the ThreeSource.com table at the LDD. Personally I think he suffers from the same misdirection. Give me half an hour with him.

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2012 4:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Calling the word parser. Can a non-bigot be guilty of bigotry? I say "Certainly, you greasy dago!"

Seriously, I don't think the great unwashed are bigots but I do think I've seen them do/say things that I would call bigotry. On immigration, ThreeSourcers have made intelligent distinctions of sovereignty and incorrect but serious evaluations of economics.

But on the street, at the Tea Parties, and at Thanksgiving dinner, I hear complaints about Spanish restroom signs at Target, "Dial one for English" at private companies, and an Aurora Pizza joint's accepting Pesos (George Selgin, call your office).

I remember Amendment Two many years ago in Colorado, where I found myself on the other side of my normal political allies. Of course, there were good people on both sides, but I remember some pretty unenlightened comments that went far beyond the legislative question. I've already spoken too much for another but I sense there might be some of that underlying.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 5:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That's correct, as the great American "melting pot" experiment, having been proven a resounding success, is forceably abandoned in the name of multiculturalism. We are told this is necessary to celebrate and honor other cultures when in fact, it is merely to denegrate and dismantle America's. Of the portion of the citizenry that recognizes this and wishes to reverse it, some react differently than others.

Yes, that plays into the hands of the destroyers and we must help our misguided neighbors understand: The pernicious threat to Americanism is not "others" but the redistribution of wealth and property.

Posted by: johngalt at February 11, 2012 10:18 AM

HOSS

Hat-tip: Blog friend hb via email. He just said "HOSS" too.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You can say Hoss too, or Hoss 2, but I say Hoss (superscipt)2.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 10, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Amen. It reminded me of a Governor Romney speech. There was a mictrophone, a dias, and he used words.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 5:39 PM

February 8, 2012

Ann, we thought we knew ye

I hope I shall not be thought less of for posting this Ann Coulter takedown from American Spectator, so long as I don't suggest Newt Gingrich as the best Romney antidote (which, I'm learning, he is not.)

Yet Coulter, once the scourge of such malleable "moderates," has gone through some sort of transformation that has rendered her blind to Romney's cheap opportunism. And if the primary voters are foolish enough to follow her advice, they will rue the day they listened to her and the establishment Republicans with whom she has now made common cause. As Coulter herself pointed out last year when she spoke at CPAC, Barack Obama will be reelected in 2012 if the Republican Party nominates Mitt Romney for President.
Posted by JohnGalt at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

Feel the Excitement!

Waiting in line to see Governor Mitt Romney! These kids'll never forget this!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Our kids insisted they wanted to go with us to the Lincoln Day Dinner. Fortunately for them, we overruled.

Did anyone notice the update on the LDD post? There weren't any comments about "movers and shakers." ;) (shameless self-promotion)

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I kid, but I remember sitting on our lawn to watch President Johnson drive by. The street was lined with people and I had flowers in my hand. Flowers attracted a large bumblebee that still visits my nightmares and I got stung.

F*&%^@' Democrats!

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 12:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Funny story. Plus flowers ... Johnson ... Daisy Spot

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 1:11 PM

#COcaucus Selcted Tweets

denverpost The Denver Post
With 100% reporting, Santorum wins #COcaucus with 40.2%; Romney 34.9%; Gingrich 12.7%, Paul 11.7% http://dpo.st/y6DdWi
11 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

KyleClark Kyle Clark
Well, it's official. The conservative grassroots told the CO GOP where to stick it. #cocaucus

EliStokols Eli Stokols
Santorum sweep is as devastating a setback to Romney as any suffered by a candidate thus far. High expectations, totally unmet in #COcaucus

HuffingtonPost Huffington Post
Paul: "We should have a right to keep the fruits of all our labors" #cocaucus #mncaucus #moprimary

BrandonRittiman Brandon Rittiman
Turnout in #COcaucus on track to be slightly less than the 70k who turned out in '08. Less than 9% of reg'd GOP voters.

Alex_Shrugged Alex Johnson
@anneherbst RT @denverpost: WATCH: Romney gets glitter bombed at watch party in Denver (VIDEO): http://dpo.st/xsunHn #COcaucus #Colorado

NARALColorado NARAL Colorado
#Santorum contradicts #Colorado values! http://www.prochoicecolorado.org/news/press/201202071.shtml #CoPols #CoCaucus

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:38 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

So what's the total delegate count so far?
MR 94
RS 71
NG 29
RP 8
Huntsman! 2

A long way to go to 1144... shewt, bag on the CO caucus, I want to vote in the Marianas! Any way you look at it (Mitt's, Rick's or Newt's), we're going to need the Ryan's, Barbour's, and the Christie's to lead the "idea parade."

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 9, 2012 11:33 PM

February 7, 2012

She's Just not that into you, Mister President

Not sure her taste has improved that much, but:

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

Ask Senator Buck about that.

I must address the best argument of the Speaker Gingrich team, including the Speaker himself, who just delivered it on a robocall.

[SIDE TRACK: Is it not the greatest thing ever to be in a state still in play? My phone rings each hour with a survey, recording, operative, precinct member or something. I've done live telephone town halls with both Governor Christie (HOSS- NJ) and Speaker Gingrich. It rocks to be wooed.]

The Speaker notes he will challenge President Obama to x Lincoln-Douglas style debates, each lasting y hours. My blog brother yearns for a pugilistic campaign.

Obama will say "no" x times and the campaign will devolve to super PAC nonsense about the Speaker's background both real and imagined. Ain't gonna be no Lincoln-Douglas debates. They will sit in front of some PBS septuagenarian and have two minutes to address some CW question. Then they will go home.

Speaker Gingrich was lackluster in the last debate and claimed it was because Governor Romney was "fundamentally and [other adverb] dishonest." Good thing the President is the Paragon of Probity® then.

Sadly the campaign will be insubstantive (cf, Colorado Senate 2010) and Gingrich's advantage will not be usable.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:08 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I've been hanging my hopes not on debate(s) but on all the other opportunities Newt would have to offer a contrasting vision. Sadly, Barack's opportunities (and obfuscation) will certainly be greater. Along JK's line of attack, which I find persuasive, I also find this to be nearly conclusive.

Add the respected opinion of Jon Caldera who said this morning that Rick Santorum is a good man who just doesn't have the nationwide organization that will be necessary to win. "Ain't gonna happen" were I think his exact words.

Romney-Paul anyone? I'm leaning ever stronger toward the Texas congressman. Fitting, given my preference for western Republicanism to the eastern variety.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 2:33 PM

Colorado Caucus Study Notes

For those who haven't yet made up their mind who to vote for in the Colorado Caucus Presidental Preference Poll this evening, here are interviews with three of the four candidates from Monday's 'Caplis and Silverman Show' on Denver's KHOW radio.

Or maybe you've made up your mind and just aren't tired of this stuff yet. I thought the best of the three interview performances was Santorum's. If you only listen to one of them, make it his. If only I could picture him being taken seriously in a head-to-head with President Obama. His boyish good looks seem a bit of a handicap to me. Tell me I'm wrong.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:06 AM | Comments (10)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Forget ideas and substance - Santorem has neither the organization nor the resources to take on Obama head-to-head; it would be the junior varsity playing in the Super Bowl.

The Refugee maintains that Santorem is running for VP. There could be worse in that regard, but he does bring enough electoral swing to be viable. Rubio could deliver Florida for the Republicans, but Santorem could not deliver Pennsylvania at any level on the ticket.

There is still that small matter of electoral math.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 12:53 PM
But jk thinks:

My "blog pragmatist" nameplate goes to you. Can I still hit you up for a ride? You could pick it up tonight.

I agree that Senator Santorum is second-tier, but I don't see him out of the running. A couple big finishes and he could grab the non-Romney vote from a self-destructing...other guy. If nominated, he gets the GOP's resources and the evangelical ground troops that anyone is foolish to dismiss.

Not my guy but he has a knack for exceeding expectations while the others consistently come up way short. I have wondered, a few times, why I am not in his camp.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 1:07 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Probably because he's a Big Government Social Conservative who got pasted in his last election.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 7, 2012 4:18 PM
But dagny thinks:

After Santorum's speech with (mostly) the right ideas on Saturday night, I got one foot halfway into his camp until his brochure showed up on my doorstep last night. The pretty color brochure LEADS with his social conservative bona fides...defense of marriage and partial birth abortion bans and such. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of partial birth abortions. I just think that such horrifying and difficult decisions should be made by, women, families and doctors and NOT by governments.

Then there is this manufacturing tax thing. I am the accounting manager for a small manufacturing company. Did you know that Colorado already has a sales tax exemption for machinery and tools purchased for manufacturing in Colorado? The bureacracy and paperwrok involved in this one little exemption is enormous! It is a royal pain to document and collect. Much taxpayer money could be saved by eliminating the special exemption and firing all the associated beauracrats. On the federal level it would be even a disaster.

Sorry Mr. Santorum, you seem like a nice guy and all, but despite the nice speeches, I don't think you really get the idea of individual liberty. Rep. Paul for president!

Posted by: dagny at February 7, 2012 5:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes!

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 5:44 PM
But dagny thinks:

Whoops Typo, I meant, "even more of a disaster."

Posted by: dagny at February 7, 2012 5:47 PM

February 6, 2012

Reliable Answers

After months of searching for clues and answers in the Presidential Election contest I've finally found the authoritative website with the answer to all of our questions.

"Will Mitt Romney be elected America's next president?" Most likely

"Will Barack Obama be reelected as president?" Don't count on it


I feel better now.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:08 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Brings new meaning to the term "behind the 8-ball."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2012 4:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That's the good news. The bad news is that the RNC used Rock-Paper-Scissors to pick its candidates, except for Ron Paul, who merely needed to make his saving throw against insanity with twenty-sided dice.

You want games? We got games.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 6, 2012 4:38 PM

Two Minute Hate: Sen.Rick Santorum Edition

Christina Romer punctures the argument that manufacturers need special tax treatment. (Y'know, I work for a manufacturer and should probably check my love of liberty at the office door -- Go Rick! Yeah!)

A successful argument for a government manufacturing policy has to go beyond the feeling that it's better to produce "real things" than services. American consumers value health care and haircuts as much as washing machines and hair dryers. And our earnings from exporting architectural plans for a building in Shanghai are as real as those from exporting cars to Canada.

Is it just me (it can't be the shoes) but is it disturbing when a GOP Presidential candidate needs a lesson on the benefits of the free market from a U Cal-Berkeley professor and former Obama Administration official?

Hat-tip: Prof Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 1:48 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Romer has a good point. In the spirit of a recent Jon Caldera tweet - "Why not make all of Colorado an "enterprise zone?" - we should be asking, Why not give non-punitive tax treatment to all American businesses?

Yes, Rick is wrong on principle to advocate special treatment for certain businesses but, he is right to advocate rescuing American business from the ravages of the federal government.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 2:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's like Jack Kemp and his "Enterprise Zones" all over again, except this time, we're favoring particular lines of business instead of particular geographic sinkholes.

Speaking of geographic sinkholes, did you all have the same reaction to Clint Eastwood's "Halftime In Detroit" commercial during the game? I'm trying to decide if there was some other Detroit besides the one in Michigan that he was referring to, or if he was saying that a massive transfusion of bailout money to the UAW and the Volt was his idea of Americans Coming Together To Revitalize A Community.

Somewhere in the blue Pacific Ocean, there's a shark, saying "What was that? Was that Dirty Harry that just jumped over me?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 6, 2012 3:51 PM

February 5, 2012

Weld (CO) County Lincoln Day - Caucus Minus 72 hours

I feared that last night's ThreeSources Blogger Bash might be falling apart due to the substantial snowstorm we endured from Thursday through Saturday. But what snow taketh, snow giveth back. Blog brothers JK and BR traded places as BR's weekend plan was outdoors - in the mountains.

The night began with some contretemps and dirty looks as our assigned table had been swiped by a Mr. Bud Johnson and 7 other senior citizens. An honest mistake I suppose - I might also have confused the "table tent" sign reading "THREESOURCES.COM" for the one reading "Bud Johnson." They must have chewed and swallowed our sign so we made a replacement.

So after considerable hunting around we were awarded Bud's assigned table way to the side of the room. (I could see the speaker at the podium from behind the loudspeaker on the stage so it wasn't that bad.) I asked the nice young man who helped us find Bud's table to please let Mr. Johnson know we had found his table. I said that since they were our elders we would not ask them to move.

We had the last laugh though, I think, since ours was one of the tables Rick Santorum visited while pressing the flesh. We were the last table in our row but it was, after all, the front row. Rick was quite generous with his time, making leisurely visits to each table. He shook hands with several of us but he seemed to know better than to engage in conversation, and nobody I saw tried to. We all thanked him for coming.

Once we were settled we enjoyed a nice dinner, rolicking conversation and speeches from Rick Santorum and Cory Gardner. I'll discuss those in a separate post at some point but for now I'll refer you to Terri's excellent writeup on Santorum with another great photo. I didn't think he was as flat as she did but he could have done better. He was the best speaker of the night though and I thought he made a good case for the "doomsday" message he's been derided for in some quarters.

It was an excellent night. I was very happy to meet Terri and Nanobrewer in person and find out how much more we have in common than just political views.


Speaking of common views, before we entered the hall I decided to go visit with some demonstrators we saw on the sidewalk (and heard from across the street.) I chatted with three or four of them and would have liked to talk much longer. They were friendly and well spoken, although some of their signs were stereotypical of the #Occupy mentality's darker (egalitarian collectivist) side.

I was offered an "overturn Citizens United" petition to sign. Given my propensity of late, and considering the well-meaning young man (Josh, if I remember correctly) only had four signatures before me, I signed it. We talked about whether corporations should have the rights of people and I suggested that, like people, some corporations are good and some are bad. "When you talk about Wall Street I think corporations like Fidility Investments are good while Goldman Sachs is bad. The distinction is cronyism." They were like, "Yeah, that's right." To which I said, "See, that's the same point of view we have in the TEA Party." This was met with some skepticism. I'm sure If I'd stayed five minutes longer we'd have been in an argument about something. I didn't see the "ROBIN HOOD WAS ONE OF US" message on the 99% sign until I'd left - If I had we'd certainly have talked about that. But they encouraged me even more to attempt to bridge the gap, somehow, somewhere. I plan to spend some time on their website: occupygreeley.org. If I can get through or around the Marxism to connect with real people I think we can make progress together on common ideas. And I gave them our web address, twice, so maybe one or more of them will reach out to us as well.

Peace on, brothers!

UPDATE: Perhaps because I had so much fun talking to the demonstrators out front, dagny gave an interview to a local newspaper. (Not just a bunch of *bloggers* mind you.) The UNC campus newspaper The Mirror quotes her in the fourth paragraph:

"I'm glad we came," said Jodi Rinard, a member of the WCRP. "It's a great chance to discuss ideas. It's a great chance to discuss politics."

Well done dear! She told me she'd talked to them but the story wasn't in the online edition when I looked this morning. It's a pretty straight account of the themes Rick Santorum discussed. It soft pedals the importance Rick put upon repealing Obamacare saying only, "Once the people become dependent on the government for their health, there is nothing the government won't be able to control," Santorum said. Santorum contrasted the Romney and Gingrich records of "supporting an individual mandate at some point in their careers" with his "authorship of the law implementing Health Savings Accounts (HSA) 20 years ago. Rick also quoted Margaret Thatcher as saying Britain's NHS was the biggest obstacle to free-market government reform.

UPDATE: [2/20/12] Video of Rick Santorum's speech can be seen here.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:30 PM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A fine night indeed! Many thanks to JG and Dagny for organizing and driving the effort. It was great to meet NB and Terri. Mrs. Refugee has texted about everyone whom she knows with the picture of Rick Santorem and her. (However, she still plans to caucus for Newt.)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 5, 2012 10:24 PM
But Terri thinks:

I will second the "fine night" feeling.
Thank you all for the invite and ride. I spent the day in research and am now solidly leaning Santorum.
He doesn't strike me as a leader of men, but he does have the basics down pat.

I admire you Mr. Galt for reaching out. Perhaps one day a youtube video of you doing TaiChi in the midst of an occupation will go viral. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkW0bt-9kO8....it just makes me chuckle)

A joy to meet you all!

Posted by: Terri at February 5, 2012 11:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Looks grand! Thanks for the report and pictures. Maybe something in late spring...

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 11:34 AM

February 4, 2012

Tempt not ye the Deities...

The lovely bride and I will be safe at home this evening. Our two tickets to the Weld County GOP dinner and appearance by Senator Santorum are up for grabs (as are I think two others). Be our guest if you can make it to Greeley tonight. jk [at] threesources [dot] com.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | Comments (5)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, perhaps my 4-seater may be of service after all, since we may not need the minivan. I will still be going and @ the mustering point. However, as JK is the only one I've met.... I'll send back an eMail to make sure we have a way of ID'ing each other.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 4, 2012 12:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Shouldn't be hard: Johngalt is 7'3", bald, has an eye patch and walks with a limp. Dagny is 4'7" and always wears a long camo trenchcoat. Never met Terri -- that could be tough...

If you have any friends you'd like to bring, I'd love to see the tickets put to best use. (Happy to support WELDGOP, of course, whatever transpires).

Posted by: jk at February 4, 2012 12:51 PM
But Terri thinks:

I've been on the roads and they are not bad and getting better. I'll be there at the Starbucks at 5 with my little blue Subaru. I will be happy to drive if needed, though I would recommend not wearing too much black, lest you be covered in white dog hair.

Posted by: Terri at February 4, 2012 1:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Pleased to confirm that all four open seats have been filled. One even by a blog brother - Boulder Refugee. The DNC-DAWG induced snowstorm may slow us down, but it can't stop us!

News at eleven. (Or whenever.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 4, 2012 3:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Freshly shaved. Anybody seen my good eye patch?

Posted by: johngalt at February 4, 2012 4:44 PM

February 3, 2012

Who Will Carry the Reagan Mantle of Optimism?

Take it away, Rick!

Perhaps a bit of editorializing on the AP's part. But he provides material:

"Go back and read what the sirens did once you arrived on that island," Santorum warned students at Colorado Christian University this week, invoking mythology. "They devour you. They destroy you. They consume you."

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

Did I Mention that we are totally hosed?

I got on a live town-hall call with Gov. Christie (HOSS ALERT!) last night. That was cool and hearing his soothing joisey voice praising Gov. Romney was starting to help.

We did not get to my question "Governor, I'm a voter who could be pulled into the Governor's camp, but I am disturbed by the underlying philosophy, highlighted by the Wall Street Journal editorial this [Thursday] morning. Are indexed cap-gains taxes commensurate with free market capitalism?" But the final question -- from a woman in Aspen no less -- was similar and at least as tough.

I hung up thinking that, after the four other steps, I will make it to acceptance of Gov. Romney as the GOP nominee. Then I watched Kudlow & Co.

Joe Scarborough (R - MSNBC) of all people was a guest. And did the best destruction of Mitt I have ever heard. Start at 12:55 and go through "he probably thinks Hayek is the field goal kicker for the New England Patriots."

I turned to the lovely bride and said "we. are. so. totally. hosed."

Today, the WSJ brings worse news:

Serves us right. Yesterday we tried to defend, or at least explain, Mitt Romney's remark that he didn't worry about the poor because they had the government to help them. Then Mr. Romney tells the world he favors a rising minimum wage indexed for inflation that really would hurt the poor.

Mr. Romney reaffirmed his minimum-wage views to reporters as he tried to extricate himself from the controversy over his "poor" remarks. (See "What Mitt Really Meant," Feb. 2.) It was a classic political gotcha moment, and Mr. Romney's response was more troubling than his earlier marks.


Totally.

UPDATE: Piling on -- James Pethokoukis: Mitt Romney, meet Jack Kemp.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Fear not. Ann Coulter called and said everything will be all right. We just have to get used to Obamacare. And why not, since "Romneycare [is] a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles..."

(Her chicken and egg analysis fails to mention mandatory "treatment on demand" however.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 2:17 PM

February 2, 2012

A nice guy would not post this picture

No political or philisophical merit to this at all. Just a mean whack at the sincere people who feel that the Speaker would be the best choice to lead our nation away from the brink of Socialism. And -- if the first comment were not so good, I would have demurred:


Posted by John Kranz at 4:37 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Nazis!

Seriously though, "Big Brother?" If anything that cropped picture of what looks like a campaign bus carries a likeness more in keeping with the Wizard of Oz. "Pay no attention to that thrice-married man behind the TEA Party Rhetoric!"

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 5:45 PM

WWJD? Soak the Rich

President Obama addressed his third National Prayer Breakfast this morning. Given the setting a highly theological theme is expected, and the President did not disappoint:

"It's absolutely true that meeting these challenges requires sound decision-making, requires smart policies. We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can't dictate our response to every challenge we face.

But in my moments of prayer, I'm reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems, in keeping us going when we suffer setbacks, and opening our minds and our hearts to the needs of others."

Uh-oh. Here it comes. Open our minds, and our hearts, and ... taxpayers' wallets?

"But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that "for unto whom much is given, much shall be required." It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who've been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.

When I talk about giving every American a fair shot at opportunity, it's because I believe that when a young person can afford a college education, or someone who's been unemployed suddenly has a chance to retrain for a job and regain that sense of dignity and pride, and contributing to the community as well as supporting their families -- that helps us all prosper.

It means maybe that research lab on the cusp of a lifesaving discovery, or the company looking for skilled workers is going to do a little bit better, and we'll all do better as a consequence. It makes economic sense. But part of that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother's keeper and I am my sister's keeper; that as a country, we rise and fall together. I'm not an island. I'm not alone in my success. I succeed because others succeed with me."

Don't say the President implores us to personally address "the needs of others" for what he really wants is an electoral mandate to redistribute wealth from some individuals to "others" and to do so himself. And also don't say I didn't warn anyone who was listening.

Preaching to the choir here I s'pose, but when I heard the President of the United States say "that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother's keeper" I just couldn't let it pass without notice.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

You beat me to this and did it better.

It is a challenge to square the tenants of Christianity with the vicissitudes of the free market [Insert plug for Michael Novak's "Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" here). I would love to hear the GOP candidates react to this -- but am pretty sure we won't.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 3:41 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Brethren and Cistern: I generally tend to politely butt out of conversations on this subject here. However...

I've discussed Wallis and his ilk (McLaren, Bell, and several named Campolo) elsewhere; I'm hesitant to do so here, other than to point out that most within the church can tell you that the lot of them left the reservation long ago. Post-modernism and the Emerging Church are not so much faith, as they are collectivism and worldliness masquerading behind religious words. What faith Obama gives voice to is very much within that stream.

Squaring the tenets of Christianity with the free market aren't difficult - and aren't difficult to do consistently. I've done a sermon on Acts 5:4 that most readers here would applaud - and maybe add an Amen to. I'm right in the middle of free-market applications in Exodus, too. If you're interested.

Consider this quote: "I also consider that genuine, biblical Christianity is not an altruistic, collective religion, but one in which the individual is of infinite value, and the collective’s claim on the individual is limited, voluntary, and only valid where it is rational."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 2, 2012 5:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I would have you speak up more. I am intrigued.

I was going to retract the word "difficult" -- but want to keep it, just in a very literal sense. Not to say that it cannot be done but that the easier (lazy?) position is to accept "brother's keeper."

I've hawked that Novak book a hundred times on these pages. A good friend of this blog turned me onto it many years ago and it is a gem which I think about and apply constantly. Novak -- and you, brother Keith -- do the difficult work of a deeper reading and understanding.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 5:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I too absolutely welcome the full scope of your commentary KA. In fact, I've been informally trying to draw you out on such themes for some time now. Thanks for breaking silence.

You speak of "genuine, biblical Christianity." I wonder how many of our brothers and sisters, of every and no faith, even know such a thing exists, much less its differences with pop-Christianity. My contention has been that Christian leaders have long used altruism to the benefit of the church. The collectivists, knowing a good thing when they see it, were bound to co-opt it for their secular purposes.

I was surprised to learn of the true story of Robin Hood given the way it was twisted and distorted as a tool for egalitarians. I submit that honest, healthy Christian charity has suffered the same fate, becoming altruism and justifying the leader of the free world saying proudly and publicly, "I am my brother's keeper."

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 7:55 PM
But Terri thinks:

I'm confused. Didn't our President first say "We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can't dictate our response to every challenge we face."

Surely that means each of us gets to decide the amounts to give while talking it over with our own spiritual advisers or directly with God(s)....right? Right?!

Posted by: Terri at February 3, 2012 7:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

To your first paragraph, yes, that's what he said. But the only word in the sentence he really cares about is "dictate." This is his standard technique - first disarm the most likely counterpoint to what he is about to say and then say what you really mean. In this case: Unless you're a poor excuse for a Christian, you can't object when I take from you and give to "others."

To your second paragraph let me paraphrase brother hb: "You're kidding, right?" :)

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 2:05 PM

0:43 Hate: Speaker Gingrich Edition

James Pethokoukis is a little concerned:

My goal is to find steps for every American to have a job, every American to work, every American to be able to buy a house.

We could set up these GSEs see, and they could buy bundled mortgages with access to the US Treasury. Every American buys a house! What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage." Seems I've heard that before.

Added to that: and that garage part of a single-family residence, owned courtesy of the Community Redevelopment Act, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac...

What could go wrong?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 2, 2012 1:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The way James tells it, yeah, failure on stilts. But perhaps the Speaker has read JK's inaugural elevator talk. Perhaps everybody should.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 1:21 PM
But jk thinks:

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

Jimi P's tweet made it sound awful. Reading it in context, I have to admit it is part of a prosperity theme. AND YET -- "did he learn nothing?" is appropos. After Gingrich's entanglement with GSE's and the Tea Party mood toward gub'mint promotion of home ownership, I do not think a poorer example could have been chosen.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 1:31 PM

Two Minute Hate: Gov. Romney Edition

I'll admit it; I think Speaker Gingrich would make a terrible President. I think Gov. Romney would be a perfectly mediocre POTUS, but it does not matter because he is demonstrably the worst candidate since, well, his "brainwashed" Dad.

The wingnuts at the WSJ Ed Page take him to the woodshed for his "I don't give a rat's ass about those little street urchins! Are there no workhouses?" remark. Inartful to start with, they point out that there were excellent educational opportunities he missed for his walkback. But, Paul, Dan, and Stephen -- is there perhaps a larger mistake that we overlook?

Mr. Romney's larger mistake is to think and speak in "class" terms. He touts his concern for the "middle class" all the time, as if he's trying to show that a rich guy can identify with average Americans. But this is a game that Democrats play better, and it leads Mr. Romney into cul-de-sacs like saying the poor are fine because they benefit from government, while the middle class don't. Mr. Obama will turn this into an argument for hooking the middle class on more government.

Mr. Romney's failures to communicate are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts but haven't spent their lives thinking about politics. He also recently ran into trouble when he said he liked firing people, when he was really talking about the discipline of market competition.

Still, his business now is politics, and as the Republican front-runner he has an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address America's current problems. We'll be happy to translate for him in these columns, but it would be less politically painful if Mr. Romney sat down for a week-long tutorial with, say, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush and others who can help him avoid such obvious liberal traps.


Ron Paul 2012.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Newt Gingrich a terrible president? Perhaps. But not when compared to the current office holder. And the shine of his star brightens further when compared to a second term for 44. Ron Paul might be a less terrible president - if he could become president. When he starts polling above wehre Ross Perot finished, give me a call. In the meantime - GINGRICH/PAUL 2012. (Which Paul? Pickem.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 11:54 AM

February 1, 2012

On the Trail 2012

@amaeryllis leaks classified info:

Romney family Secret Service Codenames: Mitt - Beige; Ann - Ecru; Tagg - Cream; Matt - Khaki; Josh - Buff; Craig - Taupe; Ben - Other One

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If they did this with the Obama family, there would be Hell to pay in the public media.

That being said, my prurient curiosity is hankering to know what the First Family's codenames are.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 1, 2012 11:16 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Nevermind... I hate linking to HuffingPaint, but a Google search led me to this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/obama-family-secret-servi_n_142767.html

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 1, 2012 11:17 AM
But jk thinks:

Very cool. But aren't they supposed to be secret? Somebody might read Huffington Post.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2012 11:53 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sure, people might read it, but they'd never believe it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 12:08 PM

January 31, 2012

Another Appeal to Authority

Perhaps these are becoming counter-productive, but I see your Obama's Uncle and raise you Alan Freaking Reynolds! Including extra bonus David Stockman whacks. Oh man, it's like Easter and Christmas and my birthday all at once!

Newt Gingrich's alleged role in the development of supply-side economics sometimes looks like a deliberate distraction from deeper questions about why he claims to be more "conservative" than other candidates. Gingrich is the only candidate who repeatedly advocated federal legislation making health insurance compulsory. He has enthusiastically supported federal subsidies for ethanol and other green energy boondoggles. And he dismissed a thoughtful plan from Paul Ryan to slow the growth of entitlements as "right wing social engineering." Other candidates have their own faults. Romney seems hawkish for my taste, too prone to blaming our problems on China, and too harsh on immigration. But those are very common views among conservatives, arguably making Newt more moderate than Mitt in these respects.

For Newt Gingrich to toss out strikingly grandiose and obviously unworkable ideas about scrapping many taxes and slashing others is for him to reveal that he's far from moderate. But being immoderate is not the same as being conservative. And voicing flippant disregard for budget problems of the magnitude we face is not the same as being any sort of economist, supply-side or otherwise.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:43 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Cannot lie, the Speaker's speech was very very good tonight.

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2012 10:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had to wait 24 hours before commenting to see if I still felt the same way or if it was just "irrational exuberance." I emailed my family yesterday:

Did you hear Newt's speech? What did you think?

I thought it was great and signaled the real start of the presidential campaign: Newt or Romneybama, because if Newt (or Paul) doesn't win the nomination then nothing much will change. It will only be a question of how quickly they"manage the decline."

The replies were universally approbational and included this link to a video recording of the speech.

Today I sent Newt a hundred bucks. I hope dagny will forgive me.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 12:38 AM
But jk thinks:

He's got Trump's money now -- you shoulda kept Mister Franklin in your pocket! As I bled as much plus memorabilia orders into the Hunstman trough, I should probably keep quiet (saddened that I never got the T-Shirts).

But my friend, my brother, my compatriot: one good speech does not a candidacy make.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 10:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Ooooops - got caught believing Internet rumors again. It's Governor Romney that gets Trump's hair.

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2012 12:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

I forgive you for sending money to Newt. I don't forgive you for not telling me first. See what politics can do to people. Imagine what it must be like for James Carville and Mary Matalin.

Posted by: dagny at February 2, 2012 5:22 PM

The gig is up

The historical accounts of the 2012 Presidential election are already being written. From Steve McCann's 'The Republican Establishment's Strategic Blunder' in the American Thinker:

The one major accomplishment of Barack Obama has been to bring a sudden and abrupt end the people's ability to tolerate this tacitly understood game between the two major Parties.

(...)

All the other challengers were easily eliminated or made irrelevant, as they did not have the money or experience of knowing how the game is played, but Newt refused to just slink away. Never has the Republican Establishment trained its guns on any one candidate in such an unbridled and unrestrained way.

Perhaps Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul are not the right candidates to face Barack Obama, but that decision should be up to the voters. While it maybe the role of the conservative pundit class to proffer their opinions of the various candidates, it is not the role of the overall Establishment to so marginalize candidates that there appears to be only one viable alternative.

The Establishment could not have made a more strategic blunder. They will, in all likelihood, succeed in securing the nomination for Mitt Romney, but the damage they have inflicted upon themselves is approaching irreversible. The public now sees the length to which the Establishment will go to make certain their hand-picked candidate is chosen regardless of the dire circumstances facing the nation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:28 PM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I dunno. This really smacks of conspiracy theory. My assessment of conspiracies is that the theorists give way to much credit for intelligence to the conspirators.

It reminds me of when Gore and RFK Jr. blamed Bush for Katrina. Sure - a guy they claim to be to stupid to read a book somehow has God-like control over the weather.

Similarly here, the "GOP establishment" is too incompetant to organize a campaign, but somehow as the skills to do a Jedi mind-trick on the electorate.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 11:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm confused. What's the "conspiracy theory?" That negative campaign ads work or that "an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings" dominates national party politics?

Posted by: johngalt at February 1, 2012 2:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JG, you're a friend, so I'm happy to un-confuse you. :-)

First of all, the definition of "The Establishment": "an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings." Who in the polical debate does that NOT describe?!? We at Three Sources would love to control the government purse strings, if for no other reason than to tie a knot in them. Indeed, it is the disagreement over government gathering and use of funds that animates most of us.

Second, the idea that dozens or hundreds of prominant politicians - who can rarely agree on lunch - got together and derived a consensus and a grand strategy for electing a particular candidate seems highly implausible. The fact that a number of prominant politicians support a particular candidate does not mean that they got together and decided to do so, though no doubt many of the talk regularly.

Finally, "...it appears that those who are nominally identified as the "Republican Establishment" are doing all they can to alienate the vast majority of the current base of the Party." Seriously?? The party appartchik is sitting around dreaming up ways to piss off the "vast majority" of its base? Again, implausible. Moreover, how can they alienate the "vast majority" of the base and simultaneous convince them to vote for their chosen candidate?

This a sour-grapes theory to explain why Newt is losing to Romney. The truth is that while Romney may be deeply flawed, Newt is deeply, deeply flawed. Finally, just because a bunch of party insiders don't believe that Newt is electable doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 1, 2012 4:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

What he said. BR, that is...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 1, 2012 11:43 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

"Republican Establishment trained its guns"
in non-partisan, unelectioneering, bomb-catching plainspeak, people established (aka, whose opinions are sometimes sought) within the republican party exercised their right to free speech and called a Newt... well, whatever they thought he was.

The idea of Ann Coulter colluding with anyone behind a closed door is silly... until ... it becomes oddly disturbing >:-0

I caught a bit of the ads and speech from the FL campaign. I didn't find the selected Romney ad objectionable (and you'd think they'd picked a nasty one). A bit harsh perhaps, but way less harsh than Newt calling anyone else a Washington insider: that takes gall and a forked tongue well-used to the taste of bile.

Gall don't necessarily impress independent voters. I already can't stand listening to His Whineyness anymore.

P.S.: the prohibition on posting comments still afflicts NB; but only with FireFox.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 1, 2012 11:56 PM

The Trouble With Newt

Not a promising, conciliatory beginning, izzit? Portends poorly for the tenor of the whole piece...

We start, as James Pethokoukis did, with Art Laffer's (HOSS alert!) shining guest editorial on the Speaker's bold 15% flat tax plan.

Imagine what would happen to international capital flows if the U.S. went from the second highest business tax country in the world to one of the lowest. Low taxes along with all of America's other great attributes would precipitate a flood of new investment in this country as well as a quick repatriation of American funds held abroad. We would create more jobs than you could shake a stick at. And those jobs would be productive jobs, not make-work jobs like so many of Mr. Obama's stimulus jobs.

Sounds pretty good, huh? Well it is, and Jimi P likes it as well. Unfortunately...
If only Gingrich were as bold and specific when it came to cutting spending. Even Laffer admits in the op-ed that the Gingrich plan--despite faster economic growth--would be a revenue loser to the government. Now, that's not such a big deal if you also plan to slash the size of government. But Gingrich doesn't say what he would cut, aside from, dare I say it, grandiose projections like this one in his "21st Century Contract for America": [Hint: Six-sigma, baby! Waste, fraud and abuse!]

Sorry to be bellicose, but that is what a bass player I knew called "the crux of the biscuit." Government is going to be leaner and more efficient. It is going to do things you like and not things your lefty Facebook friends like.

But I want less government. I want government to do less. And I continue to believe in an existential threat if we continue down this road. And all the current GOP candidates except one will continue down this road in some fashion. Ergo, with some trepidation, I will be caucusing for Rep. Ron Paul. And I hope he wins the nomination and the general election.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:46 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

I think if he wins the nomination Ron Paul could win the general election. And I'm sure he would try even harder to cut government than Newt would, but I'm not sure he would be more successful. There's much to be said for a man's leadership ability, philosophical purity notwithstanding.

But the real reason Newt is promising the world in every local campaign and refraining from the "I'm gonna destroy things" rhetoric we all want to hear is that, quite simply, it's the way to win elections. Want proof? Where are Ron Paul's poll numbers?

The campaign will be long and multi-phased. The present phase is establishment v. laissez-faire, one versus two, Romney vs. Gingrich. Supporting Paul at this phase is to abdicate control to the establishment. Not that I like it - that's just the way the game is rigged to play out.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 2:55 PM
But jk thinks:

But Governor Romney and the Speaker are both establishment GOP figures, no matter how many times Speaker G claims he isn't.

I am reminded of Phil Gramm's adage: "How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four -- calling a tail a leg does not makei it one."

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2012 3:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Check your definition of "establishment." Experienced former leader in the party? Gingrich. Manchurian candidate of those currently pulling strings in the halls of power? Romney. Indeed, it is this insider experience that I believe gives Newt a much greater chance of successfully changing government than the now-and-always on the outside, Ron Paul.

Also consider this from Dr. Milton Wolf, cousin of President Obama:

Mr. Gingrich may be an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, as the former Alaska governor has said, but in truth, if you connect the dots between the ideals of the Reagan Revolution, Mr. Gingrich’s Republican Revolution and the Tea Party movement, you get a straight line. The GOP establishment is right to fear Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party, just as they once feared Ronald Reagan.
Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 3:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ha - that tail-versus-leg story goes back farther, to a different Republican entirely:

http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/05/23/lincoln-quote-sourced-calfs-tail-not-dogs-tail/

Back on topic, JG is right - Ron Paul could win the nomination, and the general. The Giants could beat the Patriots - that's why they make the teams actually play the game and not just make it a foregone conclusion based on odds. If they face each other enough times, even the Raiders can beat the Patriots. How many times out of a hundred that might happen is conjectural. Is Ron Paul to the election what the Raiders are to the Super Bowl? Perhaps November will tell us.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 31, 2012 3:23 PM

January 29, 2012

The latest from Sarah

Via Facebook.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

Click continue reading to see my comment to the FB thread.

My Comment:

There are 5 men in this country from whom we may now choose to be its next President. None are perfect and each has flaws for which some of us will "disqualify" him. I have disqualified ALL of them at one point or another. Ultimately, I believe, the greatest threat to America comes from Crony Capitalism - cozy personal and financial relationships between establishment politicians and CINO businessmen (Capitalists in Name Only.) Our greatest hope for ending bailouts is an electable Republican - Newt Gingrich. I trust Sarah and Michael and Nancy Reagan. They are great Americans. Romney is a nice guy with the wrong friends and backers: Republicans who give the brand a bad name. I don't oppose Romney so much as I oppose THEM. Watch this (especially after 21:30 mark): http://vimeo.com/35369616 Who am I? I am the TEA Party.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:34 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Jim Geraghty' "Morning Jolt" struck me as unusual. He was telling Republicans to listen to those who championed other candidates and not think that their guy is perfect. Funny, I've seen some disagreements, but our discussions have been more of a "My guy doesn't suck quite as bad as yours!" In that spirit...

I am not buying the Speaker's claim to disestablishmentarianism. (And, yes, I have wanted to use that word in a sentence for a long time). The Speaker is a wily politician and has looked for ways to capture the affection and passion of disaffected Tea Party voters. He therefore, pitches himself against "The GOP Establishment."

Did I mention that he was Speaker of the House?

You fault Governor Romney for his backers. Boo hiss, hate us some John McCain and Bob Dole! I don't think either the level of antipathy heaped on our previous nominees or the guilt by association of their endorsement is fair.

Yes, Governor Palin's almost-an-endorsement endorsement is a blue chip, as is The Herman Cain's more fulsome one. In the spirit of the moment, Cain even used two adverbs. But I am not holding Romney responsible for his backers -- I am actually quite keen on Governors Christie and Halley.

On FOX News Sunday, the Speaker was his disappointing self -- lashing out at Gov Romney as "Wall Street's Man!" and referencing "foreign" accounts. He backed off a chance to walk back the bitterness to say that Gov. Romney has the character to be President.

You've done a great job selling, brother, but I ain't buying. I lean toward Rep Ron Paul but might caucus for Romney. And who knows, I am hearing Senator Santorum speak this Saturday! (Hope his daughter is well.)

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2012 2:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If I might offer a clarification: By "backers" I don't mean the ones out front, putting their names on endorsements. I mean the financiers and, yes, "Wall Street Bankers" who backed those past candidates. And while we can like much about them, consider this from the "Red Meat" article I just linked.

This orderly process of selection does not succeed because the Republican establishment is a kind of omnipotent secret organization that meets every Tuesday in the bowels of the Chamber of Commerce to plot the fate of the GOP.

Rather, it is a loose network of Republican thinkers, politicians, lobbyists, staffers and journalists based in Washington who share common experiences — like being educated in the same ivory towers as liberals and having to answer to them at cocktail parties.

This is the best description I've ever seen of the Republican Establishment.

Whether they are liberal apologists, crony capitalists or agents of such, or merely just clueless - it is their judgement and leadership that has helped get America into this mess. And Mitt Romney is their candidate.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2012 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

FWIW, Jason Lewis agrees with you, saying "there's no ideological tug of war between Romney and Gingrich."

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2012 6:44 PM

January 27, 2012

Romney's "Establishment" Smoking Gun

While Bob Dole was endorsing Romney yesterday, former Reagan administration official Elliot Abrams loudly denounced Newt Gingrich's Reagan cred. Everyone remembers, right?

The best examples come from a famous floor statement Gingrich made on March 21, 1986. This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: "Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing. Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.”"

Context man, give me context! American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord, himself a former aide to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan, today writes of a former Gingrich foreign policy aide, Chris Scheve, and his dilligent work to keep the record correct.

That's right. Mr. Scheve, incensed at what he felt was a deliberate misrepresentation of his old boss by Abrams and the Romney forces, specifically of Gingrich's long ago March 21, 1986 "Special Order" speech on the floor of the House, and aware "that most of his [Abrams'] comments had to have been selectively taken from the special order" -- Scheve started digging. Since the Congressional Record for 1986 was difficult to obtain electronically, Scheve trekked to the George Mason Library to physically track down the March 21, 1986 edition of the Congressional Record. Locating it, copying and scanning, he was kind enough to send to me.

So now I've read the Gingrich speech that is the source of all the hoopla. All seven, fine print pages worth of it exactly as it appeared in its original form.

I can only say that what Elliott Abrams wrote in NRO about Newt Gingrich based on this long ago speech is not worthy of Elliott Abrams.

And here's the money quote:

• Abrams quotes Newt for saying in this speech that Reagan's policies towards the Soviets are "inadequate and will ultimately fail." This is shameful. Why? Here's what Newt said -- in full and in context:
"The fact is that George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Irving Kristol, and Jeane Kirkpatrick are right in pointing out the enormous gap between President Reagan's strong rhetoric, which is adequate, and his administration's weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail."

So he criticized Reagan's administration, not Reagan himself. Add to this the frequent reminders that "the establishment never trusted Reagan" and you start to see the bigger picture.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2012

Bob Dole Endorses Newt Gingrich

Well, not directly. He meant to endorse Mitt Romney. In a statment, the former Senator from Kansas said:

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich, but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich served as speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. Already in 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as speaker. But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when the writing was on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads, and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty ice-bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it.

In my opinion if we want to avoid an Obama landslide in November, Republicans should nominate Governor Romney as our standard bearer. He has the requisite experience in the public and private sectors. He would be a president we could have confidence in.

When Mitt Romney is endorsed by Senators Dole and McCain, arguably two of the weakest Republican nominees since Adlai Stevenson, it can only help the former Speaker.


UPDATE: Mea maxima culpa. The Refugee meant to say Thomas Dewey, not Adlai Stevenson. He regrets the error. (And should fact check himself from time to time.)

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 4:59 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

A perusal of the Drudge Report today reveals a full-court-press media carpet-bombing of Newt. A coincidence that all these stories come out at once? Sure.

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2012 5:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Stevenson?

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2012 6:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Lessee... Romney endorsements... George H.W. Bush, check... Bob Dole, check... John McCain, check...

The list, my friends, is now complete. Every living Republican who has LOST a general election for the Presidency now endorses Romney in his run for the Presidency.

What could go wrong?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 27, 2012 12:33 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Keith, that's just a function of having most of the establishment lined up behind him (ex: 77 members of congress vs. 11 for Newt).

I am desperately waiting for his I paid for this microphone! moment. Still, he'd be a better standard bearer for the GOP as it tries to take back Congress... and I don't think Newt will shut his trap (heh, make a great VP), 'cause someone has to hammer BHO on his record.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 27, 2012 2:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

HA! In Romney's case he probably really DID pay for that microphone! Come back nb, come back! Don't walk toward the establishment light! Take the red pill! It's not too late!

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 3:33 PM

Gravitas

Those of you who count Newt Gingrich's portliness as one of his many electoral handicaps, and I admit such a bias, may rest assured at least on this one count. In a lengthy and entertaining piece by RCP's Carl M. Cannon entitled Newt vs. Mitt: Can a Fat Man Beat a Thin Man? the author summarizes the social science:

Once again, the sexist double-standard manifested itself. Female "candidates" who carried excess weight were routinely devalued more than similarly girthed male candidates. But that wasn’t all. There was fascinating data about portly men: Overweight men -- but not truly obese men -- actually were judged more positively than thin ones. "Larger body size may be an asset for male candidates," Miller and Lundgren stated in a subsequent paper, postulating that this finding was not inconsistent with the gender bias they detected. "There is significant pressure for women in western society to be thin," they wrote, "but for men there is pressure to have muscle mass."


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee will not be quite so pejorative. He would gladly take Chris Christie, cheeseburgers and all.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 26, 2012 5:17 PM

Thousand Words

IndyStar.com:

Hat-tip: Run,Mitch,Run FaceBook page

Posted by John Kranz at 2:00 PM | Comments (0)

Corporations are not people!

After watching a large part of this David Stockman interview with Bill Moyers I'm about ready to adopt the dirty hippies #Occupy meme. When they villified "Wall Street" and "Greedy Corporations" I always had a mental image of Fidelity Investments and WalMart. But if I replace that with Goldman Sachs and General Electric I think we would agree on more than we differ.

This also magnifies my distrust of the GOP establishment and, by association, the Romney candidacy.

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:15 AM | Comments (12)
But jk thinks:

Made it through. Clearly I'm going to have to change brother jg's password. It's one thing to hack somebody's account for personal gain, but this character assassination borders on libel.

Okay, he doesn't like Jeff Immelt -- thus 50% as reliable as a broken clock.

What what what did you like? A constitutional amendment to keep corporate money out of politics -- a $100 limit on contributions? Government dictating the size, structure, and allowed transactions of banks (my largest disagreement with Gov Huntsman)? Or did you just dig the repudiation of Reagan's economic vision?

If I may quote In Living Color's "Men on Film" segement: "hated it!"

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2012 6:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, I came in at about 21:30 when I switched on PBS last night. Anything before that I'll defer to a future debate.

I liked the expose of GE's bailout and how it should have been done through a dilution of shareholder value and not by a FED bailout.

I liked the assertion, "Free markets are not free. They've been bought and paid for by large financial institutions."

I liked the identification of the "entitled class" of "Wall Street financiers and corporate CEOs" who "believe the government is there to do whatever is necessary ... whatever it takes to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward."

And most of all, I appreciated Stockman's correction that "it is important to put the word crony capitalism on there, because free-market capitalism is a different thing. True free-market capitalists never go to Washington with their hand out. True free-market capitalists running a bank do not expect that whenever they make a mistake or whenever they get themselves too leveraged, or they end up with too many risky assets that don't work out, they don't expect to be able to go to the Federal Reserve and get some cheap or free money and go on as before. They expect consequences, maybe even failure of their firm. Certainly loss of their bonuses, maybe loss of their jobs. So we don't have free-market capitalism left in this country anymore, we have everyone believing that if they can hire the right lobbyists, raise enough political action committee money, spend enough time prowling the halls of the Senate and the House and the office buildings arguing for the benefit of their narrow parochial interests then that is the way things will work out. That's crony capitalism and it's very dangerous. It seems to be becoming more embedded in our system."

What's not to like with any of this? We can argue about causes and solutions, but can we agree on this particular problem?

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2012 7:40 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee listened to all 34 scintillating minutes and can't quite see what sent JK 'round the bend. Yes, Moyers is an insufferable nincompoop, but we knew that going in. The irony, of course, is that the far left and the fiscal right have finally found common ground in deploring crony capitalism.

The most objectionable part of Stockman's comments was his assertion that we need to change the First Amendment to deny corporations the right to lobby and give political contributions. (Why corporations should be muzzled but not unions or enviros remains a mystery.) Nevertheless, his comments against crony capitalism and in support of pure capitalism seemed to make a lot of sense.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 26, 2012 9:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, at least our ratings are up. I got an email from a good friend of the blog who is enjoying this argument very much.

You know, brothers, Governor Howard Dean doesn't like bailouts and crony capitalism either. I'm sure I can find a clip of his discussing it with Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Rachel Maddow. I'll post it and we'll all agree how very swell it is.

I do not trust either of these men. Both have done extreme damage to this great nation and our concept of liberty and personal achievement. Just because we all agree Jeff Immelt is a dickhead, I am not going to embrace them.

When Stockman longs for the Republican Party of his youth, he is longing for Eisenhower and Ford. Moyers, of course, never came to grips with the idea of a Democrat Party without LBJ.

"Free markets aren't really free" does sound like ThreeSources and I'm sure he'd like to sell us each a copy of his book. But when it comes from a guy who wants to dictate banks' size and business practice, propose extreme campaign finance rules, and has an, ahem, history of government expansion -- I do not accept that he is now calling for lasseiz faire.

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2012 10:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I must say my first reaction to this recording was one of excitement over the fact that it could lead to a bridge between left and right so wide and so strong as to absolutely overpower the entrenched crony establishment with a popular laissez-faire revolution. After a second viewing I remain hopeful, and as long as my password continues to function I will strive to advance the topic. (Yes, I know yer just joking about yanking it.)

Let me ask that we seek a point of agreement before we debate whether Stockman is the GOP antichrist or Phil Gramm precipitated TARP. I'm sure we're all on board with "crony capitalism is very dangerous" so how about, this:

When the net worth of a collection of six financial services conglomerations and their six boards of directors approaches the annual GDP of the entire United States private sector, and the members of those boards of directors have unprecedented influence throughout the depth and breadth of the federal government, our principled free-speech rules may no longer be sufficient for preventing this "entitled class" from manipulating the government for their own narrow interests to the detriment of individual liberty and property, particularly in a mixed economic system with fiat currency.

In my youth, "Ma Bell" was deemed "too big" and was broken up. Today, "Wall Street" is deemed "too big to fail" and is instead propped up - by devaluing the net worth of every dollar-denominated individual. Cui bono?

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2012 12:44 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

While The Bad Guys and Three Sourcers can agree that crony capitalism is bad, our reasons for believing so are very different. The Bad Guys view capitalism, in toto, as undesireable. Thus, anything that props it up in any form is a bad thing. Three Sourcers, on the other hand, view crony capitalism as a misuse of taxpayer funds, misallocation of resources and questionable ethics. Because The Bad Guys believe that all things good emanate from the government, when crony capitalism falls capitalism will fall with it. Three Sourcers believe the opposite, and that a lack of crony capitalism will lead to better allocation of resources and therefore economic expansion. Thus, we are willing to accept this deal with The Bad Guys (all other things being equal).

We don't have to embrace them, we just have to outmaneuver them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 27, 2012 12:46 PM

January 25, 2012

Jobs vs. Environment

Thousands of loggers lost their jobs in the American Northwest because of dubious claims about wiping out the last of the spotted owls. This is just one example of environmental extremists' non-linear cost benefit analysis doing irreparable harm to the livelihoods of American workers.

The latest glaring example of this is TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Pipeline project. Despite the safety record showing pipelines to be the "safest, most efficient and economical way" to move the natural resource called crude oil, environmental activists have chosen spill hazards as the primary reason to oppose private construction of the new pipeline. But America is already criss-crossed by 55,000 miles of oil pipelines, many of which are small, old and in disrepair. And the spill rate [pg. 9] for those lines is 0.00109 incidents (spill of 50 bbl or more) per mile per year. That calculates to 60 spills every year. The estimated spill rate for the modern new Keystone XL [pg. 10] is 0.186 spills per year, anywhere over its entire 1371 mile length. (.000136 incidents per mile per year)

So the question every American voter should ask himself is, would I quit my job and ask 19,999 of my neighbors to quit theirs in order to avoid increasing the pipeline spill incident rate by 0.3 percent? (And have you even noticed any of the sixty-odd spills that already happen each year?)

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:57 PM | Comments (1)
But J thinks:

"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief. - Frantz Fanon

Three Sources should consider re-branding to "Three Sources of Cognitive Dissonance" ;-) Rationalize, ignore and deny anything that does not fit within your core beliefs. Spotted owls, fracking, deforestation, pollution, environmental degradation and job loss included. Cheers! ;-)

Posted by: J at August 8, 2012 5:22 PM

Thus Spake Sarah Palin

It seemed like a big deal last Wednesday when Sarah Palin said if she were a South Carolina voter she would vote for Newt to keep the nomination contest going a while longer. In retrospect, big deal is a giant understatement. Weekly Standard:

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, Newt Gingrich now enjoys the support of 52 percent of Tea Party voters, and his huge advantage among such voters has vaulted him into the national lead in the GOP presidential race. The poll was taken yesterday, two days after Gingrich's win in the South Carolina primary, and it shows the former speaker leading Mitt Romney by an overall margin of 7 percentage points -- 35 to 28 percent. That result marks a 10-point swing between the two candidates from six days earlier, when Romney led Gingrich by 3 points in Rasmussen's polling (30 to 27 percent), and a 20-point swing from 19 days earlier, when Romney led Gingrich by 13 points (29 to 16 percent).

(...)

No doubt buoyed in part by the recent near-endorsement of Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin -- as well as that of Allen West (R., Fla.) -- Gingrich's level of support among Tea Party voters has risen from 24 percent shortly after Iowa (at which point he was tied with Romney among such voters), to 39 percent last Tuesday, to 52 percent in current polling.


Posted by JohnGalt at 12:27 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I'll award the full ten points for the title.

But I think (and hope) that you overestimate Governor Griz's influence. The Speaker helped himself with very strong debate performances and abandoning his attacks on Capitalism. Governor R did himself no favors with the unforced error on his tax returns.

A good friend worries that his lefty friends are right, er correct, in suggesting the Republicans really have been taken over by the crazies. Exhibit A was Gov. Palin's oversized influence.

Y'all will be glad to hear I protested, and I understand there is more demand for unabashed free voices than supply. But we desperately need a more intellectual voice.

Like Governor Mitch Daniels -- whom I swear is the embodiment of our nation's greatest President: "Silent Cal" Coolidge!

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 10:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Good feedback and I mostly agree. (I said "mostly.")

First I'll caution against discounting Ms. Palin's intellect. It plays into a lefty meme that anyone with a regional accent and a faith tradition (and heaven help them if they like motorsports of any kind) is an uninformed dope.

Second, I believe the electorate hungers more for someone with the energy and determination to fight and win an aggressive campaign. "Intellectualism" per se is greatly overrated. Enthusiasm is a major factor holding Romney back and, I'll bait you again, Mitch Daniels registers even lower on that count. I agree with you that Newt largely made his own success but I can't ignore the perception that TEA Party voters, after test driving almost every model on the lot, were just waiting for a sign to coalesce around one of them.

(Let them try calling me a rube after using 'coalesce' in a sentence. It's French ... ain't it?)

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2012 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Dude! You're quoting Nietzsche on a right wing blog -- you be an intellectyual giant!

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 12:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Agree to a point of the Gov: she's much smartier than her lefty critics admit. But is she as smart as her righty fans believe? I suspect not.

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2012 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe Sarah Palin is as smart as:
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Tim Geithner
Tim Pawlenty
Mitch Daniels
You know, "politicians."

And:
David Gregory
Katie Couric
Christiane Ammanpour
Brian Williams
Juan Williams
You know, "left-wing populism editorialists."

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2012 2:56 PM

January 24, 2012

SOTUPlatitudes

That's the working name for my new drinking game and boy, am I hammered.

Thanks to the boys at Real Clear Politics here are the transcripts:

Full Text of Obama's Speech

Daniels: State of Union Is Grave

No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others.

As in previous moments of national danger, we Americans are all in the same boat. If we drift, quarreling and paralyzed, over a Niagara of debt, we will all suffer, regardless of income, race, gender, or other category. If we fail to shift to a pro-jobs, pro- growth economic policy, there'll never be enough public revenue to pay for our safety net, national security, or whatever size government we decide to have.

As a loyal opposition, who put patriotism and national success ahead of party or ideology or any self-interest, we say that anyone who will join us in the cause of growth and solvency is our ally, and our friend. We will speak the language of unity. Let us rebuild our finances, and the safety net, and reopen the door to the stairway upward; any other disagreements we may have can wait.

The speech itself was excellent, and the delivery by Indiana's Governor Daniels had the added benefit of making Mitt Romney sound, by comparison, like a dynamo.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Otequay of the Ayday

A fun quote from a just as fun column:

All the organization and money in the world can’t force folks to vote for you if they don’t want to, and now that Newt’s inoculated himself against further Super PAC attack ads and renegade ex-wives, it’s unlikely that Romney can carpet-bomb him as effectively as he did in Iowa. Newt’s now like one of those nuked Japanese film creatures that not only was not destroyed but is back, bigger, badder and more cheesed off than ever. -- NRO Michael Walsh

Read on to find analogies to the Battle of Gettysburg (primary election) and the boxer vs. the puncher (general election.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Excellent. If I may tag on, as you link to The Corner, I share a description on its Ten Year Anniversary from Jonah:

The basic idea was for us to have arguments. Friendly arguments. Not just about politics and philosophy but about TV shows, sports, and the best kind of cocktail nut (cashews, obviously). The Corner was about disproving the claim of "epistemic closure" on the right before anybody ever thought to use the phrase. A couple times the arguments got testy. But for the most part we stayed pretty close to the ideal of showing those who cared to pay attention that conservatives could disagree about all sorts of things and that we had interests outside of partisan politics. Personally, I’d like to see it get back to some of the arguments of yore.

Just sayin'...

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2012 3:57 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... like one of those nuked Japanese film creatures that was only not destroyes but is back, bigger, badder, and more cheesed off than ever"? Newt?

Cue the Cult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7gFlSGXt_k

Each Not-Romney who had a surge did so because, for the duration their candle burned, a bunch of people believed that he would fight against Washington for them. If Newt can convince people that he is to Obama what the Kaiju Gojira was to downtown Tokyo, I'm willing to listen.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 24, 2012 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Of course, you're right. I had nearly forgotten. From last May, Newtzilla. CRANK IT UP!

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Whoops. "This video has been removed by the user."

Maybe Team Newt finally has the resources to scrub the web for him, although I thought it was promotional for him. I also noticed that the newtgingrich.com problem has been taken care of.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:11 PM

But What About His Opponent?

The establishment GOP punditry has been dutifully besmirching Newt Gingrich as "radical" and "erratic." Too much so, they say, to be elected president much less hold the office. But what about the other guy? IBD's editorial page appreciates the way that Newt goes about reminding the media, and the voters, who that guy in the Oval Office really is.

Alinsky's radicalism despises capitalism, entrepreneurship, individualism and, most of all, American exceptionalism. It is the genesis of Obama's demonization of the successful and his passion for the redistribution but not the creation of wealth. It's at the heart of his ongoing apology tour where he tells the world we are sorry for acting like we are mankind's last best hope for mankind, a belief Newt Gingrich shares with President Ronald Reagan.

Obama's is the belief system that Newt Gingrich told NBC's David Gregory, "is fundamentally different from probably 80% of this country." That would be a comfortable electoral majority, would it not? Does Mitt Romney even know how to pronounce "Alinsky?"

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:27 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Exhibit 1: The latest Romney tweet-

Mitt Romney @MittRomney This President's agenda made these troubled times last longer. He made it harder for the economy to recover http://obamaisntworking.com

Memorable, eh? I can smell the formaldehyde from here.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 4:15 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The former governor can certainly turn a phrase.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 24, 2012 10:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It reads like he took a normal sentence and ran it through a software algorithm designed to lower the grade level of the speech. Maybe he's trying to "connect with the folks."

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 11:40 PM

Makes ThreeSources Look Cheerful!

<understatement>Bret Stephens is a little down in the dumps</understatement>

In The GOP Deserves to Lose, he makes our commentariat look energized and enthusiastic. You'll want to read the whole thing, but the ThreeSources Style Guide dictates that I excerpt. Where to start? Where to stop?

As for the current GOP field, it's like confronting a terminal diagnosis. There may be an apparent range of treatments: conventional (Romney), experimental (Gingrich), homeopathic (Paul) or prayerful (Santorum). But none will avail you in the end. Just try to exit laughing.

Getting a taste?
Finally, there are the men not in the field: Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour. This was the GOP A-Team, the guys who should have showed up to the first debate but didn't because running for president is hard and the spouses were reluctant. Nothing commends them for it. If this election is as important as they all say it is, they had a duty to step up. Abraham Lincoln did not shy from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If Mr. Obama wins in November--or, rather, when he does--the failure will lie as heavily on their shoulders as it will with the nominee.

"Cheer up, Brian!"

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sadly, he seems to be spot on.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 24, 2012 7:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My take was that those guys probably just didn't want their mistresses outed. I wasn't gonna say nuthin', then br chimed in.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 8:05 PM

Quote of the Day

A lot of viewers were expecting Gladiator Newt to burst upon the stage, unsheath his sword, behead a moderator or two, hurl the decapitated-anchor noggin into the audience and bellow, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?" But this was a comparably subdued Newt. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2012

Conservatism Won't Sit in the Back of the Bus

The WSJ Ed page analysis of The Gingrich Challenge is 20/20. If Romney can't beat Gingrich he probably can't beat Obama, and if Gingrich doesn't discipline himself, stay on message, and broaden his appeal then he won't succeed either.

The Republican nominee will have to make a sustained and specific case that Mr. Obama's policies made the recovery weaker than it should have been (stimulus, health care), squandered resources on political boondoggles (Solyndra), and how and why GOP policies will do better. Mr. Romney's 59 economic proposals are fine but forgettable little ideas. He needs a big idea.

Gingrich has been talking about these big ideas. However...

Mr. Gingrich will also eventually need a more inclusive message than he is now offering. He made a stab at it in his South Carolina victory remarks by mentioning the strengths of his competitors. His bow to Mr. Paul's "sound money" platform was especially shrewd, but then he kept talking and talking in his familiar undisciplined fashion.

(...)

He needs to practice the politics of addition with independents and nonconservatives.

The TEA Party is dead, they say? Not so quick. But remember it's the message, not the messenger, that we will reward.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Listening to a few of Hugh Hewitt's callers tonight led me to the insight that Newt's biggest appeal is to those who want to see someone who can "Sock it to Him" (so to speak). The dramatic reversal from the polls to the result in SC must have quite a bit to do with his retort over Marianne's interview.

I understand this appeal to conservatives and ... well, hell... anyone with working synapses sick of the abominations that emanate from the chattering class in this Obamanation. Besides, a negative campaign is easier to map out.

Yo', I say, to said synapses: how does this get us the independents? I think it a bad idea to engage in sucker punch campaign with a media-backed, immoral, Chicago politician whose got a $B+ war chest and the executive branch ready and willing to lay mines, false trails and trip wires. So much for easy map-making.

I think we need a more positive message than Newt is able to deliver, and let Obama slink into the gutter.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 23, 2012 11:41 PM

On Liberty (now he thinks he's JS Mill!)

What a great weekend for blogging and, pari passu, a rotten weekend for getting other stuff done.

The discussion of the GOP race was thoughtful and fun and spirited and serious -- everything I love. With several threads going, I risk another to address a direct statement: "So what you're saying is, Newt doesn't love liberty."

Yes. I am saying that at the bottom of the Speaker's [adjective], [adjective] heart is a Teddy-Rooseveltian desire to wield the levers of government to do great things. As Professor Reynolds would say, "What could possibly go wrong?"

I back this scurrilous charge with the Speaker's support for ethanol subsidies, and his lobbying-but-not-really-lobbying for Freddie Mac and previous support of the GSE model.

If we need a man to school Juan Williams and John King, by all means. If we need a consistent voice for liberty, then we should vote for...ummm...wait a minute...it'll come to me...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

There's a distinct possibility we need to lower the bar on ideology just as SC voters were willing to do on marital success. In his State of the Union speech tomorrow President Obama intends to explain how he will Return to America's Values [Like slavery and "Robber Barons" no doubt.]

"We can go in two directions. One is towards less opportunity and less fairness," Obama said in the video, which was released by his reelection campaign. "Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few. On Tuesday night, I'm going to talk about how we'll get there."

We all know that Obama's prescriptions will have the opposite effect than the universally popular goals he claims to champion. Newt can effectively counter this. Mitt has not yet demonstrated that skill. And even if he eventually does so, how effective will it be for one of the "wealthy few" to explain how he's going to end protections for the "wealthy few?"

I think I could find where br'er jk wrote "liberty is not on the menu" in recent weeks or months. To some extent I agree, but I'll also add that the menu is offering collectivism writ large. The GOP must make certain that American's don't decide to see what it tastes like. The "American Values" that President Obama speaks of are those of the Great Depression.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 12:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank blog brothers nb and br for their hearty contributions to the blog's nomination struggle discussion. Those of us planning to caucus in Colorado on February 7 appreciate the active dialog. I'm still hopeful we'll all reach agreement by then. I fear that jk and dagny may stick with Shaun Doll as a protest/platform-shaping exercise but I won't give up on them!

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 3:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Mark Steyn tees off on "The Man Who Gave us Newt."

Why is the stump speech so awful? "I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love." Mitt paid some guy to write this insipid pap. And he paid others to approve it. Not only is it bland and generic, it's lethal to him in a way that it wouldn't be to Gingrich or Perry or Bachmann or Paul because it plays to his caricature -- as a synthetic, stage-managed hollow man of no fixed beliefs. And, when Ron Paul's going on about "fiat money" and Newt's brimming with specifics on everything (he was great on the pipeline last night), Mitt's generalities are awfully condescending: The finely calibrated inoffensiveness is kind of offensive.

Didn't want to just do two-minute-hate, but I think Steyn -- who knows stagecraft -- is on to something. Governor Romney didn't have a bone for the Tea Partiers, didn't have a defense for Capitalism and didn't have answers for the most obvious opposition.

Irritating, I want to be all pragmatic and fall into line, really I do. And I'll cede Brother nb's point that the gov is a good guy, with integrity and character and intellect.

But Senator McCain had his war record and a dozen speeches that brought me to tears. Leader Dole had a superb wit and a consistent message of "a 15% tax cut." I see nothing better in the Gov. After all, I'm a pretty good guy...

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 3:39 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Mmm-hmm, and lots of good guys finish last. So, it sounds like you're suggesting Romney may be underestimating the intelligence of the independent voter...

After reading "Gingrich Challenge" article (and more comments here) I must say I didn't realize Romney's long game was as weak as his ground game was strong.

SC voters have forced a confrontation. Perhaps Romney will now step up his game and Newt tone his down a bit?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 24, 2012 12:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

YES. That is exactly what Rush Limbaugh suggested yesterday. He called Gingrich a "vessel for conservative ideas." Primary voters are rewarding him for his message and discounting his personal history. Every other candidate is free to follow his lead. Who knows, maybe one of them will do a better job of carrying the flag.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 2:15 PM

January 22, 2012

Rick! The Pragmatists' Choice

Note the possessive plural; I have been out-pragmated, Big time.

I appreciate the good words about Governor Romney. They are indeed palliative. But take a little walk with me (anybody read Issacson's Stove Jobs book? Five stars!) If your number one goal is defeating the President, isn't your best choice Senator Santorum?

The guy drives me nuts and has anchored the bottom of my list since Rep. Bachmann left the race. But somebody suggested that this is a time to be positive.

  • Articulates Free Market Principles. This has indeed been a nice surprise. He quietly and convincingly keeps making the case in interviews and debates. Now I think his manufacturers' tax break and his family engineering contravene those positions -- but there's been worse and he has a good story for each.
  • Evangelical Electoral Power. Libertarians love to talk, evangelicals vote. And give money. And walk precincts. And call their friends. And go GOTV. And serve as election judges. They put George W. Bush in the White House two times. Why not put them to work?
  • "Reagan Democrats." That's his spiel -- but is there not underlying truth? Middle class, Catholic kid. Grandson of a coal miner (never tire of hearing that one -- you?). Neither Gordon Gekko nor Long Dong Silver nor Crazy Uncle Wilfred. He loses Colorado which may be hopeless, but he puts Pennsylvania in play and pulls Ohio into the Red.

Don't know that I am riding on the Rick Bandwagon, but as we settle down to pragmatic choices of imperfect candidates, we should not leave anyone out.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (8)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.

"That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture."

Rick Santorum apparently never heard of the "culture" that founded this country. He never heard of Thomas Jefferson. "Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."

To hell with him and his ilk. The devil can't drag him down to damnation soon enough.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 22, 2012 5:18 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@Perry;
I'm more careful about allow textual snippets to over-confine or define anyone. It is good to remind TS'ers that he is a SiC, he is all that.

I'd also like to hear someone clarify his economic model (so far, I'm underwhelmed), but I don't think he'll be able to defend it the way the Romney-Baron could. What's his background? I really don't care anymore what his grandpa did over Romney's or Gingrich's.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 23, 2012 1:15 AM
But jk thinks:

Do youse guyz watch "The Journal Editorial Report" on weekends on FOXNews? It's a great reason for the continued existence of the network.

Dorothy Rabinowitz took jg's side, Paul Gigot reminded that California and New York are lost -- doesn't matter if he loses worse.

The GOP has had an official pro-life plank in the platform for some time. I can support that on a national level as I am a pro-choice squish but Federalism absolute. Even Lawn Crawl is anti-abortion.

Santorum has pushed -- surprisingly eloquently on some occasions -- for a flatter, fairer tax. Two rates for income, 15 for cap gains and dividends. All real good, until... He wants 0% taxes on manufacturers so he can <strike>pander to populists</strike> keep a strong manufacturing base and provide jobs for American workers.

He'd also jack up the child tax credits. A bit of right-wing social engineering, but we're going to need more youg'uns to pay off this massive debt, umm, that will be enlarged by these special exemptions for the , umm, never mind.

I'm of course yanking everybody's chain. I am not seriously considering Senator Sweatervest. But I could make as good an argument for him as for any of the others, and if "electability" rises to the top, a better one.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 10:57 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No, I'm not trying to have the last word on every thread - honestly.

The GOP has had a "pro-life" plank for as long as I can remember. And yet, nothing has changed. One can be forgiven for expecting a President Santorum to make this the purpose of his presidency. And one should certainly expect the Democrats to try convincing voters of this. For Rick Santorum I'll stand by my prediction of "maybe less even" general election success than Shaun Doll.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 11:54 AM
But jk thinks:

On queue: Senator Santorum has a rousing pro-life piece on the WSJ Ed Page today, marking the 40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 1:20 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

So put simply, Santorum will let you think you're "free" because your taxes are reduced, but he wants to control how you dispose of your property.

We don't need to overcomplicate things. I never paid attention to what his forefathers said or did -- I take him for what he's said and done. It is unforgivable to attack, or at the very least forget, the very individualism that built this country from wilderness.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 23, 2012 10:42 PM

January 21, 2012

"When the Horse Dies, Dismount"

It's primary election day in South Carolina so I write this not to lobby for a candidate, but to defend his character and that of millions of men who, like him, experienced divorce from a wife.

This issue is a minefield of conflicting opinions and values but I think all would agree that people who divorce, more often than not, disagree on the root cause. As Taranto summarizes, Marianne told Brian Ross (with prompting) "Oh, he was asking to have an open marriage and I refused." Taken with her claim that he first asked for a divorce Taranto sees an important distinction:

In either case, there is an enormous difference between offering such an arrangement as a "compromise" to a spouse who does not wish to divorce, which is what Mr. Gingrich appears to have done, and flat-out asking for an open marriage.

This was my surmise even before reading of the details. "When she refused to divorce he probably said something like, 'What, do you just want to continue a marriage in name only?" He was determined not to be kept in servitude to a marriage that had died 12 years earlier. Taranto continues:

There is also evidence that the Gingriches' marriage had been troubled for years before the split. National Review's Robert Costa notes a 1999 Associated Press report on their separation, which revealed some background:

Documents related to the divorce filed Friday in Cobb County Superior Court include a separation agreement signed by the couple and notarized in December 1987. There is no indication it was ever filed.

Browning said Marianne Gingrich called her husband on his birthday in June 1987 to tell him she was leaving him. Gingrich, he said, came back to Georgia to find his home emptied out.
Browning said the pair maintained separate residences for six years before reconciling in late 1993 or early 1994.

There's no way to know who was at fault in the first separation, and while it is not in dispute that Mr. Gingrich committed adultery before the actual divorce, the 1987 story leads one to wonder if he was completely to blame for the ultimate breakup.

Newt and Marriane reportedly married in 1981 and just six years later, Marianne moved out taking everything but a television and a guest bed. In retrospect I'm sure Newt regrets not finalizing a legal split with his estranged wife in less than the 12 years it ultimately took, but only a bitter shrew would maintain that he owed any matrimonial duty to her during that time.

And what of the 6 years they were married? It's apparent to me it was a bad match from the beginning. If either is guilty of anything it is first and foremost poor judgment in marrying to begin with.

Now can we get back to the 100% of GDP national debt, economy-wrecking taxation and regulation, evisceration of our military and national security secrets and Euro-socialization of American society? By all accounts Newt, Mitt, Rick, Ron, Rick, Jon, Michele, Gary, Herman and Tim are all now happily married. Thank you very much.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:44 AM | Comments (3)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I am happy to see SC voters not take the 'treat' offered by ABC, tho' as you all have figured out I disagree with their choice (perhaps I can view it as a bitch-slap to the MSM?).

Here's why: character. I don't fault Newt for divorce 1 or 2, but note that I grant credit to those who make sound choices that don't require annulment. I agree with Taranto that Marianne's allegations weren't sordid or defaming. What was defaming was Newt's response: calling her a liar and to shut up (brother JG will correct me if I cited the record poorly). Didn't he tearfully claim to have done her wrong and beg for forgiveness once upon a time?

#2: anybody remember when his entire campaign staff quit? How many successful presidents suffer mass resignations?
#3: lobbyist-cum consultant for Fan/Fred
#4: lack of endorsements from the people with whom he enacted the Contract with America... have any former congressmen or women endorsed him?

@JK "The real battle now turns to the Senate. If we can send a few more Tea Party GOP Senators"

Yup, and a bumbling, shrill, (heh, I can add "two-timing") scold will not aid this. Newt is not the leader anymore. While I was interested and intrigued as to what sort of policy and platform changes the Huntsman and/or Paul delegates might have gotten from a Romney-elect, I shudder to think what Newt would ask for.... I really do.

JK: don't forget Rand Paul! He'd be one of my top picks for VP, if anyone asked....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 21, 2012 10:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Called that one Last October and would lose my mind with delight if it happened.

Not really betting on it mind you...

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"May he who is without divorce cast the first stone."

The response I heard, from Newt's own lips, was "The story is false." I'd like to see the citation where he told her to "shut up" and said she is a "liar." That would be newsworthy, I'd think.

South Carolina voters had every opportunity to take the more upstanding non-Romney in Santorum instead of Newt. Rick was, in fact, almost banking it. They made Rick an also ran./a> I wonder why?

Gingrich's past sins – his ethics charges, $1.6 million in controversial payments from the bankrupted Freddie Mac, his affairs and marriages – bothered Catherine Inman, a 40-year-old technology coordinator at a software company in Columbia.

That is why Inman first chose former Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished third in Saturday's primary, ahead of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

"And then, because I just don't think (Santorum) has a chance, I went to the one who I thought had the most intelligence about just America in general and what we are going through, and that's why I chose Newt. So I just kind of had to let that go," Inman said.

I really would rather support Romney. He seems a truly good guy. But did you see his SC concession speech? Jeesh.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2012 7:03 PM

January 20, 2012

Quote of the Day

Before we get into it, let me just say, I disagree with Newt here. I can imagine a lot of things that would be more despicable. A lot more despicable.

Just off the top of my head: John King could have held a gun to a panda cub's head and opened fire every time one of the debaters went over his time limit. Even more despicable, he could have pulled the trigger before the time limit, just to know what it feels like. CNN could have doctored videos of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum so that they appeared to be playing Stratego with each other. Oh, wait did I say "playing Stratego"? I meant to say "having wild gay sex, with a midget riding a pogo stick in the background and an expression that says 'Things are going to get a lot weirder than this.'" -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]

Posted by John Kranz at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

But other than animal cruelty on live television or a Dan Rather video expose... Trotting out a Republican ex-wife's one-sided tale of betrayal 2 days before a crucial vote is at least a 9 on the despicable scale.

If Mitt really is more electable than Newt in the general election then why is the Obama media trying to sink Newt in the primary?

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2012 3:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Pretty despicable for ABC and Nightline. Once it is in the aether, I'm not sure it is off-limits for a debate. I just like Jonah's humor, though I realize it is not pointing your way today. Here's a couple paragraphs down:

Moreover, what John King did really wasn't that despicable. I think he had to ask the question. Maybe he didn't have to open the debate with it, but it had to be asked, Newt knew it had to be asked, and he was waiting for it like a lion at the coliseum on "Punish the Blind Beggars Night."

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2012 5:20 PM

January 19, 2012

He said, she said

Or did she? ABC News "Exclusive" shock headline: Gingrich Lacks Moral Character to Be President, Ex-Wife Says is not supported by said ex-wife's words. At least not in the article that carries the headline.

The reader can be forgiven if he concludes that the "lacks moral character to be president" opinion belongs to ABC News, and not to Marianne Gingrich who "In her most provocative comments" ... "said Newt sought an "open marriage" arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife."

Yes, that's provocative. Don't see the words president, character, or moral. Read into straight news reports much ABC? I propose that ABC's claim in Marianne's own words would have been much more provocative than this.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

Then There Were Four.

Heartfelt condolences to brother Keith. I remember the hurt. AP:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry will abandon his presidential bid and endorse Newt Gingrich, two Republican officials said Thursday, a move coming just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary as Republican front-runner Mitt Romney struggles to fend off a challenge from the former House speaker.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I'd prefer a nominee who has good hair, tall and trim, deadly shot with pistol, rifle or shotgun, relates to average Americans, has never divorced and can forcefully advocate for western values in stirring prose. [Paging Dr. Frankenstein.] Alas, I must settle for just the last of these traits.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2012 3:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

C'est le guerre.

I'm discovering I've skipped denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and gone straight to acceptance. Or is lingering over which of the remaining four I'll go with considered bargaining?

Perhaps my experience supporting Fred Thompson four years ago prepared me for this...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 19, 2012 3:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Come home, Fred! All is forgiven -- we neeeed you!

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2012 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, jg, I'll run next time.

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2012 3:55 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd settle for one who's a deadly shot with a metaphor, riposte, or simile; alas, Hitch is off this mortal coil.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 19, 2012 11:50 PM

January 17, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

If you don't want to spend the better part of the next year trying to drag this sad sack of Mitt across the finish line so he can disappoint us for the next four years, then stand up, speak out, and stop letting the mainstream media and a bunch of Beltway conservatives tell you that the race has to be over with just 1.8% of the delegates needed for a victory awarded. The Tea Party didn't rise up, fight Barack Obama, and help the GOP have its best year in half a century just to see the Republican Party ideologically slide all the way back to the pre-Reagan years as a reward. --John Hawkins
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:37 PM | Comments (11)
But jk thinks:

I respectfully disagree. Not that Governor Griz's endorsement will carry weight, but that the Speaker represents the Tea Party.

Gingrich champions activist, technocratic government -- not "limited" in the Tea Party, Madisonian sense. That was okay in 1994, pitching Gingrich's good ideas versus President Clinton's bad ideas. But even the 104th had to provide guardrails.

I remember his advocating that the government buy a laptop for every child in public housing. This was in the late 90s. Not only were laptops $1500, but it would have enshrined a "government standard" laptop that we'd still have today. 512KB RAM and a 3.5" floppy drive.

The attack on Bain was not a bad day but a window to his worldview. In conclusion, I'd like to say "Freddie Mac."

o. it is so on.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 1:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking there's a "butt-whup" sandwich in my lunch bag today. Tune in around 12:30. :)

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2012 1:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Speaker Gingrich does not "represent" the TEA Party but his off-again, on-again penchant for challenging various entrenched paradigms - political correctness, Wall Street mercantilism, nanny state redistributionism - makes him TEA Party friendly. This GOP primary has been a slow slog through ideological soup where none of the candidates emerged with the precise mixture to rally all the GOP factions. [How could they?] But South Carolina's primary is a watershed and TEA Party VIP Sarah Palin knows it is time to pick the best non-Romney and start pushing. Despite ideological preferences you and I may have, Ron Paul is not that guy - Newt is.

Some, even much, of what Newt espouses is anathema to TEA Partiers. This is irrelevant. He is a loose cannon but at least he's not shooting blanks. When he gets his "work not welfare" and "we're in this together but we're not our brothers' keepers" guns ranged in on Obama he can do some real damage.

Yes he's erratic, undisciplined and sometimes undependable. But he inspires greatness from time to time and is the only candidate I've heard receive thunderous applause in debate after debate. He connects with people and his appeal spans generations and classes. He has a strong hispanic following and will do better with the black vote than Romney could ever dream.

Who we nominate will dictate what issues will be debated in the public square. Instead of defending Ron Paul's age, frailty, haphazard prose and way out-of-the-mainstream ideas, or Romney's high-powered corporate fix-and-flip or fleece-and-fold "private-sector experience" I'd prefer to have debates like this with the New York Times. We may lose, but I prefer to believe we will win - the debate and the election.

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2012 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:

True points all and well said. I'll counter with foolishness while I ponder the substantive issues.

Remember in '96 how all the anti-Dole commercials paired the moderately popular Senate Leader with the supremely unpopular Speaker? All the commercials opposed the mysterious Siamese twin "Gingrich-Dole." I found it odd as the Speaker was not on the ballot. I wonder if he is the nominee, whether they might bring in Bob Dole to tarnish him. I wonder if Mitt should try it.

You may have me, brother. Thankfully a couple weeks on the Atkins diet has given me a stronger constitution and resilient digestive tract. I don't think I could have taken any of this in December.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 3:28 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JG wrote:
When [Newt} gets his "work not welfare" and "we're in this together but we're not our brothers' keepers" guns ranged in on Obama he can do some real damage.

Which he can do while supporting the nominee, yes? Palin does (well, she's even shrill comp. to him). Almost anyone can deliver this message, perhaps not as pithily, but neither with the caustic that's almost as much his brand as anything.

he's erratic, undisciplined and sometimes undependable. But he inspires greatness from time to time

In whom? Think about it, did he leave the GOP positioned for increased gains and a positive direction in the 90's, or did he mainly make a name for himself and lots of flotsam?

He's got thin skin, corruption in his background and can't stay on message. Ohh, but he does have stirring rhetoric at times ... is this sounding familiar?

is the only candidate I've heard receive thunderous applause

From GOP audiences and mostly when bomb-throwing.... we need the indies and a positive message delivered by someone who's an inspiring leader. Not to mention someone unflappable, with stellar morals and good instincts for what works in the real world. Character, my brothers and sisters, character....

He connects with people

TMI, brother. :-) Now if Palin could cause a rumble that would make Mitt stand up & out even more on conservative principles, I'd say the system is working our way, for once.

If Newt were nominee, I'd probably vote Libertarian. He would be awful and never get elected, I'm nearly certain of it.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 20, 2012 12:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Whenever I've been "certain" of something in politics, something has changed and upset my calculus. Sarah Palin's Gingrich endorsement was one of those events. Today I see Michael Reagan is endorsing Newt again.

We cannot afford a candidate backed by the same Washington insiders who repeatedly tried to undermine my father and the Reagan revolution.

It's time to choose.

Do we go forward with bold ideas or continue with failed policies?

So I ask my fellow Republicans and conservatives to join me in supporting Newt Gingrich for president.

Christie, Halley - eastern Republicans.

Palin, Reagan - western Republicans.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2012 6:20 PM

QOTD2

The debate is getting so boring, I wish Huntsman were around to throw in some Chinese. -- Jay Nordlinger
Posted by John Kranz at 2:56 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

If I may, dear brother, I think it is time you moved on to the bargaining stage.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 3:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On second thought, make that "acceptance." :)

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 3:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Just be careful one does not slide all the way to the bats**t-crazy-caucus-for-Ron-Paul stage...

Outta choices people.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 6:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Had Huntsman called a debate moderator a "hwoon dahn" or told his competitors "Ta ma de! Nimen de bizui!" he could have picked up a small but dedicated voting block.

Dong ma?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 17, 2012 7:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Gorram right, brother, gorram right!

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2012 12:17 PM

You're not going to believe this, but: Ron!

When in the course of a weak field, a blogger flip-flops chooses to reëvaluate a former position, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him.

Rep. Ron Paul hit one question out of the park for me last night. Bret Baier asked about military budget cuts and bases in the Palmetto State. (This was early on, before most people fell asleep.) Paul said we might need more bases for his military. We could close bases in Germany and South Korea and open them in South Carolina. He bifurcated spending for "defense" and what he’d call "Empire." I must reluctantly meet him halfway.

So, I'm a Ron Paul guy. I might grow my hair out, maybe join a truther club -- no, seriously, Presidents don't get all their wishes or accomplish all their goals (thank NED!) The correct foreign presence is likely somewhere between the status quo and Rep. Paul's ideal. Nobody else will ever yank a single soldier out of South Korea and I am not convinced that we can afford our current global presence.

So, I hope President Paul does not abandon Israel (still my largest concern) and give Al-Qaeda an "olly-olly-oxen-freeee." But our country's greater, existential threat is four more years of progressive socialism.

We have to fix home and hope the world does not crater during the process. Else, there will be no significant American presence in the world economy or military theater. We have to have our cancer surgery -- even if it means losing the house.

Ron Paul 2012.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

That actually had a pretty good score...

Bringing me to point #7b: it is pretty incredibly totally unlikely that Rep. Paul will be the nominee. Yet if my support garners him additional delegates, he will have a stronger hand shaping the platform and a brighter stage to deliver a message of Constitutional government. I would not do that if I would regret his winning. So, I pitched for the win.

If he did win, he'd certainly get creamed by President Obama. Israel is still safe. But we would have had our "Goldwater election" to build on.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 12:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. No, I'd rather win this cycle.

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2012 2:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I'd rather lose with Rep. Paul. When President Obama does something preternaturally bad (hypothetical, roll with me) our complaints are tempered by: a) President Bush probably did the same thing if less spectacularly, and b) President McCain would probably have done the same thing, perhaps more spectacularly.

Freedom has left the room. Liberty is off the menu. I suppose this is the same as my Huntsman support -- you beautiful, wonderful people have not yet accepted how bad our nominee is going to be.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 3:04 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

So, somehow four more years of Obama is better than "the existential threat of four more years of socialism?!?" Aren't they the same thing? You can't avoid the threat of Obama by assuring the re-election of Obama. Dude...!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 17, 2012 6:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The biggest immediate threat to Liberty is a second Obama term, not Republican ideological purity.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 17, 2012 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

The threat of "four more years of socialism" is worse than the threat from terrorism. Ergo, Rep. Paul's unconventional-to-GOP ideas regarding prosecution of the Global War or Terror are concerning, but at least his economic ideas leave a nation to save.

Romney is, without doubt, marginally better than the President. He would sign good legislation from a GOP 113th and Obama would veto it. I do not discard that margin lightly.

And yet, a victory will be required in a battle of ideas -- not just at the polls. Governor Romney cannot and will not be in that arena.

In addition, his supporters may be overstating his electability. My nominally-Republican-moderate sister visited this weekend. "I hate Mitt Romney!" says she. A majority of Republicans oppose him, I'm not positive the moderates and soft Democrats are going to swoop in. The Kerry comparison starts to look at least as valid as the McCain.

Say we swallow hard, throw away all our principles, and lose. How do you advance ideas after that? You nominate Ron Paul and you get months of good ideas. If he loses, you say he was a little bit kooky -- but he was right a la Goldwater.

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2012 7:25 PM

"Wishcasting"

Don Luskin is quite good at it. He pens an instant classic of the genre on the WSJ Ed Page today:

Newt Gingrich's claim about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital--that its business model was "figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company"--is an egregious lie. Yet Mr. Gingrich is not stupid. He and the other Republican primary contenders who have echoed his attack have calculated that the only way to beat President Barack Obama, who uses the words "millionaires and billionaires" as insults, is to join him. It's unanimous, then--capitalism is immoral.

At last, Mitt Romney finds himself with an issue that can define him, an issue about which the 2012 election can be a referendum. This is Mr. Romney's moment to distinguish himself by proudly making a moral case for free-market capitalism.


I fear this is "Mister Romney's moment" in the manner that last Saturday night was "Tim Tebow's moment" and the New Hampshire primary was "Mister Huntsman's moment."

Should Governor Romney prove me wrong, I'd be the happiest blogger in the whole USA, but I suspect Luskin's Jedi mind tricks will fail -- and the guy who wants to institute the first ever progressive cap gains tax will be our nominee.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2012

Jon! -- The final Installment

I cannot disagree with a word of Byron York's post-mortem, yet I remain unapologetic.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- A number of Jon Huntsman's core positions were deeply conservative. His pro-growth economic plan was nearly everything the Wall Street Journal editorial page could have wanted. He was strongly pro-life. Strongly Second Amendment. Yet conservative Republicans stayed away from his candidacy in droves, and the few people who were attracted to the Huntsman campaign were moderate Republicans, independents, Democrats -- and the media.

Why? Huntsman's problem was that, whatever his position on some key issues, he sent out political and cultural signals that screamed NPR, and not Fox News, that screamed liberal, and not conservative. Even though conservatives agreed with Huntsman on many things, they instinctively sensed he wasn't their guy. It wasn't hard for them to figure out.

I'll be quiet for awhile, I am still adjusting. I had hoped his candidacy would last long enough for the T-Shirts to arrive. C'est la guerre.

UPDATE: @jamestaranto Huntsman touts "refusal to pass down to the next generation a country that is less powerful...prosperous...and competitive." So negative.
Fair cop, guv. That was my least favorite aspect of his campaign. He didn't get the "sunny Reagan" memo.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

The Huntsman Hate from the Conservative Twitterverse is pretty disappointing. You don't have to support him, but each tries to out-clever the others to put down somebody whose positions he never bothered to learn.

Third grade crap. I think I'll stay off the blogs today.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:25 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't know that I get it. Mister Liberal instituted a flat tax, cut spending, and instituted pro-market health care reform. Then he ran for prez on the Ryan Plan for entitlements and a tax proposal that the WSJ Ed page, Club for Growth, and James Pethokoukis all loved.

No, he never cut a gay person's heart still beating out in the public square, but the "moderate" and "liberal" tags elude me. (I guess compared to the rock-ribbed philosophically pure guys who constitute the rest of the 2012 field...)

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and the "liberal" tag I hung on him comes from the words I heard come out of his very mouth.

If you detect bitterness in my tone it is with Huntsman, who positioned himself as a "conservative with a record to prove it" and then sounded like the anti-Reagan with all of his kumbaya rhetoric. Want to promote American Exceptionalism? Focus on everything we have and are doing right, not all of the mistakes.

Water over the dam now, eh brother?

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2012 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Mayhaps. Tweets outside ThreeSources are making me cranky. The only free-trader whose name does not rhyme with "pawn call" leaves the race and its open season.

In addition to good old hostility, I guess I remain curious what all these people saw that I did not. I never considered myself the champion of the moderates before. I guess Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich are the real deal and I've been drinking GOP Lite®. Really?

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, it's a process.

My objection to Huntsman was that his main messages, or at least those that I heard, were slamming other Republicans. If that's the best he's got, then I'll tune him out - as I have Newt and Pawn Call.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 16, 2012 3:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 4:18 PM

January 15, 2012

Facebook Post of the Day

The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal includes a 2000-word, 2/3-page interview with presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who finished 5th in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary with 9 percent of the vote. The interview is entirely about economic issues. To do a long interview with Santorum and never ask him about his opposition to contraception, his years of homophobic comments and policies, his attacks on "this whole idea of personal autonomy," "this idea that people should be left alone," and the pursuit of happiness is like spending an hour with Barack Obama and asking him only about his "plan to streamline government." -- David Boaz
Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

Jon!

South Carolina's largest newspaper endorses Gov. Huntsman.

Both men get tagged "moderate," but for different reasons. Mr. Romney is a technocrat, a business leader who focuses on getting the job done. As governor, that meant governing in a way that suited Massachusetts. Today the job is winning the presidency, and if that means "evolving" in his views as the primary electorate swings further right, and running away from his signature accomplishment as governor, so be it.

Mr. Huntsman is a true conservative, with a record and platform of bold economic reform straight out of the free-market bible, but he's a realist, whose goal is likewise to get things done. Under his leadership, Utah led the nation in job creation, and the Pew Center on the States ranked it the best-managed state in the nation.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:01 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

And, by the way, how would you like to be on that editorial board? Print your endorsement hours before the guy announces that he's pulling from the race.

What's the best cleanser for getting egg off of your face?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 15, 2012 11:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I saw. I guess Romney is now the only guy left. Sad day for me and South Carolina's largest newspaper.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 8:45 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"Mitt Romney: Everybody's Second Choice"

How's that for a tagline? He just might ride it to the nomination.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 16, 2012 9:40 AM
But jk thinks:

As the great Republican strategist Yogi Berra said, "It's like dèjá vu all over again." McCain was everybody's second choice.

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 10:29 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Fret not. Romney is a far better second choice than was McCain. In fact, Romney was Colorado's first choice over McCain. (And many other states' as well.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2012 12:21 PM
But jk thinks:

You're mad. I mean, with all due respect, you're mad.

Senator McCain was a paragon for national security: a patriot and a warrior President for a bellicose age. A clear voice for a Sharanskyite freedom agenda and a strong national defense.

His domestic economic agenda was unsurprisingly weak, and his effectiveness as a candidate was surprisingly weak.

But McCain, for all his failings had the big idea. Governor Romney -- well I'll let Jim Geraghty say it: "Can You Feel the Romney Euphoria? It Tastes Like Tap Water! "

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2012 2:18 PM

January 12, 2012

How is JK Different from Mick Jagger?

I can get no. Satisfaction!

A Gingrich fundraiser just called up and got an earful. I was my polite self, but said; "I wish you good luck as a person, but not in your effort to raise money for a Republican who attacks Capitalism."

Where is Rick Perry when you need him? I am having a great day! Woooo!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:50 PM | Comments (0)

Jon Stewart on the NH Primariy

Funny, and the Huntsman barbs are saddeningly true.

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

Stewart has a guest host skewer a would-be journolist (look that one up, too) who was calling for "civility" yet, unsurprisingly, not practicing what she preached. It's quite clever, and demonstrative on how to do 21st century humor and irony.
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-12-2012/civil-disservice

(hat tip to Taranto)

This stuff is just awesome; how the 4th estate is now the brunt of the next-generation's infotainment specialists (the last GOP debate provided some examples of GOPers getting on board... perhaps a separate post)

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2012 10:19 AM

Newt Gingrich meets Michael Moore

Fortune Magazine editor Dan Primack reviews the new "Winning Our Future" PAC smearomercial about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. He says, "The 'Bain Bomb' is full of wet fuses."

We've been keeping regular track of claims made about Mitt Romney's business history over at our Mitt Meter, but today's video "documentary" from the Gingrich-affiliated Winning Our Future PAC requires its own post. The ominous music, deep-voiced narrator and tails of worker woe were all to be expected. But I also thought that the video would get most of its basic facts correct (and then cover them in innuendo). I was wrong.

Gotta admire Newt's tenacity and dedication to political victory but objectivity, fairness and free market fundamentals obviously escape him.

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

Stephen Moore (who called himself a "libertarian" and came out for legalized marijuana on Kudlow last night) sez:

The buzz is getting stronger that GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will pull back on his planned $3 million ad campaign that accuses rival Mitt Romney of "looting" companies and ruining workers' lives when he headed Bain Capital.

One can only hope.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 3:25 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... came out for legalized marijuana..."

"'The buzz is getting stronger...'"

You just can't write that kind of straight line. Precisely how buzzed?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 12, 2012 7:43 PM
But jk thinks:


If Stephen Moore is suggesting legalization for reasons of his own personal use, I might join with the ThreeSources Drug War crowd and oppose.

It was actually an interesting segment, where Robert Reich suggests Ron Paul followers are dirty hippies and not Austrian Economists.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2012 8:02 PM

Better than Gingrich's and Perry's attacks!

Dogs Against Romney. A Facebook frined is, of course, a proud member.

Should I tell her about Dogs for Bush?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2012

Our Friend, the Vulture

The South Carolina gambit of the non-Romneys is to call the front runner a "jobs killer" and a "vulture capitalist." I admit it has a lyrical ring, but is it criticism or praise?

12. By consuming the carcasses of diseased animals, vultures prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases such as rabies and anthrax among animals and humans. Check out how declining vulture populations are linked to the spread of rabies in humans.

Unsuccessful or "diseased" businesses are a threat to overall economic health by preventing their labor and capital from going to productive enterprises. And he took them over by buying them, at a market clearing price. What's so awful about any of this? Only that the business failed in the first place, which completely predated any involvement by Bain or Romney.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:58 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

This has the feel of Governor Palin defending her Paul Revere comments. If the Perry campaign is clever enough to make this literal walkback, you can color me impressed. But you guys are (my new @baseballcrank word) "wishcasting."

Gov. Perry was not giving a biology presentation. He was using the pejorative, metaphorical "vulture:" the creature who flies lazy circles around you waiting for you to die.

He is also distributing the "I like to fire people!" ringtone. But, surely, as a compliment to the business acumen and strict devotion to economic liberty of his rival.

You guys may be sellin', but I ain't buyin'...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 3:38 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Being the official Perry guy here, my take is that Perry intended the "vulture" comment as criticism rather than praise, and he is wrong for having done it. My candidate screwed up on this point. And I am disappointed in him for it.

I've monopolized the bandwidth this morning on the subject (and thank you all for indulging me on that!) - and therefore I won't bore you with a repetition. Suffice to say that I now harbor a desire to own a professional curling team, and I will name them the Schumpeter Vultures. Perry's gaffe is not sufficient to cause me to switch allegiance from him to Romney, but I would be a fan of the Vultures.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 4:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes yes, of course he meant it as criticism.

Hey you, back in the back, stop distracting the other students or you're going to the Principal's office!

Now class, repeat after me:

"Selfishness is a virtue."
"Vultures eat dead stuff so you don't have to worry about it."

7. Vultures are equipped with a digestive system that contains special acids that will dissolve anthrax, botulism, and cholera bacteria.

(Yes, I know that Facebook automatically filters out this kind of rational thinking, just like it filters out anything else remotely related to science. - But this ain't Facebook!)

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 4:47 PM

Keeping your Integrity

Or: We are so totally screwed!

Gov. Huntsman's 17% portends poorly for his chances. He needed a Santorumesque close second finish, and I don't think the Palmetto State polity favors him. I'll "go down with the ship" I suppose, but see myself settling for Gov. Romney as all the non-Mormon candidates go completely insane. A strategic caucus for Romney vis-á-vis Sen. Santorum or a quixotic one for Huntsman looks like the decision.

But I don't have to like it.

Dan McLaughlin (I'm guessing that's my buddy, @baseballcrank) sees danger in dropping our integrity to support Governor Romney -- just because he is not President Obama, just cause he has an 'R.'

The other point I would make about integrity is that it goes close to the core of why a Romney nomination worries me so much: because we would all have to make so many compromises to defend him that at the end of the day we may not even recognize ourselves. Romney has, in a career in public office of just four years (plus about 8 years' worth of campaigning), changed his position on just about every major issue you can think of, and his signature accomplishment in office was to be wrong on the largest policy issue of this campaign. Yes, Obama is bad, and Romney can be defended on the grounds that he can't possibly be worse. Yes, Romney is personally a good man, a success in business, faith and family. But aside from his business biography, his primary campaign has been built entirely on arguments and strategies -- about touting his own electability and dividing, coopting or delegitimizing other Republicans -- none of which will be of any use in the general election. What, then, will we as politically active Republicans say about him?

Bueller?

Posted by John Kranz at 9:13 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Well, perhaps not just like McCain. He has said he will criticize Obama's record.

But you're right - I searched YouTube for "romney defends liberty" and the best I found was Romney Defends Small Government. It's a famous clip, where a woman in a townhall meeting repeatedly interrupts him. But he did come close when he said he "likes being able to fire people." That's subtley different from liking to fire people, by the way. I was happy to see this controversy flare up, for it could lead to a public discourse over actual issues, instead of photographs with money falling out of clothing.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 2:50 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee will join his blog brothers and sisters in lamenting this election's crop of candidates. Nevertheless, he is growing weary of the pundits and others whining about a situation over which they have no control and there is no remedy. It's a bit like complaining about the weather - grab an umbrella and deal with it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

As George Bernard Shaw said "He who is sick of pundits is sick of life!" I think that was Shaw...

Does the Refugee disagree that a change in campaign finance laws and nomination process would help future Christies and Danielses as they ponder the race?

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 3:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

He will agree that the current campaign finance laws are an abomination. Whether or not they are inhibitors to mm. Christie and Daniels is speculation above his pay grade.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 3:53 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has nothing against pundits. Being a real-life computer storage pundit, he is sensitive to punditry that pontificates about problems for which there is no solution without offering a work-around. He thinks this veers into the cardinal sin of punditry, "didactic bullshit."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 3:59 PM
But jk thinks:

We really do need a "like" button on comments...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 4:01 PM

Quote of the Day

In other words, if the election is going to turn into a contest over the future of the free enterprise system, the pro-free enterprise side of it sure doesn't want to wind up losing because of a flawed messenger, because the consequences of losing such a fight could be really devastating. The message of New Hampshire is that the people of that state, who know Mr. Romney well, find him a better messenger than any of the other candidates who were running. These are the same primary voters who chose Senator McCain on the last go-round. -- Ira Stoll
Posted by John Kranz at 9:01 AM | Comments (0)

Don't Shoot the Message

On Iowa caucus night Sarah Palin commented that the GOP marginalizes Ron Paul and his supporters at its peril for they understand that "a lot of Americans are war weary and we are broke." Coming from an ardent supporter of Israel this is a rather bold, and welcome, statement.

An old friend went into greater depth on the Paul candidacy on his website yesterday. I've been missing the rational insights of Minneapolis' Jason Lewis since Denver's KHOW radio foolishly replaced him in their lineup with *yawn* Sean Hannity. But I've since reconnected courtesy of iheart radio (iheart.com) 1130 AM in Minnesota. I'll excerpt only his close but the concise explanation he gives of Paul's three major issues that have "tapped into an emerging national sentiment that not only transcends party politics but speaks to a new generation of Americans fed up with the status quo and desperate for real change" is well worth your read.

Whether Ron Paul is the right messenger remains to be seen; as the GOP field winnows, polls show that he’s unlikely to be the second choice of Republican voters looking for a new candidate. But the message isn’t going away, and the two major parties ignore it at their own peril. As the Arab Spring demonstrated, cultural and political change usually begins with a select few, but those who are pushing the envelope today are often considered mainstream tomorrow.

A flawed messenger certainly, but America would clearly benefit from a less paternalistic relationship with the rest of the planet. Not disengagement as he sometimes seems to advocate, but closing a few hundred overseas military bases and a nearly complete end to foreign aid would be a good start. Strategic alliances must continue but the foreign national defense welfare business is long past due for the Bain Capital treatment.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:38 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2012

Why Doesn't Huntsman Run as a Democrat?

I sent Professor Reynolds a nasty email a few minutes ago, complaining that Gov. Huntsman was always the butt of a joke on Instapundit. He links to a Bryan Preston piece with video of four very young Huntsman supporters who are well spoken and intelligent. Shooting from the hip, one exuberant lad applauds his moderation (which his friends define as not pandering to social conservatives) and says his Democrat friends wonder why he doesn't run as a Democrat.

Game, set match for Preston -- and sadly Reynolds who links with the same headline.

I suggest Larry Kudlow provides the answer, buried in a story about Gov. Romney:

So far as I know this is the first time that Governor Romney has endorsed the modified flat tax embodied in Bowles-Simpson. Jon Huntsman, who I think won the Sunday-morning debate in New Hampshire, has endorsed this from day one, with three rates of 8%, 14%, and 23%, plus a corporate tax rate of 25% (which Mr. Romney shares). The Wall Street Journal labeled this plan "exceptional." Governor Huntsman would blow out nearly all the deductions and exemptions in the code to properly broaden the base and generate additional revenues along with the revenue-generating growth impact of new incentives.

This is the guy who is "too moderate" for the Tea Party? I have too few hairs to waste pulling them out, but...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:16 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I really like the story your quote was buried in. Thank you.

As for the other silver-haired Mormon ex-governor in the race, what this TEA Partier keeps hearing from him is "trust gap, trust gap." Why doesn't he talk about his tax plan? It's a pity Mr. Kudlow can't be his surrogate in the debates.

All things considered, a candidate's organization and messaging is at least as important as his policies.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 7:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Larry's piece was very good, yet I must pass along a germane hat-tip: @baseballcrank tweeted a link wrapped in:

@baseballcrank Dan McLaughlin
Larry Kudlow engages in the popular sport of wishcasting the next new Romney position http://bit.ly/yAUAcu

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 8:01 PM

A Tale of Three Governors

The numbers are in. AEI's Christopher J. Connover compares state heatlthcare and medicare spending during the tenures of "My Three Governors."

I'll cede that Utah and Texas likely had more helpful legislatures than "the commonwealth," but Gov. Huntsman comes out very well.

The available evidence suggests that Huntsman has a slightly better record than Perry in "bending the cost curve" both for health spending in general and Medicaid spending in particular, along with a decidedly superior record in that regard compared to Governor Romney. Also, Romney has overseen a rising burden of health spending during his time in office, whereas both Perry and Huntsman have seen this burden fall relative to the rest of the nation. The caveat is that Romneycare may possibly have begun to reverse the trend of relatively rising health spending for health facilities in Massachusetts. But we cannot be absolutely certain of this, given that the recession arrived just as Romneycare was being implemented. As with so many indicators of performance and characters, voters will simply have to make up their minds using imperfect information.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And imperfect candidates...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 5:09 PM

Dealbreaker!

As goes the speaker, so goes Governor Perry:

FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is likening front-runner Mitt Romney's former private equity firm to "vultures" that ruin workers' lives.

Perry is sharpening his attack in hopes of drawing a clearer contrast on jobs with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who touts his business credentials. The issue has special salience in South Carolina, where unemployment is high.

Addressing a retiree community in South Carolina, Perry criticized Romney's Bain Capital firm for two business deals that caused job losses in the state. He said private equity firms are "just vultures" that feed off sick companies no matter the human toll.


Wellsir, that re-evaluation was quick. Aren't these people tuned in at all? Kudlow did a whole show and all but bit a Gingrich surrogate last night, Michelle Malkin is furious, the WSJ Ed Page, ThreeSources. UPDATE: Rush, FOXNews... UPDATE II: James Pethokoukis adds himself, National Review, Jennifer Rubin and Akiy Roy, asking "Are there any right-of-center commentators or pundits who think the attacks on Mitt Romney’s Bain career bolster the case for free-market capitalism driven by 'creative destruction?' I haven’t found any yet." UIPDATE III: Taranto

Hey! Romney's a uniter -- not a divider!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:27 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What say you, KA?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 1:07 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I actually penned a response yesterday, and deleted it without posting. It was too harsh for ThreeSources. It would probably have been too harsh for Ace of Spades or the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Now that I'm calmer, and in something of a better mood...

Point the first: "vultures" do not ruin anyone's life. As anyone who cherishes his roots from hardscrabble rural Texas must know, vultures make their profit from those whose lives have already been ruined by other outside factors, such as coyotes, dehydration, rattlesnakes, bullets, or in this case, underproductive workers and crappy management decisions. So Gov. Perry loses style points for that.

As literal vultures serve a much-needed place in the ecology of life, Bain Capital served a very similar purpose in the economy of business. Imagine how much better a shape several sectors of the economy might have been today if a Bain Capital had stepped into AIG, or General Motors - closing or selling off failing and unprofitable business units, fostering the viable ones, and reorganizing what is left as a smaller, but potentially successful, enterprise, not dependent on taxpayer bailouts.

Like JK, I'm still letting my guy slide, but not without a scolding. I choose to believe, based on Perry's actual record, that in the press of the campaign, he is saying not what he believes, but what he thinks will resonates with voters in an effort to put a knife into an opponent. Who would have guessed that this would become the one time that voters and the usually-complicit media get a core principle of free-market economics right? It can back to hurt him, and rightfully so.

The cynical view: we, along with anyone else with a voter registration and an IQ above room temperature, know that candidates on the campaign train make promises they have no intention of keeping, say things they don't actually believe, in an effort to sway voters. Clinton triangulated, Obama pretended to be a moderate. Perry here said something that was intended to get a lot of people turned off to Romney. I would never have expected MSNBC, CNN, and so many members of the public to suddenly become members in good standing of the Austrian School. So, dark cloud, silver lining. Break here...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh what I'd give for two minutes in Brother Keith's recycle bin...

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2012 1:52 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

... So, notwithstanding what candidates are saying (or claiming they will do once we trust them with the office), I select candidates based mostly on what they have already done, how they have previously voted, what measures they have previously enacted. My support for Perry is based in large part on the success he has already had in Texas - very pro-business, pro-small-government, pro-small-taxes. I don't hold Romney's work at Bain against him - my issue is MassCare and the wreckage that has ensued, and how he favors big government and big programs to fix what he thinks is wrong with the country. Were he the nominee, I would probably give him grudging support against the incumbent. He and Gingrich both have persuaded me that they are technocrats, big-government guys who believe that if the elected experts in DC do enough and take charge of enough, they can improve the country.

I would have applauded Romney had he said "I like being able to fire people. And when I get to Washington, I plan on doing a lot of it - to people, programs, and agencies who are costing this country far too much, doing more harm than good, and giving the public little or nothing as a return on their money."

I would have applauded Perry had he said "I'd rather contribute to an environment where, if a company fails, productive workers have a likelihood of finding a new job with good pay, instead of having to depend on the government dole. Oh, by the way, I have. My state is pretty much carrying this country, and I have a plan to help do that for all America."

Think twice, speak once; hindsight, and all that.

None of these candidates are perfect, or anywhere close to perfect. It's really a matter of what they've already done, to prove what they're likely to do in the White House.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 2:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JK: on the off chance that I ever get angry enough to run for high office myself, my recycle bin could be a dangerous place. I'd suspect that you'd find yourself fighting for elbow room against the same hacks that were felching through Sarah Palin's garbage cans on trash day.

Sometimes, a low-level format is your friend.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 11, 2012 2:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

KA, thank you for protecting our tender mercies. I get the vapours at the very thought...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 11, 2012 4:45 PM

Brass Tacks

Rush Limbaugh, discussing Newt Gingrich being interviewed by FNC's Megyn Kelley about his criticism of Romney's history at Bain Capital:

GINGRICH: There has to be some sense of everybody's in the same boat -- and I think again, as I said, he's gonna have to explain why would Bain have taken $180 million out of a company and then have it go bankrupt, and to what extent did they have some obligation to the workers? Remember, there are a lot of people who I had a that $180 million, it wasn't just six rich guys at the top, and yet somehow they walked off from their fiduciary obligation to the people who had made the money for them.

RUSH: (sigh) Folks, things happen. Sometimes they happen for a reason. Now, one of the things that you have to say that is happening here is (whether he intends it or not) we're finding out some things about Newt that we didn't know. We're finding out that he looks at "these rich guys," six rich guys and they have an obligation. He sounds like Elisabeth Warren.

"Fiduciary obligation?" I do not think it means what you think it means!

Newt = TEA Party, NON.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"At some point, you've made enough money."

The words that set my teeth on edge are: "...their fiduciary obligation to the people who had made the money for them..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 4:05 PM

No Controlling Legal Authority

One of the joys of following politics is the collection of great lines you pick up along the way. I love to say about a person "I Knew X. X was a friend of mine. And, son, you're no X." And yet some of my friends fail to catch the allusion to the VP Debate of 1988 -- hell, some of them don't even know who Lloyd Bensten was! I knew Lloyd Bensten. Lloyd Bensten was a friend of mine...

When're a pol on either throws up the obfuscation screen to explain the inexplicable, I turn to VP Al Gore's superb and astounding "no controlling legal authority." I'd have to Google the context (spending campaign dollars on hookers?...) but it is a true classic.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty [come home, Mister Excitement -- all is forgiven!!!] gets that one today. for his answer to "So how come you're supporting the 'ObamneyCare' guy? And how will his magical, mystical waivers work if it doesn't kick until 2017?"

"I don't know if the range of options for waivers is limited just to the waivers addressed in the Obamacare bill itself, or whether there's some existing authority that goes beyond that, that would allow either the president or the Secretary of Health and Human Services to grant waivers," he responded.

I feel better -- you?

Posted by John Kranz at 2:04 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, I believe Gore was making fundraising calls from his government office.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Ahhh, yes. It sounds almost quaint in the days of the President's $100,000 tour busses and "official" visits to key swing states.

Happy times, those...

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 3:08 PM

Larry!

Thank NED for Lawrence Kudlow. Most of his show was about the anti-capitalist sniping at Bain Capital. Gov. Huntsman was great in some spots and okay on some:












Posted by John Kranz at 1:27 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm glad Jon is "a leader who's willing to put their [sic] country first." I'm not so glad he called Mitt Romney "absolutely unelectable." That sound you hear is Ronaldus Maximus rolling over. Gee thanks, Jon.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 3:08 PM

Jon!

Awfully sporting of them to let Governor Huntsman put on that soft piano music in teh background when he answered the question. Nice touch:

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I recall the applause being a bit more polite than this as well. Overdub include more than just music?

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 2:57 PM

January 9, 2012

Mitt!

Huh? What? A kind word about Governor Romney?

Yup, a serious and substantive collection of kind words from Jay Nordlinger. For all the Governor's failings, Nordlinger is right that the treatment of Capitalism from his rivals has been unconscionable:

The last two presidential election cycles have revealed a stinking hypocrisy in conservatives: They profess their love of capitalism and entrepreneurship, but when offered a real capitalist and entrepreneur, they go, "Eek, a mouse!" And they tear him down in proud social-democrat fashion. In the off season, they sound like Friedrich Hayek. When the game is on, they sound like Huey Long, Bella Abzug, or Bob Shrum.

Last time around, Mike Huckabee said Romney "looks like the guy who laid you off." Conservatives reacted like this was the greatest mot since Voltaire or something. To me, Romney looked like someone who could create a business and hire the sadly unentrepreneurial like me.

I've been off the handle at Speaker Gingrich about this, and I guess the Gov. Perry campaign is having fun with the carefully edited audio clip of "I like to fire people." (For those who have not heard it, the context was how he could control a private contractor but not the government.)

I do not recall a single instance of another candidate saying "Whoa, cowboy! I have many differences with the Governor of the Commonwealth, but we should all accept Schumpeterian creative destruction."

The whole piece is good.

UPDATE: Jimi P: Romney doesn't need to apologize for his Bain career.

UPDATE II: Et tu Jon? "What's clear is he likes firing people, I like creating jobs," Huntsman said in Concord.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | Comments (8)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

jg: you bring up a killer point, that of candidates trying to claim the TEA Party mantle - and while I understand Romney's opponents using Bain for political reasons against him, any of those opponents who does so needs to face the fact that it is an anti-capitalist argument. And it begs the question: is there a real TEA Party candidate?

A big part of the problem is the definition of the TEA Party movement. The limited-goverment wing lays claim to the title, and so do the social-cons. Members of both sects see the TEA Party as their own, partly because there are plenty of voters who consider themselves, vaguely, in both groups.

But the origin of the TEA Party - "Taxed Enough Already," hence the acronym - is firmly owned by the economic limited-government wing, whether or not the social-cons have jumped onto that vehicle, and whether or not the movement has morphed into a social-con stream. The events I participated in seemed to be primarily about dealing with a government which spent too much and taxed to much.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 10, 2012 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

That has been my shock. After the rush of Tea Party enthusiasm and the sweeping electoral success in 2010, there is no real Tea Party candidate.

I'll cede that your man, Gov. Perry, is probably closest even though he piled on Bain Capital. He might be in for a reevaluation but a) he has performed poorly (this is harsh coming from a Huntsman guy!); b) his hard line on gay rights and social issues detract from chances to sell him as a liberty candidate; c) "noocyoolur" and "Eye-rack" are going to be a tough sell in 2012 -- it may not be fair, but it is what it is (cf. Jebediah Bush, R- FL).

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Whether or not the social-cons have jumped on that [TEA Party] vehicle?" Not this social-con. And I, for one, appreciate him distancing himself.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee can certainly find fault with the anti-Capitalist attack line coming from Republicans. It serves some purpose in that it become an intra-squad scrimmage in which Newt/Jon/Ron/Rick play the part of the opposing team. Romney will be hit with all of the Bain stuff by the Democrats. Vetting it now can help hone the counter-message and make it old news. The risk is that coming from both sides, it becomes a narrative that sticks.

One can hope that the silver lining comes through. Nevertheless, shame on Newt/Jon/Ron/Rick for cynically reinforcing (if not outright creating) a Democrat message.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 10, 2012 12:59 PM
But jk thinks:

When the Tea Party Died. Kevin McCullough is not feelin' the love and settling into the Mitt groove:

It is almost impossible to believe and violently sickening to accept that in light of the clear mandate of the Tea Party that the GOP stands on the cusp of returning to "establishmentism." (Imaginary word mine.) But it appears that for all the big talk, tens of thousands of local rallies, and the single largest non-inaugural event to ever occur on our nation's mall, the Tea Party has died.

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2012 1:24 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

McCullough could not be more misguided or wrong. The GOP does not manufacture candidates; individuals must step up and choose to run. The shame of this election is that we have so much talent that has chosen to sit out the game.

Moreover, the Tea Party is not an entity that can "do something." It's a movement based on certain ideas. If anyone is to blame for the dearth of Tea Party candidates, it is the individuals themselves who subscribe to these ideas and choose not to get involved. Blaming the GOP is completely out of line.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 10, 2012 3:05 PM

Jon!

Your quotidian Huntsman propaganda:

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

January 8, 2012

Your vision or mine?

The idea for this contrast of visions came to me yesterday, when I searched for a suitable cartoon to highjack and found an excellent cartoon in its own right from the Sarasota Chronicle by way of the (Montana) Missoulian. Being Broncos Playoff Sunday and having chores to do before the game I almost didn't post it, thinking it deserved a good writeup accompaniment. JK's Motor City Madness segue's well: New Orleans says, "Leave us alone" while Detroit still moans, "Take care of us."

Occupy Tea Party

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:50 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Better (perhaps even more accurate) titles for the signs would have been:
"We can do it" vs. "You have to do it for us"

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2012 9:19 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"We can do it" vs. "Do it for us." I like it.

So much talk about TEA Party "extremism." A simple contrast here can be devastatingly effective.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 1:45 AM

January 6, 2012

Blast From the Past

@JimPethokoukis calls it the "Toothpase and Orange Juice ticket," but dares to suggest Romney and Rand Paul.

I dared to send him my post of October 18 and he graciously replied "You never know!"

Trying to pull this one out of the fire, I'm getting where I'd dream of that ticket.

-- Then again, Mary Kaye's Husband is third with 16% in NH!

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

I'd Prefer the Boston Globe Endorsement!

In a thinking world based on reason and free will, David Brooks's endorsement should kill a GOP candidacy. The guy who fits the NYTimes definition of a conservative suggests that Santorum's intrusions do not go far enough:

Santorum doesn't yet see that once you start thinking about how to foster an economic system that would nurture our virtues, you wind up with an agenda far more drastic and transformational.

If you believe in the dignity of labor, it makes sense to support an infrastructure program that allows more people to practice the habits of industry. If you believe in personal responsibility, you have to force Americans to receive only as much government as they are willing to pay for. If you believe in the centrality of family, you have to have a government that both encourages marriage and also supplies wage subsidies to men to make them marriageable.


Worth a read just to bathe in its weirdness, Hat-tip @jamestaranto David Brooks wants "wage subsidies to men to make them marriageable." What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | Comments (0)

A Mistake Reagan Would not have Made

All hail Kim Strassel! She catches the fundamental flaw in the GOP top-tier candidates.

What both campaigns are in fact doing is following Democrats down the class-warfare rabbit hole. Spooked by the Democrats' inequality theme, the Romney and Santorum campaigns are taking the narrow view, catering to the blue-collar vote, playing the class game.

In an election that needs to be about contrasts, this is point Obama. Game on for candidate Santorum, who gets to explain why his own policies for government to reward certain classes of citizens over others are any different than Mr. Obama's. Or let's see candidate Romney knock Mr. Obama's proposals to further tax America's job creators, those Mr. Romney thinks are doing "just fine." The bigger risk is that a Republican president actually pursues these distorting economic policies, sacrificing growth.


UPDATE: Brother br highlighted a Huntsman apostasy from HuffPo, and does not accept my complaint that it is not a direct quote:
Huntsman, by contrast, has argued for banks to be reduced in size, and for stricter limits to be placed on the type of financial activities they can undertake.

Taken as 100% face value: we currently regulate banks and we have proven that we will not allow the largest to fail. I remain the lasseiz fairest of them all, but in that world, keeping private institutions away from presenting systemic risk to global liquidity is not exactly nationalization.

And taken at its 100% worse, it is far less a threat to liberty than the things I routinely hear -- and Strassel highlights -- from the Romney and Santorum campaigns.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:34 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

My apostate is not as heretical as your apostate! So there.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 6, 2012 3:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha. BURN THE HERETICS!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 4:00 PM

Jon!

Isaac the goat, and The Boston Globe:

Hat-tip: Blog friend Terri

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

The "ThreeSourcers for Huntsman" section has been trading emails since the story broke, and I will save your typing fingers: yes, the Globe is owned by the NYTimes and is a very liberal newspaper. Kudlow dissed the announcement when it was "Breaking News" at the end of his show, and Jim Geraghty thinks it is bad for the campaign.

I'll take what I get, but do fear it plays in to the "oh yeah, he's Howard Dean's candidate!" If I may paraphrase the other half of "ThreeSourcers for Huntsman:" he doesn't pander to the base.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 2:30 PM

Rick!

I'll give him a pass on earmarks but still consider them a gateway drug to big spending and a tool to cajole extra votes for bad legislation.

The anti-libertarian and anti-Tea Party lnes, however, disturb.

Hat-tip: Tea Party Patriots on Facebook.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2012

Vote Ron Paul!

Not fer one of them furrener lookin' dudes:

Go Ron Paul! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:00 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

A non-sequitur to be sure. Did you read the comments?

"I'd just like to join all the other Paul supporters in saying that this xenophobic idiot does not speak for us."

316 views - posted by "NHLiberty4Paul"

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2012 7:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair points. Had a rouge Romney element crafted this, I'd have laughed (I laughed at this one).

You have to remember the respect I have for Bill Buckley. He is a real hero to me for chasing out the Birchers and racists and other crazies in the Conservative/GOP movement. The foundation for Goldwater and then Reagan would not have been possible without NR's spring cleaning. (Even Jonah Goldberg suggests that Chambers's Atlas Shrugged Review should not have been published -- let's push that aside.)

In the wake of the newsletters, we are reminded that Doctorrepresentative Paul has never undertaken such a task. He was quiet about occupiers perverting his message, and participated, condoned, or ignored recruitment from the paleos.

So, no, I am not prepared to give him a broad pass. Many people much smarter than me have pointed out that big-L libs need a Buckley to clean house (though it will be harder to spot the crazies...) If I ever saw him admonish prominent nutjobs, I'd give him a pass on the fledgling NHLiberty4Paul.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 7:24 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"In the wake of the newsletters, we are reminded that Doctorrepresentative Paul has never undertaken such a task. He was quiet about occupiers perverting his message, and participated, condoned, or ignored recruitment from the paleos."

If any candidate tried rooting out rogue elements, he'd have no time for actual campaigning. Part of the dirty nature of politics is to have infiltrators for another campaign make it look like a bunch of loons. On the other hand, we know RP's supporters are all far off the deep end: believers that government is too big, taxes too much, spends too much, starts too many wars, destroys our money, and takes our money instead of its stated purpose of protecting us.

In your previous post, you wrote, "He worries about 2 or 3% annual theft of the value to a saver's cash holdings." And do you believe that is ALL he worries about?

RP references class but does not make it about class warfare. He doesn't attack "the rich," but those with political power to enrich themselves at our expense.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

There are many many things I like about Rep. Paul. I do worry that he has too-willingly accepted some crazy followers. I point to the Occupy folks -- if they carry an "End the Fed!" sign, they're cool, even if they wear a Che Guevara shirt and "End Capitalism!" in the other hand.

The newsletters are old and poorly sourced, but I saw a current YouTube where a 9-11 truther asks him why he won't come out and he tells her something to the effect that it wouldn't be politically expedient. We are hurting bad for good ideas in 2012, but I also need to see some stability.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 7:04 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I would like to see that particular video. Many things can be taken out of context, and you don't know if he necessarily understood what a person was asking.

If we're hurting bad, why are so many supporting a modern Nazi like Santorum, or a collectivist like Romney?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 7:49 PM
But jk thinks:

About 0:50 here.

Romney and Santorum are Exhibit A in "hurting bad." I meant that the field is so weak that I am giving everybody a shot.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2012 8:17 PM

Answering Obama

The President of the United States wants to run America "on behalf of the American people" unilaterally, without the consent of Congress, the Supreme Court, or the governed.

On the other hand: [at the 3 minute mark]

"And we had the task, where we are very successful, is reintroducing some ideas Republicans needed for a long time, and that is the conviction that freedom is popular. But once again we have had a fantastic showing for this cause and challenging people, not the status quo that we have been putting up with for decades after decade, but challenging them and saying, you know, let's challenge 'em - let's go back to this real old-fashioned idea, this very dangerous idea - let's obey the Constitution!"

I don't know about y'all but I'm beginning to be "scared straight."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:12 PM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It has become distressingly clear that our Constitutional system is strictly opt-in, even allowing for differences of interpretation. When any branch of government chooses to ignore or distort any given provision, it is relatively difficult for other branches to correct it, at least in the short-term. We are only as good as our elected officials and there is much room for mischief.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

This was a great speech. Paul used the "We're all Austrians now" line on Kudlow last night.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Some may be tired of this repetitive recommendation, but Gene Healy's "Cult of the Presidency" shows how and why the other branches bend to Article II.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 4:12 PM

Found: Obama's "Stash"

And he could use it to purchase this year's election.

I couldn't believe my ears on this one. Partially because the prospect of Obama giving new lower rate mortgages to every Fannie and Freddie mortgage holder is so outrageous, and partially because I heard it from Rush Limbaugh before JK posted it. (And Rush is on 2-hour delay in Denver!)

And the beauty part for Obama? He wouldn't need approval from Congress to do it. Even though many Republicans would scream that the plan would reward irresponsible homeowners who took on too much leverage -- indeed, talk of a housing bailout is what launched the Tea Party movement -- they probably couldn't stop it.

Looking through this lens, the President's statement on the contra-constitutional recess appointment of his new "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" head is rather ominous:

But when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. (Applause.) I've got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I'm not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. (Applause.) Not with so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans. We're not going to let that happen. (Applause.)
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | Comments (4)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Queue Dire Straits: "Money for Nothin' and Chicks for Free..."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This is sounding more and more like it could be lifted straight from "Atlas Shrugged."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 3:29 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Er... make that cue... the don't need to stand in line.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 5:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm thinking this is Atlas Shrugs. California Boondoggle Gub'mint High Speed Rail!

Monorail! Monorail!...

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2012 5:57 PM

Quote of the Day

Yesterday, Barack Obama was in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to deliver his awful class-war speech again. On page 39 of Mr. Romney's 160-page economic plan, he attacks the president's "inflammatory" rhetoric against "so-called millionaires and billionaires." Mr. Romney adds: "He actually includes every household earning more than $250,000 in that category." But turn to the next page, and you read that Mr. Romney will eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest "for any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of under $200,000." -- Dan Henninger
Houston? We have a problem.

UPDATE: A great friend of this blog emails a link to Paul Hoffmeister in Forbes.com. This is a read-the-whole-thing piece.

The most important question to predict a presidential race is whether the GOP nominee is sufficiently pro-growth. Jude Wanniski, one of the godfathers of supply-side economics, noted that, since 1896, only supply-side Republicans have become President. Voters only elect Republicans that credibly support sound money and low taxes.

This was true from McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft between 1896 and 1908, to Harding and Coolidge during the 1920's, to Reagan and George W. Bush during the last 30 years. Of course, some Republicans faked it during their campaign and won; for example, Eisenhower (1952), Nixon (1972), and George H. W. Bush (1988). And, predictably, "austerity" Republicans have never been elected president; for example, Hoover (1932), Goldwater (1964), George H.W. Bush (1992) and Dole (1996).

This simple but powerful historical pattern is testimony to our remarkable democratic system. American democracy has developed two political parties: a party of economic growth and a party of income redistribution. If a credible plan for growth is offered, the electorate will vote for it. If such a plan is not offered, then it will vote for income redistribution, hoping that the party of growth will get its act together someday.


UPDATE II: The author's name is "Hoffmeister" not Huffmeuster (corrected). I managed a typo and a misspelling in one word.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

The Twitterverse Responds to Brother BR


Posted by John Kranz at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2012

Huntsman the spoiler in Iowa?

Splitting the well-moisturized, salt&pepper, Mormon guy vote?

Right now, Huntsman has only received 700 votes, or about 1 percent of all votes cast. In a normal race, this would be nothing more than a blip. But this isn't a normal race.

With 96 percent of the vote in, Rick Santorum is leading Mitt Romney by a razor thin margin of 79 votes.

Entrance poll data suggested that Huntsman's support came exclusively from "moderate or liberal" voters, a subset which made up just 17 percent of the electorate, but which Romney carried over Santorum 35 percent to 8 percent.

If the final numbers are similar to these, Santorum might want to send Huntsman a belated Christmas present.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Well, if Huntsman's moderate appeal earns him a Christmas present from Santorum for the 3% he took from Romney, Rick rightly owes his first-born child to Ron Paul and his 40 percent. [2nd comment] Dang, that "invisible candidate" stuff is no foolin'.

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 6:37 PM

Iowa

A friend emails a great analogy:

Yes, Iowa has pulled that old realtors' trick. You take someone to two houses with similar characteristics and the same price, but one is clearly better than the other. It makes the decision easier. Iowa has taken us to those two houses and Romney's is much better.

Yes, I was up late last night "Go Mitt!!! C'mon Governor Romney!" I don't have a Huckabee-esque antipathy for Senator Santorum in spite of the sweater vests. But he is far down my list as he clearly wants to use government power to advance social agendas. Subsidizing reproduction is likely defensible and I appreciate his nuance on immigration.

But I search like Diogenes (if I may steal Brother BR's metaphor) for a small-government candidate. Senator Santorum is another George W. Bush. While we have seen worse, that is not what I seek.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

And when Mitt looks in the mirror he doesn't exactly see GWB, but there's a resemblance.

Combined with Romney's recent endorsement by Senator McCain, methinks the time is right for GD to chime in with the most up-to-date case for the third candidate who won Iowa. You know, the invisible one. [Gosh, that comment over there seems eerily prophetic.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 12:51 PM
But jk thinks:

The phone lines remain open. I am pretty disturbed by the newsletter stuff, on top of a monetary policy that frightens and a foreign policy that terrifies.

|
|
V

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 1:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

| I'm looking at those concerns through a
| different lens. I'd like to give GD a new
| hearing on the merits of his man.
| |
| |
V V

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 2:50 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Come on, you fell for the newsletter "December Surprise" horse dung? So much was taken out of context, which was clearly written by someone else. Listen to more RP speeches, and either he's had, or someone did ghostwrite them.

I've seen only one person, ONE, who ever produced genuine archives (scanned PDFs). Everything else is about someone posting a quote that was ripped off from another site. There's no scholarship, no research involved.

Here's an example. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." From Proverbs, right?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 6, 2012 6:35 PM

Jon!

I'll make my last pitch to Brother br: at least we would have some clever commercials were Governor Huntsman the nominee:

Hat-tip: another ThreeSourcer goin' down with the ship!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sure, but should we really be aiding and abetting the DNC? Isn't that what MoveOn.org was started for?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 11:43 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

To put a finer point on it, I'm not looking for someone who can beat the other Republicans; I'm looking for someone who can beat Obama. If he'd turn such cleverness on the appropriate target, I'd be more likely to jump on board.

1% in Iowa and likely the same result in NH. Not seeing how this ends well for the seven girl's father.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 11:47 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm looking for someone worthy of support. I'm looking for someone I won't be embarrassed to vote for. And I am finding it rather difficult.

He did not participate in Iowa; he is running ~10% in New Hampshire, not too far from where Senator Santorum was a week before the caucus.

He needs good fortune to be sure, but Granite Staters might be in a mood to reassess. Gov Romney, as Dick Viguerie reminds, had 75% of Iowans vote against him. He gained no support, as Bill Kristol reminds, in four years (lost a few handfuls of votes). Mister inevitable? Mister electable? Oh, yeah, Mister Good Enough.

Rep. Paul's missing expectations open a crack in the liberty segment. Some of his actual Republican supporters might enjoy a second look at Governor H. Most notably, the non-evangelical wing might be scared of Santorum's New Groove and seek an acceptable candidate.

Yes, he has to run to table. No, it is not likely. But exactly ZERO delegates have been committed so far. I'm not giving up on a guy I like.

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 12:39 PM

January 3, 2012

All Hail Taranto!

Missed his keen insight last week.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:58 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

As a person with some modest experience of life under east-AsianCommunism, I've had a lot of people asking me whether the tears being wept at the funeral of Kim Jong Il are genuine. Here's my answer: Those tears are more genuine than Newt's. -- John Derbyshire
Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | Comments (0)

Pre-Register for Colorado Caucus

The Colorado state caucus date is February 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm. You can pre-register and be emailed your caucus location (when it is determined) online. KOA Radio:

The Colorado Republican Party has set up a website for GOP voters to pre-register for the February 7th Caucus. State chairman Ryan Call believes Colorado will play an important role in deciding who becomes the Republican nominee. It will be the 6th state to weigh-in on the race.

Because districts and precinct lines have been redrawn, Call if urging Republicans voters to pre-register at www.caucus.cologop.org . Once you sign up there, you can be emailed your caucus location.

Call believes the turnout on February 7th will be huge. He claims Republicans aren't just choosing a nominee, they're choosing the person who will be our next president.

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

Way Cool, Thanks. Should be enough time for my Jon Huntsman T-shirts to get here.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 3:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Thanks for the tip, JG. I called the Weld County Clerk and Recorder, who referred me the Weld County Republican Party. According to them, the precincts have still not been redrawn, so they have can't establish precinct caucus locations.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 3, 2012 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Aye, br'er Refugee. And the chaos created by the latest Democrat gerrymander is one of the reasons cited for creating this "pre-registration" site. From my completed pre-registration form:

YOUR CAUCUS LOCATION HASN'T BEEN DETERMINED YET BY THE COUNTY PARTY. We will send you an email when your caucus location has been determined.
Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 5:45 PM
But jk thinks:

I got the same message, but was able to print the lovely bride's and my registration forms. No doubt that will save a lot of time next February.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 5:53 PM

Why I'm Sancho Panza to "Jon Juan"

Is giving money to Gov. Huntsman a complete waste? Possibly, yes. If Mayor Giuliani was unable to pull off a New Hampshire - Florida nomination path in 2008, it is pretty hard to imagine the less well known and less polished Jon Huntsman doing it.

I see two other choices and like neither.

One. Join George Will in acceding to a second Obama term and focus all efforts on a GOP Senate. With Senator Nelson's (D - ObamaCare®) retirement, I don't think even the Republicans can muff this one. But, without the A team running, resign to losing the White House.

Two. Settle for a "front-runner." As blog pragmatist, I am supposed to be the first guy on this train. Surely either a President Romney or President Gingrich will be way better than the current occupant. But I can't.

I meant to blog about this but hoped it would go away:

Incensed by the negative ads that have spoiled his campaign, Newt Gingrich recently complained he'd been "Romneyboated," an allusion to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose ads helped derail Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.

John O'Neill, the swift-boat captain who led the anti-Kerry movement, is none too pleased with the comparison. "To me, it reflects Gingrich's very cynical hypocrisy, which he shares with Kerry," O'Neill tells National Review Online. That hypocrisy "is the reason why he can appear with [Nancy] Pelosi in climate-change ads and why he can take money from Freddie Mac: If you're part of the political class, [you believe] you're free from any public scrutiny of what you've done." [Bracketed comments in original]

Words cannot describe how offensive that is. That he brings it up. That he identifies with Senator Kerry instead of his critics. That he cannot appreciate other Republicans pointing out what a crappy, lying faced, flip-flopping, unprincipled, hypocritical weasel he is. Perhaps I shouldn't say that. Perhaps I should have said crappy, lying faced, flip-flopping, unprincipled, hypocritical, fat weasel.

Governor Romney is the architect of ObamaCare® His bold tax reform offers capital gains tax breaks for everybody -- everybody who makes less than $200K that is. "The rich" will "have to pay their fair share."

NB likes Senator Santorum. He is on the "Faith, Family, and Freedom" tour -- 33% of which is actually under government purview. He's not "picking winners and losers," he's offering 0% tax rates for manufacturers because their jobs are easy to move overseas. How about the Financial Sector? I think BofA should get 0% too. Can you imagine the lobbyist action on defining "a manufacturer?"

I'd start in on Doctorepresentative Ron Paul but this would turn into a rant. No, my last chance of having somebody I could support is to see Gov. Huntsman stay in.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | Comments (10)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Dagny may disown me for not knowing, but I just looked up Sancho Panza. (I knew the story but usually remember only the broad themes.) Now knowing your 'Jon Juan' reference I find it necessary to explain mine: 'Jon' Huntsman and 'Juan' JK.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 5:48 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK is merely following the same path traveled by JG and The Refugee 14 months ago in first refusing to support Tom Tancredo and eventually pulling the lever for him. Well, actually, tapping the touch screen, but you get the idea...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 3, 2012 5:58 PM
But jk thinks:

I will happily darken the oval next to Gov. Romney next November (dang, you're a literal lot!) There is not issue on which I cannot support him.

What I dread is the debate. I am thinking of Candidate-Senators McCain and Obama "doing economics" (the slang meaning of the verb is apropos) in the second debate. We will not have a candidate who can articulate liberty because we will not have a candidate who believes in it.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 6:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

Unlike JG, I didn't take the time to look it up, but isn't Sancho Panza sidekick to Don Quixote and not Don Juan? Does that make it Jon Quixote? The Impossible Dream seems an apropos metaphor for Jon and Tim both.

Posted by: dagny at January 3, 2012 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You would have to invoke the name "Tancredo" BR. And I was having such a good day up to now!

Let us all hope that any Republican presidential candidate fares better than did Turncoat Tom.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2012 7:08 PM
But jk thinks:

@jg: yes.

@dagny: yes, yes, and yes.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2012 8:04 PM

January 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

Whether the ads are fair or not, it's not as if Mitt Romney did anything that the Obama campaign wouldn't do in a general-election contest. Er, let me revise and extend that: If you can't handle what Romney's PACs are sending your way over the airwaves, how will you rebut attack ads coming from the Obama campaign AND the Democratic National Committee AND the unions AND the Soros-funded "independent" groups AND the eager recitation of the criticism from their mainstream-media allies? -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2011

I'll DIe on this Hill

View the new ad and give generously

John,

You've given generously, and your $[I hate to flaunt my wealth...] will help us campaign on conservative issues, in a new, long-forgotten tone that respects both the process and the American people.

Our candidate would have it no other way. Because Jon Huntsman is different.

Decent, calm, wise. Knows the world. Never a flip nor a flop. No loud voices, no drama. Instead, a clear, well-defined path for America to reverse the sad course we're on.

Jon Huntsman is the Republican who can actually win back the White House in 2012. Gen H is working hard to make that happen. Your support is what we need!

Will you take the next step and help spread the word about Jon?
Sign up and become a volunteer today.

Thanks again,

Jeff Wright
National Finance Chairman
Jon Huntsman for President


Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

I hear you but that proves how fundamentally broken this system is. Not a single vote has been cast, yet you declare it over for the candidate I like best.

He needs money to have a chance in NH. I do not relish settling for any of the others.

Posted by: jk at January 1, 2012 5:23 PM
But dagny thinks:

Somehow this conversation has a familiar ring to it. Sounds like the one we had when I was suggesting sending money to Herman Cain. Only, now JK is on the other side. Hmm...

Posted by: dagny at January 2, 2012 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There are others who could also be preferrable to any of the current front runners - Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson. But their appeal was narrow and they couldn't form a sizeable enough core of followers.

I bristle whenever someone says, "the system is fundamentally flawed" because they usually want goverment "reform" of the process. I think you agree that what is "flawed" is democracy itself. At its fullest, it is incompatible with liberty. The founders took care to isolate the citizenry from a democratic goverment through Constitutional limits on that goverment.

The GOP is accused of favoring "the next person in line" at each nominating opportunity. This is often portrayed as a cadre of Republican "insiders" pulling the levers of power to give an "establishment" candidate an unfair advantage. In actuality, candidates who have run before have been vetted more thoroughly and thus engender more confidence in their staying power. After test driving all the models on the lot, Iowa voters are gravitating toward the ones with higher mileage - Romney, Paul and Santorum. If Obama is re-elected, and if Huntsman can clarify his message a whole lot between now and then, he could be the favorite to run against Hillary in '16. I don't see enough voters taking a chance on him this late in the process.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2012 1:16 PM
But jk thinks:

@dagny I am less surprised to be caught in a flipflop than to have forgotten a conversation. I did send a little to TheHermanCain, though less than Huntsman.

@Jg One must remember that the party is a private corporation., we could throw darts to choose. Honoring Iowan supremacy gives social conservatives permanent control. Marathon primaries hosted by lefty journalists did not advance ideas of liberty. I am all for some changes.

Posted by: jk at January 2, 2012 1:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Looking at Iowa this year one might say we ARE choosing by the throw of a dart. Three different caucuses over three subsequent weeks might produce different outcomes.

I thought Eric Odom of Liberty News Network (but via email) had a good take on the Iowa exercise:

It's not that Iowa perfectly represents the mindset of all 49 other states; Rather, it's that Iowa presents a challenge that exposes weaknesses and strengths, and provides us a good look at how each candidate performs when the horse race heats up.
Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2012 2:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Both arguments have merit, and show our system is not yet broken IMO. I'd like to hear how Huntsman compares to other real conservatives, perhaps like Santorum or {insert preferred candidate here}.

I think any success gained by Huntsman will help influence the campaign (as I think Cain's 9-9-9 did), and possibly.... hopefully the eventual presidency of the people's choice. The money shan't be wasted unless H-man turns out to be a "public figure" that Noonan talks about.

Peggy Noonan had a great column on Friday; noting some interesting observations on Election 2012:
"the sitting president's own party doesn't like him"
"the continuation of a half century-long trend. National trumps local, federal squashes state, the force of national culture washes out local culture. Primaries are fully national now."
"It's odd that people who care so much about politics rarely use one of politics' biggest tools, humor. Mr. Romney did (Gingrich in VA was like Lucille Ball @ chocolate factory) and scored. More please, from everyone."
"The worst trend in politics that fully emerged during phase one? People running for president not to be president but as a branding exercise, to sell books and get a cable contract and be a public figure"

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 2, 2012 7:54 PM

December 30, 2011

JON!

They pick corn in Iowa, they pick Presidents in New Hampshire

Good line.

UPDATE: Hmm, the WaPo embed seems dead. Here's the post.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:35 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Apparently, they pick favorites in Virginia.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 30, 2011 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Noses in Arkansas...

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2011 12:51 PM

December 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

Managerial progressives see only the end -- preventing free-riders from riding for free. And they ignore the collateral damage done by way of the means selected. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have no understanding of first principles. For both of these social engineers, citizens are subjects to be worked-over by the government for their own good. Both men are inclined to treat us as children subject to the authority of a paternalistic state under the direction of a benevolent and omniscient managerial class. -- Paul Rahe in an awesome, comprehensive takedown of the individual mandate.
Hat-tip: Instapundit
Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Tweets of the Day

@JonahNRO:

Lots more fun for viewers -- and likely the best shot for Mary Kaye's Husband!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Au Contraire! You awaken my inner Gunn with that one. May I tweet it in your honor?

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 4:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Too late! I have already stolen it!

Anybody going to get the allusion?

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 4:39 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, Jonah DID say Gilbert & Sullivan, and Dagny DID bring up "the big, big D"... but I am flattered...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 29, 2011 6:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You boys are waaay over my tech geek head with this one. I'll ask dagny to 'splain it to me this evening. :)

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 7:41 PM
But dagny thinks:

I'm fine with Gilbert and Sullivan but sorry, I don't get inner, "Gunn???"

Posted by: dagny at December 29, 2011 7:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, that was for Terri & SC...

Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) is a character from Angel: a street fighter from a rough LA neighborhood who fights on the side of good and ultimately joins Angel's cadre. When they take over the law firm of Wolfram & Hart, he has a mystical operation which gives him a thorough understanding of law. As a side quirk, Gunn -- normally more in touch with hip-hop than show tunes -- acquires a similarly comprehensive knowledge of the entire Gilbert & Sullivan opus.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 8:00 PM

Dr. Laffer's Gingrich Endorsement

The Kudlow Report from last night. Art is all in for the Speaker.












Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I read this as being as much or more a personal favor to Art's longtime friend than a policy preference. No "Reagan-like" economic policies in Romney's 59-point plan?

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Really? I was surprised at the fulsomeness of the endorsement. He tepidly proclaimed his respect and "long time friendship" with Gov. Romney (peré and filé) but almost got me on board with his enthusiasm for Newt's "straight down the alley supply-siderism."

Have to do a "Coals-to-Newcastle" Kim Strassel link. Ms. Awesome ledes with:

[...] hoping to stem his slide in the Iowa polls and draw a strong policy contrast with Mitt Romney, is now focusing on economic growth as a campaign theme.

It is clearly a campaign tactic for a guy forced to look at Sen. Santorum's ass in the polls more than conviction.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 12:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Still feel the same way after watching the video. He fulsomely endorsed Newt's policy. "I would love to see Mitt have a flat tax."

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 3:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's the secret to this entire nomination puzzle - none of the candidates' economic plans matter one iota. None. Bills are written in the Legislative, not the Executive branch of goverment. As Ann Coulter explains again today, we need a candidate who will make Obama and his policies the topic of discussion, not himself. "2012 is not a year for a wild card."

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

<John McLaughlin voice>WRONG!</John McLaughlin voice>

The candidate needs to understand and articulate a clear economic agenda against the President and his intellectual fellow-travelers in the media.

After explaining the superiority of freedom to the people and securing election based on those principles, he or she needs to demand those principles (not legislative language) and secure their passage against the same forces.

I thought the same about Senator McCain in 2k8 that Ms. Coulter feels about Governor Romney in 2k11. Then I watched him flail in the economic debate and flagellate in the TARP discussions. There is great danger in giving the nomination to a man who does not care about economic liberty at the "kernel level." Not saying you can't but don't kid yourself that it does not matter.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 3:53 PM

December 28, 2011

JON!

One of these quadrennials, the Rudy plan is going to work!

James Pethokoukis:

4. Jon Huntsman needs no worse than a close loss in New Hampshire to keep his campaign going. But should he do that, or even pull off an outright win, maybe voters elsewhere will take another look at his conservative record as a pro-lifer who instituted a flat tax as Utah governor and supports the Paul Ryan approach to entitlement reform.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:22 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

But what did he ever help Reagan do? :-P

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 6:32 PM

Newtgony

Not even a week after I declared Not Newt over his "pro"-life uber-pander, my favorite (living) economist has joined my favorite columnist in endorsing him.

"Like Ronald Reagan's tax cuts and pro-growth policies, Newt's low individual and corporate tax rates, deregulation and strong dollar monetary policies will create a boom of new investment and economic growth leading to the creation of tens of millions of new jobs over the next decade. Plus, Newt's record of helping Ronald Reagan pass the Kemp Roth tax cuts and enacting the largest capital gains tax cut in history as Speaker of the House shows he can get this plan passed and put it into action."

Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. But Sowell contradicts-

Do we wish we had another Ronald Reagan? We could certainly use one. But we have to play the hand we were dealt. And the Reagan card is not in the deck.

Fortunately for the indecisive, Iowa voters may make take the decision out of our hands. Perhaps taking my advice?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:35 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Glad your "favorite living economist" coincides with mine. Larry Kudlow is undeclared but you can tell from his voice that he is pleased with the Speaker.

And yet, Speaker G was lambasted last night on Kudlow's show both for not buying his domain name and also for failing to get on the ballot in his home state. As a tiebreaker, I suggest you consider his un-seriousness as a candidate.

Posted by: jk at December 28, 2011 4:38 PM

I Gripe about the RNC

But this is solid gold:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Watch for tire tread marks across Corzine's balding head soon.

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2011 2:20 PM

December 24, 2011

Not a Creature Was Stirring...

It's Christmas Eve and the magical hour is nigh, but in the internet age it's not too late to write a letter to Santa Claus.

(It's a great option for kids too.)

Fort Lupton, Colorado, United States

Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Eric. I am a boy and I am already 48 years old!! I live in the great city of Fort Lupton. Of course, that's in Colorado, United States but I'll bet you knew that! This year I've been so good that I should be the angel on top of the tree!

Santa Claus, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
- smart phone;
- new pair of hockey skates; and,
- Rush Limbaugh endorsement for Mitt Romney.

Santa Claus, I almost forgot to say... Please also give something nice to Timmy Tebow and the rest of the Broncos. A deep run into the playoffs would be nice!

Love, Eric

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2011

Not Newt

Yesterday I wrote of my indecision between Newt and Romney. Today, I've decided. Based upon this report, Newt has lost me.

Gingrich holds that a microscopic clump of largely undifferentiated cells inside a woman’s body deserves the same legal protections as a born infant living independently outside its mother’s body. His dogmatic position utterly defies the facts of pregnancy and the status of the zygote or fetus, as well as the basis and meaning of individual rights. Individuals need rights to live successfully with others; the concept cannot apply to a zygote or fetus wholly contained within another’s body. A woman is an independent person with the right to live her own life in accordance with her own judgment. A zygote or fetus is not. Abortion bans severely harm women and their partners by violating their rights.

Do I believe Romney is "pro-choice?" No more than the Personhood crowd trusts him as anti-choice. But I do find him wise enough to bury the issue, not highlight it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:44 PM | Comments (8)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You've just gotta hate these single-issue voters. (just kiddin').

"A woman is an independent person with the right to live her own life in accordance with her own judgment. A zygote or fetus is not."

Oh, by the way, newborns, toddlers and even some young adults are not capable of living life by his or her own judgement, either. Some mentally and physically disabled persons are also not able to function independently. Is Ari Armstrong suggesting that it's OK to terminate their existance as well? The argurment is a rather un-nuanced sound bite.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 22, 2011 4:40 PM
But jk thinks:

From a purely political perspective, I think Armstrong is correct to suggest that the Speaker's "walkback" and subsequent pander to Hawkeye State voters is a little too doctrinaire.

"Fools rush in," said Johnny Mercer, "where angels fear to tread." I struggle with the interstice of viability but want to afford rights to adult women.

The "Point of conception" reasoning equates the blastocyst with a human being with a developed brain. I'm a squish but cannot go that far. Armstrong's point is that a plurality of the electorate can be scared off with that comparison as well.

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2011 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A little context-dropping, BR? How does a medical procedure on one individual cause "termination of existence" of another?

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 5:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I left this for the reader to infer but the reason I reject Newt is not for his position on this issue, but how ham-handedly he deals with it. Colorado suffered greatly when Senator Bennet stole a second term from Ken Buck. I refuse to be a part of that scenario in the presidential race.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2011 5:59 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Not sure that there is any context dropping, JG. The article does not appear to have a more nuanced position. The Refugeed continues to maintain that a science-based definition of life (i.e., the opposite of the definition of death) must be adopted (no pun intended). However, he realizes that such is not the case.

The real issue here, however, is Newt's position. JK is likely correct that this is nothing more than Iowa Evangelical pandering, similar to his Iowa Ethanol pandering. When it comes to pandering, Newt takes a back seat to no one.

There may be many reasons to not vote for Newt, but abortion probably isn't one of them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 22, 2011 7:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Show of hands: Who thinks thinks Newt's opportunistic pandering won't, should he be nominated, come back to life as one of these?

Not much nuance there either, eh?

Posted by: johngalt at December 23, 2011 12:01 PM

We Could Sell Him "Dogs for Bush!"

ABC News:

RICHMOND, Va. -- Forget the back and forth attacks with Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich's campaign has decided to take another route on his bid to the Republican nomination: pets and music.

Mister Speaker! Might I suggest: Pets and Music.

UPDATE: ThreeSourcer newbies: In a more innocent time, we ran dogsforbush.com, inviting users to submit pictures and stories to support President Bush's re-election. We attracted enough hate attention to make the exercise worthwhile.

I got tired of paying ten bucks a year to keep the domain name, but all the entries are available at www.threesources.com/dogs.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2011

I Would Call this Stupid

The Speaker ran for President, and nobody acquired NewtGingrich.com ? WaPo:

The pro-Democratic super PAC American Bridge has bought the domain and programmed it to redirect to various Web sites, a clever attack on the former House speaker. The link might take you to Freddie Mac's Web site, Tiffany’s, information about Greek cruises , or to the ad Gingrich cut with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in favor of addressing climate change. Sometimes the page goes to a Post article about his campaign's June implosion.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM | Comments (0)

Newt - Romney - Newt - Romney

For two days I rested comfortably with my hypothesis that Newt's unpredictability and questionable ideas are best avoided and we'll just go along with Ann Coulter and get behind Romney. "We don't need or maybe even want a conservative crusader in the White House" I mused. "A potted plant with an R after his or her name is what we should seek in order to produce Oval Office signatures on the bills of a TEA Party congress. Leave the ideologues in the smaller, more divested offices of national government."

Then, yesterday, Thomas Sowell wrote this:

Can you name one important positive thing that Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts? Can anyone? Does a candidate who represents the bland leading the bland increase the chances of victory in November 2012? A lot of candidates like that have lost, from Thomas E. Dewey to John McCain.

Is losing with the firebrand less palatable than losing with the "sure-thing moderate Republican with great hair?" Here's to not having to decide before February 7, the Colorado Caucus date.

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

Which Superhero?

Nine year old Ari seeks the truth.


Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2011

TEA Time for Romney?

He's been the GOP's consistent second-choice since the season began. Not principled enough, activists engaged in a serial struggle to support a challenger to defeat His Presumptiveness. Now they've all had their moment in the sun and the last non-Romney standing, Newt Gingrich, shares too many atributes with a certain Doctor Jekyll.

This morning I was invited to vote in a Townhall-dot-com online National GOP Primary. Huntsman and Santorum, polling below five percent, were not allowable choices. I was asked to pick my first and second choice from the remaining five: Bachmann, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Romney. The exercise has enough of a sense of finality to it that I was unable to bring myself to pick Newt for either choice.

As the Corn Caucus looms, with primaries close behind, prominent TEA Party folk seem to be facing the same deathly-cold dilemma: Newt tells us what we want to hear, but do we believe it? And will America elect a man with so many negatives?

It's true that the liberal media attack Republicans unfairly. But that's a fact to be dealt with, not ignored by nominating a candidate who keeps giving the media so much to work with.

JK brought us news of TEA Party "troublemaker" Christine O'Donnell's endorsement of Mitt.

A quick Internets search reveals that South Carolina's state treasurer Curtis Loftis is now officially a Romney man, as is New Hampshire's Tom Thomson.

Thomson, a tree farmer and son of former New Hampshire governor Mel Thomson, is an influential conservative activist in the Granite State. He is the honorary chairman of the Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire chapter and organizes annual tea party rallies at the New Hampshire State House on tax day.

The endorsement is something of a coup for the Romney team, which hasn’t had much luck wooing tea partiers.

Romney may or may not be the most electable of our choices [Jon!] but he's the most electable of those with a chance to be nominated. I told dagny last night, "All we really need in a president is someone to sign the bills that come out of Congress" anticipating GOP control of both houses. Reaching for more, and falling short - that would be disastrous.

Okay then, how about Romney-Paul? (No, not that Paul.)

UPDATE: Another TEA Leaf - Tea Party fave Nikki Haley endorses Mitt Romney

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

And Gov. Christie's endorsement.

If we absolutely have to, I will certainly pick him over Speaker Gingrich. But look, is that a perfect candidate I see falling from the sky?

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2011 5:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


@JG wrote when praising Newt: I think Americans of every stripe appreciate, admire, and will reward, candor.

To which I say: sure they'll reward candor, but how?

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 15, 2011 11:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Odd, the server dumped the rest of my missive...

I think people do respect candor and will offer a bit of reward: say paying for speeches and/or books. Still, I don't think a workable majority will elect a scold who will constantly bring up bad choices (in part, no doubt, to bury memories of his own).

I think the Speaker is a valuable member of the team and whose voice mostly adds value, but he is not electable and would be shredded to the point of self-immolation by the attack-dog pros lined up behind Sir Golfs a Lot.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 16, 2011 12:00 AM

I Should Not Have Been So Harsh

I won't say my criticism on ThreeSources pulled the plug on Speaker Gingrich's candidacy, but I do hope that his unschumpeterian lash at Gov. Romney played a part:

James Pethokoukis wonders "Is the Gingrich bubble bursting already?"

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Another figure endorsing Romney is Christine O'Donnell, who declared, "He's been consistent since he changed his mind." Nathan Wurtzel observes, "Yogi Berra wishes he had thought of that one." -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Related: "After O'Donnell endorsement, Romney reverses himself on Salem witch trials. Was for, now against." -Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2011 2:38 PM

December 12, 2011

Huntsman - Gingrich Debate

Make you cry for the weakness of the other debates:

www.jon2012.com/livestream

I think they are replaying it tonight on C-SPAN

UPDATE: Seriously, watch the C-SPAN replay if you can (7:42 Mountain) It is how Presidents should be chosen.

UPDATE II: Or on YouTube (though it does not seem ready yet...)

Posted by John Kranz at 4:43 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Huh? Huntsman (around 21:00): "They [China] have never been involved in anything like that before." Namely, securing a neighboring state, in this case Afghanistan, with a failed government. North Korea doesn't count?

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2011 4:55 PM

Quote of the Day

Oh, come on, governor. This isn't like memorizing the periodic table.There are the good guys, Roberts and Alito and Scalia and Thomas. And then there's the guy who determines everything, Kennedy. And then there are Dasher, Dancer, Comet, and Blitzen. -- Jim Geraghty, in Morning Jolt Item #2: Rick Perry's Over-Under on Supreme Court Justices: 8.5 [subscribe]
UPDATE: All Hail Taranto!
Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm mentally substituting "Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, and Dopey." Reindeer bring Christmas, which is a good thing.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 12, 2011 1:55 PM
But jk thinks:

I counter offer: Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey and Comet. Justice Ginsberg -- alone -- put a 24 hour stop on the auto bailout for its assault on the 5th Amendment rights of the GM and Chrysler bondholders. For that, she earns a permanent floor on my esteem.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 3:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Stopped clock. Blind squirrel.

But it's Christmas, so I'm feeling charitable. But it's a low floor.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 12, 2011 4:59 PM
But jk thinks:

God Bless Us Everyone.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 5:13 PM

NO! Newt, NO!!!

I saw a few tweets about this this morning and hoped he was misquoted or that it happened in a parallel universe, or that somebody accidentally got Speaker Gingrich confused with Sen. Bernie Saunders (I - VT). Look, I'm even too upset to make a (Communist - VT) or (I - Venezuela) joke. But no, I think this happened: "Newt Strikes Back"

Gingrich: "If Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to then listen to him. And I will bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won't take the offer."

I'll confess I may nave been looking for a dealbreaker against Mister Speaker -- he makes me quite nervous.

But I have found it. Gingrich has been in the public sector too long and has forgotten that the private sector creates wealth. On Kudlow, Gingrich said "Mitt Romney ought to thank me -- it is because of my supply side policies that he got rich." Kudlow loved this line and called for Romney to respond for several consecutive nights on his show.

I'll respond for the Governor, and I am not even on staff. Romney created wealth at Bain Capital with his work and intellect. If a Democratic pol asked a venture capitalist to give him credit for wealth creation, we'd be grabbing for pitchforks. I lost a little respect for Mister Speaker over this -- and actually quite a bit for Kudlow, who knows better.

Gingrich has reviewed some 94 million books on Amazon. I suggest he read a little Joseph Alois Schumpeter before criticizing a successful venture capitalist for directing capital to its best use.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I like when he speaks the truth but that's not what happened here. He was clearly defensive about his Fannie Bux. I expect he'll walk this one back. (I hope.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 12:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Yyyyyeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh Buuuuuuuutttt... I want a walkback with flowers and candy and this will never happen again.

We're all running from Governor Romney for fear that he has no real conviction. This speaks to me that Speaker G does not either, more correctly that his conviction is contrived, or in Newtspeak that his fundamental convictions are disturbingly and alarmingly contrived.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Maybe Newt will sign a No Bashing Creative Destruction Pledge

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 1:48 PM

December 11, 2011

"Newt Romney" Rumble - Round 1

For those who enjoy such things, tonight's GOP Presidential Debate on ABC may have been the best one yet. With his second place in Iowa polls, Ron Paul supporters are burning up the Twitterverse how their guy won. But he didn't. He said many good things but still believes America's interests end at the water's edge. Pity. Tonight's debate was the first round of the "Newt Romney" grudge match. ("Newt Romney" is Michele Bachmann's new term for the co-leaders with very similar and somewhat mercurial positions, versus her "true conservatism.")

Chris Cillizza did a very good job summarizing the night's developments, and this was the most important one I saw:

For all of those folks predicting (or hoping) that Gingrich would implode, tonight was not their night. Make no mistake: there are genuine concerns within the party about what Gingrich leading the national ticket might mean for downballot race next November. But Gingrich gave his detractors very little reason to think that his collapse is in the offing.

But Chris didn't mention what I thought was the quote of the night by Newt Gingrich. [Nothing linkable on this yet as the media kids are focusing on Romney's offer to "bet you ten thousand dollars I never said that" with Rick Perry.] After a prolonged back-and-forth over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and specifically, Newt's prior comment that "the Palestinians are an invented people," Romney chastised Newt, and Newt responded.

Romney: I've also known B.B. Netanyahu for a long time, we worked together at Boston Consulting Group, and the last thing B.B. Netanyahu needs to have is not just a person who's an historian, but somebody who is also running for President of the United States, stand up and say things that create extraordinary tumult in his neighborhood. And if I'm President of the United States I will exercise sobriety, care, stability, and make sure that in a setting like this, anything I say that can effect a place with, with rockets going in, with people dying, I don't do anything that would harm that process. And therefore before I made a statement of that nature I'd get on the phone to my friend B.B. Netanyahu and say, 'Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?' Let's work together because we're partners. I'm not a bomb thrower, rhetorically or literally."

Gingrich: "I think sometimes it is helpful to have a President of the United States with the courage to tell the truth, just as it was Ronald Reagan who went around his entire national security apparatus to call the Soviet Union an evil empire, and who overruled his entire State Department in order to say to Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall. Reagan believed the power of truth restated the world and reframed the world. I'm a Reaganite. I am proud to be a Reaganite. I will tell the truth, even if it is at the risk of causing some confusion sometimes with the timid."

Romney didn't help himself, I thought, by mispronouncing the Israeli Prime Minister's name "B. B. Not-an-YA-hoo" (rather than Net-an-YA-hoo.) Not once, but every time he said it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:49 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I was out partying until the wee hours last night. When I got back (at 9:30), I watched a bit of it on TiVo. The debate seemed good, and I was very impressed with the moderators, whom I expected to be awful.

I did see the brutal and elaborately planned "Newt Romney" attack. Yawn. It sucks to have to listen to Rep. Bachmann and Senator Santorum but not have Gov. Huntsman on stage.

But, if nobody cratered at the end, I became more comfortable with both Speaker Gingrich and Gov. Romney last night. Supporting one of them does not seem completely unthinkable.

Posted by: jk at December 11, 2011 11:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

On Fox News Sunday I just heard Juan Williams say, "Are Republicans really thinking of nominating Newt Gingrich?" The answer is clearly, "yes." Voters are frequently advised, "Don't fall for a cult of personality." That advice works in reverse too - don't reject the candidate with the best message because you don't like the way he _______.

Newt's new "tell it like it is" campaign is resonating with GOP voters who want a direct frontal attack against Obama and his policies. Some will say this will kill his chances in the general election. I disagree. I think Americans of every stripe appreciate, admire, and will reward, candor.

Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2011 11:54 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Point of order, Mr. Chairman. It is "Bibi" not "B.B." This is a nickname for "Binyamin," his given name.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 12, 2011 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Correction noted and heartily appreciated. (I was so put off by Romney's mispronunciation of his "friend's" name I failed to look up the correct spelling of his nickname.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2011 2:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Jay Nordlinger at NRO is with ya:

If Mitt's going to claim buddyship with Netanyahu, he's got to work on the pronunciation of the prime minister's name.

Posted by: jk at December 12, 2011 5:40 PM

December 8, 2011

The Ryan Plan as Litmus Test

Like James Pethokoukis, I wish it were.

The Ryan Plan is now a "litmus test" for Republican presidential candidates? That would be great if true. Gingrich made a cataclysmic, unforced error earlier this year when he dissed Ryan's bold Medicare reform as "right-wing social engineering" and too big a change too quickly. It was a ridiculous statement when you consider that a) the shift to a premium-support system would not kick in until 2022, b) the plan would operate like the current prescription drug benefit plan, and c) the plan would only affect younger workers.

My strongest point about Gov. Huntsman is that he is the only candidate to embrace the Ryan Plan. And my strongest point against Mister Speaker is his disapprobation.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

Headline of the Day

Romney on ObamaCare Relief: Waiver? I Don't Even Know Her! -- Reason.com
Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

At least we agree we are in a ditch

Well brothers and sisters, I have just read the president's Osawatomie speech, almost in its entireity. Those of us who wondered how he thought he could win re-election can see the answer in this speech. It is a brilliantly deceptive blueprint for a bait-and-switch shell game on the American people.

I actually agreed with most of what he said in the opening, right up until "I am here to say they are wrong" which I would replace with "I am here to say that I am wrong." This comes right after the following passage:

But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what's at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. [Agreed.]

Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that's happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

Yes, Mister President, you are advocating a return to exactly the same practices that got us into this mess: Ever higher taxation, goverment spending more and more of our GDP, greater burdens on private businesses, further layers of coverage mandates for health insurers, interference with supply and demand in higher education which drives costs through the roof and causes shortages of trained blue-collar workers - in short, making life and business more expensive in America and driving jobs overseas. There really is a grave threat to the existence of the American middle class: You, and the repackaged, recycled, and retreaded egalitarian values you seek to "reclaim" demand.

An honest review of history shows us that such wealth-sharing demands - not, as you claim, free market capitalism - have failed to produce economic prosperity. Every, single, time. Free market capitalism has never been allowed more than enough rope with which to hang itself.

UPDATE: IBD Ed Page refutes the top five lies from Obama's Osawatomie speech.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:16 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

You are perhaps being kinder to the President than was the WaPo Fact Checker (three pinocchios). I blame this on rampant left-wing bias at ThreeSources.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 12:00 PM
But jk thinks:

The folks at IBD are somewhat less than impressed...

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 2:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ha! If I were awarding "Pinocchios" I'd have given him four. The highest ranking, it means the statement consists of "whoppers."

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2011 3:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought "Pants on Fire" exceeded the dreaded four-Ps. So hard to keep up with politics -- I guess that's a different site.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2011 3:52 PM

December 7, 2011

Bull Moose Bull ****

Since hearing soundbites of President Obama's "I'm channeling Theodore Roosevelt" speech yesterday I've wanted to deconstruct one or more of his specious points in a blog post. Before I could do so, Wichita Wordsmith Bud Norman beat me to it. And unlike his evaluation of candidate Newt Gingrich, he has a definitive conclusion this time.

Obama’s favorite straw men were once again eviscerated with all the gusto of John Brown swinging a saber at some pro-slavers. He accused his Republican opposition of wanting to “return to the same practices that got us into this mess,” as if they were all clamoring for the government-enforced subprime lending and exorbitant deficit spending. He characterized the Republican philosophy as “We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules,” which strikes us as an unfairly simplified description, although we must admit it is still a more attractive option that relying on Obama to care for us and playing by his rules.

Just one of many delightful paragraphs, and I'll leave the ending for you as a surprise.

Is it too early to nominate Bud's Central Standard Times for promotion to the blogroll? I'm not sure I could have given the subject such sublime treatment. Indeed, I'd be tempted merely to stoop to a lowly video example of Obama's America.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

A Brief History of Newton

Not the classical physicist, the Speaker of the House. I linked two articles yesterday showing the strong plusses and strong minuses of the "more conservative than Romney" candidate leading the GOP primary polls at the moment. While searching for supporting material for my "worst event in my lifetime" entry I found a very well written post on a two month old blog out of Wichita that gives the most frank and objective view of Gingrich's political career as I've seen. But be forewarned - the conclusion of blogger "Bud Norman, American" is no firmer than was mine.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Well written, indeed

Such obligatory caveats aside, it still strikes us as notable that Gingrich's long, strange journey through political history has arrived at this moment, however brief it might prove. The novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald famously remarked that "There are no second acts in American lives," but Gingrich has already had more acts than Wagner's Ring Cycle.

I will support the Speaker as nominee, but I will not vote for him in primary or caucus. He invoked our 26th President. I did not force him into it.

I watched him on Kudlow last night and he is good -- but he is TR. He's gonna do Six Sigma. He has BIG ideas for government. He's going to make it efficient -- but not smaller.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2011 4:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Should I do this? I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna cross the beams.

This passage from The People Who Hate Tim Tebow makes me think Newt might be the worst choice to put up against Obama:

Throughout the 20th century, there were only two presidents who won reelection with a bad economy and high unemployment: FDR in 1936 and Reagan in 1984. In both cases, the incumbent presidents were able to argue that their preexisting plans for jump-starting the economy were better than the hypothetical plans of their opponents (Alf Landon and Walter Mondale, respectively). Both incumbents made a better case for what they intended to do, and both enjoyed decisive victories. In 2012, Barack Obama will face a similar situation. But what will happen if his ultimate opponent provides no plan for him to refute? What if his opponent merely says, "Have faith in me. Have faith that I will figure everything out and that I can fix the economy, because I have faith in the American people. Together, we have faith in each other."

How do you refute the non-argument of meaningful faith?

You (usually) don't. You (usually) lose.

One thing that can't be said about Newt is that he doesn't offer a plan.

Posted by: johngalt at December 7, 2011 5:08 PM

Jon!

A blog friend sends some video links.

Also: this and this (~3:06 "Passed the plan Massachusetts and the country should have studied.")

UPDATE: Remember reading things on the Internet, before they invented videos? James Pethokoukis discusses his interview with Mary Kaye's husband.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Fourth place in NH with 9 points, but last in IA and SC. Nowhere to go but up, I s'pose.

Some signs of life on the Hannity show last night including an excellent answer on trade with China. But I'd like to see him show more toughness. For example, after Sean closed with the quip, "I hope you're ready for the incoming fire from Trump" I wanted to hear something like, "I'm not concerned with Trump, my focus is defeating President Obama."

Posted by: johngalt at December 7, 2011 11:44 AM

December 6, 2011

Which to believe? Both.

There's a reason why support for Newton Gingrich runs hot and cold.

Ramesh Ponnuru-

The race for the Republican nomination appears to have come down to two intelligent, knowledgeable men in Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Neither of them has a history of down-the-line conservatism. Gingrich can match Romney flip-flop for flip-flop and heresy for heresy. He has supported cap-and-trade legislation, federal funding for embryonic stem- cell research, the expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs and a federal requirement for everyone to buy health insurance. He has been neither more consistent nor more conservative than Romney.

Anne Kornblut-

Perhaps most significantly, Gingrich has an extensive Hispanic outreach organization, which he has been building for years. Unlike anything in the Romney playbook, that network could give Gingrich a head start slicing into Obama’s base in key states in the Mountain West, where Hispanics are a fast-growing swing voting bloc. Polls show Hispanic voters, two-thirds of whom backed Obama in 2008, still favor the president — but GOP strategists believe that winning 40 percent of that vote could disrupt Obama’s electoral college strategy by putting Colorado, Arizona and Nevada in the Republican column.

(...)

GOP strategists acknowledge that Gingrich could well self-destruct before winning the nomination. But if he survives, they say, he may be more formidable than some predict.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:16 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Between the two of them, Romney and Gingrich have more flip-flops that two whole battalions of Viet Cong. If it comes down to a choice between the two of them, I'll be choosing Gingrich - but I'm hoping it doesn't come down to a choice between the two of them.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 6, 2011 4:04 PM

December 5, 2011

Must See TV

Abby Huntsman sends "My Daddy's Media Schedule," and top of the list is:

Tonight, December 5
7:00pm ET - Gov. Huntsman with Larry Kudlow on "The Kudlow Report" (CNBC)

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)

I knew it was coming

But I am still pleased:

Cheater at haiku
Instead of 5-7-5
It was 9-9-9

All Hail Taranto!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:36 PM | Comments (0)

Frightening Nexus

Rep Ron Paul, the editors of National Review, and your humble blogservant, jk, agree.

In announcing that their candidate would not attend the Newsmax debate set to be moderated by Donald Trump in Iowa later this month, the Ron Paul campaign wrote, "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | Comments (0)

Huntsman Rising!

At least in my eyes:

Trump, via Twitter, countered that Huntsman "has zero chance of getting the nomination. Whoever said I wanted to meet him?"

In other news, Huntsman and Gingrich will debate "Lincoln-Douglas style" in New Hampshire this month. "Michael Levoff, a spokesman for Huntsman's campaign, said the date, place and debate rules are still being worked out" but other reports cite December 12.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

If we're not very careful, I will fall into a rant.

Who the Hell crowned Trump?

I'm glad he made a lot of money, and even understand that a New York developer has to give much of it to Democrats. I was the height of unenthused about his candidacy and that carries over to Mister-single-digits's self appointed capacity as Kingmaker.

Larry Kudlow had him on and treated him with great deference on this debate moderation. El Donaldo went on with his insufferable populism. It seems none of the candidates are anti-trade enough for the real estate man.

I've got to stop. But I die a little each time somebody treats Mr. Trump as a serious force in GOP politics -- he is not.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 3:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But if he could somehow manage to get the debaters entered as contestants on "America's Got Talent"...

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2011 2:54 PM

Huntsman a Conservative?

Jeopardy® champion and frequent Kudlow guest James Pethokoukis says yes.

If elected president, Huntsman says he would like to slash tax rates to their lowest levels since before America entered World War I and eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends. Powerful supply-side medicine for an anemic economic recovery. Huntsman has embraced Representative Paul Ryan's transformational, market-oriented debt-reduction plan, calling it "the model I would work from." He's also pro-life, a dedicated free trader and--at least as evidenced by his sweeping bank reform plan--an ardent anti-crony capitalist.

To be fair, Jimi P comes out of the closet for Newt two tweets later. But the Huntsman piece is a powerful argument that should sit well with a lot of ThreeSourcers.

UPDATE: Misread. Pethokoukis was MTing @ellencarmichael, not endorsing the Speaker himself.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

With due respect to Jimi, it will carry more weight when Rush Limbaugh says Jon is a conservative.

And by my read of the article, he says Jon's ideas are more conservative than is Jon.

Posted by: johngalt at December 5, 2011 3:21 PM

Making the Wrong Argument

The infamous "Rick Perry moment" in which he forgot the third of three federal agencies that he would abolish, while Ron Paul upped the ante to five agencies, fosters an image that Republicans want to take a meat cleaver to government. While that plays well in Three Sources, it does not engender thoughtful reform more likely to win over the masses.

Instead, The Refugee would suggest that candidates focus on the programs that they would privatize. Perhaps a poster child for this effort would be USDA's crop forecasting, profiled in today's WSJ for its highly inaccurate corn estimates. USDA sends out field personnel to stake out 15'x15' field plots and then measure the length of ears and extrapolate total crop size from there. Estimates are updated on a monthly basis. USDA corn estimates during the past two years have been more than 10% off, causing enormous price swings that damage both producers and buyers.

Seriously? 15x15 plots? Monthly reports? Surely entrepreneurs could find a way to use easily accessible satellite images, highly accurate rainfall guages and other calculations to generate more accurate estimates. It would seem that such a system could be updated on a daily basis for the effects of rain, flooding, drought, etc. Competing firms would give farmers and markets more data points from which to reach their own conclusions.The total cost to the economy might or might not be less (farmers and investors would likely have to buy a subscription to the data), but it would more accurately match cost with revenue and be borne by those who directly benefit.

There are likely a myriad of other programs that can be performed as well or better privately, such as the National Weather Service, National Earthquake Center and on and on. Could we not easily identify at least 30% of the government that can be done as well or better privately?

Targeting specific programs for privatization, rather than lopping off whole agencies, is much more likely to be politically palatable. Eliminating departments is a right-wing pipedream that lefty debate moderators use to frame Republicans as "extreme." Let's change the argument.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 12:06 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

JK is gobsmacked by his blog brother's insight. I share your political view, and was tinkering with the idea of 50% reductions to try to trim them back to "essentials."

Your plan is about a million times better. I even have the T-Shirt.

Awesome on stilts.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 1:18 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Heh! Great T-shirt.

The Refugee struggled with the term "privatize" because the Left has successfully stigmatized it. For the same reason "outsource" does not work, either. Market-based, market solution, re-sourcing - there's gotta be a better moniker.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 5, 2011 4:24 PM
But jk thinks:

That shirt looked kinda familiar.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 5:17 PM

December 4, 2011

Iowa Caucus - 4 Minutes Left in the 4th Quarter

Upon castigation by my brother for "gravitating toward" another "sure loser" I've reevaluated the differences between the records of the two Mormon ex-governors in the race. Not long ago br'er JK had me purt near convinced Huntsman is the best man to debate President Demand-the-Unearned for all the marbles. But that's sorta like letting Oregon go to the Rose Bowl for beating UCLA while Stanford watches helplessly due to an accident of arbitrary divisionalization. In our patented alternate universe, make Romney governor of Utah and saddle Huntsman with Massachusetts - then see which one shares nicknames with an anthropomorphic teevee dolphin.

I'm not jumping off his bandwagon yet, but if Jon really has the chops to "Tebow" the GOP field there are 4 weeks left, Herman Cain just punted the ball and it's first down on his own 2 yard line (while Newt also has the ball at his 25.) Time to start making plays and gaining ground, in big chunks.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:21 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Iowa is the opening drive if I may borrow a metaphor. The social conservatives are unlikely to pick Mr. Mary Kaye. He has put all his eggs in the granite state basket. If he is not close in NH, then I'll reevaluate.

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2011 8:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair extension of the metaphor. We'll call the current game "regular season" and what starts with Iowa "playoffs."

Posted by: johngalt at December 4, 2011 9:16 PM

GOP Presidential Primary - December Preview

Last night's Huckabee Forum on FNC did a good job of summarizing the state of the nominating campaign as we begin December 2011, on "2012 Eve" if you will. While Florida AG Pam Biondi was the most pleasing to watch, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli was by far the best questioner. In this video segment he discusses several of the candidates and declines to name his current favorite, instead saying "there's opportunity, even in the next month, for these candidates to flesh out their positions in ways that make them unique and special and make them somebody that conservatives in particular could get behind." That really validates my current mood that the question is not settled.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

An "Environmental Solutions Agency" to replace the EPA (~4:40) -- yeah, I feel better.

I think the noocyuler bomb over the weekend was Senator Tom Coburn's staunch distancing of himself from the Speaker. Coburn was there in '94 and said Gingrich lacked leadership qualities.

D'ja see that? Didja? I would think a lot of the Speaker's supporters would both watch FoxNewSunday and give great weight to Sen. Coburn.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 12:13 PM

December 1, 2011

Mittstant Replay

A great friend of this blog shares a bit of GOP ex-Governor Mormon Presidential Candidate Smackdown:

UPDATE: And, if you don't go away, I will taunt you another time!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 PM | Comments (8)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This ad angers The Refugee almost to the point of first person. If your only strategy is to beat down other Republicans and give grist to the Democrats, then get the hell out of the race. He was not particularly inclined to vote for Huntsman before, but this tears it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:05 PM
But jk thinks:

It did occur to me, br, that Reagan's 11th Commandment may have been contravened in this ad. But Gov H is back in the polls and swinging for the fences in Hew Hampshire, so an attack on the likely winner doesn't seem completely misplaced duzzit?

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2011 5:11 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You attack using superior ideas and strength of conviction. MoveOn.org could have produced this ad. First Cain and now Newt are rising because they present ideas, not attack ads.

The ad featuring three daughters was not effective because was not about ideas, it was about, "Gee, our dad sure is swell." If that were the criteria, Michelle Bachmann's 23 foster kids would trump Huntsman's seven offspring. The Obama machine would destroy this guy because he has no clue how to package voter value.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly, br, is waiting for this video.

On a slightly more serious side, the second link is a more positive video.

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2011 5:54 PM
But HB thinks:

I think the refugee needs to re-assess the race. It is important that the issues that are likely to come up during the general election are heard now rather than when we are stuck with a particular candidate. Romney is someone who will say anything to get elected. The people who think he is most electable are, I believe, overlooking that point.

Similarly, Newt needs to become spokesman for Southwest Airlines where baggage flies free.

The only candidate that has a chance to win the general election is Jon Huntsman. He has superior knowledge of foreign affairs, he has produced the best economic plan, and his views do not change. In fact, I would argue that Huntsman has all of the characteristics that people like in Mitt Romney without all the flip-flopping.

Posted by: HB at December 2, 2011 10:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome Newt line, HB!

I think we all need to reassess the race. There are so many moving parts that the big picture transforms weekly, if not daily at times. And I think we may find more agreement that Huntsman could have the best chance to win a general election rather than the only chance.

At this point I see Jon as a sort of "too-good-to-be-true" candidate who is completely tone-deaf to the GOP mood and has no sense for how to appeal to fellow Republicans. Further, he seems to have no desire to do so. His natural advantages in a general election will do him no good until and unless he fixes this other problem. I'm as erudite a TEA partier as there is and I wrote him off in the first debate, and kept shoveling dirt in the subsequent ones.

Posted by: johngalt at December 2, 2011 12:23 PM

Newt Apostasies

Jim Geraghty is getting some pretty nasty emails.

Yesterday, he posted a list of quotes from Speaker Gingrich that he felt would not excite the serious, tea party, conservative, republican base that seeks to keep that serial flip flopper Romney away from the nomination. They are somewhat devastating.

Today, he defends himself from the hate mail (some dared to call him "RINO!") in a superb Morning Jolt email. You're mad if you don't subscribe, but I cater to the afflicted by copying the entire Newt section as an extended entry (click "continue reading...")

If I may join the Speaker in using more adverbs to prop up my apparrunt intelligence: it's singularly devastating.

UPDATE: Verum Serum unearths product of his lobbying professorial history advisement for Freddie Mac: (HT: Insty)

The housing GSEs have made an important contribution to homeownership and the housing finance system. We have a much more liquid and stable housing finance system than we would have without the GSEs. And making homeownership more accessible and affordable is a policy goal I believe conservatives should embrace.
[...]
Well, it’s not a point of view libertarians would embrace. But I am more in the Alexander Hamilton-Teddy Roosevelt tradition of conservatism. I recognize that there are times when you need government to help spur private enterprise and economic development.

=========================================================
You read the grand collection of easily forgotten Newt quotes on Campaign Spot yesterday, right? I went to Memeorandum last night to find it at the top of the page.

Unsurprisingly, those who preferred somebody besides Newt loved it; Newt fans insisted that it was A) evidence that NR will endorse Romney, B) evidence that I've been bought off by Mitt Romney, C) a tirade (somehow quoting Newt constitutes a tirade), or D) RINO!

It's just so farshtunken tiresome.

Streiff at RedState suggests I'm a "gnome," scoffing, "I'm sure there is an army of gnomes out there, this very instant, researching every exotic statement Gingrich has uttered in his career. This will be a full employment plan not only for those gnomes but their children because every time Gingrich has had a thought he has told a newspaper somewhere about it."

Of course. I suppose all true conservatives shrug nonchalantly at the thought of a candidate and potential president who feels the need to publicly proclaim every thought that comes into his head.

I don't doubt that Gingrich is brilliant. But he's also extraordinarily undisciplined, quick to come up with ideas, quick to tout and celebrate them, and quick to discard them, a form of intellectual attention-deficit disorder that marks his post-congressional career.

For example, in 2003, he offered an explosive and provocative argument that President Bush's foreign policy was being undermined by his own diplomatic corps, and he passionately declared, "Only a top-to-bottom reform and culture shock will enable the State Department to effectively spread U.S. values and carry out President George W. Bush's foreign policy." This was (and still is!) bold stuff, his article caused a big stir, his contentions outraged then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and every diplomat, Gingrich got a lot of attention . . . and then nothing happened. No reforms were enacted. Gingrich moved on to his next big idea for American renewal, and for all the hubbub, we have the exact same culture at Foggy Bottom that we always had.

Most of Newt's big initiatives since leaving office have had this big-talk, little-action pattern: the task force on U.N. reform, the Hart-Rudman Commission (it talked a lot about terrorism in 1999, but nobody was listening), etc. I suppose you could argue that his Center for Health Transformation was an exception, as it helped create the prescription-drug benefit for Medicare, but then again, a lot of conservatives see that as another unfunded expansion of an entitlement program.

He proposed U.S. efforts to remove Yassir Arafat from power in April 2002. Bold idea, went nowhere (became moot in late 2004). Later that year, he attacked Walter Mondale (the Democrats' Senate candidate in Minnesota after Paul Wellstone was suddenly killed in a plane crash) by saying that Mondale wanted to privatize Social Security and raise the retirement age. He constantly blurts these things out, and because he's a former speaker, there are rarely any lasting consequences. As the Republican nominee or as the American president, there would be big consequences.

Hey, look, if you've written me off as a hopeless RINO, how about Mark Steyn? Jeff Poor at the Daily Caller caught Steyn sitting in for Rush earlier this week:

Filling in for Rush Limbaugh on his radio show Tuesday, Steyn referenced a Pundit & Pundette blog post that suggested Gingrich sounds smarter on the debate stage because he uses so many adverbs.

"You watch him in the debates," Steyn said. "It's all 'profoundly, dramatically deeply compelling. All the action is in the adverbs. One of my problems again with Newt is like he's bursting with ideas that sound all as if they are coming from a self-help manual. If you remember back in his heyday, he had something called 'The Triangle of American Progress.' And that evolved into the "Four Pillars of American Civilization,' which in turn expanded into the 'Five Pillars of the Twenty-First Century.'"

And the growth of those programs, from three-to-four-to-five points, doesn't lend a lot of credence to any hopes Gingrich would scale back government.


"And by the way, just the sort of grade inflation going on in his plans," Steyn added, "makes him sound as a wee bit of a dodgy prospect when comes to actually slashing back government."

A couple of people wondered when we would see a similar list of Mitt Romney's deviations from conservative thinking. Well, there's this thing that Tim Pawlenty called "Obamneycare," and he used to emphasize that he was pro-choice, and he used to boast that he was an independent during Reagan-Bush and . . . what's that? You've heard all of that? Yeah, me too. In fact, we spent most of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 hashing this stuff out. The primary difference (no pun intended) between last cycle and this cycle is that the enactment of Obamacare has put the issue of the individual mandate front and center, and Romney's view is that we must fight all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure that the federal government never thinks it has the authority to make us buy health care, so that the states are free to make us buy health care instead.

Despite having deep worries about Gingrich's temperament in office, I'm not that anti-Newt. If he gets the nomination I'll be strapping on my helmet and doing my best to replace President Obama with President Gingrich. And I'll really be hoping for some kick-tush veep who will hopefully be able to keep Gingrich focused on enacting his best ideas. (Hint, hint.)

If you prefer Gingrich to Romney or any other candidate, fine. But don't tell me you're choosing Gingrich over Romney because the latter is an inconsistent, unreliable, fair-weather conservative, and the former isn't.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

Thanks. That does leave Huntsman eh?
Ok then. I've been too down in the dumps thinking that Obama may actually win that i haven't looked too closely.
While it would be fun to see Newt debate Obama, i dont think he can win.

Posted by: Terri at December 1, 2011 3:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, he can win. After all, isn't it becoming apparent that he's as slippery as Mitt? My question is whether or not we want him to win. The ol' "Democrat policies in Republican wrapper" thingey.

And yet, there will be "disqualifiers" in Huntsman's past as well.

I love sausage, but I hate makin' it.

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2011 5:02 PM

November 30, 2011

Jon!

Surging to double digits in the polls! Mary Kaye's husband might be having his moment.

Russ Douthat pens a piece on Governor Huntsman's political missteps, but the paragraphs before the "but" constitute a ringing endorsement:

It’s a plausible line, evoking William F. Buckley Jr.'s often-quoted admonition that right-of-center voters should support the most electable conservative in any given race. But is it accurate? Not if you judge candidates on their record, rather than by their affect [sic?]. By that standard, the most electable conservative remaining in the Republican race is probably Jon Huntsman.

Huntsman is branded as the Republican field's lonely moderate, of course, which is one reason why he's current languishing at around 3 percent in the polls. But as Michael Brendan Dougherty noted in a summertime profile for the American Conservative, Huntsman's record as Utah's governor isn't "just to the right of other moderates, it is to the right of most conservatives."


The only candidate supporting the Ryan plan. Let that one sink in...

UPDATE: Brother JG's awesome link.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:48 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I had all but given up on Jon since the California Straw Poll. This piece describing him as a solid conservative with both political and business experience, but a crappy campaign strategy hits home with me. Yes, I dismissed him because of debate gaffes, so I never looked at his record. Looking at where Newt is after he looked like a complete goner, I think Mary Kaye might yet be our first lady. I'm already prepared to declare him the best Mormon ex-governor in the race. My advice: Move next door to Sarah Palin and do whatever it takes to get her endorsement. Or even, "Huntsman-Palin '12."

Posted by: johngalt at November 30, 2011 3:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Seen this yet? Douthat mentioned it, and it's also linked from www.jon2012.com.

Posted by: johngalt at November 30, 2011 3:13 PM

November 26, 2011

The Palin Card

Lest we forget, has yet to be played in the 2012 nomination contest (derisively called "the ongoing Gong Show courtesy of the GOP dunceworks" by a commenter at JK's Huntsman Rising! link.) While the race has proven to be a combination of the Romney establishment candidacy and a game of musical chairs between the "anti-Romney's, an endorsement by the ex-governor from the AK time zone is a development that still promises a tectonic effect on the race. And RCP's Scott Conroy says, Gingrich May Have Inside Track on Palin's Endorsement.Gingrich May Have Inside Track on Palin's Endorsement

Palin and her advisers have in recent weeks discussed when her endorsement might have the greatest impact on the race, but the timing remains undetermined.

But Palin would likely have the biggest influence if she were to back a candidate before the Iowa caucuses. Her still considerable clout with the evangelical and Tea Party-leaning wings of the party could have a particularly significant impact in Iowa and in the first-in-the-South primary in South Carolina.

Aides emphasized that while Gingrich currently appears to be the front-runner for Palin’s endorsement, her thinking could change.

Sing it, Sarah!

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

November 24, 2011

Romney, not-Romney

"Oh no, there goes I-o-wa;
Go go Newtzilla."

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:51 AM | Comments (8)
But nanobrewer thinks:

TS'ers have noted that I haven't rigorously defended Romney. Not that I can't, but it takes time. Again I will refer to the electibility index: look at the numbers under the "independents" and you'll see what I'm referring to. Note that we'll need a polished, teflon coated candidate against the smug, smearer-in-chief.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2011 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well brothers, does this help your opinion of the nuveaux TEA Party Darling Gingrich over the establishment squish Romney?

Gingrich, Romney Spar Over Immigration in GOP Debate

Gingrich advocates legal status, without citizenship, for "those who have shown more of a commitment to this country." Romney (and Bachmann) accuse him of backing "amnesty." And yet, in 2007 Romney told the Lowell (MA) Sun ...

"I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country."

That Romney is so flip-flop-flippy. He's such a slippery dude I think I'll start calling him Slick Willard.

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2011 10:46 AM
But jk thinks:

I suspect my blog brother is going to disown me, but I am retreating to the Huntsman camp. You don't need to remind me of Governor Romney's imperfections, but do I need to remind you of the Speaker's?

Governor Jon was pretty awesome on FOXNews Sunday yesterday.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 11:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. I found myself wanting to revisit tweets and debate recordings to remind myself what was objectionable from a policy standpoint. I recall accusing him of being anti-American Exceptionalism. Perhaps I overreached. (Or perhaps he was pandering yesterday.)

One area where Jon absolutely slays Gingrich: First Lady.

Posted by: johngalt at November 28, 2011 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I wouldn't sweat that. Newt will have another one shortly, perhaps she'll be more to your linking.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 5:28 PM
But jk thinks:

I had not seen The Beehive State's former First Lady until you mentioned it. I felt rather like a schoolboy searching the Internet for pictures, but you are correct -- Mary Kaye is rather fetching.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 5:47 PM

November 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

There's another Republican debate tonight on CNN. Candidates, start your chagrines! Let's get ready to stumble! -- Jim Geraghty (subscribe)
Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2011

Serious Words

Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen are Clintonistas, to be sure, but their WSJ guest editorial seems a cri de coeur from a serious branch of the Democratic Party:

When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality--and he must reach the same conclusion.

He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president's accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor--one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president's administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy.


I suggest Secretary Clinton would win in a landslide, and would be a far better hope for this great nation than a 50/50 chance of a second Obama term.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

President Obama's "moral high-ground" is that capitalism is immoral. To him (and a huge fraction of his base) Hillary Clinton (and Caddell and Schoen) is/are moderate Republican(s). I would be stunned if the President followed this template.

If Clinton has any electoral advantage over Obama in this scenario it will come from her gender not any policy differences, real or perceived.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 2:22 PM
But jk thinks:

I think Secretary Clinton would recapture disaffected lefties who are perturbed by the President's incompetence and capture some moderates who don't find his petty partisanship appealing.

Now that we Tea Partiers have abandoned President George W Bush's defense, the Clinton Years are "the good old days." Perhaps they were, but Democrats have chosen all the wrong reasons. For her purposes, however, it would be a powerful message.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

But we agree that he will not likely take Caddell's "patriotic moral high ground." Kumbaya there!

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 2:40 PM

November 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

He's a responsible, well-spoken adult with a good record in office, a soothing style, bipartisan appeal and ample knowledge of the world beyond our shores. But Jon Huntsman, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, somehow imagines he can overcome those handicaps. -- Steve Chapman, Chicago Trib
Hat-tip: a blog friend who's not giving up.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

History smiles on Churchill, while Chamberlain is remembered as a tool.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 11:27 AM
But jk thinks:

Did you see a Churchill? Clearly I have been watching the wrong debates.

Huntsman is the only free-trader and the only one with a nuanced position on immigration or gay rights. His economic plan attracted a lot of accolades from people I respect.

If I could truly ignore polls, I would probably be in the Jon! camp. But I cannot. He has not attracted and does not seem poised to attract a critical mass of GOP support.

Pity, although I can live without his nuance on global warming.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 12:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My trouble with him is he is nuanced on everything, including American Exceptionalism. I'm looking for principled leadership. Leadership that says, "The American way is the best way to world prosperity. Stop resenting us and join us." On that point there are several good choices and one not bad one as well. Instead, Huntsman says America is "wounded" or "troubled" or some such. Bah.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 12:46 PM

November 17, 2011

Jon!

I Embed. You Decide!

I find the dystopian intro less than optimistic.

UPDATE: The emailer responds:

Yes. I found myself hating it for the first 20 seconds or so, but then I liked how the remainder was simple, yet informative.

Ultimately, I think that Huntsman is my guy. I'm going down with the ship.


No, I'm not telling you who -- I'm certainly not outing a Huntsman supporter on ThreeSources!

FWIW, as the kiddies txt, I like his positions the best, but don't know if my swimming skills will allow me to join my friend.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2011

She said

There's no "he said" to go with this one, as Newt Gingrich isn't talking about the private family matter, but his daughter is. In short, no, her father did not "hand her divorce papers on her death bed" as the liberal meme has it.

My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

The tumor was benign.

Mother and father are still alive and well and Jackie and her sister "are blessed to have a close relationship with them both."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 PM | Comments (0)

Our Margaret

Blog friend Sugarchuck and I use that endearing sobriquet for the WSJ's Peggy Noonan, whom we have both followed through significant ups and downs. I don't think her writing chops ever dimmed, but her thinking chops did. She is so ensconced in the elite Westside Manhattan and Washington Axis, she became deracinated from reality.

But she pens a beaut today on the GOP debates. Brother JG will be happy to see she starts out taking his side in the "strongest steel forged by the hottest fire" theory. She notices one guy who is not going to face a grilling between Novembers:

One of the people in the debate was bombastic to the point of manic, and another was more pointedly aggressive than her usual poised and beautiful self. But enough about Jim Cramer and Maria Bartiromo. It was a revealing debate. It would be wonderful to see President Obama grilled as the Republicans were Wednesday night in Michigan. What exactly will you cut in the entitlement programs? How will you solve the foreclosure crisis? And we'd like you to answer in 30 seconds while we look at you with the sweet-natured gaze of a cop at a crime scene.

What style that woman has. Though she has generally kind words about each candidate, she ends with a sober and pragmatic warning. Republicans must keep moderates in mind. I don't accept that that means abandoning philosophy, but it is a reminder to see candidates as swing voters see them.
But this is a time to be sober. The voting begins in 7-1/2 weeks. We're picking a president now, right now, every day as we make our decisions.

Did you see the Ohio numbers from Quinnipiac this week? Mr. Obama beating all comers. In an initiative, voters rebuked his health-care, but Gov. John Kasich's effort to gain some control over unions and public-sector spending was roundly defeated in a referendum. In Ohio, that bellwether state. This thing isn't over.

Republicans should sober up. They should be thinking not about what the Republican at the local GOP meeting is thinking, but what the independent across the street is thinking. He's catching the Cain story on TV and thinking: "This guy may have a problem. I want more evidence, but if it's true, then man, we don't need to go there again."


Kim Strassel, on the same page, points out signs of substantive Democratic weakness in Virginia's results. But weakness in the GOP field will make it hard to capitalize.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:38 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JK, Re: Ms. Noonan. What you said.
Rich and emotive writing style, though getting a bit soft in the frontal cortex.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 16, 2011 12:09 AM

November 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Oh, shoot, no. This ain't a day for quitting nothing." -- Gov. Rick Perry on the 236th Birthday of the US Marine Corps
Posted by John Kranz at 5:52 PM | Comments (0)

Herman Cain, Welcome to Chicago

Via Investors Business Daily, Ann Coulter explains why so much of the smears against candidate Cain are coming from Chicago.

Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

It goes on from there.

This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary. They also are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think it's time.... to bring out allegations that Cain made inappropriate gestures, sayings vague references, innuendo and proximity with my daughter. While she was still in the womb!

Politico has apparently been pretty shameless through all this.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 15, 2011 11:44 PM

A Serious Word on Gov. Perry

Looking at the leaders we elect, a bit of circumspection with the process seems in order. Or. "Tyler Cowen, call your office!"

Gov. Perry's "Oops" goes down in history with GHW Bush's looking at his watch, Admiral Stockdale's "Why am I here," and Ted Kennedy’s equally missing reason for seeking the office. It might be a fair cop of Kennedy, but really? I was going to suggest we all know somebody brilliant and capable who has on occasion, ummm....ahhh.....what was I saying...

Jay Nordlinger [UPDATE: Found a link] says it:

Perry's fumbling around was very, very human. I know it'll hurt him. But I don't think it ought to. What matters is what he is planning for the government, not which departments he can remember at a particular moment.

Once, Bill Buckley couldn’t remember the name of Evelyn Waugh. He said to me, "Who's my hero, the author of Brideshead?"

Do you see what I mean? I think Perry should be cut much slack, but people aren't like that, maybe especially in politics.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Oh, I come to bury Perry, not praise him.

This video lives and would make a potent commercial for the people who have not seen it. Nah, put a fork in him, he's done.

But the hyperconsequentialism of the televised debates since 1960 has not really delivered us the best class of candidates or executives. Hazzit?

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2011 12:25 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I read about that snarky "five" thing by Paul. Heck, I've named five just in my first comment. I'd bet I could come up with two dozen in relatively short order. Does that mean my candidacy is over? You guys aren't abandoning me, are you?

I'm guessing that what would probably hurt me the most would be when I turn to Romney and say "you know, I'm not much of a debater myself; what do you say you and I just step out behind the building and settle this like men?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 10, 2011 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Chris Wallace asked Rep. Paul "why only five?" on FOX News Sunday. I forget the exact wording of his response, but it was just showing how reasonable and non-doctrinaire he was. Pretty good moment.

Whatever you think of him, I suggest Paul has earned the right to remind all of the others that he is more ready to cut than they.

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2011 12:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If only the Pentagon were further down on his "cut" list...

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:30 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

You know, there needs to be a ban on political candidates named Perry. Things like "I think Perry should be cut much slack" make me do a double-take when trying to catch up on missed posts and reading too fast.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 10:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. My friend (also first name) Clark was grabbing all the Clark for President schwag he could find when General Wesley ran...

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2011 10:40 AM

Please Oh Please Listen to Roger Simon.

I don't always agree with Simon, but he wrote my post for me today.

Nobody digs politics more than me. But these debates are torture -- I would have loved a little waterboarding last night to break the ennui. It's not that they're dull (they are) and it is only partially that it is a forum for Democratic leaning journalists to whack GOP ideas (it is). It is mostly that we don't ever learn anything new about the candidates. Take it away, Rog:

We already know (oh, how we know) that Newt Gingrich is the smartest student in the room, that Mitt Romney can look like a president, that Herman Cain was a business success, that Michel Bachmann adopted more kids than Cheaper by the Dozen, that Rick Santorum is a mean self-promoter, that poor Rick Perry is the worst debater since Sally-whatever-her-name-was in the third grade, that Jon Huntsman is a bore and that Ron Paul is, well, Ron Paul.

Bag the rest, suggests SimonSimon says, and have the double digit candidates sit down and talk.

I will add one item. I hate to bag on the House of Kudlow, but that was the worst of the debates and they had the most interesting topic. Rick Santelli got to ask one question late. Larry got to come on after and interview prominent Democratic partisans about what weasels all the candidates are.

For the moderators, we get CNBC's two most left wing journalists, John Harwood and Steve Liesman; big money Democratic contributor, Goldman Sachs guy and Spitzer friend Jim Cramer; and Maria Bartaromo, who is "moderate" in comparison, but solidly in the conventional-wisdom-beltway-industrial-media complex camp. What, Rahm Emmanuel was booked?

Terrible, painful, tedious, uninformative, and deleterious to the party's objectives.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:32 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Frankly, I'm ignored the "debates," though I followed a live-blogging of last night's festivities (it was that or the CMAs, I suppose...). From what I followed, Santelli was all but banned from speaking, and Mitt Romney was all but banned from shutting up. The legacy media has already anointed Romney as their choice to run against their sainted Obama; is there really a need for them to keep reminding us? Letting leftist media talking heads manipulate the GOP's candidate selection process is like letting the student body of USC select UCLA's starting line-up on game day.

Off topic, but I'm surprised to learn a bit of Greg Mankiw news that didn't get featured here: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011/11/what_greg_manki.html

I propose that Messrs. Santilli and Mankiw co-moderate the next debate.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 10, 2011 11:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I found it refreshing. Newt was unapologetic in his mocking of the moderators. Cain had some excellent one-liners. (Kudlow thought Cain won the debate, if memory serves. I do remember him saying that Cain's performance "blew me away.")

This is the kitchen, brothers. We need battle-tested, asbestos-skinned cooks. The debates have merit.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 12:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And we should give props to the debate audience. The instant feedback they gave was like a live, real-time opinion poll. They gave Santelli (coiner of the TEA Party idea) a rousing applause. They booed when Cain was asked if he has stopped beating his wife. They laughed out loud when Perry said "oops." Their display of rugged western individualism restored my faith and confidence in our eastern time zone brothers.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:28 PM

November 9, 2011

Romney "most electable" - NOT

Mitt Romney's greatest supposed attribute has been his "electability." Erick Erickson and Karl Rove throw cold water on that idea, likening him to the squishy John Kerry.

In the 2004 election, most Americans stood on Kerry's side of the issues, but Rove claims they ultimately voted for Bush because they didn't really believe Kerry believed anything. Voters supposedly like strong leaders they disagree with better than weak leaders who might agree with them on Monday but wake up on Tuesday, wearing a different face.

That's exactly the argument Erickson is making, and it's precisely the one that could hurt Romney badly.

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

Just wait till after the 1st debate with BHO. Actually, I don't think you'll need to wait until the end... it'll be quite apparent after about 10 min. who's ready to be a leader.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2011 11:29 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Dammit, I hate agreeing with JG so often...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 10, 2011 12:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm a bridge-builder.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:21 PM

Newtzilla 2

He's ba-ack. Dorothy Rabinowitz reporting on the candidate's speeches to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition forum last month:

Mr. Gingrich predicted, too, that late on Election Night—after it was clear that President Obama had been defeated along with the Democrats in the Senate—the recovery would begin, at once. His audience roared with pleasure. No other Republican candidate could have made the promise so persuasive.

Finally, Mr. Gingrich announced that as the Republican nominee he would challenge President Obama to seven Lincoln-Douglas-style debates. "I think I can represent American exceptionalism, free enterprise, the rights of private property and the Constitution, better than he can represent class warfare, bureaucratic socialism, weakness in foreign policy, and total confusion in the economy."

Dorothy's headline 'Why Gingrich Could Win' hinges on Cain imploding. Still not convinced that will happen but if it does, Newt is the next "not-Romney" in line.

At the very least, a good excuse for another listen to the video.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2011

The Feel Good Movie of the Decade!

Watch MoveOn.org's description of Governor Romney -- and you'll want to send him a check!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:25 PM | Comments (0)

Great Take on THE Herman Cain

Blog friend Terri provides a thoughtful post on l'Affair Herman (not excerpting -- it is short and required).

In addition to an interesting gender perspective you're less likely to see here (hey, I've tried to recruit her) there is a reasoned evaluation that is similar to mine. Neither of us is abandoning the Godfather of the Double Breasted Suit, but it suggests more scrutiny is required of his political skills if not his personal habits.

I'll add that I am all for personal accountability, but I am concerned by two things. First, can four women derail a candidacy and get feted on TV for it? Secondly, I am sensitive to the fact that the people whom I want to run for the office are staying home to watch football. We slip further into the realm of seeing only Vice President Goresque candidates, who have planned on running since they were seven. If this takes Cain down (as opposed to his paucity of political skills), we will never see the businessperson candidate again.

Sad on many levels. I don't mean to die on this hill for Herman Cain, but I'm not certain anything untoward has been conclusively presented.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I added a comment. Perhaps I read her post as more supportive than she really intended, but if this is an attempt by the CLE (collectivist liberal establishment) to derail the Cain Train we play into their hands if we waver now.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg delivers some hard medicine without the elite condescension and uniformed conventialism that has stuck in my craw (ow!)

The tut-tutting of the WSJ Ed Page, Michael Steele (can we trade him to the Democrats for a 5th round draft pick to be named later?) and even, Et Tu, JimiP has been somehow worse than the joy of the lefties. Goldberg is level-headed and fair.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 3:40 PM
But Terri thinks:

Hey, thanks for the shout out.

From reading the papers this morning reporters did not like the denials that Cain had yesterday. I didn't see it. But the more I think about the specific complaint from the Beliak (sic) woman, the more it is unbelievable.

I've checked with the men around here and even the sleazy ones would never immediately reach under the skirt to grab a crotch without first figuring out if the woman was receptive or not. Other than in playboy letters, that will take a little more finesse.

Still on the Cain Train.
You guys will appreciate this from Maggie's farm:

David Brooks: Let’s be honest, the Constitution is silly, what with the idea about citizen legislators. We need a professional governing class. With nicely creased slacks.

David, I am sorry to inform you that Americans have no interest in being ruled by our betters. We just don't believe they are better, and have little evidence for it since after the founders.

http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/18487-David-Brooks-has-the-Tom-Friedman-Disease.html

Posted by: Terri at November 9, 2011 8:22 AM

October 31, 2011

High-Tech Lynching, The Sequel

The American Spectator:

Alas, too many people have seen this movie. So they already know what to call this.

High Tech Lynching of an Uppity Conservative Black man.

The Sequel.

UPDATE: Erick Erickson's take.

Before getting into the details, let's pay attention to what this means.

It means for certain that Herman Cain's lead in the polling is real -- very, very real. People are taking him seriously. Mr. Cain is about to spend a week in Washington answering questions and giving speeches. Someone wanted to make sure he has a miserable week.


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is to be hoped that Mr. Cain had a long, informative conversation with Justice Thomas as the Cain Train was starting to pull out of the station. Forewarned is, after all, forearmed.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 31, 2011 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

What truly concerns is that it will work. The headline lead story on Yahoo/AP all morning has been Herman Cain Denies Allegations of Sexual Harassment.

Stopped beating your wife yet, Herm? This is all most people will see. My Facebook Friends will assert that he is some character out of an Adam Sandler movie, and it will go down in the bad history of President Bush (peré) and the supermarket scanner. All from a hit piece with no named source.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 3:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

All very true, and I am inclined to agree that this is a lynching and not a truth tale.
BUT, if had been a little less backtracky on other subjects depending upon the wind of the masses and how things "sounded", I would not be "inclined", I would forthrightly state that Herman Cain would never misspeak about such a thing and I believe him 100% and will send him another check.

Instead I'll wait a couple of days and see how he handles this.

Posted by: Terri at October 31, 2011 5:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Perfesser Reynolds gets QOTD for what I consider the ultimate word on this:"

I repeat my earlier question: Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:53 PM
But jk thinks:

And honorable mention to @jamestaranto:

It sounds as though when @TheHermanCain said America is too uptight and needs to get a sense of humor, he was speaking from experience.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Larry Kudlow:

But there's a sentence in the Politico story that I wanted to point out to everyone. It makes no sense at all: "There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.

What does this mean?

The gestures weren't overtly sexual, but the women were uncomfortable and believed the gestures were improper in a professional relationship. These are all second-hand testimonies from "close associates" of the women accusers, but I don't know what standards are being talked about.

I mean, based on this sort of thing, anybody could think anything about almost anything.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 6:13 PM

October 29, 2011

Jon!

I know ThreeSourcers are skeptical, but...


Posted by John Kranz at 2:24 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Immitation, flattery, etc. But is it too much to ask for them to use Jon's own theme song?

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2011 5:00 PM

October 27, 2011

New Item for the Store?

Occupy%20sticker.jpg

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:07 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

dagny preferred the version without the presidents but I couldn't resist the temptation to put the words in these two men's mouths.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2011 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Hate to pile on, bro, but I think I am with your lovely bride. By making it about Obama and Cain, I lost the saying in the personalities. Just the text, imperative case, is better. IMHO.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2011 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It isn't a very persuasive message anyway. Many people would be happy to occupy a job, if more existed.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2011 4:26 PM

October 26, 2011

Governor Presumptive

The presumptive nominee is frightening me again. Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter [subscribe] leads with "Romney's Bold, Groundbreaking Form of Hesitation," which opens: "Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

The topic is Gov. Romney's refusal to stand with Gov. Kasich's reforms in Ohio

Terrace Park, Ohio (CNN) -Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped into the middle of the charged battle over organized labor in Ohio on Tuesday, but he avoided weighing in on the contentious legislation that would dramatically limit the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

"Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

Geraghty links to an excellent Walter Russell Meade piece that lists the political peril of going all in on public-sector union reform. We cannot all be Gov. Scott Walkers and capture a plurality. But:


"Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2011

Send Money to Herman Cain

JK and jg conspired to provide me with a log-in of my own when I asked jg to loan me his log in for a post I have been composing for most of a year about the administrative burden on business created by government. THIS IS NOT THAT POST!

Now that I have my fancy new log-in I decided to test it out on something more current and shorter. Jg sometimes sends a few dollars in support of various Republican candidates. I don't complain very much and usually vote for said candidates while holding my nose. I have never before actually wanted to send money to a candidate.

I have lamented numerous times on these pages and elsewhere about the lack of candidates that reflect MY values and as there are no mainstream Objectivist candidates, I expect that to continue.

However, comma, Herman Cain finally said something on a very touchy subject that actually represents my values. He said that abortion is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS. On that point I heartily concur and I am willing to make a campaign contribution.

With the help and support of family, friends and a team of medical professionals chosen by ME, I have been through 3 healthy pregnancies and 1 miscarriage. I vehemently assert that the decisions made along the way were NONE of the government's business. Should my team and I have decided along the way there was a reason to consider terminating a pregnancy, government interference could only have made things immeasurably worse. Further the government DOES NOT have the right to hold me hostage for 9 plus months.

The bad news is that the talking heads seem to think that this comment by Herman Cain is political suicide and makes him immediately unelectable. Sigh... There I go tilting at windmills again.

Posted by dagny at 1:56 AM | Comments (3)
But Terri thinks:

Done, actually, done earlier before the abortion comment, but I will continue and if the man still hasn't made a fatal flaw vs rookie mistakes by the end of December, I'll actually become an official Republican just to vote for him.

Posted by: Terri at October 24, 2011 7:57 AM
But jk thinks:

Welcome Sister!

I hopped on just at the disappointing part, dagny. The Journal Editorial Report suggests this is the gaffe that ends his candidacy -- and he is furiously backpedaling. Rick Perry has an attack ad out. Glad there isn't a $14Trillion debt or an existential threat to our liberties or anything.

I sent a small amount early to THE Hermann Cain (THC, get the pot vote?) but am keeping my limited powder dry. If he stops backpedaling, I promise I'll start writing checks.

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2011 10:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No need to wait, Terri. The GOP would benefit from your good judgement! This season's Colorado Republican caucus date is Tuesday, February 7. Mark your calendar and let me know if you can't find the caucus location for your precinct.

Note to unaffiliateds: Not registering with a party, at least in Colorado, means your only choice is between 1 Democrat and 1 Republican. Voting in primaries and caucuses means you get to help choose that 1 candidate for either party. (And since fewer people participate than in a general election, your voice is "louder" by comparison.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2011 2:47 PM

October 21, 2011

Lies. Dammned Lies. And Statistics.

Blog friend The Everyday Econmist is less than enthused about current statistical data on 9-9-9:

I don't know nearly enough about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan to offer meaningful commentary -- in fact, given the limited information available to the public, I would suggest that many of those commenting on it don't know enough either, but I digress. In any event, the policy has recently been criticized on the grounds that it is regressive and shifts the tax burden away from the rich and more towards, well, everyone else. Some of these criticisms are ultimately meaningless unless we assume that the status quo is optimal.

Whole reading worth thing, well.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

She's Baaaaaack!

Kimberly Strassel has been on maternity leave. I was concerned that her August column had been up as her latest. She's back, fine, and again hitting them out of the park on Fridays.

Just as I begin to warm to the idea of tolerating a Mitt Romney candidacy (there I go again -- communications director!)...just as I start to think it would not be less pleasant than a plate of live eels and kale...Ms. Strassel dares to tell the big-T truth: Romney's Guilty Republican Syndrome

Mr. Romney has generally espoused the opposing view--smaller government, fewer regulations, opportunity--but only timidly. This hobbles his ability to go head to head with the president, to make the moral and philosophical case for that America. How can Mr. Romney oppose Mr. Obama's plans to raise taxes on higher incomes, dividends and capital gains when the Republican himself diminishes the role of the "top 1%"? How can he demonstrate a principled understanding of capital and job creation when latching on to Mr. Obama's own trademark $200,000 income cutoff?

At a town hall in Iowa Thursday, Mr. Romney took it further: "For me, one of the key criteria in looking at tax policy is to make sure that we help the people that need the help the most."

These are the sort of statements that cause conservative voters to doubt Mr. Romney's convictions. It also makes them doubt the ability of a President Romney to convince a Congress of the need for fundamental tax reform.


In a word: nooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

This idea of the "moral and philosophical case" for small government and fewer regulations is the key for me. I'll take back everything I said on October 12 if you'll take back what you said on October 18.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2011 10:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Kudlow played a clip of The Herman Cain, Gov. Perry, Gov. Romney, and the President. He then pointed out that Romney sounded just like Obama.

Devastating.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2011 11:19 PM
But jk thinks:

And, heh, in my defense: at least mine had Senator Rand Paul in it!

"For me, one of the key criteria in looking at tax policy is to make sure that we help the people that need the help the most."

Hard to think of a quote that would disturb me less.

Kudlow's guests were certain that Gov. Romney would be driven into the flat-tax camp, but Strassel's "GOP Guilt Syndrome" will never go away.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 12:17 PM

October 20, 2011

The President is Smarter Than You Think

A lot of conservative types are piling on the President for expressing solidarity with the dirty hippies #occupywallstreet protesters. I think they have forgotten President Clinton too soon. Parse the offending comment:

You asked earlier about "Occupy Wall Street" and what I've said is that I understand the frustrations that are being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party, both on the left and the right. I think people feel separated from their government, that the institutions aren't looking out for them and that the most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership, letting people know that we understand their struggles, we are on their side and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don't feel a sense of obligation to their communities and to their companies and to their workers, that those folks aren't rewarded.

Larry Kudlow called it "solidarity." Keith Koffler is offended at the comparison of OWS to TEA. If I may be permitted a small digression, I welcome the comparison. The Tea Party comes out pretty good. I think Tea Partiers should welcome every opportunity to point out the differences -- not say that a comparison is off the table.

But word parsers, mad dogs, and Englishmen: can you point to the offending sentence or clause in the President's remark? We "understand their frustration." We want to create a system which rewards "hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do." This isn't exactly Karl Marx izzit?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Who decides what I'm "supposed to do?"

Also, "irresponsible" and "feel a sense of obligation to their communities" etc? These are value judgements, and are the purview of the private individual - not the state and it's purported power to "reward" good behavior. Bullcrap. The market decides who is rewarded - not government policies, and not government cronies.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2011 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I was not suggesting that he was going to win you over (though I'm glad to hear he did not). I respectfully submit that in this age of demagoguery, you're bringing a philosophy book to a knife fight.

Kudlow and many others suggest that he has tied himself to the movement and can be painted with all its hippie stench. I think he stopped at the edge.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 4:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are right, but this is nothing new for Mr. Obama. Recall Joe Wurzelbacker (sp?) and "spread the wealth around." And I contend the aforementioned stench grows ever closer to the Clean and Articulate One.

How many Americans, particularly westerners, will be content with Washington deciding for them, their "responsibilities, obligations and rewards?" Or telling them what they're "supposed to do?" Those who bristle at this thought are the subset of America that comprises my vast and ever less-silent army.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2011 5:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Half silent at best.

I don't know that we disagree. The President's philosophy is now as clear to the rubes as it was to ThreeSourcers in 2008. That, he will have to run on/against.

I'm suggesting that his electoral opponents will be hard pressed to pin even the worst excesses of #OWS on him. He left himself outs.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 6:19 PM

9-9-9: Women, Poor, Hardest Hit?

Readers may have heard reports that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax reform proposal "will raise taxes on 84 percent of Americans." Presidential candidate Rick Santorum even repeated the claim in the Las Vegas debate. In actuality, what the analysis by the "non-partisan" Tax Policy Center (which Cain describes as a well-known left-leaning think tank) concluded was that 84 percent of families earning $10,000 or less annually will see a net tax increase, averaging about $110 per month. But this includes the elimination of refundable tax credits - negative taxes, funded by higher earning taxpayers. It assumes that consumption behavior will remain unchanged. (To fully avoid the 9 percent consumption tax individuals need only forego the purchase of new goods, buying used instead.) And it assumes that earnings will not rise and retail prices will not fall in a reduced tax environment. This is just specious.

Furthermore, the entire analysis is biased by its comparison to existing tax burdens. Where is it written that current tax liabilities, with their myriad deductions, ceilings, floors, and politically motivated preferences is fair? What is the moral case for 47 percent of the working public paying no federal taxes in the first place? Their cost of living is too high? Well, reduce the hidden tax burden in the form of corporate taxes and tax compliance costs - two more examples of government being the problem, not the solution.

But talk of fairness may face a tough hearing compared to the rest of the study. The summary table also shows a net tax increase for more than 90 percent of families earning between $10,000 and $50,000, and more than half of families earning up to $200,000 per year. Meanwhile, 70 plus percent of families earning $200,000 or more are shown to benefit from an average tax cut of about $20,000 to $487,000 per year. Unfair or not, this is easy to demagogue in 30-second spots.

UPDATE: Mea Culpa - The complicated summary table also includes a figure for percentage of all households with a tax increase ... 83.8 percent. So the headlines are accurate but so is, I believe, my analysis.

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

I believe your analysis accurate and your thesis fair.

Real live, flesh and blood fairness is going to be a tough sell after 100 years of progressive nonsense. The FAIR Tax folk are politically if not philosophically sound to bribe the poor with "prebates" and set-asides.

My high school physics teacher used to say "models are what we hang our ideas on." Real legislation will never be as clean as 9-9-9, but THE Herman Cain is driving the debate toward flatter, broad based, competitive, and less intrusive taxation.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2011 12:27 PM

October 19, 2011

Saint Arthur Sanctifies NINE-NINE-NINE

Okay, put a gun to my head and I'll excerpt. But it's an Art Laffer Editorial in the Wall Street Journal. On 9-9-9. I think whole-thing-readin' is in order. Dr. Laffer's in:

The whole purpose of a flat tax, á la 9-9-9, is to lower marginal tax rates and simplify the tax code. With lower marginal tax rates (and boy will marginal tax rates be lower with the 9-9-9 plan), both the demand for and the supply of labor and capital will increase. Output will soar, as will jobs. Tax revenues will also increase enormously--not because tax rates have increased, but because marginal tax rates have decreased.

By making the tax codes a lot simpler, we'd allow individuals and businesses to spend a lot less on maintaining tax records; filing taxes; hiring lawyers, accountants and tax-deferral experts; and lobbying Congress. As I wrote on this page earlier this year ("The 30-Cent Tax Premium," April 18), for every dollar of business and personal income taxes paid, some 30 cents in out-of-pocket expenses also were paid to comply with the tax code. Under 9-9-9, these expenses would plummet without a penny being lost to the U.S. Treasury. It's a win-win.


Co-hat-tip: Blog friend EE, who includes a free link (good seven days)

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

Excellent. A much better expose than the brief video you linked for us earlier. Laffer defends 9-9-9 as, in the end, the "good" we should not sacrifice to some unspoken "perfect" form of taxation. But I think he's too modest. In an update to yesterday's 'Fair' post I make the moral and philosophical case for 9-9-9 being the perfect. If candidate Cain begins to defend 9-9-9 on these grounds as much or more than on the economic merits he could preside over a modern renaissance.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2011 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup, I'm a pretty big 9-9-9 fan myself.

-- It gives us the lowest corporate tax rate in the world;
-- while future Congresses can always raise rates, this is so transparent they'll have a tough time fiddling with it;
-- Kudlow (and a lot of establishment GOPers)wants to ditch the sales section, but I love shifting the burden from investment to consumption and capturing revenue from "off-da-book" income.

I hate to use "perfect" and "tax" in the same paragraph, but we're getting close...8-8-8 maybe...

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 5:37 PM

October 18, 2011

THE Herman Cain

Is this for real? Has everybody else seen this?


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

Fair

(adj.) 1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.

President Obama is on the campaign trail urging more government spending, in the name of fairness.

He also spoke at the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington D.C., where King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, claimed that her father "moved us beyond the dream of racial justice to the action and work of economic justice."

No, I do not believe he did. The man who dreamed of a day when all of us are judged not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character, would have cheapened the ideal of racial fairness by linking it with President Obama's ideal of economic fairness. What he and King's daughter speak of is a sort of economic affirmative-action program. Fairness in government spending must be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice" just as must be legal treatment by race.

Fairness in taxation must also be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice." Like 9-9-9. If any contemporary black man is following the teaching of the Rev. Martin Luther King it is not Barack Obama, but Herman Cain.

UPDATE: (19 OCT) I have amended my construction slightly to comport with my brethren's comments, calling out my uncertainty about Dr. King's ideas about the concept we call "fair" or "fairness" in the realm of economics. And this was my intended focus: Some see fairmess as "everyone pays the same tax" while others will not accede to this position until everyone has the same ability to pay that tax, i.e. equal distribution of wealth.

This leads me to what seems the winning tack in the pro-liberty argument: No man is more or less important, relevant or responsible for our civil prosperity than any other. Taxes must therefore be equal. (This is my ideal of egalitarianism.) But since equality does not, can not and will not exist in the human domains of effort, ability and aspiration, some men will produce more than others. This inequality is to be celebrated, for the alternative is anti-prosperity.

But since the self-made man recognizes the benefit he derives from a more prosperous society he may accede to paying a higher tax than his less able neighbors. A natural mechanism for this is taxation as a non-variable percentage of income, or spending, or both. But this imposition of a greater burden upon oneself is voluntary. It is a grant that may be revoked, in spirit and deed if not in law, when the self-made man sees the fruits of his labor being wasted - such as to line the pockets of looters and grafters and influence peddling politicians, lobbyists and crony capitalists. He may declare that he is Taxed Enough Already and engage in civil rebellion of various sorts.

Herein lies the beauty of the 9-9-9 tax plan. It is a non-variable rate of taxation proportional to prosperity. It taxes income and consumption equally, such that neither is disadvantaged versus the other. It is a progressive tax, since those who earn more and spend more are taxed more. But for the man who knows a beggared neighbor is a liability rather than an asset, an unequal tax burden such as this becomes not only fair, but desirable. For those who are comforted by such things, let us call it a "compromise." But, most importantly of all, it is a tax in which all citizens participate and do so on a par with the greatest and least accomplished amongst us. Tolerance of government waste will diminish, while lines of class and station will be obliterated. America's prosperity will be shared, and it will be bountiful.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Like. But I must mention Thomas Woods's "33 Questions about American History You’re not supposed to ask." This superb book challenged conventional wisdom and revisionist history. Almost all of the 33 whacks were landed hard against the left, but his most serious suggestion for the right was to accept that Dr. King was pretty much a communist.

Conservatives, claim Woods, love to extrapolate meritocracy from the "content of our character" line but many of King's writings called openly and forcefully for redistribution.

I cannot say he is right. But I have made the claim many times myself and am getting a bit leery...

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:41 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

As I understand, Dr. King was very much a socialist in his younger years. However, after seeing socialism in action in Cuba, he became disillusioned with it and was moving more politically to the right as he grew older. Even so, he was decidedly left-of-center economically.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 18, 2011 4:42 PM

Romney - Paul 2012

Don't thank me -- no, go ahead and thank me -- I have saved the nation, the party, and the Republic. While watching Kudlow.

Larry had Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY) on last night. I always enjoy listening to Paul filé. While others might be called "Tea Party Darlings" am I wrong to call Rand Paul its intellectual cornerstone? Of course not.

It's frequently a fool's errand to look for a running mate that plugs a candidate's ideological lacuna; better to pick off a state with rich electoral votes or possibly appease a sectional split. But I am going to call this election different. The Tea Party types in the GOP are not ready to "fall in line" with a conventional, establishment candidate like Governor Romney. The PowersThatBe, conversely, are not going to sit still while a national Christine O'Donnell is nominated. Either side staying home would spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

Gov. Romney has the money, organization, backing, smoothness, smarts, and hair to be elected. Senator Paul has the conviction that the Tea Party craves and a Christieesque ability to articulate its merits. The Tea Party and a good portion of the Ron Paul rEVOLution will have a tough time not supporting this ticket.

At the same time, the out-of-mainstream beliefs of libertarians will be off to the side. Governor Romney can say responsible things about Social Security, Paul can call to schedule its demise. There might be some tension -- but no worse than Kennedy-Johnson!

You're welcome.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Very intriguing. If Romney can stand Paul, and more importantly if Paul can stand Romney, I could rally behind that ticket.

But I'm seriously considering Romney because he strikes me as more "electable" than Herman Cain. However, Scott Rasmussen says, Who's your electable daddy now? (Or is someone going to convince me that Cain is "a national Christine O'Donnell?")

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

I use the comparison with care but with purpose. I actually liked Ms. O'Donnell, but respectfully submit that THE Herman Cain comes awfully close. The "liberals are destroying this country on purpose" excited the base and one Lawrence Kudlow, but I think it was ill advised.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:22 PM

October 14, 2011

Headline of the Day

Well, we'll call it a nominee for Headline of the Day unless you guys have a better one:

Three-Way Hot Tub Lutherans for Perry

Posted by John Kranz at 2:40 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

That's Tatooed Three-Way Hot Tub Lutherans...

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 9:59 PM

9-9-9

I thought that everybody who liked THE Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan coincidentally happened to have ThreeSources logins.

But now I see Art Laffer is on board. I cannot embed or link directly, but if you follow the link to the NRO Site, look for "Former Reagan Economist: '9-9-9 Is A Wonderful Plan' 3:25"

UPDATE: James Pethokoukis is generally favorable.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:36 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Laffer on opening the door to future tax hikes:
"If I could do anything to stop future politicians from ever raising taxes I would love to figure it out but I don't know how to do that."

Laffer on prices going up because of 9-9-9:
"As long as you're collecting the same amount of total revenue in a fairly efficient way none of these systems will lead to higher or lower prices than the others."

I was trying to remember where I read the convincing argument on 9-9-9. Turns out it was a post by one of this blog's handsome and scholarly contributors.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 10:56 PM

Quote of the Day

If a more conservative third party could rise, destroy the GOP, and still win elections, I'd be just fine with that. Or, if the Democratic party decided to become a thoroughly libertarian party, I'd be perfectly fine picking and choosing sides on an issue-by-issue basis between the two major parties. Also, maintaining the same level of plausibility, I would be totally psyched if Frodo had simply flown the Millennium Falcon to Mordor, saving all that time. Or we could use the proceeds from Meghan McCain's invention of an all-in-one cold-fusion, perpetual-motion, and dashboard-mounted smoothie blender to simply buy a slice of America from the federal government and create our limited-government nation-state. -- Jonah Goldberg
Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

No likey link.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 1:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Also, no findey right one.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 1:38 AM
But jk thinks:

I have been enjoying Jonah's and Jim Geraghty's email newsletters but they do not lend themselves to linking. I forwarded the G-File to you (and will provide this service free of charge to other ThreeSourcers on demand).

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2011 11:01 AM

October 13, 2011

Gratuitous?

Blog Brother jg suggests that I might have included a photo of Eliza Dushku more to build blog readership and less as an important and practical way to advance the storyline.

Ergo, in fairness, THE Governor Mitt Romney:

UPDATE: Smooth as Governor Romney is, Dan Henninger says he's not there yet.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:23 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Following up Eliza Dushku with this cold shower is just... wrong.

For the record, what's that thing on his necktie - the Olympic skating logo? A subliminal message that he's going to skate to the nomination, or is this a jab at Barry Soetero's failure to get the Olympics for Chicago "Chicago is OUT? Chicago is OUT?")?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2011 7:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Saw the Henninger piece earlier but hadn't read it yet. I think a Frank Luntz observation from Hannity's radio show today is most germane here: In 2008 neither Obama or Hillary attacked each other. But Republican's internecine battles damage them all. Instead of a field from which "any of them would be a fine choice" the casual voter is left with the impression "they're all bums." Henninger doesn't do anything to reverse that trend with this column.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 1:37 AM
But jk thinks:

I think Henninger actually voices the opposite theory: that a good candidate is forged in the hottest flames (or maybe that was "Zoolander...")

I remember candidates Obama and Clinton in a debate, and then-Sen Obama savaged the then-Sen from New York. I felt that he won the nomination at that moment.

For those playing the home version, the topic was health care, and Mister Obama ridiculed Mrs. Clinton over the stupidity of the individual mandate in her plan. Ah, happy days.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2011 12:39 PM

THE Mitt Romney

A surprising consensus seems to be forming amongst the commentariat that big-city eastern RINO Mitt Romney is persuasively pivoting to become TEA Party friendly THE Mitt Romney. Personally I haven't given up on Herman Cain, and I admit I'm a little unsure about TMR when my sister and her husband derided him right after the Bloomberg debate as a "political chameleon who knows what he has to say to get elected."

Philip Klein echoes them saying, Tea Party is Losing the GOP Presidential Primary.

The Tea Party movement was fueled by opposition to the Wall Street bailouts, President Obama's health care reform legislation and out-of-control spending in Washington. Yet the current favorite to win the Republican nomination has rejected the Tea Party line on all of these issues.

Well, his tune seems to be different now than it once was. Call it the Cain Effect. Both men still contend that protecting the currency is a necessary evil but that is the extent of Romney's defense of bailouts. He's also called for repealing Obamacare and slashing spending - a return to private sector implementation of, well, nearly everything. It's probably time for a closer look at that 59-point plan.

Another factor in Romney's favor is that former fellow RINO Lincoln Chafee now says, Romney 'a different person' as he woos GOP base.

"It's the same thing I saw with John McCain, and I saw with George Pataki and with Rudy Giuliani," Chafee told WPRI.com during an interview at his office Wednesday.

Referencing a speech on foreign policy Romney gave last week at The Citadel, Chafee said: "The appeal you have to make to the Republican primary audience -- that's just alien to what's in our best interests as a country."


Linc Chafee didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left him. Cain effect indeed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2011

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2011

jk Defends Rep. Bachmann

Against a common enemy of the Washington Post, we must put aside our differences and stand as one. The WaPo afternoon politics mailer (which really is pretty good, and free) shouts:

Video: Bachmann agrees with 'impeach' Obama wish

Oh my, oh dearie me, what has our brunette of the lakes done to disgrace us now? Thinks me. But if you click through (only 30 second clip), I think you could call it a joke or -- at worst -- some hard edged political persiflage.

Paging the WaPo: a sense of humor was found in the parking lot; please claim it at the front desk.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:26 PM | Comments (0)

...and the rest!

Remember the early Gilligan's Island episodes? The theme song singer got tired of enumerating the island's residents toward the end and dismisses the last two with "...and the rest." It was replaced by the iconic "the professor AND Mary ANN" as America's ginghamed sweetheart rose in fame.

I was singing that at the last GOP Presidential Debate. Bret Behr going down the line and I fully expected him to give up somewhere Huntsman-ish and sing "and the rest!"

Yet we find ourselves, as the WSJ Ed Page laments, with the field we have. Gigot and his minions are more upbeat than I, but we see the same lacunae:

Most notable is the absence of those, like Mr. Christie and Congressman Paul Ryan, who have been most engaged in the fiscal and economic debates of the last three years. The field is weaker for their absence, and Mr. Christie's remarks yesterday about the lack of current Presidential leadership showed why so many people wanted him in the race.

I did a telephone town hall with Governor Romney yesterday. It is a great format and I am always appreciative of candidates (and officeholders, my Representative, Jared Polis, has done several) who put these on. The Governor was himself in all his glory. His mellifluous baritone makes up for not seeing his excellent hair and skin tone.

But, I am going to be hard pressed to swallow hard and support this guy. If I may quote blog friend Sugarchuck without permission, early on in the race he said "I look at Romney and I see 'the enemy.'" The Governor was a "pander bear" on the call. I don't expect him to pick fights with potential supporters, but there is the Evelyn Waugh "up to a point" agreement. No, the Governor is everyone's friend and agrees with everyone's position.

The main question about Mr. Romney is whether his political character matches the country's huge current challenges. The former Bain Capital CEO is above all a technocrat, a man who believes in expertise as the highest political virtue. The details of his RomneyCare program in Massachusetts were misguided enough, but the larger flaw it revealed is Mr. Romney's faith that he can solve any problem, and split any difference, if he can only get the smartest people in the room.

Amen, WSJ folk. Amen.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Boston Globe: GOP Elite Still Not Sold On Romney

Yeah, seems they don't think he can appeal to the TEA Party.

Others, however, said it reflected lingering concerns among some establishment Republicans about Romney's ability to connect as well with Tea Party activists and anxious middle-class voters as he does with party leaders.

"Mitt just really hasn't caught on yet," said Michael Reagan, a son of President Reagan and conservative commentator. "He can relate to the people who own the water cooler but, to win, he has to relate to the person who drinks water from it."

So in this view, he was just meant to be the TEA Party Palatable version of Romney. Without him though, they're stuck trying to get us to warm up to Romney, candidate from "the experienced governor/Northeast wing of the party."

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 2:48 PM

October 4, 2011

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Gov. Christie is not in.

UPDATE: Five reasons b'rer ka was correct.

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

Toldja. I wouldn't have minded seeing him in the race, and I'd have no hesitation voting for him were he the winner of the primary - but, toldja, just the same.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think he read the TEA leaves correctly.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2011 12:23 PM

October 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

This goes back to the Insta-Daughter's theory of presidential opposites, in which each President is chosen to be the opposite of his predecessor. What's the opposite of a skinny black guy from Hawaii? A fat white guy from New Jersey!

UPDATE: Roger Simon emails: "What's the opposite of a phony black guy from Hawaii? A real black guy from Georgia." Good point! -- His Instyness
Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2011

Tough Room - Tough Love

After praising the Chris Christie keynote address on Tuesday I criticized a portion of his speech, drawing an exasperated reaction from our dear proprietor. As the leading blog promoter of NewNewt, it's only fair that I give him the same treatment.

Newt's draft "21st Century Contract with America" has been released to the world. Newt's plan for Social Security and Medicare is to "save" them, basically by offering alternatives that taxpayers have the option to choose from. For Social Security this means:

We must therefore consider a voluntary option for younger Americans to put a portion of their Social Security contributions into personal Social Security savings accounts. Other countries, such as Chile, have found that this model creates vast savings while giving beneficiaries more control over when and how they plan to retire.

But if we're honestly talking about bold, sweeping, permanent solutions to government problems we need to get something more like The Salzman Plan on the table:

But here’s a plan – call it the Salsman Plan – that would ensure electoral support from all three groups, and thus potentially guarantee a political landslide for the candidate who proposes it. First, tell the elderly that they’ll no longer be subject to political scare tactics, because immediately they’ll be given an account in their name that’s full of U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, whose worth equals the present value of what they’d otherwise receive in Social Security checks for the likely balance of their lives. They can do what they wish with their new account: cash it out now, slowly liquidate it over time, perhaps buy an annuity, or keep most of it as is. Second, tell the young and the middle-aged they will no longer have to pay the 15.3% payroll tax, and they too will immediately receive an account in their name with U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, based on what they’ve already paid in so far. They too can do what they wish with their sudden investment windfall. Social Security, no longer empowered to tax payrolls or send retiree checks, would then be closed overnight.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:53 PM | Comments (0)

Kudlow on Christie

Larry goes out of his way to say he is not endorsing anybody in the GOP primaries. But we can safely say, he liked the speech:

First, Christie gets the linkage between domestic economic growth, national security, and foreign-policy influence. This was an absolute key Reagan principle.
[...]
Second, at the Reagan Library, Christie talked about the New Jersey model, where in a tough war against government unions and teachers, divided government worked to reform the state’s pension and health benefits, cap property taxes, and hold down arbitration awards for union salaries. (Christie didn’t mention this, but he also stopped the millionaire’s tax in New Jersey.)

And while the governor said there was compromise on a bipartisan basis, and while he emphasized leadership in compromise several times in his speech, he noted that he balanced two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes.

So there’s compromise, and there's compromise.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | Comments (0)

Gov. Christie: Clean, Articulate White Man...

If you followed the Rick Newman link below you've likely seen this but I couldn't resist promoting it.

43.jpg

... who can also be trusted to not call Republicans socialists?

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:41 PM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

Now that you mention it, I haven't heard Favre say "no" yet either.

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2011 7:13 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think it accurately portrays the GOP reaching for anything and anyone to get away from the vicissitudes represented by the Tea Party. They arrrr nervous me hearties.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 1, 2011 1:00 AM
But jk thinks:

I agree 100% nb. My problem is the suggestion that Governor Christie be considered the establishment candidate. I like him because he the clearest and loudest voice for freedom, not because he will appeal to Peggy Noonan and David Brooks.

To be fair, Brother jg's Speaker Newtzilla has been a good and loud voice for liberty. I can't get past the ethanol support (in Iowa, if you can believe it) and Speaker Pelosi global warming commercials (which he has at least recanted). Love a lot of what he says but I cannot get on that train.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2011 11:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Methinks you are right jk. Were I selecting a candidate merely for myself it would be his Newtiness. Yet I can't get any love for him from any of my female relatives. Call it "First Wife Phobia." Fortunately there's another excellent choice, one we all like "if only he could win." And if he's as saavy as I hope he is, he's working Chris Christie and Sarah Palin for endorsements sometime after the next debate. Herman Cain.

Posted by: johngalt at October 1, 2011 5:51 PM
But jk thinks:

The second I get a definitive no from Christie, both my size 11s will be in the Cain Camp.

He did pretty well at TeaCon, they tell me.

Posted by: jk at October 2, 2011 10:30 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:


@JK: My problem is the suggestion that Governor Christie be considered the establishment candidate

Well someone will be and we can best hope that we get one with enough backbone that he (sorry, Michelle) becomes the establishment and not the other way around. Cain does seem to fit that bill better then Mitt, but I think he's too new, as was Romney in 2008. Recall, Reagan had 10+ years in the GOP (many at very low levels) before he jumped into the presidential ring.

Now, the "Bush" GOP that we have these days might need someone new, but there's a reason one doesn't just go around upsetting applecarts. Today's "reasons"? Ryan, Pence, McConnel, Jindal, Haley, Barbour, Kasich and a host of others that keep me believing (but not registered!)

While I have as much respect for Newt's intellect and output as anybody here, we should all admit to his unelectable stature. If we don't admit, let the tomatoes be thrown!

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 3, 2011 1:29 AM

Praise for 9-9-9

From US News and World Report's Rick Newman.

Enriching the incentive to work or run a company in the United States, however, would have a more direct impact on the U.S. economy. The problem with many tax-cut proposals isn't low taxes; it's the huge cut in government spending that would usually have to accompany them, since most advocates of tax cuts don't suggest ways to replace lost government revenue. But Cain's national sales tax would provide cover for cuts to personal and corporate income tax rates and allow expensive programs like Social Security and Medicare to keep functioning normally. Again, there are many complexities, and Cain's math probably isn't bulletproof. But the principle of higher consumption taxes paired with lower income taxes is a sound one.

In other words, Cain's 9-9-9 plan could bring in the same revenue as the existing income tax only scheme while at the same time stimulating production and growth, moderating consumption, and encouraging individual savings. If this three-headed tax monster could be kept on an unbreakable leash it could do wonders.

Hat Tip: My darling dagny via email

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2011

If I Cannot Have Governor Christie!

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.


Dan Henninger at the WSJ Ed Page counters the "He is great, but..." candidacy of Herman Cain. He's #3 in the polls and he's five points off that incumbent president whose CV he blows away.

I believe I am in the Herman Cain Camp.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | Comments (6)
But Terri thinks:

YAY!

Posted by: Terri at September 29, 2011 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I love Herman Cain. I too would love "seeing Herman Cain make his case to black audiences" because it "would be interesting, period." But...

I worry that despite his corporate success he could easily be roadblocked and railroaded in the business of reforming government. That job is better left to a reformed ex-government solutions leader. One who recognizes he will need the continued support of the "fully mobilized" American people to "insist that their elected officials follow through and get the job done."

Newt's 21st Century Contract with America recognizes that:

2.The combined forces of the elites—in the news media, the government employee unions, the bureaucracies, the courts, the academic world, and in public office—will fight bitterly and ruthlessly to protect their world from being changed by the American people.
And
3.Therefore any election victory in 2012 will be the beginning and not the end of the struggle. It will take eight years or more of relentless, determined, intelligent effort to uproot and change the system of the elites—laws, bureaucracies, courts, schools-- and replace it with laws and systems based on historic American values and policies.

Tonight at 9:45 EDT Newt will host a teleconference that you can participate in (just listen is all I do) by submitting your phone number here. (Hosted by TheTeaParty.net) They'll automatically call you at the appointed time.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 12:47 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is open to taking an in-depth look at Cain. He seems to fulfill the Christie call for a leader. Currently, on both sides, we have people running contituency and litmus test candidacies. We do not need another technocrat trying to tweek this or that to fulfill pet projects of narrow interests, left or right.

Newt is a fount of innovative, bold ideas, many of which are quite worthy. Nevertheless, he is a technocrat. He is not a leader in the sense that he inspires people to acheive the best in themselves. Moreover, his personal peccadilloes make even The Refugee queasy. He is absolutely unelectable.

Cain's lack of foreign policy knowledge, let alone experience, is a major concern. However, he certainly did not turn around Burger King or Godfather's by himself. He found the right people with the right knowledge and let them do their jobs. He likely would do the same thing from the oval office. If you could take Cain's sense of leadership and combine it with Newt's policy knowledge, Huntsman's diplomacy and Ryan's fiscal sensibilities, you might have a helluva administration.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 2:31 PM
But jk thinks:

You left out Rep. Michelle Bachmann's heading up the FDA...

Other than that, I agree whole-heartedly.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll be sold if he also co-opts Newt's 'Contract.'

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Another of Cain's benefits is how well his name does in campaign slogans. Dick Morris wrote today Raising Cain. Even better, Dennis Miller coined the bumper sticker slogan: 2012 - CAIN VS. UNABLE

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 4:37 PM

September 28, 2011

Exceptionalism

Last night Chris Christie reminded us what the word means. Not that "Frenchmen think France is exceptional" or "Spaniards think Spain is exceptional" but "the condition of being exceptional; uniqueness."

In emphasizing the Q&A, JK says the speech is skippable. Perhaps, but a few choice lines are, shall we say, an exception.

"Telling those who are scared and struggling the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others, trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard, insisting that we must tax, and take, and demonize those who have already achieved the American dream. That may turn out to be a good campaign strategy Mister President, but it is a demoralizing message for America."

The riffs on leadership and compromise, hope and failure, and fixing government were excellent but what impressed me most was philosophical. He defended the idea of American exceptionalism, and explained that what our nation represents over the past few years doesn't live up to that standard. "Real American exceptionalism" is "earned American exceptionalism."

Quoting Reagan describing, in 1989, what he always envisioned whenever he spoke of America as "a shining city on a hill..."

"In my mind it was a tall proud city, built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace. A city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still."

Then Christie:

"That, is American exceptionalism. Not a punch-line in a political speech, but a vision, followed by a set of principled actions that made us the envy of the world. Not a reelection strategy, but an American revitalization strategy. We will be that again, but not until we demand that our leaders stand tall by telling the truth, confronting our shortcomings, celebrating our successes, and once again leading the world because of what we have been able to actually accomplish. Only when we do that will we finally ensure that our children and grandchildren will live in a second American century. We owe them, as well as ourselves and those who came before us, nothing less."
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Not bad for an East-coast RINO, eh?

Just kidding -- awesome post!

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 10:52 AM
But jk thinks:

Room for one more?

Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other. We are a better people than that; and we must demand a better nation than that.

Full text.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 11:21 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And now, the critical evaluation (that would be prescribed if he had become a candidate but is merely academic now.) I think you know the part of that passage I have a problem with. Please parse, explain and justify for us: "To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other." Unless he misspoke or I misread, this sounds like demanding the unearned. And it stands in direct opposition to his words above. He might call it "balanced" or a "compromise" but I call it hypocritical and contradictory.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 11:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Whoa -- tough dang room!

I think the call is for others to make sacrifices for themselves: put some of y'own damn money away for college or retirement. I suspect you don't accept that one can sacrifice for oneself, but I think it is a common linguistic device used for deferred production and gratification.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That interpretation quite honestly never occurred to me. Thank you. The correct way to say what you suggested, however, is by replacing "sacrifice" with "self-sufficiency." Or by suggesting one "forego" instant gratification in favor of enjoying his rewards when they are earned. But the best, and hopefully his intended, way of saying it is just to remove the word "no" between demand and sacrifice. That would be consistent with the rest of the paragraph and earn my kudos.

*rant*

I had missed the word "sacrifice" in my prior viewings of the speech. It is a poisonous idea. Asking, or demanding, others to make sacrifices for "a people" is a demoralizing message for America, and is certainly not American exceptionalism.

"The failure to give a man what had never belonged to him can hardly be described as "sacrificing his interests." -Ayn Rand

More here.

*/rant*

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

When you compare hard work and delayed gratification to a gubmint handout, it is a sacrifice. And, such sacrifice is for the betterment of society. To wit, one's unwillingness to be a burden on his neighbors.

A welfare mentality turns the concept of sacrifice upside down.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 7:16 PM

Olive Branch

I wept a few times during the Q&A session last night. And a couple of times after, thinking that he was not running this time.

I think I have figured out what divides my blog brother(s?) and me on the Garden State Guv. If you want to plot him ideologically on a single axis, Gov. Christie will certainly not be the most doctrinaire conservative. He holds several apostate views, and I have to believe he holds them sincerely and honestly.

But, but. but -- on the issues of entitlement funding, entitlement spending, and entitlement mentality, he is off-the-charts good. And that is the key issue of our time. He also has a warmth and personal integrity. "Leadership, pure and simple" he says of President Reagan. I'd apply it to the big man himself.

UPDATE: By the way, the speech is skippable if you have a job or something, but the Q&As at the end (34:00) are NOT to be missed. I'm with the woman at 43:40.

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

Peace brother. First we must acknowledge that Br'er KA was right. Whether by preternatural prescience, luck, or just old-fashioned inside information his emphatic prediction held true.

I happened upon the Christie keynote live last night, cold, with no advance billing. I thoroughly enjoyed his rhetoric. I found it erudite without condescention (contra Huntsman) hard-hitting with grace (contra Perry) and delivered with a humor and confidence that seem to elude Mitt Romney no matter how hard he tries.

I might have liked to see if he could carry off the same demeanor through the entire primary season but the idea that his presence might aid Governor Perry, who I've soured on quite a bit, leaves me pleased that he decided to sit this one out. I'm eager to see him campaign for our nominee East of the Mississip while Governor Palin does the same out West.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2011 2:41 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee remains a big fan of Christie. The speech did reignite The Refugee's desire to see a Christie candidacy. The Refugee shares JG's waning enthusiasm for Perry.

Despite a delivery that did Ronaldus Magnus proud, the speech was less than it seemed. The best lines were attributed to Reagan. Being able to read from the bible does not make one a saint.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 28, 2011 4:21 PM
But jk thinks:

The Q&A is the real deal though. He is funny, likable, tough, smart and principled. I could use a little of that in the current GOP field.

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2011 4:29 PM

September 27, 2011

Chris!

The poll found that 54 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the way Christie is handling his job as governor, while just 36 percent disapprove. That's a sharp tick up for Christie since May, when 44 percent said they approved of his job performance and an equal number said they disapproved.
Read more: Daily Caller
Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | Comments (0)

Read It and Weep

The guy who is not running has written a book.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) said at AEI today that "we're facing a survival-level threat to the America we’ve known" from spiraling debt, diminished optimism, and a turning away from self-sufficiency.

Short thing read whole the.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2011

SNL The 7th or 8th GOP Debate

Posted by John Kranz at 7:20 PM | Comments (0)

Murphy's Primaries

With the looming potential of a Christie candidacy NYT's Nate Silver theorizes that the big winner could be ... Rick Perry.

The other view is that the campaign has not been about Mr. Romney per se, but instead is simply a struggle between moderates and conservatives. If the median primary Republican voter wants a “movement conservative” as their nominee, then Mr. Christie may not pass that test because of his stances on issues like immigration and climate change.

Mr. Romney could still win under this view if several candidates split the conservative vote and he has the moderate vote to himself. But the entry of Mr. Christie would complicate his equation and lower his odds, while posing less threat to Mr. Perry’s campaign.

In the 2008 race Romney, the Colorado favorite, suffered from also-rans to his right. Four years later he could face the same problem, but this time from his left in Chris Christie.

UPDATE: Added missing links. (Antropologists wish it were so easy!)

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:52 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Christie's not getting in. Trust me on this. He's committed to New Jersey.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 26, 2011 2:34 PM

Breaking...

@baseballcrank calls it "The Most exciting Jon Huntsman story of the year.

Did Huntsman, who was profiled in the September issue of Vogue, join the latest fashion craze? The downward spiraling economy -- and example of the new Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton -- caused fashionistas to start recycling outfits, dubbing themselves recessionistas.

Or perhaps it's a lucky tie? Either way, the Huntsman campaign won't say. When reached for comment, a Huntsman spokesman said tie decisions were above his paygrade.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2011

Huntsman Defeats Bachmann!

But then, Michele only drew 1.5% support ... in the Florida GOP straw poll. Among 2600 party activists the big winner was the Hermanator with 37 percent - nearly as much as the next three finishers combined.

Miami Herald says Perry "in big trouble."

The vote and spectacle underscored that Cain, who polled in single digits this week, is the new tea party darling. And Michele Bachmann isn’t. She was the big loser, coming in last place. Once a top-tier candidate who won the Iowa straw poll, Bachmann had trouble breaking through in recent debates, failed to give specifics and didn’t reach out to the Presidency 5 grassroots voters.

Or maybe her appeal is truly regional. At any rate, she's losing momentum along with former "white knight" Rick Perry. A Miami-Dade activist said of Perry: “... it’s become increasingly clear he can’t perform. He has electile dysfunction.”

I doubt it will keep him in front but at least the showing gives Cain a chance to be in front for a time. Who knows?

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:26 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I know that I am not alone in abandoning Rep, Bachmann for her kooky comments on Gardasil. I remember a Twitter eruption of some serious and very conservative pundit types who declared her candidacy "over." at that time. She has done nothing on the plus side to counteract.

I liked 9-9-9 when I first heard it, but it could easily become 20-30-27.5 -- it seems unwise to give future Congresses three numbers to raise. I could certainly support Mister Cain just for the sheer joy of a Cain - Obama race, but I cannot believe he is "ready for prime time."

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2011 12:04 PM

September 23, 2011

Pinch JK

Could it be? Is it possible? JK's dream come true?

Christie promised to make a final decision "within two weeks," the source said.

Christie suggested to an audience at New Jersey's Rider University that the current GOP candidates are not answering the public's appetite for real leadership.

"I think what the country is thirsting for, more than anything else right now, is someone of stature and credibility to tell them that and say, 'Here's where I want us to go to deal with this crisis,'" Christie said.

Christie continued: "The fact that nobody yet who's running for president, in my view, has done that effectively is why you continue to hear people ask Daniels if he'll reconsider and ask me if I'll reconsider."

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:10 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the link, but if I may steal from Dave Barry: I thought you meant that dream about the Swedish Gymnastics team and the vat of YooHoo®...

There are certainly rumblings about a Christie candidacy that reach into Paul Gigot's office. We'll have it all out if it transpires, but I would consider it a rescue of my quadrennial.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 12:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was most struck by how Christie's explanation for GOP unease so closely resembled your reason for wanting him in the race. Someone of *ahem* "stature" and credibility to "take on the collectivists bravely and defend his positions honorably." Yeah, I could go for that too.

I attempted to convince dagny and my sister that candidate Christie would not be damaged by doing what he said so vociferously he would never do - run for president in '12. I was unsuccessful. Suggestions?

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2011 12:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Non-issue. A patriot will answer when called. For more public consumption: This country is in big trouble, and it's time somebody told the truth to the American people. The people closest to me suggested that I was the best person for that.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2011 1:10 PM

September 22, 2011

The Twitter feed is open!

Reminding everybody to share their GOP debate impressions in real time (or later) by tweeting with the #3src hashtag. It's what President Reagan would have wanted you to do, dammit.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:27 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

It's a TWEE Party!

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah!

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2011 9:22 PM

QOTD2

At this point four years ago, Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field with 28%, trailed by former Sen. Fred Thompson at 23% and John McCain at 15%, with everyone else in single digits. When the dust finally cleared, neither Messrs. Giuliani nor Thompson was a serious contender--and Govs. Romney and Mike Huckabee pressed Mr. McCain hard before he prevailed. All of which means the 2012 Republican sweepstakes is far from over. -- Karl Rove
Posted by John Kranz at 12:58 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps, but Steve Forbes thinks one of the frontrunners will go the distance.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

After watching tonight's debate I think Forbes prediction is doomed. Perry didn't even walk fast enough to stub his toe. He repeated more lame versions of his prior rebuttals and didn't drawl on a few answers, he did it on all of them.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 11:44 PM

September 21, 2011

Saved by Zero

I knew that big "O" logo would backfire on him eventually...

Bonus link. "Martha Quinn, paging Ms. Martha, Quinn."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:47 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Chris Cillizza @ WaPo sez:

In a dark Web ad released on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry embraces the "grim is good" approach to politics and dubs Obama "President Zero" for the struggling economy and the lack of new jobs created by it.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2011 5:51 PM
But jk thinks:

And blog brother HB sent a link with the subject "HOSS" Proving once and for all that the old Internet meme about his being Chris Cillizza is false.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2011 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The first half is indeed grim, as is the state of the American Dream today. I found many scenes in the commercial eerily similar to scenes of this movie. They even included a shot of a thundering locomotive, skillfully bracketed by shots of thundering [western] horses.

HB may not be Chris Cillizza, but is Rick Perry John Galt? (A rhetorical question, asked purely for effect.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 2:36 PM

September 20, 2011

An Antidote to "Palinism"

"The Republican Party needs an antidote to Palinism."

So said noted authority on GOP political strategy Dan Gerstein, "a New York-based Democratic strategist who worked on Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign as an independent in 2006" last September.

I just posted a comment that referenced the Conservative New Jersey article that included this quote. It was rebuttal to the notion that Chris Christie is the GOP rock star we should all want in this year's presidential race. But I thought it deserved further and more prominent examination.

Republicans and Liberty Movement folk may differ on the New Jersey governor's bona fides (gun control, Obamacare, cap and trade, more...) but when he is defined as the anti-Palin we Liberty types bristle. That seems to be a fight the governor himself would be wise not to pick. For his part it seems he does not, as the CNJ article chronicles the lengths he takes to keep his distance from her.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (15)
But johngalt thinks:

I'll posit that several of the candidates don't fit your formula. Bachmann, Perry and Palin can be said to have all three of your conservative creds. It's Romney and Christie who are lacking, although I've thusfar failed in the challenge to find any of them with as good an elevator speech as Gov. Chris.

Posted by: johngalt at September 21, 2011 4:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Aye, but 'e's close!

"Conservative, liberty minded, acceptible to the electorate, not a complete kook -- pick any three."

-------------------------------------------------------

And, and, and. It's not so much the elevator speech; he is quick on his feet. He takes questions from a hostile crowd and answers with Reaganesque replies: non combative, but serious, thoughtful and filled with conviction. I don't think you can learn or fake that. That signifies a man who knows what he believes.

That is moral clarity to me. He speaks out of deeply held principles. I have not seen anybody who was better at that since President Reagan.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2011 6:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Gonna have to quibble with JG a bit here.

Socially conservative doctrine (in the main) is anti-abortion, anti-gay marraige, anti-gay rights, etc. You cannot simultaneously support the codification of morality into law and say that you're all for individuals living the way they want to. We all make those balances and trade-offs both in our lives and how we vote. The trade-off is the essense of the pick-two dilemma.

At this point, I would trade Christie's more liberal positions, figuring he won't try to roll his party on them, in return for his ability to get us back on the right fiscal track.

One clarification for JK, however: Christie can be very bombastic. See his answer to the question about sending his kids to private school instead of public. "None of your damn business!!!" goes into a two minute tirade. Expect to see all those videos get wide coverage if he enters the race.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 22, 2011 11:10 AM
But dagny thinks:

Sorry, I'm a little late to the party here, but I contend that, "socially conservative," and, "liberty minded," are mutually exclusive. This is one of the things that makes politics incredibly frustrating for me. There never seem to ANY politicians that reflect MY values well. When, on occasion, one appears, they are considered unelectable fringe lunatics. I guess that just makes me also a fringe lunatic.

Posted by: dagny at September 22, 2011 2:44 PM
But dagny thinks:

oops! correction! If am going to my kid's school to correct the grammar of the handouts sent home, I better get it right myself. "When, on occasion, THEY appear, they are considered..."

Posted by: dagny at September 22, 2011 2:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

*ahem* "When, on occasion, one appears he is considered a fringe lunatic."

BR is right, of course. I realized my error and said to dagny last night, "Nobody has called me on it though." In the current climate I read "liberty minded" as pro-property rights and little more.

Now, as "fiscally responsible" is a logical subset of "liberty minded" I suggest its place in the triumverate be taken instead by "terrorism hawk" or something similar. In truth, there are probably more than three categories of conservative principles.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2011 3:54 PM

September 19, 2011

Semi-Finalists: Romney v. Perry

I can't say I'm pleased about it but for the forseeable future, the GOP nomination battle has two possible winners: Perry or Romney. WaPo reports the two are a near-perfect embodiment of the two factions of the Republican party. Author Phillip Rucker calls it "the party’s upper-crust establishment" versus "the angry grass roots" and Massachusetts versus Texas. I'll boil it down even further - East versus West.

It is perhaps in the area of personal style that the two men are most different.

Consider how they approached the rite of eating a corn dog when they visited the Iowa State Fair last month. When a fair vendor handed Romney a vegetarian corn dog, he politely took it, turned his back to the cameras following him, took a delicate bite from the side and hurried along so he wouldn’t be photographed sticking the deep-fried foot-long in his mouth.

Perry, meanwhile, took a big bite of his corn dog, top first, photographic evidence of which raced around the Internet.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

XLV?

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2011 7:35 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JG & JK: Might I propose a compromise? Though perhaps not orthodox Roman-numeral format, "VL" would be "fifty-less-five," and still make
"Very Large." Now comes the litmus test of formal purity versus pragmatic expediency.

You may proceed.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 20, 2011 12:23 PM
But jk thinks:

The correct solution is for jk to issue a mea culpa. I saw what I wanted to see and propagated an error.

I considered telling jg that I was correct in some quantum universe where XL is the Roman numeral for 45.

Then I decided the best plan was misdirection. With JLo (didn't there used to be a hyphen?) shaking it all for Chrysler's parent company atop the page, surely this inconsequential item could roll off the page into obscurity.

It was a pretty good plan. Thanks, Keith.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 1:08 PM
But jk thinks:

And I posit that sub-points about the desirability of a Christie candidacy -- and his facility at corn-dog consumption -- hold.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 1:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

While I said I'm not pleased that our choice will apparently be Perry or Romney, I cast a suspicious eye the way of His Roundness, Governor Christie. A number of unread emails in my inbox declare him "a liberal in conservative's clothing." I went a searchin' and found the Conservative New Jersey 8-part series on the Chris Christie Conservative Myth. From part 4:

So what was the point of Gov. Christie's fifteen state whistle-stop tour on behalf of Republican candidates? Ostensibly, it was to promote the conservative Republican brand, but given the Governor's political history, we suspect an ulterior motive. What could it be?

According to a New York-based Democratic strategist the answer is plain as day:

Christie "has built up a fair amount of political capital, and he's spending it consistently and constructively," said Dan Gerstein... "It's another sign that he's a smart politician, and his success is no accident."

Gerstein added, "First off, it shows he is a player beyond New Jersey. Second, it adds to his juice. He's in demand, which will make more people want him, and more people listen to him."

[...]

"The Republican Party will need moderate, independent-thinking leaders like Christie who can win in blue states, if they're going to compete on a level playing field," said Gerstein. "The Republican Party needs an antidote to Palinism."

"An antidote to Palinism." And what is "Palinism" but the putative face of the Tea Party movement that calls for limited government, lower taxes and restrained spending?

Fascinating. Perhaps Mr. Gerstein is able to discern what so many "Christienistas" cannot: Gov. Christie is a RINO in an ill-fitting Reagan suit who can see the 2013 White House from his porch.

The real tension for party control may one day take the form of Palin-Christie, not Perry-Romney. As I said, West vs. East.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2011 3:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Parts of Alaska are East of New Jersey.

"XLV, huh."

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2011 4:12 PM

September 18, 2011

The GOP "Moderate" Factor

We're told that Republicans need to nominate a "moderate" candidate to attract independent-minded voters into the tienda grande. Some insight into the folly of this thinking can perhaps be gleaned from the much anticipated California straw poll.


...here are the numbers, in a pool of fewer than 900 votes that was predominantly party activists:

Congressman Ron Paul (374, 44.9%)
Governor Rick Perry (244, 29.3%)?
Mitt Romney (74, 8.8%)
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (64, 7.7%)
Jon Huntsman (17, 2.0%)
Herman Cain (15, 1.8%)
Newt Gingrich (14, 1.7%)
Thad McCotter (7, 0.8%)
Rick Santorum (7, 0.8%)
Gary Johnson (2, 0.2%)
Fred Karger (1, 0.1%)
Write-ins (15, 1.8%)

OK, we'll give props to Congressman Paul for taking first. (Word is he bussed in hundreds of supporters.) But look how the others fared. The "extremist" Rick Perry bested "mainstream" Mitt Romney 3 to 1. And uber-moderate Jon Huntsman was in the also-ran ranks (where he belongs, in my humble opinion.) Whether or not Perry organized any support this can't be good for Romney, who managed only 10 more straws than the stout-principled "anti-vaccination kook" Bachmann. It seems clear that in this prototypical blue state, well outside of flyover country, GOP voters have little interest in milquetoast politics this cycle.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:52 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Land of Reagan (I'll forgive them for Nixon), B-1 Bob Dornan, Tom McClintock, &c. I'd suggest there is a vibrant GOP faction in the Golden State but that it is too outnumbered these days to do any good.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 9:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh. And any word on where Ms. McCarthy finished?

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 10:35 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Brer KA took the weekend off from the computer, and is pleased to report that there is no cause for setting either of you straight, as you are BOTH right. California is highly fractured, and is the state that gave you both Reagan and Schwarzenegger. And Michael Huffington, former husband of Ariana Huffingpaint.

In the major metropolitan areas - greater Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area, and to some degree Sacramento - the Republican party tends to aim for moderates, in hopes of drawing in the independents against whatever raving leftist is running for the Dems in the general. In the greater acreage of the state, the GOP tends to the more traditional conservatives, as the lefties don't fare as well in what they fondly refer to as "fly-over country." Hence, you have solid conservatives arising from the Central Valley, the northern and northeastern part of the state, and much of rural California, plus Bob Dornan's bastion-conservative Orange County (though it's not as conservative behind the Orange Curtain as it once was), and to some degree, San Diego and points east.

It is telling that in 1991, outgoing Republican governor George Deukmejian famously told incoming governor Pete Wilson to be warned that his biggest fights would be not with the Democrats in the legislature, but with the conservative Republicans.

As an interesting aside, in addition to the various proposals to divide California into either two or three states (and I support every one of them, by the way), there has been one to stop awarding Electoral College votes as a single block, and instead to award them by separate voting of Congressional districts. This would be a disaster for the left, as it would change California from a reliable solid-blue block into a majority Republican state.

Also, it's noteworthy that the Republicans who get elected to Congress run as conservatives, and the ones who lose run as moderates. Californians may not be the brightest voters in the country, but they're just smart enough to know that running as a Democrat-lite isn't a motivating strategy. The only moderate Republican I can think of in the California congressional group is Jerry Lewis (no, not THAT Jerry Lewis), and he's been trending more conservative of late.

Now, someone smarter that me explain why South Carolina saw fit to send both Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham to the Senate, and my lifre will be fulfilled.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2011 12:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Final bonus jibe: JG mentions that the crazy Texas guy won. It's noteworthy that Texas went one-two: the crazy one by bussing in his entire cult following from the mothership, and the non-crazy one by more legitimate means. The party insiders may have a reputation for pursuing that electable-moderate chimera, but by dint of being party insiders, they also know how the gears of government work, and can see that Romneycare isn't going to help California's economy, which is well and truly boned (google "California is boned"). California insiders see Perry as more helpful to the state than Romney would be.

And you think that they'd hold a grudge because of all the former Golden State citizens who are now gainfully employed Lone Star State residents.

As far as California goes, you can consider just about anything written by our own Victor Davis Hanson to be pretty close to gospel.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2011 12:38 PM
But jk thinks:

This summer provided the pleasure of reconnecting with a distant step-relative I had not seen in many many many moons, to find that she is a Golden State resident (who'd leave were there any chance) and very conservative.

VDH came up and Mister Liberal Immigration guy says, gently "well, I think he can be a little over the top sometimes..."

"You don't live there," retorts she -- a bit less gently.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2011 1:15 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee must make one minor quibble with one of Brer KA's assertions. That is, that Republicans nominate moderates in Liberal enclaves in the hope of attracting independents. This may be true, but the fact is that any candidate to the right of Chairman Mao is sunk in the LA and San Francisco areas. That said, he will concede that if one is going to lose, one might as well lose standing for principles as lose standing for nothing.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 19, 2011 2:43 PM

September 15, 2011

Free to Choose

Anti-vaccination kook Rep. Michelle BachmannAnti-vaccination kook Jenny McCarthy
Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Between these and the references to Anna Nicole Smith photos, I find myself wondering where the blog is heading and whether there's been a sudden change in the target demographic.

Just don't turn the blog green again. Not askin' for much. Just that.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 15, 2011 6:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Keith: it's an 8 1/2 year search for some demographic -- any demographic. And it is hardly the first time I've tried.

But if we move to NASCARretards.com, I promise red, white, and blue. Thanks for focus-grouping.

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2011 6:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Where does a guy go who actually wants to read the articles? :)

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2011 7:36 PM

September 14, 2011

Henry Waxman (D-CA) Speaks Truth

A lot of that going around lately, isn't there?

In his attempt to explain why predominantly Jewish and predominantly Democratic voters in New York Nine might elect a Septogenarian Catholic white Anglo-Saxon male Republican over a fellow Jewish Democrat, California congressman Henry Waxman, also a Jewish Democrat, inadvertently admitted what the president and congressional Democrats have been doing to America since each of them arrived in office.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a prominent Jewish congressman, said the Jewish vote is a concern for his party.

“I think Jewish voters will be Democratic and be for Obama in 2012, especially if you get a Republican candidate like [Texas] Gov. [Rick] Perry,” he said. “But there’s no question the Jewish community is much more bipartisan than it has been in previous years. There are Jews who are trending toward the Republican Party, some of it because of their misunderstanding of Obama’s policies in the Middle East, and some of it, quite frankly, for economic reasons. They feel they want to protect their wealth, which is why a lot of well-off voters vote for Republicans.”

If this is true then "well-off" Democrats can be expected to defect to Republican candidates across the slate. But more importantly, can anyone cite another example of such a brazen and careless admission that the president and his Democratic allies are literally a threat to individual wealth? A threat from which voters now feel they must protect that wealth? President Obama famously told Joe the Plumber, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." But, for some reason, "well-off" voters in 2008 didn't feel that their wealth was threatened. Perhaps because candidate Obama's next words were,

"But listen," Obama said, shaking Wurzelbacher’s hand, "I respect what you do and I respect your question, and even if I don’t get your vote, I’m still gonna be working hard on your behalf, because small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it.”

Mister Obama seemed to recognize that he'd just uttered a gaffe, and in the realm of a free-press he had. Some of us took the remark for what it was - a warning of what we could expect from a President Obama. Others, like those in New York Nine, didn't believe it until they saw it.

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

View from the White House

And every other 'rat in Washington D.C.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

Revenge of the Jews; Dem Seat Turns in NYC

AP: GOP wins in NY House race, seen as Obama rebuke

Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal.

The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.

Turner has vowed to bring business practicality to Washington and push back on spending and taxes.

The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.

(...)

Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic, vowed to push back on Obama's policies if elected.

Hat Tip to Drudge for the title.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2011

Mental Problems All Right...

Rep Bachmann shows her inner crazy person: suspicion confirmed.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Perhaps it was caused by a childhood vaccination.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2011 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Coffee. Keyboard.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2011 2:53 PM

September 8, 2011

Gov. Perry's Worst Answer

Jim Geraghty brings up one that grated last night. Getting some well deserved whacking for the HPV vaccinations, Governor P lashed out:

Another comment by Perry -- that he'll do "whatever it takes to preserve human life" -- feels a little too casual in its dismissal of balancing the costs and benefits. A 45-mile-per-hour speed limit would help preserve human life. So would confiscating every steak knife in the country.

I said quietly but firmly to the tv: "Whatever it takes to preserve liberty, Governor. Liberty." A small gaffe, but not a small gaffe.

While we're on Geraghty, he has a good line for his ideal candidate: "the mind of Friedrich Hayek in the body of Salma Hayek." Nobody sees their ideal this year, but I console that we are playing in the middle of the Poisson curve: there was nobody I could not support up there last night. Rep. Tancredo and Gov Huckabee were blissfully absent. We are playing in the middle this year.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

You may have noticed that my paraphrase of this was "but at the end of the day I will always err on the side of saving lives." I just couldn't bring myself to write what I thought I'd heard - that he'd do whatever it takes to "preserve human life." I was hoping he hadn't just used the pro-life rhetoric. (I could have rewinded but I was trying to keep up with the live stuff.)

This is what spooks me most about Perry. Not the "anti-science" canard. Not his overt religiosity or "forced" immunizations of young girls (which is largely justified as a way to require health plans to pay for it) but anti-abortion zealotry. I still hold that unnuanced position by Ken Buck responsible for our Senator Bennet (D-CO, six more friggin' years). If Perry fails to soften on this issue he might drive off enough single-issue urban women to cause a second Obama term. Particularly if there's an October surprise replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 2:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

HOLD THE PHONE! I may need to throw a bullcrap flag. According to the Roll Call transcript as published by the NY Times [page 11 of 24, very last line] Perry said:

But at the end of the day, I will always err on the side of saving lives.

So I guess the question is, who was the better journalist? Little ol' me, or Jim Geraghty?

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

You, bro. To be fair, I don't think Geraghty parses the phrase or cares about the difference. Maybe there's a pro-choice contingent at NR but if there is, I'm guessing they sit at their own table in the lunchroom.

You'll take me at my word that I spoke to the tv upon hearing the correct phrase. It grates either way.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2011 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, so we don't really care what the candidate actually said? Maybe we don't really care about all the nuances surrounding the issue either. Let's just put his head on a Liberty pike and let that be a lesson to the rest of them. By that standard Ron Paul will be last man standing. Good luck with him.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 11:47 PM

September 7, 2011

GOP Debate LIVEBLOG

JK has promised to LiveBlog the next debate if I do this one. Sorry for the short notice.

I left work early to see the thing, since I didn't know it was on MSNBC and didn't set it to DVR before I left.

Feel free to chime in real-time in the comments. (And if nobody does I'll blame it on the lack of advance notice. See how this works? :) )

And they're off! After some Bush-bashing Brian Williams asks Rick Perry the first question.
--

And Perry lands the first blow! Romney boasted creating more jobs in MA than Obama has in the entire country. Perry one-upped by claiming Texas created more jobs in the last 3 months than MA did during Romney's 4 years!
--

Awesome Herman Cain line: "If ten percent is good enough for God, nine percent oughtta be good enough for the federal government."
--

Huntsman opens with JKs signature issue: "This is not a time to start a trade war" with China. Thumbs up. Also claims to be best choice to defeat Obama because he "knows something about the world" having lived overseas and being an ambassador.
--

Ron Paul: "The way they [federal government] use the Interstate Commerce Clause is outrageous in my opinion." Two thumbs up.
--
Newt Gingrich. Oh yeah, I remember him. Bunch of statistical claims. Closes with a shot at Obama over class warfare. No argument but not moving the ball.
--
Romney on Obamacare: "I'll issue a waiver to all 50 states on my first day in office." It's bad law. It won't work.
Perry on Obamacare: "Medicaid needs to be block granted back to the states. We'll come up with more ways to cover more people than the federal government. Blames federal government for Texas being last in percentage of citizens covered by health insurance.
--
Michele Bachmann: "An executive order will not overturn Obamacare. It will take a strong leader to repeal it. If we fail to repeal it in 2012 it will be with us forever and we will have socialized medicine."
--
Newt! Slams moderator for trying to get Republicans to fight with each other. "Everyone on this stage thinks Obamacare is a disaster and has to be repealed."
--
Brian Williams asks Rick Santorum about GOP attitudes toward "the poor" vis-a-vis his Catholic faith. Then asks Rick Perry about median white wealth being 20 times median black wealth. Sensing a pattern....
--
Ouch. Jon Huntsman cites Miliken Institute figure of $13 per gallon of gas when including the expenditures on Mideast wars and "keeping the sea lanes open." (Only a smattering of applause.)
--
Ron Paul: I'll give you gas for 10 cents per gallon. You can buy a gallon of gas today for one silver dime, which is worth about $3.50 in today's dollars. It's all about inflation. [WOO HOOOO!]
--
FIRST COMMERCIAL BREAK (8 minutes, including a tribute to Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No.") During the break I "friended" MSNBC so I could post a comment amongst those of the moonbats: "Any one of these candidates would make an excellent president. Newt Gingrich was right: All of them agree that Obamacare is a disaster and all of them agree that they are committed as a team to defeating Barack Obama."
--
Rick Perry repeats assertion that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Romney: "Our nominee has to be someone who does not want to abolish Social Security but wants to fix Social Security." Perry: "You cannot keep the status quo in place and call it anything but a Ponzi scheme." Cain: "Let's talk about solutions and not rhetoric. I believe in the Chilean model where each citizen gets a personal account with his name on it."
--
They're piling on Rick Perry now over the "forced immunization" issue. First Ron Paul, then Michele Bachmann. Perry's response: "There was an opt-out." "I hate cancer." Said he should have talked to the legislature first, "but at the end of the day I will always err on the side of saving lives." Santorum takes a turn whacking the pinata. Romney's turn - Comes to Perry's defense, likens it to Romneycare, then say's Obama's a nice guy but doens't have a clue about how to get this country going again.
--
Cain wants to "fix FEMA" and "fix Homeland Security" not eliminate them. Thumbs down.
--
Strong anti-illegal immigration stance from Romney. Said border patrol told him they come over in such numbers "because we left the magnet on." All right, thinks I - he's going to talk about welfare! Nope. Wants to build a fence, eliminate sanctuary cities, cut education funding for illegals, target businesses hiring illegals. Bachmann to the rescue: "Hispanic Americans have told me they want us to stop giving taxpayer subsidized benefits to illegal aliens."
--
SECOND AND FINAL COMMERCIAL BREAK - Somebody "liked" my comment. 576 comments so far. Not as many Ron Paul supporters as I expected. About an equal number calling him a nutjob for various comments tonight.
--
Some excellent monologues in the final segment. Jon Huntsman on nation building, we should do it at home and not in Afghanistan. Said America has lost confidence.
--
Rick Perry volunteers some props for the president: Gives him credit for killing bin Laden, keeping Gitmo open, and discrediting Keynsian economics forever. Nice!
--
Playing with GOP fire: Jon Huntsman says GOP shouldn't dispute what 98 out of 100 climate scientists believe.
--
Bachmann points out that president had to call off the EPA before it shut down 20 percent of American coal power plants. Said they were promoting a political agenda and not a scientific one.
--
Newt said he would fire Ben Bernake on his first day in office. "He's been the most inflationary, dangerous and power-centric chairman in the history of the Fed. I think the Fed ought to be audited." Two thumbs up. Romney agrees, though less ferociously.
--
Debate winds up a few minutes over the allotted time. Those who were hoping for Rick Perry to stumble were disappointed. Jon Huntsman did well I thought, until his statements on science. He's still running the last campaign in my opinion, giving too much deference to the opinions of climate scientists. While not perfect I thought Rick Perry did a good job of answering that directly, saying the scientific understanding of human contribution to climate change is far too tenuous to risk destroying the American economy in some effort to change that.

Chris Matthews disagrees, however, calling Perry "anti-science" and Luddite," who would make us a "yahoo country" and "monkey-business country."

UPDATE: Forgot to turn off MSNBC before their talking-heads got going. A common theme is that Ronald Reagan would have been the "wild lefty" on this stage tonight. Oy.

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:00 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Well done. We should all try to the next.

If Governor Perry has lost Chris Matthews he's lost insane America!


I though they all did pretty well. Ron Paul had a great night. Jon Huntsman said some good things, but tried too hard. he does not seem substantive enough. Too Bad.

9-9-9 is interesting, but I think Mr. Cain's time is up.

Perry is certainly the frontrunner.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 11:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Except for DAWG I thought Huntsman said some very good things. His problem was, intentionally or unavoidably, his erudition shone brightly. He seemed to be talking down to Americans and the rest of the candidates.

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2011 9:18 AM
But jk thinks:

Huntsman's probably still my favorite candidate (that was allowed onstage) but he has a princely air about him. Had he entered early, he would have had some of that rich-kid smarm beat out of him in the early days and might be formidable. But, back in the real world, he muffed his one chance last night.

I, too, left the channel on MSNBC and came back to a Matthews rant that "none of these guys believe in global warming!"

Fraught with peril, kids. Jim Geraghty's morning jolt says "John [sic] should be a Democrat." He served as a GOP Governor in a deeep red state, cut taxes and calls for flatter fairer taxes and lower regulation. And to National Review he's a Democrat because of civil unions and global warming? Jeeberz, boys, tough room.

The left has a potent weapon in combining evolution and DAWG to make Gov. Perry look backwards.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2011 11:07 AM
But HB thinks:

I forgot about the debate last night and turned it on just in time to hear Chris Matthews talking about how we would be a "monkey business country" if we elected Rick Perry. He was literally so over-the-top that I was laughing at what was supposed to be a serious critique. I stayed on MSNBC just long enough to see the panel of experts there to discuss the debate: Maddow, Schultz, Lenin, Marx, and the rest of gang.

I have had a chance to watch some of the debate now and I have to say that my favorite question in the debate was when Brian Williams said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Rick Santorum, you are Catholic and yet you hate the poor, what gives?" It really shows the ignorance of Brian Williams that the extent to which one cares for the poor is determined by how much government funding they are willing to shell out.

The media was going crazy this morning about Rick Perry calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme." First, on technical detail, the Texas governor is correct. You are taking money from one group to give to another hoping that the funding from the first group is enough to pay the second group. Apparently, this is wrong because it is not your neighbor doing it, but rather the government. Unfortunately for Perry, I actually agree with the media that his answer was poor and unlikely to help him with general election voters. However, I think that his answer could have been perfectly acceptable if he had followed up his statement with an objective for changing the program.

Fun with similes:

Huntsman is to JG as GWB is to the left.

Okay, that might be a stretch, but I think JG is too harsh.

Posted by: HB at September 8, 2011 1:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sorry HB, I'm still scratchin' my head.

You think I have Huntsman Derangement Syndrome?
Was it too harsh to say he seemed to be talking down to us? Maybe you disagree with my assessment that DAWG isn't the winning issue it was in 2008. I could be wrong that the majority now disbelieves but it is definitely less credible now and trending downward.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2011 12:21 AM

I Agree with Matt Yglesias

And @baseballcrank:

Agreed. RT @mattyglesias Rick Perry contracts on Intrade are a steal right now at 20%: http://t.co/YkUWtJk
Posted by John Kranz at 3:57 PM | Comments (0)

Swing and a Mitt!

Both the WSJ Ed Page and Larry Kudlow find the same fault with Governor Romney's 6,751 page jobs plan. In point 1504 (out of 9,071), there's a wee bit of class warfare:

On taxes, Mr. Romney would immediately cut the top corporate income-tax rate to 25% from 35%. His advisers say there's already a bipartisan consensus that the U.S. rate hurts American companies, and they're right. Even Mr. Obama agrees.

But on other taxes, Mr. Romney shrinks from a fight. He says he favors tax reform with lower individual tax rates but only "in the long run." His advisers say that means in the first two years of his Presidency, but then why not sketch out more details?

The answer may lie in his proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax--but only for those who earn less than $200,000 a year. This eviscerates most of the tax cut's economic impact and also suggests that he's afraid of Mr. Obama's class warfare rhetoric. He even picked Mr. Obama's trademark income threshold for the capital gains cut-off.

If Mr. Romney thinks this will let him dodge a class warfare debate, he's fooling himself.


Governor Mitt cut an impressive figure on Kudlow last night. The man would represent an astronomical leap up from the policies of President Obama. And, with a good tea-party contingent in Congress leaning him the right direction, would probably make a good 45th POTUS.

But I see a bit of Hooverism in his lengthy plans. And am I correct that he brought up Six-Sigma in an early debate? If it was not him, I apologize but I think it was. The problem is not that government is inefficient, the problem is that government is over-scoped.

I'll support him proudly if he is the GOP 2012 nominee. But several of the other candidates will have to vanish mysteriously before he becomes my choice in the primaries.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Worse than this, Romney seems to believe that these taxes, while substantial, are the biggest threat to American's saved wealth. Unlike Governor Perry I haven't heard him mention a traitorous FOMC, Quantitative Easing or even inflation.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 2:46 PM

September 6, 2011

An Argument worth having

I hope there are many arguments worth having at ThreeSources. If not, I suspect DearWendy to be a better source of general entertainment.

But I suggested that liberty minded folk might purloin Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin motto: "Gradatim Ferociter" (step by step with ferocity). Brother jg suggested "Give me liberty or give me death."

Ragglaw.com, where I found translation help, compared it to Toyota's "Kaizen." Working for a manufacturing firm, I have been exposed to Kaizen. It calls for incremental improvement and represents a superb comparison to gradatim ferociter.

Kaizen was championed at my place of employment by a former COO and while I champion it here, I found it completely inappropriate for that company at that time. "We need 'Banzai!' and not 'Kaizen,'" I told her. "This process we are investigating is too dysfunctional to fix and we would be better off spending the resources scrapping it."

I lost that argument and she has since gone on to other opportunities (of her own volition with sad faces on both sides). But I have internalized it as a fundamental difference in repairing or optimizing a system. The only other manufacturing thing I was exposed to, I will call "pareto improvement." The opposite of Kaizen, you find what is really broken and fix it, purposefully ignoring many small broken things. It's the "put all your money in one basket and watch the basket" [fight about attribution] theory.

I have been pleased with the number of situations about which one can ask the Pareto/Kaizen question: should you use resources optimizing or replacing?

Though our precious constitutional republic is severely broken and its leadership dysfunctional, I posit that gradatim ferociter remains the best choice for liberty lovers. The structure of the Constitution we all revere is not conducive to quick and wholesale changes. The progressive encroachment on our freedoms was calcified over more than a hundred years and will take time to be dismantled.

Bill McGurn suggests the President missed an opportunity when he rejected an early "grand compromise" with House Republicans:

For the president, that deal would have allowed him to do something serious about spending--in a highly public and bipartisan way. Even better for him, it might have split the opposition. For such a deal would likely have left Republicans bickering, with some arguing we should wait for a Republican president and others screaming "sellout."

The president, however, got greedy, and killed the deal when he asked for more. That's been his problem all along. Notwithstanding incessant calls to rise above politics, on issue after issue the president has proved himself incapable of matching his large rhetoric with equally large actions.


Gentle ThreeSourcers, might we be setting a resurgent and reinvigorated GOP up for just such a failure? If we maintain a list of compromisers in order disbar them from office, I fear we are.

Gradatim Ferociter.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:34 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

If we disbarred every politician who ever compromised there would be none left. The issue is how quickly and readily they do so. I don't think we disagree on that. Where we seem to divide is whether our party's leader should be a sometimes rough and tumble "malapropiser" or a smooth, slick ex-diplomat. Which do you suppose would be more persuasive when calling individual congressmen to the Oval Office to lobby for a big vote?

The Gradatim part of the plan is a given. It's the Ferociter half I'm trying to solidify.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 2:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Agreed.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 3:45 PM

Jimi P Talks to Gov. Huntsman

For those who cannot be troubled to watch a six minute video to select the next President of the United States of America*, I offer My chat with Jon Huntsman about his economic plan.

It looks purdy good to me... Contrast it with Gov. Romney's Green Economic Advisors.

* Yes, I am kidding about not watching the video. Really.

UPDATE: Huntsman's guest editorial in the WSJ is pretty good as well:

President Obama believes we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity. We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity. To do that, we must equip the American worker and the American entrepreneur with the tools to compete in the global economy.

Restoring our competitiveness will not be possible without first recognizing our constitutional commitment to limited government, a precondition for unleashing the spirit of American entrepreneurialism.

In the long term, this will mean dramatic education and immigration reform, but in the short term, tax simplification, regulatory reform, and changes in energy and trade policy will jump-start the American economy and allow us to export more and import less, creating sustainable growth and jobs.

We need a revenue-neutral tax overhaul modeled after Ronald Reagan's 1986 tax reform package--which will require taking on sacred cows. This means eliminating special interest carve-outs, loopholes and deductions while lowering rates across the board so our tax code is flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:26 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"Pickens Plan:" No thanks. But the rest looks good.

* I did finally watch the rest of it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2011 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I could surely live without the Pickens Plan myself. Some of the NatGas stuff should probably be read again now that we have fracking, but as to erecting unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes all across the Lone Start State, this shall not stand.

Compared, however, to Gov Romney's indexing of cap gains taxes and China bashing, such apostasy is acceptable. I will certainly be giving a fair shake to Governor Existentialdangertoanenlightenedfreerepublic as well.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2011 3:52 PM

September 5, 2011

Reagan for kids (especially the 18-year olds)

This post legitimately spans multiple categories. I don't recall it being discussed here when it was first released, last May I believe, so I'll immortalize it in the 3Srcs/EatOurPeas archives now.

For the youth of America who don't remember the economic resurgence that came about under the policies of President Ronald Reagan Mike Huckabee offers a new animated American History series to give them the pro-America version of events they may or may not have ever heard of. Here's a clip from the Reagan Revolution episode.

Mike Huckabee calls it an unbiased telling of history, while those more inclined to a politically-correct worldview see the religion boogeyman as they quote from the video's website: "We recognize and celebrate faith, religion and the role of God in America's founding and making our country the greatest place on Earth," the site reads.

I had attributed this reflexive anti-religion attitude to a majority of the one-third of American voters who are unaffiliated with a party but I'm ready to concede it may be yet another form of extremism that's been made to appear mainstream by the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media. In defense of his product Huckabee claims that, "Ninety-one percent of liberals who were shown the videos said they not only learned something they would buy them for their kids."

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Ooooooooh i dooooooon't knooooooooow maaaaaaaan....

Perhaps I have been whacking at the Gov for too long and need to better "recalculate pros and cons in real-time" but the tone of this is Reefer Madness meets Emmanuel Goldstein meets a PBS Kids' Recycling Special.

I enjoy a positive portrayal of our 40th as much as the next ThreeSourcer but there is little factual information here and the tone tries too hard to persuade to actually be persuasive.

And those Teeth! Millions of young children will grow up having Ronald Reagan nightmares! That can't be good.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 10:55 AM

It's Wabbit -- I mean Election -- Season!

Dont wear white. Start the campaigns. Happy Labor Day!

Hat-tip: Don Surber

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

President Obama is "shovel-ready."

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:13 PM

September 3, 2011

Jon!

I thought the Governor did very well:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

The tax plan "we" proposed? What is this, a two-for-one candidacy with his wife or something?

OK, a minor quibble but I find it difficult to champion or even trust this penultimate compromiser based on a single red-meat position paper.

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2011 6:18 PM
But jk thinks:

I guess I don't find "compromiser" as pejorative as you do. I don't want President Lincoln Chafee, but, the world not being ThreeSources, our next prez will have to work in a multi-party, tripartite government.

The candidate I really wanted, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, accomplished most of the same things that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did. But they did not chain themselves to the gates in Indianapolis or recall state legislators who voted for the package.

So, I'll accept results without combat. And, once more, I think you do him injustice in your quick dismissal. It is not a "single red-meat position paper." It is a template of his success as Utah Governor. Unlike Sen. McCain and his awesome health care plan he did not understand well enough to explain, I say Governor H appears quite conversant with it on Kudlow's show.

Posted by: jk at September 4, 2011 11:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

By "penultimate compromiser" I meant a man who, second only to John McCain, is so willing to compromise on what should be core principles that compromise becomes his core principle.

I'll cop to not watching the entire interview. Let's just say he didn't impress on our first, blind, date. Being set up by Howard Dean didn't help. But then, my current favorite is the man I first labeled an existential danger to an enlightened Free Republic. I can recalculate pros and cons in real-time.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:04 PM

September 2, 2011

Must See TV

Governor Huntsman will be on "The Kudlow Report" this evening (7EST/5MST CNBC). I think we'll get a good look at his economic plan.

Discussing it in comments several posts South, I have to hit below the belt and compare my/Jon's opponents to Senator Reid and the President. Governor H has released a plan. His opponents have, let's say, given speeches.

UPDATE: WSJ Ed Page: Better than anything so far from the GOP Presidential field

The heart of the plan lowers all tax rates on individuals and businesses. Mr. Huntsman would create three personal income tax rates--8%, 14% and 23%--and pay for this in a "revenue-neutral" way by eliminating "all deductions and credits." This tracks with the proposals of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and others for a flatter, more efficient tax system.

That means economically inefficient tax carve outs for mortgage interest, municipal bonds, child credits and green energy subsidies would at last be closed. The double tax on capital gains and dividends would be expunged as would the Alternative Minimum Tax. The corporate tax rate falls to 25% from 35%, and American businesses would be taxed on a territorial system to encourage firms to return capital parked in overseas operations.


And repeal ObamaCare®, Dodd-Frank, and SarbOx. And "bring to heel the hyper-regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the National Labor Relations Board."

Don't thank me, it's all in a day's work for Huntsmanman!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Yup. That's what gets the president outraged. Not the "Fast and Furious" scandal, not Bashir Assad's continuing to mow down people, not the number of Americans on food stamps, not the Gibson guitar raid, not waste in the stimulus bill, not the loss of $500 million or so in that Solyndra company. No, having to compromise on speech timing is what really grinds his gears. -- Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter
To which I cannot link, but if you do not subscribe (free), you are quite mad.
Posted by John Kranz at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2011

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 3:11 PM | Comments (0)

Jimi P Likes Huntsman's Plan Too

Inconsequential after my endorsement, but James Pethokoukis is a fan of Huntsman's economic plan as well.

At first glance, this looks like perhaps the most pro-growth, pro-market (and anti-crony capitalist) tax plan put forward by a major U.S. president candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1980. But it is not without political risk. In addition to killing tax breaks for businesses, Huntsman would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, healthcare exclusion, and the child tax credit among other "tax expenditures." We're talking about a whole herd of sacred cows. Both his fellow presidential candidates and Washington lobbyists will likely attack him for some of those ideas.

Jim Geraghty points out that Ramesh Ponnuru has already attacked:
But here's the problem. The tax code, when combined with entitlements as now structured, overtaxes parents, and the child credit only partially offsets that effect. By abolishing the credit -- a legacy of the Gingrich Congress and the Bush administration -- Huntsman would be taking a step away from neutrality and toward a perverse form of social engineering.

I know I anchor the bottom of ThreeSourcers when ranked by offspring density. But I think subsidizing procreation is as much "perverse social engineering" as not. I would not object to increasing the standard deduction to help parents. But it is disturbing to see a guy as bright as Ponnuru championing the byzantine tax code when it promotes his goals.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:19 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

From the terse explanation given by Ponnuru the present child tax "credit" is not subsidizing procreation, but neutralizing the tax penalty for it. That penalty is what he calls "a perverse form of social engineering." Think of it as China's one-child policy wearing a green eyeshade.

Huntsman's proposal, clearly intended to be sweeping and comprehensive, is thus proven to be not comprehensive. Rather than reform the current code it must instead be, replaced. Let him champion that and I'll start to take a look.

Posted by: johngalt at September 1, 2011 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't think you're being fair (but I am prepared to sacrifice it to see your siding with Ramesh -- writing down the date).

Broaden the base, lower the rate, simplify, and utilize less social engineering. I'm all for that. The plan, divorced for the candidate, looks very strong to me.

And yet. My re-leaning toward the handsome Utah Gov was set back by Huntsman's position on the scheduling contretemps. "This is why people hate Washington" says Governor H. No sir, with all due respect, I hate "Washington" because people there will not stand for what they believe.

An instinctive move to compromise rather than fight. Houston? We have a problem.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2011 3:05 PM
But dagny thinks:

Sorry, I may be confused but I don't see a, "parent penalty," in the tax code as now structured that requires off-setting with voluminous credits.

I understood the, "marriage penalty," in households with 2 working adults but I think that has been eliminated.

Everytime I complete a tax return I seem to be able to reduce my tax burden more for every child. BTW, I don't recommend child-bearing as a tax avoidance strategy in general.

Just because we choose to spend the pittance the government leaves behind on diapers rather than guitars, I DON'T beleive the government should treat me differently than the guy with the guitar.

Ami I wrong here somewhere???

Posted by: dagny at September 1, 2011 7:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Dagny, I think we're on the same page. I want to be treated equally with parents (and am fine with even raising the standard deduction which would help parents).

I would not fight removing the the "child credit" even if it is "a legacy of the Gingrich Congress and the Bush administration." Lower marginal rates and let people choose twixt diapers and guitars, renting or buying, hybrid or not.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2011 8:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...when combined with entitlements now structured..." The "parent penalty" appears to be in one of the many, many ... many entitlements that are part of the byzantine tax code. (A tax code which somebody further up in the comments suggested be scrapped and replaced.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 1, 2011 10:04 PM

August 31, 2011

Huntsman

Gov Huntsman releases his 12 page plan. What's not to like, ThreeSourcers?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:27 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Empty optimism, fierce partisanship, bad ideas--come to think of it, that combination worked very well for Obama in 2008. But that year, he was in effect running against a failed incumbent, We suspect he will find it more challenging to run as a failed incumbent.-- (All Hail) James Taranto:


Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2011

6 Reasons for Conservatives to Support Rick Perry in 2012

...note that this column IS NOT an endorsement of Rick Perry. Yes, he'd be a strong candidate, but he's not the only strong candidate in the race, nor is the field necessarily set yet. If, however, Perry does end up getting the nod, that's something conservatives could feel good about. Why?

Townhall's John Hawkins gives 6 reasons, but I'll just repeat this one:

3) Rick Perry is someone you'd like to have a beer with. Political junkies tend to roll their eyes at the old, "Who would you rather go to a ballgame with / have pizza with / have a beer with?" question. After all, shouldn't the election be all about issues? Here's the thing: If you go back for 40 years, at a minimum (Nixon vs. McGovern is a little hard to call) the most likable candidate has won every single presidential election.

The good news on that front for the GOP is that the snobbish, emotionally stunted, I-blame-everybody-but-me, lecturing Barack Obama of 2012 is a lot less likable than the hopey, changey, I-am-whoever-you-want-me-to-be Obama of 2008. Rick Perry is well positioned to take advantage of that. Unlike his fellow Texan George Bush, he has charisma.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:57 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Eyes rolling. I'm warming to Gov. Perry but do not see him on the positive end of the Texas Governor Charisma Challenge against George W. Bush.

Posted by: jk at August 30, 2011 3:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I chose that excerpt more for what he wrote about Obama. But the comparison with GW Bush is irrelevant. Let's compare Perry with Romney. I cringed listening to the latter repeatedly mis-read his TelePrompTer at the VFW gathering yesterday. And his delivery on the subject of national defense worldviews sounded like he knew it was supposed to be heartfelt, while Perry's sounded like it actually was.

Has Romney had spinal surgery? Why is he so stiff?

Posted by: johngalt at August 31, 2011 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Spine? Romney? The jokes write themselves.

We jest but I am pretty seriously concerned about the public perception of Gov. Perry -- and I don't know that charismatic will be the first word.

Just because Karl Rove took Perry's aide's pencil box in third grade and the camps have feuded ever since does not mean that Perry == Bush will not sell to an uniformed electorate. I read today that 51% still blame the economy of President W. Gov Perry shares his accent, swagger, smirk, and penchant for malapropisms.

Harsh-ass calculus, but I pitched a superior candidate, Gov. Jeb Bush, for the same reason.

Posted by: jk at August 31, 2011 3:49 PM

Huntsman, the Non-Moderate

Blog friend EE sends his favorite one-time Huntsman supporter (I have no permission to use that label, but audaces fortuna juvat!) a link to an interesting, comprehensive, and positive look at the candidate. His father's firm invented the clamshell foam packaging found around one's Big Mac.

I got a kick out of:

Huntsman Jr. had a rebellious phase. He dropped out of high school to focus on his progressive-rock band, Wizard. Ask him about those days and he slips into semi-seriousness. He describes Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes, and Genesis as "highly impactful in terms of [his] view of the music world." And he jokes that the '80s were a mostly "lost decade" in terms of music when explaining his fondness for '90s acts like the Foo Fighters and Ben Folds Five.

As he is my age, genres suggest his rebellious phase was much later in life than mine (I still call it a music career, but I ain't running for anything).

The thesis of Michael Brendan Dougherty's piece in The American Conservative is that Huntsman "speaks like a diplomat, but he's no moderate." Admitting the tea party desire for absolutism might not match with the nuanced diplomat, Dougherty suggests a different look:

Huntsman may be uncomfortable in the ideological sweathouse that is the conservative movement. He may be diplomatic when the right is dyspeptic. But his candidacy offers conservatives two very tantalizing possibilities: a break with the Bush legacy on foreign policy and the chance to move their policy prescriptions off the Tea Party's placards and into the center of our political debate. Huntsman's record shows that conservative politics can triumph not just through conflict but also by concord.
[...]
Huntsman has reason to think his record compares favorably with those of his rivals. Unlike Romney, Huntsman's state healthcare reform achieved more insurance coverage for residents without resorting to an individual mandate. Huntsman has never argued that he was more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy, as Romney did in his 1994 Senate race. And while Rick Perry's Texas has 38 percent of all new American jobs created during the anemic recovery, the unemployment rate in Lone Star State has actually gone up. Because so many of the new jobs are low-wage, Texas's debt has actually doubled under Perry. Huntsman's Utah attracted larger companies and higher-paying jobs that helped the state recover from the recession more quickly than almost any other. The suspected RINO Huntsman passed Utah's largest ever tax cut. Perry, who is casting himself as the beau ideal of the right, voted for Texas's largest ever tax hike in the 1980s when he was an elected Democrat.

We still must contend with global warming and the importune Gov. Howard Dean endorsement, but there is quite a bit to like in this article.

UPDATE: MSNBC moves to counter the endorsement: "We don't want Huntsman!"

SIDE NOTE: Huntsman has the most attractive and modern website I have seen since Senator Obama's.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:26 PM | Comments (3)
But EE thinks:

I thought that you would enjoy it. Of course, the odds of him winning the nomination are about as close as mine and I don't even meet the age requirement yet.

Posted by: EE at August 31, 2011 9:50 AM
But jk thinks:

I am prepared to reconsider. Upon reflection his other positions seem more important than Global Warming. And if you win, I'd like to be Fed Chairman.

Posted by: jk at August 31, 2011 11:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Who wouldn't? America's only legal counterfeiter!

Posted by: johngalt at August 31, 2011 3:09 PM

August 26, 2011

Tea Party Can Go Straight to Hell

Those were the celebrated words of California Democrat U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters during a town-hall style meeting in her district last week. Whether premeditated or extemporaneous, the remarks garnered nationwide publicity for the congresswoman. Presumably she meant that taxes are not too high and government spending should be raised rather than lowered, both sentiments contrary to those of TEA Party advocates.

Well, I'm here to help. A bullet-proof counter argument to people like"some folks in the congress who'd rather see their opponents lose than America win" is this chart of inflation-adjusted monthly government spending showing that real spending is trending down, not up, from a 1993 peak (thank you President Clinton).

govtspending-CPI%20adj.png
Reposted from the National Inflation Association.

And that green line for "US Government Spending, monthly, in millions, CPI adjusted, with additional corrections for real inflation" isn't just some fly-by-night San Francisco lawyer's idea of a more equitable inflation index. It's a fly-by-night San Francisco lawyer's computation of CPI as though the method officially used by the U.S. government 25 years ago had continued to present day. [See third bold heading: Special Consumer Inflation Focus, or click continue reading.]

Go ahead Ms. Waters. Publicize this chart. Throw the TEA Party in that there briar patch.

Excerpted from John Williams' Shadow Government Statistics August 2006 Newsletter:

The key is how you define consumer inflation. I operate on the premise that the post-World War II CPI concept of inflation measured based on a fixed-basket of goods -- a measure of the changes in prices related to maintaining a constant standard of living -- was a reasonable, meaningful and useful approach for most consumers (see the CPI background article on the home page{LINK}).

Some years back, then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan began making public noises about how the CPI overstated inflation. Where the fixed-basket of goods approach would measure the cost of steak, year after year, Mr. Greenspan argued that if steak went up in price, people would buy more hamburger meat, mitigating the increase in their cost of living. The fact that switching the CPI concept to a substitution-based basket of market goods from a fixed-basket violated the original intent, purpose and concept of the CPI, never seemed to be a concern to those in Washington. Artificially reducing reported CPI inflation would have a variety of benefits, beginning with reduction of the budget deficit due to the cutting of cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security payments.

Accordingly, geometric weighting was introduced to the CPI reporting methodology, which had the effect of mimicking a substitution basis. Since the revised CPI still did not show as low an inflation rate as a fully substitution-based index would, Mr. Greenspan began focusing the Fed's inflation targeting and measurement on the inflation rate used to deflate personal consumption expenditure (PCE) in the GDP. Such was a substitution-based measure.

More recently, the BLS introduced the Chained CPI-U (C-CPI-U) as an experimental substitution-based inflation index, which closes follows PCE inflation.

Yet, as oil prices began their current uptrend, substitution-based inflation reporting still was not low enough for the former Fed Chairman, as he began embracing the concept of "core" inflation, inflation net of food and energy price changes. Eliminating bothersome price increases in energy and food products -- such as seen with oil at present -- would make the Fed's job of containing reported inflation all the easier.

In general, if a government economic measure does match common public experience, it has little use outside of academia or the spin-doctoring rooms of the Fed and Wall Street. The two SGS measures included in the above table have gimmicked methodological changes removed from the reporting so as to reflect more accurately the common public experience as embodied by the post-World War II CPI.


Posted by JohnGalt at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2011

S.S. Obama2012 Taking On Water

A brief exchange in a comment thread prompted me to look more closely at presidential polling data. It was noted that 2008 primary candidate Mitt Romney, the current GOP frontrunner, polls ahead of incumbent President Obama by 3 points nationwide among independent voters. (2 points among all voters.) More surprisingly, newcomer Rick Perry nearly equals that status leading the president by 2 points with independents, tied overall. But these are national preference polls and we all know that America doesn't hold a national popular election for president. We use the Electoral College.

Real Clear Politics shows the President with 201 likely electoral votes and "Republican" with 191. The election will be decided in the "toss-up" states: CO (9), FL (29), IA (6), MI (16), NV (6), NH (4), NC (15), OH (18), PA (20), VA (13), WI (10). The biggest of these prizes is Florida and its 29 electoral votes, where the latest polling from Magellan shows:

Florida: Romney vs. Obama Magellan Strategies (R) Romney 49, Obama 39 Romney +10 Florida: Perry vs. Obama Magellan Strategies (R) Obama 39, Perry 46 Perry +7 Florida: Bachmann vs. Obama Magellan Strategies (R) Obama 42, Bachmann 43 Bachmann +1

These numbers reflect a steep downward trend for the president in just the last half of August in polling versus Romney and Perry in the Sunshine State. I suspect Magellan chose to survey Florida as a bellwether for all of the toss-up states. This, and recent events in the toss-up states of Wisconsin and Ohio, suggest the President is in deep trouble.

Consider the internals:

Among all respondents, 37% think Barack Obama deserves re‐election and 57% think he does not deserve re‐election. Among women voters, 55% do not think the President deserves re‐election. Among other key voting subgroups, 55% of independents, 72% of Hispanics, 60% of seniors, and 27% of Democrats think the President does not deserve re‐election. Among voters aged 18 to 29, a vital voter subgroup in Barack Obama's 2008 victory, 38% think Barack Obama deserves re‐election and 50% think he does not deserve re‐election.

The emphasis is mine, as this parenthetical was borrowed from the paragraph on 'image rating' among that demographic. The stampede away from the president is beginning to resemble the stampede toward him when he beat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Iowa Primary - nobody wants to be last to be "off board."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:17 PM | Comments (0)

Thanks, Howard, You're Really Helping.

[link]

Posted by John Kranz at 12:27 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Q.E.D.

Posted by: johngalt at August 23, 2011 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Methinks you're right.

Posted by: jk at August 23, 2011 2:57 PM

August 22, 2011

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | Comments (0)

GOP Answer to Climate Change

Climate Change is fraught with peril for the GOP. The best news about this country's complete economic meltdown is that many of the small potatoes issues have been tabled.

But Climate Change will be back. My Man, Jon Huntsman, thinks it's real and I confess I cannot get very excited when a Republican talks it up. OTOH, as texting economists say, I realize that any answer I would like will enrage the press and turn off huge swaths of moderates.

Kenneth P. Green at The American suggests a non-dogmatic answer and provides it free of charge to any of the candidates. They could do much worse, and as Speaker Thomas B Reed would quip, they probably will:

Since Jefferson's time, we've known that people can change the climate locally, regionally, and maybe even globally. Heck, any farmer knows we change the local climate! But activists have so muddied the issue by jiggering the data, suppressing dissent, predicting armageddon, and blaming every pooped-out polar bear on climate change it's hard to know what's real and what's hype.

They want to centrally plan the economy, but won't be honest about what they don't know. When pushed, leading climate scientists admitted they "lost" a bunch of their original data -- that's right, the dog ate it! Now they tell us aliens might wipe us out because of our greenhouse gas emissions!

Aliens!

Well, I don't believe that. What I do believe is that centrally planning our economy would be a disaster that would harm people and the planet. If the climate changes, we'll deal with that, but it will be by moving forward, not back to the caves

Megan McArdle gives a more balanced than you'll see most places look at the dangers of rigid belief.
What these Republicans are doing to people like Chris Christie is no better than what Harvard did to Larry Summers when he suggested that it was possible that women had a different IQ distribution than men. Facts are not good or bad; they are correct or incorrect. And a policy based on hysterical refusal to consider all possible facts is neither good, nor correct.

If someone is wrong about the facts, you should explain to them, calmly and concisely, why they are wrong. If it's really that obvious, it shouldn't be hard to convince them.

When people start trying to expel heretics because of disagreements over facts, it suggests that they suspect--even know--that the facts are not on their side. Which is, frankly, what I tend to think is happening here. If open argument is going to force your ideology to confront uncomfortable facts, you create a closed circle that the facts can't penetrate. If the circle is big enough, the geocentric universe gets a few hundred more years before the defensive perimeter cracks.

Fraught with peril. Even with the momentum shifting towards the DAWG deniers, I cannot imagine that one will be elected in 2012.

UPDATE:

Mr. Huntsman, the former Utah governor and ambassador to Beijing, began his candidacy stressing his resume and his attractive family. With that getting him nowhere in a year when issues trump biography, he's now attacking fellow Republicans for, among other things, not embracing the science of global warming. "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Mr. Huntsman said on Twitter, a criticism of recent remarks by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Mr. Huntsman followed that up on Sunday on ABC, telling Jake Tapper that the GOP has a "serious problem" when it becomes "anti-science." -- Paul Gigot

The bandwagon might suddenly feel 250 lbs. lighter...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:49 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Thou art nothing if not fair and objective, dear brother. A germane update if there ever was one.

To the historical footnote we know as Jon Huntsman I reply, "Global Warming is anti-science, not the GOP. If you knew anything about science you would know this, and would also know better than to believe that everything said by a scientist is supported by science."

Posted by: johngalt at August 23, 2011 2:58 PM

Sarah Palin Bashing!

Is Trig realllly her son?

No, actually, I wanted to talk about heightened expectations of her announcing her candidacy. She's spending a lot of time in Iowa. And while I will not say anything bad about the Hawkeye State (I thought Hawkeye was from Maine!), it is a curious coincidence.

The world is not ThreeSources, nor is the GOP. But it strikes me that the Governor does not fill any perceived lacunae in the 2012 field. Gov. Perry and Rep Bachmann both have energetic campaigns highlighting Tea Partyish principles with a solid foundation of cultural and social conservatism.

I suggest that those who see the field incomplete are waiting for a wonk. Chairman Ryan, or Gov. Daniels, or Gov. Christie who wonks without showing it. Everybody knows my moderate and generally positive opinion of Governor Griz, but I don't think she has ever been called a wonk.

UPDATE: More from Jennifer Rubin and her readers. Some good (but unconvincing) words for Governor Palin. Nice that "the left-wing media hate her so much it would drive them crazy" but I do not see that's fixing the entitlement issue on its own. One reader suggests Chairman Ryan:

He is patient and kind while Obama is brittle and testy. He is utterly genuine while Obama is phony. Ryan is the boy next door, the guy you can count on. People respond warmly to him. Paul Ryan is low-key and likable while the current WH occupant is high-strung, high-maintenance and extremely arrogant. Ryan has great intellectual credentials and has always been an authentic conservative thinker. His relative youth would contrast nicely with our hapless president’s tired, old act.

Count me in.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

We don't really get to compare candidates to the president yet do we? Which one doesn't come out as shiny as this?

For my part I prefer answer B: "She could announce she's backing Rick Perry."

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2011 2:27 PM
But jk thinks:

TWIN3S (The World Is Not ThreeSources). To us, T-Paw is an exciting, charismatic alternative to the Incumbent President. To the electorate at large, Gov. Perry is George Bush's clever disguise to sidestep the 22nd Amendment, and Gov. Romney is another Grey Haired, smooth talking Republican. I think Chairman Ryan alone brings youth, which is the only quality he won on that might still be valid.

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2011 4:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Academic. Ryan Won't Run

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2011 4:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps you're being to critical of the latest Texas Guv to run for POTUS:

"Obama trails both Romney and Perry among independents by three and two points, respectively."

"The Gallup results are the first national head-to-head general election numbers released since Perry entered the race..."

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2011 7:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Before the demagoguery machine has been launched. Three points. On an incumbent President. Here's to hope!

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2011 7:16 PM

August 21, 2011

Well, I am glad that HE is!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he's "at peace" with his decision not to seek the Republican nomination for president.
Posted by John Kranz at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2011

The World Economic Disorder Explained

In a single link. I try to avoid the "read it all" exhortation but this is the one. The sine qua non for understanding the causes and remedies for the international banking crises and related economic maladies we're living through. Hint: Fiat currency.

So what did the presumably most important representatives of the Austrian School — Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) and Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992) — have to say about fiat money?

They found that the injection of fiat money through bank credit expansion[6] lowers the market interest rate to below the natural rate level — as the Swedish economist J.G. Knut Wicksell (1851–1926) called it — that is, the interest rate that would prevail had the credit and money supply not been artificially increased.

The artificially suppressed interest rate makes firms increasingly shift scarce resources into more time-consuming production processes for capital goods at the expense of production processes for consumer goods, causing intertemporal distortions of the economy's production structure, leading to malinvestment.

Fiat-money injection increases consumption out of current income at the expense of savings, and, in addition, leads to higher investment, so that the economy enters an inflationary boom, living beyond its means.

If the injection of fiat money created through bank-circulation credit out of thin air were a one-off affair, it presumably wouldn't take long for the artificial boom to unwind. A recession would restore the economy to equilibrium as people returned to their truly desired consumption-savings-investment relation (as determined by time preference).

In a fiat-money regime, however, increases in credit and money are not a one-off affair. As soon as signs of recession appear on the horizon, public opinion calls for countermeasures, and central banks try their best to "fight the crisis" by increasing the fiat-money supply through bank-circulation-credit expansion, thereby bringing interest rates to even lower levels.

In other words, monetary policy — usually to the great applause of mainstream economists — fights the correction of the problem by recourse to the very action that has caused the debacle in the first place.

Such a strategy cannot be pursued indefinitely, though. When credit expansion comes to a shrieking halt — that is, when banks refrain from lending — the inevitable adjustment unfolds. Borrowers default, and firms liquidate unsound investments and cut jobs.

But there is a cure.

In contrast to these concepts — which are, and unsurprisingly so, interventionist by nature — economists from the Austrian School have been putting forward recommendations and strategies for reforming the monetary system along free-market principles.

Their recommendations are driven by the insight that the great financial and economic crises are not inherent in capitalism, but result from government interventionism in monetary affairs, most importantly by monopolizing money production. Hayek put it succinctly in 1976:

The past instability of the market economy is the consequence of the exclusion of the most important regulator of the market mechanism, money, from itself being regulated by the market process.[11]

Austrian economists are of the opinion — based on elaborate economic-ethical considerations — that curing the current financial and economic crisis would require a return to sound money. By "sound money," they mean money that is compatible with the principles guiding the free-market economy.

Sound money is free-market money, money that is the result of the free supply of and the free demand for money. It is money that is produced in unhampered markets where there are no longer any legal privileges for, for instance, central banks.

While those of us in the Liberty Movement think cutting government spending to sustainable levels is a sisyphean task, dislodging the self-dealing central bankers will be even more difficult, perhaps requiring something on the order of the French Revolution. Maybe that "treason" remark by Governor Perry wasn't as misguided as first believed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:23 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I have long found ABCT elegant and do not doubt its validity. I put monetary policy at the top of my causes for the housing bust and Panic of '08. I even complained when Gretchen Morgenstern did not in her otherwise excellent "Reckless Endangerment."

I'm on board and have on occasion called myself an Austrian "Ich bin ein Österreicher!" I even have the Aryan features to pull it off. But I get off the train right before Vienna.

My appreciation for Mises is long established, but I cannot accept a gold anchor. Why gold? If we perfect alchemy or find a big mine under Cleveland, we have an expansionary boom? If not we risk deflation?

Hayek seems closer with competing currencies, though it is difficult to wrap one's head around it.

I return to the Constitutional, enumerated power "To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof." An economics professor suggested we made a big error there, but it is there. I don't think going back to Breton Woods is the answer.

The phrase "Sound Money" -- if not "coined" -- popularized by President William McKinley. He did not give a fig about monetary policy, but had to run twice against William Jennings Bryan who wanted to talk about nothing else. "I'm for sound money" allowed the candidate to quickly talk about the tariff, which was his concern, without providing any specifics. I accuse today's rabble of the same offense. Do you mean metalism? I'll ask Well, not necessarily, [and the vowels get longer and the tone falters] but sound money.

I purport that a 2% inflation target fiat currency is sound money. And that QEn were required to keep the target when the FOMC could not inject liquidity using normal methods.

Yes, I worry that it will be overused and I dislike giving the government the option to monetize the debt. But I don't see a gold peg as the answer.

I always think I got off the Austrian Express at Chicago: Milton Friedman's computer Fed, really a set of rules to set rates and supply without human intervention or opinion is the best way to go. In the meantime, Chairmen Bernanke (the greatest villain since Hitler to some) is essentially doing that and doing it pretty well.

The other thing I have noticed, is that when ThreeSources discusses monetary policy, readership asymptotically approaches zero.

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2011 12:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.
Anna Nicole Smith photos. PLAYMATE.

Posted by: johngalt at August 21, 2011 6:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

(That oughtta buy us a few more volleys back and forth. I'll just let it soak a while...)

Posted by: johngalt at August 21, 2011 6:30 PM

August 19, 2011

McArdle Votes 'Present'

Normally I am a big fan of Megan McArdle, but she misses today.

Looking at -- and giving wider audience to -- the politicalMathBlog researched I linked the other day, McArdle comes to the conclusion that a) the Texas economic miracle is indeed fer real; but, b) the six term Governor is wrong to claim too much credit.

3.The governor of Texas isn't that powerful. In general, Texas has a weak state government, and my understanding is that the power of the executive is further diluted because powers that are normally concentrated in the office of the governor are actually spread out over a handful of elected officials. So even if awesome policy was responsible for how well Texas is doing, you couldn't give all the credit to Perry.

So.........Silent Cal could not claim credit for not totally screwing the economy as his two successors did? I will give the guy props for not pushing more state intrusion, taxes, and regulation.

I had recommended Joseph Gibson's "A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results" and suspect that many of his ideas were modeled on the part-time Texas legislature. Which, again, Gov. Perry cannot take credit for. But he had six terms to expand his office and the role of government. And he did not.

Pretty high marks from me on that.

UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page is much more positive

Mr. Perry's Texas record is far from perfect, as Charles Dameron recently showed on these pages with his reporting on the Governor's politicized venture-capital fund. But the larger story is that Mr. Perry inherited a well-functioning economy and has managed it well, mainly by avoiding the kind of policy disruptions that his liberal critics favor in the name of this or that social or political goal. This achievement may not earn a Nobel prize in economics, but it does help explain why Texas is outperforming the nation.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:18 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Well said all around. And if Perry is elected and, in a mere eight years, manages to turn the federal government into a "weak [national] government" he will have earned a Nobel prize in economics.

Posted by: johngalt at August 19, 2011 3:32 PM
But Terri thinks:

"3.The governor of Texas isn't that powerful. In general, Texas has a weak state government, and my understanding is that the power of the executive is further diluted because powers that are normally concentrated in the office of the governor are actually spread out over a handful of elected officials"

Twas a feature, not a bug.

Posted by: Terri at August 19, 2011 4:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The most "fair and balanced" treatment of the points against Perry that I've seen so far:

http://peskytruth.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/rick-perrys-negatives/

I refer, you decide. As for me, I'd have no major problem with a Perry candidacy, or a finite number of others. Romney, Giuliani, a couple of others, and that's a different story.

Special for br'er jg: given the conditions you describe, he will have earned one, but will not receive it. Because that's not how the committee rolls.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 19, 2011 4:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the link ka. The explanation of the Gardasil issue was more thorough than I'd ever read. Essentially, making it "mandatory" was a way to get it covered by private insurance and therefore more accessible. Maybe not the best way to help Texans but certainly not "jack-booted authoritarianism."

Posted by: johngalt at August 20, 2011 12:12 PM

August 18, 2011

OTOH

To my Governor Perry supporting friends: I am not negative, I am skeptical. Everybody should be skeptical this early. I have posted a few negative things.

So I repent with this amazing piece of awesomeness linked by Jonah Goldberg.

I won't excerpt because all my favorite parts have coarse language and its awesomeness is kind of a gestalt thing. It is awesome only in its entirety.

Its entirety is a sophisticated bloggers-eye-view of the Texas employment data (Why o why can't real media guys who are paid do anything remotely like this?) The blogger admits to not being in the Perry camp, but says -- nay, proves, madam -- in original research that the Texas jobs miracle is the real deal.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:49 PM | Comments (0)

'Nother Knock on Gov. Perry

The opening segment about Warren Buffet is worth a watch. The second statement on Gov. Perry's "Crony Capitalism Problem" is concerning.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | Comments (0)

Ms. Bachmann's Turn

Earlier this week neophite presidential candidate Rick Perry garnered lots of pub by calling another round of quantitative easing by Ben Bernanke "almost treasonous." Today Michelle Bachmann rolled out her own red meat issue by promising,

"Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again," Bachmann told a crowd Tuesday in South Carolina. "That will happen."

Naturally the press thinks it's impossible, ably demonstrated by Charles Riley who penned the CNN Money article linked above. I searched other reports looking for any that weren't dismissive but struck out. Apparently nobody within reach of a keyboard knows how easy it would be. "I will then, said the little red hen." From the Three Sources Oil and Energy archives:

Pique Oil - February, 2011

Within five years, analysts and executives predict, the newly unlocked fields are expected to produce 1 million to 2 million barrels of oil per day, enough to boost U.S. production 20 percent to 40 percent.

Tightly Controlled Oil Supply Slips Into Surplus - November 2008

The take away from this should be that adding as little as 1.9 million barrels per day (2.3%) to the world oil market at any time in the last 2.5 years would have put the market in surplus at the time. Remember that the next time someone says, "The small amount of oil we could produce domestically would not lower prices for 10 to 15 years."

Casey at Bat - July 2008

Every few months some Democrat decides that oil companies are to blame for high prices.

Except they're not. It's Democrats who are at fault.

And I'm not even including the price hiking effect of regional fuel blends mandated by government, although I'm sure we have a piece on that somewhere.

So bringing prices way, way down is a relatively straightforward goal. But how far down they can go is affected more by the value of the dollar than by the supply/demand balance for oil and refined gasoline. We've been debating whether or not we're actually in an inflationary period but according to the divergence of the two lines here (computed from "CPI-All Urban Consumers for all items less energy") inflation has been gangbusters since about 2004. But with this huge caveat, what should be the market price for a gallon of gasoline without government "help?" About 60 cents.

A Market Price for Crude Oil - June 2008

But for nearly 20 years between the two "oil shock" periods noted the price was roughly half that - 60 cents per gallon in constant [1979] dollars.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:50 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Nicely done. I rolled my eyes when I first heard it. It concerned me because it plays into the narrative of how important government it. Blame it when things are bad and fete it when times are good.

I just hope that Rep. Bachmann can make the point as effectively as you. "Hey, we don't set gas prices but we can keep from driving them up." No, on second thought, the "Hey" is too Sarahpalainish...

Posted by: jk at August 18, 2011 5:23 PM

August 17, 2011

You Should Watch

My moonbat left-of-center brother sends me this. I had suggested that our whole family read "Liberty Defined" so we would at last have something to talk about. That bit of filial fun never transpired, but my brother shared this, saying "I think Jon Stewart is dead-on about how Ron Paul is being marginalized."

And Jon Stewart is indeed right. I fear is right out of context. He uses this point to ridicule Republicans and FOX News (though the CNN clip at 8:40 is pretty bad). I am not sure Stewart's (rilly, rilly smart) audience understands some of the subtleties of the GOP race, the Iowa straw poll, and Rep. Paul's mile-deep-foot-wide support.

It's nine minutes of Stewart smarm but I recommend watching. Several lines are truly funny, and -- while we cannot let Stewart pick the GOP nominee -- it's a great chance to see the CW media perception of the candidates.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Pawlenty makes you drowsy" line was funny.
"Moral majorities in a tri-cornered hat" ... not bad. [I was pleased with that post and will keep linking until it gets some comments. Keith?]

Damn, no wonder Ron Paul can't get any traction. "If you get any video of Sarah Palin bring that back to us. You can hold the Ron Paul stuff." Pretty astonishing from a "news" outlet. But with respect, I saw Reloveution activists at work first hand during the '08 Colorado GOP Convention. 4600 of them showing up in Ames doesn't constitute a grassroots groundswell. (14 percent in a nationwide Gallup Poll may be a legitimate showing, however.) If I (and the press) am wrong and he somehow starts to show strength then yeah, I'll consider voting for him. That anti-war isolationism business is becoming more and more popular as our welfare state begins to teeter under its own weight, even with meself. If nothing else maybe we'll put the FED cronies out of business. Couldn't be worse than four years of Barack Obama.

Posted by: johngalt at August 17, 2011 3:41 PM

August 16, 2011

Singing the Praises of Social Conservatism

A while back I slammed GOP candidate Rick Perry for the overtness of his atavistic religiosity. My dear maw-in-law has been sharing some pro-Perry poop that included this Agnostics for Perry blog by Roger L. Simon.

Call him a cowboy, call him a Christer, but this man is a passionate American and a passionate American is exactly what we need right now. And that kind of person, I am sad to admit, is unlikely to come from the ranks of the agnostic and the secular. It will come from the ranks of the religious, those who have faith. That's just the way it is now.

But I will try to reassure my fellow agnostics with this. We are not nearly as far from religious people as we think. Though we may brood on the timing and veracity of the Big Bang, speculate on Einstein's unified field theory (if we can understand it), debate St. Anselm in our heads or just throw up our hands and say the whole question is above our job description, when it comes to the way we actually live, our values, most of us do just as our religious brothers and sisters do. Like them we are products of the Judeo-Christian tradition and we live by the Ten Commandments -- or try to.

So ease off on the PDS and don't be scared of Rick Perry. If someone's wearing their faith on their sleeve, maybe that's a good thing.

I believe I've shown over the past few years an enlightened respect for my faith-based brothers and sisters. But I don't think I've yet expressed the distinction I draw between religion believers and religion purveyors. Too many in the latter camp are motivated by the same sort of contempt for the values and choices of others that afflicts the ranks of the World Socialists. When it comes to laissez faire, in life or in business, both are equally incompatible with liberty.

So when a godly person seeks political office to reduce the influence of government on people's lives I'm there to cheer her on, but if he does so using the faith rhetoric of "sacrifice" and "sin" I get very, very nervous, to the point of mistrust. This is the difference I see between candidates Bachmann and Perry. A further comparison of these two leaves her looking at least as much like Reagan as does Perry, at least by my estimation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:06 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:


I think a lot of the over religiosity seen recently by both RP and MB are "primary" jukes, designed as much to differentiate themselves from the crowd. My reading of the Governor's record is nothing like the bible-thumper who's been recently in the news, and the little I've seen of the Congresswoman also leans that way.

Now, her vote against the debt ceiling bill appeared to be self-serving politics, and her weak followup explanations support this, IMO.

P.S.: I don't openly tout my faith here (nor will I now), but bring it up to say as a committed follower, I've sensed no disrespect from JG.

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 18, 2011 12:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for commenting nb. I spent a lot of brain sweat on this post and appreciate the engagement. I hope you're right about Governor Perry's motivations since I'm warming up to him quickly (as he co-opts Ron Paul's signature issue.)

And for your vote of faith friendliness you are also invited to the 3Srcs Beer Summit, if we actually schedule it. [But you'd have been invited anyway.]

Posted by: johngalt at August 18, 2011 3:26 PM

Is The Field Set?

According to the Weekly Standard:


Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan's concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign -- and perhaps a presidency -- on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.

I know that jk isn't totally on board for a Paul Ryan nomination. I will also admit that the "Ryan budget" would be a great deal of political fodder for the left -- even if undeservedly so. However, a Ryan run would be a net positive for Republicans. There is no candidate who can articulate the issues like Ryan. His presence in the Republican debates would increase the level of discourse and also help to explain -- in plain English -- the problems that the U.S. faces to prospective voters. I'm hoping he runs, regardless of the nomination.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:56 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

No, I called jk this morning on the special ThreeSources satellite link and he says he's okay with it.

His earlier concern was that Chairman Ryan's wonky delivery might actually not be the most effective presentation of "the Ryan Plan." But seeing the present development of the field, jk says he is all in for the Wisconsin Wonk.

(BTW, he asked if anybody is headed out to the compound to pick up some Cheez-Whiz and a pack of Winstons.)

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2011 12:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Ryan would be welcome, but he'd be better as a running mate, treasury secretary or head of the OMB.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 16, 2011 6:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I worry that running against Ryan would make Obama look like a wizened statesman. "The entire GOP is out to get Obama and the best they could put up against him was this?"

Posted by: johngalt at August 17, 2011 12:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Perception is a funny animal. I think Chairman Ryan would lose by 50 electoral votes because of mediscare commercials, but that he would DEVASTATE the President in a debate. They'd have to call it early out of human decency.

Posted by: jk at August 17, 2011 6:35 PM

August 14, 2011

So, what about Santorum, Cain, Huntsman and McCotter?

Pawlenty Drops Out of Presidential Race After Disappointing Straw Poll Finish

2012%20Iowa%20Staw%20Poll.jpg

As a parting gift I will give props to T-Paw for one of the great lines of the primary season: "We know what America needs but unfortunately, Barack Obama has absolutely no clue. He is like a manure spreader in a windstorm."

Maybe it's only because I've used a manure spreader and can imagine doing it in a windstorm but I think that line should be co-opted by the rest of the field - at least in rural states.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:33 AM | Comments (11)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, there's plenty of time for all of us to switch ponies between now and convention time, and The Refugee reserves the right to do so.

The Refugee is increasingly impressed with Bachmann for many reasons, but having original, insightful solutions to difficult problems is not among them. She is principled in her stands, which makes here a reliable vote for The Good Guys - an endearing quality in the House. Unfortunately, she is little more than a talking-points candidate. Pawlenty's critique of her inexperience and lack of signature achievement is spot-on. The Refugee fears that a Bachmann nomination could be a [Colorado Republican gubanatorial candidate] Dan Maes redux on a national level with Donald Trump playing the part of Tom Tancredo.

The Refugee now looks forward to getting an ear-full from JG.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 15, 2011 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I gots no crystal ball. And I've been pondering a link to the story on Bachmann's straw poll victory that included lots of social conservative pablum as a sort-of "uh oh." As I said, I'd prefer John Bolton but acknowledge he's sort of an egghead's egghead.

I'll keep trying to highlight the plusses and minuses of all the candidates and understand that a few tens of thousands of GOP activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are likely to make the decision for we denizens of flyover country. Fortunately, this time, John McCain and Mike Huckabee ain't runnin'.

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2011 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Hrrrrm. I think you are right. While none of the 2012 candidates wow me, none scare me. I'd put any one of their bumper stickers on my car.

But are we giving Gov. Romney a pass? I voted for McCain to block him in 2008.

Posted by: jk at August 15, 2011 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Interestin'. I was strongly for Romney in '08 but deeply disinterested in him now. At the same time the bar has been both raised and lowered. Raised by the change in the national debate brought about by the TEA Party; lowered by the depth of depravity of the opponent.

My greatest fear in defeating Obama is the possibility of getting a RINO that doesn't materially dismantle at least part of the government juggernaut. "See, things are no better with a Republican president." America really does need what leftist Kevin Drum calls, "the dumbest, toughest, meanest, godliest sonofabitch in the field." Well, maybe not godliest.

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2011 3:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Drum's come out for Perry? That was unexpected...

Posted by: jk at August 15, 2011 3:44 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Perry is saying all of the right things about dismantling government, but his record is a bit more checkered. Nevertheless, he currently seems to be the best hope in that regard. If or how he worships is not important, but if he says something like, "This is what God wants me to do," then even The Refugee will cringe.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 15, 2011 3:55 PM

August 13, 2011

NewtZilla not dead yet

Still haven't watched any of the debate but courtesy of a Newt fundraising email comes this popular moment.

Like the vanquished candidate Dole I'm really liking the excommunicated Newt. He clearly knows what he's supposed to believe and maybe, just maybe, he's beginning to actually believe it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:51 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I watched every fun filled minute and still have it on the TiVo if you want to bring popcorn (this one actually was pretty entertaining). And Mister Speaker was awesome. Every time he spoke it was like that. Can't quite hop back on the Newt Express at this point, but he showed the weakness of the rest of the field.

Can one imagine for a minute some topic that would animate Governor Romney to that? Moisturizer?

Posted by: jk at August 14, 2011 11:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Romney seems to think he's the frontrunner and doesn't need to enter the fray in earnest until the field thins a bit. Don't be the hare, governor. That tortoise from Minnesota is very telegenic.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2011 12:04 PM

August 12, 2011

Gigot on Bachmann

It's a small man who hides behind other's words and opinions, but -- oh, hell, nobody expects better of me!

Paul Gigot takes some whacks at the Congresswoman from Minnesota in the platinum ensemble (the fashion whacks are mine):

Ms. Bachmann held her own in the scrum, but Mr. Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum scored by noting her gift for "showmanship not leadership." Her admirers like her willingness to fight, but her claim that the Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt vindicated her refusal to vote for a debt-ceiling increase illustrates why voters will never trust her with the White House and I doubt even the nomination.

Had Republicans forced a post-Aug. 2 shutdown of government services and risked default, Moody's and Fitch would have joined S&P in downgrading U.S. debt. Either Ms. Bachmann knows this, in which case she is merely playing to the talk radio GOP base. Or she doesn't know it, which makes her unready to be president. The Romney camp is hoping she wins the straw poll and the caucuses next year because it will make its road to the nomination easier. Her main achievement in the end may be to fatally wound Mr. Pawlenty.


She was trending lower for me and did herself no favors last night.

My blog brother applauds her for not making social issues the center of her campaign. I agree and cheer along, but they remain pretty prominent. She voted for (was it cap-and-trade?) because it had an anti-abortion amendment, she is proud to have introduced state versions of DOMA, and I remain convinced a large cache of importune YouTube videos await her nomination.

I cannot know the YouTubes for certain though I did see one which has met an Orwellian airbrushing somewhere and I expect oppo folks have pretty good amounts of cache. Mostly, it is the WSJ/Kudlow concern that her willingness to go all in with a weak hand appeals to some but should be considered for its recklessness.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:37 PM | Comments (3)
But nanobrewer thinks:

And even if Kudlow & friends' worst predictions on her economic acumen are massive misunderestimations, she's a giant compared to the crop that regularly gathers, at our expense, at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave.

Hell, I'd consider her a Brobdingnagian when up against brown-nose Bernanke and the Czar-klatch, and I haven't even started digging into her background.

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 13, 2011 1:01 AM
But jk thinks:

Time! It's primary season, a glorious and magical time when we stretch our dreams and imagine candidates and leaders so much better than those awful Lilliputians we'll be stuck with.

If Rep. Bachmann is the candidate, I will do all I can to elect her. As the field is still open, I am hoping that I am not asked to drink of that cup. Huntsman! Huntsman! I'm the only guy in the world excited about Gov. Huntsman!

Posted by: jk at August 13, 2011 11:01 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And today's word of the day winner is...

Awesome comment nb. I thoroughly agree ... but ... the world is not Threesources. I share Gigot's concern over her judgement and br'er jk's concern over her social issues tunnel vision. Not because I think they define her but because they are so easily exploited by political adversaries.

And yet, any candidate can be assailed in some way. JFK's faith was thought to be a fatal flaw but he was elected in spite of it. In the plus column Mrs. Bachmann has something going for her that none* of the other candidates can claim: She's not a white guy.

*None who have shown a capacity to poll into the double digits. I believe Hermain Cain's "fatal flaw" is his obvious "Southernness."

I still favor Michele but not in the full-throated, unqualified way I might endorse a late entrant to the contest like John Bolton. His way with words is the American equivalent of Mark Steyn yet his vocuabulary is accessible to the masses. He supports the principles of the TEA Party (liberty, prosperity, small government) and of King Leonidas, without a single appeal to scripture, a deity or the afterlife.

Posted by: johngalt at August 13, 2011 11:44 AM

Quote of the Day

It really helps to know what you believe and why you believe it. I listen to Michele Bachmann and sometimes, while I'm sure she knows what she believes, I'm not always sure she knows why she believes it. I listen to Mitt Romney and to a lesser extent Tim Pawlenty, and I hear men who know what they're supposed to believe and why, but I'm not sure they actually believe it. -- Jonah Goldberg (Goldberg File Email, sign up)
Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think that not even the vaunted RR would satisfy today's bunch of electron-spewing talking heads, spin-meisters and "pundints" [sic].

A showman? Surely. Simple? You bet. Too hooked to high-falutin' abstractions and overly religious? Spot on, baby.

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 13, 2011 12:49 AM

Jon!

I hope ThreeSourcers are all sitting down. My contrarian stripes are peeking through my Heather Grey Carhartt Men's Shortsleeve Workwear Henley (XLT).

I think I may be a Huntsman Guy. He had a nuanced position on gay rights (civil unions okay) and was correct to call out Rep. Bachmann on her willingness to play games with the full faith & credit versus a compromise to divided government. (Speaker G was very effective on that as well but that bridge lays in ashes over the ethanol fields of Iowa).

So he is a social moderate. I am concerned that he may be too much a fiscal moderate but have zero evidence to back up that claim. The rest of 'em, well I could settle for about any of them in a pinch, but the rest fail to excite and begin to annoy.

Intriguing in that he raised no buzz at all. Nobody in Ames cheered him, no bloggers (save yours truly) have taken the mantle, and all the Twitter buzz was about T-Paw, Michelle and Governor Romney. No worries, I'm also the only guy in Denver who likes Kyle Orton.

Jon, Jon, he's our man...!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:07 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

In a family email thread I suggested the following template for a Michele Bachmann running mate. Huntsman seems to fit the description:

For running mate she should pick a non-controversial white guy, sorta like Obama did with Biden. Someone to make the ticket look less exotic. It really doesn’t matter who he is. All he has to do is attend state funerals.

To put this in context, I had previously described how the running mate's ideas don't really shape the candidate's:

The idea that a VP candidate causes the P candidate to meld her ideas into his own is faulty. Look at McCain and Palin. I still like Bachmann the best. She is religious enough to please the evangelical right but, so far, hasn’t made it a central issue in the campaign like Perry is doing. She needs to keep it that way to not drive off the unaffiliated voters. That is the danger, not that she is a woman. Being a woman is in the plus column because it will assuage the guilt of liberals and moderates who would otherwise feel bad voting against the black guy.
Posted by: johngalt at August 12, 2011 3:21 PM
But jk thinks:

I think Huntsman's Mormon faith will fail to make the ticket less exotic. I fear he comes across as "weird," which is the exact cannon the Axelrodians have loaded against Governor and LDS-er Romney.

Clearly, the guy you seek is T-Paw, but they would be disallowed Minnesota's electoral votes. (Though I have wondered whether keeping them out of the opponent's column is sometime enough, I have yet to hear anybody agree.)

A tearful rapprochement though, would make for some good TV! "Oh Michelle, you know I didn't mean those things I said..."

Posted by: jk at August 12, 2011 4:01 PM

August 11, 2011

My 2012 Scenario

I reserve the right to revise as the election is 15 months away, but I have at long last crafted a plausible and not completely horrific scenario.

The GOP nominates Rep. Michelle Bachmann: a fiery promoter of free markets and limited government. Under her platform and leadership, a large number of tea party candidates are recruited and nominated for Congressional and State races.

Bachmann gets creamed, of course. But the Senate flips, the House holds or slightly expands its gains, and a strong foundation of state houses, governors, and state executives is in place to defend liberty in local settings and lead in the future.

If there is a trifecta to be pulled, it would be credibly tying Bachmann's loss -- not to tea party intransigence -- but to her less-than-contemporary views on gay rights and absolute separation of church and state.

Either that or John Elway steps in at the last minute, wins 45 States and abolishes the FDA at his inauguration ball. But my first scenario looks a bit more credible. I seek a Pyrrhic Loss.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:47 PM | Comments (6)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Wow. You covering any action on this outcome? I've got a Benjamin that will take those odds.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 11, 2011 7:31 PM
But jk thinks:

I'll need at least 8-5 on the Elway Scenario...

Posted by: jk at August 11, 2011 8:03 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I'll give you 100:1.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 11, 2011 10:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"... of course ... ?"

I thought you were blog pragmatist, not pessimist. Michele Bachmann is not Sharron Angle.

Posted by: johngalt at August 12, 2011 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Sharron Who?

Sorry, man, still pretty negative on the whole field. Unseating an incumbent is difficult and each person I saw last night, except for my man, Gov Huntsman, has severe flaws and will be susceptible to Democratic attacks (more Ken Buck than Sharron Angle).

I did get a whiff of optimism looking at battleground states. President Obama will have his hands full winning Florida, North Carolina and Virginia next year. Ohio should be in play. Maybe. Maybe Maybe.

Posted by: jk at August 12, 2011 2:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You know, Sharron the "Hobbit."

Posted by: johngalt at August 13, 2011 1:50 PM

August 10, 2011

Worse Than "The Response"

Reason's Jacob Sullum is delightfully flip about Gov Rick Perry's prayer service, discussed at some length on these pages. "My response to The Response: No, thanks. My people have managed without Jesus for thousands of years. Why start now?"

Good line. And Sullum is quick to upgrade to a more substantive concern: pandering over principle.

In truth, however, I was not terribly insulted at being excluded from Perry's giant church service. Even if I drove on Saturdays, I would not have been thrilled by the idea of a four-hour trip to Houston for seven hours of hymns, prayer, fasting, and repentance. I get enough of that on Yom Kippur.

I was much more offended by the alacrity with which Perry, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next Saturday, abandoned his avowed federalist principles to embrace the legislative agenda of the Christian right. It took less than a week.

"Our friends in New York," Perry told GOP donors in Aspen on July 22, "passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business."

It soon became clear that Perry, who wrote a book championing federalism, does not really believe in the 10th Amendment. In a July 28 interview, he assured Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that he supports amending the Constitution to declare that "marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." So much for letting states define marriage as they see fit.

I still like the idea that some principled defender of liberty will parachute into the 2012 GOP race. But I am becoming more certain that it is not the Governor of Texas.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 5, 2011

Told You I Was a Liberal!

But liberals are criticizing Perry
I'll listen if somebody tells me the WaPo is mischaracterizing the event, but it makes me a little squeamish:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will start to change that Saturday. Perry, who is expected to announce his presidential candidacy in the next few weeks, is hosting a day of prayer and fasting in Houston dubbed "The Response." Attendees from Texas and across the country will come to a football stadium to ask for "God's forgiveness, his wisdom and his provision for our state and nation," according to the video message Perry taped inviting people.
I hope nobody considers me a basher of religion. I choose not to practice but I try to be generally respectful of others' beliefs, fiercely protective of others' right to worship, and overwhelmingly grateful for the political power of the evangelical community.

But holy mackerel Andy! A day of prayer and fasting muddles the message of Texas's job creation. Evangelicals might consider engaging a focus group for terms and descriptions. "Prayer" will offend a small minority and attract a sizable majority. "A day of prayer and fasting" sounds radical to not only religious moderates but those outside the evangelical denominations (Catholics aren't big fasters).

Between the forced HPCC vaccinations Perry reminded me about, and this, a Perry candidacy isn't looking like the salvation panacea some have suspected.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:42 PM | Comments (6)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee thinks you're over-reacting. If Perry makes prayer vigils a centerpiece of his candidacy, then you're probably right that he'll have hard go of it. However, he's probably just going down the "To Do" checklist of things on the way to the Republican nomination:

Support of the Evangelical Republicans: check
Strong showing in Iowa: check
Neutralize Bachmann: check

Now on to the real issues of jobs and economic development, on which Perry has cornered the Republican market. It's then mano-a-mano with Romney and Perry probably wins. But, he needs to make sure that Bachmann does not outflank him to the right.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 5, 2011 4:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair. Some of the indignation felt by the WaPo may have inducted on me, I was wearing a fuzzy sweater.

I had forgotten (blocked) the HPCC vaccination, though, that really disturbs me.

Posted by: jk at August 5, 2011 6:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yep. I'm a liberal too. I checked the event's homepage and found that while Perry gets top billing as "Initiator" the host entity is American Family Association and a long roster of professional believers brought it into ontic-ity. So "hosted" might be a bit of a mischaracterization, thought I. Then I read what "Perry writes on the event's Web site: 'As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy." Yet this too may be a mischaracterization, coming unattributed from the Why The Response page at the event site.

But from the homepage a prayer is attributed to Governor Perry:

"Lord, You are the source of every good thing, You are our only hope. And we stand before You today in awe of your power, and in gratitude for Your blessings; in humility for our sins.

I do good without the governor's Lord.
I have hope without the said Lord.
I am not a sinner.

It gets worse from there. I see Governor Perry as an existential danger to an enlightened Free Republic. He out-evangelizes Rep. Bachmann directly into the realm of the zealot.

Posted by: johngalt at August 7, 2011 8:35 PM
But dagny thinks:

I need to take what jg says a step further. When someone (politician or otherwise) says, "you need to do x because God says so," or even, "we need to do x because God says so," I get very nervous. God hasn't said so to me! In fact God hasn't said anything to me.

When such people are running for political office, I am greatly concerned that they would be willing to use the power of government to enforce what they believe God says to the detriment of my personal liberty. This is much like the Democrat attitude that they are willing to use the power of government to enforce wht they believe is best for, "society," also to the detriment of my personal liberty.

Posted by: dagny at August 8, 2011 1:42 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I think that may be three "no-thank-yous." FOX News Sunday showed Governor Perry delivering the lines jg excerpted and then some. The panel pointed out that Gov. Huckabee won the last Iowa straw poll and George W Bush twice behind that. This underscores br's point that it's not bad GOP pollytickin'.

Were it well divorced from matters of state (at which President George W Bush excelled) I could move on. While I couldn't find Gov. Perry's prayer on the website, there were lines that attributed much of our present difficulties to sin.

If that's the sin of electing Barney Frank and Chris Dodd to Chair the Banking Committees, I'm in. But I'm not sure he was headed there...

Posted by: jk at August 8, 2011 10:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

As a public service, the text of Rick Perry's prayer is here. [Scroll down, right-hand column, headed: Governor Rick Perry's prayer during The Response]

Posted by: johngalt at August 8, 2011 3:15 PM

August 1, 2011

Veto Vote

Time to start preparing for the 2012 election. My bumper sticker will be a variant on this:

vote%20obama%20sticker.jpg

After swapping the "o" and the "e."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2011

Tea Party Should Focus on 2012

The IBD Ed Page -- unsurprisingly -- makes sense:

Champions of smaller government, low taxes and a freedom-driven economy shouldn't expect whatever the end result of "Boehner 2.0" is to be worth very much cheering, especially after Harry Reid's Senate gets through with it.

But with the clock ticking on the federal government's debt deadline, Tea Partyers should take whatever half-loaf now comes their way.

They've demonstrated that theirs is one of the most formidable grassroots movements in American history. What they stand for is right, and would make our Founding Fathers proud. And they've demonstrated that they're the real deal, not shills for those who are a little right of center within the Republican Party.

Bismarck might not be the Tea Party's favorite historical figure, but his advice has never been more pertinent than here and now: "Politics is the art of the possible."

UPDATE: And the WSJ Ed Page:

At the most practical level, Mr. Boehner's plan is better than the one Harry Reid supports in the Senate. This remains true of the revisions Mr. Boehner released yesterday, though the irony is that it is less credible and weaker politically than the previous version. The concession the holdouts demanded, and got--a balanced budget amendment--ensures that it cannot pass the Senate. The best but unlikely scenario is that the bill otherwise remains intact.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

The only bone I'll pick with either column is they both assume that the debt limit will pass and that delaying it hurts Republicans. I watched Reid, Schumer and Durbin's wake of press conference last night and they seem to know their fate is at the mercy of charitable Republicans. What they do if enough such creatures don't step forward isn't exactly clear. Nor is it obvious that voters will punish Republicans for making government tighten its belt. While opinion polls are contradictory (we want lower spending AND government cheese) they do favor lowered spending.

My choice would still be the Boehner plan or some semblance of it. But I won't lose much sleep over further "extremism" from the cut government camp.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2011 5:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, they are a charming threesome, are they not? Watching Sens. Reid, Schumer, and Durbin is not exactly a charisma bath.

My problem remains that Republicans will now "own" the bad economy in spite of all the failed Democratic policies that have squashed it. The three stooges in Dem leadership and the President have set it up well. I can already see charts that show Obama's policies bringing us out of the ditch for three quarters but turning around after reckless Republicans played politics with the full faith and credit of the US exchequer.

While they will of course be wrong about the failed Democratic, Keynesian policies, they will be somewhat right about the reckless Republican charge. The Tea Partiers, like Luke, overplayed a very weak hand.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2011 10:24 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

How the discourse has changed. In the past, Republicans shied from the work "cut" like a vampire from sunlight; it was too toxic politically. Now, it's a point of honor as some race to out-cut others. The results are limited to this point, but we're going in the right direction.

A credit downgrade might be the best thing to happen to this country's economy since Ronald Reagan cut taxes. It would force a prolonged national debate on spending and the debt.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 31, 2011 5:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I had not considered that, br. Thou mightst have something there, although until we can credibly convince people that spending is the problem, I am not sure that additional evidence of a problem is worth adding 25 bps to our borrowing costs.

Posted by: jk at August 1, 2011 11:59 AM

July 27, 2011

Debt Ceiling Chicken

OK, now I'm ready to join my blog brother in saying, "It is time to take what we can get, move on, and make the 2012 elections a serious referendum on the size of government." Much has changed in the week since jk suggested grabbing the Gang-of-Six plan and counting ourselves fortunate. The payoff from the overdue standoff versus the White House and its media minions is the chance to deliver a debt increase bill with actual spending cuts and no tax hikes, either in rates or deduction phase-outs, that the President will have no choice but to sign. Mister "can they say yes to anything" wouldn't say yes to $800 billion in new taxes but insisted on $1.2 trillion. Instead he'll get zero.

But now, despite the success enjoyed through standing firm, it is time to compromise and let our other objectives wait for the next battle. Jennifer Rubin puts it bluntly:

There are very few times when Republicans have a vote that so clearly defines who is a constructive force for conservative governance and who is not. There could be no better device for separating the two than the Boehner vote. If you'd rather burn down the building, you are in one camp. If you want to pocket gains and keep advancing your principles (and setting the agenda for 2012), you are in the other.

Why is it destructive to keep holding out for more?

The Republican hard-liners insist there is still a cut, cap and balance option out there. No. That was some conservatives preference. An aspiration is not a guide to governance. It's not getting through now or until there are a dozen or so fewer Democrats in the Senate. Right now we are nowhere close to 60 votes for cloture or the two-thirds of the Senate needed to approve a constitutional amendment.

Yup. Can't argue.

UPDATE: The title for this post was borrowed from the excellent Thomas Sowell column by the same name (and was in no way meant to imply that jk and I are barnyard fowl.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:49 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Welcome aboard! You can sit in the back there, next to the creepy guy in the raincoat...

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2011 4:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't let the helmsman hear you call him "creepy looking."

Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2011 5:01 PM
But jk thinks:

You called me a debt ceiling chicken.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2011 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair 'nuff.

Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2011 5:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Ms. Rubin's Ten things that will happen is very good as well.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2011 6:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. I'm thinking of sending it to my congressman. That link (bill) was quite subtle. Thanks for highlighting.

Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2011 7:06 PM

July 26, 2011

Hit Piece #374

I'm getting to like Rep. Michelle Bachmann because her enemies are so blatantly moronic. As we've learned from L'Affaire Palin, that leads to no good. But Jeeeeeburz!! WaPo:

Just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, she and her husband signed for a $417,000 home loan to help finance their move to a 5,200-square-foot golf course home, public records show. Experts who examined the loan documents for The Washington Post say they are confident that the loan was backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

No word on the corporate jet at this time, say tuned...

This is nothing but a huge hit piece that gives Ms. Kimberly Kindy license to tell you that quel horreur! the Bachmanns are, I can't bear to use the word, rich! And as for the hypocrisy of applying for a loan [getting hers!] before calling for the GSE's dismantling, give me a break -- that's like complaining that Ron Paul used US Dollars before complaining about the Fed.

I hear every dang day not to get too attached to Rep. Bachmann because there is all this horrible stuff out there. Yet nobody ever produces any. I don't know that I disbelieve them. But every time I see this or the SCTV skit, I think "Is this the worst they have?"

Posted by John Kranz at 3:43 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ms. Rubin has some good stuff on the Pawlenty/Bachmann feud in Iowa here. She concludes:

As for Bachmann, this is no doubt an effort to ensure victory in the Ames straw poll. It is also a warning to her other opponents: Don't mess with the lady from Minnesota. Unlike the former governor, she is tough as nails.

Posted by: johngalt at July 26, 2011 4:44 PM

July 21, 2011

Rumor and innuendo

A good friend assures me that Michelle Bachmann's loving hubby will doom her campaign.

Here's Second City's take.

I have not seen the smoking gun yet, but it seems a dangerous mix of "Pray the Gay Away" and, as Buffy would say, "Project much?"

And then there were zero.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Gasp. You're right! Did you know they met as campaigners for ... Jimmy Carter?

Posted by: johngalt at July 21, 2011 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

Shocking! Just when you think you know somebody...

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2011 11:58 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee must admit that the more he sees of her the more he likes. Not ready to jump on the Presidential bandwagon, mind you, but she's not the kook the press would like to paint.

Someone recently attributed a great line to Ronald Reagan: "My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy." This is worth remembering as we castigate our own for one position or another.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 21, 2011 12:23 PM
But jk thinks:

She's been the only real voice of liberty (well, Gov Johnson & Rep Paul, but you get me...) and I had one foot in the bandwagon.

I am not gonna hold her husband's sexuality against her, but it is going to add to her already considerable challenges.

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2011 12:53 PM

July 20, 2011

Harshin' Cain's Mellow

Maybe this will be the buzzkill Brother jg needs. John Stossel writes a generally favorable column on Herman Cain, but finds room for disappointment:

On other matters, Cain can be ambiguous -- special tax treatment for corn-based ethanol, for example.

"(M)ake sure the farmers who are dependent upon ethanol subsidies have the proper alternative distribution for the product."

How can a defender of free markets say that?


Cain -- like me -- supported TARP I but not the automotive bailouts. Stossel has some other concerns which will entice or repel different ThreeSourcers:
While Cain says he wants less government, he also supports bans on abortion and gay marriage, and the war on drugs. The failure of the war on drugs is obvious to me. I wondered why he didn't see it.

"First, get serious about restricting the amount of illegal drugs coming into this country. ... I refuse to accept defeat by simply legalizing it."

To me, that wouldn't be accepting defeat. That would be proclaiming individual liberty.


Add it all up, and I have to say that Mister Cain would be an awesome dinner companion, the best blogger in the lower 48, and a swell friend. But I do not see a reflexive defense of liberty qua liberty in his positions.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2011

Somebody Else Said It

If I was ever on the Cain bandwagon, it has been some time since I had both arms and legs inside the coaster. But yesterday's FOX News Sunday interview terminated the ride.

I don't know who saw it, but (video at the link) Mister Cain believes that the good people of Murfreesboro, TN are within their rights to demand that a mosque not be built in their town. The only no-painful section of the interview is Cain's assertion that Murfreesboro is "hallowed ground to the people of Murfreesboro." (2:15)

Posted by John Kranz at 7:50 PM | Comments (6)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I posed this to a friend last night: so does Cain think a town is within its "rights" to prevent a black person from owning an establishment?

A true right is that others cannot infringe upon your life, liberty and property. There is no such thing as a right to infringe upon someone's life, liberty and property, whether you're an individual or a town.

There is something to be concerned about with Sharia law, because it's about coercing Muslims (usually women) into living according their statutes. But conservatives are on the threshold of making Sharia a bogeyman.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 18, 2011 10:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not yet saying I'm with Cain but I ain't throwin' him unner no bus neither.

There's a world of difference between discrimination of someone's identity and his beliefs. Rather than your black man owning a business example, consider a church of white men who believe in and practice bigamy. Seems I heard of a bunch of them being rounded up by the feds not long ago. I've yet to be shown how Islam's pre-modern commandments are compatible with an enlightened self-determination upon which western civilization is based.

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2011 1:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Sorry, man, it is under the bus for me. Too bad, Herman, it was a blast. Don't know if you saw the clip but there is one answer and only one answer: "freedom of worship is protected in the First Amendment."

I'm going all in with blog friend Perry on this. There are many facets of the Islamic faith that concern me. But they get their First Amendment rights like you get your Second. Violate the law and you are in trouble, but build a mosque and worship? Full protection.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2011 11:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

OK, OK... Illinois NAZIs and all that. My example was a poor one because I disagree with bigamy laws and government enforcement of them.

But we don't have to treat the good Mr. Cain as a leper. We just tell him, on this issue, we disagree. Just wait and see if he doesn't come 'round himself.

Rather than opposing mosques he should be calling attention to any and all efforts to accomodate Sharia in our legal system. A bright line must be drawn on that front, which was the gist of my prior comment.

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2011 4:54 PM
But jk thinks:

A pretty big slip from a guy who was already slipping down my list.

He very casually denies American citizens a fundamental liberty, and his statement comes off as pandering to an intolerant wing of the populace.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2011 5:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, but without Herman Cain who are you gonna support, given that Miss Titanium Spine suffers from "debilitating" migraine headaches?

It would seem we're all s'posed to fall in lock-step behind the ol' party insider, Rick Perry.

Posted by: johngalt at July 20, 2011 5:07 PM

TEA Party - Not just for demonstrators anymore

A professor and a grad student from the University of Virginia collaborated on an in-depth review of TEA Party progress (not just for Progressives anymore) and goals. James W. Ceaser and John York wrote:

Without the Tea Party, there would be no debt limit negotiations going on, just as there would have been no budget reduction deal last December. Without the Tea Party, President Obama would not be posing as the judicious statesman, but would be pushing --as in truth he still is--for more stimulus and further investments in high-speed rail. Whatever pressure now exists to treat the debt problem derives directly or indirectly from the explosion of energy that has been generated by the Tea Party.

In lambasting the Tea Party movement for its stubborness, Firsters have silently acknowledged what for two years they had all but denied. Instead of being in fact a front for racism or opposition to abortion, the "baggers," as they have been derisively called, are genuinely insistent on cutting spending and containing the growth of government. Everything is less complicated than it seems. Supporters of the Tea Party are who they said they were.

(...)

At the end of the day, the choice the nation faces is pretty clear--even if both sides will at one day face a point of reckoning. One side wishes a more constrained federal government and greater austerity in our welfare programs. (...) The other side wishes a federal government at and beyond the level of 2008 and beyond the current level. (...)

This is the choice the nation faces. As of 2011, it has not been definitively made. Perhaps 2012 will be the year of the Tea Party.

Clickers-through will find a listing of the "seven deadly sins" with which "baggers" have been charged by "Firsters" (and the genesis of that term.) Also, in the third-from-last paragraph, Obama's "phantom of the budget, staged with wondrous smoke and mirrors..."

Hat Tip: RealClearPolitics Monday

UPDATE: Having thought the charge that Obama is still pushing "investment" in high-speed rail was a rhetorical flourish, Michael Barone set me straight.

High-speed rail is not the biggest item in the budget. But it's emblematic of the Obama Democrats' theory that government spending can stimulate the economy.

That theory has been pretty well demolished by the fact of 9.2 percent unemployment. The clear signal from both economic markets and political polls is that we should cut federal spending back from 25 percent of GDP toward 20 percent.

It's not clear how far the Republicans can move toward this goal in the debt limit battle, or whether they can move any distance at all. But it's worth trying if only to clarify the choice before voters next year.


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

Excellent link. I'll add an excerpt if I may:

What Firsters have instead provided is a grab bag of charges from which they pick the one that best fits the need of the moment. On some days it may be that the Tea Partiers, as Michele Bachmann so colorfully expressed it, are a bunch of "toothless hillbillies coming down out of the hills," on others that they are some country-club Republicans teeing up for a round of golf. One moment the movement is weak and fragile, another it has captured the Republican Party[...]

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2011 3:39 PM

July 13, 2011

Leftist Democrat cites Laffer; Calls for Tax Cuts to Grow Government Revenue

First-term Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, representing Colorado's second congressional district including the very left-leaning city of Boulder, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal today that among other things suggested lowering tax rates "to more reasonable levels" in order to "make revenues increase." He calls it Raise Revenues, Not Taxes.

In my home state of Colorado, and in 15 other states and the District of Columbia, local revenues have increased by millions of dollars since lawmakers decided to legalize and regulate medical marijuana. By reducing the current 100% confiscatory tax on marijuana to more reasonable levels, we can make revenues increase. If we were to nationally legalize, regulate and reduce federal taxes on marijuana, we could receive as much as $2.4 billion in additional revenue annually, according to a 2005 study conducted by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron.

If true, this could be the tip of a very large iceberg of new government funds. If lowering tax rates on the relatively small market commodity marijuana can bring in upwards of two billion dollars the results would be even more substantial when applied to mainstream commodities such as tobacco, transportation, communications, and even coal, oil and other fuels. And there's no reason to limit this new principle to excise taxes. Income taxes, capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes are all ripe targets for this simple approach to replentish the government's coffers.

Please call or write your congressman today and urge them to give their full support to Representative Polis' plan to pay off the debt and grow the economy buy cutting tax rates wherever they may be found. Congressman Polis is brilliant and his idea could be the bipartisan breakthrough we've been waiting for! And if his plan is implemented he deserves to be re-elected for as long as he remains its champion.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:58 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

At the risk of contravening the gag rule...

I think the point is that the Feds currently have a ridiculous fake tax on marijuana that exists only to provide the enforcement community with an Al Capone prosecution play: "Your honor, Mister Dogg failed to purchase tax stamps for that illegal stuff he was caught with." A bona-fide tax similar to liquor, collected by legal vendors would create an actual revenue source where none exists now.

Posted by: jk at July 13, 2011 6:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not very well versed in marijuana law or taxation, but if Congressman Polis says reducing the tax rate on it will increase tax revenues I'm willing to take him at his word. Let's do it! Reduce the tax rates on marijuana and every other excise, income, capital gains, inheritance and any other tax across-the-board. I'm sure such a bill could easily be written within the 2000-page scope that has become fashionable since January of 2009. Then we can avert a budget crisis and consider omnibus goverment spending reform without fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Posted by: johngalt at July 13, 2011 9:15 PM

July 12, 2011

Pop the Ryan Bubble

Today's lesson: life is not ThreeSources (it may be "eat our peas," but that's not important right now).

Jennifer Rubin -- whom I admire greatly -- touts Rep Ryan's brutal, factual takedown of the President's infactualness:

The president in public wants to operate on platitudes and generalities. Work together. A balanced approach. Eat your peas. The White House is avoiding specifics for a reason: The facts reinforce the public's sense that the real issue is that we are spending too much. Republicans would do well to speak in specifics and to emphasize that real "balance" means spending at a slower rate (you'd think Ryan's plan would actually halt the upward climb in spending; it merely restrains it a bit more than Obama's) and keeping the size of the public sector in check so the private sector can grow and create jobs.

Once again we see that Ryan is the most effective spokesman and advocate for Republicans, in part because he is thoroughly versed in the details. Imagine if he were to debate Obama. In the fall of 2012. On national TV. With the presidency at stake. Is there any doubt who would come off better?


Yes, Ms. Rubin, over here, way in the back... I'd love to see a Ryan - Obama smackdown and I know you would, and there are a few folks where I blog, and...

But the rest of the country would hear:

  • Back to Bush
  • Ryan's plan raises the deficit
  • rich people pay their fair share
  • grandma doesn't get her checks
  • Warren Buffett!

Followed by:
  • 4.8% rise in the rate of deficit spending to GDP
  • Amortized over ten years, the liabilities of something something rise to somewhere
  • grandma doesn't get her checks

I'd buy tickets to hear Paul Ryan (HOSS - WI), but I think people confuse him with a Gov. Christie or Daniels that can speak factual truth without boring facts.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2011

We're Talking Delayed Massive, Job Killing Taxes!

Hat-tip: PJ Tattler

Posted by John Kranz at 5:07 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Out years"

Does that phrase mean when we're all out of work, or just him?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 11, 2011 6:04 PM

July 6, 2011

All The News That Fit to Print...

From the NYT:


[Gov. Rick] Perry’s public statements exposed a long-simmering rivalry that had been little known outside the political fraternity here but underscores the rightward drift of the Republican Party since [George W.] Bush was president.

Ah yes, it seems like just yesterday the New York Times was lamenting the moderate presidency of George W. Bush.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 2:13 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Ah yes, the GOP "drifts" right while the Democrat Party "progresses" to the left.

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2011 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

When W was president, they longed for the calm moderate influence of Ronald Reagan...

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2011 2:40 PM

June 29, 2011

Obama '12 Bumper Sticker

"Unseemly but Perfectly Legal!" ©ABCNews

On March 7, President Obama met with more than two dozen financial leaders and executives, in the Blue Room of the White House. The event was organized by the Democratic National Committee, and all but one of the individuals appear to be campaign contributors to the president.

More recently, the president taped a video in the residence of the White House, as part of a fundraising "raffle" for donors, offering a dinner with him as a prize.

Up there with "no controlling authority" innit? Sadly, there are no O's in the entrire phrase to leverage the Obama logo.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2011

A Key to Bachmann's Electoral Prowess?

She is undefeated in electoral politics, after all.

JTA News Service - A provocateur to some, Michele Bachmann also offers Jewish voters common cause

Bachmann reached out to Jewish backers in 2005 as soon as she sought the seat in the 6th District when Rep. Mark Kennedy, the Republican incumbent, launched an ultimately unsuccessful Senate bid. She had served in the state Senate since 2001.

Her career, launched out of frustration with her local school board -- she is the mother of five and has been a foster parent for 23 children -- has flourished as speeches calling for a return to what she said were the founders' intentions have drawn conservative interest.

While Bachmann's district includes two small Jewish communities, her interest in Israel and in Jews stems more from her upbringing and her beliefs than anything else, her supporters say. She has made fast friends among conservative Jews, attending their lifecycle events and sharing Friday-night dinners.

"She is a compassionate person and substantive person despite caricatures," said Mark Miller, who founded the local Republican Jewish Coalition chapter. "She never met my mom, but shortly after she died I got a handwritten letter of condolences. She has real 'rachmones,' " he said, using the Yiddish term for mercy.

Todd Gurstel, a lawyer who backs Bachmann, was with her in 2008 when she toured the tunnel beneath the Western Wall. Gurstel said he enjoyed watching Bachmann fence with his liberal in-laws when she attended his daughter's bat mitzvah.

"The thing that makes Michele different than any other politician is that she sticks to her conviction despite however outrageous it may seem to others," he said, noting that he disagrees with the candidate on issues such as gay rights and abortion.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:48 PM | Comments (0)

Sooo Over for Bachmann!

I remain ready to reevaluate Rep. Michelle Bachman's candidacy. The lovely bride found her social conservatism off-putting while we watched her FOX News Sunday interview. (Nixon was not a crook, O'Donnell was not a witch, and Rep. Bachmann is not a flake -- got it?) Yet she seems the strongest voice for limited government and fiscal responsibility. And I am prepared to overlook a lot for that.

I was. But. This gaffe. Is too much.

KELLY O'DONNELL: Bachmann, who has recently begun stressing her background as a tax attorney and small business owner, has been embarrassed by a string of factual errors like placing the battles of Lexington and Concorde in the wrong state. She missed the mark again in our interview, bringing up an unrelated and incorrect claim about her hometown.

CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MINNESOTA): Another famous American that was born in Waterloo, Iowa, was John Wayne.

O'DONNELL: Iowans say it's widely known here that actor John Wayne was born about 150 miles away in Winterset.

It is sad to see such a promising start laid to waste. Who knew Ms. Bachmann's Waterloo would be in Waterloo? Or Winterset?

Video at the link, plus some minutia about the President flubbing the name of a Medal of Honor winner. Like somebody cares about that.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

"American Girls" are such "flakes!" It's good for the Liberal Mass Media to make sure none of them ever achieve any position of influence in our government. Like Janet Reno, err, Cynthia McKinney, umm, Nancy Pelosi, pssh, Sonia Sotomayor... oh never mind.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2011 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Update: Investors Op Ed page calls Bachmann "Not flaky. Effective. And inspiring."

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2011 3:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Great link, thanks. As a bonus, maybe she could teach George Stephanopoulos some history.

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2011 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Like."

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2011 3:54 PM

June 22, 2011

Newt: Audit the Fed!

One of many good outcomes from the cratering of the Newt2012 campaign is that the man is becoming bolder. Now he says, "Audit the Federal Reserve."

"This economy is going to stay mired in a bad economy until we bring the Fed under control, and we repeal the Dodd-Frank bill."

Now, linking arms with Ron Paul, we have two candidates who won't be elected calling for the audit of Greenbacks Incorporated.

Full Disclosure: I agree with them.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:36 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

The Fed has problems. I cannot see how "add Congressional meddling" fixes any of them.

Repeal Dodd-Frank, though, I am on board all the way!

Posted by: jk at June 22, 2011 4:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, I dunno, disinfecting sunlight?

For a long time the Quixotic "audit the Fed" mission has been the baileywick of crackpots like G. Edward Griffin, Bernard von Nothaus and Ron Paul. Now it's either become a respectable idea or Newt's become a crackpot. Time will tell.

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2011 8:12 PM
But gd thinks:

Yesterday's crackpot oftentimes becomes tomorrow's genius. Yet another Republican following the lead of "crazy" Ron Paul.

The movement to audit the Fed is far more about transparency and figuring out just how much the Fed has devalued the dollar as it is congressional meddling. Faith vs. Truth my friends.

Posted by: gd at June 22, 2011 10:47 PM
But jk thinks:

When you guys say "Fed Audit" you picture Rep. Ron Paul grilling the FOMC over the devaluation of fiat money and demanding Constitutional purview for expanding their balance sheet.

When I hear "Fed Audit" I picture Reps. Henry Waxman and Barney Frank grilling an unknown Fed Governor over "why weren't more loans made to minority homeowners?"

Fed independence is worth cherishing. The Executive Branch may name the Chair.

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2011 12:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has often said that Newt would be a great cabinet-level functionary. POTUS? Fugedaboudit. Whether he's a crackpot or not, his campaign is cracked up.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 23, 2011 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I see a world of difference between auditing and regulating. Are you saying America is better off not knowing who gets the rake-off from old dollars being replaced with new, devalued dollars - and how much unearned wealth that amounts to? Or how much the US has in gold bullion reserves (and maybe how much it has gone up or down over time?)

I'm with gd. This is one "crazy" idea I'm on board with.

Posted by: johngalt at June 23, 2011 3:46 PM

Jimi P <3 Jon Hunstman

Well, maybe that is a little strong. But my favorite Jeopardy® Champion and frequent Kudlow guest likes what he hears early:

And this is the core, I think, of the Huntsman campaign: Rebuilding and retooling America's economic strength from which our global power flows. Hey, I am dying to hear the technocratic details on this, and hopefully Huntsman will go far beyond keeping the Bush tax cuts and repealing Obamacare. I think he has to. Timidity is not an option for a dark horse candidate. The bolder the better. But he shouldn't forget to also make the moral case as to why entrepreneurial capitalism is best for America vs. Obama's state-managed variety, of which he should be quite familiar from his time in China.

I could live without the sop to "energy independence," but I don't want to be called "dogmatic..."

We've been hearing Huntsman's name for a while. And I am ready to give anybody a serious look. But to judge this man by the company he keeps is to frighten. Gov. Dean called him his favorite Republican Candidate ("Thanks, Howard, I really appreciate the %^&%$#$ outta that! Love, Jon").

Posted by John Kranz at 8:25 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Malkin: Jon Huntsman: McCain on Wheels

Posted by: johngalt at June 23, 2011 1:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Did I say we should read and link to everybody? Hmmmm, I might have to rethink that, but I doubly appreciate the warning this time.

Ms. Malkin's anti-endorsement aside, the Harry Reid's endorsement is a little chilling.

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2011 12:01 PM

June 21, 2011

Bye-Bye E85

I think we've just learned how candidate Romney can afford to take a pass on calling for an end to the ethanol subsidy. Because Congress just took a giant step toward ending it before he might ever take office.

Ethanol subsidies have been a sacred cow in American politics since the late 1980s, and their demise came Friday not with a whimper but with a bang. By a vote of 73 to 27, the Senate declared an end to what Republican Senator John McCain called the "corporate welfare" that had gone on for far too long, and that had become enshrined in presidential politics as a ticket of admission to the Iowa caucuses. Now the legislation moves to the House, where deficit-conscious Tea Party conservatives could provide a similar winning margin.

Read the article to see how Sen. Tom Coburn (HOSS-OK) was the key figure in the watershed vote.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Dude. Out of politeness, you should warn when you link to Eleanor Clift. I suffered a bad batch of McLaughlin Group flashbacks...

I love how she positions it as a rebuke of Grover Norquist.

But I need me some elucidatin'... I heard that this was an amendment on a bill that will never pass and that any interruption to brother br's subsidized truck fuel was completely symbolic -- is this a different amendment or bill?

Posted by: jk at June 21, 2011 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought you would appreciate the effort to shore up our "we read everybody" cred.

However, in reliance on Ms. (if there ever was anyone to whom that salutation applied) Clift's term "demise" I took it as a completed bill on its way to the House. In fact, it was an amendment to S.782, Senator Feinstein's 'Economic Development Revitalization Act.'

But Dr. Senator Coburn hints at the potential fast-track process in his press release:

In light of today’s lopsided vote, I urge my colleagues in the House to eliminate this wasteful earmark and tariff at their earliest opportunity,” Dr. Coburn said.

So those wacky TEA Partiers in the GOP controlled House need to draft a bill on this, pass it, and forward it to the Senate where they will presumably vote in similar fashion.

(Hey, a guy can hope.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2011 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, by all means link. We should link to and read a variety of sources. I was just thinkling of a little in-line warning like [DANGER! LINK GOES TO ELEANOR CLIFT!] something simple.

Posted by: jk at June 22, 2011 3:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I waited impatiently for someone to challenge my title. Maybe E85 won't go away. It has become quite entrenched with vested interests and a modicum of pious consumer's demand. But at the very least I want to see the demise of E10 (the 10 percent ethanol routinely blended with gasoline to create a false demand for ethanol reduce emissions (and corrode the insides of the fuel systems in our cars.)

And at the very, very least - get the crap out of NASCAR!

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2011 3:30 PM

June 15, 2011

Rep. Bachmann

In the second half of today's OpinionJournal video, Stephen Moore suggests people refrain from underestimating a woman who is "undefeated in politics."

Posted by John Kranz at 2:01 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"Bachmann Campaign Overdrive" - Heh.

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2011 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Moore is also hip to the "glass ceiling" angle.

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2011 3:17 PM

June 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

Romney drew some not terribly persuasive distinctions between the two 'Cares, whereupon King invited Pawlenty to make a rebuttal. Pawlenty went straight for the capillary. -- James Taranto
Myself, I'm thinking the non-confrontation has been overblown by punditry forced to find a moment where none existed. But "[go] straight for the capillary." Punditry Gold, that.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:54 PM | Comments (0)

Perfect Analogy

In the financial world, there is a phenomenon known as "flight to safety." The term refers to investors' inclination at a time of upheaval to move money to an investment that, while perhaps not sexy or especially exciting, is viewed as a safe bet.
So begins a smart piece by Gerald F. Seib in the (mirabile dictu!) news pages of the WSJ.
Mitt Romney, who on Monday night took to a New Hampshire debate stage with his Republican presidential competitors for the first time, just might be the beneficiary of a flight to safety right now.

In what is turning out to be an odd Republican quest to find a nominee, upheaval and uncertainty have been the watchwords. People who were supposed to run haven't, and people who were supposed to be serious forces (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin) haven't been. Dark horses have remained dark.

Amid it all stands Mitt Romney, not the high-flying investment lots of Republicans yearned to put their money on, but the unspectacular Treasury bill of Republican candidates, a man whose emphasis on jobs and the economy makes him a safe enough bet at a time like this.


Most articles describing what the "typical GOP voter feels right now" could be written on Mars for their applicability to me, but Seib has nailed me. The "Treasury bill of Republican candidates!" That's funny. And true.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

Mitt, By Decision

For the record, I am really a lesbian Muslim posing as a middle age American man -- dang, as I type this, Mark Steyn beat me to the joke! Must get up earlier...

The Presidential race seems surreal. Most of the folks I like have dropped or not entered. And they didn't even let Gov. Gary Johnson enter the debate. Last night, I liked them all well enough but cannot imagine emotional attachment or serious efforts to campaign for any of them. Maybe I'll go down with the Gary Johnson ship. Herman Cain remains fun; really, imagine his debating President Obama.

The handwriting may be on the wall for Mitt Romney. Governor Ethanol and Romneycare "won" the debate and cemented his previously tenuous position as front-runner. Michael Barone agrees:

Bottom line. This was a New Hampshire debate, but it has serious ramifications for Iowa as well. I have disparaged the idea that Romney is the frontrunner; I continue to think that given the polls no one is the frontrunner. But Romney behaved like a frontrunner tonight, one with confidence and sense of command and with the adroitness to step aside from two major issue challenges (Romneycare, his various views on abortion) he faces.

Rep. Bachmann did very well. Hell, even Speaker Gingrich did well. But I normally like to get deep into the race before this much despair and ennui sets in. I got it early this time. Beat the Christmas rush.

UPDATE: Blog friend Terri was live-blogging and her opinions are -- of course -- worth a look. Spoiler: she's not feelin' the love for the foster mom of 23...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

I've watched only the first half thus far (there was this hockey game, see... and a baseball game...) But I found it fascinating and am eager to watch the rest. Here are a few thoughts:

The debate was predicted to be "Mitt Romney bashing Obama and six Republicans bashing Romney." It was not. Reagan's 11th Commandment was in effect.

Even when he had to look weak in doing so, Pawlenty passed on criticizing Romney by blaming the apt "Obamneycare" moniker on "President Obama's own words."

It may have been bad politics but I think Newt flubbed John King's question "Are they wrong?" (referring to the 50% of MA Republicans who are willing to raise taxes on the rich to balance the budget). Instead of answering "yes" and explaining Bastiat's just law theory forbidding "plunder" he made it a pragmatic question of job creation or destruction. A pity.

I thought the two most compelling candidates on the stage by far were Romney and Bachmann. My willingness to heartily support either of them was enhanced.

I expected a defiant, risk-taking, "Katie bar the door" style from Newt in the wake of his staff defections. Instead he came across as angry and defensive. I do however like his repeated references to the "Obama Depression."

I liked Ron Paul's response on the housing crisis: "I want to do much less, much sooner."

Paul was true to form, however, in making almost everything a monetary policy question. When asked the inane question "iPhone or Blackberry?" I expected him to answer "sound dollar."

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2011 12:50 PM
But jk thinks:

As testament to Romney's performance, I confess I begun to try on the idea of supporting him. I guess I am a Republican after all; I pick the next in line. Actually, he did pretty well on RomneyCare®. Now, if he could explain away ethanol... He is awfully good at candidatin'. No pragmatist can walk away from that.

Rep. Bachmann, likewise, jumped up from "I'll move to Canada" to "this might work." She seems infused with the Tea Party spirit of economic over social issues. "Infused. Tea. You guys get that one?"

The Internet Segue Machine keeps me from having to write on the moderator. CNN is too serious to use lights, timers, or Jeopardy buzzers. Much better to have a guy with Tourette Syndrome in the background of the whole answer.

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2011 1:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I must give props to dagny - she is the one who said she expected Paul to answer his "this or that" question "montetary policy."

I really enjoyed several of Bachmann's answers, like when she said that government regulations are killing jobs. She singled out the EPA which, she said, "should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America."

But this was my favorite:

BACHMANN: Terry, what I've seen in the Tea Party -- I'm the chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives. And what I've seen is unlike how the media has tried to wrongly and grossly portray the Tea Party.

The Tea Party is really made up of disaffected Democrats, independents, people who've never been political a day in their life. People who are libertarians, Republicans. It's a wide swath of America coming together. I think that's why the left fears it so much. Because they're people who simply want to take the country back. They want the country to work again.

And I think there's no question, Terry, this election will be about economics. It will be about how will we create jobs, how will we turn the economy around, how will we have a pro-growth economy.

That's a great story for Republicans to tell. President Obama can't tell that story. His report card right now has a big failing grade on it, but Republicans have an awesome story to tell.

We need every one of us in a three-legged stool. We need the peace through strength of Republicans, we need the fiscal conservatives, we need the social conservatives. We need everybody to come together because we're going to win. Just make no mistake about it.

I want to announce tonight. President Obama is a one-term president.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: You'll win.

KING: I'm being polite so far. But I want to remind everybody about the time.

I'm imagining a Bachmann nomination with possibly a Herman Cain running mate. I can also see a large role being played by Sarah Palin on the stump for her. "It's long past time to break the glass ceiling in the White House!"

I'm not sure whether I'd announce it before the election or not but if she wins: "Treasury Secretary Ron Paul."

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2011 3:27 PM
But jk thinks:

For full effect, have somebody go "uhh......mmm.......ehh.....rrr.....ahh" as you read that.

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2011 3:54 PM

June 13, 2011

Two Looks at Gov. Pawlenty

First, Larry Kudlow matches my initial reaction of "right on!"

Ronald Reagan always believed that America is exceptional. By removing obstacles to growth, the Gipper held that economic policies could unleash a massive outpouring of risk-taking, creativity, and entrepreneurship. He was right, and his policies launched a two-decade-long boom.

Actually, the first couple years of the Reagan recovery came in at over 7 percent. And as Pawlenty noted in his speech at the University of Chicago this week, between 1983 and 1987, the Reagan recovery grew at 4.9 percent annually. I note that Pres. John F. Kennedy also had a 5 percent growth target, a response to Ike's three recessions.

So while those on the left criticize Pawlenty, and while even some conservatives scoff at his growth target, history says we've been there before.

Yet the scoffers were pretty well represented yesterday by Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday. Wallace crucified the Governor.

Like Kudlow, I like the Pawlenty Plan very much. But I have suspected that Pawlenty was "saying the right tings" to fill the hole left by Govs. Christie's and Daniels's demurrals and he did nothing to dissipate that. Wallace was tough but pressed him on factual issues. Pawlenty was unable to respond. Wallace would say "Your plan requires a Trillion in cuts, can you give examples of what you would cut?" Pawlenty would respond "Obama hasn't cut anything!" True, Gov, true. But if I heard the question correctly... And so on, in a distinct pattern.

Wallace was certainly tough, but I don't know that candidates or the other networks are going to be more accommodative. It's great to present a bold plan. Senator McCain presented a bold plan to reform health care in 2008.

But like the Governor, he was unable to explain or defend it.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:42 AM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This was a painful interview to watch. What Pawlenty should have said was, "Chris, you're asking the wrong question. Rather than, 'where am I going to find the cuts,' you need to ask the President and the Democrats, "Where are you going to get the money to spend?" We simply don't have that much money to spend and our borrowing is tapped out. When politicians call balancing the budget 'radical,' they've turned reality upside down. I'm calling for a balanced budget that will require across-the-board cuts."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 13, 2011 12:01 PM
But jk thinks:

BR 2012!!!!!

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2011 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Andrew Biggs likes the direction, but suggests 5% dGDP/dt over ten years is not realistic with 0.5% population growth. The Governor was disturbingly flexible on whether this was an absolute or aspirational goal.

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2011 1:26 PM

June 9, 2011

Newt or Moammar?

Who will step down first? Yahoo/AP

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's campaign manager, senior strategists and key aides in early delegate-selection states all resigned on Thursday, a mass exodus that leaves his hopes of winning the Republican nomination in tatters.

Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had resigned, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting earlier in the day. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign but were not more specific.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum threw his hat into the GOP ring for the 2012 presidential nomination today, sending the biggest shockwaves through the race to oust President Obama since Mitt Romney said last Thursday that he'd put down the knife and fork and pursue the Oval Office in earnest -- Bridget Johnson
Posted by John Kranz at 2:03 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Santorum's greatest utility toward unseating Obama is to make the rest of the GOP field look like social moderates by comparison. I hope he will be the last to drop out.

Posted by: johngalt at June 7, 2011 3:04 PM

June 3, 2011

Club for Growth's Cain White Paper

Have y'all been reading the Club for Growth White Papers? I'm a big fan of the Club and suggest to anybody who'll listen that they are a better choice for financial support than the Republican Party ("Thank you sir, but my question was whether you wanted fries...")

They released the paper on Herman Cain today. I was interested in the whole thing, but rational self-interest led me to look at the "Free Trade" section for ammunition in my continuing discussions with blog brother jg. They had quite a bit more ammo at The Alamo:

Cain appears to be in favor of free trade. He favored the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1993, saying "Free trade is not a zero sum game... Everyone can benefit." On trade with China, he says that "China is not the problem...Our economic growth is the problem. If we can start to grow in a robust fashion, we won't even have to look back at China." His suggestion for stimulating economic growth is to cut the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and "take the capital gains rate to zero."

Word. I rescind and apologize for all "protectionist" comments.


Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Refreshing.

Posted by: johngalt at June 3, 2011 7:56 PM

June 2, 2011

Me Too, Dickie-Baby!

Richard Trumka, the devil incarnate AFL-CIO Chief, admitted that "It will be more challenging this time than it was last time to motivate our members" to support the President's election. Why the long face, Rich?

Trumka, head of the largest U.S. labor organization, said union members are frustrated by "wasted energy" in Washington on issues that he said don't help workers: "hysteria" about the federal deficit, a White House review of regulations and Obama’s support for free-trade agreements.

I will support the President's reelection by pointing out that he does not seem to have wasted much time on deficit reduction or reviewing regulations. And he's been a total failure at trade agreements.

Now, go rally those troops, Dick! The President is counting on you!

Hat-tip: Instapundit

UPDATE: Trumka: "Sociaism would be a step up for me."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)

End Subsidy Gifts to Big Oil!

Sarah Palin channels JohnGalt:

Palin: End All Energy Subsidies

"I think all our energy subsidies need to be re-looked at today and eliminated," Palin told Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics during a quick stop at a coffee shop. "And we need to make sure that we're investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren't going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can't afford it."
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:16 PM | Comments (1)
But Kudzuisedible thinks:

Energy subsidies to alternate energy forms frequently take the form of outright transfers of money from the U. S. Treasury to private corporations that make solar cells, wind turbines, etc. or to utilities purchasing these products. Does "Big Oil" receive any such subsidies as those?

Big Energy (producers of oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy, and distributors of traditional energy products) pays Big Taxes. Frequently, what the left calls "subsidies" are standard tax breaks received by all or most corporations, like depreciation allowances on equipment and buildings or domestic tax deductions for taxes paid to foreign governments. The left wants to single out "Big Energy" for punitive taxation beyond that imposed on other large corporations. Shouldn't "Big Oil" in fairness get tax treatment at least as favorable as Microsoft or Walmart?

Since Big Energy pays Big Taxes, the net flow of revenue to the U. S. Treasury for most producers of traditional energy forms remains positive. They could be considered to be paying for the so-called subsidies from which they benefit. By contrast, most producers of "alternative energy" are engaged in economic activity which makes no sense unless massive government subsidies are in place. For many of these alternate energy producers, the Federal subsidy substantially exceeds the corporation's gross revenue from sales. Such folly obviously should be stopped at once. If alternate energy producers were trimmed to only those "subsidies" that benefit "Big Energy", most if not all of the alternative energy market would dry up and blow away.

The profit from corporations that is transferred to stockholders, or the profit from private businesses that is taken as income by the business owners, is personal income taxed by the Federal government. Is there a clear reason why businesses and corporations should pay any taxes at all, beyond the taxes paid by those who derive income from the businesses and corporations?

Sarah Palin should be looking at the option of repealing all taxes on the private sector other than individual income tax. After all, those corporate taxes are simply being passed on to the consumers of goods and services as higher prices, distorting our markets and unfairly taxing the citizens with lowest incomes disproportionally.

Posted by: Kudzuisedible at June 2, 2011 4:03 PM

June 1, 2011

It would be fun

Not saying I could not climb aboard:

Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | Comments (0)

A Name We've Not Called

Utah Governor/Chinese Ambassador Jon Huntsman. I almost posted about his WSJ Editorial this morning. It's purdy good.

I admire Congressman Paul Ryan's honest attempt to save Medicare. Those who disagree with his approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare's ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans.

These aren't easy choices, and we must make them at a time of anemic economic growth and very high unemployment. That's why we must also make sweeping reforms of our tax code, regulatory policies and other government policies to improve our productivity, competitiveness and job creation.

The United States has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world. We are losing out to countries that make it more attractive for businesses to invest there. Our tax code should encourage American businesses to invest and add new jobs here. We need a tax code that substitutes flatter and lower rates for the bewildering and often counterproductive array of deductions and loopholes, and that provides incentives to encourage savings, investment and growth.


I was going to say that my biggest concern was his friends. I'm all for a Republican accepting a position in a Democrat Administration, but the only time I ever hear Huntsman's name come up is when Democrats like Govs Ed Rendell or Howard Dean enumerate the Republicans they can stand. Makes me nervous, but it's not really his fault.

The Internet Segue Machine® comes through this afternoon. Professor Reynolds links to a cross sectional composite of the typical Huntsman voter -- no, wait, it is not a composite. There was only one, and Outside the Beltway described him:

As I tweeted earlier today one Iowa Republican on the poll we will release tomorrow said they would vote for Jon Huntsman if the election was today-- not 1% but one respondent, period.

Here are some facts about Huntsman's supporter:

-He is 'not sure' when it comes to Barack Obama's job performance--doesn't approve or disapprove. He reports having voted for Obama in 2008.

-Huntsman is the only potential Republican candidate he has a favorable opinion of. He expresses 'no opinion' about Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Buddy Roemer, Rick Perry, Fred Karger, Paul Ryan, and Gary Johnson. He has an unfavorable opinion of Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.

-When it comes to the general election he would vote for Romney over Obama, but he would vote for Obama if the GOP nominee was Palin or Cain. He's undecided about match ups between Obama and Gingrich or Pawlenty.

Again, not the candidate's fault, but the warm fuzzies aren't really surrounding me.

Insty notes "a rather narrow base of support."

Posted by John Kranz at 4:38 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

He was never able to impress me until he came out with that line, "Those who disagree with the Ryan plan have a moral responsibility to offer an alternative."

Maybe he could write speeches for our actual nominee.

Posted by: johngalt at June 1, 2011 11:45 PM

Ignore Kudlow at Your Peril

Larry Kudlow has a point. If I may borrow a line from Rowan Atkinson in Bernard & the Genie: "a wicked bastard of a good point."

ThreeSourcers and Kudlow watchers are all in the mood for austerity. Governor Christie tells us that we cannot continue to afford to buy paper clips and we swoon. Admit that we're all ranking the candidates pari passu with their expected frugality.

Kudlow reminds that economic growth will be as important, more self-reinforcing, and politically more popular than cuts.

Get not me wrong, I'm on the Rep. Ryan train to the bitter end. The idea that government growth could be financed by economic growth were fallacies from some of my beloved GOP Administrations. But if we talk all medicine-all-the-time in 2012, we will not see electoral success. "Root Canal Austerity" as Kudlow calls it is a pretty tough sell.

Let us resolve to balance our Ryan with at least equal doses of Rep. Cantor. I happen to think they look swell together:

When I interviewed Cantor this week, he made it clear that faster economic growth was crucial to holding down spending, deficits, and debt. As scored by the CBO, every 1 percent of faster growth lowers the budget gap by nearly $3 trillion from lower spending and higher revenues. "Grow the economy," Cantor said. "It will help us manage-down the deficit and it will help get people back to work."

This is not to say that spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms aren't necessary. They are. But it is to argue that lately the GOP has forgotten the growth component that is so essential to spending restraint and deficit reduction.

The GOP should say: In return for substantial federal-spending cuts, we’re gonna more than make it up to you with large tax cuts. You will win. Big government will lose.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I think more of them are starting to sing from this hymnal. I heard Rep. Hensarling (TPD-TX) say today that "job creation is job one." And he knows why Atlas is Shrugging.

Posted by: johngalt at June 1, 2011 2:56 PM

May 30, 2011

GOP Presidential Primary - Memorial Day Edition

Sounding like a cross between Karl Rove and Nostradamus, Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Anderson uses what feels like a goal-driven electoral vote analysis to argue that the GOPs best nominee would be one from Florida, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. And since Rick Santorum "would need to make a big move to get to the top tier" his ideal nominee is therefore, drumroll... Paul Ryan.

Among top-tier prospective nominees, Ryan would have the biggest geographical advantage in a race against Obama. To win the presidency, Ryan would just have to win his home state and hold GOP-leaning Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. That would be it: election over, Obama defeated, Ryan’s pen poised to sign the Obamacare-repeal legislation.

Top-tier? Among reluctant candidates I'd grant that status to Chris Christie or Rick Perry but not Ryan. I'm a big Ryan fan but I don't see where he's higher in stature than, say, Rick Santorum.

As a runner-up Anderson suggests Tim Pawlenty, "but Minnesota would be harder for a Republican to win than Wisconsin, it doesn’t border Michigan, and it’s a little farther removed from Ohio and Pennsylvania."

For my part I think the author has a bit of tunnel vision. I'd say there are many announced and prospective nominees who can, as he suggests, "best [Obama] in a debate without suffering from a clear deficit in personal appeal."

Indeed, more than any other election in recent memory, the 2012 election clearly calls for a candidate who possesses the characteristically Midwestern virtues of prudence, integrity, humility, and​—​most of all​—​fiscal responsibility. Not so coincidentally, it also calls for a candidate who can carry the Midwest, the most crucial region on the electoral map. It almost goes without saying that the candidate who possesses the former can win the latter​—​and, with it, the White House.

Does the future then not look bright for most, if not all possible GOP contenders?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I liked the argument that said "The GOP nominee will have to defend the Ryan Plan -- who can do better than Chairman Ryan?"

Then I saw his video. I'll sit still for a video that opens with "Health care was 4.8% or GDP in 1960 [show blue dot with 4.8%]. . . but it was 15.8% in 2006 [larger blue dot with 15.8]" I think Rep Ryan -- Hoss of the highest order -- needs a Gov. Christie to explain his plan without blue dots or the word percentageofgrossdomesticproduct.

I don't know that anybody's left who can. I had hopes for Governor Daniels. Part of me thinks we should nominate Gov Palin and just enjoy the spectacle.

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2011 6:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That splainin' that you're talking about is one of the reasons I like Herman Cain. I think a fellow black man would better capture the attention of more black voters than if Mark Twain himself were to reappear on the scene. It is far too easy for them to dismiss the words of any politician, not to mention a caucasian one. (And the guilty white liberals could benefit from the visage of a black man railing against victimhood.) NED, can you imagine Sarah Palin endorsing him? Progressive apoplexia!

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2011 1:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Mister Cain would work as well.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2011 9:46 AM

Governor Griz

To quote Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed*, speaking of the GOP nomination: "We could do worse, and probably will..."

I've had my concerns with a certain ex-Governor of Alaska, but the lads at Powerline ask what other politician could meld so naturally with a group of bikers, receive such affection from veterans, and look this good doing it?

Huh? That was a question. ('nother hattip tip Insty)

* Another pre-review corner tease: James Grant's "Mr. Speaker" about Reed is superb.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Heck, if one of the motorcycles broke down, Todd undoubtedly could fix it." Depending on the problem I'll bet Sarah could fix it too.

Powerline still thinks she's not running. "She is never going to win over the fringe voters that will be decisive in 2012." But I thought America would "never" elect a Democrat as overtly Marxist as Obama either.

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2011 2:06 PM

May 27, 2011

None Dare Call it a Dealbreaker

I cannot imagine that I'd vote for someone who considers Ethanol "an important part of our energy solution in this country"

"I support the subsidy of ethanol," Romney told a potential voter after an event here was cut short by a fire alarm [wasn't me!]. "I believe ethanol is an important part of..."

But his hair looked really, really good.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:49 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Dealbreaker? Implies there was a deal to be broken. Since he and Huckabee were running neck-and-neck for dead last in my list (behind Trump and Giuliani!), no risk there.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 27, 2011 6:50 PM
But jk thinks:

I was prepared to go to the mat for Hizonner in 2008, but got no joy from rumors he was sniffing around in 2012.

Like the "Straight-Talk Express" doing 50 in the fast lane with its turn signal on, Gov. Romney may be -- nay, most likely will be -- the GOP nominee. How many of us will pull the lever for an Ethanol guy who authored ObamaCare®?

Posted by: jk at May 27, 2011 7:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was looking for more reasons to not like Mitt. Much obliged.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2011 9:11 PM

May 25, 2011

Did I say "Star Power?"

I was among those convinced that Palin will not run for Prez, at least not in '12. Then this:

When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.

Bannon, a former naval officer and ex-Goldman Sachs banker, sees his documentary as the first step in Palin's effort to rebuild her image in the eyes of voters who may have soured on her, yet might reconsider if old caricatures begin to fade. The film will also appeal to staunch Palin supporters who have long celebrated her biting rhetoric and conservative populism yet know little about her record in Alaska and have perhaps written her off as presidential material.

"This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment," Bannon told RealClearPolitics. "Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha."


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 PM | Comments (0)

"Star Power" for Republicans?

Another GOP primary hopeful for 3Sourcers to vet... Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Investors:

Perry would seem to be the perfect candidate for limited-government conservatives and Tea Party people who share his robust view of federalism. The governor's aides have said he would not seriously entertain a presidential bid until the current legislative session ends.

That's at the end of this month. Keep your powder dry.


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:35 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Gov. Perry would be a great addition to the debate and would have a high probability of capturing my support.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2011 7:22 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Ask him about the HPV vaccines he ordered for young girls (circumventing the legislature), and how Merck, the maker of that vaccine, has contributed to his campaign.

To hell with that bastard, and I can't mean that enough.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 25, 2011 10:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Perry reminds -- in his inimitable style -- of a dark moment in the Gov.'s career.

As a fan of more money in politics, I do not dwell on the Merck angle, but mandating these vaccinations in incongruous with my idea of limited government.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2011 10:10 AM

May 24, 2011

Club for Growth White Paper

For Governor Pawlenty. Almost every category is "Good and Bad" or "Mixed." But I suggest that a long tenured Governor of a Blue state is likely to have a few historical items that will not please the Club for Growth.

It's a comprehensive paper and I reserve the right to summarize and excerpt a little. But as the field narrows, a good case can be made for reading the whole thing.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

First, Pawlenty tells Iowans that the ethanol subsidies need to come to an end. Next, he goes on record as saying there needs to be big changes to Medicare and Social Security. Where does he go to give that speech? Florida, retiree capital of the known universe: http://bit.ly/iTibfk

Definitely going for the Hoss vote, seems to me.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 25, 2011 11:08 AM

No, I dislike mothers and have never cared for apple pie...

Go get 'em, Gov. Pawlenty:

One of the immutable laws of modern American politics is that no candidate who wants to win the Iowa Presidential caucuses can afford to oppose subsidies for ethanol. So it's notable--make that downright amazing--that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty launched his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination Monday by including a challenge to King Corn.

"The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out," Mr. Pawlenty told a crowd in Des Moines. "We simply can't afford them anymore."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Pawlenty rose in stature in my eyes for this. I'll admit he entered my top tier of candidates because of this.

I gave him six points our of a possible ten. My sole objection is that the reason he gave is "We simply can't afford them anymore." As if the subsidy would be okay if we were in better financial shape. He'd have earned nine for "There's no Constitutional authority for this policy, and subsidizing any industry - legitimate or questionable - is none of the government's business." Had he said that, and then followed it with "... and this is part of how we got to where we simply can't afford them anymore" would have gotten him the full ten.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 24, 2011 2:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Unfortunately - did someone mention that the world is not Three Sources - unfortunately, keeping the message simple and "flexible" is what makes Pawlenty more electable than say, Michele Bachmann.

Taking the anti-subsidy stand in Iowa butresses his "the truth, and nothing but the truth" campaign strategy but it is also a good strategy play. If he wins Iowa with this stance he can say, "even Iowans agree with me" and if he doesn't win Iowa he can blame it on their reticence to face the truth. This gives him a longer runway into subsequent primaries if he doesn't soar in the Corn State.

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2011 2:19 PM
But jk thinks:

As soon as I find the lyin' sack that says the world is not ThreeSources...

I think we all had the same wince, Brother Keith, and of course I agree 100%. I have no children, but think it sounds like Mom saying "No triple-hot-fudge-sundaes today kids, I left my purse at home..."

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2011 3:11 PM

May 23, 2011

Looks Purdy Good...

So, I guess I'm a Pawlenty Man now!

I like the truth telling. I like "we've had three years of [speeches]."

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg who salutes him for getting "Pawlenty of Schmaltz" into a video, yet keeping an ironic denial.

The bombthrowers--no matter how appealing I might find them--have less of a chance to win over the crucial swing voters in November. Someone else might still get in. And someone unexpected will still certainly break out and change their brand in the primaries. But in the meantime Pawlenty's looking better and better, and not just by default.

UPDATE: For those few Republicans not yet ready to throw their dreams in the dumpster and get in line for the man in the nice suit, Ilya Somin has a complementary comparison of Gov. Gary Johnson to Rep. Ron Paul.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I liked the teleprompter, "podium with my campaign logo on it" and Greek columns in the background of the balloon and confetti shot.

"Together, we'll change our country. And this time [dramatic pause] it'll be for the better."

This spot is already a changing of his campaign for the better.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2011 2:04 PM

May 22, 2011

Cain Doctrine

Herman Cain appeared exclusively on Fox News Sunday [no video yet] with Chris Wallace this morning, fresh off the announcement that he will run for the GOP presidential nomination. After discussing Cain's rhetorical flourish that after he is elected president Americans will be "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty we are free at last! Again!" they discussed Cain's position on some specific issues.

Don't raise the debt limit. "Pay the interest on the debt first, make sure we take care of our military and their families, thirdly make sure that people that are getting Social Security checks get paid, and then fourth make sure that people's Medicare bills get paid. Then you look at everything else and that's where you start cutting."

Replace the income tax with a 23% Fair Tax. Wallace reported that President Bush's 2005 commission on tax reform said the Fair Tax won't work. "Chris, they were dead wrong. When I heard the commission make that assessment of the Fair Tax I was screaming. Other people who knew something about the Fair Tax were screaming. We never got an opportunity to explain. What they did was that they changed some of the assumptions in the actual bill. This is how they come up with those outrageous numbers."

On foreign policy: [Wallace] "You say that President Obama threw Israel under the bus. You say the Cain Doctrine is don't mess with Israel, if you mess with Israel you're messing with the U.S." What would President Cain offer the Palestinians to make peace?"

Nothin'. Because I'm not convinced the Palestinians are really interested in peace. If the Palestinians come to the table with Israel with a genuine offer that the two of them can sit down and negotiate, the United States would in fact try to facilitate that negotiation. But if we look at history it has been clear that the Palestinians have always wanted to push Israel for more, and more and more. I don't agree with that.

I don't either.

They did not discuss economic protectionism.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:42 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Saw it last night. Again, I liked a lot of what you liked but I don't think I'm on the Cain Train.

Energy Independence is a dog whistle for economic protectionism. He does not wear a T-Shirt that says "Proud Protectionist, Member Since 1983" but the suggestion of energy independence is a symptom. Again, a former Chairman of the KC Fed should know better.

He had a Governor Palin moment on "Right of return" that was pretty disturbing as well. First: deer in the headlights, second: would you repeat the question, third: an improvised answer that does not really match the topic.

I don't know what you do when you are a candidate and get a question that truly flummoxes you. That's hard to coach around. But I was in visceral pain watching him struggle to provide the worst answer ever. "Sure, they can return..."

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2011 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The "R of R" moment wasn't particularly inspiring but here is the glass half-full view: When professional politicians are faced with a question they can't answer (for whatever reason) they go into the double-talk song and dance. Cain didn't, since he isn't, at least not professionally. Which means it's more likely that he means what he says, when he says something.

I thought he ended it pretty well with "like everything else, this is for the parties to negotiate." I'd have preferred "they don't have a 'right' to anything" but I'm just funny that way.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2011 1:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And as a sweetener, how about a Cain-West ticket? (Allen, not Kanye.) He could be Herman's foreign policy fix. And how could the black vote pass that up! Talk about role models.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2011 1:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Make in Kanye and I'm in.

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2011 3:30 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Daniels Decides Against Presidential Run

Four more years of socialism.

The GOP might take the Senate, but the blog optimist is officially giving up.

UPDATE: I'm adding the "Hoss" category to this post. A guy who could say no to protect his daughters is -- sadly -- the exact kind of guy we need.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:22 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Deepest condolences, brother. I think he had the right ideas but I wasn't confident he could win in the tee vee age. In a whistlestop campaign he'd have been a world-beater.

I'm sitting here this morning reading an invitation from His Presidentialness, Mitt Romney, to join his conservative team as a Charter Member (just send 35 bucks or more). He says he believes in America. He says he is sick and tired of BIG GOVERNMENT. [emphasis his]

Too bad he's apparently still fond of medium-big government.

Unlike most in the TPM I don't demand that Mitt repudiate Romneycare. I'd be satisfied with, "Hey, it wasn't my first choice, but the liberal legislature in my state was determined to provide single-payer healthcare to their liberal constituents. So I did everything I could to make it a system that could work economically. As one of the "laboratories of democracy" in these fifty United States, ours would be an example of the best that single-payer healthcare can be. Predictably, health care costs have risen in Massachusetts, as they would rise in any state where individual care is further distanced from individual cost. Let my state serve as an example to other states, but under no circumstances can our federal government follow in these footsteps that the tenth amendment reserves only to the several states. That would be, and is, UNCONSTITUTIONAL." [emphasis mine]

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2011 11:29 AM
But jk thinks:

Guess I'm in the Cain camp. I did not expect this.

There are a few things Gov. Moisturizer could say, but one he will. The WSJ gang on TV yesterday pointed out that his career as a flip flopper make it especially difficult .

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2011 12:57 PM
But jk thinks:

That's "none he will"

On the phone...

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2011 1:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe all of us supported Mitt in '08. I know I did, and I know he won the CO primary. What's changed? The TEA Party exists now, and Obamacare exists now, but Romneycare was a proven failure even then.

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2011 1:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Nope. I don't say it out of great pride, but to correct the record: Feb 04, 2008:

I understand my friend and blog brother JohnGalt will be caucusing for Governor Romney tomorrow and I will make one more play for his vote -- this time for Senator McCain.

BTW, the research for this was extremely entertaining: GOP 2008 Primary Category, preserved for the ages....

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2011 6:16 PM

May 20, 2011

Draft Christie?

LATimes editorialist John Phillips will be here all week:

It's now official, the only body with a higher dropout rate than the Los Angeles Unified School District is the 2012 Republican presidential field.

Just this weekend we learned that two first-tier GOP contenders decided to take a pass on making a run at the White House. One of them is a hokey entertainer who hosts a boring television show featuring washed-up celebrities -- and the other is Donald Trump.


<rimshot />

I'm still heartbroke from 2008. I thought that every...single...reason that Phillips enumerates for a successful draft Christie movement applied to Secretary Condoleezza Rice (well, maybe not the one about fried meat on sticks...) And I sat at home on prom night waiting for a phone that never rang. Sniff.

Think about it, if you want to convince someone to do something they claim they don't want to do, having a never-ending parade of very smart, very wealthy people sweet-talk them into 'saving the country' will do the trick every time. It's the most persuasive route you can take, outside of a rag soaked in chloroform.

I am second to none in my appreciation for Governor Christie's clarity and candor. If he throws his hat in, I'll put up a yard sign in my concrete deck, get out the checkbook, and possibly get his visage tattooed on my head.

But I try to learn from my mistakes, and I am looking for somebody wants to run. Like Governor Daniels (a much less painful tattoo...)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2011

OMG: Cain defended TARP!

But it's not as bad as it sounds. He actually does a good job of it.

I had to go looking for some details about Herman Cain's alleged protectionism (sure yer not thinking of that Trump guy?) First hits on my search took Cain to task not for tariffs, but for TARP.

CATO's Dan Mitchell writes on his blog that Newt Gingrich Is Reprehensible…and Herman Cain Has a TARP Problem

I've already said nice things about Herman Cain, but someone needs to ask him whether he still thinks TARP was a good idea, as he wrote back in 2008.
Wake up people! Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem. But the mainstream media and the free market purists want you to believe that this is the end of capitalism as we know it. ... These actions by the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank and the actions by the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are all intended to help solve an unprecedented financial crisis.

I'm not implying that this is a kiss-of-death revelation for Cain. Many people thought we had to recapitalize the banking system, but didnt realize there was an alternative that didn't involve bailing out well-connected shareholders, bondholders, and managers.

I was opposed to TARP at the time, and since, but very wise people whom I greatly respect maintain to this day that TARP was necessary. I'm not ready to flame Cain over this. Especially when the same guy had such good things to say about Cain's 5-Point Plan for the Economy. TEA Party voters would do well to remember the distinction between TARP and the Obama Stimulus Bill.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:26 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I defended TARP -- guess I'll never be President even though I have an official birth certificate dated long after Colorado became a State.

I leveled the protectionist charge against Mister Cain and I am referring both to China bashing and to an enforcement-heavy view of immigration reform.

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2011 4:10 PM

May 16, 2011

Reason on Gov. Daniels

One Step Closer to Running for President And Who Has Great Taste in Books.

That Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has good taste in books is news once again thanks to a republished interview Daniels did last year with Jonathan Rauch of FiveBooks, in which the pocket-sized chief executive shared (what Brian Doherty called) his "hankering for Hayek, fetish for Friedman, and passion for Postrel."

Swoon.

UPDATE: Libertario Delenda Est. The Facebook comments under this Reason piece are a case study in Libertoids. Seventeen commenters "could never vote for" or "Mitch SUCKS!" or "Zzzzzzzzzzzz" or "Dig a ditch and bury himself for all I care!" One of the most credible and liberty minded candidates I can think of in my lifetime, but if he's not the love child of Leonard Read and Jesus, they'll (comment #7) "not vote for Daniels...if he runs....will sit this one out!!!!" That, good people, is why no candidate can ever afford to take the liberty vote seriously. These people are always in a race to be the first to say "I'm staying home! Nobody is pure enough for me this year!"

Not a successful electoral strategy.

UPDATE II: (Comment #14): "Mitch Daniels? Everyone understands that the GOP nomination is a fight between Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul. Mike Huckabee's staff understood this, so they bowed out last week. Both Rep. West's staff & Donald Trump's staff understand this. See, the narrative is set and it is in play: the establishment's dashing slick RINO Vs. the extremely principled Tea Party's champion of the Constitution & sound money."

Ah yes, the Paul juggernaut. Other candidates tremble in fear...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

Change you can BEE-Lieve in

"Bumblebee Power!"

UPDATE: A Real Black Man May Run Against Barack Obama

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

I can certainly see what the Cainiacs like (the UPDATE link is even better). But I have one humongous issue.

As President of the KC Fed, Cain was privy to the thoughts of many, many great economists. If a talk show host or a pizza guy does not understand the benefits of free trade, I'll go easy on him.

But for a Fedhead (they all wear tie-dye) to embrace protectionism and seek to blame our bad policy problems on China means that he has heard and rejected the wonders of free trade and has instead made a conscious choice for populist protectionism. I am cautious of the word "dealbreaker" at this early stage, but that weighs heavily. Governor Huckabee applauded him for it -- need I say more?

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 5:29 PM
But gd thinks:

jk – I agree with you on Cain. He is an eloquent speaker and I would have no problem voting for him over Obama any day, but when I listen to this video I do not hear much tangible. I also enjoy the thought of an African American Republican vs. an African American Democrat, but then I wonder if this is not at least a small form of racism (i.e., to vote for someone because the color of their skin gives them the best chance to beat someone else).

I was perplexed at all the Cain love in the G.O.P. debate in South Carolina. Two of my key takeaways: That government should be run like a business and his foreign policy would be to listen to the advice of his “experts”. One could even quibble about his stance that government should be run like a business. I am not sure the Federal government should be run like a business. Should the Federal government maximize profits?

Posted by: gd at May 16, 2011 6:07 PM
But jk thinks:

With all respect for the good people of The Palmetto State, the SC GOP is the third primary to give voice to social conservatives. I was surpr -- well gobsmacked -- at the focus group's reaction to Cain. But they had all come to see Senator Santorum. Not one mentioned Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. I think it is a substantive wing of the party, but putting them under the ThreeSources microscope might not be appropriate.

I cringe at "run government like a business." All my old Ross Perot nightmares rise out of sequestration. Completely different incentive structure.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 6:24 PM

Review Corner: Rep. Paul is a Crank

It is with great sadness that I post a negative Review Corner for a man who has fought valiantly on the side of liberty and philosophical purity.

Rep. Ron Paul's Liberty Defined is an effective window to "Doctor Paul's" worldview. I mean no disrespect in calling him Rep. Paul over his preferred honorific of Dr. but it is meaningful to me that he has been selected by his constituents to represent them in Congress -- many times, in the case of Paul.

Watching him on FOX News Sunday yesterday, I was ready to buy a VW Bus and campaign across the country for him. He clearly and reasonably articulated complex principles of liberty, and refused to accept several of Chris Wallace's CW premises.

But while I started his book enthusiastically enjoying the serious challenges to my established notions, I found it tedious in the middle and exasperating by the end. Where we differ, he is completely unable to turn it off for a second. I appreciate his trenchant views on the perils of Empire. Until they start showing up in the topics of "Racism," "Political Correctness," and other domestic issues. I imagine running into him on the street and saying "It's a nice day, Doctor Paul," and his responding "It's nice weather if you're not shipped off by some neocons to fight in illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!"

Every essay has to whack at monetary policy and foreign adventurism. Every one. I know -- after 50 essays -- why and how he feels it is all related, yet I think a far more sophisticated level of argument accepts certain disagreeable things and confines discussion to a limited purview. I also bristle at the 30th or 40th mention that my support for Iraq brands me as Straussian Neocon who wants to expand the power of government and has no interest in liberty. Straw anybody? He allows no possible reasonable motives. Sharanskyites really don't want freedom and security, they just want to pump their Boeing stock.

On monetary policy, I am most receptive to the Austrian argument. But even here he cannot nab me because he is loose with the facts. In Paul's world boom and bust started with the Fed. The Panics of 1837, 1907, and presumably the Dutch Tulip craze never happened. Not that we didn't make massive mistakes in monetary policy from 1913 to today, but it is disingenuous to start the clock at that time.

With a heavy heart, I give the great modern disciple of liberty 2.75 stars.

UPDATE: He's right on on the IMF!

"These are the kinds of people who are running the IMF," Paul told Chris Wallace, "and we want to turn the world's finances and the control of the money supply [over] to them?"

Paul added he hoped the incident "should awaken everybody to the fact they ought to look into the IMF and find out why we shouldn't be sacrificing more sovereignty to an organization like that and individuals like he was." Watch Paul's full interview on the Fox News video below.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:10 PM | Comments (4)
But gd thinks:

j/k, interesting take on Ron Paul’s book. I will have to read it. I have read “Revolution” and “End the Fed”. I thought he sounded a little cranky in “End the Fed” as well, but then I figured that thirty years of dealing with the people running our current system would probably make all of us irritable.

I cannot speak to “Liberty”, but I have never had the impression that Mr. Paul believes a Gold standard would eliminate the “boom and bust” cycle of economics; he just thinks (or at least I do) that the cycles would more infrequent and less dramatic.

Until Ron Paul has lost the Republican nomination I am not going to concern myself with any “he cannot win” media-spin. Everyone else in the Republican Party speaks in generalities and platitudes that I have been listening to for years. Ever notice why a Ron Paul interview is so interesting? It is because there is substance to what he says. I am not seeing anyone else that even comes close.

Posted by: gd at May 16, 2011 4:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Point taken on crankiness, and I certainly give props for clarity and candor in his interviews and debate appearances.

I find myself renouncing my previous dabbling in "National Greatness Conservatism" and fundamentally rethinking Sharanskyism and all traces of neo-Wilsonianism. He's got an open heart and mind sitting in the front pew as it were...

But the ham-fisted rejection of any less-than-evil motives from any friend of American leadership is off-putting. The 20th mention of the iniquitous "neocons" and I thought I was watching Chris Matthews. I appreciate the principle behind his position but he makes no effort to return the favor.

I cannot accuse him of saying that pre-Fed monetary policy had no boom and bust, but I think an honest interlocutor points out "of course, before the Fed there were huge and painful deflationary shocks."

I would be interested in your opinion of the book and happily promise you as much space as you'd like to set me straight if I have erred.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 5:13 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Paul has disappointed me with the Osama thing (he got it RIGHT but for the wrong reason, though that's for a different day), but he's absolutely correct on monetary policy.

Don't mischaracterize his argument as forgetting-Fed days. What he IS saying is that before the Fed, we didn't have severe downturns. The panics you reference were mild compared to today, and while there hadn't been cyclical booms (meaning not attributable to a suddenly introduction of new technology) like today, you didn't have the Fed blowing up the balloon only to pop it suddenly.

BTW, did you ever hear about the Austrian who explained why the tulip mania occurred? It makes such perfect sense that I don't understand why it wasn't seen decades ago. Essentially, any huge increase in a particular commodity's price, while everything else remains more or less stable, requires a rapidly growing money supply. And the Dutch government provided it.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 16, 2011 8:11 PM
But gd thinks:

Perry, I was excited to see your link to the Ludwig von Mises Institute. In my humble opinion, sound monetary policy is perhaps the most important foundation for a free society.

Posted by: gd at May 17, 2011 10:44 AM

Not Feelin' the Newty Love

The Washington Examiner says ideas are important to the 2012 GOP nomination (I concur) and grades a few new ones:

Just this week, two aspiring Republican nominees -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer -- came up with ideas that fit the bill, while a third aspirant -- former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- offered a really bad one.

Trust me that they are grading on a curve. Romney's 50 State waiver deserves high marks -- though I don't know it's enough to take the foul stench of RomneyCare® off his stained fingers. Roemer's OPEC Oil Tariff is nonsense on stilts. The ghost of Bill McKinley still haunts the GOP.

But Gingrich's history test for all black people before they can vote is bad policy, tone-deaf politics, and I would suggest, proof that he is not reborn as a small government guy. That will be a great visual in November: the first African-American President versus the Georgia Cracker who wants to diminish the franchise.

UPDATE:

The House GOP budget plan, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would effectively turn Medicare into a voucher system in which seniors were given money by the federal government to purchase private insurance, creating a radically different system than the current guaranteed benefit plan for seniors. -- Speaker G, suggesting it as a bug and not a feature.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (10)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

#1 is Newt
#2 is Daniels

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 16, 2011 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I misread and thought the Speaker was your personal number one choice to lead our party in 2012 and this great nation in 2013. Now I have chest pains...is it Aspirin you take?

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 6:28 PM
But gd thinks:

Obama is salivating over the prospect of facing Newt Gingrich almost as much as he would be Donald Trump.

Posted by: gd at May 16, 2011 6:42 PM
But jk thinks:

No Newty Love seems a common theme. The Club for Growth has Good, Bad, and Ugly. But I don't think there's much mistaking the bad.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 6:45 PM
But dagny thinks:

I guess I was unambiguous enough on most of my thumbnail sketches, except 1 and 2. I didn't think I could top JK's "Georgia Cracker" for Newt so I didn't try. Number 1 is the diminuitive Mitch Daniels. Number 2 is Pawlenty. I couldn't think of any distinguishing characteristics for Johnson (think the voters will?).

I promoted Newt for discussion and a bit of wishful thinking. My prior comment revealed my verdict. Now I've jumped to the Cain Train. But as dagny has observed, I'm pretty fickle in this competition.

Posted by: dagny at May 17, 2011 10:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

During drive-time I thought of an illustrative Gary Johnson homage: The human paint-dryer.

I'm perhaps being unfair after seeing him speak only once, at the SC debate. But man, please, are you passionate about anything?

Posted by: johngalt at May 17, 2011 2:25 PM

May 15, 2011

Huck-a-Bye

Huckabee says no to 2012.

Only when I was alone, in quiet and reflective moments did I have not only clarity, but an inexplicable inner peace -- a peace that exceeds human understanding. All the factors say GO, but my heart says NO. And that is the decision I have made and in it have finally found resolution. (...) I can't know or predict the future, but I know for now my answer is clear and firm. I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year. I will gladly continue doing what I do and helping others in their campaigns for Congress, governorships, and other positions. I'll certainly give more detail about this decision in due time and especially to those who have faithfully and so sacrificially been part of the process. I know I will deeply disappoint many people I love. So many good and dear people have put forth extraordinary effort without any assurance I would mount a campaign. It pains me to let them down. I also know my decision will delight just as many who aren't that fond of me. I am eternally grateful for the faithful support of my wife, children and real friends who promised to stand with me no matter what. I had come to believe I would be in the race for President. I won't be. But I will for sure be re-dedicating myself to standing for and communicating the principles of common sense, Constitutional government, and civil discourse that I believe are critical to the survival of our great Republic.
Posted by JohnGalt at 8:51 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Answered prayer.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 15, 2011 9:20 PM
But HB thinks:

Greatest campaign news yet.

Posted by: HB at May 15, 2011 10:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Something classy about declining, though -- I'll give him props. For a guy who obviously has the bug, this is his best shot.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 10:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There's some speculation he could be tapped as a running-mate.

Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2011 2:12 PM
But jk thinks:

One could do worse in a running mate (Jeeburz, jk is getting soft...) especially if he were used to balance an overly-libertarian contender at the top of the ticket.

(Mitch have any health problems that anybody's aware of?)

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2011 3:20 PM

May 12, 2011

Huck-a-Whack

Oh, you'll have to click for this one...

Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll

Posted by John Kranz at 4:06 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I have a sneaking suspicion that I should be grateful that I can't turn on the audio here in the office...

I'll leave the teaching of history to Mr. Gingrich - that is his long suit, after all. "Time Travel Academy"? Obama wants to Win The Future; Gingrich says "Together We Will Win The Future"; and Huck wants to travel to the past to Win The Future, by channeling Reagan to further his own lame populism. Yeesh.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 12, 2011 4:35 PM

Ron Paul 2012: Why Bother?

Pick your headline. Whether it is Politico's Ron Paul wouldn't have approved Osama bin Laden operation or Fox News' Ron Paul: I Would Not Have Ordered Bin Laden Raid or CBS News' Ron Paul: I wouldn't have killed bin Laden, the Libertarian Republican from Texas' newest campaign for the GOP nomination is over before it has begun.

"I don't think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary," Paul said during his Tuesday comments. "I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he'd been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters in to London, because they were afraid the information would get out?"

But we obviously wouldn't need to send black helicopters to erase the world's most wanted man hiding in London because the British government WOULD have arrested him and turned him over, which the Pakistani government failed and/or refused to do for at least five years and probably longer that he was in their country.

President Bush's now forgotten doctrine to the sovereign nations of the world was, "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists." Pakistan was with the terrorists but President Bush stuck by the Paul plan of "work[ing] with the Pakistani government instead of authorizing a raid." President Obama, beneficiary of the knowledge of that failed strategy, exercised the Bush Doctrine. It's the one good thing he's done. For Paul to be critical now, even with the knowledge that the raid was successful, puts him further left on defense policy than even the Democrat president. His chances of winning the nomination just went from zero to negative infinity.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:15 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Funny story. I am halfway through Paul's book. Like Jeffrey Myron's "Libertarianism from A-Z," it is presented as essays on topics. Start with Abortion, I made it a little past Empire.

I suggested to my lefty brother and niece that we should all read it, and I think everybody's in. There are a bunch of essays where I will be outnumbered by family and kooky libertarian gadfly.

It is painful, jg, but the man is nothing if not consistent. He says that we create terrorists by meddling (Serenity, anybody?) and says that the model for a free country is Costa Rica. They don't bug anybody and nobody bugs them.

What was an impossible sell in 2008 becomes an extremely hard sell in 2012. Ever the Deepak Lal-ist, I disagree fulsomely with Rep. Paul. But the jg who appreciates consistency and reason has to admire Paul's serious and heartfelt exhortations against military adventurism.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2011 3:54 PM
But gd thinks:

First off, I love what you guys do with the site. Keep up the great work!

Second, if Ron Paul had been our President we would not be in two quagmires in the Middle East and would have saved trillions of dollars.

Dr. Paul believes that when good people with good intentions ignore the rule of international law (or the Constitution), it sets a precedent for bad people with bad intentions to do the same. Dr. Paul also believes that it is more important for America to lead by moral example than to enforce "good" around the world.

Feel free to disagree, but realize that you do so at peril of losing the concept of freedom as the fundamental base of your argument.

Posted by: gd at May 13, 2011 1:10 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

GD, thanks for participating in the debate; a fresh voice is always welcome.

We will likely agree to disagree on some aspects of the roll of the US in the world but agree on others, so I want to hone in on one thing. That is, the idea that we must uphold "international law." I've heard Rep. Paul use the term and now you. Yes, we should uphold our end of international agreements. But by upholding international law, does he mean that we must submit to the dictates of the United Nations? Is the Second Amendment invalidated if the UN bans individual gun ownership? Does it mean that our national leaders can get hauled in front of the international court in The Hague if Kim Jong Il doesn't like something that they did?

There are many positions taken by Rep. Paul that I find problematic, but let's focus on this one for now. Look forward to hearing your response.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 13, 2011 10:48 AM
But gd thinks:

Refugee, I think you will find that we agree on many topics which is probably why I enjoy the site so much (jk is an internet rock star for me).

I am not going to say that I completely agree with Dr. Paul on the specific issue of going into Pakistan to raid Osama bin Laden's villa, capture, and kill the evil terrorist. I usually give Paul the benefit of the doubt when he says something that at first appears controversial because Paul is about the only congressman I am aware of that consistently postulates freedom as the basis for his decisions. His modus operandi ("M.O.") is not to win a popularity contest which is tragically why he probably will not win the Presidency. His M.O. is to spread the idea of freedom through reason rather than force. Someday many years down the road our children and grandchildren will read stories about the visionary that was Ron Paul. Unfortunately sometimes we trade our heroes for ghosts so his genius likely will not be fully appreciated until his time has passed. I think the good Doctor realizes this as much as anyone which is why he is worthy of my utmost respect. He is truly a man of principle.

From what I have read the drone strikes in Pakistan are continuing and I firmly believe that this is wrong. If true, it sounds like we are getting ourselves involved in yet another difficult situation that many consider debatable as to whether it makes us more or less safe (see: Central Intelligence Agency's theory of "blowback"ť).

And I am not sure that I would equate obeying international law as it pertains to invading a sovereign nation with compromising our country's core values in the Constitution such as second amendment rights. I am also not sure that rescuing a national from the clutches of an evil dictator is akin to killing an evil person. I must also admit that I do not know exactly what our Constitution allows for this type of situation (the Constitution is where I would turn first; it is the document that represents our value system).

All that said, I do think that when one plants ice they're gonna harvest wind.

Posted by: gd at May 13, 2011 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the kind words, gd. I was going to respond but my swelled head no longer fits in the space in front of my monitor. Like the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the animated movie, my arms no longer reach the keyboard...

While I cannot join Rep. Paul in wishing we had never set foot in Iraq or Afghanistan, I do believe it is time to rethink the hundreds of thousands of troops in Europe and the Pacific Rim, the NATO action in Libya, and a serious reappraisal of our footprint in the Iraq and Afghanistan.

I have a hunch Rep. Paul will not be the 2012 GOP nominee nor the 2013 President. I think the idea of freedom versus empire is a valuable conversation.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2011 6:20 PM

May 11, 2011

NewtZilla!

Whether we like him or not, NewtZilla may be an unstoppable monster! Watch him take down the ohBumma and his o'Bots. (Worth watching just to crank up one of the greatest rock 'n roll songs of all time.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

Could this be...

... the one we've been waiting for?

Jimmy Carter's presidency gave us Ronald. Could Barack Obama's give us Newt?

There's a lot to like: Domestic energy program, "hope and opportunity," balanced budget, controlled spending and tax cuts, reality, truth, tough choices, jobs, prosperity, decentralized government. Newt is pleasant, articulate, white and male but not too old and not too boring. Certainly nobody could doubt his competence for the job of president. If he says all the right things now (and from what I've heard, he has) can past dalliances be forgiven? I'm thinking yeah, probably so. It's one thing to have the wrong policies because you are committed to the worldview that calls for them, but quite another to have had the wool pulled over your eyes by the greatest geopolitical scam in the history of earth (so far.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:03 PM | Comments (10)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm praying for Huckabee. I'm praying that God leads Huck to "spend more time with his family," as they like to say when an official vacates the public eye. Feel free to insert your "make peace with you dear and fluffy Lord" reference here...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 12, 2011 1:34 PM
But jk thinks:

You and I are on the same page of the ThreeSources hymnal, ka. I pray the Governor has great continuing success with his television show and speaking engagements.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2011 1:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I knew my brothers would remind me why Newtie had lost favor, but he sounds so TEA Partyie these days the moths are sure to be drawn to his bright flame. The example I was going to give for "dalliances" was the Pelosi on the couch Climate Change ad. Was it a bad choice based on faulty information, or a manifestation of a deep dark desire for the federal government to impose a national energy tax? I have to believe its the former.

I'll stipulate that he is in fact a politician but he counters the "government is a good tool to fix things" charge with his "decentralized government" promise. A pragmatic friend of mine keeps telling me that our purity candidate can't get elected. I'm suggesting to him that this electable candidate may be purified enough to be kept on a small-government tack for an 8-year stretch.

This is the question that, in my mind, is on the floor for debate. And we'd better figure it out quick 'cause NewtZilla just hit town and threatens to quickly push more timid champions aside on his way to face "O'bUma."

Posted by: johngalt at May 12, 2011 3:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If you're gonna pray for anything, how 'bout putting a few hosannas-of-choice toward this effort:

"According to the AP, a group of about seven Iowa Republicans, whom the AP characterizes as "business conservatives who favor nominees more identified with the philosophy of low taxes and limited government than with cultural issues," will meet with Christie in the New Jersey governor's mansion on May 31."

Now that would be a Hail Mary.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 12, 2011 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

I spent the better part of the 2008 campaign thinking Secretary Rice would descend from the heavens and save me. I'm not really into the draft thing.

The Big Man has been Shermanesque in his demurrals -- that is, if Sherman came from New Jersey. Last I heard was "What do I have to do? Commit suicide?"

Gov. Daniels will save us.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2011 4:42 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sans Christie, I would be happy to sing along with Mitch.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 12, 2011 4:50 PM

May 8, 2011

Huck-a-whack?

Nope, from the comments, these guys are serious. "Speaking words of wisdom, Huck-a-Bee..." I'm sorry to make you click, but had I embedded I would have watched it again.

It's the worst idea of all time, but the execution is not that bad.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2011

"The Godfather of Business Sense Can Attack Obama Well"

Twenty nine South Carolina Republicans were blown away by one of the five candidates who participated in last night's Fox News sponsored GOP primary debate. The new hotness is, Herman Cain. [7 minute video]

Frank Lunz -

"Sean, I've done, I dunno, maybe 35 or 40 of these debates for Fox and I've never had this kind of reaction until tonight. This is someone who only one individual came in here supporting. Now you've got half, more than half of this group. It doesn't happen. Something very special happened this evening."

They liked him because he has a plan, doesn't talk like a politician, and said all the right things. (It probably doesn't hurt that he's black.)

The sole Herman Cain clip is on energy independence. [1:14}

Here were the 5 candidates closing remarks. [3:34]

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Stephen Green was drunkblogging it. I thought I was the only sober person watching.

I enjoyed the debate because there were many non traditional candidates: Cain and Governor Gary Johnson joined Rep Ron Paul as designated gadflies. It was enjoyable to watch true intellectual diversity at an "official" debate.

If Cain won the debate, I fear ThreeSources's darling Johnson may have lost. He would make an awesome President but he makes a very bad candidate. Green, likely into his third or fourth martini yelled "JAZZ HANDS!" He looked nervous and has the statesmanlike, stentorian voice of, well, me. If there were no Ron Paul, he'd add a lot. While I was glad to see two at the first debate, this train is not rolling through New Hampshire.

Like Brother jg, the most informative part of the evening may have been Frank Luntz's focus group. Their being entirely smitten with Mister Cain is interesting. Their second, third, forth, and fifth choices are a grim reminder that -- Tea Party or no -- we have exactly ONE or ZERO chances to get a libertarian-leaning candidate in 2012. If n = 1, it is Mitch Daniels.

Governor Daniels has some cred with the conservative wing. I think, pace Palin, he might be able to speak freedom and let his life speak for itself. I don't know. But it's hard for a reader of these pages to be comfortable with anybody that Luntz's group would accept. If we don't get the populist talk show host, we get Senator Rick Santorum (sorry Pennsylvanians, he's going to fix the deficit by fixing...marriage).

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2011 12:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Update to comment (how sad is that?): Reason's Jesse Walker suggests they are helping each other:

But if last night's debate did anything, it settled the value of having two libertarian-leaning figures on the stage. When Paul's hardline libertarian moral defense of drug decriminalization was followed immediately by Johnson's consequentialist approach, the benefits of the Paul/Johnson duo became clear: Each guy got to make the arguments that the other one didn't, and the audience got to hear a broader case for a controversial position than the format allowed either man to offer by himself.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2011 12:41 PM

May 5, 2011

Hoss of the Day

Governor Mitch Daniels delivers a serious fact and policy filled talk to the AEI on education. His style differs from the big man in the Garden State, but he matches him in seriousness, moral clarity -- and is deeper into a demonstration of his programs' efficacies.

I apologize for the many links to long videos this week. I know they are not conducive to work, but I am nursing a bad cold. The first half hour is his speech, if anybody has a chance, the remainder of the 50 minutes is Q&A.

And no, he's not Mister Charisma, but the self-effacing, plainspoken Hoosier might look pretty good in contrast to an incumbent of far more style than substance. My thoughts turn to Silent Cal when Gov. Daniels speaks -- he could be our generation's Coolidge, right when he is most needed.

If you've no time to watch videos, follow the hat-tip link:

Where Sarah Palin Resigned, Mitch Daniels Rolled Up His Sleeves By Andrew Kelly

Posted by John Kranz at 3:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2011

Doctor Representative Ron Paul Hoss Sir

As threatened, I pulled the plug on "Digital Preferred," the COMCAST package that includes FOX Business Channel. Eighteen dollars a month, and all I ever watched was Stossel.

Investigating alternatives, it looks like his shows make it over to Hulu about three weeks after they air. Even better, his new website provides copious clips. Three long segments from his special on Ron Paul (R- TX) are viewable here.

I still cannot join Rep Paul on monetary policy, and I do not happen to subscribe to his principled stance on "World Policing." But what a breath of air. The segment I linked, the 10% solution, includes a Chris Matthews/David Corn (~1:10) segment ridiculing him and his refreshing response.

Even if I don't accept them all, the world clearly needs to come a lot closer to Paul's positions. And I just got his book on Kindle --- who knows, maybe he'll get me in the end.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:39 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Don't forget the "Hoss" category!

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2011 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

An oversight. ThreeSources apologizes for the error.

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2011 6:41 PM

April 27