November 27, 2012

Okay, that is kinda funny.

Slate link

Posted by John Kranz at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

Just in Time!

The Jon Huntsman campaign sent me a refund for the T-Shirts I had purchased before they folded (the campaign folded, not the shirts...) I wished they had honored the order so I could parade around "don't blame me, I voted for..."

Yet I don't know whether I have the same enthusiasm for today's delivery:

Oh well, I can use them, plus Christmas is coming for some lefty relatives...

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

Just imagine the defacement those relatives would be compelled to do prior to using these cups.

Where we might editorialize, "Not able to morally defend his own liftime of achievement" they'd probably resort to "1%er LOOOOZER" or "Take that bitches!"

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2012 2:46 PM

November 26, 2012

Democracy Perfected

When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental -- men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre -- the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun, 26 July 1920

Investor's Editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez puts this in historical perspective, thusly.


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

Good and hard.

Posted by: jk at November 26, 2012 3:39 PM

November 13, 2012

Tweet of the Day (or Day minus six...)


Posted by John Kranz at 1:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2012

Why demographics favor Republicans

If that isn't a provocative headline, then The Refugee will never craft one...

Liberal pundits are quick to bury the Republican party as "too old and too white." (As an old white guy, The Refugee is suitably offended...) Here are some rough stats that lead to Obama's victory: 72% of Latinos, 74% of Asians, 65% of single women and 90+% of blacks. Despite these overwhelming numbers, Obama's victory was just 2.4% of the popular vote. Now, imagine if these margins were reduced to 60% of Latinos, 50% of Asians, 55% of single woman and 75% of blacks. With this shift, it would be very difficult for Democrats to win a national election.

So, the task for Democrats is figuring out how to hold impossibly large margins of minority voters. Of course, Republicans need to figure out how to eat into these margins. Given the math, The Refugee would rather be a Republican strategist.

Dee Dee Myers, on Fox News this evening, said that GOP must become the "Grand Opportunity Party." The Refugee couldn't have said it better. We need to stand for fiscal conservatism, school choice, right-to-work, opportunity for immigrants and financial empowerment of ALL Americans. The math can work.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 9:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 7, 2012

GOP Winners and Losers

The time for soul-searching, second-guessing and recriminations among Republicans has begun. In taking stock of the party for the future, picking winners and losers helps understand what to toss overboard and what to build upon. Despite the election results, The Refugee refuses to put Gov. Romney in the loser category; he proved himself to be a man of honor, integrity and unimpeachable character. "Loser" and "Romney" should never be used in the same sentence.

Winners:

Paul Ryan - Rep. Ryan proved himself to be articulate, a good campaigner and a champion of responsible government. He proved that he is presidential material and a standard-bearer for the party.

Marco Rubio - Sen. Rubio gave a block-buster speech at the convention, banked a lot of IOUs with tireless campaigning and proved that he can build a bridge between the GOP and the Hispanic community. He, too, is presidential material.

Susana Martinez - Gov. Martinez entered the national stage with grace, power and brilliance. While perhaps not yet a recognized national player, she could be awesome as #2 on a ticket with either Rubio or Ryan.

Entitlement Reform - Given that a major new entitlement has now been enshrined, this winner would seem counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, entitlement reform no longer seems to be the third rail of politics. Romney/Ryan introduced it as an adult conversation, which will likely give it a seat at any budget negotiations table. Whether or not it will be served is questionable, but at least it's got a menu.

House GOP members - Although the Left likes to say that the House must now compromise, GOP members were re-elected just as surely as the president. Their power is enhanced as the only counterweight to Eurosocialism.

Losers:

Chris Christie (GOAT - NJ) - After one of the worst keynote convention speeches in memory, self-serving campaigning and the undeserved bear-hug of Obama post-Sandy, the Christie national brand is permanently damaged among Republicans. He refused to step up when his party and his country needed him most. He had best not expect us to step up if he decides that he needs us in 2016.

Social conservatives - Social-issues conservatives have proved that they cannot win anything larger than a House seat. The national attitude toward gay rights, abortion and immigration have changed permanently. As The Refugee's father used to say, "You can't legislate morality." Social-issues conservatives must come to the realization that social change comes through persuasion, not legislation. The fact is, if people became convinced that abortion is wrong, it wouldn't matter what the Supreme Court said; abortion would halt. By all means, preach, advertise and prosthyletize - but get personal religious values out of the party platform.

GOP SuperPACs - GOP SuperPACs had an enormous amount of material to pound Obama with. Not only did they fail to do so, they failed to defend Romney from the relentless attacks from Democrat SuperPACs. They squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-conceived and totally ineffective messaging.

Readers will note that The Refugee did not put the Tea Party into either category. The Tea Party fundamentally stands for fiscal conservatism and must continue to do so. The Refugee is convinced that fiscal conservatism can still be a big political winner, but no longer overrides social issues for the majority of voters. Social conservatives have sailed under the Tea Party flag, but we must begin to separate the two.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 8:20 PM | Comments (6)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Spot. ON. I am a "social conservative" but agree that moral suasion is the approach to get results.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 7, 2012 10:55 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


I do not wholly agree that SIC's lost the election. Equally viable theories are:

- unwillingness to go negative;
- the Free Stuff argument beat the Freedom argument.

Look at Greece; they have been firmly and repeatedly told their stuff aint free, and I've seen no budging of the demand to get it anyway.

I do have to agree with JG and Coulter: if the GOP can't win against THIS crowd, record, etc., then it needs torn down. It could take a lot of burning.

My positive hope is the house will develop serious backbone, and play it's cards carefully (and be really ready to "go negative") even to the point of forcing a constitutional crisis over "No Budget" Reid.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 8, 2012 12:46 AM
But Jk thinks:

I agree on your winners and do not hold Gov. Romney culpable for the loss.

But when social conservatives are removed from the party, we lack the numbers to win. When they are included, they scare off others. I no longer see a path to achieve the ends of liberty through the means of politics. It's 749 and they just called Wisconsin Blue and North Carolina is too close. One sees this is not going to work.

If we are going to continue playing, I must add Immigration to your loser column. Tell the fastest growing segment of the electorate that we need a wall to keep them out. Wonder why you lose the 30 - 70. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Next election, add 100000000 voters now reliant on government for health care. Game over. Two hundred thirty three years was a great run.

Posted by: Jk at November 8, 2012 3:06 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK! Buddy! Come off the roof! Don't jump! It'll be OK!! Your friend, The Refugee, will address this in a post later today.

NB, SICs didn't lose the presidential election, but have a miserable record running for the Senate. More later.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 8, 2012 8:15 AM
But jk thinks:

I look forward to The Refugee's follow up because I value his opinion. But I am not despondent. You can leave the sharp objects and my belt around le condo d'Amour; I'm fine.

But I spend an inordinate amount of time on politics and liberty theory. I enjoy it and it has become something that defines me. The shock you feel through my terrible typing is that I no longer believe that it is going to work.

I questioned whether to put the Debbie Downer comment under your excellent post, but you're suggesting that this old GOP car needs a tune up and I suggest it is totaled.

Pragmatism, fusionism, Libertario Delenda Est -- none of these is going to work. Yaron Brook and my brother say we have to reeducate people and change their priorities and beliefs: trading Ayn Rand's wisdom for the Ooompa Loompah's. How's that going to work?

My Facebook friends will gloat for another day or two and forget politics for four years. But they'll be back in 2016 with no more appreciation for liberty or limited government. (Today's meme: a picture of Senators-elect Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren and Sen. McCaskill with the headline "We Brought Binders Full of Women to the US Senate!) It's so precious I could just barf.

I don't care for quitters, but I need a reasonable vision or target of success. We have broken the safeguards that restrain government and I don't see that they can be restored through the political process.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2012 10:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Rand saw this coming 60-plus years ago. Her "cautionary tale" may yet become a blueprint. But just as we don't have a magical static elecricity engine, we don't all have to physically move to a hidden Shangri-la, or even break the law. 51% only applies to democracy, but thanks to progressive taxation it only takes 25% to wipe out 86% of government's revenue. And this is approximately the same share of the population who self-identify as Taxed Enough Already.

Think of an 'Operation Chaos' type of popular movement where net tax payers make a united effort to cut their incomes... live off their savings for a while... start in January 2015 and defer income until, say, January 2017. (Two years might not be enough. Might need to start earlier. '14? '13??)

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2012 12:28 PM

RAHQOTD - Statist President Re-Election Edition

Help us Robert! Give us something to cheer us up!

[Originally posted on July 5, with a link to a nice culture war post.]

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck."

-- RAH "Time Enough for Love" (1973)


Posted by JohnGalt at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Hope you didn't come to ThreeSources for cheering up

I've been magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat before. My health issues are not such that I do not expect to win or lose more elections.

But I cannot lie. The 2012 results shred everything in which I believe. My philosophy is, of course, the same: free people and free markets rule. But my electoral strategy is in tatters.

-- November the sixth marks the death of Frank Meyers's Fusionism which I have celebrated on these pages and bolstered at every opportunity. It is the foundation of ThreeSources that the economic libertarian and the religious conservative can find common ground in limited government and assemble an electoral majority. It's an uneasy friendship but it had successfully delayed the adoption of European social policy for decades. That broke down last night and I suspect that all the king's horses will be unable to repair it (though why one would expect horses to be adept at such things...)

-- The Tea Party, bless their pea picking little hearts, cannot replace it. I expected last night to be the Tea Party's coming out party. The group that graduated from rallies and silly hats and and funny signs to staff party offices would flex its muscles and show itself as a mature and effective political movement. We/they could not even get Mia Love elected in UT-1. Yeah, Ted Cruz won in Texas, but Allen West is out and the stench of Coleridge albatross will deservedly hang over the Missouri and Indiana Senate races for six years.

-- Libertario Delenda Est? The new David Boaz book boasts -- boasts! -- that 15% of the electorate is libertarian. Hey! Our team is 22nd in defense in the NFL! Wooohooo!

Sorry, lads and lasses, but I am selling a product that nobody wants. Some of this is post-loss-funk, but only fools and Rep. Nancy Pelosi refuse to reevaluate after a thumping.

The refrain on CNBC last night was "we spent $2 Billion and still have the status quo ante: GOP House - Dem Senate - Dem White House." Today's right-wing line is that the president has no mandate. Balderdash. The forces of liberty were rend in twain last night.

Or as a good friend of this blog puts it succinctly in an email: "Well fuck...."

UPDATE: Prof, Jacobsen is more upbeat. And I confess the House retention contradicts my pessimism.

So what is the path now?

Stand with House members, they will need all the support they can get. Don't compromise on principles, and push the eventual legislative compromises to the right as much as possible.

View Tuesday as a substantial setback but not the end.

UPDATE II: And the WSJ Editorial Board:
Some of our conservative friends will argue that Mr. Obama's victory thus represents a decline in national virtue and a tipping point in favor of the "takers" over the makers. They will say the middle class chose Mr. Obama's government blandishments over Mr. Romney's opportunity society. We don't think such a narrow victory of an incumbent President who continues to be personally admired justifies such a conclusion.

Perhaps this fear will be realized over time, but such a fate continues to be in our hands. There are few permanent victories or defeats in American politics, and Tuesday wasn't one of them. The battle for liberty begins anew this morning.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:19 AM | Comments (10)
But Mrs. Keith Arnold thinks:

Echoing the hubby, I float the thought that of "Atlas Shrugging." I picked the hubby's brain as to how the book ended and you know, it's a long, hard road but if all goes as planned, it's a reset. Right now we're looking at the makings of the blue screen of death.

And not to add to the hubby's passionate diatribe about the wrongs in last night's election but Alan Grayson?? Really??

Posted by: Mrs. Keith Arnold at November 7, 2012 3:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

UPDATE: And pushing social liberty on my Republican friends:

One of the resolutions at this year's Colorado Republican Assembly was "Abortion and birth control are personal private matters and not the business of government." It was approved with 58 percent or so of delegate votes. When I explained this to a woman circulating a right-to-life petition at a Romney campaign appearance a man near us yelled at me, "Well they're WRONG!" No sir, YOU are wrong.

It's more depressing that elected leaders believe conservatives should abandon fighting for the life of the unborn.

Nobody should ever stop fighting for the life of the unborn, just stop trying to use government power to do it. A government powerful enough to prevent personal medical procedures is not what the Founders intended.

a govt unable & unwilling to protect the most sacred private property of all is not what the founders intended.

People are not property - born or unborn.

My life is my property. You have no right to infringe upon my god given property.

Really? Even if you were a pregnant woman and intended to murder your unborn baby?

Ya. Point?

Then you must believe that government has that right even if I do not.

You've lost me. We are all entitled to the God given right of life. But I've stated my case & I realize this is going nowhere.

To the contrary, I have just demonstrated how giving government the power to regulate pregnancy - in the name of the high "good" of life of the unborn - also gives government the power to impose economic fascism - in the name of the high "good" of altruism. If you don't see this obvious connection then please, give it some thought. THINK about what the principles you hold so dear really imply.
Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2012 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

@Mrs. Keith -- I'll see your Alan Grayson and raise you: Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee!

@Brother jg: subtract all the pro-life votes from the Red column last night and try to replace them with consistent leave-me-alone types. Edward Conard credits Roe v. Wade (and fusionism by reflection) with keeping the US out of European social policy.

As I said, I think the model is breaking down. But it is a very difficult one to replace.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2012 3:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with KA's analysis, and will concede that the desire for "statism, socialism and the dole" is a bigger factor than the right to party. I won't go as far though as to say America is a majority moocher/looter nation. We still oppose (barely) tax hikes on the rich.

But people see through hypocrisy. Demanding economic liberty while denying social liberty is such with a capital H.

The turning point we've reached is that without the pro-life votes or even with them, economic liberty loses. If we're going to rebuild the team for the long run the first step is to cut all of the players who, philosophically at least, carry water for the other team.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2012 3:58 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

It is bracing and encouraging to read the above comments. I am not going to give up fighting for liberty, not in the least. But I'm giving up on trying to change FedGov. Let us TAKE liberty for ourselves and our friends and loved ones. It was never GIVEN by any government, anyway. As Harry Browne (bless his heart) once wrote, "We accept that there can be free nations in an unfree world; why not free states in unfree nations, free towns in unfree states, free individuals in unfree towns?"

Or something like that. I haven't read the book in 15 years. I got the gist, though.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 7, 2012 6:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Not too far from Bill Whittle's suggestion (embedded a few posts above)

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2012 7:50 PM

Economic Collapse Planning Guide

Well that was certainly less than satisfying. And quite honestly unexpected. Kudos to dagny for seeing it coming. At this late hour with minimal effort having been expended in the analysis, I can only place the blame, once again, on modern America's refusal to be lectured on social mores.

While a majority of the bouncing, exuberant hoards of Obama supporters do look like drunken sailors itching for another 4-year spending binge I don't believe they could achieve electoral success without the single female vote (and the single males who wish to impress them) and their single-issue determination to punish the GOP for "allowing" Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock - a poor excuse for a TEA Party candidate if ever there was one - to represent the party. And the anti-gay marriage albatross isn't doing the party any favors either. If the GOP can't be successful without evangelicals, and if evangelicals can't learn to live and let live, then I say it's time to Burn This MF'er Down and rebuild the party from scratch. Kindred spirits: the Philadelphia Eagles and the GOP.

As for that economic collapse, the good news is that it approaches slowly. While America has willfully ignored another opportunity to change course, there will be time for more chances. External events may force a change. Staying Obama's course will reveal its folly. Tomorrow is another day. Don't just take my word for it, take Yaron Brook's.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2012

Kim Strassel's Prediction

Kim Strassel feels bound by the sacred covenant as well:

Predicting an election is risky business, but political journalists ought to be expected to take some risks. So I'm calling it for Mitt Romney.

She gives the Governor 289. That's mine, plus the Granite State, which I had saved for a way out if other picks went bad.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | Comments (0)

News Polls: Not worth the paper they're printed on

Revising political poll results to achieve a specific outcome by adjusting the sample is now so commonplace and so "oh, you mean that's not ok?" that newspapers are writing stories about it!

I predict this will be the post mortem lesson of this election - how the RCP average of political polls has exacerbated this practice. They had to go even further so that the bad polls can drag the good ones far enough to make the RCP average what the press wants it to be.

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

Libertario Delenda Est

I am on to something.

Xxxxxx wrote: "JK, that's [Christopher DeMuth's ObamaCare editorial] the most chilling summary I've heard that sways me toward a Romney vote. If we lose the free market completely, there is no going back, regardless of how much better the NEXT candidate could be."

Plus I am in good really awesome company. Randy Barnett (HOSS) has a guest editorial in the WSJ today:
As a young libertarian, I was very enthusiastic about the formation of the Libertarian Party. I proudly cast my vote for Roger MacBride for president. I attended the 1975 national convention in New York that nominated him. But, while I am as libertarian today as I was then, I have come to believe that the Libertarian Party was a mistake.

The reason is simple. Unlike a parliamentary system in which governments are formed by coalitions of large and small parties, our electoral system is a first-past-the-post, winner-take-all one in which a winning presidential candidate just needs to get more than 50% of the vote. This means each contending "major" party is itself a coalition that needs to assemble enough diverse voting groups within it to get to 51%. Hence the need to appeal to the so-called moderates and independents rather than the more "extreme" elements within.


Libertario Delenda Est. Like sister dagny, I will continue my quest win or lose. I intend to keep my focus on making the GOP more libertarian and libertarians more Republican. There will be much work either way.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:31 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome! Let me know if I will be needing to dip into my beer money.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2012 2:14 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

With you all down the line, brother!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 6, 2012 6:54 PM

November 5, 2012

Final Prediction

Blogger gotta stick neck out. It's in a contract somewhere. Sacred pundit covenant and all.

James Pethokoukis got me going -- dude is an optimist!

But I am too. I take Jimi P's and give Minnesota and Iowa to the President. That's still 285 -243, and Gov. Romney can afford to lose one more state, provided it isn't one that's round on the ends and high in the middle.

JK's:

Posted by John Kranz at 7:16 PM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

AlexC gets 278 without Ohio. Not implausible...

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2012 8:10 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

278? 285?

If 285 is your over/under, put me down for a round of beers on Over. And I don't plan on losing this.

Some optimism for you over at Ace: http://minx.cc/?post=334683

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 6, 2012 12:35 AM
But jk thinks:

I'll buy anybody a drink anywhere if it is over 285!

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2012 2:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll buy anybody a drink if it is over 269!!

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2012 4:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- then again, at 269, it gets thrown to the House, where we look pretty good. We could end up with Romney-Biden, in which case we'd all be drinking...

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2012 5:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, if it's 269 Biden buys the drinks. If it's less, free drinks for everyone - on the White House!

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2012 5:25 PM

Even the Children Learn

I respect the sobreity of brother Ellis' prior post but I do believe caution is in order. There's another equally possible outcome. After all, none of the republics which failed throughout history had the internet... or YouTube.

This episode has been on my mind since the summer of 2008. Now, on the eve of the referendum vote, it finally seems fully appropriate.


Posted by JohnGalt at 5:56 PM | Comments (1)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Thanks for that. Amazing how a little Star Trek can brighten up our notions of the future!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 5, 2012 7:34 PM

Kudlow: Optimists Win!

Putting aside all the voter models, there's one overlooked point worth making with Election Day at hand. Most times in American politics, optimists win, and pessimists lose. I know thats not always the case. And sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two. But in this election, I believe Mitt Romney is the optimist, and Barack Obama is the pessimist. It's Romney's election to win. -- Larry Kudlow
Posted by John Kranz at 5:51 PM | Comments (0)

Albert Jay Nock: The Masses and the Remnant

Have you read the Book of Isiah lately? As we head into tomorrow and the Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes, I recall what the great Albert Jay Nock had to say in The Atlantic Monthly back in 1936:

It was one of those prosperous reigns, however like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash. (...)

"Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don't mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you," He added, "that it won't do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life." (...)

Why, if all that were so if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start was there any sense in starting it? "Ah," the Lord said, "you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it." (...)

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.

One may, if one has actually had a semblance of an education, recall that the Founders made sure the masses would not have a real voice in how the United States was to be run. As in every Republic in history, this gradually broke down. 1913, 1933, 1965...each step in the process seemed right at the time. There were good reasons; all the best professors at America's finest universities taught them.

And so we have come to this pass. Tomorrow, I expect that the masses will reelect the President and accelerate the time whent he Remant must again rebuild a failing society. Take a deep breath, Three Sourcers. We are a piece of the Remnant and better put on our armor and sharpen our swords, for truly the Scheiss is coming.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 3:14 PM | Comments (4)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I realize that this is serving as a sort of election prediction. I would be delighted to be proven wrong tomorrow. If so, I will happily go right out of the Prophecy business!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 5, 2012 3:47 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Might I add, when the Scheiss hits the rotary impeller, it will not be distributed evenly.

Isaiah had an unenviable job laid out before him. I disagree with you about tomorrow's expectations, but even with the SCOAMF departing 1600 Pennsylvania, it only slows down the process. Eventually, all Republics follow the course of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

That being said, it will be the place of the Remnant to rebuild in the aftermath of the economic carnage, and I'd recall these words to your mind for that situation:

"The road is cleared," said Galt. "We are going back to the world."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 5, 2012 4:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"SURVIVOR: US Economic Collapse Edition"

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 5:16 PM
But dagny thinks:

Seems like there are several places I could put this reply but I am going to put it here because, I think I must be counted among the pessimists at this time. I don’t wish to be remnant. Such re-building will require guns, and hunger. I might survive such but as one of the few parents on this blog, I realize that it would be very hard on my little kids. It will cost them a childhood if not more.

I remember on election eve 4 years ago thinking that we would probably win because there was no way that 50% of our electorate was stupid enough to vote for such a thinly-veiled, failed socialist ideology. Boy was I wrong! I clearly misjudged our electorate. I still don’t think they are mostly stupid, naïve, uneducated, or lazy. I think they are mostly irrational. I don’t think they are intentionally or maliciously irrational. I think they are unknowingly trained to be irrational.

For example, many say that, “health care is a right, everyone should have healthcare.” But they also agree that Doctors, Nurses, and Janitors in hospitals deserve to be paid. So how can I have a, “right,” to someone else’s efforts? But the vast majority of Americans are capable of holding these and many other inherently contradictory ideas.

So I think they will re-elect Barack Obama because they are incapable of recognizing which policies have resulted in our current economic woes, and which policies might correct them based on rational analysis. I sure hope I am wrong again!

Win or lose, I will continue my efforts to fight the destruction of this country as we know it.

As my jg says, “Atlas Shrugged was a cautionary tale, not a blueprint.”

Posted by: dagny at November 5, 2012 8:45 PM

Predictions...

I am cautiously optimistic, thanks in part to videos like this:

Hat-tip: Terri, who's predicting Romney 53%

Posted by John Kranz at 2:52 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

R-R: Real Recovery.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 5:00 PM

Oh, is there an election tomorrow?

Listening to political hacks argue about polling data seemed foolish yesterday. We are hours away and I am content to bring on the one poll that counts. I was a bit disheartened to see Dr. Larry Sabato predict the President's reelection, but I carry on.

I made one last "Libertario Delenda Est" to a wavering libertarian musician buddy. He still is undecided between the evil Governor Romney and four more years. I thought about offering him jg's beer, but flipped a coin and instead shared Chris Demuth's A Referendum on ObamaCare and Liberty. Tuesday's choice on health care is pretty much irrevocable.

America is a large, wealthy, dynamic and heterogeneous nation. It is also the only major country that continues to maintain a health-care system with substantial elements of competitive supply, pricing freedom, patient choice, and diversity in approaching complex and uncertain medical problems.

Moving from a world with one such system to a world with none--a world with no major market where new medical drugs and devices can be priced to return large investments in research and development, for example--will fundamentally change the prospects for future medical progress.

The most important result of ObamaCare will go beyond health care, though, to the dynamics of American politics. Today, the details of federal government policy are important primarily to those in heavily regulated sectors such as finance, energy and communications; to professionals such as lawyers and tax accountants; and to those who for one reason or another are dependent on public assistance. Between elections, most members of the American middle class can go about their lives with little distraction from Washington.
[...]
Every middle-class American of every age and circumstance will be constantly in the government's sights. The tendency--already evident at the state level--will be to require generous, subsidized coverage of routine health and "wellness" services involving lifestyle, cosmetics, amenity and child development; of "preventive medicine" such as weight-reduction programs; and of "alternative medicine" such as massage and herbal therapies. At the same time (as already evident under Medicare) the treatment of infrequent but costly catastrophic diseases and conditions will be limited in the name of cost control, and the case-by-case discretion of doctors and other providers will be closely monitored and restricted.


That, and brother jg's beer...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Sabato Rabbito. You can't believe anything he says - his predictions come from a Crystal Ball! We clearly need a dose of Michael Barone who predicts, based on fundamentals, Romney in a landslide. (That's my word. Barone's is "handily.")

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 1:40 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I was quite surprised by Barone's predictions. I have successfully predicted every presidential election since 1980 and I HAVE NO IDEA what's going to happen. I am quite disconcerted right this minute. "Too close to call" is not in my usual vocabulary, but...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 5, 2012 2:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I see that my work here is not yet done!

It's commonly known that the 2008 election had 8% more Democrat turnout than Republican. A Rasmussen poll predicted this. In 2010 Rasmussen predicted the Dems would still have an advantage, but only 3 points. In actuality it was +0 or "even." In 2012 Rasmussen predicts, with an even larger sample size, GOP +6.

Add to this that every poll shows unaffiliateds breaking for Romney by double digits and the only way Obama can win is through election fraud that would make Hugo Chavez jealous. It's possible though - the media and their polls are already singing from the [Dem] party songbook.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As for the article that is the subject of this post, it makes a point that in retrospect has been mostly absent from the campaign:

On Tuesday, Americans will go to the polls to choose whether or not to nationalize their health-care system.

And the fine article is available free in its entireity. It seems that WSJ wants to make sure as many voters as possible read it.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Barone prediction is based on Romney winning by a tiny sliver in a lot of places. The winner-take-all Electoral College magnifies hair-breadth popular vote victories.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 5, 2012 3:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

True, which makes elections more strategic than in a pure popular vote. Some call this "disenfrancisement" (of east coast Republicans or southern or mountain-west Democrats.) I call it laboratories of Democracy.

If those hair-breadth differences fall for Obama then he could win the electoral college with a minority of the popular vote total.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2012 5:08 PM

November 2, 2012

"American Conservative" Delenda Est!

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Frickin'. KIDDING ME. Check out the writers at the "American Conservative" and who they're voting for for President. Some for a "Virgil Goode," whomever that worthy gentleman might be. Some for Gary Johnson. A handful for Mitt Romney and if I count correctly, more than that number for...waiting for you to prepare your mind for the horror...Barack Hussein Obama.

But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 2:44 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

My gut reaction is to propound that "American Conservative," as used at that site, is two lies for the price of one.

Then I did a more thoughtful read.

I certainly appreciate the respect for ideological diversity among the opinions; unlike, say, HuffingPaint or PMSNBC, which is uniformly far leftist. The fact is that our opponents are monolithically in such lockstep that any black who dares leave the plantation, think for himself, and vote Republican is a traitorous Uncle Tom (something that is NOT an insult to anyone who has actually read Ms. Stowe's excellent book, by the way). Put another way, we are tolerant of an individual's right to be wrong, where they are intolerant of a serf's right to be free of the hivemind.

A number of the writers object to Romney's history of being other than lifelong, doctrinaire conservative; I'm gullible enough, perhaps, to have been persuaded Romney is more conservative himself than governing deep-blue Massachusetts allowed him to be. Even if I'm not right, he's better and more conservative that Obama, and that's inarguable.

I'd propose asking these writers to define "conservative" and tell what attributes demonstrate it, then explain how their candidate measures up against that standard. That could tell us more about the writers than the candidates...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 2, 2012 4:23 PM
But jk thinks:

I can do no better than quote me hero, FA Hayek: "Why I am Not a Conservative."

Posted by: jk at November 2, 2012 4:57 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

KA - Yes, and yes. There are several writers there who I respect quite a lot, and several make a good anti-Neocon case; but that a "conservative" could vote for Obama is not comprehensible, at least to me.

For example, Leon Hadar: That is why I will vote for Obama, hoping also that a defeat for the Republican presidential ticket will ignite a serious debate on the future of the GOP and bring about changes in the leadership and direction of a party that seems to be currently dominated by the strange triumvirate of Dick Cheney, Rick Santorum, and John Galt.

(???). I suppose it could simply be that some writers for the "American Conservative" are actually not conservative, but that's a different problem.

ADDED: The idea of the nation led by the "triumvirate" of Cheney, Santorum and Galt is strangely appealing.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 2, 2012 5:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, "yes, no and yes." I both laugh and cry when a fellow anti-statist makes one or more of the following claims:

-"A defeat for the Republican presidential ticket will ignite a serious debate on the future of the GOP and bring about changes in the leadership and direction of [the] party." Yeah, like the defeat of McCain-Palin did. The TEA Party took its seat at the table and you're STILL pissin' and moanin'.

-"The American system must be allowed to implode before it can be rebuilt properly." Dude, Atlas Shrugged was a cautionary tale, not a blueprint!

The most powerful way to reform the Republican party is through competition, and the only serious competition will ever come from the other major party. The way to get "serious" reform of the GOP is to burn down and rebuild (or just peacefully reinvent) the Democrat party. Toward that end, see the article I Tweeted earlier today.

Posted by: johngalt at November 2, 2012 5:34 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Brother jg - thank you sir, your tweet did bring me to the article, which was a remarkable island of sanity for the PuffHo.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 2, 2012 6:17 PM

November 1, 2012

Crazy Barry's Car Lot!

Hat-tip: Mark Tapscott @ Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2012

Deposit five 20s in the jar.

Imagine if Governor Romney's campaign had accepted donations from "Osama Bin Laden" from a Pakastani IP address:

A Jerusalem journalist writing for a conservative website reported Monday night that he was able to make two small financial contributions to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in the name of the late terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Aaron Klein, writing for WorldNetDaily, said he successfully made campaign donations of $15 and $5 through a "proxy" service that masked his location and provided the Obama campaign website with a Pakistani Internet Protocol (IP) address instead.

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 3:42 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ed Morrissey makes a contribution as well, along with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Deborah Saunders:

Now ask yourself this: If George W. Bush were president, and the press didn't know what he did on the evening of the Benghazi attack, do you think there would be the same focus in the media? I think we know the answer.
Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2012 4:06 PM

Burn Baby Burn

Dagny and I took time out of our morning to vote early this year. I won't divulge our choice except to say we voted in furtherance of the effort to "burn this motherf*cker down."

It seems we are in good company:

Isn't early voting supposed to be Democrats' secret weapon, with which they run up the score, then dare the GOP to catch up on Election Day?
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:07 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

You're in great company. The lovely bride and I just returned from mailing the ballot + Starbucks® to read your post.

"Burn this motherf*cker down!" Kinda catchy!

Posted by: jk at October 30, 2012 1:30 PM
But Sugarchuck thinks:

Burn this motherf*cker down! Words to live by.

Posted by: Sugarchuck at October 30, 2012 5:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

YES! Especially if you are The Dukes of Moral Hazard.

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2012 7:10 PM

October 29, 2012

Benghazigate Update

The Washington DC CBS affiliate reported today this statement by Senator John McCain on Face the Nation yesterday:

"Nobody died in Watergate. But this [handling of Ambassador Stevens' murder by terrorists] is either a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable service to the American people," McCain told "Face the Nation." "The American people may take that into consideration a week from Tuesday."

In Why did Obama choose to stand down in Benghazi? a Powerline blogger expounds on the General Petraeus revelation that "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need" as was posted here in a comment on Friday.

Voters, then, must assess the administrations handling of Benghazi with limited information. But we do know this: (1) the administration erred grievously by leaving open our mission in Benghazi while turning down requests for more security, (2) the administration made the wrong decision on the day of the attack by not bringing our military to bear, a decision consistent with Obamas instincts, and (3) the administration has not been forthcoming or honest in its discussion of Benghazi after the fact.

These facts, without more, present a serious indictment of Obama.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:59 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

"We're winning this race," senior political strategist David Axelrod insisted, citing early voting data. He warned: "You're gonna get spun and spun and spun in the next week," as if he were not spinning reporters himself, attacking the opposition vehemently. -- Joel Pollak
Posted by John Kranz at 5:26 PM | Comments (0)

Wheedon "endorses" Romney

Hey, lookie here Wheedon fans!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:19 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

The man who brought us "Firefly..."

Posted by: jk at October 29, 2012 12:34 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

However, his pronunciation of "Ann" Rand shows he doesn't really understand.

Everybody understands Mickey Mouse. Few understand Hermann Hesse. Only a handful understood Albert Einstein. And nobody understood Emperor Norton.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 29, 2012 5:13 PM
But Terri thinks:

The ultimate in government help: Reavers, or do I mean zombies?

Posted by: Terri at October 31, 2012 10:37 AM
But dagny thinks:

What a great metaphor Terri: Reavers as the unintended consequences of government help of all kinds.

I find it hard to believe that this comes from the man who brought us Mal Reynolds, "We were on the losing side, still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Posted by: dagny at October 31, 2012 11:33 AM

October 27, 2012

Great Political Ad!

How about a little partisan hackery, Scarecrow?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Great ad. But isn't the president forgetting to warn of the Romney zombie apocalypse? [next post]

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2012 12:25 PM

October 26, 2012

Quote of the Day

Exactly what Bob Dylan was warning about in "Subterranean Homesick Blues" -- Camille Paglia, describing her dissatisfaction with President Obama (13:15)
Solid Gold, good people, book 15 minutes and watch this edition of Instavision coast to coast.

Bonus Link: The Subterranean Homesick Blues Google Ad

Posted by John Kranz at 1:51 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Lots to like. We'd agree on much, she and I. I'll skip talking about our agreements and see if you noticed the same deficiency I did: Obamacare is "Stalinist" but the Democratic party needs to be remade, because it is not genuinely "Progressive." In my understanding of the world those two terms are synonymous, not alternatives. Lots of gray area, I know, but Progressivism is at its core egalitarian, no?

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2012 4:40 PM

Meanwhile, on Facebook

I couldn't keep this all to myself:

I realize I may have shortened telemeters on my "cute kid" gene, but the celebration of abdicating reason frightens me.

JUST ADDED: "Little ones are often reliable judges of character."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:22 PM | Comments (6)
But Steve D thinks:

I hope they are only kidding.

Posted by: Steve D at October 26, 2012 1:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno. They're certainly not kidding. They are doing the parent/cute kid thing and I'm trying to reverse roles and envision what I might say. And brace myself for blog parents to tell me I'm taking it too seriously.

But there is no real concern with following the lead of a two year old who cannot pronounce the candidates' names.

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2012 2:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In their defense, I'm sure they would say they chose The Big Zero first (using their rational reasoning emotions) and pretending the two-year old's approval is validative is just an adorable helping of cute fun. In reality the two-year old is a bald, wingless parrot. (I should know - my children say "Boo, Barack Obama!" and "We don't hate Obama, we only hate his ideas" and "My daddy shook hands with Mitt Romney!")

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2012 3:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: I went out for lunch today, here in Boulder. The couple in the buffet line behind me - Rachel Maddow [lookalike] and an nondescript metrosexual - were chatting about the election: "I saw a report that if the rest of the world were able to vote in our election, Obama would win in a landslide." There was also discussion of "apology tour" and foreign policy.

I really wanted to engage them but knew my chances of breaking through the protein coat of their oneworldview in less than 11 days is too close to zero. My point is, they really do think they have reasons to prefer their and the president's worldview, and those reasons are strong enough in their minds to outweigh the empirical evidence of what they are doing to American prosperity.

I admire your pithy attempt to counsel reason to the baby-talk demographic. Clearly though, they ignored you. How about this:

"If your dear neice is comfortable enough to be so charming because of her Chinese made footie pajamas and a home heated with natural gas from fracking and lighted by cheap electricity from Wyoming coal, perhaps you should explain to her that Bok Owama's policies will "necessarily" require mommy and daddy to spend her Kwanza present money on more expensive "energy of the future." At least, that is, whenever the sun shines or the wind blows. Or won't mommy and daddy understand that until the power quits and the higher bills arrive in the mailbox?"

It's possible that would get a response.

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2012 4:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't thihk that would get "3 Likes..."

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2012 4:47 PM
But Steve D thinks:

'I saw a report that if the rest of the world were able to vote in our election, Obama would win in a landslide.'

But if Poland was the only country voting in our election, Obama would lose in a landslide.

Posted by: Steve D at October 29, 2012 11:09 AM

October 25, 2012

Maybe we should talk about Big Bird

I whined. The Obama campaign and my Fiendish Facebook Friends (FFF) were all talking about Big Bird when I thought that a terrorist attack on US soil on the anniversary of 9/11 and a subsequent cover-up was more important. And, yeah, I was right.

But. I always hope to engage people on the size and scope of government. Big Bird is illustrative.

How will we ever cut anything? For months, the spending party asks "What will you cut?" "You have to tell us what you will cut!" Poor Governor Romney says "Big Bird."

Poor yellow fella:

Far from being a pauper, Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the beloved children's television program that has become an unlikely point of partisan bickering in the presidential campaign, has put away more than $100 million in investments, including more than $20 million in hedge funds and $9.7 million in a private equity fund.

PBS, the partially publicly funded network that broadcasts "Sesame Street" and its marquee character Big Bird, has come under fire from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who says the government cannot afford to support it anymore. President Obama has leapt to Big Bird's defense on the stump and in campaign ads.

The FFF were quick to point out that it was a small amount of money, by government standards. And the discussion is fraught with peril, as the show is both popular and contributes to public good / general welfare.

Yet, if we cannot yank some subsidies from this avian one percenter, in a market very well served by private competition, all hope is lost.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:34 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

By all means taxpayers, keep borrowing money from China and give it to Sesame Street so they can grow their nest egg to $200 million. But in the process you might ask yourself, "Why is a non-profit so profitable?" Their profit margin is bigger than Exxon-Mobil's!

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2012 2:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Great point on XOM but [Internecine alert!] I don't care for the Governor's preferred locution of "borrowing money from China to pay for . . . " I'm rather sensitive about his China-bashing race to the bottom on trade. And I find from whom we borrow irrelevant against on which we spend.

Our dear friends in China make lovely bankers and swell trading partners. It is we who suck as borrowers and ungrateful buyers.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2012 3:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair cop, but can we agree that it is a powerful metaphor? And if it helps make the end of Obamacare possible [by defeating the incumbent president's reelection bid] isn't it worth it?

As for whether he keeps this campaign promise, I can live with a President Romney "reducing American borrowing from China" in the sense that it will require a reduction in goverment spending.

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2012 3:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah. It's the general, and the blog pragmatist is offering wide latitude to the Governor and all his supporters.

"Good populism" it may be, but I was surprised to see it on ThreeSources.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2012 10:34 AM

October 24, 2012

Good Line!

In the "War on Poverty," poverty is winning!

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is telling voters in Ohio that poverty is winning in the war on poverty.

In a speech Wednesday, Ryan said he and running mate Mitt Romney would work to help poor people climb out of poverty and help middle-class workers feel they are on stronger financial ground. He says all Americans should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, no matter their background.

Ryan also criticized existing anti-poverty programs that he says are not working. He says that for all the money spent on such programs, the government could give each poor person a check for $22,000.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:21 PM | Comments (0)

Oh Yeah!

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

Otequay of the Ayday

Huh?

"Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don't believe in," an impassioned Johnson said. "That's wasting your vote. I'm asking everybody here, I'm asking everybody watching this nationwide to waste your vote on me."

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, during a debate with three other snowballs in Chicago yesterday.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:00 PM | Comments (0)

Undecided...

I was going to send in my ballot, but have decided to wait to see what happens with the big 25-year-old divorce case that Gov. Romney testified in -- that could blow this whole thing wide open...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

The President says he'll use community colleges to train another two million workers "for good jobs that actually exist," perhaps to distinguish these from the jobs he said the 2009 stimulus would create but actually didn't. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2012

Fact Check of the Day

I have to admit, these are pretty fun when they roll your way.

Math. Is. Hard.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:32 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Uhhhh...RITH-ma-tick.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2012 5:31 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Well, since a trillion dollars is now the new unit of importance being of by a few million jobs here or there is just a rounding error in Bizarro FedGov World!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 23, 2012 5:44 PM

Theme Song for Obama's Last Days

I was thinking about a proper theme song for Election Night, and it came to me! I know these guys have been a huge success for over 35 years and Brian Johnson did a fine job, but for me the only Real Thing was the few dazzling years when Bon Scott brought his inimitable writing and style.

Play it on Nov. 6 and raise a glass to the man. "Skål", brother!

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 2:21 PM | Comments (12)
But johngalt thinks:

Kept in the proper perspective, it couldn't hurt to be prepared in advance with a playlist.

Johnny Winter - 'Be Careful With a Fool'

Wherein even a fool in love eventually sees the light.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2012 4:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The Doors - 'When the Music's Over'

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2012 5:25 PM
But jk thinks:

The hubris is getting a little out of hand. But I'd have this handy.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2012 5:52 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Playlist ready! Set your iPhone or other device to STUN!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 23, 2012 8:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Blog buddy sc sends a link to the Allman Brothers' Whipping Post.

Don't know if it was part of this thread or just sharing a little "Bro Duane," but if we lose...

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2012 12:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good! That one fits my feeling of the last four years. Here's hoping we may play the other songs instead, and your classic rejoinder is a must-play in that case. Kudos for linking the original artist.

Toward that end, one more addition. Not the original, this is an excellent cover of a well traveled Bob Seger tune, but the photo montage is a must-see.

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2012 2:14 PM

October 22, 2012

Advising Romney In the Final Debate

Shortly after the second presidential debate, The Refugee reflected on the Benghazi moment. He postulated that if Chris Christie had been on stage, Christie's prosecutorial instincts would have kicked in and would have shredded Obama in his lie. That's not a criticism of Romney, since Romney is not a prosecutor. The point is, the debate on foreign policy should be approached like a prosecution of the president.

Tonight's debate holds a huge advantage for Romney: he has no foreign policy record to defend and the president does. That means that he can put the president on the defense from the get-go and keep him there. Romney does need to articulate enough of a vision (without platitudes) to reach a threshold of acceptability. However, it will be difficult for Obama to attack him without sounding like the same old scare-tactics that are no longer working.

Romney's stategy in the first debate was to keep it fact-based. Everytime he uses facts and figures, he scores points. If he does that skillfully tonight, it could be a big night for the challenger.

BONUS: If Obama finds a way to work the 47% comment into the discussion, Romney should say, "Don't forget, Mr. President, 47% of the people didn't vote for you in the last election."

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2012

Didn't see that one coming

Gov. Romney gets the coverted LiLo endorsement:

Lindsay Lohan came out in support of Mitt Romney yesterday.

While most would, at first glance, write this off as gossip, it's the latest instance of an evolving trend that jeopardizes President Obama's chance at winning the White House.

Lohan, by all accounts, is a typical low-information voter. And low information voters, like it or not, will decide this election.


Bryan Caplan, call your office...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2012

Quote of the Day

But the single biggest metaphorical crotch-kick of the night came from great-grandson Al Smith IV, who told President Obama, "We recognize that you have some challenges this year. It's never good when your opponent has produced more sons than you have jobs." -- via Jim Geraghty [video]
Posted by John Kranz at 10:22 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I hope this doesn't get out, the President is absolutely charming here.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2012 10:48 AM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

You are so right, brother jk. It's really the most I've ever liked the guy. If I didn't think he was ruining the country with his policies I'd vote for him...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 19, 2012 5:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Wow, not my reaction at all. I thought he was likeable to an average degree but no more. His jokes were bare minimum grade funny. His demeanor was depressed. I viewed him as a pathetic character worthy of pity. I actually felt sorry for him - trying to campaign on his record is its own form of Sissyphean undertaking.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was confident, hilariously funny and - absolutely charming. His wit was mercilessly biting. "In the spririt of Sesame Street, the Obama Administration is brought to you by the letter "O" and the number "16 trillion." OUCH!

It was reported that after the speeches everyone wanted to meet Mitt, even the liberals.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2012 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me try an olive branch... each showed an unexpected side. Romney was surprisingly biting. I, too, dug several of the lines but was pretty surprised at their ferocity. Plus, Gov. Romney's close was solid gold. I'd buy all the TV time in Ohio and run that as an ad.

Where one expected nice Romney and got fierce Romney, I was expecting fierce-bordering-on-petty Obama. A little self-effacing humor, however, really serves the President well. Had he mastered that as well as he does it here, he would be up 20 points in the polls.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2012 7:30 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Now I have watched Romney and I agree he was very strong indeed.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 19, 2012 9:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I told him so in person Saturday night but I want to note for the record that I agree with jk's assessment of the nuances of the two men's presentations. And the president was self-effacing, to a point. But I think I've seen that from him before, at least in deference to Michele if none else. I just don't think whatever charm he might have displayed outweighed the other characteristics I listed above.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2012 2:35 PM

October 18, 2012

"Fiery" Obama lost Debate 2

Blog brother jk called it a "trial to be endured" and my very own dear dagny said she has no idea what I am smoking, but the boys at IBD's editorial page (and presumably whatever women they have in their binders) have my back. I called it "95% awesome" and they give the blow by blow here. Here is a taste:

As he had done previously, Romney let the numbers highlight Obama's failure.

"We don't have to settle for gasoline at four bucks," he said. "We don't have to settle for unemployment at a chronically high level. We don't have to settle for 47 million people on food stamps. We don't have to settle for 50% of kids coming out of college not able to get work. We don't have to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job."

"Fiery" Obama had no retorts.

Yes, I understand we're talking "objectively" here and that perceptions can be spun. So does IBD, closing with "unfortunately, the media spin has only just begun."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (6)
But Terri thinks:

I completely appreciate his attempt to change what people think about when they hear 47%. That move was awesome.

Posted by: Terri at October 18, 2012 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

I did not mean to imply that I thought the Governor did not do well. Just that I do not enjoy the debates.

The discussion is rarely cerebral, the conditions always favor the statists, and the stakes are high. GHWB looked at his watch -- clearly unfit for the Presidency! I've got a binder full of such examples.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2012 7:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I'll see your IBD and raise you Jay Norldinger! He makes me sound cheerful.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2012 7:18 PM
But dagny thinks:

Speaking of Binders, will someone please explain to me what is so inappropriate about Gov. Romney's binder comment??? Clearly noone shrunk women down and put them in binders so what he actually received was binders full of resumes. Before the days of email, how else would one acquire requested resumes? Was it not appropriate for him to say, "my staff does not have enough diversity, can someone please provide me with resumes from qualified female applicants?"

Posted by: dagny at October 18, 2012 7:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps they're trying to imply, even subconsciously, that "binders" are like the "chains" that Biden talked about.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2012 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

I'd give the last word to our favorite XX-chromosomed blog friend at Ruminants.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2012 7:41 PM

Put a Dollar in the Jar, 'Lizbeth

Elizabeth Price Foley wonders about the First Lady's behavior. "One of the rules of decorum in the debate was that applause was not permitted (for obvious reasons). Can you imagine how the MSM would excoriate Ann Romney if she had done something so rude and inappropriate?"

Posted by John Kranz at 2:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2012

Romney v Obama 2.0

If you missed Tuesday's second Presidential Debate there is reason for regret. The mutual beligerance was spectacular. At one point, as they stood within arms reach of each other, I could imagine the president taking a poke at the ever needling challenger from Massachusetts. He didn't. But the feeling persisted. Post-debate analysis informed me that "female voters are turned off by such combativeness." Tough luck. The guy writing to you right now loved it.

I thought Mitt made great points with broad appeal - yes, to women too - and the president was left to repeat a few threadbare attacks. When a question on Libya was asked I started jumping and cheering. President Obama claimed to have called the murder of Chris Stevens et. al. "an act of terror" as early as the next day. Having his prey right where he wanted him... exposed for concocting a fanciful story about Islam bashing movie trailers and spontaneous civil outrage in the Arab street, all Mitt Romney needed to do was ask, "Why then did your UN Ambassador make the Sunday show circuit to insist that it was NOT a terrorist act? Why did you, yourself, tell David Letterman and Joy Behar and the entire UN General Assembly that aforementioned movie trailer story? But instead, Mitt tried to catch Obama in a lie, stating that President Obama took a full 14 days to refer to the consulate assault as a "terrorist attack." S.E. Cupp explains the magnitude of the misfire:

And the real disappointment lies not in the fact that Romney lost a point in the debate or that Obama scored big among his supporters. Its that Romneys failed attempt at putting Obama in the hot seat did considerable damage to the bigger war the war for truth. Those of us who have been screaming for more accountability on Libya and demanding answers were actually winning. We were, albeit slowly, holding feet to the fire and finally getting those answers we deserved. But because of Romneys mishap, some of that progress has been stolen back. For the time being at least, the narrative is no longer that we need answers on Libya, but that Romney needs a fact-checker. That is a sobering disappointment.

It seems that even I know more about Benghazigate than Romney does. Somebody make him do some seat-time with Fox News Channel.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Glad one of us enjoyed it. You can sign me up for more of the Broncos - Raiders debates (and even then, I was 3/4 through before actually admitting that Gov. Romney was doing well).

The President offers free stuff paid for by rich people payingtheirfairshare: pretty appealing to a bunch of "undecideds." The Governor, bless his pea-pickin' little heart, responds not with freedom but with a different plan to help the middle class.

No, these are trials to be endured, I haven't enjoyed one since Bush - Gore.

You left out, methinks, the big deal. Poised to pounce on Benghazi -- moderator Candy Crowley interrupts with an unfactual fact check. It would have been inappropriate even if true.

Memo to 2016 nominee: no media moderated debates.

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2012 8:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, "our" guy promised some populist bullcrap. I even Tweeted on one of them. But a flawed system with a flawed electorate do not besmirch the pragmatic politician who manipulates them to win election. I give him the benefit of the doubt on "keeping China honest" because I believe he is a free-trader at heart.

Once he is elected, President Romney will eliminate Commerce, Energy, Education, HUD and Labor, will privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, return student loans to private lenders, tie foreign aid to business development and require every nation hosting American military forces to pay a reimbursement for the honor. Or at least, when we lobby for those things, we'll at least get a hearing.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2012 11:38 AM
But dagny thinks:

No, I have no idea what jg is smoking.

Posted by: dagny at October 17, 2012 12:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mitt must be saying something to convince someone he intends to dismantle the entitlement state. (Or maybe community organizers are spreading vicious rumors of self-reliance and spending cuts by Governor Romney.) Threats to assassinate him exploded on Twitter after the debate.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2012 12:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

By the way, after sleeping on it I realized I beat the dog for fixing dinner and setting the table, but folding the napkins incorrectly. Excepting for pragmatic populism, Mitt was 95% awesome. Just kept the bat on his shoulder during that slow, fat, hanging Libyan curveball.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2012 2:27 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Since the next and last debate this coming Monday is explicitly on foreign policy I'd say he's going to get the equivalent of another at-bat! And likely have memorized a minute-by-minute of reality v. White House spin.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 17, 2012 6:07 PM

Is that a Fact?

Inspired by an old friend, I fact-checked the original Fact Checker: the folks at the Annenberg Center. It was not an inspiring event. Generally, FactCheck.Org appears to be more solid than the hyperventilating hyperpartisans at "Pants on Fire!" PolitiFact but are still more than happy to rely on rhetoric and ignore the inconvenient. Where does

Ryan at one point ground out a collection of shopworn misstatements
fit in with fact checking?

I searched for Biden's statement about voting against both wars - surely a "howler" if there was one - and it didn't appear to be worth Annenberg's time.

And lastly, one bald-faced lie

Ryan is also wrong to claim that not one of [the {IPAB} board members] even has to have medical training.
, FC claims to disprove this here and here. Neither follow on page contains any facts that dispute what Ryan said.

FC.org says the law says the members must include national health care experts, physicians and other health care professionals, economists, and representatives of consumers and seniors. Only one of the category mentioned - per FC's interpretation - in the law necessarily has medical training, and it's not by my reading required that ALL are needed (aka, must there be a physician?).

I shouldn't be shocked, and I'm not. But I am disappointed.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:34 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Save us from the fact checkers!

I'm not generally a millenarian, but I wonder that the media is performing so poorly in this election cycle it will finally break open and people will accept what shills they are.

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2012 8:56 AM

October 12, 2012

The VP Debate in One Quote

Perhaps a chuckle here and a chuckle there could have achieved the mission of making us think that Biden doesn't respect Paul Ryan, but without making Biden himself seem like he'd had a big long bong hit in the green room. -- Kieth Koffler
Hat-tip: Blog friend Terri @ Ruminants (via Bookworm Room, Neoneocon)
Posted by John Kranz at 1:36 PM | Comments (0)

...but he wasn't real!

Who you believe won last night's vice presidential debate seems to be largely determined by who you were rooting for. The Left gave it hands-down to Biden and the Right did the same for Ryan. The real story on both sides, however, is the snark - or aggressiveness, depending your perspective - shown by Biden throughout the debate. There's much speculation as to how this will play in the middle with "undecided" and unaffiliated voters. While admitting a bias, The Refugee has concluded that it probably won't play well.

Having grown up in uber-Liberal Boulder, The Refugee is always amazed by middle-of-the-road voter's penchant for politicians who are "real" and can "connect." (So what if their policies bankrupt the nation?) Last night, Biden was anything but "real." His act was just that - contrived and rehearsed like a middle school play. He even had the teenage hair flips, except without the hair.

Will he connect with middle America? Probably not, but he did provide some salve for wounded leftist egos, such as Chris Matthews' and Rachel Maddow's. But, winning the election is not about playing to TV personalities who are to the left of Karl Marx. As far as the election is concerned, he was at best neutral. Likeability, by most pundits estimation, is what has kept Obama/Biden in the race. That advantage may be squandered in the Dem ticket's attempt to play "man."

UPDATE: This, from "Our Peggy" Noonan in today's WSJ:

National Democrats keep confusing strength with aggression and command with sarcasm. Even the latter didn't work for Mr. Biden. The things he said had the rhythm and smirk of sarcasm without the cutting substance.
Posted by Boulder Refugee at 1:08 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yes, my Facebook page filled quickly with approbation for the Vice President and the moderator. Not sure what channel they were watching...

Somebody said (sorry I have forgotten who) "You can't really have an intelligent argument with the bar drunk yelling in the corner." I was disappointed that there was not more space for ideas.

Chairman Ryan's closing statement was superb, but as I whined on Ruminants, I don't know how many endured the 89 minutes of pain to hear it.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2012 3:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My take last night was,

i) Biden got in some good points on letters for Stimulus money and abortion;
ii) Biden admitted White House is either clueless or lying about Libya;
iii) Ryan got in a subtle jab about Biden gaffes and appeared polite and knowledgeable but was otherwise unimpressive;
iv) Biden mannerisms were over the top and would hopefully backfire. As the performance aged Ryan would look better and Biden poorer.

This last expectation does seem to be coming true. Final analysis - a draw. The excessive affectations seemed to me indicative of a man who was trying too hard, either from desperation or a hero complex, trying to "save the team." It'll be interesting to see how much, if any, of that is adopted by the President in his next debate.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2012 4:15 PM

October 10, 2012

The Faint, Distant Sound of a Stampede

My favorite type of column to titter over is "cloistered political intellectual lectures man/woman actually in the arena about how to campaign."

As a political/government professional myself for the last 12 years, I can attest that it's the easiet thing in the world to sit on a $900 office chair in Bel Air, Manhattan or Georgetown and write critical columns, just like the fat, old guys who scream in print every Monday about how Mark Sanchez should have thrown it away instead of taking a sack with two minutes left.

Our Miss Noonan has fallen into this mode occasionally, but I don't really count her becasue she was "in the arena" with the Reagan administration. Andrew Sullivan, in the manner of a hysterical maiden aunt, has been the most reliably entertaining figure in this genre the last few years...but now comes Michael Tomasky.

Mikey's actually been around for quite awhile--I recall him running something called "Guardian America" a few years back, which tells you where he's coming from. Anyway, let's get right to the Piece in Question:

How Obama Needs to Make Mitt Unacceptable Again

(...) Question: Is it possible to make a guy who has crossed the acceptable threshold look unacceptable again? Well, first, it depends on how far across that threshold he is. If hes vaulted miles across it, probably not. But if hes just slithered across it, then yes. And I think Romney is still more the latter than the former.

Others disagree. Theres this conversation going on, even if somewhat subtextually, among liberals right now. On the one side are those with the view that these shifting voters were parked with Obama but just waiting for any excuse to desert him (because of the economy, chiefly), and now they have that excuse, so theyre gone. Thats the Eeyore School. The other schoolwhat to call it? The Tigger School? Or perhaps name it after Pooh himself, with his quizzical faith in human (animal) nature?thinks no, it isnt that dark. People just saw one clearly superior debate performance, but it doesnt mean theyre gone forever.


Subtextually? Really? I've seen this all over the last six days. Here's a harsh reality, Mike: Obama had an unusually large number of supporters who liked him because he was in soft focus, like leading ladies in the old movies. He was cool. he was Hopey. He was freakin' Kumbaya. These people were ready to go as soon as the President didn't make them feel good. Last week, in one night, several millions lost that loving feeling.

Mike goes on with long passages of his ideas in quotes. This is a classic intellecto-journo method; "Mr. Candidate you should just copy and paste this passage into your next debate book. It's in quotes!"

Here's where it gets even better: the laundry list of stuff Obama should challenge Romney to a fistfight on:

On abortion rights. On equal pay. On contraceptive access. On the Supreme Court. On the environment. On clean air. On Republican failures over the years and why conservative dogma doesnt work. On Bush economics vs. Clinton economics. On Detroit and the bailout. On what Romney did at Bainmaximizing profits whether doing so created jobs or killed them. On the 47 percent, to whom Romney apologized in the most staged and insincere manner possible
. Oh please, Mr. President! There's only one problem here, which is that a plurality of the voters agree with Romney on many of these issues! Probably not in Mikey's DC area neighborhood, but in Ohio and Wisconsin and Colorado.

And Gack, at the end he posits that some of [this work] needs to be done "by Joe Biden on Thursday."

Oh, there's more. "What he'll do in a second term." Of course no one in "Chicago" has thought of that before. They know damn well that if they say what Obama wants to do in a second term it will scare the scheiss out of the productive class and lose in a landslide. Less than four weeks until Election Day and we have No. Freaking. Idea. of what Obama wants to do in a second term. For good reason.

All because Obama's top guys aren't listening enough to Michael Tomasky. Read it for the entertainment value--not as much fun as Andrew Sullivan's bathetic caterwauling, but a sort of "how (not) to" guide to campaigning.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 1:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2012

Neutralizing the OBL Advantage

About the only success of the Obama administration that is agreed upon by all sides is the killing of Osama bin Laden. As the debate turns to foreign affairs, Our Empty-Chair-in-Chief will no doubt attempt to ride this success to a second term. When the topic comes up, here is The Refugee's modest suggestion for dealing with it:

Mr. President, you are to be congratulated on the killing of Osama bin Laden as a major American victory. I also congratulate the Seal team that conducted the operation and hail their extraordinary bravery that few of us watching the event unfold on our TVs could ever muster.

At the same time, we must acknowledge that this victory was a decade in the making by thousands of dedicated intelligence personnel working painstakingly and tirelessly until the finally got their man.

We must also acknowledge that their work was aided by technology that was decades in the making. Stealth technology, secure communications equipment, surveillance equipment, tactics and training that make America's military second to none. All these advances were supported and funded by presidents for use well beyond their own terms in office.

The defense cuts that you have proposed will have consequences for decades to come. Without technological superiority, it's entirely likely that a future president won't have the tools he or she needs to get the next Osama bin Laden - and there surely will be one.

As Commander in Chief, I will not allow that to happen. Not only will our men and women have the tools they need to fight today's battles, but presidents in the decades to come to will have the same advantages that you enjoy today. It's one thing to saddle our children and grandchildren with unimaginable debts. It's an entirely different thing to render them defenseless as well. I will not allow that to happen.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:12 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

So you're saying that the killing of OBL was "Bush's fault."

This works for me, and would make me more inclined to vote for Romney, but then again, you had me at "congratulate the seal team."

A minor fact-check: None of us have watched the events unfold on our TVs yet, but we can see it two days before election day. (And to think I never thought I would find any reason to appreciate early voting.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2012 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The TV comment was intended to be a dig that Obama takes all the credit for the operation while watching it from the safety of his bunker. The Refugee was concerned that a more direct comment would backfire as being too snarky.

Early voting in Weld County begins October 22 and The Refugee intends to be there. If he gets hit by a truck between then and election day at least his vote will be counted.

Which raises a question: if someone dies between casting a ballot and election day, should the ballot count? If we agree that dead people should not vote (except in Cook County and Dallas County), then would such a scenario not invalidate early voting? It would seem to be inevitable.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2012 3:58 PM

October 7, 2012

Randucation

I feel a little slow for not figuring this out earlier. In fact, it took the reading of this Washington Times column for the tumblers to click. Mitt Romney took the President completely by surprise in the first debate. So much so that the President said his challenger's big idea is "never mind" what he's been saying before that night. Suddenly, as Kim Strassel noted, Romney had a "bigger" campaign. He was "Bold. Specific. Energetic." With "a smile, and a touch of humor." These are the attributes of a confident man. Confident of not just the efficacy of his policies, but their morality. Where have we heard this before? Paul Ryan.

And finally, in full agreement with Rand's writing style, comes a larger-than-life businessman-turned-politician and defends capitalism - not just on the grounds of its efficiency, but also morality - because taking people's earnings by force in order to subsidize something they disagree with, is fundamentally immoral.

There is only one reasonable explanation for the pragmatic corporate turnaround specialist suddenly discovering that capitalism is something to be boasted of, not distanced from.

And, just like in Rand's works of romantic realism, we finally saw the American president as he ought to be - a wise, understanding, and trustworthy father figure, who knows what he is doing and is willing to take charge, doesn't fear the responsibility, says what he believes, and does what he says. Next to him, the current "president" Obama appeared like a failing student before a finger-wagging disciplinarian grownup.

There's more.

Romney's well-calibrated radar impeccably detected every Obama's attempt to lie, distort, or manipulate reality. (...) With refreshing bluntness, Romney told the self-appointed economic manager-in-chief, "You pick the losers." That summed up Obama's economic policy of "fairness," with all the resulting government waste, abuse, cronyism, and corruption.
But, as dagny fairly observed, "Yes he is an improvement on Obama. No he is not an Atlas Shrugged caliber hero." But some of us, my father included, see this package deal as head and shoulders above anything we've been offered before, writing "Compared to Obama, Romney is JG squared."
To be completely honest, Romney's otherwise stellar, larger-than-life performance still contained traces of pandering to the moochers - sadly, a necessary ingredient in today's political games. Thanks for setting those rules, Democrats.

But, now that you know this, keep it under your hat, lest Chicago target not only Romney and Ryan, but also the easily caricatured Rand.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:36 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:


"You pick the losers."
That sums up my whole theory about liberals. Always keen to be seen as ... well, keen as well as clever (perhaps Intelligent) and hip they gravitate towards lost causes. How cool is it to support a winner, anyway?

This also makes liberal gubmint policies such an obvious play for the failing companies of the world. GM needs the gov't and gov't needs the publicity and to be wanted. Toyota doesn't need the government, neither does Apple.

"Compared to Obama, Romney is JG squared."
Wasn't it once said: to get a Reagan you need to have had a Carter?

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2012 1:29 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Great observation nb. John Maynard Keynes - The patron saint of business failure. Progressives pray his rosary daily.

Furthermore, well meaning voters reward them for it. This is precisely where Romney/Ryan can achieve real and productive change.

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2012 11:39 AM

October 5, 2012

I don't feel so good...

"JK!" you inquire. "How are your Facebook friends reacting to the Bodhisattva's ass kicking sub-par debate performance?" "Are they distraught?"

No. The only thing I've heard mentioned is Big Bird.

As per usual -- if I may generalize -- they cannot visualize something's existing without government.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:01 PM | Comments (2)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Kinda looks like a target...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 5, 2012 8:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahhahaha!

Posted by: jk at October 6, 2012 10:16 AM

Good Ad

Hat-tip: Powerline

Posted by John Kranz at 7:22 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmmmmmmm.

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

Right Wing Rag

Hat-tip:

UPDATE: Damn! Insty beat me...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:48 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

All Hail Kim Strrassel!

Yet the painful reality is that the strategy Mr. Romney torpedoed on stage was the best Team Obama had. The president can't run on his legislation; it isn't liked. He can't run on the economy; it's terrible. Pivot to something sunny and big? Too late. And so the early indications from the Obama campaign are that it instead intends to go past Romney caricatures and straight to character assassination. -- Kim Strassel


Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Kim's conclusion is also quoteworthy:

Mr. Romney's Denver performance is the (now proven) model for how to answer these coming attacks. Bold. Specific. Energetic. A smile, and a touch of humor. The bigger the Romney campaign is, the smaller (and clothes-free) Mr. Obama's will seem.
Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2012 5:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


> how to answer these coming attacks.

Thank goodness the Obamanites waited until their brand is at a nearly completely discredited state. I think they can only hope for a "Macaca" moment. Good luck trying that (or anything else, really) with America's leading CEO and an unbelievably squeaky clean person. Luckily for the constitution and my children OBH's cronies are a clueless and lackluster lot, as only a crony-fied system can supply.

Bold. Specific. Energetic. A smile, and a touch of humor.

Mmmm, yes. {ahem} who says he isn't a Reagan Republican? Let's hope he keeps appointing undervalued, powerful assets like Ryan.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2012 1:44 AM

Hope, Change, Character Assassination

First I should caution that this report comes from a person who claims to be a "veteran White House reporter." Aren't those guys all bought and paid for?

In a vicious and personal assault rarely conducted at the highest level of U.S. politics, White House senior adviser David Plouffe repeatedly told reporters aboard Air Force One that Romney was "dishonest." With the president of the United States in a cabin just a few steps away, his top adviser pushed out the new campaign theme that the man who had bested him in the debate Wednesday night is an untrustworthy scoundrel.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 4, 2012

Presidential Debate Taiwanese Recap

Since KA still hasn't been trained to include the ThreeSources hashtag (repeat after me: #3src, #3src) and since some people don't know what they're missing on Twitter, and since it is AWESOME funny, I'm promoting this to embed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:32 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Keith Arnold ‏@masterescrow (Sept. 13)

He's Nero, with mom jeans instead of a toga, and with golf clubs instead of a fiddle. http://is.gd/AHkAJe #3src

Keith Arnold ‏@masterescrow (Aug. 3)

H/T to John Kranz: I want a Slurpee so I can watch Preezy Mom Jeans push this out of the ditch - http://is.gd/oXahFS #3src

Keith Arnold ‏@masterescrow (Jul. 27)

@berkeleysquare None of the good stores would honor Spain's credit card. Bargain-basement Olympic uniforms. #3src

I try, man... some people have a way with technology, and some people are just me. To quote that great American philosopher Al Yankovich, "I'm just technologically-impaired." I'm clearly doing something wrong, 'cause mine never seem to appear.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2012 6:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think you're doing it right, when you do it. You just don't do it on the Tweets that you know I'll find hilarious, like this one.

Just a tweak, bro. Hey, I had to intro it somehow!

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 6:26 PM

America: Frack Yeah!

How many times have we heard the left make baseless claims that Big Oil uses its money and influence to stamp out competition wherever it can, and thereby maximize their own profits? Investors Business Daily printed an editorial yesterday that now, finally, substantiates that claim. But it's not what you might think. In this case "Big Oil" equals Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia's state-owned oil monopolies.

Venezuela's state Foundation National Cinematheque has been financially linked to "Gasland," a 2011 anti-fracking documentary whose aim was to paint fracking in the U.S. as dangerous.

(...)

This week, the Heritage Foundation's Lachlan Markey found that United Arab Emirates-owned "Image Media Abu Dhabi" financed "Promised Land," a Matt Damon film that shows U.S. oil and gas companies as greedy behemoths out to poison America's small towns.

(...)

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been accused of financing radical environmentalist groups through foundations to undercut oil sands production in Canada, which is America's top supplier.

If you have to ask why they oppose American energy production, here is the answer:

All this signals something big is at stake in global power politics: fracking, which threatens petrotyrants as no nuclear weapon ever has. The Gulf states, Venezuela and Russia derive their power solely from their dominance in energy production, not by their economies.

If fracking and the combination of investment, high tech, expertise and geography enable the U.S. to produce natural gas at $3 a unit, while Russia can only do it at $10, the threat is obvious.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (3)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Yes, yes, YES. American inexpensive energy explosion coming even if Obama gets reelected...he'll try to stop it, of course, but I don't think he can. Private land still exists!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ah, the idealism of private property. Don't bet that he can't stop it. Private property owners don't own the air, don't own the underground water, don't own the snail darters and wooley amoebas.

Good NED man, have you not read the book? (He asks, knowingly.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 3:36 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I will revise and expand my remarks...I don't think Obama in his second term will have the political capital to kill the American energy revolution. Congress won't let him and a lot of union folks are counting on it. His theoretical Gaiaean Marxism will clash too much with reality. Objective reality!

Thankfully, I think we have a good chance of a different President who will be pushing the car DOWN the track instead of putting on the brakes as hard as possible. But as in "the book," there is the possibility that Wesley Mouch will be appointed "Czar" with the power to screw things up. I don't totally discount that.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:51 PM

When You've Lost Yahoo...

Jeff Greenfield:

Yes, it was as bad as it seemed.

No, it wasn't Jim Lehrer's fault for letting Romney expound; Obama got more time (four minutes more) than Romney. Besides, it's not the moderator's job to call a debater out on questionable assertions. It's the opponent's job.

Yes, it wasn't the best atmospherics for Obama to look down, purse his lips, appear distracted, while Romney was attentive, engaged, relaxed. But this was much more than atmospherics. This was about one candidate who came with a frame for the evening, and who was prepared to engage on every question; and another who, perhaps because of his documented faith in his own abilities, felt he could wing it with snatches of familiar verbiage.


I was happy to wake up and find that: a) it was not a dream, Governor Romney really did stomp President Obama; and, b) that it was accepted across the board and not just what I thought or some right wing bloggers.

It goes back to what Taranto always says: the left is sometimes poorly served by media bias. Romney knew every thing coming at him. "Specifics? Jim I'm coming after you and that big homosexual yellow puppet guy!"

The President, conversely, was surprised that anybody in this great nation was at all discontented with his brilliant leadership.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

Sarah Hoyt adds: Also, the sun was in the president's eyes.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2012 12:18 PM
But Terri thinks:

That was the wrong link. :-(
The one of Gore was off of Drudge and the Weekly Standard.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gores-blames-altitude-obamas-debate-woes_653613.html

Posted by: Terri at October 4, 2012 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought I just lost patience on the other one. But I enjoyed Excitable Andy's despair.

Then again, I just got in from Iowa, might be a little light headed still...

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2012 1:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, great. Way to disclose the undisclosed location!

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 2:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly not going to leave a paper trail. I returned from a different airport than I flew into. One does not simply walk into Iowa...

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2012 6:15 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

... but when one departs from Iowa, one does so at warp speed.

http://is.gd/PcNZSw

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2012 7:29 PM

Progressive Fear and Loathing

Andrew Sullivan:

10.29 pm. How is Obama's closing statement so fucking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.

A host of sadness compiled by Politico.

And cognitive dissonance in Hollywood:

Alec Baldwin: CBS analysis says Romney stomped Obama with undecided voters

Samuel L. Jackson: What Really happened tonite?! NOBODY changed who theyre voting for!! NOBODY!!!

But don't get over confident, cautions Palin.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 AM | Comments (3)
But Jk thinks:

I'm never in danger of overconfidence, but that was as good as it could have been for Gov. Romney. It made the Raiders game look close.

Posted by: Jk at October 4, 2012 6:52 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Judging how the Broncos whupped Oakland (and congratulations, Broncos fans!), I'd say you'd found a good metaphor.

I was actually going to say Obama got a call from Mark Sanchez late last night, saying "I know how it feels, man." You beat me to it...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2012 11:55 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You know what Romney should have said last night? Exactly what he said.

Dennis Miller: "The president had better hope that a kicked ass is covered under Obamacare."

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 12:02 PM

Political Prey

Chris Matthews was not impressed by President Messiah's performance.

"He was like, 'Oh an hour and half? I think I can get through this thing. And I don't even look at this guy.' Whereas Romney -- I love the split-screen -- staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. 'I'm coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You've got to beat the champ and I'm going to beat him tonight. And I don't care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I'm going to ignore him," Matthews said. "What was Romney doing?" Matthews asked. "He was winning."
Posted by JohnGalt at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2012

Quote of the Day

A bon mot from a good friend of this blog. If the owner wishes attribution, I will happily update the post:

Here is the line that I would like to hear from Romney tonight: "Don't worry, Mr. President, if I am elected, I won't blame my predecesor for anything that happens during my term."

Posted by John Kranz at 4:20 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Like."

There's more [very good] advice for Mitt over at The American Thinker.

And I'll add one more of my own-

I know a lot of voters are disappointed with our country's two-party political system. Many of you are so fed up with Republicans and Democrats that you're planning to vote for a candidate from one of the other parties. 'American politics is broken' you say, 'and its time for a new party with new ideas.' But before you do, know this: Voting for someone who can't win won't change anything. There is only one name on this year's ballot that can change America's future, and make it bright again. That name is Mitt Romney.
Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2012 4:43 PM

October 1, 2012

J - E - T - S Jets! Jets! Jets!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (1)
But Jk thinks:

I'll wear my Tebow jersey with newfound pride!

Posted by: Jk at October 1, 2012 5:30 PM

The Venezuelan Model

Anyone who paid attention to the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary campaign is familiar with the "Chilean Model" for Social Security. It was hailed as an example of a plan that should also be adopted in the United States. Presently, another South American nation is in the midst of a new experiment. This time, to replace its once popular dictatorial, legal bounds stretching, anti-corporate, redistributionist, in the name of equality leftist president. That nation is Venezuela.

Capriles has run a focused, disciplined campaign, visiting over 250 cities and connecting with voters with a consistent, positive message.

Capriles tells Venezuela's handout-dependent voters that his model will be that of Lula da Silva, Brazil's democratic socialist president who cut taxes, made oil drilling a priority, preserved the social safety net and brought people out of poverty through jobs.

Harkening to Lula worked well in nearby Peru, getting Ollanta Humala elected president last year and may just work in Venezuela, too.

Capriles also fiercely denounces the crime, corruption, inflation and fiscal incontinence of the Chavez regime. This seems to be resonating with voters, who've made a connection to the massive government spending and their own impoverishment.

The parallels to the Obama regime are striking, with "fiscal incontinence" the most glaring.

Will Hugo Chavez get the boot from voters on Oct. 7? Sure looks like it, with two polls flipping toward his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, and markets signaling they believe it. It's about time.

The same story also offers a sure-fire indicator to watch for evidence that a Romney election is likely:

A Venezuelan consultant in Washington tells IBD that Chavez's lieutenants aren't campaigning for him and various supporters are beginning to abandon him and attempting to cut deals with the Capriles camp in a bid to avoid prosecution for corruption.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Here's hoping that tomorrow's debate performance will follow this model [denouncing the crime, corruption, inflation and fiscal incontinence of the Obama regime] and that he'll carry a consistent, positive message of change FORWARD into saturation appearances in Ohio. (Attention to Colorado seems more than adequate.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2012 11:56 AM

September 27, 2012

A Cell Phone is a Civil Right?

Get yours today. Supplies are not limited. "The Obama Phone" from the Free Government Cell Phone Program.

The free Obama phone is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. Communication should not be limited to people in relation to what they are able to afford.

And like everything else in the Obama presidency, this too is Bush's fault.

During the Bush administration, there was the introduction of a project that gave subsidies to those who could not afford a phone. The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911.

But if the phone could only be used for 911 who would carry it? Who would charge it? How could it "help the financially unstable?" Fear not.

There are different plans to choose from. Some plans offer fewer minutes and more texting and some even include rollover minutes. Make sure you check out all the plans before choosing the one that is right for you.

If one were able to look up "moral hazard" in a videonet dictionary, this clip would be definition number 1 or 2.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Viva Democracy! Did you see the Howard Stern interviews? A "reporter" interviewed random Harlemites: Do you like Obama? Yeah. Do you like his VP Pick, Paul Ryan? Yeah. Do you like Paul Ryan because he is black? Oh no, that doesn't matter. Do You think they'll beat Sarah Palin this year? &c. &c.

Like this, it is extremely difficult to watch. And I feel compelled to add as Howard Stern did "You know there are a ton of white people who don't know what the hell is going on either!"

ThreeSources was poorly represented at the last Liberty on the Rocks. I'd like to discuss it but don't know that I can be David Mamet's Rabbi and provide a glowing and comprehensive version of the other side. But I will try.

The speaker wants a Constitutional Amendment, first in Colorado and some other states, then hopefully Federal, that would allow citizens to challenge laws and have a jury -- not the Supreme Court -- rule it unconstitutional. He sees this as a fix for Kelo and it might be.

I see my Facebook friends and this woman hearing a challenge that the Paul Ryan budget contravenes the General Welfare clause. I suggested that almost every loss of liberty from the founding to present occurred when we chose "more democracy."

This video and the South Carolina lady who was happy in 2008 because now that Obama was President she didn't have to worry about paying her mortgage or putting gas in the car -- AND a selection of very stupid white people should be kept on file for when people think our problems best fixed by We The People.

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2012 4:59 PM

September 26, 2012

Bring on election day - please!

The article linked in a Robert Pearson tweet says that preference polls by the New York Times and Washington Post were intentionally misleading in the 1980 presidential campaign between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The last page of the article tells the interesting story and asks why anyone would take those polls at face value now, in the Obama vs. Romney race.

How does one explain a president who, like Jimmy Carter in 1980, is increasingly seen as a disaster in both economic and foreign policy? How does a President Obama, with a Gallup job approval rating currently at 49% -- down a full 20% from 2009 -- mysteriously win the day in all these polls?

How does this happen?

Can you say "in-kind contribution"?

With each day I grow more and more confident that President Obama cannot be reelected. My new chief concern is that nothing happen to derail the legitimate functioning and completion of the election.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:31 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Before the debates? How would anybody know whom to vote for?

Posted by: jk at September 26, 2012 5:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

De-bates, re-bates. Gary Johnson of course! (Or Jill Stein if one doesn't feel like being a he-man woman-hater.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2012 7:51 PM

September 25, 2012

Romney Home-Run

This is more than just quote of the day, it is the quote of the campaign:

"I just want to work."

Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike. Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.

What makes this free-market chestnut a home run is the context in which Governor Romney said it: In a speech to the Clinton Global Initiative, after a warm introduction by the former president, and in the context of Mideast unrest.

In such a setting, for America to change lives, to change communities and nations in the Middle East, foreign aid must also play a role. And the shape that role should take was brought into focus by the life and death of Muhammed Bouazizi of Tunisia, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked the Arab Spring.

He was just 26-years-old. He had provided for his family since he was a young boy. He worked a small fruit stand, selling to passers-by. The regular harassment by corrupt bureaucrats was elevated one day when they took crates of his fruit and his weighing scales away from him.

On the day of his protest, witnesses say that an officer slapped Bouazizi and he cried out, "Why are you doing this to me? I'm a simple person, and I just want to work."

Awesome on stilts at the top of a mountain.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2012

Pollster Math

They're called "internals." The questions which break down voter opinion by issue and by demographics. Generally speaking they give insight into the reason why a particular candidate leads another in preference for the office they're competing for. But the Obama vs. Romney presidential contest doesn't really follow that pattern. According to an article today from Politico, Romney leads Obama in every issue category except one - yet still trails the overall national preference poll by 2.6 points.

Romney has majority support with voters over the age of 45 (+7 percent), with men (+6 percent), with white women (+9 percent), and with married voters (+14 percent). In addition, Romney has solidified his base. Support among conservative voters exceeds 70 percent (73 percent), his support among very conservative voters exceeds 80 percent (83 percent), and his support among Republicans exceeds 90 percent (91 percent). Romney is also receiving a higher level of support among Hispanics (40 percent), which is driven by higher support from Hispanic men.
But the focus of the poll was middle class voters, since that is the demographic that pundits, hand-wringing and gleeful alike, have criticized Romney for being "out of touch" with.
In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent).

(...)

All of this data make clear that Romney has won the strong support of middle-class families and is leading the president on an overwhelming majority of key measurements beyond just the ballot. In fact, when respondents were asked who, Obama or Romney, would best handle a variety of issues, Romney led on all but one including the economy (+9 percent), foreign policy (+3 percent), spending (+15 percent), taxes (+7 percent), Medicare (+2 percent), and jobs (+10 percent). Ironically, the one measurement Obama led Romney on was standing up for the middle class (+8 Obama), reinforcing that often the Democrats win the message war with the middle class, but not their hearts and souls. [emphasis mine]

And yet, the same poll shows Obama leading Romney overall. What gives? Perhaps if they re-weighted the internals the same way as the top line result, Obama could be leading there as well.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Another encouraging undercurrent is the growth in registered GOP voters. @jimgeraghty: Colorado currently has 98,000 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats. http://t.co/xdg9mSqT (Not that it feels that way just across the line from Boulder...)

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2012 4:39 PM

September 22, 2012

Self-Evident

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, "It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack." The only literate response to this definitive Administration judgement is, "Duh."

Some other self-evident judgements come to mind:

It is self-evident that the national news media, once respected for at least trying to appear objective, is as fully invested in President Obama's reelection as a diverse group of human beings can ever be.

It is self-evident that a Republican president who governed in the way President Obama has done would be excoriated by journalists to a degree that would have made the late President Nixon feel like a media darling.

It is self-evident that the only way government can lower health care costs is to ration patient care.

It is self-evident that when medical providers and insurers are allowed to compete for business they will find ways to lower their costs, and therefore their prices.

It is self-evident that when President Obama says something, he really means the opposite.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

None Dare Call it Bias...

Oh, hell I do!

Yahoo/AP Headline to describe the tax returns of a guy who paid $2 million in taxes and donated $4 million to charity:

Romney gives Dem support for tax deductions claim

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

Can you believe it? Mitt could have paid less in taxes this year but elected not to for blatant - political - purposes. The nerve of that guy!

Despite this the worst that AP can say is Mitt promised to never pay more than he was obligated.

Romney probably also will be reminded by the Democrats [or by AP!!] by [sic] something else he said in August. Defending his right to pay no more taxes than he owed, he said, "I don't pay more than are legally due, and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don't think I'd be qualified to become president."

QED: Mitt says he's not qualifed to be president.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2012 12:46 PM

What he outta say

There is no shortage of people trying to help Romney by telling him what he outta say. With respect to the tax rate flap that the Dems are ginning up, here's The Refugee's suggestion for what he outta say:

"These taxes show that over the past 20 years I gave more money to charity each and every hour than Joe Biden gave per year. That's $479 per hour compared to less than $300 per year. The real difference is that when it comes to helping the less fortunate, I put my money where my mouth is. Barack Obama and Joe Biden want to put your money where their mouths are."

Might just shut 'em up.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:02 AM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

OK, somebody beat The Refugee to it:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81529.html

It's still a great debate line, since it's not likely to be widely reported.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 22, 2012 11:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There are some good points there. Here are some more:

"I pay millions of dollars in taxes each and every year. Don't I get a little credit for that? If I paid another million more would my critics be happy? Two million? What do they want from me?"

"I've been criticized for paying a low rate of taxes, but over the last 20 years the average total of my federal taxes plus charity was 33.65 percent. Try telling all the families I've helped that I don't do enough."

"Some believe that the percentage I pay in taxes is more important than the amount of the check I write to the treasury, but a formula doesn't supply our troops or house and feed those who need a little help - dollars do."

And, perhaps the best, subject to adjustment for the actual figures:

"When the tax rate on investments was 35% I paid 1 million dollars in federal tax. Since it was lowered to 15% I pay, on average, two million dollars. Which would you rather have?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2012 12:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As you said, no shortage of people offering advice.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2012 12:29 PM

Game of Inches

In discussing the merits of Mitt Romney's 47% comments, many are missing the forest for the trees - myself included. Until now. Mitt's purpose with the comments wasn't to judge those who oppose his election as much as to explain to supporters that they are firmly entrenched against him and they are nearly half of the electorate. The point being that none of us should expect a landslide victory. Or, in the near term, nothing that he or his campaign can do will result in a comfortable lead in the polls before election day.

Romney's "failure" to pull ahead in polling is scary as hell to those of us who imagine the worst if the "Affordable Care Act" isn't defanged and the boot of government isn't removed from the neck of America's private sector. Romney knows that he can't run away with this election, at least in public polling, and his victory will rest upon relative turnout of his and Obama's base, combined with undecideds who, if they go to the polls, are much more likely to vote for change - not the president.

While bloggers and pundits wring hands and charge incompetence, Mitt calmly assures that his campaign isn't in trouble.

Well, it doesn't need a turnaround. We've got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States.

We've seen a few instances where Mitt has made bold moves in this campaign - Paul Ryan selection, defending free-speech in a foreign crisis, embracing free market principles over entitlement populism - so there is reason to anticipate more in the coming weeks. Early voting begins in mid October, so that is where he should make his strongest push. Peaking in polls now, or more importantly in real electoral support, does no good if it fades before then. The debates will be his biggest stage for making a Reaganesque pitch of promise, prosperity and recovery. And his campaign has been spending far less in advertising than his opponent over the post-convention period, holding it in reserve for the final push.

This is my optimistic assessment. I'm not going to waste any time fretting over the multiple pessimistic assessments.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I am with you and br on the ankle-biting, hand-wringing, got-the-vapors section of the professional GOP class. And, were we not on the same side in an important election year, I might get a dig in by linking Peggy Noonan's column. But I am way above that.

But just between us and the Internet, the mighty roar ("am I a lion?") of the campaign's engines when Gov. Romney picked Chairman Ryan has subsided. The defensive, play it safe candidate seems back in charge. I hope you are correct that more bold moves are on the way, but fear it is not the default for the candidate nor his top advisers.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2012 12:07 PM

September 21, 2012

All Hail Harsanyi, deux!

When jk posted AHH today I expected it was a link to yesterday's column 'Romney was wrong, but so were his critics' wherein he makes a better effort than mine to address Governor Romney's "47 percent" remarks.

When Romney says he believes that 47 percent of voters don't pay income tax, "believe that they are victims," think "government has a responsibility to care for them" and will never "take personal responsibility and care for their lives," he is confusing the average voter with the average Democratic National Convention speaker. Most Americans, no matter what party they're in, do not aspire to be parasites, despite the best efforts of their elected representatives.

But Romney's remarks compelled critics to forward the equally preposterous claim that government dependency doesn't affect elections at all.


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

How About a Little Partisan Hackery, Scarecrow?

It is an election year!


Hat-tip: Jim Treacher (@jtLOL)

Posted by John Kranz at 12:56 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Is this what he was referring to when he said, "Sometimes you just need to take a pain pill?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2012 1:18 AM

September 20, 2012

Please Listen to Kudlow!

Larry Kudlow joins me in denouncing the "ankle-biters" in the GOP who are causing more trouble than they are fixing with calls to restructure the Romney Campaign. "Ms. Noonan, Ms. Peggy Noonan...pick up a white paging telephone...Mister Nose, Mister Nose...Mister Dick Nose..."

Yet he is not above a little advice. And in this case, I think well worth heeding. Here he is with Ambassador Christopher Hill wishing cooler heads would prevail on the campaign trail:

Whole clip and transcript.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2012

Tax or "fee?"

The front page of today's Denver Post was covered with a giant pie chart and the headline, "Who are the 47 percent?"

20120919_032130_nd19romney47percentfooter.jpg

From the chart above, 18.1% of tax filers did not pay income taxes because they are elderly, non-workers or had an income less than $20,000 per year, while 28.3% "paid payroll tax" but still paid no federal income tax.

More than 76 million households paid no income taxes last year, according to the Tax Policy Center. But about 60 percent still paid federal payroll taxes that support Medicare and Social Security, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the tax center. Many also paid federal excise taxes, along with state and local sales, property and income taxes.

The implication here is that Mitt Romney is wrong - most Americans do pay taxes. But Mr. Romney is campaigning to become President of the United States. State and local taxes are not set by federal policy and are largely irrelevant to presidential voting decisions. And the Medicare and Social Security taxes? As contributions toward entitlements to be collected later in life, those are more accurately described as premiums or "fees" than as taxes. The president's lawyers made this case for Obamacare before the Supreme Court and although it didn't support the ruling in their favor, the description was apt. It is no less so for Medicare and Social Security.

So Mitt Romney is not wrong. The share whose tax bill is likely to be completely unaffected by any increases in income tax rates is, 47 percent.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

You'll be staggered to hear I still plan to vote for the Governor in spite of this.

That said, I do not plan to spend a lot of cycles in defense. It was sloppy logic at best: Warren Buffett will be voting for the President, and he pays almost as much taxes as Warren Buffett's Secretary!

He conflates a 47% deadbeat set with a 47% Democrat base. I am not saying there is no overlap, but the Gov. has called it "inartful." I am prepared to take that as an apology and move on.

Anyone who is honestly offended needs to get out more.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2012 6:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Warren Buffett is that little green sliver way over there in the Top 20%.

In asking myself what was the point of this post I realized there are several.

First is the one I ended the post with, that it is difficult to win large majorities in the face of half the population being net tax receivers.

Next most important, I think, is that 28.3% of tax filers have no federal liability except for their mandatory participation in Uncle Sam's retirement income and retirement medicine plans. Both plans promise a "guarantee" written on the backs of future generations. My current tax liability was necessitated by actions and policies which happened prior to my birth. Shouldn't I have had a vote on that? But this 28.3% views their share of my largesse as something they "paid for" or "invested in" with their contributions, taxed and spent decades ago. So not only are they now net tax receivers, and a drain on the productive class, they have cause to believe that they DESERVE it. For them it's not so much class warfare as generational warfare, and they're on the Democrats' side. This is the biggest reason why bipartisan reform of SS and Medicare can never happen. It would threaten on of the Democrats' biggest core constituencies.

There were other points too but after that last one they hardly seem to matter.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2012 3:07 PM

Quote of the Day

Judging from the tone of NBC News' Chuck Todd, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, and Jonathan Martin of Politico discussing the news of the day yesterday morning on Daily Rundown, you would have thought that Mitt Romney appeared before a group of donors, suddenly tore off all of his clothes to reveal scales and full body tattoos written in Esperanto, started chanting Satanic verses, and pledged to use America's nuclear arsenal on all states with trees that are inappropriate heights. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 9:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2012

Kumbaya!

A peace offering in the jg / jk contretemps. Gov. Romney does not need to bring Peggy Noonan on staff. She gives him advice every Friday and is remunerated by Rupert "Darth" Murdoch.

She is pretty good today. It pains me to admit. (No, really, visceral pain!) She clarifies her remarks on the Governor without walking anything back. First she takes my blog brother's side:

Guys, timing. Dignity. Restraint. Tragedy. Painful headlines, brutal pictures. Long view. Bigness. Think it through, take some days, and then come forth with a cool, detailed, deeply pertinent critique that will actually help people think about what happened.

Damn, where have I heard that before?

She is more harsh on the President -- it seems somebody has learned something in four years.

As for Mr. Obama, he didn't help himself with his snotty comment on "60 Minutes" that Mr. Romney has a habit of shooting first and aiming later. He could have been classy and refused to take a shot. But he's not really classy that way.

And then some free advice to Gov. R:
What is needed from Mr. Romney now, or soon, is a serious statement about America's role and purpose in the world. If such a statement contained an intellectually serious critique of the president's grand strategy, or lack of it, all the better. As far as I can tell, that strategy largely consists of spurts of emotion and calculation from his closest aides, and is not a strategy but an inbox.

Mr. Romney might also contemplate this, because it will soon be on the American mind: Our embassies under siege in the Mideast gives us a sense of what a war with Iran would look like. It would be bloody. Not neat, not surgical, but bloody.


And a WWI reference that ties in 9/11 and the expectations of the 2012 election and the guy who made the trailer and okay, yeah, it is pretty good.

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

Related: A broad international perspective on the 9/11/12 assaults and their effect on the US election can be found in this der Spiegel piece: 'Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins.'

The last half of the article consists of excerpts from seven different German publications. They're all quite insightful but I'll try to give a flavor by excerpting from excerpts:

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"The murder of an ambassador in Libya and the attacks on US diplomatic missions in other Arab countries is sure to strengthen the skepticism that more than a few Americans feel toward Muslims and the political changes brought by the Arab revolutions."

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

"A crazy individual US citizen has uploaded a movie onto the Internet which denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. The US government can not be held responsible for that. But that clearly does not help US President Barack Obama very much. He has to bear the political consequences of the recent events by himself."

The center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"Middle Eastern policy is a thankless task for America. But for precisely this reason -- and despite the election campaign -- it would be unwise to pour oil into the fire. The fact that President Obama has deployed destroyers and marines to Libya, and may soon send out drones, isn't a good sign, though."

The conservative Die Welt writes:

"Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It's a bitter outcome for Obama."

The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes:

"It's lucky for Obama that his opponent Romney is acting in such a hapless manner. Instead of condemning the attacks in a statesman-like fashion and assuring the president of his support, Romney criticized the government's alleged 'apology' to the demonstrators. That was not just nonsense, but partisan maneuvering at a moment when patriotism would have been appropriate. With his attack, Romney has scored an own goal."

The financial daily Handelsblatt writes:

"Mitt Romney has, however, failed to recognize the very core of the American dilemma. He attacked Obama with twisted facts shortly after the announcement of the death of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens."

The mass-circulation daily Bild writes:

"Naked hatred is raging against a country that many people in the world regard as a symbol of freedom. When US flags burn, embassies are vandalized, and diplomats are murdered, it is an attack on the West, and not just America!"

"We rooted for the demonstrators at Tahrir Square, and many of us have longed to see democracy in the Arab nations. But democracy includes honoring the lives of fellow humans."
"The turmoil in Libya, Cairo, and Bangladesh is a return to the Middle Ages, when people were beheaded and stoned to death. No pathetic anti-Islam film can justify hate-filled murder."
"The West must be tough on terrorism. And it must show that it can differentiate between rabble-rousers and peaceful Muslims."
Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2012 7:17 PM
But jk thinks:

We do need a like button; this is an awesome comment. If I may humbly suggest a segue: The Day I'm Inaugurated Muslim Hostility Will Ease

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2012 11:28 AM

All Hail Kim Strassel!

I fear she might be right. I was initially concerned when I saw that the title of her editorial concerned Governor Romney's pants. But it is a good allusion.

Strassel is worried that the old, over-cautious (belt and suspenders) Romney is back. The Ryan pick was just a fling and the campaign now will count on dissatisfaction with the President to sweep their challenger britches into power.

One problem: Mr. Obama is winning. The August unemployment numbers are horrid; the president increases his national lead. Labor-force participation hits a 31-year low; Mr. Obama moves up in swing states. Prices spike; the president takes Michigan out of contention. No doubt Part 39 of the Romney attack on Mr. Obama's welfare policies will propel the Republican to a blazing lead. Though, failing that, Mr. Romney might consider that the pure referendum strategy is a bust.

Voters know that things are rotten; the GOP needn't spend $100 million telling them so. What they don't know is how we got here. (Was it Bush's fault? So says Mr. Obama, while Mr. Romney says nothing.) And they don't know how Mr. Romney proposes to fix it.


Even Republicans (and I don't mean David Brooks and Peggy Noonan) are winging about "no plan." Unless his polls show something public polls do not, I suggest -- with Strassel -- that it is time to double down on boldness.
The press embarrassed itself this week by flaying Mr. Romney's criticism of the State Department while giving a pass to the policies of a president who, after announcing the death of four diplomats, flew to a campaign event in Las Vegas. The press doesn't care. Its goal was to let Mr. Romney know what's in store for him should he consider mounting more than a mediocre campaign. If he gets spooked by that, he's done.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2012

Islamists Wag the Dog?

The catalyst for riots and embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya yesterday, resulting in the deaths of four American diplomats, reportedly was a low-budget film that "appeared on the internet" and "insulted Islam." Demands by Egyptian citizens that the Egyptian president "take action" have apparently borne fruit as he asked the Egyptian Embassy in the U.S. to take "all legal measures" against the makers of the film.

But first there is the problem of determining who the makers of the film really are.

A high-ranking Israeli official in Los Angeles on Wednesday said that after numerous inquiries, it appeared no one in the Hollywood film industry or in the local Israeli community knew of a Sam Bacile, the supposed director-writer of the incendiary film Innocence of Muslims.

The official expressed some doubt that a person by that name actually existed.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:48 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

DOESN'T MATTER. The American government, like the government of any free nation, isn't in the business of allowing or disallowing the published free speech of any of its citizens. The savage goatherds of Egypt and Libya don't seem to understand how that works.

Several lefties I know responded to my statement "this is an act of war" with "the attack on our embassies wasn't done by their governments, but by individuals who are not part of government; you can't hold their whole countries and their governments responsible for the actions of a few."

Why not? The purported reason for the attacks and murders was a film produced not by the American government, but by a handful of individuals in America not affiliated with the US government. If the film justifies an attack on our sovereign soil, how does the attack not justify the reverse?

OBAMA OWNS THIS WHOLE SCREW-UP, PART AND PARCEL. He and his administration fostered and encouraged the whole "Arab Spring" mess, putting Islamists in charge. We supported the Brotherhood in Egypt; we sponsored the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya and enabled the new regime ("We came, we saw, he's dead." Anyone remember that?). Syria is now in slow-motion freefall; Turkey has moved from moderation to the Islamists; Afghanistan is a fly's eyelash from becoming a proxy state of Iran, which has made it clear they intend war on Israel. This administration has turned the Middle East into a powderkeg, and the SCOAMF is sitting on it to light up a joint.

The SCOAMF no-showed the entire last week of his daily intelligence briefings. But that's okay, say his mouthpieces, because even if he doesn't attend in person, he reads the written reports daily. REALLY? Then how is it he and his administration got caught flat-footed? Why was the Benghazi compound unprotected, and the nearby safegouse compromised.

"Foreign Policy President," my muscular buttocks...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 12, 2012 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You make a rational point KA. However, American public opinion would never support military action against Libya in response to this act of war on the part of al Qaeda. Nor should it. We should, however, "hold their whole country and their government responsible" in every civil means possible. One of these is to not post an ambassador without a metric buttload of marines. Hell, we don't post an ambassador in Great Britain without a detachment of marines. THAT, among many many other failures, is on the president.

Yes, Obama "owns" this, as I wrote in the previous post. And not only because of his policy failures but also because he "spiked the football" at least 21 times at the Democrat convention last week alone, capped by his vice-president's suggestion that Obama's killing of their leader should be on a bumper sticker: "Osama's Dead. GM's Alive."

If al Qaeda sought revenge it was generally against the United States, but specifically against a president who told them one thing but did quite another.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 5:46 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If Obama has not attended a single briefing in the week leading up to 9/11 (especially following the killing of OBL), then THAT is a scandal!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 12, 2012 6:53 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Demands by Egyptian citizens that the Egyptian president "take action" have apparently borne fruit as he asked the Egyptian Embassy in the U.S. to take "all legal measures" against the makers of the film.

Wow, I wish all demands by foreign governments were that easy to resolve. All legal measures against an American accused of apostasy have already been taken.

Posted by: AndyN at September 12, 2012 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yup. So long as the Egyptian president didn't mean sharia-legal.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 7:31 PM

September 11, 2012

There Must be Some Mistake!

UPDATE: If you prefer, rather than reading this post yourself you may listen to 850 KOA's Mike Rosen quote it heavily at the open of his radio show yesterday morning. [First mention at about 2:45.] (And yes, I have added "shameless self-promotion" to the categories for this post.)

Annenberg is at it again. A caller to Mike Rosen today [third hour, last caller] said her daughter referred her to a website called "Next Elect." I looked into it and deduced that she meant ElectNext dot com. It's a very slick site with lots of colorful interactive graphics and great big type (that even seniors can read.)

First a warning: If you want to read anything about what the site is and who is behind it, DON'T SIGN UP AND ANSWER QUESTIONS. I did so and now all of the "about us" stuff is gone. (But I do still remember the "Annenberg" Public Policy blah blah from the bottom of the welcome page.) I even tried clicking the "Log Out" button, but it automatically logs me back in. Why? Perhaps because, based upon my answers to about 10 questions on an intentionally limited set of issues: Economy, Energy, Taxes, National Security (the last having no questions answered) the site recommended my "matches" for President of the United States. Brace yourself:

Gary Johnson- 73%
Jill Stein- 65%
Mitt Romney- 64%

I think they really want to make sure I don't forget that my first choice should be the Libertarian Party candidate and my second choice the Green Party candidate. There are nice color photos of these three candidates stuck on my browser screen now, with the percentage figure placed prominently next to a cute red heart shape under each name and pic.

No mention, of course, of the fact that neither of those two candidates has a chance in Obama's Utopia of being elected. "Party not person" is one of Mike Rosen's mantras and in our two-party system he's exactly right. To elevate Johnson and Stein to equal stature with Romney and Obama is the epitome of political malpractice. (And, I'll add, Annenberg knows it.)

I dug further. I clicked to find out why I didn't have more agreement with Mitt Romney and found:

- Romney "agrees" that "The federal government should invest in domestic sources of fossil fuels."
- Romney "agrees" that "Ethanol subsidies should be maintained at the current $6 billion/year level."
- Romney "disagrees" that "The federal government should reduce taxes on manufacturing companies to create jobs and help stimulate the economy."
- Romney "agrees" that "The federal government should increase infrastructure spending to help stimulate the economy."

I used the "did we get this wrong?" button to "please let us know if we got our facts wrong" and rebut the last two items in the list with links to here and here. But it's a Sissyphean task. I'd sooner hold back the tide than to get objective and clearly worded position statements to appear throughout this cartoon-like website.

Even worse, most visitors will not be as circumspect as I was and will list all of their hot-button issues. Even with the illusion of "ranking your issues" the key issues that affect the future of our nation will be diluted by the social issues that are demagogued on the path to ever larger government and ever greater government spending.

All in the public interest, of course.

My advice: Avoid it. Denounce it. Stay on message. [My message is the one in comment #3.]

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

September 7, 2012

Obama Reelect Stragegy

All week at DNC2012 we heard "shared prosperity" from "shared responsibility" (since "shared sacrifice" doesn't poll as well.) Ayn Rand wrote about this when it used to be known as The Common Good.

And what is meant by "shared responsibility?" If you can bear the burden of your tax liability then your share of the burden isn't high enough.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:38 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

More bold stances from Ryan that will pique the interests of small-l libertarians, new Federalists, States-Rights and Tenth Amendment supporters:

http://is.gd/W1Qqms

That ought to engender some interesting talk here...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 9, 2012 2:16 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, but.

Yeah, but it reminds me that Gov. Romney, on the head of the ticket, is dismissive. And that even Sen. Obama's promise to back the Feds off did not come to fruition.

I can't see this being productive politically or advancing the cause of liberty. Romney will be quizzed again now that professional unbiased journalists sense dissention in the GOP ranks. It makes me like Chairman Ryan a little more. Yeah, but. That really wasn't the problem.

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2012 10:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I openly admit that my attitude is much more "Dagny Taggart" than "John Galt" but in 2012 I am a single-issue voter: National Debt.

That one issue also entails,
- Structural reform of government spending and budgeting.
- Tax rate reductions to move every individual and business to the left slope of the Laffer curve. Note that this implies different rate changes at different income categories.

My goal is to preserve the corrupt system of American governance and reform it to the open, transparent, pro-liberty nation it was originally intended.

Posted by: johngalt at September 10, 2012 3:39 PM

Hope-a-Dope

I was quite proud of my creative genius last night, thinking I had coined the phrase in this post's title. I repeated it around the house so many times, charmed by its lyricism, that dear dagny had to start pouring cold water on me with eye rolls and even a few pointed verbal cues. I was wrong of course - it even has an entry in the online Urban Dictionary, but my definition would be different from that passe version. When I summarized the President's re-election nomination acceptance speech with those words last night I was thinking much more along the lines of American Spectator's Aaron Goldstein:

President Obama says, "The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place." But how much more debt will this country have to accumulate before we reach that better place?

In 2008, Senator Obama spoke of hope and change. In 2012, President Obama gave us the hope-a-dope.

Click through for Goldstein's terse enumeration of hypocrisies and ironies in the president's speech.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:28 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I liked it!

Also, on the quote pulled, somebody tweeted "'The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place' -- you mean like where Grandma went?"

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2012 12:08 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Brings to mind the line from Heinlein's Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, about being charged with "mopery and dopery of the spaceways." I think Obama can credibly be charged with mopery in the Presidency.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 7, 2012 6:44 PM

September 6, 2012

George F. Will - TEA Party "Radical"

I think it's fair to say that respected political columnist George F. Will was not in the vanguard of Obama criticism that found its first popular voice with the TEA Parties of February 17, 2009. I could be off base but I remember him being critical and dismissive of our dire warnings about the ideas, goals and dangers of the newly elected president. Nonetheless, yesterday Mr. Will became one of us.

In 1912, Wilson said, The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of governmental power. But as Kesler notes, Wilson never said the future of liberty consisted of such limitation.

Instead, he said, every means . . . by which society may be perfected through the instrumentality of government should be used so that individual rights can be fitly adjusted and harmonized with public duties. Rights adjusted and harmonized by government necessarily are defined and apportioned by it. Wilson, the first transformative progressive, called this the New Freedom. The old kind was the Founders kind government existing to secure natural rights (see the Declaration) that preexist government. Wilson thought this had become an impediment to progress. The pedigree of Obamas thought runs straight to Wilson.

All we are say-ing, is hear what he says.*
* Yes, that is what he means, literally.

Welcome to the Party George. Have some BBQ and a Bud with us.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2012

Fauxchohantas Campaign Theme Song

JUST POSTED BY THE ELIZABETH WARREN (D) CAMPAIGN - THEME SONG FOR THE STRETCH DRIVE:

I am a real Cherokee Faker
Spent my career as a Taker
Lied about my way of life
I run on class and racial strife

(Chorus)

Cherokee faker
Stole Cherokee tribe
So proud to grab
That racial bribe

They took my pre-tend native tongue
English all I learned when young
The class warfare that I made
Is obscured by this charade!

I used the whole Indian schmeer
To advance my law career
And though I wear a skirt and scarf
Sometimes my lies make me barf

(Chorus)

But maybe someday when they see
Cherokee Nation will punch me
Will punch me
Will punch me
Will punch me
Will punch me

The original (which I once saw performed in Reno, Nevada. These guys were a hoot!):

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 6:34 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ah, the good old days of my youth: When the cheap consumer crap was made in Japan instead of China! (First verse mention.) It seems we thought that was a permanent condition too.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2012 2:51 PM

September 3, 2012

I do like this one...

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 2, 2012

Romney Convention Bounce

In the first post-convention poll I've seen, Mitt Romney's national preference poll number has jumped 6 points since before the convention. Rasmussen has the race at Romney 48%, Obama 44% while Obama led by 2 before Clint Eastwood asked voters to "make my day" and let Obama go.

Since the link looks like it is to a continually updated page, I will excerpt:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 44% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

Just prior to this past week's Republican National Convention, Romney trailed the president by two. Todays four-point advantage confirms that the GOP hopeful has received the expected convention bounce. See daily tracking history. Romney also has gained ground in the swing state tracking results updated daily for subscribers at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

The swing-state tracking shows Romney and Obama even in Virginia, Colorado and Ohio, Romney trailing by 4 in PA and 6 in MI but leading by 1 in Wisconsin, 2 in Florida and 5 in South Carolina.

In an interesting side note, Rasmussen also notes that voter self-identification now reveals "the largest number of Republicans ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports" in the wake of the convention.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2012

GOTV

In honor of the campaign season really heating up this week, an eloquent and nuanced appeal to the young people of this great country, in language they can understand. I know it's old, but it's still refreshing.

Most all Three Sourcers are likely familiar with this public service announcement, but just in case you need a reminder (WARNING: repetitive strong language bleeping):

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 2:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2012

Personhood measure fails to make Colorado ballot

I have quietly resolved to practice "message discipline" in the closing weeks of the campaign, but this just has to be acknowledged.

Denver's Fox 31:

Its an unexpected setback for the backers of what would have been Initiative 46, an amendment to change the application of the term person to define a fetus as a person in an effort to legally challenge abortion, a proposal Coloradans voted down by huge margins in 2008 and 2010.

But its also a political setback of sorts for Democratic candidates, hoping to highlight current and past GOP support for the measure Mitt Romney himself supported Mississippis Personhood initiative earlier this year in an effort to appeal to women voters in this critical swing state.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2012

2016 Movie - Food for Thought

I watched the Dinesh D'Souza film 2016-Obama's America yesterday with family and friends. My brother and father were the driving force and dad thought it so important we all see it that he paid for all of us. Having been cautioned by JK's distaste for D'Souza's conspiratism I was eager to see and hear for myself what evidence Dinesh presents, and what hypothesis he has formed.

As a starting point I read this critical review by Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan. His instinct is to dismiss it as a rehash of prior Obama hatred, but some of his dissmissals ring hollow.

As readers of the Forbes article know, the central thesis of "2016" is that Obama's worldview -- his "compass," as D'Souza calls it -- was largely shaped by the anti-colonialist, anti-white and anti-Christian politics of Obama's supposedly radical Kenyan father. Never mind that Obama, growing up, spent precious little time with the man, who for most of his son's early life was estranged from Obama's mother. D'Souza trots out a professional psychologist to speculate on how the senior Obama's absence reinforced his influence, rather than weakened it.

D'Souza makes it all sound almost plausible, but only if you're predisposed to believe that Obama hates America. It's bashing, all right, but with a velvet-gloved fist.

What is glossed over here is how he makes it sound plausible. That explanation is omitted and replaced with a cautionary "almost" to convince readers they need not bother to evaluate the plausability on their own. D'Souza explains that Obama's worldview was constructed not in the image of his absentee father, rather in the idealized image of him portrayed by his mother. Ann Dunham, an almost completely overlooked component of Barack's formative years, was as anti-American, or at least anti-capitalist and anti-"colonialist" as they come. So says D'Souza. He supports this claim with multiple facts. He concludes that diminishing America's influence in the world, in effect punishing America for its colonial heritage, is fully consistent with many of the previously inexplicable acts of President Obama: To repair America's "plunder" of foreign resources he gave billions of American taxpayer's dollars to Brazil and others to build up those nations' oil industries; to push back present-day colonialism he has sided with Argentina over Great Britain in the Falklands conflict; his mideast policy arguably reflects a prejudice against western influence in favor of native rule, whatever that may happen to become. Actions as seemingly unimportant as returning a bust of Winston Churchill and presenting gag gifts to the Queen of England also betray a lifelong hatred for that country, the once great colonial power which had colonized and "exploited" his father's native land - Kenya.

In the film D'Souza also shows how then candidate Obama diverted attention from these beliefs and tendencies by suggesting his goal was a racial reconciliation within America. When longtime mentor Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anti-Americanism threatened to derail his campaign, Barack gave a nationally televised speech on race relations and distanced himself from the anti-colonialist values. And when other formative influences were called into question his campaign skillfully portrayed them as good-ol American leftists rather than the world socialists they would likely call themselves. When the President lectures America about the unfairness of the "one percenters" Americans think of wealthy corporate titans standing unapologetically on the shoulders of the working or "middle" class. But to a world socialist, EVERY American is a one-percenter, right down to the homeless shelter or overpass dweller who may freely beg for change and sleep opon the paved streets of American cities, free from scourges like disease, garbage dumps and open sewage running through the streets of a typical third-world village, always with ready access to medical treatment-on-demand in the shiny hospitals of the most prosperous nation on earth.

My opinion of the validity of D'Souza's original conclusions is buttressed by Elizabeth Reynolds' 'D'Souza's "Rage" a Middling Psychoanalysis' in The Dartmouth Review. After labeling Dinesh as an "ultra-conservative member of the Dartmouth Class of 1983" and praising Obama's book 'Dreams From My Father' she presents a fair, perhaps more fair than she intended, interpretation of the facts in D'Souza's book. Her conclusion:

Perhaps D'Souza's anti-colonial theory does help explain, as the Weekly Standard put it, Obama's omnipotence at home and impotence abroad. It is a matter of the reader's opinion. Regardless, D'Souza brings something new to the table with his latest book. It seems clear to me that D'Souza has done his research, with his extensive history of colonial Africa and insightful background information on Obama's early life. His concept of investigating the impact of Barack Obama's father had potential, but I'm afraid that D'Souza's conclusion, that Obama is trying to essentially destroy America, ultimately takes it too far.

Ironically, it is Reynolds who takes it too far for "essentially destroying America" is not D'Souza's claimed goal for Barack Obama. He merely wants to diminish our nation, not destroy it. The call to action at the end of the film? Every American must decide for himself if America should be diminished - and vote accordingly.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:43 PM | Comments (7)
But Jk thinks:

#3 box office?

Posted by: Jk at August 26, 2012 11:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On entertainment value - 2 stars.
The music was good and the cinematography of exotic locales almost made one feel he was there. But really, how long can one enjoy listening to strange people speaking with strange accents?

On "must-see-ness" - 5 stars.
(Out of 5.) If he is right, don't you want to know?

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2012 1:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In reply to "did not" I might ask an Obama supporter why he asked a non-partisan commission (Simpson-Bowles) to develop a workable debt reduction strategy and then completely ignored their advice. "Can you tell me one reason why you believe the president seriously wants to lower the national debt?"

Big enough? Non-partisan enough?

(He [Obama] wants to raise taxes on the rich. "Okay, that's eighty billion dollars of debt reduction per year, assuming the rich agree to keep doing what they're doing. How many eighty billions are there in sixteen trillion?")

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2012 2:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Do I want to know? I don't know. Whether he is wedded to failed policies because of his academic background and ignorance (likely) or willfully wants to damage America -- does it matter?

My Dad used to correct me "you can't look into a man's heart." I think that advice may be handy here.

Then he'd suggest I get a haircut...

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 7:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Great review! The Refugee will likely save his money, as he does not need to be convinced of something he already believes. However, it does start a very worthwhile conversation in the broader electorate.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 27, 2012 8:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Barack Obama's academic background, such as we know of it, started at home and was reinforced by every leftist who crossed his path, either academically or socially. Barack Obama may indeed be ignorant to the efficacy of Austrian economics but not because he is an ignorant man.

I never claimed to be looking into his heart. Supposedly he showed us that himself in 'Dreams.' But there exists a tidy triangle connecting the points of the "Global Fairness" Movement, young Barack's friends and family, and President Obama's actual policies and actions.

Posted by: johngalt at August 28, 2012 11:59 AM

August 21, 2012

.Romney Calls for Fed Audit as Party Mulls Platform Plank

D'y'all see this?

"I would like to see the Fed audited," Romney said today. Still, he cautioned that Congress shouldnt be given the authority to run the central bank.

"I want to keep it independent," he said. "There are very few groups that I would not want to give the keys to. One of them is Congress."


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:42 PM | Comments (7)
But Bryan thinks:

I agree!

Legalize competing currencies and get the government out of it all together :).

Posted by: Bryan at August 21, 2012 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

The Federal Reserve? Didn't you hear? Todd Akin (R - MO) thinks that a woman doesn't get pregnant if she's raped. Don't you have Facebook?

The Federal Reserve...

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2012 3:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Brother Bryan: the Everyday Economist turned me on to George Selgin and I agree that what he calls "Free Banking" is the best way. DO you find that consistent with Article I Section Eight's "To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin?" Would this require amendment (probability 0.0000000000000015%) or simple statue (probability 0.0000055%)?

(Me negative?)

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2012 4:20 PM
But Bryan thinks:

I am by no means an expert on "free banking" but from what I have read about it, I would not complain if that were the primary banking system of the United States.

But then again...I like complaining :)

Posted by: Bryan at August 21, 2012 4:30 PM
But Bryan thinks:

As to the legality, I would argue that you could implement a "free banking" solution without statute or amendment.

I think this system would create itself if the government simply revoked the Fed's charter and repealed legal tender laws. You could certainly codify it into law, but I don't think it would be needed for this system to function.

Posted by: Bryan at August 21, 2012 4:35 PM
But dagny thinks:

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

Posted by: dagny at August 21, 2012 4:43 PM

August 16, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"We're going around the country, talking about, How do we put people back to work? How do we improve our schools? How do we make sure that we're producing American energy? How do we lower our debt in a responsible way?' And I don't think you or anybody who's been watching the campaign would say that in any way we have tried to divide the country. We've always tried to bring the country together," President Obama said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Well, perhaps just 99 percent of the country.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2012

Romney, Rand, Ryan and Me

or, What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
The recent flurry of activity involving the naming of Paul Ryan as Vice-Presidential candidate, Dianna Hsieh's talk at the Liberty on the Rocks, Ari Armstrong's endorsement of Romney-Ryan, and the commentary on such by the brethern, leads me to share a remarkable coincidence: I was raised as a Mormon, read Rand at 15 and strove to be an Objectivist, and was baptized a Catholic earlier this year.

And so, a few insider insights in to the Three Rs:

Mormonism: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints really tried to get people to drop the "Mormon" word but it's embedded in the cuture and we use it here. I grew up in a big Mormon family and thoroughly understand the doctines and beliefs in the church, and they believe they're Christians, despite the naysaying of various other Christian sects.

The most important thing to know about Mormons in the context of this election year is just how All-American they are; they believe that America is uniquely blessed and chosen to lead and save the world, they believe in hard work and prosperity, and they believe in Boy Scouts, apple pie and patriotism. During their early days they were set apart by Joseph Smith as a "peculiar people" but when they did the deal in 1890 to end polygamy and gain statehood for Utah, they quickly became more American than the Americans. Currently the church is experiencing some of the same fallout from liberalism and feminism as the Catholic Church (and the rest of the culture): more people using (theoretically not allowed) birth control, rapidly increasing rates of divorce, demands for women in the leadership, etc. But Mitt Romney grew up steeped in an atmosphere of American exceptionalism. It's ingrained as thoroughly as his religion.

I really began a mature questioning of the Mormon story at age 11 when I began to read Heinlein. This was another, bigger world, a whole universe, in fact. At 15 I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time and suppose that in some respects it replaced religion for me; it made sense, it was a worked-out Weltanschauung that relied on reason, rather than faith. You didn't have to buy it from somebody else; Rand told you to think for yourself.

This brings up something interesting that relates to Paul Ryan and his admiration for Rand, even as he clearly states he's no Objectivist. I have met quite a few Christians over the years who had read Rand and admired her work, her individualism and support for capitalism. Without exception they were high-IQ types, professionally successful--in other words something like Paul Ryan. But of course Rand or any person who calls himself "Objectivist" would conclude that despite some admirable applied rationality in business or other profession these people are hopeless mystics and second-handers, only marginally above Wesley Mouch and Ellsworth Toohey.

I won't go into a dissertation here on how and why I became a Catholic, but offer the insight that the Catholic critics of Ryan and his budget, those who claim that "Catholic Social Teaching" and Jesus Christ himself would condemn Ryan as a heartless selfish bastard balancing the budget on the backs of the poor...don't know the teachings of their own Church very well. There are certain unalterable truths taught by the Church, and then there are many desirable goals like peace between men and nations, food for the hungry and clothes for the naked, the reform of criminals and the treatment of disease, etc. These ends are not in question, but the means to achieve them is not a teaching of the Church.

People are free to disagree with theologians, bishops and the Pope on the proper tax rates, budgets, economic incentives, immigration laws, gun laws and many other political questions. Some Catholics on the left attempt to shame conservatives with charges that "Jesus would favor an increase in the Medicaid budget" but this is nonsense.

The common denominators between the Mormons and Catholics that really drive the socially-left libertarians crazy are the male preisthood and the refusal to "celebrate" homosexuality and sanctify "gay marriage." For some, even an Objectivist like Diana Hsieh, this negative more than outweighs all the happytalk about free markets, less regulation and getting bureaucrats off of our backs.

Having run the entire gamut from Mormon to Objectivist to Catholic gives me the perspective to state that in this imperfect and fallen world, Romney-Ryan is in some strange way my Dream Ticket!

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 7:00 PM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

I must correct an erroneous conclusion into which brother Ellis seems to have been duped- That he and Paul Ryan are "second-handers" in the Rand lexicon for "picking and choosing" from her philosphy rather than adopting it whole. No, that is not the definition of "second-hander." A second-hander is one who lives and profits from the creative effort of others.

The linked article by Ed Kilgore is responsible for this attempted redefinition. I suspect he did so intentionally, with malice toward the ideas of Rand and the electoral success of Ryan, for the former are a mortal threat to Kilgore's altruistic Progressivism. And to whatever extent Ryan may succeed in promulgating Rand's ideas in public policy, Kilgore's ideology loses.

Posted by: johngalt at August 16, 2012 3:22 PM
But jk thinks:

"There are things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, not dreamt of in man's philosophies."

That bit o' the bard alone keeps from being an Objectivist. Plus they never have enough cucumber sandwiches at their quarterly meetings... Yet I reconcile by allowing myself flights of fancy without altering my life. Read your horoscope if you must (I don't), but don't stay home because it warns of dangerous travel.

I'll collect all of your Catholic Trading cards and bid up Larry Kudlow (adult convert) and the bulk of the WSJ Ed Page. My leading lights are all bleedin' Papists! Larry drives Cadillacs.

I use "human spirit" loosely and could trade it in for a Rand approved term for individual human exceptionalism. I was raised on a steady diet of "you're not so hot." "You didn't build that." None of this is doctrine, just my experiences.

Lastly, I did not lose faith because of Ayn Rand. It was Jethro Tull: the liner notes to "Aqualung" (..and Man created God, and in Man's image he created Him...) and the final song (on the "God Side" of the LP).

How do you dare to tell me that I'm my father's son? When that was just an accident of birth. I'd rather look around me, compose a better song. 'Cause that's the honest measure of my worth.

A couple years with the Jesuits could have knocked that out of me -- but I never had the chance.

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2012 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Speaking of dream ticket.

Posted by: johngalt at August 16, 2012 3:53 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Brother jg - you are correct to point out that Ed Kilgore is a poor example of someone to define "second-hander" per Rand. There is a continuum of Objectivism 30 years after her death, from the sola scriptura followers to the "Open System" of David Kelly to great admirers who disagree on certain important points (me) to Hillary Clinton.

My original and repeated readings of Rand convinced me that being a real Objectivist requires atheism, but I've certainly met some people who called themselves such but were open to reasons and argument about the existence of God and whether Christianity was actually a powerful positive good in society.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 16, 2012 6:14 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


@JK notes they were all so impressive in habit, integrity and decency that one really does wonder Yup, me three! I usually describe Mormons - admiringly - as "obnoxiously nice."

Faith vs. Reason? I'm not sure I see the conflict. I took Rand for what she was: entertaining, challenging and avant garde, not some anti-messiah. My backbone on the topic is actually from Einstein's Ideas and Opinions from which I'd happily cite, but it's somewhere in an unpacked box that I'll get to some day!

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 17, 2012 12:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There is a longer, more rigorous answer to the question: "What is the conflict between faith and reason?" but an easy anecdotal answer presented itself in an @AriArmstrong Tweet today.

Faith in a supernatural authority can lead to conclusions like this, while reason, on a foundation of ownership of self, cannot.

Posted by: johngalt at August 17, 2012 3:51 PM

Edward Feser: The Road from Libertarianism

Philosopher Edward Feser has posted an exploration of how reason moved him from libertarianism to limited government conservatism. It fits beautifully with the naming of Paul Ryan as Romney's VP and with Libertario Delenda Est:

For reasons I have explained in my Social Philosophy and Policy article Classical Natural Law Theory, Property Rights, and Taxation -- where the interested reader can find my current views on the matters referred to in the title -- I think that an A-T natural law approach to those matters entails the rejection of libertarianism, socialism, and egalitarian liberalism alike, and in most areas requires at least a presumption in favor of private enterprise and against government action. In other words, I think that moral principle should lead us to take a broadly center-right approach to matters of politics rather than a broadly center-left approach. But beyond that, abstract moral principle cannot tell us much, and we have to look to common sense, experience, history, current circumstances, and whatever economics and the other social sciences can tell us in order to decide upon concrete policy. That doesnt give us anything like the single magic bullet approach to politics that the thesis of self-ownership seemed to provide. But if theres one thing any conservative should know, its that looking for single magic bullets is after all a pretty stupid project where social and political philosophy are concerned. All the same, on some matters -- such as opposition to the abomination that is Obamacare -- I am happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with libertarians.

Paul Ryan's statements about Rand, Aquinas and Catholic social teaching have received a great deal of scrutiny in the last few days: a professor who claims Ryan the social conservative is actually Rand's nightmare; another professor who produces at the Puffington Host what can only be described as an incoherent stew; a potty mouth in the Village Voice who puts long Aquinas quotes and the words "fucking" and "bullshit" in close proximity.

The quote which all of these people reference, directly or indirectly (and unfairly truncated in the first piece) is:

"If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don't give me Ayn Rand."

Emphasis added! Epistemology is not Catholic social thought. It is not economics. It is not political philosophy. These losers, and many others now coming out of the woodwork like carpenter ants either don't know the difference, or are intellectually dishonest hacks.

Feser's piece doesn't mention Paul Ryan, but I speculate that Ryan's intellectual development ran a similar course. Growing up Catholic, inspired as an undergraduate by Rand, Friedman and Hayek, he eventually came to a mature, limited government conservatism. That's not so hard to understand, and there is no inherent contradiction in it as imagined by those who are frightened by Ryan's intelligence, charisma and ability to explain the consequences of four more years of Obama.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 12:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
But johngalt thinks:

Just started reading the first linked article but can't wait to ask the rhetorical question, "Can Vice President and candidate for re-election to said office Joseph Biden even pronounce the word 'epistemology?"

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2012 2:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, I got as far as paragraph 22. I think he makes a fundamental error in his treatment of self-ownership in paragraphs 18-19 which caused him, erroneously, to dismiss the theory. Simply saying that, "I have not imprisoned you at all! I've simply homesteaded all the land around you" does not alter the obvious fact that you have, objectively, imprisoned me.

This points to a problem borne from high urban densities that does not exist in frontier environments and is why as populations grow their political philosophies become ever more statist.

Yes, there will be an RAH quote on this today (if I can find or remember it verbatim.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2012 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Hmmmm. Very challenging. I twisted my wrist a bit patting myself on the back for giving it a little-o objective reading.

Interesting as I have made the exact same journey the other way. What he calls pragmatic, I like Professor Myron's term, "consequentialist." As he has become more consequentialist, I have become more rights-based. As he has rejected self-ownership in favor of conservatism, I have discovered Locke and JS Mill like a child who thinks he is the first to experience sunshine.

I confess I do not perhaps understand his argument against self-ownership. The book he linked to was $47 on Kindle (the guy thinks he's Justice Scalia?) I'd like to return to a few of the TCS articles. But the small example included (the fence around the guy on the desert island) was completely non-compelling. Just because I own my body does not mean you own the rest of the world -- I don't remember signing that.

As that is the heart of his conversion and I concede not to understand it, I feel unable to offer a cogent argument beyond "says you." I do own my person -- inalienably. That indeed includes rights that can be misused (what rights cannot?)

Perhaps in the end parity is conserved. I moved from a Burkean if not theological Conservatism to a Hayekian Libertarianism. Like Feser, I carry a lot of respect for my old teammates, but the Mill-Mises-Hoppe axis of self-ownership remains defining and liberating for me. I'll read a couple of his linked articles (if they don't cast me $47) but have not yet seen something substantive enough to sway me.

Posted by: jk at August 15, 2012 7:57 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

It appears that Leonard Peikoff addressed a very similar situation, see here:

"The obvious, classic example of this is, which I’ve been asked a hundred times, you swim to a desert island — you know, you had a shipwreck — and when you get to the shore, the guy comes to you and says, “I’ve got a fence all around this island. I found it. It’s legitimately mine. You can’t step onto the beach.” Now, in that situation you are in a literal position of being metaphysically helpless. Since life is the standard of rights, if you no longer can survive this way, rights are out. And it becomes dog-eat-dog or force-against force. Now, don’t assume that any unsatisfied need therefore puts you in this metaphysical category. For instance, you are very poor and you are hungry. Well, you need feed. But in a capitalist society, even in a mixed economy, that is not a metaphysical deprivation. There’s always all sorts of choices and ways in a free society for you to gain food. Always."

So the rational, "Libertarian" thing to do is break down the wall. Since I can't acess Feser's paper either, I am not going to give him a pass on this.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 16, 2012 7:23 PM

August 13, 2012

Colorado Reaction

Ari Armstrong acquires reaction fron Colorado liberty lovers (and also Rep. Tom Tancredo) at the ATF party.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

One negative reaction, at 5:30. "It was the natural liberal choice. Instead of freedom we'll get socialism-lite. We'll get efficiency with socialism instead of freedom. It's what I've come to expect from Mitt Romney."

I think I may have to turn over the mantle "John Galt" to that guy.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2012 2:58 PM

Another Election-Year Movie Trailer

This one a documentary, not a fiction. Based on the book by Dinesh D'Souza.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:06 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Y'know, I expect my friends on the other side to admit when one of theirs, say a Chris Matthews for example, goes off the rails. I'll reciprocate with D'Souza.

He is a smart guy and I have enjoyed two of his books and many of his columns over the years. But he has descended into a conspiratorial darkness that I don't appreciate and have no desire to defend.

Posted by: jk at August 13, 2012 5:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really out to get you."

Posted by: johngalt at August 13, 2012 6:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Frustrating because he is certainly right on many many things but I feel I have to discard all. Sad.

Posted by: jk at August 13, 2012 6:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sometimes I can be pretty dense. This feels like one of those times.

D'Souza is a smart guy with a solid track record but this one movie, billed as a documentary that "shows how Obama's goal to downsize America is in plain sight but ignored by everyone" causes you to disavow him?

You have seen or read enough to classify this as "conspiratorial darkness?" The author was a fellow at AEI and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The book has five customer reviews, none negative. Hmmm.

It might be easier for me to understand your summary dismissal if I didn't know there is a prominent political movement that endorses global fairness.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2012 2:18 PM
But jk thinks:

No. I have discarded D'Souza long ago, and as soon as I saw his name and heard the portentous music, I moved along.

You may try to rehabilitate him in my eye -- I cannot remember all of the missteps that distanced us. It's funny to have you step up because he is a very orthodox Christian, and famous Creationist. I'm glad to see your branching out.

I owe you a better enumeration of nuttiness. Looking at his Wikipedia I see:

With regard to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, D'Souza asserted that the abuse to the prisoners was due to the "sexual immodesty of liberal America" and that Abu Ghraib reflected "the values of a debauched liberalism run amok."

I liked his "What's So Great About America" and "Letters to a Young Conservative" even though the latter was a swipe at my man Christopher Hitchens.

I've just heard a few too many bombastic, outré statements from him over the years and have tuned him out.

A perfect parallel with Ann Coulter. I enjoyed a few of her books too but I don't enjoy what I see as rhetorical overreach.

Posted by: jk at August 14, 2012 3:51 PM

August 11, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

Democrats will no doubt try to make Paul Ryan into a younger version of the devil theyve tried to paint Mitt Romney as. But they should worry about fighting a campaign on fundamental issues in a weak economy. Thats precisely how Jimmy Carter, the last Democratic president to run for reelection during hard times, wound up losing so badly that it not only cost Democrats control of the U.S. Senate but damaging the liberal brand for years afterwards.

- John Fund in 'Smart Democrats Should be Worried' at The Corner

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

RomneyHoss2012

It is SO on!

UPDATE: 23 minutes well spent: Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division

Posted by John Kranz at 10:17 AM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"A debate between Ryan and Biden would look very much like Ryan pushing some old woman off a cliff."

Given the history, I would enjoy seeing the SCOAMF undone by a man named Ryan.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 11, 2012 11:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Very pleased by the prospect of a campaign of ideas over whatever usually passes for political discourse.

Posted by: johngalt at August 11, 2012 10:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

UPDATE DEUX: I really loved this six-minute monologue by Ryan at the president's "bipartisan health care summit." Dagny didn't remember it. Maybe the rest of America needs reminding of it too.

"And I've gotta tell you the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of healthcare I would respectfully submit" you're full of crap.
Posted by: johngalt at August 11, 2012 11:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Lots of great ideas in the 23 minute speech to Heritage Foundation. Many could be distilled into 30-second spots.

Why do so many well intentioned people support Democratic politicians? Because they believe the claptrap that Democrats lecture them with. Some do so because it is easier than taking responsibility for their own success or failure. Others, because they never get to hear an alternative vision. For these people, this calm and thoughtful 23 minutes is a valuable input.

Posted by: johngalt at August 12, 2012 11:01 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And as for KA's 'private Ryan' reference, the private has just been placed on the fast track for promotion.

Posted by: johngalt at August 12, 2012 11:11 AM
But Terri thinks:

Where does one purchase such a great looking bumpersticker?

Posted by: Terri at August 12, 2012 3:29 PM

August 10, 2012

Nicely Done.

Hat-tip: @baseballcrank Not a fan of ads griping about negative ads, but well done. RT @Yousefzadeh More like this, please: http://t.co/1ODKzG9G

Posted by John Kranz at 2:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 9, 2012

Quote of the Day -- Veepstakes

Mr. Ryan could electrify the conservative base in a way Mr. Romney doesn't. He's young and stylish, articulate, likable and sincere. Some have described him as the Republican version of President Obama because of the youth, charm, and the fact they both have darling families. "He's a new-age Jack Kemp (the late congressman from Buffalo and GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996)," says Arthur Laffer, a long time friend and adviser to both. Another Reagan supply sider, Larry Kudlow of CNBC says Ryan would be "a homerun." -- Stephen Moore
This is in "Political Diary." The lead WSJ Editorial today suggests Chairman Ryan (HOSS - WI) as the best choice.
Posted by John Kranz at 1:03 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Does the conservative base really need any more "electrifying?" The president is the A-bomb of conservative energization. My support at this late date is behind the Senator from the must-win state of Florida, Marco Rubio. He is as smooth and charming as Mitt Romney is not, and his fresh face and calming voice will pay far greater dividends in swing states like Colorado.

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2012 1:49 PM
But Terri thinks:

I agree with John. Marco Rubio is the man. I can just hear the ads for Ryan now....

They aren't pretty. We already know they lie, let Ryan have his quiet time budgeting in the background.

Posted by: Terri at August 9, 2012 1:54 PM
But jk thinks:

A: this shows how worthless "Conservative" is as a scalar quantity

B: in my new, full time, libertario delenda est role, I suspect that some Tea Partiers and Libertarians could experience voltage gain with a pick that promised fealty to limited government. And I think Rep Ryan would be best. Sen. Rubio is the guy he picked to win Florida and appease Hispanics in Colorado; Ryan says he is dedicated to reform.

C: Much truth in Terri's suggestion that we need him in the House. Reason said this about Sen. Rand Paul and changed my mind on him. Wasting a valuable player in the interstice between Article I and Article II is tactically dubious.

Yet I am all in. It would provide a theme and a focus on substantive issues.

Posted by: jk at August 9, 2012 5:24 PM

August 8, 2012

Quote of the Day

So on four separate occasions what TPC says is "mathematically impossible"--cutting tax rates and making the tax system more progressive--actually happened. Hats off to the scholars at TPC: Their study manages to claim that what happens in real life can't happen in theory. -- WSJ Ed Page
From an important takedown of the "Romney Hood" Tax Policy Center study. Let me know if you want a copy emailed over the pay wall.

UPDATE: This link should be free for seven days.

UPDATE II: How to fix the study.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Yes please.

Posted by: johngalt at August 8, 2012 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

From the article: "In fact, it's a highly ideological tract based on false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. In other words, it is custom made for the Obama campaign."

Why wouldn't a jovial reaction to this ad hominem turn the attack back on the president? e.g. "'Romney Hood' eh? My recollection of that story was that Robin Hood stood up to a greedy, self-righteous king and his heartless tax collectors. He repossessed gold from the king to return it to the working people his tax collectors took it from. 'Romney Hood' sounds like a badge of honor to me. By the way, does anyone realize that China, communist China, collects nearly ten percent less tax revenue from her people than the United States?"

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2012 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I am trying to heed the words of a pundit who cautioned not to second guess the campaigns too much. As naturally as it comes.

Did I say trying Yoda?

Governor Romney's campaign seems much less a train wreck than Senator McCain's. But holy cow. I MT-ed a @davidharsanyi tweet yesterday to this.

Mitt Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul attacked a pro-Barack Obama PAC ad which links the GOP presidential candidate to the cancer-related death of a former steelworker's wife. Saul veered off message, however, when she said that the fired steel worker would have had access to health care if he had lived in Massachusetts where, under Romney's plan, health care coverage is extended to the uninsured.
@davidharsanyi nearly every time the romney gets the upper hand they blow it.

Many called for Ms. Saul to be fired -- are you available to replace her?

Posted by: jk at August 9, 2012 12:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My services can be secured for a pittance. I did, in fact, email the China/US tax revenue info to two contacts in the Romney campaign. Leading a horse to water, as it were...

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2012 12:34 PM

August 5, 2012

Yes, Let's Emulate China!

Elizabeth Warren has a new campaign commercial in her effort to take back "Ted Kennedy's seat" in the US Senate. In it she looks at the camera and says,

"Weve got bridges and roads in need of repair and thousands of people in need of work. Why arent we rebuilding America? Our competitors are putting people to work, building a future. China invests 9 percent of its GDP in infrastructure. America? Were at just 2.4 percent. We can do better."

I cannot continue without first asking, "What do you mean 'we' kemosabe?" But there's more to this story than pointing out the difference between a (partially) free state and a communist dictatorship, as the Boston Herald does very well, and than reminding Ms. Warren that the lion's share of infrastructure "investment" in the U.S. is made privately and thus won't show up in her government spending statistic.

Warren wants to compare America to China on spending? Then let's compare them on taxation as well: According to data from the Heritage Foundation that I blogged last month, China's tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is 17 percent. America's is almost ten points higher - 26.9%.

Let's make America more competitive with China. Let's return 9.9 percent of the nation's GDP to those who earned it so that it can once again be invested in prosperity. (And who would ever have believed that America's tax receipts could grow to become a greater share of the economy than that of communist China in the first place?)

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:36 AM | Comments (5)
But AndyN thinks:

How much of that 9% was spent building cities that still stand unoccupied? Likewise, if the US increased federal infrastructure spending, how much of it would be spent on rail lines to nowhere and the like?

Posted by: AndyN at August 5, 2012 5:22 PM
But jk thinks:

At least in China, people listen to their betters!

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2012 1:41 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

In America, we don't HAVE betters.

Of course, try telling that to our elected overlords, their appointed czars and bureaucrats, and the self-appointed special-interest activists...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 6, 2012 2:14 PM
But jk thinks:

...and the Haavaahd Professors...

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2012 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It figures, even "our betters" are Made in China.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2012 5:08 PM

None Dare Call Him libertarian

There's an interesting candidate for US Senate in the state of Tennessee this cycle. Mark Clayton:

The Clayton campaign's Facebook page champions three major positions: strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution, family stances that are pro-life, and keeping the country from turning into "AN ORWELLIAN SUPER STATE."

Yet this is not a "TEA Party candidate" proffered by Jim DeMint or Sarah Palin or some small government super PAC trying to take over the GOP. Clayton defeated six others in his state's Democrat primary. Personally I see this as the revenge of the Southern Democrats, but Tennessee's Democratic Party credits another factor for Clayton's success:

"Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates were able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support."

"Unfortunately?" The state Democratic party is somehow displeased with the candidate their registered voters selected? Yes, so much so that they have disavowed him as their candidate to oppose Republican Senator Bob Corker.

"Mark Clayton is associated with a known hate group in Washington, D.C., and the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write-in a candidate of their choice in November."

Yet it seems that the Tennessee Democrat "candidate of choice" is Mark Clayton! Who is "out of touch" now? After all, this is the Demo-cratic party.

Posted by JohnGalt at 9:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2012

Photo of the Quadrennial!

Mercy! A great friend of this blog sends a link to a photo.


Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And the SCOAMF had the nerve to say that it was the Republicans who drove the car into the ditch. Man, I need to get me a big ol' Slurpee so I can watch the skinny Boy King in his mom jeans, slipping and sliding and sweating, trying to push it out.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 3, 2012 5:51 PM

August 1, 2012

Will Obama Play the "Mormon Card"?

Professor Reynolds agrees with the WSJ's Holman Jenkins that "Team Obama will play the Mormon card at some point too."

The gist of the article is that BO's campiagn has no point, except to try and suppress Romney voters and somehow squeek though to victory. Fine; from a game-theory perspective, I suppose that's all they have left. "It could have been even worse" is obviously not going to do the job.

However, the "Mormon card" would be the equivalent of a tactical nuke set off 100 yards ahead of your own trenches in the hope it will harm the enemy more than you. I don't know exactly what the "Mormon card" is supposed to be, but I take it that it would mean surrogates saying, more in sorrow than in anger, that certain Mormon beliefs are so far out of the mainstream, so crazy, that (hint, hint) can we really trust someone who believes this stuff to make rational decisions about world-historical issues?

I don't think that this can work for Obama, who happens to have attended the Rev. Wright's sort-of anti-American church for many years and whose Christianity seems to stay in the closet most of the time. Maybe he'll be seen attending more services at various mainline Protestant churches (all of which will, of course, have put on the record their support of "gay marriage') in the next few months.

Reynolds and Jenkins are both very smart men, but I just don't see how the "Mormon card" can help Obama win. There is a scenario where, late in the race, his campaign is desperate and throws every last piece of trash out there in an attempt to pull off a miracle. That's embedded in the implications of the whole piece.

My conclusion: If we see the "Mormon card" it means Romney is going to win and Obama is willing to sacrifice his dignity and his ethics in a desperate attempt to stave it off. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it well could.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 2:50 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Al Smith will have the last laugh when that happens. Jack Kennedy may have been the first to overcome it, but if that card gets played this go-round, it will never get played again. The backlash will be incendiary.

There are a handful of my brethren (and cistern) who have made comments about their inability to vote for a Presidential candidate of unlike faith. I don't share that concern (and there are ThreeSourcers here who will testify that probably no one here unloaded on Huckabee as virulently as did I); I'm not voting for a Pastor-in-Chief.

Not that long ago, when it started looking like Mr. Romney was going to be the likeliest to get the nomination, an Obama supporter who I tolerate shot off his mouth and asked me "So, are you going to be able to vote for a Christian heretic in November?"

"Better than an apostate Muslim, I suppose," I shot back, not missing a beat.

And therein lies the danger in the SCOAMF playing that particular card. That weapon has a nasty kick.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 1, 2012 5:11 PM

TEA Party Slays Another GOP Dragon

The women's gymnastics gold medal isn't the only awesome thing that happened yesterday.

"Tonight is a victory for the grassroots. It is a testament to Republican women, to tea party leaders and to grassroots conservatives," Cruz said in his victory speech. "This is how elections are supposed to be decided--by 'we the people.'"

In a Texas GOP primary runoff that effectively selected the next senator from the conservative state Ted Cruz defeated prospective "time-serving Republican placeholder" David Dewhurst, promising to add one more voice of principle over politics to the US Senate.

In the end it wasn't even a close race. Cruz had a victory margin of 13 points.

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

Was happy the TEA folks triumphed but was concerned that this was more marginal cost than marginal benefit (Dewhurst really does not eat babies).

Now, reading George Will, I am pumped:

Before Cruz, now 41, earned a Harvard law degree magna cum laude, he wrote his Princeton senior thesis on the Constitution's Ninth and 10th Amendments, which if taken seriously would revitalize two bulwarks of liberty -- the ideas that the federal government's powers are limited because they are enumerated, and that the enumeration of certain rights does not "deny or disparage others retained by the people." Both ideas are repudiated by today's progressives, as they were by TR, whose Bull Moose Party, the result of his bolt from the GOP, convened in Chicago 100 years ago Sunday -- Aug. 5, 1912.

Viva Cruz!

Posted by: jk at August 1, 2012 7:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The "time-serving Republican placeholder" link gives many reasons why Dewhurst was a threat to the GOP brand. Our most important task as Republican activists is to make the GOP the party of freedom, and no longer the party of puritanism and slightly lower marginal rates.

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2012 12:08 AM

July 24, 2012

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 7:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2012

Ten Things Obama has not Released

I have a new Internet friend. I met Tim Ross by insulting his Joss Whedon post.

Perusing the excellent A Hollywood Republican site, and some of Ross's other work, I noticed that we have another thing in common: lefty Facebook friends. Thankfully, mine are not writing for Disney and polluting any young minds but their offspring. But we most both endure hate and rumor and lies about the things we believe and the people we choose to support -- all presented as matter-of-(non)-factly as a cute kitten video.

My FB friends have been on Defcon 3 over the Romney tax releases and his precise exit date from Bain. I may or may not share Joel Pollack's Top Ten things Obama has not Released with them. That would be an exercise in porcine vocal coaching.

But ThreeSourcers will dig it:

As the Obama campaign and the media continue to press Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, and to suggest--without a shred of evidence--that he is a "felon," it is worth noting how much critical information Barack Obama has withheld from view--both as a candidate in 2008, and during his term in office. Here is a Breitbart News top ten list of things that Obama has refused to release (a complete list would fill volumes):

Gotta click for the list.

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

The list is well done and is so damning that a Republican president with that record would have been impeached by now.

This post is full of linkety goodness. Another good Tim Ross post was the one on the UN Arms Control Treaty Obama and Hillary are set to sign in a few weeks. I had read about it from Dick Morris and thought it deserved a post but have been dissuaded by the need to give it a thorough treatment. Ross does so, including the observation that 10 NRA-friendly senate Democrats are in a position to scuttle the President's plan. One of them, Harry Reid, caused mutiny amongst a portion of NRA membership when the organization endorsed him for re-election over his TEA Party challenger. If Reid doesn't come through on this vote, including enough fellow Democrats to defeat ratification of the treaty, the NRA will have been exposed as a rube of the highest order.

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2012 3:53 PM

July 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

Is it really so shocking that that the dying companies Bain tried to turn around shed jobs? Is it fair or intellectually honest to hang a global trend of the last 40 years around Romney's neck? Do all the liberal activists tweeting on their made-in-China smartphones actually believe what they're saying about the evils of outsourcing? -- Jonah
Posted by John Kranz at 6:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2012

Right/Wrong Track

Now that I've returned home from my family summer vacation in Disneyland the election season may begin in earnest.

After JK's suggestion that job creators are not an electoral plum but merely a goose to be plucked I went looking for 2008 presidential exit polling to see if small business owners voted for Obama more than McCain as I suspect. I couldn't find that split but did notice the strong split in Right direction / wrong track voters when candidate Obama promised "Hope and Change" to an electorate who believed, by a 2-to-1 margin, in 2008 we were going the wrong way.

Right%20track%20wrong%20track%202008.jpg

Although candidate McCain was not the incumbent he was of the incumbent party and thus was saddled with the "status quo" albatross. But now the shoe is on Obama's other foot as he attempts to defend the change he has wrought. The incumbent president seeks re-election in the face of this:

Right%20track%20wrong%20track%202012%20July.jpg

This, combined with the unemployment situation, will make it harder even for those who like the president to choose four more years of "status quo-bama."

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2012

Pretty Good Ad

Hat tip: Professor Glenn "White Power Toothbrush" Reynolds

Posted by John Kranz at 9:57 AM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2012

Election 2012: Barack Obama vs. Potted Plant

Speaker Boehner, in response to a guest at a West Virginia GOP fundraiser, said,

"The American people probably arent going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. Ill tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama."

"Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons ... some people that are going to vote for him. But thats not what this election is about. This election is going to be a referendum on the presidents failed economic policies."

This could be an effective strategy if nobody else were running. Nobody who, for example, promotes a clear policy of more freedom and less government designed to appeal to the influential Liberty Movement. Someone like that could attract pro-votes away from a GOP potted plant intent on collecting all of the anti-Obama protest vote. This could be especially important in western swing states like, Colorado. For team Obama it is AP to the rescue with a puff piece on the TEA party explaining why they should vote Libertarian.

The unknown, of course, is Johnson, who is working to ensure his name is also on the ballot in all 50 states. Paul supporters may very well desert the GOP for Johnson, especially in Western states where the former two-term New Mexico governor is better known. A June poll in the swing state of Colorado showed Johnson garnering 7 percent support, mostly coming from potential Romney backers.

Brian Doherty, a senior editor at the libertarian magazine Reason and author of a new book about Ron Paul, predicts that most Paul supporters won't vote at all for a presidential candidate, "which doesn't mean they're disengaging but that they won't give their support to someone they don't believe in 100 percent."

He and others take the position of McCobin that the election itself is far less important than effecting lasting philosophical change over policy and politics.

Sheer and utter madness. With Obamatax and Obamasityourassdownandshutup hanging in the balance of this election, any pro-freedom folks who vote for Johnson or don't vote are risking decades of Euro-socialism in America. If they think their chances are better with a third party in 4, 8 or 12 years than by co-opting the GOP now, a feat that the AP piece shows is already accomplished in Nevada, they are too stupid even for politics.

Dear Gary Johnson - Please take your ego and GET LOST.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:15 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I don't like to criticize my blog brothers, but this post belongs in "Libertario Delenda Est."

If it's not Governor Johnson it will be another. And considering how he lit up the electorate in the GOP Primaries, we're getting off easy.

The problem is Doherty -- and Matt Welch, and Nick Gillespie, and Veronique du Rugy, and ... All of them are way too cool to be pragmatic. And Reason will run a vicious hit piece on Gov. Romney every month until the election. One month will feature a cover story on Johnson with a puff piece.

Then next year, they will wonder how Obama won a second term.

Libertario Delenda Est!

Posted by: jk at July 9, 2012 3:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mea culpa. Category suggestions always appreciated.

Wondering why you don't use "quote of the day" category?

Posted by: johngalt at July 9, 2012 5:49 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I don't want to "fall in love" with the country's leadership. The very notion is New Age gobbledygook. Can you imagine what Ike would have said if his campaign team reported "the voters aren't in love with you, General"?

I want someone to respect for their vision, persistence and mental toughness. If you want to be loved in Washington, talk to God, or your dog. :)

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 9, 2012 6:48 PM

July 6, 2012

Massachusetts Experiment - The Verdict

As a leading expert on the Massachusetts health care system, candidate Romney is in an excellent position to explain why the health plan he helped create for Massachusetts (quite different from what he would have done without his "partners" in the Democrat-controlled state legislature) was a failure. Here's the message:

So "Obamacare" is not only now "Obamatax" it's also "Obamasityourassdownandshutup."

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

July 4, 2012

Independence Day Money Bomb

Fellow ThreeSourcers -

I wanted to ask a personal favor of you today.

As a few of you know, I am the campaign manager for Ellyn Hilliard's state house campaign. Ellyn is in a VERY competitive race against an appointed candidate that has spent his life as a career bureaucrat. Due to redistricting, House District 11 went from being solidly democrat to a toss up.

Ellyn is the PERFECT Republican to run in Boulder county as she holds a PhD in Holistic medicine and runs an organic and sustainable farm. Our campaign is starting to build a lot of momentum and we are very close to earning "on the radar" status with the state Republican party. This will give us access to additional money, speaking engagements, and booths at future Republican events between now and election day.

Recently, Ellyn out-raised her democrat opponent by a margin of 10:1 in the last two weeks of June. While this is great news, as soon as the Boulder progressive democrat machine sees this, they will surely start pumping large sums of money into what has always been a safe seat for them.

The personal favor I wanted to ask today is this:

Would you consider contributing to our July 4th money bomb?

July 4th Money Bomb

Your donation of $17.76, $50, $177.60, or the maximum of $400 will ensure that not only do we hold onto the one seat majority in the Colorado State House, but that we elect a candidate who will tirelessly fight for the principals on which our nation was founded 236 years ago.

For Liberty,

--Bryan

Posted by Bryan at 1:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Done and good luck! A small token of my esteem for running as a liberty candidate in the People's Republic.

Posted by: jk at July 4, 2012 5:56 PM
But Bryan thinks:

Thanks JK!!!!!!

Posted by: Bryan at July 4, 2012 6:12 PM

July 3, 2012

Good RNC Ad

I like cerebral but know emotional ads are more effective. This baby hits a legitimate topic in a capturing way. The graphics are well done.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2012

Constitution 1 - Taxpayers 0

Fellow freedom advocates, do not panic. Step back from the ledge. By a single vote the Supreme Court has avoided a catastrophic expansion of the Commerce Clause. The rest, as they say, is politics. Including Chief Justice Roberts' ruling:

"If an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes," Roberts writes. He adds that this means "the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income."

Hmmm, that's pretty thin Jim. The minority counters:

Justice Anthony Kennedy, usually the court's swing vote, dissented, reading from the bench that he and three conservative justices believe "the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety." In a 65-page dissent, he and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dismissed Roberts' arguments, writing that there is a "mountain of evidence" that the mandate is not a tax. "To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," they write.

Very persuasive. So my conclusion is that Roberts just didn't want to be villified as an "unelected emperor" who "took away America's free [unearned] health care." I agree with Yahoo News' Oliver Knox who writes-

But while Obama initially kept quiet, the early response from the law's main supporters and detractors showed that the court's ruling had essentially offered the Affordable Care Act only a reprieve, and that the law's fate was entwined with the results of the presidential election.

Finally, does anyone suppose that news outlets are falling all over themselves to get the "Obamacare Constitutional" message out as quickly as possible?

Individual%20mandate%206-4.jpg

No mention of the name of that tenth justice.

UPDATE: As of 11:57 am EDT that headline has been changed to: Individual mandate survives a 5-4 vote with Roberts voting to keep it

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 AM | Comments (11)
But Robert thinks:

Even better! Salon dude suddenly realizes that the crafty Roberts has lost a battle to win the war: Link.

Posted by: Robert at June 28, 2012 2:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I admit the motive I attribute to Roberts is pure speculation but I stand by it. I think he did it not for vanity but for what he perceives to be best for the national polity. The matter can only be justly resolved, he may believe, through democratic election. This is a fair opinion to hold, for any individual NOT a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America as Constituted.

Further thought has me spoiling for a fight over the notion that Roberts' position is defensible under the law- Prior to the inequity of the Sixteenth Amendment the Constitution prohibited unequal taxation, and even after that amendment it allows inequity only in taxation on incomes. The Obamacare "tax" applies only to the class of persons who are uninsured and is therefore not a uniform tax, but punishment for a personal act contravening the wishes of the Legislature. It summarily declares such persons guilty of some crime and punishes them without benefit of a judicial trial. It is effectively a bill of attainder, expressly prohibited under Article I. Section 9.

I submit that this line of reasoning is, at the very least, as defensible as Chief Justice Roberts'.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2012 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

@Robert: YES! I was just going to post that -- must read!

And most closely resembles my personal early opinion. Getting rid of Wickard would be even better for liberty than getting rid of the ACA.

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2012 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

@jg: Book me passage for two to your world, bro -- it would be a great place to live.

Seriously, while you are correct, 'round these parts, Congress's taxing authority is limitless. Much better examples of bills of attainder have passed with little scrutiny. Let me say "defensible" in the context of Solum's gestalt.

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2012 3:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Slate guy: "Roberts' genius was in pushing this health care decision through without attaching it to the coattails of an ugly, narrow partisan victory. Obama wins on policy, this time. And Roberts rewrites Congress' power to regulate, opening the door for countless future challenges. In the long term, supporters of curtailing the federal government should be glad to have made that trade."

i.e. To benefit the "national polity." I still think interpreting it as a tax was incorrect but can now forgive Roberts for the error. Especially given Sarah Palin's latest Tweet: "Thank you, SCOTUS. This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America's eyes are opened!"

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2012 3:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The Solum piece is very instructive brother. Thank you. Mine was certainly "a pre-New-Deal vision of real and substantial limits on Congress's enumerated powers" along with Justice Thomas. But as an agreeable sort I can be persuaded to join forces with the "alternative gestalt." [Fourth from last paragraph.]

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2012 3:42 PM

June 7, 2012

Funny!

Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll

Posted by John Kranz at 1:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

But there are a lot of good people in that [Romney's Bain Capital] business doing good things. That's the point I was making.

-- Former President Bill Clinton

If he keeps this up I predict a 50-state sweep for Romney. 1980 all over again. Well, okay, 44 states.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2012

President Obama's War on Heat and Light

Last week I wrote about the Denver Post's utter bewilderment that presidential candidate Mitt Romney would give a stump speech in rural Craig, Colorado (after all, there haven't been any layoffs there ... yet) and countered with the news coverage of the event by Routt County's Steamboat Today.

Today that much more objective publication runs an editorial by Rob Douglas that delves deeper into the contrast that Governor Romney is offering.

Agree or disagree with Obamas goal, one fact is undeniable. When Obamas intent became public, every man and woman working in coal-related jobs realized that Obama had placed a bulls-eye on their livelihood. Many of those men and women call the Yampa Valley home.

So when Romney sought the perfect venue to confront Obamas claim of an all-of-the-above energy policy, Northwest Colorado was a natural choice. Romney is calculating that he can increase his odds in November by siding with folks employed in fossil fuel industries in states like Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania all battleground states this year.

After all, Romney has a point when he argues that Obama has continued his war against coal.

This spring, having watched his cap-and-trade legislation die in the U.S. Senate when Democrats abandoned the bill in 2010, Obama bypassed Congress and used the Environmental Protection Agency to start implementing mercury emission, cross-state pollution and greenhouse gas regulations that will kill the coal industry.

But Douglas articulates a much more important message - one I have recognized but as yet not really written about: Coal is not the target. Pragmatic politicians cannot merely "sacrifice" the coal industry conifident in the fact that lost jobs will be replaced by growth in the natural gas industry. If coal is ever defeated the next environmental villain will be natural gas.

Coincidentally, on the same day Romney was speaking to the crowd gathered at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the International Energy Agency, global exploitation of shale gas reserves could transform the worlds energy supply by lowering prices, improving security and curbing carbon dioxide emissions, but the industry might be stopped in its tracks if it doesnt work harder to resolve environmental concerns.

Of course, everything after the but in that last sentence is where the battle lies. Because as can be witnessed even here in the Yampa Valley, there are some who will never accept fossil fuels as part of Americas energy policy. And just as coal is under attack, these individuals and organizations are mounting battles to prohibit the use of fracking to extract oil and gas the same oil and gas that Americans have been led to believe could replace coal as an energy source.

And hydraulic fracturing is only the first battlefront in the coming War on Natural Gas. That little "feature" of natural gas called "curbing carbon dioxide emissions" will be its undoing for natural gas is not without CO2 emissions, and once its use has been predicated on reducing that "pollutant" it can hardly remain a viable energy source since it can also be shown to be a "dirty" fuel.

"First they came for the coal, and I said nothing."

Not me. I *heart* coal.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:42 PM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2012

1000 Words

RomneySolyndra.jpg

Washington Examiner

Posted by John Kranz at 4:53 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm, In the span of about three weeks Romney has visited an oil production site, a coal production site, and now this, a solar power no-longer-producing site. What a schizophrenic campaign with no apparent theme!!!

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

This was a nice piece of work by the campaign. I saw this picture or a video equivalent on TV news and in the WSJ news section.

Posted by: jk at June 1, 2012 10:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Mondo heh.

"green PR crisis management strategy"

And I was only looking for the shirt!

Posted by: johngalt at June 1, 2012 11:45 AM

Move along, nothing to see here

Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.

In 'Routt County Republicans meet Mitt Romney' Franz opens, "Nancy Buchner said the sour economy motivated her to drive to Craig on Tuesday morning to see Mitt Romney." But in 'Mitt Romney in Colorado calls for government as "ally of business" Ms. Burnett implies that everything's just peachy.

Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.

According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:

"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesnt think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.

Not to worry though, Burnett says:

The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.

Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Merciful freaking Zeus! FOX31 did this story -- together with the "Amercia" typo -- as a "The Wheels are coming off the Romney Campaign" story. It seems production is up and unemployment is less than surrounding areas. Ergo, yes, everything is fine and Governor Romney is insane to suggest there are any problems. They were astonished that the campaign would not retract this obvious "lie."

I weep.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 4:25 PM

May 29, 2012

It's Over!

NYTimes:

NEWS ORLEANS (Reuters) -- The votes are in and it is unanimous: Barack Obama will win re-election to the U.S. presidency in November, according to five astrologers who offered predictions at their convention on Tuesday.

Each of the five astrologers on the presidential panel explained how they came to their assessments, with most relying on studies of celestial charts pertinent to both Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney for the date of either the election itself or the next presidential inauguration.


Sorry, Mitt, just wasn't to be this year...

Hat-tip: @jamestaranto

Posted by John Kranz at 7:19 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Two possibilities:

(1) The stargazers are wrong in their nutty little superstition, and should Romney win the White House, they will admit the error of their ways, recant, and life will go one.

(2) The stargazers have been making use of Ouija boards and crystal balls on the side. They know how the Illinois dead will be voting.

Let's take note of the names: Nina Gryphon (lawyering in her spare time) of Chicago and Chris Brennan of Denver (apparently the writer didn't see fit to hold the other three accountable for their predictions, or they themselves lacked confidence in their mojo). Let's see what tune they're singing a week after the election.

Just for fun, enjoy the lyrics of this little parody (I've had the pleasure of enjoying Michael Omartian's original version of this, and it's better than this):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbtLLVsXkII

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 30, 2012 12:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Where'd I put that Leisure Suit?

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2012 9:27 AM

May 25, 2012

Obama's "Vulture Capitalist" Campaign Co-Chair

At the Liberty on the Rocks Flatirons kickoff meeting last week I was urged to follow CompleteColorado.com for my news and not give another dime of money or attention to the Denver Post. Today the site proved the worth of that advice.

As I first heard on today's Rush Limbaugh program, Complete's Todd Shepherd broke the story about former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, currently a western US campaign co-chair for Obama 2012, who "has been a partner at private equity firm Vestar Capital since 2000." The significance, of course, is that Romney's Bain Capital background is, in the words of the president, "part of the debate that were going to be having in this election campaign."

Obviously I have nothing against "vulture" capitalists, but let's debate: Is it unacceptable for a corporate turnaround artist to be president of the United States but perfectly fine if he just shills for some useful idiot to hold the office on his behalf?

Complete closes with this:

If the President intends to make this election about Romney's record at Bain, then Mr. Pea and James Kelley must come clean about layoffs at Del Monte, Solo Cup Company, and Birdseye foods. If not, Mr. Pea might not be available to stand on the campaign stage with the President at his next Colorado rally.

That is, unless the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media says he can.

(More on this story at Colorado Peak Politics blog.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2012

Cool Econ Graphs

Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago" to defeat incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Mitt is using a similar strategy against today's incumbent president. This graph shows why it might be a winning play. Substantially more people are at a diminished income than there were at any time in the last 50 years, and there's a long way to go back to the baseline.

There are many more excellent graphs in the graph gallery of the Calculated Risk Blog.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

Colorado? Headwinds?

Who says there's no good news!

Rocky Path for Obama in Colorado

"We're not looking at a guy who's at 52 percent approval ratings," said Floyd Ciruli, one of the state's top independent pollsters, who in April found Obama's approval ratings hovering at 45 percent among likely voters. "Even though the economy and unemployment is a little better than the national average, the level of anxiety is just about as high here as any place else. There's general anxiety that [the economy] could turn south again."


I may be still too close to Boulder, but I think Colorado will be tough for Governor Romney.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:15 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I thought so too, based on the official GOP position on civil unions. Then someone told me that 70 percent oppose them. True? Bad on principle may be good pragmatically. (Not that I approve of such thinking.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 12:54 PM
But jk thinks:

It might energize some folks in El Paso County, but I don't see its swaying moderates of Democrats to switch in numbers to exceed those it turns off. (Peter Robinson's "It's My Party" talks about the more libertarian Rocky Mountain GOP versus the more evangelical Southern GOP.)

But mostly, I think the Democrats have learned that they can buy the state. Their 527s will scoop up all the airtime in relatively inexpensive markets. (Cynical much?)

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2012 1:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If it comes down to money there are reasons to be optimistic. Dick Morris tweets:

"The Republican PACs are looking to raise substantially more money then their Democratic counterparts, perhaps by a margin of 7 to 1."

"The RNC has raised about 70 million and the DNC has only raised about 10 or 15 million, again things are looking good for Mitt."

"The Democrats are putting most of their money into fieldwork and voter turnout, and less for ads. This could allow Romney to open up a lead."

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 2:38 PM

May 22, 2012

Thanks a Lot!

Yahoo

One day after President Barack Obama vowed to attack Mitt Romney's private equity record through to November, a super PAC supporting his re-election unleashed a new ad that enlists the former Massachusetts governor's erstwhile primary rivals to do just that.

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

May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

I can't believe I missed this on Friday:

If only the working title had been "Bow Wow Chow," it would be perfect. -- James Taranto

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

May 16, 2012

"Forward"

I just discovered Svetlana Kunin, a Russian emmigrant who has apparently been writing for Investor's Editorial Page for some time now. Playing off of President Obama's official re-election campaign slogan, Forward, today's offering is entitled, "Obama's Slogan 'Forward' Is Used By Socialists Too."

"Too?"

After introducing the motto "Forward!" -- identical to slogans of Socialists of the past and present-- Obama rolled out an imaginary vision of Julia, in which the government is involved in all aspects of a person's life.

No need for virtual reality. There is a real-life timeline for an average person in a society where the government plans, regulates and provides free services for its citizens in countries past and present the USSR, Cuba, etc.

(...)

I personally lived that life in the former USSR until age 30. When my young family of three immigrated to the USA, my parents stayed behind. After botched medical procedures in a free hospital, my father screamed from pain for three days before he died at age 70.

Like President Obama, Russians also evolved on the gay rights issue. Homosexuality used to be outlawed in the Socialist Soviet Union. Today it is not a crime in Russia. Even so, facing an alarming decline in number of newborns and an eventual demographic disaster, they do not play with the redefinition of marriage.

Otherwise there's a lot in common among an Obama administration striving for total government involvement in people's lives, the communists of the former Soviet Union and modern Socialists in Russia.

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

May 15, 2012

The Gay Marriage "Distraction"

It is a well travelled Republican talking point that the gay marriage issue is a distraction from President Obama's economic record. It's true of course, but the Republicans are as much to blame for said distraction as the Democrats.

A friend from suburban Wichita, Kansas emails a link to this story about a public school teacher posting his views against gay marriage on his Facebook page. He has every right to his beliefs, of course, and to speak them publicly. But by continuing to oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriage we allow him to become the face of our conservative party. I will not stand silently by. How many of us have wished we could have been present in the face of an incident of racial discrimination in the segregated south and that we would have had the courage to say, "No, that is wrong?" Same story, different age.

My Kansas friend sent the link with the note "Need your comments here" to both me and my brother. What follows is my response, which rebutted my brother's.

[Brother] writes that it is "nonsense" that established law denies a right for same-sex marriage, then declares there is "no defined right for same sex couples to "marry." Which is it?

[Brother] writes that "The majority of the country does not care what people do in their own bedrooms or whom they decide to 'love'" but then proclaims homosexuality "abnormal" and that he doesn't support homosexual weddings because that would "redefine something that has been a pillar of communities for 5000+ years" and "the more we break down the institution of marriage to simply be a whim, the more our society will continue to degrade." So you, and "the majority of the country" are fine with homosexuality, you just don't want to acknowledge it in law?

[Brother] faults Conkling, the Hutchinson teacher, for "taking the cause backwards" and "fuel[ing] the opposition" by opposing gay marriage on religious grounds. I say [brother] is no different by attempting to oppose this individual liberty on non-religious grounds, whatever those might be. Until he clarifies his contradictions there's no way to know what objective basis he claims.

Conkling's "logic" is even more fallacious: Homosexuality is wrong because it is a sin, equal in God's eyes to all other sins, and we are ALL sinners. He says all sins are equal in God's eyes so homosexuality is equal to murder, but it's also equal to lying. Do you agree that lying is as wrong as murder? I don't. Conkling says he condemns gay marriage "because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven." First of all, doesn't the bible teach man to "judge not?" Secondly, there are other beliefs about heaven and sin and for one man to impose his own upon all other men is just as wrong as Sharia law.

Would it not be better to simply allow civil unions, conferring all the legal rights of marriage while witholding the term "marriage" than to continue to allow this issue to divide Americans and distract from issues that actually matter to all of us, like whether or not America will be a socialist country? And even if they aren't satisfied with civil unions and come back next year demanding "marriage" who cares? Whatever it is called it will still be a minority behavior. Unlike drug legalization nobody makes a legitimate case that legal homosexual marriage will cause more homosexuality. (But so what if it did? Will that affect you? Your children? Anyone who is not "abnormal?")

The cause of western laissez-faire capitalism is a cause of individual liberty. Individual liberty in commerce is a human birthright, as is individual liberty in social relations. Individuals are, by their nature, free to join a commune or establish a nuclear family; free to love another of the same gender or of the opposite gender. If you want to live free of oppressive taxation and wealth redistribution your only argument is individual liberty as a human birthright. But you weaken that argument by denying others a liberty of which you disapprove. Stop it. Admit your mistake and strengthen your position in the debate that really matters - that really affects you and your family's lives - by abandoning a debate that doesn't matter. Don't insist that your beliefs hold dominion over the beliefs of others lest they turn your logic back on you and insist that you are your brother's keeper.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:23 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Agreed and well said. There are quite a few things which may be defined as sinful which we do not elevate to statute. "Coveting thy neighbor's ass" is still okay in Weld County, as far as I know.

I allowed a many-years-old subscription to National Review elapse when they demanded -- on the cover -- a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage. I wasn't petulant about it, still respect NR, and have slid a little money their way since.

But I basically reached the same conclusion, that I could not employ the supremacy clause for a personal matter and expect others to defend my economic liberty. I suspect that would not have happened under WFB's more libertarian hand but I have no empirical proof.

On the pragmatic side, I think it remains a killer. Trying to attract somebody younger than 30 to the table of liberty is difficult in the wake of North Carolina's vote and now Colorado's lack of vote.

Posted by: jk at May 15, 2012 6:45 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

JK drops his subscription to the National Review and I drop out of the Republican party. I struggled for several weeks about attending our caucuses, knowing that Party of God types would choose Rick Santorum and that a majority of the evening would be spent pushing an amendment to our state constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Even before Obama weighed in the strategy was to generate voter turnout based on opposition to gays. I cant possibly vote for Obama but I will not be in a party or campaign that seeks to benefit from an assault on the dignity and liberty of my brothers and sisters. And I won't be alone. Republicans are on the wrong side of history when it comes to Gay rights and they will pay a price for decades to come. Fifty years from now nobody will remember the Bidden gaffes or Obama's fundraising predicament; people will remember the first black president was the first to run for office as a supporter of gay marriage. Democrats enjoy almost unanimous suppport in the African American community based on Kennedy/Johnson era civil rights legislation and if Republicans don't wake up they will lose another voting block.

JK and John Galt, as always, provide a reasoned argument rooted in the Constitution and I appreciate that but this has become something more visceral for me. A couple of weeks ago a little girl in a town next to ours hung herself after being bullied for a year over her mother's sexual orientation. Last night I went to a funeral for one of my daughter's classmates. He climbed onto an overpass and jumped onto the highway below. He was bullied to death for being Gay. I am sickened and heartbroken. I will not be in a party that would deny the basic human dignity and equallity due every man and woman. I wont be part of a political movent that would deny the choice of marriage, the most important, valuable and meaningful decision I've ever made, to others. Bob Marley sings of "forwardin' this generation triumphantly," though in my case it is our younger generation that has been "forwarding" me. Henceforth I intend to help them "sing songs of freedom" and if the Republican party wants to block freedom's way I intend to roll right over them.

Posted by: sugarchuck at May 16, 2012 9:55 AM
But johngalt thinks:

JK is correct about established attitudes, and I think my brother's beliefs reflect his environment more than his heart. The Kansas friend I mentioned lives near Wichita, more evangelical even than Colorado Springs and yet he replied to me, "in my world in Kansas USA I could care less what the corn-****ers do, just don't interfere with me or my family." A libertarian position that, if a bit intemperately stated.

I can't cite examples of friends or neighbors who've been affected by discrimination, and dagny observed that my attitude has *ahem* evolved. I can say I was profoundly ashamed when my neighbors and fellow delegates loudly booed the speaker from Colorado Log Cabin Republicans when he suggested the Colorado civil unions bill should be supported. When I said, fairly loudly and to no one in particular, "Hey, be nice" the woman next to me turned around incredulously. The rest of the conversation was unspoken but I do believe I impressed upon her that her attitude was something upon which she should reflect.

I had a similar experience at the Romney rally last week. A woman asked me if I wanted to sign her pro-life petition, ubiquitious at GOP events. I shook my head and asked her if she was aware that over two-thirds of Republican delegates to the state convention approved a resolution that abortion and pregnancy are personal, private matters and not the business of government. She was speechless but a man nearby blurted out, "Well they are wrong!"

In the first case I pleaded for civility, and in the second merely cited a fact. The reaction from those who heard me was reflexive, but shallow and unsupported. There was no furher debate or discussion, the respondents merely drifted away silently. These are simply ideas which they've never considered. None has dared utter them in such settings, in all likelihood.

Ayn Rand said that silence in the presence of ideas which you find abhorrent is tacit approval of them. Simply say, "I disagree" she advised in 'Philosophy, Who Needs It?' I hope that brother Sugarchuck, or any of the rest of us, will not abandon the Republican party when it most needs a voice for liberty. Our country's present state of divisivness and the failed leadership of the president present an opportunity to discredit the idea of socialism, but the left is not the only source of discredited ideas - the unchallenged dogma of social "norms" on the right should be confronted at the very same time.

To those who say that gay marriage or even civil unions are just a "drip, drip, drip of liberalism" I give the following reply:

Liberalism was established for the promotion of liberty. Thomas Jefferson was a "liberal." George Washington was a "liberal." Modern leftists co-opted the term and it has come to mean socialist or communist. I'm all for liberalism, but not socialism or communism. I understand the difference. Do you?
Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2012 12:27 PM

May 14, 2012

This is News?

Ken Thomas, AP/Yahoo:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is casting Mitt Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate titan with little concern for the working class in a new, multi-pronged effort that seeks to undermine the central rationale for his Republican rival's candidacy: his business credentials.

Well, yeah, but at least he doesn't eat dog!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Obama painting Romney as killing jobs? Is there a Nobel Prize for Irony that he's competing for?

RING-RING. Click. "Hello? Yeah, hi, how are you doing?... Sure, he's here. You want me to put him on the line?... Okay, hang on..." "Hey, Kettle? It's for you; it's Pot. He says he's got something he wants to tell you..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 14, 2012 2:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On top of that, all jobs are not equal. The jobs Romney "killed" were economically non-viable before he ever arrived on the scene. Otherwise, he would not have arrived on the scene. President Ironic, on the other hand, kills jobs making cheap, reliable electric power (among many, many, others) and fabricates new temporary jobs intended to make expensive, part-time power to replace it.

All of this leads me to ask the question, Is Barack Obama America's first third-world president?

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 2:23 PM

May 9, 2012

Governor Romney visits Atlantis Farm

Sort of. Yesterday afternoon my dad emailed that "Mitt is speaking in Ft. Lupton tomorrow." I pressed him for more and he sent me a Denver Post press mention that sent me into search mode for an invitation. Having just exchanged emails with Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call the day before, I decided I'd try to ask him for an entree. Waiting nervously for his reply I also called my county commissioner with the same request. Both of them came through and before I knew it I was on the list. "We would love it if you could attend. Thanks for your support!" Turns out, it was set to happen in an oil field just a few miles away.

The setting was idyllic, considering it was one of those "environment destroying, wildlife maiming" oil wells. Governor Romney used the occasion to criticize President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy. "I've been trying to figure out what he means by that," Mitt said. "I've concluded that he supports any form of energy that is above the ground. He doesn't like those that happen to be under ground."

He also cited the President's statistic that America has just 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. "But this is old thinking" Romney said. "Recent discoveries and new technologies like horizontal drilling and fracking have created a new reality where the United States could become the world's leading producer of oil based energy." He extended this future vision to "an explosion in American industry and manufacturing, leading to greater prosperity for everyone." Of course, "Energy isn't the only factor in this equation, but it is a big factor."

Belated apologies to any local blog brothers who missed out on the opportunity. I would have posted the news and offered to share the RSVP info but had two other appointments that kept me busy.

I also captured the entire speech on video and might post some excerpts down the road.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (11)
But johngalt thinks:

It's a composite photo from the "panorama" function of my Windows phone. After putting it in that mode you push the button once then pan sideways along a guide line on the screen until a guide dot meets a reference circle and it automatically snaps another frame. Repeat once more in the same direction then it automatically stitches the three frames together. It works better with landscapes or when the people are further away.

I was trying to capture the spectacularly clear view of the front range. The weather was perfect!

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2012 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The panorama function is very cool but not quite perfected yet. I believe it's still evolving.

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2012 2:45 PM
But dagny thinks:

Update on the Shameless Self Promotion part: I have now had 2 acquaintances ask, "did you go to the Mitt Romney rally?" Apparently the TV news clips [0:21] included very recognizable shots of our oldest daughter and her electric red hair watching from Daddy's shoulders. In case there was any doubt, jg family political leanings have now been broadcast statewide to anyone watching network news.

Posted by: dagny at May 11, 2012 12:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Couldn't have been there in any case, JG. Been locked in 15 hour days with a client in Newark, NJ. Whomever dubbed it the Garden State certainly has a sense of humor. Make that a sick sense of humor.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 11, 2012 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did nobody see me at the Obama rally in Boulder last month?

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Evolving.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 6:11 PM

April 24, 2012

Colorado Republican Resolution for Reproductive Liberty

Seventy (70) percent of 3266 delegates voted at the April 14, 2012 Colorado Republican Assembly to approve the following resolution:

38. It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that pregnancy, abortion and birth control are personal and private matters, and should not be subject to government regulation or interference.

Yes: 2,290

No: 976

APPROVED

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:23 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Like.

Posted by: jk at April 24, 2012 4:14 PM

A "Right" to "Access"

President Obama will give a speech this evening a short 3-mile bike ride from my Boulder office. The Denver Post says it will "focus on preventing the doubling of subsidized student-loan [interest] rates to 6.8 percent in July" but I expect it will include a fair amount of "fairness" rhetoric. Something in the spirit of a radio promo being run on Denver's 850 KOA where a female college student says,

Student loan debt is the fastest growing debt in this country. Something has to be done. Education should be a right and I think everyone should have access to it.

This sounds like a plea for a lot more than lower interest rates. One where "access" is a code word for "I don't care who pays as long as it isn't me."

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

One piece of good news. Even the bloomin' AP recognizes this as pandering:

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Wooing young voters, President Barack Obama is on a blitz to keep the cost of college loans from soaring for millions of students, taking his message to three states strategically important to his re-election bid.

It gets nicer after that, but the lede screams "Obama Panders to youth"

Posted by: jk at April 24, 2012 12:50 PM

April 23, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"Three, four, five, six, seven years from now, if I do a good job as vice president -- I'm sorry, as senator -- I'll have the chance to do all sorts of things." -- Senator Marco Rubio at an appearance last week.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2012

"My Name is John Galt"

That was D.B. Sweeney speaking. Sweeney is cast in the pivotal role of the next installment of the Atlas Shrugged movie series, Atlas Shrugged: Part II - Either-Or

Sweeney is new to the franchise, partly because the John Galt character had a minor role in the first film and partly because the producers have chosen to recast the entire movie! There has been much consternation about this on the movie's discussion boards but I'm looking forward to it. My sense is that the first movie wasn't as well acted as it could have been. The leading roles of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden were played by Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler who, while attractive, didn't seem to have their hearts in their roles. They are replaced by Samantha Mathis and Jason Beghe.

Mathis is a better fit in the role, being born in 1970 instead of 1984, and starring in major motion pictures like Broken Arrow, where she played the fetching park ranger who tracked down John Travolta and his nuclear missle.

And Beghe's name may not be familiar but viewers will recognize him from Judging Amy, G.I. Jane, Thelma and Louise, Castle, and dozens more TV series' where he had supporting roles.

Perhaps the only recognizable name in the cast is Esai Morales who replaces Jsu Garcia as Francisco. Garcia gave, I thought, the best performance of the heroic characters in Part I but Morales is still an upgrade. A consistent theme of the new cast is more experience and more maturity. It can't help but show up as a more compelling movie than the brave and fearless but out-of-its-league production of Part I.

And finally, who is D.B. Sweeney? New York-born in 1961, he set his sights on a pro baseball career. When a motorcycle accident scuttled that he pursued acting. His filmography is heavy on television roles and he had starring and supporting film roles as well, including Eight Men Out, No Man's Land and The Cutting Edge. [The last of these has special meaning to me and dagny. As washed out hockey player Doug Dorsey, Sweeney takes up figure skating with Olympian Kate Moseley and when they first meet, on the ice, Sweeney's effort to impress the young lady is dashed when he catches the ice with the toepick of his figure skate (non-existent on hockey skates) and face plants on the ice. I did the exact same thing on my first date with dagny.] Sweeney has the right build for the role of John Galt, and a natural smirking swagger that both fits the role and can lend it warmth and likeability.

I, for one, am really looking forward to the premier of Atlas Shrugged: Part II in October.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:20 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I, too, look forward to Part II. But less with this news. We are predisposed to love it because we want so badly for this to succeed.

But I watched it again recently (free on Amazon Prime -- yay!) and, stepping out of my booster space, I certainly see its flaws. Recasting will have a horrible effect on continuity. And I will miss Ms. Schilling, whom I thought did a good job. The discontinuity will provide more ammunition to those who wish to discount this movie.

Interesting bordering on the serendipitous that you post this today. A good friend of mine recently rented Part I only to be extremely disappointed that Pt II wasn't ready yet. My news that we were only 33% there was not greeted warmly.

If Donald Rumsfeld were producing, he'd realize that you go to war with the cast you got.

Posted by: jk at April 22, 2012 11:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's an interesting question: Should Part III retain the Part II cast, or be fully recast one more time?

I ask this from the perspective that "nobody saw Part I," at least not anyone who didn't seek it out or was otherwise already an accolyte. We "boosters" will have no trouble switching the characters to new actors and neophytes will do better with a higher grade of actor carrying the script. Presumably Part II will have greater box office than Part I. I can easily imagine - not predict, mind you, but imagine - a big budget finale for Part III. Audiences have already shown their willingness to sit through a speech or two by Mel Gibson or his ilk, and there is one humdinger of a speech coming one day in Part III.

Hey, a boy can dream.

Posted by: johngalt at April 22, 2012 3:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Maybe they'll get Mel for PIII...

Sorry, it just seems to be unraveling. Not sure the basis for expecting better box office for PII.

Posted by: jk at April 22, 2012 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Digging the idea of three casts. That's a good idea.

Posted by: jk at April 22, 2012 9:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Better box office because of:
- Better word-of-mouth due to better film, better acting.
- Better distribution through lessons learned on Part I.
- More compelling storyline in Part II vs. Part I.

Thin, I know, but I think low-budget sequels are often better than the original. (See: Road Warrior vs. Mad Max.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 23, 2012 2:18 PM

April 15, 2012

The Paul Effect

I wrote yesterdayhttp://www.threesources.com/archives/010585.html that Rick Santorum's campaign "suspension" seems to benefit Ron Paul's more than Mitt Romney's campaign. A blog brother tempered any suggestion I may have implied of a Ron Paul nomination but this Examiner dot com article by Angel Clark suggests an alternate strategy:

Ron Pauls victories today declare his delegate-attainment strategy to be a success and they demonstrate that the media and Washington pundits are undercounting his delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate. Taken together, these victories and those yet to happen forecast a prominent role for Ron Paul at the RNC. They also signal that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo, all in relation to the end game of defeating President Obama, added Mr. Tate.

Who could complain?

Article also contains more discussion of the Colorado delegate makeup, including the observation that State Party Chairman Ryan Call (whom I respect greatly) will not be Colorado's Delegation Chairman.

P.S. I Tweeted the link to 'Colorado Convention Weekend' to @cologop, @mittromney, and @ronpaul. I expect a comment or ten. :)

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

I am sounding far more argumentative than I feel. But I happened to click on Angel Clark to see a collection of her posts (I was looking for a bio) and the corpus of her work seems to be a spate of articles on -- oh, look at this -- Rep. Ron Paul! And all the success he's having.

I love Ron Paul and swear he has stepped up his game in the primary process. He was on Kudlow the other night and has lost his "crazy uncle" vibe to warmth, seriousness and humor. I would love to see him welcomed at the convention though I have a bit of Brother br's concern that he not choose the moment for un-unifying antics. But I am not suggesting (nor implying you are) that one shorts the Romney GOP Intrade contracts.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 6:17 PM

Colorado Convention Weekend

Wow! Where to begin. First, it's very liberating to no longer be restricted to 140 characters, and hunt-and-peck typing on a fingertip touchscreen. I used my new Windows Phone to fire off a large number of play-by-play type messages in the last two days but I admit that reading back over them myself it isn't easy to piece together the coherent story that I tried to tell.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels touched on the big picture in this evening's wrap on the Colorado Republican State Assembly.

The momentum was painful for Mitt Romney supporters, who had assumed when Santorum dropped out of the presidential race this week they'd have a much easier time in winning Colorado's delegate and alternate seats to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

Instead, some of the Santorum's supporters united with Paul's backers to form the "Conservative Unity Slate" to win a slew of delegate slots. Four years ago, only one Paul supporter was elected to attend the national convention.

"This is a revolution," said Florence Sebern of Denver, an "unpledged" delegate who was wearing a Paul pin. She was part of the slate.

Slate supporters said they wanted to send a message to Romney about the importance of sticking to conservative values.

Bartels went on to explain how the Romney backers scrambled after Friday's non-Romney delegate landslide to elect as many pro-Romney delegates as possible on Saturday. They did win eight of twelve seats and by my unofficial count, the total contingent of Colorado National Delegates is therefore:

Romney - 13
Unpledged - 10
Santorum - 6
Unspecified "non-Romney" - 4
Super Delegates - 3
Ron Paul - 0 (4 Alternates are pledged Paul and and some of the "unspecified" may be as well, plus the Santorum and Unpledged delegates who have supposedly made verbal pledges to Paul.)

While this appears to be a Romney victory, closer scrutiny shows that Team Romney should be very concerned. If Mitt does not win the nomination on the first ballot of the National Convention in August his candidacy is probably finished. Given the choice between the party's "clear frontrunner" Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or "crazy old uncle Ron," Colorado's conservative Republicans chose - Ron Paul. Maybe he's not "crazy" after all?

For some time now I've thought that I was something of a Republican maverick, being the only one in my family to defend Ron Paul's foreign policy against the "isolationist" charge. More and more, as I compared the well-groomed Mitt Romney to the Constitutionally principled Ron Paul I found the latter more pleasing. It seems that more of my "God, guns, and family" Republican brethren have shared my epiphany than I could have imagined.

There is another explanation. The shrewd conservative Republicans may be aligning with the Pauliacs merely as a means to an end. Stop the Romney inevitability, force a brokered convention, then mud wrestle on national television until someone other than Mitt gets to 1144. This seems like a longshot strategy with no clear alternative candidate and I hope it is not the motivation. If you agree to support Ron Paul, support Ron Paul. Let's be frank here - the one thing Republicans fear most is Paul supporters voting third party if Ron is not the Republican nominee. "Unity" they implore, "unity." Alright then, unify behind Paul.

I only found one other account of the Colorado Convention than mine and the Post's, and it is very good. Check out Leslie Jorgensen's explanation of the candidate slate strategies at The Colorado Observer. In summary, the 2012 Colorado delegate process was fascinating and foreshadows an even more fascinating Republican National Convention. Hold onto your hats, Republicans! And remember, no matter what, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or the Man in the Moon ... UNITY!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the original reporting. And put me down as an 'Aye' for unity.

I love to read about the old days of picking the nominee at the convention, but I think that has gone the way of pickle barrels at the drugstore. Governor Romney may not have a majority of committed delegates, but he has 90% of the committed money.

Senator Santorum is out; Speaker Gingrich was talking like he was out when I saw him on FOX News Sunday; Rep. Paul will have a ground game going forward. But the Romney machine will find the remaining delegates easier to pick up. On your question of the Colorado slate, do you doubt Romney will win the Colorado primary?

I'm also reminded of Peter Robinson's It's my Party. The Mountain West is home to libertarian Republicans and it is dangerous to extrapolate their voice to the rest of the country.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 11:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Everything old is new again."

I thank you for your fair points. I agree with them all. I should emphasize that I only meant to say a Paul nomination is far more likely than many believe, not far more likely than any alternative.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 2:49 PM

April 13, 2012

Colorado's 4th CD GOP Assembly -2012

Delegate fever is goin' around, and I've caught it. Most of Colorado's Congressional District GOP Assemblies are being held today at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The last time I attended was 2010, an off-year election, and the Assemblies were in Loveland. I made my first ever attempt at blogging a convention that day and while it was a rewarding experience I had to use a laptop and post full blog entries. Today I'll try again with my unlimited talk/text/data T-Mobile HTC Radar 4G Windows Phone (yes, I'm an evangelist) and Twitter. Watch the #3src feed for my scintillating dispatches!

Oh yes, and the Colorado State GOP Convention is tomorrow at 9 am, at DU's Ritchie Center. Same gameplan.

UPDATE [jk]: I wanted to promote jg's tweet to a link: Colorado GOP Platform Resolutions (pdf). I think they are awesome! You get to #37 before I quibble with one, and the few I quibble with tend to be followed by an ameliorative suggestion. Very good stuff!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:02 PM | Comments (14)
But johngalt thinks:

And a point of clarification - When I wrote "Help me out with this" above, that really was a question. I'm not sure that the delegates are obligated by the state primary vote and I'm still trying to confirm that. It does make sense, though, or else why have a primary election?

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 2:01 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm really starting to wonder if there will even be a Colorado primary election, at least with presidential candidates on the ballot. This guy says delegates will vote as currently pledged:

Todd King of Lewis, Colorado is one of the elected delegates from that slate. King is a Ron Paul supporter and will vote for Paul for president on the first ballot in Tampa. I asked him how the 17 unpledged delegates break down. This is his statement.

Click through if you're interested in the nitty gritty.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 6:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. There may have been a clue all along in proposed resolutions number 60 and 61 in the Colorado GOP Platform Resolutions (pdf).

Sometimes I feel like such a gomer.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 7:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting. I confess I expected a primary just because we've had them before.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 8:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting. I confess I expected a primary just because we've had them before.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 9:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was actually making a joke about not being a primary. I know there is one because I've seen it on the June page of the Colorado GOP Calendar. Turns out it's just for everything EXCEPT the presidential nominee.

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 12:12 PM

April 11, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"So these investments -- in things like education and research and health care -- they haven't been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another," the president said today at Florida Atlantic University. "This is not some socialist dream," Obama added, as he called for tax increases on millionaires today to pay for those investments.

From the Washington Examiner - Obama: I'm not trying to 'redistribute wealth'

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2012

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 9, 2012

"The president is dangerously close to totalitarianism,"

So says libertarian ex-jurist Andrew Napolitano. And the IBD Editorial Page is inclined to agree.

The whole thrust has been the acquisition of power by the federal government centered on the White House. That is the theme of ObamaCare, which is not about health care but about making people as dependent on government benevolence, if we can use that word, as possible.

Those who stand in the way, whether it be the Supreme Court, Congress or institutions such as the Catholic Church, are to be either ignored when possible, or intimidated and bullied into silence and acquiescence in the proud tradition of President Obama's mentor, Saul Alinsky.

What is at stake here is freedom and whether we shall be governed by a document that begins with "we the people" or whether we shall be ruled, in totalitarian fashion, by a bill that says "the secretary shall determine" what our rights and freedoms are.

I recall my apolitical Texas cousin being bewildered by my warnings of Barack Obama's principles and ambitions prior to the 2008 election. "You're crazy" she said, when I told her he intended to become Robin Hood in the White House, and worse. Last month we had occasion to meet again. She now seems to have accepted that I wasn't just whistling Dixie. Neither is Judge Napolitano.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (0)

Only Honest People Vote Once

This post is a mixture of "if you're not outraged you're not paying attention" and "Monday morning funnies."

Oh yeah, well, I'll bet he couldn't get away with this if he said he was Barack Obama!

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:47 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

John Fund has been on this beat for many years. He enjoyed this...

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2012 5:10 PM

April 5, 2012

'Stealthflation' we barely knew ye

The I-word is about to come out of the shadows, and into the full light of day. Investors:

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting show the central bank has all but abandoned plans for another round of quantitative easing.

It's now clear the Fed is more worried about inflation than recession.

Other notable nuggets-

Net interest expense will triple to an all-time high of $554 billion from $185 billion, Treasury says, meaning we'll pay more to service our debt than to protect our nation. The defense budget stands at $525 billion.

(...)

The reversal in interest rates makes defusing the Obama debt bomb through real budget cuts even more urgent than it already is.

(...)

The federal debt so far has not been the political liability that it could be for Obama in his bid for re-election.

But if interest rates rise at an even faster clip as he heads into November, the issue could blow up in his face. As his South Side reverend once famously said, the chickens are coming home to roost.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

I've a huge deliverable next Monday and have shirked my blogging duties. Sorry if I miss somebody's point more than usual.

It seems we complain that they see no inflation and promise to expand the balance sheet with QEn or rearrange maturates through twist (and I join you).

Now, they are -- sensibly -- telegraphing some tightening or at least no further expansion. I think that was a good move. Equities never like the threat of less punch in the bowl, but the Dollar improved and Larry Kudlow's blood pressure dropped 25 basis points.

Don't know I got to be the blog fiat money guy, but again facing the exigencies of our system, the Bernanke Fed is actually doing okay. Not as good as free market competing currencies, not as good as I would do. But compared to fiscal policy (which gets 78.653% of the real estate in the linked IBD article), The Bernank is doing okay.

Posted by: jk at April 5, 2012 6:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I hate when earning a living interferes with blogging.

My point with Stealthflation has been that monetary policy was and is creating price inflation despite the denials and assurances we heard from professional economists. The Bernank was seemingly so fearless of inflation that he virtually guaranteed the present low interest rate into 2014. Now he reverses course, two years early. I read this as evidence that I was right all along and the Fed was either wrong or duplicitous.

Posted by: johngalt at April 5, 2012 11:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A gross oversimplification, I know.

Posted by: johngalt at April 6, 2012 1:56 AM
But jk thinks:

That is exactly what I inferred. I find/found the two-year zero interest rate guarantee irresponsible, no defense there. And I would have tightened a little, or at least jawboned the dollar up, a quarter or two ago.

My point was that you are training a dog. He has just asked to go outside and done just what you wanted. And you're whacking him with a newspaper yelling "Bad dog! You messed up the carpet last week!"

Posted by: jk at April 6, 2012 10:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I was trying to whack him with that newspaper last week.

Posted by: johngalt at April 6, 2012 1:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have to add that FNC's Neil Cavuto backed me up this morning.

Contributor: "The only thing that I disagree with is that there's some sort of conspiracy here. I mean, the government doesn't want to deny that there's inflation. A lot of prices are cheaper. The overall numbers...[interrupted]"

Cavuto: "If you acknowledge inflation, the genie's out of the bottle. You have to start lifting interest rates, you have to start doing a lot of stuff you don't want to do. You most certainly want to hide it."

This was the meaning of my title - there was a stealth cloak, and it is dissipating.

Posted by: johngalt at April 7, 2012 1:28 PM

March 20, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"The vision matters, more than the polls and even more than incumbency in the White House."

--Thomas Sowell, in an IBD editorial that has me, once again, seeking distance from Mitt Romney.

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

March 17, 2012

"Accomplishment"

Discussions such as this make it clear that none of us are quick to use the word "accomplishment" in any retrospective of the Obama Administration. But there is another opinion, perhaps best represented by the Davis Guggenheim swoon-fest named 'The Road We've Traveled.' To wit:

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim told CNN last week his only regret was he had only 17 minutes to discuss Obama's accomplishments. He cited health care, the stimulus and other economic initiatives in the face of a tough "political climate" facing near-united Republican opposition.

"The challenge for me is I wanted to put more in there, I really did," Guggenheim said. "I'm really quite in awe of him as a leader."

Another example is currently on display in the halls of a Colorado charter school. I will take great pains here to preserve the anonymity of the 5th grade author but I am compelled to publicize the content, verbatim. [Original text was computer printer output, on three pages.] President Obama's "accomplishments" are enumerated on page 2. I will editorialize in advance: Are there no parents? Are there no teachers? Will this receive a grade or just a gold-star for "participation?" As I said, verbatim.

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961. Obama went to many different schools but his first school was Francisus Asissi Primary

school. Barack Obama now is our president. He has been our president for four years. He became our president on August 5, 2008.

Obama loves playing basketball and he is very good at it. I really like him as a president and hope he comes back for four more years.

Obama has lots of family. Barack Obama's parents both died but his dad died in 1982 in a car accident. His mother died in 1995 by

breast cancer. Barack was raised by a non-African American mom and since his mom died he had to be raised by his non-African
American grandparents. Obama is now raising a wonderful family a wife Michelle,a 13 year old daughter named Malia,and a 10 year old

daughter named Natasha (Sasha).

[page]

While Obama was in his office he accomplished a lot of things. He had doubled the national debt. Barack joined the country of Mexico

and sued a state in the United States. Barack Obama gave the Queen of england an iPod and it had all of Obamas speechs on it.

Barack has bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. These are some of the things Barack Obama accomplished. Obama is a great president. I wish he could be president every single year.

Obama has done many good and important things to the United States. He is making our country safe from danger. Barck obama has

made the U.S. feel safe and happy. He changed our health care system so everyone will be happy. ["happy" crossed out by hand and replaced with "healthy."] Barack has been a very good

president. Obama has been a very good person to our country.

[page]

Barack Obama's nickname in basketball is "O-Bomber." His first name means "one who is blessed." Obama's favorite meal is his wife

Michelle's shrimp linguine. He has read every single word in the Harry Potter series. Barack owns a pair of red boxing gloves autographed

by Muhammad Ali.

Obama's favorite snack is chocolate, peanut protein bars. While he was living in Indonesia he ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted

grasshoppers. Although he has since quit, Obama used to smoke cigarettes. When he lived in Indonesia his pet was an ape named Tata.

As a teenager obama took drugs including marijuana and cocaine.

No, I am not making this up. Not a single word.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:30 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

A young Ezra Klein in the making...

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2012 11:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Was there a prior post on the Guggenheim film? I thought so but could not find it.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2012 12:51 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I can't find this on Snopes; what's the verification? (I know.... always a skeptic)

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 17, 2012 5:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Skepticism is good. Do you question the movie & quotes? It was discussed on Kudlow Friday and it sounds on track. If you question, the fifth grader's expository skills, then -- Jeff Foxworthy's friends aside -- I have sadly encountered much like it.

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2012 6:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The verification for the fifth grader prose is the three pictures on my Windows phone which, while tempting material to post, I'll keep private for purposes of the author's anonymity. I hope you'll understand when I explain that it was at my child's school and I don't want to prompt any ill will on the part of the student, parents or school staff.

I'm still contemplating whether to discuss it with the principal or teacher involved. Advice is invited.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2012 6:32 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"A young Ezra Klein in the making..."

You misspelled "Riefenstahl".

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 17, 2012 10:38 PM

March 13, 2012

It's the price of gas, stupid

Keep it up Mister President. IBD's Andrew Malcolm:

Showing his keen grasp of free market forces, Obama has ordered Justice officials to investigate oil speculation. Of course, there's oil speculation. It's called the futures market. And watching Obama's policies instead of his words, those experts see higher prices coming ahead, as do most Americans in the poll.

When taking office, Energy Secy. Stephen Chu expressed a desire to drive U.S. gas prices to the European levels of $8-$9 a gallon, much like taxation on cigarettes to discourage their use. This administration has achieved more than half that European goal already.

And voters are taking note:

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll this week finds about two-out-of-three Americans now disapprove of the Chicago Democrat's job on gas prices, whatever that's been.

Maybe if he started reminding them he "killed bin Laden..."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:49 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

The official Democratic talking point on this is "No Silver Bullet." The President said it in his speech and I heard two DNC representatives echo it.

Perhaps there's no single thing that would easily and immediately bring fuel prices down, but I can't help but feel if the administration stopped shooting them at every person or company that tries to produce energy, it would be a start.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2012 4:05 PM
But jk thinks:

And never underestimate the timeless electoral appeal of "The Republicans are coming for your ladyparts!"

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2012 4:25 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

March 1, 2012

Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows...Or Not

Thus far, this primary season has been defined by the dichotomy between Romney and every other candidate in the race. The lack of enthusiasm for Romney is clearly displayed by the number of front runners there has been and how quickly the conservative base is willing to latch on to the next conservative alternative instead of coalescing around the so-called "most electable" candidate. Since the most recent Republican debate, the Romney-Conservative Alternative dichotomy took an interesting turn when the idea of a Romney-Paul alliance was proposed by members of the political punditry. The alliance was given additional press after the newest conservative alternative to rise to national prominence, Rick Santorum, accused Ron Paul and Mitt Romney of teaming up against his campaign. Looking at the evidence that is used to support this accusation through the lens of the Romney-Conservative Alternative dichotomy, it is clear that what is developing is not an alliance, but instead a campaign tactic that exploits the lack of enthusiasm for Romney that has defined this election cycle.

The evidence given for this alliance includes Paul's "fake conservative" attack ad on Santorum in Michigan, Paul's "serial hypocrisy" attack ad on Gingrich in Iowa and New Hampshire, Paul and Romney jointly pulling out of the upcoming CNN Georgia debate, and Paul's lack of attacks against Romney as well as Romney's lack of attacks against Paul in past debates. While the idea of a "back room deal" or "secret alliance" between Paul and Romney makes for good campaign drama, the reality of what is taking place is much less sinister. Paul, like all of the other not-Romney candidates, has been trying to position himself as the "conservative alternative" and is using these tactics to remove the competition. While Santorum and Gingrich have been focused on attacking Romney, Paul has been focused on marginalizing the competition to ensure that this becomes a two man race between himself and Romney.

Paul has very little to gain by going directly after Romney, and a lot to gain by going after Santorum and Gingrich. Neither candidate have the organizational or financial resources to stay in the race for long without big primary or caucus wins, and the sooner they drop out, the more delegates Paul can collect. For Romney's part, he has very little to gain by attacking Paul. While Romney's fiscal record leaves something to be desired by conservatives, Paul's is considered by many to be impeccable. This allows Paul to go after Santorum and Gingrich on fiscal issues in way Romney cannot, giving the appearance that Paul is doing Romney's "dirty work". What is actually taking place however, is the temporary alignment of what is in both campaign's best interest.

Paul's campaign is as much about starting a movement as it is about winning the nomination and presidency. His ideas have influenced the Republican Party platform since 2008, and he continues to shape the debate around the proper size and scope of government. His followers are attracted to him in part for his unwavering adherence to Constitutional principles and consistent policy positions. A Romney-Paul alliance would go against the consistency Paul has shown throughout his political career and would derail his "movement" just as it was getting started. For Romney's part, he most likely does not view Paul as a threat to his chances at the nomination and is happy to let him take down any other potential challengers. Paul and Romney have the financial and organizational support to stay in the race all the way to the nominating convention, which could make for interesting politics if they are the only two left in the race. Until that time comes however, you can expect Paul to continue to go after Santorum and Gingrich, and you can expect that Romney will be happy to let him do so.

Posted by Bryan at 2:43 PM | Comments (1)
But Mike thinks:

I think you're spot on! More evidence of these temporary alliances surfaced earlier today in Virginia, where only Romney and Paul are on the ballot. Gingrich supporters are "allying" with Ron Paul to serve their own interests.
http://www.examiner.com/elections-2010-in-wilmington/gingrich-supporters-are-organizing-virginia-for-ron-paul

Posted by: Mike at March 6, 2012 8:18 PM

February 23, 2012

Romney - Paul - Mentum

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

"Clearly theres 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 its clear theres 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 realshame on you Paul especially aligning yourself with a MA liberal!

Sigh.

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

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 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

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 youre 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 liberalsif 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 cant 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 dont 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 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)

#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

Where the Media and Dems Have it Wrong

The media is all a-twitter about the Republican "enthusiasm gap" regarding this year's crop of presidential candidates. And it's true that most of us are doing the lesser-of-evils calculus to arrive at a vote. That does not foster enthusiasm and Dems are hoping for a low Republican turnout.

But here's where they've got it wrong. When November rolls around, there will be enormous enthusiasm for beating Barack Obama. The Refugee will crawl naked over broken glass* to vote for the guy with an (R) after his name, regardless of which one it might be.


*The Refugee sincerely apologizes for leaving you with that visual.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:48 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I will have a leopard print g-string on, but I too promise to support the GOP nominee in November.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 6:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Aye aye. 100 percent.

Fortunately, thanks to the Second Amendment, I have the power to insist I have the right to wear clothing of my choice while crawling across broken glass.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 7:55 PM

A Pragmatist's Plea

As Republicans bicker their way through the primary process, The Refugee hears various individuals (not necessarily in these parts) who cannot abide by this position or that, could never vote for this guy or that, and so on. Having earned the coveted title of Blog Pragmatist, can The Refugee respectfully remind everyone of a teensy, weensy detail?

Over the next five year (starting from now to the end of the next presidential term, it is highly likely that at least two Supreme Court justices will leave the bench (John Paul Stevens, age 91, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, poor health). If just one of the other justices experiences an unforeseen health complication and retires, then a President Obama will have appointed the court's majority for the next two to three DECADES.

If that does not scare everyone into the pragmatist camp, then nothing will.

(Did he shout that loudly enough?)

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:27 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

Wow. Big turnout for our precinct and also Brother br's.

Romney 13, Paul 10, Gingrich 6, Santorum 2, Bachmann 1. Santorum won the block of precincts meeting at the school.

Six propositions passed unanimously. [UPDATED -- I forget the Bachmann vote last night, we had the national campaign manager in our precinct.]

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 12:24 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Our precinct had 41 people, more than half of whom had never attended a caucus. No enthusiasm gap here. Results:

Santorum - 16
Romney - 10
Paul - 8
Gingrich - 7

Overall, our group of precincts voted:

Santorum - 146
Romney - 136
Paul - 75
Gingrich - 61
Bachmann - 1

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 8, 2012 12:36 AM
But johngalt thinks:

My precinct in Southwest Weld county:

Santorum - 14
Paul - 6
Romney - 6
Gingrich - 4

UPDATE- District totals:

Santorum - 85
Romney - 34
Paul - 31
Gingrich - 28

You guys voted on the resolutions too, eh? We just collected them and turned them in. My brother co-opted our 11 3Srcs resolutions for his Boulder County precinct. They voted also - all 11 (and loads more from the Longmont 9/12 and Boulder County TEA Party) passed unanimously.

I showed my preprinted list to a few voters as an example. They wanted to read them. Then their neighbor, and their neighbor. Two copies made it around the entire table. The comments I received were universally favorable. A pastor in my precinct asked if he could keep a copy! "You wrote these," he asked? "You really wrote them?" As I recall, he agreed with every one.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 12:55 AM
But johngalt thinks:

BREAKING- Just tweeted by @cologop:

Santorum wins the Colorado GOP caucuses. Final tally with 99% reporting Santorum 40.2% Romney 34.9% Gingrich 12.8% Paul 11.7% #COcaucus 27 seconds ago · reply · retweet · favorite
Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 1:14 AM
But jk thinks:

Several precinct members came up after to speak favorably of the resolutions. I was the only one packing and they started to just turn them in, but we all said they were to be voted on.
Shy jk made it through six.

Big night for Sen. Santorum.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:22 AM
But Terri thinks:

I introduced your coexist resolution. It was passed. Thanks for the list, it was great!

Posted by: Terri at February 8, 2012 8:32 AM

JG's Bi-Annual Exhortation to Resolutions

The non-binding Presidential Preference Poll is getting all the Publicity but for my money, the most important way for individual caucus-goers to be influential in party politics is to help shape what the party stands for. A significant part of this is the party platform. We're familiar with this at its completed stage but it has its origins at the most basic level of self-governance: the individual party member.

The process begins with individual "resolutions" being submitted tonight at each neighborhood precinct caucus meeting. Each and every resolution is accepted and, after a process of aggregation and distillation, voted upon at each county's party convention. Approved resolutions are advanced to the state convention, re-aggregated and re-voted, with the approved resolutions going on to the national convention for their final votes.

If one of your aims in "getting involved" is to help shape the values and positions of the party then this is your most urgent action item: Draw up the ideas that are important to you and hand them to your precinct captain tonight. If your idea is clear and compelling and popular with your fellow party members it could make its way to the national convention and help guide the thinking of current and future office holders. (I'll promise you more influence than possible from your single vote on election day. How much more I shall not promise.)

The formulation is usually, "The _________ county Republican Party resolves (or supports, affirms, opposes, etc.) ...

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Excellent kickoff. And I add my offerings, borrowing heavily from JK's comments to the TEA Party Platform.

Everyone please borrow from everyone else. These should all be submitted in every one of our precincts. Resolutions appear higher on the list in their rank of precincts submitting them.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that the United States Constitution remains the best example for a self-governing people in the history of mankind.

The Weld County Republican Party affirms that Constitutional limits upon government powers are sacrosanct and if not respected by the various branches and agencies of federal government must, in turn, be protected by the people and the governments of America's individual states.

The Weld County Republican Party will not tolerate political favoritism or "crony capitalism" on the part of any of its elected or appointed members, and exhorts those members to oppose and defeat such favoritism when exerted by members of any other political party.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that The US Constitution and all ratified Amendments must be followed scrupulously by all branches of the Federal Government.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that any federal legislation that exceeds Constitutional purview is to be voted against or vetoed by every elected Republican.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Executive actions that exceed Constitutional purview shall be investigated and censured by Republican legislators in Congress.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Judicial decisions that exceed Constitutional purview will be swiftly met with clarifying and remedial legislation by Republican legislators.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Judicial nominations will receive Senatorial consent from Republican legislators only after demonstrating a full understanding and willingness to adhere to a strict reading of the Constitution.

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all elected or appointed Republican officials shall voluntarily swear to craft and approve all future legislation expressly to restore and protect our rights as granted in the Bill of Rights.

The Weld County Republican Party affirms that the term "right" or "rights" does not apply to the involuntary redistribution of the property of one or more Americans from their ownership to others.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 3:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nearly missed this one: COEXIST

The Weld County Republican Party reaffirms, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, that peaceful coexistence among free peoples requires a fastidious respect for the religious freedom and the property rights of each and every citizen.
Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 4:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow. Blog readers who know me from my big talk may be unaware of the depth of my shyness in person.

Do you really intend to present that many? I can see myself doing two. Three if I have Scotch.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 4:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sure! They'll all fit on one page. With yours it's an even dozen, or just one per quarter since The Otastrophe began.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2012 4:56 PM
But jk thinks:

One suggest: I would roll your #4 and #5 into a single planque:

The Weld County Republican Party resolves that The US Constitution and all ratified Amendments must be followed scrupulously by all branches of the Federal Government and that any federal legislation that exceeds Constitutional purview is to be voted against or vetoed by every elected Republican.
Posted by: jk at February 7, 2012 5:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Copied from a later post: Our composite resolutions were quite popular in Boulder and Weld counties:

My brother co-opted our 11 3Srcs resolutions for his Boulder County precinct. They voted also - all 11 (and loads more from the Longmont 9/12 and Boulder County TEA Party) passed unanimously.

I showed my preprinted list to a few voters as an example. They wanted to read them. Then their neighbor, and their neighbor. Two copies made it around the entire table. The comments I received were universally favorable. A pastor in my precinct asked if he could keep a copy! "You wrote these," he asked? "You really wrote them?" As I recall, he agreed with every one.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2012 2:06 AM

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

Coulter: "Three Cheers for Romneycare!"

[Exclamation point hers.]

I linked this previously in a comment but I've repeated it so often to so many folks it deserves a post of its own.

If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles -- as it was at the time.

Yeah, like that "conservative free-market principle" that says if someone can't afford something the government will give it to them free of charge, just as long as it's really really important, like a house or something.

Sorry Ann, you're so in the tank for Romney you're misleading even yourself.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:50 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Make that three Bronx cheers.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2012 12:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Next thing, Sean Hannity or Pat Robertson might say something stupid. These are fascinating times! [Exclamation mark mine.]

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 1:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think I'd better start using the "internecine" category label again. At least while I still have a working password on the blog.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 1:48 PM
But jk thinks:

I might change it to "eye-patch" but I would never remove it.

I'm all for holding the Governor responsible for Romneycare; I just don't think he is responsible for Ann Coulter. Donald Trump maybe...

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 2:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did I imply that?

Romney is responsible for Romneycare. (Unapologetically I should add.)

Coulter is responsible for telling America there's nothing for the Governor to apologize for.

Fair?

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 2:33 PM

How would Mitt say this?

Before anyone casts a vote for Mitt Romney in their state primary he should really watch this short clip and ask himself, how would Mitt answer this question?

Of course in this case the question is about a policy idea Newt has and Mitt doesn't so he wouldn't actually be asked this question. In fact, I'm not sure what questions Mitt gets asked. What does he stand for that media types want to call attention to?

Newt is the media's worst nightmare. And liberal women are right. He's just "so damn smart!"

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 AM | Comments (4)
But hb thinks:

The Gingrich love here is getting old. Apparently, the love for Gingrich really represents a dislike of Mitt Romney. Why? Purportedly, it is because Mitt is a flip flopper or not a "true" conservative (or at least advocate for freedom). What precisely does Gingrich offer otherwise?

I have been accused of making ad hominem attacks against the Speaker, but I don't view them as such. I think that character is an issue and I think that Newt has a lack thereof. In addition, when I called some of Newt's ideas "crazy", jg used scare quotes to suggest that I was being unfair. Below is a short list of reasons I think should give one pause about the speaker. Note, of particular importance that Romney's biggest weakness (RomneyCare) is one shared by Gingrich. (As an aside, I also think that it is funny when Newt flip flops, he is defended as simply changing his mind.)

1. Just a few short years ago, he sat next to Nancy Pelosi on a couch and professed to believe that we need collective action to solve global warming.

2. In 1993, Newt Gingrich appeared on Meet the Press and stated that he was "for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."

(a) A lot has changed since 1993, right? Wrong. In 2009, Gingrich stated, “We believe that there should be must-carry, that everybody should have health insurance, or if you’re an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond, but we would not allow people to be ‘free riders’ failing to insure themselves and then showing up in the emergency room with no means of payment.”

3. Newt was paid $1.6 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Contrary to what he says, he was not paid to tell them they were going to cause of financial crisis.

4. Moon colony.

5. He sponsored the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, which would have given life sentences to individuals who brought as little as two ounces of marijuana into the U.S. Repeat offenders would be executed.

6. Just in case you think the moon colony is a joke, here is one in which we would use space mirrors to light up the sky. Gingrich's own summary:


"The climate group at the Woods Hole conference suggested that a large array of mirrors could affect the earth’s climate by increasing the amount of sunlight received by particular areas, citing recent feasibility studies exploring the possibilities of preventing frosts in Florida or enabling farmers in high altitudes to plant their wheat earlier.

"A mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways. Ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in the darkness. Mirrors could be arranged to light given metropolitan areas only during particular periods, so there would be darkness late at night for sleeping."

7. We all know the pattern with Newt and his marriages. I won't belabor the point, but again, I think this speaks to his lack of character.

8. He criticized the most sensible downsizing of government (The Ryan Plan) and has presented no alternative.

9. His flat tax idea is an exercise in pandering. We aren't getting a flat tax.

Newt knows how to wow a crowd and give a good speech, but he is not a good candidate for president and, in my view, would not make a good president. He routinely espouses crazy ideas (no scare quotes necessary unless you want to defend space mirrors), he lacks moral character, he routinely takes positions that are not pro-freedom, and he "changes his mind" on issues at his convenience.

I understand those who aren't happy with Mitt Romney, but why Newt? Santorum and Paul are going to lose also, why not go down with their ships?

Posted by: hb at February 6, 2012 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Tell me about it, hb. Tell me about it.

I will absolutely and fundamentally agree, however, with Governor Romney's flaws. It's not so much about flip flops as whether he has any fundamental beliefs in free markets, limited government, or birthright liberty. His gaffes have been most telling: "the poor," "the middle class," "the safety net," "increasing the minimum wage." All of these contravene classical liberalism.

Having said that, I do not trust the Speaker as far as I could throw any two of his wives to follow through. He has elevated pandering to mortal sin status. Ethanol in Iowa, Rebuilding Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, and limited government and American Exceptionalism to my blog brother.

I hated the video clip. Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR? Three-point five* Presidents who grossly over-stretched Executive power. Long time blog readers will know I consider that the heart of our loss of liberty.

I don't know the 1802 Jefferson contretemps he cited (but suspect Ms. Kelly had a point -- really? Nobody in 1802 objected? I don't think that's so damn smart.) But every one of his other examples grossly and dangerously arrogated Executive power over courts THAT WERE DEFENDING LIBERTY! I can think of no worse examples.

*Jefferson exceeded his authority in the Louisiana Purchase, but I neither object nor feel he otherwise overstepped authority -- he is the half.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2012 11:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Did I say I appreciate your challenge to my assertions? Be careful what one wishes for indeed.

I think I'll begin with what I consider the most pernicious slur against the speaker - that his being twice divorced belies a lack of character. I know of many men who, having married a horsewoman, tired of playing second-in-line to her horses and divorced her. Do they have bad character? They made a bad decision with incomplete information. This is called "life." I don't know what led to Newt's divorces. That's between them, where it should be. Calista seems content to play the political wife and they have their writing pursuits in common. Good for them.

"Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996." That's a new one to me. By my reading the death penalty was for cartel leaders, not pot mules. Manned space exploration is a very human sort of pursuit, and orbiting solar reflectors is not crazy talk in a technical sense, although I'd prefer to have my dark night sky than longer growing seasons for my neighbors. But this was think-tank stuff, was it not? Not legislation.

I know I've said many times that Newt has enough baggage for a Queen's voyage but I am also not the first to say he would carry the fight to Obama in a way that Romney can't and won't. He'll take swings at Obama's glass jaw - government enforced redistribution, while Mitt will have to protect his "1 percenter" gaffe-prone personna and his own $250K cap on tax deductions.

I don't expect to change your mind or your point of view. I've backed and disqualified every one of the remaining candidates at some point and yet, at this point I see Gingrich as a greater threat to 'Obamanation - The Sequel' than Romney can hope to become. Rick or Ron could take over that position. That would be fine with me. Until then I'll vocally back the Speaker.

I think our difference of opinion may have much to do with what style of campaign we favor. I want to see a bare-knuckled brawl over the core issues of fairness, economic growth, personal freedom and property rights. I see a Romney campaign as a carefully choreographed exercise in poll-driven milquetoast distinctions between he and the president.

Why am I wrong? How does Romney stand an excellent chance of defeating Obama? After all, the president should be completely vulnerable after a presidency marked by economic stagnation and bald-faced political payoffs.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2012 3:16 PM
But hb thinks:

jg,

A few clarifying remarks.

1. I have never said that I am a Romney supporter. I simply believe that he will be the nominee and I don't think that Gingrich would be any better. In fact, I think he would be quite worse. Virtually every candidate when placed in a hypothetical poll against President Obama has at least been within the margin of error -- except Gingrich. The American people do not seem to like him -- I think for good reason.

2. You're defending space mirrors? I fail to see how someone who can float the idea of space mirrors could also be for limited government.

3. You like Gingrich's rhetoric. I think that is being selective. It is great when Gingrich tells Maria Bartiromo that her question is ridiculous. However, we must also remember that he brought anti-capitalist rhetoric to the race as well. You have claimed that he was making a nuanced point, but by all accounts this nuanced point didn't apply directly to Romney. In addition, as jk points out above regarding the courts "every one of his other examples grossly and dangerously arrogated Executive power over courts THAT WERE DEFENDING LIBERTY!" Gingrich's rhetoric is all over the map.

4. Regarding Gingrich's divorces. I never said that being divorced says something about one's character. Rather what I referenced was that the circumstances surrounding the divorces. In each case, Newt was cheating on his current wife with the one that was next in line. I think that Rick Perry was correct when he used this to call into question Gingrich's character. It's the cheating -- and the pattern of cheating -- that gives me pause about the man's character, not the fact that his marriages ultimately ended in divorce.

Posted by: hb at February 8, 2012 9:33 AM

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 2, 2012

No more symbolic votes

The Refugee just received his voter information concerning his new precinct. The notice also indicated that The Refugee and family have been redistricted from CO-2 to CO-4. Since CO-2 has not sent a Republican to Congress since 1972, his reliable "R" vote has been largely symbolic. No more! Cory Gardener for Congress!

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 8:23 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Woohoo! Me too! CO-4! Boulder lives on as a bad dream...

Well, no. My employer's headquarters is in Boulder and I think I should be updating my resume as the city switches to municipal electric generation to ensure use of unic -- I mean, green power.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2012 11:13 AM
But dagny thinks:

Welcome aboard Gentlemen (and families). jg and I got to vote send Cory Gardner to congress the first time. I think jg still has a working cell phone number for him. We occasionally give him a call to remind him of what his constituents think.

Posted by: dagny at February 3, 2012 12:44 PM

January 31, 2012

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

Sowell: Oppose the tactic, not the candidate

In what seems to be shaping up as a personality contest between Mitt Romney and supporters Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, George Will et.al on one side and Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Arthur Laffer and more on the other side, Thomas Sowell weighs in to say it isn't one candidate or another that must not be rewarded, but his tactic.

Gingrich is by no means above criticism. He has been criticized in this column before, over the years, including during the current primary season, and he will probably be criticized here again.

But the poisonous practice of irresponsible smears is an issue that is bigger than Gingrich, Romney or any other candidate of either party.

There have long been reports of people who decline to be nominated for federal judicial appointments because that means going before the Senate Judiciary Committee to have lies about their past spread nationwide, and the good reputation built up over a lifetime destroyed by politicians who could not care less about the truth.

The same practices may well have something to do with the public's dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates in this year's primaries -- and in previous years' primaries. Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud.

There is no law against it, so it is up to the voters, not only in Florida but in other states, to punish it at the ballot box -- the only place where punishment is likely to stop the practice.

A vote for anyone but Newt at this point in the process is a vote for the politics of personal destruction, and the continuation of business-as-usual in Washington D.C.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (9)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Excellent point, and it makes me rethink my idea of applying libel and slander laws to campaigns. Perhaps instead, it would be better if we instituted the Burr Solution. One candidate would be less likely to smear another if he considered that his opponent might just shoot him dead to defend his sacred honor. And armed society is, after all, a polite society.

Better yet: perhaps we should just repeal all of DC's unconstitutional gun control laws and let politicians settle their differences on the field of honor. Bring back dueling! As an added bonus, it would both reduce the number of politicians we have to deal with, and drastically reduce the number of hoplophobes in Congress.

For the record: if the 2012 Presidential election is settled by a duel, I want Perry back in this race.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 31, 2012 7:18 PM
But hb thinks:

Jg,

You're kidding right? Newt Gingrich has been smearing Romney as well. For example, the robocalls that claimed that Romney denied Holocaust survivors kosher meals. That is the politics of honesty and integrity?

Gingrich is egomaniacal. He doesn't stand for anything. He has 10 new ideas a day, 8 of which are completely nonsensical and utterly crazy (jk, I chose multiple adverbs purposefully). The idea that he has any support defies logic. Vote for Gingrich at your own peril. A vote for Newt is a vote for Obama.

Posted by: hb at February 1, 2012 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

He forcefully and purposefully used two adverbs. I like it.

I received a call from a neighbor last night who had a GOP call list. You could tell this was one of his first calls, and he ran down a list of questions. He asked "if the caucus was today, who would you caucus for?" For the first time, I said it aloud: "Ron Paul!"

His wife whooped in the background. They're RP folk too. Since, I have been called three more times -- I get a little prouder each time.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2012 7:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, Newt is using every electoral trick in the book except "carpet bomb your opponent with your superior campaign funds" which I'm sure he would do if he had them. "Egomaniacal?" Just a tad ad-hominem. I see him as determined to succeed in a cause that he (and I) consider crucial.

And if Ron Paul were both i) as determined and ii) as politically saavy he'd be polling even or ahead of Newt. But he ain't. We can Hope that will Change. In the meantime I'm supporting Newt.

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2012 4:21 PM
But hb thinks:

jg,

Normally when someone accuses another of an ad hominem attack it is an accusation of a logical fallacy in which the attacker has ignored the issue at hand. I am not debating the Speaker (or you) on an issue, but rather calling into question his character. When one runs for president, character is important. I think that Newt is severely lacking in that category.

The disdain for the mythological establishment that is starting to arise on this blog is worrisome. Who is this establishment? Has everyone ever seen them? Do they live with Big Foot? Perhaps, the Loch Ness Monster?

Posted by: hb at February 2, 2012 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

First, hb, I appreciate your stepping up and challenging my assertions. That is the only way they can be tested.

The "establishment" of any party is whoever currently holds a political office under its banner. Generally speaking, the longer a politician holds office the more likely he succombs to the allure of cronyism. There are many exceptions - a notable one is SC Senator Jim DeMint. I do not tar all with the "establishment" brush.

But more than the personalities, the political establishment is a way of thinking: Bureacracies must be maintained, power must be aggregated, control must be exercised. The corporate cronies support the government cronies and vice versa. We can't "unelect" corporate cronies so defeating the politicians is the quickest path to reform.

I referred to your Newt criticism as slightly ad hominem because, as with most Gingrich critiques, I read yours as exagerated and more personal and emotional than fact-based. I have rebutted all of the fact based criticisms with varying success but to say the man has ideas that are "utterly crazy" and then that supporting him "defies logic" strikes me as a non-sequitur.

Newt deserves much of the bad image that he suffers from but certainly not all of it. He gives his opponents plenty to work with, but they are more to blame for any notion that he is "unstable" than is factual.

Finally let me say that my support for Newt is primarily for his courage to start using TEA Party rhetoric. I am rewarding the rhetoric. I find it superior to the Romney rhetoric. Let them both be heard for as long and as far as possible.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2012 1:04 PM

January 30, 2012

TEA Party Red Meat

Fun reading for TEA Party crazies - Newt Gingrich vs. the Republican Establishment by Keith Koffler in Politico

An appetizer:

And they dont want Gingrich to run things. They want him to destroy things.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

"It's Not About Newt"

I had planned to do a writeup on the American Thinker article by this name but I'll leave it to Terri at ILinkThereforeIErr. I mentioned it to dagny this morning as she's still refusing to caucus for Newt - I thought it might help sway her. Terri does a bang-up job with the piece (except for still presuming Mitt will be the nominee.)

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

January 28, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

Electability? The gender gap? Two very liberal women friends of mine who voted for Obama have come up to me recently and said they like and would vote for Newt. Why? Because hes so damn smart! --Melissa O'Sullivan in "Send Us Newt"

Even more good quotes lie within, like the one about Newt's replacement as Speaker after his own party ousted him. (Hint: Dennis Hastert)

Hat tip: Terri

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:02 PM | Comments (0)

You Are Invited...

Several mentions have been made, some recently, of a Three Sources Blogger Bash. It is in this spirit that I propose a ThreeSources.COM blogger table at this year's Weld County (Colorado) Republican Party "Lincoln Day Dinner."

The Lincoln Day Dinner is an annual fundraiser and kickoff event for the election season by the Weld GOP. Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-4) is the Featured Speaker and former Senator Hank Brown is the Master of Ceremonies.

I realize this is very short notice - next Saturday night at the UNC Grand Ballroom in Greeley - but I received news this morning that I believe gives the event much more appeal. Since the state caucus date was moved up to February 7 by last year's state legislature, there will be some high profile visitors to our state that week. And being one of only two such dinners statewide that were scheduled in advance for February 4 it is one of the best opportunities for politicians to address a large gathering of active Republicans.

At this morning's Weld County Republican Central Committee meeting it was announced that former Senator Rick Santorum has confirmed that he will appear and speak at the dinner. Since the dinner is a fundraiser for the County party organization and not the candidate(s) the cost is a paltry $50 per person. Such dinners are usually at least $250 for presidential fundraisers (which this is NOT.) To sweeten the offer just a little, the party Chair also said she has been in contact with the staff for two other presidential candidates and "there is a 50/50 chance that one or more of them will also appear and speak." (She did not name the candidates.)

I don't know about y'all but the idea of meeting all you folks over dinner and listening to these guys tell us all their political lies sounds like a right jolly good time. I've already asked the party secretary to reserve a table (8 seats) for me and I need to give her a confirmation by Monday. Let's do it! Spouses and other guests are encouraged. I should be able to get additional tables, if needed, if we move quickly. Please chime in with questions and RSVPs in the comments.

Time is of the essence! Please try to RSVP no later than Sunday, January 29 (tomorrow.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:53 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Lovely bride and I are in!

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2012 6:17 PM
But Terri thinks:

Count me in! And thanks!

Posted by: Terri at January 28, 2012 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

gd emails an rsvp. -- SEE UPDATE

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 5:47 AM
But jk thinks:

D'OH! That's nb with a RSVP OUI. We'll hope for gd...

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2012 10:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Current status: Table is reserved and paid for. Still hopin' br and gd will check in soon, maybe in the morning.

Those who've accepted, please indicate meal preference (Monday afternoon deadline): Prime Rib or Monterrey Chicken.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2012 7:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For those watching this thread longingly from afar, the THREESOURCES.COM table is reserved in a sold-out UNC Grand Ballroom (surely they'll put us up front with the rest of the power brokers) and carpool arrangements are being made (for the social benefits, not the pseudo-environmental ones.) We'll exit-poll for who does the blog write-up afterward.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2012 1:37 PM

January 26, 2012

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 wasnt 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

January 24, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

A fun quote from a just as fun column:

All the organization and money in the world cant force folks to vote for you if they dont want to, and now that Newts inoculated himself against further Super PAC attack ads and renegade ex-wives, its unlikely that Romney can carpet-bomb him as effectively as he did in Iowa. Newts 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

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

January 21, 2012

Character 101

Now that I'm hopefully done defaming (and defanging and nearly degrading) Newt, let's move on to positives. I think Paul, Santorum and Huntsman all have exemplary character, and not just because they aren't divorced. There's no corruption, no awful see-saws, no odd deals or confabs with Pelosi-types.

Stay and don't stray... we're talkin' about character.

Romney? Let's start with a story from 1996, concerning the daughter of one Robert Gay. There's an endorsement that should be saved for the week after some Obamattack comparing him to Gekko is taking hold. I think Mitt has more than a few of these. Why? Character.

I'll finish with this Gipper snippet: "there's no limit to what you can accomplish in politics, so long as you don't care who gets the credit" and point you to the 2002 Olympic games. Did Romney turn that into a horn-tooting endeavor? I think not, in fact he's been quite gracious when asked about it.

Posted by nanobrewer at 10:24 PM | Comments (3)
But dagny thinks:

As long as were discussing character, can I play too? I have just a few questions. Does anyone remember the kerfuffle with one President William Jefferson Clinton (D) - Arkansas and various extramarital activities and lies associated with such? Republicans at the time were shrieking that such activities were immoral and illegal and indicated that this made him scum of the earth.

Now the same Republicans are proposing to nominate someone admittedly guilty of extramarital activities of his own. Doesn't this seem just a little hypocritical? Are we really saying that this adulterer is a scumbag but this other one is fit to be president because of excuses X,Y, and Z?

We each have to evaluate the candidates based our own values but I will NOT be caucusing for Gingrich.

Posted by: dagny at January 22, 2012 2:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Didja see @jimantle's tweet? "Ideologically, Newt has been in an open marriage with Goldwater and Rockefeller for years." It is for that reason I will be joining Sister Dagny in caucusing for not-Gingrich.

But I must call point of order. I remember l'affaire Lewinski very well. Thoughtful Republicans were outraged because our nation's Chief Magistrate perjured himself in front of a Grand Jury and denied Ms. Paula Jones her day in court.

Added to this was disgust for disrespecting the Oval Office. Presidents Reagan and George W Bush never entered it without a suit jacket.

Actual marital infidelity was third at best -- for me far behind sending out political surrogates, including his wife, to L-I-E to journalists and publicly to Americans.

The Democratic spin ever since was that it was "all about sex" and I must reflexively (or in Gingrich speak reflexively and praxeologically) correct the record everywhere I go. Saddle up Sancho!

If a responsible and consistent candidate with a love of liberty and capacity to express it were in the race, and if he or she had been married three times, and if he or she were stably married now -- I must admit I would be able to overlook it.

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:16 AM
But johngalt thinks:

So what you're saying is, Newt doesn't love liberty.

Pawn Rall loves it but can't express it without straying into madness, at least in pragmatic political terms.

Rick Santorum loves it unless you are female and pregnant.

Mitt? He loves his wife. Beyond that I'm not sure. But what worries me about his nomination is not his personal agenda, rather that of the entrenched, yes 'crony capitalist' interests that are supporting him to the hilt.

Newt does still spend quality time with the Goldwater half of his ideological marriage and his support comes from fed-up individual Americans of the average variety.

I could be off base but these are my impressions.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2012 12:23 PM

"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

Mitt!

The Refugee, having successively jumped from the Pawlenty bandwagon, to the Perry conestoga, to the Cain train, to the Newt pull-toy and finally to the Romney Radio Flyer, feels qualified to enumerate the many reasons why Mitt is The Man.

So, let's go through the list: first there's his position on... er, also he would.... well, not to mention... plus, we can count on... Uh, OK, there aren't that many reasons to affirmatively vote for the former governor. In the final analysis, it comes down not to who is best, but who is least bad. Here are The Refugee's disqualifiers for the other candidates:

Newt:

1. His "go negative, write the Obama book against Romney and attack Capitalism" is, perhaps, even more dispicable than an open marriage. Newt compares himself to historical figures. Unfortunately, the only appropriate comparison is Benedict Arnold.
2. With Newt's history, the press has more than enough on him to ignite a new scandal every week. By the time November rolls around, even Calista would be grateful for a secret ballot.
3. Newt will be unable to govern. The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the press would turn his presidency into a four-year circus.
4. Newt has many great ideas, but he also is more than willing to stray into populism if it seems politically expedient (see: Ethanol; Global Warming; #1 above). He is, in many ways, a no more reliable Conservative than Romney is.
5. He has almost as many negatives with Republicans as he does Democrats. Rallying the troops is not a given.
6. His national organization is minimal and he can't beat Obama on YouTube.

Rick:

1. His positions on abortion will turn off enough female voters to make winning almost mathematically impossible.
2. If he lost PA by 18 points as an incumbent senator, does anyone really think he has a shot at a national election?
3. The only difference between Big Government Santorum and Big Government Obama is one of priorities.
4. He has no national organization and one can't be built in three months.
5. His sweatervests make him look like Fred, the doofus in the FloodSmart.gov commercials. (OK, a bit snarky, but still...)

Ron:

1. His positions on Iran make him unserious and unelectable. Not to mention a lousy Commander in Chief.
2. "Abolish the Fed" is a non-starter nationally.
3. He's 76. He's running for President, not applying for a job, so age discrimination applies.
4. Even Ron doesn't think he's electable.

Sorry, folks, it does boil down to electablility. Mitt is by no means a shoe-in and needs to up his game to avoid getting clobbered, i.e, developing a positive agenda. But he's the only one with a shot; defeating Obama is Job 1. There is no such thing as a moral victory with Obamacare and the future of free enterprise hanging in the balance.

The issue is settled. Kinda like the science, no doubt.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 7:11 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

Is acceptance the last one, or does another round of anger come after?

You're likely right Mister Refugee, sir. I might still caucus for Rep. Ron Paul because I an intrigued what he will do at the convention with a powerful hunk of delegates.

The real battle now turns to the Senate. If we can send a few more Tea Party GOP Senators in the Ron Johnson-Mike Lee mold, a Romney Administration could be positive for liberty and a second Obama one less destructive.

Posted by: jk at January 21, 2012 11:35 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

As a point of clarification, in point 1 about Newt, I should have said, "...more despicable than questions about an open marriage..." my intended point was a comparison of relative despicability, not a condemnation of the proposed arrangement. Newts decision to assure that every Republican dies with him was unforgivable despicability.

JK, what actions do you hope for from Uncle Ron at the convention? If it's constructive then OK, but if it just poking a finger in the party's eye, then he deserves to stay home.

Before anyone falls on their sword in the name ideological purity, they should ask themselves if they want Obama picking the next two, maybe three, SCOTUS justices.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 21, 2012 1:06 PM
But jk thinks:

As I admit in a new post today, you have "out-pragmated" the soi disant blog pragmatist.

But is your underlying, foundational argument secure? Gov. Romney does not have the winningest electoral record, and "Gordon Gekko!" will sadly be as effective as it is lame. Some may have trouble with his religion, and my Facebook friends have not forgotten the dog on the roof.

If you are correct that he's the best chance, count me in. But, like Taranto, I see a bit of Democrats-in-2004 nominating Senator John Kerry because he was the man to beat George Bush.

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2012 11:49 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Democrat 2004 Redux, The Movie: Playing the part of John Kerry is Mitt Romney; the part of Wesley Clark goes to Ron Paul; standing in for John Edwards is Rick Santorum*. And starring in the role of Howard Dean is our very own Newt Gingrich!

The parallels are scary. What you're really saying is that the Republican field is as weak as Dems '04. There was no strong, obvious winner that got shirked by the process in that race.

*Apologies to Rick Santorum for juxtaposition. There really is no comparison, but there were no other parts left.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 23, 2012 2:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've been tempted more times than I can count to draw similar connections to NFL quarterbacks but have thusfar been able to behave myself. This is much better. Well done. But let me pile on:

Playing the part of George W Bush: Barack Obama.

We didn't fully realize how bad GWB's policies were until his second term. Barack has outperformed in that category.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2012 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I, for one, am proud to be part of a party which includes no direct parallels to Senator John Edwards.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 6:33 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

January 13, 2012

Romney Steps Up and Out

I understand the lack of "enthusiasm" that has been noted about Romney. I've found it to be a positive for his campaign, without even considering the effect of the momentum of enthusiasm. I oddly wondered (but have no way of recalling what was my first ever vote for president), when exactly Reagan built the enthusiasm we all now remember of him.

Certainly being positive, consistent and confident (even with a zero message) is possibly the best foil to the bitterly failed messianic image of BHO. Think for a second; what else did RR have to offer at first? We can all see how powerful the "feel your pain" message had become in political circles with the - frankly pathetic - attacks by Perry and Gingrich (who were the two giants amongst the contenders).

I'd also like to state I think "the system" has worked, as noted by Taranto:
"Gingrich has helped to define Romney as the defender of free enterprise.
... exactly the right counter to the social-democratic demagogy of the failed incumbent.
Romney has now committed himself to a campaign with a powerful theme"

I now hope that Huntsman and Paul can have similar positive affects. Gingrich did so unwittingly... one truly wonders why he ran.

Reading Romney's speech from NH, I'm seeing many winning themes, and am having trouble thinking of anyone else able to deliver them so effectively (which is as it should be: Romney shouldn't take on Christie's crusades...). MR may falter as a president, which is why we have Ryan and Pence and Jindall, and Haley and hopefully Rand Paul. RR surely did falter, Churchill had many and some were epic.

Short excerpt of Romney's speech below (my 1st experiment with the extended window), but only after one last closing thought. One way RR became hated in DC and Manhattan but loved everywhere else was letting these attacks build until just the right moment to thump them soundly ("there you go again"... "I refuse to exploit my opponent's age and lack of experience as a campaign issue"). Partly he did this by being comfortable with himself, not letting the turkeys get to him, and it showed with the wit, charm and humor with which he disarmed his accusers. Disarmed... so much better than even a deft parry, and loads better than the waspy snapbacks the media cheers on. Romney can do this unlike anyone else I've seen in the political arena (save for perhaps CC, but we've not seen him attacked by his own party). He already has on three occasions in less that many months. He'll need to many, many more times as November nears. I look forward to seeing that happen... there's my enthusiasm for a Romney campaign!

President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. In the last few days, we
have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him. This is such a mistake
for our Party and for our nation. This country already has a leader who divides us
with the bitter politics of envy. We must offer an alternative vision. I stand ready
to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed,
not dragged down by a resentment of success
. In these difficult times, we cannot
abandon the core values that define us as unique We are One Nation

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:09 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Excellent post, nb. If/when I come around to the inevitable, your thoughtful words can take a lot of credit. I do appreciate the speech; James Pethokoukis has been no warmer than I to Gov R, but he was taken by the speech, as was Kudlow.

And yet, I need to take a swipe or two at your main thesis.

President Reagan, blessed be on the supply-side-prophet's eternal soul, delivered a stemwinder at the 1964 GOP Convention for Sen. Barry Goldwater. He took on the Eisenhower-Ford-Rockefeller establishment in 1976. And he was known for his GE speeches: decades of clearly articulating the benefits of liberty and free markets.

I don't know what year you cast your first vote, but I live in eternal shame because mine was for John Anderson -- against the Gipper -- in 1980. I was a punk-ass hippie guitar player drop out who knew no better, but the ThreeSourcers of the time had a very clear picture of who Ronald Wilson Reagan was and what he stood for.

Larry Kudlow compares Romney's 59-point economic plan (with accompanying PowerPoint® presentation) to Reagan's message: strong money, lower taxes, peace through strength. I may indeed be underselling the Governor, but I think your comparison is a stretch to the upside.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 10:41 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee quite likes NB's larger point here, which, if he is reading correctly, were Romney on fire right now, it would be too early. Romney's 59 point plan has been attacked as arcane and timid; guilty on both charges.

However, if Romney were to propose a bold vision now, it would be demonized to death by the Dems and old news by September. As in sports, one does not want to peak too early. Let's hope that Romney has a long-term strategy that includes ways to build enthusiasm with boldness as the election nears. On the other hand, he can't wait too long or the narrative sticks.

Either that or The Refugee is wishcasting.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 13, 2012 12:54 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

NB's first presidential vote was cast for RR, but I recall little about it, only he wasn't that sad-sack Carter and my parents always liked Reagan. To me, he was friendly and genuine - thereby believable (ah, those were the days) - vs. the preachy, bitter, pedantic and ineffective (even to an 18-yr old's ears) incumbent, or at least I think I thought that as I cast my vote. THIS is how Romney sounds/feels like "a RR Republican" to me. I also really liked MR's comment (from ~4 yrs. back) that "Ronald Reagan wasn't a Reagan Republican at first either."

Agreed with JK's points: RR spent a long time building up the Republican brand name B4 he strode forth in the national spotlight in 1976. This I recognized four years back when Mitt announced his first candidacy. Mitt has been making amends, but he has nowhere near RR's bonafides in terms of building the GOP nameplate (and yet with the policies of the last two decades, can one blame him too much?). If anyone in the race is the face of today's GOP it's Newt. 'Nuff said.

Yes BR, I worry that Romney-on-fire would flame out by October; especially in today's 24/7 media-flames-frenzy-and-calls-it-journalism culture (double-down on that with them so heavily in the tank for Obama). Given all that, I prefer the cautious approach. I knew Newt was wrong, wrong wrong for our time for that alone (and B4 I'd heard him smackdown Ryan). Noonan said something a while back about America wanting - no, craving adult leadership. Romney feels like the right adult for our time: passionate, with some vigor left for the fights to come. Even Huntsman seems a bit too much like a rumpled professor by comparison.

Thereby, I understand his quite timid economic approach: take it slowly, esp. with the media frenzy on every gaffe, missed citation or errant statistic (unless it leads to more gubmint). I'm absorbing what's being said by NR, Reason and I like James Pethokoukis (even w/o that Greek name) writings on all this. I like Tom Woods in many a case, but he shows again how the Paulista caucus will never parade down main street. I miss Arnold Kling: kick that damned entrepreneurial habit and get back to writing my opinions!

I don't want Ryan-on-Steriods running for the GOP ticket, but believe there is much more to Mitt than just a snake-charmer. I don't know for a fact that Romney is more like RR than like Clinton, but I know he's not dissing the Ryan's and sucking up to the DC cognoscenti like a few R's we know....

This is the decade for tax reform, but I think it too bold to call for complete restructuring in this election. I believe we need a minor revolution right now just to start the gestalt in the direction of flat taxes. Problem #1 in getting that moved? DC can't have a flat tax because they're spending/revenue ratios can't be hidden. The debate has to be moved to a whole new level. Only Christie & Romney have the right stuff in making that happen IMO.

Defeating BHO is so important, I'm willing to give on many an issue. Like WFB, I'm voting for the most conservative candidate who can be elected.

Oops, when must I drop my "L" registration to be able to caucus?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2012 2:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Fair points all. My only defense is that in the wake of Tea Partyism, I expected -- er, make that "hoped for" -- a bolder, firebrand candidate for limited government.

I read a great line that I almost posted. "Romney is the only one who wore a suit to the job interview." I did not post because it didn't much match the theme of the (anti-Romney) article. But it nails it and I think speaks to your point.

I think thou art hosed for caucusing but could still get in by the primary if you think it will still be in play by then. Colorado is not Iowa.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2012 11:29 AM

January 12, 2012

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

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

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 hes unlikely to be the second choice of Republican voters looking for a new candidate. But the message isnt 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 8, 2012

Sanitation On Santorum

Either TS'ers are fixed more on candidates that have something to say or were too polite to admonish my inclusion of Santorum in the categories of "Conservative" candidates. Let it not be said that I will not eat crow when I've put it on a plate and be called out for not serving chicken.

NRO did a nice rundown (in all senses) on him:
"embraced W's 'big-government conservatism.'"
"never met an earmark that he didn't like."
" The quintessential Washington insider"

nb is much more of a spending hawk than a social issues conservative. In fact, I don't meet most of the criteria of a "SIC" and would be barely perceptible as one if I were elected. For the record: I do have strong opinions on the issues typically lumped into that category, I just consider them more personal issues, in the "render unto Caesar" vein.

That much to say that Rick Santorum doesn't even rate as a conservative on the TS meter.

Now, what about Gary Johnson running as the Libertarian candidate?

Posted by nanobrewer at 10:52 PM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"...if I were elected." NB, are you preparing some sort of announcement? Hopefully, you'll carry it exclusively on Three Sources. You've got three votes pretty much locked up.

The best label for Santorum is "big government Conservative." Can we coin the moniker "CINO?"

Gary Johnson? Great candidate for Sec. of the Treasury.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 8, 2012 11:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watched both NH debates. Just when I think Ron Paul has been his weirdest, he gets weirder. If even I can't keep up, the average Republican is just gonna keep shaking his head. It's seeming less and less likely I can caucus for him in CO.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2012 1:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh I think I did tweak you a little bit, nb. Either you were travelling that day or my Trademark Subtlety™ kicked in.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 11:14 AM
But jk thinks:

@jg: Actually, Doctorrepresentative Paul was at his least weirdest in a FoxNewsSunday interview. That and some distinctly non-weird Kudlow appearances had me thinking about leaning.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2012 11:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, me too, as noted elsewhere. I'd just like him to put his good ideas in less goofy rhetorical clothing.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 12:46 PM