January 26, 2018

Otequay of the Ayday

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has officially warned the House Intelligence Committee not to release its memo. It's like the possible defendant in a criminal trial threatening prosecutors for having the audacity to reveal alleged evidence to the judge and jury.

This is the first time I can recall open government groups and many reporters joining in the argument to keep the information secret. They are strangely uncurious about alleged improprieties with implications of the worst kind: Stasi-like tactics used against Americans. "Don't be irresponsible and reveal sources and methods," they plead.

Liberal Establishment Media Refugee Sharyl Attkisson in today's Hill editorial: As walls close in on FBI, the bureau lashes out at its antagonists

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:25 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

"... [F]irst time I can recall open government groups and many reporters joining in the argument to keep the information secret."

With all respect to the brave, ballsy Ms. Attkisson, not certain about that.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2018 3:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let's just say that Woodward and Bernstein could not be reached for comment.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2018 3:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Neither could Daniel Ellsberg.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 29, 2018 4:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or Chelsea Manning, who is too busy mounting a "fight" for Maryland's United States Senate seat.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2018 3:28 PM

October 19, 2017

Won't Get Fooled Again!

Oh, whom am I kidding? Of course I will. But it's good to know I have a compatriot in Jim Geraghty:

Evan McMullin? I didn't realize that when I voted for him, I was helping pass the "Evan McMullin-Eternal-Presence-in-Media-as-a-Trump-Critic-Who-Never-Sounds-All-That-Conservative Act." Unsurprisingly, McMullin's entire Twitter feed since the election has been relentless criticism of Trump, a general credulity of claims of election collusion with Russia, and denunciation of GOP leaders for being insufficiently opposed to Trump.

When McMullin appears on television, do you ever hear him arguing for a larger defense budget, tax cuts, originalist judges, or any other conservative priority?

I would not have used the "C" word, but agree with every word. Thankfully, I don't follow Mister McMuffin* on Twitter, but what a huge disappointment he has been.

*Intentional name misspelling jokes are the lowest and least intellectual form of political humor. I hate them. When other people do it.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2017

"I may be Hitler, but I'm still not Trump"

The segue machine is set to kill.

I may have set a personal record in tagged categories for this post. It's part five of a YouTube original creation by Chris Ray Gun called "Social Justice: The Musical"

I post this one first because it's the first episode I found [while searching for "modern protest songs" after listening to Buffalo Springfield's 'For What It's Worth' following 'The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down' as referenced in the previous post] and also because it is timely and entertaining. The guy seems very talented and well worth a look at his other work.

Enough. On with the show!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2017

I Was Wrong

Do I regret not voting for President Trump? No, not really; better to be happily surprised. And he won without my vote. And without winning my State. Public Choice Theory argues against recrimination.

But -- boy howdy! -- did I err in darkening the box next to Evan McMullan and Mindy Finn. I guess that can be called harmless except for the fact that I am still on their mailing list. And they are not a taciturn bunch.

Ms. Finn writes:


Since President Trump can't be trusted to protect the nation from Russian attacks on our democracy, we must all call on Congress to pass sanctions that punish Moscow, deter it from future interference and hold Trump accountable.

And so on and so forth. Bla Bla Bla. Then: "Do you wish to give $20 | $50 | $100 or more?"

It's a bad re-run of the no-labels movement. Really? Riling up Republicans about Russia is your plan? Ugh!

So, mea maxima culpa people, that was a foolish pick. I get a bit of tomfoolery like that every few days from McMullen or Finn. I would unsubscribe, but I am reading St. Augustine and feel self-flagellation is important for growth. Now where did I put my hair-shirt?

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

No hard feelings, I'm sure. It's never too late to hop aboard the Trump Train!

(Did you see what I did there?)

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2017 5:50 PM
But cnk guy thinks:

Time to face the fact that Trump is the President now and you need to move on.

Posted by: cnk guy at July 6, 2017 7:20 PM

February 20, 2017

Extreme, not Mainstream

"Trump is too extreme" the narrative goes. "He's alienating the moderate, unaffiliated voters." That's a valid concern, particularly come re-election season, but it's just possible that a majority of all voters are actually ready for a serious president to take the reins firmly in hand and steer toward something "Great Again." Even if he does so with more than the usual amount of chutzpah.

And it doesn't hurt that the president's political opponents, democrats and the media [see how I didn't call them "enemies?"] are just as extreme as he is, if not more so. And they are vulnerable to the same sort of centrist backlash. IBD:

These polls show something else that should worry Democrats: Their antics are appealing only to their hard-core base, but are turning off political independents. On Trump's travel ban, for example, 54% of independents approve of his executive order, according to the Morning Consult poll. The IBD/TIPP poll found that 55% of independents back his refugee pause.

Among independents, 62% say they're not confident that the media will cover Trump fairly in the IBD/TIPP poll, and fewer than 19% describe the news media as truthful in the Emerson poll.

What's more, 59% of independents - and 57% of those who are ideologically moderate - say Democrats should find ways to work with Trump rather than try to obstruct him, the Morning Consult poll found. The only group that strongly supports the "resist" tactics are liberals.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:13 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I heard that: {fist pump!} Lets' support the ideas we like and oppose those (border adjustment tax - I'm talking about you!)
Time to write our senators... I'll even hunt down Bennet's site...

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 21, 2017 3:30 PM

January 26, 2017

Maybe a "businessman"

A "stellar businessman."

The referenced line starts around the 7-minute mark, but I found this entire 2012 RNC Convention speech to be quite interesting and foreshadowing of this election just passed. Try the whole eleven minutes and see if you agree.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2016

Pouting POTUS

Imagine that a vandal breaks into your home while you're away. You are alerted to his presence by an intrusion alarm, and the intruder knows it, but it will take you more than two months to get back home. And again, the intruder knows it. Just think of the vindictive damage he could do - for whatever his reasons - before you arrive to secure the situation.

That is the scenario that comes to mind when I read Kim Strassel's expose on President Lame Duck Obama.

But perhaps nothing has more underlined the Obama arrogance than his final flurry of midnight regulations. With each new proposed rule or executive order, Mr. Obama is spitefully mocking the nation that just told him "enough."

The technical definition of a midnight regulation is one issued between Election Day and the inauguration of a new president. The practice is bipartisan. George W. Bush, despite having promised not to do so, pushed through a fair number of rules in his final months. But Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were more aggressive, and Mr. Obama is making them look like pikers.


Posted by JohnGalt at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2016

New Respect for Pantsuit Nation

The HuffPo headline reads "Pantsuit Nation Is A Sham." But, well, I'll let the reader decide:

Basically, it seems to me -- unless she gives me any reason to think otherwise, which I doubt she will -- that Libby Chamberlain is interested in making a quick buck off of other people's trauma, hurt, pain, and confusion. She has turned Pantsuit Nation from a space of solidarity into an exploitative business model which replicates the same oppressive structures that supported the election of Donald Trump in the first place. If her intention was always to privatize and monetize PSN and its stories, thereby recreating the same neoliberal systems the group claims to fight against, she is a liar too. It was never stated at its inception that Chamberlain would ever aim to profit off of other people's stories, and the fact that she even wants to says a lot about her character.

The business model, as near as I can understand from the short column, is:

1. Leftist Butthurt
2. ???
3. Profit

If pantsuit lady can pull it off, call me a fan.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Profit? That's Deplorable.

On the plus side, the schadenfreude here is of the "all you can eat" variety.

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2016 6:33 PM

December 20, 2016

Told You So, Sec. Clinton!

Old joke: Brakes fail on a car coming down a perilous mountain. Car is full of engineers, so each uses his/her ability to save the car: thermo, aero, mechanical... When they arrive safely at the bottom, the software engineer breaks his silence and says "let's roll it back up the hill and try it again with higher air pressure!"

I'm a software guy. And we do get the luxury of changing initial premises and re-running things, hundreds of times if necessary.

Reading scores of "Why Clinton Lost" and "Why Trump Won" articles, I notice an important omission. Had Sec. Clinton listened to me and chosen Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as her VP, they would be measuring curtains and picking cabinet officers today.

Senator Kaine was the worst VP pick at least since Thomas Eagleton. He brings the swing state of Virginia, okay, and might assuage some #berniebros. But he was just one more old, White, oleaginous career politician with whiffs of scandal -- something of a Hillary-Lite. Gov. Pence, conversely, was a great compliment to Trump: serious, equanimous, and well schooled in legislative process. And yet not enough of an insider to undercut the brand.

Now, our Democratic Guv is not totally beloved 'round these parts (even though he provided a thoughtful blurb for my book), but he would have been a great asset to the campaign. Firstly, he would not have performed sooooo incredibly miserably in the debate. They say VP debates don't count, but they might want to reassess after this year.

Secondly, he has a gift for straddling party divides. He's a Geologist by training and careful to preserve the energy sector that is important to his state and its tax base. And yet, he manages without completely aggravating the greens. He could have wowed the progressives with the horrid "achievements" made in the Democrat years, but still provided enough of a moderate face to keep some of the Wisconsin/Pennsylvania/Michigan Democrats in line.

Can't control Director Comey or Putin -- but she could have picked a better VP and won.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

One of many failings of the Clinton campaign for which we may give thanks. I'm just glad she isn't likeable.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2016 5:45 PM
But jk thinks:

I think the "WHY AREN'T I AHEAD BY FIFTY POINTS YOU MIGHT ASK!!!????" may go down as the best campaign commercial for all time. Not the response, just the in-your-face awfulness.

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2016 6:33 PM

December 15, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

So we have reached a point where the liberal left wants to throw out the results of an American election on the say-so of . . . the CIA! Frank Church must be turning in his grave. -- James Taranto
Posted by John Kranz at 5:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2016

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 3:10 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2016

All Hail Jonah

A Clinton Sendoff:

Among Hillary's greatest problems wasn't that she was a liar, but that she was so bad at it. When Bill lied, it was like watching a jazz impresario scat. You could pull him off an intern, slap him in the face with a half-frozen flounder, and he could, without missing a beat, plausibly explain that he was just a gentleman trying to help push the young lady over a fence.

But when Hillary lied, which was often, it was like watching a member of the Politburo explain to a hungry mob of peasants that food-production targets exceeded expectations. Hillary never seemed to fully grasp that Bill's lying skills did not become community property when they got married along with his collection of back issues of Juggs and that shoe box full of used pregnancy tests. There was music to Bill's lying while Hillary deceived the way Helen Keller played the piano.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2016

Would Bernie Have Won?

Here's what happened. Do we have racists and sexists in this country? We do. On the other hand, I think what happened is Trump touched a nerve on the part of millions of people that media doesn't often talk about. And that is, you’ve got a middle class for the last 40 years that has been shrinking. You've got people working two or three jobs. You've got a single mom who can't afford $12,000 a year for child care. You've got a worker who's seen his job go to China. You've got a parent who’s wondering how in God's name when I make $40,000 a year am I going to be able to send my kid to college. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I - VT)
Hypothetical much? It's crazy to ask, but I suspect that there is a great chance Sen. Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump. Wargaming the states, he would have ruined Trump's audacious flipping of the Democratic Rust-Belt States ("Umm, jk, we like to call ourselves 'Oxidized-Americans'"). If one thing is certain it's that I'm a pointy-headed elite who does not understand the working class Pennsylvania voter. But I cannot see Trump's taking Michigan and Wisconsin and I see Pennsylvania and Iowa in great jeopardy.

Perhaps some of the purple states ("Indigo-Americans, jk") would be turned off. Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado might come out of the blue column. Certainly, I think he's have made it much closer race.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

Dodging Six Bullets

Dodging six bullets is what I call a pretty good game of Russian roulette.

T. J. Brown at FEE points out six bullets the nation dodged by not electing Sec. Clinton.

Anyway, while Trump's impending reign isn’t anything to be ecstatic over, a relief of what America avoided in a Clinton presidency is definitely warranted. So let's take a moment to examine some avoided disasters that likely would've happened had Hillary Clinton won.

Brown captured my sentiments well. I get very nervous when I see stories that China might ban iPhone sales, I am not sure about Steve Bannon's role. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that detractors will not, but Breitbart did not comport itself well through the election cycle.

Yet I must share the overwhelming joy I felt on election night as I felt the momentum going his way. Brown is right for six out of six.

UPDATE: Thomas Sowell "We Dodged a Bullet"

UPDATE II: I meant it; I will give Steve Bannon benefit of doubt. Those who have attacked him are untrustworthy. In that spirit, though, I clicked on a link defending him:

All we have learned from the sewage-storm directed at Bannon is that the Establishment plays dirty and that the formerly Republican #NeverTrumpers aren't just misguided ideologues, but also yellow-bellied, gutter-crawling, backstabbing, bushwacking liars. Hell hath no fury like a self-designated elite scorned. All the existential rage of the defeated and humiliated elite is now focused against the architect of Trump's victory, the media genius who won the battle with less than a fifth of the financial resources at Hillary Clinton's disposal.

Okay then, your local elite signing out! Glad the healing has begun.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2016

And He's Baaaaack

Blog friend tg, on fire:

The problem is not that Clinton lost this battle. The problem is that no one had any idea that the loss was coming. Or that the loss was possible. Or even where the battle would be fought. Clinton, her team, the vast media apparatus that had grown up around it--all were soaking in the same cesspool of self-deceit. The election has shown them all for what they are: an insular network of operators and opinion-makers charmed by their own cleverness and enthralled with their own moral certitude, more comfortable exchanging clever quips and flattering platitudes than confronting the world outside of their carefully constructed echo-chamber.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for linking jk. I enjoyed this tg piece as well as the previous one. You really are an excellent writer, tg. And your insights are spot on in this piece in particular. I only wonder if you felt the same way about what what my ilk calls "the Orwellian media" before you were taken by surprise in this election?

This is more than an academic curiosity, because there are other critical realities being distorted by "factiness." The security benefits of restricting private gun ownership. The economic benefits of omnibus multinational trade treaties. The economic sustainability of myriad "alternative" energy paradigms. The racism of American police departments and officers, and the citizens who support them. And of course the Big Kahuna, the "settled science" of anthropogenic global climate change.

Our civilization could make evolutionary progress in prosperity and cohesiveness if the popular media would reject the narratives fed it by selfish "green" billionaires and treat the news business with the scientific rigor they purport to hold as their only absolute.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2016 2:05 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

I have been pretty critical of the media before today. Especially Vox.


This is one of the ironies I've noticed about this election: everybody agrees something country changing has happened, but at the same time everybody blames the error on whatever they most hated before the election results were in. SJWs blamed all of America's problems on race, and so of course Trump was elected 'cuz everyone so racist; Berniebros wanted socialism, so of course what's wrong is Hillary was too far to the right; social conservatives hate liberal smugness, so of course that's the lefts critical error, and so forth. As for me--well I hate Vox. So of course Vox is the problem.

The election did not change my feelings for the media so much as it provided overwhelming evidence than media narrative-massaging has destructive real world consequences.

Posted by: T. Greer at November 14, 2016 11:12 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, clearly I've been slacking if TG didn't know how destructive this media-narrative game has gone. I've known for 20+ years that most of media gets most of it's stories wrong. Just wrong. From energy to telecommunications, they are unbelievably jacked up.

Exception was (and I've not followed them closely) was the WSJ, which wasn't 100% veritas, but at least got more right than wrong.

Vox I'd not heard of, and now I'm going to have trouble un-seeing what I just saw: "The real reason we have an Electoral College: to protect slave states" OMG - USA Today has reincarnated itself as Artificial Inability in a constant spewing of ignorance!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 15, 2016 12:11 AM
But jk thinks:

Clearly, the Designated Hitter is to be blamed for for this election and the Tribe's loss.

I might mediate between tg and nb. Yes, there have been problems with media for many years (Bernie Goldberg wrote two serious and important books, "Bias" and "Arrogance") before he went off the deep end of partisanship.

And yet, the smug "factiness" of sites like Vox, Salon, an Slate do represent a new level of awful. Rather than USA Today, I'd compare them to Jon Stewart. They're cool, they know they're right, and all their readers know they're right.

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2016 10:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Buuuuut, it's not just Vox, tg. Or even Vox, Salon and Slate, jk. It's the New York Freaking Times. *

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper's daily Page One meeting: "We set the agenda for the country in that room."

* Edited to delete dual exclamation marks. I regretted the invective.

Posted by: johngalt at November 15, 2016 2:21 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

That is a chilling read, JG; thought I new that old gray lady...

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 17, 2016 11:39 PM

November 11, 2016

Blog Friends Like These...

Drop everything and read blog friend tg's take on the election.

I hate to excerpt because I cannot decide where to begin or end, but give this a little taste:

Amid all this walks in a woman who embodies it all, Davos Man in the flesh, avatar of establishment orthodoxy. She is the author of one war, supporter of two others; devoted to the poor of other nations but aloof to the poor of her own; friend of the banks, paid by Wall Street when not in government service, and financed by it when on the campaign trail; undeserving darling of a slavish media, uncrowned queen of a slavish party, beloved by all the institutions Americans have grown to distrust and hate; unable to keep rules she demands of her subordinates, and excused for failings that would crush the careers of the less connected. Onto this stage walks this ghoul, and you expected America to be excited about voting for her.

It is time to destroy the lies.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:14 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:
"Look folks, I am no Democrat. I'm much more comfortable in an America where the court leans 5-4 to the right than the other way around. But I'm also an honest checks-and-balances sort. The prospect of Trump unchecked is unnerving. Many of you go further—you express abject terror."

Meanwhile, my biological brother laments, quoting some news report or another, "Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced," Mr. Trump said. - "Singing a different tune already" my brother observed.

So it would seem that Trump is not as unchecked as some imagine. There's this Congress thingey, and this wonkish Speaker of the House who spent a lot of time and brain sweat on something he calls "A Better Way." He says this about Healthcare reform. [Click Frequently Asked Questions]

Q: How can this plan be explained in 30 seconds? (an elevator speech!)

A: This is a step-by-step approach to give every American access to quality, affordable health care:

- Lower costs. Helps people get better health care at a lower cost by ending expensive mandates and getting rid of over $1 trillion in taxes on health care.

- More choices. Provides patients with access to financial assistance to choose a plan that fits their needs, as well as more pooling mechanisms, coverage options, and access to wellness programs by getting Washington out of the way.

- Peace of mind. Protects those with pre-existing conditions and the most vulnerable, while ensuring every American has financial support to buy the coverage of their choice.

- Reforms Essential Health Security Programs. Strengthens and secures Medicare for current and future retirees, and provides Medicaid flexibility for the states.

"Abject terror?"

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2016 7:16 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

JG, I have been optimistic this entire season that neither the victory of Trump or Hillary would bring about the apocalypse their detractors suggested. Trump may turn out to be another President Taylor.


But that feeling of terror is real. I'm not terrified---but people out there are. And if we can't guide them to a better place, they might start doing something dangerous.

Posted by: T. Greer at November 11, 2016 8:15 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

@tg: if we can't guide them to a better place, they might start doing something dangerous.

Agreed; I think the 1st step is to challenge assertions, theories and base-cases. Here's the punch line:

Everything the media has been telling you is wrong. On ACA, on debt, on DAGW, on low-fat foods, on the economy...

then again, I could be horribly, awfully wrong, and what should be said is what JG's brother laments: DJT is not going to export the illegals while slamming the door on China's fingers.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 12, 2016 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh I do understand that the terror of the fearful is real, I'm just saying it is in response to media and DNC created bogeymen.

As for the dodged bullet of Hillary's election ushering the apocalypse, consider what Thomas Friedman reportedly proposed - "Thomas Friedman wants to abolish all corporate taxes and replace them with a carbon tax, a tax on bullets a tax on sugar and a small transaction tax." Imagine what he'd be proposing if Trump LOST.

And then there's SCOTUS.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2016 1:11 PM

November 9, 2016

The Best News

"She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."

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

Or, at the very least, not imminently able to grant herself a legal pardon.

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2016 5:37 PM


I have been wrong for 16 months now.

He won't last a few weeks, he won't win the nomination, he doesn't have a chance, I hope to be proven wrong about his skills and policy.

Props to the believers! Watching the results come in, I found myself strongly hoping he would win. Clinton tears and befuddled journalists are only a part of it.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:51 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Some were surprised that he was more gracious after the election than during the campaign. I expected nothing less. But with magazine covers of Trump's head superimposed with a mushroom cloud, I can't blame voters for thinking his election represented the first step on a yellow-brick road to the apocalypse.

We have heard the people sing,
Singing the songs of angry men.

All they want is a revitalized economy and a fair price for stuff they have to buy, from healthcare to college educations for their kids.

The Obamacare experiment wasn't without benefit. Finding a way to cover pre-existing conditions is a value add, and anything congressional Republicans come up with is bound to be better than O-care. (famous last words)

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2016 5:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I almost forgot... Once Arizona is called for Trump and now that Michigan's unofficial final tally has Trump in the lead by 12,488, Trump's electoral vote total is 279+11+16=306

Making my election eve prediction come true.

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2016 5:36 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I do not remember JG's election prediction, b/c mine was more like JK's:

He won't last a few weeks, he won't win the nomination, he doesn't have a chance
pretty much to a "tee"
I hope to be proven wrong about his skills and policy.
Amen, brother, amen!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 10:35 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

And now IS the time for a dogpile. Some amusingly fun thoughts from Power Line:

Hayward: One great upside of this will be watching Democrats turn viciously on the Clintons. Long overdue.
Agreed; She went for the long ball and bombed all right!
Mirengoff: the African-American vote fell well short of Hillary Clinton’s expectations and needs. Obama’s legacy was indeed on the ballot. It lost.

Hinderocker: Obama’s persona as our First Black President is far more popular than his actual policies.
Like Bill Clinton, I'd argue!
[quoting from a Krugman column] Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never. Hinderocker: Great specialty you’ve got there, Paul. How long did it take markets to recover? The Dow opened down a whopping 15 points, and is now up 251 points.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 11:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My prediction. Second paragraph.

Not that I want to keep mentioning it or anything. I'm just here to keep 3Sourcers informed.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2016 10:56 AM

November 7, 2016

One last attempt at electioneering

Hey, have you thought about what might happen to your federal tax bill depending on who wins the election? Tax Foundation has.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:35 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

If I jiggered our itemized deductions lower, we save about $4k with Trump and $1.5k with Clinton. But the Clinton savings comes from a larger child credit for kids under 5. Only have that for 2 more years.

With my same income, if I were unmarried and childless but had the same itemized deductions, Trump steals $884 less from me while Clinton steals the same.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2016 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

I rock with the Trump plan: $2900 with no jiggling. Make my guitar collection great again!

Yet I don't really care for it. I am not by any measure a deficit hawk, but it is not part of a comprehensive plan to restore growth. Bush's cuts (the second, supply-side ones) were part of a growth initiative but failed to some extent because there was no spending discipline.

I don't hear Trump even pretending. We're building walls and instituting maternity leave and increasing entitlements. And cutting taxes!

Yes, his energy policy and regulatory reform might help growth, but magnitudes off.

I could use the $2900 to stock up on bottled water and ammo for the upcoming multi-decadal, global depression.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2016 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Actually, it is precisely a comprehensive plan to restore growth. To a rate of 3.5-4% per year.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2016 5:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The lack of specificity on spending controls and entitlement reform is part of a "get elected first" strategy, which is hard enough without raising the those issues during an election campaign.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2016 5:49 PM
But jk thinks:

The comprehensive pal "Read Donald J. Trump’s Plan to Create 25 Million Jobs, here" to which you link seems to have been removed from the site.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2016 6:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not removed, but the link is definitely redirected. The more general description is at this link.

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2016 11:41 AM

Happy Election Eve!

Polls open in Colorado in less than 15 hours and, perhaps more importantly, close in less than 27 hours. "Our long national nightmare is almost over" someone once said, and it feels like it applies again in this event. It's almost over except for the lawsuits and recounts and more lawsuits.

I predicted last week that Trump will win with over 300 electoral votes. I can't prove it of course, and I'm a partisan, but there's my marker.

For those who are convinced the Colorado is in the bank for Hillary due to the lateness of the Comey letter versus the start of early voting, here is some counter factual.

As of this morning, November 7, 645,020 registered Democrats have voted in Colorado.
In the same report, 652,380 registered Republicans have also submitted their ballots.

This is a net 7,360 advantage for Mr. Trump, if one assumes that D's and R's vote in equal proportion for their party nominee. That is consistent with the IBD national poll, but Colorado voters are, as they say, "weird."

The big wildcard is the unaffiliateds. a whopping half a million, 527,706, have voted early.

In every poll I've seen Trump leads Clinton with the uncommitted crowd.

And then there is election day. We shall see.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:19 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

24 hours later the GOP ballot advantage has grown from about 7k to about 18k.

Critical swing counties Arapahoe, Jefferson and Larimer are tight - 1960 D advantage. Bellweather Jeffco basically tied. (+505 R)

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2016 3:06 PM

November 4, 2016

O.J. Rides Again

The news of last Friday's FBI decision, and the coverage of it over the weekend, struck me as the same kind of bombshell real-time news phenomenon as O.J. Simpson fleeing police in a white Ford Bronco. So naturally I wanted to read the Wayne Allen Root article by the same name - Hillary and the White Ford Bronco.

At any minute I expect to hear that every national TV news network is hosting live coverage of a police car chase. It will feature Hillary riding in the back seat of a white Ford Bronco, driven by Huma, headed for the Mexican border, with hundreds of FBI vans and police cars chasing behind. And of course Democrats lining the streets to catch the last glimpse of their former presidential nominee.

Hillary has had quite a series of October surprises. Just one would be enough to drive anyone into doing something strange. But Hillary has already suffered two devastating October surprises.

And rumor has it there’s another on the way.

But the real legacy of the Clintons, Hillary and William Jefferson, is far grander than a mere flouting of federal law regarding classified information.

What this new FBI investigation is not about is taking bribes (disguised as donations) at the Clinton Foundation from countries that fund ISIS. Wikileaks proves Hillary knew that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were funding ISIS, but took their money anyway.

What this investigation is not about is taking $1 million from Qatar to celebrate Bill Clinton’s birthday. What did that country expect in return? What did the Clintons promise?

What this investigation is not about is Hillary taking $12 million from the King of Morocco, who are our own government considers corrupt, while Secretary of State. What did the King expect? What did the Clintons promise?

What this investigation is not about is the crime of treason for running an organized criminal enterprise called the Clinton Foundation built around “pay for play” while Hillary was Secretary of State.

What this investigation is not about is running a charity scam called the Clinton Foundation that rarely pays out anything to charity and uses the billions it receives in "donations" to fund a billionaire’s lifestyle for the Clintons.

What this investigation is not about is funneling almost $700,000 in what looks like bribes (disguised as "donations") through Clinton’s best friend Terry McAuliffe to the Democratic politician wife of the FBI agent overseeing Hillary’s investigation.

All of that is still to come.

Unless she is pardoned by Barack Obama on January 19th, 2017.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:57 PM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Of course you know what is objectively right. And so does jk. He said, "She skates" not "She's innocent."

Your friend A people are lying to themselves to protect something. Or if not to themselves, then to you, but still to protect something. The more interesting question you should be asking is, what are the Clinton apologists protecting?

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2016 11:08 PM
But jk thinks:

And I suggest objective supporting evidence to B is to compare how less connected people were treated for the same offenses. Officers have lost their commissions for inadvertently doing what Sec. Clinton has done with mens rea.

General David Petraeus and Scooter Libbey must be wishing they had sent a million to the Clinton Foundation.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2016 11:32 AM
But jk thinks:

Nope! Director Comey has spoken -- she is innocent of all charges, ever (that issue in the fourth grade with the fountain pen and her rival's dress? Exonerated!)

I really do not know what to say.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2016 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You could say the same thing my dear ol' dad said.

"Drain the swamp."

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2016 12:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


friend A people are lying to themselves to protect something

Their egos. I have the same issue writ large: my favorite is the one who's been telling me the GOP is done as a party... for, well, as long as we've been FB friends. Years. Long before DJT won a single primary. He's an entrepreneur (well, not really successful one) who's a dedicated Sanders guy. That HAS to be ego. He's also a bit of an arrogant prat, so the ego big holds.

There are some "type A" who are just long-time Dems who will listen to the whisper campaign about the nasty, poopy-headed GOP (even for a guy like Romney).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 12:21 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:


Director Comey has spoken -- she is innocent of all charges

No, she skates. The weasiling used was there was no "intent" to cause harm or break the law. Charming. I can just see now that 'hate' speech will invariably be put in the intent column. The insanity has begun... perhaps even, as PowerLine postulates if Trump wins (he's won OH, WI and FL).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 12:31 AM

October 29, 2016

All Hail Kudlow

It will take a while for wounds to heal. My hero has been awfully loose with principle (though never principal) in this turbulent election cycle. But, if the FBI and James Comey get a "Do-Over," I suppose the spirit of redemption will prevail.

Kudlow pens a home-run column on the reopening of the investigation and Churchill's appendix.

As I pondered this on Friday afternoon, I had a faint recollection of Winston Churchill describing a tough loss in an MP election. Hat tip to Susan Varga, who located this Churchill gem: "In a twinkling of an eye, I found myself without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix." Churchill had his appendix taken out during that election, which took place in 1922.

So let's see here. Anthony Weiner lost his office and his seat. And while I don't know about his appendix, he did lose his marriage for referring to matters below the waist.

And Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's aide and Weiner's soon to be ex-wife, may well lose her seat and her office, although I couldn't find any information about her appendix, despite a long Google search.

On the other hand, the FBI's bombshell that it is reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server may well cause the Democratic presidential candidate to lose her office, her seat and her party. As to the condition of her appendix, we'll just have to guess, since no one knows the state of her deteriorating health.

Poetry. Hat-tip Blog friend Sugarchuck on Facebook.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2016

Equal Time

"What's the word? Gettysburg!"

Here on "Occupy Democrats" [fourth comment] we believe in giving equal time to both sides. Never Trumper Jonah Goldberg had his say below. As a Never Hillaryer ? I now give you Trump's Gettysburg speech, made yesterday. After a 10-minute intro by America's Governor, once a jk fave, Trump's remarks begin at 10:00. If you click play, however, you will start at what I feel is the meat of the speech where he discusses the raison d'etre of the "establishment," how it uses corruption to cling to power, and his proposal to change Washington and restore economic power to the voters, not the special interests. Enjoy!

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:45 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I thank you for your humor on the scurrilous "Occupy Democrats": charge. As a meme I liked on Facebook said "After the election, I hope we can all still be friends. Even if we're in different FEMA camps."

But the charge of Walmart* destroying Main Street with predatory pricing is right out of their playbook. (I hope everyone has seen the Penn & Teller BS on Wal-Mart -- it's one of the top three in our house.)

Walmart drives out competitors by offering better goods, prices, and service. As did A & P, Montgomery Wards, and a string of retail innovators before them.

Aaaaaand he's back. At 18:05 he hits the AT&T - Time Warner merger "a deal we will not approve in my administration." Oh.

"Likewise, Amazon should be paying massive taxes... and what that is doing to department stores." I took an online Econ 101 course taught by A Hillsdale prof, and that was his favorite example of disruption. The small towns in the frontier had a dirty store with high prices, low selection and nosy ownership. People have been delighted to receive every innovation but each has been greeted with worry about the inferiors' being lost.

Not only new deals. The Trump Administration -- like on NAFTA -- has given itself license to look over old deals and break them up. On Comcast's merger: "and we'll look at breaking that deal up and other deals like it."

At least Teddy Roosevelt had erudite charm.

I cannot bend principle far enough to accommodate this. I'm sorry the Speaker Gingrich and Mayor Giuliani can.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2016 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I did not listen to every word, much as I tried. I had to quit about 25 minutes in. And I was listening for the wheat while you were likely attuned to the chaff.

I did hear him say that "Amazon is paying nothing in taxes - they should be paying massive taxes." Let me do my best Bill Clinton impersonation here: That depends on your definition of the word "should."

If you mean that, under current tax codes, where corporations are taxed on their profits higher than in virtually any other country on earth, then yes, the highly profitable Amazon should be paying, as Donald likes to say, "obscene taxes" like he pays.

If, on the other hand, you mean under tax codes as they should be, where corporations are not taxed because all taxes are ultimately borne by individuals anyway and the fair and transparent way to tax individuals is directly, without chicanery that inflates the prices of goods and services, then no, Amazon should not be paying massive taxes.

In the light of recent criticism of Trump based on his carry-forward losses exempting him from taxes until those losses are re-earned, I conclude that Trump is referring to the first of those two definitions of "should" in which case, I agree with him.

The AT&T -Time/CNN merger is a special case of "Trust Busting" being as they are media giants, whom he had accused earlier in his speech of corruption and collusion with the federal Leviathan. I join his opposition to giving them more power.

And finally, on the analogy I made between the Wal-Mart effect on a small town and the Chinese currency manipulation and "illegal dumping" on the entire US economic system, I submit there is a difference in how the wielder of economic control will treat its customers once their competition is vanquished. Contests between commercial foes are called "commerce." Contests between geopolitical foes are called "wars."

But maybe we'll still get clean stores with copious selection after our national flag is changed from having fifty stars to one really, really big one... and all the white stripes are changed to match the red ones.

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2016 4:30 PM

October 22, 2016

All Hail Jonah Some More

I look forward to happier days and feel a little bad just delivering an argument (which includes but is not limited to ad hominem) from the King of the Never Trumpers.

But I cannot disagree with anything said here. We've covered most, but the ~9:40 part contradicts even the anti-Political Correctness and adds to the discussion. He will use it to suit himself, but "he's against being held accountable for political correctness."

This might be the last one of the campaign, but it certainly encapsulates what I believe.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:30 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Assigning motive to Newt is unfair. "He only says that because he's a Trump surrogate." Perhaps he's a Trump surrogate because he believes in the movement to wrest control of our nation from lying politicians. (Oops, that's a redundant statement.)

His guiding conservatism "only believes in two things:" The importance and power of ideas and the importance of character. What about the Constitution? What about liberty? What about republicanism?

I listened up to 12:12 where he said, "This idea that he won't get rolled by the bureaucracy, I think is nuts."

I have concluded that Trump is a "cad." (Look up the specific meaning.) I stipulate that Trump is not a perfect candidate, or even a very good one. But the available choices of non-politicians were quite limited and I do not condemn the voters for rallying behind the loudest and brashest among them.

For all of his Trump bashing Jonah did allow as how people like me - "all in to stop Hillary" - have an honorable mission. Whew!

It is true that Trump MIGHT get "rolled by the bureaucracy" and fail to make a dent in their Leviathan. After all, George W Bush failed. George HW Bush failed. Ronald freaking Reagan failed. But Hillary is their QUEEN!

Genghis Khan or Marie Antoinette. Cast your ballots by November 8.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2016 11:28 AM
But jk thinks:

Our continued internecine fratricide is that, yes, you admit to his being a cad, and boorish and unpolished candidate. But you do not so readily admit to his philosophical inconsistencies.

I've had to ask myself whether I could support a candidate who was as caddish and boorish, were he to generally support the things I believe. I cannot guarantee anything but I certainly think I would. There are many historical figures I do not like in the "want to out for a beer" sense. And there are a ton of whom I am quite fond but with whom I disagree fervently.

It's not his personality. I disagree with his strongly held positions and do not trust his oscillating positions where we are simpatico.

Jonah has a front row seat for thinkers he respects and admires changing their tune to support Trump. It might be conviction, it might be politics, it might be the opportunity of a future cabinet post.

The catchphrase of Thucydidean Realism is fear, honor, and interest. Goldberg and I will not change or deny our beliefs before any of them.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2016 12:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You distrust his oscillating positions and I see no alternative BUT to trust them. And on that charge, isn't Hillary revealing herself to be just as unprincipled? Not fair to make such an absolute judgment on one candidate and not the other.

It might help you to think of Trump as Gail Wynand more than Hank Rearden, Howard Roark or even Peter Keating. He may be a mess philosophically but he has the natural human sense of right and wrong that every successful man has, if he would just choose to learn WHY.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2016 1:03 PM
But jk thinks:

I am fully #neverhillary. The county chair can suggest my not voting for Trump facilitates her election, but I have too many friends who are Public Choice theorists to take my single vote that seriously. Yes, she is really awful. I will hope the Republic survives and be at peace knowing I did not vote for her.

Will he "learn WHY?" Maybe it was after the I-could-not-stand-it-anymore mark, but Goldberg says that expecting a 70-year old to change fundamentally is folly. My sister is voting for him on that premise; I am not.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2016 1:13 PM

October 21, 2016

All Hail Jonah

A friend of mine insisted to me the other day that if the NeverTrumpers, women, and Republican friendly independents rallied to Trump he'd be in the lead. That's true. It’s also true that between me and Charles Koch, our combined assets are in excess of $40 billion. -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Cute. But it's also true that if they don't he may well be in the lead already.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2016 5:59 PM

No There There

Again, the October Surprises this year all confirm your impressions.

I mean, who would have thought -- except everybody -- that Sec. Clinton is a craven and rapacious political opportunist with no core principles? Gambling? At Rick's?

What does Hillary Clinton really believe? Does she have strong beliefs about anything? A new raft of emails from the Clinton camp give us reason to doubt.

The documents show the Clinton advisors carefully and meticulously messaging the Clinton position on a wide range of issues--on everything from the Keystone pipeline to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). As they emailed back and forth, the advisors carefully weighed the costs and benefits (in terms of votes, campaign contributions and favorable or unfavorable publicity) of nuanced positions.

On a great many issues, Clinton has changed her positon--including gay marriage, the TPPA and the pipeline--over the nine-year period covered by the emails. The Clinton advisors anguish over how to position theses changes without appearing to be "cynically" chasing votes or giving the appearance of "putting a finger to the wind."

But there appears to be no email exchange where anyone discusses what Clinton actually believes about any issue at all.

Unless those were in the "Yoga Mails."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:15 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2016

Presidential Poll Dissonance


"Two men say they're Jesus, one o' them must be wrong."

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:14 PM | Comments (0)

The Right to Arm Toddlers

Hillary brought up "toddlers" a few more times, because little children are mostly adorable and no one wants to see them shot. -- David Harsanyi (all hail)
Pretty good debate last night. I loathe Mr. Trump's positions on immigration and trade, but seriously did consider voting for him in a lesser-of-two-very-evil-evils capacity.

Sec. Clinton's answer on DC v Heller sent me into apoplectic rage. Dick Heller was a licensed Police Officer and, one suspects, potty trained. He carried a firearm in Federal Buildings as part of his employment but was denied private ownership in his sketchy DC neighborhood. His obvious competence and the District's absence of State law made him an ideal plaintiff.

Sec. Clinton's continual musings of toddlers was disingenuous to the extreme -- even by Clinton standards.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2016

The Trump Doctrine on Trade

We haven't argued about this in a while. Largely, I believe, because Trump's positions were just populist slogans with little in the way of detail behind them. Two co-authors, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, change that with an RCP piece called "The Trump Trade Doctrine: A Path to Growth & Budget Balance." You might have noticed that it doesn't say, "and more American jobs." But that's because the jobs are a consequence, not a protectionist windfall.

Some excerpts:

Budget-deficit hawks often insist that the only way to balance the Federal budget is to raise taxes or cut spending. The far smarter path to balance the budget is simply to grow our economy faster.

No argument here, right? This is supply-side 101 and, in my mind at least, is a fantastic open to the article. I think I'm gonna like these guys.

You will notice we have not mentioned tariffs. They will be used if necessary against mercantilist cheating, but only in a very precise and defensive way.

Ultimately, our view is that doing nothing about unfair trade practices is the most hazardous course of action - and the results of this hazard are lived out every day by millions of displaced American workers and deteriorating communities. We simply cannot trade on their one-sided terms; they are just too destructive to the U.S. growth process.

I encourage the wonks to read the whole thing, and I expect there are elements you will be critical of (i.e. sell commodities to foreign companies to offset the deficit of buying their value-added goods) but on the whole it does look a lot more like fair trade than no trade.

And then there's that whole GDP growth thingey.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:27 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

I poorly tried to accept that some very small part of their claims were true, meaning some factory closures and job loss.

And, no, my Pareto boundaries are US -- from the forthcoming terrific wall on the south to the land of Tim Horton's up north. The huge, positive effects on world poor are gravy.

Taking your paragraph as example, you're going to create how many jobs to offset $2,000 for every household? At least my winners and losers are lopsided toward winners. We're going to start making party favors and USB thumb-drive covers in Youngstown, Ohio and employ five million (fire up the improbability drive, Zaphod!). And 295 million are going to pay higher prices? And be less competitive selling to the world.

I join my lefty friends in asking, just what golden age is Trump dreaming of restoring? Pre Nafta? Was that paradise? I like skinny ties and all...

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2016 6:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The "exact cause of our innovation and prosperity" is international trade that pits our private corporations against state-subsidized competitors in communist China?

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2016 7:22 PM
But jk thinks:

We are clearly going to need beer.

The "exact cause of our innovation and prosperity" is our ability to use our comparative advantage and productivity, leveraging a worldwide supply chain and catering to a worldwide market, yes -- was that what you were trying to say?

The iPhone contains parts manufactured in 42 countries. You'd rather we all a black rotary dial from Ma Bell -- made right here in Patterson, New Jersey. I'd rather we had iPhones and a domestic ecosystem of developers and designers.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2016 8:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mmmm, beer.

No that is not what I was trying to say. I was trying to say, I love comparative advantage and free trade and I am not convinced that the global economic trade is free and fair.

Because, while Boeing and Exxon-Mobil and Apple and Google and WalMart are giant, powerful, multinational corporations they are paupers in comparison to the Chinese government, who can legitimately be claimed to be their direct competitors.

There are three options: Ramp up federal subsidies of US corporations to compete with Chinese subsidies, tell the Chinese that we will severely curtail trade unless they desist subsidization, or just keep the status quo.

Trump's is the second of these three options. It is also, as I see it, the best.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2016 12:00 PM
But dagny thinks:

Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.

Robert A. Heinlein (of course)

Sorry JG, but I think your number 2 option is a very dangerous and unnecessary game of chicken.

But I'm just going to let JK handle this one.

Posted by: dagny at October 21, 2016 1:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

All y'all did notice that I tagged this post "internecine" right? Even dagny is arguing with me!

By "unnecessary" am I to assume that you are in favor of the status quo? You don't see anything dangerous or harmful in that?

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2016 3:59 PM

Well the race is on and here comes Trump in the back stretch...

Anyone who follows election news has the impression that Hillary leads in all the polls, some of them by double-digits, and has a commanding lead in the electoral college count (based on state-by-state polling.) Furthermore, Trump is "an idiot" and "self-destructing" and Republican office holders are "abandoning him in droves."

Despite all this, the most accurate poll in recent presidential elections shows Donald Trump with a 1-point lead over Hillary Clinton on the day of the final head-to-head debate.

Investor's Business Daily IBD/TIPP Poll shows that Trump trailed Clinton until they tied in September, and Trump has been pulling ahead ever since.

I found some of the internals rather revealing. Specifically:

In the "Household Description" crosstab Trump and Clinton are roughly tied among Middle and Upper/Upper Middle class households, while Trump has a 5-point lead with Working class households and a whopping 16-point lead with Lower class households.

Trump leads with Parents (14 points) while Hillary leads with Non-Parents (4 points).

Perhaps the most telling of all, however, falls in the "Zeitgeist" category. That is, "Who do you think is most likely to win?"

Overall it's 50% for Clinton, 20% for Trump and 19% for "too close to call."
78% of Democrats predict Hillary wins.
44% of Republicans say it's too close to call.*
And more Independents expect Trump to win than Clinton - 44% vs 29%.


* The Republican totals are suspect, since they also list 82% believe Trump will win. That plus the 44 percent saying it's too close and the 6 percent who expect a President Hillary adds up to 132 percent. If only one of these numbers is in error, my money is on the 82%. Not that many Republicans I know are so sanguine.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:50 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Another thing I noticed, but didn't mention yesterday, came to mind during and after the debate. Megyn Kelly said that Trump didn't do anything to solve his "problem with women." For some reason, Megyn Kelly keeps focusing on women - women voters, women who claim to have been groped or kissed (somehow never the ones who were actually raped, however) - so let's look at the crosstab in this poll on Gender:

Trump is 47% with men, 36% with women.
Clinton is 48% with women, 31% with men.

So if Trump has a "women problem" doesn't Hillary have an even bigger "men problem?"

Move along folks. Nothing to see.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2016 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Indeed. Glenn Reynolds used to riff on this in 2012: everybody quoted Romney's deficit with female voters and never mentioned Obama's far worse delta among males.

That said, there is a belief in Colorado that Jefferson County Women decide every election. (Out-of-staters, JeffCo is a very large county including suburbs west of Denver and into the foothills.) I laugh because I know a few who, true to form, have no party preference, and pick the one they like every couple of years.

I do not doubt -- in Colorado or nationwide -- that women represent more of a swing block. The great preponderance of middle-aged, middle-class white dudes is always posited to ride in on election morning and save the day. But they never seem to show up in sufficient quantity to prove the pollsters wrong.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2016 5:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not since 2004, at least. But nobody ever talked about a McCain or Romney "movement." Remember the old "silent majority?"

Somebody must be telling those IBD and Rasmussen pollsters that Trump is their favorite over Hillary.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2016 6:14 PM

October 14, 2016

All Hail Jonah!

I will be kind and share the only paragraph from Jonah's G-File moderately kind to the Republican nominee:

I honestly can't get my head around the fact that Hillary Clinton's closing "argument" in this election is sexual harassment. Bill Clinton's lifelong enabler has managed to turn this topic into a deadly weapon against a Republican nominee. This is like Godzilla turning public safety into a winning issue in the Tokyo mayoral race.

UPDATE: The full thing has been posted.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:18 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Winning" issue?


"Clinton jumped on the release of the video with Trump's sexual comments to say it shows her Republican rival's demeaning attitude toward women. But Trump countered that Clinton was an enabler who allowed her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to sexually assault women for years. Voters tend to agree with Trump that Bill Clinton's behavior was worse, but not surprisingly there's a sharp partisan difference of opinion.


While other pollsters show women abandoning Trump, our latest survey finds the two candidates running almost even, but women are more than twice as likely as men to like some other candidate or be undecided. Trump has a six-point advantage among men."

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2016 6:12 PM

October 13, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

"But it all reminds us that it is beyond high time that we grab the Republican Party by the Bush and grab the Democratic Party by the Clinton and toss them all out into the gutter where they belong."

Charles Hurt in Bush vs. Clinton redux in 2016.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:58 PM | Comments (0)


I flirted with a Trump vote out of my sagacious Blog Brother's counsel and an overwhelming desire to see Sec. Clinton denied her ambition. Gollum losing the ring would pale in comparison.

Alas it is not to be. Shikha Dalmia hammers the final coffin nails. She is less than impressed with the argument that Supreme Court picks are a good reason to vote for Trump.

Trump would be FDR on steroids. He savaged Judge Gonzalo Curiel's "Mexican" heritage because the judge didn't dismiss the case against Trump University. If something as low stakes as this can set Trump off, imagine what he'll do if the Supreme Court takes up a challenge to a signature issue of his presidency? A Trump presidency is likely to be a rolling wave of one manufactured constitutional crisis after another.

More importantly, she nails (same metaphor different usage) my institutional concerns:
It is because a Trump presidency will have a transformative effect on the GOP itself. Indeed, by the time he's done, the GOP will have little use for originalism or limited government. Whatever the external threat a Clinton presidency represents to these ideas, the internal threat that Trump poses is far greater.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:45 AM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

I will assure the ThreeSources commenatariat that I will not be voting for Sec. Clinton. I find it hard to accept that Colorado is in play if the campaign is pulling out of Virginia, but that is speculation.

Probably going to go with Gov. Johnson -- and yes, that is like Cato aligning with Carthage. But you never loved me for my consistency.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2016 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

And, wow nb, I admit they drive me mad on occasion, but I am a hopeless Reason fanboy: Foundation Patron and everything (me and the Kochs).

Perhaps we can agree to discard their contributions to electoral politics. Those are suspect. But their philosophical contributions and their leadership on important issues like the war on drugs, paramilitary police, sentencing reform and regulatory burdens are invaluable.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2016 12:51 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:
their philosophical contributions and their leadership on important issues like the war on drugs, paramilitary police, sentencing reform and regulatory burdens are invaluable.
As far as I can, I agree. IIRC, whenever a well-read blog cites them, I find the article quite good.

In general, I don't read or browse there much b/c I've been a bit turned off by a few OtT posts, but that's not damning: I don't really have bandwidth (single dad / long commute) for the more highly principled stuff they are best known for. Shoot, if I don't have time for WSJ, City Journal, WUWT, ALDaily.com or even to regularly check on my investments.... so, for exalted philosophical ideas and rhetoric, they are probably one of the best games on the internet (until the Sino/Soviet axis takes over). For everyday politics and policy analysis, I guess I haven't found them as accessible. Soo, I'm not likely to count on their recommendations for elections, but no, I do not wish a 'deleda est' pox on that house ;-)

I'll still be voting for Trump; none of this is unknown, and I think any harm done to the GOP by a poDTus will be less than HRC's harm to the USSC.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 13, 2016 3:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I read the article. It seems that Dalmia is convinced of an unproved fact - Donald J Trump is an ideologue. If he were, doesn't she suppose he would be more consistent?

She also assumes that he will live up to every single one of his campaign promises. That's quite a compliment for anyone this successful at this level of politics. But many of those promises have already walked back. Like the one to "deport them all."

But one of his campaign promises is to restore the full power of the Constitution, as evidenced by this list of Constitution-based priorities.

The media savagery of Trump only intensifies by the day, and making him out to be an ugly misogynist bully is the only tactic they have that might work. It's gotten so intense that Donald is doing something Mitt Romney didn't dare four years ago... he's pulling all the stops and fighting back.

"This is a struggle for the survival of our nation. Believe me. And this will be our last chance to save it on November 8th. Remember that. This election will determine whether we're a nation or only [a pretend] democracy but, in fact, controlled by a handful of special global interests, rigging the system, and our system is rigged. This is reality. You know it, they know it, and pretty much the whole world knows it.

"The establishment and their media enablers wield control over this nation through means that are very well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, rapist, xenophobe, and morally deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and your family. They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie and then again they will do worse than that. They will do whatever is necessary."

Whatever you do, don't vote early. This is only just beginning to play out.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2016 3:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Hmm, I was going to ask a similar question of Terri. What event would change your vote between mailing a ballot and Election Day? I have deliberated a bit and seriously considered a few actions. But I have not changed my mind based on events. As I gibed in another post, the October Surprises seem to be that both candidates are exactly what we feared they were.

Perhaps I lack imagination (not the usual critique) but I cannot imagine what news would cause me to change my mind at this point. I usually do vote early. If I get hit by a bus I want to ensure that I opposed the minimum wage and Colorado Socialized Medicine before I check out.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2016 5:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What might change is further revelations about the fabulously historic level of corruption in the Clinton camp, or the Democrat party, or even the Republican party for that matter.

Rush Limbaugh had a great FB post today, addressing down-ticket Republicans. They are outraged because Trump's spokesperson suggested that his voters should not vote for them. Rush asked, "Why should people vote for you? It's clear that you don't want to stop Hillary Clinton. It is clear that many of you do not want to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. SO if it's not important to keep her out of the White House, why is it important to elect you?"

The sheer volume of ruling-class secrets that are being blown wide open into the disinfecting sunlight is unprecedented. Masks are slipping on an almost hourly basis. Someone who votes before learning this or that secret or dirty trick may really wish he could change his vote. It could go either way, of course, but my money is on Clinton, Inc. being shown materially corrupt to an even greater degree than Mister Trump is shown to be a troglodyte. (And that voters finally realize how much worse it is to be corrupt than to be a cad.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2016 6:36 PM

October 12, 2016


Voltaire pointed out that The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman. I wonder what he could have done with this season's "October Surprises."

Yes, it is October Monsieur, but the surprise seems to be that both candidates are the crass and conniving lowlifes that we thought:


Surprise! Sec. Clinton and Donald Trump are exactly what you thought they were six months ago!! Wow, nobody saw that coming!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2016

You Can't Always Get What You Want


Posted by John Kranz at 6:44 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

You do know that that's Trump's campaign walkup/walkoff song, right?

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2016 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I remember it from the convention. Good for them for sticking with it.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2016 6:41 PM

October 5, 2016

Gov. Pence!

WSJ Ed Page:

If Donald Trump could make the case for Donald Trump half as well as Mike Pence makes the case for Donald Trump, the New York businessman would be well on his way to the White House. That's our conclusion from Tuesday's vice presidential debate, in which the Indiana Governor made the sustained case against the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama status quo in Washington that Mr. Trump should have made last week.

My first thought last night was that President Obama and Sec. Clinton obviously had a side bet" "Betcha can't find a creepier running mate that VP Joe Biden!" Pay up, Barack!

I have always liked Pence. He wears his religious on his sleeve too much to be my dream candidate, but he is the real deal -- A Republican right out of central casting. Great demeanor. I thought he killed last night and that his opponent was the squirreliest (with apologies to squirrels), most oleaginous little bastard since Sen. John Edwards.

Does it push me to Trump? Kelleyanne Conway was brilliant telling reporters that "this proves he will hire the best talent." Or does it just increase the ache for a real candidate?

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty questions the Democrats' devotion to attack.

Do you think there are many Americans out there, watching a vice-presidential debate, who haven't heard the criticisms against Trump? Do you think that Trump's supporters are backing him because they think he's polite? Do you think the race is close because Hillary and the Democrats haven’t attacked Trump enough, or do you think it's because not enough Americans think she’ll actually improve their lives in any meaningful ways?

Agreed -- there are serious diminishing returns to personal attacks.

UPDATE II: All Hail!

We found Pence to be more impressive than any candidate who ran for president this year, in either party. The comparison may be unfair: Pence never had to debate Trump, and the multicandidate primary debate format tends to make everyone look small. But we saw a bit of Reagan in Pence, the white hair notwithstanding. With his calm demeanor and soothingly authoritative voice, he came across as serious and mature. -- James Taranto

Posted by John Kranz at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ache along with the rest of us, but take solace in the fact that Pence would be a heartbeat away from the office you would rather he was in.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2016 12:14 PM

October 4, 2016

Practicing Scales

I suggested in a comment on some blog somewhere that Donald Trump lacked work ethic. I received very responsible pushback: Trump is not some basement dwelling ne'er do well and his campaign has been incredibly active and vigorous.

Undaunted, however, I suggested that he enjoys the rallies and media jousting. He does not enjoy debate prep, or get-out-the-vote minutia, so he doesn't do them. "He likes to play gigs but not practice scales" I tried to say.

But Jim Geraghty reminds us of this admission of weakness from an ally:

Consider George H. Ross, Mr. Trump's real-estate lawyer for 30 years, who describes himself as the businessman's "closest advisor." In Mr. Ross's 2006 how-to manual, "Trump-Style Negotiation: Powerful Strategies and Tactics for Mastering Every Deal," he observes: "To my knowledge, Donald Trump has no negotiating weaknesses except maybe the fact that he doesn't like to discuss minor details. He lacks the patience to work on unimportant paperwork, because he likes to focus on the big picture as a more productive usage of his time."

Mr. Ross admires Mr. Trump, but he thinks this indifference is a fairly lethal weakness. Bad negotiators share an "inability to focus on the details," he explains elsewhere in the book. "Trust me when I say the devil is in the details." Then he adds: "You want to be the expert on the topic under negotiation" (his italics). Mr. Ross even advises readers who wind up across the negotiating table with "someone who thinks like Donald Trump" to offer to bore his subordinate with the minutiae. "This gives you complete control over the documentation process and who will make the day-to-day decisions. You have uncovered the real deal maker for your transaction--and it's not the boss."

Apprentice fans may know Ross as "the bald older gentleman with glasses who sat next to Trump on The Apprentice." I just watched the episodes with Penn Jillette and don't remember much. But I think he has explained Trump's debate performance. And one weakness that I share with Mister Trump.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2016

Nafta me this...

All those sophisticated advisors are not really getting through. Mary Anastasia O'Grady at the WSJ is -- like me -- pretty concerned about Donald Trump's Nafta demagoguery.

Mr. Trump is so reckless on trade that he makes Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, who wrote the book on Big Labor protectionism, seem sane. At least she acknowledged in the debate the importance of opening new markets abroad. "We are 5% of the world’s population. We have to trade with the other 95%," she said.

Unfortunately neither of the candidates is good on this critical issue but the Republicans advising Mr. Trump should know better. His attempt to slam Nafta by pointing to a 16% value-added tax that Mexican importers pay, for example, is misleading. This tax applies to transactions on both foreign and domestic-made goods, like the New York sales tax. It doesn't discriminate against imports, and the importer recovers it by charging it to the customer. That's Econ 101.

I know, I've said this before. But a key add is the edge in competitiveness from a Nafta supply chain.

Mr. Trump gave a quick nod to one genuine U.S. disadvantage during the debate when he talked about cutting U.S. corporate tax rates to spur investment at home. But his main message was that under Nafta Mexico is "stealing" U.S. jobs.

In fact, an interconnected North American economy has made U.S. manufacturing globally competitive. U.S. companies source components from Mexico and Canada and add value in innovation, design and marketing. The final outputs are among the most high-quality, low-price products in the world.

That, and low-cost fracking energy is makin' America pretty great.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

And repeating the theme of my previous comment, what does low-cost fracking energy look like under a Clinton II administration? According to a debate answer by Ms. Hillary, fracking energy will go the way of - wait for it - the dinosaurs.

In a debate in March, Mrs. Clinton said, "By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place."

Of course one can always rely on Hillary's track record of failure to protect fracking from her "conditions" but I prefer the guy who says fracking is actually good. Even if he does threaten companies that offshore their domestic labor.

That's another insight I received at Trump's Loveland rally last evening. (See my brief mention of it on FB.) What he says can be taken more favorably when it's heard in context. When he promised a "35 percent import tax on the goods made by those companies" it was at least implied that "those companies" were ones who had recently moved US based plants abroad.

While I'd still prefer to attract industry with honey rather than a lesser of two punishments, it at least suggests that he doesn't intend import taxes on ALL foreign makers of all goods.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2016 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, bad times lay ahead.

But Adam Smith pointed out business finds its way around less than ideal liberty and the oil industry has sadly learned to play the game.

I think we agree on the potential for absolute awesomeness with a pro-energy administration. Pipelines and LNG exports could jumpstart growth and save Europe from reliance on Russian exports.

But that's not on the menu. Corrupt Clinton Cronies will impede but not destroy the energy sector. We'll survive. A Trump victory, conversely, leaves us with no practical party to support trade, free-markets, or general liberty.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2016 11:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Sigh. Yes, pro-energy is on the menu. It just happens to be a family-style dinner with heapin' helpins' of populist mashed potatoes. "No party to support trade, free-markets or general liberty?" That's a bit overwrought. Trump is a populist, not an anti-trade, anti-free-market, anti-liberty ideologue. The liberty movement will not close up shop just because Mister Brilliant Genius man gets elected. At least, there's no reason why it should. Many of its members though seem to keep saying, "If Trump is elected I'm going to stop using my mind and my voice." It's the intellectual equivalent of leftists threatening to move to Canada.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2016 4:09 PM
But jk thinks:

The lefties are clearly heading north for those delicious Tim Horton's doughnuts.

Liberty lovers will not cease speaking, but they will no longer have a party to provide a voice. With a Trump victory, I see the GOP following in the footsteps of European, right wing populist parties. Like much that is European, if you cannot eat it or drink it -- it's best avoided.

I concede that Trump would be good on drilling, but he would easily be swayed to prohibit exports so we could be energy independent and power those new tchotsky factories in Youngstown, Ohio.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2016 5:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Tax imports, yada yada, I've heard that one before. Ban exports? That's new and pessimistic. Here's all I could find on the subject - a great big I don't wanna say.

But I'm an optimist, Ira.

Besides, the 40-year old export ban is already lifted. It would be harder to restore it than to leave it alone.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2016 5:50 PM

October 1, 2016

An Open Letter to Trump's Economic Advisor

Hint: It's not Larry Kudlow.

This claim is untrue. Nothing at all in economic theory says that it's abnormal for a country to run trade deficits for over a decade, or even for over a century. Nothing in economic theory implies that years, decades, or even centuries of unbroken annual trade deficits are evidence of 'unfair' trade practices by foreigners or of self-destructive economic policies at home.

If investment opportunities available in the United States this year are especially attractive relative to opportunities elsewhere, the U.S. will run a trade deficit this year as global investors use some of their dollars, not to buy American exports but, instead, to invest in America. If next year the U.S. economy again offers especially attractive investment opportunities, America will run a trade deficit again next year. Ditto for two years from now if the relative attractiveness of American investment opportunities continues for that year. For an innovation-filled economy, such as that of the U.S., in a world in which the size of the capital stock can grow, there is no natural limit to the number of attractive investment opportunities that arise each year. Nor is there a natural limit to the number of consecutive years that a country can, or will, continue to remain a disproportionately attractive destination for investment funds. -- Don Boudreax

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Is the reader to conclude that Hillary's economic plan is somehow, according to the principles of free-market economic theory, just peachy?

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2016 3:16 PM

September 29, 2016

Dueling Transition Teams

ThreeSourcers are well familiar with my reminders that the presidential election is about who is in the candidate's potential administration, more than who sits in the big chair of the Oval Office. And my equally frequent reminders that Trump's economic team is lead by Kudlow, Moore and Laffer.

Today I found another big clue as to who will play roles in other aspects of the Trump Administration, as well as - perish the thought - the Clinton II Administration. This Politico article about the differing approach of the two transition teams reveals that Chris Christie leads the transition team and Forrest Lucas, of Lucas Oil fame, is a leading contender for Interior Secretary in a Trump cabinet. Meanwhile, Hillary's White House would consist of a rogue's gallery of progressive statists, drawing heavily from the Center for American Progress and even a specific ally of "Fauxchahantas" herself.

Almost as interesting as who Trump is considering is who he is not -

Despite the Trump transition's efforts to reach out to key Republicans, some former administration officials are still waiting by the phone.

"There are lot of W people who are looking forward to working in another Republican administration," said Republican strategist Ronald Langston, referring to his former colleagues in the George W. Bush administration, where he worked in the Commerce Department and helped with Bush's much-lauded outgoing transition effort. Langston keeps track of a broad network of former appointees from both Bush presidencies in person and over social media, "and I know they haven't been contacted."

The piece makes no mention of the Gary (another "Aleppo moment") Johnson transition team - for an obvious reason. Equally obvious is that the US federal government will be in the hands of one or the other of these two teams next January.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2016

Today's RCP Electoral College Map - "No Tossups"

With Colorado now at "Trump +0.5" in the RCP polling average as of 9/25 (likely, among other state races changed as well) Trump's path is becoming less perilous. A change as simple as flipping Florida puts him in the Oval Office.

It's looking more and more like 2000 every day.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)


Blog brother jk's analysis [fifth comment] may be more accurate than he imagines.

The first 30 minutes were focused and Trump was in great command.

It is difficult to imagine that a lot of "undecideds" tolerated much more, so Mister Trump may have won the debate by winning the first half hour.

Newt Gingrich sez:

Secretary Clinton is also a Yale-educated lawyer. She combines Ivy League polish and arrogance with verbal smoothness and four decades of political speak.

Trump is a blunt, let's-make-a-deal, let's-get-the-building-built, let's-sell-our-product businessman.

The first debate showcased a blunt, plain spoken businessman and a polished professional politician.

Of course the Intellectual Yet Idiot insiders would pick Hillary. They share her passion for words without meaning, analysis without facts, and promises without performance. They are more than for her. They are her.

In fact, it is worth looking at a list of online polls to understand the gap between the elites and the vast majority of Americans. This list is long because I want to show you how willfully out of touch and dishonest the Intellectual Yet Idiot class is:

Time: Trump 55 Clinton 45

Fortune: Trump 53, Clinton 47

N.J.com (New Jersey): Trump 57.5, Clinton 37.78

CNBC: Trump 68, Clinton 32

WCPO Cincinnati: Trump 57, Clinton 37

Variety: Trump 58.12, Clinton 41.88

Slate: Trump 55.18, Clinton 44.82

WKRN Nashville: Trump 64.58, Clinton 35.42

Las Vegas Sun: Trump 82, Clinton 18

Fox5 San Diego: Trump 61.45, Clinton 33.69

San Diego Tribune: Trump 65, Clinton 35

If you go to the Daily Mail, you can see that the list goes on and on.

Clinton won a handful of liberal sites with liberal audiences but she lost virtually everywhere else.

This isn't the only such analysis, including Scott Adams saying that Clinton won the debate while at the same time, Trump won the election.

UPDATE: Add New York Post's respected Michael Goodwin to this list:

In a change election where both candidates have historically high negative ratings, many voters could make their choice for secondary reasons.

Voting against the other candidate is the most likely option, while voting against the media as a proxy for voting against the establishment is emerging as another.

In that case, the news media could be more than part of the story. They could be the story.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2016


I'll let two quotes describe my reaction:

Such a Night! -- Mac Rebennack

The other is from former State Senator Shawn Mitchell, one of the best Facebook follows out ther:

Strongest lingering perception of last night is how many blown opportunities, with just a modicum of preparation, Trump, could have blown Hillary off the stage.

"Did you just say you're very concerned about cyber security? And you won't let foreign nations go after our sensitive intelligence? Really? Do you think we all slept through the last year? Have you no shame?"

"Did you really just blame the 2008 crash on free markets and deficits from tax cuts? That's not serious. The 08 crash was financial, driven by bad government policy pressuring banks to make bad loans that people couldn't repay. And then government agencies Fanny and Fred bought those loans and bundled them up like dynamite and held them till they blew up. That wasn't free markets. That wasn't Bush's fault. That was your husband's fault for pushing banks to make bad home loans. The crash had nothing to do with deficit spending, or your administration's much bigger deficits would have incinerated America long ago."

"You think the economy's not working? And inequality and lack of opportunity are big problems? Well whose fault is that? Who do you think has been in charge for 8 years? I know your boss has been on the golf course,but did you support his policies or not? Did you give him input about your big ideas to reform the economy? "

And on and on all night. She led with her jaw a dozen times and he was too busy talking about himself and all his properties and what a great, fantastic businessman he is, and how Sean Hannity will vouch for him that he really, really wasn't for the Iraq war. Sean, Sean, wherfore art though?

Among the disturbing -- and I'll confess there's a lot of disturbing on both sides -- things about Mr. Trump is a questionable work ethic. His business success does not necessarily disprove this.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:10 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, I will admit to being slow-witted but I'm not stupid. I just realized how jk and my darling bride have manipulated me into becoming such a tireless Trump promoter - by repeatedly exclaiming how deplorable, err, "embarrassingly" awful he is! This forces me to think about all of the ways that he is actually the best candidate - probably ever - for Republicans, albeit with plenty of work left to do. And that's the sort of reframing that diffuses political tension.

And you two are persuasion geniuses.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2016 11:17 AM
But jk thinks:

We planned it weeks in advance.

The insipid lefties on my Facebook feed and in media have had the same effect on me. Watching their false attacks fail would ameliorate my losing forever the party I have spent lo, these three decades and four supporting.

I am not backing down on work ethic. He likes flying State to State and feeding off the roaring crowds. As the great political strategists, Atlanta Rhythm Section said "Lovin' the life we're livin', playin' that Georgia Rhythm. Makin' music and movin' on down the line..."

But debate prep is more like practicing your scales in the basement. A lot more guys have the ethic to play than to practice.

(To complete the autobiographical arc: on the Quinella album, they have realized "Rhinestones lose their glitter, cowboys let you down. And Luckenbach is just another town.")

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2016 1:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Bad news, nb, you saw the crème d'la crème of the debate. The first 30 minutes were focused and Trump was in great command.

It is difficult to imagine that a lot of "undecideds" tolerated much more, so Mister Trump may have won the debate by winning the first half hour.

He became a bit more disjointed for the last 60.

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2016 1:19 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Oyy, he got more disjointed?!? The guy I was watching couldn't put 3 linked sentences together. Gawd, his speaking style is so awful, it's downright ugly... a "disaster" some would say ;-) 'Course I was also horribly put off by the disjointed, dysfunctional and dystopian slant taken by all three liberal Nor'Easters when they tried to discuss matters of economics.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2016 11:38 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

My last comment: I was distressed by reading Mr. Adams's column. God in Heaven; if HE can't make a joke of this we're all doomed....

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 28, 2016 11:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I was listening to Trump's economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, on Ross Kaminsky's show this morning. Ross asked him what he thinks of Trump's economic plan and he said, "It's very good, if I say so myself."

Kudlow has a new book out that I think we'll all be interested in: 'JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity.' Follow the link above for a link to the book.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2016 11:36 AM

September 21, 2016

Trump is a WHAT?

A political revolution is an inspiring, yet disorienting, thing to live through. It is a powerful force that creates all sort of unpredictable events, like a former Republican POTUS planning to vote for a Democrat successor, rather than the nominee of his own party, or yours truly quoting Piers Morgan:

Hillary Clinton, as she normally does, tried to be all calm and collected.

This is not a war against Islam, she insisted. We can't blame all Muslims for what's happened, she declared.

She's right, it's not and we can't.

But what neither she nor Obama offers the American people is any kind of plan to combat such attacks.

They talk of how awful it all is, but studiously avoid advocating any real action for fear of upsetting or offending people.

The President doesn't even like using the phrase 'Islamic terrorism', which is utterly absurd given that's plainly what it is.

In the face of such apparently weak, insipid, mealy-mouthed and frankly meaningless rhetoric, it's hardly surprising that Trump emerges as a non-PC, no-nonsense voice of reason to many Americans.

His anger is THEIR anger.

It's real.

I've been down to places like Florida and Texas recently and heard with my own ears many people ranting about the abject failure of their government to tackle ISIS.

In Trump, they see someone at least prepared to say the unsayable, even if it ruffles a few feathers.

Just another reactionary loon, that Piers Morgan. As is anyone who would conclude, or even suggest, that Trump has become "a non-PC, no-nonsense voice of reason to many Americans."

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:26 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

For readers whom "voice of reason" doesn't get the job done as a description of Donald Trump, what follows might be more to which you're accustomed (and, by now, comfortably assume to be true):

Donald Trump's a monster.

A vile, hideous, bigoted, nasty, ignorant, deluded, psychotic, ruthless, preposterous, demented buffoon on a collision course to steal the White House and destroy the planet.

Oh, and he's a sexist, racist, homophobic, misogynist pig too, and every other word ending in '–ist' you can think of for that matter.

Actually he's even worse than that; in fact, Trump's the new Hitler – a man who, you may recall, ordered the slaughter of six million Jews.

I know all this because I've been reading those exact descriptions about Trump for weeks in the US media, from a whole phalanx of intelligent, experienced journalists, broadcasters, politicians and pundits.

That from the same Piers Morgan piece. You're welcome.

Posted by: johngalt at September 21, 2016 5:56 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Heh, that's the Clinton News Network chiming in with what they term "news" eh? don't buy it!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 22, 2016 11:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not just CNN, nb, but "a whole phalanx of intelligent, experience3d, journalists, broadcasters, politicians and pundits."

And they MUST be right - they're on the TEE VEE.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2016 4:09 PM

September 18, 2016

A brief history of revolutions - France and USA

The "Le Mis" episode in this year's election is picking up steam, no thanks to the establishment media who seem dead set on burying the story, and burying Trump himself.

From a nice article by Breitbart's James Pinkerton:

Here again we see the difference between the US and France. Through our history, for the most part, the American elite has been willing to accede to reasonable demands, if only to stave off revolution. In other words, the system can work.

Jackson ran for president again in 1828; it was the "revolt of the rustics" - a peaceful revolt. The campaign was bitter: It's fair to say that the Eastern elite of that era were as horrified by Jackson as the Eastern elite of our time are horrified by Trump. Indeed, hard as it might be to believe, the elite were more appalled by the insurgent Jackson back then; in the widely circulated coffin handbills, he was accused of everything from adultery to mass murder to cannibalism.

Yet despite all this establishment vitriol, Jackson won in a landslide, and the first political era of America, a time of aristocratic leadership, was ended. Indeed, in many ways, our modern political system - that is, two-party politics, with the winner needing the mass-mobilization of the electorate to win - originates from 1828.

And though the first aristocratic era of America came to an end, a second aristocratic era - that is, two-party politics - ultimately rose to replace it. Now, Trump has executed an unlikely hostile takeover of one of the two parties, and the aristocrats are nervous.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:46 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

We're embracing Jackson Now? Root node of the Democrats, perpetuator of slavery, villain of the trail of tears? Founding architect of Executive overreach?

I think he was right n the bank, and I'll applaud his heroism in the War of 1812. But this shows to what extent Republicans will disavow all the party has stood for. Still waiting for the tribute to Bull Connor.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2016 1:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I read it not at all embracing Jackson, but an historical warning to the aristocrats of our age. Too much imposition of your will upon the people, the economy, the law, can result in a populist rebellion featuring a chief executive who you find horrifying.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2016 6:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair. But I searched in vain for some text -- even a small disclaimer -- suggesting that Trump might actually be Jacksonesque. And that is exactly what some of his GOP detractors fear.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2016 9:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Stop me if you've heard this before, but the reason it doesn't matter if Trump has big government or executive abuse tendencies is that all of his pedigreed predecessors had those failings too - even the ones we were promised would not have them.

The nature of revolution is that the leader is rarely a font of restraint. Democrat and Republican co-(mis)rule has brought us to this moment.

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2016 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm sentimental. I miss being lied to.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2016 5:51 PM

September 17, 2016

Do you hear the people sing?

In yesterday's 'Les Deplorables' post the "soundtrack" I linked was one I chose. I hadn't read far enough into the article (the second sentence, as it turned out) to learn that it was the same song the Trump campaign selected.

He took the stage, introduced by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as the 'Les Mis' anthem 'Do You Hear the People Sing' blasted through loudspeakers.

The article includes a brief video of the introduction, but it only captures the end of the intro and the beginning of the speech. I am so moved by the synergy of the spectacle I am left only to attempt a recreation of it myself.

This moment is reminiscent of Barack Obama's "Hope" poster, created by a supporter and then going viral. The 'Les Deplorables' imagery was created by pro-Trump blogger Keln, whose blog post on its creation and adoption features a commenter writing, "You are a genius......the trump movement has its logo."



And here is a nice version created around the video game 'Assassin's Creed.'

Some see the rebellion being against "the rich." It wasn't. It was against the aristocrats. More specifically, the monarchists.

The June Rebellion or the Paris Uprising of 1832 (French: Insurrection républicaine ŕ Paris en juin 1832), was an anti-monarchist insurrection of Parisian republicans on 5 and 6 June 1832.

Long live liberty.
Long live republicanism.
Long live the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.

And like Trump and his "Deplorables" the June Rebellion was largely a movement of the working class:

Subsequent identification of rebels revealed that most (66%) were working-class, a high proportion being construction workers. Most others (34%) were shopkeepers or clerks.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2016

Les Deplorables



Click here for the soundtrack.

News story here.

Liberté! Fraternité! Trump!

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:54 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Your heart will be warmed to learn that I have joined the Facebook group. A very funny, ribald crew if not the most intellectual. I have the softest spot for people who accept their pejorative names as badges of honor (I once suggest that tea partiers should do the same with "teabaggers," but that was a bridge too far.)

The Deplorables thing has a great deal of energy.

Posted by: jk at September 17, 2016 1:21 PM

Email from Sec. Robert Reich

I hope you all are on the MoveOn.org mailing list. But just in case:

Dear MoveOn member,

Five weeks ago, Hillary Clinton was up by 8 points. Now, the race is tied, according to today's The New York Times.

And if that's not enough to worry you, consider that during this time period, Clinton has been outspending Trump on TV ads by a margin of 10-to-1.

This election is going down to the wire, folks. And like all close elections, it will be decided on the ground by volunteers going door to door getting out the vote.

My friends at MoveOn were a crucial part of President Obamas legendary get-out-the-vote successes in 2008 and 2012. And they're hiring 100 organizers to mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers to do it again to beat Trump in 2016. Will you chip in $2.70 now?

Posted by John Kranz at 1:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2016

My First Wargame of 2016

Here's a plausible path to throw it to the House: (and, no, I really was not trying)



Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | Comments (3)
But Terri Goon thinks:

Wait - you are giving her all 4 in Maine. Give Trump 1 of those votes and there you have it!

Posted by: Terri Goon at September 15, 2016 11:59 AM
But jk thinks:


My problem is that I like the House scenario.

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2016 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think we can see here why The Donald is spending so much time in the Keystone State.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2016 2:47 PM

The Centrist versus the extremist

It is a curious discontinuity that the Republican nominee whom party loyalists deride as "not a conservative" or "without guiding principles" is, at the same time, portrayed by the domininat media as an agent of the "alt-right" and as extreme an ideologue as has been seen in presidential politics in our lifetimes. All while the Democratic nominee campaigns on more and bigger leftist government programs than were proposed or delivered by the two-term predecessor from her own party. Which of them then is really the "extremist" and which the centrist or "mainstream" candidate? Conrad Black concludes:

Both nominees did the necessary to keep their parties out of their own end zones, but to capture the center that always decides American elections, Mr. Trump has only to modulate the polemics, not really change course. Mr. Clinton has to walk backwards on her hands toward the center while dragging a cartload of ethical and legal baggage and ardently praying for a Trump relapse into reactionary gaucheries -- exacting acrobatics, even for a lady in a neon pantsuit.

Black then proceeds to paint the Clinton campaign as Humpty Dumpty, which all the left's horses and men can't put back together again.

Mr. Trump has no further need of the tactics the Democrats assumed would drive the moderate majority into their arms.

There is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton yet realizes that she can't rely on her opponent to discharge a verbal blunderbuss into his own cloven feet. Her vast train of bearers and beaters and cheerleaders and silent helpers, Bushies, Cruzites, the Sanders Left, the Hollywood claque, the largely leprous press corps, President Obama (in one of the most hilariously cynical professions of affectionate continuity in American political history) - all have only eight weeks to escape oblivion. It certainly could happen, but it is not now likely.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

The trend his direction needs to continue, that's for sure, for him to pull it out.

I heard that he's up to 88% support among Republicans now. Still room for more improvement there, as the reality of President HRC grows ever closer.

But this is all possible, according to Black, because compared to HRC, Trump appears the practical and realistic and fair choice. Because she's so extreme.

Let's talk about that "basket of deplorables" comment: Why would she say such a politically risky and inflammatory thing if she thought her position was already comfortable?

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2016 5:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Also, perhaps thanks to Gary "the Johnson" Johnson, maybe Colorado.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2016 5:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Not counting Colorado out, but I am thinking it is part of a surprise rout, not inching him over 270.

Posted by: jk at September 14, 2016 6:30 PM
But AndyN thinks:

I think you're Lucy football analogy is apt when it comes to PA, but there's one reason I'm holding out hope. Before the 2012 election I was driving back and forth across PA several times, and I remember seeing a lot of "vote like your job depended on it" kind of billboards sponsored by fossil fuel interests. Back then those signs were just campaigning against rhetoric. Now that trying to bankrupt an industry and throw thousands of people out of work seems to be the one promise that the current Democrat president seems to have been able to keep, those kind of campaign ads will probably drive a lot more people to the polls.

That said, I'm not entirely sure there are enough votes in all of flyover PA to cover the margin of fraud in Philadelphia.

Posted by: AndyN at September 14, 2016 9:27 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Oh dear God. Your not you're.

Posted by: AndyN at September 14, 2016 9:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha! I could fix that for you, but now I am enjoying it too much.

Trump talked about redrawing the map and I think PA and WI are worth watching (Madison is no doubt a subsidiary of Philly in corruption).

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2016 11:09 AM

September 13, 2016

Some might call them "RINO"

Not me though. I know better. There's no such thing as someone who calls himself Republican, works as a campaign professional on behalf of Republican candidates, but who actually prefers when Democrats are elected if the Republican alternative doesn't have truly Democratic tendencies at heart.

"I've heard a lot of conservatives voicing frustration, like, 'How fucking hard is this, Hillary?'" said Ben Howe, a conservative ad-maker and an outspoken Trump detractor. "That's the only reason I'm panicked these days … I'm losing faith in Hillary's ability to win this easy-ass election."

Many more quotes along these lines here, mostly unattributed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:29 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

[Point of order: Microsoft's new Edge browser will not let you go back if you mistype the password. Harsh! Be extra cautious.]

Mr. Trump is far enough outside the "GOP Mainstream" that I am not surprised to see Republican hoping he loses. He will certainly take the party in his direction if he wins.

I don't like that from a trade and immigration standpoint, but no doubt many feel that way on abortion or traditional marriage. He is not your typical Republican (c.f., "Paid Maternity Leave).

Posted by: jk at September 14, 2016 4:13 PM

All Hail Taranto!

But if Mrs. Clinton has pneumonia, her touching that little girl outside daughter Chelsea's apartment building was the act of a sociopath. It reminded us of "The Dead Zone," the 1983 film in which (spoiler alert) an ambitious politician played by Christopher Walken uses a baby as a human shield to deter an assassin. Though Mrs. Clinton was attempting to shield herself only from exposure of the truth that she was sick. -- James Taranto
Posted by John Kranz at 2:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2016

When You've Lost The Denver Post...

I stole the headline from Laura Carno on Facebook. But I wholeheartedly agree -- great to see the Denver Post break formation in the media phalanx defending Sec. Clinton:

We worry that [Rep. Jason (HOSS- UT)] Chaffetz is right on this one. Something about this story feels whitewashed -- or maybe bleached out is the better term for it now.

Tough talk from an unexpected source. Whole Thing the Read.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

How long did it take you to find that one? What was the headline that day? I'm not holding my breath, but that is good to hear....

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 11, 2016 12:23 AM

September 7, 2016

Democrat, Republican, or American?

These are our choices in this presidential election cycle. I have attempted to explain why I think that a Trump presidency is not only better than a Clinton II presidency, but better than any of the other GOP nominees would have been. It has to do with what the Republican party has largely become - self-censoring, self-neutering leftist enablers.

Today, my spirit is buoyed by this explanation of the "interesting times" in which we live. Wherein the geopolitical embodiment of Gulliver must decide whether to accede to the bonds of the world's Lilliputians or, conversely, to stand on his two feet and keep living free. And among the Lilliputians are both Democrats and Republicans.

But for the [Republicans], this priestly grace comes at the direct expense of their worldly interests. Do they honestly believe that the right enterprise zone or charter school policy will arouse 50.01% of our newer voters to finally reveal their "natural conservatism" at the ballot box? It hasn't happened anywhere yet and shows no signs that it ever will. But that doesn't stop the Republican refrain: more, more, more! No matter how many elections they lose, how many districts tip forever blue, how rarely (if ever) their immigrant vote cracks 40%, the answer is always the same. Just like Angela Merkel after yet another rape, shooting, bombing, or machete attack. More, more, more!

This is insane. This is the mark of a party, a society, a country, a people, a civilization that wants to die. Trump, alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live. I want my people to live. I want to end the insanity.

Yes, Trump is worse than imperfect. So what? We can lament until we choke the lack of a great statesman to address the fundamental issues of our time - or, more importantly, to connect them. Since Pat Buchanan's three failures, occasionally a candidate arose who saw one piece: Dick Gephardt on trade, Ron Paul on war, Tom Tancredo on immigration. Yet, among recent political figures - great statesmen, dangerous demagogues, and mewling gnats alike - only Trump-the-alleged-buffoon not merely saw all three and their essential connectivity, but was able to win on them. The alleged buffoon is thus more prudent - more practically wise - than all of our wise-and-good who so bitterly oppose him. This should embarrass them. That their failures instead embolden them is only further proof of their foolishness and hubris.

Which they self-laud as "consistency" - adherence to "conservative principle," defined by the 1980 campaign and the household gods of reigning conservative think-tanks. A higher consistency in the service of the national interest apparently eludes them.

You know where I stand: The "alleged-buffoon" is the most American candidate any of us saw or heard or read this cycle. Is not national interest - national survival - more important than the vanity of our deeply-held, yet fully unrealized and popularly ignored, "principles?"

Yet we may also reasonably ask: What explains the Pollyanna-ish declinism of so many others? That is, the stance that Things-Are-Really-Bad–But-Not-So-Bad-that-We-Have-to-Consider-Anything-Really-Different! The obvious answer is that they don't really believe the first half of that formulation. If so, like Chicken Little, they should stick a sock in it.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 9, 2016

All Hail... VDH

The good professor believes that the Democratic alternative - Hillary and the record of President Obama - is so bad that "almost any Republican could take at least 45 percent of the vote, regardless of the shortcomings of the candidate or campaign." But, he says, Donald may be the "almost."

So is character really fate? Or is there any chance that the outer Trump's business savvy and heralded self-interest might half tame his inner Trump to avoid subterranean mines, to keep him on message, and to relax and ride the wave of the disastrous daily news fare to the White House?

If there is, it will be largely because in summer 2016 enough voters see the current reality of polished lying and corruption in the White House and at the head of the Democratic ticket as more dangerous than the potential of a crude counterpart on the 2017 horizon.

I suppose some may dismiss his perspective since he doesn't even bother to mention that "there are other candidates in the race." Perhaps that's because, for every practical purpose, there aren't.

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

August 8, 2016

Not as Bad But Still Dangerous

What a splendid year for a free trader.

While Trump's belligerent mercantilism gathers support among voters and elected Republicans, it's easy for committed free traders to find themselves in support of Hillary Clinton. To be sure, Clinton has offered her own condemnations of trade and globalization, but beside Trump's near-total ignorance of the economics and institutions of trade, her stances seem more like typical campaign rhetoric. For fans of free trade and globalization, Clinton is a much more appealing candidate simply by not being horrible.-- -- Bill Watson @ Reason

Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

August 5, 2016

Our Margaret

No, an establishment voice against Donald Trump is not news. Fair point.

But I am thinking of joining the establishment.

This is what became obvious, probably fatally so: Mr. Trump is not going to get serious about running for president. He does not have a second act, there are no hidden depths, there will be no "pivot." It is not that he is willful or stubborn, though he may be, it's that he doesn't have the skill set needed now--discretion, carefulness, generosity, judgment. There's a clueless quality about him. It's not that he doesn't get advice; it's that he can't hear advice, can't process it or turn it into action.

"He'll reach out, he'll start to listen. He'll change, soften." No, he won't. Nor will he start to understand that his blunders are a form of shown disrespect for his own supporters. They put themselves on the line for him, many at some cost. What he's giving them in return is a strange, bush-league, pull-it-out-of-your-ear, always-indulge-your-emotions campaign. They deserve better.

And while Mr. Trump was doing this, Mrs. Clinton was again lying about her emails, reminding us there's crazy there, too. She insisted to Chris Wallace that FBI director James Comey endorsed her sincerity and veracity. No he didn't, and everyone knows he didn't. She'd have spent the past week defending her claims if it weren't for Mr. Trump's tireless attempts to kill Mr. Trump.

The last paragraph is a particular frustration. Obamacare is spitting up blood this morning, Sec. Clinton scored a four-pinocchio and a pants on fire rating from left-of-center fact checkers. Yet we are talking about the Khans and crying babies. President George W. Bush was rumoured to say "can't anybody play this game?" when his fellow Republicans were bad at politics. I think that thought daily.

If I really wanted him to win, I would be despondent.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Fair point - a "stable" candidate would have had a smooth delivery of his prepared remarks. Just like all of the successful Republican presidential candidates we've seen since Reagan. A dubiously short list, and thin in the category of "successful."

If he repeats last week's protocol for the rest of the election he'll probably lose to "the first woman candidate ruthless enough to depose all of the male candidates in her major party's nomination for president." Does anyone seriously think he can't learn faster than that?

The conventional wisdom seems to be, "rudeness and coarseness may win the GOP nomination, but it can't win the general election with middle of the road voters." I'd say that depends on what one is being rude and coarse about. Many voters appreciate rough language - just ask Clint Eastwood.

Trump has just accepted the establishment GOP's ultimatum to "be a party man, or else." Now we will see if the party does its part in return.

Posted by: johngalt at August 7, 2016 1:51 PM
But jk thinks:

I accept that principled people can do different things for principled reasons in this unusual year. And Brother jg is an exceptional advocate for a serious and worthy proposition. Watching Rep. Xavier Bascara (Full Blown Communist - CA) yesterday I was in physical pain. Stopping Sec. Clinton's preternatural political ambitions has much to recommend it.

But many of your replies imply that it is no more than style or coarseness which keeps me and my fellow travellers off of the Trump Train. That is the smallest reason.

In 2010, we both attended Tea Party rallies. You were so generous as to give us a ride at least once. Looking over the crowd, it was pretty obvious that the movement included a little-l libertarian, Tenth Amendment Enthusiast wing which appealed to both of us.

But it was also obvious that there was a Populist wing which was there to promote other strains. Pro-life Conservatism and opposition to illegal immigration. Rep. Tom Tancredo and Michelle Malkin were popular speakers. Elizabeth Price Foley's superb book on the TEA Party chose immigration as one of the planks.

"Which wolf will the GOP feed?"

The Trump candidacy demarks the supremacy of the populist wing. And I can have no truck with that. It is positively against everything I believe. If that is the new Republican Party, then I have no home. Nor do those who seek the prosperity gains which have brought us up from the dirt.

So, yes, I will risk four to eight horrible years against having both parties' being dedicated to returning us to the caves.

Posted by: jk at August 8, 2016 11:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I get your principles. I really do. But do you understand we are talking about realpolitik here?

Your "four to eight horrible years" is not as limited in scope as you surmise. #SCOTUS

How about this compromise: Four to eight horrible years of Trump populism instead. Do you seriously believe that a Hillary presidency is somehow going to make the GOP electorate magically become Hayekian in four to eight years? They will be just like today - only WORSE.

Posted by: johngalt at August 8, 2016 2:43 PM
But jk thinks:

You've indeed located the weakest link of my argument. There is no certainty that a Trump loss will extirpate Trumpism from the party.

And yet, winning will reinforce it "see, I told you pointy-nosed elitist bastards that we'd start winning if you'd do something about the Messicans!"

Stinging losses to Christine O'Donnell (Not a Witch - DE) and Ken Buck (No high heels - CO) changed the party.

No idea if the pieces would be put together well apres le deluge, but if he wins it will be the party of Trump for some time.

Posted by: jk at August 8, 2016 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll agree if you will stipulate - The party of the Trump Administration, including Steve Moore, Art Laffer, Larry Kudlow, Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson... who am I forgetting?

Did you hear his economic plan? By "his plan" I mean the one written by three other gentlemen and read by Trump, without yelling, in Detroit yesterday? The city that Democrat policies built?

The details are coming out and they are beginning to overshadow the attention-getting rhetoric of days gone by.

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2016 12:39 PM
But jk thinks:

The WSJ Ed Page gave it good marks. A sunhead on the Opinion Page said "Progress on regulation and taxes but his trade policy is a jobs killer."

The Actual column was more complimentary, but closed with concerns that he will stick with it through November.

Posted by: jk at August 9, 2016 2:54 PM

August 1, 2016

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 2:57 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

It takes a village to be the United States Secretary of State.

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2016 11:32 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

For some reason, JG, I read that at "it takes a villain..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 2, 2016 12:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder which "people in the neighborhood" will share her duties as President, should her name be elected?

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2016 4:30 PM

July 30, 2016

Why do they say "Yes We Can?"

Because without help from others, they can't achieve their goals. Worse yet - they vilify those who can achieve their goals individually, whether it be from superior talent and ambition or merely, different goals. But when one's goal is turning history's greatest republic into a socialist democracy, that's a goal for an "us" rather than a "me."

Slate's William Saletan has drilled down on this distinction - I vs. we; Trump vs. Clinton - and finds Hillary's "togetherness" more to his liking:

The "we" approach suits Clinton's personality. It reflects what she learned from her mother's childhood - that "no one gets through life alone" - and the philosophy of good works Clinton was taught in church. It echoes the message of her book, It Takes a Village, and her collaborations with Republicans on legislation to promote adoption and health insurance. Clinton wants global progress toward controlling climate change. No leader can do that alone.

The "I" approach, conversely, captures what's wrong with Trump. He's a natural antagonist, picking fights with Sen. John McCain, Gov. John Kasich, Megyn Kelly, and others who don't please him. He uses race, ethnicity, and religion to smear people who get in his way. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Trump ditched investors and contractors to whom he owed money. "Donald Trump has a passion," Kaine observed in his speech to the Democratic convention on Wednesday. "It's himself."

“We” is also the word that socialists use to justify all manner of abuses, principally against earners and producers. It is the way they promote their ideal – equality – at the expense of the American ideal – liberty.

But readers of Ayn Rand’s ‘Anthem’ know that nothing happens without the individual. And one individual meets other individuals. They cooperate. They trade. They fall in love. They say “I love you” not “we love the unspecified.” They enter into trade agreements. And when those agreements are no longer beneficial to them, they are free to withdraw from them and enter new ones. Who ever said NAFTA must be immortal?

I agree with Saleton that “The fundamental choice in this election is between Trump’s “I” and Hillary’s “We.” Saletan says “She’s with us.” Trump says, “I am your voice.” He chooses her, and I choose to have a leader speak for me, not tell me what’s best for me. “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:11 PM | Comments (1)
But carolinmd thinks:

I believe Hillary's use of we is only the engine she uses to achieve the very real "I" of her true purposes...I doubt her sincerity for as a serious student of Saul Alinsky, the author of Rules for Radicals", who was her mentor in college, she has perfected the ways and means to use deception to her advantage. And if she is elected, she will finish what Obama has started as they have a common goal..

Posted by: carolinmd at July 31, 2016 12:18 AM

July 29, 2016

And, an All Hail Harsanyi

Because he captures what I thought. I did not see a lot of the DNC Convention, but I saw Sec. Clinton's speech. And, pacé Harsanyi, I was shocked how the GOP handed them optimism and patriotism on a silver platter.

The Democrats put on a pretty solid convention, with memorable moments from both big names and average citizens. There were cops, moms, soldiers, and business people praising traditional American institutions like they’re rock-ribbed Republicans. But think about this: At a convention where an old-school socialist was celebrated in nearly every speech, the hard-left ideas of the Progressive Movement were wrapped in Reaganesque rhetorical flourishes and sold as American idealism. Don’t get me wrong, these people can still fearmonger with the best of them on guns, global warming, etc. -- but Trump's austere worldview and pessimism gave Democrats ownership of ideas about exceptionalism, meritocracy, and national optimism..

Posted by John Kranz at 8:08 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I must have missed the parts of the DNC about exceptionalism, meritocracy, and national optimism. I heard equality, free stuff for anyone earning $125,000 or less, and "nothing to see there in the unemployment statistics... move along."

In all seriousness, have the libertarians become so personally invested in distancing themselves from Trump's "tone" and "incivility" that they - like the backers of that old-school socialist which every speech celebrated by way of marginalizing the old goat - look at Hillary Clinton and see a Republican? And in Harsanyi's case, none less than Ronald Reagan?

"Conservatives act like every stalemate is a bitter defeat and every small victory is useless." Fair point on the small victories, and stalemates are less than satisfying. But in this strawman critique, what of the body-blow defeats: Ever growing budgets; budgets so big they can't even document them in a budget document; nationalization of health care; administrative branch destruction of entire energy sectors; withering atrophy of our military readiness; speaking loudly and carrying a putting iron in international diplomacy; an ostrich-offensive against the more virulent ideological successor to the Taliban (remember them?); releasing convicted felons from prison due to "overcrowding" and then rebuking police officers for enforcing the overbearing laws of an administrative nanny state? And that's just in the last 8 years.

The patriotic Americans who have long been Taxed Enough Already are now Pissed Enough Already. Pissed enough to vote for the only candidate who even begins to seem as pissed as they are themselves. And who can blame them?

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2016 4:43 PM

All Hail Jonah!

Barack Obama was a blank slate for most Americans, so his status as the first black nominee and president was inextricably part of his identity. Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She's Nixon in a pantsuit. She’s been a tedious, grating, cynical, corrupt presence in our lives for nearly three decades.-- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
And a man -- if I may continue teh blog tit-for-tat -- still very much not on the Trump Train.
Posted by John Kranz at 7:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2016

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 2:01 PM | Comments (0)

Voters Who Know Better

Who'd've feared that constituency? Mary Anastasia O'Grady suggests Donald Trump.

Beating Nafta like a piñata worked in the Republican primary. But it is likely to hurt Mr. Trump and GOP candidates further down the ticket in the general election. Mexico is, after all, the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner and second-largest export market.

Mr. Trump's trade tirades undermine his credibility with voters who know better. And that's a lot of voters. Americans from every walk of life are beneficiaries of U.S. global trade.

Indiana, the home of GOP vice-presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, exported some $4.8 billion of goods to Mexico in 2015, making it the state's second-largest export market. That included $1.5 billion in transportation equipment, $1.4 billion in machinery and $88 million in corn-fructose products. More than 120,000 Hoosier jobs depend on trade with Mexico.

I find his comments on China just as disturbing. But there is some ambiguity about China. They are lax with intellectual property and autocratic -- a reasonable person might ask if they are perhaps currency manipulators or perhaps wish to extend the DH to the National League.

I disagree but that is at least getting into the arcane. "Fair trade!' "Level playing field!' "Guys with funky hair dating really hot chicks!" they say, and who can argue? But Nafta gives up the game. Nafta has been a gift to the world and it is demagoguery to suggest otherwise.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Voters who know better" like Ms. Clinton herself:

"She recognizes that NAFTA was not the success it was supposed to be."

So now since they both want to "sit down and try to redo NAFTA" it is no longer a differentiator. Except for the different priorities each might emphasize during those negotiations.

Posted by: johngalt at July 26, 2016 5:33 PM

July 23, 2016

Is Trump a "Right-Liberal?"

And if so, why don't jk and dagny admire him?


I'm so perplexed by my relative willingness to rally on the "Trump Train" and so many of my friends and relatives unwillingness, I went back to the Political Coordinates Test for possible clues.

I don't know where Donald Trump would fall on the Political Coordinates graph but I would expect it to be "right-liberal." Not as right, and perhaps more liberal, than the ThreeSourcers in that quadrant, but this is admittedly a guess. Interestingly, Trump is positioning as the "law and order candidate." That is a strongly communitarian sentiment, but I doubt that is what turns off jk or dagny, or cements his appeal to jg's dad. It does appeal to moi, jg, however, despite my scoring as a "liberal" and not a communitarian.

I'll not overreach here and attempt too many conclusions. I just thought this line of examination might help explain some things. But I need some help getting there.

UPDATE (jk): I thought I'd try taking the test as I understand Donald Trump's positions.(It might be expanded into some original reporting with snippets of speeches or policy positions to back it up.) But the first question made me laugh so hard, I'm not certain I can continue:


UPDATE II (Still jk): Pfffft!


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:22 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Admittedly it's an oversimplification that "being in my quadrant" means I'll admire a candidate. And if Trump truly "has no guiding principles" as is often charged, can he even be constrained to one quadrant or another? Perhaps my premise is faulty - maybe Trump is a left right-communitarian liberal? But I don't think so.

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2016 5:59 PM
But jk thinks:

I am just as surprised at our impasse. I did a quick test with "my guesses" at Trump's answers. I was fair but not diligent. It truly would be a good piece of original reporting to do it right. Anybody want to join in?

Guesses got me 22.2% Right, 44.4% Communitarian. As Right as President George HW Bush and as Communitarian as President Reagan.

It's a superb argument. I don't find his positions inviolate, but you are correct to point out that he is fundamentally not too different and waaaaay closer than Sec. Clinton.

The convention speech was a gargantuan turn-off for me. The areas where we do agree I felt lacked depth and detail while the areas where we do not were both more forceful and more likely to have specific actions. "Build a wall," and "Renegotiate NAFTA" are clear. Reform regulation, cur taxes (without any spending cuts) were amorphous catch-phrases.

You have defended his trade and immigration restrictions as seeking both fair and legal. He highlighted Nafta and China's entrance to the WTO in his speech, to pin them on (President William Jefferson) Clinton.

WOW! This kicked off an impressive economic boom and lifted millions of Mexicans and billions of Chinese out of poverty. My gripe with (Sec. Hillary Rodham) Clinton is that she casually discards these amazing successes of her husband because they no longer have currency in the Party of Sens. Sanders and Warren.

But, if those don't make the grade on Trump's list, I daresay no trade will.

Posted by: jk at July 23, 2016 7:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:


I tried to guess Trump's answers too. I wanted to compare my version of Trump to yours. I tried to be fair too, and left some answers neutral if I didn't have a sense of what Trump would pick. If I had an inkling but wasn't certain, I gave it the mid-way response.

Where you scored Trump 22.2% Right, 44.4% Communitarian, I have him 44.4% Right, 30.6% Communitarian.

The same neighborhood, with differences only in degree. Not a Right-Liberal, as many putative conservatives have charged, but one suspects that anyone not as far right as they are would earn the label "liberal" even if he is still right of center.

I humbly request that you add these dots to your chart. I think they are informative, especially if you include the dots for Presidents Bush, Reagan, Obama and Clinton. (Noteworthy: Obama scored 67% left but only 33% liberal. A reminder that "liberal" isn't the threat conservatives should fear, leftism is.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2016 1:11 PM

"Strongman" or LEO-in-Chief?

Democrat pollster Doug Schoen on Trump's nomination speech:

I don't believe that the pundits necessarily will give this speech high marks and in my own terms, Trump did not do anything that he has not done before on the campaign trail. But what he did do is present a vision of America, a path forward, and a vision of leadership that is very, very different than what the country has had for the last eight years.

No, not a dark and authoritarian direction. A safe and secure and prosperous one. A different course than the one Hillary and her former boss have steered for nigh on eight years.

But she’s got another challenge, and one that is perhaps larger than what she expected. She needs to address the issues of law and order, safety, and security, as well as terrorism, in the way that Trump presented them given the challenges that we are all facing as Americans.

The other challenge Secretary Clinton will have is to make the case for globalism and for our role in the world.

Trump explicitly and clearly ruled it out.

He said that we need to put America first and put America before our role in the world. This goes against the credo and the values of American culture and foreign policy. But at a time when wages are stagnated, jobs are disappearing, and people are increasingly at risk and facing threats both at home and abroad, it may well be enough to turn an election that was beginning to appear issueless into the most profound, prominent, and I dare say, nation determinative contest in recent memory.

And what is really wrong with putting America's oxygen mask on first, before setting out to rescue the world from its problems?


And then there's the CNN polling on the speech.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2016

Not Placated

To be fair, I have frequently chastised Reason magazine for "doth protesting too much" at Republican nominees. I feel liberty would have been better served had Gov. Romney or even Sen. McCain beaten our current president. I don't expect them to get into line, but I've thought them too harsh.

This is a new year, baby. This is a new era. Peter Suderman nails my thoughts:

Trump's entire speech was packed with threats and power grabs, details be damned. It was a speech about how government should be made bigger and stronger and given more authority over every part of American life, and government, in most cases, simply meant Donald Trump himself. It was an argument for unlimited government under a single man, for rule by Trump's whim. He sounded less like he was running for president and more like he was campaigning to be an American despot.

Dark days. Hat-tip to his lovely bride, Megan McArdle on Facebook

Posted by John Kranz at 10:30 AM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Autocrat. Where have I seen that word before?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 22, 2016 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"It was a speech about how government should be made bigger and stronger and given more authority over every part of American life, and government, in most cases, simply meant Donald Trump himself. It was an argument for unlimited government under a single man, for rule by Trump's whim.

That is the assertion by Washington D.C. film critic, Peter Suderman.

You know, Trump's campaign kickoff may be nothing more than words, but at least reference something specific from the speech when you spin it to match your personal viewpoint. Unless you can't.

Where Suderman somehow heard "bigger government" and "more authority" I simply heard, enforce the laws we already have. Personally I would add, "and get rid of the ones that don't deserve to be enforced" but I didn't help write the speech.

His general election campaign has just begun, folks. While every other politician in history is excused for "pivoting" from the primary to the general, may the businessman be allowed at least a little deference in this area too?

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2016 10:18 AM
But jk thinks:

I've enjoyed that film critic's work for many years.

Peter Suderman is a managing editor at Reason.com, where he writes regularly on health care, the federal budget, tech policy, and pop culture. He is also a film critic for The Washington Times and a 2010 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.

Before joining Reason, Suderman worked as a writer and editor at National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, Doublethink, and Culture11. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Newsweek.com, theAtlantic.com, the Washington Examiner, The New Atlantis, The American Conservative, the Orange County Register, and numerous other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.

I posted it because it conveyed my own impressions of the speech -- with terrifying accuracy. Your excerpt is exactly what I heard. While they were not included in the CNN poll, the bulk of my Facebook feed felt the same.

Yeah, Reason can be out there. But I don't think they're for off this time.

Posted by: jk at July 23, 2016 1:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Okay then, Suderman didn't do it but can you cite the line from the speech that conveyed to you "bigger government" or "unlimited government?" The only appearance of either of those adjectives is - "It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back - bigger, and better and stronger than ever before."

This right below "I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. We can accomplish these great things, and so much more - all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again."

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2016 6:02 PM

July 19, 2016

The two faces of Trump

I keep asking Trump detractors, "What is so bad about him that you would not do everything in your power to defeat Hillary?" The common theme is his character - rude and crude, sexist, speaks without thinking, etc.

In a column for which I otherwise have no use, Robert J. Samuelson is more specific in his criticism. And in that criticism I am prone to criticize the critic.

Trump's serious deficiencies are of character, not intellect. He is a salesman whose favorite product is himself. His moral code is defined by what works. What works to build his popularity is legitimate, even if it's untrue, tasteless, personally cruel or inconsistent with what he's said before. What doesn't work is useless, even if it involves incontrovertible truths, important policies or common courtesies.

If his moral code really is "defined by what works" then he is a realist. Meaning, he does not seek to evade reality, he embraces it. Samuelson sees this as a fault, but the stated reasons are "even if it's untrue, tasteless, personally cruel or inconsistent with what he's said before." Let's examine these individually:

Untrue - How can something work if it is untrue? I think he means lying to achieve an end (c.f. Hillary Clinton) but epistemologically speaking, "true" equates with "works" so I can only conclude that Samuelson is referring to subjective truth, i.e. partisan opinion.

Tasteless - Another subjective measure. For context I will quote from the beginning of retired General Michael T. Flynn's speech at the Convention last night: "My message is simple - WAKE UP, AMERICA!" Taste is for tea parties, not life and death struggles with mortal enemies, which is where America finds herself today on many fronts.

Personally Cruel - It is true that Carly Fiorina does not possess the same universal beauty as, say, Melania Trump. And highlighting that fact was unnecessarily, and personally, cruel. He has done this a few times, but always retreated - a sign of self-awareness that most detractors don't acknowledge. Nevertheless, 'tis true... Donald Trump has feet of clay.

Inconsistent with what he's said before - Which is a character flaw because "everyone knows" that changing one's mind is the kiss of death for a professional politician. (Marco Rubio, call your office.) Donald Trump is not a professional politician, nor an ideologue. He's a patriot. He loves his country. He says and does what he thinks will work to make his country as prosperous, as free, as respected and as safe as it has been at better times in our great nation's history. If something doesn't work the way he expects, only a fool would stick with it.

Then there are Samuelson's critiques of "what doesn't work." Yes, what doesn't work is useless. I agree. If they really were "incontrovertible truths" then they would work so, again, incontrovertible only subjectively, in the opinion of Samuelson and his fellow relativists. Important policies? Important to whom. For what. At what cost. Common courtesies? A replacement term for the now discredited self-censorship of "Political Correctness."

I submit that Trump is not a man of poor character or a populist weathervane. Instead he is an experimentalist. He tests ideas in practice and can afford to lose the investment he makes in ideas that fail. It has worked for him in business, so now he's trying it in politics. And if his approach proves to be a spectacular failure, it will be no greater defeat than that of Messr's McCain and Romney before him. In contrast to those men though, his movement of supporters believe, at least Trump will give every effort and not neuter or censor himself in the contest - in the name of "good taste."

So go ahead, Donny, swear a little. I'm with the lot who have had it up to here with the bullshit we've seen for the last 30 years. And even Samuelson admits, Trump's deficiencies are not of intellect.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I have to agree with Samuelson, almost to a "T." DJT's character is only acceptable compared to HRC... he's thereby still my 9th or 10th choice in the field. Oddly, I think he's ahead of Kasich, in my head, as a matter of academic trivium.

This in particular is worthy of note (and repetition):

There's no secret as to what's happening. A slowing economy is colliding with a rising demand for government benefits, driven mainly by an aging society and its impact on federal programs for the elderly. Even in 2016, Social Security and Medicare represent nearly half of non-interest federal spending. Their share will grow.

Trump doesn't appear prepared to help either the economy, nor the public debt.

I could understand Trump's .... erm, bravado, if he were more successful, but I'm not really sure he is so (aka, the rumor that he inherited $100M and turned into merely 700, which could have been done with a mixed mutual fund). So, color me cautious with this idea of him being an 'experimentalist.' Just as likely a theory is he's a spoiled brat from NYC who simply needs to be "seen" and so plays lazily and gaudily with large piles of money. At least it's mostly his money.

Still, I agree again with the column about DJT being "a patriot. He loves his country." That counts for a lot, including his small and rare sense of reflection that being a boor isn't helping his branding.

Like Sarah Palin, he's not as smart or as dumb as seems most times. All that said, I'm leaning towards voting for him.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 21, 2016 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

Samuelson's a man of the left. I don't think he's going to cotton to any GOP nominee.

I don't believe I have ever suggested Trump lacked intellect. He lacks foundational principle. "Experimentalism" is for the progressives -- let our dear leaders "experiment" with our lives. Hey,. maybe a 45% tariff on Chinese goods would be worth a try. Maybe if we banned all the black guns.

The uncouthness is not by itself disqualifying although it disturbs me.

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2016 6:01 PM

Larry Kudlow, Omnihawk

My impression of Mr. Kudlow has always been that he is a man of the eastern metropolises - a polite way of calling him erudite, elitist, and dismissive of "cowboy" wisdom. That's not the way his editorial reads to me today.

War Hawk-

So when Donald Trump made it clear that this, in fact, "is war," deserving of a declaration of war, he distinguished himself. No one else has done it. Not Congress. Not Obama. Certainly not Clinton.

Jobs Hawk, Prosperity Hawk and Pence Hawk-

In Indiana, which has been hard hit by manufacturing losses, job declines and shrinking wages, Governor Pence combined tax cuts with spending restraint to spur the Hoosier economy. In this important respect he would be an excellent spokesman within the industrial Rust Belt, which includes Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These states have all suffered similarly, but they're states where polling suggests Trump could carry the day in November. Pence helps get him there.

GOP Hawk-

Contributing to GOP unity, Pence is a churchgoing evangelical family man. He believes that "the sanctity of human life is the central axiom of Western civilization." In this respect he will be an important bridge to social conservatives. And he might just soften the opposition of the Never Trump movement.

And finally, if not "Trump Hawk," most definitely Trump-Pence Hawk-

So this was a week where we learned a Trump-Pence ticket will seek to declare and wage war to destroy ISIS. We learned that the GOP ticket is pro-growth, ready for tax cuts and deregulation. And we learned that the ticket will be allied with traditional and social conservatives. With these credentials, Trump-Pence is in position to carry states in November that no Republican has won in decades.

It was also a week where Clinton's polls were like stocks looking for a bottom. Trump-Pence is a winner for the GOP.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:33 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Kudlow has his moments, this is one. Must say, that I've followed a few of his stock picks over time. Luckily, I didn't blow any cash on any of his recommendations. I'm sure some have been good, I've only spot-checked him, but color me unimpressed. Another gaudy and cheesy NY'er...

Now, if he can "unbundle" the overwrought, preening and pedantic commentariat over what can help a company, and the economy as a whole, as DJT's economic spokesperson, then we will have taken a small step forward.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 21, 2016 10:32 AM
But jk thinks:

Kudlow stock picks? He is a buy-and-hold, ETF/index, reinvest your dividends investor, I marveled that CNBC kept him on -- his old Democrat partner, Jim Kramer, was the and the stock picker.

He's an East-coastie. The closest he has been to a firearm is watching "Gunsmoke" on television. But he worked for Reagan in the OMB and has been a tireless advocate for supply-side economics. A lot of his personal friends were in the towers on 9/11, and he has been an indefatigable hawk ever since.

I am still a fan, but I have been disappointed by a lot of people I think should know better. Kudlow is making a quixotic Senate Bid, and I suspect the only enthusiasm a Republican can find in The Nutmeg State is to throw a little red meat at the Trumpians. I don't know.

And, hey, I like Gov. Pence too. I thought that was a solid pick.

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2016 3:36 PM

July 18, 2016

The "Four-Cs" of Trump

There are the "Four Cs of Education" and the "Four Cs of Credit." Today Stephen Moore, who with Larry Kudlow and Art Laffer comprise Donald Trump's senior economic team, recited the Four C's of Trump:

HC - Hillary Clinton must be defeated

PC - Political Correctness must be destroyed

SC - The Supreme Court must have Originalist judges

TC - Tax Cuts to near Reagan levels

All well and good, I suppose, as far as it goes. Too bad the man is such a vulgar, bigoted, male-chauvinist, ignorant bully who has, at various times in his pre-political life, taken positions on issues that offend our principles. Guess our country would be better off with career-politician Hillary, who has consistently been a corrupt, statist redistributionist and foreign policy surrender monkey. Because, Principles!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

One can lack Principles! and still choose not to vote for Mister Trump. Because, Multi-decadal worldwide depression!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2016 6:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Call me a risk-taker but I don't see the election of an experienced businessman leading to an economic depression of any sort, much less the apocalyptic portrait you paint. Talk is cheap and campaign promises famously soften when they make contact with reality. Even if NAFTA is fully repealed, you see economic calamity? How did the good-ol USA ever become an economic powerhouse before President Clinton negotiated these international trade deals?

Posted by: johngalt at July 18, 2016 6:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I know you've dismissed this point once before already, but it's important enough to repeat:

Art Laffer
Larry Kudlow
Stephen Moore

He's gonna ignore all three of those guys, and somehow convince Congress to pass a bill, imposing tariffs? He wouldn't have to fire them - they'd quit.

I continue to be amazed at how carefully my free-market and liberty movement friends examine Mr. Trump, and the high standard by which they measure his pronouncements, while blindly ignoring the 800 pound pantsuit in the room.

Posted by: johngalt at July 18, 2016 6:45 PM

July 11, 2016

Extremely Careless

A couple of lads from Alabama, whose mug-shots do little to dispel stereotypes of my Father's birthplace, were -- it seems -- extremely careless with their campfire. And this being Colorado in July:


We must someday open the topic of mens rea. Harvey Silverglate and I are quite concerned that we now commit "Three Felonies a Day" [Review Corner], not only without criminal intent, but without knowledge. Gibson guitars had no criminal intent in importing half-finished fretboards from India, yet they faced the cold steel of the Fish & Game SWAT Team (I wince every time I type that). Because they violated "The Lacy Act."

Stossel and Reason have shown numerous egregious examples. One guy goes to prison for importing lobsters in plastic instead of cardboard. Prison -- for something he had done as a business for may years. The answer is mens rea reform: no jail for some stupid law you had no idea existed.

Yet, there must be exceptions. The two lads from Alabama are in the clink. They face not only my specious ridicule, but severe charges -- especially if life is lost in the blaze. I'm not sure I agree with that. I'd offer them mens non rea leniency.

But they were "Extremely Careless." And even the bad kids in the back know where I am heading. Sec. Clinton was negligent in an area that was her job to understand. I don't know about the Alabama Arson Squad, but her malfeasance included the desire to shield or conceal public information.

Lock up the stupid campers if you must, but not if Sec. Clinton skates.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Extremely careless" seems to be your characterization. More likely the authorities will find they were "grossly negligent."

Just as seriously but less political, this is one of the reasons that mountain life ain't for me. I'll take my chances with the odd tornado or hail storm.

Posted by: johngalt at July 11, 2016 11:36 PM

July 8, 2016

All Hail Jonah!

Super Hillary!

"There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton," President Obama declared this week. Take that Jefferson! Sit your mansplaining ass down, Ike ! Hillary's here.

There's a reason she wears those smocks that make her look like the United Federation of Planets' ambassador to Rigel 7: She's just light years ahead of the rest of us. -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]

Posted by John Kranz at 7:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 6, 2016

Quote of the Day

Most distressing is what this episode augurs for another Clinton Administration. Mrs. Clinton deliberately sought to evade the Federal Records Act, recklessly flouted laws on handling classified information, spent a year lying about it, and will now have escaped accountability. This will confirm the Clinton family habit, learned so painfully in the 1990s, that they can get away with anything if they deny it long enough and are protected by a friendly media and political class. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I do believe that the motto on the Clinton family crest is "Cheat Until Caught, Then Lie."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2016 1:59 PM

July 5, 2016

Happy July Fifth!

Propsworthiness from Helen Raleigh [Review Corner]


Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

Her Reaction

When asked for a reaction about FBI Director Comey's report, Secretary Clinton said


"Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh.Kheh Hehh heeh. Heh kheh hehhn! Kyeh kheh heh heh! Heh khyeh heh"

Photo credit Associated Press c/o WSJ.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:48 PM | Comments (0)

All Hail Taranto!


Honorable Mention:

Yesterday the Times reported that "Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say [that if elected] she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation's first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015." Some might call that a conflict of interest, but in Clintonworld it's known as "a win-win."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2016

Trotsky? Never heard of Comrade Trotsky

The Clinton malfeasance described in Kim Strassel's column comes in waves. You just start to recover from one, and then in comes another. Most are truly evil. Yet, the difference between tke first President Clinton and the second is that #45 lies when she doesn't have to.

After her moneybags friend was removed from the International Security Advisory Board, where "Mr. Fernando had no background that would have qualified him to sit on the ISAB," she spiked his appointment, then amusingly airbrushed it away:

Meantime, we have yet more evidence of a politicized State Department flacking for Hillary’s misdeeds. It continues to stonewall demands for documents. It issued a statement after the Citizens United emails came out, defending the Fernando appointment on grounds that the ISAB's charter calls for "a balance of backgrounds and points of view"--thereby giving the Clinton campaign cover.

News organizations have also noted that Mr. Fernando is missing from the State Department website listing former ISAB members. So the department has also scrubbed the national record of actual facts. Much as it deliberately cut a portion from the video of an uncomfortable press briefing, or as the administration attempted to censor the transcript of the Orlando shooter's 911 call.

Next week, on 60 Minutes, I'm expecting "ISAB? There's no organization by that name..."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2016

Headline of the Day

Donald Trump Faces Rocky Terrain in Colorado

Spoiler Alert: It's going to be t'riffic! " 'I think I'm going to be great in Colorado,' he said in an interview this week"

Posted by John Kranz at 7:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2016

Darryl Glenn

Okay losing this one. Congrats to Commissioner Glenn.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:25 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I was glad to see that the margin was not close. We have enough disunity in the party as it is.

Also of note, State Assembly phenom Cassandra Vargas did not fare as well amongst the general Republican electorate. An interesting contrast to the Assembly result, where Vargas was within 18 votes of knocking Lamborn off the primary ballot entirely.

So you tell me, which is more "conservative" the Colorado GOP leaders, or the statewide Republican electorate? One possible explanation is that Lamborn won on incumbency and name recognition, but that certainly isn't the whole story.

Posted by: johngalt at June 29, 2016 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's the story with the Vargas/Lamborn result.

Posted by: johngalt at June 29, 2016 3:24 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I like Glenn; I hope he turns his rhetorical guns on Senator rubber-stamp, stays focused on economics and stays positive! Anybody remember how Gardner ran such an effective, positive campaign? Here's one idea:

From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

I'd substitute "time to time" with "everyday on NPR"

and in other excellent news, the disreputable Gordon Klingenschmitt was drummed out.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 2, 2016 12:05 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Xtra credit for those who recognize the quote's origin.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 2, 2016 12:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I like it, nb! But I can't name the source. My first thoughts were Lincoln or Kennedy.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2016 12:48 PM

June 24, 2016

Make America Great Again...

... by making America grow again.

Donald Trump may or may not have the chops to pull this off, but a fifty-fifty chance is better than Hillary's 8 more years of cold porridge.

This guy though, thinks he can.

Whereas Trump early on talked up "jobs, jobs, jobs" - with specifics on where they're coming from, from broad tax cuts to unleashing the US energy industry.

And, yes, cutting better trade deals - something that Clinton joins the NeverTrumpers in painting as an unthinkable nightmare.

Sorry, does nobody recall how President Bill Clinton renegotiated a major trade treaty?

Bubba took office in 1993 with NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, already a done deal. But Democratic special interests - unions, the green lobby - didn't like it, so he made more concessions to Mexico and Canada in order get major "labor and environmental side accords" added on.

Trump can similarly open up President Obama's Trans-Pacific trade deal - this time dumping items that Obama inserted to please his favored special interests in order to get a deal that's better for American workers and businesses.

There's no reason Trump can't (eventually) do the same on NAFTA and other standing deals. And none of it risks a trade war.

How much good it'll do, I can't say - I put more faith in the rest of his pro-growth program, particularly the energy policies.

But tens of millions of voters see trade as a huge issue, one where the establishment has ignored their perfectly valid concerns for a generation - when it hasn't smugly dismissed them as ignorant.

Yes, Trump can get harsh when he's talking trade (and other issues). But how else does he show he means it?

Mitt Romney made tough noises on trade with China (and on immigration, too). Nobody believed him, because he was so plainly a guy who would wilt under establishment pressure.

Fine, I wince at some point whenever I watch Trump. But I've been wincing at every Republican nominee since Reagan; every one of them still got my vote.

And if you look at Trump's actual program, he's not even close to being off the GOP reservation - he's just opened the door to Americans who've quite rightly been feeling left out.

Trump is not the intellectual's intellectual, but he is a born leader who can rally a movement to go in approximately the right direction, rather than precisely the wrong way in which his alternative will steer the country.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:20 PM | Comments (0)

Otequay of the Ayday

In our present climate, it is customary for cosmopolitan sorts to accuse anybody who dissents from the European project of being an unreconstructed "nationalist." Insofar as this describes the dissenters' desire to return power to their own parliament and to ensure that their vote matters as much as it should, it is an accurate term. Outside of that, however, it is a slur, and a damnable one at that. George Orwell contended that the difference between patriotism and nationalism was that patriotism involved "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people," while nationalism "is inseparable from the desire for power." By this definition at least, Britain's decision to extricate itself from the EU was patriotic, not nationalistic. Indeed, if there is any group within the debate that seeks to impose "a particular way of life . . . on other people," it is the one that wants ever-closer integration into Europe, and, eventually, a federal super-state.

- Charles C.W. Cooke, 'The Brexit Vote Was Just the Beginning.'

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437082/brexit-uk-eu-referendum-vote-beginning

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2016

Not a winning issue in Colorado

Yeah an online poll. But methinks gun-grabbing fascist democrats our friends across the aisle might be overreaching again.



Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. I was happy to pile on.

Tell me, Hillary. Would your new ban also apply to licensed security professionals, like the Orlando murderer? The rifle used in this crime was most likely a fully-automatic model. A "machine gun" that is already "banned" from sale to the general public.

Posted by: johngalt at June 16, 2016 2:43 PM
But AndyN thinks:

The rifle he used is almost definitely not fully automatic. I know reporting on these things is awful, so I'm not assuming that they've correctly identified the model even now, but it looks like he was using a Sig Sauer MCX that he personally bought brand new recently.

Even if they still don't have that information right, you have to know that it's an absolute certainty that if he was using a machine gun, it would be headline news.

More to the point though, if Hillary wants even licensed security professionals to stop carrying autoloaders of any type, she can lead by example and insist that her security detail abandon every weapon they currently use in favor of revolvers.

Posted by: AndyN at June 17, 2016 10:43 AM

June 13, 2016

Women, Artists, Gays... Who Ya Gonna Call?

If I may attempt to return the focus, away from guns, gays and "Islam is not to blame" back to where it belongs, i.e. Trump v. Clinton, I will at least do it in the context of current events.

Milo Yiannopolous sez:

The Christian Right may not be totally down with homos, and Trump may say things that hurt our delicate feelings, but they aren't going to kill us or put us in camps. Only Islam would do that -- the same Islam that, bizarrely, now stands at the top of the left's hierarchy of victimhood.

And the leading spokesperson for that leftist hierarchy, seeking to grab the baton from a gasping President Obama, is Hillary:

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:58 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I owe you an answer on two thoughtful posts concerning the Presidential contest. I am not ducking you. Here's a short one and I will expand in the future.

There is much time but -- at this moment -- Sec. Clinton is strangely attractive because of her corruption. The corporate interests which "own" her will not allow much of the mischief I fear in a Trump Administration.

"But we will lose all our rights!" Yes. Rights are not going to be protected in the next four years either way. I wish to have the largest possible remnant of a nation and economy for the occupant in 2021 or 2025.

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2016 2:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. That's a novel way of looking at the situation.

What about the Supreme Court? Are you as sanguine about letting either of them botch the nomination of the next 1-n Justices?

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2016 5:05 PM
But Jk thinks:

I do not trust Mr. Trump to make better picks than Sec. Clinton. I did get good reviews on his list, but he backed off it before the ink was dry. Making good picks -- and, more importantly, defending them -- requires conviction. Of which Trump has a paucity.

Posted by: Jk at June 15, 2016 9:03 PM

June 12, 2016

The Real Racists: PC-Worshipping Republicans

For many weeks during the primary I defended Donald Trump's (choose one: lame-brained, idiotic, myopic, stupid, or maybe just misunderstood, distorted, poorly explained) statements because a) I respected the passion and sincerity of the blue-collar movement that propelled him and b) I believed I could see a respectable (read: rational self-interest) point of view in most everything he said. I have largely been quiet since he achieved presumptive nominee status. "My blog brothers are tired of my excuse-making" thought I.

This morning I read Steven Moore's "The Stupid Party Keeps Getting Stupider." It explains exactly why I believe Republican "thought" leaders - Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush - the crowd we, or at least I, hoped to see defeated and discredited and lose in the primary - which they were, and did - have been backing the bus over their standard bearer at every opportunity. Why? Because, as Moore opens, "The Republican braintrust knows only how to appease the left."

They seemed to be saying: see how racially progressive I am. I just denounced Donald Trump. He's the Republican racist, not me. That's statesmanship for you.

Question: Does anyone believe this strategy will bring a stampede of black and Latino voters into the party? Do they think this will get the media off their back?


All of this is self-defeating on a thousand levels. First, don't these lame-brained Republicans get it that they hang together or they hang separately? Tearing down Trump will mean thousands of political casualties down ticket. Democrats do get this.

Second, since when do we judge our candidates based on the left's warped criteria? Republicans seem to suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome of seeking the affection of their captors.

And this is I think the single biggest reason for the Trump phenomenon. American voters, be they Republicans, Democrats, or unaffiliateds, are sick and tired of watching politicians from both parties slavishly serve the politically correct version of racial ettiquette. Trump talks about race in a way that no other politician does - the same way that most voters talk about it, or at least think about it. Without varnish. Without blinders. Recognizing that it is used as a political tool to disadvantage whites so that others can be "lifted up" but - hasn't anybody noticed - there is no lifting up!

Moore offers a playbook for Republicans to blitz up the middle to the goal line:

Instead, why don't Republicans ever try to seize the offensive on the race card? Want to divide and conquer the left? Take a school choice agenda into the inner city and tell poor minority parents that the GOP is offering their kids better schools? Promise to bring safety, jobs, and development to their neighborhoods. Promise to stop putting young inner city blacks in jail for drug use.

The greatest victims of Barack Obama's littany of economic failures have been blacks and Hispanics. Obama's no racist, but the impact of his policies is. Does it really matter that he means well?"

Apparently it does, if your name is Romney, McConnell or Paul.

Posted by JohnGalt at 9:57 AM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2016

Quote of the Day

Reason.com suggests Clinton's foreign polict is bad but Trump's is worse. I'm not prepared to accept or deny that premise but found the facebook lead-in QOTD-worthy:.

If you needed a major operation, would you choose a surgeon with a haughty manner and a checkered past who loses more than the usual number of patients? Or would you trust the job to a taxidermist?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Those are our choices? The PPACAof2010 must have already progressed further than I had feared.

Posted by: johngalt at June 6, 2016 11:23 AM

May 31, 2016

Start the Popcorn Now!

You're going to want snacks for this. Ten minutes and change of a roomful of lefty MSNBC pundits (Chuck Todd has the token right-wing position as nearly as i can tell...) in absolute sorrow that they cannot find a grain of probity on the beach of Clinton statements.

Hat-tip: Western Free Press

UPDATE (as chaser): USA Today Editorial

But a new report by State's inspector general makes clear that within two years, Clinton's bad decision had turned into something far worse: a threat to national security, one that she repeatedly ignored despite multiple warnings.

Warning No. 1: The report, released last week, reveals that in January 2011, hackers were attacking her private server. Twice, the Hillary and Bill Clinton staffer responsible for maintaining the server had to shut it off to protect data held by America's top diplomat and the former president. The staffer notified State Department officials of the attempted hack, and Clinton’s top aides there emailed each other to say that "sensitive" matters should not be discussed with Clinton over email.

I heard this defense elsewhere: "they turned it off." So no data breach happened. Yeah, I'm sure they recognized the problem and shut down the server before anything bad happened. The IT guy's nickname is "Nanosecond-Ned" for his aplomb with a power switch. Harrumph.

But the USA Today Ed is devastating.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:30 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

If you cannot do ten minutes, at least catch the initial eye roll at 1:20.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
But jk thinks:

And Andrea Mitchel (known Trump surrogate . . . right) at 3:30 completely trashes the insane "Sec. Colin Powell did it" defense.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2016 1:58 PM
But jk thinks:

No. Popcorn. Watch it twice.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2016 2:02 PM

May 27, 2016

"This America's for you"

"If political candidates were beer brands" I wrote when Donald still had primary opponents, Donald Trump would be Budweiser.

Unsurprisingly, I'm not the only one who thinks those two brash personalities are a match made in marketing heaven.

From May 23 through the presidential election, Budweiser beer will bear a different name. Eager to do its bit to make America great again, the brewer will replace the name "Budweiser" with "America" on its twelve-ounce bottles and cans.

George Will is quick to note the irony-

Nothing says "It's morning in an America that is back and standing tall" quite like beer cans festooned with Americana by Anheuser-Busch InBev, a firm based in Leuven, Belgium, and run by a Brazilian. The beer brands most familiar to Americans - Budweiser, Miller, Coors - are foreign-owned.

To which I reply, HUZZAH! From Levi's jeans to Air Jordan shoes, the world's consumers have long flocked to American goods. It's only natural that the world's industrialists also flock to ownership of American corporations. (I wonder if the Belgian Donald Trump lectures that Belgian companies should not have large portions of their workforce in exotic overseas lands like U.S.A.?) And it's also fully American, in the truest free-market capitalist, err, trade tested betterment sense of what Americanism really is, that the Busch family would grow the value of a brand and then sell it for an obscene amount of money to whomever in the world valued it the highest.

Will sneers, "Not cheerful" at Bud's brash marketing image. He misses the point. Being an American is about success. There are many words to describe events like the industrial revolution, D-Day, the moon landing and reconstruction of the World Trade Center. "Cheerful" is way down the list.


"America - King of Beers." King of industry. King of you-name-it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:46 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

F Yeah! A very important aspect of globalism, well stated.

I confess that I did take the liberty of trimming the picture down to the ThreeSources' Style Guide's recommend

Posted by: jk at May 28, 2016 1:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Will also diminishes the institutional advertising beloved by the big brewers. This may be fair, but ten minutes prior to reading his column, I heard my lovely bride listing to the two Bud Super Bowl commercials for the 867,413th time. There has to be some value in that.

Posted by: jk at May 28, 2016 1:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That institutional advertising, as maligned as it is by some, concentrates private commercial wealth in a way that facilitates many things that most take for granted - like watching live sports on television without the hassle or expense of buying a ticket. Last I knew, there was no "Dave's Pale Ale Field" or "Sam Adams Stadium" either.

For what it's worth, I consumed three beers yesterday - One imported German Pils, one Bud and a delicious coffee stout from our neighboring state of New Mexico. Diversity! It's the spice of life.

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2016 1:15 PM

May 26, 2016


I saw several pretty strong headlines yesterday about the IG report for Sec. Clinton's email server. Even CNN used strong words. Reading through them, I was not at all certain that there was anything "devastating."

Then I read the WSJ Ed Page's description. Mercy!

The IG--who had better hire a food-taster--also found that Mrs. Clinton neither sought nor received permission for her private communications. The former Secretary also understood the security risks this posed because she was warned several times.

In March 2011 the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security sent Mrs. Clinton a memorandum that warned of a "dramatic increase" in attempts by "cyber actors to compromise the private home e-mail accounts of senior Department officials," with an eye toward "technical surveillance and possible blackmail."

Following that memo, security staff twice briefed Mrs. Clinton's immediate staff on this threat. A June 2011 cable, sent over Mrs. Clinton's name to all diplomatic and consular posts, warned of this new threat to home accounts, as well as the news that Google had reported cyber attacks on the Gmail accounts of U.S. government employees. Mrs. Clinton and her staff ignored her own warnings.

One official suggested State set up a stand-alone computer for Mrs. Clinton in her office to check the Internet and private email. That never happened. A different official suggested she have two mobile devices--one for personal use and one with a "State Department email account" that would "be subject to [Freedom of Information Act] requests." Her team said no.

As for Mrs. Clinton's claim that her private account was secure, the report cites several instances of techies shutting down her server due to hacking concerns. "Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information," says the report. But the IG says it found "no evidence" that Mrs. Clinton or her staff filed such reports.

After that, they stop being so nice.

UPDATE: Right wing nutjobs at the NYTimes pile on: "Voters just don’t trust her."

UPDATE II: (QOTD candidate): "It can charitably be termed scathing, and it leaves no doubt that Team Clinton has lied flagrantly to the public about EmailGate for more than a year." -- John R. Schindler @ Observer

Posted by John Kranz at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2016

Quote of the Day

Pick your metaphor: The Iran-Iraq War, the South Park school mascot contest, Hobson's choice, a Cowboys-Patriots game. In a scenario with no good choices, how fair is it to denounce somebody for making a different calculation for what's less bad? -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius."

At least, that was the reaction I had when I saw the news from Albuquerque, with rioters hurling fire and breaking glass doors at a Trump rally.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 25, 2016 12:17 PM

May 20, 2016

Sen. Smoot and Rep. Hawley could not be reached for comment

Oh, deary me.

Trump touted his proposal for a 35 percent tariff on imports into the United States from the American companies that have outsourced to Mexico.

"At least the United States is going to make a hell of a lot of money," Trump said at a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. "And these dummies say, 'Oh well that's a trade war.'"

"Trade war? We're losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there's a trade war?" Trump continued. "$500 billion and they're telling me about a trade war."

Trump quickly added, "You're not going to have a trade war," predicting "China will behave" and "respect our country again" after slamming the country's currency manipulation.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:13 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

There seems a substantial, if not exculpatory, difference between the Trump Tariff (TM) and Smoot Hawley. Trump proposes, in this quote at least, to levy only imports from "American Companies that have outsourced." So it wouldn't prompt a trade war with foreign governments as much as it would slash the advantages of moving factories to lower tax, lower regulation, lower wage locales outside of the U.S.

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2016 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Just an extension of "The Wall," then. Companies with factories will will not be allowed to expand abroad and workers abroad will not pursue opportunities here.

A bit less awful than his 45% tariff on China, I suppose. But the part I highlight is the insane locution of "We are 'losing' $______ to ________." Now coupled with "who the hell cares if there's a trade war?" This man does not understand trade, liberty, or the source of global prosperity -- I am hesitant to entrust him with any of them.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2016 11:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You and me both, brother, but democracy means we only get two choices and they both suck. We must all choose whom to vote against carefully.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2016 3:19 PM

May 18, 2016

A Bunt

I was looking for a grand slam: "I'm going to nominate Randy Barnett to the Supreme Court!" says a defiant Donald Trump, wearing a Lysander Spooner T-shirt and a "Make Trade Free Again" ball cap!

Instead, the presumptive is showing bunt.

I don't know these guys and hope a Eugene Volukh or Ilya Somin (picks two and three in a Kranz Administration) will help me out. But my first glance sees authoritarianism.

The list is notable, Vladeck said, in part because there are no surprises. "I would not have been surprised to see this exact list from almost any of the other Republican candidates," he said. "These people tend to be more into strict interpretation of the Constitution who are more skeptical of unenumerated rights like privacy and who are more likely to side with conservative social movements

At the risk of cherry-picking, the WSJ posts the list, and I looked first for our illustrious Centennial Stater. I feel this is representative:

In 2012, Judge [Allison] Eid wrote the majority opinion ruling that the University of Colorado's policy to ban students from carrying handguns on campus was unlawful. She also wrote a decision last year that said companies in Colorado, which has decriminalized most marijuana use, can fire employees for using marijuana outside of work because the activity still violates federal law.

Now, a bunt can bring home a run, and all my critiques could be leveled against Justice Scalia, peace be ever upon his holy name. Trump is looking for Scalias and not Thomases, he asked Heritage and not Cato for guidance. Got it, but of course Sec. Clinton is beating the gender studies department for a list of Sotomayors.

These are dark days. But my hope for the grand slam has passed.

Blog brothers are advised to attempt Second Amendment arguments to persuade.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Argument number one: Donald Trump is not an ideologue. Hillary Clinton is the ideologue's ideologue.

Posted by: johngalt at May 19, 2016 11:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Huh. (And I realize I'm sounding argumentative just for sport, But:)

My largest gripe is that he is not ideological. He is truly the Bill O'Reilly of politics. He doesn't know what he believes in, but at this very instant he believes it FERVENTLY!

Posted by: jk at May 19, 2016 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think you're a bit unfair. He clearly believes in American Exceptionalism. He wants America to be great - again - a thinly-veiled shot at the current president and his policies. He believes in the American Dream.

We may mostly agree that he doesn't consciously know the ideological reason why America was once greater than it is today, but he does seem to know it subconsciously, and expresses it in his latest slogan: "America First." That means, collectively at least, if not individually, that Americans should act in their rational self-interest. That's a good first step. And, it's a principle.

But the reason his ideological void is a feature and not a bug is that it makes him a blank screen onto which voters can project their own vision of a great America. Ask Ted Cruz how successful a liberty ideologue can be in politics.

Posted by: johngalt at May 19, 2016 1:00 PM

May 16, 2016

One man's imminent danger is another man's savior

I wrote last week about optimism and silver linings and today, reading Charles Blow tell it in the NYT, I'm positively giddy about nominee Trump.

It is hard to know where the hard bottom is beneath this morass of lies and bile. He has changed the very definition of acceptability as well as the expectations of the honor of one's words. He has exalted the art of deceit to a new political normalcy.

This has made him nearly impervious to even the cleverest takedowns, and trust me, many have tried, comparing him to everyone from P. T. Barnum to Hitler.

But none of these comparisons are likely to shift public opinion. Some people will continue to see him, rightly, as an imminent danger to this nation and the world, and others will continue to see him as a salvation from it.

So you see, dear friends, the Republicans have found their Bill Clinton! Read the rest and you'll see what I mean. Blow sounds just like the right-wing pundits did during the Clinton Administration... and beyond, up until today.

Supporting Trump is a Hail Mary pass of a hail-the-demagogue assemblage. Trump's triumph as the presumptive Republican Party nominee is not necessarily a sign of his strategic genius as much as it's a sign of some people's mental, psychological and spiritual deficiencies.

It's hard to use the truth as an instrument of enlightenment on people who prefer to luxuriate in a lie.

Again, he wasn't my choice. But I will support him. Republicans were convinced that an Obama presidency would destroy the republic. He's done great harm, but the world still seems to realize that America is owned and operated by - Americans. The anti-Americanism of our president and his administrative branch notwithstanding. President Trump could certainly do no worse. (But President Clinton 45 could.) Trump wants to "make America great again." He may fail, but it's an admirable goal, especially in contrast to "make the Clintons rich and powerful again."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

It seems I am frequently told Trump is great because of the number of people he cheeses off. I am quite confident that Charles Blow would see the end of the world in any GOP nominee from St. Paul to Rex Tugwell. Every four years is a new low for the Republicans -- it's actually written into his contract with the Times.

I had family over yesterday who are voting Trump for their dislike of Sec. Clinton. I admitted that, yes, electing Clinton means extinguishing the light of liberty from America, but that that is better than multi-decadal global depression.

Deirdre McCloskey is forcing me to confront many deeply held beliefs ("unicorns" in Mugerian parlance). If she is correct -- and it is bloody difficult to make a strong case in opposition -- the absolute liberty as measured on the Heritage Freedom Index, or the amount of corruption, of the efficiency of government matter much less than people of my stripe assume. New Zealand with perfect government, no measurable corruption, and great freedom has the same per capita consumption as Italy -- one of the PIIIGS and a total basket case.

Her (Clinton, not McCloskey) deeply rooted corruption will keep her from upsetting the applecart of international trade.

Vote for the crook -- it's important!

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2016 5:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think you meant to say, "Vote for the lying crook..."

"Multi-decadal global depression?" You're not usually prone to hyperbole. Are presidents and trade policies now lifetime appointments? You see no market correction if President Trump somehow accomplished trade tariffs?

You see no capitulation on the part of trading partners with presently advantaged positions?

None of this matters anyway though, if "conservatives" mount a third party campaign. So why worry? Just smile and get used to ending every greeting with "comrade."

Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2016 6:53 PM
But jk thinks:

"... not usually prone to hyperbole. On the one hand, that's the nicest thing anybody has ever said about me. On the other, it means I clearly have to try harder.

I put Smoot-Hawley as one of the top three causes of the previous Multi-Decadal Global Depression (MDGD). And more importantly, one of the top impediments to recovery.

One of my interlocutors made a similar defense: the smart businessman will quickly see error and correct. But the reason these are multi-decadal is the moment of inertia in the cycle. We tariff, they retaliate, others pile on. Lather; rinse; repeat. These are all humongous 700-page-ish treaties worked out with lobbyists and legislators and diplomats and NGOs. Even if a party wises to, there's no easy way to roll back the damage or even stop its spread.

Accuse of hyperbole if you must, comrade, but it happened in the 1930s when global prosperity was far less dependant on trade.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2016 7:19 PM

May 12, 2016

Make Washington D.C. Work Again

Since the Indiana primary, I have been squinting my eyes in search of silver linings in the dark cloud of Trump. I think I see faint outlines, and have attempted to sow optimism both on these pages [3rd and 4th comments] and privately.

One of those faint outlines is fairly well drawn out by Washington Times' Charles Hurt. It is not fair to cherry pick but I think his close is most enticing:

Donald Trump may terrify Democrats and horrify Republicans in Washington. He may be a vulgarian to the professional Beltway punditry that has blithely ignored the devolution of the American dream.

But, looking down from the clouds painted inside the dome of the U.S. Capitol, the founders are smiling and see the first hope in decades for returning power to the people.

[emphasis mine]

By Charles Hurt - - Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Unruly voters have elected an opportunistic showman as their presidential nominee. They were aided by infiltrators in the primary who were not even Republicans.

The nominee, Donald Trump, is a reality star billionaire real estate developer who has a history of vacillating political allegiances. He even made campaign donations to the most evil countess of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, who is designed to be her party’s nominee against Mr. Trump.

Into the breach steps Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, the highest elected Republican in the land. He declares he is not ready — in good conscience — to support his own party’s nominee for president because Mr. Trump has not demonstrated he is a good and principled conservative.

And, once again, the Washington political punditry begins another wildly premature funeral dirge for Mr. Trump’s campaign, the Republican Party’s hold on power in Washington.

Meanwhile, loyal and thoughtful conservative voters who do not care for Mr. Trump’s bombast and harbor justifiable concerns about his devotion to Republican “principles” are despondent.

There goes the White House, they say, the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court. And, with socialist Democrats running amok, there goes the republic and the world’s greatest beacon of hope and freedom.

Or, perhaps we are seeing something entirely different. Maybe this is a rekindling of the finest dreams envisioned by our founders.

In a time of great economic distress with high unemployment and a sluggish economy, a non-ideological businessman is pitted for the presidency against an insufferable and strictly partisan hack who has been an integral cog in the broken political system for three decades.

The businessman will win. And the party hag will be sent off to a long-needed retirement of bitterness and scorn.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans will keep the House and — if they don’t screw it up — keep the Senate.

Yet, with the Supreme Court in the balance, these Republicans in Congress will maintain a skeptical eye down Pennsylvania Avenue at their new leader. They will question his motives and pick apart his proposals.

When his proposals wobble too far from the conservatism they are now vowing to protect, lawmakers can reign him in. If he nominates someone to the Supreme Court who is not worthy to replace the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, they can reject the nominee.

And the voters will reward them for it! The democratic republic our founders envisioned will be restored!

For too long, both parties have fallen into the deep rut of partisan blindness. On both sides of the aisle, party politics comes before American interests at every turn.

Story Continues →

Continued from page 1

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have unilaterally surrendered vast amounts of power to the presidency. Congress — the first branch of government closest to the will of the people — as been neutered.

Former President George W. Bush had his Republicans in Congress and President Obama has his Democrats. As a result, Americans have been saddled with a vast expansion of the federal government into every aspect of our personal lives. The debt burden is, literally, unfathomable.

Donald Trump may terrify Democrats and horrify Republicans in Washington. He may be a vulgarian to the professional Beltway punditry that has blithely ignored the devolution of the American dream.

But, looking down from the clouds painted inside the dome of the U.S. Capitol, the founders are smiling and see the first hope in decades for returning power to the people.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com. Follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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

I cannot open that page. One of the ads assaults my browser both on iPad and two different browsers on Windows. I'll take your word, but if I may generalize...

I read many items that suggest a GOP voter should overcome bad personality traits: "Vote for the boorish lout, It's important?" My vote is currently unclaimed because I find his professed policies actually worse than Sec. Clinton's.

Should Sen. Sanders prevail -- and I still find that probability nonzero -- I will vigorously support Trump. Because they are equally bad on trade and Mister Trump is clearly better on domestic policy. Vulgarianism and all.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2016 9:45 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I meant to warn about the heavy scripting. I'll try to lift the text and paste into the "continue reading."

Yesterday my sister, with the help of Scott Adams, helped me see why Donald appeals to so many, so much more powerfully, than he does to Three Sourcers. It's because he addresses them on an intentionally irrational level. Those of us who look for consistency in principles are listening to a man who speaks a foreign language. (It's not just Donald who does this, by the way, but many, or even most, successful politicians.)

It goes like this.

Posted by: johngalt at May 13, 2016 12:04 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

If anything, the hypocritical boycotting of Trump by the Ryans, Bushes, and Roves enhances Trump's crossover appeal with independents and working-class Dems. The more that he is hated down at the GOP yacht club, the more he appears as a regular guy in the eyes of voters. Meanwhile, the Tea Party Republicans interpret the boycotting as a sign that Trump is too politically incorrect for the effete GOP elite and cleave to him even more tightly.

In the end, such resistance may prove a political boon to Trump and complicate Hillary's customary anti-Republican demagoguery.

- George Neumayr, 'The Narrow Door to the GOP's Big Tent'

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:16 PM | Comments (0)

Vote for the Crook, It's Important!


Donald Trump's plan to get tough with China, Japan and Mexico could cost the average U.S. household more than $6,000 a year if carried to its logical extreme, with the burden falling hardest on households with the lowest income, according to a new report from the National Foundation for American Policy, which describes itself as a nonpartisan research group.

"We find that a Trump tariff proposal against all countries would cost U.S. consumers $459 billion annually and $2.29 trillion over five years," David Tuerck and Paul Bachman, a pair of economists at Suffolk University in Boston, write in the report. "Our analysis finds that the Trump tariffs would manifest themselves as a 30.5 percent increase in the price of competing domestic producer goods and therefore, as a cut in real wages."

That, and the worldwide global depression.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I imagine if one digs down into their "analysis" one finds distinct possibilities of gopher-on-cat bestiality, fracking causing baldness, and any number of bad things generally assigned to 'climate change.'

Seriously, enough of this projection-analysis propo!

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 13, 2016 12:41 AM
But jk thinks:

You say "gopher-on-cat bestiality" like it's a bad thing...

I don't know that this model is perfect, but I reject that this stretches credulity. Prices are going up, it's going to cost people more seems to be a reasonable projection.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2016 10:04 AM

May 11, 2016

NR Says #Never

I must confess to joining Jonah Goldberg in pride at National Review's staunch refusal to pull a Jindal and support Trump. Jim Geraghty [subscribe]:

Sure, a Trump victory would leave Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the entire Democratic party in utter despair -- and if you're a conservative, that thought probably makes you smile!

The problem is that I don't want a less leftist version of Obama's executive-order-prone, Congress-ignoring, government-expanding, tax-hiking, IRS-abusing presidency. I want limited government, smaller and less expensive government, more individual liberty, and a strict adherence to the limits on government power enshrined in the Constitution. I want Rick Perry's vision of a Washington D.C. that is less and less relevant to the lives of average Americans. Ultimately, I want politics to reverse the intense entanglement with pop culture that started with MTV's "Rock the Vote" in 1992 and go back to being the land of the nerds and policy wonks -- leaving governing to the people who actually care about the issues at hand. Make Politics Boring Again!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:42 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

A wise blogger said: Reasonable World™ was three stops back; you should have have disembarked. Perhaps if you get off at the next stop and take the 223 crosstown to the Red Line...

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2016 4:54 PM
But jk thinks:

...and probably babbled something about "Rick Perry's vision not being on the menu..."

A lot can happen and I must admit to being out of the never camp. Were a CLinton-Trump election held tomorrow I would write in or undervote. We shall see.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2016 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Like anything else, politics has a certain inertia. This pre-convention period is the appropriate time for hand-wringing and grief-espousing. The candidacy will evolve, and soon be about more than just Trump. There will be a veep, some cabinet secretaries, maybe even a SCOTUS short-list. Or, if some of my crazier FakeBook friends are prescient, Trump may be assassinated by the Bilderberg group before he can de-throne their cabal.

For now... deep breaths.

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2016 5:39 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Is it out of line to hope that he makes a really solid VP choice, and then strokes out sometime between Election Day and Inauguration Day?

Asking for a friend.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2016 5:50 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

KHOW's Ross Kaminsky had Jed Babbin on this morn who said quite sagely: we know how bad Hillary will be (USSC, Foreign Policy, free speech...), but we can hope that Trump won't be so bad, b/c he's a blank slate.

I loathe The Donald, but I'm willing to listen to entreaties b/w now and November, and will certainly be pulling for down-ticket GOPers (heaven help our US Senator wannabees!), as a dutiful PCP and really will be focused on "listening."

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 12, 2016 12:27 AM

May 9, 2016

Quote of the Day

When asked to explain that how businesses could get a tax increase and reduction, he said that businesses "might have to pay a little bit more than my proposal, not more than they pay now." His campaign didn't respond to a request for further clarification. -- WSJ (News Page)
Posted by John Kranz at 10:09 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Today, Mr. Trump announced that our chocolate ration would be raised to twenty grams per week..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 9, 2016 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hillary's proposal is clearer and more taxpayer friendly?

Hey WSJ, the primary is over.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2016 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I mentioned, perhaps on Facebook, the Tea Party clickbait article my lovely bride found. It had three demands of Mr. Trump to get teh Tea Party vote:

1. A Conservative VP
2. A Growth-oriented tax plan
(And here I chimed in "He's got one! Larry Kudlow and Steven Moore say it is great!" Oops, he is revising and extending his remarks this week.)

3. For those still tuned in, was to provide his SUpreme Court picks.
I had to admit that this might draw me out of #nevertrump. Were he to suggest three super SCOTUS picks, I'd have to look at his being better than Sec. Clinton.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2016 4:00 PM

April 21, 2016

Quote of the Day

It's no surprise Donald Trump in his New York victory speech about the "corrupt" Republican Party called Sen. Sanders a fellow "outsider." The two great disrupters are remarkably similar, a kind of Tweedledon and Tweedleburn on trade and a "system" that's "broken" and "failing" their supporters. -- Dan Henniger WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2016


Dudley Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, not highly regarded by Three Sourcers, made news again last week, albeit under the radar of the "Great Rocky Mountain Delegate Heist for #NeverTrump." What went unmentioned in reports of Darryl Glenn's upset thumping of Tim Neville was that Neville was strongly promoted by Brown's RMGO group. Another Colorado lightning rod, former congressman Tom Tancredo, says the defeat marks the "end of an era" in Colorado politics.

But Brown has chosen to fight against the Convention of States. And in doing so, he has tipped his hand as to where he really stands on our rights. In fighting against the Convention of States Project, a campaign he wages in hysterical emails full of misinformation and straw men arguments, he has raked in millions in donations, especially to NAGR: $12.5 million in 2014 (the most recent information available), and $16.5 million in 2013.

Worse, Brown has threatened to primary any legislator who supports a resolution applying for a Convention for Proposing Amendments. But it is precisely this kind of arrogance, this deal-making, this pressuring in order to advance his own agenda for his organization – in other words, this cronyism – that the voters are overwhelmingly rejecting this cycle. He asked for this with his actions, and he got it.

Those legislators and candidates in Brown's camp would do well to note the toxicity that extended to Neville and how the voters made their distaste for Brown and RMGO plain by rejecting his candidate. If they wish to remain in office, they should consider distancing themselves from him and his insider politics.

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

April 5, 2016

President Ted Cruz - A Philosophical Endorsement

Three days ago, Craig Biddle, editor of The Objective Standard, endorsed Ted Cruz for president. Craig gives an issue by issue summary of the many ways Ted Cruz stands alone in this political contest, and all of them boil down to his recognition of individual rights and holding ideas as absolutes. Read it in full here, if you like. He cites many of the quotes I've heard Cruz state over the months of this primary campaign. He also cites several of the times that Cruz has quoted the seminal work of Ayn Rand - 'Atlas Shrugged.' One of these was when I first became a stalwart fan of the first-term Senator from Texas. Namely, in a 2013 Senate floor speech urging the defunding of Obamacare:

Cruz also read the passage in which Dagny Taggart poses the question, "What is morality?" - and receives the answer, "Judgment to distinguish right and wrong, vision to see the truth, courage to act upon it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price." After pausing to let that sink in, Cruz said:

That's counsel that the United States Senate should listen to. That's counsel that I would encourage every Democratic senator who feels the urge of party loyalty to [listen to] . . . I would encourage my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle: As difficult as it is to cross one's Party leaders, I say, with perhaps a little familiarity of the consequences of so doing, that it's survivable - and that ultimately it is liberating.

Imagine a politician who recognizes the difference between right and wrong, or even acknowledges that the distinction exists. Imagine a politician willing to defend the good at any cost. Imagine the benefit that could abound to all honest and self-respecting people.

Biddle writes,

Imagine the possibility of a U.S. president speaking from the Oval Office, "I'd like to share a few excerpts from one of my favorite books, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand . . ." and encouraging Americans, "go tomorrow, buy Atlas Shrugged, and read it."

In other words, imagine President Ted Cruz.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Ari Armstrong is moderately in.

Posted by: jk at April 5, 2016 5:20 PM

April 1, 2016

Centennial Senate Candidates Forum

No teevee cameras at our sleepy little forum in Fort Lupton, but here is a 2-minute news report on the same (mostly) candidates speaking in Centennial.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:47 PM | Comments (0)

Fracking Causes Earthquakes, Not God

That is the implication made by this Denver Post story covering the Republican Women of Weld senate candidates forum in Fort Lupton Wednesday night (attended by dagny and me.) "Peg Littleton says God causes earthquakes, not fracking" blares the sub head.

"I say, 'Drill, baby, drill,' " said Littleton, an El Paso County Commissioner and member of Colorado's homeland security and hazards advisory committee.

Later, she took a step further as she attacked scientific reports showing links between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and earthquakes, suggesting God is the reason they occur.

"There have been earthquakes long before we ever did fracking," she said. "Let's be honest. You know God is kind of in control of those. And not by us drilling down in the ground and doing the fracking."

The implication is clear, and is reflected in comments on the story - that Republicans in general, or at least these seven candidates at the forum, or at least this Sarah Palin wannabe, are anti-science religious nut jobs.

Well what do the "scientific reports" say? That small earthquakes can indeed be induced by high-volume wastewater disposal into wells drilled specifically for that purpose. It is not caused by fracking. So Littleton's claim that the earthquakes are not caused by fracking is accurate.

And who is surprised by that finding? Fracking is done all over the country, and earthquake activity is localized in this area of Oklahoma within 30 kilometers of water disposal wells.

If we were so unfortunate that we had to rely on the Denver Post for all of our information about the world I could only exclaim, God help us.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:11 PM | Comments (2)
But n thinks:

Keyser sounded most reasonable of all ... he's shaped up to be my pick, reminding me of Tom Cotton; if anyone's asking?

Posted by: n at April 4, 2016 11:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the comment, n!

Posted by: johngalt at April 7, 2016 6:16 PM

March 29, 2016

The "Hidden Primary"

That's the name given to the political endorsement "game" that is a major part of electoral politics. Aaron Bycoffe at fivethirtyeight blog has a weighting formula that gives ten points to an endorsement by a governor, five from a senator, and one from a lowly congresscritter. Using these point values, Hillary Clinton is swamping Bernie by a score of 489 to 7. No surprise there. The surprise is on the GOP side, where "frontrunner" Trump has less than half the points of Cruz, and a mere 4 points more than John (who's he) Kasich.

(click to enlarge)

In the book "The Party Decides" (2008), the most comprehensive study of the invisible primary, the political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller evaluated data on endorsements made in presidential nomination contests between 1980 and 2004 and found that "early endorsements in the invisible primary are the most important cause of candidate success in the state primaries and caucuses."

Another interesting observation - in the GOP half of the chart above, at this point in the campaign, "invisible primary frontrunner" Ted Cruz has almost the same number of points (91) as did Ronald Reagan when he led the endorsements race, late and grudgingly, in the 1980 primary campaign (96.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:53 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2016

Libertario Delenda Est

Way past quota on "All Hail Tarantos" this week, but he noticed an item I noticed.

On my Facebook feed, it was a triumphant boast: "Gary Johnson Now in Double Digits!" I almost blogged that his amazing 11% seemed a bit short of a majority in the maths systems I was taught. James is a bit more blunt:

This is a shock: Johnson only gets 11% against such weak opposition? He should just drop out.

I had been thinking more than usual about possibly pulling the lever for Governor Johnson and I will not rule it out. But it remains unlikely. Yes, perhaps it sends a message of sorts to the GOP, but The LP is not the answer and I'd hate to provide any encouragement.

Seriously Big-Ellers, this is your golden year -- yet your most promising candidate polls less than a tenth of Trump's and Clinton's combined disapproval ratings. You don't have to be Nate Silver to find some answers in those numbers.

Libertario Delenda Est. Yes, even in 2016..

Posted by John Kranz at 3:39 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2016


In a very smart piece for The Federalist (someday, we will discuss what gives with that site's mixing clickbait crazy-stupid memes with crazy-smart commentary) Tom Nichols discusses the unthinkable. Sec. Clinton over Donald Trump.

The jewel is replacing "The Buckley Rule" with "The Hamilton Rule."

In other words: Better to lose to a true enemy whose policies you can fight and repudiate, rather than to a false friend whose schemes will drag you down with him. This is a painful choice, but it also embraces realism while protecting the possibility of recovery in the future. The need to live to fight another day is why conservatives should adopt a Hamilton Rule if, God forbid, the choice comes down to Hillary and Trump.

Sad to say, I think I am in. In a Trump-Sanders, I would likely leave it blank and vote down-ticket, but looking at China's jitters, plus the Hamilton Rule I think I would pull the lever for Madame Secretary.

Out whole nation has basically become Louisiana (without the fine food and coffee) and we adopt their battle cry: "Vote for the Crook, It's Important!"

Posted by John Kranz at 10:13 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I disagree. This would be my position if Jeb were the nominee, however. If it is Trump I will take the bad with the good, and look forward to what may be possible after the cycle of establishment L or establishment R has been broken, at least for a time.

Let's go for free enterprise.

...where and how do we organize the party of free-market, free-enterprise, small business entrepreneurs? It would seem an easy thing to do inasmuch as it's membership includes over four-fifths of the entire electorate. And yet, we are brought to heel by the established, entrenched, neo-mercantilist statists.
Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 1:18 PM
But jk thinks:

I find myself dreaming of Jeb!

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2016 2:36 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

On this, I'm in the JK orbit. I canNOT vote for that ignorant, crass, crony capitalist who is at heart a New York liberal, and in reality a Republican only when the price is right. He'll nominate NY liberals, he'll cut deals with NY liberals and if he makes it 4 years in the oval office the words "conservative", "buffoon", "republican", "bigot" will become synonymous.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 25, 2016 4:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Nor is it about the future of the GOP. I think his ideas, like Sen. Sanders's, are truly dangerous. A trade war over Mister Trump's perception of the value of the Renminbi could easily throw the world into global depression, as did Smoot-Hawley.

That's my reason for picking Senator Clinton -- not some partisan bank shot setting up the 2024 race. Global. Frickken' Depression.

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2016 6:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Trump's "Political Kitchen Cabinet"

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Political Consultant Roger Stone

Former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Gen. Michael Flynn

Former Secretary Of Education William J. Bennett

Heritage Foundation Chief Economist Stephen Moore

Former Reagan Administration Member Art Laffer

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton

Pollster Pat Caddell

Do you really think Stephen Moore and Art Laffer are going to help architect a trade war?

Roger Simon, PJ Media, says The Republican Establishment Needs to Stop Worrying and Love the Donald.

And listen to what Trump is actually saying. He's for lower taxes and a strong defense and he's not really against free trade. He just wants a better deal. Who wouldn't and who wouldn't assume he'd get a better one than the Obama crowd? Or the Bush crowd for that matter, on just about anything.
Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 6:32 PM

February 19, 2016

It's the opportunity, stupid.

Thirteen hours ago, jk Tweeted "Sanders tops Clinton in a national poll for the first time." Hillary must be having Deja vu. It's 2008 all over again, as the man with a plan overtakes the stalwart Machiavellian who has seen her "turn" come and go more than once already.

Barack Obama's plan was "Hope and Change." What kind of change didn't matter, because it was hopeful - says so right there on the label. Bernie Sanders' plan is more concrete - fairness.

Democrats and Republicans have too often favored policies and regulations that pick winners and losers. This helps perpetuate a cycle of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty in the United States. These are complicated issues, but it's not enough to say that government alone is to blame. Large portions of the business community have actively pushed for these policies.

Consider the regulations, handouts, mandates, subsidies and other forms of largesse our elected officials dole out to the wealthy and well-connected. The tax code alone contains $1.5 trillion in exemptions and special-interest carve-outs. Anti-competitive regulations cost businesses an additional $1.9 trillion every year. Perversely, this regulatory burden falls hardest on small companies, innovators and the poor, while benefitting many large companies like ours. This unfairly benefits established firms and penalizes new entrants, contributing to a two-tiered society.

Whenever we allow government to pick winners and losers, we impede progress and move further away from a society of mutual benefit. This pits individuals and groups against each other and corrupts the business community, which inevitably becomes less focused on creating value for customers.

Those are not the words of Bernie Sanders, but they do address the perception that our economic system is rigged to benefit the already successful, at the expense of those on the bottom who are trying to get ahead. Many, but not all, will be surprised by who wrote those words, given the scorn heaped upon him by the left. None other than the - evil - Charles G. Koch. Brother of David. Together, the "Koch Brothers" although there are four all together. What does Charles want? Sounds a lot like what our parents used to describe as "the American Dream."

It is results, not intentions, that matter. History has proven that a bigger, more controlling, more complex and costlier federal government leaves the disadvantaged less likely to improve their lives.

When it comes to electing our next president, we should reward those candidates, Democrat or Republican, most committed to the principles of a free society. Those principles start with the right to live your life as you see fit as long as you don't infringe on the ability of others to do the same. They include equality before the law, free speech and free markets and treating people with dignity, respect and tolerance.

It's not just Democrats who are rallying around Bernie's "fairness" message. A February 18 Quinnipiac poll has every Republican except Trump beating Hillary head-to-head, but those very same candidates all losing to Sanders by four to ten points each. One of the Republicans had better start emphasizing this part of his campaign - if any of them has it as part of his campaign - perhaps after the savagery of the GOP primary has concluded, if there is to be a Republican successor to President Obama. Or, Hillary may still manage to gerrymander her way to the nomination and we can endure politics as usual and still have our Republican Supreme Court justice picker - but not the real "hope and change" that America needs and deserves.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:17 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Koch Rochs!

That WaPo column is inspired -- and a very good thing to share with friends afflicted #withthebern

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2016 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged.

He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness.

He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.

I agree with him."

-Charles Koch

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2016 3:11 PM

February 10, 2016

"Hey Washington: You shut the hell up. We'll save America."

Are we ready to take Trump seriously yet? We'd better be, because he is being thrust upon us by the Republican electorate. A plurality of that group is so completely and totally fed up with big government cronyism - the "Washington cabal" if you will - that it is willing to throw a grenade into the administrative branch in the form of a walking-talking comb over who "must be telling us the truth because who in his right mind would say those things unless he believed them?"

But that is only half of today's political story. The other half is that a plurality of the group called Democrats feels the same way. Except it is completely and totally fed up with big bank and big government cronyism, and the "inequality" that they are somehow responsible for.

Veteran Democrat pollster Doug Schoen penned the article that came to my mind this morning: Trump and Sanders win: We are witnessing a full scale revolt, America There's nothing particularly quote worthy, but it validates my observation that, well, I'll quote him after all:

And he may not be able to win a national election, but we are seeing an electorate so starved for an honest and trustworthy politician that they will make allowances for ideologies that they may not have considered before.

The most important result from New Hampshire's "first in the nation" primary election is not the attributes of the two candidates who won, but the attributes of all of the other candidates, who didn't.

UPDATE: Here's the back story on the "shut the hell up" meme.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:04 PM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2016

A Dozen People with Fax Machines

Jonah Goldberg suggests that this year is exposing the party apparatuses as "paper tigers." He asked his old boss, Ben Wattenberg, if he was afraid to buck the Democratic Party and heard this post's title: "What Democratic party? The Democratic party is a dozen people with fax machines."

Ben's point was that the image of the Democratic party as some formidable organization with legions of political henchmen and bosses capable of imposing their will on the rank-and-file was a leftover from a bygone era.

I think about my conversations with Ben a lot these days. Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, who isn't even a member of the Democratic party, is the runaway favorite of the party's liberal base. Donald Trump, an ideologically unmoored billionaire who has changed his party registration five times since 1987 and donated substantial sums to Democrats, has been the Republican front-runner since this summer.

I had attributed the decline of party power to campaign finance reform. With party money limited, 527s and SuperPACs become more significant. Goldberg says this is self-inflicted. Smoke filled rooms and patronage schemes were replaced by democracy and suddenly the Party lost control. I think you can dd the two together, and I don't know who sheds too many tears that the Tweeds, Pendergasts, and the like do not pick nominees any more.

But ThreeSourcers know the dangers of too much democracy better than most. This year I am longing for a bunch of cigar-chompers to give me a candidate.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

From At start of campaign, the last gasp of political parties?:

Parties for generations did welcome differing views and broader membership.

"The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party. There is room in our tent for many views," Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, said in 1967.

The parties now thrive by firing up the fringes. Republicans once had a strong bloc of abortion rights supporters, for example, but in 1976 the party formally included in its platform support for a constitutional amendment "to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children."

It's now unmistakably the anti-abortion party, the comfortable home for conservatives and therefore the party that dominates the South and the Rocky Mountain West. Democrats are the party of the Northeast and the West Coast.

My question is, can the GOP unmistakably be the anti-abortion party (and the anti-drug, anti-marriage revision, anti-cop hating, anti-underground immigration and anti-tattoo party) and not the government prohibition party at the same time? The problem is that politics is the business of guiding government, which is the realm of lawmaking. But there's this Constitution thingy that is (or was) meant to protect INDIVIDUAL liberty to do ALL of those things. Wuddn't it?

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2016 3:00 PM

November 11, 2015

Carly's Jet vs,. Hillary's Jet

Why, just last week Brothar jg hinted at a possible double standard. HP bought a jet! How Irresponsible!


EXCLUSIVE: Hillary hops on carbon-spewing private Learjet after winning endorsement from environmental group that says fighting global warming is its 'top priority'

Posted by John Kranz at 6:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Last week? This afternoon!

She has downsized though, it would seem. The Lear 60 is a puddle jumper compared to the Gulfstream she once DEMANDED. Baby steps.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2015 7:04 PM

November 10, 2015

Your Secretary Clinton "Cackle of the Day"

In other news, Dr. Ben Carson is in considerable trouble for his not correcting a questioner who called President Obama "A Black Muslim."

Yet, he has a point. That the CEO failed to find, admire, retain, and promote this star employee speaks poorly of her leadership skills.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:37 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It is rich to see Mrs. Clinton shake her head in disgust at, "she bought two jets to fly executives around instead of using commercial aircraft." Clearly that is capricious extravagance on the part of Fiorina and her fat-cat corporate friends, and Hillary Antoinette Clinton is above such pettiness.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2015 12:16 PM

November 4, 2015

Permission to be despondent?

Last week, we had some good-natured persiflage about the geographical spread of leftism eastward from Boulder. Last night's election results are in, and it's over. My home state is lost, and my home state would be required for a realistic chance to spread liberty through the democratic process.

I'll give a brief explanation of these issues for our non Centennial State readers. They truly have national implications in both philosophy and tactics.

The big one was the recall of the "reform board" in Jefferson County. This screengrab captures it completely:

Caption: Union stooges rejoice at another generation of lost children.

Three board members chose to buck the Teachers' Unions and the State's Educational-Financial complex. They increased teachers' pay but instituted merit pay. They challenged the AP History curriculum and even the governing board admitted they were right and instituted changes. They built a new school without debt.

Now these folks are not polished politicians. They made a bucket of enemies in the media, academia, and investment banking community (a new school without bonds? Hey, my kids have to eat Chateaubriand too!). Facing hostile questioning, they made some unforced errors. But these three are exhibit A: proving that citizens can get involved and make a difference. Hahahahahaha! I just slay myself -- no, the Unions got them recalled, almost 2-1.

JeffCo is the "swing" county of our swing state. It has long been said that as JeffCo's suburban moms go, so goes the nation. Well, the nation is going down the tubes. No chance that Colorado will send a GOP senator or any GOP electors in 2016. No chance that the GOP will move toward more liberty positions to attract Mountain Libertarians to capture our ten votes.

Lowell George sang about "weed, whites and wine." The second and more expected loss was about "weed, TABOR, and schools." You have to almost tip your hats at the opposition for this setup.

Colorado's TAxpayer Bill Of Rights (TABOR) is the most magnificent piece of legislation since the Tenth Amendment: government revenues cannot grow faster than population and inflation. If they collect a windfall or seek to outspend, they must ask the voters for approval.

Well, they got a windfall with marijuana tax revenue: a bong-water-firehose of money right into the capitol. TABOR dictates that they have to ask the voters whether they may keep it. So they position it, not as a general rebate, but a rebate to the sellers and tax holiday for users, versus . . . . wait for it . . . more money for schools! Truly South Park worthy, we were asked whether money should go to schools or dope dealers. My side lost.

It's over. Life in a dying empire can be pretty good for a while.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:39 AM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Ah! So next year, when the unions play fairly, and there is no skulduggery, everything will be fine. I was worried for a moment.

I did not really speak to tactics in my post, but much of my despondency is at seeing their success and expecting more of the same.

I enjoyed this apology from 9News (thanks to Colorado Peak Politics), but this election was all mail-in ballots. The lies were postmarked before the truth could look for its trousers.

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2015 12:47 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

No, next election when the unions/PP are pulled in 25 different directions, the vox populi will be better represented with higher turnout.

Permission granted, but not encouraged. It is disappointing that we lost another WALKER moment (and agreed, JK, that the board probably overreached and made too many enemies), but let us note:
- successful recalls in 2013 of Edie Hudak, John Morse and Angela Giron;
- Tea Party'ists (McConnel's vanquished foe) moving into the KY Governor's Mansion (here's hoping Bevan/Hampton become rising stars); GOP now controls 64% of governorship's.
- Even the WaPo is saying Just like the midterms one year ago, it was another awful night for Democrats {hmm, rejecting legalized pot in Ohio noted as a victory for conservatives... I'm holding back on endorsing that one...}
- one can hope the Union's heavy hand in JeffCo and DougCo at least force new boards to acknowledge some of the reforms as useful, and a new, big baleful eye will now be on them for _results_.
- trust in media is at all-time low (Gallup, late Sept. before the CNBC catastrophe)
- pre-election polls once again as wrong as wrong can be (and of course biased towards Dems), thereby throwing Dems into panic.

On that last point, check my assumption: I believe your FB foils will be even more shrill (as if that's possible) in the vein: "the GOP needs change, or will cease to exist as a party." Mine have (and I shun politics on FB) gone from seeing this sort of thing twice per annum, to twice a month!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 4, 2015 12:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some good perspective there, nb. Yes, I was suggesting a larger turnout would have made it closer. But that's not enough. We have to do a better job of retail democracy.

If you followed my CPP link above you could have read this:

If this was a call to action for conservatives, it's a call to organize. To run disciplined and ruthless campaigns. To undercut the union at every turn and to expose unions as the liars they are. To bring boots on the ground and run a 24/7, 365-day-per-year campaign.

Easier said than done, but I see positive developments in party operations toward this end.

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2015 1:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Even more surprising was the failed Douglas County reelection bid of some conservative school board members. As shown here, Republican turnout was higher than Democrat and unaffiliated COMBINED. What gives?

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2015 4:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, yeah, bad news from Douglass too. Thanks for reminding me :)

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2015 6:43 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ah yes, DougCo too. Well, a wave is a wave... I think there was a teacher-based hate wave that swept along many parents (several called into KHOW this AM: "I voted for the Conservative reformers AND for their recall!"). Too much change (including financial), too soon... not enough time to let the reforms prove themselves, maybe?

We can blame our grass roots folks for the aforementioned 2013 recalls as well. We 'mericans generally don't issue recalls for no-confidence, instead reserve them for malfeasance. D'oh!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 4, 2015 11:43 PM

October 22, 2015

Madame Secretary is Killin' it

I have listened to what seems like an hour of the Benghazi hearing, and all of y'all who were expecting Sec. Clinton to break down in tears will be sadly disappointed. She is very good in this is forum and her inquisitors are not. The Republicans seem to be overreaching.

I'm the last to say this is not important; it clearly is and there are many questions to be answered. But the politics ain't there. They are throwing the kitchen sink at her and she comes off as measured and professional.

Thanks to our pal, Rep. McCarthy (WTF - CA), the entire thing is badly besmirched. And the Republican questioners are playing to form.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:16 PM | Comments (9)
But Jk thinks:

Hope so.

Posted by: Jk at October 22, 2015 8:35 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think the GOP did Ok - Gowdy, good; Jordan not as much -- too much droning and presupposing, too little hard questions that caused HERSELF to fumble and get irritated. I did like that Blumenthal was put out there, both for his corrupt scheming and his direct access to HRC when "her friend" Stevens got an unanswered phone.

HRC did OK of giving her hardcore supporters enough sound bytes to keep their egos afloat. Question is, how much will it affect those on the fence?

Hearing gave plenty fodder for GOP Oppo's should she choose to run. Sadly, gross negligence and many, many lies will not qualify her for a special bracelet for her cankles... one can hope for some extra heavy migraines?

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 23, 2015 12:11 AM
But jk thinks:

S'pose. I think she gets the "I demanded to appear and clear my name and after eleventy bazillion dollars, those mean ol' Republicans could not find anything wrong." Plus it exonerates her email troubles for the low-info voter. "I appeared before Congress on that -- they said it was fine."

I think she had very satisfactory answers on the security and the tragic deaths of the diplomatic team. The testimony I have seen was blathering Congressmen pounding on that. She has a pretty good answer: it is dangerous work, it is tragic, we laud their courage, I can't approve every lock, are you going to eat the rest of that pie?

The lies about the video and denial of help got a lot less play. Some tried on general Libya policy, but it's a bad forum for that -- are we investigating malfeasance or questioning policy? It also elevated the stature of Rep. Elijah Cummings (Partisan Hack - MD) for his upcoming Senate Bid.

Perhaps not the unmitigated disaster I see, but a net negative and a missed opportunity.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2015 11:26 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. Congressmen didn't give her enough rope to hang herself. Mostly in the interest of preventing a filibuster, I do understand.

But the point is not to influence voters. This is not a political stunt. The FBI will review every word of this testimony under oath. Electronic communications that belong to the US government went missing, until found elsewhere. That they are damning of her veracity is icing on the cake.

Clinton said publicly, "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted to the Internet."

And in the hearing,

"And if you look at what I said, I referred to the video that night in a very specific way. I said, some have sought to justify the attack because of the video. I used those words deliberately, not to ascribe a motive to every attacker but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks."

Not for either of those reasons, but to cleverly mislead public opinion and reserve a technical escape hatch should the truth ever come to light. It's like parsing multiple meanings of the word "is."

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2015 11:43 AM
But jk thinks:

Our buddy, Kim Strassel ain't buying it: "She knew all along"

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2015 12:12 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, she's an accomplished liar, and provided replies. Probably the fiercest opponent the extremely competent and accomplished Trey Gowdy could ever face.

It's worth repeating "While all answers are replies; not all replies are answers." She did not answer the important questions, and managed to deflect, distort and dissemble (with help from members on both side):
- what was the mission in Benghazi?
- what sort of security should that sort of mission have?

This really leads to scope creep, and would probably be resolved by good answers to 1 and 2: how do we stop the next attack?

Yes, the panel did not properly plant the holly stake, but that was certainly out it's scope. The DOJ needs to do it's job (which we also can't expect), the voters need to do theirs (which we can).

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 23, 2015 1:01 PM

October 19, 2015

This is not immigration reform

Thus speaks Senator Jeff Sessions (Awake, AL) and Dave Brat (Giant Killer, VA), in a powerful letter published in Roll Call, titled:
Memo to GOP: Curb Immigration or Quit

America is about to break every known immigration record. And yet you are unlikely to hear a word about it. This is not immigration reform. This is the dissolution of the nation state, of the principle that a government exists to serve its own people.

This is the tide that started with Kennedy's bill in 1965, and wildly supported by today's progressives (esp. FB and Google billionaires), who never much cared for the idea of a nation state (at least, ours).

According to the Congressional Research Service, from 1945 to 1970 — as the foreign-born population fell — the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw an 82.5 percent increase in their wages. During this time, millions of prior immigrants were able to climb out of the tenements and into the middle class. ... Congressional Research Service reports that during the 43 years between 1970 and 2013 — when the foreign-born population grew 325 percent — incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners fell nearly 8 percent.

I have been seeing these stories, but only in the conservative press.

What is missing from this conversation is a sense of moderation, of limits and of compassion for struggling [citizen] families. It is not caring, but callous, to bring in so many workers that there are not enough jobs for them or those already living here. It is not mainstream, but extreme, to continue surging immigration beyond all historical precedent. And it is not rational, but radical, to refuse to recognize limits.

The fundamental choice is to have a generous welfare state OR open borders. The status quo of "compassion" is that there are no limits, cue Sen. Sanders (FUBAR, VT). I'm less leery of the large numbers of non-english speakers and other non-assimilation statistics, and more worried, that the rush for compassion or cheap labor tramples those who built this country:

After nearly half a century of massive immigration it is time to turn our attention to our own residents.

What say you, fellow freedom lovers?

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:54 PM | Comments (20)
But jk thinks:

No. I thought I had devastated that line of argumentation with my fiendishly clever "And let's put a moratorium on fracking and new energy production. And ban GMO crops."

Something is too small and is growing too slowly and does not really deserve to be controlled directly by government at all -- and you suggest a temporary ban? Let's put a pause on interdictions and give open borders a try -- just for a few years and see how it goes.

We'll compromise and do things my way.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2015 5:47 PM
But jk thinks:

And I do not find a relaxed immigration any more theoretical than a government without income taxes. We had both for well over a hundred years, and see unrestricted migration between states and EU nations.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2015 5:51 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

relaxed immigration ...government without income taxes policies and actions from a very, very different time and place; when it took more than a plane ticket to get here and an anchor-baby to stay. It may come again, even without forming The Independent Rocky Mountain States, but it is not this day, or year.

Open Borders? I have to agree with brother JG that the current environment IS the Welfare State Magnet. Evidence?
1. see the EU putting up razor wire;
2. Those 10-15,000 children brought in (from where?? how did they even get to MX's northern border?!?). WT says

[Obama admin] acknowledged that human traffickers were marketing the journey by pointing out a loophole in U.S. immigration system that requires non-Mexican children to be released into the U.S. while they await final immigration decisions.
then their parents claim the DNA wagon... Wa Times reports there's already another wave on its way.

This is the facts right now; Sessions is working in the here and now, with a lawless president that encourages "takers" and victimhood at every turn, DOJ wielding an ethnic ax that's juicing a crime wave, a medical system being (seemingly by design) torn asunder, "proper" immigration about as realistic as "Common Sense" gun laws, a complicit media and a gutless congress.

Borders being a thing of the past is really a quaint idea and worthy of discussion, but certainly not a policy choice for this day... it hasn't worked much in Europe that I can see...

Yes, restrictions: so we can keep the criminals and terrorists out, so we can track those here and remove the ones who become criminals or like Denmark's infamous "Carina."

I don't mind those that stay and speak more Hmong (or whatever) than English: as long as they adopt JG's desired behaviors, their kids will assimilate. BUT if they do the Parisian-ghetto thing, which POTUS, Sanders and the victim-seeking media apparently crave.... which the current immigration wave is encouraging... then I fear our shining City on the Hill will become just another crowded, oppressed barrio.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 22, 2015 2:15 AM
But jk thinks:

I was responding to the suggestion that unrestricted immigration was theoretical. I lob the same accusation at my anarcho-capitalist friends. But this nation became a continental power without immigration controls or income tax. Possibly difficult to reinstate, but in no way theoretical.

And my modern examples hold. We allow interstate migration, the EU does not control migration between EU countries, all my cousins seem to be employed in Singapore, I don't think it was difficult. So a huge part of the world can today migrate to a large part of the world with no-to-minimal paperwork.

Would ThreeSourcers be troubled if Albertans were allowed to set up shop in Montana or North Dakota? (I will again start offering statehood now that a Trudeau is again PM. Thankfully, not the cartoonist.)

Again, just like drugs, I encounter artifacts of bad law as argument that laws are required. "...a loophole in U.S. immigration system...' " their parents claim the DNA wagon" These are unintended consequences of bad government regulation. If it was the EPA, you'd be calling for them to stand down and heads to roll. But, as it's ICE/INS, I hear calls to double down. A system that does not require so much gaming will not be gamed so much.

Planes? Okay, we'll allow everybody who can endure a month in a rat-infested, tempest tossed ship. Sorry, but I file that with those who think the Second Amendment only applies to muskets. People are free or they ain't. And we either welcome the economic and humanitarian benefits of a growing economy . . . or we support Sen. Sessions.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2015 11:11 AM
But jk thinks:

"Shining city on a hill" calls to mind both John Winthrop (an immigrant) and President Reagan (a strongly pro-immigrant/free trade Republican US President). I find it strange to hear it employed in the cause of Nativism.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2015 11:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I asked if a "proper" immigration stream is theoretical. I didn't realize your definition of proper is "relaxed" or "unrestricted."

Your case for unrestricted immigration is convincing but, I contend, still theoretical. Returning to it is defeated by the combination of the welfare state and democracy. Until we can have a proper government, i.e. a republic, we can't have a proper immigration either.

So yes, bad government requires more bad government, temporarily. The alternative is a duly elected government that willfully discriminates against producers and entrepreneurs. We will see an entrepreneurial spirit among natives and immigrants alike that rivals the old Soviet Union. Don't sign me up.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2015 12:22 PM

September 23, 2015

Otequay of the Ayday

Vice President Joe Biden, who may hop into the race, is 72. Biden has a compelling personal story, but he also is gaffe-prone and must carry the baggage of an administration that has many voters clamoring for change.

--San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders' column yesterday

Gee, where have we heard that before?

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

September 4, 2015

On Trump

I cannot disagree with a word of Jonah Goldberg's G-File today. And while I am rather cheery. Mister G is morose.

We have not, for awhile, talked much about the next President of America if it is not VP Joe Biden, Mister Donald Trump. I stopped talking about him figuring that he would fizzle out. If he did not -- a rare but non-zero possibility -- then I would just give up on electoral politics for all time and hope this great nation remains resilient.

Jonah's ready to say goodbye to The Conservative Movement if it abandons principles in favor of celebrity. So am I but it is not my livelihood. It is to be posted to the website tomorrow, but let's get to some excerpts:

The Bonfire of Principles

If I sound dismayed, it's only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because "Trump fights!"

How many Republicans have been deemed unfit for the Oval Office because of comparatively minor character flaws or ideological shortcomings? Rick Perry in 2012 saw his candidacy implode when he couldn't remember the third item on his checklist of agencies he'd close down. Well, even in that "oops" moment, Rick Perry comes off as Lincolnesque compared with Donald Trump.

This is my problem. I thought we were the party of ideas and principles and Trump has neither. He truly is Bill O'Reilly but O'Reilly has better hair.

I had been looking forward to the primaries and the debates. We as a nation were going to discuss the proper role of government for the first time in 100 years. Govs. Christie and Bush may make their case for compassionate conservatism. Sens. Paul and Cruz can espouse libertarian ideas, Sen. Graham's muscularism, Sen. Santorum and Gov Huckabee's traditional values . . . bring it baby, we are going to argue and decide.

Umm, no.

I understand the Noltean compulsion to celebrate anyone who doesn't take crap from the mainstream media. But when Newt Gingrich brilliantly eviscerated the press in 2012, there was a serious ideological worldview behind it. Trump's assaults on the press have only one standard: whether the journalist in question is favorable to Trump or not. If a journalist praises him, that journalist is "terrific." If the journalist is critical of Trump he is a "loser" (or, in my case, a loser who can't buy pants). Not surprisingly, Hugh Hewitt is now "third rate" because he made Trump look bad. I'm no fan of Arianna Huffington or Gail Collins, but calling them "dogs" because they criticized you is not a serious ideological or intellectual retort. (It's not even clever.) I think Trump did insinuate that Megyn Kelly was menstruating during the debate. He denies it. Fine. But what in the world about his past would lead someone to give him the benefit of the doubt? This is the same man who said, "You know, it doesn't really matter what [the media] write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass."

I have been concerned that the GOP may soon go so anti-immigration that I will not be able to stick around. It's a winning issue and the Democrats are going all in on the other side (I think Martin O'Malley might recommend sending armed troops down to Mexico to drag unwilling emigrants into Arizona where we'll build a new wall to keep them in).

Likewise the Planned Parenthood videos will inspire the pro Life wing. I'll "Stand with Rand" to defund the horrid publicly funded lobby organization that is Planned Parenthood. But that wing is not dormant (nor should they be -- I understand the timbre of their argument even though I do not subscribe), and success will breed enthusiasm.

I wonder who will join Gov. Christie in promising to shut down Colorado's (blindingly positive) experiment in drug freedom? That will be very popular at the SW Weld County GOP breakfast. They think Amendment 64 is an abomination and I'd surmise the GOP caucus goers in Iowa and primary voters in South Carolina agree.

I'm a pragmatic, half-a-loaf guy. But I can see these three falling against me and my not having a home in the party. If we get that and Trump . . .

Adam Smith reminds:

If a nation could not prosper without the enjoyment of perfect liberty and perfect justice, there is not in the world a nation which could ever have prospered.

Smith, Adam (2015-01-26). The Wealth of Nations

I'll have given it my best shot.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:58 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

Sagacious counsel, nb. But if I may point out the dark cloud in that solver lining, yes Trump may be a distant bad memory, but the massive number of Republicans ready to support him will remain.

I'm a big boy and proud blog pragmatist. I am totally used to disagreeing with a large swath of my beloved "stupid party," but I had so hoped to see a new birth of appreciation for liberty in 2016. Not. Gonna. Happen. The type of candidate I'd like to see would get wiped out.

On the other hand, I am really enjoying Ms. Fiorina.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2015 10:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The type of candidate we'd like to see DID get wiped out. His name was Rand Paul.

I've been thinking about this "he has no principles" charge against Trump. Well, to the extent any of the other career politician candidates have principles, I don't trust them to hold them inviolable. I fully expect political expediency to trump those "closely held principles." So really we are left with, "What difference, at this point, does it make? Were they well-meaning but rudderless patriots trying to 'Make America Great Again' or were they preening pretenders who let us down, again?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2015 11:54 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The main problem, I'm afraid, is the awful contest of preening-ship that politics have become. Face it, DT has not won a single vote that goes towards the nomination... not a one. Even the media pundits (our beloved Jonah included) admit: while we are still debating the effectiveness and direction of all this, this is fun!

I thought we were the party of ideas and principles and Trump has neither
Both parties' sausage-factories are too invested in self aggrandizement (a developed form of self-preservation) to get too wrapped up in principles, IMO.

Against this dark backdrop - which has ever been the case, when you get right down to it, even for the majority of enlightened despots in history - is the bright, shining light of (to cite a meme) "the power of a free society."

The only types still heeding Obama are the haters, and luckily this class-envy approach (of which Sanders is captive) is self-destructive. Goldberg is even less sanguine
on the Dems' next white hope.

Obama's ego will not allow any oxygen into the political tent (which has held the GOP's weak leadership at bay), as Hillary is discovering, but as Jonah notes above, neither she nor Bernie can ride the horse that BHO has set loose.

On a brighter note, I think that Carly and Ted Cruz are having a lively debate; I just hope they don't run out of O2 before the primaries begin. Trump would make a decent (a china shop, long in need of a bull, IMO) Sec. of Treasury, methinks!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 8, 2015 11:58 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm going to go with nanobrewer on this one; I think I've mentioned before that a Cruz/Fiorina ticket would get my vote. Putting Trump in Treasury with a mandate to inflict some "creative destruction" (hey, I wouldn't mind seeing a SecTreas who's read Schumpeter) would be an interesting bonus.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 8, 2015 1:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Quick point of order: does anybody really think Mr. Trump has read Schumpeter? Anything?

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2015 2:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, it's certainly possible given that he earned a B.S. in Economics at Wharton. It is a state school though (UPenn) so I'm not betting the farm on it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 10, 2015 1:51 PM

July 30, 2015


Judge Andrew Napolitano does not mince words at Reason.

I have not seen the emails the inspectors general sent to the FBI, but I have seen the Clinton emails, which are now in the public domain. They show Clinton sending or receiving emails to and from her confidante Sid Blumenthal and one of her State Department colleagues using her husband's foundation's server, and not a secure government server. These emails address the location of French jets approaching Libya, the location of no-fly zones over Libya and the location of Stevens in Libya. It is inconceivable that an American secretary of state failed to protect and secure this information.

But it is not inconceivable that she would lie about it.

But some dentist shot a lion.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:49 PM | Comments (0)

What about Carly?

She gave a powerful speech at the RR library last week, and she'll be able to dish it out to the Dowager Empress with both her pump-shod shoes (can we have a category for First Pit Bull?).

On my first day in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls. The first will be to my friend Bibi Netanyahu. I will reassure him that the United States will always stand with the State of Israel. My second call will be to the Supreme Leader of Iran. He might not take the call, but he will get the message

She speaks powerfully about "America" but it so-so on the liberty front, IIRC. Discuss?

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:53 AM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Kamala? Yes, I was wondering when to begin needling you about that.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 4:04 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

There's not a thing you can say about Harris that will move my needle off the rage peg with her. A watchdog group collects evidence and confessions about the Mengelesque ghouls at Planned Parenthood and their baby-parts chop-shop, and Harris announces an investigation... of the whistleblowers. Planned Parenthood, in the meantime, gets a complete pass. No matter which side of the abortion debate you're on, these revelations should make your skin crawl. I kinda went all vein-popping ragey last night on Facebook about it. And Harris is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the California far-left. In a righteous society, she and her ilk would be shunned -- or worse.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 4:33 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

For the record: http://bit.ly/1M0gF0b

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

dagny and I would be overjoyed with Carly as the nominee. Or the veep, but top of the ticket is better.

Only problem I see with it is if Hilary craters and it's her against a handsome young Democrat male. The Democrats are much better at the "War on Women" than Republicans ever were.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 5:19 PM
But Jk thinks:

I wouldn't call Gov. Hickenlooper "handsome." Maybe a certain rugged good looks...

Posted by: Jk at July 30, 2015 11:35 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ah, what a fresh take with nary a word wafted about that wanton self-promoter.

Yes, she'd be a dynamite VP selection - she won't be "handled" by anyone! - and is indeed "pugilistic, but respectful" and does not flail. She's been flaying the political talk show circuit (look up her schooling of Jake Tapper), and like the now-dormant Sen. Rand and the live-n-kicking Sen. from TX, been throwing back the media caca right down their righteous throats.

I for one, am soooo happy that the leading lights of the GOP are not accepting the media narrative on just about anything (hear that, Jeb?).

PowerLine's Scott Johnson was powerfully impressed by her appearance in Norwalk:

She described the roles of Lady Liberty and Lady Justice in American symbolism. The listener can conclude that Carly is both. The female listener can think, “And it is about time a woman is in charge.” But she didn’t say either thing directly. A conclusion that a listener reaches by herself is more strongly held. That was a masterful touch of persuasion.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 31, 2015 12:49 AM

July 28, 2015


I hate to risk opening a new front in l'Affaire Trump. But from a pure political-game-theory perspective, I have been bucking conventional wisdom sub rosa -- and am now ready to come out.

I do not accept that a third party run from Trump would guarantee a Democrat victory. In fact, depending on the final tickets, the difference could be minimal-to-perhaps positive. There will be no shortage of disaffected Democrats if Sec. Clinton, Sen. Warren or Sen. Sanders leads the ticket. Perhaps a Sec. Jon Kerry, VP Joe Biden, or Gov. Hickenlooper (dammit, the country needs him!) could hold the Scots-Irish-Straight-White-Guy-Working-class vote. But if they nominate a commie or affirmative action candidate, Trump might look pretty good to that segment.

I don't know if it is backup or not, but Paul Gigot ends the Potomac Watch podcast [mp3] with a good story of then Sen. Al Gore's (No Controlling Authority - TN) misjudging Ross Perot's effect. No guarantee what it would do -- and it certainly depends on the other nominees.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:51 PM | Comments (7)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This far in front of the elections, polls are fairly useless, not much more than popularity contests in a high-school slam book. That being said, if an NBC/Marist poll told me it was dark outside, I'd still go to the window to check.

Trump is riding a popularity wave right now because he's saying things, and saying them passionately, that people wish their preferred candidate would say. He's not PC and can't be bought by the donor class. If other candidates who are better qualified were saying these things, Trump's ratings would vaporize. But their not. Except for Ted Cruz' exhibition in the Senate calling McConnell a liar, most of the candidates are being inoffensive, polite, and subdued.

Trump (dare I say this?) is a lot like Ron Paul. Ron Paul may be a head case, but sixty percent of what he said resonated with people, and other candidates weren't saying it. People want their candidate to have some fire in the belly, and show it. For example, on illegal immigration by violent criminals - it got revealed that nearly 3,000 homicides just in Texas (cite: http://bit.ly/1HZYp2Y). And there's the Steinle murder. People are pissed off. They want a candidate to be pissed off about it. They don't want a candidate who is sorta concerned but can take it in stride and remain civil. Good God, man, 3,000 homicides! If someone isn't angry to his core over that, the people want to know why not!

Trump is demagogue enough and showman enough to put it out there that he's royally pissed off. He's giving people red meat, and people don't want tofurkey and quinoa right now. Tokurkey and quinoa aren't going to pull this nation back from the brink.

Truth: a decade ago, Trump said he idenified more with Democrats than with Republicans. Truth: Trump has gone on record favoring a single-payor federalized medical system, like England's or Canada's. Truth: Trump has been a big Hildebeest supporter. People who aren't political junkies like us don't know that. What they know is that Trump is angry about the things they're angry about. There are LIVs on the right, just like there are on the left. If there weren't, Mike Huckabee would be off in a parsonage somewhere right now like Father Mackenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.

I got posed a question this morning. How would I vote if next November, my choices were limited to this:

* DEM: Hillary!
* GOP: ¡Jeb!
* THIRD PARTY: The Donald

I had to think about it. Right now, I'd be torn between pulling the handle for Trump, if for no other reason than to give a giant middle finger to the GOP Establishment, and just sitting it out and hoping the nation would survive.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 28, 2015 7:30 PM
But jk thinks:

@nb: I am suggesting this is different than 2000. Aside from some old ladies in Palm Beach who couldn't understand the butterfly ballots, Nader pulled overwhelmingly from Gore and, the election being close, gave the win to GW Bush.

In '92, Perot probably pulled from both sides, but disproportionately from GHWB, giving us "The Clinton Years." (The lovely bride is a remorseful Perotista.)

I'm claiming that a 3rd-party Trump run would not pull as disproportionately from the GOP as claimed. He speaks (as my blog brother jg loves to remind me) to disaffection in the GOP base. In a general, I think he would find a lot of disaffection on both sides.

@ka: Nossir, I am a fusionist whether it is in fashion or not. I'll do what I can to have the party choose somebody more liberty-leaning than Gov. Bush (Common Core - FL), but if that's who we get, I am in. Likewise, I would ask supporters of Gov. Huckabee (No gag in spirit of teamwork - AR) to swallow hard and pull the lever for Rand Paul.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2015 9:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The Trump effect is already working. I attribute Cruz's throwdown with McRulingClass and Huckabee's "lead them to the ovens" comment to a recognition in professional political circles that the people really can "handle the truth!" In fact, they're starved for it.

And we can thump for party unity all we want... voters have shown that they'll stay home if the candidate is a RINO (2008) or a lillypad (2012.) Like them, I can't see myself voting for Bush. Not that I have any issue with the man, but the cabal he is in thrall to is the greatest cause of "the brink" to which br'er KA refers. (Hillary is too, but again - at least the party of socialism will get the credit/blame for whatever happens.)

The thing I admire about the Trump candidacy is that he is a businessman, not a politician. I want to see more businessmen run for political office. I want to see the big money donors put their own names on the ticket, not merely prop up a Manchurian Candidate whom everyone knows, or suspects, is his puppet.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2015 2:45 PM
But jk thinks:

And the light on Hwy 7 and Lowell was just green -- that's because Trump is not afraid to tell people what is what!


Posted by: jk at July 29, 2015 4:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I find your "confirmation-bias" charge to be thinly supported.

What about the businessman thing? Any comment on that?

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 2:10 PM
But Jk thinks:

A business background with some political experience is a big plus on a candidate's resume. Mr. Trump -- and my new favorite, Ms. Florida -- have too little political experience. I wouldn't refrain from voting for either on that basis, but it is uphill.

We have been extremely critical of politicians, candidates, authors, pundits, filmmakers, and entertainers on these pages when they've dared deviate from ideological purity. We're not quite libertarians who make perfect the enemy of the good, but it's a tough room. And I like it like that.

Trump is a Bill O'Reilly candidate who shouts whatever pops into his head. I see zero connection to Liberty or any cohesive governing philosophy. And he pulls the media spotlight from those who have it.

Posted by: Jk at July 31, 2015 8:20 AM

July 27, 2015

Headline of the Day

Dowager Empress of Chappaqua's 'Campaign' Gets More Bad Polling News -- Michael Walsh
Posted by John Kranz at 5:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2015

Better news

All Hail Taranto -- but all hail survey respondents in the Centennial State:

If Hillary Clinton weren't inevitable, one might begin to wonder if she's really going to be the next president. A new Quinnipiac poll finds Mrs. Clinton "in trouble" in three swing states: Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. In each of them, she trails all three of the top candidates for the Republican nomination.

In Colorado, Mrs. Clinton trails Jeb Bush 41% to 36%, Scott Walker 47% to 38% and Marco Rubio 46% to 38%

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

July 8, 2015

All Hail!



Jonah (Trump Bad Deal for GOP):

History is full of failed men who mistook flattery for insight.
Better to play a Cincinnatus who won't relinquish his plow -- or in this case, his line of cologne.
In his announcement speech -- the brevity and discipline of which were impressive only by the standards of Fidel Castro or Joe Biden -- Trump shouted his certainty that Mexico is sending rapists and other criminals to America, but he could only "assume" (sotto voce) that "some" of those Mexicans are good people. -- Jonah Goldberg

Posted by John Kranz at 2:25 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Great news on breakfast.

"Et tu" expresses frustration with the number of Trump supporters I see in the Right-Wing-Crazies fold of my Facebook friends. I strongly disagree that Trump's candidacy is positive. I am in Goldberg's camp: when I ask a moderate to consider voting for the GOP in 2016, his or her opinion of the party will be somewhat shaped by Trump's style and substance. That's a bad thing.

Should the party represent the interests of the average registered Republican? You can put me down as a "no." Elitist scum that I am. (Post coming soon about Ace's Middle Class vs. Comfortable Class).

Posted by: jk at July 10, 2015 10:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You've given a false dichotomy: Should the party represent the interests of the entrenched big government RINOs or should it represent the interests of the average registered Republican?

Can't we all get along? Can't we all live side by side in peaceful harmony, drinking ice cold Coca Cola? Even sharing it with our moderate friends? Yes - if the party represents republican (little r) principles, not this group or that group's "interests."

C'mon, man.

Posted by: johngalt at July 10, 2015 1:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Seriously, how many millenials have ever seen this?

Posted by: johngalt at July 10, 2015 1:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, I dunno, man...

You imply that one is an interest and one is not. I think we both seek a party that pursues principle and one that seeks the best principles.

The rank-and-file, grassroots, populist, middle class, party members have a lot of wrong ideas. I get queasy when I see a candidate feeding into that, be it Sen. Santorum, Gov. Huckabee, Mr. Trump (sir!), Senator Cruz, or Senator Paul who I hear is bashing "Sanctuary Cities" today. I don't know the details but it sounds opportunistic at the least.

Do I want these good people fired up in the Primary voting their hearts? Again, I'm leaning toward no.

Posted by: jk at July 10, 2015 2:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Don't know if it adds to the debate, but Jonah remains all-in:

There have been times in the past when I’ve gotten crosswise with certain segments of the conservative base and/or with the readership of NATIONAL REVIEW. And, because, like the Elephant Man, I am a not an animal but a human being, I have always had at least some self-doubt. That’s as it should be. People who share principles should not only hear each other out when they disagree; they should be able to see each other’s points and hold open the possibility that one’s opponents have the better argument.

This is not one of those times, at least not for me.

I truly, honestly, and with all my heart and mind think Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters are making a yuuuuuuge mistake. I think they are being conned and played. I feel like a guy whose brother is being taken advantage of by a grifter. I’m watching helplessly as the con artist congratulates him for taking out a third mortgage.

Posted by: jk at July 10, 2015 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It seems we are talking past each other again.

I am not a Trump supporter. Okay, I understand you are railing against thems that is. Fair enough.

But my pleasure lies, besides watching hoi oligoi get all squirmy and disgusted, in seeing the public dialog get fired up, not the well-meaning folks who pick the wrong solutions to government induced problems. You see, I believe they are smart enough to support the right ideas, just as soon as they hear them.

Posted by: johngalt at July 10, 2015 4:32 PM

June 23, 2015


Possible sub-head: 'The modern reprise of Don Quixote.'

Since the wee hours of the TEA Party movement I've been pleading for elected representatives to call shenanigans on the Washington "establishment" that fleeces the citizenry while telling us "we're looking out for you." My representative, Congressman Ken Buck (A Republic - CO) is proving to be such a man.

While he angered my fellow liberty and conservative activists by not walking the plank in a futile effort to oust Speaker Boehner (Washington D.C. - OH) he proved his constitutional bona fides by being one of only 34 courageous Republicans to vote NO on the TPA bill, aka "Obamatrade." And now he is fundraising on it.


Bully, Congressman! I'm in. Don't tell dagny but I put my money where my blogging is.

Join me by visiting Ken's donate page. He suggested $25, which sounded fair to a tightwad like me.

From the "courageous Republicans" link above:

"Americans should be proud that 34 Republicans put their country before their political party today," Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning tells Breitbart News. "Their vote to stop Obamatrade dead in its tracks is one that sets the stage for tomorrow's defeat of enabling him to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other treaties. The nation owes these 34 heroes a debt of gratitude."
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:45 AM | Comments (14)
But dagny thinks:

dagny (never been wrong) Poppins would like to know: What does this bill actually do? Anyone? Beuller??

Posted by: dagny at June 23, 2015 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Cato's Nine Myths is a good place to start. When the President negotiates a free trade agreement, it says Congress will give him an up-down vote with no amendments. Like the base closure, this helps agreements avoid derailment by hyper-interested parties.

As noted by the CRS, "TPA reflects decades of debate, cooperation, and compromise between Congress and the executive branch in finding a pragmatic accommodation to the exercise of each branch's respective authorities over trade policy.” It represents a "gentleman's agreement" between the legislative branch and the executive branch—with the former promising the latter "fast track" rules for the requisite congressional approval of an FTA, if, and only if, the latter (i) agrees to follow a detailed set of congressional "negotiating objectives" for the agreement's content; and (ii) engages in a series of consultations with Congress on that content. As discussed more fully below, each branch of government retains its constitutional authority to abandon this gentleman's agreement, but doing so will essentially kill any hope of signing and implementing new FTAs. So, with limited exceptions, Congress and the executive toe the line.
Posted by: jk at June 23, 2015 3:58 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

This thread made me go back and read Republicans Should Vote No On Trade Promotion Authority by Hinderocker @ PowerLine.

Some basic quotes for the analysis (much more basic and example driven than CATO's):

the main focus [these days] now is on non-tariff barriers. If we are talking about quotas, fine; free traders will say, get rid of them. But it isn’t that simple. Environmental regulation, or the lack thereof, can also be considered a non-tariff barrier. There is a real risk that a liberal administration may use trade negotiations to commit the United States to domestic policies that Congress would never pass.

TPP also includes provisions on immigration that promote the “mobility of labor.” Will TPP commit the U.S. to allowing even more immigration of low-skill workers, on top of the historically unprecedented levels we are already accommodating? No one seems to know, or be willing to say.

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 24, 2015 1:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the Hinderacker link, nb. I'll excerpt further...

There are many reasons to oppose TPA, and the TPP it will almost assuredly beget. The one that is of utmost concern to me is the provision that threatens to subjugate the US Constitutional Republic to an international governing body:

Further, TPP would establish a commission that can enter into new agreements so that TPP is a "living document." We know how well that works.

Senator Jeff Sessions, the Republican in Washington who most looks out for American workers, is adamantly opposed to granting President Obama fast track authority:

A vote for fast-track is a vote to erase valuable procedural and substantive powers of Congress concerning a matter of utmost importance involving the very sovereignty of this nation. Without any doubt, the creation of this living commission with all its powers will erode the power of the American people to directly elect—or dismiss from office—the people who impact their lives.

The Democrats want us to be like the European Union, where millions of people are ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels, and national interests are subordinated to the welfare of the trans-national class of the rich, fashionable and politically connected.

What is so critical about this trade pact that we must risk anything remotely like this? Yes I support trade. But I am also an American exceptionalist. TPP and TPA threaten to relegate the American experiment to the dustbin of history. At least until a new generation of winter soldiers wins back our liberty from an even more sinister crown.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2015 11:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Re: The call for a Sanders filibuster, it is neither mean nor unfair. Dems traditionally oppose trade agreements because of union influences. Most of them also oppose TPA because of the boost it promises to multinational corporate cronyism - one of the same objections named by the Republican Congressman Buck.

We have a kumbaya moment here, and my blog brother doesn't see it. Let me remind you where we have common cause with 90% of Americans.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2015 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I must renege on something I said yesterday - yes, I do believe that TPA is UNconstitutional in addition to supraconstitutional.

dagny did not believe my assertion that the Constitution requires a two-thirds approval vote by the Senate on international treaties. Article II. Section 2. paragraph 2:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

[emphasis mine]

TPA undoes this. And with the prohibition of the procedural filibuster, even undoes the 60 vote margin that TPA barely squeaked by with. 51 votes now, to approve any trade related* treaty POTUS desires. James Madison, call your office.

*There is no requirement that the treaty deal exclusively with trade.

Posted by: johngalt at June 25, 2015 3:12 PM

June 8, 2015

Say Something Nice...

The final and best word about l-affaire Caitlyn Jenner comes from -- wait a minute, I thought for a second you said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) [sic] says Caitlyn Jenner is welcome in the Republican Party.

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that aired Sunday, the presidential candidate commented on Jenner, formerly Bruce, who recently made her debut after completing a gender transition.

"If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be safe and have a prosperous economy, vote for me. I'm into addition. I haven't walked into her shoes. I don't have all the answers to the mysteries of life. I can only imagine the torment that Bruce Jenner went through. I hope she has found peace," Graham said.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2015

Our Long National Nightmare is Over!

I know you've seen this, but we cannot let it pass un-ridiculed.

Former Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He then spoke about his priorities as president should he be elected, focusing primarily on his foreign policy goals.

First, the D should be replaced by a '?,' '*' for MS-DOS users, or '%' for SQL. Second, we must pause to appreciate his bold suggestion: "let's join the world and go metric!"

Read about it in his new book "The Audacity of Grams!"

Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | Comments (13)
But johngalt thinks:

You mean the 383, I suspect. That one always stumped me but like everything else Mopar, I'm sure the engineers had a reason. Even if it was as simple as, "Let's make the marketing clowns who insist on a low displacement big block wish they never made us do this."

And for your reading pleasure, The Gospel According to John. (Although I'm a .40S&W guy.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2015 11:29 AM
But jk thinks:

A friend had the 351 Cleveland in his Maverick (as good a car as Sen. John McCain was a presidential candidate). He was pretty proud -- and it did go.

The joy of the 383 was you could buy an old block and punch it out to higher displacment.

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2015 12:05 PM
But jk thinks:

And: hahahahahahahaha! Great link.

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2015 12:08 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Nope and nope. I was actually talking about the 427 Side-Oiler. I'm pretty sure most people hear 427 and immediately think Chevy. I guess what I was looking at was that setting aside brand loyalty, if I was writing a list of manly engines identified by CID, I'd still have included one of the Bosses, but skipped the Ford 427 for something like the 454, 440 Magnum, or 426 Hemi.

And yeah, you can surprise a lot of people and get into a lot of trouble driving a Maverick with a 351.

Posted by: AndyN at June 5, 2015 12:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It was nice when we recognized cars, or at least brands, by their engine displacement. That meant we knew a little something about the engine. Now the only thing most people know about engines is if the little engine-shaped light on the dashboard comes on, take it to the shop. Pathetic.

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2015 2:07 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

True confessions: yeah, I'm a Ford guy, and I thought including a token Mopar 383 would demonstrate my commitment to disversity and inclusiveness. The 383 sticks in my mind because I've had the misfortune of having to work on one. Oddly enough, when I was enrolled in Driver's Training, it was in a Plymouth Fury 3 with a 383, and whatever else you could say about it, the thing could get onto the freeway in a hurry.

"Most people hear 427 and immediately think Chevy." Speaking as an American male who's had the privilege of sitting, for ten glorious minutes, in a 1966 Shelby Cobra, I can honestly say that Chevy doesn't come to mind.

JG, I nod my head in somber agreement with your final comment. There are few things sadder than two men staring into the open hood of a car by the side of the road, and one of them holding a set of wrenches and muttering "I used to be able to fix these things..." The world ended when the four-barrel Holley got replaced by the Blue Screen of Death.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 5, 2015 4:30 PM

June 1, 2015

Tweet of the Day

UPDATE: Backstory plus many more...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2015


I don't know about you guys, but I am starting to think Sen. Bernie Sanders (Iwannabuyamericancrap - VT) may not get the coveted Reason Magazine endorsement:

Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:
"I hope, in fact, all across the board, we begin to focus on rebuilding our manufacturing sector so that we create millions of jobs in products made in the United States."

And listening to the charming Ms. James' foreign accent, I hope we can begin to focus on employing more Americans in our free-market think tanks! No I don't.

"... a museum owned by the people of America, a museum that talks about our own history, cannot even have products manufactured in the United States by American workers, we have some very, very serious problems."

I agree, Senator. And all of those very, very serious problems originated in the buildings you occupy.

Want American goods to cost less? Eliminate a few of the burdensome taxes and regulations that price American workers out of the market for many, many jobs. According to BLS, the "hourly compensation costs in manufacturing" for the USA is $35.53 and for China and India is $1.36 and $1.17, respectively.*

It is unclear whether this includes overhead components like unemployment "insurance" or income taxes, but it certainly doesn't include the extra costs of regulatory compliance by employers.

* BLS explanation for putting China and India on a completely separate chart, several pages away from the rest of the world: "Due to various data gaps and methodological issues, compensation costs for China and India are not directly comparable to each other or with the data for other countries found in this release, and therefore are presented separately." Or maybe it's just because it would barely register on the same chart.

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2015 11:04 AM

May 29, 2015

Really, Aren't we All to Blame?

Jim Geraghty [subscribe] suggests no, it is not "the system."

Over at the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof rushes to blame the country as a whole for the Clintons' actions: "The problem is not precisely the Clintons. It's our entire disgraceful money-based political system . . . Most politicians are good people. Then they discover that money is the only fuel that makes the system work and sometimes step into the bog themselves."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Bill and Hillary weren't hitting the $700,000-per-speech-in-Nigeria circuit because they want to self-finance her campaign -- at least, as far as we know. Bill and Hillary don't want that money as "fuel to make the system work." (Jeff Jacoby calculates that the Clintons' average speaking fee is nearly five times what the median U.S. household earns per year.) They want their $30 million per year for themselves -- although we know they don't spend it on private jets, because the Clinton Foundation already pays for all of their travel expenses.

A major change from the America of a generation ago is that people who run official nonprofits like charities expect to be compensated on a scale comparable to corporate CEOs.

If you suggest vastly reducing the financial power of government so that fewer dollars find their best use on K Street -- sign me up for your team. But the hand wringing of the Kristof set is tiresome. They push relentlessly to give government more and more control -- then they decry the "corporate interest in politics!"

This, however, is at least a new twist: not blaming the Clintons because the system is so corrupt. That is rich.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:19 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:


What is the secular equivalent of "The Devil made me do it?" I've never thought about that before but if one doesn't believe in God he can hardly believe in the Devil, right? Hmmm...

The lust for power to subjugate others and appropriate their wealth to myself made me do it?
Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2015 11:44 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Human nature."

Bill and the Hildebeast were just ordinary folks like you and me, but when exposed to all that darn power, money, and corruption, well, human nature kicked in, and they were just weak and corruptible, just like all of us.

There's your secular equivalent right there - fallible human nature.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 29, 2015 2:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You know what? Just to be a little contrary and be the Devil's Advocate (see what I did there?), I'm going to agree with Kristof.

(Wait, wut?)

Go with me on this for a minute or three. "It's our entire disgraceful money-based political system..." That's the money quote, and I'm going to agree with it - not from the issue of money in the campaign and election process, but from the aspect of the existence of lobbyists. We all decry the lobbyists - on both sides of the aisle. Everyone agrees that lobbyists pledging contributions in return for favors is a baaaaaaad thing. Anyone want to argue that? Didn't think so.

Here's a thought question for you: why do lobbyists exist? Why is there a cadre of suits in DC dispensing all this money to politicos in the first place? ANSWER: because they get more out of it than they put into it. The government has billions to dispense. The lobbyist, whether he's writing a check for a million to get a government contract on uranium that will profit him a billion, or delivering $200,000 in return for a guarantee of a a hundred million to be made on an exclusive Haitian mining deal, or $500,000 is return for ten million in subsidies for your solar wind farm or your electric car, you're getting a huge return on investment. If you stand to lose a billion dollars because of the Keystone Pipeline, then a million-dollar bribe is a very good investment.

Policitians can be bribed because they have something worth selling. A Senator will accept a million-dollar "contribution" in his own checking account, in exchange for a hundred million dollars in taxpayer money.

I submit that there is merit in getting money out of the political system - but what I'm talking about is money controlled by the officeholder. If the congressman, the secretary of state, or the President being discussed has nothing to sell, he'll have no buyers.

The Founders gave us a system with a small central government with limited powers for a reason. When all the federal government does is protect the borders, guarantee a few basic rights to the citizenry, and act as the spokesman of the collected States to foreign governments, they don't have a lot to sell. No industries to subsidize or bail out, no anti-dog-eat-dog regulations to pass on behalf of their chums, no sweet government cheese to hand out.

It sounds like a good system. Maybe we should try it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 29, 2015 3:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well yes, sure, we would all follow "human nature..." if we were animals. If that were true, every other president in history would have had his own shell corporation too.

No, the Clintons are anything but usual humans. I'm good with "animals."

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2015 3:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Actually, it's government's fault that Bill and Hillary Clinton raped it. Repeatedly. And continually. Government shouldn't have worn such a short blue dress!

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2015 3:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The taxpayers were asking for it...

Hey, I just got a phone call from a guy named Albert Bacon Fall. He says somebody in the Arkansas Mafia owes him an apology.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 29, 2015 3:37 PM

May 28, 2015

All Hail Remy!

The last word on Sen. Sanders and the food/deodorant paradox:

Posted by John Kranz at 9:34 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:
"Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to have a crusty old white guy from Vermont tell them what they 'need.'"

At the end of the day, I don't need 14 different political parties to choose from in every election. Two is enough for me. See ya, Bernie.

Posted by: johngalt at May 28, 2015 3:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not done with you yet, Bernie. I may need to come back every day for a week with more slaps to your primitive face.

We don't really need a thousand different models of smart phones. Really, the Obamaphone is good enough for everyone, isn't it? Or so many competing service providers. All they do is waste money on stupid commercials that could be spent feeding children instead. So get your pasty white a$$ over to Commerce and tell them to quit with the anti-trust actions already. We don't need more than one company doing any one thing.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2015 11:51 AM

May 27, 2015


Usually, a Conservative news outlet might use an unflattering photo of an ideological opponent. I have seen a bucketload of bad pictures of Sec. Clinton.

But. This. Is. Devastating. They are missing only the monocles, else the new Monopoly® box would be complete:


Posted by John Kranz at 5:19 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

You're right... I can clearly see that she "cares about people like [me.]"


"But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I wanna be that champion."
Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2015 5:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Pahdon me, do you have any Grey Poupon®?

Posted by: jk at May 27, 2015 5:53 PM
But jk thinks:

So interesting that this comes up this week. Because I was thinking about starting JK LLC -- that would serve as a "pass through" entity designed to "channel payments to me."

Any of you guys have experience with this?

Posted by: jk at May 27, 2015 6:37 PM

May 21, 2015

Tweet of the Day

Hat-tip, Insty, who says "Heh" and has a couple more.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Is it just this older machine of mine (a Win7 system is finally on order) or is Insty everybit as bad as PowerLine for aggressive shockwave/plug-ins?

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 22, 2015 2:37 PM
But Jk thinks:

No, sad to say you are correct. I think I have some malware as well, Insty is impossible to view in IE. I have an instance Chrome that I use for that. I may need to rebuild the whole machine.

Posted by: Jk at May 23, 2015 6:21 PM

May 20, 2015

"Ridin' with Biden"

The Democrats who want to win the White House are not, it seems, Ready for Hillary. Not seven years ago, and not today.

Once a self-described "vociferous" Clinton supporter--he went door-to-door in New Hampshire with Bill in '92--he chose Obama in early '07 despite his historical ties with the Clintons. "It's more than charisma; it's more than the ability to emote; it's the ability to speak to 25,000 people and have every one of them feel you're speaking to them. Clinton had it, Bush had it, Obama had it, Reagan had it. Joe Biden has it--he can bring people to tears. She ain't got it."

Reading stories like this makes me feel a bit sorry for her - until I see her picture or hear her laugh. Then I return to my usual perspective.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:24 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Back in the day, [Sid] Blumenthal was a respected (read: well-connected and establishment) journalist attached to outlets such as The New Republic, where he got his start. Despite a twee exterior and generally prissy demeanor that made Tony Randall seem like the Brawny Paper Towel pitchman in comparison, Blumenthal's nastiness and willingness to fling shit like a howler monkey in heat earned him the sobriquet "Sid Vicious," because, well, you know there's really not much difference between a New Republic and New Yorker kind of guy and the junk-addicted, homicidal bassist for the Sex Pistols, amirite. -- Nick Gillespie
Honorable mention (same piece):
As The New York Times reports, Blumenthal remained a trusted adviser to Clinton when she was secretary of state, despite not really knowing what the hell he was talking about.
Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2015

First Daughter-Lady?

Apparently a woman can be president, but a man cannot be first lady. Or is it just that the "diplomacy of social functions" is "women's work?" Either way, it's pretty sexist dontcha think?

Chelsea Clinton could take on role of first lady if Hillary wins, White House expert says

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:52 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

President Jackson used a niece when his opponents quite literally drove Rachel mad with cruel campaigning (when somebody says X is shaping to be the meanest year in politics, walk away quietly...)

I'd call FLOTUS-Chelsea good strategy. Hell, even I miss Bill cutting the Cap Gains Tax and signing Nafta & GATT, and facilitating China's inclusion in the WTO. But ain't nobody misses him hanging around the White House and dealing with the staff. Smart move on her part to diffuse that.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2015 4:22 PM

May 12, 2015

Quote of the Day

Penn Jillette watches the candidates' announcement videos so you don't have to:

Mike Huckabee: He has the best name. It's abbreviated "Huck" and that brings to mind one of my favorite books and it rhymes with my favorite word. He plays bass, he's pretty funny and he lost a lot of weight -- what's not to like? Everything else. Also not one word about ideas of government.

Not like his words for the others' are kind. Hat-tip: Matt Welch @ Reason

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

May 6, 2015

Rumor Mill

Start a rumor that Tom Brady emailed Secretary Clinton about deflate-gate. Suddenly, we'll have media interest in that disk drive....

Posted by John Kranz at 6:48 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Good point. Excellent point in fact. After all, if "more than probably" is the bar...

Posted by: johngalt at May 7, 2015 8:58 AM

May 5, 2015

Swallow Your Coffee

This is so frickken' hilarious, I fear you'll violate your keyboard's electrical integrity.


I think that's the laziest shortcut to ad hominem humor of all time.

UPDATE: I perhaps should have not responded...


Posted by John Kranz at 6:07 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2015 7:46 PM

April 30, 2015

Quote of the Day

Senator Sanders brings a wealth of ideas from the 19th century including voting rights for women, a graduated income tax, and free public schools. He also favors the prohibition of alcohol, an end to paper money, and diapers on horses. -- Don Surber
Hat-tip: Insty
Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2015

Really Heating up on the D Side

HuffPo -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will launch a campaign seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 on Thursday.

Sanders will be the first official challenger for the Democratic nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who launched her campaign earlier this month.

Sanders' decision was first reported byVermont Public Radio, and confirmed by The Huffington Post.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:28 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Don't know if anybody reads Andy Borowitz. I used to find him really amusing, but a few years at the insular New Yorker have turned him into a partisan hack. All the better for some of my FB friends, but I did get a chuckle out of this:

BREAKING: In a head-to-head contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 2.5 billion dollars.

Posted by: jk at April 29, 2015 9:20 AM
But jk thinks:

On the serious side, I was reminded of our current Secretary of State, Mister John "Reporting for Duty!" Kerry. There is the serious guy that could step in if his predecessor continues to flail: name recognition, experience, donor-relations, statesmanlike bearing -- and an "I told you so" that might appeal to a large percentage of the voters.

Posted by: jk at April 29, 2015 9:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Kerry would like nothing more than to be POTUS. He is so much "better" than the rest of us after all.

If Bernie Sanders were a legitimate socialist he would demand that Hillary's 2.5 billion dollar advantage be shared equally amongst all the candidates. (And if Hillary Clinton agreed with her own rhetoric she would comply.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 29, 2015 1:05 PM
But jk thinks:

He's got four years on her, plus the egregious disadvantage of white maleness. But I think our Democrat friends are in a pickle. The fearsome Clinton machine has scared everyone else out yet the candidate is not ready. If you need to pull someone in, why not the previous eligible nominee? By today's demographics his vote totals win.

Perhaps he could come out as gay...

Posted by: jk at April 29, 2015 2:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Not ready" is just code for the glass ceiling below the White House. If this keeps up I might just have to start agreeing with Hillary that there's a conspiracy to keep women folk down.

Posted by: johngalt at April 29, 2015 2:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Investor's Ed Page weighs in on the Bernie Sanders bid:

Socialist sympathies are part of the Clinton - and the Democratic Party - essence that the media won't touch. Maybe with Sanders in the race, voters will be able to make the connection themselves.
Posted by: johngalt at April 30, 2015 3:29 PM

In a Battle of Wits...

Looks like we'll still have Governor Huckabee to kick around in 2016. Good for blog fodder I s'pose.

But in a battle of wits with The Club for Growth, I cannot help but feel the Gov. has brought a knife to a gun fight.

If, as many suspect him to, Mike Huckabee announces a presidential bid in Hope, Arkansas, on May 5, he'll enter the race with some unique advantages. But he'll also be burdened by a furious rivalry with a conservative activist group likely to have a budget of tens of millions of dollars, a group he's compared to "suicide bombers" and Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The politician in me objects, but the poet in me would enjoy a Huckabee vs. Hickenlooper contest in 2016. As much fun as we've had since there was speculation that George W. Bush might select California Congressman Christopher Cox as his running mate.

Posted by: jk at April 28, 2015 12:21 PM

April 25, 2015

Colorado Presidential Primary?

Comments anyone? Denver Post:

Democratic and Republican legislators are drafting a measure to create a presidential primary in Colorado, The Denver Post has learned, a significant shift in one of the last dozen or so states that operates on a caucus system.

Most of the legislation's details are still being negotiated, but the tentative plan would put the primary in a prominent spot on the 2016 calendar and make the swing state a top prize in the nominating process.

My chief objection would be if it binds all of Colorado's delegates to vote for the primary winner. I suppose that would be alright if they were only bound on the first ballot but really, at this point, what difference does it make if most of the other states already have primaries instead of caucuses anyway? Our form of government is becoming more democratic, and less republican, and nobody really even notices.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:49 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I can spark a comment with one of my own. Here is what I opined on the subject on FB this morning:

I have not researched it myself but according to comments above, any straw poll is binding due to bylaws of the state AND the national party - or at least by one or the other. So, to answer your question Steve House, since any straw poll will be binding the answer seems to be, simply don't conduct one at all.

People come to caucus because they have a strong opinion about the primary candidate(s) they want to support early in the process. Voting a preference poll ballot may feel good but it accomplishes little or nothing. The way to support a candidate in a republican system is to vote for delegates who pledge themselves to your candidate. If nobody is pledging yet because there is more than one good candidate, you elect the one that expresses support for your candidate among the others. This is the essence of an electoral college system, which is the keystone of a republican government.

Let's stop promoting the idea that registered Republicans attend caucus to vote in a straw poll (binding or otherwise) that amounts to a de facto "insider's primary." I would like to see the party promote the concept of delegates and educate more of our members that government "by the people" is achieved by selecting a proxy to carry your wishes to the nominating convention - not by marking a piece of paper and going home with a false sense of accomplishment while power brokers in Washington figure out ever more ways to manipulate outcomes of democratic primaries.

Posted by: johngalt at April 26, 2015 12:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I was thinking about it. Don't rush me.

You know I agree wholeheartedly with democracy versus republicanism concerns. I have zero problems with caucusgoers selecting the candidate as opposed to the unwashed.

My problem is that I lack the vision to see Colorado's having an important place in the nomination process. It would be good for the party, and massively entertaining, but it has never happened, the early states were all written in in the Bible or the Declaration or Tocqueville or somewhere. A Colorado Super-Tuesday Primary might be good, but I think it difficult to acquire prominence at this stage of the game.

It also difficult to try to fix one state's being a broken cog in a dysfunctional system. Delegate-schmelegate, I don't suspect a candidate will be selected at the convention in our lifetime. I love the stories of the Dems in 1924 or Republicans in 1880, but those are not coming back. If the RNC were to nominate on the 14th ballot at 3:00 AM and the DNC staged a modern three-day-infomercial they'd be at a distinct disadvantage.

The Straw Poll gets folks to caucus. At caucus, they are exposed to good things. Happened to me. I'd keep it.

Posted by: jk at April 27, 2015 10:32 AM

April 23, 2015

Absurd Conspiracy Theories!

Even for the Clintons, this is rich.

The [Clinton, Wolfram and Hart] foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims "absurd conspiracy theories."

Yessir, my Facebook is filled with absurd conspiracy theories. But none of them to date have caused me to re-file five years' tax returns.
(Reuters) -- Hillary Clinton's family's charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

I'd provide another link, but those are the first two paragraphs of the same story. I'm sure we could just look at the server and clear this all up in no time. Oh, wait...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:45 PM | Comments (5)
But nanobrewer thinks:

PowerLine has been tracking these stories. I focused on Putin's attempt to corner the world uranium market, approved by HRC's State Dept. NYT says that Putin now controls as much as 20% of US-based uranium, via Uranium One (hint; NOT employee owned).

Apparently the NYT column noted in the PL article is a 4000+ word essay on the topic, and presents a serious game-changer... MSM attacking the Clintons... sell the stocks, Martha!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 23, 2015 1:42 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I hereby award bonus points for the use of "Clinton, Wolfram, and Hart" (with or without the Oxford comma...).

I also understand that the issue is not "errors in how they reported donations from governments," but more specifically, for at least the last three years, they reported that they foundation DID NOT RECEIVE ANY MONEY from foreign government sources. None. Zero. Zilch. Also, blatant lie, to the tune of at least seven figures to the left of the decimal point, and quite possibly eight. Yes, that's in base ten.

It's not a matter of "oops, we under-reported a few things." It's "we raked it in hand over cloven hoof, and then lied through our sphincters, claiming we got nothing, sweeping it under the rug, and we'd have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

This is cattle futures on steroids. Clinton only knows two tunes: hiding money (cattle futures, I'm dead broke), and hiding incriminating records (Rose Law Firm, e-mail servers). And she only knows one dodge: this is a distraction from a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 23, 2015 3:35 PM
But jk thinks:

@nb: Two dangers of reading PowerLine: 1. Hyper-aggressive popups and on page scripts. I had to set them up in IE as a non-trusted site (lawyers gotta eat too I guess...) 2. You can start to see the world as you wish it were and not how it is. Yes the NYTimes will bite on this story, but when it comes up in a debate (if Candy Crawley allows it) it will be "old news" as Whitewater and Cattle Futures are today. I hope you're right but I am not rushing to Intrade.

@ka: Thanks, I liked it -- there's been a Whedon-y glow around here of late and I hoped to keep the ember lit. I have been converted to an Oxford, Comma, Proponent thanks to Internet scolds -- but it specifically hams this gag, and the gag supersedes grammatical convention.

@all: the worst part is perhaps from the Times article

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on her husband's foundation’s activities. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

I read that as "Even the Obama Administration was too transparent and anti-corruption for Sec. Clinton!"

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2015 4:16 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand an update: we have confirmation of $131 m-m-m-m-m-million from Guistra to give Putin control of American uranium. $131,000,000.00 is firmly into NINE figures to the left of that decimal point.

Quid pro dough, baby - quid pro dough.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 23, 2015 4:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Aaaaaaaaand they just "forgot" to list that. Hey, I don't keep every cappuccino receipt either -- who am I to judge?

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2015 5:16 PM

April 16, 2015


It might be a low blow. One could scour the Internet for flattering and unflattering clips of two candidates....

But frozen, fickken' NED on a stick -- tell me this is not descriptive: Chicks on the Right juxtapose a Sour-faced, dour Republican with a Woman of the People! through two TMZ clips.

I am guilty as the next guy of putting Mr. New Hotness in the second tier, but I keep an open mind.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:11 PM | Comments (0)

For Minorities, Rubio is "New Hotness"

On Monday the Inquisitr posted, "Marco Rubio May Have Just Stolen the Minority Vote From Hillary Clinton."

A look at Marco Rubio's platform as a Florida senator shows that he is very active in immigration reform, health reform, education, and government reform. Rubio's [sic] has also claimed to not be against state acceptance of gay marriage and state-funded abortions for women. Rubio does not agree with federal funding of most programs, which may cause hesitation to some. Overall, there are many areas on his platform that could make Marco Rubio a minority vote competitor for Hillary Clinton.

And those priorities also appeal well to young voters, along with unaffiliateds. I can see the general election ads now: "It's your choice, America: Old and busted, or new hotness?"

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

All Hail Taranto!

James Taranto picks up something I had missed. When Sec. Clinton joins her Democratic compatriots in blasting Citizens United v. FEC, there's a hidden gem -- an easter egg in software parlance -- the trial was about financing a movie critical of her!

Now, in a bitter foretaste of life in "a President Hillary Clinton world," Mrs. Clinton is urging an amendment to the Constitution to do away with the right to criticize her.

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

April 15, 2015


Those rightwing nutjobs over at the NYTimes are just not going to let this private email server story go.

But Mrs. Clinton did not reply to the letter. And when the State Department answered in March 2013, nearly two months after she left office, it ignored the question and provided no response.

The query was posed to Mrs. Clinton in a Dec. 13, 2012, letter from Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mr. Issa was leading an investigation into how the Obama administration handled its officials' use of personal email.

"Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?" Mr. Issa wrote to Mrs. Clinton. "If so, please identify the account used."

Mr. Issa also asked Mrs. Clinton, "Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using nonofficial accounts?"

Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Well yes, but...

Some pigs are more equal than others in Hillary's village.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2015 2:09 PM

Those Bleedin' Greedy CEOs!!!

Sec. Clinton, at $300,000 per speech, makes half the average CEO's annual income in an hour. And the WSJ Ed Page reckons "more than 13,000 times the earnings of the typical worker."

Still, somebody has got to fight for the folks.

Mrs. Clinton said in her Sunday campaign video that the "deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," and she would know based on her taste for amenities and expenses along with her speaking fees. "She insists on staying in the ‘presidential suite" of luxury hotels that she chooses anywhere in the world, including Las Vegas," the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote last August. "She usually requires those who pay her six-figure fees for speeches to also provide a private jet for transportation--only a $39 million, 16-passenger Gulfstream G450 or larger will do."

There's one more way she and husband Bill have stacked the deck in their favor. The average worker--if she could even dream of pulling down $200,000 for an hour of work--would pay taxes on this income; Mrs. Clinton often doesn't.

By routing speaking fees through their family’s foundation, the Clintons ensure that the money won't be taxed before it is directed to support foundation travel, meals and promotional events, among other things. The highly compensated political influence peddlers at the top of the untaxed sector of the U.S. economy have found their champion.

Nice work if you can get it.

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

Hillary Diane has some nerve claiming to champion the middle class while she accepts cash gifts from foreign dictators valued in millions of dollars.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2015 2:31 PM

April 14, 2015

All Hail Taranto!

"Hillary Clinton, who has embarked on a roughly 1,000 mile road trip after formally announcing her presidential bid on Sunday, was spotted at a Chipotle in Maumee, Ohio [Monday] afternoon," according to a Democratic Party press release prepared by employees of ABC News. -- James Taranto
Posted by John Kranz at 5:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2015

This Could be Fun

She does not get the "hands-off" treatment her old boss did. Could be fun:

Posted by John Kranz at 3:43 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Citizens! I command you!"

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2015 11:49 AM

Life Is ThreeSources

And the Internet Segue Machine® is bangin' on all eight!

Democracy? Gun Rights? Sec. Clinton for President? Reason is on it.

June 2014: "I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation," Clinton says while promoting her memoir on CNN. "We cannot let a minority of people--and that's what it is, it is a minority of people--hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people." She says she favors "background checks that work" and twice refers erroneously to mass shooters with "automatic" weapons.

We cannot let a few escaped agricultural partners terrorize the effective enforcement of the Runaway Slave Act...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:45 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"...a viewpoint that terrorizes..." people? So thoughts can invoke terror, in Hillary's village?

And the deciding factor, she seems to imply, is whether the thought in question is a minority or majority view.

Or perhaps it's just whether or not it agrees with her Utopia.

I think we have an answer to the question of what to call Mrs. Clinton instead of the sexist label "Hillary." Hillary Clinton is Starlight Glimmer.

Posted by: johngalt at April 14, 2015 1:55 PM

April 12, 2015


"Nobody stays in the gulch by denying reality, Dagny..." (I did get called "Randian" last week.)

My favorite part of Rand's Objectivism is its stern adherence to Aristotelian realty. John Allison [Review Corner] parleyed that into a successful management career and I find it philosophically endearing.

So I must caution my GOP friends to avoid pretending that the world is how you wish it were and not as it is. Sec. Clinton's announcement video is awesome. It shows what we are up against and poses the questions we must answer.

I see hundreds of comments about how childish this is, and even the serious folks at National Review dismiss it as a flopped announcement.

All the people who hate it are already not going to vote for Sec. Clinton. What it does do is move the conversation to the gauzy diaphanous vagaries at which she excels. Let the Republican try to bring voters down to the wonky weeds -- she's grandma and apple pie. You may not like her, but the Republican will be scary. Sec. Clinton -- in this video -- is not scary.

She "cares about people like you." And that is the poll group that put her old boss over the top in 2012.

Dismiss her at your peril.

* when I was a kid, floccinaucinihilipilification was in the Guinness World Record book as longest English word. Looks like it is down to #8, but it means "to estimate as worthless" or "deem as trivial." At your peril, friends.

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty toes the NR line (toady!), calling the announcement a "belly flop" and "a huge #FAIL." But I don't think we see the bigger picture to differently:

The good news is that she's not going to be a good candidate. The bad news is it's not clear she needs to be one in order to win.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:03 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Slick. If I didn't know who she really is I'd be liking her better than Allison Lundergan Grimes by now.

But this video seems a better fit for the candidacy of Rand Paul. Complete and utter bovine feces as a reflection of what an "Oh Hill No" presidency would be like.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2015 7:38 PM

April 9, 2015

When You've Lost POLITICO...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:03 PM | Comments (0)

Shall I call thee "Diane?"

"Some people say" it is sexist to refer to the front running Democratic presidential candidate as "Hillary" despite this being her given and legal name. As I understand it, we are to call her "Mrs. Clinton" though I'm not sure how that is less "sexist." Shouldn't it be "Ms. Rodham?"

Perhaps the best thing is for her to campaign under a pen name? Much the way Joanne Rowling is world renowned as J.K. Rowling, the Democratic presidential aspirant formerly known as Hillary could instead seek to become: President H.D.R.Clinton. Certainly nothing sexist there.

"I'm Ready for H.D.R. Clinton!"


UPDATE (jk here, sorry to crash, but I needed a comment with an image):

Absolutely! You'd never refer to a male candidate by his first name! Oh, wait...


Posted by JohnGalt at 11:50 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Not fair. That male candidate has TWO first names!

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2015 1:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What am I saying? I mean, his first name IS a last name!!

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2015 2:18 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Someone should probably have a word with the sexists at readyforhillary.com. Maybe as penance they can go around scraping all the Hillary for President stickers off of cars.

Posted by: AndyN at April 9, 2015 7:48 PM

April 1, 2015

Quote of the Day

They do not believe in "burying the lede:"

If the House panel investigating Benghazi really wants to get a look at Hillary Clinton's emails, perhaps it should subpoena the Chinese military. Beijing--which may have hacked the private server she used to send official email as Secretary of State--is likely to be more cooperative than are Mrs. Clinton and her stonewall specialists now reprising their roles from the 1990s. -- WSJ Ed Page

Posted by John Kranz at 9:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2015

The Senior Senator from AZ Needs your Support

Senator John McCain (Brave War Hero but Philosophical mushhead - AZ) id deciding whether to seek re-election. He emails that he is taking the decision seriously and will not run unless he knows he has the tools and support to win.

Just hours remain until the end of the quarter and I need to know you stand with me.

We are still $25,687 short of our fundraising goals. Will you please reaffirm your support by making a generous contribution of $25, $50, or even $100 to help me lay the early groundwork for a successful defense in the quickly approaching primary season?

Click here to give.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Two days ago, McCain reacted to the Ted Cruz candidacy by saying "They don't know Barry Goldwater, the people who make that comparison" (comparing Cruz to Goldwater). I have long voiced my displeasure with McCain, and I hope that my final bleat at him will be this: "If Mr. Goldwater were here today, he would thank you for your service, and express his disappointment at your Senate record. Shut the hell up and retire."

Mr. McCain, I know Barry Goldwater. Barry Goldwater is a hero of mine, and you, sir, are no Barry Goldwater.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 30, 2015 12:57 PM
But jk thinks:

Indeed. We might all consider donating a nickel.

In fairness, the Senator delivered the muscular defense and Democrat-lite spending levels that the party used to stand for, did he not? If I think of the George W. Bush era -- or even Reagan era -- Congresses, McCain is a good senator.

The TEA party challenge is to replace such big-government-conservatives in states like Arizona which can support a liberty candidate and marginalize them elsewhere (cough, Peter King, cough...)

Am I supposed to say that aloud?

Posted by: jk at March 30, 2015 1:07 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Agreed with JK; he's not quite worth two rubbed nickels. He has been a good senator, legislatively, and his occasional oratorical greatness balanced out by his ego and awful flops (McCain-Feingold...); he's best when, like Katniss, he's unscripted.

Hmm, but is he worth a stamp...?

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 30, 2015 2:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh Merciful Zeus! In a fit of subconscious kindness, I forgot McCain-Feingold. No scratch the kind remarks. My sister and her husband went to see him at a book signing or something, even before the 2000 Election -- he waxed poetic on "The British System:" limit the campaign to six weeks and provide public financing.


Posted by: jk at March 30, 2015 3:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My credit card was declined. Did it work for any of you guys to enter a negative payment amount?

Posted by: johngalt at March 30, 2015 7:01 PM

March 16, 2015

You guys think I make this stuff up...


US Uncut

Posted by John Kranz at 5:15 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I was able to pry answers out of two denizens of 10,000-lake-dom, one generally supportive (in fact, the poster of this meme) and one generally opposed. Neither is on the bandwagon. "He has kind of an odd personality, actually. Not that outgoing." The detractor says the same thing a shade less kindly.

We need to graft Hick's personality onto Dayton's record -- that's an unbeatable Democrat!

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2015 6:50 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"He has kind of an odd personality, actually. Not that outgoing."

Was that in reference to Scott Walker, or Calvin Coolidge? It certainly fits both.

Not that I'd deign to note similarities between the two...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 16, 2015 7:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Y'know, I, too, have been thinking of Walker as "another Coolidge" fro some time. I just am not certain that a plurality of the American electorate joins me in yearning for another.

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2015 7:38 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Two questions immediately came to mind:

1) What were the two states' unemployment rates prior to their current governors taking office?

2) How much of that $8,800 net difference in median income is accounted for by differences in median cost of living between the two states? Trulia says the average listing price of a home in Minnesota is $67k (22%) higher than in Wisconsin. I'd be surprised if there's that big a difference in housing cost but everything else is the same between the states. Heck, you could probably buy a starter home in Madison for what it costs to heat an efficiency in Minneapolis for a year.

A third question just occurred to me - how much of Minnesota's miracle drop in unemployment rate is due to a corresponding increase in workforce non-participation rate? That seems to be the go-to method for decreasing unemployment when there's a (D) in the executive branch.

Which isn't to say that I think Walker is flawless, or that people supporting Democrats always doctor statistics to lie. And of course, it's largely irrelevant whether those stats are made up out of pixie dust and happy thoughts, since not enough voters care enough to look deeper than the headlines and pretty pictures.

Posted by: AndyN at March 16, 2015 8:19 PM

March 13, 2015

They Don't Read ThreeSources?

The WSJ Ed Page has not yet grasped the certainty of Gov. Mark Dayton's (D - Target) being the 2016 Democratic nominee.

Mr. Obama has paved the way for Hillary's coronation. By making her Secretary of State, he gave her foreign-policy credentials.

But his main contribution has been governing to the left and thus helping to wipe out the next generation of Democrats. The historic midterm routs of 2010 and 2014 eliminated the younger politicians in state houses and on Capitol Hill who would typically be drawing national media attention in the seventh year of a Presidency. Nearly all of the big swing states, like Florida and Michigan, have GOP Governors.

The most consequential Democratic Governor, California's Jerry Brown, will be 77 years old in April. He ran for President against Bill Clinton in 1992. The Democratic leaders in Congress are all ancient mariners who have hung onto power even after losing their majorities. There are no 40-something Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill comparable to Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio.

Nobody bit on Gov. Dayton -- I can take it. The WSJ is wrong, however -- Governor Hickenlooper (D - Urban CO) is comparable to Sen. Rubio. I'm rather surprised to hear his name so infrequently.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | Comments (12)
But johngalt thinks:

How about Hick's (having trouble picking an adjective here) "not widely held?" religious faith affiliation? The electorate was unkind to the Mormon candidate, suggesting it might not warm to a Quaker either.

Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2015 7:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

AndyN said, "I still fully expect the GOP to try to give the election away by nominating someone who conservatives will have a hard time voting for even while holding their noses..."

I am an optimist, and I feel a rising tide of grassroots influence in the GOP. Exhibit A is the highly possible defeat of Colorado's OGRE (old-guard Republican establishment) GOP State Chairman, Ryan Call by businessman, political neophyte and blog favorite Steve House. The Colorado GOP Central Committee Meeting is tomorrow morning in Castle Rock, and we'll know the result by this time tomorrow.

Denver's Fox31 covered the story today and is largely dismissive of the importance of the outcome. I, on the other hand, see this as a run at the palace gates by people tired of being ignored and, most importantly, with the palpable hope of advancing the principles of liberty within the Republican party. First Colorado, then the nation. Wish us luck!

Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2015 7:22 PM
But AndyN thinks:

jk - I'm flattered that you remember where I live since I think I probably only mentioned it once ages ago. I may be overestimating the impact of gun rights enthusiasts since it's a topic near and dear to me. On the other hand, Ace of Spades HQ did a poll last week on what readers considered a deal breaker issue, and the #1 choice was gun rights, ahead of size of government, immigration and repealing PPACA. And even if Colorado's place in the debate wouldn't otherwise have drawn broad attention, it became a big deal when Magpul decided to move and governors from all over the country started trying to offer them a new home. I was reading about it on gun blogs run by folks near me, and not just links to the CO news, but original analysis of their own.

jg - I agree that grassroots are going our way, but I really doubt they'll move enough people far enough, fast enough to help on a national scale in 2016. And I don't think religion is going to matter to Democratic voters as long as they think he's on the right side of all the other issues. I hate to raise the tattered old "if a Republican did this..." flag, but I'd expect the left to make an issue of it in the general election if he was a Republican, not so much since he's one of theirs.

Posted by: AndyN at March 14, 2015 9:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Stipulating that governors from "all over the country" doesn't mean "every other state in the country" I'm still compelled to add: But not California, Connecticut, Maryland or New York. (See the video.

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2015 6:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, to be in Baltimore, LA, of New Haven where the criminals don't have guns -- think of the peace and security you'd have walking the streets at night. When will those other states learn?

I suppose Candidate Hickenlooper will have some explanations to provide, AndyN, but the Ds ran -- and won twice with -- Mister Bitter Clinger. Not sure how many of their primary voters frequent the same websites you do (excepting, of course, ThreeSources).

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2015 7:05 PM
But jk thinks:

The Wash Examiner lists 21 alternates. Hick looks as viable as any of the other 20 to me. (Gov. Dayton does not make the list.)

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2015 8:28 PM

All Hail Remy!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:03 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

LMAO! His best yet.

Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2015 6:53 PM
But Jk thinks:


Posted by: Jk at March 13, 2015 9:06 PM

March 12, 2015

Disturbing Images

TRIGGER ALERT! (And I do not mean Willie Nelson's guitar.)


Hat-tip: Breitbart One Silenced Millions Awakened on Facebook.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:01 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2015 2:39 PM

March 11, 2015

Frank Bruni Joins the VRWC!

This is getting good. VRWC, for you young'uns, is the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, the creation of a pink-pantsuited First Lady to explain those who were starting rumors of her husband's infidelities. Those rumors, of course, turned out to be entirely true.

I remember I sent away to Brent Bozell for a free "Proud member of the VRWC" bumper sticker.

But I never imagined it would include the NYTimes's Frank Bruni.

She was on the spit Tuesday because she placed herself there.

But the real problem with the news conference wasn't anything specific that she said or didn't say, any particular tone of voice or set of her shoulders that she aced or bungled.

It was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras once again, under fire once again, aggrieved once again by Americans' refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is:


It was all so very yesterday.

And elections are about tomorrow.

Gotta sting a little.

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

Larry Kudlow gets in on Team Conspiracy too, echoing a comment I made earlier:

"And this whole deletion thing is so Nixonian. Remember Rose Mary Woods and those mistakenly erased 18 or so minutes of Watergate tape? Is it possible that Hillary is Nixon's political daughter, or at least his niece?"
Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2015 1:57 PM
But jk thinks:

Good to see Larry -- I surely miss that man.

Scroll up to see a disturbing pictorial representation if you've a strong stomach.

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2015 2:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ugh. I saw the picture before the warning.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2015 2:40 PM

March 10, 2015

He Heard it Too!

I thought perhaps I'd eaten some bad clams, but it seems Peter Suderman (Suderman, Computer-man as Kennedy calls him, or "Hubby Dearest" as he's known to Megan McArdle) also heard Lanny Davis assure FOX News viewers that "you cannot delete from a hard drive."

For example, Lanny Davis, a crisis communications guru long favored by dictators and Democrats, including and especially the Clintons, rose to her defense over the weekend on Fox News Sunday opposite host Chris Wallace. In the process, Davis managed to demonstrate that he is willing to exaggerate on Clinton's behalf, and also that he does not understand how email works.

For one thing, Davis rejected the idea that the emails could have been deleted. "Last time I looked you cannot delete on a hard drive," he told Fox News host Chris Wallace, according to RealClearPolitics.

Perhaps he should look again before he next appears on national television to discuss the matter because that's, well, not true. Yes, permanently deleting data from a hard drive--including email--is usually harder than just pressing the delete button once, but it can definitely be done on most any system. Indeed, even if a hard drive were somehow set to prohibit deletion, hard drives can crash or disappear. Backups can fail to backup. There is no natural law that requires the permanent conservation of email.

Don't know if you saw Taranto yesterday, but under-discussed is that she turned the emails over as hardcopies: 50,000 pages of printouts.

That might delight tree-farmer and Allman Brothers keyboardist Chuck Leavell, but I am guessing prosecuters would enjoy having headers and, yes, some hard drives to do a little forensics on.

Maybe I'm showing my age, but I remember President Nixon offering hardcopy transcripts instead of tape.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I thought of Nixon today too, as in "The last time I recall a high level government official having to account for "gaps" in the record of his official business, he resigned his office to escape the embarrassment of being impeached." Magnetic audio tape or magnetic ascii data can indeed be deleted, but both leave a similar cavity that betrays their prior existence. And what was it we learned during the IRS email scandal? It is called "spoliation" and it is legally binding if there exists an official "duty to preserve" the evidence in question.

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2015 3:14 PM

March 9, 2015

All Hail Geraghty

Noticing that Rep. Trey Gowdy (Wouldn't want him prosecutin' me - SC) had noticed some gaps in the "discovered" emails, Jim Geraghty steps in to help the Secretary:


UPDATE: Funny Yes | No ?


Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Questions I have not heard asked yet:

If Secretary of State Clinton had a self-owned, self-directed, self-served and self-secured email account that she used for conducting official U.S. government business, how unlikely is it that she did not have multiple such accounts on the same server?

If Secretary of State Clinton sent official U.S. government emails to other members of the Obama Administration, how specious is the president's claim that he learned about the privately operated account(s) "in news reports?"

If Secretary of State Clinton sent official U.S. government emails to her counterparts in other countries including Russia, with whom she attempted to initiate a rather infamous "Reset" of US-Russia relations, how unlikely is it that the intelligence agencies of other countries including Russia hacked her account(s) and read every last message (including those ostensibly dealing with bridesmaid dresses?)

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2015 2:51 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JG: I'm going to add fuel to your fire, brother. If Hillary's basement server was handling official State Department bidness, then there were certain levels of physical security required by Federal law - something a trifle more secure than a hollow-core door and a padlock, and gear somewhat more sophisticated than a file server, an off-the-shelf wireless router, and a connection through Comcast or Frontier.net. Consider this: http://andstillipersist.com/2015/03/physical-security-of-the-clinton-e-mail-sever/

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 10, 2015 7:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

CRTs? Dang, that "undisclosed government location" photo is old.

Hill claimed that "any mail server secure enough for a former POTUS is secure enough for me" and "the server was on our property that is secured by the Secret Service."

She also said, "I never sent emails containing any classified information." Clinton word-parsing alert! Okay, how many did you RECEIVE?

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2015 1:43 PM
But jk thinks:

On the Internet, gotta be true: IP addr traced to Manhattan location. Inter'stin'

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2015 1:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Rep. Gowdy expects to subpoena Clinton's email server. I expect Hillary to be held in contempt of congress. Nobody can expect that she will comply.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2015 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Life imitates ThreeSources (at least the WSJ Ed Page imitates johngalt).

With the Clintons, you always have to parse the meaning of "is," and Mrs. Clinton didn't say she never received classified information via email. But if she meant both send and receive, then how could she have done her job given the hundreds of thousands of miles she traveled during her four years at Foggy Bottom?

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2015 1:19 PM

March 6, 2015

Our Margaret

Peggy Noonan joins Kim Strassel in taking some whacks at Sec Clinton, reminding me of a great book she wrote. Has it really been 16 years?

Sixteen years ago, when she was first running for the Senate, I wrote a book called "The Case Against Hillary Clinton." I waded through it all--cattle futures, Travelgate, the lost Rose law firm records, women slimed as bimbos, foreign campaign cash, the stealth and secrecy that marked the creation of the health-care plan, Monica, the vast right-wing conspiracy. As I researched I remembered why, four years into the Clinton administration, the New York Times columnist William Safire called Hillary "a congenital liar . . . compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit."

Do we have to go through all that again?

Posted by John Kranz at 9:45 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Sadly though, after the current president her antics would be a welcome relief.

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2015 11:19 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hillary may be evil incarnate, but at least she got vetted.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 7, 2015 5:17 PM

Quote of the Day

Perhaps "All Hail Kim!"

The Clinton camp has spent this week explaining that none of this was untoward, that no laws were broken, and that she's being transparent.

Were you just awakening from a 40-year coma and still a bit fuzzy, this might strike you as remotely plausible. For everyone else who has lived through the Bill and Hill years, this email caper is pure Clinton. -- Kimberly Strassel WSJ Ed Page

Honorable mention (same article): "The Clintons thrive in gray areas."

Posted by John Kranz at 9:34 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

And they have more than fifty shades.

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2015 11:17 AM

March 5, 2015

2007: When Secret Email Accounts were a bad thing

Hat-tip: Gateway Pundit

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

The 2016 Election

You read it here first. JK called it when no one else saw it.

The Republican nominee will be ThreeSources' favorite, Gov. Scott Walker (Unionbuster - WI). Because we always get our preferred candidates, right?

The Democratic Nominee will not be Eric Hoteham Sec. Clinton. She is more evitable than in 2008. A dark horse will be needed to save the race . . . and that dark horse will be . . .

But First a word about "Uncle Billy's Beard and Body wash." Why have two bottles cluttering up your shower when Uncle Billy's provides moisturized skin and a bouncy, voluminous beard in one, manly bottle? Now in Lumberjack scent, or original pine.

The Democratic nominee will be Minnesota Governor and Target bazillionaire, Mark Dayton.

A month after Mr. Walker's inauguration in January 2011, he catapulted himself to the front ranks of national conservative leaders with attacks on the collective bargaining rights of Civil Service unions and sharp reductions in taxes and spending. Once Mr. Dayton teamed up with a Democratic Legislature in 2012, Minnesota adopted some of the most progressive policies in the country.

Minnesota raised taxes by $2.1 billion, the largest increase in recent state history. Democrats introduced the fourth highest income tax bracket in the country and targeted the top 1 percent of earners to pay 62 percent of the new taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.

Thus the NYTimes article quoted above -- and a thousand internet memes were born.

Have you seen them? Walker cut, Dayton raised -- and Minnesota has performed better. And -- dontcha know -- the states are both populated by hardy white folks who can mange bitter winters and eat lots of unusual Scandinavian meat and fish products. It's practically the same place except for college sports.

I have not yet dove into the underlying data, but it seems compelling at first glace.

But we will have a year and a half to discuss it.

UPDATE: FEE debunks a corollary post (that somebody sent me) comparing Dayton to predecessor Gov. Pawlenty (Charisma - MN). I'd say it is still notakedown, and they could point to increasing employment through tax hikes, minimum wage increases and higher regulation.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If you're taking bets on that prediction of yours, let me know what odds you're laying and how much money you're willing to put up.

The Democrat party has a problem: Hillary has just gone into spontaneous combustion mode, what with her personal e-mails and all that. Princess Running Joke (Far Left - MA) has the extreme left wing of the party clamoring for her nomination, but the party machinery knows she's skating on thin ice, and they're leery of a re-enactment of Reagan-Mondale (except Warren wouldn't take Wisconsin, not with Walker there).

I'll tell you who could inject some potential sanity on that side of the aisle were he their party's nominee, and that would be Jim Webb (Blue Dog - VA). I don't see today's Democrat party having the sense to nominate him, but he's an articulate moderate, though he hasn't been consistent in his record. He'd also have the advantages of being able to triangulate a solid conservative, and deny the Republican nominee a clear shot at the Reagan Democrats.

But Webb wouldn't get the nomination. Assuming Hillary's star implodes to the point of the event horizon and Lieawatha can't gin up broad appeal, I could see the Democrat party giving the nomination to a candidate who would energize the statist left and still appeal to the mainstream of that party, who is a proven fundraiser, with national name recognition and a reputation for strong campaigning, and decades of experience.

Unfortunately, that would be Jerry Brown (Fantasyland - CA).

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 5, 2015 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay. I can do skepticism. And I agree that a sensible Democratic party would go with Sec. Webb. (And the teal unicorns would use Colgate®)

While they may not be sensible, a few are not completely stupid and they have to be concerned. Governor Moonbeam is a good dark horse choice as well, but I suggest he has been around too long and is easily portrayed as too far left. Plus the whole Linda Ronstadt thing...

I don't know Dayton -- is there a knock on him or his story?

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2015 2:13 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I don't know whether there's a knock on him or not - and that's part of the point. I don't think he has the national name recognition that a candidate would need.

If Dayton has any viability, and if I were one of the smarter luminaries of the RNC, I'd be doing my oppo research right now to see if there's any debunking to be done on the alleged "Minnesota Miracle," and what causes helped the economy there.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 5, 2015 2:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Franken-pork? No, not a Scandinavian food, a possible cause for Minnesota's economic bounce, such that it is or may be.

"I don't think he has the national name recognition that a candidate would need."

"Clean articulate black man" anyone?

P.S. Love the Liz Warren nicknames. Har!

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2015 2:57 PM
But jk thinks:

I was actually thinking '92 (no, not Cleveland Harrison -- 1992) and a young, unknown Governor of Arkansas. There was a Saturday Night Live skit on how nobody wanted to run against the sky-high polling President George HW Bush.

I'm not suggesting that anyone has President Clinton's preternatural political skills, but they will be looking at some melanin-enhanced equines at the DNC -- I've provided my pick.

And yeah, Keith, sure I'll bet a beer.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2015 3:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I don't see Fauxcahontas as ready for prime time at all. Dayton sounds like a solid choice (hope DNC isn't watching) for the new Dems. So, he'll need national recognition?

ABCNN, NBCBS and NPR could solve that in a Hands-UP! Kerry's Hero minute. QED

Dang, but I was hoping the the Hildebeest hit the Reset-No!-That's Self Destruct! button in the the third week of 7/16, or ideally, IN Chicago.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 5, 2015 4:41 PM

February 25, 2015

Votes for Walker

I'm not issuing my endorsement anytime soon, and neither is Noah Millman over at TAC, but he puts up a solid argument in the unfortunately titled "I Killed Latin: You?"

Scott Walker picked a high-profile battle over a core issue that both the establishment and more insurgent types care about -- the status and position of public sector unions. His opponents rose to the challenge, and threw everything they had into the battle to defeat him -- to the point of trying to get him recalled before the next scheduled election. The showdown went down in a purple-to-blue state. And Walker won, unequivocally.

This should warm some hearts here:

Jindal and Perry can point to very conservative things they did as governors -- but Louisiana and Texas are very conservative states. Could they do the same in Washington? Ted Cruz can tout his purism -- but he's accomplished literally less than nothing, with his antics having demonstrably backfired in multiple instances.

Certainly that Walker is taking Flak means he's over the target.

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:47 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

At some point, you have to appreciate people for the enemies they make. I'd say I am still considering Gov. Walker; I've heard some things that concern me, but his enemies list is truly top notch!

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2015 10:08 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm ready to endorse Walker. I'm ready to vote for Walker. In the primary and the general. I don't even care which way he comes down on immigramnesty (because I think it's a complex issue that will be worked out by the body politic as a whole, provided the current POTUS can be restrained from granting citizenship and back tax return refunds to everyone with a "dry foot" on the North American continent before the next POTUS is even sworn in.)

I hope that someone will start an(other) "immigramnesty" conversation here soon because I see a lot of confusion about what "amnesty" means: legally remain here and work, pay taxes, and be subject to local laws, OR have access to all of the rights and benefits of American citizens, i.e. assistance of every sort and, the VOTE. Tancredo says we can't have the first without, eventually, the latter. Okay, but when we question candidates about this issue we had best be clear about the distinction.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2015 11:50 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I didn't used to big as big on Walker as I've become (and I point to this as evidence of my open-mindedness). He may not be a doctrinaire conservative - like Br'er JK, there are some sticky points - but there are two things right now that have moved him up in my eyes:

(1) He's proven that it's possible to successfully sell small-government policy in a blue state. All of us here believe that, as long as reason governs and not feel-goodism, this is possible, but Walker has successfully done it. As Nano quotes, Jindal and Perry have sold conservatism to a customer base that's already buying it; Walker is persuading customers who are shopping at the competition. If coffee is for closers, Walker right now would be one of the few guys entitled to a cup. ("Always Be Closing.")

(2) Walker is the one candidate who, like Reagan before him, has been able to deny a beachhead to a hostile press. He's recently given then a beatdown on two attempts at a "gotcha" moment, putting them on notice that he isn't afraid of them and won't be manipulated by them, and he's done it without offending the viewing public. That's an accomplishment. It tells me he's not likely to fall victim in the debate phase of the campaign to a partisan moderator -- as we've seen before on more than one occasion.

A friend of mine has made a persuasive case for a Walker/Cruz ticket, assuming Mr. Cruz would be willing to take the #2 position. Cruz would become the frontrunner to succeed Walker, and he'd be free to be the attack dog in a Walker administration, a role he'd fit into neatly. Besides, as the President of the Senate, Cruz was be in a position to give McConnell heartburn, and I'd pay good money to see that.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 26, 2015 1:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Sounds like we've a frontrunner. (I'd much prefer Sen. Rand Paul as the VP.)

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2015 1:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I thought I was the one getting ahead of myself! KA cites two of my reasons for supporting Walker, so I'm on board that far, but I don't see any current POTUS contenders ever signing on as the number two to any of the others. Each sees himself as presidential material. How can he or she play second fiddle? And "the frontrunner to succeed Walker...?" If I'm an optimist you're a, what, paranoid kook hayseed? (Or are you going to deny that you ordered more ammo today?)

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2015 4:00 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Were I dependent on AR-15 ammo, then yes, I'd have already been shopping. 7.62x54r has a slightly different supply chain.

"Paranoid kook hayseed"? This, from a guy who posts on Facebook about arming up to protect the virtue of his daughters? I guess I can count myself in good company.

Finally, do note that the reference to "frontrunner to succeed Walker" wasn't my position, but that of "a friend of mine" who made the case for the Walker/Cruz pairing. I will admit the idea is intriguing, but it's still only February of 2015; a lot can happen in the months ahead of us. I've got sort of a preference tree right now, with Walker, Cruz, and Perry at the top, and Jindal in the next tier along with some others (I'm also hearing some fans of a Walker/Haley ticket, by the way) -- and of course, I trust I don't have to repeat any of the four names that would see me sitting the election out. They'll be selling lift tickets in Hell before I vote for some of these guys...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 26, 2015 4:45 PM

February 23, 2015

All Hail Taranto!


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

February 4, 2015

Tomorrow's Vaccine

The WSJ Ed Page slams Sen. Rand Paul (R - Jenny McCarthy) in VaccineGate®

He pitched all this as an "obvious" question of "freedom": "The state doesn't own your children. The parents own the children." Oh, my.

I stand foursquare with Gigot Pharmaceuticals in support of all the current vaccines. But I stand with Senator Paul in defense of "our inalienable right to property in our own persons" and would extend that to minor children.

Circumspection of state power is always a good idea; I do not find these positions irreconcilable.

Yes, let's discard the Junk Science Lancet study that Measles vaccine causes autism. But what about when President Hillary Clinton wants us all inoculated against Tea Party membership? And one of her donors comes up with a shot (or sizable and rough coated suppository)?

I'll call anybody an idiot for not vaccinating their kids, but I am not marching up the Capitol steps to demand enforcement.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2015


A Politico article blasts former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. I know -- stop the presses! What are the odds? Alert Taranto's "Bottom Story of the Day" department.

I clicked on "Jeb Put Me Through Hell" to laugh at an unseemly Politico hack attack from some third grade classmate of the Governor who traded a peanut butter sandwich for applesauce or something...

Yet that is not it. The author is Michael Shiavo. I bet most ThreeSourcers remember the name and the story. It is the day I left the conservatives and joined the libertarians.

But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer--confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it's the Jebbest thing Jeb's ever done.

Curiously and morbidly, my wife had a life-threatening medical event several weeks after, and our conversations about Terri and Michael Sciavo left me knowing her exact stance. But before that case -- most notably the Supreme Court visit, I was a Bill Bennett, Robert Bork, John Kasich conservative Republican.

But this is one more reminder (an d I am willing to discount it for its source) that the Establishment GOP does not want government out of your life. Weave this with his indefatigable support for Common Core and let us say the Gov is not my choice in 2016.

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

Caught Off Guard

Yes, I missed the confluence of my two favorite topics: politics and junk science. The Internet Segue Machine™ surely requires an overhaul. Brother nb surprised me with his QOTD yesterday, causing me to ask that internet-question: "Is This a Thing?"

Oh, yes Indeedy. Reason has gone on Defcon 5, Facebook is a-Twitter and Twitter has turned about-face. Jim Geraghty leads with the politics, linking Ace, channeling nanobrewer.

Vaccines are the media's new "Birth Control Pills" question for the GOP -- injecting an out-of-nowhere wedge issue question into the debate just because it hurts the GOP.

Almost all GOP politicians are pro-vaccination, of course -- but a distressing number of GOP voters are against it, making this a politically difficult question.

Note that the media could drop any number of such wedge issue questions on Democrats -- do you favor the making taxpayers pay for voluntary sex-reassignment surgery -- but they don't because they're Democrats themselves and want to hide such wedge issues, not expose them.

Clearly, the nation will turn to the strict scientific rationality of Sec Hillary Clinton in 2016. I laugh to keep from crying.

UPDATE: The Facebook group Friends of Best of the Web is generally a very un-libertarian bunch, but a fellow member hits it out of the park:

State-mandated Vaccines?

If an private individual or group of its own volition elects to prohibit un-vaccinated people from entering its presence, the police power is appropriately deployed to enforce that prohibition. But to have the state mandate a segregation between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals is an unjust overreach.

UPDATE II: A new record for updates on Insty's post about this.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Directly answering the FOBOTW commenter above: Yes, state mandated medical treatments is tyrannical.

As dagny wisely observed this morning, the problem only arises because the majority of our school system is "public." If it were private then each school could decide for itself whether unvaccinated children could enroll. The question would be settled freely in a marketplace of vaccinated and unvaccinated schools.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2015 12:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Very wisely observed. I am new to this debate, I think because it has been ginned up as a GOP Gotcha enterprise. I mean, really, even hard core progressives, how big is the Federal role?

Before reading dagny, the FOBOTW dude, and Judge Napolitano, I would have said that a GOP leader should strongly endorse the miracle of vaccination, strongly condemn the junk science that suggests great risk, and trust well informed polity to do their best.

Now, I will add the Randy Barnett-esque argument that private spaces should mandate vaccination. This "fixes" the free-rider-on-herd-immunity problem without empowering government.

Do I believe the people that brought you "cake police" will allow someone's precious little snowflake to be barred from Disneyland? Not so much. But it is a principled stand I can endorse.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2015 3:18 PM

January 6, 2015

We Will Have Gov. Huckabee to Kick Around Some More!

Today's guest quotidian huck-a-whack comes from Jim Geraghty [subscribe]:

But [Governor Huckabee]'s got a sharp elbow, particularly when it comes to late-campaign tactics. A lot of Republicans could say, "I disagree with the Club for Growth in some areas"; it's another thing to call them "the Club for Greed." He'll announce that he won't run negative ads, and then, during a press conference, show reporters the negative ad he decided not to run -- knowing that the press will effectively transmit the message for free. He’s willing to campaign on his faith -- particularly in Iowa -- in ways others might find shameless. He'll stretch the truth when an exaggeration helps him. His opponents will underestimate him and his amiable style right up until the moment he metaphorically kicks them in the crotch.

This may take him far, or it may not. If it doesn't, there’s a good chance Fox News or some other network will need a host for weekend slot in 2017.

To be fair, the same Morning Jolt opens by giving the Gov. (Bass - AR) props for leaving his cushy job to get "in the arena." But I'm not going to call this an endorsement, per se.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:32 AM | Comments (0)

January 2, 2015

One Point Five Five Cheers for Jeb!

Like his famous brother, Gov. Jeb Bush (Establishment - FL) is a uniter not a divider. My libertarian friends, my conservative friends, and my progressive friends are all equally aghast at his announced candidacy. He's not doing much for "libertario delenda est;" just the announcement has caused several FB friends to renounce their GOP membership.

Um, anybody can run, people. The WSJ Ed Page -- admittedly not a firebrand, Tea Party insurgency -- has been a bit dismayed at the opposition. Let's give each a serious look and feel free to patch lacunae.

1. His last name. This is enough for the Reason folks: charges of dynasty and why we chose to fight the Brits in the first place. I see where they come from but get an affirmative-action queasiness -- really he cannot be President because of his last name? That seems unenlightened and contra-Reason.

2. Immigration. Clint Bolick has a guest editorial in the WSJ today about the co-author of "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution" that reminds me that the Governor is the best candidate I am going to see on the topic in 2016. Others will be forced to pander; Jeb's views have been published in hardcover.

3. Common Core. Here this love letter will trail off. I could support a candidate with whom I disagree (Duh). But Jeb's attraction to Common Core reminds me that -- like other Bushes -- he lacks a principled foundational belief in limited government. Brother George said "when people are hurting, government has to step in." I forgave him for a lot of other things, but...

When I make the libertario delenda est pitch, my interlocutors rightfully ask for some results, some sign that the curves slope in the right direction, and that the party is moving to limit government and not repeat the DeLay-Hastart-Bush years. I cannot make that case with the former Governor of Florida.

So, 1.55 out of three cheers (his detractors forget he was successful both at tax cutting and as an advocate for school choice). It is time to move on and show that we are moving on. But let's get real, people, he is not the devil. Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rick Santorum are the devils.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

Maybe we've been blogging together too long, bro.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2015 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

You're just quicker. And five points for spotting the Presidential hair.

I have seen him only as an "establishment obstacle" to overcome; today's post reflects my first time trying on his candidacy -- and the grim realization that he will likely be the only candidate with whom I'll agree on immigration.

Posted by: jk at January 2, 2015 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

One unfortunate effect of the greater attention to politics being paid by conservatives/Republicans is that they conflate individual liberty and apathy. They are quick to attack voices for more individual freedom via less government force as "RINOs." They believe their mistake in the past has been to be too accommodating and not vocal enough, so they are less likely to think critically before speaking. When the government force in question is the enforcement of current law, they support more government force, regardless whether the law infringes on folks' liberties.

The immigration debate is the example of the decade. There are valid concerns surrounding "Amnesty" (TM) but "because it's the law" is not a valid argument for a dogged defense of the status quo.

Posted by: johngalt at January 2, 2015 2:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

If he wins the primary, I will vote Bush over Clinton, Bush over Warren, Bush over Biden.....Bush over any Democrat.

Posted by: Terri at January 3, 2015 10:20 AM

December 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

[Sen. Elizabeth] Warren's accusation of the "system" being "rigged" against the average person is repeated with a staccato and cadence worthy of Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie "Rain Man." -- William Jacobson
Posted by John Kranz at 4:14 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2014

Timely Cover

Who's on the cover of Reason? Why it is Senator Ted Cruz. Inside is a measured and generally complimentary article. My Google ninja skills were unable to find an online picture or the author's name.

I read it on Kindle® -- I also get a paper copy because Reason Foundation enjoys a little piece of my gargantuan philanthropy empire. If somebody would like the hardcopy, give a holler.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2014


I guess I opened the season around ThreeSources with remarks highly critical of Sen. Ted Cruz (All Around Good Guy - TX). But as my father used to say "hell, we can't dance."

Cruz stoked the fire of populist rage with parliamentary tricks to document just how opposed he is to "amnesty." Senator Rand Paul (jk crush - KY), conversely, leads by explaining how a less popular position is better.

Paul criticized the trade and travel embargo on Cuba as ineffective, separating himself from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have criticized Obama and backed the embargo.

All four men are considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

"In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea," Paul told Tom Roten of WVHU radio in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.


Posted by John Kranz at 2:53 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Rubio answered this last night on the Kelly File. He basically said that the so-called embargo is not the issue. Legitimizing the Dictatorial regime is the issue.

My problem with POTUS is not the normalization of relations, but that the dictators gave up virtually nothing to get it. Despite an existential threat to their regime in the form of oil price normalization.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2014 1:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I cannot be completely pleased that the President has found application for his phone and his pen. (Somebody on the Internet remarked the other day that "they used to say Bush was the cowboy going it alone?") Think of how great were a real leader to choose this as a priority and work with Congress to relax or rescind Helms-Burton while his State Department negotiated for normalized relationships and -- oh ha ha ha who am I kidding?

But, I will give the President broken clock props on this. This is a great thing. I credit Sen. Paul with magnanimity in recognizing it. I do not chide Sen. Rubio -- that is deeply wired into the Cuban ex-Pat community and don't expect him to hop on board. (The first HuffPo article looked like Sen. Rubio was on board, and I thought President Obama [perhaps really was a genius after all.)

The President is a poor negotiator and the US will always have to give too much in prisoner exchanges. I do not dispute your objection. Yet I am a free trader and an advocate of bottom up liberty. On a trade deal, there is always focus on what concessions one gets, but the win is the trade; it is always and everywhere a good deal to import more, export more.

So I am in that head space. Is it a suck ass deal? Yeah, prob'ly. But there is no deal worse than what we have.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2014 5:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It is a complicated situation, made even more so by the fact that the president of the greatest force for freedom and capitalism on earth - the U.S.A. - is currently administrated by an egalitarian socialist.

Here are some points of view from persons closer to Cuba than myself. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/12/22/cuban-catholics-betrayed-pope/

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2014 5:45 PM
But jk thinks:

After my appeal-to-authority of the WSJ in l'Affaire Cruz, I should admit that they are foursquare against this. Though they have called for an end to the embargo for 20 years, they do not approve of "the deal or the timing.

I am so opposed to the embargo it is hard for me to not celebrate its demise -- even if the Pope likes it!

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2014 6:38 PM

December 17, 2014

In his own words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> I remain disappointed with Sen. Cruz.

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

> he latches onto immigration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reagan was a good man. So was Mister Smith.

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

December 16, 2014

RINO Sighting

Jeb - "I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."

He would enter the 2016 race as a top-tier GOP candidate with a perhaps unparalleled fundraising apparatus -- but also with views in support of comprehensive immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards that are deeply out of step with much of the party base.

Instead of modifying his positions, however, Bush has indicated that he will work to persuade fellow Republicans to come around on these hot-button issues.

I'm home today with a case of the mutant flu so I got to watch extended coverage of this on Fox News Channel. Nicole Petalides described the morning DOW rally as a "Bush Bounce" on the news that the Wall Street favorite was announcing for President. "Rilly" thought I? Not the rebound in oil prices? Okay, you're the expert. By the closing bell, however, all of the markets closed down slightly despite a 350 point DOW swing. So much for the "bounce." Now, what about the Bush?

I found myself eerily taken with the news. Here is a temperate man with good hair and fluency in the Spanish tongue. His electability is almost unquestioned (except by dagny who said America won't elect another Bush) but The Independents' Kennedy, for one, offered [on #Outnumbered] an easy solution to that minor handicap: "I believe he is going to change his last name to Reagan. Then he won't have to convince people he is the next Reagan, he can just say, 'I'm Jeb Reagan." As the linked article says, "Jeb Bush served two terms in Tallahassee between 1999 and 2007, during which he developed a deeply conservative record on a wide range of issues." And I've always regarded him higher than his little brother George. I believe he could be a far different President than his brother or father were. So I asked dagny, "Other than perceptions of electability, what issues hurt Jeb with the conservative, or TEA Party, or Liberty wing of the GOP? The pull quote names two of them - immigration and Common Core. I think I could live with his position on immigration. Common Core, however, belies a willingness to concentrate more power in Washington. NOOOOOOO! Has the establishment learned nothing? Maybe, and maybe not. The good thing is, we're about to find out.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:00 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Let me be the first: AMNESTY!!!

Sorry, man, I love it -- every line -- but these hollowed pages are the last place it can be discussed.

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2014 6:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Do you mean, the only place it can be discussed?

Calling what I've outlined "amnesty" is like saying bootleggers should be kept in jail after the repeal of prohibition.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 11:52 AM
But jk thinks:

My comment was not well written. Yes, the only place.

And III am not calling it "Amnesty," but all the people at all the places I used to be able to discuss immigration will call anything amnesty if it does not start with border security first and offer any path to residency or citizenship that does not include return to home country. There is no room for negotiation with a large part of the conservative base.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2014 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, that's how I took it - that others would reflexively call it amnesty. And that was why I broke it down: To show that opposing immigration of workers is bald labor protectionism, and is the agenda of labor unions, first and foremost. I believe Laura Ingraham is the worst example of this and I pull my hair out every time I hear her harping about "American workers quality of life." Shall we raise the minimum wage too, Laura?

My premise is that voting and government cheese for non-citizens are the chief concerns of most conservatives, so my plan addressed those concerns.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 12:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me put me cheerful face on. I have been accused of bad faith in immigration discussions -- and I'll accept some culpability.

But, boy howdy, the Tancredo wing does not follow the rational tack you adumbrate. Let me share a favorite phrase: "What part of illegal don't you understand?" They want these people punished for a crime. They want the border militarized to prevent its ever happening again.

You'll wince by my alluding to Jonathan Haidt / Arnold Kling again, but Conservatives per Kling operate on the order-barbarianism access; the rule of law means more than an economic cost/effect.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2014 12:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I meant to tell you that I talked to Tancredo about this subject on live radio. His resistance to any change in the status quo comes from a steadfast belief that the political pressure to allow immigrants to vote will be so overwhelming that eventually they'll get the franchise.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 3:31 PM

December 5, 2014

To Quote George Takei: Oh Myyyyyyy

And so it begins...

Hat-tip blog friend Sugarchuck on Facebook, who adds "What really cracked me up was the guy putting on his boots and swinging his hammer to bust that darned ol' glass ceiling. Guess the little lady just needed some menfolk around to help her out. "

Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

"And through it all, she's a loving wife."

Uhh, all what?

On the bright side, I think we finally have a song to listen to when we need to get any kind of memorable song out of our heads. It's like a palate cleanser for catchy tunes.

Posted by: johngalt at December 5, 2014 7:06 PM
But Jk thinks:

Hindsight is 20/20, eh? Did somebody make a mistake?

Posted by: Jk at December 5, 2014 9:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg is not wildly impressed:

It's so desperate, so discordant, so forced it's like watching Mitch Daniels in a Gangsta Rap video ("Earn your riches! Entitlement reform, bitches! I’m gonna make it rain work incentives!") or Henry Kissinger in a codpiece with a bunch of babes twerking in the background. Funny? Sure. But it's also weird. It makes me feel vaguely unsafe, like I would if I was sitting next to a really flirty, inebriated, and profane Madeleine Albright on a long flight. "Madame Secretary! The sign says 'Occupado!'"

Posted by: jk at December 6, 2014 1:19 PM

November 24, 2014


Military campaigns should be constrained, to the extent practicable, to declared wars. And in this country, Congress declares war. Not the POTUS. To wit:


This joint resolution may be cited as the "Declaration of War against the Organization known as the Islamic State".

Thank you candidate, err, Senator Paul.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:51 PM | Comments (0)

All Hail Insty!

Vicious. Partisan. Ad hominem. You're welcome.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:02 PM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2014

Don't let anyone tell you...

...that fossil fuels are required to make a bus go!


No idea if this is legit...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"It takes a village" to get Hillary's bus outta town.

"What difference, at this point, does it make" if the fuel gauge says empty or full?

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2014 6:44 PM

October 28, 2014

Sec. Clinton was Right?

Happy Birthday to Charlie Daniels, job creator!


Hat-tip: Rhonda Vincent

UPDATE: Tweeps not following @CharlieDaniels are making a big mistake. He provides homespun wisdom, conservative politics, and pretty pictures 140 characters at a time.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | Comments (0)

Otequay of the Ayday

In an article about Ms. Clinton's "gaffe" last week:

The senator has no clue where jobs come from and doesn't pretend to. She's a collection of categories, not a thoughtfully realized human being - a (pseudo) Native-American, feminist, populist, Harvard law professor. She no more knows where jobs come from than first-graders know where babies come from. She only knows that they exist and that something icky happened to make it so.

You guessed it - not Hillary, Elizabeth. But the article, the latest from the "Stimulus That!" blog of Communities Digital News contributor and economics professor Jim Picht, is more than just a single entertaining quote. It goes on to explain how Democrats and Republicans conspire to distract the electorate with one issue while a more important one goes unnoticed:

There are other things more important to making the job-creating activity profitable than the corporate tax rate. The regulatory environment is probably the most important of those. New York is less likely to attract new businesses and new jobs by cutting business taxes than it is by making it easier to start or expand a business, easier to hire new employees if there's a chance of a bigger profit, and not making it hard to get rid of those employees if the hoped-for profit doesn't materialize.

There is a great deal that our elected officials could do to make America a more vibrant business environment and American job markets more robust. The first step is honesty: Recognize where jobs come from, and where they don't. Businesses aren't the grit in our economic engine; they are the engine.

Taxes are the shibboleth that political parties and members of Congress use to identify enemies and avoid doing anything useful. It is impossible to be pro-consumer and pro-worker without being pro-business, yet Hillary wants to beat the horse of tax rates. Republicans are happy to go along. [Italics in original]

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2014

Sec. Clinton Shares Her Economic Wisdom

"Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs."

Hat-tip: Washington Free Breacon

UPDATE: great comment on this from former state rep Shawn Mitchell on Facebook. Reproduced with permission:

That is not econ 101, it's lefty econ 101. It's not demand that created jobs. Demand reflects people who are hungry or cold or unsheltered. But their wants do nothing to fill themselves. It's a supplier's insight to spot current demand or having a vision of *possible* demand, and then risk, investment, work and offering and seeing it through that creates the value and the attendant jobs.

All the demand in the world will not plant the crops that feed the hungry, sew the clothes the cover naked, or build the computers that efficiently manage information. Ultimately, of course, demand is necessary for any product or service to succeed in the marketplace, but demand isn't sufficient and in itself, it's futile. It doesn't create the product or the jobs necessary to make and market the product.

A farmer needs see enough mouths and market, and then needs to bust his hump through the seasons to supply. A homebuilder has to see residents and potential move ins, and then risk or recruit the investment capital to hire the workers to build the homes. Demand does squat except offer opportunity to risk takers with drive and vision.

And that's just current demand. Sometimes visionaries *create* demand. What demand was there for Henry Ford's model A? What demand was there for photocopiers? For yellow stickit notes? For apple Coumputers? For cell phones? For smart phones. Entrepeneurs envisoned new things and new ways and with great commitment and risk created the products that the public truned out to want. Demand created nothing. Vision, risk, and work created the products and the jobs.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:05 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Why do tax-and-spend politicians insist on referring to nominally market-based economic policies as "trickle down?" Because by the time they get done with it, a trickle of wealth creation is all that is left.

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2014 6:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Well played.

One thing that is really staring to disturb me is this new syntactical construction on the left. "Don't let anyone tell you that..." or Paul Krugman's "... these stories are false." I liked it better when they prevaricated with nuance.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2014 12:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have the opposite response. I'm glad that they aren't disguising the lies any longer. Fewer people will fall for them and, at the same time, it betrays a definitive state of panic that the stealthier tactics have failed.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2014 2:17 PM

October 17, 2014


I couldn't agree more.

"Sen. Rand Paul tells POLITICO that the Republican presidential candidate in 2016 could capture one-third or more of the African-American vote by pushing criminal-justice reform, school choice and economic empowerment."


When pressed on his ambitious goal, Paul upped the ante: "I don't want to limit it to that. I don't want to say there's only a third open. … The reason I use the number 'a third,' is that when you do surveys of African-American voters, a third of them are conservative on a preponderance of the issues. So, there is upside potential."

"As I travel and I go and meet with African-American leaders -- they may not be ready to embrace a Republican yet," Paul added. "But they say that they're very happy that we're competing for their vote. And they often tell me, 'You know what? I haven't seen my Democrat representative in a while.'"

It's remarkable how much better folks think of you when you TALK to them. And for this particular demographic, Republican candidates don't even need to learn Spanish.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:49 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

When I read "criminal-justice reform" I think "end the drug war."

NOW we'll get some comments goin'!

Yes, I am suggesting that a large share of the black vote is lost by Republicans over their "law and order" stance on drug enforcement. Yet another unintended consequence - electoral welfare for Democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2014 3:59 PM

October 13, 2014

Look out Jimmy Fallon...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. First I thought it was going to be a voter ID (not required) joke. Then a "you can be President but not have a bank account" without ID joke. But this was even funnier than those.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2014 2:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Pretty good timing as well.

Remember when Senator Bob Dole lost in '96? (some of you kids may not...) He went on to star in a bunch of funny commercials and published a book of political humor that was really good. Something elevating and liberating about a loss. Hell, even VP Gore's (finally) concession speech in 2000 was (I've got to break into Adam Smith lingo) lovely.

And if Gov. R wants to run again, a couple years of humanizing would not hurt.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2014 2:56 PM

September 3, 2014

Wrong time for Rand

[I posted roughly 60,000 words yesterday on the Facebook version of the inequality post. Good clean fun, but my typing fingers are sore. Ergo, a quick thought post]

My man, Senator Rand Paul will be undone by events in 2016. We should have eschewed Senator Obama's naiveté in 2008. I remember fright around a dinner table when I visited blog friend sc that year. "You may not be interested in War Mister Trotsky..."

After six years of American disinterest in world leadership, polls show interest in it reviving. Senator Paul is tacking to catch favorable winds, but that makes him look phony to doves and distrustful to hawks. We need his Constitutionalism, but his foreign policy will not fly in a messy 2016. C'est le guerre.

William Galston writes in the WSJ:

Events overseas present Mr. Obama not only with policy challenges, but also with an opportunity to re-energize his depleted presidency. They also have implications for Republicans. As recently as last November, 52% of Republicans said that the U.S. does too much abroad; only 18% thought we do too little. But their sentiments have shifted dramatically. Now, the share of Republicans who think we do too little abroad has surged by 28 points, to 46%, while the share of those who think we do too much has fallen by 15 points, to 37%.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

If I were on Rand's policy strategy team I would suggest he formulate his foreign policy Doctrine. Like the Bush Doctrine, but with moral, philosophical specifics. (Bush never said what it meant to be with "us" in contrast to the "terrorists.")

'Paul Doctrine' [first draft] - "You respect individual rights, or you are an enemy of mankind."
Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2014 1:48 PM
But jk thinks:
America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. -- John Quincy Adams
I think it requires more of a self-interest focus. Posted by: jk at September 4, 2014 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Was JQA critical of France for aiding the Colonials?

Whether to intervene abroad is a case by case decision but whether America is a "well-wisher" a destroyer of tyrants or anywhere along that continuum, it is in the name of individual rights and it is against those who infringe them.

It is the bedrock principle. Sort of a Declaration of Foreign Policy Moral Authority.

Posted by: johngalt at September 4, 2014 5:40 PM

July 3, 2014

That Sarah Palin is Soooo Stupid!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

"But how SPECIAL is this special relationship" [with William Hague, Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, who is doing work on "sexual violence in conflict."]

Hil- "It is so special, to me, personally."

Hmmm. Do you think she heard the question the way that I did?

Posted by: johngalt at July 3, 2014 12:48 PM
But HB thinks:

If only those Tories could beat those pesky conservatives.

Posted by: HB at July 4, 2014 3:26 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Remember all the angst about how John McCain was too old to be president? Had he been elected, on inauguration day he would have been just 3 years older than Mrs. Clinton will be when she's sworn in.

There's no way to say this without sounding boorish. She's either not particularly intelligent (which, despite everything else I dislike about her, I don't really believe) or she may be beginning to develop some form of early onset dementia. I'm not sure how else to explain this and other public statements she's made recently which demonstrate a very tenuous grasp on facts which should be well known to any adult who's deeply engaged in world events.

Sadly, I'm fairly certain that between the vote for anybody with a D after his name crowd, the free stuff is more important than freedom crowd, and the make history by voting for a woman crowd, she'll lock down 51% of the people who bother to show up in 2016.

Posted by: AndyN at July 4, 2014 4:47 PM

June 5, 2014

Democratic solutions to inequality - an analogy

If the Democratic meme of "income inequality" were applied to medicine, this is how it would work:

Supposed you break your arm and take it to a doctor for fixing. Using "inequality" logic, the doctor would first provide aspirin for "immediate relief." Then the doctor would go to the next patient and break his arm. Nothing would be fixed, but everyone would be equal.

Using free market logic, the arm would be set and immobilized until it healed. This solution would be neither pain-free nor immediate, but would eventually result in having two good arms.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:32 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. Yeah, I see. Fortunately we have Hippocrates, and his ancient oath to protect us from mistreatment by physicians.

How do we go about getting that applied to government?

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2014 6:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Harrison Bergeron, call your office!

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2014 7:20 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Good point, JG. If only we had some established, codified set of principles that government officials could be required to swear an oath to uphold.

Posted by: AndyN at June 5, 2014 8:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Man would THAT be cool!

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2014 9:20 PM

June 3, 2014

Brave, Brave, Sir Robin.

Sec. Clinton, in the shadow of le Condo d'Amour, takes a bold stand on the deserters-for-terrorists swap: "Well, we'll see."

Gotta click, MSNBC wants me to buy an embed code. That's gonna happen.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2014

I Know ThreeSourcers Love a Bargain!

66% Off!

Hillary Clinton will be speaking at the 1STBANK Center next week in Broomfield, Colorado. But it appears event organizers are having a hard time selling out: tickets to the event have been put on sale, and are now selling for 66 percent cheaper than the original sale price.

Hat-tip: Insty

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

May 8, 2014

But she flew a million miles!

SecState #67: A t'riffic judge of character

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years. And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government's ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

In the past week, Clinton, who made protecting women and girls a key pillar of her tenure at the State Department, has been a vocal advocate for the 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the loosely organized group of militants terrorizing northern Nigeria. Her May 4 tweet about the girls, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, was cited across the media and widely credited for raising awareness of their plight.

Now, anybody can make a mistake, but . . .
What Clinton didn't mention was that her own State Department refused to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the group bombed the UN headquarters in Abuja. The refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen Senators and Congressmen.

Never criticize a Secretary of State until you've flown a million miles in her pantsuit.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:27 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Despite my first instinct to quip, "Perhaps the request to designate Boko Haram as an FTO didn't come at 3am when, Democratic Presidential Primary candidate Clinton told us, she is at her best" I will instead remind that "her own State Department" was subordinate to the White House. So President Obama, and not just SOS Clinton, had to approve the designation.

But what happens to the narrative "terror networks are on the run under my administration" when you add a new one to the list? This had to be nearly as much a political impossibility in 2011 as it would have been anytime prior to November, 2012.

But that date is noteworthy in the article for another reason: It's when the NSA apparently made its own FTO designation for the group. Sometime after election day, no doubt.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2014 2:58 PM

March 19, 2014

Sen. Daschle Sleeps with the Fishes

The Journal also quotes former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle saying "there's a fatigue and a physical demand that [Sec. Hillary Clinton] has to consider. She's much older than she was 20 years ago, when her husband first started, so there are a lot of personal considerations to take into account." -- WSJ
Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, he didn't actually divulge her age. Aren't all of us "much older" than we were 20 years ago? And who can fault Daschle merely for articulating something that, in Hillary's case, is so glaringly obvious?

I do wonder what happened to the bangs, though. They took 20 years off by themselves.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2014 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Were I the former first lady (impossible as my lovely bride was born in Manila Bay), were I Sec. Clinton, I might try to find an unflattering recent photo of the former Senate Leader.

But -- subjunctive aside -- I am not Sec Clinton and I think a more Vince Fosterish approach likely...

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Pierre -- We were saddened and disappointed today to hear that former US Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashle (Insulted Hillary - SD) was found today. He had apparently slashed his throat, shot himself 11 times, driven over himself in a car and thrown himself down a canyon in the Black Hills.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 3:28 PM

January 15, 2014

Further Softening on l'Affaire Christie

Perhaps blog brother jg is right and I am wrong. Just this one time. In this one instance.

My outrage over the GWB lane closures (think of the chillllldren!!!) I confess, is borne of naiveté. Fancy me of all people underestimating the frequency and severity of government's purposefully punishing the citizenry.

I accept misfeasance but rarely malfeasance. That makes me a hopeless naif.

President Obama seeks to take federally funded food out of the mouths of poor rural youth. Insty notes the reflections of Bridgeghazi and links to this Bridget Johnson piece.

The program dates back to a 2000 bill, which was extended in July 2012 for that fiscal year. The $323 million in funds were doled out to 41 states by the USDA in January 2013. But two months later, after sequestration went into effect, the Obama administration announced it wanted $17.9 million back -- prompting bipartisan backlash from governors and congressional representatives of the affected states.

"The Obama administration appeared intent on making this sequester as painful and visible as possible, and this was another example. Instead of working with Congress to make responsible cuts and reforms, the administration took the political opportunity to go after funds used to pay teachers and police salaries," [Chairman Doc] Hastings said at a hearing on the report today.

Rule #1 in software development is "nothing is easy." Rule #1 in libertarianism is "the State is not your friend." Fancy my forgetting that.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2014

Cement Shoes

Props indeed, but I don't think you wanna be on this list.

During her 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton's aides kept a meticulous "political hit list" containing the names of members of Congress who had "burned her" by endorsing Barack Obama, an upcoming book on Clinton's political "rebirth" reveals.

"We wanted to have a record of who endorsed us and who didn't and of those who endorsed us, who went the extra mile and who was just kind of there," a member of Clinton's 2008 campaign team told Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the authors of "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton," in an excerpt published by Politico. "And of those who didn’t endorse us, those who understandably didn't endorse us because they are [Congressional Black Caucus] members or Illinois members. And then, of course, those who endorsed him but really should have been with her."

On the other, how much harm could this sweet old lady do?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:49 PM | Comments (0)

I Can Forgive Bridgeghazi, but . . .

This Shall Not Stand.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Blog diplomat here... McCoy is a great coach and the Spanos family are (is a?) great owner(s). But it takes more than luck to beat Manning's Broncos in the playoffs. Sometimes.

Posted by: johngalt at January 13, 2014 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, yes, I see. Your point is noted, but on the other hand SHUT UP!! IT'S THE GORRAM CHARGERS!!! PHIL CRY-ME-A-RIVERS!!!

And, now he would have to win without Colorado's nine electoral votes. Always tough for a Republican.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2014 3:26 PM

January 10, 2014

This Guy is Good...

Chris Christie's apology was awesome on stilts. Republicans keep waiting for "another Reagan." I do not think I have seen as clear an advocate for either party since #40.

He was forthright. The Obamas and Clintons of the world open a speech with "I take full responsibility" and then speak for 40 minutes about how it really wasn't their fault. The big man took his medicine.

One cannot help but gag at the coverage. I quoted a @willcollier tweet: "I'm not much of a Christie fan, but you'd think by the press coverage today that the city of Chicago had never existed." It led the local prettyboy-perkygirl teevee news last night and this morning. The governor of New Jersey! What am I to Hecuba? They asked political experts for comment. I bet they gave zero coverage to THE PRESIDENT'S scandals.

I know that is what my blog brother was trying to tell me below. I am still fine with being a whole lot better than they are. But the reason I wanted Governor Christie was his skill at pushing back and not necessarily accepting the narrative. A lot of folks cheered at Speaker Gingrich when he would snark back at a debate questioner. Christie gives you the same with more skill and a better philosophical underpinning.

Color me very impressed at the response.

UPDATE: Reading this it sounds like I am more forgiving than I may be. I'd say he saved his right to compete yesterday and reminded me what I liked. OTOH, Jim Geraghty nails it:

But . . . we're left with a guy who had not one bad apple, but several, doing terrible things -- that they must have believed served Christie's purposes, or else they're psychotic saboteurs -- and Christie being oblivious to it all. Christie may not be the villain here, but he's not the hero -- and every once in a while on Thursday, he seemed a little too focused upon his victimization by his staff. No, the real victims are those Fort Lee commuters and the kids stuck on school buses.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Sigh. Geraghty is a pinhead. Or at least a scarecrow technician.

Either Christie's top minions think doing "terrible" things [Really? So they made the trains stop running on time for, what, a few days? Hardly in the category of "terrible" as historical abuses of power go.] would serve Christie's purposes OR they're just out to wreck him.

Another more plausible explanation remains unsaid: Fresh off electoral victory, these people let what power they had go to their heads. They acted without thinking through the consequences. They, perhaps unconsciously, followed the fine examples given them by their contemporaries, mostly in the other party. And, did what, tried to give a pol from the other party "a dose of his own medicine."

Christie can still be the hero by explaining how seductive government power can be to those who hold it, that it can tempt even the best of people. "My mission is to manage an administration that has zero tolerance for such an attitude, at any level of government." Well said Mister President. (Damn, it pains me to think of him in that office instead of Paul or Cruz or even Walker. But all of them could learn some lessons from Christie, if he handles this properly.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2014 1:51 PM

January 9, 2014


The greatest scandal name of all time. I howled when I heard Kennedy say it on FBN's The Independents. When I looked on twitter to see if was catching on, I saw this bit of truth:

"@danielradosh: #bridgeghazi may be the coinage to finally get us past the -gate suffix. It's been 40 years people! Evolve the lingo!"

As ThreeSources's chief Christie cheerleader, I better issue some mea culpas. Insty finds this stirring defense in a comment thread:
"For pettiness, I believe this bridge fiasco is more on a par with the shutdown of federal parks during the government shutdown than the IRS abuses. The IRS abuses appear to be intimidation for election purposes. The park blockades appeared to be pettiness to prove a point. The bridge fiasco also appears to be pettiness to prove a point."

Like Reagan's proverbial child on Christmas morn, I am looking for the pony in this manure pile. But "Obama did the same thing with a bigger body count" strikes me as a low bar. As I like to complain about the President: he either knew about it which makes him a corrupt liar, or he did not which makes him an incompetent boob. I'm not going to spend a lot of time arguing which is worse.

I did not abandon the big Garden State Guv when he sucked up to the President to ensure disaster funding after Sandy. I rolled my eyes at his eastern, elitist acceptance of restrictions on gun rights. I winced but did not shut the door when he attacked Senator Rand Paul.

"We'll have a campaign in 2016," said jk. "We'll see who has the best ideas and best chance to propagate them." I was in the Rand Camp but ready to listen.

But this is a very big deal and I am abandoning -- with heartfelt sadness -- a politician I have long admired.

UPDATE: Or, as Reason says:

Which do you prefer? The kind of ruthless, Nixonian maniac who's willing to screw enormous numbers of people to get revenge on someone he perceives as disloyal? Or the kind of ruthless, Nixonian maniac who builds a machine that can do that without getting him personally involved?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (8)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

BTW, specifically for Brother JK: saw your slate and cabinet appointments on Twitter, but I have a question: since at least three of the departments on the bottom row are slated for dissolution (at least, when I become President they will be), do you think Dr. Carson, Sheriff Joe, and Ms. Noem are going to relish being hired as temps?

I mean: "Job Description: provide your plan for eliminating your entire department within ninety days of hire."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 9, 2014 1:25 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought I saw a flicker of a pony tail reading jg's awesome comment. But the other end of the animal still seems elusive.

To be clear: I meant to mock the defending commenter. Does it suck that we are held to a higher standard in the media than our opponents? [3...2...1...] yup! But I want to have a higher standard. Not on binders full of women -- but this is actual abuse of power.

Of course you delegate, but you hire those whom you can trust to not purposefully endanger lives. Christie was at his top form in his original denial "Yeah, if you look at the video you can see me there in overalls personally placing the yellow cones." Merciful Zeus! I love that -- a denial with panache! He would not sit still for a "binders full of women" attack and I think we need a little Jersey pushback next time Candy Crawley hosts a debate.

That is why I refused to abandon him over all the things my Facebook libertarians have. There is a b'bye Chris post each month. But I looked forward to the primary process. And it's a free country, he still can.

Whatever happens, his voluminousness will have done the party the greatest of service if "Bridgeghazi" sticks. Replacing "-gate" with "-ghazi," implicitly replacing Nixon with Obama as the scandal archetype -- that is great stuff!

@Keith: the cabinet appointments were not mine and I would do the whole page differently -- possibly but not limited to including bikini models. I RT-ed the picture so as to get my joke of "Chris Christie for Secretary of Transportation" out into the aether. It needed a vehicle and that one was convenient.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2014 2:38 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Any vehicle, convenient or not, carrying Chris Christie better have off-road shocks installed. Jus' sayin'.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 9, 2014 2:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Actual abuse of power" yes, but by a subordinate. A subordinate who has been fired. And who doubtless viewed it, to the extent she gave it any thought at all, as an inconvenience but never as a threat to life or safety.

Has Kathleen Sebelius been fired? Was Secretary Clinton fired? Head of the IRS? ATF? DOJ? The only people thrown under the bus by SCOAMF are military officers who tell him he is a ClusterF*$! as a military commander. And that is just so he can replace them with sycophants.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2014 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

All true. Again "Not as petty, vindictive, dangerous, and corrupt as President Obama!" will look great on the campaign posters.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2014 5:17 PM
But jk thinks:

WSJ Ed Page:

Mr. Christie is a skilled politician with a gift for answering hard questions, and that gift was again on display at Thursday's press conference. The important question now is whether he understands the bridge story isn't a test of his staff but of his own credibility. America doesn't need--after a year of revelations that the IRS was turned against President Obama's opponents--another chief executive willing to condone government attacks on his political adversaries. And Republicans don't need a presidential nominee who fulfills the liberal stereotype that he's a political bully.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2014 5:46 PM

January 3, 2014



Too strong, perhaps, but I did wonder if Hillary knew the young woman who escorted Bill to the Mayor Comrade Citizen DeBlasio inauguration Wednesday. Is this really her? Wow, that President HRC thingy may have taken a small step in the wrong direction.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2013


SIDE NOTE: It is not true that all the bad presidents are known by their initials. It is only true that all Presidents known by their initials are bad. It is a common error in logic.

Roger Simon has an interesting piece today: "The Principal Enemy." About -- whom else -- Secretary Hillary Clinton.

I don't know that I am comfortable referring to political opponents as "enemies" but Simon's call is to reject internecine squabbles to focus on the horror of Ms. Clinton's winning in 2016. One segment of it truly struck me:

Hillary is the one who can consolidate and solidify the "gains" of the Obama era in a way Obama himself never could because she is much more politically savvy -- Obama was only savvy about getting elected, not governing -- and has the backing of her even more politically savvy husband. Hillary is the one who can fully remake the United States into some version of Western Europe or, yet more frighteningly, China, a permanently stratified state capitalism governed by quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats.

Let's put Hillary == China in the same box as "Principal Enemy," but the legislative point is brilliant and worthy of attention. President Kennedy was also good at getting elected, even bringing in a rival who could steal the votes of electoral-rich Texas. But Kennedy was not a skilled legislator and his agenda stalled despite his personal popularity.

When LBJ ascended, he considered it his duty to pursue the JFK* agenda. Robert Caro describes how he used his mastery to pass almost the entire agenda intact. Simon is dead right that a Clinton term would solidify the progressive steps which President Obama cannot. She would "fix" ObamaCare into a more popular, defensible, and permanent entitlement.

*JFK is the least bad of the "initials" Presidents but I am comfortable keeping him on the list.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:50 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Equating the LBJ agenda with the JFK agenda does not comport with my worldview, but I am open to re-education.

It's not just HRC who threatens to solidify the "gains" of the BHO administration. We must also be wary of Republicans who will attempt to "fix" Obamacare. The day I most fear is the one when President Obama extracts head from rectum and agrees to "compromise" with Republicans on legislative changes. At that point America's health care disaster will no longer be attributable, politically, to Obama and the democrats. Washington will return to business as usual and the forces of liberty will have lost a powerful electoral weapon against Leviathan.

Posted by: johngalt at January 1, 2014 1:00 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Jk, you plan to sign up as a Democrat and vote in the primaries to avert a Clinton nomination? ^_~

I think I'll wait before I decide who public enemy no. 1 is. Don't know who her competition is yet. Clinton is not the only half way competent person on that side of the party.

The JFK-BHO analogy is a good one though.

Posted by: T. Greer at January 2, 2014 8:26 AM
But jk thinks:

Actually, tg, I am on record as choosing then-Sen. Clinton over then-Sen. Obama in 2008. Many of my Republican friends suggested registering D to nominate the "lightweight" "easily-beatable" Barack Obama. Five years in, folks, may I respectfully ask "How's that Hopey-Changey stuff working out for you?"

I said at the time and will likely say again in '16 that she is the least worst of those likely to run. Plus -- and I know your suggestion was made lightly -- I would never do that and look down on those who do. A party gets to choose its nominee.

@jg I would not presume to educate you on anything, but take my 243rd recommendation to read Robert A Caro. Passage to Power (Vol. 4) documents the final culmination of LBJ's ambition, but the circumstances and continued presence of Kennedy staffers leave him a delicate path.

Somewhere between pragmatism and what may have been the slightest glimmer of actual human decency, his first task was to use his unprecedented-and-never-superseded legislative chops to push through the Kennedy agenda. No doubt much of the full term was his, but very little of JFK's would have survived Russell and the old Senate Bulls had Kennedy completed his term.

Posted by: jk at January 2, 2014 11:07 AM

August 21, 2013

Quote of the Day

Any thoughts about 2016, Camille Paglia?

As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal. It's time to put my baby-boom generation out to pasture! We've had our day and managed to muck up a hell of a lot. It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished -- beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move -- with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying "I take responsibility" for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.

Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in "King Lear." As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, "What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?" Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve -- and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.

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

Thank everlovin' NED for this. I was completely convinced that not a single solitary Democrat was paying any attention at all. At least now I know that, among at least some of those who are, their anti-Americanism is mere partisanship. Maybe next time they'll be more careful about nominating an Islamist as their presidential candidate, preordaining such distasteful bedfellows for themselves.

Posted by: johngalt at August 22, 2013 4:00 PM
But jk thinks:

One honest Democrat libertarian (not sure she lives her,, but still...)

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2013 5:34 PM

August 10, 2013

Tweet of the Day

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 6, 2013

Our Margaret

Peggy Noonan weighs in on the Rand Paul - Chris Christie contretemps and wins back a couple of her erstwhile best fans. THE WSJ Ed Page has jumped rather solidly on Christie's side. There are exceptions, but they both had a front row seat for 9/11 and have long favored muscular policy abroad and order at home.

Noonan provides her trademark thoughtfulness in Why Christie is Wrong.

So Christie is wrong that concerns and reservations about surveillance are the province of intellectuals and theorists--they're not. He's wrong that their concerns are merely abstract--they're concrete. Americans don't want to be listened in to, and they don't want their emails read by strangers, especially the government. His stand isn't even politically shrewd--it needlessly offends sincere skeptics and isn't the position of the majority of his party, I suppose with the exception of big ticket donors in Aspen.

And Christie's argument wasn’t even... an argument. It was a manipulation. If you don't see it his way you don’t know what 9/11 was--you weren't there, you don't know how people suffered. If you don't see it his way you don't care about the feelings of the widows and orphans.

It seems to me telling that he either doesn't have a logical argument or doesn't think he has to make it.

Stinging by its truthfulness. (H/T: one of the other "erstwhilers:" blog friend sc by email.)

Posted by John Kranz at 9:21 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Make that three.

Peter King was talking about Senator Paul this morning and claimed that Rand "doesn't want America to be a world power." My sense is that Rand wants no such thing, he just doesn't want American presidents throwing that power around as much as has been done since mid last century. If I'm right, this could explain the Christie/Paul divide in the minds of those who see things the way King does.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2013 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

I will violate Reagan's 11th for Rep. King any day any hour and any topic. I understand that we must appeal to his voting constituency, but that man would not know liberty were it to bite him in his Congressional Ass.

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2013 3:17 PM

July 29, 2013

Governor Christie

T'was not my intent to convert tg and jg. But I could really do pretty well without this:


If Secretary Hillary Clinton defeats Governor Christie in 2016, I'm going to be a wee bit upset with Another Voice of Warning.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:59 PM | Comments (15)
But jk thinks:

Kumbaya. I bet we could all agree that President Christie would be another step toward Federalizin' Centralizin' Crony-capitalizin' Drug Warrin' big Gub'mint. For that reason, I expect to support Senator Paul in 2016.

I'll break to point out some heterodoxy: so was President Reagan. Neither James Earl Carter nor Ronald Wilson Reagan were Rand Paul. By libertarian logic Carter == Reagan.

I call shenanigans on that and I call shenanigans on Christie == HR Clinton. My friend's analysis is well thought through and fair to a point. But I've big quibbles. In energy, I think Sec. Clinton will be beholden to the environmentalist supporters she shares with President Obama. Keystone and Fracking will not have a friend on Pennsylvania Avenue. Do we get the economy of North Dakota or Detroit?

Before ObamaCare® and RomneyCare® there was HillaryCare® Downplaying differences between Clinton and Christie by comparing Romney and Obama is a bit circuitous -- whom would you want making decisions and appointing Cabinet heads when the ACA disintegrates?

Before Gov. Christie became the earthly incarnation of Satan himself, he was known as a tough guy who took on public sector unions (which could kinda be important between 2017-2021) and a fierce advocate of free markets which we have not had in the GOP for the last two elections.

My brother jg will go ahead and pull the R for Christie if he has to. But if we spend three years running him down, he'll be one of the few. If I may invoke a Democrat in GOP politics, I am asking, Van Buren style for "mutual forbearance." At least from jg (as I don't think tg has ties to the party), can we have a friendly war to the death for the soul of the party? Please?

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2013 10:12 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

Well, like I said, I don't really know much about Christie. Has not popped up on my radar until this. Not a good place to start....

But he might be redeemable. I will wait and see.

The Reagan Carter bit is on point. But given that, is it too bold to submit that while we would be better off with Reagan than Carter holding office in 2016, we really don't want either? Reagan was good for his time. But now the trends he did not stop - and in some cases helped along - have intensified. The integrity of the republic depends on their reversal. In 2016 we need a party that is ready to contend for these things.

It is kind of a tricky game. I was not around for the 2012 elections but I've been told GOP lost a few places because Tea Party section balked at middle ground Republicans who could have won a majority in favor of more 'pure' candidates who were destined to lose. Should national republicans follow suit? I don't know, and 2016 is a long ways away anyway. A lot can happen between then and now and I really prefer not to pin Presidential hopefuls until the November before. It is really early for personality death fights.

P.S. Regarding energy - Obama has not been able to stop fracking yet.... That is a fight against the tides. I do not think any Democratic President is going to waste their political capital on killing fracking. Maybe if the Democrats sweep the Congress and the executive it could happen as an after thought. But there is too much money to be made and too little is to be gained by not making that money. The environmentalist lobby is such a small part of the populace. Environmentalism is not an issue that excites the masses.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 31, 2013 11:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

@tg- A thorough analysis with which I mostly agree, differing mostly in how I would term the severity of explosions and collapses. I think those civil institutions you mentioned are alive and well in the communities which represent the TEA Party, i.e. rural and small to medium cities. And reversing their decline is a large part of the TEA Party platform (sometimes to my chagrin.)

3. Health Care - If you listen to Senator Cruz, and I do, every chance I get, the last exit before Obamacare cum Single-payer is January, 2014. If 41 GOP senators or 218 GOP congressmen don't muster the principled fortitude to defund it through the continuing resolution, every president for the next several decades will have to govern around the ban on full-time employment for low-income workers.

@jk- I see my purpose to call balls and strikes more than to advocate. You can lament the stridency of AVOW and the Paulbots but it doesn't make them go away. Personally I choose tumult over polity within the party, because I see the leadership ("establishment") being too beholden to the approbations of media. This makes them "Democrat-lite" and it is the strategy of a permanent minority party.

In response to strident voices I resort to measured tones explaining where I agree or disagree, and why, and upon what moral authority. It is a slow way to prosthelytize, but I find its effects to be more lasting. If I could call off those dogs nipping at the NJ governor I would, but since I can't I'll just say "good dog" or "bad dog" as the case may be. Friendly enough?

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2013 12:03 PM
But jk thinks:

@tg -- I wept when Governor Christie announced that he was not seeking the nomination in 2012. Like most, I first didn't believe him, but the day I believed him, I wept. You're the TR fan around here: he is bellicose, confronting his opponents on ideas and philosophy. He took on the public sector unions in New Jersey and prevailed. He fought off a "millionaire's tax" and governs an überBlue State with an almost unanimously Democratic legislature.

Give the big man two-and-a-half minutes.

I am not abandoning him over his doing his job collecting Federal Jack post-Sandy nor disappointments in gun rights or NSA.

I completely agree that a Rand Paul is needed more that the proverbial "next Reagan." Number 40 won me over to the GOP with a speech titled "the new Federalism," yet he arrogated Executive and Federal power. I want a Coolidge.

Ah, 2012... The Republicans nominated some very stoopid candidates, notably some with interesting takes on human biological processes. You get into a "no true Scotsman" argument as I would not call Todd Akin (Dumb - MO) or Richard Murdoch(Dummer - IN) Tea Partiers so much as traditional Social Conservatives. They were not Christine O'Donnell (Witch - DE) or Ken Buck (Boots - CO) types.

Fracking. Wow. You need to come visit us in Colorado someday (really, we would sacrifice some animal in your honor). It's a GIANT percentage of our state's income and prosperity, yet it will be outlawed soon -- the primary causus belli for the 51st State movement. Our geologist governor is holding it off as long as he can but Matt Damon seems to be considered handsomer than scientists. I very much hope you're right. But you're applying reason; around Boulder it is all "THEY"RE POISONING OUR CHILDREN'S DRINKING WATER!!!"

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2013 1:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Rand Paul on Chris Christie: He's the king of bacon!

Call balls & strikes all you want -- I'm putting him in the box for two for breaking Reagan's 11th Commandment. & if I make Taranto's mixed metaphor column, well, we need the publicity.

Seriously, a statesman would better deflect an inter-party rival. A more-out=of-sadness-than-anger tone would work better here.

Exhibit B for "It's not your time, Doctor" was his being dismissive of the Paul Ryan budget. Great to say "Good start, I'd like to cut more!" Counterproductive to imply it is no better than Obama's.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2013 2:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"You give it, you're gettin' it back" comports well with "if they want to make me the target, they will get it back in spades."

Did Reagan win because of his acting ability? Perhaps. Christie is far more telegenic than the nerdy Senator Paul.

"Bringing home the bacon" was Christie's attack on Paul. Are we criticizing Paul for repeating it?

And Christie is saying it's ok to bring pork to New Jersey because it's such a high tax state. Some rationale.

Did you listen to Rand's interview? He tried to deflect the attacks and call for growing the party and increasing its appeal to young voters and northeastern voters.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2013 2:45 PM

June 4, 2013

Fraught with Peril

Yes, I am adding a "2016" category. Dammit Jim, I 'm a pundit not a chronographer!

I break with my Tea Party Brethren and Sisteren in that I am game to give Gov. Chris Christie (R - NJ, spilling into parts of PA and NY) a serious listen should he enter the arena in 2016. Sucking up to the President in an Emergency is on any Governor's To-do list. The timing was unfortunate, but...

But, as Larry Kudlow reminds, he is a pro-growth conservative who gets 70% in the über-blue Garden State. And he gives passionate, clear, and eloquent voice to principles of freedom. I'm not his for the asking, but I certainly have not ruled out supporting him.

Daniel Foster pens a nice column on the different considerations in replacing Senator Frank Lautenberg (D - NJ - RIP).

Whom Christie selects to take Lautenberg's seat in the interim will both affect and be affected by these considerations. Does he go with a placeholder with no intention to run to retain the seat? Does he pick a serious contender who can at least mount a credible challenge to Booker, and hope to boost that contender's chances with his own coattails? Does he appoint a Democrat, with an eye on conceding the Senate race to boost his own bipartisan credentials for 2013 (and 2016)?

Foster enumerates and handicaps the choices. Game on!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM | Comments (11)
But johngalt thinks:

Oh yeah, "supposedly?" "SUPPOSEDLY?"

Posted by: johngalt at June 4, 2013 5:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Suderman justifiably chides the GOP for "short-term thinking that grips the GOP right now" then Douthat dismisses fiat money concerns with "inflation is the least of the West's economic problems" at [this] time.

Posted by: johngalt at June 4, 2013 6:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought you'd like that, "supposedly." I'm just here to make folks happy.

Retract Douthat's "should win" if you want (not sure I will) and look at "could win." Those five seem like tough sells to low information voters. He's Pro-life, he's not for free contraception, he's not for bailing out lavish public union pensions -- ergo, he ain't winning California.

His austere budget will be easily demagoged. He's a good politician, but those five points represent five brutal fronts for all out assault.

I don't want a balanced budget amendment and will not likely care for his idea of Fed reform. The only Constitutional possibilities are to allow a greater Congressional role (have you seen Congress) or to appoint a hawk as Chair (that I would go for).

The other three I dig but can be replaced in a TV spot by:

2) Raise poor folks taxes and lower the wealthy's

3) Stop giving "free" heath care to 26 year olds, free contraception for women, and allow the heartless insurance companies to deny coverage to Moms with Cancer.

5) Throw Grandma off the cliff.

Start packing my bags for the inauguration, shall I?

Posted by: jk at June 4, 2013 6:40 PM
But jk thinks:

And it (inflation) is pretty low on the West's problems list at this time. The Cross of Gold did not work for William Jennings Bryan. Monetary policy is a hard vehicle to ride to victory on.

Posted by: jk at June 4, 2013 6:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And now you know why I groaned. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2013 2:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

On the other hand, Reason's Gillespie sez Paul's budget slashing is a plus with young voters, whose 5 million vote preference for Obama dwarfed the 2 million extra voters from the over 30 crowd for Romney:

"Millennials, says the report, don't care much about abstractions such as that favorite Republican bogeyman, "big government." But they are into cutting government spending and reducing the national debt, as they realize both things are strangling their future before it begins. Fully 90 percent agree that Social Security and Medicare need to be reformed now, 82 percent are ready to "make tough choices about cutting government spending, even on some programs some people really like," and 72 percent want to cut the size of government "because it is simply too big."

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2013 2:36 AM