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)

July 29, 2016

Could've had this guy.

Only losers weep at elections lost. Okay, pass me my Scarlet 'L;' Gov. Rick Perry gets it.

As my Blog Brother and Randy Barnett said: maybe the Republican Party should unite around the theory of "Republicanism."

There has been...and will continue to be...an important and legitimate role for the federal government in enforcing civil rights.

Too often, we Republicans...myself included...have emphasized our message on the Tenth Amendment but not our message on the Fourteenth...an Amendment, it bears reminding, that was one of the first great contributions of the Republican Party to American life, second only to the abolition of slavery.

For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote...because we found that we could win elections without it.

But when we gave up on trying to win the support of African-Americans, we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln...as the party of equal opportunity for all.

It is time for us to once again reclaim our heritage as the only party in our country founded on the principle of freedom for African-Americans.

One of the most important things we did in Texas while I was governor was reform our sentencing laws, so that non-violent offenders could stay out of prison.

The whole piece is joyous.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Not a dollar short, but certainly a day late.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2016 3:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Indeed. Funny systen that tosses a successful Governor overboard for a single embarrassing-but-unharmful gaffe. I'm not even making fun of others, I did not take him very seriously this time around.

I am thinking that this is the foundation for an elevator speech on Republicanism. The need to balance the 10th and 14th Amendments are the heart and soul of liberty.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2016 3:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. It is a principled defense of liberty.

And I find it comforting that its author endorsed Trump for president.

"He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them," Perry said Thursday.

"He wasn't my first choice, wasn't my second choice, but he is the people's choice," Perry added.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2016 5:04 PM

June 14, 2016

GOP senate contenders chime in

Hats off to KHOW's Ross Kaminsky (formerly RossPutin) for getting this ball rolling.

He got all six to answer 18 questions. See the results here.

I think I still like Mr. Keyser, not just b/c he's first. Other votes?

Posted by nanobrewer at 1:22 AM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm trying to remember what it was that convinced me but I recently called Jack Graham, "the RINO's RINO." I'm beyond disappointed with his answer on the religious baker question: A church shouldn't be compelled to serve gay weddings, but "it's different for private businesses?" Really?

America - Land of the compelled and home of the taxed. Not the kind of leadership I'm voting for.

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2016 7:26 PM
But jk thinks:

And I was certain the horsies would sway you.

Not my favorite answer on the "Cake Police" question, but he's in line with Gov. Gary Johnson (THC - NM)*

He was not on my radar, I had heard "RINO" charges; in a possible separate topic, that term is ready for the same retirement Lowell Weicker, Jim Jeffords, and Lincoln Chafee enjoy. It ceased to mean what it meant. As the debate(s) wore on, I saw him providing better answers on trade and speaking from conviction instead of pandering to the base.

Probably not the greatest voice of liberty in my time, but a pragmatic and electable guy whom I am comfortable having him represent me. The other guys are far more firebrandish, but on social issues they plan much greater compulsion than Jack "Bake the Goddam cake already!" Graham.

* ooh, that's a good one!

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2016 7:55 PM
But jk thinks:

One exception: the term "RINO" may still be employed to reference the Senior Senator from Maine. Maine senators King and Collins back gun sale ban based on terror 'watch lists'

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2016 7:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The senior senator from Maine" and, umm, Mitch McConnell?

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2016 11:16 AM
But jk thinks:

"Can't we all get along?"

No sir, that is the exact usage which exasperates me (oh great, he's exasperated now...)

Sen. Collins could run as a Democrat or Republican in most states. She has no dedicated crusades. She's a moderate voice, better than Sen. Boxer. But, like a Jeffords or Chafee, she can change and nobody will say "huh?"

I know you are displeased, exasperated perhaps, with Leader McConnell. I'll sit still while you call him all kinds of names. You may even use coarse language. But he is not a RINO, per se.

Not rock-solid on guns, eh? You read the Wall St. Journal Ed Page or watch Kudlow? There is a broad swath of serious Republicans who favor gun control. (And a DINO or two who don't).

He's a wheeler-dealer who is too willing to trade some items I wish were not on the table. But I hear the Leader and Speaker Ryan called RINOs. It seems to have morphed into "somebody I do not like or agree with" like the lefties calling everyone "fascist."

Posted by: jk at June 15, 2016 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So since being a Democrat means advancing any one or more redistributionist or anti-liberty law or policy, and being a Republican only means wheeling and dealing with Democrats to achieve "progress" in our country, I get it now: It is unfair to apply a "purity test" to Republicans, even if the purity being sought is adherence to the principles of republicanism.

So McConnell (and probably every other senator not named Lee, Cruz, Paul or - hopefully - Glenn) is a rINO, and Jack Graham would be a rINO's rINO.


Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2016 3:05 PM

May 7, 2016

I'm still not interested

But the tireless ones at PowerLine turned up a 1990 Playboy interview with YKW, which isn't too bad:

The good:
PB: Sometimes you sound like a Presidential candidate stirring up the voters.
Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican–and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.

Yes, it would be nice - and necessary! - to have the working class look favorably on the GOP and not as the 8-martini lunch crowd (talking about you, Boehner, Cantor...) that wants to cut back on giveaways to the lower classes.

PB: Would you rescue our remaining hostages in Lebanon?
Number one, in almost all cases, the hostages were told by our Government not to be there... You feel very bad for him, but you cannot base foreign policy on his capture.

PB: Do you think George Bush is soft?
I like George Bush very much and support him and always will. But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist.

I'm a happy conduit for the bad, so I'll briefly echo what else I saw

PB: What’s the first thing President Trump would do upon entering the Oval Office?
Many things. A toughness of attitude would prevail. I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.

Leaving it at that ...

Posted by nanobrewer at 9:22 AM | Comments (0)

May 5, 2016

Despondent? I'm not Despondent!

Brother jg -- sagaciously -- implores patience. I am actually in a calm state on the jk scale, perhaps reaching "acceptance" in the five stages of grief.

David French at National Review is rebuilding from the ashes. No, the fire has not yet arrived, but proactive planning is all the rage:

Fourth, reject the cult of celebrity in favor of building enduring, meaningful conservative cultural institutions. If the current election cycle has revealed anything, it’s demonstrated that large chunks of the celebrity Right -- you know, the people who spent most of the last ten years or so calling out "RINOs" and proclaiming themselves the true arbiters of American conservatism -- have proven that they're little more than populist audience-whores, following where the lowest common denominator leads.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:02 PM | Comments (3)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Coward; he doesn't name names in the 'celebrity right.'

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 5, 2016 11:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I will then: Sean Hannity.

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2016 1:20 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Good thing I gave up on listening to him ages ago... Personally, I like JG's assertion that we adopt 'Republicanism' for now, and shuck conservatism so we can sweep the SIC issues under the rug and begin to reassert the importance of limited gov't, personal freedom & responsibility. I'll propose it when I get to meet my other local leaders.

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 7, 2016 9:18 AM

May 4, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

Trump proved that many of the party's moderates and establishmentarians hate the thought of a True Conservative nominee even more than they fear handing the nomination to a proto-fascist grotesque with zero political experience and poor impulse control. That goes for the prominent politicians who refused to endorse Cruz, the prominent donors who sat on their hands once the field narrowed and all the moderate-Republican voters in blue states who turned out to be #NeverCruz first and #NeverTrump less so or even not at all. -Ross Douthat
Posted by JohnGalt at 7:40 PM | Comments (0)



Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

With Cruz out of the contest, Kasich's patrons have decided that his usefulness has come to an end.

They got what they wanted. I hope they get it good and hard.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 4, 2016 1:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps. The thesis of Did They Manage to Burn it Down?, from whence our QOTD hails, is that there was too much anger in the GOP to avoid Trump.

Believe me, I've been -- software style -- replaying the convention season to find a different outcome. And I am forced to agree. There is a plurality of GOP primary voters who want a wall more than they want anything else. Like say, liberty.

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2016 1:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good point, Keith. His purpose was not to defeat Trump but to defeat Cruz. At least, that is, if you believe The Establishment (TM) has co-opted Trump to keep the D.C. cartel alive.

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2016 2:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In fairness, jk, the arsonists want more than just "a wall." When it comes to a contest against left-wing progressive political correctness, and the politicians who force us to drink it, they want someone whose heart is in it. Someone who will "fight." Even use brass knuckles, if necessary. If a few feathers get ruffled or interest groups get insulted along the way, so be it.

And to them, the word "liberty" - while a high ideal to (comfortable?) folks like us - is like that old Janis Joplin song: "just another word for nothin' left to lose."

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2016 2:49 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hmmm. Second look at Austin Petersen?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 4, 2016 3:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Second look at "Ass Cancer" perhaps; Libertario Delenda Est.

There simply are not enough for a valid party -- hell there aren't enough to make a candidate viable in the Republican primary. To remove themselves "from the arena" (TR was at least good for a phrase) is to let the baser motives take over the major parties.

As long as there is math, I'm not voting LP. If some interesting goofball shows up on the ballot for an even more obscure party, I might tick the bok. But voting LP is like feeding the bears.

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2016 4:00 PM

May 2, 2016

Put You Down as a No, Then.

David Bernstein [Review Corner] pens the finest #nevertrump ever.

The man is a crude charlatan, an ignoramus, a fraud, conducting a modern medicine show that combines the worst of politics with the worst of professional wrestling. He is a disaster for the Republican Party, limited government, (what remains of) decency in politics, the Constitution, and the country.

I'd rather Hillary Clinton win. I'd rather (and I never thought I'd say this) Barack Obama serve a third term. I'd even rather Bernie Sanders win, though if it came down to Sanders vs. Trump it might be time to form a breakaway republic. If Trump wins the nomination, I will actively seek to prevent him from becoming president.

Well, he said it out loud first. But I was thinking that a third Obama term really is the best case scenario right now. He'd like it. He'd win. And he would, sadly, be the best choice.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:22 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Your assessments evoke thoughts of the end of western civilization, until one considers that there were sixteen other better alternatives a scant six months ago.

Posted by: johngalt at May 2, 2016 8:42 PM
But jk thinks:

As in "Ghostbusters" and "The Meaning of Life," Western Civ is allowed to choose its method of destruction.

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2016 9:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And at the same time, is prevented from choosing NOT to be destroyed. I blame democracy.

Posted by: johngalt at May 3, 2016 2:54 PM
But jk thinks:

You and one Randy E. Barnett. My reading club seems to have taken a dark turn.

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2016 3:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think your interlocutor is dismissing many of Barnett's points because they contradict his worldview. On the plus side, this displays a personal need for consistency and integration of knowledge. On the down side, there isn't any room for different ideas in his brain:

"The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it — once you can honestly say, "I don't know", then it becomes possible to get at the truth. - RAH's Gwen Novak in 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls' (1985)

He isn't reading with an open mind. He has a partisan's perspective, not an academic's. He even projects that onto Barnett, saying "A feature of any Constitution, but he claims it only for his side." There are not "his" and "my" sides, but democratic or republican "sides." One must be able to separate one's self from the debate in order to find the truth in it.

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2016 12:04 PM

All Hail Jonah!

Trump loves to cite how he "won" with Hispanics in Nevada, leaving out that he was talking about a statistical handful of self-identified Republican Hispanics in a caucus. Among Hispanics generally, Trump polls only slightly better than ass cancer. His numbers are somewhat better with women, but still within sight of ass-cancer margins. Yes, Trump does well with white men, but he'd have to do roughly ten points better than Reagan in his 1984 landslide (the high water mark for white-male turnout) to even be competitive. -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
Watching FOX News Sunday yesterday, I am painfully resigned to Trump vs. Clinton. Perhaps I'll write in "ass cancer."
Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2016

Troll Level: Grand Master!

Ten Points. Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll @ Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 5:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2016

Back Home Again, In Indiaaa-naaa

In my Gliding into Cleveland with Donald post, detailing the progress Trump needs to be the GOP nominee before Republican delegates have anything to say on the matter, I documented that Trump needs to: "Win Indiana and most congressional districts, 45 of 57 delegates."

I glossed over that state at the time, choosing instead to focus on how unlikely an eventuality had Trump sweeping Montana and South Dakota. But Nate Cohn writes that Indiana may be fertile soil for Mr. Cruz. Even more so today, with the announcement that Kasich has agreed not to campaign in Indiana (in return for a similar pledge from Cruz in Oregon and New Mexico.) While things look good and, as I said, getting better for Cruz, Cohn says it's hard to be confident about predictions in Indiana, given its unique qualities. But...

What's clear is that if Mr. Trump wins Indiana, the drama continues on to California; if he doesn't, even California almost certainly won't be enough for him to secure the nomination by primary season's end.

UPDATE (jk) I do not like to crash others' posts. Unless it is important. And:

UPDATE: (jg) It's impossible to top the Glen Campbell vid but in the interest of telling the whole story, here is Club for Growth's 30 second spot that is featured in its $1.5 million Indiana ad buy.

While it's not one of the best political commercials ever made, it is blunt. It can't hurt in the effort to prove Why Today's Romp by Trump Doesn't Matter.

The month of May is going to be a death march for Donald Trump.

He's not going to win Indiana. Trust me on this one. Internals matter, public polling (as we have witnessed over and over again since January) does not.

So Trump, according to theresurgent dot com, and ...

The 39% that support Trump, and by that I mean the about 15% of Republican voters who rarely vote and the Independents and Democrats who crossed over in open primary states, might just find themselves on the morning of June 8th thinking, "Wait, I thought we'd won this?!"

Then the whining and flailing that "they stole it from me" will really heat up. But as any racing fan knows, it doesn't matter who leads the race until they cross the finish line. Just ask Silky Sullivan!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:01 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Jazz... Guitars... Right-wing politics!

Posted by: johngalt at April 25, 2016 4:51 PM
But jk thinks:

It'll never sell.

Posted by: jk at April 25, 2016 4:56 PM

April 22, 2016

A little free advertising for candidate Cruz

Louisiana's conservative Hayride blog calls it "one of the best political commercials ever made."

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:48 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm already writing the sequel, which will be set during the last week of October, or the first days of November. It will also take place in the War Room, and Team Hillary is talking to her people about how she will triumph over Cruz. My problem is the punch line:

"Steiner's force will attack from the North and unite with the Ninth army..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 22, 2016 8:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

...because America isn't ready for a president who doesn't lie.

Posted by: johngalt at April 23, 2016 10:46 AM
But jk thinks:

I don't care for it. To be fair, a commercial I would care for would be completely ineffective, but I have a few objections:

-- Senator Cruz's problem is that he's heavy handed and overwrought; this reinforces.

-- Umm, he's so disliked and such a bad candidate, howcome he is, ummm, kicking your ass?

-- There might be seven or eight Republicans left who believe in Reagan's 11th Commandment and still seek party unity. This is a heavy attack for a primary (I know, Trump's no innocent schoolboy.)

-- The Huma Abedin surrogate is way too attractive. Missus Wiener has her charms, but no sir, this is too much.

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2016 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I know I can come across as argumentative - probably because I am argumentative - but I'm specifically trying not to be at this moment. I just want to offer a contrasting viewpoint to your objections.

- Senator Cruz's problem is that he's not as good looking as Rubio. Or Trump, Fiorina, Bush, Kasich, Sanders... well, maybe any other successful politician. He's "creepy." This ad kept his photo very small.

- Trump has more election wins, and therefore more delegates than any other primary candidate because for most of the race it was one potty-mouthed bomb thrower versus a plethora of candidates with couth. Trump didn't have to split the uncouth vote with anyone.

- Heavy attack? It sounds like stuff a lot of my Republican friends and family already believe, i.e. "Trump is a Trojan Horse for Hillary."

- The Hillary actress is prettier too, but imagine the backlash if they had been cast less-attractive than the real thing.

From my point of view, Cruz sees Trump as a serious threat to a respectable Republican party, down ticket victories, and a return to a republican form of government. He feels a national duty to prevent a Trump nomination. I'm inclined to agree with that.

I think "one of the best ever made" is way overblown, but I do like the style. I would have paced it a little faster.

Posted by: johngalt at April 24, 2016 1:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, I started the argument. I can't go around casting aspersions...

Better pacing would be a huge help. My argument about the Abedin actress was meant to be frivolous. Yet the Clinton character is at least made up to look bad. I'm only asking for some truth in advertising.

The tone of the primary fight is a pretty difficult dilemma made more difficult by Trump's unorthodox style. The shots at his taxes, "fast & loose with the facts," and his willingness to arm Japan & South Korea could all be used in a Clinton commercial.

That's my bar. Don't use something in a primary that will show up in October in a "Even Republican Ted Cruz thinks..."

Oh, and neener-neener.

Posted by: jk at April 24, 2016 3:07 PM

April 21, 2016

New York Primary Recap

Investors' Michael Ramirez gave us a two-fer yesterday. This one is a summary of Tuesday's Democrat and Republican presidential nomination contests in New York. Hint: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the victors for the respective parties.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:59 PM | Comments (0)


All hail.

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

April 20, 2016


I used to like Andy Borowitz quite a bit. He has become pretty stridently leftist at The New Yorker -- plus one of my lefty buddies only shares his most snide and hateful. It has turned me off. But this is pretty propsworthy:


Posted by John Kranz at 6:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2016

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 3:44 PM | Comments (0)

Donald Trump - Direct Democrat

Tell me if you've heard this one before: "In America, anyone can become anything he wants to be, even President of the United States, if he is smart and hard-working." This timeless bit of parental advice comes to mind as I read the ending of a Yahoo News interview of veteran [Democratic] party official Elaine Kamarck. When asked, "Why were the Founding Fathers concerned about parties," she answered,

"The founders were concerned about the mischief of factions. (...) No other democracy in the world nominates its candidates in primaries. All the parliamentary democracies have party conferences and they have lists. You can't just go run for Parliament in Devonshire [U.K.]. You have to be placed on a list by the central party committee.

Prior to that, Kamarck agreed with the interviewer, "Exactly. He [Trump] is arguing [for] direct democracy."

And prior to that she explained that parties choose their nominee, not primary voters. Allahpundit cited her explanation and then offered an analogy -

I laughed this morning at the news that "Boaty McBoatface" was the British public's choice for the name of a new polar research ship, just because it's so weirdly in sync with the delegates' dilemma in Cleveland. The Natural Environment Research Council asked for suggestions on what to name its new vessel; the public responded with something that's funny yet, shall we say, sub-optimal for a serious research expedition. So now the NERC, which has final say, has to decide: Should it do the democratic thing and send Boaty McBoatface out onto the high seas or should it do something more befitting the gravitas of its mission and choose a more traditional name? What they'll do, I assume, is compromise by giving it a traditional name while formally recognizing somehow what the people's choice was in the form of a plaque or something onboard. Maybe the GOP's delegates can do that too. Nominate Cruz at the convention, but call Trump up onstage and give him a nice bowling trophy recognizing that he won the most popular votes. He'd like that, no?

But this is exactly what Trump is advocating, and promising to "reform" about the Republican Party "over the coming years." Who knows, he might even succeed. But if he does, parents will no longer be able to tell their children that "You don't have to have special connections, or a family name - in America, anyone can become the President of the United States."


In related news, Ben and Jerry have been arrested.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were among approximately 300 people who were arrested Monday as part of protests by a group called Democracy Awakening.

The Vermont-based ice cream company's website says the purpose of the protests is to make sure everyone's voice is heard "and that power in this country is returned to the people."

What was that word again... that means "all the power is returned to the people?" Oh yeah - anarchy.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2016

Trial* Rant

I am a capitalist. I believe in the natural right of every human being to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe happiness is tightly coupled with prosperity. I believe prosperity comes from jobs and jobs come from businessmen, not government.

The two leaders for the Republican presidential nomination are cast as "the businessman" and "the lawyer." On its face that is an easy choice - businessman, all the way. But this particular "businessman" is better known for his failures than successes, and his techniques are properly described as a full-employment program for lawyers, principally to sue other businessmen. The "lawyer" on the other hand is reviled by nearly all of his fellow lawyers in the US Senate, and during a floor speech there quoted heavily from Ayn Rand's epic novel 'Atlas Shrugged.' A story in which the hero was, the businessman. He went so far as to say, "If you have not read 'Atlas Shrugged' then go out and buy a copy. And read it."

What I'm saying is, if you too value prosperity and the earned rewards of hard work, be careful to vote for the man who actually values what the other man claims to be, but is not - instead of the man who became famous for firing people on prime time TV.

* Testing it out here in the laboratory before taking it on the road to social media.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:19 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Pretty good, man, no stylistic suggestions.

I'm curious whether: a) you have many Trump supporters on your feed and b) they will likely be swayed by your argument.

I don't wish to be cruel or condescending. I have, I think, exactly two Trump supporters, and their appreciation is more atavistic and less likely to be dissuaded by abstractions.

Okay, maybe a little condescending...

Posted by: jk at April 18, 2016 4:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've not taken a public position (as a party officer, bylaws prohibit my taking sides in a primary) so I don't really know how many there are.

I do have one friend in particular who is a Trump man. He's an immigrant from communist Poland. I've already sent him the Kasparov piece. Haven't noticed yet whether he responded.

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2016 4:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My aim was to challenge the labels businessman and lawyer, as applied to the two leading Republicans. While the principle is abstract, their application has been very personal and emotional in most of the TrumpLove and Cruz bashing I've read.

Posted by: johngalt at April 19, 2016 11:50 AM
But jk thinks:

I got you. If you're shorter on space and wish to invoke Atlas Shrugged, I might suggest you remind them that both Dagny and James Taggart were "businesspeople;" it is not, per se, a badge of rectitude.

Posted by: jk at April 19, 2016 12:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

A solid effort, and completely agree The Donald must be stopped. I would bash a bit more on the "business" end of Trump - aka, what really made the money, as I suspect more than the usual NYC corruption - and pump Cruz a bit better than reading AS... while that's a solid for us here, I'm not sure how broad an appeal that has.

1. A REAL constitutional expert
2. Brilliance: cite Dershowitz's assertion of Cruz being “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.” good article herehere:
3. What were his USSC cases? Pick one or two [a] dear to your heart or [b] helps make your case. The Texas Trib apparently did a man's job here Redistricting, patents, US Sovereignty... good stuff.
4. What important conservative values does his record support as important to him? I'd hope limited gov't is up there.... pick 2 or 3.

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 19, 2016 12:28 PM

The two sides of "New York Values"

If you want to know what is really important about democracy, listen to someone who's lived completely without it - a former Soviet citizen. Proud New York immigrant Garry Kasparov, writing about fellow New Yorker Donald Trump, doesn't disappoint.

I refer to these "American values" with no sarcasm or irony. Every day I have reason to thank Ronald Reagan and the generations of Americans who sacrificed and fought for the freedom of those of us trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

Today, 25 years after the fall of the USSR, the American values that won the Cold War are considered nostalgic and corny at best, cruel or imperialistic at worst. The ideals of individual freedom, risk-taking, competition and sacrifice have been supplanted by the fake values of safety, complacency and moral relativism.


After Obama's soothing and sophisticated spin, Trump's incoherent fury and outlandish promises can feel like a welcome change.

Unfocused anger makes people vulnerable to political snake-oil salesmen touting simple solutions and utopian outcomes. It opens the door to the aggressively uninformed authoritarianism of Trump as well as to Bernie Sanders and his siren song of socialism. (I'm sorry, Bernie fans, but I lived it, and the failures of capitalism are still better than the successes of socialism.)


The problems of capitalism are usually best met by more capitalism: less regulation, more risk, more investment, more innovation.

Instead, the U.S. and its flagship and bellwether, New York City, have gone largely in the other direction. Capital booms while labor slumps, overregulation strangles entrepreneurs and feeds bureaucracy, and in the span of a generation, the symbol of American innovation went from the moon landing to a slightly larger iPhone.

UPDATE: I'm afraid I buried the lede. Here's the quote regarding "good" vs. "evil" New York values:

It's tempting to rally behind him-but we should resist. Because the New York values Trump represents are the very worst kind. He exemplifies the seamy side of New York City - the Ponzi schemers and the Brooklyn Bridge sellers, the gangster traders like Bernie Madoff and the celebrity gangsters like John Gotti -- not the hard work and sacrifice that built New York and America.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2016

Gliding into Cleveland with Donald

Donald Trump has stopped whining. For now. Now his position is that he is on a "glide path" to win the GOP presidential nomination outright, with 1,265 delegates, before those delegates convene in Cleveland and start talking about all the reasons not to nominate this man as the standard bearer for the party.

Personally, I think this is the same tactic he used after losing Colorado's caucus - pure spin to energize his base.

According to AP's Stephen Ohlemacher, Trump enters the New York primary with 744 pledged delegates. From here he must:

Win New York with 50-plus percent. Win 22 of New York's 27 congressional districts, again, with 50-plus percent.

Win Connecticut and take 22 of 28 delegates.
Win Delaware's 16 delegates.
Win 32 of 38 Maryland delegates.
Somehow, win 23 of Pennsylvania's 54 delegates.

Win Indiana and most congressional districts, 45 of 57 delegates.
20 of 31 delegates from West Virginia, where delegates are elected by name.
Nebraska? Yeah, right. 36 delegates out of reach.
Add 5 more delegates from proportional states Oregon and Washington.

Now Trump arrives at June 7 with 984 delegates. To reach the nominating majority, Trump must:

Sweep the winner-take-all states New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota. 107 delegates total; win 5 of New Mexico's 24 proportional delegates; and win a big majority of California - 39 of 53 congressional districts AND the statewide contest, totaling 130 delegates.

984 plus 112 plus 130 equals ... 1,226.

Except that, according to the Green Papers political blog, Trump has 757 "hard" delegates, not 744 - a difference of 13 delegates. (Presumably the statewide delegates from Missouri, still undergoing a recount.)

1,226 plus 13 equals 1,239. Trump is the nominee with two delegates to spare. If you believe he can win South Dakota and Montana (and all the other rosy scenarios in a perfect combover storm.)

Or, he could have tried harder in Colorado.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2016

We don't need no stinking convention...

...CBS' Will Rahn has spoken!

The argument we're seeing out of the Cruz camp and the Republican National Committee essentially boils down to this: convention delegates choose the nominee, and that this is how it's always been done. This argument has the benefit of being technically true because a majority of delegates do, of course, select the nominee at the convention.

But the major reason conventions have been such bloodless affairs over the last few decades is that we've always known how the delegates were going to vote -- that they have, in practice, been virtually powerless, and are just reflecting the will of the primary voters.


Should the Republican nomination be awarded to Cruz or John Kasich, it would be wildly out of step with the tradition of letting primary voters decide in practice who their candidate should be. Moreover, explaining this outcome would be enormously difficult to explain to the already dwindling number of voters willing to register Republican.

Well, at least he understands that it's "technically true" that Republican national delegates choose the Republican presidential nominee. He might make a good journalist some day after all.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:17 PM | Comments (0)


Cruz knows he's got a likability problem. He may not be the guy you want to have a beer with but he'll drive you home, he's said in various forms, which is not a terrible line. -- Matthew Cooper, Newsweek
Posted by John Kranz at 7:15 PM | Comments (0)

In Case you Missed the Pro-Trump Rally

And it appears quite a few of you did . . . here's a look. (Click to enlarge and pick out both your friends!)

Photo credit Chris Holbert who notes: "Dozens."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:02 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

As committed to decrying their "disenfranchisement" as they were in becoming delegates, I see.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2016 7:16 PM

Pretty good...

Hat-tip: Steven Crowder

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

I love it when Cruz is out of his campaign speech mode!

Posted by: Terri at April 15, 2016 4:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

True, Terri, true. Still, Ted could have laughed more. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2016 11:19 AM

GOP Nomination "Inside Baseball"

A one-question quiz, to see who's paying attention...

Q: Which state, in reaction to what happened to their delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention, changed its delegate election rules earlier this year in a way that may be to the detriment of the Donald Trump campaign?

Tick tick tick tick...

A: Colorado! Right? Umm, no.

As the Denver Post, among others, has explained, Colorado made no changes to its rules for electing delegates. Rather, it discarded the traditional non-binding straw poll, because the national party had made that non-binding poll binding in 2012, and the standing Convention rules would have made it binding in 2016. So The COGOP State Central Committee members voted to skip the non-binding poll. Delegates were then elected the same way they've been elected since 2004.

The state that wants to "steal the nomination" from Donald Trump is, his own home state of New York.

The New York Republican State Committee approved the rules change last year, marking the first time in decades that GOP presidential candidates won't be allowed to select their own delegates from the Empire State. Instead, the state party will decide.

The new process rewards longtime party loyalists in the state - taking power away from the presidential candidates and their most fervent supporters in the April 19 primary.

The change could have a significant impact on Trump, who is heavily favored to win his home state's primary.

There is one thing in common between the New York and Colorado situation - the attitude of those who've had enough of Trump's winning whining.

Trump, ultimately, will have a chance to use his deal-making skills to keep his New York delegates aligned behind his nomination, Walsh said.

"Trump bills himself as the greatest dealmaker, so here's his chance," Walsh said. "Let's see if he can get a deal. If he doesn't, he's done."

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

Mr. Trump's newfound class was on display this week, in reaction to Saturday's state GOP convention in Colorado. Lacking almost any organization, Team Trump was smoked. Sen. Ted Cruz took all 34 delegates. In response, Mr. Trump tweeted, "The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them" and warned, "This will not be allowed!"

Actually, it will be. The state Republican executive committee voted unanimously last August to select delegates through a convention, not a primary or caucus. Mr. Trump, running initially as a lark, failed to organize in states like Colorado. Now he demands that the rules be changed because he didn't prepare and lost.

-Karl Rove in Vanity Will Be The Donald's Undoing

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

Trump - GOP should be "ashamed" it's not democratic

I am not making this up.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ratcheted up his criticism of the Republican Party and its process for selecting delegates for the GOP nomination, calling it "not democracy at its finest."

In an interview on Tuesday, ABC News' Jonathan Karl asked Trump whether he and his campaign were ready for the delegate-by-delegate fight that is dominating the primary.

"No, I was ready for a democratic race, meaning, you know, democracy," Trump said. "And this is not democracy, this is not democracy at its finest."

Really? Is that your basis for criticizing the Republican Party Mr. Trump, that it isn't democratic?

"I think we're doing very well but despite that, it's a rigged system it's a very unfair system and it's not democracy," he added.

With respect sir, there's another party that practices what you preach, and does it quite well. It's called the Democratic Party. They even have super delegates, which allow them to practice super democracy!

Republicans don't blindly award the party nomination to whatever Tom, Dick or Harry has the most chalk marks next to his name. First, you must earn a majority* of delegates to the national convention, not a mere plurality. Second, party rules are carefully designed to promote a system of reflection and contemplation that leads to a nomination of the best candidate, the one who best understands and promotes a republican form of government, not merely the most popular from among a field of many.

Most of the delegates you earned came from early states where your support was stronger than any other individual candidate, but far less than a majority of state Republican voters. Now that the field has narrowed, delegates are coalescing behind the candidate they believe is best for the party and best for the country - and it isn't Donald Trump.

The system isn't "stealing" the nomination from you sir, it is working just the way it is supposed to, because in the ongoing campaign the Trump appeal has hit a ceiling.

However, if the national convention isn't settled on the first ballot, it looks likely that many of the 50 delegates from the Palmetto State would desert Trump, who came in first in the primary, but with only 33 percent of the vote. The national convention will go to multiple ballots if Trump does not win at least 1,237 delegates out of the 2,472 available from 50 states, six U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Currently, Trump has 743 delegates to Cruz’s 545 and 143 for Kasich.

However, South Carolina is not the only place Trump has failed to organize at the state level. He is facing delegate setbacks in Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Wyoming, Washington State, Missouri, and California.

And yet, for the most part, this reality didn't become national news until the Colorado GOP Assembly. Well done, Colorado Republican brothers and sisters.

* A fact that Trump aide Ed Brookover admitted today, in fact:

"The hard number is 1,237, and we think we're going to blow way past that," said Brookover, a long-time GOP political operative in Washington.

1,237. Number. Hard.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:31 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Someone should tell the Donald that we live in a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Which is exactly what the founders wanted, and only NY liberals want to change!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 15, 2016 10:25 AM

April 13, 2016

Hail Jonah!

That's the right headline for this, isn't it jk? I'm kinda new at blogging him. But there were a couple of gems I read in his piece on Ted Cruz isn't Donald Trump, so he's good enough.

On the GOP bigwigs rigging a "white knight" entry at a contested nominating convention, replacing the two leading candidates still in the race:

At an open convention, the delegates, not Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, are in charge of everything. Imagine if attendees of the great nerd conclave known as Comic-Con set the rules for Comic-Con. Now imagine someone proposed replacing a screening of the new "X-Men" movie with a mandatory daylong conference on crop rotation in the 14th century. Would it happen?

And Cruz' not-so-secret weapon for unifying the splintered factions of the GOP behind him:

Like Perseus pulling Medusa's head out of a sack to petrify his enemies, Cruz has been able to dangle the prospect of a President Trump to strike fear in the hearts of even his biggest detractors.


Posted by JohnGalt at 11:37 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

A very strong first effort!

Posted by: jk at April 13, 2016 4:33 PM

April 12, 2016

Colorado Caucus - How we got here

The Denver Post's Joey Bunch explains Colorado's Democratic and Republican caucii, prior to Super Tuesday (March 1.)

"So will we have a winner Super Tuesday? Well, yes and no. The Democrats will have a preference poll but it really doesn't mean that much. It basically just tells you which way the wind is blowing on Tuesday, because those delegates can still change their mind all the way to the nominating convention in Philadelphia.

Republicans aren't even bothering with the straw poll. The reason being because the national party says that the winner of the caucus, those delegates are pledged to that person all the way through and in 2008 that didn't work out so well for Colorado. Rick Santorum won the caucus but then he was out of the race in a month, so Colorado was irrelevant at the convention."

This reporter is obviously a right-wing establishment stooge because he completely ignored the part about the process being rigged to stop Trump.

From Colorado Democrats admit mistake that cost Bernie Sanders key delegate

And a short excerpt from that article:

Still, [Sanders Campaign Manager] Weaver expressed displeasure about how how the party reported the results. "It is certainly disturbing that the information gets sent to one campaign and not to another," he said.

[Colorado Democratic Party Chairman] Palacio said he didn't tell the Sanders camp about the divergent numbers "because it didn't necessarily affect (them). It was our mistake that ended up affecting the estimation of Hillary's campaign."blockquote>

Not seeming to recognize that if the delegate doesn't actually go to Hillary, it goes to Bernie instead.

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

I was surprised by the claim that Democrat delegates "can still change their mind all the way to the nominating convention in Philadelphia." I thought only super delegates could do that.

Even so, he also said the Democrats do a new straw poll at every stage of their caucus. I think they just like to vote. After all, they're Democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2016 11:32 AM

Gotta have a little fun!

Mondo heh;

Posted by John Kranz at 4:21 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Here's how one putative Trump delegate was "screwed" out of participation at State Assembly - He was elected as a (Douglas) County Assembly delegate and incorrectly believed he had been elected a State Assembly delegate. Then when he didn't attend county assembly, run for election as state delegate, and receive enough votes to become a state delegate, made videos claiming that he had been barred by the GOP because he was a Trump guy.

They say that the caucus process is complicated. No, but it is a bit tedious. And a written "Official Call to _____ Assembly" is provided to delegates at each step of the process to tell them what to do next. Perhaps Mr. Lindsey burned his official call like he did his supposed Republican Party Registration.*

*I don't have any certificate of registration with the party. I think he must have printed a page from the Secretary of State's website that showed he is a Republican.

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2016 7:11 PM

Put a Cork in the Whine Bottle

Then: "There's going to be so much winning you're gonna get tired of winning."
Now: "Great anger - totally unfair!"

Try to imagine Putin whining like this.

Cruz's ability to outmaneuver Trump in Colorado doesn't have anything to do with fairness. But it does suggest something about Trump's temperament and his skills as a leader.

If he can't understand the challenges that he faces as a candidate or be flexible enough to respond to a shifting landscape, and if he can't assemble the best and brightest people needed to win - no matter the rules - what does that say about his claims that he can do a great job running the country?

-Investors Ed Page

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2016

A Kiplingesque Salute!

My 30-second speech at liberty tonight will be an improvisation on this basic riff:

Kipling had the great line "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs." And I've always enjoyed the quip: "...then you probably don't understand the gravity of the situation."

But I lost my head and despaired when I saw Donald Trump's early successes overtaking the party I had hoped to drive more toward liberty. I missed caucus for the first time in 20 years.

But many brave Colorado Republicans did not fold (including blog brothers and sisters) and I am proud today of a state party I have often derided. Senator Cruz was not my first choice, but he is a great practical choice. And could be considered one of the top three most constitutionally constrained major party candidate in my lifetime.

Not only was Trump shut down, but Dudley Moore's Senate Candidate came up short. I heard good things from several Facebook friends about Darryl Glenn -- and now from brother jg.

Well done, Colorado Republicans -- and thanks!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

I couldn't resist, and made some tweets on the topic. See the #3src hashtag widget.

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2016 1:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Indeed; a hearty Huzzah! to the CO GOP for skunking Trump (and so much more, Col. Glenn says). I now will feel much better about my role as PCP. I liked George Will's take on the 'stolen' whinge from The Donald:

well, he's always had a poor grasp on property rights, so this statement shows he's consistent!
I note that the invite for BoCo GOP this Thursday shows one Gregory Rinard: is he known to any of us?

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 12, 2016 2:40 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at April 12, 2016 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

AAAAnd, yes.


Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2016 3:31 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Indeed; I introduced myself and traded cards!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 15, 2016 12:40 AM
But dagny thinks:

Did he admit to knowing us?

Posted by: dagny at April 15, 2016 12:49 PM

April 10, 2016

"Not your grandpa's GOP"

The story of the day from yesterday's GOP State Assembly is clearly the landslide victory of El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn in the US Senate nomination contest. The favorite of the nine candidates on the assembly slate, Tim Neville, received just 696 of the nearly 4000 votes available. Meanwhile, on the strength of an inspiring speech, Glenn convinced 2664 delegates, a whopping 70 percent, to choose him. My sense was that the race was fairly even among four of the candidates going in but Glenn clearly caused massive vote switching, including mine.


The Colorado Springs Gazette wrote in an editorial,

It happened again. An underdog tapped the emotions of fed-up Republicans, tired of business as usual, and defied the widely assumed outcome of a major political event. Upsets seldom get bigger than this.

The Republican Party is getting a political blood transfusion. For Democrats, this may not be good news.

The retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel displayed a commanding and confident presence which, combined with unambiguous lines about Republican ideas, principles and leadership, brought the house to its feet.

"I'm tired of hearing about Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen," Glenn said. It appeared to close the deal among a crowd that believes House and Senate Republicans have squandered majority status and buckled under a popular Democratic president.

The convention was a showcase of diversity among candidates and a long parade of white, black, Indian, straight, gay, male and female speakers in positions of power. Nothing resembled the party's old established white male image.

Make no mistake, however, Glenn did not win simply because he's black - he won because he answered the grassroots yearning for voices that cut through the platitudes and doublespeak that says one thing to get elected and falls into line when they get to Washington.

And Glenn isn't the only fresh face we promoted this week. Calandra Vargas came seemingly out of nowhere to win top-line position in a primary election with incumbent 5th Congressional District Representative Doug Lamborn.


Republicans are breaking their outdated mold, as seen Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs. Democrats should take heed. They aren't facing grandpa's old GOP this year.

I predict an interesting and exciting primary contest over the next two months.

UPDATE: More on Ms. Vargas from her LinkedIn page [emphasis mine]:

Political and Campaign Professional

Liberty Activist

January 2011 – April 2016 (5 years 4 months)

Legislative Aide for Colorado Senate Republicans
Executive Assistant for Committee to Elect Paul Lundeen
Deputy Campaign Manager, Bentley Rayburn for US Congress
Campaign Manager, Mark Waller for Colorado Attorney General
Colorado Director of Social Conservative Coalitions for Mitt Romney
Legislative Aide Colorado House of Representatives
Congressional District 5 Colorado Internship, Office of Doug Lamborn
Foreign Policy Research Assistant at Heritage Foundation, Young Leaders Program

UPDATE: Some words from Ms. Vargas' floor nomination speech, where she came within 18 votes (for Lamborn) of knocking him from the June primary ballot in a race with no declared Democrat opponent:

Vargas said "the Republican Party has failed us, nationally and locally."

"It's time to get serious. I don't know about you, but I'm done. That's why I'm running today," Vargas said. "What are you willing to do to make sure our party has a future? What are you willing to do? Do you want a congressman who shows up at election season and gives a nice speech and a list of things you want to hear? Or do you want a congresswoman who is an outspoken leader, who won't settle, is a team player and who will confront liberals and who also believes it is her job to make the Republican Party a party we can all be proud of?"

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)

Colorado GOP Presidential Nomination Set

What began on a cold March 1 night with, for Colorado Republicans, ended with a boom yesterday - GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz added thirteen more pledged delegates to the twenty-one he had earned in our state's congressional district assemblies in the preceding days. Thirty-four pledged, in writing or verbally, to vote for him at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, plus the state GOP chair, national committeewoman and national committeeman, all of whom are likely to vote in kind with their fellow Colorado delegates.

In his address to Colorado Republicans, Cruz said the election is about three things... jobs, security, and freedom.

His speech detailed his plans on all three issues.

First, he appealed to blue collar workers, promising full-time higher-paying jobs.

Then he promised to protect individual freedoms, which he believes are at risk if liberal Supreme Court justices are appointed.

"I will not compromise away your religious liberty, and I will not compromise away your second amendment right to keep and bear arms," he said.

He also promised to take a hard stance against ISIS and other groups.

"We will have a commander in chief who stands up and says to the world we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism," he said.

Delegates afterward told KRDO Newschannel 13 they were impressed.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Side note: The reporting on this is both curious and biased. Most of the stories with images show something related to Bernie Sanders' meaningless Wyoming victory over a story primarily about the GOP contest. And many of those stories are disjointed and mis-edited. Truly bizarre. Especially this one.

Personal photos to follow ...

UPDATE: Senator Cruz from our vantage point, stage left. H/T sister-in-law Leah.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Well done. John Fund confers.

Posted by: jk at April 11, 2016 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Saw that. Good article. Quoteworthy:

Caddell’s revolutionary moment could be seen up close and personal this weekend at the state convention of the Colorado Republican party in Colorado Springs. What happened was stunning. Ted Cruz, considered a fringe candidate by the media until four months ago, swept 34 of the 37 delegate slots for the Cleveland convention. Donald Trump placed second, and there was scant support for any establishment figure.

*satire* What? Ted Cruz isn't establishment? SENATOR Ted Cruz! What you smokin' you commie RINO douchebag! */satire*

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2016 1:27 PM

April 8, 2016

Headline of the Day

Trump Claims Another Soul
Sadly, it is Rudy Giuliani's.
Posted by John Kranz at 7:26 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Trump is one of those people who transcend social boundaries. During his life and career in New York City he has managed to make himself familiar in both high society and underworld circles. The latter seems to contribute much to his style and personality, and puts members of the former in an awkward position when they are asked to endorse or disavow him.

At Assembly yesterday I had an interesting conversation with Andy Peth of The Party of Choice. I asked him about Ted Cruz' perceived creepiness.

"Ted Cruz is creepy. It's because of his preachy delivery. It makes people feel like he wants to judge them and change them. That is the secret of Donald Trump's success - he doesn't make people feel like he wants to change them."

I found this both ironic and disquieting because frequently, freedom and liberty are what Cruz is "preaching" about! "So he's saying the right things but with the wrong delivery," I asked? "Basically, yes."

There's clearly more to political persuasion than meets the eye. It's almost like a secret formula, it seems to me. The best politicians have it down. And many of them, probably, without even realizing it. I believe Trump is one of those.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2016 6:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A slight revision of my prior comment, after exchanging messages with Andy about it. He said that Cruz is perceived as creepy by those outside of the base.

"I mean, no one thinks Trump wants to tell them how to live their lives, but many outside the base believe Ted would. It's that perception he'll have to defeat in the general election."
Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2016 10:02 PM

April 6, 2016

"Creepy" Cruz

Bad news for Ted Cruz from the world of science: Many women find him "creepy."

In a new paper published in New Ideas in Psychology, two researchers from Knox College try to outline a more explicit definition with the results of the first-ever empirical study of creepiness. They concluded that a person's "creepiness detector" pings when she encounters something unpredictable or outside the norm, like a person with idiosyncratic behavioral patterns, unusual physical characteristics, or a tendency to over- or under-emote. When someone looks or behaves in a way that appears unstable or violates social norms, we feel uneasy - we think there's a chance they may pose a danger to us, but we can't know for sure.

Fortunately for Ted, he's not the only Republican candidate who's a creep.

These creepiest mannerisms happen to align perfectly with a random sampling of Republicans who've run for president this year. Imagine the creepiness of a chronically dry-mouthed Marco Rubio, the unnerving flat-lipped tic of booger-eater Ted Cruz, and the compulsive sexual remarks of one Donald Trump.

So maybe it's just a matter of Slate columnists thinking all Republicans are creeps. Or maybe, even limited to female Slate columnists.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:20 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Hmm, yes, this bears some semblance to science, ... like astrology... "booger eater" really? Someone should take her crayons for a bad-metaphor check.

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 6, 2016 11:21 PM

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

March 31, 2016

Quote of the Day

Keep in mind that Trump had no winning hand to play for abortion. He could either offend his base and not get nominated or he could poison his chances in the general election. He had two losing options. So what did he do?

He chose ambiguity and chaos. At least he is consistent that way. -- Scott Adams h/t James Taranto

Posted by John Kranz at 3:46 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Just brilliant; "ambiguity and chaos" -- he's a liberal alright!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 1, 2016 1:54 PM

"It's all just a little bit of history repeating"

A line from the chorus of The Propellerheads 'History Repeating' came to mind as I read RCP's Caitlin Huey-Burns piece on Cruz and the Convention Chess Game.

Kasich might hope that Cruz is a mere vehicle and not a galvanizing force. The Ohio governor's only hope of becoming the nominee rests at the convention, as it is now mathematically impossible for him to secure the requisite delegates before then. His campaign argues that both Trump and Cruz would be unelectable in November, which would also have consequences for down-ballot GOP candidates.

"If you looked at the history of conventions," said Kasich spokesman Mike Schrimpf, "in the majority of the cases the delegate leader does not wind up with the nomination and it's often the most electable candidate who winds up with the nomination."

Well okay, mister campaign spokesman, the perceived most electable candidate... according to the well-known conventional wisdom. The well-known historical parallel here is the 1976 primary contest between the incumbent President Gerald Ford, former vice president of Richard Nixon, and a little known governor of California named Ronald. The "electable" Ford won the nomination over Reagan and then went on to give us President Jimmy Carter. Certainly we wouldn't repeat that mistake. Would we? Huey-Burns continues:

Kasich recently hired operatives Stu Spencer and Charlie Black, both former Ronald Reagan advisers, to guide his convention strategy. Spencer aided Gerald Ford in the contested party gathering of 1976. The campaign is eyeing unplugged and unbound delegates to the convention.

You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:57 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Would you find the example of 1920 more persuasive?

I thought you loved this inside-baseball-republican-delegates-choose-at-the-convention-bizness. I have a soft historical spot for it (Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, Harding) and if it saves us from nominating Trump, I am all in!

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2016 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm all for the delegate wrangling. Direct democracy is a)simplistic, b)corruptible, and c) boring. And sending representatives to reach a "consensus" nominee prevents naming a winner based on a mere plurality, as Trump so self-servingly prefers.

I agree with the two Radoshes that a candidate other than the frontrunner should be nominated, but I disagree that the delegates should "turn to John Kasich, or to draft someone else." I think they should coalesce around Cruz who, like Harding - and possibly Kasich - has long been most everyone's second or third choice. But since Cruz is far more people's first choice than is Kasich, he is the natural choice for unifying the party. Provided he continues on a higher road than he's traveled of late, with the frontrunner.

Kasich will be the first choice only of Ohioans and Beltway Bandits. But if he brings in the Columbus, Ohio Glee Club to entertain in Cleveland, I'll start getting nervous.

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2016 5:00 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well, I was thinking that Reagan and Romney provide better examples for how a 21st century candidate could win the nomination at an open convention, but am not so sure, after the editor crashed and killed my overlong reply.

To recap, they both waged serious but unsuccessful campaigns against better-known opponents, eventually winning the nomination by old fashioned politicking - speeches, fund raising, and general glad-handing - and perhaps more than a few cigars in the back parlor in the intervening years. Still, they were outright convention winners on the 1st ballot.

If this is the model for a 21st century convention, none has a clear lead, IMO, but Trump is probably last based on his support of Democrats and liberal causes in general. The GOP is NOT in the mood for a middle-road deal maker.... Kasich could have been in the lead in this vein, but he's had his gaffes and generally has not pushed his background with the limited gov't/freedom agenda. Trump's lead as the 'majority' candidate is finally sagging, and ideally his plurality lead will be minimized by July. Kasich has a small lead in the "happy guy" category, but I don't know that goes far in this anti-establishment year. If we wanted a glad-handling deal-maker, Marco would have done better. To my thinking Cruz has never gone deeply negative; Iowa was one-time, apologized for and thereby generally old news.

So, we're most likely left with someone who has some general appeal and has won some chunk of delegates. The only road Trump has after the 1st ballot is opportunistic nepotism - the lack of a wobbly 2nd or 3rd tier candidate (sorry, Ben) further attenuates this option.

Cruz OTOH, as shown "a dedication to the delegate hunt and [sic] foreshadows his capabilities at the convention" as well as quick wit and sharp prosecutor's eye for details and appropriate quips or tweets. For instance, should an open-book convention that goes past the 1st vote provide for a Maccaca moment Cruz has shown great strength - second only to Carly - in standing firm against this sort of KOS-ian slime-by-association. I also like his trajectory in what brother JG's identifies as the hidden primary.

Let's hope this is enough, and he's won 10 states or so, so the is GOP compelled to keep 2012's rule 40. Much fertilizer would adhere to the ventilator if Kasich, or a non rule-40 eligible candidate is chosen!

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 1, 2016 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Rafael (Cruz) has apparently won exactly eight states,

Iowa, Maine, Kansas, Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alaska and Texas.

Hmmm, sounds like an impressive list of warships.

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2016 3:25 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 28, 2016

Rarely, One Story Has it All.

Got some WHO fans, got some guitar lovers, got some free-traders: we may even have a few Trump opponents 'round these parts. No matter, Chris Edwards at CATO has everyone covered.

Watching Pete Townshend wailing on his Fender Stratocaster last night at the Verizon Center reminded of what I'd read about Fender's history. Part of the Fender story regards how the firm got hammered by Japanese competition in the 1970s, but then bounced back by refocusing on quality. So while I was listening to "Won't Get Fooled Again," I'm embarrassed to say I was pondering Donald Trump's misguided statements favoring protectionism.

Apologies to those who saw this on Facebook. But it is worth a read in full. Twice.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:26 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

And a nod to what really makes America great (but is too complex for a USA Today story): "Fender was bought out in 1985, and Gibson in 1986, by teams of investors determined to revive the firms’ traditions of quality."

True greatness, innovation, drive and profit-motive; not the idol-obsessed treatment the media prefers *WHINE - where's the next Steve Jobs?!?*

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 29, 2016 1:44 PM
But jk thinks:

nb wins "comment of the day."

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2016 1:56 PM

March 18, 2016

Pedantic Conservative Pragmatist?

The Kevin Williamson article jk cited below does more than brutally expose Donald Trump as anything but a conservative - it also explains why your "pedantic conservative friend" [yours truly] will correct anyone who claims that America's form of government is a democracy. "It's a republic!" he will insist. (...) Your pedantic conservative friend probably is supporting Ted Cruz."

Why is this so important to pedantic conservatives?

Democracy, he [John Adams] wrote, "never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty."
So yes, I do support Ted Cruz. I believe he would be an excellent president and would do more than any other viable candidate to "take the government boot off the back of the necks of America's small business owners" and to reduce the size and burden of government in general.

But I must admit serious doubts that he can win a general election. His strategy seems to be rooted in energizing the Republican and free-market base and beating the Democratic election-winning machine at its own game. Color me skeptical, or at the very least fearful.

Donald Trump has demonstrated a tremendous talent for magnifying turnout, yet of the twenty statewide contests he has won to date, fourteen of them have been open contests - meaning some of his support likely came from Democrats and may not be reliable when his opponent is another Democrat. (Not to mention that "isn't a conservative of any stripe" thingy.)

So who can defeat the Democrat and save the Supreme Court, and the very idea of individual liberty in America for the next few generations? If you don't know, he will happily tell you:

"Neither of those guys can win a general election, so maybe they're spoiling it for the Republican Party and for the conservative movement," Kasich said of Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) "It's unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention, and for those who worry about a convention, it'll be right in the open. I mean, there's no closed rooms, there's nothing but total transparency . . . and you talk to people in Pennsylvania, they'll tell you, I can win a general election."

And if Kasich stays in the race it is most likely that not only Trump will be denied a majority of delegates on the all-important first ballot, but so will Cruz. In such an instance it is difficult to imagine someone other than Trump being nominated by a peaceful process - difficult, but not impossible. Imagine that Kasich and Cruz were to form a unity ticket. I can see that alliance uniting the party (except for the Trump zealots) and winning the nomination. And, most importantly, I can see it winning a general election. Although to do that I'm afraid the top slot on the ticket will have to be assigned to the candidate who thinks "humans contributed to climate change." Very well then, it's better than any other realistic alternative. Damn. Having now said this out loud, I need a stiff drink.

UPDATE: Regarding the Kasich-Cruz, or even Cruz-Kasich ticket, NRO's Maggie Gallagher doesn't see it happening.

So Kasich must be betting that the party’s donor class and insiders will be so tickled by his pro-immigration, don’t-worry-about-religious-liberty stance that they will be willing to destroy the party by nominating him.
Posted by JohnGalt at 6:39 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Some updates to this from my visit to the Boulder County Republican Assembly today. All of the delegates who sought election to the state assembly were Cruz supporters, except one each for Trump and Kasich. Predictably, neither of those two was elected. I told the young woman who spoke of Kasich's electability that I thought she had the right idea and she did a brave thing supporting Kasich after a steady stream of Cruz endorsements. In the balloting she earned 6 votes from a cadre of thirty-some.

Among other things I found remarkable was that the GOP currently has no candidate for Boulder District Attorney or for the County Commissioner seat in the first district (the incumbent Democrat is the chair of the BoCo commissioners and is an alternative energy, anti-GMO zealot - but you already knew that because I said she is a Boulder Democrat.

The news of the day was the Republican nominee for the 2nd district commissioner seat - Mr. Paul Danish. Yes, "The Danish Plan" Paul Danish.

"That's curious" thought I, "I didn't know he was a Republican." That's because he isn't. Err, wasn't.

Danish was misquoted in the linked article. He didn't say "Democrats no longer do" believe in American exceptionalism. He said they no longer believe that when America fights wars, it should win them. He also said the environmentalists anti-GMO stance is anti-science, and that the Democratic party's "group-identity politics is the new racism."

The fellow sitting next to me said, "Took you long enough to notice." I chuckled and then responded charitably, "Well, he had a lot of political inertia to overcome."

Posted by: johngalt at March 20, 2016 1:05 AM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the post and update.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

A testament to the bizarro world campaign that Gov. Kasich is starting to look better all the time.

Yes, he's a "compassionate conservative" who would greatly expand the size and scope of government. But he's the last Republican without a caveman attitude on immigration. A third Bush term has sadly started to look like the best case scenario.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For an "elephant" I have a short memory. I remember Kasich being part of the "contract with America" crowd that balanced the budget (for which Bubba took the credit) and therefore think his positions may be redeemable as "mainstream" more than "big government establishment crony." More investigation is certainly in order, and as times change so do a country's needs in a chief executive. The nominee who would stand athwart Leviatian's progress and shout "STOP" doesn't do the country any good if he doesn't win.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2016 1:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Good memory. His Chairmanship in the 104th, "Spirit of '94" Congress is a testament to all that is good and true. In 2000, he was my first pick; when he dropped and threw support to Gov. Bush, I dutifully followed.

I did not use the word "crony" but he is somewhat proudly the antithesis of the small government crowd. He boasts of his Medicare expansion in the Buckeye State under Obamacare. Bush said "when people are hurting, Government has to step in to help" and Gov. Kasich is very much in this mold.

Third Bush term -- hey, we could do A LOT worse.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2016 7:57 PM

John Adams Warned Us

Kevin Williamson at NR says "John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as 'passion.'" It is all good but one section is particulalrly Quote of the Day worthy:

I write "so-called" conservative talk radio because the radio mob dropped conservatism with something like military parade-ground precision the moment it looked like the ratings -- and hence the juice -- were on the other side. Donald Trump, talked up endlessly by the likes of Hannity and Laura Ingraham, apologized for by Rush Limbaugh, and indulged far too deeply for far too long by far too many others, rejects conservatism. He rejects free trade. He rejects property rights. He rejects the rule of law. He rejects limited government. He advocates a presidency a thousand times more imperial than the one that sprung Athena-like from the brow of Barack Obama and his lawyers. He meditates merrily upon the uses of political violence and riots, and dreams of shutting down newspapers critical of him. He isn't a conservative of any stripe, and it is an outright lie to present him as anything other than what he is.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Furthermore, it would seem Williamson is suggesting, John Adams protected us - not from ourselves, individually, but from Ourselves, as a majoritarian mob. The Republic will survive Obama and it could survive Trump, I agree.

Yet I also agree that the forces within the party who are attempting to make Trump its nominee may and should be rightly opposed by other forces within the party who are willing to nominate nearly anyone else other than Trump. The candidate isn't nominated until 1237 delegates have sung.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2016 6:25 PM

Strange Bedfellows

My, how things have changed since Super Tuesday Two - with Rubio losing Florida and going from "committed to stay in this race until the end" and "suspending my campaign" in a mere twelve hours, and Kasich winning Ohio and becoming the new "momentum" candidate. Senator Lindsey Graham, having said that choosing between Trump or Cruz is like choosing between being shot or poisoned, has now endorsed Cruz and will hold a fundraiser for him in Washington.

"He's certainly not my preference, but he's a reliable Republican, conservative, which I've had many differences with," Graham told CNN. Graham said Kasich is the most electable general election candidate, but "I just don't see how John gets through the primary. This is an outsider year, and he is an insider."

For what it's worth, I don't believe we've seen the last surprising alliance in this race.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I downgraded Graham from RINO to a Squish a long time ago... god knows what he'll say next! I like Cruz, and will take the endorsement, but don't think of it much more than that... well, that and something's gotta stop the Trump train....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 23, 2016 4:38 PM

March 16, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

Talk about perverse incentives.James Taranto does a "Bye-ku" for every candidate who leaves the race. I've come to look forward to them so much, I get excited even when my current favorite bows out.


Posted by John Kranz at 1:44 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2016

Senate candidates sounding out

I go this eMail from the Robert Blaha campaign. Submitted for your perusal...


In a few months, I am asking Colorado conservatives to nominate me to challenge liberal incumbent Michael Bennet for a seat in the U.S. Senate. I’m not a career politician, I am a political outsider from the real-world, where you don’t ask for something and promise nothing in return.

So here’s what I’m offering. In my first term, I pledge to:
Cut the deficit
Secure the border
Reform the tax code

If I fail to accomplish even one of these things, I will step-down and return to Colorado to help you find a Senator who can. It’s that simple. I call it my Succeed or Leave philosophy.

The Republican primary field to take on Michael Bennet is a crowded one, with members of the permanent political class feeling entitled to be your Republican nominee.

As an entrepreneur, I know I am entitled to nothing.

But this doesn’t win me any favor with the DC establishment. The last thing they want is a committed conservative like me who is running exactly because of their failed insider politics.

This means I don’t have establishment backers. I don’t have big-government special interests funding my campaign. I’m counting on the help of conservatives like you who want an outsider.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:06 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Probably a swell guy. Probably would make a fantastic Senator.

Would he make a great candidate? I'd have to see. And without a track-record, it is hard to evaluate. Choosing "an outsider" for his or her outsiderness has not served the GOP too well. Tax reform is swell and all, but the seat will be fought over 93% uterus issues. Senator Gardner survived the onslaught, would Blaha?

I don't think we have much of a chance to unseat Bennet. Therefore, I would look to support either a candidate with a real shot (a thin list) or a true believer who will lose by double digits but make me proud. Ryan Frasier still leads the pack, but if I found a fellow-traveler in the unknowns, I may go quixotic.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2016 4:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I heard many of the senate hopefuls speak at Lincoln Day dinner. Blaha was high energy. I liked him. Other data points are, Tim Neville (R-RMGO) purportedly has the highest Principles of Liberty score in the state senate (yet to be verified). And Jon Keyser just received a trio of (establishment?) endorsements - Bill Owens, Hank Brown, Tom Tancredo.

There is a $30 per plate Women of Weld senate candidates forum next Wednesday night (3/23) at Mulligan Joe's in Fort Lupton. Info and registration on the Republican Women of Weld facebook page.

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2016 2:30 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

To me, Blaha blusters on the edge of bloviating, which could be a winning strategy in the The Year of Trump; say it aint so!

I heard Keyser on the radio today; very, very solid sounding guy who reminded me a lot of Tom Cotton. Not just a two-war vet, but a jumper, a lawyer, former CO-rep (who quit to campaign full time) and a CO-native "from a blue collar family." The endorsement that caught my ear was our last GOP governor.

Bennet was born to the purple for sure....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 17, 2016 12:08 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Let's remember that Udall lost his seat by becoming beclowned as "Mark Uterus."

And what is RMGO, anyway?

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 18, 2016 12:41 AM

March 14, 2016

Political Polls in the Age of Trump

In short, sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong. In at least one case, even stupendously wrong.


Also, Oklahoma.


So when it seems like Herr Trump is unstoppable based on a review of all the latest polls, take it with a yuge grain of salt.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2016

Just like Smoot & Hawley

In the spirit of Senator Reed Smoot, Representative Willis C. Hawley and President Herbert Hoover, I give you today's Republicans.


What happened to Harding, Coolidge & Dawes?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:53 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

"Trump hopes to dispatch with Kasich Tuesday by winning Ohio, in large part on a platform of opposing free trade and open borders."

After Tuesday, however, it may become negotiable.

Cruz has tried to walk a fine line on trade, saying Trump's tariff threat would harm the economy but then promising his own tariff, effectively, via a "tax on imports." I'm chalking this all up to election year hot air. None of this passes congress.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2016 2:42 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Good to hear... I guess. Totally agreed with JK that these 'campaign promises' are going universally the wrong way. Then again, this could be a clarion call to the GOP to either support free trade (ack! NAFTA = Clinton!), or come up with a 'third way' which ideally is rhetoric in line with Clinton's promise to "Change the way Gov't operates"

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 14, 2016 4:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I respectfully urge more caution. Trade policy -- especially with fast track-track authority -- remains an area where the executive enjoys broad powers.

Even were that not the case, individual legislators will always represent some affected industry seeking protection. The only hope for free trade, Obi-Wan, is leadership from 1600 Pennsylvania. It cannot come from Congress.

Persistent. Global. Depression.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2016 5:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Caution on whose part, brother? The world is not Three Sources. All of the cautious candidates not rhyming with "mace ick" have suspended their campaign. Caution does not seem to be the path to victory in the chief executive this cycle. Unless you're willing to subvert the grassroots choice with an establishment gerrymander. But I hear that comprehensive immigration reform is in his 100-day plan, and he was just endorsed by John Boehner. Really?

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2016 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Caution on the part of supporters (or potential tolerators) who think his rantings harmless.

Curiously, Sen. Sanders's Socialist rantings are pretty harmless. I think Congress would be an excellent check on his ambitions. He could create much mischief in the Executive/Administrative state and I cannot bear to ponder his SCOTUS picks , but single payer medicine and free college paid by Wall Street are not worth losing sleep.

Sanders is also almost as bad as Trump on trade.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2016 4:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't blame me, I voted for Paul-Fiorina '16!

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2016 2:43 PM

March 12, 2016

we can't let this guy go

Stories are abounding that Rubio's political career is over, if (which seems extremely likely) he ends up dropping his presidential bid. If the GOP is smart, they will not let a man of such obvious political talent go. Here Mike Ciandella of MRC's NewsBusters squad summarizes the way the GOP as a whole should avoid the 99/97% of scientists follow the consensus* slippery slope argument:

What there’s no consensus on is how much of the changes that are going on are due to human activity, in essence it's a sensitivity argument. ... these people pushing this are acting like it’s some sort of a religious tenet they want us to admit.
and when
(Mario Cuomo's brother, btw) CUOMO: You get painted denier, though, senator.
RUBIO: Is the sea level rising? You can measure that. You can measure whether sea level is rising. That's not the question you should be asking a policymaker.

The question you should be asking a policymaker is: what can we do in government to affect the rise of sea levels? And the answer is “oh, pass these laws we want you to pass.” So I asked the environmentalists and others who are supporting those laws, “well, how many inches of feet of sea level rise will that law prevent?” And there answer is, it won't prevent any.

Where can the GOP fit this guy that he can maintain the dignity to run again?

* stupendous review here of the 99% / 97% ruckus that gets toted around and used as either a club or a shield against rational discussion.

Posted by nanobrewer at 3:40 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I like him and don't know that he is "over" with a loss. I would support his dropping out at any time to try to unite all the #nevertrump folk.

NR put up a nice video.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2016 1:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Agreed, and I consider it one of those over-top comments we're likely to hear from the Dick Morris' of the world... mainly repeating it to hope "it ain't so."

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 13, 2016 5:13 PM

March 11, 2016

On Immigration - Pick Hillary Over Trump

The internet segue machine kicked out a gem today. In last night's GOP presidential debate I heard candidate Trump defensively state that he has used the H1B visa system many times, and profited handsomely as a result, but that the program "is unfair and should be ended."

Most of the news stories on this are in the Indian press, including this story in the India Times financial section:

Donald Trump's comments are the latest in a sling of attacks on the Indian IT industry and India in general. The real estate mogul, who is favourite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has blamed India and China for stealing American jobs.

Trump's oppotential [sic] Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton, doesn't discuss the H-1B visa. Instead, she has been talking of naturalisation of citizenship by waiving fees for more immigrants eligible to become US citizens.

And in related sporting news, the Miami Dolphins are outsourcing - cheerleaders to foreign lands.

"The Dolphins started auditions last week, and is targeting soccer-crazy countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Although few of the Brazilian candidates knew much about the sport... Ah heck, I'll just cut to the chase.

Doing the jobs that American swimsuit models won't do?

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:15 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I knew you guys would see it my way.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2016 7:18 PM

The Monotonous Din of Trump Posts...

Very good posts and comments over the last couple of days. Rather than respond individually, I'll give an elevator-talky post on my current Trumpian "feels."

First, props to brother jg for the awesome "Why I Support Trump" link. Kluge (rhymes with "Yuuuge?") is truly a "well-spoken" supporter who cannot be dismissed. It is well worth a read in full. I'll cop that I've been dismissive. So let me promote his and attempt a well spoken response. Grab a cup of coffee, his is long but worthwhile.

First point of discussion is "Conservative" as a scalar quantity: is x more conservative than y? Kluge has his own, well thought version of conservatism that sounds Kempian and right up my street in many ways. But it is always difficult to traverse conservatism, big-R Republicanism, and appreciation for liberty. Almost anybody would find huge swaths of agreement with Kluge.

First, I spent the last 20 years watching the conservative media in Washington endorse and urge me to vote for one candidate after another who made a mockery of conservative principles and values. Everyone talks about how thankful we are for the Citizens United decision but seems to have forgotten how we were urged to vote for the co-author of the law that the decision overturned.

He earned his check for that paragraph alone. Damn.

No, we should not oppose Trump because he is rude. We should not oppose him because he isn't PC. We should not necessarily oppose him because he is "not conservative." Kluge says conservative and small government are not on the menu. And that once you accept that, Trump doesn't look so bad. Maybe he's right, though Sen. Cruz has done well in an unusual year with -- albeit imperfect -- overtures to small government.

I'll return to trade (surprise!) and link another great WSJ editorial, but there is one every day: Trade Tutorial for Trump. Kludge might accuse me of fetishizing free trade and free markets; It's a fair cop. But it undercuts his "you can't have liberty, you might as well have a good businessman and strong dealer" argument.

It's not for boorishness or bad hair that I oppose Trump. I think he fundamentally misunderstands liberty and economics. And that his misunderstandings are potentially catastrophic to world prosperity. Herein lies the problem with my being a serial exaggerator -- I don't know the secret word to make you think I am serious about global extended depression. Not good.

Kluge is a bit disingenuous in one segment. I do not think that it is unpardonable or overtly-unRepublican to attack President Bush or even the war in Iraq. Trump piled in with the "truthers" that he "lied us into war." That's a different level of ungenerosity than suggesting an end to nation-building. Kludge has a bad taste having served in theatre which I will not begrudge, but I think it colors his judgement.

Also fair to say that Sen Rubio will continue Bushian, neocon policies. Looking at the choices still on the menu a third Bush term sounds like the best case scenario.

On that cheery note, I'll leave you to your Friday -- don't forget to set your clocks over the weekend!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Nicely done brother, and despite my occasional defenses of the reality TV presenter I hope you remember that I caucused for Rubio (as, at the time, the best general election candidate in my opinion) and today, with Rubio sliding fast, am still a strong Cruz supporter.

I also hope to earn points from you with my brand new criticism of Trump's immigration stance.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2016 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just home from my county GOP district assembly, where we elected 12 delegates to advance to state assembly. ALL of the nominees expressed a preference for Ted Cruz. The one who also said the most nice things about Trump was relegated to Alternate delegate.

Coupled with Weld County's preference poll win by Cruz, the anti-Trump sentiment remains quite healthy in my county.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2016 2:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Adams county also conducted a straw poll:

Cruz 37%
Rubio 27%
Trump 22%
Carson 11%
Kasich 4%

(results rounded)

I'm not aware of any other county polls at this time.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2016 2:29 PM

March 10, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

The real mystery isn't why the neocons would return to the Democratic Party if the GOP were to nominate a skeptic of foreign intervention. Given the profound tensions on the right between the statist neoconservatives, and the small-government movement conservatives, the wonder is that they stayed in the GOP so long.

If the neoconservatives do bolt the GOP, a new conservative foreign policy might congeal around prudence, self-reliance and restraint. And if the neocons seek to fasten themselves once again to the GOP in four or eight years, after having helped elevate Hillary Clinton to the presidency, no one should be surprised if Republicans aren't anxious to let them back in.

-Cato's Christopher Preble in 'Marco Rubio: The Neocon's Last Stand?'

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:16 PM | Comments (0)

Six Reasons That Trump Voters are Not Embarrassed by Him

This morning I suggested to dagny that Donald Trump has already told us who his running mate, or mates, will be - Smoot and Hawley. But Trump voters aren't completely ignorant on trade and economics, they've merely been misled. They see (or think they see) job growth and prosperity in China, Mexico, et. al. and wonder why if trade is so great for them, why isn't it great for us too? The answer, of course, is that it is great for both of us. But demagogues like Trump and Sanders tell eager listeners that trade is to blame for the damage done by big government, through tax and regulatory expansion, not to mention mandates to do things less economically.

Red-blooded, patriotic attorney and combat veteran John C. Kluge explains six reasons why he is a Trump voter, and resents those who tell him not to be:

1- Trump isn't a "conservative."

What Republican presidential nominee in the last 25 years has been?

2- What has "conservatism" become today, anyway?

"Conservatives have become some sort of schizophrenic sect of libertarians who love freedom (but hate potheads and abortion) and feel the US should be the policeman of the world. The same people who daily fret over the effects of leaving our society to the mercy of Hollywood and the mass culture have somehow decided leaving it to the mercies of the international markets is required."

Kluge seems to be conflating "conservative" with "establishment" or more precisely, neoconservative. But he has a good point here.

3- Mismanagment of the war on Islamic extremism:

"I fully understand the sad necessity to fight wars and I do not believe in "blow back" or any of the other nonsense that says the world will leave us alone if only we will do the same. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand how conservatives of all people convinced themselves that the solution to the 9/11 attacks was to forcibly create democracy in the Islamic world."

4- Donald Trump's vulgarity, combativeness and incivility are virtues, not vices:

The standard Democrat playbook is to lie, slander and mislead voters about their Republican opponents. "And now you tell me that I should reject Trump because he is uncivil and mean to his opponents? Is that some kind of a joke? This is not the time for civility or to worry about it in our candidates."

5- "I do not care that Donald Trump is in favor of big government."

This one is a swing and a miss. "That is certainly not a virtue but it is not a meaningful vice, since the same can be said of every single Republican in the race. I am sorry, but the "We are just one more Republican victory from small government" card is maxed out. We are not getting small government no matter who wins. So Trump being big government is a wash."

Ted Cruz' message* is not reaching this man.

6- Help us Donald Trump, you're our only hope:

"Trump offers at least the chance that he might act in the American interest instead of the world’s interest or in the blind pursuit of some fantasy ideological goals. There is more to economic policy than cutting taxes, sham free-trade agreements and hollow appeals to “cutting government” and the free market. Trump may not be good, but he at least understands that. In contrast, the rest of the GOP and everyone in Washington or the media who calls themselves a conservative has no understanding of this."

And this is where one might ask, "But what about Ted Cruz? The establishment hates him. The Senate hates him. He constantly harps on Constitutional limits - doesn't he offer at least as much a chance to "act in the American interest" as Trump?"

"Marco Rubio would be nothing but a repeat of the Bush 43 administration with more blood and treasure spent on the fantasy that acting in other people’s interests indirectly helps ours.

Ted Cruz might be somewhat better, but it is unclear whether he could resist the temptations of nation building and wouldn’t get bullied into trying it again. And as much as I like Cruz on many areas, he, like all of them except Trump, seems totally unwilling to admit that the government has a responsibility to act in the nation’s interests on trade policy and do something besides let every country in the world take advantage of us in the name of "free trade."


* Click "continue reading" for a snippet of Cruz' message last night when interviewed by Megyn Kelly.

Now, let's focus on the third area which is where you want to go, which is legislation. Legislation is the hardest lever to use because right now Congress is fundamentally broken. It is dysfunctional. I am campaigning based on two big legislative policy initiatives. Number one repealing every single word of ObamaCare.


And number two, passing a simple flat tax and abolishing the IRS.


KELLY: Control of the House and the Senate and the Republican Party if you want to get that done.

CRUZ: Now, listen, you are right. And neither of those are easy. I am not remotely naive or Pollyannaish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're behind you, Ted.


CRUZ: That's actually the key. Listen, could I get either of those done in this current Congress? Not a chance. Because right now the Washington cartel, all of the lobbyists, all of the special interest, they depend on the status quo. The IRS tax code, the reason it's so long is that's where all the carve outs, all the subsidies, all the handouts are buried in that tax code. How do you change it? You know, if you look at the last time we broke the Washington cartel, it was 1981. It was the Reagan revolution where Reagan took it to the people and there was a tidal wave from the people. The way we get that done is I intend to make 2016, the general election against Hillary Clinton they referendum on repealing ObamaCare and abolishing the IRS.


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

Trumpian Danger

No. Donald Trump is not Hitler. But Trump could be a horrid amalgam of Presidents Nixon and Hoover. Feeling Better?

A scene from a future Donald Trump presidency? Actually, it's what Richard Nixon did in 1971.

As Mr. Trump closes in on the Republican presidential nomination by promising voters he'll crack down on foreign competitors, the rest of the world should take stock of the extraordinary power a president has to take the country in a protectionist direction.

Mr. Trump says he's for free trade and not a protectionist. Nonetheless, he has threatened steep tariffs on imports from China and Mexico and disparages trade pacts, from the North American Free Trade Agreement to the signed but unratified 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Greg Ip's [Review Corner] WSJ editorial laments a concern that I have voiced -- the President has broad powers on trade policy that are less entangled with other branches. President Sanders will have a tough time enacting single-payer healthcare, but he or President Trump can wreck the world economy with a phone and a pen.
Smoot-Hawley was largely the product of horse trading between individual legislators to protect favored industries. As a result, in 1934, Congress decided to forgo "the business of tariff logrolling," as trade historian Doug Irwin writes, and delegated most authority over tariff negotiations to the president.

This division of power has insulated the world trading system from Congress's parochial tendencies. By the same token, it puts the world more at the mercy of presidents whose latitude over trade has steadily expanded.

Hillary 2016 -- Vote for the crook! It's important.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Some well-spoken Trump supporters dismiss "free" trade as some utopian ideal. Even if the U.S. decides to go down that road, every other country on earth rigs trade relations in their favor, just like Mr. Trump has told them.

"Lost in all of this is the older strain of conservatism. The one I grew up with and thought was reflective of the movement. This strain of conservatism believed in the free market and capitalism but did not fetishize them the way so many libertarians do.

This strain understood that a situation where every country in the world but the US acts in its own interests on matters of international trade and engages in all kinds of skulduggery in support of their interests is not free trade by any rational definition. This strain understood that a government's first loyalty was to its citizens and the national interest."

Not mentioned here is that what is really in the US interest is to use our negotiating power to insist that while we trade on a level marketplace, our international partners must do so as well. But, true or not, Trump voters don't believe that the numerous international trade pacts have accomplished this. And they blame that failure for a moribund domestic economy, whose true cause is a national government that taxes and regulates ever more relentlessly.

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2016 2:29 PM

March 9, 2016

Quote of the Day

Remember the "Midwestern Beachhead" that was going to give Kasich this awesome bargaining position at the Cleveland convention? Kasich finished third in Michigan last night, 8,000 votes behind Cruz. He won less than 6 percent in Minnesota. He was eighth, with less than 2 percent, in Iowa. He was fourth in Kansas, with 11 percent. Kasich is a rare example of a regional candidate who can't win in, you know, his region. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 10:54 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Not THAT rare. You don't seriously think Rubio's going to win Florida, do you?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 9, 2016 2:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Sen Rubio (C12H22O11 - FL) disappoints on a national scale. He was expected to well all over. Gov. Kasich was expected only to capture midwestern voters and he is n danger of failing.

I'm not ruling out a Rubio win in The Sunshine State. But I am ready for him to bow out even though he is my favorite of the remaining candidates.

Posted by: jk at March 9, 2016 5:17 PM

March 8, 2016

Did Somebody Say "Monotonous Din of Donald Trump?"

Three Sources apologizes for not posting enough of the awesome work of IBD's Michael Ramirez.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:23 PM | Comments (0)

March 4, 2016

Quote of the Day

The Republican in Compton, take note: You are suddenly the most important person in America! A lonely nation turns its eyes to you! -- Megan McArdle
Posted by John Kranz at 6:50 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Appears that Coloradans chose door #2; Ted Cruz for the win! His campaign should be pushing the CO-GOP to clean up its act.

In other news, I heard from Dems that they didn't much like their caucus implementations, either. Huge lines reported in Lafayette (and on the cover of the Daily Comrade). Their attendance was way up too.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 6, 2016 11:21 PM

March 3, 2016

Adios Marco?

Sen. Rubio Out? The jk kiss-of-death endorsement lives on!

UPDATE: Randy Barnett has revised and extended his remarks. He now prefers a Dos Hermanos Cubanos alliance to a 3rd party.

UPDATE II: And this could be rumor -- I have not seen it elsewhere.

UPDATE III Either the greatest scoop in the history of Journalism or a complete fraud: I call "heads."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:48 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Rubio knows that if fails to come in first place in his home state on March 15, his political career is OVER. He's already made it clear that he's disinclined to run for reelection as Senator, and there's been a large segment of Florida Republicans unhappy enough with him to work to see that happen. Suspending his campaign before he gets stomped on his home turf may be his best face-saving option.

Would Cruz offer him the second slot on the ticket, after the bad blood that the two of them have traded? I think he would; it would be a great opportunity to unite, bro-hug, and tell the voting public "it's a good thing that the two of us can be so passionate about minor political points and still be able to work together." And, in the process, consolidate most of the voters and delegates who were firmly in the Rubio camp.

Would Rubio accept? He'd be a fool not to. He's looking down the business end of a Thelma-and-Louise end of his political life, versus accepting the title of Heir Presumptive for 2024.

Dos Hermanos Cubanos? At least the cooking in the White House kitchen would be good. And it would be interesting to see the reaction of the Castro regime in Havana to the news...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 3, 2016 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I really like Randy Barnett's solution: keep campaigning with the understanding that the one who gets fewer delegates will deliver his to the other.

This is predicated on there not being a lot of "bad blood" between them. I do not recall seeing what you describe -- but I don't have cable.

Posted by: jk at March 3, 2016 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My [biological] brother has asked for my "grand plan" for a Republican to win the White House. Until this morning, I had nothin'. Then it occurred to me that Marco's talent for delivering an optomistic message about the future of liberty and free market politics needs to be retargeted - not at youts or Progressives, but at blue collar Bud drinkers. You know, Trump voters.

After 2 terms of President Obama they don't care so much about limited government as getting government power supporting them instead of ________ fill in the blank who isn't them. I think it started today. I saw a big chunk of Rubio's CPAC speech and it seemed to have some new content explaining how a right-wing strongman is no better than a left-wing strongman. I didn't have time to watch the whole thing - I had to get back pool-side at a Tucson resort - but concluded I will know that it is happening if pundits start talking about it too, not just me reading into it personally.

I like the idea of a Cruz-Rubio ticket, in that order. Not just philosophically and to diminish the influence of the "Washington Cartel" but because it will blunt the negative impact when Trump wins Florida in 2 weeks. I do think they need to name a top of the ticket soon, so that voters can line up behind one name before the convention.

My two cents.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2016 2:09 PM

March 2, 2016

Madame Vice President!



Hat-tip (and further backstory, if required): Matthew Stevens Fox28

Posted by John Kranz at 5:42 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I hear it from reliable sources, that phrase in South-speak means: ".... and the horse you rode in on!" I'm sure The Donald has no idea....

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 4, 2016 10:40 PM

Cruz Out Front!

Now, I am not a geography wiz, but I think it is clear that Sen. Cruz's victories in Alaska, Texas, and Oklahoma put him out front, providing that delegates are apportioned pari passu with surface area.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:55 AM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

In other good news, with the dust settling (and informal reports that Trump'ism is not running strong in CO), we now see that Cruz+Rubio > Trump!

Trump - 319; Cruz - 226; Rubio - 110.

Feeling better about a brokered convention, and the Trumpsters hopefully not feeling too (or "two" in the Trump world) disenfranchised when HE is Not the One.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 2, 2016 6:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, cautiously peeking out around the dark clouds myself.

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2016 6:46 PM

Sooper Tuesday

Nice graphical summary here c/o Google. Glad to see Rubio win one, have to wonder if Carson's wasted 6% could have netted VA for the young Floridian, or at least a handful of delegates in TX (PL reports that 20% floor is necessary in many primaries to get any). Thank you, Doktor, now please exit stage right!


One thing I noted was the allotted delegate counts not accounting for most the states' totals (VA and MA being the exceptions).... ahh, it's b/c the numbers aren't final. Shoot, more than half of TX's are still uncommitted; .

Assuming these totals are final (AK still not reporting as of this writing, Cruz up by 2 points), this leads to the math of there being 189 uncommitted delegates, including all of CO's 37 (thanks to our goofy status). That is heartening; while (Cruz + Rubio) is only 70% of Trump's total, Trump only has 65% of (Cruz + Rubio + UNC.). [updated: UNC is now down to 160, but I'm off to bed!]

I can report that my little caucus packed out the middle school's cafeteria, with many, many seated on the floor or standing. Precinct 305 had 12 voters present (up from four in 2012!) from nearly 170 on the roll call sheet and our tiny straw poll (shhh...) came out: Rubio - 5; Cruz - 4; Carson - 3. Heh.

Posted by nanobrewer at 2:34 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Thanks. Glad to hear that there are still 12 Republicans in Lafayette :) That five like Sen. Rubio is a bonus.

My Facebook feed is full of heartening news of non-Trump delegates being sent.

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2016 10:24 AM

March 1, 2016

thumbnail sketch of Bennet's competition

Sounds like the non-run of Mike Coffman and Aurora prosecutor George Brauchler set the GOP a scrambin', hence the scrum we're seeing. Here is USA Today's take: “Right now the race is Bennet versus a cast of relative unknowns. “ B has $8M, only Glenn has reportable cash ($40k).

Roll call says there's no consensus, establishment pick yet. I'll say....

Tim Neville; small biz owner, staged shocking win in a 2011 State Senate in a race special election. claims to be an anti-establishment, no-compromise conservative (warning: Catholic!) willing to stand up and fight for his conservative principles and values. Didn't say anything about small gov't, but his blog says

no-compromise approach infuriated the Big Government crowd in Denver, who immediately redistricted Tim into a "purple" district where he'd have to face the powerful Democrat Caucus Chair.”
Won reelection in 2012 even though outspent 3-1. DP says: “Neville is considered more akin to U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a strong conservative who lost to Bennet in 2010, and less like U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who cast himself as more moderate” Two Sons both did Army time and one runs his campaign.

Ryan Fraser: navy vet, small biz man, Senior Fellow of the Health Research and Education Trust. Two term Aurora city council. Website sez:
- achieve 4% economic growth by …. fixing our tax code and embracing energy independence.
- We must strengthen our military and national security capabilities as the growing threat of anti-American militant extremism expands its reach. Protect our people. …
- real fiscal responsibility
- improve education with local control and returning tax dollars to the states
- Criminal justice reform is needed for our community.
- Fixing the student loan crisis is a matter of great importance to our college graduates.

Peg Littleton former teacher and education consultant, in 2014 she was elected, (by 60%) as the Colorado Springs commissioner on the Board of El Paso County Commissioners. Her website has Jobs/Economy, Education, National Security, Military and Energy at the top of her thumbnails, saying

advocate responsible spending cuts that maintain a social safety network and protect our national defense. I am a fiscal conservative.

Daryl Glenn is an El Paso County commissioner & Colorado Springs City Council. He is a lawyer and graduated from the Air Force Academy. After 21 years of active duty, he retired as a lieutenant colonel. Running (as is Blaha) b/c of the Iran deal.

Robert Blaha, kind of brash entrepreneur type as I'd reported before. Runs Human Capital Associates, (leadership training stuff). Alan Keyes-ian stuff in white face.

John Keysner: Bronze Star recipient vet of Iraq and Afghanistan, now a corporate lawyer (Hogan Lovels) and willing to give up his seat in the State House (Neville isn't)

Also running: Greg Lopez, former Colorado director of the Small Business Administration, and Charles Ehler, a retired military computer programmer.

Neville's name is most familiar to me... and let's face it... that helps more than small-gov't cred! Too bad Gale Norton was so shafted....

Posted by nanobrewer at 5:52 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

The name most familiar to you is an RMGO guy, I believe.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 6:20 PM
But jk thinks:

I am a fan of Ryan Frasier. Were there a high-profile opponent, you could try to talk me into the more electable candidate, but as all of them are relative unknowns, I can play my heart.

My shoes are on and the weather is nice - could I do Councilman Frasier any good at caucus this evening?

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 6:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Lucky 13: Jerry Natividad

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 6:56 PM

Lileks on Trump

Umm, I think you can put him down as a "no." But I link for the bonus Star Trek clip at the bottom.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:54 PM | Comments (0)

Whither TEA Party?

Rising with the Inauguration of President Obama, the TEA Party said "We don't want to struggle to get by on our own earnings while some of our tax dollars are given to our neighbors to buy a bigger house." Since then, the message has been co-opted and distorted by various interests to mean "anti-gay marriage" or "anti-welfare" or, most despicable of all, "racist." But as a Slate columnist observes, the rise of "Trumpism" reveals the true nature of the TEA Party uprising -

One of the hallmarks of the Trump campaign has been his support for Social Security and Medicare, and his insistence that he would protect these programs from budget cuts. To many conservatives, Trump's defense of these old-age entitlements is his greatest heresy. What they fail to understand is that conservative voters are very fond of these programs, and their fondness can’t be chalked up to simple hypocrisy.

We saw this dynamic at play during the early days of the Tea Party, the last time elite Republicans faced a serious populist challenge. Many conservative intellectuals viewed the Tea Party movement as the realization of their fondest wishes: a grassroots rebellion demanding fiscal austerity. In fact, as Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute has observed, Tea Party members were chiefly motivated by a theory of economic fairness. They believed, in Ekins' words, that "everyone should be rewarded in strict proportion to their achievements and failings and that government should not shield people from the consequences of their decisions." This is why Tea Party conservatives are more favorably disposed toward programs like Social Security and Medicare -- to which workers contribute over a lifetime in exchange for benefits when they need them -- than they are to programs that lack this contributory element.

I confess that my appreciation for Trump's populist appeal runs counter to my unfettered free-market principles, and it is an unsettling cognitive dissonance. But as my blog brother often reminds me, the world is not Three Sources. Peggy Noonan reminded me that economic dislocations affect and frighten the "unprotected" with greater intensity than those of us with the time and inclination to bloviate on philosophy, politics, and government policy.

Reihan Salam, author of the Slate article linked above, makes many other suggestions for a populist reform of the GOP platform in the "post-Trump era." Some of them are palatable:

- A Pay-Your-Own-Way Immigration Policy Admit new immigrants based on earning ability, not family connections.

- Eat China's Lunch
"On more than one occasion, Donald Trump has said that "China's just eating our lunch," and that we ought to retaliate. He's not wrong."

- Defend the Safety Net
Accept the reality of Obamacare, but make it a safety net program and not a mandate on every American.

- Respect, Not Compassion
Reform the tax code to make refundable tax credits proportional to earnings, and other things to stop disincentivizing work.

I can endorse all of these things. What I can not abide is rent-seeking. Government favoritism for the well-connected. Corporate welfare. Cronyism.

I would rather not see a President Trump. I don't share the assumption that he cannot win a general election with Hillary. And perhaps Senator Cruz' principled opposition to many of these things is so strong that he could never compromise and let them happen, for the good of the country, for the good of the party, and for the good of the American people. But as Trump is so fond of saying, "Everything is negotiable." I can only hope that even that statement itself is also negotiable when it comes to issues like SCOTUS nominees.

UPDATE: Robert Tracinski's endorsement of "Rubio-ism"

Calling Rubio the only leading Republican with an aspirational message, a writer and thinker I admire greatly has just endorsed the "establishment candidate." He doesn't address my concern about routing the cockroaches of the Washington cartel, however.

But one thing I am coming to accept is that Cruz is probably the least electable of the three, due to his lack of positivity.

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

The TEA Party I saw on the Denver Capitol steps was dedicated to constitutional limits on government. One fellow in a Tri-Cornered hat carried a sign upon which was lettered Tenth Amendment. That has always been the Tea Party to me.

I have my faults but am not a fool. The populism frightened me and it was obvious that the bulk of my fellow revelers were far more conservative and far less libertarian than me.

But, at the caucuses, our precinct sent a batch of Ron Paul folk to be delegates, and I thought that this plan was working -- or that it had the chance to win.

Trump is the grave marker for the Tea Party. The scary populist side won and the libertarian-minarchist fringe has been dissipated.

"That didn't work." I don't care that I devoted six years. It was a good time and I took my shot.

But I'll be home for caucus tonight. I no longer believe that my participation matters. The last throws of a dying empire can be quite comfortable. And young people will have unprecedented tools to discover liberty and see its fine examples.

People will be free again somewhere. I hope in America. I hope soon. But the last gasp, Tea Party effort to save it here and now has come a cropper.

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm going to caucus. In the county wide presidential preference poll, I have decided that I must hold my nose and cast by ballot for "little Marco."

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 6:54 PM

February 29, 2016

Not Hitler nor Jackson -- Trump is WJC!

I linked to tgreer's excellent essay, though I found a few areas of disagreement. There are some historical parallels which I do not find exactly parallel.

Driving home from Starbucks, it hit me. We do not have to dust off too many history books -- Trump is William Jefferson Clinton. In the flesh.

Both are charismatic. I can be counted as a political opponent of both, but after an interview, even I tip my hat to their raw people skills. Lovable rouges -- Giles suggested "a rakish uncle?" in Tabula Rasa. At their best, they are rakish uncles.

Both are men of larger than life appetites.

Neither fears bombast. Either can say something patently false with conviction and aplomb.

Both play the game as it is laid out. Not Marquess of Queensberry rules nor as imagined platonic ideals. Both make the best play on the hand they were dealt.

tg's point which I had more trouble refuting was whether both Jackson and Trump were transcendental figures that would redefine the party. I don't think I am the only libertarian giving up on the GOP if it chooses Donald Trump to lead us. I would be offset numerically by some disaffected Democrats, but the party would change.

Trump would change the party, I'll continue, like President Clinton and for similar reasons.
Clinton "betrayed" his party by doing many things that Dr. Art Laffer and I like: welfare reform, NAFTA, GATT, China in the WTO, lip service to "safe legal and rare" abortions, Sister Souljah. The DLC was a moderate Democrat party wrestled away from those Vietnam hippies and McGovern liberals.

Why did President Clinton do all this? The art of the deal, my friends, the art of the deal. Neither he nor Trump bring ideological fervor. The seek power qua power. And share equivalent endowments of self-doubt, guilt and shame.

Trump could provide the same 20-year change to the party for the reasons I admitted. But a complete realignment? Those require underlying principles.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:03 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

But without the swooning appeal to the fairer sex, to be sure.

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 5:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I'd call them equal. Power is the great aphrodisiac.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 6:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd argue that Clinton's changes were merely temporary and the DLC's march to the hard left that started in 1968 has continued downward.

Lastly, I think a Trump ascendent's bomb throwing will prompt big-L LIBs, possibly SICs, and small-gov't conservatives to form their own party.

Caldera is on the radio now citing the similarities of Trump's long-term record as a NY liberal... and just how close to HRC he is.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 1, 2016 10:55 AM

If political candidates were beer brands...

...this would be Donald Trump.

Pop a top and hear me out.

The rise of "sophisticated" craft beers has cut deeply into the market share of the "macro" brews, leaving them to find new ways to appeal to drinkers than "just" bikinis. Millions of dollars of professional advertising research and production later, we have - "Not Ponies", hard working blue collar men, big American brewing [owned by Belgians, I must admit] rock stars, sports champions, "Not Sipped", "Not Soft", "Not Imported", "Not a Fruit Cup", beautiful young women, "Not for Everyone" and ending with, "Not Backing Down."

The guy at the bar, who flicked the lemon off the rim of his beer glass, is NOT voting for a country club member for president - unless that guy OWNS the country club and talks like a Teamster.

Politics is at least as much about message and marketing as it is about ideas, if not more, unfortunately. Whoever wants to beat Trump needs his own version of "America, f*ck yeah!" to compete with this. Just an observation.

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

Perhaps in a general election -- and Reagan's "Morning in America" comes to mind. Simplify and emotionalize to capture lower info voters in a general (without talking down to true believers).

But Brother nb captures my wistful ennui below by saying "Damn, a Cru-Bio showdown could have been so good for liberty...."

Amen. And a Rand Paul -> Scott Walker -> Bobby Jindal -> Cruz -> Rubio even better. I think if you are selling your candidacy to Republican Primary voters as a beer brand then you are doing it wrong. Or, much worsely and matching my darkest fears, the polity is wrong. Maybe Republicans are as stupid and racist as my lefty friends have been trying to tell me.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some are, 'tis true, but no greater percentage than are Democrats.

Picture the man at the bar in this commercial though. Would you call him stupid? Does he look stupid, and not thoughtful? Or anyone else in the commercial? And yet you can easily imagine them pulling a lever for a potty mouthed billionaire because they think he will fix what needs fixing.

I dunno, I guess I just think the "stupid racist" crap gets thrown around way too casually. Guys who carry lunch pails to work have as much right to their opinion as anyone else. God bless America!

I also meant this as an anti-snobbery play. I have friends and relations who deride me for drinking Coors and Bud. "Life's too short for cheap beer" sez they. When I grew up this beer was plenty expensive and plenty tasty. Liking craft beers now doesn't mean I also have to stop liking the beer I loved first, sez I.

This Bud's for you, unless you're too good to drink with me. And there's Donald's true appeal, is it not?

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 4:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I do wish I could summon Jonah Goldberg to the blog. He could admire my Buffy reference and critique my bold Trump == (WJ) Clinton claim.

He could also pontificate here. He is an unabashed fan of Budweiser, no less abashed ridiculer of elitism and fruit beer style frumpery in all things. But. He opposes Trump in a way that side by side comparisons make me look like " a leaner."

No, your beer drinking friend is not stupid -- but he is choosing a product which is not tied to reason. Choosing a candidate in a primary is a more intellectual endeavor.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 5:24 PM

All Hail Jonah!

Jonah calls "shenanigans" on Donald Trump's claim that he faces frequent IRS audits because of he is "a strong Christian:"

Anyway, all of this public religiosity is fairly new. Before he ran for president, if you played the word-association game with 100,000 Americans, I'd venture that not one of them would have said "Christian!" when asked, "What first comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump?"

Apparently, according to Trump, that's only true of normal Americans. The IRS is different. It's like the eye of Sauron searching the land for "strong Christians." When its cruel gaze landed upon the failed casino magnate, beauty-pageant impresario, thrice-married and confessed adulterer who's talked about how his own daughter is so hot he'd date her if she wasn't his daughter and bragged about how it doesn't matter what critics say about you so long as "you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass," and who told Howard Stern that his ability to avoid getting the clap while sleeping around was his "personal Vietnam," the IRS immediately saw the truth of the matter.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:11 AM | Comments (4)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Something is completely amiss about his claim he gets audited repeatedly... I smell more "Donald" than truth, and the Christie endorsement only reinforces my thought that these are NY liberals banding together.

Sessions, OTOH, did disappoint.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 29, 2016 12:29 PM
But jk thinks:

I was going to ask when gloating could commence on Sen. Sessions conversion to Trumpism.

I'll let you off easily, but I do think it reinforces my belief that a huge majority of Trump supporters want restricted immigration firstly and foremostly. Sessions and Trump are birds of a feather to me.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But they can't have it, right? "Get with the program, little racist." Thus paraphrased Noonan, but not until after this:

Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration - its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing. But the protected did fine - more workers at lower wages. No effect of illegal immigration was likely to hurt them personally.

It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.

Before concluding, "I don't know if the protected see how serious this moment is, or their role in it."

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 4:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sessions wants illegal immigration stopped. Trump just wants a trumpet to toot. If y'ask me, Jeff stepped off the correct platform onto the wrong train. Peggy's comment on the collapse of the rule of law and thereby the elites not looking out for the country (a la Merkel) is closer to the mark for prioritizing trump voters.

Too many trumpers want "their" bully, IMO. I've been listening to talk radio and not that many of them are really that wrapped around immigration. He's become an article of faith, and they believe he'll make America great (grate, is more likely) or at least stop the PC nonsense. What's most alarming is his (and theirs) mere passing familiarity with importance of the rule of law.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 1, 2016 1:12 AM

February 28, 2016

While We're Trumping

Charles C W Cooke unearths a 1990 Playboy interview with some umm, uncomfortable views on authoritarian regimes.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

Trump as Jackson

An interesting take on Donald Trump from blog friend tgreer.

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

Let the recond show I am not 100% in -- though I enjoyed it. COmmenting on a facebook link to it:

I enjoyed the essay. Jackson, however, though indeed outside the elite, was not outside politics. He was a Senator and he won a commanding plurality for President in 1824. His opposition to the bank was ideological ad straight on the mold o Jefferson, was it not?

Trump and he share populism, but Trump is outside politics and outside the belief system of his own party. That is where I am unsure of the comparison. I fully agree with eschewing "argumentum ad hiltlerium;" when he gasses 12 million, let me know.

Now, TR...

Posted by: jk at February 28, 2016 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nice article TG. Some weeks ago I did recognize some similarities with my limited understanding of Andrew Jackson. And there are several points here that buttress assertions I've previously made on these pages, and in private messages with family members. But let me pose a question about your charge that Trump will only make worse the situation of the over bloated, dangerously unbalanced national government, too involved in the life of the common man.

With an imperious chief executive of the opposition party, might not Democrats in Congress and the Senate find new willingness to reign in executive power? And in cooperation with the fraction of Republicans who believe in limited government, succeed in doing so?

I understand this is attempting to predict the future, and playing with fire at the same time. I'm not suggesting it as an intentional plan as much as a contingency, should hoi polloi succeed in their storming of the gates.

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 11:34 AM

February 25, 2016

Trump: The Barbarian at the GOP Gates

He doesn't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 'Conan the Barbarian' but in many ways he acts the same. He swaggers in and takes what he wants, says what he wants, does what he wants - with impunity. It's not at all becoming of the de facto Leader of the Free World, but as a rebuke to those who have husbanded power and influence to make history's greatest nation less free and less great - it is a sight to behold.

This is the viewpoint of Chicago's John Kass who, like me, would have nominated Rand Paul if the decision were up to him. But the party leaders didn't want a principled president, according to Kass:

I thought he had a chance to attract young voters and realign the Republicans away from their war-party impulses and toward some semblance of fiscal sanity.

As a result, Paul was savaged early on by the GOP establishment as some kind of dangerous "isolationist," which means he didn't want American kids to fight wars in the Middle East.

Back then the GOP establishment didn't mind Trump, when he was sucking up all the TV media oxygen on Fox News and thereby asphyxiating the Paul campaign. In the establishment mind, Trump must have been a useful idiot.

He'd take attention away from candidates who threatened the establishment, and when it finally was time, the wise men would unleash Jeb! and his $100 million and cruise to victory.

It was a great plan except for one thing: reality.

Now that the Trump genie is out of the bottle, he isn't easy to put back. And the "wise men" are in utter panic because they've lost control of the process that provides them control of the government machinery.

The common wisdom is that if Trump continues on and wins the Republican nomination, he'll be trounced by Democrat Hillary Clinton, who recently announced that she always tries to tell the truth.

But I'm not so sure. Still, if you read the bleating op-eds, you get a sniff of the GOP establishment panic. They weep about disaster at hand.

What they don't say is that they'd rather have Democrat Hillary Clinton in there -- the true establishment Wall Street candidate -- than Trump.

And that's why I will vote for Trump, if he is the Republican in the race: Not because I'm convinced he'd be a good president, but because the people who have come to have leadership positions in the GOP are not republicans. And it almost certainly will require a barbarian to dump them into the streets.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:23 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

This morning I asked dagny to ignore Trump's personality and consider everything else about him, objectively. That was the way I attempted to watch him in last night's GOP debate in Houston. She said, "I can't. He's too rude and obnoxious."

To which I replied that I think that's one of the things his backers like about him. They think he is least likely of the available candidates to go to Washington and be co-opted by the old boys club and its "please" and "thank you" and "my distinguished colleague from the great state of cronyist bullshit."

In short, a barbarian.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2016 11:54 AM
But jk thinks:

I can. In spite of his rude and obnoxious behaviour. (Wonder where I could have built up the immunity?)

From last night's debate "I like a trade war when we're losing 56 Billion." I am not certain that Art and Stephen will be able to reel him in.

Also in the debate, but a frequent soundbite "I'm not going to have people dying in the streets without health care. Maybe you [Sen. Cruz] would." We're in to President George W Bush at best here and President Obama at the worst. All of you are my children and I will see to it you feel no pain when I sit at the Resolute desk.

From last night's debate "The wall just got ten feet higher."

Add large doses of eminent domain abuse or at the very least failure/pretend failure to differentiate between public and private uses of eminent domain.

We've had back on forth on Sens. Rubio & Cruz and agree each has some black marks against. But neither are anywhere in this league.

What beliefs he has -- if any -- are in no way in-line with mine. Yes I am happy he cheeses off some people I don't like. But that is not qualification for the Presidency.

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2016 3:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There is no doubt that Trump is a loose cannon. Where there is doubt is whether a more measured man can succeed in a popularity contest versus Mr. or Mrs. Candy Man (Sanders or Clinton.) I think this is what Chris Christie is thinking when he says, "no other Republican candidate is a more formidable challenger to Hillary Clinton."

Bonus Christie quote: "We don't need Washington politicians to come in and fix it."

Christie campaigned on his executive experience as governor. That's what he says Trump has in spades, and the senators lack.

Did you catch Trump's comeback to the "you hired illegal workers" charge? He said, "You've never hired ANY workers!" I think that comment has merit.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2016 4:17 PM
But dagny thinks:

I'm afraid I'm with JK. If the Republicans in this country nominate Donald Trump, I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

Posted by: dagny at February 26, 2016 6:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Donald Trump is not Lady Liberty's knight in shining armor, riding in on a white steed to defeat Leviathan. Instead he is, as Glen Reynolds explains, experimentation on the part of hoi polloi.

It used to be, of course, that the lower and middle classes were stuffy and constrained by social convention while the freethinkers at universities and in the ruling class got to experiment with unconventional ideas. If their experimenting got enough success, then it might eventually filter down to ordinary people. (The sexual revolution worked this way, more or less).

But now it's our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness, and it takes movement by the masses to give it permission to express a controversial view. That's a major change, and it's one that the ruling class isn't likely to appreciate much. But having subjected itself to the chains of "acceptable" opinion, what can it do?

And this idea of "acceptable" opinion is one that applies to nearly all of what Peggy Noonan today called "the protected" folks. Not just those who are entrenched in GOP power roles, but those in the liberty movement too.

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2016 7:09 PM

Democracy and such

Democrats should be, if nothing else, democratic. Good or bad, that's their gig, right? The people should choose our political office holders, and the members of the several parties should choose their nominees for those offices, right?

Well, one major party is doing a better job of adhering to that ideal than the other.

PRIEBUS: Come on. That's not my job. My job is to put forward the fairest process that we can put forward, to not put my hand on the scale, to allow our delegates to make the choices that they want to make and then accept the decision that the delgates make, unlike on the Democratic side where they have superdelegates and could give a darn about what the grassroots are telling the party. That's not how we operate our party on our side.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (0)

Caucus Strategy

Friend of Liberty Adam Ochs posts this on Facebook:

Do you hate Trump?

Then join me at caucus on Tuesday March first and employ the following strategy:
1) Only vote for delegates to higher assemblies who:

A) Will if running for an RNC delegate slot will be running as an unbound delegate
B) Will only vote for a delegate to higher assemblies who will be unbound.
C) Will vet delegates they do vote for to assure they will undervote their ballot rather than be counted as a delegate for Trump

If you need help finding your caucus location, contact me.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:12 PM | Comments (4)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I know where to go, but I might need a translation into plain english: "unbound" means those who'll vote for 'whomever' when the convention comes? How does that defeat The Trump? Undervote??

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 25, 2016 4:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps caucus wizard jg will help out. We're picking the folks who will pick, so we have some discretion, but they may vote any way they choose when they get there.

And I know I have been a bit grouchy, but the immediate flaw in this plan is that there are generally about as many candidates as there are slots in my precinct. I remember more coaxing to accept than rejecting on philosophical purity.

I had convinced myself that the Senate nomination was worth fighting the snow, but yes, the primary will be the play.

Maybe it will snow a lot.

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2016 5:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Delegates are not officially "bound" until they fill out the intent to run for national delegate form. And even then, they are not required to commit to a candidate. What is important is to know who the delegate candidates would vote for as the nominee if we had a caucus night poll. If you want to vote against Trump, vote for delegates who say they like Rubio or Kasich. This is just my opinion again, but if a delegate supports Cruz or Carson he's more likely to support Trump in the long run rather than to oppose him.

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 6:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

From the COGOP Bylaws, Article XII, Section C:

4. b. No preference poll of any kind shall be conducted if it dictates or requires the binding of delegates chosen to any higher assembly or convention. The participants at each precinct caucus, or at any caucus , assembly, or convention of any county or district, alone shall determine if the results of any preference poll are to be a factor in the selection of individual delegates or alternates to any higher assembly or convention, and no candidate for delegate or alternate for any higher assembly or convention shall be compelled or required to identify the candidate he or she is pledged to support, but may do so at his or her option.

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 6:50 PM

thars a caucus a comin'

Before I toss my hat into the maelstrom, a short, quick question: has any candidate caught the eye of any active TSer in the race to overturn Bennet's senate seat? I heard from Robert Blaha on the radio and was not terribly impressed, save for his commitment to self term-limit. Our independent summarizes while barely noting the pallet is not monochrome!

How best for a resource-limited GOPer to influence this race?

Now, to the big "Cru-bio!?!" news:
I don't see JK and JG as entangled at the quantum level, but more like comets, on very similar trajectories, or perhaps a binary star. I vote gravity (in our case, provided by Liberty), and we're all more enlightened for it!

JK says he's all in for Senator Rubio, who “had a nice interview with Chris Wallace “ Sure, he's a basically nice guy, completely unlike Trump; Cruz? I'm not so sure... but I'm also pretty sure that we're not particularly well served with a nice guy as the country's CEO in the next decade... that was one of Romney's problems, IMO. Our prolific leader continues:

Sen. Rubio is young and likable -- a great contrast to either fossil coming out of the DNC this year. Down deep, I think he has good ideas on immigration. He is sublimating those to get the nomination.

For the record, he's only a year younger than Cruz. I agree that he's being borderline disingenuous on immigration, b/c The Trump is making mountains of hay with the “Deport 'em, baby, deport!” strategy. If the GOP were serious, it would sponsor a thorough and in-depth poll of likely voters broken into the 3 big groups (R, D, I) to identify the top 3-5 voter concerns. My hope is immigration is down the list and thereby Trump's ammo dump runs dry and he's only left with insults and bluster. Hey, hey, ho, ho... ACA has gotta go anyone? Bueller?

For disclosure, I'm still more in line with JG on immigration as far as any near time legislative fixes go. Late actions by a very partisan and autocratic DOJ in trying to tank an EAC policy decision for positive voter ID, noting They want non-citizens to vote in order to help elect a Democratic president further bolsters my case that our country and world is far, far removed from any semblance of a sensible open borders policy: even Denmark is backing away... I feel compelled to once again channel one of founding fathers:

America is a friend of freedom everywhere, but a custodian only of our own.

Returning again to JK's sage comments:

His tenure as Florida's Speaker of the House impressed many. I find that better executive qualification than being one of 100 senators. … he was a new wave Tea Party candidate in 2010

Agreed, but I think Cruz's time as AG is just as important in establishing him as more than just a senator. Furthermore, Marco's actions since can and should be evaluated to see if the speaker-act was a prelude or a stepping stone now covered with rotting moss. He was a huge TP favorite and GOP rising star, and still has a 94% conservative rating from Heritage. Yet “amnesty” could be the albatross of 2016, much as Romneycare was in 2012. I heard a prominent lawyer from the RMLP on Ross Kaminsky's KHOW show who was part of the TP gang that helped get Rubio the speakership. This very sharp guy feels 100% betrayed and zero remaining trust for Sen. Rubio after the Gang o'8 deal.

PL's Paul Mirengoff breaks this down argument in lawyerly detail, asking the important question:

His support was critical if comprehensive immigration reform was to pick up the bipartisan steam it needed to get through the Senate. What meaningful concessions did Rubio extract from Schumer and company in exchange [or even seek] for his support? ... Cruz [ammendment]’s purpose is a matter of dispute, but his amendment did highlight that the Gang of Eight was totally committed to its extreme, uncompromising vision of immigration reform. It was able to get away with this extremism because Schumer and company had Rubio in their pocket.
Not a good sign, nor was his tacit complicity with Schumer's smearing of good guys like Mark Krikorian. Still, even Mirengoff opines that he sees Rubio pretty handily defeating HRC, whereas he has doubts about Cruz pulling that off.

Rubio is recently quoted as now spouting the line “if America could trust that immigration wasn't broken, they'd support some reform” is a very good – dare I say third way? - approach. Mike Rosen claimed that Rubio discovered that Dems weren't serious on border security, which caused him to bail off the Schumer express... the rookie mistake he may have made was going public with vocal support before he'd ironed out the real details. Hmph, Democrats running to the press while the bill's still being written; shocking!

> Rep. Trey Gowdy, Gov. Nikki Haley, and Sen. Jeff Flake <
and Tim Scott and, Dean Heller (RINO-NV), and Santorum... Yes, Rubio has become the establishment candidate, and I'd love to see that QE debate, if someone could force laryngitis on Trump. Cruz, to his credit, happily pushes being the “establishment candidate” as a put down.

I am more impressed by Cruz all the time and for now will shun the “electable” guestimation, am not particularly moved by A.Armstrong's assertion that a Prez. Rafael would move for a personhood policy to stop abortions, but do note the Weekly Standard article that Cruz owns opposition to Obamacare, which should be top three.

Releasing an alternative should benefit Cruz. Obamacare is not only the number-one thing that needs to be overturned from the Obama presidency; it is both the embodiment and symbol of nearly everything wrong with this presidency: runaway spending; Main Street economic woes; elitism; cronyism; the consolidation and centralization of power; the deprivation of liberty; attacks on religious freedom; government incompetence; naked lawlessness.

Anybody remember the ACA alternative than nearly got Ed Gillespie an amazing upset victory?

All that being said, I'm planning to caucus for Cruz... might even make some phone calls if I can keep my anti-Trump anger from flaring.

Posted by nanobrewer at 1:05 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Thanks to the RNC ("only we can make the Democrats look Democratic!") we are not to "caucus for" or even have a straw poll for President, so we may cool our heels.

For Senate I'm keen on Ryan Frasier but have not exaustively examined many new entrants. Very important to pick which person loses to Bennett by 20 points.

And, it's going to snow. Have a nice day.

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2016 10:27 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That's because Colorado Republicans don't want a democratic, i.e. simple majority, process. We want something closer to what the Founders established - informed, interested and active delegates making wise decisions. Remember that it was democracy that destroyed the ancient Roman empire.

A detailed discussion of the Colorado caucus from a national perspective can be found here.

Rather than being a state with no preference vote that no one pays attention to, Colorado becomes a real delegate prize for the campaigns who are able to organize there. Those that gain an organizational advantage -- and that is much more likely in a low turnout election without the incentive of a presidential preference vote -- have a real opportunity to get something out of the Centennial state. It will not necessarily entail candidates coming into the state over the course March and into April (because forcing delegate candidates through to the county assembly level is the true mark of winning there), but it may make the media outlets pay continued attention to Colorado as the process there resolves itself. And since there is no preference vote guiding the delegate allocation process from step to step, a candidate could dominate in Colorado and come out on April 9 with a significant majority of delegates.
Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As for the Senate nomination, I'm aware of fourteen different folks who plan to seek it. There are two paths - via caucus, or via petition. Then we will choose by statewide primary in July, I believe.

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2016 2:56 PM

February 23, 2016

Life Imitates ThreeSources

I'll give my blog brother, and all the Cruzites around here, some ammunition and an appeal to authority I find appealing: Rep. Justin Amash (HOSS - MI) endorses Sen. Cruz.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) [sic] has consistently been in Sen. Rand Paul's corner both in Congress and during the senator's run for president. Now that Paul's out of the running, who does Amash think libertarian conservatives should look to in the race?

Amash answered that question today in an opinion piece at the Independent Journal. He is throwing his support to Sen. Ted Cruz, noting that while he doesn't agree with Cruz (especially in civil liberties and foreign policy), the senator treats limits in government authority more seriously than some other candidates. Here's some of his reasoning:

Spoiler alert -- many of his points will sound familiar.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:52 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. I didn't know any of that about the cyber bill.

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2016 3:15 PM
But jk thinks:

One hand giveth, one hand taketh away...

Ari Armstrong is less enamored.

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2016 5:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, but...

Ari gives examples of Cruz' appeal to NED as the source of man's rights, but never an example of his connecting it to capitalism. (And aren't we supposed to stop using that Marxist word anyway?)

Most people take "endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights" to be a reference to religion, rightly or wrongly.

Can Ari lay his finger on the Republican or Democrat candidate for president who doesn't believe man's rights come from either God or the state? And Libertarian unicorns don't count.

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2016 7:28 PM
But jk thinks:

After Nevada, I have a different plan: A coin toss:

"It is important to keep a small government conservative voice in the Republican Party. Therefore, one of us will bow out. Heads or Tails Amigo?"

Posted by: jk at February 24, 2016 2:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What are we, Democrat Precinct Captains?

Here's a better idea - The Koch Brothers (TM) and their $889M war chest may be starting to lean in a specific direction.

Posted by: johngalt at February 24, 2016 3:38 PM

Limbaugh's advice for Cruz

Not that Limbaugh, but the other one - Rush's brother David, who has publicly endorsed Rafael "Ted" Cruz for president. David thinks he sees the reason why Ted is losing momentum in the 3-way race with Trump and Rubio - talking too much about Trump and Rubio.

Ted Cruz has everything it takes to be an extraordinary -- even historic -- president and lead the nation out of its current quagmire.

He just needs to say what he's going to do, in concrete terms, and underscore why he can be counted on more than all others to do it -- because of his record, his commitment to action and his demonstrated courage in fighting establishment power brokers who will resist him.

The more Ted Cruz talks about issues the more he soars above his competition. Like no one else in modern times, he has an incomparably uplifting vision to restore America's exceptionalism. I pray that going forward his campaign will radiate that vision.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

How many more primaries will it take to get this through our heads? Combine the numbers, and we get significant support for outsider candidates: 67 percent in Iowa (Cruz, Trump, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina); 54 percent in New Hampshire; and 62 percent in South Carolina.

Why then should people compromise and vote for someone who stands athwart that movement? [Rubio] Why not support the candidate [Cruz] who understands that impulse and also has the conservative values and experience to fight the real enemy: the Democratic Party and its goal to dismantle the American Republic?

-D.C. McAllister in Rubio Needs to Move Aside for Cruz, not Vice Versa

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

We are bound by an imperceptible tie, you and me. Gravitational waves? More like quantum entanglement -- as soon as I come to a position, I usually find you to be full-on against it.

I came to the realization yesterday that I was all in for Senator Rubio. He had a nice interview with Chris Wallace on FOXNews Sunday (To be fair, so did Mr, Trump.)

-- Sen. Rubio is young and likable -- a great contrast to either fossil coming out of the DNC this year.

-- Down deep, I think he has good ideas on immigration. He is sublimating those to get the nomination, but c'est la guerre.

-- His tenure as Florida's Speaker of the House impressed many. I find that better executive qualification than being one of 100 senators.

-- He can play in the establishment pool, but -- and I am sorry short memory folks -- he was a new wave Tea Party candidate in 2010 against Gov. Crist.

He has attracted endorsements from Republicans I do like, including Rep. Trey Gowdy, Gov. Nikki Haley, and Sen. Jeff Flake. A Facebook post in a group said "Trey Gowdy is dead to me now!" Gotta love that unity. But that's a good and diverse group.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2016 3:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And despite endorsements from South Carolina's governor, Senator and most popular Congressman, Rubio could only tie for second place.

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2016 12:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

RE: "Fossils."

"I promise not to make my opponent's youth and inexperience an issue in this campaign. - R. Reagan"

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2016 12:53 PM

February 20, 2016

it's official, I'm a hater

I officially hate The Donald. When he embraced the '9/11 truther' angle during the debate coming up to SC I got mad, when he pimped the "Bush said there was WMD, and there weren't so he lied" line I turned into a hater. Ridiculous. Pathetic. I can see it was part of some cynical calculation to get Dems to show up and boost his numbers for the SC primary, but it was ugly and nasty, and .... just Trump.

Note that I'm any ardent lover of the legacy of Bush 43 (though I think it was overall positive), but I believe that the "lie" about WMD is one of the most pernicious and corrosive lies ever pimped on We the People. Not to relitigate this, but it's pretty clearly proven that some were indeed found in Iraq. I guess the WSJ story I saw many moons ago about roughly 70 tons discovered to have been moved through Syria, some landing in Jordan even was never substantiated. Still, the Duelfer report and David Kay were crystal clear that Iraq had nascent programs ready to kickstart in a heartbeat. So, while it's agreed there were never the mass quantities of WMD's as were claimed by the W administration, it's not remotely acceptable to say it was a lie.

What I would say, in a cocktail party setting, would be: well, if W actually lied about WMDs in Iraq, did John Kerry, Al Gore, Albright, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton and HRC herself lie when they said there were WMDs in Iraq, or was it only George W. Bush that lied? If W manipulated the CIA and NSA, how did he manage to manipulate MI6, DSGE, FSB, Mossad and the UN?

Harrummph. We hates it, my precious.... hates him forever

Posted by nanobrewer at 9:07 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I hate what he has done to this election. My special hate-decoder-ring test is "would I be happy to hear he has terminal cancer?" and no, I suppose I do not hate him.

I was, however, reflecting how he cleared the field of all small government candidates months before a vote was cast. How great would it be to have a debate with Govs. Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal again? On stage with Sen. Rand Paul taking on -- respectfully -- the big-gubmint conservatism of Gov. Bush and Sen. Rubio. Sen. Cruz might strategically split the middle.

No, sorry, clown car and those who can tolerate its wake (does a car leave a wake, jk? You're not mixing metaphors again I hope...) He despoiled the whole enterprise. I wish him a long life but on TV and not in politics.

Posted by: jk at February 20, 2016 1:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Many of the small-government candidates are gone, but their voters are not - according to D.C. McAllister in my Otequay of the Ayday.

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2016 3:20 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 18, 2016

The case for Cruz

The family debate over Cruz versus Rubio rages on. I found these 5 reasons to appreciate Ted Cruz' "divisiveness" by The Federalist's Georgi Boorman. They explain my point of view nicely.

1. Cut through the spin-

Cruz doesn't have the soaring rhetoric of candidate Obama that leads to fainting supporters, but unlikability can be overcome with good ideas and powerful persuasion behind them.

2. You know a man by his enemies-

So some media pundits are complaining that Cruz doesn’t get along with some establishment types in an extremely unpopular branch of government? He doesn't want to shake hands over business as usual? Heck, yes, sign me up.

3. The base wants heads to spin-

There's some hunger out there for a mover and shaker. Many perceive that in Trump. Many voters want someone who won’t just make heads spin, but will knock 'em together. We don't want a pleader like John Kasich, or a middle-grounder, establishment partner like Marco Rubio has been on immigration and foreign policy.

4. Cruz' personality lends itself to executive office-

A good poker face and the will to dig your heels in lends itself well to the office of the president, and Cruz has those qualities in greater supply than any of the other candidates do.

5. Great leaders aren't nice guys

Cruz's stubborn principles lead him to push against the flow and walk upstream when more moderate types, weak at the knees and eager to please, are swept toward even bigger government.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:03 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'm moving towards Cruz as my backup choice, now that ele primero is out. Check out Cruz's shining and vastly undersold power, I daresay unique amongst the contenders. Taking on hecklers, quietly, thoroughly and completely. He took on Code Pink last summer (aka, with no caucus or primary looming).

Here, Ted Cruz Has a Thoughtful Conversation With An [Angry] Iowa Ethanol Farmer and crushes it. The video is completely worth it; this guy is different, and 100% for real.

My view on energy is simple: We should pursue an “all of the above” policy. We should embrace all of the energy resources with which God has blessed America: oil and gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, and biofuels and ethanol. But Washington shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.

That’s why my tax plan ends all energy subsidies and mandates. No Washington favoritism for oil and gas, for wind, for solar, or for anyone else. The lobbyists’ sole focus is on the RFS, because as long as there is a federal government mandate, Washington remains front and center.

Oh, and there's that thing about him probably being decently qualified to serve on the USSC, and
Famed Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz ranks Sen. Ted Cruz among the school’s smartest students... "He didn’t strike me as a social conservative, more of a libertarian.”
Posted by: nanobrewer at February 19, 2016 11:36 PM

February 17, 2016

Bring it on!

Donald Trump threatened Ted Cruz, in writing, that he would sue if Cruz doesn't pull a campaign ad that, apparently, harms Trump politically. How do you beat a bully? Call his bluff.

"I have to say to Mr. Trump you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life," Cruz said at a press conference in South Carolina. "If you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad claiming it is defamation... file the lawsuit."

"That lawsuit will be frivolous, and it will result in both Donald Trump and any lawyer that signs his name to the pleadings being sanctioned in court for filing frivolous litigation."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:37 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I heard Cruz say (not directly) that he would not seek outside counsel if the complaint is ever heard in court, as the subtitle on the embedded video shows, because: "I Look forward to deposing Trump myself"


Posted by: nanobrewer at February 17, 2016 9:36 PM

It's all about the Delegates

A guide to counting delegates from Jay Cost:

Importantly, states that hold their primaries or caucuses before March 15 must allocate their delegates proportionally (although they are allowed to mandate a minimum threshold of support). A candidate might therefore rack up a significant number of primary "wins" without building up much of a lead in delegates. That could give the trailing candidates a strong incentive to hang around (assuming they still have enough money to campaign) in the hopes of surging when the contests largely switch to winner-take-all. The opportunity for huge delegate bounties really begins on March 15: At that point, more than half of the delegates will still be unallocated, so a late-breaking candidate could increase his delegate count quickly.

In other words, "Don't start making Oval Office decorating plans, Mr. Trump."

In fact, there's an excellent chance that the nominee won't be decided without a heapin' helpin' of pig wrasslin' at the GOP Convention in Cleveland, July 18-21. Politico:

As a true political outsider, Trump, despite his history of business deal making, would likely find himself at a disadvantage after the first ballot in Cleveland, even if he enters with more delegates than any single rival.

"Donald Trump would get smoked at an open convention," said the Southern state party chairman, who said he had seen little evidence that Trump is courting the 150 national committee members and state chairs who will serve as automatic delegates to Cleveland and unofficial leaders of their state delegations if the convention turns into a floor fight. "If they were smart, Donald Trump would call every state chair and strike up a friendship."

A person intimately involved with Trump's political operation confirmed that the businessman's campaign is not courting RNC members and lamented that omission as a mistake. "Somebody's got to be talking to these pricks and at least taking them off the accelerator and making sure they're not working against you," the person said.

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

Colorado was severely marginalized by the RNC. I shrugged at the time because we usually do not have large influence. But now I am pretty cheesed off.

How dare they not let my choose which suck-ass, big-government, neocon protectionist will represent me in the general!

Posted by: jk at February 18, 2016 9:48 AM

February 12, 2016

Free Traders for Trump!

Got yer attention, didn't I? The author of this RealClearPolitics piece can't be considered a free trader, being the president of an industry trade group (read: lobbyist) but he cites a couple who are, including Art Laffer, who "...have estimated that currency manipulation is behind all of that job loss" to China. I'm of the opinion that the jobs we're losing to China are low-skilled jobs that we shouldn't want anyway, and should be replaced with higher skilled (and higher paying) jobs in a much less taxed and regulated economy. But I'm a college graduate and it's easy for me to say that. Blue collar workers aren't willing to wait the better part of a decade for the government shackle to be taken off the economy - if it ever happens at all. Enter Trump:

The takeaway should have been this: Specifics be damned, Trump believes retaliatory trade measures are necessary to combat mercantilism in Asia. And while he's the only Republican candidate to regularly say so in 2016, he wouldn't be the first Republican president to do so.


Yet, save for the occasional John Kasich comment, there is no trade debate among today's GOP candidates. The only one regularly raising the issue is Donald Trump.

I find that notable. Trump isn't proposing a flat tax, or widespread deregulation; voters aren't buying most of those ideas any more now than they did in 2012.

And they aren't coming to Trump solely because of his hard-line immigration stance; he's not the only candidate to spout similar rhetoric.

Instead, he's drawing an army of first-time voters, less-than-affluent Americans, and self-identified Republicans who are registered as Democrats. They're backing him, in large part, because he's tough on trade. And he's the first front-runner to do that in a long time.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Et tu Arte?

He did not provide a citation, but I think I found The Laffer Paper quoted. It's interesting and pretty accessible. I am NOT through all 29 pages but I will do my best.

Dr. Laffer would love the purity of a Bretton-Woodsey gold pegged currencies for world trade to truly get the best benefits of comparative advantage. Any imbalance contributes to distortion.

He's pushing for TPP and suggesting it include currency controls. I confess this surprises me. I will update upon completing the whole paper, but I'm tempted to agree with another favorite economist, Brother jg: do we really want to make chotskies? Are those jobs worth having everyone pay higher prices at Walmart?

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 1:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The people will get what they deserve, if not what they want.

All you and I can do is try to explain it beforehand. Plus, support and defend the Constitution to make sure that we don't get what the people deserve too.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 3:22 PM

so long, for now Carly

I was a big fan of Carly the candidate, but she never had an office in CO.

In the public interest, I forward a note from her Campaign Ex Dir:

While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.

- Carly Fiorina, Wednesday, Feb. 10

He says: "In the end the race was unsuccessful, but it was really just the beginning. Carly will never back down from a fight and she will not exit quietly. Yesterday she announced that she would continue to travel the country to fight for our principles. I hope that you stay with us for that fight."

He offers an eMail address to leave messages. I hope she continues to speak, as I think that's a great strength of hers.

for now, the least we can do is caucus.

Posted by nanobrewer at 3:19 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

National Review is also impressed with Mrs. Fiorina.

Rather than a congressional seat, Republicans should entrust to her the media hot-seat the next time Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accuses the GOP of this or that outrage. A fearless, rapier-tongued Republican woman? Democrats will tremble.

Some have suggested she would be a good VP, or Ambassador to the UN. I'm thinking of a new cabinet position - U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2016 12:52 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

Sad but Unsurprising Day

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Cloud, meet silver lining: Huckabee and Santorum are also out.

Jeb Bush is still in the running, but no one can explain why.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 3, 2016 6:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm going to be accused of trolling here, but I am serious: I thought Governor Bush was fantastic in the last debate. I said "if that guy's last name was Jones, he might be my guy."

Yeah, yeah, Common Core, Yeah yeah, no commitment to small government. They ALL got flaws, he was great.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2016 6:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The soft-bigotry of low expectations."

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2016 7:33 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at February 3, 2016 7:44 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

PL's prof. Steven Hayward states what my takeaway Rubio's big gaffe:

he screwed up big time on immigration, and isn’t likely to touch that hot stove again if he’s elected president. Politicians, especially candidates for president, hate to admit directly that they made a mistake. Their opponents will opportunistically pounce on any such admissions, but I think a lot of voters would find it refreshing. Done deftly, Rubio could turn it into a fresh attack on the bad faith of liberals.

Carly is still my first choice, and I've been hearing of some nasty tricksies coming from Camp Cruz. Any of the three would be better than HRC!!

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 4, 2016 12:19 AM
But jk thinks:

Carly would be my first choice as well but I am not holding my breath for her rebound.

Yes, you are right. Sen. Rubio should look the GOP base in the eye and say "I'm sorry. I pursued smart, economically literate, liberty promoting, and morally correct policy on immigration. BUT I SWEAR TO GOD, I will not do it again if elected!"

Honesty would be refreshing.

Posted by: jk at February 4, 2016 10:55 AM

February 2, 2016


Worthy of Props. Sen. Cruz's (R - Tim Horton's) victory last night augers well for liberty. Jim Geraghty:

The Cruz campaign earned applause tonight. The turnout was huge, and their man won, and won solidly, in the face of some withering attacks, with almost everything on the line. Take that bow, senator; you just won more votes in the Iowa caucus than any other Republican in history.

I'll only add that he hath slain the mighty Trumpmonster. Yea, in just one battle and yea haveth not commanding delegate totalth, but a win is a win. And how much sweeter that win to come in the duchy of ADM, by a young knight sworn against Ethanol.

Well done, Senator.

UPDATE: But what's Geraghty have to say about the other side?

Don't let any Hillary fan tell you this wasn't a collapse. She was ahead by twelve in mid-January. She came out last night for a not-quite-victory, not-quite concession speech decked out in blood red and glaring angrily and hard in her tone. If I were Bernie Sanders, I might call Ken Starr to see what's coming my way.

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

January 28, 2016

Rubio's revenge

Politics has become a show sport, Trump is first on that ball this season, and I wonder if Bill Clinton was there firstest; either way, I'm glad someone in the GOP is taking the mantle up!

I LOVE the Gowdy cameo! I still like Cruz's jurisprudence, but one should give good theater it's due... I should note that Carly has already done this a couple of times as well. So, the stupid party is learning to use social media while the leading Democrat is still seeking the correct type of Pledge to wipe her server.... time's a changin' ?!?

Posted by nanobrewer at 10:18 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

And Senator Gardner. Yes, that is well done.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2016 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. I thought you meant CURT Gowdy! I like it! Marco needs to work on his "Superman" move, but it's hard to imagine anyone in the race, in either party, coming off this hip.

Nicely embedded, nb. Be sure to share this all over FB too everyone.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 11:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Taking a look at the RCP average for GOP primary in Iowa, trajectories of the top 4 candidates seemed to reverse after Sunday, January 24. This week respondents are -2 points on Trump and Cruz, +2 on Rubio and +1 on Carson. Rubio rising? His performance in last night's debate could refuel the trend.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 12:04 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, the range of cameos (disclaimer, I didn't recognize several of them, esp. the sports writers; "I can't work this way" was whom?) Here's hoping Marco continues to lock down the cheetos and Sunday-queso crowd.... I can't see Cruz getting them to listen.

Oyy, Trump +7?!? I hope that's as far off as Herzog's article suggests is the norm.

If not, I think this depressed me more than the report I heard on the radio about the anemic GDP growth!

As far as posting to FB; I will as long as someone else posts the WSJ 'discovery'....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 29, 2016 12:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:


In ab­sen­tia, Trump came out of the de­bate un­scathed, a win for him. That’s not good for Cruz—and if you buy the Ru­bio cam­paign’s think­ing, it of­fers Ru­bio a chance to emerge as the most cred­ible al­tern­at­ive to Trump.
Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 6:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I posted it. And the FDR (and Obama) prolonged the Depression piece too.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2016 10:58 AM

January 26, 2016

Otequay of the Day

Once again from Ace of Spades, in the article excerpted heavily in the previous post:

We are Americans, damn it. We are supposed to be unruly. We are supposed to be rebellious.

God did not make us to stand patiently in queues and politely clap for our leaders no matter how distant, corrupt, and dismissive.

That's why he made Canadians.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

Marco? Oh No!

My brother is vociferously promoting Marco Rubio, as the most conservative Republican who can win the general election against Hillary. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I'm quite sure I do agree with Ace of Spades who writes,

Now, if we all squawk, and make noise, and have our tantrum, but then, in the end, dutifully support an Amensty Super-Hawk like Marco Rubio, precisely as the Establishment always planned for us to do, do you think they'll take that as a repudiation, and a sign that they must reform?

Or do you think, rather, they'll take that as a sign that they calculated the political math perfectly, and they knew our numbers to three decimal places, and they did everything right, and have successfully Managed their stupid, three-toothed inbred voters yet again?

Of course it's the latter.

They could not possibly take the nomination of Marco Rubio any other way. They would take it as total and complete vindication -- and they'd be right to do so, because it would in fact be total and complete vindication.

It has been charged that some Republicans would rather lose to Hillary than win with Cruz. If nominating Rubio is what it takes to beat Hillary, I'm not sure I could swallow that pill. Fortunately, there's really no reason why Cruz isn't just as electable as the talented but mercurial Rubio. And anyone who says differently may just be one of Jeb or Chris or John - or Marco's - "clients."

So for me, it has to be Cruz, or Trump. I'd prefer Cruz, as I keep saying. I'll take Trump, though, because, while he's kind of stupid and temperamentally unsuited for the job, he would nevertheless also serve as a repudiation of the Establishment's Corporate Client "Conservatism."

The GOP is nakedly now a "clientist" party the same as the Democrat Party. They just have different clients.

And those clients aren't us.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (16)
But jk thinks:

When tomorrow we resume disagreement, however, I intend to point out that you are both mistaken.

Immigration policy cannot be considered independent of cronyism, jg? You may call me names if you want, but I think I have advocated steadily for increased immigration for some time.

My #1 reason is to enlarge the size of the economic sphere. Metcalfe's law says the value of a network grows at the square of its nodes. You can align that with Adam Smith's division of labor and Ricardo's Comparative Advantage.

Secondly, I am uncomfortable denying our opportunities to those who were born elsewhere.

Neither of those align with cronyism in any way. If big, crony businesses want more workers, then that is one place they are correct. I'll join them in pursuing it.

"Amnesty," nb, holds the same joy in my heart as "giving back to the community." These people committed no offense to be forgiven. To let a productive worker stay in the United States is no more amnesty than that of allowing slaves who had escaped to free states to escape the Fugitive Slave Act.

But for all those who want to punish people for seeking opportunity, fine. Let's continue to hunt good people down like rats. But can we please increase legal immigration enough to make us prosperous?

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2016 4:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let's consider immigration quantitatively rather than just qualitatively. When the rate of immigration is small, changes in the labor supply cause desirable distortions but not so quickly as to dislocate or disadvantage "hard-working 'Mericans." If the entire population of the world were imported into the USA overnight the resulting distortion would be unbearable by everyone, including you and me. The existing system with all its warts effectively allows immigration but at a manageable rate. "Amnesty" threatens a huge distortion with "in the shadows" workers coming out, and a much higher ongoing rate in the future.

Separate from this, and not mentioned in your excellent "preview of coming disagreements" is the cronyism of the left. They seek mass immigration for the purpose of manufacturing votes. I'm not sure I agree with those on my side who say "no Republican would ever win another election" after that, but at the margin it does seem to benefit Democrats in the short run. This is mostly what I referred to with my "first, fix cronyism" suggestion. We should open the doors when what we're offering the world is more "freedom and opportunity" and less "welfare state."

Posted by: johngalt at January 28, 2016 6:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I only wish it were tomorrow already, so I could respond.

I'd probably say that it's funny to see my blog brother put so much faith in government to select the proper rate on immigration. I don't believe he recognizes their dictating the gallons of water to be used in a toilet flush or the percentage of ethanol to be blended with gasoline, or the number of liquid ounces in a New York Big Gulp.

Yet, allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions is a non-starter. The US Congress, with its 435 Plus-sized intellects, unselfish dedication to national excellence, and deft understanding of economics will deliberate and produce the perfect number to let in. Not too many, not too few for our elected Goldilockses.

I remain a pragmatist or what did you call me Hopeless naive something-something. Bryan Caplan has dragged me into the real live open borders camp. If you get a minute (or 73) you'll find his EconTalk podcast or his GMU video are very enlightening. It's not all sweetness and light -- he admits that we would import some poverty which would be visible to us in a way it is not with them all in Africa or Central America.

But let's return to Pareto efficiency; having those who would excel here would be a tremendous boon.

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2016 7:08 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:
allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions
meaning in the real world that they'll keep coming here until we're as poor as Mexico.

> Effective/appropriate immigration rate?

I think one can look at the preferred growth rate of corporations, which I believe is considered practical in the 10-20% ballpark, but that's under 'one roof/set of rules' with effective, hands-on management. Any faster growth leads to breakdown in the Org structure. Did Caplan take a crack at it?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 28, 2016 10:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Umm, to be clear: you're suggesting that what keeps us wealthier than Mexico is fewer Mexicans? I'm not sure I've encountered serious research backing that up.

Caplan's idea is messy, disorganized, Hayekian freedom: good things and bad things but ultimately improving net outcomes. Yet I am a pragmatist and happy to compromise. If you are game to add 10-20% per annum, I can accede to that. We'll cap immigration at 60 million per year -- have your people draw up the papers and I'll sign.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2016 10:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think we're currently closer to a one percent rate. That seems to be working economically, but not quite satisfying the demand. I'd go for doubling it, to two percent. - Your attempt to paint me a nannyist deserves a retaliatory attempt to paint you an anarchist: Along with Visas and green cards, are you also prepared to do away with government-operated police departments and courts? And the armed forces of the United States should most definitely be restricted to citizen militias, I suppose?

"Allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions" is perfectly fine with me. Is that really the only thing you think is dictating people's movements? Will you at least grant my request to return to the old name for SNAP EBT cards, i.e. "Food Stamps?" Isn't a little bit of personal shame an effective motivator of individual initiative?

If I called you Hopeless naĂŻve I am sorry. That does not seem to be my style, but I suppose it is possible in a limited context. But I think you did call me "Dudley Brown" in this very thread. That hurts, man.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 3:00 PM

January 22, 2016

Jonah on the "Dump Trump" Issue

[Click Here]

UPDATE: Jonah takes to the G-File to answer those who felt betrayed by National Review.

"Anti-establishment" is almost entirely devoid of any ideological content whatsoever. An ideological category that can include Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Occupy Wall Street, the tea parties, Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and Ben Carson is not a particularly meaningful one.

Some reply, oh no, it shows that the people are angry! I hear this all the time. And I agree. And I’m angry too. But you know what? Being angry is not a frick'n argument. I'm angry that Washington has drowned the country in debt. I'm angry that Obama has been a failure. I'm also angry that broccoli doesn't taste like chicken and that Fox cancelled Firefly. Being angry is probably a necessary condition for fixing a lot of problems, but it isn't sufficient to the task. And it isn't a particularly powerful defense of Donald Trump.

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

A quote from the very bottom of this article:

My support for Trump is not based on his being an intellectually serious conservative, which he obviously isn't.

I'm not sure if Trump can help our country. However, I DO know for sure that none of the establishment-approved candidates will do anything but enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of what is still the American majority.

Trump is our Hail Mary pass, our last desperate attempt to salvage something of what America was before the whirlwind destroys the last of it.

This is consistent with what I've posited - that rank and file conservatives are supporting Trump, not out of ideological *ahem* verisimilitude, but out of nativist desperation.

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2016 3:08 PM

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 3:17 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Thats awesome.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2016 5:03 PM

Maybe Trump is Good

He does branding. He does sales. He reads the public mood. He competes. He makes deals.

Not sure that any of that makes him a good President. But, James Pethokoukis (dang, do I miss Larry Kudlow's show) -- with a little help from Scott Adams -- recognizes that these are great skills for a candidate. And that we should not be so surprised to see them succeed.

Maybe all those explanations are necessary to fully understand the Trump phenomenon. But they may not be sufficient without one more, one that is both simple and sophisticated. The simple part: Trump is just a really, really good salesman. Or, as the campaign pros put it, a "political athlete." The sophisticated part is how Trump is making that sale to voters. Consider the possibility that Trump -- a billionaire businessman with an Ivy League MBA and a best-selling author on dealmaking -- isn't some blithering idiot blurting out populist nonsense. Instead, perhaps Trump is calculatedly using tried-and-true influencing and negotiating techniques -- ones used by persuaders from carnival hypnotists to high-profile motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins -- to literally mesmerize the GOP.

I feel better. You?

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

January 19, 2016


We're going to build Apple products right here in a Trump administration!

The Gizmodo link includes some intemerate language but I'm disinclined to argue. Again, I appreciate his willingness to voice unpopular suggestions, but when they come from populism and not principle, we have a problem.

And, again, I have to point out that this is no less dangerous than the socialist nonsense Sen. Sanders (Ben & Jerry's Flavor - VT) spouts. And that it more within the purview of the Executive that he could enact them.

UPDATE: Thomas Sowell hopes the GOP does not mishandle a rare opportunity when it is really needed:

Eric Hoffer's shrewd insight into the success of charismatic leaders was that the "quality of ideas seems to play a minor role." What matters, he pointed out, "is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world."

Is that the emotional release that Republican voters will be seeking when they begin voting in the primaries? If so, Donald Trump will be their man. But if the sobering realities of life and the need for mature and wise leadership in dangerous times is uppermost in their minds, they will have to look elsewhere.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2016

1000 Words of the Day


Courtesy of Jim Geraghty [subscribe]

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

January 14, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

Trump supporters apparently don't believe that Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, or Republican party grandees offer many antidotes to Obamaism. Republicans who play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules don't seem to have the belly to deal with the $10 trillion in additional debt accumulated during the Obama administration; out-of-control entitlement spending; chaos in the Middle East; the empowerment of the Islamic State, Iran, Russia, and China; the deterioration of racial relations; and political correctness gone wild.

-Victor Davis Hanson

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:28 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Professor VDH is of course correct and I think we have all pretty well admitted to most of that around here.

Where his authority weakens for me is that he is the doyen of intellectual nativists on immigration. It is easy for me to break off with Ann Coulter or Laura Ingraham or Sen. Jeff Sessions (Nat. - AL), but I must admit it gives me pause to think orthogonally from VDH.

Painful, but I do it. When you agree with Trump on immigration, a lot of his other positions are easy to accept or agree with When you start as I do opposite him on immigration only to hear a blanket 45% tariff on all Chinese goods would be swell, it becomes much harder to ignore his dangerous side.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe VDH would be an open borders guy if our current system of government didn't, for example, excuse lawlessness on the part of illegal immigrants simply because they are illegal immigrants. In the rush to grant "sanctuary" from prosecution for immigration lawlessness they gloss over all but the most serious of every other crime.

And VDH sees the effects of this in the Golden State every day.

Before we can "fix our broken immigration system" we must first fix our broken everything else.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 6:17 PM
But jk thinks:

I know it is informed by his experiences in Cali -- excuse me, "Mexifornia" -- but I'm going to push back.

Hansen attributes all the problems of progressivism in California to immigrants. His stories are heartbreaking, but California has a governance problem more than an immigration problem. Fix the other things what's busted in the Golden State and immigration will work itself out.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 6:28 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Hmm, I must have read a different article. I didn't see the estimable VDH say much about immigration here (in the past, his most memorable moment was mentioning at least two of his daughters have married into immigrant families from "el sur").

Here, he's mostly noting the power of the Donald, who - in one of his most shiny moments helped the GOP ticket more than all his billions ever could.

In about a day, Trump wrecked Hillary Clinton’s planned “war on women” talking points that had helped to win the election for Obama in 2012.

Agreed in general with JG's comment that "we must first fix our broken everything else" but feel compelled to pose this thought:

Does allowing a continued crush of illegals / faux-amnesters make this problem better or worse? For now, where the beltway is in a crush to route away our money from roads and defense to sensitivity classes for muslims and ESL for those from the south, I can think of no better time to slow down immigration to a trickle. We can always pick it up later.

For those genuinely interested in saving lives of those threatened by nefarious forces, then by any analysis ME Christians (and Yazidiz and Kurds), L.American indigenous types (e.g., Aztecs) and untouchables from the asian continent must be at the front of the line.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 9:09 PM
But jk thinks:

... and with the recent, high-profile shootings, it is a good time to stop firearm sales. We can always pick them up later.

.. with the recent terror attacks, we should allow unlimited, warrantless wiretaps. We can always restore the Fourth Amendment down the road.

I can continue if you'd like. Policy is good or bad -- fending off opposition with "it's temporary" got us the mohair subsidy in WWI and innumerable "temporary tax increases" ever since.

Professor Hansen wrote an entire book opposing immigration. I don't think I'm pulling a rabbit out a hat. I'm a fan of his and have read dozens of columns of his asking for greater border enforcement.

My comment described a natural alliance between Trump supporters and immigration restrictionists. If you're with him on that it is easier to forgive positions of his with which you disagree. If you're not with him on the beautiful Trump wall of our southern border, it is much harder.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2016 11:03 AM

Quote of the Day

Irony: Bernie Sanders' Website Ran Out of Free Stickers

But this is Bernie's plan for your healthcare, your childcare, your education, and your company. Provided for "free" until the money needed to provide it just isn't there. What's going to happen when your honors student, with a perfect attendance record, can't attend college because there's a shortage of room there, too? Are you going to get a letter that says "Sorry, we're out of free college for now" or when your dying mother who needs her doctor going to get a call that says, "Sorry, we're out of free medicine for now?" Is this how Bernie plans to run the country too? -- Chris Johncox

Posted by John Kranz at 2:06 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

A delicious irony at that. However...

"Since Bernie's entire economic plan dismisses the needs of suppliers, it's almost a certainty that shortages would be rampant..."

The "almost" is where Bern feelers place their faith. In the bottomlessness of government benevolence. And after all of socialism's failures, if there's a chance, then finally, Bernie will deliver.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 2:48 PM

George Will on Marco Rubio

Spoiler alert -- it is not pretty.

Will admits to many of Sen. Rubio (C12H22O11 - FL)'s good points. But he points out the bad -- and they are each disturbing.

Rubio's misjudgment regarding Libya indicates a susceptibility to slapdash foreign policies. His support of S. 590, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, indicates a susceptibility to trendy temptations, carelessness regarding evidence, and indifference to constitutional values.

My candidates are fading faster than a thing that fades very quickly. Dearest Carly and Handsome Rand will not be in the main stage at the next GOP debate. The undercard is no longer a launching pad (mix metaphors much?). I was preparing myself to "settle." Yes, that is normally a summer activity, but these are desperate times.

No doubt I could accept Ted Cruz (R - Tim Horton's). He's not my first choice. And like Taft, would serve us better in the Supreme Court than President. But I'm in. Yard signs and donations. The same is probably true for Rubio, but Will's column is a big disappointment. Best case scenario is that he is another George W. Bush: generally friendly to liberty, but not directed by it.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Indeed, my metaphorically-challenged blog brother:

"By co-sponsoring S. 590, Rubio is helping the administration sacrifice a core constitutional value, due process, in order to advance progressives’ cultural aggression."

Cruz isn't my perfect candidate either - it would be nice if his American mother had birthed him in Des Moines and he never loaned himself money - but he understands Constitutional principles and the proper role of the presidency better than any other candidate except possibly Rand. I can support him fulsomely.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 11:41 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And besides that, he just secured a Trump-scale endorsement.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 11:49 AM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 12:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have a new theory about the Trump master plan. He wants to make the prospect of his winning the nomination so dire to the GOP that it will gladly embrace Cruz, despite all the names he has called party leaders. It's Cruz's entrée into the "establishment lane."

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 5:48 PM
But jk thinks:

...and then I'll bank the 14 off the three with juuuust enough backspin to curve around the seven and tap the five into the side pocket, then block his easy side shot for the win.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 6:17 PM

January 12, 2016


I'm nothing if not fair [pause for murmurs and nods of assent...]

Here is a screengrab of the Election 2016 section of the Wall Street Journal this morning:


There is an advantage to "this courage thing." I left the other stories intact: my other candidates are fizzling, and Sec. Clinton has ever-so-boldly called for additional revenue!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2016

Minnesota flogged as Liberal success [updated]

PowerLine principle John Hinderocker has retired from his law practice and taken up leadership as President of The Center of the American Experiment, in order as he says to "to take our free-market case directly to the people"

The bottom line is that the blue state model doesn’t work anywhere. This has tremendous implications, not just for Minnesota but for the nation.

The Center has a new video popping the liberal balloon (hard to keep track of them all, isn't it?) about Minnesota's vaunted economic success under Mark Dayton (and more broadly, the largely liberal legislature).

In keeping with getting my blogging skills a shade better, I'll try to embed it .... Sadly, my weak economic position keeps me from being as full-throated as I'd sometimes like (then again, FB is a lousy venue for meritorious and serious discussion).

Two cheers for the free market, and for the expanding and deepening American experiment!

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:09 AM | Comments (4)
But nanobrewer thinks:

OK, I haven't exhaustively exercised all options, but I can't figure nor recall how to imbed a video... must it first exist as a file on my computer?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 11:29 AM
But Jk thinks:

You look for a snippet of html that displays an object, usually you can hit a share button to copy it to your clipboard. Sometimes, it is not allowed.

The file continues to live on the host's server, it just publishes a player on the page.

Posted by: Jk at January 10, 2016 6:55 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

OK, to the other TS'ers "in English" ... one imbeds a video by clicking so-named the tab in YouTube, and then pasting that Snippet into one's post.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 11:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Au contraire, mon frère, everywhere is an excellent venue for meritorious and serious discussion. The difference with venues like FB is that you have to "dumb it down" not make it dumb. Or unmeritorious. Or wrong.

It may be true that the easiest way to go viral is to make it wrong, but I do think we make a difference, as Rand promised we would.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2016 3:05 PM

January 8, 2016

Smoot-Hawley Rides Again!

I added a link as a quick comment from my Etch-a-Sketch (iPad) last night. And it attracted a response from Brother Keith which I purloined for the post title. It needs its own post.

Donald Trump wants the U.S. to impose a massive, 45 percent tariff on all products coming into the country from China.

"I would tax China on products coming in," the Republican presidential front-runner told the New York Times. "And the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be . . . the tax should be 45 percent."

Ed Driscoll posted this on Instapundit last night with a bonus S\moot-Hawley reference and "Relax -- I'm sure that trade protectionism will work this time."

The best defense is "he doesn't mean it." But I tell you, blog brothers and sisters, I went through the 2008 and 2012 elections grinding my teeth and writhing in agony when "my candidate" spoke out on economics. And both of those had other, endearing qualities. I cannot pull the lever for the 45% Tariff man. Not even William McKinley. Nossir. Noma'am.


Enter Trump, via his fabulous escalator. The GOP front-runner isn't openly contemptuous of the Constitution; it just doesn't enter his thinking very much. If he believes something is worth doing, he says he will do it. He makes little effort to explain how he will get Congress to agree, never mind write the laws the president is supposed to faithfully execute. And that's the way Trump's fans like it. -- Jonah Goldberg

Posted by John Kranz at 12:03 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

I'm deaf to cries of currency manipulation. "Stop selling me stuff for cheap! I'll tell Mom!" More likely a threat would incite a trade war.

I perhaps have earned my reputation for melodrama, but a wacky anarchist friend put up a Bernie Sanders meme. I added a link to this as a comment, saying "[Sanders] is Henry Hazlitt compared to Trump!"

And truly, for all the worry we rightfully have about the economy under President Sanders (Bernie, not The Colonel), all his mischief would be ameliorated by Congress and the natural, Smithian ability of liberty to sidestep regulation.

Trump's is a guaranteed global recession causer. Again the defense is "don't listen to him, he just blurts out bullshit all the time!" But just in case he means it this time -- this would truly be ten times worse than anything Bernie has proposed.

Posted by: jk at January 8, 2016 5:13 PM
But Jk thinks:

Interesting piece on currency manipulation.

Posted by: Jk at January 9, 2016 10:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think any thread that ties Trump to practical, useful policy is purely incidental... he's a buzz-addicted blowhard and has now idea how or why any of his ideas would work, apart from blowing away the reality-challenged PC-mindset of the MSM and beltway insiders. If BHO was our teleprompter-in-chief candidate, Trump is the reality-TV version...

OK, given that rant, how would this suggestion be any different from other Tariffs or duties?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 10:26 PM
But Jk thinks:

First in size, we buy a lot from China and 45% is, to use a favorite Trump word, huge.

Second, it is indiscriminate to target a country. Typically, you might hit an industry like tires or steel, or grain. I think the others are wrong too. If you had a duty on oil to fund tanker inspection, okay. But tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them.

He was on FOXNews Sunday yesterday, and already backing off this. "I didn't say that..." So I'm glad it's not in his stump speech. But it is still irresponsible bluster right at a time I was trying to accept that I'd be a good Republican and support the nominee.

Posted by: Jk at January 11, 2016 4:46 AM
But Jk thinks:

First in size, we buy a lot from China and 45% is, to use a favorite Trump word, huge.

Second, it is indiscriminate to target a country. Typically, you might hit an industry like tires or steel, or grain. I think the others are wrong too. If you had a duty on oil to fund tanker inspection, okay. But tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them.

He was on FOXNews Sunday yesterday, and already backing off this. "I didn't say that..." So I'm glad it's not in his stump speech. But it is still irresponsible bluster right at a time I was trying to accept that I'd be a good Republican and support the nominee.

Posted by: Jk at January 11, 2016 4:46 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

>tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them

Agreed. Now, "we'll impose tariffs if the hack-attacks don't stop!" is more defensible, but a better answer is more along the lines of the STUXNet attack....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 12:12 AM

January 6, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

It is an outrage to claim that Donald Trump's support constitutes mob rule. Trump has not incited violence or any dilution or disrespect for democratic principles, and mob rule has never been described by a serious writer before as being the espousal of uncorrupted capitalism.

- Conrad M Black in Trump's Populism Is Not Mob Rule at NRO.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:34 PM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

Dan Henninger wrote today that Trump isn't leading in the polls, a popular revolt against 25 years of Political Correctness is leading in the polls. Trump merely happens to be the loudest and most frequent voice for this revolt. Ben Carson was the first, but Trump knows more about marketing.

Last night my heroine told Sean Hannity [4:56] "When I tell voters that it's time, citizens, to take our country back, and a professional politician isn't gonna be able to do it, and a guy who's a celebrity but has no plan isn't gonna do it either, they're listening."

Well, I hope her "plan" includes better marketing for her version of the PC Revolt.

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2016 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

@Terri: I am warming up to The Donald. I shan't say "Can not be tolerated," but I am presently undecided. (Hop up a few posts for my dream four-way race scenario. It nearly destroyed this great nation in 1824, whaddaya say we try it again?)

The question is less "can I vote for Trump?" The question is [melodrama alert!] "do I want to stay with a party that would nominate him?" All my libertarian and public-choice-theorist friends laugh at my quaint belief in advancing liberty through the ballot box and the the GOP. If my party nominates Mister Trump, I do not know if it remains my party.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 6:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Brother jk, I wonder if it might offer you any consolation at all to replace the words "Donald Trump" with "Political Correctness Revolutionary?"

Politics is a strange realm, wherein necessary medicine is often packaged in distasteful vessels.

I found another interesting opinion piece on the present maelstrom. Being better informed on Presidential history, perhaps you'll get more out of it than I did.

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

Great article. It happens that I loves me some "Mudcat." He used to be a regular fixture on cable news but I don't think the Democratic party can abide by his existence. I surely feel for the few non-loonies remaining in the party. Hell, on a good day, I might vote for Jim Webb; he was very good in that first debate.

Replacing Trump with an abstract instantiation of his good points? That might work. And it's not like his current principles will last any longer than his old ones.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 7:32 PM
But Jk thinks:

oh my.

Posted by: Jk at January 7, 2016 8:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Smoot-Hawley rides again.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 8, 2016 9:34 AM

December 30, 2015

One Cheer for Donald Trump!

And he likely earned two. Why do people like him? This is why people like him.

Donald Trump last week used some typically coarse language to describe Hillary Clinton, who responded by accusing Mr. Trump of sexism while announcing that she is unleashing Bill Clinton to campaign for her. This was too ripe an opening for Mr. Trump, who is now attacking Hillary for acquiescing in Bill's predations against women.

Mr. Trump is rude and crude, but in this case he is raising an issue that rightly bears on the 2016 election campaign and the prospect of a third Clinton term. Mrs. Clinton wants to use her gender both as a political sword and shield to win the White House. The purpose is to make male politicians less willing to take her on, while reinforcing her main and not-so-subtle campaign theme that it's time to elect the first woman President.

Nobody else would really "go there" (Carly?) yet it is a destination requiring a connecting flight. A responsible press corps would point it out but -- hey, stop laughing in the back!

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds plays a column in the same key.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, this is the power of The Donald. He is continually pointing out how the emperor has no clothes even if he's still got the Jester's jig down to a "tee".

His real strength is that for once [d'ya hear me Mr. Perot?) in modern GOP times is handing our side the weapons to use in the upcoming battle against The Hildebeast.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 4, 2016 12:03 AM

December 29, 2015

American Autocracy

National Review's Kevin Williamson writes, in describing "the Democratic party's newfound commitment to totalitarianism" that is expressed through President Obama's lawless executive orders:

But, remember, Democrats: These are your rules.

If Steven Hayes of the Weekly Standard can be deprived of his constitutional rights because his name appears on a secret presidential list, then so can Paul Krugman or Rachel Maddow. If the Second Amendment can be treated as optional at the president's discretion, then so can the First. If Pfizer can be sanctioned by the federal government for making entirely legal and ethical business decisions that the president doesn't like, so can Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. If President Obama can circumvent Congress in both domestic and international affairs simply because he's unhappy with the way the people's elected representatives are conducting their business, then so can President Cruz, President Rubio, President Fiorina . . .

Or, angels and ministers of grace defend us, President Trump.

Except that they can't. Were a Republican to do what Barack I has done, the fourth estate would plaintively wail. The political pressure on a Republican president who singled out political foes would, and should, be unbearable. (The problem being their utter disregard when a Democrat does so.) But the "news" media would be equally critical of executive orders to, for example, authorize a uniform national concealed carry license; or rescind all of the putative air "pollution" regulations on energy companies. And that's why we are not at liberty: Because hoi polloi only pays attention when their media master calls for it. Because those media masters want a totalitarian president - as long as he is their flavor of totalitarian.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2015

Tweet of the Day

Pretty good series.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2015

GOP Debates as Star Wars

It was done far more trenchantly and amusingly as a cartoon making the Facebook rounds, but Dan Henninger (pimpin' the WSJ pages today!) gets a column in. Notable is a tactical comment that Cruz's classical debating skills might be a liability and not an asset in the less-rhetorical and more bare-knuckled political debate arena.

Who's good? Henninger claims Sen. Rubio (H2O - FL) got the better of the Libya exchange:

These two are formidable politicians, but Mr. Rubio's ability to identify vulnerability and stick a shiv through the Cruz armor was unexpected.

Second best at this rapier is Carly Fiorina, who cut Donald Trump after he said Middle East military funds should have been spent on U.S. roads and airports. That, she said, is precisely Barack Obama's position: "I'm amazed to hear that from a Republican presidential candidate."

Dearest Carly. When all is darkness, there is light -- did'ja see this?

Madame Vice President.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:28 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder if she wrote those lines. Some great stuff: "Just look at that face. I mean, 'persona.'"

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2015 3:56 PM
But jk thinks:

A lot of good ones. "The President ate your cousins" got all the attention, but there are a few.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2015 4:56 PM

December 16, 2015

Two-Point-Five Cheers for Cruz!

Yes, the junior senator from Texas was Praiseworthy in opposing the Ethanol Mandate on the stump in corn-rich Iowa.

And yes, he has taken a more America-centric position on foreign interventionism.

He has even been, according to his rival Mr. Rubio, supportive of inflows of immigrant labor into America.

Rubio has tried to shift the attention away from this potential vulnerability by arguing that Cruz has supported legalization for undocumented immigrants and moved to expand the H-1B visa program. Cruz has withdrawn his support for these measures and accused Rubio of trying to "muddy the waters."

Yes, in the wake of Paris, San Bernardino, and Mr. Trump's massive popularity, Ted Cruz has backtracked on the free market position regarding immigration. RCP's Caitlin Huey-Burns writes:

He also characterized his opponent's support for the "Rubio-Schumer" immigration bill as a national security issue, pointing to a provision that gave the president unilateral authority to admit refugees.

Cruz then took an even more conservative position than he has in the past on immigration, saying, "I have never supported legalization, and I do not intend to support legalization."

And in an interview with CNN following the debate, Cruz suggested deportation as a way to address the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.

Throughout the night, [Rand] Paul helped his fellow senator in attacking Rubio over the 2013 immigration bill.

I know this will not sit will with a blog brother or two. I hope he doesn't see it as a deal-breaker. As I see it, this obvious pivot is obviously strategic. Immigration reform is, as Rubio noted, "down the road" but winning the presidency begins with winning the nomination and that is now or never.

Besides, even Rand Paul sided with Cruz over Rubio. Which may lead one to speculate that the tag-team effort may have been planned. Which then naturally inspires thoughts of a Cruz-Paul ticket. Rand didn't work this hard to go home empty handed, and if he has to settle for co-pilot instead of left seat I predict he'll say, "Let's roll."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:48 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

One of your blog brothers is beaten into submission. The broad GOP electorate is too far away from me on immigration to reconcile. Sad, but I am going to lose that one -- and so will Senator Rubio.

Dealbreaker? No. A Paul, Carly, Cruz, or Ringo have enough good points to ensure my support. Mister Trump is still too close to call, but I am starting to get the personality at least.

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2015 3:54 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Take heart, JK; while the presidential-hopeful rhetoric might all be on the side of something akin to "let's get control over this beast" the actual bills being passed are full-throated, funding-supporting odes to Obama:

- the omnibus approves – without conditions – the President’s request for increased refugee admissions...
- a four-fold increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs.
- The bill also funds sanctuary cities and illegal alien resettlement, allows the President to continue issuing visas to countries that refuse to repatriate violent criminal aliens, and funds the President’s ongoing lawless immigration actions – including his unimpeded 2012 executive amnesty for alien youth.

or so says Senator Sessions:

I sent appropriators a list of several dozen provisions for inclusion in our funding bills to improve immigration enforcement and block presidential lawlessness; those provisions were rejected

Some part of the GOP is with you!

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 17, 2015 12:22 AM
But jk thinks:

Getting trolled on a blog I pay hosting fees for... #BlessMercuh!

I hate to concede, nb, that the Democrats have more liberty-friendly and smaller government solutions than the GOP. I say, "well yeah, Gay rights, you can't win them all but that is more of a social movement." And then I say "oh yeah, reproductive rights, but they lose points because they make others foot the bill so that's a wash."

I used to defend the Sessions-Tancredoites that at least it was an enumerated Constitutional power -- they're wrong as pants on a trout, but it is at least a proper role of government. As Mister Trump veers into religious persecution of American citizens and a large portion of the primary electorate cheers him on, I lose heart.

I told the lovely bride over breakfast "if you're looking for a rousing defense of the Republican Party, you've come to the wrong guy on the wrong day."

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2015 12:35 PM

OODA, Tactics

Ain't gonna study war no more.

Blog friend tg posts an interesting article to Facebook. I highly recommend it.As he warns, set a little time aside, this is not a meme -- it is a serious tactical look at Donald Trump's strategy.

We can better understand what Trump has done successfully, as well as his ultimate limitations as a candidate and why he would be such a terrible president, using the ideas of military strategic theorist John Boyd. Trump has been, thus far, the true Boyd candidate in this race, yet he is already exhibiting symptoms of precisely the flaws that Boyd saw as fatal in combatants.

As a side benefit, the reader gets a good primer on Boyd's OODA loop. I had a general understanding, but it is well developed here -- now I feel I could hop in a jet fighter and get on your tail in 40 seconds. It is that good an article.
ThreeSources Style Guide dictates that I provide a short quippy excerpt to dumb it down, and I did find this gem:
In years past, right-leaning talk radio had treated favorably many of the people running, and many of the leading conservative talkers were people with movement conservative backgrounds who understood well the principles Trump treats as fungible. Yet, right-wing talk radio has--with a few honorable exceptions--rallied around Trump, basking in the audience-driving controversy he brings with him. When the circus comes to town, everyone wants to be a clown.

Interesting, but it strikes me how little interest I have in strategy and tactics. The election is all about ideas and message to me and I am pretty happy leaving the tactical skirmishing to others. I hate to call a respected friend names, but it seems tg and I are opposite sides of the coin. He has directed me to eloquent blog posts discarding rights' importance in government philosophy. He's conversant with Locke but studies Sun Tzu.

The power, enforcement, and protection of a rights-enforcing regime is important (cf. The Man in the High Castle), but I delegate that, like I delegate polling. I'd like to try winning someday, and I attempt to lean the message toward the pragmatic. But i the end, like the great miniskirted libertarian political philosopher Kacey Musgraves, "I'd rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain't."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2015

Three Cheers for Cruz!

Who are you and what have you done with jk?

No, I provide props when appropriate. And opposing ethanol in Iowa is props-worthy.

Joel Gehrke at National Review noted that Cruz had "managed to turn a disagreement with a crowd of Iowa businesses and farmers into an applause line," and noted that the audience's applause after his comments about the RFS gave Cruz "the warmest welcome so far" that day.

Stalwart Conservative Donald Trump? Jim Geraghty offers a revealing quote:

"Well look he's from Texas -- to the best of my knowledge, there's a lot of oil in Texas, right? So, he gets a lot of money from the oil companies, and he's against ethanol and everything you're else talking about. And I'm not, I'm totally in favor. And you know it's a big industry here, it's a big industry. You know if that industry is upset Iowa's got problems," Trump said to the crowd of about 1,500, composed of Iowans from special-interest groups.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Side note: "PropsWorthy" would be a good name for a Right-leaning, freedom-promoting alternative to the oligeneous lefty "Upworthy." We could pump out heartwarming clickbait stories that support freedom.

I'm not sure whether I'm kidding or not. Upworthy is a pernicious opponent of liberty without being obvious -- I suspect few of the people who share think of them as being at all political -- kind of a social media NPR.

A well crafted alternative would be a good play.

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2015 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This is why I like Cruz despite his evangelical bona-fides. If cronyism is bad, you have to be willing - and perhaps more importantly, able - to say so in a convincing manner to people whom you want to vote for you. Not just to the people who never would.

I like the "Propsworthy" idea. Maybe start with a 3src category so we can all practice.

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2015 1:39 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Just wanted to say that oligeneous is not a valid Scrabble word.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 15, 2015 6:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Curiously, neither is "hoi-oligoi" even though it is an actual word. But did you mean, instead, oleaginous? (I might have known what you were saying had you used obsequious.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2015 6:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Tough room. "Oleaginous," of course.

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2015 7:36 PM

December 14, 2015

Holding His Nose Already

Forty nine days until the Iowa caucuses -- and PJ O'Rourke is already psyching himself up to support a disappointing candidate.Peej has picked Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- and he lists the reasons:

Marco Rubio earned his success the old-fashioned American way!

By sucking up to rich people, specifically Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush advised Rubio on how to present himself to conservative voters, nurtured Rubio's rise from Miami City Commissioner to Speaker of the House in the Florida state legislature, cultivated wealthy donors on Rubio's behalf and backed Rubio's 2010 Senate run.

Then Rubio turned around and kicked Jeb in the nuts. What's more American than that?

Sorry for introducing negativity, but O'Rourke is -- as usual -- very funny.

Myself, I'm thinking that if Sen. Cruz delivers me from Trump, he will earn my fealty.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

To quote that famous American philosopher, John McClane: "Welcome to the party, pal!"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 14, 2015 12:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. I am more fulsome in my support than Mr. O'Rourke.

Posted by: jk at December 14, 2015 12:38 PM

December 7, 2015

"a philosophy of national security reflecting the preference of most Americans?"

That's where Ted Cruz is apparently trying to position himself, between the extreme isolationism of candidate Rand Paul, and the extreme interventionism of candidate Marco Rubio.

A Cruz Doctrine would ask of military action:

"How does it keep America safe? If it's keeping America safe, we should do it. If it's making America more vulnerable, we shouldn't do it."

At a recent Iowa town hall, Cruz rejected the choice being between "retreat from the world and be isolationist and leave everyone alone, or we've got to be these crazy neocon-invade-every-country-on-Earth and send our kids to die in the Middle East."

He added: "Most people I know don't agree with either one of those. They think both of those are nuts."

This is comparable to a debate I had with jk in June of 2014. Our differences were nuanced, but generally along the same lines as Cruz v. Rubio.

At the time I said Obama was right not to invade Syria in pursuit of Islamic State. While jk did not disagree, he did stand in support of "some of the excesses of neo-conservatism." Cruz seems to sense that most Americans are no longer willing to endure those excesses.

Instead of nation building, how about a principled realpolitik under which America defeats terrorist regimes with massive force, then swiftly brings the boys home -- making it clear We Shall Return if terrorists are replaced with other terrorists. (...)

Cruz may be the only Republican to explore this apparently verboten notion of having the kind of foreign policy every other civilized country in the world has -- placing our own interests first.

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

November 30, 2015

Carly for 'Servant Leader'

Very good article here from David Begley, who harks from Omaha and describes himself two ways;

Back when I was a Democrat I was elected to a minor political office in Nebraska. More importantly, I worked at the same law firm as Ben Nelson when he ran for Governor. [2] I have had the unique opportunity and pleasure to see in person nearly all of the candidates for president so I write with some authority on this topic.
His estimation of the situation
I submit that foreign affairs are at the most dangerous point ever in the history of the world. Russia is resurgent. The Chinese are restless. Religious zealots in Iran and Syria have the money and means to get nuclear weapons. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan never had such weapons. Surprisingly the appeasing architect of these failed policies thinks she can fix it.
In my view we need a servant leader and doer with solid conservative principles who is also an outsider. Carly frequently uses the phrase “servant leader.” The cynic might say it is poll tested and the cynic might be right. I, on the other hand, take her use of the phrase to be authentic, genuine and direct from her heart.

It's a good read, and he's currently a GOP cheerleader:
Bobby Jindal was a Rhodes Scholar. Ted Cruz was one of the smartest students at Harvard Law and argued cases before the Supreme Court. The GOP field is exceptionally talented, but I would rank Carly as the smartest and I don’t make that claim lightly.

I"m still in for Carly (somewhere between Cruz and Rubio as my 2nd pick - Cruz more intelligent, but not as "likable"), and her ads are now running on iHeart & local radio.

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Carly should be everyone's first pick. If she's not, then you're a woman-hating misogynist chauvinistic pig!

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2015 3:12 AM

November 23, 2015

Still Early

Hope: "Scared of Trump's pending triumph? The Atlantic offers food for thought" The article looks at others who were leading at this stage, and {SPOILER ALERT] a lot of them did not become president.

I'm more disturbed that it has further reduced the intelligence level of the debate.

That said, I'm ready to give Mr. Trump one cheer on the "Muslim Database" contretemps. Calling that ambush journalism is a real affront to ambush journalism. The idea is suggested by the -- ahem -- journalist in an rhetorical, dontchyathinkthat, tone. His answer may not be the best, but it is acceptable. Now it is front page news. See -- he even made the media stupider. I did not see that one coming.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

You and I may not like it brother, but common sense is so miscalibrated today that it may take a carnival barker like Don Trump to push the ossified national "reset" button. We'll then have to wait a cycle or three before a thoughtful conservative can gain traction, hopefully, once again.

Just a random thought on the passing scene.

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 1:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps. But the inevitable rise of President Giuliani in 2008 gives me hope. (No, that makes me sad, too -- that would've been great by comparison.)

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 5:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

two words: Howard Dean.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2015 12:17 AM

November 18, 2015

Who You Calling Stupid?

{Umm, shouldn't that be "Whom yo u calling stupid?]

Jim Geraghty is calling you stupid and he may be right. I know my occasional use of "the stupid party" has grated and I am sworn to cut back to only necessary applications. I was a bit taken aback by the Title of geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter: "A Stupid GOP Electorate Takes a Pass on the Best Governor in the 2016 Field "

Look at Bobby Jindal. Just look at him. He's 90 pounds soaking wet, he speaks a million words a minute, and he's got the brains for Oxford and can't hide it at all. When he's not nerdy, he's square; he chose to be called "Bobby" because he liked the character on The Brady Bunch. A state that still reveres Huey Long the way the Turks revere Ataturk was never going to give a guy like him the keys to state government unless they were desperate and looking for a miracle.

So they put Bobby Jindal behind the wheel and damn, did he perform.

It's a long piece and he never lets up or goes into jocular mode. Gov. Jindal takes over this hotbed of corruption after it has been flattened by a hurricane, and uses conservative ideals to rebuild. He is stunningly successful in budget and education. He has a unique minority immigrant biography.

Geraghty's no fan of Donald Trump. But I will say that he has sucked the oxygen out of the room that lesser-known candidates required. Geraghty beats up on Rod Dreher (a Randian villain for a modern age) for attacking the Gov. from the compassionate-conservative side. He closed a state-run hospital taht was losing $2 Million a month. Dreher's headline? "How Bobby Jindal Wrecked Louisiana."

Geraghty asks: "What the hell, Republican-primary voters? I mean, what the hell? A record like that, and you don't give the guy a second look?"

He wasn't the top of my list but I always liked him. As the man said (Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed?) "We could do worse; we probably will."

UPDATE: Geraghty's piece is available online.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:12 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. I put Jindal in the same group with Rand Paul. Both are superb on issues and principles, but for one or more reason fail to garner broad appeal. I'll try to pick the leading reason for each man: For Rand, "he wants to gut the military" and for Bobby, folks will never admit this but I think they find him to be too "foreign" to make him their leader. Too bad.

Posted by: johngalt at November 18, 2015 4:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I think that both would have received thoughtful scrutiny in a year where Donald Trump was not running.

To segue the whole page, I am disappointed to see Sen. Paul come out forcefully against admitting refugees. Again, maybe conviction, but this will be seen as his turning his back on the Cato/Reason/FEE wing -- for some folks he's not going to get anyway.

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2015 5:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Have to agree with JG about Jindal not having broad appeal. I'm reminded of what Adlai Stevenson II was quoted as saying to a gushing supporter:

"Governor, you have the support of every thinking American!"

His reply:
"Thank you, ma'am, but I need a majority."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 19, 2015 4:37 PM

November 12, 2015

Sen. Rubio's Library

Okay, I said I don't like memes, but:


Hat-tip: Brother Bryan on Facebook.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

"Ru-bio, Ru-bio, is a trade school hero,
Who can weld you under the table."

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2015 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahahaha! You MUST put that on Bryan's FB.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2015 3:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Made it so.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2015 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Noted. Liked.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2015 3:52 PM

November 11, 2015

All Hail Taranto!

The worst comment in this regard came from Marco Rubio: "For the life of me, I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers."

That should be "fewer philosophers," but we quibble. -- James Taranto

Posted by John Kranz at 2:22 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Not "less" or even "fewer" but better.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2015 3:52 PM

November 7, 2015

Outsourcing my opinions

Read a little, but not everything. I'm going with democracy. In true advantage-voting style vote for as many as you'd like:

[_] Yes, the press is slime. But Dr. Ben Carson was imprecise in his remarks about West Point, and a true Presidential contender from a major party should be more cautious.

[_] Yes, the press is slime. A teenager misinterpreted a complex issue and this is a non-event.

[x] Yes, the press is slime. Like anybody ever looked President Obama's academic records -- yeah, right!

[_] Yes, the press is slime. The D.H. caters to specialization and division of labor; clearly Adam Smith and David Ricardo would be A.L. guys.

Plurality opinions of my blog brothers will represent my deepest held convictions until I die (except for the DH.)

Posted by John Kranz at 4:55 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I object to this blatant push-polling, being affronted at not having the choice to pick
"the press is warmed-over goat droppings, floating on a crusty, orange bog that even the maggots can't touch"

As far as Mr. Carson's writings, I choose
"A teenager misinterpreted a complex issue and this is a non-event" especially mis-representing WP as having scholarships....

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 8, 2015 5:48 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I stand corrected: heard a clip of Dr. Carson schooling the uber-cool and utterly clueless Stephanopolous about how West Point does indeed refer to scholarship opportunities.

Gorgeous George was unswayed from his narrative which was stated in a flagrantly inflationary language "all the things you've said or written that are at odds with the public records or what people have said at the time." To which he immediately returned to - like the robot he is - after Carson corrected him on WP scholarships.

Make that 'regurgitated goat droppings....

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2015 3:17 PM

November 3, 2015

Eleventh Commandment Anybody?

I was a big supporter of then-Rep. John Kasich (Ex-HOSS - OH) in 2000. He dropped out and threw his support to Gov. Bush and I went along. But I do need to give the guy props. He was a Spirit of '94 guy and desrves approbation for his contributions chairing the House Budget Committee.

So, thanks. But no thanks. The good folks at Occupy Democrats are enjoying this: www.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/videos/986156074810780

Posted by John Kranz at 5:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

The night went better for the professional politicians than for the "outsiders." Carly Fiorina did her now-familiar riff that she’d be the best opponent for Hillary Clinton, but her lack of specificity is becoming notable--and a liability. Donald Trump seemed more subdued but also far too general. We love Larry Kudlow as much as anyone, but Mr. Trump will need better arguments for his tax cut than that appeal to CNBC authority. Mr. Trump keeps giving the impression that he's not doing much homework, though we were glad to see he is walking back his previous hostility to legal immigration. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 2:23 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

They are professionals, after all. They didn't get where they are now without an ability to adapt.

The ultimate effect of the front-running "outsider" candidates may well be to improve the performance and outcome for one or more of the pros. But adaptation has its limits. It can't turn a leopard into a lion, or a cronyist tool into a statesman.

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2015 3:16 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Well said, JG. I do like Trump's willingness to be brutally "frank" with the MSM, and little else about him. Here's hoping this hutpah keeps catching on (candidates were UnTrumply focused, polished and professional with their pushback, from what I could see). I give high marks for Cruz and Fiorina for playing their few cards shrewdly, and keeping their good side turned toward the limelight (Cruz apparently is quite abrasive in person, and we've noted many of his high-profile actions as suspiciously self-serving).

A question for all that came up last night with a friend: are Kudlow's financial predictions any good? I can't recall many that were, and have lots of proof of bad ones...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 29, 2015 3:28 PM

October 5, 2015

Money Quotes

While trolling around, looking for nothing in particular, I found Koch brothers, other 2016 mega donors warm to Carly Fiorina. Here are a few quotes from some of the "mega donors."

"We think she's pretty viable." -Broadcasting billionaire Stanley Hubbard, a member of the Koch brothers' network of conservative advocacy groups who donates heavily to political candidates.

"She's good in the room," said one participant at the event, who declined to be named.

"I think she's unflappable," said [Dallas philanthropist Elloine] Clark. "And she doesn't react like an adolescent."

"Can you imagine that face, the president of the United States?" Yes. Yes I can.

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

Charles and David Koch are also excellent public figures, and welcome the apparently nascent strategy to once-again attempt to make them the boogeyman, in true alinskyite fashion. Note that I don't prefer or encourage such a bogus and blatant attack, just if they gotta play that rule from the radical playbook, I'm glad they've chosen such a staunch and stout target.

Btw, CarlyforAmerica is now out...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 5, 2015 3:56 PM

September 28, 2015

Carly at the Plate

And delivers another extra-base hit. At least a triple.

We mused a bit last week about how Carly would handle an attack like this on her HP record. On Sunday, she was given the opportunity by NBC's Chuck Todd. Picks up at the 6 minute mark:

Basically, Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton may criticize me but they've never created a job and their policies destroy jobs. "There were many jobs that left California and you know where they went? The state of Texas."


Posted by JohnGalt at 7:18 PM | Comments (2)
But Jk thinks:

I taped the replay last night I had heard so much about it. But some Denver Broncos special preempted it and it cut in the middle.

I still think she's the best at answering the media that I've seen since President Reagan.

Posted by: Jk at September 28, 2015 9:33 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

She's good and getting better. She shot back at Todd's jobs-moved-overseas canard with "not true!" and properly folds back the WaPo's attempt to deflect the PP issue back on to the messenger (in all honestly, even sympathetic media has noted her recount of the CMP videos aren't perfectly congruent).

I think I would have gone with "the DC media is famous for inserting their own opinion into their reports, and The Post is no exception." Still, picking the 3 Pinocchio's example was a very good move as well.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 29, 2015 2:31 PM

September 24, 2015

Worst Tech CEO?

Wanted it to be so, but it doesn't even rate in the "Rant" category. I write this as a Fiorina fan and a serious (possibly dangerous) technophile who grew up 9 miles from the garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started that California, "silicon valley" icon.

I judge JK's instinctual dismissal of the resounding-sounding Politico article by Dr. Sonnefeld (yawn, a L/W prof disses a GOP'r) to be spot on. Boldly titled “Fiorina was a terrible CEO” and following with

she was one of the worst technology CEOs in history

It quickly loses steam.

1. Analysis of the article:
His biggest stick is how the company "lost over half its value" by which he means stock price. OK, the stock went down, as Carly has noted, pretty much on par with NASDAQ. It recovered. Next, the overblown rhetoric starts to flow, as always, downhill:

It was Fiorina’s failed leadership that brought her company down
Down where, exactly? They're Fortune's #55, and kicking IBM's butt! See below to see how they fared during her tenure (2001-2005), and since.


(numbers are gross revenue, in $B)

Lastly, he sneers at her explanation for the stock price dip, comparing Hp's drop to mostly non-comparable companies like Apple (totally different), and Google (which is another universe). I think Bloomberg's Justin Fox 'CEO Carly in one Chart' is better as business analysis when he compares' HP's performance to IBM, Dell and Sun Microsystems.

2. Analysis of the author
I looked the guy up, since my gut reaction was the guy wants to sell books, and you don't get buzz by going after Gilmore. His Hero's Farewell is all about non-tech, eastern companies and Firing Back shows he reveres people like Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, John Scully (more on him below) & Dan Rather. That made me think, he'd hate someone like her, and furthermore, I like her even more, via the faint praise of being defined by one's enemies. One of his 7 keys for future success from HF is managing your reputation. I think her “so you think?!?” departure from Hp surely grates.

Wrap this up with Yale's reputation as having dissed the Fedex business plan and his status as an NPR contributor, and I feel fully confident rating this as a Hit Piece that smells really awful. Want more proof? The NYT's Andrew Sorking could do nothing but parrot it, in his column "Fiorina’s Business Record: Not So Sterling" (for completeness, it's not worth reading). His article about her time with Lucent is more troubling, but I didn't really see a smoking gun there.

This took some time, let me tell ya... from Scully nearly scuttling Apple, to the bozos at IBM that passed on owning their own Disc Operating System yet did not make the list (but that decision probably wasn't on the CEO level)!

The article 10 Catastrophic CEO Decisions is a much better start down an interesting road. Dovetailing nicely with Tom Perkins' "The Truth About Carly" (taken as an ad in the NYT),

Carly was hired at HP because it was struggling. Revenues were down, quarterly earnings were missed, innovation lagged and growth stagnated“ ... [Hp had an] ineffective and dysfunctional board
HP appears in the article of 10 worst flops three times!

I was thinking Perkins (who was on Compaq's board), was butt-kissing for a spot in Treasury until I looked up his byline. Even tech-loving geeks like me know about Kleiner-Perkins-Caufield successful history of backing silicon valley startups [updated; I see CNN now is sniping at him].

The HP-Compaq merger is one of the list 10 Worst, but it really pales compared to
- Dale Osborne, google The Osborne Effect,
- Steve Case's mighty crash at AOL ($200B to $1B),
- the death of SUN Micro (Scott McNealy gets my vote!);
- Yahoo! ($47B and rising, down to $17B and coughing blood all over), and
- John Scully's nearly deadly tenure at Apple getting the Miss Congeniality award.

As the numbers above attest, HP is going strong and is now bigger than IBM, the company Fiorina wanted to catch. HP was going down the tubes and nearly did again (dysfunction!), under CEO Leo Apotheker. A Forbes' article on SUN mentions HP about four times as doing right what SUN got wrong (all during her tenure). The Compaq merger is now judged to be a success
- by my analysis, since HP had longed (for a loooong time, according to many old classmates who worked and interned there) to be big a player in the PC market, became the top seller from 2006-2011;
- by complicated analysis from Robert Burgelman, of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, who said

What Fiorina was attempting to do was extremely complicated. She was trying to change the culture of HP without really understanding what that culture was like in the first place

I think Fiorina's statements to date about her time at HP are appropriate for the sort of audience (aka, low information) on the talk shows she's been on. I'll bet she can trade dukes with the likes of Sonnefeld any day! It would be nice for her to hone her points, though. Hp's financial picture is very complicated (50%+ of the printer market, now into IT "Enterprise" services in a big way....) and should be properly represented, and the craziness of the board, containing a Hewlett who can't manage to get into the big chair, deserves some attention.

Then again, she could just say: I started behind IBM, took 'em down, and HP has stayed ahead! I think she'll box the ears back and dance circles around any/all media types trying to discern, with suitably concerned tones and glittering eyes: "but does she care?"

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:09 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

That's the part that will draw blood: "But does she care?"

I've been anticipating this post nb. Thanks for your thorough treatment. One thing missing, however, is a discussion around the issue of gross revenue versus net income. Sonnenfeld made a big deal about that, saying that a merger of two companies automatically spikes gross revenues, but that is not a good measure of performance and leadership.

But in electoral politics none of this really matters as much as the "Does she care" question. Which she should (and has, I think) answer with:

Unlike government, a private company doesn't have the luxury of hiring, or retaining, more employees that it needs to meet the needs of its customers. Unlike government, a private company has a bottom line, and if it spends more than it earns it will eventually run out of money and die. Of course I care! About the 272,000 hard working employees of Hewlett Packard whose jobs would also have ended, had I not made the difficult decision to lay off the one tenth of our workforce that the company could not afford to keep.

And since Donald Trump seems to think repeating the same explanation is not sufficient, she can also try it this way:

To say that I somehow "don't care" about employees because I ordered a layoff requires an intentional ignorance of the care I showed for all of those who were not laid off. Do my critics not care about them?
Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2015 3:20 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Thanks for your kind words, JG.

Agreed that revenues aren't necessarily the be-all from year to year (in the way harvard Biz School wants you to think) but, over the long run the table clearly shows Carly didn't "kill" anything, and enabled it to grown far beyond the $20B merger. Key point: now bigger than IBM and holding.

electoral politics none of this really matters as much as the "Does she care" question

Only if spineless types like Jeb! or endless-agitators like Berie are running. They tried to smear Reagan with this brush and got it thrown back in their face. She can do this, and you showed us how!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 25, 2015 4:48 PM

September 23, 2015

People in Glass Houses

From a fair, balanced, and pithy article on Donny Trump's pledge to 'stop those hedge fund guys getting away with murder' by Cliff Asness:

Trump hopes that by taking on his own friends - the "hedge-fund guys" - he will be seen as courageous by the angry subset of the Republican primary electorate that has fueled his rise. Instead of addressing that often-valid anger with reasonable proposals, he throws out red meat about "hedge funds." If Trump were truly courageous, he'd tell us about how tricky tax arguments, and a fair amount of cronyism, have motivated so many big real-estate transactions. He'd tell us about the wide range of local tax credits, generous depreciation laws, and the 1031 exchanges that provide real-estate tycoons like him with a loophole they can use to defer paying capital-gains taxes. He'd mention real-estate moguls' propensity to extract tax-free income from their buildings by refinancing loans. He'd tell us about those of his colleagues who literally pay zero taxes and sometimes monetize tax credits.

If he were truly courageous, that is. If he really wanted to "tell it how it is."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

"Substance does not matter to the right wing base. Only how tough they sound when they spew garbage"

Like my blog brother I am "still in" on Carly...

The reason she remains such a bright spot to me remains her ability to express principles. When his layoffs were shoved in his face, Gov. Romney wilted and sniveled. Fiorina explains reality. I'm still in.

... but does Dick Morris (and Thom Hartmann) have a point?

In an email commentary, Morris said essentially that "Carly would be a great president, but would be a disaster as the Republican nominee" because of her weakness on this issue.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:01 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

A Yacht? A Yacht???

There is a concern. Disney movies have, perhaps, poisoned the electorate so much that a businessperson would never get elected. She failed in California against an incumbent Senator, so I am not quick to write her off because of "failure" to unseat Boxer -- that's a difficult assignment.

Saw but cannot locate a story about how she actually did something. For better, for worse, with Compaq or without, she made decisions and reaped the consequences. The Senators have no such baggage.

If Hartmann is correct (he may be but I don't care for his tone) we are resigned to mediocre politician candidates forever. I hope he is not.

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2015 3:23 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sigh, Dick Morris is still trying be relevant. Anybody here remember anything with which to agree with this charlatan?

I see Carly's yacht and raise with John Kerry's $7M 'house boat'

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 23, 2015 3:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Looking at the comments, from which the post's title was a direct quotation, this sort of thing has great traction with at least a segment of the population. Hopefully a very, very, small, Progressive communist segment.

But this seems to be the focus of jk's approbation - as a candidate for POTUS, Carly should have ample opportunity to "explain reality." If she does so effectively and still loses - well, pass the ammunition.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2015 5:51 PM

September 17, 2015

Fiorina Ascendent

How do we know that Carly Fiorina is now an existential threat to a Hillary Clinton presidency (or any other Democrat for that matter?) Because the left is rushing to call her a liar:

To be sure, Fiorina wasn't the only person lying about Planned Parenthood on stage. The claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts was stated as fact by multiple candidates. It's simply not true, and repeating it will not make it more true. But describing such a vivid and grisly scene that never happened - that is taking it to another level.

But the trouble for them, and for Hillary and the other Democratic presidential hopefuls, is she's not lying:

As for Fiorina's quote, she is likely referring to the entirety of the 10 videos, including the seventh video released by the Center for Medical Progress. Watch the full video for yourself. It does, in fact, show a fully formed fetus, heart beating and legs kicking. And it shows this while Holly O'Donnell, a former organ harvester who worked for StemExpress at a Planned Parenthood affiliate, graphically discuss the harvesting of a brain from a baby whose heart was beating.

WARNING: This video contains graphic imagery of an aborted child and descriptions of harvesting a brain from a male baby whose heart was beating. It also shows a baby born alive at the same age as the baby whose face and head was cut open to harvest the brain.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:01 PM | Comments (13)
But jk thinks:

Ms. Couric gets up early and stays late to provide the footage for the commercial jg describes. Pobrecita, her prey does not play along.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2015 4:33 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

She does handle Katie "manfully," swatting away one after another, after another shot at getting a "Macaca" moment.

Innovation, not regulation ... brilliant. Her answer is a decent one (clean coal), but the phrase scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity was drawn from her Wiki page, which is very well written (no LW nonsense or snipe). I suppose that's her calibrated approach?

Works for me. I shuck titles, but generally say that I haven't seen systemic, GLOBAL warming that's outside of statistical norms. G'head and clean up coal... as long as it still rolls up the conveyor to the burners!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 20, 2015 11:28 PM
But dagny thinks:

In true devil's advocate fashion, this doesn't sound too crazy:


Posted by: dagny at September 21, 2015 4:28 PM
But jk thinks:

No, dagny, but there are a couple of crazy bits in it.

Pointy-head Yale Business School prof disses GOP Candidate (yawn). But at the end He thinks the GOP should look to its great women leaders like Sen. Lisa Murkowski ($$$ - AK). Oh, 'scuse me, I coughed up a big piece of pork when I read that (Sen. Ayotte and Gov. Haley were netter choices but...) Her real sin was not listening to the wise Professor "Fiorina can attack me all she wants..." who "has written a book how great leaders rebound." Interesting, but not dispositive.

The bits and pieces of whether the Compaq deal was good can be argued. But I am comparing her record to the sterling accomplishments of Sec. Clinton who flew a lot and a bunch of Senators, and a NY real estate mogul who never went bankrupt ever (...but four of his companies did...)

She may inflate her qualifications. But she has had to face real consequences that the political types have not.

The reason she remains such a bright spot to me remains her ability to express principles. When his layoffs were shoved in his face, Gov. Romney wilted and sniveled. Fiorina explains reality. I'm still in.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2015 6:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had missed this link until dagny pointed it out to me. Now, having read it, I can only conclude that Sonnenfeld is a sexist woman-hater.

But (more) seriously, if Nikki Haley were the sole female in the GOP presidential primary I expect he would write something like, "If the Republican Party seeks great women leaders with proven track records of accomplishment and character for national office, I could recommend many, including the first woman to lead a Fortune Top 20 Company, Carly Fiorina."

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2015 11:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

On the other hand, we have this to look forward to.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2015 11:43 AM

Must See GOP

The problem with high expectations is that one is often left wanting. That was my condition at the start of last night's second GOP presidential debate. My high expectations were for Carly Fiorina, who I thought did extremely well, but even I was taken aback as the talking heads who followed made her their unanimous "winner" of the debate.

But more than the success of a candidate I favor, I was proud of nearly everything that was said by nearly all of them. The GOP is definitely moving toward liberty and smaller government rather than away, if these candidates are any indication. I found the full 3 hours quite compelling and was unable to do anything else that took me out of earshot of what Chris Christie hollowly called, "this childish back and forth." I'm sorry Governor, that back and forth is the reason we all came here in the first place!

And for his part I found Donald Trump actually, at times, humble and thoughtful. Mostly after the debate when, after saying in his close it was an honor to be on the stage with the rest of this field, he declined multiple invitations to declare himself the winner and suggested that others did "very well." He even gave me the optimistic impression that he could eventually decide to withdraw gracefully and endorse someone else. Perhaps it was the 3-hour format, but I saw what looked like the beginning of a "this is boring" state of mind in the body of the billionaire with a supermodel wife.

I did appreciate Rand Paul's caution that meddling in foreign wars has unintended consequences, and Ben Carson's suggestion that a thoughtful approach might have been better in Afghanistan in the months after 9/11. (Although I must admit that wouldn't have been enough to satisfy my bloodlust at the time. One wonders if even the staid Dr. Carson could have chosen that strategy in the moment, rather than in retrospect today.) And then the impressive young senator from Florida pounced:

And when Carson suggested the United States should explore avenues other than military force to confront terrorists around the globe, Marco Rubio shot back: "Radical Islam cannot be solved by intellect."

While I understand where this reflexive attitude comes from, having watched President Obama take America out of "the leadership business" for the last 7 years, a more studied conclusion is that intellect is exactly what it will take to "solve" radical Islam. What must be defeated, in order to achieve a lasting peace, is not its momentary militancy but its timeless ideology.

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

I may try to listen a bit this afternoon. My lovely bride started playing the YouTube at dawn's early light today.

Watching the first 20 minutes or so, the humble Donald Trump had yet to make his appearance. Not becoming involved until he flames out seems like a good strategy.

Appreciate the post very much.

Posted by: jk at September 17, 2015 5:29 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The Mike Rosen show had a great recap in his first hour, and I no longer feel the need to watch the debate. I think this is the podcast....

My favorite was Rubio's comeback to the question about the nay vote on AUMF for Syria: 'the american military goes in to win; not to administer pinpricks....' (about 16:00 on the cast)

And his comment on Putin was perfect: he's trying to displace the US as a strategic partner in the ME! Carly's was even better: "I'd not talk to Putin at all!"

All in all, a good day for the GOP. Kudos to all to avoiding Tapper's attempt at forcing a (or several) catfights.

Trumb humbled, is Trump fumbled.... btw.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 18, 2015 12:33 AM

September 15, 2015

On Trump and Carly

RCP's Heather Wilhelm is a Trump skeptic, but still somewhat impressed by what he's doing, and how he's doing it:

Trump is, in a sense, walking testosterone. He does not care that your women's studies class says gender is a social construct. He is fearless, and as such, he is the perfect foil for America's growing victimhood obsession. Show Trump a trigger warning and he’ll give that trigger warning a painful wedgie. In a proverbial sense, Trump himself is a trigger warning, but one that he has easily defeated, then inverted, and then bedazzled with a set of terrific, one-of-a-kind diamond spikes.

For this, to be frank, I give him one and a half - maybe even two - cheers. Sure, Trump acts like a jerk, but I'd rather have dinner with him than with some hyped-up, tortured university administrator insisting that I use "gender-neutral" pronouns like "ze" and "zir." Like many Americans, I'm weary of the grievance culture, and even wearier of the constant offense parade that swallows up so much of our discourse. Heck, I'm even tired of the word "offended." Who isn't offended these days?

And while we hoot and cheer over Carly's "Look at This Face" spot, Heather sounds a cautious note:

Unfortunately, Fiorina has flirted with victimhood before, calling questions about her potential as a future VP candidate "sexist." This week, she's also promoting a new video, "Look at This Face," which plays off of Trump's remarks with a "rah-rah women" feel - and on Sunday, she told a New Hampshire rally that she would challenge "the entertainer who's running for office" in Wednesday's debates.

Let's hope she does so as an equal, not as a victim. Fiorina knows her policy, and she's an impressive speaker. She belongs on that stage. If she goes after Trump for sexism, or "offensive" comments - and not things like his magical three-minute Syrian flip-flop - she'll have lost a golden opportunity.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2015

Look at This Face!


Hat-tip: Reason (video at the link if the embed fails)

Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Now THAT'S one stolen from the DT playbook! Take a rude comment, and turn it to powerful commercial!

This, my brothers, is class in action; I may just change my mind at watching the debate...

"Instead of shutting him down, there's a way to pat poor Donald, the chauvinistic pig, on the head," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist in Sacramento.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 15, 2015 12:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Can I get a hell yeah!

I hope she is this sassy at the debate. I love the little head waggle. It says, "Bring it on, boys."

I've been meaning to blog this article, sent to my by my biological sister. She's a Ben Carson fan but was electrified by what Carly said herein. A tease-

"I hope you don't feel too uncomfortable, but I'll see you at The Board Room."
Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2015 2:29 PM

September 13, 2015

club for growth speaks up

Donald Trump is not a pro-growth conservative.

Can't get any clearer than that. They have a nice summary page for most of the important candidates here: apparently staking the claim that only Bernie Sanders is outflanking on the left of Mr. Trump (whom, I should remind all has not won a single delegate). One must read CFG's white papers (I scanned a few) to see, but Paul Mirgenoff of PowerLine posits:

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio come off the best, with Scott Walker not far behind.

Certainly Rubio's paper is 6 pages long and cites powerful achievements like

- FOR repealing the Death Tax
- FOR repealing the tax credit for ethanol

The CFG's paper on Trump is one page long. Trump - besides being a pig - is for Trump, and that's pretty much it. The paper on Cruz is four pages, has this interesting note "[Cruz] has suggested that the Texas model of tort reform could be a model for the country" (see Robinson v. Crown Cork & Seal Co.). Apparently, even Huckabee is liked more by the CFG, but oddly, they have no listing for Carly as yet.

The CFG's president David McInstosh, has an op-ed that mirrors what I assumed was Thomas Sowell's thesis:

the Trump phenomenon is an expression of deep anger and frustration at Washington’s lack of leadership.

McIntosh's letter cites their record: The Club for Growth has also built a reputation on being anti-establishment, especially when it comes to fighting against the Republican Party for failing to cut taxes and shrink government.

Posted by nanobrewer at 5:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2015

Trump-Sheen '16

It even rhymes!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

"The Donald" is Forked

I've been called a Trump "fanboy" but really I'm mostly just an apologist. Nothing he's said or done has diminished my opinion of his character and judgment. Until yesterday.

"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president," Trump said, according to the publication. "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"

On Thursday, Trump repeatedly denied that he was talking about Fiorina's appearance, saying that he was instead discussing her "persona."

"I'm talking about persona, I'm not talking about look," Trump said on Fox News, where he also said that his comments were made in a "jocular manner."

Yeah, it always works when a man tells his wife he was only joking about her being fat. Whether one thinks Fiorina is attractive or not, and I do, is irrelevant. Physical appearance is not an appropriate factor for hiring an employee, or a president.

I suggested that Trump is done, i.e. "forked." That is because, according to this article I saw yesterday but wasn't inclined to read until today, more than half of Trump's support comes from women. Older women. Like Carly. If this gaffe gets wide coverage, I predict it will be the one that sticks.

UPDATE: Chris Stirewalt-

Given the strong favorable views of Republicans voters towards Fiorina and Carson, Trump’s attack-dog approach with his fellow outsiders looks to be a much riskier gambit than his ceaseless trolling of the beleaguered Bush.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:58 AM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

If he did mean "are we serious" that a woman could be our next president, isn't that even worse?

But that's not how I read his mention of her fairer sex. He knew he had just insulted her, then made a half-baked attempt to acknowledge that it is boorish to disparage a woman's appearance. "...she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really..." This view is bolstered in his walk back the next day: He said he was talking about her "persona" not her "appearance." (Or her gender.)

And if I am unfortunate enough that you should happen to be persuaded by my expression of a different conclusion than your own, I most fulsomely apologize. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2015 1:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, y'know, he is an entertainer...

Posted by: jk at September 11, 2015 1:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's the deal - Trump said he stopped doing The Apprentice because he wanted to run for president. Fine. I wiped my slate clean and imagined him starting over, as a concerned citizen intent on doing his civic duty, and discounted nearly everything he'd said in the past. He portrayed a new attitude. A new serious and sober approach to his positions and (chuckle if you must) his ideas. But he can't have it both ways. His serious stuff was all fine with me. Lapsing back into "entertainer mode" jumps the shark. That excuse only works for things you said in the past.

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2015 2:06 PM
But Terri thinks:

I was just thinking she is obviously so NOT ugly, he couldn't possibly have meant her "looks" but only the fact that she IS a woman. I mean - look at him. Do we want to see THAT face on TV?
Don't you worry JG, I am insulted plenty by pretty much everything he says. Kim Strassel hits it out of the park today when it comes to Trump. I still don't believe da people will keep up this charade for much longer.

Posted by: Terri at September 11, 2015 2:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, the glazed domicile from which he hurled geologic projectiles did occur to me as well.

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2015 6:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting post on Friends of Best of the Web (who says I don't hang with the cool kids?)

Trump: "I was speaking as an entertainer when I insulted Fiorina's looks"
Great. We already have an entire generation that gets its news from comedians (Here's looking at you, Jon Stewart). When Stewart got it wrong his excuse was "I'm a comedian. The mistake is yours, for taking me seriously." Do we really need a President who will do the same thing?

Posted by: jk at September 11, 2015 6:51 PM

September 9, 2015

Doing the Work American Bloggers Won't do

Well, I would, but Matt Welch did it for me. "I thought it might be useful to catalogue some of the vituperative and often entertaining arguments thus far into one place."

Vituperative, indeed -- on their way to rebarbative! But I was three quarters down the page and I still have not seen a word with which I disagree.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2015

"Preening pretenders who let us down, again"

My blog brother agrees with Jonah Goldberg that Trump has neither ideas nor principles. Calling it "The Bonfire of Principles" Goldberg writes,

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.

To which I'll reply, "How's that working out for you?" Conservative Treehouse's Sundance gives you a fairly detailed accounting of the recent record of "Washington D.C. conservatism" and it isn't pretty - unless you're a Democrat. To tide you over until you have time to read the link, I'll gyp the close:

The last federal budget was passed in September of 2007, and EVERY FLIPPING INSUFFERABLE YEAR we have to go through the predictable fiasco of a Government Shutdown Standoff and/or a Debt Ceiling increase specifically because there is NO BUDGET!

That's a strategy?

That's the GOP strategy? Essentially: Lets plan for an annual battle against articulate Democrats and Presidential charm, using a creepy guy who cries and another old mumbling fool who dodders, knowing full well the MSM is on the side of the other guy to begin with?


Don't tell me it's not, because if it wasn't there'd be something else being done - there isn't.

And don't think we don't know the 2009 "stimulus" became embedded in the baseline of the federal spending, and absent of an actual budget it just gets spent and added to the deficit each year, every year. Yet this is somehow smaller fiscal government?

...And you're worried about what Donald Trump might do?


[no emphasis added]

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:33 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

My and Sundance's point is not to "throw away" the conservative movement because of Boehner and McConnell, but that those two have thrown it away so we must change horses.

Every single candidate, with the possible exception of Rand Paul, has a flawed mixed philosophy. It is filled with contradictions. That is why I can throw them all over the side and go with a non-politician - a businessman. After all, the businessman is a member of America's most persecuted class.

America’s industrial progress, in the short span of a century and a half, has acquired the character of a legend: it has never been equaled anywhere on earth, in any period of history. The American businessmen, as a class, have demonstrated the greatest productive genius and the most spectacular achievements ever recorded in the economic history of mankind. What reward did they receive from our culture and its intellectuals? The position of a hated, persecuted minority. The position of a scapegoat for the evils of the bureaucrats.

"Make America Great Again - Reward Businessmen"

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2015 12:12 PM
But jk thinks:

As long as the businessman is Carly Fiorina, I suppose we're okay. But I sense a huge disconnect.

I sez: "Ideas and principles is important and Mister Trump has got none."

You sez: "Who cares? People with ideas have failed us, let's put all our chips on a megalomaniacal blowhard and see if things come out better!" (Okay, I'm paraphrasing a bit...)

And a quick factual correction while my typing fingers are warmed up: The 60 year conservative movement you denigrate took us from Rex Tugwell, New Deal, World Communism (or is that Coism?) as a desirable and inevitable to Reagan, the defeat of the Soviet Union, and a solid if too-small foundation of think tanks and scholarship based on liberty. How's that working out for me? pretty good -- thanks for asking.

There's much work to be done victory is by no means certain -- but I'm very certain it will not be moved forward by Mister Trump.

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2015 12:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did you choose the Silver, Gold, or Platinum health plan? There are only three coverage choices anywhere in the wide, wide world of America now (and Bernie Sanders is smiling.)

Trump's idea is "Make America Great Again." You likely dismiss it because of the ways he's talked about doing so, but any recipe will work as long as it includes 'less regulation.'

Trump's principle is "Don't be a loser." I can think of worse words to live by: "Don't do stupid stuff." "Ain't gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent." "Don't misunderestimate me."

But for all the value the WSJ opinion page places on the presidency, this preview of President Trump's first hundred days suggests that it doesn't matter who is in the White House - nothing will change. At least, not much, and not quickly. But I suspect the author gives Donald too little credit. The man loves a challenge and loves to win. I can see him, eventually, becoming the most effective capitol hill negotiator in history.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2015 4:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm going to take the cyanide pill now. But a few words first...

I'll start at the end: yes, the best negotiator in history! Okay, but what is he negotiating for? Nobody knows, and increasingly his fans don't even care. Just win baby! Get that universal care you always wanted! Expand eminent domain! Yaay! Us Republicans are riding on top of the bus now!

I'll stop. I don't get it. Jonah doesn't get it. And there does not seem to be a Rosetta stone.

Obamacare is indeed awful. But I see it as a warning of what happens when you give the other side too much power and a good reason for eternal vigilance. If you think things could not be worse had the New Dealers been in control since Truman, I suggest you lack imagination.

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2015 4:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You may or may not agree with them, but there are quite a number of ideas here. Although we are left to wait for ideas about something besides immigration.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2015 5:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahaha! That is hilarious. Thanks for sharing. When the web guy gest back, he will change it to "Position."

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2015 5:36 PM

August 21, 2015

I'm Speechless

Maybe not a side-splitter, but funnier than the Trumpisms bit from last week.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:48 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at August 21, 2015 4:02 PM

Mister Chairman

Let's play Hearts & Confessions. I was a huge supporter of Rep. John Kasich (10 Commandments - OH) when he ran for President in 2000. As Chairman of Ways & Means, I thought that he exemplified the "Spirit of 1994" mentality we still celebrate on these pages.

My Brother-in-law peeled off when he went big on the Ten Commandments in every classroom during a debate. But the Lord and President Reagan suggest that we keep our hearts open to forgive transgressions. Then Gov. Bush became inevitable and I solidified behind the nominee.

Kim Strassel examines his candidacy 16 years later and delivers a powerful eulogy to "compassionate conservatism."

Mr. Kasich is a happy-in-life-and-God conservative, and it makes him seem the optimist. Which is bizarre, because underpinning the entire compassionate-conservative movement is a glum surrender to the entitlement state. The left has won; all that remains is to argue that conservative big-government is better managed than liberal big-government. Note Mr. Kasich's celebration that his poverty program is less bad than other poverty programs. Yay. It's not really a winning message.

Of course, there is another approach to compassion. It's the version made popular by Jack Kemp, and embraced by House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan--and a growing list of converts. It holds that there is nothing whatsoever compassionate about consigning low-income Americans to a government health-care system that delivers second-class outcomes. There's nothing compassionate about making today’s working poor pay into a bleeding Social Security system or finance middle-class tax perks. There's nothing compassionate about propping up a federally run poverty industrial-complex that spends most of its money on itself.

I was talking myself into accepting Kasich as the nominee. He wins in Ohio; he comes across as non-scary to moderates; he did well in the debate. No, he's not Rand Paul (But I have my doubts whether Rand Paul is Rand Paul some days...) but he's a lot better than Sec. Clinton or Senator Sanders.

Yet, Strassel's column -- and the famous "I don't know about you, lady..." line [*] have sunk him a fathom. Yes, he's an acceptable nominee if that's the best we can do, but I strongly hope it does not come to that.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I still like the Walker/Fiorina ticket....

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 23, 2015 11:54 PM

August 20, 2015

Headline of the Day

Okay, maybe I'm climbin' on this Trump Bandwagon after all:

Donald Trump says he'd use ISIS to 'scare the pope' into supporting capitalism

Do not read the whole thing-- the headline is much better than the story.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:21 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I found this Q&A interesting because of Trump's comment that "capitalism isn't working well in America" but the linked article misquotes, and misconstrues, what he really said.

Peter Weber quote:

Trump went on to say that capitalism isn't working well in America, because regulation; that in order to be competitive, America has to open itself up to "great capitalism" (presumably like Mexico and China); and that the pope "isn't actually opposed to capitalism."

What he actually said:

"Capitalism is a great thing when it works properly. In our country, Chris, it has not been working properly. (...) Between regulation, between all of the Dodd Frank, between all of the things that have been imposed, we aren't competitive like we used to be. We have to open up our country to great capitalism."

"And I don't think the Pope is opposed to capitalism by the way. I've seen a lot of what he's opposed to and I don't think the Pope is opposed to capitalism."

How does one presume he means we should be more like Mexico and China? Perhaps by some measure of income inequality, or "haves" and "have nots?" Like the Gini Coefficient? Well, over the past 60 years China's inequality has risen, and Mexico's has fallen, with the result that, today, both are virtually equal to a fairly constant index in ... America.

Posted by: johngalt at August 20, 2015 5:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, it ruins this awesome headline to discover that he never said any such thing. I tried to warn you...

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2015 10:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Umm. What?

Posted by: johngalt at August 21, 2015 11:54 AM

et tu, Thomas?

Nobody was surprised when Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity sang the praises of Donald Trump. But Thomas Sowell?

But it is indeed impossible if you are just looking for excuses for not trying. Republicans who are worried about Donald Trump should be. But their own repeated betrayals of their supporters set the stage for his emergence. This goes all the way back to "Read my lips, no new taxes."
Something must have happened to the normally measured and reasonable economist from the Hoover Institute on the famous California college campus. He's even bought into the "far-right" anchor baby issue.
One of the most widely known abuses of the immigration laws is the creation of "anchor babies..."


This is such an obvious racket, and so widely known, for so long, that you might think our "responsible" leaders would agree that it should be stopped. But, here again, there are excuses rather than action. One distinguished conservative commentator even said recently that this is such a small problem that it is not worth bothering with.

The anger of Americans who feel betrayed by their own elected officials is not a small thing. It goes to the heart of what self-government by "we the people" is supposed to mean.

To say that it is a small thing is even worse than saying that we can't do anything about it. We certainly can't do anything about it if we won't lift a finger to try.

I'm not saying I have any particular complaint about the anchor baby ruse, except perhaps that foreign smugglers are making handsome profits from it. But a whole lotta voters are deeply energized by the issue.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:03 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

For my $.02, he's angry. Angry that Reagan conservatism seems to have been abrogated to the think tanks, and today's GOP is merely "Democrate Lite."

Well noted in this phrase: their own repeated betrayals of their supporters set the stage for his emergence

I wish he'd focus on the positives, like Carly and Carson or how we could drag a dull Walker or Kashich over the end line, but I think I see where he's coming from.

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 21, 2015 3:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think he's also mad that it's come to this point - where it takes a carnival barker to give rank and file Republicans a voice that party leadership can't ignore.

But this is, it seems to me, the substance that undergirds Trump's style:

Now here we are in 2015, and we have a leading presidential candidate declaring that political correctness is possibly the biggest problem the country faces.

Many politics watchers view Donald Trump as a clown who throws out un-PC verbal bombs in lieu of actual policy positions. Maybe he is, but he's also proof that every extreme movement provokes an equally extreme backlash.

Posted by: johngalt at August 21, 2015 7:32 PM

August 14, 2015

I've chosen my side

Grab a couple barf bags for the first section. Hannity and Ann Coulter share the great wit of Donald Trump -- and I fear one may not be enough.

But I share Charles CW Cooke's [Review Corner] gobsmackery that anybody but Coulter and Hannity are in.

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

Wow. Almost Democrat-like in her ability to rationalize facts that don't fit her argument.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2015 6:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I think Ms. Coulter and Mr. Hannity have such intense emotions on the immag -- excuse me AMNESTY!AMNESTY!AMNESTY!!! -- that it engenders a lot of forgiveness. Sure we can have single payer and eminent domain, as long as somebody's not afraid to deploy a little barbed wire and machine gun nests.

Posted by: jk at August 14, 2015 6:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And an "assault weapons" ban! "Oh, lots of Republicans were supporting that." Yeah, like George H.W. Bush. You know, the only one-term president since Jimmy Carter. Big Media pundits blamed "read my lips - no new taxes" for his failed re-election, but signing the AWB was far more damaging, politically.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2015 7:06 PM

August 13, 2015

Trumpisms by non-Trumps

Funny? Maybe I'll try it again this evening, after a couple of beers.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:13 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2015

Freedom. Safety. Prosperity.

That is how most Americans prefer to live, and it's why 70 to 80 percent of people in metropolitan America live in suburbs and beyond.

University of Washington demographer Richard Morrill notes that the vast majority of residents of regions over 500,000 -- roughly 153 million people -- live in the lower-density suburban places, while only 60 million live in core cities.

These people make up a sizable portion of what became known as the "middle class." But that middle class has, for many reasons, been shrinking over the past several decades. One big reason is, as GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina often repeats, Democrat policies.

I spent twelve years in the state of California, a state that's been ruled by liberals for a long time. And guess what you have: about a hundred and thirty billionaires--good for them--the highest poverty rates in the nation, the exodus of the middle class, the destruction of industry after industry after industry.

This sad story is explained in stepwise fashion by Joel Kotkin of Real Clear Politics in 'The Peril to Democrats of Left-Leaning Urban Centers' from which I will heavily excerpt:

These social and economic changes inform the new politics of the Democratic Party. On social policy, the strong pro-gay marriage and abortion positions of the Democrats makes sense as cities have the largest percentages of both homosexuals and single, childless women. When the party had to worry about rural voters in South Dakota or West Virginia, this shift would have been more nuanced, and less rapid.

Yet with those battles [gay marriage and abortion] essentially won, the new urban politics are entering into greater conflict with the suburban mainstream, which tends to be socially moderate, and even more so with the resource-dependent economies of rural America. The environmental radicalism that has its roots in places like San Francisco and Seattle now directly seeks to destroy whole parts of middle America’s energy economy.

Such policies tend to radically raise energy costs. In California, the green energy regime has already driven roughly 1 million people, many of them Latinos in the state’s agricultural interior, into "energy poverty" -- a status in which electricity costs one-tenth of their income. Not surprisingly, those leaving California, notes Trulia, increasingly are working class; their annual incomes in the range of $20,000 to $80,000 are simply not enough to make ends meet.

Geography seems increasingly to determine politics. Ideas on climate policy that seem wonderfully enlightened in Manhattan or San Francisco -- places far removed from the dirty realities of production -- can provide a crushing blow to someone working in the Gulf Coast petro-chemical sector or in the Michigan communities dependent on auto manufacturing.

It's more than suburban or rural jobs that are on the urban designer chopping block. Density obsessed planners have adopted rules, already well advanced in my adopted home state of California, to essentially curb much detested suburban sprawl and lure people back to the dense inner cities. The Obama administration is sympathetic to this agenda, and has adopted its own strategies to promote "back to the city" policies in the rest of the country as well.

But as these cities go green for the rich and impressionable, they must find ways to subsidize the growing low-paid service class -- gardeners, nannies, dog walkers, restaurant servers -- that they depend on daily. This makes many wealthy cities, such as Seattle or San Francisco, hotbeds for such policies as a $15-an-hour minimum wage, as well as increased subsidies for housing and health care. In San Francisco, sadly, where the median price house (usually a smallish apartment) approaches $1 million, a higher minimum wage won't purchase a decent standard of living. In far more diverse and poorer Los Angeles, nearly half of all workers would be covered -- with unforeseen impacts on many industries, including the large garment industry.

These radicalizing trends are likely to be seen as a threat to Democratic prospects next year, but instead will meet with broad acclaim among city-dominated progressive media. Then again, the columnists, reporters and academics who embrace the new urban politics have little sympathy or interest in preserving middle-class suburbs, much less vital small towns. If the Republicans possess the intelligence -- always an open question -- to realize that their opponents are actively trying to undermine how most Americans prefer to live, they might find an opportunity far greater than many suspect.

For her part, Ms. Fiorina does seem to possess that intelligence.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2015

Oddly close to my own evaluations

... are those of Camille Paglia on the GOP debate last night.


Trump is a Trojan Horse sent by the crafty Clinton machine. He has a bellyful of swords aimed at GOP hearts.

[Okay, I didn't figure this one out on my own, and she's not the first to suggest it, but it makes as much sense as anything I've got.]

Cara Carleton Fiorina-

Midway through the event, Fox News inserted a clip of Fiorina at the earlier debate of candidates who hadn't made the cut. For a surreal moment, I thought it was Dustin Hoffman in drag in Tootsie -- it was exactly the same lilting Heartland accent. There is universal agreement that Fiorina won her debate hands down. Let's hope she is automatically promoted to the big league at the next GOP debate. Throw the male duds overboard!

Yes. Let's.

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

Tweet of the Day

Stolen from brother jg on Facebook:

Hat-tip: John Podhoretz

Posted by John Kranz at 1:21 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And in all the sturm und drang about the debate and the moderators and who got more questions, every single one of those candidates on stage answered more questions in one evening than the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua has answered since the first of the year.

I read elsewhere that the Russians and the Red Chinese know more about the contents of the Hildebeest's server than the American people.

Why should these things be?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 7, 2015 6:38 PM

What Winning Looks Like

Whom does the WSJ choose for the Ed Page photo? Why, it looks like that woman from the "JV Debate."


Posted by John Kranz at 1:04 PM | Comments (0)


One candidate made a greater impression than any other, and she wasn't even on the main stage. Here is Carly playing Hardball with Chris Matthews. [can't find embed code]


Trump isn't the only businessman in the field. The other businessman is a woman.

UPDATE: Here's my favorite excerpt from the linked interview.

"I will ask her [Hillary Clinton] why she continues to say she's a champion of the middle class while every single proposal she has put forward makes crony capitalism worse and worse and worse, which makes income inequality worse."

UPDATE II: (jk here) I found the embed code. It's Purdy good...

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:39 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

She seems to have won the evening. I saw (on my FOX News TiVo app) the panel discussion and highlights of the "JV debate" the panel and internet at large seems to have unanimously given the night to Ms. Fiorina (she now leads in an Instapundit online poll).

The other item from catching up on Twitter was the FOX hosts. A lot of love and a lot of hate for Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace -- anybody have a comment?

Posted by: jk at August 7, 2015 12:53 PM
But jk thinks:

David Harsanyi sez (one of the) best evah!

For one, it featured journalists willing to ask genuinely challenging questions. The performance by the moderators, a fiesty Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace, should put to the rest the notion that Fox News is any less interested in serious political journalism than competing cable news networks. Fact is, it's difficult to imagine a panel of MSNBC or CNN anchors peppering a slate of Democratic Party candidates featuring Hillary Clinton with comparably vigorous queries.

Posted by: jk at August 7, 2015 12:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Another Harsanyi cut:

Seeing him like this, I’m not sure Trump is as detrimental for Republicans as everyone imagines, considering he makes anyone standing near him look like Cicero. And these debates? They’re only going to help the GOP.
Posted by: johngalt at August 7, 2015 6:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm having this recurring vision of seeing Carly standing near The Donald on a debate stage, and the first time Trump's ego comes out, Carly breaks out in a rousing chorus of "You're So Vain."

If she were to do that, I'd never stop voting for her.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 7, 2015 6:42 PM

August 6, 2015

Telling it like it is!

Donald Trump -- not afraid to take on Big Pharma: vaccines cause Autism!

Donald Trump is leading the GOP field in polls of Republican voters. This fact has some grabbing the popcorn, others tearing out their hair, and still others shaking their heads at the state of U.S. politics today. But if you're among the one in four adults in the US with a mental health condition, if you have an interest in children’s health, or if you love an autistic person, then you might view Trump as more troubling than bemusing or amusing.

Waiting to hear about fluoridated water...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:33 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

There's another rumor that his short list for running mates includes Jenny McCarthy. That would be a real shot in the arm for his campaign.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2015 6:38 PM

Breaking the Rules

This may be President Obama's most positive legacy - his example that the President of the United States doesn't really have to follow any rules. It seems to have made an impression on Americans, at least those who respond to opinion polls. On the way to the ballyhooed reprise of Bush v. Clinton, both are losing ground in their respective primary races. Hillary is virtually tied with self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders and Bush trails a non-politician who is as immune to damage from his numerous gaffes as President Obama is from his numerous scandals. Meanwhile, Bush's own gaffes become weighty albatrosses upon his candidacy.

Blog brother jk lovingly[?] dubbed me "Trump fanboy." I admit to reveling in his TEA-Party friendly, "make America great again" stance. Mostly, I like that he is a businessman and not a politician. Ayn Rand wrote that businessmen are America's greatest resource, and that men like Hank Rearden have nothing to apologize for, and government has no legitimate power over them. Trump isn't the only non-politician in the 17-person GOP field. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have a similar professional pedigree. But Trump is unique in that he can fund his own campaign. He answers to no one. He has been a winner in business, and could be a winner in politics. General George Patton purportedly said, "America loves a winner. Americans won't tolerate a loser." But under the present administration, America has been losing at every turn.

Even the professional punditry is beginning to take notice. Jeff Greenfield writes, "What if Trump wins?"

The more telling question is: When do voters actually cast their ballots in ways that upend core premises?

One answer, based not on guesses about what might happen, but on what has happened in America's political past is that when disaffected voters discover a power that they did not realize they had, highly unanticipated consequences may follow.

So like Jesse Ventura before him, Trump may resonate and win.

And, in a comment that resonates powerfully with today's Trump phenomenon, consider what 28-year-old aircraft mechanic Greg Uken told the New York Times about why he was voting for Ventura: "I don't put up with a lot of stuff, and neither does he."

So full-speed ahead, Donald. I can only hope that you are, and will be, more Austen Heller and less Gail Wynand.

UPDATE: Here is the Patton quote:

Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

UPDATE: While I'm busy torturing my dear blog brother, I may as well pile on with this quote from a long-time favorite of his, Rudy Giuliani:

"So we might have a little of a Ronald Reagan here, a guy they underestimate," Giuliani observed.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Best line of the night... Rand Paul to Chris Christie on NSA surveillance of Americans: "I don't trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again go right ahead."

I only heard a couple of shots against Herr Trumpmeister tonight. Rand Paul accused him of wanting to buy and sell politicians when he wouldn't pledge to support the Republican nominee, whomever it may be. But the real hit job came from Governor Huckabee:

It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who's very high in the polls, but doesn't have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals and who could not lead. And of course I'm talking about Hillary Clinton.
Posted by: johngalt at August 7, 2015 1:40 AM

August 5, 2015

The Part Where jk Agrees with Sen. Santorum

The idea that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female Fortune 50 CEO, and the 3-term Senator from South Carolina due to polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous," Rick Santorum communications manager Matt Beynon said in a statement Tuesday.

From Jim Geraghty's "Morning Jolt" [subscribe]

Posted by John Kranz at 10:08 AM | Comments (12)
But johngalt thinks:

The "Trump fanboy" is staying home. I need to do some prep work before the tile setter comes again on Friday to work in our kitchen. But I will find a way to listen to the mano a minions "distraction" while I work.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2015 12:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Political money speaks: "Take Trump Out"

This threat is said to come from an assortment of Wall Street and business interests concerned over the potential volatility of a Trump political machine – volatility that might make him "unmanageable" should he actually go on to become the Republican nominee.

It should also be noted some of these high-powered donors are helping to finance the campaigns of BOTH Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Presently, Donald Trump represents the single greatest threat to their intention of controlling the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2015 12:23 PM
But dagny thinks:

Not to name drop or anything, but "Macho Duck," was very happy to hear that friend JK had been invited for dinner. Invitation stands, even for a last minute decision. I was told, "he loves what JK puts on FB."

Posted by: dagny at August 6, 2015 1:13 PM
But jk thinks:

And I a big fan in return.

Alas the medical trip turned into a blowout at 80MPH, stranded on the side of the road in nowheresville, give up on Roadside Assistance after an hour, repair tire, and slink home trip. I may never leave le condo d'amour again. But thanks!

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2015 4:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I join my blog brother in disapprobation for big money GOP establishment donors (The world's worst punk-rock band name, by the way)'s efforts to push Mister Trump out. Much as I'd like them to succeed, I must admit that is wrong.

It is a free country and if a blowhard Democrat with zero principles and lacking any sense of liberty wants to run for the GOP nomination, he or she can. It is up to the voters to say no.

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2015 5:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Exactly! And if Bernie's momentum continues unabated, Hillary may do precisely that. "I didn't leave the Democrat party. The Democrat party left me!

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2015 6:41 PM

August 4, 2015

Debate Wrapup

Jim Geraghty wraps it up:

"Take my Huck, take my Rand, take me where I cannot stand . . . I don't care, I'm still free; I'll take the woman who ran HP . . . Our country's gone out of whack; fix it or we ain't comin' back . . . Help this land and economy, we'll still be the land of the free.

UPDATE: Mondo Heh -- I had to embed nb's:

Posted by John Kranz at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I haven't read Geraghty in a long time: too long! He cites another Firefly reference with this tweet about Carly "Fan favorite, network doesn't get it, beloved after..."

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 4, 2015 12:43 PM

July 31, 2015

Quote of the Day

I'm cherry-picking more for humor than appeal to authority. Our Margaret has a very measured and interesting look at Trump's Candidacy from the Upper West Side.

His rise is not due to his supporters' anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies. It is precisely because people have lost their awe for the presidency that they imagine Mr. Trump as a viable president. American political establishment, take note: In the past 20 years you have turned America into a nation a third of whose people would make Donald Trump their president. Look on your wonders and despair. -- Peggy Noonan

Posted by John Kranz at 12:16 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

We're already a nation 51.7% of whose people made Barack Hussein Obama their president. Unless there's a helluvalotta overlap in that Venn diagram, then it means that five out of six voters fall into the Low Information category who will elect a leader on the basis of either celebrity, race, or free stuff.

A nation like that is already suicidal.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 12:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Congratulations are in order to Mister Obama, who has managed, simultaneously, to both increase the power and decrease the prestige of the office of President of the United States.

NED help us.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 2:57 PM

July 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

We help the middle class when we unburden them from the very policies that Hillary Clinton would double down on. She champions Big Government, which we know enables crony capitalism and exacerbates inequality. If you are wealthy, powerful and well-connected, you can handle Big Government. If you are small and powerless, you are getting crushed by things like our colossal, 70,000-page tax code. I have advocated for rolling back regulations, simplifying the tax code and moving to zero-based budgeting -- policies that will support small businesses and raise up the middle class." -- Carly Fiorina
From Insty's "Five Questions"
Posted by John Kranz at 5:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2015

All Hail Insty

In fairness, I think this has been my blog brother's point, and it contains much truth:


Posted by John Kranz at 1:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2015

Weld County Lincoln Day - C'mon y'all!

It's been a while since we've held a ThreeSources blogger bash. Three years, in fact. Well, let's do it again! I'm the Secretary of the Weld County Republicans now so I can probably make sure we actually get our assigned table this time. Plus Rick Santorum will not be making an 11th hour appearance this time so attendance will not be standing-room-only.

RSVP deadline is Friday at noon. Reply in the comments and I'll buy your ticket(s). You can reimburse me at the event.

Here's the sales pitch I made to my family members, shamelessly plagiarized for shamelessly self-promoting to my fellow bloggers:

I talked to Opa tonight about inviting the entire SNP gang to the Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner and he thought it would be fun. The keynote speaker will be the new Chairman of the Colorado GOP, Steve House. Steve has a reform oriented agenda intended to appeal to a more diverse and liberty minded audience of Colorado voters. But speeches are only part of the evening. There won’t be dancing but it will still be a rare chance to get dressed up, find a babysitter, and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning for a change while you just relax and have fun. The dinner is a week from Saturday at the UNC Ballroom in Greeley at 6:30 pm. As Secretary of the Weld GOP I can make sure that we all get to sit together, at adjacent tables of 8. Tickets are $40 each and I have a deadline of Friday at noon. Please consider joining Jodi, Opa and me. I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the new direction of Colorado Republicans under its new leadership. Please RSVP by tomorrow night.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:16 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Great choice for speaker. I regret we will not be able to attend.

Posted by: jk at June 4, 2015 6:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, nothing says that you have to go just because you bought a ticket. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2015 11:16 AM
But jk thinks:

Fair point. Plus, I am beginning to see what got you elected...

Put me down for two.

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2015 11:57 AM
But johngalt thinks:


I sorta committed to selling a full table. Thanks brother!

Posted by: johngalt at June 5, 2015 4:12 PM

May 13, 2015

... Rubio!

The title is what dagny and I reply when the other calls out, "Marco!" It's also the name of the US Senator and GOP presidential candidate who now has the backing of another billionaire. Yes, I said an other. Miami billionaire Norman Braman was already on board for a cool $10 million and now Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison wades into the GOP primary fray, promoting the young Cuban-American.

Ellison will host a fundraiser for the Florida Republican's White House bid at his mansion in Woodside, Calif., on June 9, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO.

A VIP reception and photo opportunity with Rubio will cost attendees $2,700 per person. The fundraiser will also include a host committee dinner for couples who have raised $27,000.

Ellison is likely to back this up with big bucks of his own, having contributed $3 million to a pro-Romney PAC in 2012, and having an estimated net worth of $54,000 million.

I think the latest position I've taken on the Marco... Rubio candidacy was to put him in the role of Ringo - the "fourth Beatle" on my list of favorites. But if I take general electability into account I find myself believing he is not last in that group - a group that includes (in chronological order) Walker, Paul and Cruz - but first. And like Ringo, Rubio is proving to be much more talented than the conventional wisdom assumes.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

In a shameless pitch to segue from your post to mine, what lifted Ringo up the charts for me were adoring references to his legislative chops. He was a supremely effective Speaker of the House in the Florida legislature. Florida is a big, populous, and diverse state with a purple balance to rival Colorado. Enacting laws in the Sunshine State requires chops and the young man's apparently got 'em.

Ellison is an odd guy. Full disclosure: they are the largest competitors of the company which employs me and my aviation-aficionado CEO is likely more jealous of Larry's jet collection than his market share. Good news to see a Si Valley guy back a Republican; bad news that I'd be fired for donating to the same candidate as he.

Ringo was my favorite Beatle when I was young; George had much to attract a young adolescent musician. Like much, I have probably reverted to my youthful position. Ringo's got a wide libertarian streak. #peaceandlove!

As for the 2016 GOP Beatles, put me down for May 2015 as Paul, then Fiorina (she's no Yoko!), then Rubio, with Walker and Cruz fighting for the 4th slot (Walker is losing me on immigration.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2015 4:17 PM

May 7, 2015

Did Somebody Say Boom?

If Ms. Fiorina is not at least the VP Candidate, I may leave the party. Like Insty says:"I like her. She fights."

MRC finds her scrapping with Katie Couric, the archetypical doyenne of establishment media:

Couric complained about Fiorina's criticism of Clinton: "You've had some unkind words for Hillary Clinton. You said that she was not trustworthy and she hasn't accomplished very much. I think people might think, 'Well, she was the senator from New York and she was the Secretary of State.'"

Couric then took some jabs at Fiorina's tenure at HP.
FIORINA: Well, you see, Katie, in the world I come from, a title is just a title. I mean, you went through a whole bunch of things about me as CEO. You weren't impressed with my title. Why are we so impressed with political titles? Senator is a title. Secretary of State is a title. It's a completely legitimate question to say, "What has anyone accomplished with their title?" And the truth is, there are many in the political class who haven't accomplished a whole lot, despite their titles.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:42 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Mushroom boom!

VP Fiorina would be awesome. Awesome!

Posted by: johngalt at May 7, 2015 5:33 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 17, 2015

Embracing the "Old Hotness"

Kim Strassel likes Sen. Marco Rubio just fine. Yet she prefers the Rubio who campaigned against incumbent Charlie Crist (Crist - FL) on the third-rail issue of entitlement reform.

That Marco Rubio--Rubio the Reformer--has been somewhat on show in recent months. He talks convincingly about the need for limited government, for a 21st-century economy, for a revamped and stronger foreign policy. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he isn't afraid to say how he'd do it. He's assembled an impressive campaign team; he has policy expertise. Moreover, he's young, an optimist, and has an inspiring history, as well as talent for connecting all this to his call for a renewal of American opportunity.

Yet the central question of a Rubio campaign--and the reason many in the GOP donor and activist community remain uncertain of what to make of it--is just how bold a reformer remains after five tough years in Washington. Mr. Rubio was hit in 2013 with a big conservative blowback to his Senate immigration reform bill, and it clearly made an impression. The Rubio who emerged from that experience has become a bit hypersensitive to politics in ways that undercut his reform credentials.

In other Rubio news, Ari Armstrong gives a fair Objectivist overview of the "Good and Bad:"
Rubio's speech was short on policy details, but he did offer a broad outline of some of his main goals: He wants to "reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare."

Refreshingly, Rubio does not toe the anti-immigrant line so common among conservatives. Instead, he favors legislation that, while flawed, would move in the direction of a rights-respecting immigration policy.

Regarding taxes, as James Pethokoukis points out, Rubio would modestly cut the "top tax rate on labor income . . . to 35 percent from 40 percent" and expand tax credits; however, I've seen no indication that he’d get serious about cutting federal spending.

Looking at all the elections since I was born "younger, cooler" seems to always win when there is a real disparity.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2015

The People's Gun Rights of Judea!


Senator Paul a no-show at the NRA convention? What, did he have a fundraiser at PETA?

Sen. Rand Paul wasn't invited to speak at this weekend’s National Rifle Association annual convention because the Kentucky Republican is caught in the crossfire between competing gun-rights organizations.

Top NRA officials are unhappy that Mr. Paul has for years lent his name to fundraising solicitations for the National Association for Gun Rights, a group that fashions itself a more conservative alternative to NRA. Mr. Paul's aides have been told by the NRA he will be unwelcome to participate at NRA events as long as he remains affiliated with NAGR, according to people familiar with the conversation.

As I beg the Libertarian Party to remake itself in the image of the NRA, I have to check out the Judean Peoples' Gun Rights group -- some of the NRA's underlying principles seem to lack principle on occasion.

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

Posted by John Kranz at 9:58 AM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Related: RMGO is taking heat for its "stupid" stance on magazine limit compromise on at least one talk radio show. Backstory here.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2015 6:27 PM
But Jk thinks:

RMGO is stupid on everything. They are an evil organization using a name to coopt Second Amendment enthusiasts into many bad endeavors.

Have they any friends around here?

Posted by: Jk at April 11, 2015 2:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I forgot to make the connection: NAGR is the RMGO founder's latest effort. They are very likely a national and a local version of the same thing.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2015 1:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Damn, damn, damn. Thou art correct. Dudley Brown is President of both organizations.

This does not speak well of Senator Paul's discernment.

This is some inside baseball to Colorado Second Amendment enthusiasts, but Brown is a crank of sorts -- and I apologize if I in any way disparage cranks. While the NRA was racking up national victories, and the SAF was winning McDonald v Chicago, Brown was suffering ignominious defeats in his backyard -- while he was parading against abortion and gay marriage.

About the only good thing I can say is that Dudley Brown failed to pay his taxes for three years (computer crash -- he should have spun up a VM on clintonemail.com).

Yes, I'd love to see the NRA challenged by a rights-based advocacy group. I think the group you're looking for is the SAF

Posted by: jk at April 13, 2015 2:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

RMGO stupidity update: http://gazette.com/editorial-group-harms-gun-rights/article/1549663

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2015 3:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

More than you ever wanted to know about the false premises of RMGO can be learned in this KHOW radio podcast. As CompleteColorado dot com billed it, "KHOW audio: Caldara does monster telethon against RMGO."link

Posted by: johngalt at April 24, 2015 2:38 PM

April 8, 2015

Back on Team Rand

I got on YouTube and watched the extended-director's cut of Sen. Rand Paul's announcement, complete with the invocation, warm-up speeches, and a charming introduction by his lovely wife.

I will listen to all the candidates, but I have to disappoint the fans of Gov. Walker and say that I was pulled back into Team Rand.

Seema Mehta at the LATimes highlights the challenges of his moderating pragmatism:

In the months-long unofficial part of his campaign, Paul has burnished his image as an unusual candidate for his party, visiting inner cities and college campuses and talking about issues such as reducing penalties for drug use as he courts the young and minority voters. But to succeed Paul will have to shore up his appeal among the Republican base of older white voters -- a dual need that carries the risk of forcing him into a more conventional posture.

Already his efforts have raised the question of whether he is canting his long-held views to feed his presidential ambition -- and whether that will attract more supporters or fewer.

This target demographic is pretty impressed. The rise of ISIS and general configuration in the Mideast had caused me to think that maybe Paul's time was not now. Yet, Rand invoked the spirit of Reagan's strength. This is normally what you call "pandering" to a GOP crowd, but I found it answered my concerns. Let's build an incredible arsenal of freedom, but let's not use it for nation-building: I'm in.

I'll be interested in how he handles Israel. I rolled my eyes at a few populist messages on balanced budget amendments, term limits, and foreign aid. But the lovely bride and I are in.

UPDATE: Roger Simon is interested

Posted by John Kranz at 9:59 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

He is one of my top three - Walker, Paul and Cruz. (I probably need a Ringo to round out the group. At this point I could only name who that would NOT be.) I am glad that there are three serious candidates who all pass muster with me. I will wait to see how the primaries play out. The base is very important, which I think gives Cruz an advantage. His faith-on-his-sleeve approach doesn't bother me as much as it would have before the war on Christianity became mainstream. Still, there are FB friends who say, "Cruz? Just, no."

Instead, I say that about Jeb. And Carson, Huckabee, Perry, Christie, Graham, Trump, Pataki. Rubio could be my Ringo.

Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2015 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

I suspect Sen. Rubio is a much better drummer (now that was just mean.)

I, too, an glad to have a field of interesting candidates. I'm even listening to Gov. Perry; Cruz can be my Ringo. I made a de riguer joke about his musical ability, but Mr. Starr is a pretty sharp cat with a good feel for issues of liberty.

Posted by: jk at April 8, 2015 11:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Point of order: Does this make you a "Randian?"

Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2015 2:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I'll wear it with pride.

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2015 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Latest: Rand swaps places with Hillary - takes lead in Iowa and Colorado polling. But the witch, who shall be called "Mrs. Clinton" and not "Hillary" still leads in Virginia. Indicating a strong pro-big-government vote no doubt, in this tremendously affluent suburb of the District of Columbia.

I wonder if they're going to change the slogan to "I'm ready for Mrs. Clinton!"

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2015 11:42 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

a few populist messages on balanced budget amendments, term limits, and foreign aid

You missed one that fired up Paul M. at PowerLine:

any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed

Paul M went more than a bit over the top in his reaction, which earned him more opprobrium from his own peanut gallery, than they leveled at Sen. Paul, most of whom seemed to like Sen. Cruz best.

I just hope the 1st term senator from Kentucky has the wherewithal to inject some youthful energy and play to the strengths of new media. One step will be to continue to hone his rejoinders the inevitable storm of Gotcha questions, from the Manhattan Media dinosaurs that will be leveled at GOP candidates for the next 18 months.

Posted by: nanobrewer at April 10, 2015 2:13 PM

March 23, 2015


In the worst kept secret ever department, Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) has announced that he is running for President. Game on. I have hereby added the GOP 2016 Primary category.

Am I in Camp Cruz? I think not. I'll give him a respectful listen, but he starts a couple of rows down. I am far more philosophically inclined to Sen. Rand Paul, and I have great respect for the Executive experience and fortitude of Gov. Scott Walker. But I'll listen to Cruz, and proudly support him if he comes away with the nomination.

Peter Suderman takes a rarely-for-Reason fair look at a GOP contender with "5 Things to Know About Ted Cruz's Run for President."

Suderman handicaps the plusses/minuses of entering first, speculates on his support among different party wings, points out that he's running on a flat tax, and delivers props for opposing Ethanol in The C2H5OH State The Hawkeye State.

UPDATE: Another Reason post is less kind...

Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign at Liberty University this morning in front of a captive audience of nearly 1,400 students--none of whom had any choice in whether to attend.

That's because all Liberty students are obligated to show up for convocations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Absenteeism results in "four reprimands and a $10 fine," according to student Eli McGowan, who is president of the campus's Young Americans for Liberty chapter.


UPDATE II: Ann Althouse loves it! She undergoes conversion while liveblogging the speech.

The Speech (Should be watched in full):

Posted by John Kranz at 12:16 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:
5. Cruz is adamantly against ethanol cronyism -- even in Iowa.

"But people are pretty fed up with politicians that run around and tell one group one thing and tell another group another thing. Then they go to Washington and don't do anything they said they would do."

Posted by: johngalt at March 23, 2015 2:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Agreed that props are well deserved for the Ethanol stance -- and confess to disappointment with Gov. "I can kick ISIS ass because I fought the Unions, but an Iowa primary voter wearing an ADM® t-shirt, offering sausage on a stick makes me wet my pants" Walker.

I wonder if my blog brother will be equally supportive of his brave stances for faith and family in Iowa.

At the end of the day, my biggest problems are style (he has been running for President since he was five and comes across as pretty slick) and concern for experience (he is our Obama -- we forgive him because we agree, but he is the same wet-behind-the-ears freshman Senator we elected in 2008.

Posted by: jk at March 23, 2015 3:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Insofar as the separation of church and state does NOT infer an abolition of individual faith and family beliefs by members of government, I am supportive of anyone who, bravely or otherwise, asserts his personal beliefs in the public square. I call that "the free market of ideas."

Call me when he wants to legislate faith or family. Then I might have a problem.

As for the "wet-behind-the-ears" complaint, let it not be said that Republicans are incapable of learning and adopting new ideas from Democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at March 23, 2015 5:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I'm also a little disappointed that our bi-coastal blog brothers are so late to comment on this. Everything is always so dry and wry until they show up!

Posted by: johngalt at March 23, 2015 5:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I was a little late getting the paychecks out this month; no doubt they're being passive-aggressive.

I just posted video. And it is a good speech. But I am not wildly comfortable with many of the populist elements. I dunno.

Posted by: jk at March 24, 2015 12:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Isn't some populism necessary to win an election? I'm intrigued by his potential to build a coalition that includes Tea Party and so-cons and so-called Reagan democrats.

That, and Rove and Krauthammer don't like him.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2015 3:07 PM