June 27, 2014

Internecine

I'm quite pleased that there is intellectual and philosophical competition in the GOP. I of course choose to leverage that in the primaries and then hope for a certain amount of nose-holding-loyalty in the general. We were discussing below whether CO Gubernatorial nominee, Rep. Bob Beauprez, was irredeemably establishment -- jg and I say no.

But that's not important now. For those who do not attend Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons, you are missing great speakers, very good food, spotty but friendly service . . . and questions from my friend, Dave Walden. His questions generally feature an opinion or two, a story, and a perceptive inquiry.

A mutual friend pointed out this video and Dave graciously allowed my to post. I have been trying to recruit him to blog here, but here is a taste of his genial wit and charm -- with a message at the end.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2014

Cantormageddon

First: Wow. Didn't see that coming.

Second: I have read some pretty good (and some bad) commentary. Peter Suderman at Reason provides a balanced look at four reasons VA-7 may have given its favored son the heave-ho.

But it is hard to contradict Jim Geraghty's terse summary:

Take a victory lap, Mickey Kaus, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham.

Kaus, at least, is tuirnung donuts it the parking lot. Insty has linked to him about 147 times since the exit polls trickled out last night.

Perhaps I am too pragmatic to be a 'bagger. I read that Professor Brat is a sharp, eloquent, and principled defender of small government. So. Yay.

But the advertisements linked Rep. Cantor to President Obama and "Amnesty." If there is one word I'd love to never hear again, it is of course "Obama." (See what I did there?) But if I get two, the second is certainly "Amnesty." Amnesty is the "bloody shirt" of the immigration debate. I can take immigration opponents seriously until they use that word. Then, they've lost me.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (TeeVeeStar - SC) cruises to victory in the Palmetto State. I would love to see a principled lover of liberty prevail there. Against Cantor? Not so much.

A sports metaphor, scarecrow? We've just traded a really good Left Tackle because he couldn't throw 60 yard spirals. But try and throw one with JJ Watt standing on your head.

Tea Partiers are happy, I guess I am not one after all.

UPDATE:

UPDATE II: Corrected District number: was VA-11 should be VA-7

Posted by John Kranz at 1:20 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

"We are the Knights who say 'Amnestee!'"

The Prosperitarian in me says it will fuel growth. The Administration is sworn to smother any economic life with taxes and regulations -- here's a "compromise-worthy" task that might both be positive for the economy and happen while that-other-word-guy is living in the White House.

The Pragmatist in me says it would be electorally advantageous not to be they guys telling 30-something percent of the voting public that we're going to build an 27' barbed-wire electric fence to keep you guys out.

Fears of Obama's (I said it) discretionary enforcement are well founded. I am such a Ricardian Sop, I don't care, If we trade more H1-Bs for more enforcement and don't get the enforcement, I have not been baited=-and-switched. I would meet my opponents halfway on that and try to structure some mechanisms to address their concerns -- but only if they stop calling it "Amnesty."

Waiting three years for the workers we need to grow is like waiting three years for Keystone XL. Well, yeah, if we have to -- but why?

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2014 6:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Workers we "need" to grow? Have you looked at the labor participation rate lately? The recovery has made the decision, to stay away, not the workers. It would have taken a bilge pump far bigger than this to stop the sinking of the Titanic. That's your "why."

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2014 7:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Readers might be interested in CU Boulder visiting conservative scholar Steven Hayward's view on immigration reform, found in his Powerline Blog post today - After Cantor:

I think there’s some room for reasonable changes in our immigration practices—I rather like the idea of an auction system, favoring people who would bring valuable assets or skills to the country—but the time is not now. The Democrats are operating from bad faith, looking only to sign up more Democratic voters, and Republicans have been operating from massive confusion married to bad motives.
Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2014 10:41 PM
But jk thinks:

I like the line which preceded your excerpt: "(Or as I put it on Twitter: 'What's the difference between Elvis and immigration reform in Congress? Immigration reform is definitely dead.')"

Not sure I agree that capricious enforcement of a reform bill will be any worse that capricious enforcement of current law.

And, yes, we need immigrants. North Dakota Walmart*s are starting people at $17.10, unemployment is ~2% -- that is what growth an prosperity provide. More workers/entrepreneurs/customers fuels growth.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2014 1:50 PM
But jk thinks:

I like the line which preceded your excerpt: "(Or as I put it on Twitter: 'What's the difference between Elvis and immigration reform in Congress? Immigration reform is definitely dead.')"

Not sure I agree that capricious enforcement of a reform bill will be any worse that capricious enforcement of current law.

And, yes, we need immigrants. North Dakota Walmart*s are starting people at $17.10, unemployment is ~2% -- that is what growth an prosperity provide. More workers/entrepreneurs/customers fuels growth.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2014 1:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't mind you having the last word but just as there are jobs that "Americans won't do" there are also jobs that "Mexicans won't do" - any job north of Cheyenne. North Dakota will have to look somewhere else to stem their labor shortage. Hey, maybe start a rumor about a gold rush or some such.

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2014 3:04 PM

February 6, 2014

Immigration, English, and Coca Cola

We've heard many opinions on the multi-lingual Coca Cola Superbowl ad "America the Beautiful" including here, here and here. I'd like to share one more viewpoint. This from a son of Chinese immigrants who also happens to be a Republican candidate for congress in the Colorado district that encompasses Boulder (CO-2).

If you like it, or him, be sure to "Like" his Facebook Page. I did.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:52 PM | Comments (4)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Hmmm... The Refugee is no longer in Colo CD2,(hence the nom de plume), but Leing might actually be worth some financial support. Cory Gardner is kind of a lock in CD4. I'll have to check out Leing's policy positions, but likely anyone is better than Polis.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2014 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

"Personally, I enjoyed the ad as it celebrated the diversity of culture we enjoy in America" (0:15)

Me too.

"For me the issue is about empowering everyone to learn to use the language" (0:45)

Me too.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2014 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

@Refugee: Leing sent an energetic and bright young staffer to Liberty On The Rocks - Flatirons. Brother jg spoke with him and I was quite impressed.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2014 3:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was most impressed by his claim to have won a student body election on the CU-Boulder campus. He said he was on the "Empower" ticket. This in contrast to the "Veritas" ticket or unaffiliated.

Turns out, with a quick search, he was seated despite finishing 6th out of 7 candidates. :) Colorado Daily.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2014 4:57 PM

February 5, 2014

The Lads at Trifecta Split as Well

Topic One: the Coke ad. Three different interpretations.

Just int'resting...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:13 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Starting again from the perspective of the Coke mAd Men, perhaps it was "How do we message an aspirational view of America that is international in scope?" I can see this being the result of that intent.

The feelings it stirs are diverse and dramatic. It is the sort of expression that Rand might have appreciated, in the same way she enjoyed the large as life story by Victor Hugo - Les Miserables - despite her disagreement with many of the writer's values and opinions.

The ad has been quite successful in at least one sense: Attracting attention. Whether that attention is negative or positive is, I think, most dependent on the inclination of the viewer. And it can, I also think, change over time depending on the ebb and flow of each individual viewer's changing inclinations.

Posted by: johngalt at February 5, 2014 5:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There were two other commercials discussed.

"Is there anything more American than America?" Yeah, an iconic American automaker regulated into such a weak position that only Fiat would stoop low enough to buy it. That is a snapshot of contemporary America.

"Turn the streetlights back on?" Voila! Gentrification on naked display. Proof positive of Bill Ayers' "white supremecist" America.

Posted by: johngalt at February 5, 2014 5:19 PM
But jk thinks:

My Facebook crowd is giddy over this. "Stoopid knuckledragging Rethuglicans surprised that languarges other than "Merican exist!" Again, I long for the seriousness and nuance 'round here. I hope I played at least halfway toward the high end of that spectrum.

One comment made me laugh. In a comment below a self-righteous post, one friend-of-friend I don't know says "Good for Coke! I'll never ever ever buy any of their products or consider buying a share of their stock. But good for them!"

Demographics anybody?

Posted by: jk at February 5, 2014 5:39 PM
But dagny thinks:

OK, I'll play. Female, under 25, public skrool educated. I would say blond, but that would get me in trouble for stereotyping.

Posted by: dagny at February 6, 2014 1:10 PM
But dagny thinks:

OK, I'll play. Female, under 25, public skrool educated. I would say blond, but that would get me in trouble for stereotyping.

Posted by: dagny at February 6, 2014 1:21 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not remember the picture and I do not know this person. But the mutual friend is a 40-something Mom with three kids, mortgage, good job. I'm guessing the friend is more "established" than your picturing.

I've got a pile of sub-25 nieces -- not on the blond side of the family, those are all much older now -- and I can eye roll at their college-know-it-all-hippie views on business and politics. The scary ones are those who did not grow out of it.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2014 1:34 PM

November 16, 2013

And The Discussion Continues...

The part of jg will be played by former Federal Reserve trader Andrew Huszar, jk will be represented by Jeapordy! champion and AEI Scholar, James Pethokoukis.












I found it enjoyable and was glad to find video online. As far as our local discussion, I am squishier than JimiP. Q-E-One-and-done is somewhat compelling, yet so is Pethokoukis's reference to the contractionary policies of an overly-tight ECB.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

In real life jg is he one with great hair. But I am doing the casting today: Bwaa haaa haa!

Posted by: jk at November 16, 2013 10:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Every time we've had a QE program, something good has happened."

"Stocks have gone up"
More cash seeking fewer shares of something tangible.

"Job growth is better this year than last year"
The same was true in 1930.

Yes, when you eat desert you feel good. How long can you live and how happy will you be eating only desert?

But more important than this, both practically and morally, how long can you eat desert when the only place it comes from is your "rich neighbor's" plate?

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2013 10:25 AM

September 27, 2013

Senator McCain's "Democratic Response" to Cruz's Filibuster

Did anyone else hear John McCain's weak-kneed floor speech after Ted Cruz finished his filibuster? I was dubstruck by the praise he gave to Obamacare and the Democrats, juxtaposed with his derision of Cruz et al and the principles and ideas of which they spoke for 21 hours. Investors' editorial page shared my disgust.

Cruz wasn't long off the floor before Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a war hero, raised a white flag in one of the most disgraceful Senate speeches ever delivered.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., aptly called it "the Democratic response" to Cruz. It can be summed up in two of McCain's own defeatist words: "We lost."

There's more on McCain's fecklessness but the editorial closes with a look at the GOPs future:

Aged elephants like McCain make a Tea Party-based third party likely. That would cinch long-term Democratic dominance in D.C. McCain's 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, told Fox's Neil Cavuto there already are three parties: the liberal Democrats, the GOP establishment, and Republican "good guys" like Cruz.

But this week, Ted Cruz gave America a look at the GOP future, in all its boldness and common sense. We hear Arizona has many fine retirement homes, Sen. McCain. Time to pass the torch.

Don't let the door hit yer ass.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Sen. McCain wants to hear from you! Your Opinion Matters!

http://countryfirstpac.com/congressional-issues/

I hope you will also forward it to your family and friends so I can get their input on the issues facing our nation as well. Upon completing your survey, please consider making a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to Country First. Your donation will ensure we have the funds necessary to fight back and have our voices heard.
Posted by: jk at September 27, 2013 5:07 PM
But jk thinks:

He's pretty bashful about it, but I am sure ThreeSourcers who wanted could give more than $250. The web page seems to allow it.

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2013 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Upon reflection, I was crass and disrespectful to the senior senator from Arizona. I'll rephrase:

Americans respect and appreciate your service to our nation, Senator McCain. Few in our country's history have given faithful service for so long and in so many ways. It is long past time for us to repay your dedication and so, with our most sincere blessings, we invite you to take the rest of your life off, in peace and solitude, far from the chattering and partisan bickering of our nation's capital. Happy retirement, American hero. Go now. Please.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2013 10:44 AM
But jk thinks:

To be continued in Review Corner tomorrow. I, the GOP, and ThreeSources need to come to terms with neoconservatism and national greatness conservatism.

C. Bradley Thompson and Yaron Brook have a book, "Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea" that traces it to its Straussian roots and finds it philosophically dangerous. Brother Bryan recommend this book. I mistakenly purchased the CATO roundtable discussion where several CATO scholars respond to the book and Thompson responds/rebuts.

Very satisfying, but I need -- as a neocon in recovery as it were -- to go back and read the entire book. Those piqued can view a video discussion.

In a life-or-death struggle between modernity and radical Islam, which I am not convinced does not exist, Senator McCain is a good Republican. In a life-or-death struggle with Progressives and Luddites and collectivists at home: Not. So. Much.

Your updated phraseology is spot on.

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2013 12:31 PM

July 26, 2013

Chris Christie: libertarianism "very dangerous"

At the Republican Governors Association gathering in Aspen, CO this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sounded the alarm against the danger of too many people having too much freedom.

"As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.

Christie's statement was in the context of the narrowly defeated bill that would have reduced funding for NSA collection of Americans' phone records, a subject that Christie dismissed as "esoteric."

Rand Paul tweeted a response:

Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.

But what I really want to know is, where the hell is the libertarian streak that's going through the Democrat party right now?

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:08 PM | Comments (10)
But AndyN thinks:

I once encountered a young leftist (who didn't think he was a leftist) arguing that Anthony Weiner isn't a leftist, he's a left-libertarian. Yeah, I know, it makes about as much sense as claiming that George W Bush was a serious conservative based on his campaigning on compassionate conservatism. Unfortunately, that's about as deep as most people's political understanding runs - if you say you think people should be allowed to get stoned and engage in consequence-free sex, you're a libertarian regardless of how much big government intrusion in our lives your actions actually support.

Posted by: AndyN at July 27, 2013 1:14 PM
But jk thinks:

@AndyN; That's why I find primaries to be more fun; the IQ skips up at least a few points. But the GOP needs to pick somebody who can be sold to the low-information voter. That may or may not come to play in this, but Christie may enter as "the guy who won twice and big in a very blue state." That is ignored at liberty's peril.

@jg: Do we differ much? I'll go with the Gutfield quote and even admit that I am under-educated on Paul's foreign policy. My data points are an absolutism on NSA and a rush to pull foreign aid. Both are pretty popular-to-populists but I am willing to endure a little more nuance. Perhaps President Rand Paul will grow in office as Obama did and end up at a perfect place.

Both Paul and Christie are extremely effective explainers of liberty. No doubt I'll disagree with both, but I'd be happy with either.

My point, contra Gutfeld, is that the libertarians are running for the exits a few months early this season. They wonder why they have no political power, but they can't play like grownups. The second somebody says something "impure" they'll vow never to vote for him/her again -- off to Gary Johnson 2016 and we have not even had the midterms.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2013 5:54 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

I am reading this slightly differently.

.

I think Gov Christie's remarks need to be placed in context. Two things happened this week that serve as the immediate context for his remarks.

1. The vote on the NSA funding amendment, as JG notes

2. A great deal of the conservative literati have been writing/debating about "reform conservatism", and the phrase "libertarian populism" keeps popping up.

Isolationism was not part of this context. Nor was it explicitly part of his remarks. One can oppose NSA without opposing isolationism.

The NSA vote was interesting because you had a coalition of radical liberals and radical conservatives strongly united (there was some pretty heated rhetoric on the House floor before the vote - directed by members of one party at their own party members!) against the establishment. It was a very clear divide and ti gives lie to many of the 'hyper partisanship' stalemate stuff we hear so much.

There is a large section of the Republican party, which Christie has termed libertarian, that wants to make this a central issue. The fact so many Democrats voted for the issues suggests that these concerns are open political capital no one has managed to capitalize on yet.

Thought leaders, wonks, and the more prominent politicians (like Mr. Rand) who are part of this wing have been working rather hard over the past few months to get their agenda crystallized and to force a debate about the future of the Republican Party. Two Presidential defeats in a row and the GOP has to do some soul searching. These men are ready to mount a fight for the Republican Party's soul.

NSA and civil liberties is part of this. Other topics of note are drones and secret assassinations, crony capitalism, the revolving door between executive agencies, lobbyists, and industry positions, and ending the drug war and all of the evils that come with it. Foreign policy takes a back seat in this discussion.

As I see it, Christie is fighting back against the NSA push specifically and the general "libertarian populist/reform conservative" movement generally. This is not where he wants the party to go and he has carefully chosen a place to make his stand against the movement in the most dramatic yet risk free way that he can.

Jk faults the libertarians for being spoilers and giving up on the GOP and going out of their way to drudge up men like Christie. Maybe. But from my view point, the libertarians have - for once - gone out of their way, think-tank, interest group style, to create a platform for the Republican Party - to change the party instead of just protesting against it. And that is exactly what Gov Christie is fighting against.

The libertarians have due reason to be upset.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 28, 2013 3:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Libertarians of all case always have good reason to be upset. I get upset with them because they punch so far under their weight in politics. Their tantrums are not effective though far less populous and engaged groups drive the debate and policy.

jg and tg make good points as to context, but might be overthinking a bit. I think Governor C is playing the long game. He purposefully campaigned just enough in 2012 to get the GOP aching for the candidate they couldn't have so that he could be the front runner in an open seat year. He then campaigned for a landslide in New Jersey, knowing that is his ticket.

Executing a multi-year plan for the White House (think not Machiavelli but Henry Clay), I don't think he is reacting to a Senate speech or a couple opinion articles in an odd numbered year. There is clearly a war for the party brewin' (I suggest, like Angel, the Republican Party has no soul as it were to fight over).

Christie is laying down his position as the standard bearer of a traditional, hawkish, law-and-order, Republican Party. He's got bits of Eisenhowerism that will drive Tea Partiers crazy, but Eisenhower won elections. Larry Kudlow is with him on guns, the WSJ Ed Page is with him on NSA snooping, Bill Kristol will prefer his foreign policy. The sum is a formidable hunk of the GOP from which to wrest the nomination.

Posted by: jk at July 28, 2013 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes but it is the crusty old "establishment" hunk. It is the hunk that is on a serious electoral losing streak with up and coming voters. It is the hunk that appeals to old white guys. Well, it doesn't appeal to this old white guy anymore.

If there is a "soul" of the Republican party it is "thou shalt oppose abortion at every turn." To the point that I'm getting right to life mailers in the name of Rand Paul. So in that respect Paul is not abandoning traditional planks, much to my chagrin. But it's wise to win the primary first, and that seems where he's focusing - Iowa.

A great analysis by TG helped me see the bigger picture: The strain of libertarianism that Christie calls "dangerous" is most dangerous to establishment politicians, be they R's or D's. The establishment power base is on the coasts, particularly the east. They rigged the game to suit themselves and anything that diminishes government power doesn't suit them. A President Christie would be another President Bush, but with fewer principles (2A). I'd rather continue a reform effort that has anti-government corporatism appeal than elect another president who will maintain the big spending, big taxing, big regulating status quo. Freedom is at stake. I stand with Rand and his ilk.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2013 12:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I ended this post by asking where are the libertarian Democrats? While I have serious trust issues with the senior senator from Colorado (and this is an election year for him) he does sound here like he might be listening to the junior senator from Kentucky.

So that's why it's important to have this debate. We're having it in the Congress. Moderates, liberals, conservatives, all are sharing concern about the reach of the NSA's bulk collection program. Let's change it. Let's reform it. Let's narrow it.

OOOOOOhh. "Dangerous."

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2013 4:42 PM

June 28, 2013

Yes.

How Libertarian is jk? Well, according to Bryan Caplan's Libertarian Purity Test 78/160, or:

51-90 points: You are a medium-core libertarian, probably self-consciously so. Your friends probably encourage you to quit talking about your views so much.

Amen Bryan...

Posted by John Kranz at 8:59 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

I scored a perfect 100.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2013 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

?! We need to diff our responses over beer someday. Brother Bryan and some Objectivist pals were complaining that big-Os scored low (...and who does this punk think he is?)

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2013 3:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I expect our pal Perry would score highest of us all. If you score 160 you aren't necessarily a perfect libertarian, or even Libertarian, but you probably are a perfect anarchist.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2013 7:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And yes, a line-by-line discussion would be welcome. I do still owe you a brew for the GLD-SP500 bet. Or if I don't, I would happily pay it again.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2013 7:30 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

82.

Which surprised me, given the number of things on the first tier I disagreed with. I guess those ones I did support I supported all the way to their most radical options.

Posted by: T. Greer at June 28, 2013 10:54 PM
But jk thinks:

And on Facebook, I see Brother Keith edges me out. I'm pleased that ThreeSources is a hotbed of anarchy, but disappointed that I am the stodgy old conservative.

Posted by: jk at June 30, 2013 10:25 AM

April 9, 2013

Obama IRA Proposal Redux

I am nothing if not fair. Were I to withhold this inculpatory evidence, I could no longer claim that mantle.

My hero, Larry Kudlow, and his entire brilliant panel -- save for a weasely Democrat apparatchik take Brother jg's side on the IRA contretemps. I have not seen Mister K this animated in some time:

I'll rethink things, but still think weasely apparatchik guy (just at the end) and I have a point.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It sounded like Kudlow rebutted weasely apparatchik guy (WAG) quite effectively by pointing out that there's nothing tax-free about an IRA. It is merely tax deferred.

It is more and more clear that the goal is to eliminate the inheritance of wealth from one's ancestors. It is the ultimate in class warfare - the nuclear class-bomb, as it were.

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2013 4:29 PM

March 17, 2013

Review Corner

In 2001, my wife, Shawnna, and I moved to Arizona. I love nearly everything about my adopted state, but the one thing that troubles me greatly is Arizonas widespread hostility toward Mexican immigration, not just illegal but legal as well. Among many Arizona conservatives, opposition to immigration dwarfs all other political issues, even in the face of economic recession. The vehemence on this issue initially puzzled me, given that Arizona still is the land of Barry Goldwater and largely reflects his libertarian, live-and-let-live philosophy.

Indeed, I have often joked that if Arizonans are really serious about protecting our traditional values against assault from hostile newcomers, we should wall off our western border to California rather than our southern border.


Governor Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick provide a solid blueprint for moving forward in Immigration Wars. I don't agree with every word of it, and I'm rather certain it would not be any ThreeSourcer's idea of perfection. It is a contentious debate, and apart from the bitter clingers on both extremes, I think the authors understand it is about compromise and understand it is about moving forward. While imperfect, if Congress were to pass it exactly as written, there is nothing in this book that I could not live with.

The best part is its two foundational premises:

We believe comprehensive reform should be constructed upon two core, essential values: first, that immigration is essential to our nation, and second, that immigration policy must be governed by the rule of law. Those who expound only one of those values to the exclusion of the other do violence to both, because the two values are inseparable.

Many of our circular, circuitous, and cicumlocutious immigration debates have danced around this, because I was unable to state my premises so clearly.

The authors are as pro-immigration as I am and the book celebrates many reasons for increasing and legalizing/normalizing additional immigration. The talk shows and political reviews have focused on their solution to current undocumented aliens. Those who came here as adults are offered a pathway to permanent legal status but not a head start toward citizenship. This is not the plan I'd write, but I can sign on if this is un-am-nasty enough for a plurality.

This is the most contentious issue, and the position of a prominent Republican is newsworthy. Some of the more subtle points are more interesting. Bush and Bolick call for refocusing preferences on skills and economic need in favor of "family reunification."

Reuniting someone with their long lost third cousin twice removed is sweet. But it sets up a chain migration that can grow without bounds. Plus, it is biased toward less productive new citizens. Spouses and children can follow an immigrant but no further. We're sending home doctors and entrepreneurs and physics geniuses to bring more grandmothers in. Sweet, but not in our best economic interests.

One hopes that this might get resolved. We cherish rule of law, yet look the other way for startling abuses to people and equal enforcement.

It is in no one's interest for illegal immigrants and their families to live in the shadows. We need everyone to participate in the mainstream economy, to pay taxes, to participate openly in their communities, to be willing to report crimes-- that is to say, to be accountable, responsible members of society. That cannot occur when people fear they will be arrested if their immigration status is known.

It is an enjoyable and quick read touching economics, education and politics. If the debate were moved forward in this direction, that would be a huge net positive.

Four stars.

UPDATE: That other fella named Bush has a very good guest editorial in the WSJ today.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2012

Ending the Cease Fire

Nothing like an argument over legalizing drugs to start an imbroglio at Three Sources. It's probably been more than a year since the last internecine brouhaha and The Refugee is not really interested in starting another one (there are so many other interesting polical issues at the moment.) Nevertheless, he's pretty sure this post violates the terms of the armistice.

The Denver Post is currently running a series that follows "Angel," a heroin addict living on the streets of Denver. She survives by panhandling $90+ dollars per day to get the needed "fixes" and sometimes a room. She will live on the goodness of strangers, (i.e., in their homes), until they learn that her stories are mostly hustles. Her signs asking for help are mostly lies. Life is getting from one fix to another, but according to the story, there is no evidence that she commits any crimes more serious than misdemeanor trespassing and the like. The Denver cops know her, but never arrest her for simple use or possession of drug paraphenalia. (From The Refugee's perspective, this is de facto legalization.) So far so good. No crimes against others. Should Angel not have the right to inject her body with whatever substance she chooses?

The Refugee argues that drug use is rarely a victimless crime and the case of Angel bears that out. It turns out that Angel was pregnant while using heroin, knowingly continued to inject herself and gave birth to a daughter with a rare form of dwarfism. Angel left the child with another junkie, who passed out from drug use while the child was in her care. Social services removed the child from Angel and the child is now in the care of a foster parent who specializes in children with special needs. (The Refugee could probably open a second front in this battle with the appropriateness of the State taking a child from its parent.)

The situation here is that Angel knowingly injected another human being, albeit In Vitro, with heroin. Should that be a crime? In The Refugee's opinion, yes - child endangerment, child abuse, assault and anything else a creative prosecutor can dream up. Angel's narcissistic negligence has condemned another human being to a life of difficulty, struggle and likely early death. The cost of the child's care will be borne by the Colorado taxpayer. The Refugee does not begrudge his tax dollars going to help this child, but it illustrates how Angel's personal choice impacts others.

Angel is not a victim, she is a perpetrator and should be serving time.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 12:04 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Fascinating and of course a tragic case. The consequentialist answer is that I will happily support the brand new crime of fetal-poisoning if you will help me dismantle the drug war. Alcohol is legal and superbly damaging to infants. Yet, post 21st Amendment, we do not proscribe its use by the entire population to protect the unborn.

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2012 1:48 PM
But Terri thinks:

And from the female perspective, would you suggest that drug laws should only apply to the ladies?

Maybe just the ladies between the ages of 14 and 55? Unless you carry a certificate showing you've had a hysterectomy?

Posted by: Terri at October 8, 2012 2:20 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Terri, the male who donates the sperm should also be held accountable for child abandonment if that is applicable. In this case, the father is serving eight years in prison for armed robbery to fund his drug habit. Should only men be held accountable for the consequences of their addiction? Certainly Angel has not.

Hopefully, we can have a Three Sources kumbaya moment and agree that drug users are not victims, as the media often portrays them, and at least hold them accountable for their actions against others, regardless of gender.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2012 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Nooo. No Kumbayas yet.

My point was that we should not legislate that all citizens be limited to a diet and health regimen appropriate for pre-natal care. Some people are very much not pregnant and can choose their risks accordingly.

If your purpose was to point out that some drug users are bad people, you succeeded but it was unnecessary. Yet I don't think it is commensurate with the ideals of ThreeSources that people's fundamental rights are dished out in accordance with their behavior.

I don't suggest legalization in reparation for users' victimhood -- I claim that we are owners of our own persons and sovereigns of our selves. If you wish to protect her harming of another individual, I suggested I was on board, though I am not too keen on locking up her mate -- that one's new. But to the extent she harms only herself, with heroin or a 17 oz. sweetened beverage, I have to leave the decision with her

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2012 3:42 PM

September 21, 2012

Quote of the Day II

I should never award before the G-File comes out [subscribe].

After all, if Romney loses this thing there will only be a vicious civil war on the right that will make the fight scene from Anchorman seem like one of the slower moments in My Dinner with Andre. -- Jonah Goldberg

Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 29, 2012

Stealthflation to hit 15% by 2014?

I've said it a few times since August and been chastened for it, but this time it comes from the pen of an actual economist. UConn's Steven R. Cunningham writes in IBD, The Fed's Anti-Recession Effort May Unleash 15% Inflation

For about a decade before the autumn of 2008, when the U.S. economy tanked, the multiplier stood steady at the 8-to-9 range. That means every new dollar in the monetary base resulted in an $8 to $9 increase in the money supply. After the financial meltdown, bank lending dried up and the multiplier fell roughly to the 3.5-to-4 level.

At the same time, the Fed made a decision to ensure liquidity for transactions in order to encourage the recovery. To do so, it boosted the monetary base through the expansion of bank reserves and currency, at whichever rate was required to keep M2 expanding at around the same rate it had been. Between October 2008 and December 2011, the Fed expanded the base by $1.45 trillion, more than doubling the base to nearly $2.6 trillion.

The problem is that as the recovery progresses, the multiplier will move back toward normal levels, and the money supply will expand. Because of this, inflation could increase significantly beyond the 7.2% projected from 2011 data.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Fed is working on methods to drain the excess reserves from the system and lessen the risks of high inflation. But there are reasons to doubt the Fed's ability to do so.

Maybe if some huge national emergency were to materialize, prompting the spending of those reserves "in the national interest." A war, perhaps.

Cunningham's conclusion is less ambiguous:

Despite the many uncertainties, one fact remains: An enormous wall of money has built up in the banking system. If it finds its way into the general economy at pre-recession rates, the United States is in for quite a ride.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:22 PM | Comments (4)
But EE thinks:

What's the standard error on that 2 year forecast? Regardless of what one believes about inflation, there are simply too many variables and too much time between now and then to make any meaningful predictions.

Posted by: EE at February 29, 2012 6:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't know which ThreeSourcers are on record saying there will never be inflation; the FOMC is certainly playing with fire. I'm just not sold on stealthflation. In spite of the cool name, I disagree that severe inflation is already here and just not accounted for in the Core PCE defaltor.

Stay stealthy, my friend. Else they'll kick me outta the Ron Paul club.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2012 7:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

CPI: 3.1 percent

American Institute for Economic Research's EPI: 8 percent.

Causes notwithstanding, the dollar buys less than CPI says it does.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2012 12:38 PM
But EE thinks:

JG,

Did you read the article? It says at the bottom of the article that this really isn't a representative sample of what people actually purchase. It is meant to be provocative -- just like the study that will come out next week about lower productivity due to March Madness.

Along with Barry Ritholtz, I used to make fun of "inflation ex inflation" where somebody would dispel fears of rising inflation by saying, "if we remove...then inflation really isn't that bad." I used to make fun of this by saying that "if we remove the rising prices, there is no inflation." However, this isn't one of those times. Inflation is low.

Do excess reserves pose a threat? Perhaps, but not at the present.

By the way, the CPI thinks housing prices have risen. So that means that it overstates inflation.

Posted by: EE at March 2, 2012 1:33 PM

January 4, 2012

Still not Sure

Blog Brother JK has made numerous impassioned cases for Gov. Huntsman to be the GOP standard bearer versus the current Duffer-in-Chief. The basic argument, as The Refugee understands it, is that the former governor from the state geographically to the left of Colorado would be better at promoting Liberty. The Refugee is not so sure. The Good Gov seems to have taken a page from the Newt Gingrich playbook of attacking capitalism in an effort to get at Romney.

In an "exclusive interview with the Huffington Post," Huntsman characterized Romney as an "agent for Wall Street." ["Why would any self-respecting Republican give an exclusive interview to HuffPo," pondered The Refugee. But that was just him being snarky.]

Hoping to establish a competitive position once the Republican presidential primary contest shifts its focus from Iowa to New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman sharply criticized Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying the frontrunner would be an agent for Wall Street and protector of the status quo if elected.

Huntsman goes on:

"It is the fact that he has raised so much money from the large banks, the banks that need to be right-sized. If you are the largest recipient of funds from Wall Street, and in particular the large banks, you are not going to be inclined to want to change that model. Because those who run those banks want no change, they profit off the status quo and clearly they are not going to be inclined to want to bring about any change."

It turns out that Romney has received 24% of his contributions from financial interests. Ouch. But wait - Huntsman has receive 21% from financial interests - is 3% really the magical difference between an agent for Wall Street and an agent for change?

The really disturbing thing, however, is that Huntsman - the alleged purveyor of Liberty - believes that his administration could judge what the proper size of a bank should be and what products it should offer:

Huntsman, by contrast, has argued for banks to be reduced in size, and for stricter limits to be placed on the type of financial activities they can undertake.

Romney's take is somewhat different:

"I believe that institutions have the capacity to go through bankruptcy if necessary to reorganize their obligations," Romney said. "I think what happened in 2008 was not a matter of one bank, Lehman Brothers, having caused the entire collapse. I think the matter was that we had a massive problem in our economy, which was precipitated by the subprime mortgage crisis, that threatened not just one or two banks but threatened the entire banking sector, our entire financial services sector. And that was a setting very different than that that would be caused by one institution getting in trouble."

Is The Refugee cherry-picking quotes and issues? Perhaps, but he continues to be troubled by a candidate who often sounds and behaves more like a Democrat than a Republican.

UPDATE: link

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:42 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Unsurprisingly, the HuffPo piece is not my favorite description of Gov. Huntsman's bona fides. Most of the offending quotes are actually the author's and without links or attribution. Maybe he is guilty as charged, I want to hear it from someone other than Sam Stein.

As long as government will step in and ensure too big to fail, lassiez faire may not be the best or most popular option for the financial sector. Gov. Romney's "we're really going to let them go this time!" sounds good on paper.

I do not offer the Governor as an ideal candidate. Today's HuffPo piece has him aggravating Granite State seniors by sticking with the Ryan plan and others by suggesting that ObamaCare rules on existing conditions be kept. That's batting .500 but I'd take the trade any day of the week.

Now is the part of the comment where I point out that Phil Gramm is not running this year and that Steve Forbes is on Gov Perry's team instead of his own.

Huntsman sounds like a Democrat?" [sharpen knife sounds...]

-- Gov Romney, of individual mandate fame, phases out his cap gains tax cuts for those making more than $200K. Don't remember that in the GOP playbook.

-- Speaker G wants Romney to give back the money he made bankrupting companies at Bain Capital and says Gov R should "thank him for making him rich" rather than "Romneyboat him." Ryan's plan is "rightwing social engineering" and a spot on the climate change couch besides Speaker Pelosi is comfy.

-- Gov Perry supported forced vaccinations and Rep. Bachmann suggested they caused retardation.

-- Senator Santorum wants the government to define manufacturers and charge them 0% tax. Maybe a "Department of Sector Coolness" could be established to allow the Executive Branch to assign tax rates based on political favor. Wasn't that Taft's idea?

This year's field features the philosophical purity of a Snoop Dogg urine sample. In that field are two governors who have successfully passed free market principles at a state level and fostered impressive growth. One of those guvs has featured ostentations displays of religiosity and bashed gay people. These might be GOP values but I think they'll be a tough sell.

The one left. Yeah. That guy!

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2012 4:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I offer, for consideration, Iowa Caucus Entrance Polls

The Iowa frontrunners:

"Is a true conservative"
Romney - 1%
Santorum - 36%
Paul - 37%

"On most political matters, do you consider yourself Moderate/Liberal"
Romney - 35%
Santorum - 8%
Paul - 40%

Take away the names, the faces, the first ladies, the dirty hippies ... A "true conservative" candidate with tremendous appeal to moderates and liberals. Is this not a dream candidate for the GOP?

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2012 5:43 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

"What is a self-respecting Three Sourcer doing quoting HuffPo?" is certainly a valid question.

Point of order, Mr. Chairman: The Huntsman quotes are purported to be direct statements in a first-hand interview. They are therefore in themselves attributed and a link is a nonsequitur. Now, if Stein fabricated them from whole cloth, that's another matter.

This is indeed case of having to make the best choice from a bad lot. Very sad, considering we have so much talent on the sidelines, a highly vulnerable incumbent and so much at stake.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2012 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

During the '10 Colorado governor's race, newcomer Dan Maes applied the terms "institution" and "revolution" to the GOP establishment and the TEA Party rabble, respectively. It may be instructive to contemplate which of those labels applies to each remaining candidate. Then think about which element you want to put in charge of the national government.

My recent acceptance of the Romney Inevitability was made possible by a self-delusion that Romney is not a party "insider." His political career has been outside Washington and he was endorsed by South Carolina TPD Governor Nikki Haley. I believe these are merely finer shades of gray on Mitt's thousand-dollar suits. I think a bolder distinction is required to ignite an anti-Obama landslide. And no, I don't mean the good-looking young white Catholic boy.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2012 12:09 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The remaining few who would fit the "revolution" moniker likely have no shot to win. The white Catholic boy has no shot, either, and he definitely is not worthy of the "revolution" designation. In his case, Newt's comment that right-wing social engineering is no better than left-wing social engineering might actually apply.

Mitt the Inevitable is a technocrat, not a visionary, but he appears to be the best we've got. The election is likely to be a squeaker either way.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2012 12:09 PM

January 16, 2011

The "TEA Movement" is More Popular Than a "Big-Tent"

Comity? Who needs comity?

Jared Rhoads of The Lucidicus Project (Helping medical students understand free markets) agrees with me (and Robert Tracinski) that limited government is not merely a practical issue, but a moral one.

I used to think that Republicans did stand for individual rights on principle, but that they shied away from moral arguments because they deemed it better public relations to be "big-tent," inclusive, neutral. Well, over the past two years, the Tea movement has demonstrated that pro-individualist moral sentiments are popular and effective. We are still waiting for the Republicans to catch up.

What is holding them back? As writer Craig Biddle explains in a recent article in The Objective Standard, Republicans face a self-imposed obstacle in their effort to limit government to its proper functions: they still believe that being moral consists of sacrificing oneself for the needs of others.

Imagine approaching your moderate Republican Congressperson and making the case for cutting government based on the morality of individual rights. He may smile and nod in agreement, but as Biddle indicates, there is conflict churning in his head:

Repeal Obamacare? How can we do that if the right thing to do is to sacrifice for others? People need medical care, and Obamacare will provide it by forcing everyone to sacrifice as he should.

Phase out Medicare? How can we do that if we are morally obliged to provide for the needy? The elderly need medical care, and Medicare provides it by forcing everyone to pony up.

Phase out Social Security? How can we do that if, as the bible tells us, we are our brother's keeper? The elderly need money for retirement, and Social Security provides it by forcing everyone to do the right thing.

The only proper purpose of government is to protect individual rights. It is not to oversee our healthcare, help us be charitable, or assist with our retirement planning. There is no way to roll back Obamacare or other government encroachments without recognizing this fact and stating it openly on the floors of the House and Senate.

The next time we circulate a petition, let's tell the supporters of Obamacare that what they have done is not simply impractical, unfair, or too expensive. Let's tell them it is wrong.


Posted by JohnGalt at 1:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 2, 2011

The Next Moral Crusade -- Capitalism


Over the New Year's holiday spent here in Seattle with Mr. and Mrs. Macho Duck I re-read an article in a 2008 issue of The Intellectual Activist (Vol. 20, No. 1.) The article's title is 'Fusionism Comes Unfused.' It reopened some internecine disputes in a clearly stated way so I wanted to share. Checking first for posts containing the word "Tracinski" (the author) I found a drought from 2007 until 2010. Shame on me!

The piece reviews the 2008 GOP primary season, where Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee's early leads evaporated, for no apparent reason, to leave the field wide open. Tracinski attributes the cause to a "desperate desire" on the part of GOP voters to avoid the stark choice between a pro-defense, pro-markets and "not particularly religious" Giuliani and a "strongly religious, anti-abortion candidate who has nothing particular to offer on the war and denounces the pro-free-market Club for Growth as the 'Club for Greed."

"But in avoiding the choice between a religious agenda and a secular agenda, Republicans were forced to evade the substantive issues at stake in th election and focus instead on the personal qualities of the candidates. (...)

In short, faced with a big ideological question on the role of religion, Republicans dodged the issue and instead chose a candidate on non-ideological grounds. [McCain, the flip-flip-flopper]

Yet the conflict between the religious and secular wings of the conservative agenda cannot be avoided, even if Republicans declined to resolve it this year.

Republican fusionism is unstable because its basic premise -- that the moral foundation of free markets and Americanism can be left to the religious traditionalists -- is false. For five decades, under the influence of fusionism, conservatives have largely ceded to the religious right the job of providing the moral fire to sustain their movement. But they are discovering that the religionists do not have a strong moral commitment to free markets. In fact, the religious right seems to be working on its own version of 'fusion' -- with the religious left.

(...)

The reason for this shift toward the religious left is that religion ultimately cannot support the real basis for capitalism and a strong American national defense: a morality of rational self-interest. Christianity is too deeply committed to a philosophy of self-abnegation, a destructive morality that urges men to renounce any interest in worldly goods and to turn the other cheek in the face of aggression. (...)

Tricked by William F. Buckley and his fusionists into outsourcing moral questions to the guardians of religious tradition, the right has never been able to develop the moral case for rational self-interest -- which means that it never developed the moral case for the profit motive, property rights, and the free market. Many on the right are implicitly sympathetic to capitalism; they sense its virtues, but thanks to "fusionism," they are unable to articulate them. And this means that they have never been able to turn the defense of free markets into a moral crusade."

To my religious brothers and sisters I urge you not to read this as an indictment of your faith. Religious morality has much to offer in the realm of personal values. But as a universal guide for the conduct of civilizations it is too easily co-opted by the forces of World Socialism.

A defense of capitalism as the means for men to deal with one another is not only not an abandonment of moral values, it is the only moral crusade that can hope to ever have a peaceful end.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:39 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I guess this post means holiday comity is now officially over. It was fun.

I don't know that Mr. Tracinski has changed his tune since 2008, but I posit that the Tea Party and the 2010 elections have about completely debunked his argument.

I had the good fortune to meet, via one of my most leftist friends, one of Hizzoner's state campaign chairmen, I parroted the media line about how Giuliani erred in waiting for the Florida primaries, yadda, yadda. This person, 25 years my junior looked at me as a naive waif and said "yeah, that's what we said -- we spent piles of money in New Hampshire and couldn't get anywhere." Without dismissing the candidate's faults, the GOP is clearly not ready for a social libertarian of Giuliani's stripes.

But by the same token, they did not pick His Huckness. TIA sees that as some nefarious plot, I see it as recognition of electoral exigencies. Moderates appeal to the American electorate and prosper in the American system.

Yet I return to the Tea Party, which brought a bounty of serious freedom candidates like Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul. Subtract the evangelicals from the Tea Party and you have a typical libertarian gabfest with some angry bearded guys.

I think this comment still holds: we have to hold our uneasy partnership together to hold back the forces of collectivism. Frank Meyers was right -- it's worth it.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2011 11:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And I say the TPM validates his argument.

I read you as focusing on one aspect of the post: why Rudy and Huckabee were rejected. It is a fact that they were, and you passed right on by the new fusion of the religious right with the religious left or the assertion that Republican fusionism is fundamentally unstable.

As for the TEA Party verdict, consider from the last quoted paragraph - "Many on the right are implicitly sympathetic to capitalism; they sense its virtues..." But they don't understand why it is virtuous. The closest they usually come is to quote the Declaration of Independence's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The World Socialists slay this foe with the ol' "200 year-old dead white guys" argument.

The past quote you linked celebrated that "pro-lifers line up to vote when it's 40 below." They do so because it is a moral cause for them. You couldn't oppose making the profit motive, property rights and the free market an equally or more powerful moral cause, so you must just consider it impossible. "If man were meant to fly then God would have given him wings."

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2011 2:52 PM

December 23, 2010

Why is Ricky Gervais an Atheist?

Another question I didn't know I needed the answer to is, "Who is Ricky Gervais?" But the internet dropped it in my lap so I read it. There are some funny lines. Like this:

So what does the question "Why dont you believe in God?" really mean. I think when someone asks that they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking "what makes you so special?" "How come you werent brainwashed with the rest of us?" "How dare you say Im a fool and Im not going to heaven, f--- you!"

Not necessarily as deep as Christopher Hitchens but more fun.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:33 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2010

Internecine

Two moderate professors, two takes on the same story:

N. Gregory Mankiw

Joshua Gans alerts me to a minor brouhaha over Neil Gaiman (a fantasy and science fiction writer) charging a library $45,000 to give a talk. Mr Gaiman apparently understands the concept of opportunity cost (principles number 2 in my favorite textbook). Here is how he explains his fees at his website.

Ann Althouse:
Contact Lisa Bransdorf at the Greater Talent Network. Tell her you want Neil to appear somewhere. Have her tell you how much it costs. Have her say it again in case you misheard it the first time. Tell her you could get Bill Clinton for that money. Have her tell you that you couldn't even get ten minutes of Bill Clinton for that money but it's true, he's not cheap.

A Poll: Neil Gaiman is:
a) a douchebag.
b) an artist.
c) a rational participant in economic reality.

Althouse does not show her cards. But Mankiw seems to be doing well; as of this writing 86% of the poll respondents chose "c."

Posted by John Kranz at 4:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2009

Ayn Rand's Revenge

With a timely look at the question of what defines conservatism here is another revealing link from brother Russ - 'William F. Buckley vs. Ayn Rand: Ayn Rand's Revenge.'

And unfortunately, Buckleys insecure rants against Rand retarded the intellectual progress of the right for decades.

The important point here involves Buckley, but it involves a lot more. The issue with Buckley is that he truly had nothing to contribute intellectually. And when faced with a true intellectual like Rand, all he could do was guttersnipe. Yet the wider point pertains to conservatism today.

Until it begins to intellectually justify itself in a logical way, conservatism will remain lost, and statism will continue its march. Rand provided the intellectual justification for capitalism and liberty and she did so by reference to the fundamental metaphysical facts of reality and human existence. She did not appeal to tradition or the supernatural. She appealed to the rational. And the public has been responding to her ever since.

Buckley and his cohorts brag about their electoral successes-"we elected Reagan" they chime. But what permanent changes have been made? The procession of the welfare state goes on. And who can stop it, people who say God went "poof" and then there were rights?

Rand made the case against the welfare state root and branch. She was the first to make a secular case against Communism and Socialism, and the first to make a fully secular defense of American values. The fact that her ideas were shut out by Buckley hurt the entire cause of Americanism.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:11 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Start with something positive, to bring the poster around to your side and establish your reasonableness. Well, I agree that the Conservative movement would have done better to adopt more of Ayn Rand's ideas.

And I approve of the word "gutttersniping." It describes McHugh's column pretty well.

Beyond that, you might put me down as a "no."

For a follower of Ayn Rand to denigrate another author for personal peccadilloes is a little rich. Even her most sympathetic biographers admit to her "insensitivities." Buckley's kid has written a Daddy Dearest book, but he and Pat were pretty well loved by the staff of National Review and even by many of his ideological opponents.

If Buckley's movement has failed because we have Socialism in the US, didn't Rand fail? And Hayek, Mises, Milton Friedman? All a bunch of big losers?

Buckley wrote about 600,000 books, hosted what was the longest running show on PBS, started one of the most important political magazines of out time, and shepherded a movement that, yes, did get President Reagan elected. Freed tens of millions from Communism. Launched the greatest peacetime expansion of the economy in the 20th Century.

I really don't see a tell-all book as Ms. Rand's revenge. I do, sadly (and maybe the little Objectivist kiddies should leave the room for this bit) see this as emblematic of Rand's followers' addition by subtraction: start with 20 people who value individual freedom and property rights -- then kick out 11 who aren't pure enough and enjoy nine devout followers. That's where "Revenge" against ideological allies gets you.

You might sell some books with that but you will not get people elected and you will not impede the loss of freedom.

Posted by: jk at June 15, 2009 10:42 AM
But johngalt thinks:

We can't help but read under the influence of our preconceptions, can we? I wondered why the author even broached the "personal peccadilloes" subject except that was a major element of the younger Buckley's book. Upon re-reading it seems it was the reverse of what you suggest. Buckley apparently "would ridicule Rand on a personal basis for alleged personal shortcomings" and now gets his comeuppance at the hand of his own son.

Before reading this piece I had no real sense of a rift between Buckley and Rand, nor any clear explanation for the limited GOP adoption of Rand's economic ideas other than her atheism. Mr. McHugh's article gives a brief insight into both of these. And the title refers to the revenge of Rand's ideas as millions flock to read her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged (Amazon sales rank #84 in paperback) and thousands wave "Don't Tread On Me" flags at TEA Party rallies following the electoral return of unapologetic statism a mere 2 decades after Reagan left office.

The author claimed that a government rooted in Rand's objective justification for capitalism and liberty would be more enduring than one based on the idea that "God went 'poof' and then there were rights." Until this is tested it remains only a hypothesis, but the latter tactic has been dismantled by the Secular Progressive left in less than a generation.

I don't read the author as suggesting that anyone be "kicked out" of the popular party of capitalism and liberty (whenever that party actually emerges). The criticism is that Buckley used his considerable influence to "shut out" the ideas of Ayn Rand from mainstream Republican politics. Why he did this is academic. Far more important is undoing his damage. You said that the conservative movement would have done better to adopt more of Ayn Rand's ideas and Joseph McHugh and I say, "Better late than never, and no time like the present." Defend capitalism and liberty in secular terms and watch the healthy growth of a new political movement: Americanism.

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2009 7:47 PM

April 17, 2009

Defending (and Counseling) Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's comments at an Indiana right-to-life event yesterday are making a lot of news. And naturally most of it is slanted to portray her as an extreme pro-lifer who wants the government to eventually outlaw all abortions. But the comment I found most interesting isn't even being reported. While plenty of left-stream outlets are covering her candid admission that she considered aborting her son Trig when she learned he would likely be a Down's baby, I have yet to find an account that includes her conclusion that she was "happy with the choice she made." [When I find a video clip of this I'll link it here.]

UPDATE: Embedded below are parts 5 and 6 of the seven part account on YouTube, and I must admit that I misinterpreted her remarks. I think the part I paraphrased was this, from 2:47 into part 6-

"So I prayed that my heart would be filled up - what else did I have - I had to call upon my faith and ask that my heart be filled up, and I'll tell ya the moment that he was born I knew for sure that my prayer was answered, and my heart overflowed with joy."

But in making her own case for every pregnant woman to choose life for her unborn child, she did talk about how she enjoyed the freedoms of privacy and choice in the matter of her own pregnancy. Freedoms that some in the pro-life cause would take away.

Part 5, (2:50) On why she didn't tell anyone she was pregnant -

"It was just really though too, at the sweet sacred time, a secret between Todd and God and me. I figured that's all who needs to know."

Later Palin said she considered abortion when she first learned she was pregnant, while out of town "at an oil and gas conference" and again at 13 weeks when she learned that Trig had an extra chromosome and would likely be a Downs baby. She knew this because of the results of amniocentesis, an elective procedure, of which "only my doctor knew the results. Todd didn't even know."

Part 6 (0:28) -

"And friends here tonight, that faith was built on what I hear from you, Vandenburg Right to Life. The seeds that you plant in a heart with your kind and your adamant efforts that can grow into a good decision to choose life."

The significance of this is not what her choice was, but that SHE made the choice.

I expounded on this in a comment [or click on "continue reading"] to a Bonnie Erbe blog on the opportunity that Palin's remarks present to the Republican Party.

And as long as the GOP continues to let itself be dominated by atavist religious conservatives, it will keep its title as minority party for a long, long time.

In a specific way I agreed with this remark, and ended with an exhortation to the Alaska governor- I would like to see Sarah Palin campaign for President on the platform that "abortion is abominable, but government prohibition of it is worse."

My concern is that if she in particular doesn't stake out this position then nobody will be able to defend her as a viable presidential candidate. Any other Republican would do well to take the same approach, but for Palin I view it as essential.

- 3SourcesJG's complete Bonnie Erbe blog comment:

While listening to Governor Palin's live remarks I heard her say that after considering abortion briefly she, and I'm paraphrasing, "is happy with the choice that she made." But if Roe v. Wade is ever reversed and a single state outlaws abortion then women in that state won't have the right to MAKE that choice. Even Governor Palin, who I greatly admire and respect, might feel differently about her child if the state had forced her to give birth under force of law.

Abortion is the thorniest moral issue in contemporary politics, with the grayest of gray areas in dispute. Human life does not mean merely the physical act of breathing - it includes the rational thought process of self-determination. A human being who is not free to make his own choices in life is nothing more than an animal.

The choice to abort DOES result in the death of a human being but the right to life belongs first and foremost to the pregnant woman because she is an independent, self-sufficient individual. An unborn child with a parasitic relationship to that individual has no moral claim upon its host. It is a brutal fact of nature (whether you believe that nature was created by God or not) but without it we are not citizens, but subjects. The line to draw is not between when life begins and when it has not, but between whose rights take precedence.

And to this extent I believe Bonnie Erbe is right: To be a genuine majority party the GOP needs to "get out of people's bedrooms." Advocate for morality, yes, but do not attempt to use the power of government to enforce it. I would like to see Sarah Palin campaign for President on the platform that "abortion is abominable, but government prohibition of it is worse."

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:19 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

Other than in philosophy books, that is the most reasoned argument I have heard in years. I'd definitely vote for that position. Are you running?

Posted by: Terri at April 17, 2009 7:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm on board as well, jg. But trust me, Terri, the writings on this blog are virtual guarantees against any of us ever getting elected dog catcher. (Though oppo-research could be great publicity...)

Posted by: jk at April 18, 2009 11:26 AM

May 31, 2007

Internecine, Episode I

I have the first show's guests:

NRO Corner

We hereby challenge the Journals editors to debate the immigration bill in a neutral venue with a moderator of their choosing two or three of us versus any two or three of them. We propose to do it in Washington next week so it will have the maximum impact on the Senates consideration of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades (time and place to be worked out in a mutually satisfactory fashion).

Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM

April 15, 2007

Tax Day Coffee Smelling

Officially, tax day isn't until Tuesday (due to the 15th being on a Sunday and the 16th being an official holiday in D.C.) but the well known and lamented date of April 15th mustn't go by without some discussion of the state of taxation in America.

"Work hard. Be faithful. You'll get your just reward."

Those words appear on a statuette my father was given on the occasion of the closing of the College of Engineering at the University of Denver, where he had tenure. (The statuette was of a conscientious gentleman with a giant blue screw through his torso.) They can just as well be applied to American taxpayers who have earned a high school diploma or better in their educational career.

sr12_chart7-lg.gif

The preceeding chart comes from a fascinating April 4, 2007 study report by Robert Rector et. al. of The Heritage Foundation entitled, 'The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer.' The report summarizes the chart this way:

Chart 7 compares households headed by persons without a high school diploma to households headed by persons with a high school diploma or better. Whereas the dropout-headed household paid only $9,689 in taxes in FY 2004, the higher-skill households paid $34,629 more than three times as much. While dropout-headed households received from $32,138 to $43,084 in benefits, high-skill households received less: $21,520 to $30,819. The difference in government benefits was due largely to the greater amount of means-tested aid received by low-skill households.

Households headed by dropouts received $22,449 more in immediate benefits (i.e., direct and means-tested aid, education, and population-based services) than they paid in taxes. Higher-skill households paid $13,109 more in taxes than they received in immediate benefits.

OK, so you're probably wondering, what's new? What's new is the trend in dropout households in the U.S. According to the World Net Daily article that cites the study:

About two-thirds of illegal alien households are headed by someone without a high school degree. Only 10 percent of native-born Americans fit into that category.

I have advocated on these pages (and stand by it today) that immigration should be free and unlimited to non-criminal aliens, provided that citizenship (and voting rights) must still be earned and that entitlement programs that make immigrants a burden on the taxpayer are first reduced or eliminated.

The Rector report explains the realities we face.

Politically feasible changes in government policy will have little effect on the level of fiscal deficit generated by most low-skill households for decades. For example, to make the average low-skill household fiscally neutral (taxes paid equaling immediate benefits received plus interest on government debt), it would be necessary to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, all 60 means-tested aid programs and cut the cost of public education in half. It seems certain that, on average, low-skill households will generate deep fiscal deficits for the foreseeable future.

Hat tip: The Canadian Sentinel

Click continue reading to see the report's conclusion in its entirety.

Conclusion

Households headed by persons without a high school diploma are roughly 15 percent of all U.S. households. Overall, these households impose a significant fiscal burden on other taxpayers: The cost of the government benefits they consume greatly exceeds the taxes they pay to government. Before government undertakes to transfer even more economic resources to these households, it should have a very clear account of the magnitude of the economic transfers that already occur.

The substantial net tax burden imposed by low-skill U.S. households also suggests lessons for immigration policy. Recently proposed immigration legislation would greatly increase the number of poorly educated immigrants entering and living in the United States.[12] Before this policy is adopted, Congress should examine carefully the potential negative fiscal effects of low-skill immigrant households receiving services.

Politically feasible changes in government policy will have little effect on the level of fiscal deficit generated by most low-skill households for decades. For example, to make the average low-skill household fiscally neutral (taxes paid equaling immediate benefits received plus interest on government debt), it would be necessary to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, all 60 means-tested aid programs and cut the cost of public education in half. It seems certain that, on average, low-skill households will generate deep fiscal deficits for the foreseeable future. Policies that reduce the future number of high school dropouts and other policies affecting future generations could reduce long-term costs.

Future government policies that would expand entitlement programs such as Medicaid would increase future deficits at the margin. Policies that reduced the out-of-wedlock childbearing rate or which increased the real educational attainments and wages of future low-skill workers could reduce deficits somewhat in the long run.

Changes to immigration policy could have a much larger effect on the fiscal deficits generated by low-skill families. Policies which would substantially increase the inflow of low-skill immigrant workers receiving services would dramatically increase the fiscal deficits described in this paper and impose substantial costs on U.S. taxpayers.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Mmmm coffee.

Bastiat talks about "the seen and the unseen." With all due respect, you -- and my brother in law -- and a lot of other people whom I highly respect -- love to point to a datum in the "seen" category and say "See?"

Lower income households provide less revenue and use more government services. Who is surprised? Those without a diploma will earn less than those with; illegal immigrants tend to be less educated than native born citizens, yup.

I contend, still, that the "unseen" value that these workers and consumers bring to the economy more than compensates for the increased use of public services. The educated in your table are able to earn what they do, in large part, because there is a less educated work force (stop him before he says "comparative advantage" -- too late!).

To allow the educated (or ambitious dropouts like me and AlexC) to get ahead and innovate frequently requires allowing them to leverage less-educated labor. As Ricardo showed, both will be wealthier.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2007 2:06 PM

November 13, 2006

Internecine Grudge Match, Round 4 (or so)

Last week, in JK's latest installment of "border security is a political loser" he appears to remain convinced that campaigning on border control hurt the GOP candidates who did so. Or perhaps he's only suggesting that it didn't help them. Either way, it appears the same is also true for the new Democrat majority.

WaPo reports today in Democrats May Proceed With Caution on Immigration:

But when it comes to immigration, things are never easy. In the days after the election, Democratic leaders surprised pro-immigration groups by not including the issue on their list of immediate priorities. Experts said the issue is so complicated, so sensitive and so explosive that it could easily blow up in the Democrats' faces and give control of Congress back to Republicans in the next election two years from now. And a number of Democrats who took a hard line on illegal immigration were also elected to Congress.

Hat tip: Rush.

JK also applauded the "JG seven points" [7th comment] for immigration policy reform but added, "You think Tommy Tancredo would go for it? Wait let me answer that -- no way in hell!"

Well, here's the latest from "Tommy:"

Anti-immigration Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who was distraught after the election, believing a guest worker program was inevitable under the Democrats, now says he's changed his mind.

"It seemed to me that it was not going to be as easy for them as I had anticipated or feared," Tancredo said. "They're not putting it out there as their number one, out-of-the-box issue."

The more he thought about the issue, the more cloudy the future seemed.

"I don't know," he said. A temporary guest worker program "could certainly happen. I may be just skipping past the graveyard."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:06 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

1. I should not refer to an elected representative of the US Congress by first name, certainly not a diminutive. I apologize, Johnny, for calling Rep. Tancredo "Tommy." That was bad form and I will not repeat it.

2. It most definitely hurt the GOP as a whole to head into elections without a solution to the emergency they had concocted. This was underscored nicely on the Journal Editorial Report this weekend. (scroll to bottom) Some individual races were won in spite of candidates' embracing enforcement-only, but I've yet to read a convincing case of one who won because of it and there are many examples of candidates' losing with that as a chief or high priority.

3. That Rep. Tancredo has himself tossed in the towel on his signature issue after last week's drubbing indicates that he realizes what a loser issue it is. Saying the future is cloudy and that it might happen someday does not strike me as a ringing endorsement of the JGVII.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2006 3:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, sorry about the scare quotes around Tommy. I didn't mean to imply that it was disrespectful. I think Tommy is a fine name for him! Don't know what I was thinkin'.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2006 1:07 AM
But sugarchuck thinks:

As to point two, the crisis on the border was not concocted; it is real. The emergency is the failure to do anything about it. If JK is correct about a majority of people opposing a border fence and a muscular security presence and voting on their opposition,then so be it. The "folks" are wrong and all the situational populism in the world won't make them right. The southern border needs to be controlled, period. The rest of it, amnesty, worker programs, etc..., is another topic.

Posted by: sugarchuck at November 14, 2006 9:55 AM
But jk thinks:

Tommy is a very fine name. I try to always address every member of legitimately elected office by his or her title. The most difficult two for me are Vice President Gore and Rep. Tancredo. Al and Tommy just slip through.

We perhaps need to fly everybody out and hash this out over beers or cappuccinos. I don't feel my points are getting across and I feel frustration on your parts.

We all want law and order. We all want to know who is crossing the border. I think that addresses the emergency.

I think my blog brothers and the Tancredoites and the Bill O'Reilly brigades are wrong to seek enforcement only. It would require a level of militarization and aesthetics that would be unpalatable to most people.

I also believe that enforcement-only would damage the economy. I started with economic arguments. Bastiat's "Seen and Unseen" hold the day: these people contribute far more to our economy than they take out. Even with the illegal chaotic nature, the influx has made us wealthier.

Since I want to fix it and do not believe enforcement-only works, I champion "comprehensive" reform. I said a November ago that enforcement and increased immigration are complimentary, not exclusive. For this reason, I thought a compromise House-Enforcement/Senate-Guest Worker could be done in conference.

All hail the seven points! Science be praised!

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2006 10:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I haven't heard any blog brothers argue for enforcement ONLY. We ask for enforcement FIRST.

It can be argued that this amounts to enforcement only for the period until immigration reform passes but don't forget about the 12 million already here. They'll keep their jobs and any negative effect on the supply of labor will be gradual and discernable. This will apply the proper market pressure for the political solution you earnestly seek.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2006 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

We're talking compromise, committee legislation. Congress cannot legally bind another Congress and intra-congressional staging requires more trust than 535 legislators can generate or sustain.

You have to bargain: "Tommy," says Senator McCain(he can use first names) "you approve guest workers and a path to citizenship, we'll add 200 miles to your fence." The whole thing gets sausaged up and placed on the President's desk for a signing. No first, no later.

As far as the current residents sustaining the labor pool, I seek a plan that will allow them to leave and come back legally.

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2006 4:30 PM

September 22, 2006

House's "Last Gasp Measures" on Immigration

The WSJ editorial page and a beloved blog brother are deriding the efforts of republicans in the House of Representatives to "do something about this immigration problem about which they've whipped everybody up." FNC's Major Garrett gave a detailed report on events in the legislative body during Thursday's 'Special Report with Brit Hume.'

Here are the highlights -

Republicans "steamrolled" three bills through the House:
Bill 1- Imposes a 20-year prison sentence for anyone constructing or financing the construction of a cross-border smuggling tunnel.
Bill 2- Allows for longer detention and swifter deportation of illegal alien felons or illegals who belong to criminal gangs.
Bill 3- Encourages local and state police to find and apprehend illegal immigrants.

"Democrats say the bills have little chance of becoming law."

Republicans Hastert and Boener presented a chart entitled, "House Republicans' Border Security Now September Agenda" which listed the following bullet points:
- More Border Fencing and Improved Surveillance Technology
- "Catch & Return," not "Catch & Release"
- Detention and Deportation of Alien Gang Members
- Expedited Removal of Alien Criminals
- Increase in Prosecution of Alien Smugglers
- Criminalization of Construction and Financing of Border Tunnels
- Detention of Dangerous Aliens Unable to be Deported
- Reaffirm Authority of State and Local Law Enforcement to Enforce Immigration Laws
- Funding for Secure Border Initiative
- Funding for More Border Patrol Agents

Personally, I fail to see how any of these individual measures are "bad politics, bad economics" or "bad imagery." Better yet, taken as a whole they give the appearance of a "comprehensive" approach.

While detractors share common cause with representatives John Conyers and Sheila Jackson Lee who decry the failure to pass "comprehensive immigration reform," the three house bills passed today with large bipartisan margins, as Democrats hasten to put themselves on the politically popular side of these obvious steps.

Bill 1- Passed unanimously. Bill 2- Passed with 100 democrat "yea" votes. Bill 3- Passed with 62 democrats piling on.

The three bills have no companions in the Senate, but House leadership hopes to roll them into the "must pass" Homeland Security spending bill scheduled for hill action next week.

This is shaping up to be quite a mighty "gasp."

And don't forget the 700-mile border fence the house already approved, which is also scheduled for a Senate vote next week.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:28 AM | Comments (3)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

"Democrats say the bills have little chance of becoming law."

The Dems said that,.and YOU believed them???

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at September 22, 2006 9:53 AM
But jk thinks:

All of these measures would be good politics, good economics, and good imagery were they combined with some legislation which would give American business the labor it requires and provide a way for those honest laborers to cross and take those jobs. Then it would be a sign of a secure America that welcomes workers but not lawbreakers.

I'm proud to stand with Reps. Conyers and Lee but I suspect their motives are different than mine.

The old line is that a House majority can pass a ham sandwich. The key has always been, is, and will remain the flexibility of the House in conference. As they now seem to confuse intransigence with toughness, I am not confident.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2006 10:14 AM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

jk,..America has plenty of labor out there. Its up to the Dems to get them off the welfare addiction and the so-called "urban leaders" to stop telling them welfare is better than working for "da man!"

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at September 22, 2006 12:24 PM

July 12, 2006

Sweet Land of Liberty - Please Take a Number

06.07.11.StarsBarred-X.gif

Here's a cartoon for JK. The Allen Forkum analysis that accompanies it on the coxandforkum.com site is also excellent. He cites the same WSJ editorial that JK did two days ago, and singles out the arbitrary legal immigrant quota as largely responsible for the ongoing crisis. Forkum also challenges the WSJ assertion that "the conservative silent majority is pro-immigration" by referencing a blog poll of right leaning bloggers who favored the House bill to the Senate's 44 to 6. I can't see the connection between "conservative silent majority" and bloggers, but the result is strikingly similar to the tone on right leaning talk radio.

Personally I suspect that many conservatives would temper their opposition if given the conditions on legal immigrants that I offered in my comments yesterday:

1) That they learn English, some basic US history, and show personal initiative to assimilate themselves into "The American Way." [...] 2) Reverse America's drift toward democracy, i.e. "mob rule" and the "tyranny of the majority." America is a "Republic madam, if you can keep it."

Forkum speculates that many of these right leaning bloggers are primarily concerned with American security in a post-9/11 world, but I suspect a general fear of negative unintended consequences of more and more immigration, legal and otherwise. Conservatives rightly distrust the government to prevent these consequences, given the track record of the last 20 or more years. The most threatening of these consequences is the one addressed by my condition number 2: As things stand today, there is a genuine risk that one day a majority of Americans will vote to make Spanish our official language, not to mention scores of other initiatives that would effectively make the US more like Mexico than the land of liberty we grew up in.

The opposition is not, therefore, to immigration per se, but to the threat of statism that illegal immigrants are a visible component of. The less visible elements include John Dewey's postmodern educational system, the widespread acceptance of altruism as a moral code, and the mythical belief that America is governed by democracy. All of these elements are promoted to varying degrees by one or both of the two dominant political parties, so they have become mainstream beliefs. (Worse yet, one party promotes ALL of them, all by itself!)

Unless Americans defend the ideas that American exceptionalism is real, that every man is entitled to his own property, and that the Constitution limits the powers of the government to infringe the rights of individuals, the forces of statism will destroy the beloved institutions that empower those ideas. The Americans who make up the so-called "conservative silent majority" understand this threat, though perhaps not its causes or champions. The simple fact that they're willing to fight against it in whatever way they can is encouraging.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:53 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm talking about Joe six-pack, Fred the UPS guy and Billy Bob with a gun rack in his pickup truck. These aren't militia members, but they are representative of the conservative silent majority. They are the reason talk radio and conservative blogs survive and thrive.

I'm not sure that 52 bloggers are representative of their views any more than 33 conservative elites, but I do stand by my analysis of what gives them the jitters on immigration.

Incidentally, if the Senate bill did what you proposed in your prior comment it would not be such a non-starter in the House. The US Senate, as with the Colorado legislature, is not about to allow any meaningful voter reform.

Posted by: johngalt at July 12, 2006 11:22 AM
But dagny thinks:

Normally I'm all for the philosophy but in this case I find myself compelled to point out the practical. Hormonally deranged no doubt.

I refuse to send my beautiful and genius daughter to the Fort Lupton public schools where her education would be sadly neglected in favor of the majority hispanic speaking population. Nevertheless, I am required to PAY for the Fort Lupton public schools.

I get furious just thinking about it. This is what illegal immigration means to me and many others I expect.

Posted by: dagny at July 12, 2006 11:32 AM
But jk thinks:

I think the elites track closely to the shared philosophies you and I espouse.

The talk radio crowd joins us on patriotism and support for our troops and their mission. I thank them for that. (Hey, I'm the big tent guy.)

I know that the populists follow Bill O'Reilly into a price-gouging witch-hunt as soon as gas hits #3. They'll support limiting "outrageous" CEO pay. I think we need the principles of the elites.

Remember that I am not so much endorsing the Senate Bill as President Bush's idea of a compromise including the Senate's liberal immigration and the House's enhanced enforcement. Juntos podemos, President Bush said in his first inaugu4ration. Together we can.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2006 11:44 AM
But jk thinks:

Likely the blogging equivalent of getting between a bear and her cub, but I'm going to proceed...

Dagny, you cannot claim that you would be happy sending your beautiful, genius daughter to the Fort Lupton Public Schools were it not for immigrants. I know for a fact that you could find ten things wrong with it, and I wonder whether Spanish-speaking immigrants would grace the top five.

No ThreeSourcer I know sends a child to traditional public school. I refuse to believe that you would be the first except for immigrants.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2006 11:54 AM
But dagny thinks:

10 things?, I could probably find 50, up to and including errors in the textbooks. Just because there are other things wrong with the public schools does not mean that illegal immigration is not a large problem to address. But, that is not my main issue. I clearly phrased it badly. My main issue is that I am expected to PAY for the FLPS. Money that I could spend to educate my child as I see fit is spent to teach philosophical nonsense (not even in English) to illegal immigrants.

Additionally, part of my point was the feelings engendered by the debate which do not change even if I would not send my child there. Furthermore, I try not to vote based on feelings but I am a rare individual in that regard.

I do claim that there are probably a few remaining public schools that I would consider sending my child to. However, I dont want to move to Highlands Ranch. There is no room for the horses.

Finally, no ThreeSourcer? Silence, Lattesipper, no support for our wonderful public school system?

Posted by: dagny at July 12, 2006 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

I understand. And I sympathize. And I would fix it your way if I could. The pragmatist in me says that train left the station a long time ago, no sense worrying about the martini olives in the club car. At least a voucher would allow you to get some money back. I pay for the bi-lingual school across the field from me (Motto: educating tomorrow's Burger King workers today!) and I have no kids.

I think you are unfair to oppose liberalization and normalization of immigration (sounding like a good rap song) because you are frustrated with coerced public education. My point is that you'd be coerced either way, you might as well be wealthier.

I shouldn't speak for everybody but I know ThreeSourcers' kids' being in Catholic schools and public charter schools, and some others are too young. I could be wrong. My little Skylark was graduated from obedience training at the Humane Society. I received no public funds.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2006 2:47 PM

July 3, 2006

Sen McConnell on Flag Burning

It seems the Republicans at ThreeSources have found something else to disagree on. (Though we all feel it is wrong to end a sentence with a preposition.)

I have been rather strongly opposed to the flag burning amendment. Simply put, I think it wrong to put a symbol -- no matter how sacred -- above freedom.

I suggested in a comment that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was deserving of two profiles in Courage awards. First, he opposed McCain-Feingold all the way to the Supreme Court as all the media were leading Kumbuyas with supporters from both parties. He should wear McConnell v FEC as a badge of honor.

I suggested a second for him for opposing the flag amendment. This time standing apart from his GOP Caucus, but both times choosing freedom of speech and a defense of the First Amendment as protecting political speech.

JohnGalt disagreed and provided this link to a press releases explaining his vote. JG found it unconvincing but jk finds it a perfect description of my beliefs. I provide a link to encourage everybody to read it in full.

I dont share the slightest shred of sympathy with any who would dare desecrate the flag. They demean the service of millions of Americans, including my father and the brave men and women currently fighting the War on Terror. They deserve rebuke and condemnationif not a punch in the nose.

I revere the American flag as a symbol of freedom. But behind it is something largerthe Constitution. The First Amendment, which protects our freedom of speech, is the most precious part of the Bill of Rights. As disgusting as the ideas expressed by those who would burn the flag are, they remain protected by the First Amendment.

Our Founding Fathers wrote the First Amendment because they believed that, even with all the excesses and offenses that freedom of speech would undoubtedly allow, truth and reason would triumph in the end. And they believed the answer to offensive speech was not to regulate it, but to counter it with more speech.


JG finds the comparison to the Second Amendment tenuous but I do not. These rights are granted absolutely in the Bill of Rights and I am tired of our officials picking and choosing the ones they feel should be honored.

Our country is sacred and exceptional for its ideas. I cannot put a symbol -- even one I cherish -- above those ideas.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:44 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Well done, JK. I fully understand the principled stand that you and the good Senator are taking in defense of the indefensible. Verily, I once stood with you on this. But, much to dagny's consternation, I've revised my position. I wondered if it were just the power of the season inflating my patriotic, jingoistic, jack-booted knee-jerk reflexes. Nope.

Please allow me to accurately state the opposition:

First, I don't find the comparision to the Second Amendment tenuous. It's an excellent comparison. What I do find tenuous is the idea that gun grabbers will be dissuaded in the slightest by the absence of a Flag Burning Amendment. And the argument it would encourage them is disassembled below.

As for the amendment, those who read my comments carefully know that I called for a prohibition on burning the Flag "in the public square." Burn away in your opium den, or even you trash strewn back yard, you wastoid maggots. Quoting myself, ['Freedom of Speech?' June 30, 2006]:

"Everyone should always have the right to say, "America sucks" or "the flag stands for ______" (insert collectivist slur of choice). But nobody should have the right to burn the Flag in the public square, even if he owns said flag. There is no "self-evident" right of an individual to publicly and uncerimoniously destroy, with extreme prejudice, the preeminent national symbol of this country."

So there you have it. Free Speech is perfectly protected, Constitutionally. Pyromania and incitement to riot, on the other hand...

Now, I'm not suggesting the offense carry a mandatory minimum term in jail, or even (necessarily) a fine. Just do away with the ridiculous spectacle of uniformed police officers holding back battle-worn vets who try to do exactly the same thing as Rick Monday, whom JK praised for rescuing a fuel-soaked flag from the centerfield grass of Dodgers stadium. ['Rick Monday', July 02, 2006]

Posted by: johngalt at July 5, 2006 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Always great to agree with Dagny. I appreciate your position protecting the flag but question your implementation.

1) The part about restricting free speech from the public square. Syrians can criticize the government in their basements, Sharansky bifurcates between fear societies and free societies by what can be done in the public square.

2) You're going to make something illegal yet prohibit jail time for contravention? a $1000 fine so that the rich have free speech but the poor do not?

3) Dangerous public pyromania and incitement to riot are already illegal, speech is legal. We're talking about a special exception for the US Flag.

Posted by: jk at July 5, 2006 4:07 PM
But jk thinks:

To be fair, I have never seen "the ridiculous spectacle of uniformed police officers holding back battle-worn vets who try to do exactly the same thing as Rick Monday." A little slippery discretion is called for in that instance. To legislate it is sadly legislating away free speech.

You can't let the crowd tear the Illinois Nazis apart either, and as I've said "Man, I hate Illinois Nazis!"

Posted by: jk at July 5, 2006 4:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Illinois Nazis gather to SPEAK. Calling America a budding fear society if we stop flag burners is laughable. I admit I haven't given careful consideration to the implementation of such a statute, but what harm can come from giving the flag as much protection as other national symbols, like bald eagles for example?

Here's a brain twister for the ACLU: Do Illinois Nazis have the right to free speech if that speech includes use of the N-word? I wonder which sacred cow they would protect then.

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2006 12:49 AM
But jk thinks:

I use Illinois Nazis because I like the Blues Brothers Allusion, but also because I think the high point of the ACLUs' existence was their protection of the Nazi march in Skokie. I learned a lot about free speech from that, and considered myself a budding young civil libertarian. I also loved Alan Dershowitz's book, "Taking Liberties."

We sadly agree on what the ACLU has become, I cannot imagine their championing any but left wing causes anymore. they have become just another partisan organization.

But back to wrasslin': you put words in my mouth. No, we're not a budding fear society but free speech is about what you can do in the public square and allowing it in your basement doesnt strike me as a valid compromise..

And is audible vocal speech the only thing protected? Are we in danger because the First Amendment doesn't enumerate blogs?

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2006 9:57 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I got the Blues Bros tie-in. (I never knew what Illinois Nazis were before that movie!)

The equality of spoken and written speech are clear.

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2006 11:57 AM

June 20, 2006

Immigration Consensus

Not at ThreeSources! But the WSJ Ed Page credits a consensus among economists. Here's the editorial. stolen posted in full:

Finally a consensus has been reached on immigration. No, not among politicians, who can't agree on a rational immigration reform. The agreement is among professional economists.

In an open letter to President Bush and Congress last week, more than 500 prominent economists, including five Nobel laureates, proclaim that "immigration has been a net gain for American citizens." The letter adds that "while a small percentage of native-born Americans may be harmed by immigration, vastly more Americans benefit from the contributions that immigrants make to the economy, including lower consumer prices. As with trade in goods and services, gains from immigration outweigh the losses." Alan Greenspan often made this same point about the benefits of immigration while he was Federal Reserve Chairman.

What is striking about this immigration letter is that it is signed by economists from different fields of research, political affiliations and ideologies. It is possible that no other issue in the economic field, with the exception of the benefits of free trade, inspires such unanimity of professional opinion as immigration does.

Several years ago the Cato Institute surveyed the past presidents of the American Economic Association and the past chairmen of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. Eighty percent agreed that immigration has had "a very favorable impact on the nation's economic growth," and 70% said that even illegal immigrant workers "have a positive economic impact." These experts agree that on balance immigrants don't displace native workers, depress wages or abuse welfare. If only these economic facts could break through an immigration debate that is dominated by emotion and political fear.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM

June 10, 2006

Google Searches

No one here has blogged about Google in a while.

But someone at the Google Blogoscope has compiled a list of censored searches at the Chinese Google.

The top 10?

    democracy
    rights
    human
    human rights
    army
    mao zedong
    what google censors
    tiananmen
    bird flu
    bbc

Human is censored? I guess a search like that could lead to "human rights"... but that's really casting a wide net.

Posted by AlexC at 10:24 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Pick at that scab! Pretty soon, none of us will be on speaking terms with another.

I will concede that CW has gone entirely your way; even a lot of Google people think they were wrong.

Yet I stubbornly hold on to my contention that it is no different to ask British Petroleum not to sell gas that contributes to global warming. We should remove the "consciousness" from corporations and let them be bound by the invisible hand. Maximize the asset value of shareholders and let others fight for universal rights. Donate some money if you want.

Professor Reynolds contends that they have lost their cool factor with the China deal and the censoring of conservative blogs. People are eyeing them skeptically and boycotting. For what it's worth, I'm a Yahoo guy by tradition and inertia but I wouldn't claim they had done much better.

My last company was almost bought by the "Dogpile" folks. They are nice and bright, check out dogpile.com.

Posted by: jk at June 10, 2006 1:05 PM
But AlexC thinks:

BP should continue to sell gas because that's always been their goal. (Well, really it's make money)

Make fuel.

Google's whole point was to provide information. When they go deliberately tampering with the information, not for some technical reason, but for a governmental reason, that's where people get pissed.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 10:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Aha! You found it yourself. Google is not in business to provide information, they are in business to sell advertising. Operating in China allows them to sell more advertising.

If you talk to a Google engineer (which I do not recommend) they like to say their business is "raising the world's IQ." By providing hobbled Google to the Chinese instead of a state owned solution, I would say they had succeeded on that point as well.

You might have a compatriot at Banana Oil. Ian has to experience the firewall firsthand http://blog.ianhamet.com/index.php/archive/2006/06/01/1859/ Plus his quote from "The Fountainhead" will be well received.

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2006 12:32 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Ok, mea culpa. Google's business NOW is to make money. They used to be about finding information. The two google founders worked on it as part of PhD work.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 1:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah but the $117 BBBBillion market cap is not a referendum on their research, it exists to pursue business opportunities.

I know we'll never agree on that but don't you see a danger in asking a corporation to pursue some greater good than increasing asset value? It's going to be far more frequently employed by leftists who'll want an agenda you don't agree with.

How about companies make money and bloggers save the world?

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2006 6:19 PM
But AlexC thinks:

All I'm asking is that a corporation persues their stated ideals. If it's "do no evil" I'm at a loss as to how that fits with "kowtowing to a evil political system."

If they're going to do the latter, they should drop pretense of the former.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 10:23 PM

June 4, 2006

On the Web

BBC

    A US state is to enlist web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet.
    The plan will allow web users worldwide to watch Texas' border with Mexico and phone the authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry said the cameras would focus on "hot-spots and common routes" used to enter the US.


This is a clever idea, except for the one tragic downfall.

The toll-free call in number. How long before it's rendered useless by crank calls?

Posted by AlexC at 9:43 PM

May 26, 2006

VDH on Immigration

We're entering a brave new world according to Victor Davis Hansen.

    Many Americans - perhaps out of understandable and well-meant empathy for the dispossessed who toil so hard for so little - support this present open system of non-borders. But I find nothing liberal about it.

    Zealots may chant Si, se puede! all they want. And the libertarian right may dress up the need for cheap labor as a desire to remain globally competitive. But neither can disguise a cynicism about illegal immigration, one that serves to prop up a venal Mexican government, undercut the wages of our own poor and create a new apartheid of millions of aliens in our shadows.

    We have the entered a new world of immigration without precedent. This current crisis is unlike the great waves of 19th-century immigration that brought thousands of Irish, Eastern Europeans and Asians to the United States. Most immigrants in the past came legally. Few could return easily across an ocean to home. Arrivals from, say, Ireland or China could not embrace the myth that our borders had crossed them rather than vice versa.

    Today, almost a third of all foreign-born persons in the United States are here illegally, making up 3 to 4 percent of the American population. It is estimated that the U.S. is home to 11 or 12 million illegal aliens, whose constantly refreshed numbers ensure there is always a perpetual class of unassimilated recent illegal arrivals. Indeed almost one-tenth of Mexico's population currently lives here illegally!

Posted by AlexC at 8:55 PM

The President's 'Balanced' Plan for Immigration Reform

Days after the Presidential Address to announce 6000 National Guard troops sent to "back up" the border patrol for 1 year, JK asked if I would call myself "supportive of the president's outline [of a "balanced plan" describing a "rational middle ground" on immigration.] My answer at the time was that it seemed more like the Reagan amnesty than a sustainable solution to an on-going problem. You see, I hadn't actually listened to the entirety of the 16 minute address... until last night.

One factoid I learned was the one about the National Guard. Irrespective of their assigned duties, they will be there for only a year before being "reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online." Then there was this stunner:

"Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop. To secure the border effectively, we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across."

Memo to President Bush: We already have a temporary worker program. It's called the H1B Visa. But there aren't enough of them and they aren't temporary. And, if I'm not mistaken, the latest version of the Senate bill actually reduces the number of visas available. [Actually, this may have referred to a reduction from the prior proposal to treble them.]

Look, if "the reality is there are many people (...) who will do anything to come to America and work" and if you want to "reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across" then just give legal work visas to all of them. And for NED's sake, don't make seeking a job a felony, criminalize the failure to seek a job! (Not really, but you get my point.)

But this is the one that really pisses me off:

"Fourth, we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are here already. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it. Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully, and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration."

No, Mr. President, this is not amnesty. Amnesty is giving people a pass for breaking a law without repealing said law at the same time. What you've described is lunacy.

You say, "There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation." That is true, but this is also a false dichotomy. Since when has citizenship been required for permanent resident status? Just let legal immigrants live here and work here, and be subject to each and every one of our laws, but without the voter franchise.

In conclusion,

1) Secure the goram border, using armed guardsmen if necessary;
2) Revise H1B visas to include assignment of Social Security numbers, allow unlimited renewals, and make far more available each year;
3) Issue these new visas (with all your biometric whiz-bangery) to every illegal alien in the country. (And make damn sure no visa holders remain on the voter rolls.)
4) Eliminate citizenship as a birthright unless one or more parent is a citizen but other than this, make little if any change to the citizenship process.
and
5) Start drafting wholesale entitlement reforms now, in secret, to be put forth after the GOP holds congress in '06.

Any questions?

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, what are you smokin'?

Entitlement reform in the new GOP 110th Congress will be pretty difficult to pass after the President has failed on Social Security, failed on immigration, and Congress has a smaller Republican majority.

I asked if you could support the President and the answer, I suppose, is "no." You've crafted your own plan, weeks after the President. The armed guards are not palatable to most Americans and do not constitute good politics (cf. Pete Wilson, former Governor). The additional Visas are workable to me but will be fought by unions. The change in citizenship for native birth is not on the table anywhere.

Entitlement reform will be up to Speaker Pelosi. I know you read an article that says it's improbable, but few serious people this month are calling it impossible.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2006 5:10 PM

May 17, 2006

WSJ on Immigration

I'm not the only one. The Editorial Page of the Wall Street Journal is with me on the President's speech.

President Bush laid out a "rational middle ground" on immigration Monday night amid an irrational election year. The question in the next few weeks is whether his own political party is smart enough to seize the moment and follow, or would rather run off on the anti-immigration rails.

Everybody I talk to says "rails!" I was speaking with a Bush-supporting but Tancredo-friendly relative yesterday. He's of the "wall first" flavor and I respect him immensely. But he said that the government isn't ready to create ID cards. I asked if we were more ready to build a 2000 mile wall. "Is the environmental impact study complete?"

An accompanying graph shows a nice linear rise in border patrol agents from 4,000 in 1994 to under 12,000 today. I think this belies the concept that enforcement has been ignored or gravely under funded Yes, it could be improved (and I think the President laid out exactly how) but enforcement-only will not work. The President's plan of fence, technology, more agents, guard troops, ID cards, and employer enforcement would combine to provide effective enforcement, while legal paths to work and citizenship would relieve the pressure on the border.

The reason has less to do with policy -- Mr. Blunt is not a policy man -- than with this year's elections. The President's approval ratings are down, Congress's are even lower thanks to its poor record of achievement, and so the Members have grabbed immigration enforcement as the issue to turn out the GOP base. We'll find out in November if it worked, though for now all it seems to have done is divide the party and drive Mr. Bush's ratings even lower.

The President is offering Congress a way out of this box canyon. His proposal for a guest-worker program is a serious attempt to reduce the incentives that immigrants have to enter the U.S. illegally. He also realizes that, for the illegals already here, mass deportations are impractical and would spell political suicide for the GOP. Hence, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is trying this week to garner more support for a bipartisan plan that would put these illegal workers on a path to citizenship if they pass a background check, pay fines, learn English and satisfy other requirements.
[...]
We realize we're pushing uphill by mentioning these realities amid what has become a full-fledged political panic. Mr. Bush probably also erred in not objecting more vigorously last year when the House GOP rolled out its punitive legislation that makes working here illegally a felony. That bill has both inflamed Hispanics and made immigration control a larger and more polarizing issue than it needed to be this year. If Republicans want to emerge with their majority intact, they'll take Mr. Bush's advice and support reform that does more about immigration than pretending that more border police will solve the problem.


Posted by John Kranz at 2:27 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

The Democrats made a brilliant move when they insisted on language in the House immigration bill making illegal immigration a felony. This one fact is cited almost universally as the "GOP's punitive legislation." Brilliant move, Nancy!

The single biggest complaint I have about "guest worker" is "path to citizenship." If you want to be a citizen, follow the rules already in place. Period.

BUT... I strongly endorse the idea of revising immigration law to eliminate quotas on legal entry for the purpose of employment. I.D. everyone, keep out the criminals and terrorists, then let the markets run the show.

On top of this we still need to stop spending tax dollars on bilinguality and, since non-citizen workers will no longer be "in the shadows" they can be held to all the same civil standards as citizens are.

As a free bonus, once the law about legal entry is changed then everyone who came in before is no longer a criminal.

Posted by: johngalt at May 18, 2006 3:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I am looking for those who are more enforcement oriented than I who were won over by the President's balanced plan. I don't expect you to dance about giddily, but would call yourself "supportive" of the President's outline?

Posted by: jk at May 18, 2006 4:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I heard the beginning of his speech before leaving for dinner with in-laws, but what I heard sounded good - the beginning part, where he was speaking in generalities about values and such. As for his proposed plan I can't say that I really understand the details.

My general sense though is that it it more like Reagan's 1984 "amnesty" than like a sustainable solution to an ongoing problem. I could be wrong, but that's how it comes across.

I still have yet to hear the president or anyone in government talk about unlimited legal work permits. They always focus on "path to citizenship" and never mention that annual quotas and, thus, motivation to immigrate illegally, will remain.

Can you tell me what the president's "balanced plan" does to eliminate the current scarcity of opportunities for legal immigration?

Posted by: johngalt at May 19, 2006 4:21 PM

April 11, 2006

Day by Day

Posted by AlexC at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)
But LatteSipper thinks:

They're both right.

Posted by: LatteSipper at April 12, 2006 10:30 AM

April 10, 2006

Huh?

dallasdemflyer.jpg

Can someone explain to me what, exactly, I'm looking at?

(Tip to Michelle Malkin)

Posted by AlexC at 2:50 PM | Comments (10)
But AlexC thinks:

JK, how about the distinct disadvantage?

Namely, if it were so great, people wouldn't be fleeing it.

At least before the the Civil War, our union was a voluntary one, so people could petition to join it (ala Texas)...

But could you imagine the enormous sh!tstorm that would erupt? Depending on how you gerrymandered the states/provinces you could give a bunch of seats to Dems or a bunch to the GOP. It would make the Missouri Compromise look like cupcake time.

Posted by: AlexC at April 10, 2006 8:32 PM
But jk thinks:

I can imagine, but we are encouraged to think big at ThreeSources.

I always contend that people are poor because of bad government. If we brought our far-less bad government, their economy would skyrocket. Folks aren't leaving because the Tequila is bad; they're searching for American opportunity.

It would be very tough to add all those likely Democrat districts, yup. That's why you need Canadian provinces and subdivision of Texas (for the Senate). Most of our oil comes from these places -- it'd be Nafta on Steroids!

Posted by: jk at April 10, 2006 8:52 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

But LatteSipper thinks:

51st state? Holy cow! Are we invading Mexico?
Posted by: LatteSipper at April 10, 2006 04:22 PM

Why not? Those people are obviously leaving for the US because life in Mexico sucks under the current regime.

I think its high time GWB took charge and set things right south of the border! Maybe then, those people will leave us alone!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at April 10, 2006 9:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Before I'm accused of "going all Sam Houston" on our neighbors, I agree that it is a right and a privilege to be admitted into the Union and I want nobody who doesn't want to go and doesn't prove it by referenda.

Nobody pointed out that if we need more GOP districts, we can always offer statehood to Iraq...Silence? LatteSipper?

Posted by: jk at April 11, 2006 10:34 AM
But LatteSipper thinks:

(rising to the bait ...) After all we've done for Iraq, I don't think they'll be anxious to receive any more gifts from us. Perhaps Iran would be interested.

Posted by: LatteSipper at April 11, 2006 2:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If Mexico joins the union you can bet it will be voluntary, because you can also bet they'll get more out of the deal than the other 50 states will. I just hope the public restrooms in Mexico become more like ours instead of the other way around.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2006 3:12 PM

April 7, 2006

Name for This?

None dare call it sedition.

    Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that The City will not comply with any federal legislation that criminalizes efforts to help illegal immigrants.

    The mayor also denounced a bipartisan congressional proposal that would beef up border security and allow as many as 12 million illegal immigrants to gain legal status.

    Newsom, who has not been afraid to wade into controversial national issues such as gay marriage, appeared with a group of elected officials on the steps of City Hall to support immigrants, documented as well as undocumented.Newsom also signed a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, and passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, urging San Francisco law enforcement not to comply with criminal provisions of any new immigration bill.

    San Francisco stands foursquare in strong opposition to the rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C., Newsom said. If people think we were defiant on the gay marriage issue, they havent seen defiance.


What are the state's rights / federalism issues involved in something like this? I have no idea where to even begin.

Posted by AlexC at 5:27 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I bet his eyes were closed when he said it!

Posted by: jk at April 7, 2006 6:07 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Well,...maybe this is why that city Supervisor stated that the US doesn't need a military. If it were sedition, Bush would be within his rights to sic the Army on SF!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at April 7, 2006 7:15 PM
But AlexC thinks:

JK, I'd like to know if he was smelling his own farts.

I'm thinking I'd like to rent of the planes you see at the beach pulling an advertisement.

I'd fly it over the Mexico-California border.
In spanish it would say, "The city of San Franscisco welcomes you! Kids stay free!"

Posted by: AlexC at April 7, 2006 9:26 PM
But LatteSipper thinks:

So when a mayor says his city's government won't abide by a some portion of pending legislation, that's sedition, huh? What is it when a president signs a bill into law and adds an addendum that he is not obliged to obey the requirements of the law?

Posted by: LatteSipper at April 9, 2006 12:43 AM
But jk thinks:

I'll concede that it is not sedition to abjure enforcement of a law that doesn't exist yet.

We have a very complicated power sharing arrangement between cities, states and federal government that is constantly tested and adjudicated. You'll find most of us siding against the Feds on Federalism grounds (Raich v Gonzales is second only to McConnell v FEC for worst SCOTUS decision of my lifetime).

But when the laws are settled, we expect both sides to honor them. Mobile, Alabama cannot outlaw abortions, Coeur d' Alene cannot allow chattel slavery. Cities like SF (and Boulder?) that refuse to recognize the Patriot Act or prosecute Federal laws are, well, um, seditious.

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2006 11:12 AM
But LatteSipper thinks:

Yet that appears not to apply to our beloved president. Bush signed the Patriot Act extension with much fanfare, then the Whitehouse quietly issued a signing statement in which Bush said he was not bound by elements of the law. Shouldn't he have vetoed the law if felt there were elements he couldn't abide by?

Posted by: LatteSipper at April 10, 2006 12:13 PM

Wall First, Questions Later

Krauthammer

    Forget employer sanctions. Build a barrier. It is simply ridiculous to say it cannot be done. If one fence won't do it, then build a second 100 yards behind it. And then build a road for patrols in between. Put cameras. Put sensors. Put out lots of patrols.

    Can't be done? Israel's border fence has been extraordinarily successful in keeping out potential infiltrators who are far more determined than mere immigrants. Nor have very many North Koreans crossed into South Korea in the last 50 years.

    Of course it will be ugly. So are the concrete barriers to keep truck bombs from driving into the White House. But sometimes necessity trumps aesthetics. And don't tell me that this is our Berlin Wall. When you build a wall to keep people in, that's a prison. When you build a wall to keep people out, that's an expression of sovereignty. The fence around your house is a perfectly legitimate expression of your desire to control who comes into your house to eat, sleep and use the facilities. It imprisons no one.

    Of course, no barrier will be foolproof. But it doesn't have to be. It simply has to reduce the river of illegals to a manageable trickle. Once we can do that, everything becomes possible -- most especially, humanizing the situation of our 11 million existing illegals.

Posted by AlexC at 2:57 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Except for his perpetuation of the "11 million" myth (some estimate 20 million or more) this is a great column. Krauthammer advocates for the same thing JK has for weeks now: "Radical legalization of those already here." Except, like me, he insists on concrete (pardon the pun) measures to end illigal immigration. But as neither JK nor I has done, Charles observes that resistance to the former will nearly vanish if the latter is effectively achieved first. He proposes a year or two interval between the two.

This is a compromise solution that works - both sides get the result they want. Presuming, of course, that Krauthammer's prediction on the part of security advocates holds and that legalization advocates really are willing to allow illegal immigration to be stopped.

Posted by: johngalt at April 7, 2006 3:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Further, kudos to Charles for elevating the idea of serious and deliberate border security from "Tancredo quackery" to mainstream (media, at least) legitimacy.

Posted by: johngalt at April 7, 2006 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Speaking of inside baseball, I watched an hour of the Senate floor debate this morning. Some speeches were very good (Sen. Craig, R-ID!) but it was about a cloture motion for the Martinez-Hagel amendment, Minority Leader Reid calling the Republican's obstructionist, I was agreeing with Sens. Feinstein and Kennedy, Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama will play the part of Tom Tancredo today...

I'm surprisingly calm. Things are happening according to plan. I will get what I want in the end and publish an indecent I told you so to my GOP Immigration Win piece.

The Senate will pass a bill that is very light on enforcement, but includes a guest-worker provision. The House passes a tough enforcement bill (I'll take a little more wall, but am not up for a Krauthammer/Israel wall if we can avoid it).

Conference will hammer out a "comprehensive" bill that will be a little tough for the Wall Street Journal and too lenient for Rep Tancredo, but we'll all move along.

Looking for that seed of disagreement, it occurs to me that I do not see illegal immigrants as the security threat that others on this page do. It concerns me that N million people are here illegally but that terrorist threats are more serious from domestic sources or other countries.

Posted by: jk at April 7, 2006 6:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Small security threat? Tell that to the wife of Boulder County motorcyclist Dale Englerth who was run over by an illegal who, instead of being prosecuted, was deported to Mexico by Boulder police because of a "scheduling snafu." Or the wife of Denver cop Donnie Young, who was shot in the back of the head by an illegal who worked at one of Denver mayor Hickenlooper's restaurants. These are individual examples meant to show the horror of the problem, not the magnitude.

How about the Mexican drug gang MS-13? 11,000 organized Mexican illegals conducting business with impunity in 33 US states. Or Mexican army patrols crossing miles into US territory and firing upon US border officers. One editorialist I read claims "a full 30% of illegals fill our prisons." I'm not sure of this stat, or what this is a percentage OF, but it's clearly troubling.

But the greatest threat from the current state of immigration policy is the near complete ignorance of our current laws. When some laws go unenforced, other laws are soon ignored. Particularly by those with little or nothing to lose and everything to gain. The current debate is not about changing the law, but about whether we'll try to enforce it or, through abandonment, effectively repeal it. I say we MUST enforce this law. We need to be brave if we want to be free.

Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2006 11:22 AM
But jk thinks:

Tragic examples of crime. When I say small security threat, I suggest a small threat of terrorism.

People want to tie the global war on terrorism onto their favorite projects, be it midnight basketball, multicultural education, whatever. I hear the protectionists and the close-the-border crowd using this and I think it is equally risible.

Illegal immigration, as you point out, has many of its own problems. But I reject the call to include it as national security.

Posted by: jk at April 8, 2006 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't close the border - control it. (This is my new broken record track.) New York congressman Pete King said yesterday that intelligence reports of terrorism activity at the southern border are troubling, and that waiting for a tragedy to occur before doing something about it is irresponsible. Seems to me you'll have a hard time convincing voters that idea is some kind of extremism.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2006 3:07 PM

April 2, 2006

Immigration Politics

"The Republican Party is Split on Immigration" scream the headlines. We certainly have some disagreement around here. I don't see Democrats providing real leadership here, and I question that a united front is doing them much good.

I have had to face opposition to my views from Thomas Sowell and Victor Davis Hanson. A friend emailed this article with the Subject "Hanson." I thought it was the band. Of course, VDH has written a whole book about adverse effects of rampant illegal immigration and unassimilated Mexican people in has native California.

I have repeatedly made the case for a guest worker program, and said early that it could be packaged as a compromise with stricter security, resulting in a GOP win. I have faced the squeamish task of defending those who broke the law, those who refuse to assimilate, and even the ridiculous marchers who flaunted their ignorance and opposition to this country's ideals.

That's tough work for a law-and-order guy but I think that the economic advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, and that a guest worker program is a step toward a legal, controlled process that recognizes the exigencies of 11 million folks who are, well, here.

A very good point made by the other side was poll numbers showing overwhelming support for enforcement. As blog pragmatist, I have to look toward victory but feel that the support is "a mile wide and an inch thick," and that leadership could show people the benefits and overcome the demagoguery that has plagued this issue.

Bill Kristol seems to back me up in this week's Weekly Standard." In Y is for Yahoo, Kristol indulges in some name calling to a Representative from my state. But he also repeats the truth that the electorate has not been that kind to those who espouse policies that can be thought anti-immigrant.

The leaders of what he calls "THE HOUSE CAUCUS TO RETURN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO MINORITY STATUS--also known as the House Immigration Reform Caucus" all happen to be from safe seats. Statewide office holders have to be more moderate.

Dana Rohrabacher has represented a safe GOP seat in Orange County for almost two decades. He's chosen never to run statewide. In California, Republican governor Pete Wilson exploited the immigration issue to help get reelected in 1994, and the voters passed a Republican-backed anti-immigration measure, proposition 187. No Republican candidate except the idiosyncratic Arnold Schwarzenegger has won statewide since.

Virgil Goode has a safe GOP seat in Southside Virginia. He's never run statewide. Last fall, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jerry Kilgore, tried to exploit illegal immigration by denouncing a local community that wanted to build a shelter that might accommodate some illegals. He lost, in a red state, a race he had been favored to win.

Anti-immigration yahoo Tom Tancredo carried the sixth district of Colorado comfortably in 2004 (though running slightly behind pro-immigration George W. Bush). But in Tancredo's state, the GOP did miserably in 2004, with Democrat Ken Salazar winning the Senate seat and Democrats gaining control of both houses of the legislature. Meanwhile, in the safe fifth district of Iowa, Steve King did run two points ahead of George W. Bush in 2004. King was able to outspend his challenger 10-1, while Bush faced a huge Kerry effort in that swing state.

Four GOP senators voted in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the comprehensive immigration bill these blustering House members believe is electoral suicide: Arlen Specter, elected and reelected in blue state Pennsylvania; Mike DeWine, elected and reelected in swing state Ohio; and Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, and Sam Brownback from Kansas--both very popular in their red states. John McCain, lead sponsor of a bill that resembles the Senate Judiciary Committee bill, has a pretty impressive electoral record in Arizona, a competitive state. George W. Bush, a pro-immigration Republican, has won two presidential elections--as did another pro-immigration Republican, Ronald Reagan.


Adding these examples to Pete Wilson's temporary gains but long term GOP minority in California, I do not see this as an election winner.
The American people are worried about immigration. In a Pew Survey released last week, 52 percent of Americans saw immigration as a burden, while 41 percent said it strengthened the country; 53 percent support sending illegals home, while 40 percent endorsed a path to citizenship. Given the hoopla about illegal immigration, this division is in fact surprisingly close. In any case, it means GOP senators and congressmen--and presidents--have plenty of room to show leadership and to resist demagoguery. Most Republican officeholders know that the political--and moral--cost of turning the GOP into an anti-immigration, Know Nothing party would be very great. It could easily dash Republican hopes of becoming a long-term governing party. How many Republicans will have the courage to stand up and prevent the yahoos from driving the party off a cliff?

UPDATE: An AP/Ipsos poll shows support for guest worker programs.
The survey found 62 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans favored temporary worker status.

"If I were in the White House, I would be pretty pleased about this," said Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political science professor who studies public opinion. "It does suggest pretty strongly that the president has the opportunity to drive public opinion on this."


Posted by John Kranz at 12:13 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

VDH's last two paragraphs say about everything I believe on this subject.

I'll be your huckleberry, JK: "How does a 'guest worker' program stop the future flow of illegal immigrants?"

It will do that, won't it? Isn't that a problem that needs to be solved? Do we agree on that?

Posted by: johngalt at April 3, 2006 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I agree with almost all of VDH's last two paragraphs. I said in an email the other day that a permanent underclass is a concern with a guest worker program. I think that the advantages outweigh this risk and Im not sure Professor Hanson agrees.

Huck? The guest worker program does three things to reduce illegal immigration:

1) Given a safe and legal method, most legal workers would abjure the dangerous coyotes and illegal crossings;
2) Given access to legal guest workers, companies would hire these legal workers at a premium over illegals;
3) This would give the US a more solid economic and moral footing to toughen border security.

Posted by: jk at April 3, 2006 4:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

First of all, "reduce" is a weasel word. One percent is a "reduction." I said "stop." By this I mean cut by 95% or more. Isn't that the goal? Efficacy?

To analyze the rest I tried to find the links to the Senate subcommittee bill I was reading over the weekend but couldn't put my mouse on it today. I wanted to look for definitive measures that would address each of your points. Failing that, for now, I'll wing it.

1) Wouldn't this be simpler and more effectively achieved by merely raising the quota on legal immigrations from Mexico?

2) If this were true then wouldn't companies be hiring legal citizen and resident alien workers now, also at a premium?

3) I disagree with this one at its root. Our moral footing is nonexistent as long as we refuse to officially acknowledge the premise I put forth in your first elevator talk. Beside that, what makes you think if border security isn't tightened now that it will be in the future? It's not just terrorists that need to be kept out, its anyone who's not willing to follow our laws. The first one they're faced with is, you don't get to come in without scrutiny, due process and intent to assimilate. Sorry, that's just the way it is (and the way it has to be.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 4, 2006 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

By reduce I mean greater than 50%, likely towards 80-90. The efficacy will be determined by the other part of a "comprehensive" immigration package, which is increased enforcement. I know that Congress will provide heightened enforcement enough for me, I lobby for the part that is up in the air: the guest worker program.

1) Yes, a dramatic increase in H2-B visas would meet most of my needs, I consider that equivalent to a guest worker program. A large difference is what to do with 11 million people who are already here.

2) I assume that there is currently a premium for legal workers and know there is a huge premium for assimilated, English speaking workers. This would provide more workers that are cheap and legal, which is good for the economy.

3a) If we close the border tomorrow and send everybody home, jobs will go unfulfilled, that is the economic footing. When we supply sufficient legal workers, we can enforce the border without economic damage.

3b) As for moral footing (I propose jk's law: you and I will never agree on anything that has the word "moral" in it), I find it immoral to tell people who want the work that they cannot have it. Right now, we have this crazy anti-Bastiat way to look the other way when some come in. Give me your lucky and shifty enough not be caught masses... A legal method would be moral to those who came and give us every right to be tough on those who ignored these new legal means.

3c) I gave up on the Elevator Talk, it was shot down by shoulder guided missiles from a rogue philosopher junta. I'm back to rambling and dissembling...

Posted by: jk at April 4, 2006 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

OK now, please forgive me if I wander a bit here but this is a complicated subject I'm learning more about every day.

You liken the guest worker program to an H2B visa given to some or all of the millions of illegal immigrants already here. That implies that, as with the H2B visa, these workers are here TEMPORARILY and are coming for a job with an expressly stated duration of 1 year or less.

But your explanations of points 2 and 3 above imply that the worker is already here and available to employers looking for help. But when an H2B visa expires the worker is REQUIRED (save for up to 2 years of extensions) to leave the country, ostensibly to return home. Will this be the case with "guest worker?"

Please don't be so despondent over our differences friend. We certainly agree it is immoral to "shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die." We also agree that individuals have a natural right to create and to take jobs without permission from the government. But there is also an important tool for self-preservation known as citizenship that must sometimes trump the rights of individual NON-citizens. That's what's at issue here after all.

Posted by: johngalt at April 6, 2006 3:00 PM

March 31, 2006

The Marches

usflagupside.jpg
Just a few pictures from this week's marches.

mexica-movement.org

    Our signs helped to counter the American flags. Our people expressed their agreement with our message.

...
    Racist Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R of California 4th district) of red-neck Orange County said that he didn't care how long people had been in "this country" illegally, if they were here illegally for 5 or 50 years that they should be deported. Fine! Europeans have been here illegally since 1492, START THE DEPORTATIONS NOW! First one to go should be this Nazi Rohrabacher!

    Sensenbrenner, Schwarzenegger, Rohrabacher, funny how they all have Germanic names! .....No, it's not funny at all!

stolencontinent.org
aztlan.net

    What does the immense success of "La Gran Marcha" mean to Mexicanos and other Latinos? It simply means that we now have the numbers, the political will and the organizational skills to direct our own destinies and not be subservient to the White and Jewish power structures. It means that we can now undertake bigger and more significant mass actions to achieve total political and economic liberation like that being proposed by Juan José Gutiérrez, President of Movimiento Latino USA. Juan José Gutiérrez is proposing that the coalition that organized "La Gran Marcha" meet in Arizona or Texas on April 8 to "organize a mass boycott (huelga) against the economy of the USA" to take place on May 1, May 5 or May 19.

(tip to NRO)

Victor Davis Hanson (read the whole thing)

    If many thousands of illegal aliens marched in their zeal, many more millions of Americans of all different races and backgrounds watched--and seethed. They were struck by the Orwellian incongruities--Mexican flags, chants of "Mexico, Mexico," and the spectacle of illegal alien residents lecturing citizen hosts on what was permissible in their own country.

    If the demonstrators thought that they were bringing attention to their legitimate grievances--the sheer impossibility of deporting 11 million residents across the border or the hypocrisy of Americans de facto profiting from "illegals" who cook their food, make their beds, and cut their lawns--they seemed oblivious to the embarrassing contradictions of their own symbolism and rhetoric. Most Americans I talked to in California summed up their reactions to the marches as something like, 'Why would anyone wave the flag of the country that they would never return to--and yet scream in anger at those with whom they wish to stay?' Depending on the particular questions asked, polls reveal that somewhere around 60-80% of the public is vehemently opposed to illegal immigration.

Posted by AlexC at 12:05 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I think the poll numbers show a lack of leadership. The polls were against the Dubai ports sale as well.

The Wall Street Journal lead editorial today asks whether the GOP wants to be the party of Ronald Reagan or Tom Tancredo: ?do Republicans want to continue in the Reagan tradition of American optimism and faith in assimilation that sends a message of inclusiveness to all races? Or will they take another one of their historical detours into a cramped, exclusionary policy that tells millions of new immigrants, and especially Hispanics, that they belong somewhere else?"

The marches and the Mexican flags and the upside down flag are all counter-productive. That's not too far from Republicans being thrown in with Pat Robertson and David Duke. I recognized these problems in a blog entry on March 27: http://www.threesources.com/archives/002568.html

I don't defend these people or the quotes you post, but I'm not going to choose to be poorer to spite them.

I want to be the party of Reagan: optimistic, welcoming and seeking greater wealth. Rep Tancredo has my permission to ignore comparative advantage and to mow his own lawn.

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2006 2:15 PM
But AlexC thinks:

JK, you're missing the point. My argument is NOT "close the borders". Take immigrants. Welcome them. But assimilate them. Countless millions have done that. What were seeing lately is not assimilation, but special treatment, and even worse DEMANDS for special treatment.
http://www.ocobserver.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060331/NEWS01/603310307/1007

You're right about the party of Reagan. But he wouldn't approve of those signs, and that behavior. America is a melting pot. Not a multiple course meal.

Posted by: AlexC at March 31, 2006 3:09 PM

February 7, 2006

Rhode Island - Senate

It's time for another episode of the left wing's favorite TV, "Internecine". Where generally agreeable free-market capitalist types feast on their own to find out who reigns supreme.

The opening volley begins with an editorial from the National Review.

    The argument that conservatives should support Chafee rests entirely on the assumption that he's the only Republican who can win in Rhode Island. This logic may be what has led the National Republican Senatorial Committee to continue throwing resources behind him. The assumption may or may not be true, but, whatever the case, it is far from clear that the GOP — to say nothing of conservatives — gains anything from Chafee's continued presence in the Senate. When votes really matter, he can't be counted on. Positions such as the one he took on Alito allow Democrats and the media to speak of "bipartisan opposition" to the Bush administration. And if the GOP's majority ever depended on Chafee alone, there's every reason to believe he'd bolt the party, just as James Jeffords of Vermont did in 2001.

    There is an alternative. Steven Laffey, the Republican mayor of Cranston, is running against Chafee in the September primary. His underdog campaign has shown both pluck and promise. Laffey has a track record of winning Democratic votes: That's the only way he could have been elected two times as mayor of Cranston, a city of about 80,000 residents, most of them Democrats. But on key issues, Laffey is a conservative: He supports tax cuts and the war in Iraq, opposes corporate welfare and other forms of wasteful spending, and is pro-life. The Club for Growth has decided to back him. His campaign has unfortunately chosen to bash "Big Oil" in some of its early advertising — but, as we said, it's difficult to be a Republican in Rhode Island.


Nothing quite like picking at a scab. Read their whole editorial.

Posted by AlexC at 6:30 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I had opposed this before on the grounds that Chafee votes for GOP leadership in the Senate and I think that the NR folks gloss over that lightly and that Committee Chairpersonships are important. Before Jeffords, the Democrats tried Chafee and he held.

The Club For Growth and certainly jk have limited resources to spend on elections. My point remains that there are better plays out there than Laffey's primary bid.

The editorial made me even less enthused after I read that Laffey is bashing big oil in his early ads. That portends poorly in a state where there will be intense pressure to "grow" in office; he might grow into a new Lincoln Chafee!

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2006 7:23 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Well bashing big oil doesn't make him any different than Arlen Specter. http://www.threesources.com/archives/002323.html
.. and you defended him.

What important is what NRO outlined where Laffey beats Chafee.
"He supports tax cuts and the war in Iraq, opposes corporate welfare and other forms of wasteful spending"

Spirit of '94.

Posted by: AlexC at February 8, 2006 12:44 AM
But jk thinks:

Scurrilous charge! I believe that I have said exactly ONE nice thing about Senator Specter in four years of blogging. That was a well deserved kudo for his handling of the Alito hearings (where I was joined by many conservatives including Sugar Chuck who had convinced me to support the Toomey primary bid [which I did]).

I supported the Toomey bid because Specter was set to chair the Judiciary Committee and I didn't expect the future kudos I'd be sending his way.

I would support a primary against Voinovich in Ohio; I would not mind trying to bump Hegel in Nebraska (although a perusal of his voting record in the Almanac looks good). States where you could conceivably take out a wishy-washy-lican and have a good shot at electing a real conservative -- I'm in!

I'll even applaud a Quixotic thrust at a Chafee, Snowe, or Collins. I'm just going to spend my money where I feel it will have a better impact.

Defending Specter, jeez, the abuse I take around here...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 10:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Over the weekend I heard Voinovich say nice things about John Bolton - no more tears! Still think he should go? (I don't know much more about him, I'm just askin'.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2006 10:48 AM
But jk thinks:

"Lachrymose George" came on my radar the day insisted that the final committee version of the 2003 tax cuts could not exceed $350 Billion or he wouldn't support them. From The Almanac of American Politics:

"Voinovich came to the Senate, after 32 years in public office, as a big government Republican, willing to back tax increases as he did in 1992 but dubious about cutting them, as he was in 1999 and 2000. In his previous positions he had been required to balance budgets, and he seemed viscerally repelled by deficits. In 1999 he voted against the Republicans' $792 billion tax cut, against the smaller Democratic tax cut, and against the bipartisan moderates' compromise tax cut. In April 2000 he was one of two Republicans to vote against the Republican budget. In July 2000 he was one of four Republicans to vote against estate tax repeal and the only Republican to vote against marriage penalty relief. He did support the Bush tax cuts in May 2001, when it looked as if the surplus would be permanent. In October 2001 he worked to scale back the tax cuts in House Republicans' stimulus package. In February 2003 he came out against the $700 billion Bush tax cut and in April he and Olympia Snowe insisted they would back no cut higher than $350 billion. That led Finance Chairman Charles Grassley and Majority Leader Bill Frist to say they would insist on that figure from conference, to the rage of the House Republican leadership."

EEEW! Again, browsing the "key votes," his other votes look pretty good: no to an ANWR ban, Yes to Iraq war funding. I'd take points off for backing an Assault Weapons ban, shrug my shoulders at a "Y" on same-sex marriage ban. He opposed Roe V. Wade and supported a partial-birth abortion ban -- I doubt if either votes gets him support from JohnGalt.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 11:11 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Ok, maybe defended was too harsh a term.

Oh, here's some more commentary this AM.
http://www.eaglepub.com/evans_and_novak.html
"Republicans in Rhode Island say that Sen. Chafee had given private assurances that he would be supporting the Alito Supreme Court nomination. His reversal on this issue drew a public rebuke from his most reluctant supporter, popular Gov. Don Carcieri (R), and endangers him in his primary race against Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey (R). Laffey must now be considered the narrow frontrunner in the Republican Senate primary after crossing the $1-million mark and outraising Chafee in individual contributions for the quarter."

Posted by: AlexC at February 8, 2006 12:29 PM