December 7, 2015

"a philosophy of national security reflecting the preference of most Americans?"

That's where Ted Cruz is apparently trying to position himself, between the extreme isolationism of candidate Rand Paul, and the extreme interventionism of candidate Marco Rubio.

A Cruz Doctrine would ask of military action:

"How does it keep America safe? If it's keeping America safe, we should do it. If it's making America more vulnerable, we shouldn't do it."

At a recent Iowa town hall, Cruz rejected the choice being between "retreat from the world and be isolationist and leave everyone alone, or we've got to be these crazy neocon-invade-every-country-on-Earth and send our kids to die in the Middle East."

He added: "Most people I know don't agree with either one of those. They think both of those are nuts."

This is comparable to a debate I had with jk in June of 2014. Our differences were nuanced, but generally along the same lines as Cruz v. Rubio.

At the time I said Obama was right not to invade Syria in pursuit of Islamic State. While jk did not disagree, he did stand in support of "some of the excesses of neo-conservatism." Cruz seems to sense that most Americans are no longer willing to endure those excesses.

Instead of nation building, how about a principled realpolitik under which America defeats terrorist regimes with massive force, then swiftly brings the boys home -- making it clear We Shall Return if terrorists are replaced with other terrorists. (...)

Cruz may be the only Republican to explore this apparently verboten notion of having the kind of foreign policy every other civilized country in the world has -- placing our own interests first.

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

November 18, 2015


I suspect I might be El Lobo Solo on this topic. Please allow me to make my point and I'll certainly accept competing views.

I think that we should accept Syrian refugees. The figure I've heard bandied about is 10,000 and that is a number with which I am comfortable. I would rehash many of my pro-immigration arguments, but add a moral feelsy element (OMG! He's turning into Rod Dreher!)

I recall the Cambodian "Boat People" from my youth. Our country accepted many, and our church adopted a family whom I got to know pretty well. A sizable hunk of the diaspora found homes and Americanism. I will appreciate the differences between Cambodians and Syrians in today's political tenor, but I would ask others to consider the similarities. Bad guys that we were fighting took over their homeland and made life untenable.

Reason did a nice piece, but my favorite was done by the folks at FEE. This is not Mother Jones, and I am not calling you racists for disagreement.

What I'll add is that we need to assess risk and act accordingly. That may be what separates us from the animals. I do NOT claim that the UN and our illustrious government will be super sharp at screening refugees. Certainly they will not. Out of 10,000 refugees, we will certainly introduce some people who mean us harm.

That's bad. But how many new terrorists will be born next year to US citizens? How many will be recruited in prisons? How many will come in and overstay Visas? A gob more. Are these guys super-evil-geniuses? Do they have nukes hidden in their socks? Nope. I don't whole-heartedly endorse the FEE piece, but think them right that other entry methods are far easier to exploit.

A Facebook meme (love 'em!) shows a dish of M&Ms and says "Two of these are poison! Would you give them to your family?" No. I'm a grownup who ways marginal costs, risk, and marginal benefit. The cost to throw away a dish of candies is nothing compared to the harm. The cost of discarding 10,000 human lives is more substantive.

UPDATE: Cato puts what I was trying to say more clearly:

Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States and none was successfully carried out. That is one terrorism-planning conviction for a refugee for every 286,543 of them who have been admitted. To put that in perspective, about 1 in every 22,541 Americans committed murder in 2014.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:56 PM | Comments (11)
But T. Greer thinks:

I am entirely OK with the USA taking more refugees than the 10,000 Obama has pledged.

I am not ok with the Europeans taking half that number.

Muslims immigrants in the United States historically turn out quite well. They don't radicalize and they don't "stand a high chance" of radicalizing. On almost every measure of radicalization, the U.S. Muslim community is better off than every European counterpart. (Compare the number of ISIS fighters from the U.S. and the U.K., for example.)

Why is this?

1. The American economy is doing well. The EU economy isn't. 40% unemployment for 19-30 year olds is still a thing in Spain. America has opportunity for its immigrants.

2. America is a big place. Even a few million people would quickly be diluted and assimilated (to say nothing of 10,000!). This is not true for the Europeans, whose countries are much smaller.

3. Quite frankly, we treat our immigrants a whole lot better. Being American is not something in your blood, and we don't intentionally cordon off immigrants into separate ghettoes. Within three generations they are as American as the rest of us. This isn't true in Europe, and it is especially not true in France.

The one compromise solution I think might work is to restrict immigrants to families--mothers, fathers, and children. Many refugees are single young men. If terrorism is really the concern then giving priority to families goes a long way to solving it.

Posted by: T. Greer at November 19, 2015 5:52 AM
But jk thinks:

Well, no, I do not think the risk is huge: less than 1/10 the risk of allowing your next door neighbor to give birth to a murderer.

The reward I suggest is predominantly compassion and charity; we're talking about saving 10,000 lives. That said, you know me -- I am very comfortable that it will be an economic plus. I see people as brains and brawn to contribute and not as mouths to feed. I use that against population control and for immigration.

I think I explicitly said my position was not based on faith in efficacious gub'mint screening. We continue to allow women to give birth when 1/22541 are murderers, we can take 1/10 the risk on some refugees. (I'll concede those stats to be optimistic, but the opposition I read is certain -- without as good a factual basis -- that it is 10:1 the other way.

Thanks for making me feel better about Gov. Jindal's leaving the race. A lot of those boat people didn't assimilate all that well. Most of their kids did, though, and we seem to have survived the Cambodian invasion with some good restaurants and gardening services.

These folks arrive with nothing. If they import hate and a desire to return to the 7th Century that's disappointing but they do not bring special tools, and any knowledge could be transmitted more effectively over the Internet than seeking the 0.0022% chance to enter the US as a refugee.

I would be cool with TG's compromise of a bias if not an outright restriction to families. (Though the ones we wish to keep out are not above intimidating a woman to "marriage." That could have unintended consequences.)

There is no shortage of programs I'd like to cut -- this is a rounding error on a month's toner use in the EPA.

Your daughters could learn to preen. They live in a wonderful country. They can weep a bit when they read Emma Lazarus. Maybe work for the offspring if one of them is the next Steve Jobs's father. Do they like falafel? Ride in cabs?

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2015 6:04 PM
But jk thinks:

FEE: 43% of refugees are under 14 years old.

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2015 6:24 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

If we don't have the resources to take care of our own veterans, how we can we have the resources to take care of Syrians?

On the numbers, dunno how FEE's 41% is validated. In that vein I must wonder if CATO's "Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks" includes any of the Boston bombers. I argue they should count, even if most were technically not "refugees." Who's watching the watchers? Not CNN....

UNHCR data from 2014, shows 34% are military aged (12~59) males from ALL countries, 53% from Syria, and it also says that 67% of the Syrians were under 12 years old! Hah, that's a dataset NASA could do wonders with.... yep, the column summation don't match up with the row summation....

So, doing the analysis m'self with a little help from XL; ignoring the "Total" columns provided by UNHCR.

[2014] under 12 M-age male (12~59)
All countries 14.4% 11.4%
Syria 24.2% 19.1%
[2010-2014, to check vs. FEE]
Syria 16.7%* 22.4%
* even if I add the 12-17 year olds, I only get this up to 27%

Hmmm, neither the "Military-aged invasion" (even after inflating it by dropping the age to hitlerjugen levels) nor the "children R plurality" argument holds up. Pewhas a very interesting study here, which says roughly +60M immigrants in +50 years. Sounds scary, but that's just a tad over 1M per annum.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 20, 2015 4:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I think our brave veterans deserve far better than a failing socialist, Obamacare on steroids, health care system. I believe they deserve our thanks and support. But I'm not at all certain I think they require or deserve a lot more government handouts. Sad that there are 50,000 homeless vets (source: countless Facebook memes) but the relationship to Syrian refugees is tenuous at best. Is there some program to give every serving member a new home and a refrigerator full of BubbleUp®, yet the funding was taken by the Syrian refugee project?

If your actual objection is only the financial impact, fine, I accept that. You're consistently frugal. But the concerns I see on Facebook are about safety -- letting in two more Tsarnev brothers -- and I do not think those hold water. Count the dashingly handsome Rolling Stone cover model and his brother twice if you want and say there were seven terrorists out of 859,633 (add four to both numerator and denominator) and you still get . . . a very small number.

The set of "guys who once lived on the 1600 block of Paris Street in Aurora" includes me and the Aurora Theater shooter. As a group, we have a higher body count than the Boston Bomber.

That's the mistake I think people (including my buddy, nb) make. Three hundred million people are dangerous in some proportion.

And -- speaking of regular immigration -- now that the US - Mexico immigration vector points South, we'll need some hardy young folks. Syrians need a home...

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2015 5:00 PM
But jk thinks:

FEE takes on the M&M Meme:

Put differently, about 116 American babies out of every 50,000 will grow up to murder someone. (Perhaps the NYMag should rerun its poll?). In contrast, only 100 of the 50,000 jelly beans were poisonous.

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2015 5:51 PM

October 6, 2015

Barack Obama was right

Islamic State really IS "the JV!"

"Headquarters of terrorist group and an arms depot were destroyed in the region of Ildib, as well as a militant three-level fortified command point in the region of Hama," Moscow's ministry of defense said.

It also said Su-24Ms and Su-25s, aircraft first put in service by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, made eight sorties against the IS targets, and succeeded in avoiding civilian casualties.

Meantime, the U.S. in over a year and three months can't make meaningful gains against IS.

It looks like Vladimir Putin has finally found a use for Secretary of State Clinton's "reset" button. That was easy!

None of this was imaginable before Barack Obama came on the scene. Russia, while clearly ambitious for more global power under Putin, had apparently permanently lost its standing as a global superpower.

It took a U.S. president committed to revolutionary change in America's role in the world to reawaken the Russian bear and provide an opening for Putin's aggression.

When the U.S. fulfills its role as leader in the world, we are criticized, even ridiculed. But we are respected. Putin's Russia is not about to be loved, but it may begin to be greatly respected if it starts doing things that the U.S. is supposed to do but won't.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

My buddies at Reason and Cato are all onboard the Putin train: let them anger terrorists and disturb ISIS and it is unlikely that they will do a much worse job of picking winners and losers than will President Obama.

My conservative buddies are of course appalled at the lack of US leadership. To their point, I can certainly se this ending badly. But to the libertarians' point, things have occasionally not gone so well in the Middle East with US at the helm.

I'm willing to let them have the run of the place for 16 months. Once President Keith is inaugurated and throws 100% of US support to the Kurds, they'll have to move out or display good intentions.

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2015 10:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with you. No matter how many of Putin's Risk(TM) pieces he moves to Syria, he is still hamstrung by his moribund economy. I'm not terribly concerned about Russian global domination.

My point was more about how easy it is to defeat ISIS. Russia claims to have destroyed a "fortified command point" after a grand total of 8 sorties. Meanwhile, our 7000 sorties (per the linked editorial) have produced what, exactly?

It's almost as if the commander in chief has never intended to ultimately defeat, or even degrade, the bright shiny part of the Shiite Islamist adventurism. Meanwhile, the real activity continues apace in Iran - where POTUS makes concessions and subsidizes the Iranian nuke program with $150bn US of our tax dollars.

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2015 11:14 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, this is an awful muddle that Obama's 'not leading' created (aside: leading from behind is yet another bastardization of our language by the Progs that I refuse to even acknowledge), and now that it's so incredibly FUBAR'd I am _probably_ OK with Russia taking it's swing at things....

I am certainly willing and able to do the 'neener-neener' dance around BHO and hope that this new massively-amplified powerlessness continues to drag the Dem's down (and R's learn to avoid the "ahhh, if only Bush hadn't....").

The worry I have is that Putin succeeds, wildly boosting his sway in the gulf thereby boosting arms sales and gaining some control over oil prices, which would rescue Russian and Iranian economies, of which the immediate affect would be to further drive the Ukraine under his thumb.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 7, 2015 12:13 PM

September 22, 2015

Our friend Putin

I'm inclined to agree with this assessment by Patrick J. Buchanan:

Indeed, the problem in Syria is not so much with the Russians -- or Iran, Hezbollah and Assad, all of whom see the Syrian civil war correctly as a fight to the finish against Sunni jihadis.

Our problem has been that we have let our friends -- the Turks, Israelis, Saudis and Gulf Arabs -- convince us that no victory over ISIS can be achieved unless and until we bring down Assad.

Once we get rid of Assad, they tell us, a grand U.S.-led coalition of Arabs and Turks can form up and march in to dispatch ISIS.

This is neocon nonsense.

Those giving us this advice are the same "cakewalk war" crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya.

When have these people ever been right?

He concludes:

In making ISIS, not Assad, public enemy No. 1, Putin has it right.

It is we Americans who are the mystery inside an enigma now.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ahh, good ole' Pat; as addled as ever.

same crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya

They were two _very_different_ crowds...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 22, 2015 3:25 PM
But jk thinks:

"Two wings of the same bird of prey!" That's what Mr. Buchanan would say.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2015 5:55 PM

May 20, 2015

Armchair General

I found this disturbing:

The Syrian government's antiquities chief Mamoun Abdulkarim said he had no doubt that if Palmyra fell to the jihadists, it would suffer a similar fate to ancient Nimrud, which they blew up earlier this year.

'If ISIS enters Palmyra, it will spell its destruction... it will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery which we saw in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul.'

But I shall not just complain without suggesting a solution.

These heavily armed aircraft incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of a television sensor, infrared sensor and radar. These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets anytime, anywhere.


Posted by JohnGalt at 6:25 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That 130 is a beautiful sight -- unless you're the target. If we only had a Commander-in-Chief who was serious about defeating ISIS...

I do have give a shout-out to another Close Air Support vehicle that I love, though, the A-10. As much as I respect the 130, I can buy seven Warthogs for the same price, and that BRRRRRT sound of her primary weapon is nothing short of iconic. Only a complete traitor would be pushing to decommission the A-10.

My apologies for my scanty participation, by the way -- the day job has really been insistent on having my undivided attention. I've barely had the time to make a nuisance of myself on Facebook, and only during non-paying hours...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 21, 2015 12:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The A-10 is a great aircraft. Her forte is obliterating armored vehicles, however. "Spooky" and "Spectre" and "Ghostrider" (planned deployment in FY2017) are well suited to anti-personnel duty, in bad weather and at night, in addition to obliterating armored vehicles.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did you click through for the video? It's the best I've ever seen. Not only can they visually differentiate between armed men vs. women and children, they can see weapons being carried. Collateral damage = lower.

But I'd already taken up so much column inch with the still shot I linked it rather than imbed. Never let it be said that I lack humility.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:57 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The other thing the C130-based designs have over the A-10 is "linger" time and long-range fire. It can wait anyone out, and I believe with some of it's heavier ordnance (like a 105mm cannon) it can shoot from out of earshot.... giving a whole new meaning of the old term "whispering death."

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 26, 2015 11:58 PM

August 22, 2014

Quote of the postwar era

I do not feel that my choice of title is overwrought.

The whole questionable debate on American war weariness aside, the U.S. military is not war weary and is fully capable of attacking and reducing IS throughout the depth of its holdings, and we should do it now, but supported substantially by our traditional allies and partners, especially by those in the region who have the most to give - and the most to lose - if the Islamic State’s march continues.

From a must read article by General John R. Allen, USMC retired. He gives the President great credit for actions taken in the theater thus far, but makes a profound plea for his annihilation of Islamic State immediately.

For its part, the White House has finally unleashed the "t-word."

"When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. "That represents a terrorist attack against our country, against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers."
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2014

"Never Again..."

A Facebook friend compared the Islamic State movement [ISIS] to Nazism in 20th century Germany. Given the wholesale mass murder that both ideologies engaged in, I think the comparison is a good one, and completely leaps over Godwin's Law. I replied with the following comment:

The analogy between "ISIS" (Islamic Statists) and NAZI Germany is apropos, but I think there is a more timely analogy for IS - namely, the Ebola virus. Islamism is an ideological virus comparable to the biological virus. Both viruses kill or make carriers of the majority of people which they contact. Both are merciless, and have no goal but their own propagation. Both pose a threat of spreading to every nation on Earth. They are impervious to reason or "negotiation." - So why does Ebola warrant emergency efforts by our NIH and deployment of our latest experimental "weapon" the ZMAPP drug, while the rapidly spreading Islamic Statist movement is met only with "limited airstrikes?"


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

Michael Moynihan deliberately mentioned and then contravened Godwin's Law on The Independents last night, saying "This is Babi Yar."

Strong but undeniable words. There are no examples contradictory to equivalence.

I would certainly back the President on a forceful response, but I mistrust his judgment sufficiently to hope for caution. "Limited Air strikes" have been somewhat effective. A clandestine arming of the Kurds could be good politics and good policy.

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2014 5:31 PM

September 12, 2013

Bizarro World

A blog friend shares a Jon Stewart quote on Facebook.

I get that Fox opposes a Syria peace plan because its modus operandi is to foment dissent in the form of a relentless and irrational contrarianism to Barack Obama and all things Democratic to advance its ultimate objective of creating a deliberately misinformed body politic whose fear, anger, mistrust and discontent is the manna upon which it sustains its parasitic succubus-like existence. -- Jon Stewart on The Daily Show Tuesday night

"Nicely distilled ..." says our friend.

I'll give anybody points for using "succubus," but after that I wonder if we are living on the same planet. That and widespread flooding across our normally-arid high dessert plains give me pause.

Now wouldn't you know it, I missed Stewart last Tuesday. I will take <redacted> at his word that the transcription is accurate. It certainly seems in character. To make things worse, this was approbationally linked by another friend who added "So very true! Keep your critical thinking caps on folks! Don't let any media outlet tell you what to think! Investigate and think it all through!" Great advice.

Maybe it is the continual rain but I. Just. Can't. Take. It.

-- The "Syria peace plan?" Again, I missed mister clown-nose on, clown-nose-off on Tuesday, but is that the "peace plan" where we rain down a billion dollars worth of high-tech ordinance on an impoverished nation? Is that the peace plan those damnëd FOX people dare oppose?

-- We have a difficult time finding a friend in the contretemps (I'll see your succubus and raise you a contretemps!) Assad is a tyrant who gasses his own people, the rebels are interleaved with al Qaeda and desecrate the corpses of their opponents.It is pretty difficult to tell who the good guys are. That is one of my first problems with action in the theatre. But: we sure know who the enemy is, do we not? FOX and its viewers!

I am frustrated by the lack of reason and I am frustrated at yet another ad hominem attack. People who oppose the "peace plan where we blow a lot of shit up and then just bask in the peace after" clearly have no legitimate grievance with the C-in-C or plans as outlined. No, there is no room for honest disagreement. They are evil and anti-peace.

I typed but removed incriminating evidence that could identify these two; it is not about them. The whole blessed Church of Stewart-Colbert surely nodded along, not noting that the President's "peace plan" has been attacked by Democrats and supported by Republicans. No, that is not interesting to those who find us un-nuanced.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Syrian PEACE plan"? As you say, Obama was looking for approval for offensive military action - launching two and a half metric trainloads of cruise missiles is not a peace plan, unless the Boy King Narcissus has adopted "peace through superior firepower" as a core philosophy.

I believe it was the famous philosopher John Lennon who once said "Fighting for peace is like f-" Well, you can Google the rest of that for yourselves...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 12, 2013 1:19 PM
But AndyN thinks:

To quote a right winger so extreme he's persona non grata among the rest of the right wing extremists, "rubble don't make trouble." I'll accept lack of trouble as a close enough substitute for peace. Of course, I'm a bit surprised that Jon Stewart would try to out wingnut the wingnuts.

Posted by: AndyN at September 12, 2013 4:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To a hammer, everything is a nail.

If you answer every policy criticism of a black president with the charge "Racist!" then you can never criticize. Ever. (The logical justification of this is left as a simple exercise for the reader.)

We've noted previously how America's political actors seem to have all traded uniforms and assumed each other's positions. The left believes the right is willing to contradict its "obvious" war-monger-ness in order to damage the black president. I believe the right is once bitten, twice shy and is rightly seeing no national interest in drive-by bombing or other warmaking activities in anarchistic foreign lands. (In many ways the right has acknowledged the "blow-back" theory once championed by the left. At least, that is, when the president was a Republican.)

As for the left, they think themselves principled - standing up for the black president against the modern Klan or some such nonsense. I think they are the ones who choose to contradict every other principle in the name of one overarching absolute necessity - the solidarity of the collective. There is a notable exception to this in the form of Ed Asner and Mike Farrell.

Contemporary Colorado politics shows us how, in practice, Democrats will happily sacrifice various principles in order to maximize political power. Republicans have thusfar proven incapable of this democratic virtue, which makes me damned proud to be a Republican. (One of the few reasons, I should add.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2013 12:17 PM

September 10, 2013

Tweet of the Day

Hard to argue.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This is choice. I'm seeing all kinds of lefties on my Twitter feed, saying that Obama isn't getting credit for averting war in Syria because he's black.

Next, I suppose we're going to be told he won't get credit for inventing the Candygram, too.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 10, 2013 3:02 PM

September 9, 2013

Unbelievably Small

Speak softly and carry an "unbelievably small" stick...


Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Unbelievably incompetent. Embarassingly, dangerously, breathtakingly so.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2013 2:48 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Once again would like to forward the thesis that Hillary Clinton was an incredibly more effective SecState than Mr. Kerry.

See also this story:

Last round of this discussion you mentioned that Hillary was really good at taking other people's credit and keeping up appearances that really are not deserved. Don't doubt that. But that is probably exactly what made her succeed as SecState. An important part of a good diplomat's skill set, actually.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 9, 2013 6:08 PM
But Jk thinks:

You have me twisting on the wind, my friend. I hope everyone is enjoying it.

I must withdraw my cheer for Sec. Kerry. I don't know that I will transfer approbation to Sec. Clinton, but today's performance is pretty pitiful. To be fair, the incompetence goes all the way up.

Posted by: Jk at September 9, 2013 9:35 PM

September 6, 2013

Colo Legislators

Denver Post:


Posted by John Kranz at 7:12 PM | Comments (0)


It used to be that if dozens of foreign countries signed onto a U.S. military intervention, but not France, we were "going it alone." Now, if we have a military coalition consisting exclusively of France, we are leading the world. -- Rich Lowry (via Jonah's G-File; dude owns QOTD like Peyton Manning owned Tyrell Suggs)
Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 5, 2013

Dear <legislator>

Usually, when I write my (Democrat) Senators and (Republican) Congressman, I am pretty certain how they'll vote. This time, I truly have no idea:


I thank you for your time and trust you will vote your conscience on upcoming resolutions to pursue military options with Syria.

As a constituent, however, I wanted to ask that you oppose action.

I have not heard a clear strategy to protect the further spread of chemical weapons or to mitigate the many possible disadvantages of such actions. Without a clear and achievable purpose, I feel the risks are far too high.

Thank you,
John Kranz & Riza Rivera

Posted by John Kranz at 6:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2013

But, jk, What do Your Facebook Friends Think?

This was written by -- not one of my loony moonbat friends -- just a musician buddy. I don't recruit him for GOP GOTV efforts, but don't consider him a partisan on either side. Ergo, a bit of surprise:

Since when did Republicans in Congress suddenly become a bunch of 60s countercultural "make-war-no- more" peaceniks? Since Obama arranged for a strike and gave them the deciding vote, that's when. Bipartisanism and anti-Barack no-matter-what-ism runs pretty deep when you go against your own deeply held principles simply to say "no" yet again to Obama in a transparent attempt to humiliate the administration you resent so much for keeping your full power from you.

I suspect the President would much like to cultivate this opinion. Is this a one off or is it working? Is this the Katie Couric/Jon Stewart view of the world?

I respectfully pressed him (and delivered a little historical perspective on Robert Taft and Charles Evans Hughes, baby nobody can out-isolationist Republicans!) I asked if he was 100% in favor of the President's response and he said "Yes I am!!"

A data point of one, but interesting.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Since when did musicians and other hip, enlightened folks fall full-square behind a plan to bomb a sovereign nation, with no defined purpose, killing unknown numbers of people with unknown connection to any military purpose, against their own deeply held principles of "make-war-no-more" simply because the right charismatic leader of the non-villianized political party says "we have to do something?" Is it because it would be racist to disagree with an African-American President? If so, I should think you would never want to see such a situation again, forcing you to support something you spent your entire youth denouncing with every fiber of your being.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 3:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Musicians and other hip, enlightened folks?

Are we taking bets on which side of this the Dixie Chicks come out on? Springsteen?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 5, 2013 4:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A simpler formulation, for jk's musician buddy:

"So, you're on board for going to war with no more justification than 'the black president decided we should?'"

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 4:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I've always referred to them as the "tragically hip." I'll pass on judging the "E" word....

As Mike Rosen noted a long time ago: "Behind every double standard, is a single standard."

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 8, 2013 11:56 PM

Through the Looking Glass?

UPDATE: She upon whom war hinges:

Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Can we get Nancy replaced by her 5-year-old grandson? I'm in!

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 3:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Sounds like it would double the average IQ of Congress.

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2013 4:11 PM