Archive for September, 2011

 

The Virus And The Vaccine

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

 
 

Interpreting the Polls

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

So a new poll came out on the Republican primary in New Hampshire. Talk radio has been pumping it all morning. And the results were positioned as shocking.

Before we even get to the results of the poll, what I find shocking is that seemingly everywhere I went to read the results of teh poll, nobody has printed a simple chart or list of the poll results. Instead, we’re left to scour through the paragraphs to attempt to piece together for ourselves what the poll is saying. Moreover, nobody seems to want to link to the actual poll results. Not even Channel 7, who commissioned the poll. So I’m going to return the favor and not link to them either. Instead, let’s summarize the main poll findings, and link to the poll source first:


Mitt Romney 41%
Ron Paul 14%
Undecided 11%
Rick Perry 8%
Sarah Palin 6%
Michelle Bachman 5%
Newt Gingrich 4%
Rick Santorum 1%
Herman Cain 1%
Buddy Roemer 1%
Every Other Candidate 0%

I bolded the part of the poll that is supposed to be newsworthy. Namely, Mitt Romney would appear to be running away with the race in New Hampshire and Rick Perry is behind such nobodies as Ron Paul, John Huntsman, and Undecided. Now let’s dig into the numbers to see what they really mean.

First thing to note is that this poll is of likely voters in the upcoming New Hampshire primary. Also worth noting is that new Hampshire allows same day registration, and does not require one to have been a member of a political party for any length of time to vote in that party’s primary. This means that barring a primary challenger to President Obama, a large number of Democrat voters will show up to the polls to vote in the Republican primary. We’ll discuss their motivations in a bit, but suffice it to say, the motivations of a Republican primary voter who has no intention of voting Republican in the general election will be quite a bit different from those of a Republican primary voter who will likely vote for the Republican nominee in November.

So let’s take a look at the next important question asked in the poll: “If your first choice for the Republican Presidential nominee dropped out of the race, who would you vote for instead (READ LIST), for whom will you vote or toward whom would you LEAN at this time?”


Undecided 27%
Mitt Romney 21%
Rick Perry 20%
Ron Paul 9%
Michelle Bachman 6%
Newt Gingrich 5%
John Huntsman 5%
Rick Santorum 3%
Rick Santorum 3%
Sarah Palin 2%
Gary Johnson 1%
Every Other Candidate 0%

So when we look at the 2nd choice for voters, Rick Perry jumps up into a virtual heat with Romney, and surprisingly, Undecided becomes the top choice. Perry’s jump to a dead heat in 2nd choice picks mirrors a belief I’ve had about Perry, namely that he’s everybody’s second choice. If you’re a libertarian Republican, Rick perry makes for a decent second choice after Gary Johnson or Ron Paul. And if you’re a religious Republican, he’s a decent second choice behind a Michelle Bachmann or a Rick Santorum. Really, if you support anybody other than Romney or maybe Huntsman, Perry comes across as a good second choice.

So what’s going on in New Hampshire? Well, many voters feel like they don’t have to compromise, that they can afford to hold out to vote for their candidate, even if he seems to have no chance of winning, because it’s so early in the race that anything can happen, and that their vote in effect makes a statement to the rest of the electorate about the candidates. There is some truth to this, but I suspect that as election day looms near, that many of those Santorum, Bachmann, Paul, and Cain voters will start to ask themselves, “Do I want Mitt Romney to be my nominee, or would I rather have Rick Perry?” Among self-described conservatives, Perry gets 25% of the second choice vote, as opposed to 16% for Romney. This makes sense. As a result, I would expect the race to close in tighter as we get closer to election day.

The second thing to take note of is the makeup of the electorate in New Hampshire. Consider the following numbers taken from the poll:

  • Q34: Would you describe yourself as conservative, moderate or liberal?

    Conservative 49%
    Moderate 42%
    Liberal 7%
    Undecided 3%

  • Q33: Are your values similar to the values of the Tea Party:?

    Yes 48%
    No 40%
    Undecided 12%

  • Q31: Do you think that the near-universal health care bill passed by Democrats last year should be repealed, modified or left alone?

    Repealed 55%
    Modified 30%
    Left Alone 11%
    Undecided 4%

  • Q30: Do you agree or disagree that raising taxes should be an option for helping to reduce the national debt?

    Disagree 57%
    Agree 38%
    Undecided 5%

As you can see from reading the above questions, there is a non-trivial portion of the New Hampshire electorate, which intends to vote in the Republican primary, which is very much out of step with how the candidates themselves would govern. Not one candidate to my knowledge believes that raising taxes should be under consideration to reduce the national debt, yet 38% of likely voters believe it should be. Not one candidate believes that Obamacare should be left alone, yet 11% believe it should be. And a full 7% of the electorate out and out describes themselves as liberal.

Thankfully, due to the cross tab analysis provided by Suffolk University, we can see how these people said they would vote. Only 28/400 or 6.75% of respondents self-identified as liberal, while 167.400 or 41.75% identified as moderate. But moderates have leanings of their own. But how to judge them? I decided to use question 31 as the litmus test. Anyone who identifies as a moderate but says that Obamacare should not be repealed is in fact a liberal. Let’s see how this plays out:

Q31: Do you think that the near-universal health care bill passed by Democrats last year should be repealed, modified or left alone?


Answer Romney Paul Huntsman Perry Palin Bachmann Gingrich Undecided Total
Repealed 107 24 7 30 13 12 8 14 220
Modified 45 26 16 3 5 4 4 16 120
Left Alone 8 6 15 0 1 0 0 9 43
Undecided 4 0 2 0 4 2 2 3 14

The first thing to note is how different John Huntsman’s numbers are from everyone else’s. In case anybody had any doubt from the laudatory media coverage has received, John Huntsman is the first choice among liberals in this race. I also expected to find Romney getting the lion’s share of the “modify” voters. However as a percentage of his voters, Romney’s “modify” percentages are not significantly higher than most of the other candidates excluding Perry.

What to conclude here? I expected to find some evidence that Romney’s voters were more moderate or liberal than the other candidates, but we don’t see that. The two candidates who are attracting the liberal vote right now are Huntsman and to a lesser degree Paul. However, Perry’s strength is understated, and there does appear to be some likelihood that he will generate a stronger showing than he shows now, as voters begin to abandon their second tier candidates and gravitate towards the non-Romney in the race.

There is a risk, of course, of non-Republican voters turning out to vote for Romney, not as a spoiler, but because they believe that the Republican nominee will likely get elected, and that they would prefer Romney to Perry. But if that theory is true, I have yet to see it in the data.

I’d be interested in what others see in the data.

 
 

New Perry Ad

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

If this is a sign of the campaign to come from Rick Perry, he’s going to demolish everybody in his path, including Obama.

 
 

State Run Vice

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

So Massachusetts appears to be on its way towards legalizing casino gambling. The state will apparently be giving out three licenses for casinos in state. This is the wrong approach. These three casinos will become a source of graft and corruption in the state, by virtue of the fact that there are so few of them. If you want to legalize gambling in state, better to offer to let every bar in the state operate slots and video poker machines. This will diffuse gambling in-state enough such that there won’t be just three large companies to tap for money by threatening periodically. But part of me think that the whole point is to create a large piggy bank for retiring politicians in-state, in which case my suggestion is moot.

But since we’re considering legalizing new forms of vice in order to raise revenue, let’s consider two forms of vice that could be legalized and be producing revenue for the state in less than a year’s time, unlike the casinos currently under consideration. And after all, that is what all this is ostensibly supposed to be about, raising revenue for the state.

State run monopolies on vice are nothing new. Many states monopolize liquor sales as New Hampshire does. And most states have state run lotteries, Massachusetts included. So I would propose state run monopolies on the other two major vices currently illegal in the state, marijuana and prostitution. Let’s discuss how I would see each of these playing out:

  • Marijuana: I propose the state manufacture and wholesale marijuana cigarettes. Let farmers grow the stuff in-state, but make the state the only legal customer. The state can then manufacture cigarettes and sell them to packaged liquor stores for sale to the general public. Only allow Massachusetts residents showing ID to purchase them.

    Done right, the State could be making money on this plan by spring. How much money could they be making? The price for weed in Massachusetts currently appears to be several hundred dollars per ounce. Let’s say the retail price to the consumer is about $100 per pack of 20 cigarettes. 20% of that goes to the retail establishment, and 20% goes to the cost of manufacture. That would leave $60/pack for the state. I think we can conservatively estimate that the State would sell 1 million packs per year, yielding $60 million in revenue to the state. Immediately.

    The state could mandate a certain potency per cigarette, ensuring that people who are using it medicinally can accurately dose themselves. And they would probably have to re-criminalize marijuana purchased outside legal avenues. I would also limit consumption to within one’s own home and backyard. Finally, because everything from the growing, to production to consumption is done in-state, this shouldn’t fall within the federal jurisdiction. And to the extent the federal government wants to challenge it, they would have to challenge the state directly, as the manufacturer and wholesaler of the product. I think it would set up a very interesting court challenge, assuming the federal government didn’t just decide to ignore Massachusetts, which I think it would be in their best interest to do.

  • Prostitution: As evidenced by the Markoff affair and the countless brothels which seem to be raided on a near daily basis in the state, prostitution is alive and well in the state of Massachusetts. Prostitution provides an excellent opportunity for the State to generate revenue, and quickly.

    What I propose is that the State open and operate brothels of its own. This is not unheard of: in ancient Rome the state ran brothels (free of charge to citizens). Given the large number of retail vacancies across the state, the state could likely sign long term leases in prime locations across the state. Buildout would be simple, just some rooms with beds and a laundry. Station a cop at each one, test the girls for STDs, and guarantee privacy for johns.

    Let’s try to put some numbers around this. Let’s say that the state opened 5 brothels to start, each one with 5 bedrooms. Each encounter is $300, split 50/50 between the girl and the state. Assume that each room handles 8 customers/day. That’s 8*5*5*360*150=$10.8 million. Hiring the 5 cops plus rent plus cleaning and drug and disease tests would cost something. But one could easily see how $10 million of revenues to the state could be easily achieved. Immediately.

So conservatively, my plan would raise $70 million annually for the state, starting say 6 months from now. It would provide a legal alternative to obtaining what there is already demand for, thus reducing the need to pay violent criminals for weed and sexual services. So presumably crime would decrease as well. What’s not to like? I mean, it’s not as if marijuana and prostitution don’t already exist within the state.

Casino proponents believe that they will generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the state. I suspect they are off by an order of magnitude. And regardless, they are counting on $1/2 billion investments to build these things, in a recession no less. My plan is conservative, and could easily net a lot more than I projected. And the cost to implement and try it out is minimal. So who’s with me?

 
 

We Lost

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

I don’t think there’s any other conclusion to come to at this juncture in time. I don’t mean to say that we lost to Al Qaeda; that organization is clearly defunct. But we have most certainly lost the war, and our way. Consider the following:

  • Patriot Act: In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, we passed a piece of legislation known as the Patriot Act. It passed by overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. The legislation was designed to do things like allow law enforcement to snoop in on business records without notifying the user that they were so doing. These so called “sneek and peek” powers have been used 1755 times since 2006, less than 1% of these were related to terrorism. And that’s just one example. By and large, Patriot Act powers have been used for drug related crimes, not to stop terrorism. Sen. Ron Wyden has said that the American people would be appalled if they understood how the Patriot Act was being used. I’m appalled without knowing everything he does.

    What is perhaps most appalling is that in the ensuing decade since its passage, congress never paused to sort through what they’d passed and decide to throw some things out and keep other things. There has never been any attempt to determine which of these powers yielded results and which haven’t. Instead, debate regarding the Patriot Act has mostly consisted of demagoguery, the result of which is that the government is now assuming war time police powers as a permanent feature of American life. In other words, we’re becoming a police state.

  • TSA/DHS: In response to the fact that some planes were hijacked in the United States, the federal government decided to nationalize airport security, creating what has become known as the Transportation Security Agency, or TSA, better known as blueshirts. Today, the TSA is party of a gargantuan agency called the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, which is building a Taj Mahal like structure to house itself in Washington DC. Apparently, 9-11 happened because we had too little bureaucracy at work. Today, the TSA is, to put it mildly, completely out of control, and the among the foremost violators of individual rights in the United States. They have, without authorization from congress, purchased x-ray machines that can take nude photographs of people, and stationed them at airports around the country. Refusal to have a nude photograph taken of you results in you being personally groped by TSA agents who, at some airports, make every effort to create a loud disturbance and embarrass you (this recently happened to me at Chicago O’Hare). To add injury to insult, these machines have not been tested for safety, and are not regularly checked for safety as are medical x-ray machines in hospitals.

    There is no legitimate purpose for a free society to have its police using nude photograph machines. If you have probable cause to believe somebody intends to commit an act of terrorism, then you should arrest him and directly relieve him of his belongings. The only purpose of nude photograph machines is to conduct mass dragnet searches on the populace at large. Free societies do not conduct mass dragnet searches on their citizenry.

    Moreover, the TSA is taking the mission implied by its name literally. They are not settling for harassing travelers at airports. Rather, they are experimenting with putting the nude x-ray machines on vans, and scanning passers by without their knowledge or consent. They have randomly shown up at some train stations. And they are discussing setting up road checkpoints. The TSA, more than any other agency in the Federal Government, is turning the United States into an out in out police state.

    And the DHS is making every effort to direct the activities of that state towards the American citizenry at large. When Janet Napolitano took over at DHS, one of her first acts was to warn the American people that right wing groups were set to engage in terrorism around the country. It was made up bullshit, but no matter. The purpose of a police state is to keep its citizens in line. And Napolitano’s warning wasn’t to the citizens to be on the lookout for right wingers; it was to right wingers not to get out of line. Again, not hallmark of a free society.

  • Violence and Political Correctness: Of course, since 9-11 there have been two attempts at Islamist inspired violence in the United States worth noting: the Times Square bomber and the Ft Hood shooter. When the Times Square bomber’s car was first discovered, Mayor Bloomberg speculated that it was planted by somebody upset over Obamacare. And the Ft. Hood shooter was apparently screaming to all within earshot about how much he hated America, but the Army had become so politically correct, nobody acted to remove him from his station until it was too late.

    Meanwhile, there have been no fictional attempts to depict the war against islamist extremists in a positive light. There was only one movie about 9-11 itself, Flight 93. And another one set to be released about the assassination of Osama Bin laden, set to be released in October of 2012 so as to aid Obama’s chances of re-election. I believe that this is as much due to fear of being seen as politically incorrect as it is due to Hollywood’s desire to not aid Republican presidents and to aid Democratic ones instead. Neither of these motives speaks well of the United States or its ability to emerge victorious in a sustained conflict with a people or culture unlike our own.

  • Financial War: While the financial crisis had its roots in the housing market, it was most certainly exacerbated by the existence of naked short selling. Naked short selling is when someone sells shares short without first borrowing them. It’s illegal, but the SEC has more or less refused to enforce the law for many years. The result is that some hedge funds have been killing small companies by naked short selling their stock out of existence. It’s a recipe whereby hedge funds counterfeit stock shares and sell them on the open market until the company they’re targeting ceases to exist. The SEC refuses to do anything about it because the average SEC regulator hopes to get jobs with these very hedge funds when they leave the agency. This phenomenon is known as deep capture, and the blog by that name, DeepCapture.com, has done an excellent job at documenting the phenomenon.

    So what does this have to do with 9-11? Well, Osama Bin Laden said in one of his tapes that his plan to take down the United States was by means of bankrupting it, by directly attacking the American financial system. He would do this by means of a physical attack on New York, and further drain American resources by dragging us out into a long war. But that’s not the only way he attacked the American financial system. If Deep Capture is to be believed, Al Qaeda set up a brokerage firm whose explicit purpose would be to attack American financial institutions by naked short selling them.

    The story itself is incredible. You should read the whole 21 part serial starting here. But even if Deep Capture is wrong, even if Al Qaeda isn’t behind the naked short selling of Lehman and Bear Stearns, someone was. And our financial police are incapable of doing anything about it. Instead of attacking the problem directly, by investigating and uncovering who had been naked short selling and prosecuting them, we got Dodd-Frank, a pile of financial regulation that has nothing to do with the proximate cause of out financial problems. Our government cannot handle the real problems before it, even when it’s plainly obvious what they are. It’s difficult to feel support for such a government, to want it to not collapse as seems possible as of late.

  • The War Itself: I’m not sure this war could have been fought more idiotically. I’ve probably said this before, but it bears repeating. We started off fighting in Afghanistan, refusing to show our flags, under rules of combat that valued civilian Afghani lives more than those of our soldiers, even going so far as to drop sandwiches on some villages while we bombed others. The result has been that the Afghanis, a primitive people (to the extent that they can even be called a people), don’t see the US as the strong man, and thus don’t feel a need to side with or emulate us. And so they side with the Taliban, or whatever warlord does appear to be the strong man wherever they happen to be. And so the war drags on, ad infinitum.

    Then we decide that it would be a good idea to invade Iraq. Not that Saddam was a good guy or that his government didn’t deserve to be toppled, it most certainly did. But Saddam’s Iraq was not a focal point for islamic terror in the world. Islamic terror revolves elliptically around two focus points, Iran and Saudi Arabia. But those two powers are opposites. Iran has a government that supports Islamic terror and is hostile to the United States, but its people are not supportive of Islamic terror and are supportive of the United States. Saudi Arabia is the complete opposite. The fact that Saudi terror was financed by Saudi citizens matters little. And the fact that Iran is Shia and Saudi is Sunni matters little. Both support Islamic terror and work to place other Islamic countries into their orbit. By going after Iraq we essentially went after a Saudi satellite. But the satellite isn’t the issue. And in fact, the all the arab satellites are satellites for a reason: they don’t have the mass to exert gravitational pull over other countries. So they will be satellites no matter what. The question is whether or not they will become satellites of the United States.

    To continue with our physics analogy, the United States exerts a weaker pull that local powers because of our distance, both geographic and cultural. So what’s needed is to knock out one or both of the foci around which Islamic terror orbits. Turn one or both to our side, and the the local satellites have someone to emulate.

    That’s not what we did.

    So now we have an Iraq which is rapidly becoming a satellite of Iran, mostly because they’re both Shia and the Iraqis rightly assume that we’ll abandon them at some point anyhow, so best to start paying fealty to the regional power sooner rather than later. Egypt has fallen, and now Libya, and the early results do not show that they are becoming satellites to either us or the country where we expended so much blood and treasure, Iraq. In Egypt, local mobs are attacking the Israeli embassy. And in Libya, the rebels who we supported are apparently slaughtering the black inhabitants of that country. Wow, what westernization.

    I’m going to go ahead and predict that iran will roll up influence across the Arab world after each of these Arab countries disposes of their dictator. While the Iranians have the good sense not to attack the US directly, they don’t have the good sense not to try and start WW3 by nuking israel. The result of this will not be good. Particularly since we’re broke. We don’t have the money to rectify this mistake, even if we had the will, which we most certainly do not have. The best we can hope for here is that the Iranian roll-up of the Middle East doesn’t start WW3, and that we have enough new energy sources to bring online within the US and Canada that we will be able to safely ignore the middle east for some time.

    Let’s hope.

So what to do? Frankly, I have no idea. But I don’t expect good things from our government any more. The only guy I can envision enthusiastically supporting is Gary Johnson, because he’s the only guy who seems to want to restore our civil liberties and fix the economy. But he doesn’t seem to have a chance. The other Republicans may have some hope at fixing the economy, but none seem to have a fire in the belly to fix the domestic threat, namely to dismantle the TSA, the DHS, and walk back the domestic war against our own citizenry. Certainly only Johnson wants to end the drug war (and Paul who is half-nuts and way too old to be President). The Democrats talk a good game about civil liberties, but at root they are the worst statists. Obama revealed a lot about himself when he felt the need to deny being a Bolshevik. Democrats view civil liberties issues as campaign points, but they have zero interest in reducing government power in any form. They are true totalitarians.

I would say that as totalitarians, they are to be opposed at all costs, Except that left in their hands, the US government will go bankrupt. There is no two ways about it. So I’m honestly torn. Do I vote to in such a way as to hasten the demise of the federal government? Or do I vote Republican, so as to prolong the agony. I don’t know that I can bring myself to vote so cynically as to vote for the totalitarians. But I don’t feel so great voting for the Republicans either. They’ll manage the finances a lot better, but they aren’t going to dismantle the Federal police powers either.

So here we are. Islamism marches on, while we destroy our freedoms from within. Al Qaeda may not be ascendant, but freedom is certainly on the wane. I don’t say “they won”, but I do say “we lost”. We lost our freedoms, our economy, and our ability to even debate these things rationally, without descending into politically correct nonsense. And I don’t see much hope for things to turn around.

Your thoughts are certainly welcome. I’m looking for disagreements, as I would love to be proved wrong.

 
 

Apple TV

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

So Apple has been apparently trying to make the AppleTV device a substitute for having to get a cable TV subscription. That’s a good idea I suppose. I believe I’ve discussed this before, but let’s review my thoughts on the matter again.

There are only three kinds of television that need to be streamed, or viewed live. Those are news, sports and weather. You can put live game shows like American Idol into the sports category. Everything else, basically, can and should be viewed on demand. Streaming takes up an inordinate amount of bandwidth, and all the filler shit that has to go in between shows and whatnot costs a lot of money and provides value to noone. Finally, nobody cares much about channels anymore, except as a way to find the programming they want to watch.

So here’s what Apple ought to do. Offer a cable type subscription online. Let it stream news, sports and weather channels. That should be a manageable feat over IP. Then, offer network and cable tv shows for either a fixed fee or a per hour watched fee, giving fees over to those parties who provide the programming. That is, assuming they can get the programming.

Apparently, the content companies are afraid to piss off their current distribution channels by offering their content online, either directly themselves or indirectly through a service like AppleTV. So here’s what Apple ought to do: accelerate their life and death decision by threatening to develop identical programming themselves if they won’t get on board. As we all know, most cable television programming sucks anyhow, and it simply can’t be that hard to replicate it. And with Apple’s cash reserves, they should easily be able to replicate any show on any network, and do so without making any real difference to Apple’s bottom line.

The networks totally lack original programming as it is. Look at all the Mad men knockoffs, Playboy Club and Pan Am. Give me a break. If the networks feel free to knock each other’s shows off so readily, then surely Apple can do the same. Except that Apple’s shows will undoubtedly be better. Which would you rather watch, another overhyped documentary on the History Channel, or an Apple produced history documentary that is even toned and gives you the opportunity to learn something? Just saying…

 
 

Awaiting The Wall Street Journal Endorsement Of Gary Johnson

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Instapundit quotes from a paywall hidden WSJ endorsement of John Huntsman’s platform:

The heart of the plan lowers all tax rates on individuals and businesses. Mr. Huntsman would create three personal income tax rates—8%, 14% and 23%—and pay for this in a “revenue-neutral” way by eliminating “all deductions and credits.” This tracks with the proposals of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and others for a flatter, more efficient tax system.

That means economically inefficient tax carve outs for mortgage interest, municipal bonds, child credits and green energy subsidies would at last be closed. The double tax on capital gains and dividends would be expunged as would the Alternative Minimum Tax. The corporate tax rate falls to 25% from 35%, and American businesses would be taxed on a territorial system to encourage firms to return capital parked in overseas operations.

Mr. Huntsman would repeal two of President Obama’s most economically debilitating creations, ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Mr. Huntsman has it right when he says, “Dodd-Frank perpetuates ‘too big to fail’ by codifying a regime that incentivizes firms to become too big to fail.” He’d also repeal a Bush-era regulatory mistake, the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules, which have added millions of dollars of costs to businesses with little positive effect.

Mr. Huntsman says he’d also bring to heel the hyper-regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, all of which are suppressing job-creation.

Boy, if they like those policies, how can they not fall in love with Gary Johnson’s?

  • Where John Huntsman wants to reduce the corporate tax rates, Gary Johnson has proposed eliminating the corporate income tax altogether. This will make the United States the best place in the world to locate one’s corporate headquarters, and will likely result in the repatriation of untold billions of dollars.Johnson has also called for eliminating the use of the income tax code as a way of managing the economy or people’s behavior.
  • Huntsman is for repealing Obamacare, Dodd Frank and Sarbanes Oxley. This is de rigeur for a Republican nominee. While his website doesn’t explicitly say so, I believe he is for repealing these three pieces of legislation as well.
  • Huntsman wants to bring regulations to heel, which again, is de rigeur for Republicans. Johnson is talking about bringing entitlements to heel, which is far more difficult.

Why take John Huntsman seriously and not Gary Johnson? John Huntsman was a one term governor of Utah, a Republican stronghold. Gary Johnson was a two term governor of New Mexico, a largely Democratic state. So getting elected and re-elected there is a much bigger deal than getting elected only once in Utah. And Johnson managed to take on his congress, eliminating his state’s deficit without raising taxes, while issuing over 750 vetoes.

There are 4 governors running for the Republican nomination, from Texas, Massachusetts, Utah, and New Mexico ordered by size. Their respective GDPs are $1.2 trillion, $379 billion, $114 billion, and $80 billion. Of these, only two have managed to get re-elected, Rick Perry and Gary Johnson, And of these, only one came from a state not normally friendly to Republicans, Gary Johnson. If John Huntsman, a one term governor from a relatively small Republican state, is taken seriously as a candidate, then so should Gary Johnson, a two term governor from a relative small democratic state. If Chris Christie is an interesting potential candidate because of his ability to advance Republican ideals in a largely Democratic state, than so should Gary Johnson be an interesting candidate. If Mitch Daniels is an interesting potential candidate for resolving his state’s deficit spending issues, than so should Gary Johnson for resolving his states issues.

I eagerly await the WSJ’s editorial page’s review of the exciting candidacy of Gary Johnson.

 
 

Stepping In It

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Observe:

  • Going to Europe to win the Olympics for Chicago and losing.
  • Predicting that unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8% if his stimulus passed, then having it stubbornly stay above 9%.
  • Saying the Libyan intervention would be “days not weeks”. It took six months.
  • Visiting several “green” companies touting them as the wave of the future, companies that have since gone bankrupt.
  • Attempting to impose himself on top of the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night, only to be rebuffed by the Speaker of the House (the President cannot demand time in front of congress – technically, he has to be invited).

This President has habit of puffing himself up when he doesn’t know what the outcome will be. Always a bad idea. Doesn’t reflect well on his management abilities. Doesn’t portend good things for his re-election prospects.

Underpromise. Overdeliver. People like you.
Overpromise. Repeatedly fail. People think you’re an impotent loser.