Thursday, March 3, 2016


A Venn Diagram revealing faulty logic at the NY Times --

A Facebook post by former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov --

I'm enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.

Here is a link to the transcript of Mitt Romney's rousing speech today attacking Donald Trump.

And here is a link to Ross Douthat's commentary on Romney's speech.

The idea that Trump can’t be beaten is insane; the idea that he shouldn’t be beaten is immoral; the idea that it isn’t worth even trying to beat him is the lamest thing I’ve ever seen in politics. So good on Romney for trying: All that is necessary for the triumph of Trump, it would seem, is for party men to do nothing — while telling themselves, mournfully, that there just wasn’t anything to be done.

Yuval Levin --

From every angle, the Republican race looks like an epic tragedy of blinding hubris. If any one of these men who would be president had a more properly proportional understanding of his own prospects and limits, the coming calamity would be averted. But as none of them does, that calamity keeps coming.

The prospect of a Trump–Clinton matchup therefore remains very real. That at this moment, with the country struggling to come to terms with its 21st-century circumstances, the two parties would reach for two 70-year-olds to save them from the future — both of them intensely unpopular, reckless with power, blinded by nostalgia, and devoid of vision — is awfully discouraging. And it leaves me wondering if the baby boomers, as voters and leaders, will ever stop wrecking the country.

Kevin Williamson on the dilemma facing principled conservatives, that doing the right thing is politically unpopular --

Having been elevated in the 2010 elections and fortified in subsequent elections, congressional Republicans have made a little bit of progress on the deficit, which was reduced from 8.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015. In 2007, before the credit crisis and the subsequent recession, it had been about 1.1 percent of GDP — too high for the liking of many deficit hawks, but arguably manageable.

Another way to look at the spending problem is deficit compared to revenue, i.e., how much we’re borrowing to finance spending vs. how much we’re taking in. This gives you an idea of what the “stretch” is, what we’d need to cover in additional taxes or reduce through spending cuts to bring expenditures in line with income. In 2010, the deficit was 60 percent of revenue ($1.29 trillion deficit vs. $2.16 trillion revenue), whereas in 2015 the deficit was 13 percent of revenue ($439 billion deficit vs. $3.25 trillion revenue). For those of you who habitually ask what it is that congressional Republicans have accomplished, that’s it: Despite having Barack Obama in the White House and a public that clamored for more benefits and lower taxes, the deficit has been reduced substantially in absolute terms, relative to GDP, relative to the federal budget, and relative to revenue, since the height of Democratic power under the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate.

That triumvirate, let’s not forget, was generously financed by Donald Trump, who thinks he should be the Republican presidential nominee.

KW again --

George H. W. Bush, who completed his flying mission in World War II with his airplane on fire after being shot in the head before bailing out over the Pacific and dodging angry Japanese intent on eating him? Meh. What’s that compared to playing a tough guy on television or throwing a temper tantrum about Macy’s?

...“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was last season’s “I’ll build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it.” This season’s version will work out the same, if American voters are in fact childish and unpatriotic enough to invest Trump with the power of the presidency in a fit of pique. I hope they don’t. But I don’t put it past them, either. They’ve done it before. Immediately before, in fact. Yes, Trump is a con artist. No, he isn’t the first. The last one didn’t work out too well.

Andrew Klavan --

First quotes the NY Times and then comments --

Heather Cox Richardson, a Boston College professor and the author of a new history of the Republican Party, predicts a violent rupture that cleaves the party in two: a hard-line conservatism, as embodied by Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich and Mr. Trump, and an old-fashioned strain of moderate Republicanism that recalls Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Nelson Rockefeller.

If Professor Richardson thinks Donald Trump is a hard-line conservative, she should no more be writing about Republicans than I should be writing about quantum mechanics. Because she doesn't know what she's talking about.

What is splitting the Republican Party in two is the very fact that Trump is not a conservative. He favors government health care. He favors disastrous protectionism. He favors less freedom of speech in the form of new libel laws making it easier for him to sue those who criticize him. He sends friendly signals to the haters of blacks and Jews. Plus he's a foul-mouthed thug who treats women like dirt — which may be fine for the Clintons, but is unacceptable behavior in any conservative circle I've ever been in.

...What are conservatives to do then if Trump becomes the nominee of the Republican Party? How are they to express themselves politically without becoming irrelevant?

I hear plenty of Republican tweeters and even commentators saying: "Chill out." "Get on board the Trump train or get run over!" "You can't argue with success." For the record, my responses are "No," "Kiss my ass," and "You bet I can," in that order.

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