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January 11, 2008

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» BLOG: Quick Links 1/12/08 from Baseball Crank
*Tom Maguire on Paul Krugman's efforts to put lipstick on the pig of the European welfare state. Of course, deceit is to Krugman what the fedora and the bullwhip are to Indiana Jones. *And here I thought Daniel Webster had... [Read More]

Comments

kim

A little steynie told me not to bother to read Krukman. His art is in the service of dark powers.
====================

anduril

Give Fred credit: isn't he the only candidate talking about Social Security?

clarice

Didn't he once hail the French model just as even the French decided it was unworkable?
The unemployment figures in Europe (particularly Germany and France) are substantially higher because they do not consider the large numbers of lifetime (or so it seems) students living on govt paychecks for as long as they choose to. (Hey, the market demand for deconstructionists is slim).

Finally, I never realized that aging is spelled ageing. Hmm

RichatUF

Hummm...seems Krugman left out something...military spending...also it might be time to start shorting the euro because of the Krugman Contrarian Indicator ™

Something to look into...

Rick Ballard

Rich,

How much would you spend to defend Necropolis?

No mention of deficit spending or increasing budgets tied to a static or decreasing population. He's really one hell of an economist.

RichatUF

Rick-

How much would you spend to defend Necropolis?

I could be tempted to say zero, but we are a family. A bit dysfunctional, with some relatives we would rather not talk about, but family nonetheless. The Eurozone budget deficits are a good call too, forgot about them. I would also think that socalized medicine in someways acts as a tarriff barrier, in which, the US has to pay the high costs of new drugs, devices, and treatments and the Europeans can then "free ride" on the aftermarket testing [and they also don't seem to have the same legal problems that US drugmakers have here]. I might be off because there are things in Europe that aren't offered here and what not.

I find it curious that Krugman would draw a line between internet connectivity and government healthcare to declare the return of Europe when Europe is a much larger economy. His column looks only to be about 750 words so maybe he was a bit rushed or his talking points were a bit late.

He had another one a few days ago that played down the Islamic terror threat and puffed up the China threat. Criticism of the Republician field and Obama-

anduril

Human Events Endorses Thompson. They also explain what the problems are with the other candidates. I just want to focus on one of them:

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is a war hero whose personal courage sustained many of the men imprisoned with him in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” We honor him, but he does not honor many conservative principles. His co-authorship of the Bush-McCain-Kennedy “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation last summer ran directly against our principles of American sovereignty and national security. His position has not been ameliorated by his more recent explanations of border-security measures he might support. His opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his support for economy-strangling measures to control “global warming” and his anti-torture legislation (which didn’t make torture illegal, it already was: McCain’s law only made a clear law vague to the point of unenforceability) all cut against the conservative grain. And so did his McCain-Feingold campaign finance law with its stifling of political free speech.

This guy is a disaster waiting for a chance to blow up in everyone's faces. I'll have more.

Patrick R. Sullivan
My goodness - Europe has outperformed America in job creation when measured from the peak of America's internet bubble in 2000.

Yeah, next he'll be posting at Angry Bear where that kind of analysis is de rigueur.

anduril

Santorum Rips McCain A New One. Follow the link if you want to see what I left out:

HH: I am joined now, though, by America’s favorite conservative in exile. It’s Rick Santorum. Senator, always a pleasure to talk to you.

RS: Thank you, Hugh. It’s great to be with you again.

HH: Now you know, I think pretty much everyone on our side of the aisle believes you know the media just about better than anyone, and you know how they can manipulate a race. They’re trying to force Mitt Romney out. Should the Governor go?

RS: No, absolutely not. I think this race is wide open. I think Mitt Romney still has a very good chance of winning. You know, I think right now, we’re looking at the media trying to make Barack Obama the president, and make John McCain the shill for him. And I don’t see, I think they know that John McCain can’t win this election, and they know…it’s probably the best chance for them to do it.

...

HH: Why can’t John McCain win this election?

RS: Well, number one, John McCain will not get the base of the Republican Party. I mean, there was a reason John McCain collapsed last year, and it’s because he was the frontrunner, and everybody in the Republican Party got a chance to look at him. And when they looked at him, they wait well, wait a minute, he’s not with us on almost all of the core issues of…on the economic side, he was against the President’s tax cuts, he was bad on immigration. On the environment, he’s absolutely terrible. He buys into the complete left wing environmentalist movement in this country. He is for bigger government on a whole laundry list of issues. He was…I mean, on medical care, I mean, he was for re-importation of drugs. I mean, you can go on down the list. I mean, this is a guy who on a lot of the core economic issues, is not even close to being a moderate, in my opinion. And then on the issue of, on social conservative issues, you point to me one time John McCain every took the floor of the United States Senate to talk about a social conservative issue. It never happened. I mean, this is a guy who says he believes in these things, but I can tell you, inside the room, when we were in these meetings, there was nobody who fought harder not to have these votes before the United States Senate on some of the most important social conservative issues, whether it’s marriage or abortion or the like. He always fought against us to even bring them up, because he was uncomfortable voting for them. So I mean, this is just not a guy I think in the end that washes with the mainstream of the Republican Party.

HH: But we are stuck with this crazy calendar. In Iowa, the Evangelicals came out for Mike Huckabee. Even though Mike is a wonderful guy, he’s not a conservative. In New Hampshire, the independents crossed over and elected John McCain. Now, we’re into Michigan where Democrats can vote in the Republican Party.

RS: Yeah, Democrats and independents can vote for McCain. It’s not very pretty. The process is one that’s stacked against a guy like Mitt Romney in this situation. But look, what’s happening here, you’re looking at Giuliani, who’s basically taking a pass on the first three or four, four or five primaries. And you don’t hear anybody calling for him to get out of the race, and he has basically been a no-show so far in this process. Romney’s going to have the money. McCain’s now going to have the money to compete. Huckabee will have enough money to compete. Giuliani will be competing…this is a four and potentially, if Fred can pull a rabbit out of the hat somewhere between now and Super Tuesday, we could have all five of these candidates viable going into Super Tuesday, which leads me to the conclusion that I think we’re going to probably end up with no nominee until September.

HH: Rick Santorum, I said before the break, and I think the same thing can be said about you in three and four and five exponents. I’ve been working for Republican conservatives since 1974. It was my first race. I don’t know, when did you first go to Congress?

RS: 1976.

HH: All right. I worked for Paul Cronin in Massachusetts, and got blown out. You came back in the year of ’76 when Ford went down.

RS: Right.

HH: And I’m not willing to turn my party over to a nationalist moderate, or a neo-populist out of Arkansas. Do you think that’s a widely shared view?

RS: Look, here’s the problem…

HH: Uh-oh. We lost him. Just when we were going to find out what the problem was.

- - - -

HH: Senator, welcome back. I was just…did you serve alongside Senator McCain for 12 years or longer?

RS: 12 years.

HH: So you know him well.

RS: I do.

HH: When you hear the media talking about him, and of course, he got Iraq right, and we’re all grateful for that, but he wasn’t the only Republican to get it right. Do you believe he’s sincerely changed on the immigration bill to where he understands the message that was delivered last summer?

RS: No.

HH: Why not?

RS: Well, I mean, because John McCain was the leader on the other side of the aisle. John McCain was the guy who was working with Ted Kennedy to drive it down our throats, and lectured us repeatedly about how xenophobic we were, lectured us, us being the Republican conference, about how wrong we were on this, how we were on the wrong side of history, and that you know, this is important for his…because having come from Arizona, knowing the strength of the Hispanic community, that we were going to be seen as racists, and he wasn’t going be part of that, that he was not a racist, and that if we were for tougher borders, it was a racist thing. Look, John McCain looks at things through the eyes, on these kind of domestic policy issues, looks at it through the eyes of the New York Times editorial board, and accepts that predisposition that if you are not, if you stand for conservative principles, there’s some genetic defect.

HH: We’ve got about 30 seconds, Senator Santorum. Have you sensed today the conservative movement waking up to its peril?

RS: I guess my answer is yes, but I also…a lot of folks are throwing up their hands, not sure in what direction to go. That’s the problem.

HH: The direction’s toward Romney, isn’t it?

RS: I don’t know. I mean, I’ve got…I mean, I could have a whole long discussion on Romney and my concerns with him, too. So it’s not an easy call. Thompson and Romney are certainly the two most conservative candidates in the race. But they both have their problems, not as severe as the others, but they both have their problems.

HH: Rick Santorum, always a pleasure. Call us if you get in the race, Senator.

End of interview.

Semanticleo

You address EU healthcare vs. US with short shrift, Maguire.

On the economic front, perhaps health is measured more by satisfaction than with productivity. But, I may expect as much from a corporate YES man.

PeterUK

"But the next time a politician tries to scare you with the European bogeyman, bear this in mind: Europe’s economy is actually doing O.K. these days, despite a level of taxing and spending beyond the wildest ambitions of American progressives."

Krugman is talking down his trouser legs,regulation,tax and spend is slowly grinding the EU to a halt.The one size fits all economic model does not fit the north European countries and the Club Med basket cases.
There is no EU Treasury backing the Euro,there is no guarantee of its value.There are no real systems of federal fiscal transfers,there is no central taxation.
Spain

Italy

When the deranged CO2 targets kick in and the construction of vast renewable energy schemes,we are all going to be eating our shoes.

PeterUK

"You address EU healthcare vs. US with short shrift, Maguire."

Sorry Septic,(you must put something on that)
There is no such thing as EU healthcare,each country has its own system.

Tom Maguire

I never realized that aging is spelled ageing.

I am aggog.

Obama is also talking about the Social Security problem, causing dismay amongst the Nutroots who insist it is not a problem (but who probably just want any tax hikes to fund programs today, not benefits decades down the road).

And McCain can beat Hillary, who will unite his base for him. McCain v. Obama is a landslide, but I don't know for whom - we may have a national "Emperor has no clothes" moment in October when the absurdity of flipping the keys to Obama in war time prompts a national LOL. Or not.

Rick Ballard

"each country has its own system" of determining who should die first. Some kill off preemies expeditiously, some DNR toe tag anyone over 60 who falls into their hands, some deny treatment to the obese, some finish off smokers first.

There's really a wide diversity in the unnatural selection process. Absolutely no "one model kills all" limitations.

kim

Smoke filled rooms. Get ready, C.
=====================

kim

And if the Dems determine a candidate by March, they'll want a new one by October.
=================

anduril

"McCain can beat Hillary"

1. McCain is a one man third party. The record on third party candidates is that their supporters go home to vote--in McCain's case that means large numbers will go back to the Democratic party candidate. His base is not the GOP base. He can only win if he can get the twain to meet.

2. There are large numbers of conservatives who will be unmotivated to vote for him--plus, he has a track record of self destructing that cannot be ignored.

3. Supposing McCain beats Hillary--exactly what good will that do the country, based on two factors:

3a. His record suggests he will support policies that are in radical opposition to the party that nominated him, and

3b. His record of serial betrayals of that same party militates strongly against him being able to govern effectively. Prima donnas have that problem, and he is a well known commodity on the Hill.

PeterUK

Mr Ballard,
You have to understand,it is for the greater good.Money cannot be spent on some selfish gormandizing McDonalds muncher when there is a healthy young foreign work unit that just needs patching up.
The NHS is a precious resource belonging to all of us - and those who can get here.

Semanticleo

"Absolutely no "one model kills all" limitations."

Rick;

US system uses a different model, same result.

kim

Hey, Cleo, Agee crapped out before Castro, another miracle of CubaCare.
===========

kim

Well, a, with his ego and someone's money, he'll be a third party candidate; it's his last chance.
==========================

kim

Give us your corpulent, your hypertensive, your srofulous yearning to be made well.
======================

Rick Ballard

"same result"

Not at all. People of child bearing age in the EU are committing demographic suicide based upon Marxian static economic analysis (Krugman's specialty) to the extent that they are reproducing at 75% of the replacement rate.

That's not happening here, although reading Krugman is a form of slow intellectual suicide, as any cursory examination of his readership reveals. The US appears to lack the nuance necessary to appreciate the true idiocy of static analysis.

cathyf
Hey, Cleo, Agee crapped out before Castro, another miracle of CubaCare.
Hey, kim, that makes a pretty big assumption ya know... I figure Agee outlasted Castro by like 18 months.
True Conservative

Everyone is free to cherry-pick their statistics. But let's look at the big picture: how all the OECD countries have performed over the last 30 years:

http://trueconservative.typepad.com/trueconservative/2007/12/government-ba-2.html

Check out the whole series.

This doesn't prove that larger government results in more prosperity. (Though it certainly suggests it.)

It does prove, *incontrovertibly,* that higher taxes and spending have not prevented the steadily growing prosperity we've seen in developed countries over the last thirty years.

It Just. Isn't. True. (Contrary to the Norquististas' Inconvenient-Truth-level catastrophe predictions.)

There are plenty of ideological, theoretical, and (frequently) moralizing arguments supporting the small-government-means-growth faith. (A faith whose fervency is most reminiscent of Marxism.) But that faith is contrary to the empirical facts.

Come join the reality-based community.

Other Tom

Krugman on Europe immediately brought two events to mind. The first was John Kenneth Galbraith, freshly returned from a visit to Moscow in about 1986, proclaimed the Soviet economy "robust." I recall his saying, among other things, that he could tell by the smiling faces of the elegant fur-clad ladies on the sidewalks of Moscow. (And this guy was called an "economist.") At almost exactly the same time--perhaps even after the same trip Galbraith made--Arthur Schlesinger declared that "those who are predicting the imminent collapse of the Soviet economy are going to be very disappointed." Makes for quite exquisite reading these days.

qrstuv

Re "True Conservative":

Why do leftists persist in believing that somehow they will win arguments by appropriating and redefining words used by their political opponents?

Other Tom

1. McCain is not a third-party candidate. He is a Republican that whom some Republicans do not like. If nominated, unlike a third-party candidate he will have the support of the entire apparatus of the RNC and every local and state GOP organization. People desert third-party candidates late because they know that, under the electoral college system, every vote for them will be wasted unless it is cast as a form of protest.

2. Any conservative who is unmotivated by him is quite likely to be motivated by a desire to avoid either Obama or Clinton in the White House. In any event, for every conservative who ill-advisedly stays home there is one or more moderate or independent who will vote for him and who otherwise would vote for the Democrat.

3. The greatest good it will do for the country is that it will prevent Obama/Clinton from being president, and that is a truly incalculable good.

3a. The extent of his oppositon to some GOP policies is utterly insignificant in comparison to the Democrats' oppsition to those policies.

3b. I would vastly prefer a McCain "governing ineffectively" over a Clinton governing effectively.

And I would add

4. McCain is a grownup concerning Iraq and the war on terror, and he will not appoint Bill Clinton, Lani Guinier, Laurence Tribe or H. Lee Sarokin to the US Supreme Court.

Other Tom

It is a form of almosty mystical denial to assert that the increase in prosperity of Europe over the past thirty years rivals, let alone exceeds, that of the United States. This is a proposition so bizarre that there are not even many liberals who endorse it, let alone any "true conservatives." And if one wants to contend either that (a) government in the US isn't really smaller than in the EU, or that (b) the fact of dramatically higher growth in the US is unrelated to greater individual freedom and less government intervention, one is free to do so. One should not expect to be taken seriously, however.

Other Tom

"Almost" (although "almosty" has a nice ring to it).

Porchlight

Even when liberals will admit that Europe faces serious problems, they still can't help cheerleading. Because the double-branched root of their adoration for Europe is a) living well with great food and great art, and b) benevolent social welfare programs for all.

High unemployment, declining population (liberals often think this a good thing) and a host of other problems are a small price to pay, in their eyes, for Europe's such obvious superiority to the U.S. on these all-important yardsticks.

qrstuv

Porchlight:

I find it extremely amusing that the left so often holds up sustainability as an ideal when their Ponzi-scheme policies are the very definition of unsustainable.

Reality-based my ass.

Dennis D

I wonder what the European Numbers would be had it not been for Reagan? How many internet connections would exist in Poland? How many Computers in homes in Romania? Europe is prospering because it is not free.

Dennis D

Now FREE I meant to post

anduril

Rather than cut and paste Other Tom's comments re mine on John McCain I'll simply link to Other Tom's Reply To My Original Post. Anyway, the context should make it clear.

Other Tom, I agree with your economic related post, and sympathize deeply with your desire to avoid a Democratic presidency--or at least one of those that is currently on offer. However...

1. Obviously, I was trying to make a point about McCain as a non-team player. Yes, he has a team: himself. That attitude is a recipe for disaster for a President.

2. These tradeoffs are imponderables. I'm simply not as convinced as you that he will ultimately be able to close the deal with the independents and moderate Democrats. Attracting them in primaries is one thing, in the general election is another thing entirely.

3. Call this a cheap shot if you will, but if the benefit to the nation is truly "incalculable," then McCain will have trouble ginning up enthusiasm. The benefit needs to be somehow calculable, and that's precisely what his serial betrayals obscure--just what difference will it really, really make.

3a. But do you really want the GOP President adding his weight to the Democratic opposition? The GOP in the Legislative Branch will have no reason--based on past behavior and experience--to trust a President McCain on 1/20/09. That's a very bad way to start out--having to prove to your own party that you can be trusted to support their agenda against the opposition and won't cut them off at the knees whenever it suits you.

3b. This, of course, is at the heart of our disagreement: I'm convinced that McCain would not govern effectively but, in his one term, would for practical purposes defect to the Democratic agenda that he has supported in so many significant ways for most of his career.

4. A grown-up in the War on Terror? In some respects I can agree, but his action on the "torture" issue was, once again, anything but grown up and gets to the heart of the trouble with him: for him there is only one team--his team. His my way or the highway approach will not work as president. His actions on the "torture" issue helped handcuff the current Commander in Chief to McCain's agenda, rather than keeping his hands free for more important tasks. It also helped to undercut support. That is not adult behavior.

Other Tom

Points all well taken, Anduril. The difference between us comes down strictly to a problem in game theory. If I thought the probability that, say, Thompson would win is identical to that for McCain, I would be a Thompson volunteer and would whip out my wallet for him.

But if I thought (as I do) that for McCain it is .55 and for Thompson .4, I'd take the risk-averse option and try to get McCain on the ticket. And those are the probabilities as I see them now. We could have fun posing the question under a variety of different sets of probabilities, but I don't know of many people who think the number for Thompson is higher than that for McCain.

No fair being so literal about "incalculable." Suppose I just said "very great?"

If you believed the probabilities were as I just suggested, which guy would you back?

Porchlight

I find it extremely amusing that the left so often holds up sustainability as an ideal when their Ponzi-scheme policies are the very definition of unsustainable.

Yes. As Steyn says, "[t]he hyper-rationalism of post-Christian Europe turns out to be wholly irrational: what's the point of creating a secular utopia if it's only for one generation?"

But it makes the left happy in the here and now, and that's all that counts, right?

SteveMG

Consciously or not we in the US have chosen freer markets, less regulation and, with that, higher growth rates and economic mobility over the more statist/welfare policies of Europe with their less robust growth, higher unemployment and stagnant income mobility.

Krugman and the Left want that reversed. But disingenously, he thinks he can convince the electorate that we can have both: a larger safety net, more regulations as well as high growth rates and more economic mobility.

It does remain an open question, however, that as the babyboomers get older that the appeal of the Krugmanites may win. With more than $80 trillion right now in unfunded obligations to SS and Medicare, though, we won't have much money to expand the welfare state.

L'etat? Non Krugman.

You still lose either way, Professor. Hah.


kim

No, PL, it's all supposed to be 'sustainable'. The trouble is, it's not. Not with humans, even malleable ones.
=============

anduril

Other Tom, I actually saw a reputable commenter writing that McCain will not win another state after NH. I forget the name right now--but, really, I did read it, and it wasn't a cheerleader like Hewitt. Bottom line: SC should tell the story on Thompson. We're still early on, with very little winnowing of the candidatory (?) chaff. If Thompson does well I may be whipping out my wallet, too (although I may not be able to match you).

Mark Levin, in addition to trashing McCain's domestic record, launches a broadside at McCain's national security record. Some of Levin's charges could be leveled at virtually any Senator, but some of this stuff sticks to the wall:

And then there’s the McCain defense record.

His supporters point to essentially one policy strength, McCain’s early support for a surge and counterinsurgency. It has now evolved into McCain taking credit for forcing the president to adopt General David Petreaus’s strategy. Where’s the evidence to support such a claim?

Moreover, Iraq is an important battle in our war against the Islamo-fascist threat. But the war is a global war, and it most certainly includes the continental United States, which, after all, was struck on 9/11. How does McCain fare in that regard?

* McCain-ACLU — the unprecedented granting of due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants (terrorists).

* McCain has repeatedly called for the immediate closing of Guantanamo Bay and the introduction of al-Qaeda terrorists into our own prisons — despite the legal rights they would immediately gain and the burdens of managing such a dangerous population.

* While McCain proudly and repeatedly points to his battles with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had to rebuild the U.S. military and fight a complex war, where was McCain in the lead-up to the war — when the military was being dangerously downsized by the Clinton administration and McCain’s friend, former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen? Where was McCain when the CIA was in desperate need of attention? Also, McCain was apparently in the dark about al-Qaeda like most of Washington, despite a decade of warnings.


Levin's article has links to the details on much of this. I have to say, the first two items (re enemy combatants) I find particularly irresponsible.

anduril

If you believed the probabilities were as I just suggested, which guy would you back?

Well, if he were down in the polls in November, I might--for the first time in my life--not vote for either candidate. Otherwise, I have voted virtually straight ticket my entire voting life of well over 30 years. And I say "virtually" just to cover my conscience's ass. So I've had to hold my nose a few times in the past, too.

anduril

Can you believe TypePad's antispam filter flagged this as potential comment spam? Here's my attempted post:

How Will This Play In South Carolina?

PeterUK

It deserves repeating,"It is impossible to have both a welfare state and open borders"
Universal healthcare becomes just that,universal,eventually the tax burden engulfs the entire GNP.Resources are finite,eventually healthcare has to be rationed.As drugs and treatment become more costly,the equation becomes simple - who lives and who dies.Under a socialist government this will be undoubtedly based on the principle of "The greatest good".

Other Tom

Anduril, if McCain doesn't win another primary, or indeed if he doesn't win the nomination itself, our argument is entirely moot. (The last poll I saw had him ahead by six or seven in Michigan, and a similar margin in S.C., so I'm wondering what the mystery reputable commentator knows that no one else does. But again, we're not talking about the likelihood of McCain's winning the nomination, we're talking about the likelihood of various possible nominees' winning in November.)

Once again: I predicate my preference at this point on who I think is most likely to beat the Democrat. That being the case, discussing McCain's departures from GOP orthodoxy is a detour. I think I'm as aware as either you or Mark Levin concerning those departures. But they have no relevance at all to the question of who is most likely to win. And unless you believe that, should McCain win, he would be even worse than the Democrat, that is the most important issue to decide.

Other Tom

This just in at Real Clear Politics:

"CNN Poll: McCain Rockets to Big Lead

"CNN's new national survey, completed January 9-10 (443 Dem RV, 397; MoE +/-4.5%; GOP RV, MoE+/-5%), shows John McCain surging into a commanding lead after his win in New Hampshire on Tuesday:

"Republicans
McCain 34 (+21 vs. last poll Dec 6-9)
Huckabee 21 (-1)
Giuliani 18 (-6)
Romney 14 (-2)
Thompson 6 (-4)
Paul 5 (-1)"

Would you cast your vote for Thompson if you knew he couldn't get the nomination, and your vote improved Huckabee's chances?

anduril

All true. I'm trying to drum up support for Fred--but also trying to open people's eyes to what the stakes are. We'll see. Thompson and Giuliani have both adopted a somewhat unorthodox campaign strategy.

anduril

Based on what I read about the debate last night (I never watch them), a vote for Thompson will only hurt Huckleberry--which is fine by me. National polls are essentially irrelevant at this point. Hillary got close to being KO'ed in NH, while still holding a national polling lead. National polls will be more relevant after Super Tuesday.

Rick Ballard

Anduril,

Two completely different strategies. Thompson is resource limited and must have SC in order to continue. Giuliani is conserving a decent resource base with a focus on the "big news" of a FL win to spring him to a lead on Feb 5. He'll come out of the 5th with NY, NJ and probably CA in his pocket (plus a few more).

I believe it will be Romney - Giuliani after the 5th but I would not wager a great deal on it.

It's exciting to watch the rolling barrage but the action is in the supply train.

hit and run

McCain rose 21 points by winning NH.

It's the 22nd time we have a new frontrunner.

Certainly not saying Fred would get 21 points by winning SC (or that he will win there)...but I am saying that this race is so wide open and fluid - and so apt to change in a direction and to an extent that we simply cannot predict -- that basing a vote or basing support on who is likely to win the nomination is likely to disappoint.

That does not address the who will win in November argument of course.

hit and run

anduril:
How Will This Play In South Carolina?

Hucakabee just said that Fred has "fire in teh bellah"

centralcal

Hi Hit and Run. Thanks for cheering me up. The media/pundits have spoken and our only two choices are McCain or Huckabee. And like lemmings, so many of my fellow conservative Republicans are following the pied piper and doing exactly what they have been told to do.

I was getting really depressed. So thank you for lightening things up (a little).

Other Tom

I think Huckabee has to be stopped at all costs, and for a host of reasons, but I don't think it will be difficult to do so. I don't watch the debates either--I'd go crazy--but I do catch the highlights. I thought Fred's assault on the fraudulent weasel from Arkansas was his finest hour.

hit and run

OK, super-secret, so don't tell anyone. Huck has a new ad to be released soon, and he has solicited opinions from prominent web figures such as myself:

From: Mike Huckabee
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 5:43 PM
To: hit and run
Subject: New MI and SC Ad

I'm focus-group testing a new ad for MI and SC. Any thoughts?

--------------------------------------------

[Scene: smoldering ashes at Ground Zero]

Announcer: [voice over] If you were to die tonight, stand before God and He were to ask you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" what would you say?

[Scene: Clouds, pearly gate, long line of people, bearded man behind podium with book]

Man in Line: I was a good person, a good father, a good husband.

Saint Peter: Sorry. It says here you believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers. Next.

[Scene: Clouds open up underneath the man who drops through the hole]

Mike Huckabee: [voiceover] Let me tell you, "I voted for Mike Huckabee" wouldn't be an entirely inappropriate answer. Most people would tell you to say, "I believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as my personal Savior". And that's good. That's really good. But if you say, "I voted for Mike Huckabee", the Jesus part is understood.

[Scene: man with Mike Huckabee 2008 campaign button comes to front of line]

Saint Peter: Don't say a word, you're in.

[Scene: Huckabee and Peter in front of pearly gates]

Mike Huckabee: I'm Mike Huckabee and I approved this message. And so did Saint Peter.

Saint Peter: And so did Jesus.

[Scene: Fade to black]

jimmyk

"True conservative"

If you understood economics a little better, you would know, first, that taxes primarily affect the level of economic activity, not the growth rate (so changes in tax rates affect growth); second, that other things affect growth too, so merely looking at the correlation between two variables doesn't say diddly about cause and effect.

anduril

H & R, I liked that very much. The "not entirely inappropriate" struck just the right tone.

Now this is waaaaaay OT, but then so was the protagonist:

Chinese woman goes way off-message on the Olympics

JM Hanes

"McCain is a grownup concerning Iraq and the war on terror, and he will not appoint Bill Clinton, Lani Guinier, Laurence Tribe or H. Lee Sarokin to the US Supreme Court."

So, do you think the author of McCain/Feingold is going to nominate a 1st Amendment defender to the court or a "compromise" candidate that Dems will bless?

"And McCain can beat Hillary, who will unite his base for him."

What base?

I won't try to cross post here, but I've been commenting on the judgment issue over on the McCain thread.

SPQR

Great post, Krugman is such a dishonest clown.

Larry

"...when the military was being dangerously downsized by the Clinton administration and McCain’s friend, former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen?" Posted by: anduril | January 11, 2008 at 05:57 PM I really hate to defend anything Clinton, but the draw down was planned and started by Poppy's gang, Cheney, Powell, etc. I got this directly from my USAF Academy classmate, Butch, GENERAL HENRY VICCELLIO JR., who was one of the planners, May 1991 - December 1992, Director, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C, at our 30th class reunion, October, '92. (The month before Clinton was elected)

It's vitally important to keep Fred in the race. He's the only one on either side who has articulated practical ideas to solve our problems.

JM Hanes

TM:

I'm sure you've probably already seen this (via Instapundit) but just in case, Quando Blog supplies "a roundup of Paul Krugman recession predictions" -- starting in 2002!

Spartee

No one right of Geena Davis give a sh-t what Krugman says these days. I used to read his books back before he became this sad shadow of a brain.

M. Simon

jimmyk,

So you are telling me that if the government taxes away investment capital that it will have no effect on growth?

No wonder the USSR was a rousing success and the USA is a dismal failure. I think that is proof positive that government can make better investment decisions than individuals. The reason? Government will pick the best way while individuals investing in competing ideas is so wasteful.

Brad S

"US's triple-A credit rating 'under threat'

So what is the outlook for the various European countries? Last summer Italy was downgraded from AA- to A+ by S&P."

Just how many divisions does Standard and Poor's have? And unlike the Pope, S&P has no moral force behind anything they say, even before this latest mess involving Subprime CDOs.

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