Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, as you know we had terrible news tonight, Newt got bit in the behind in Florida, but the worst of it, you know that liberal lamestream media, well Newt called Mitt to congratulate him. .. Then Newt went onstage and said how he felt about it, congratulating Mitt for a hard fought primary and saying that he’d clear his throat and stay in bit longer but, as Mitt requested that he do for Mitt’s campaign, he was going to act like a grandiose loser, like the Roman Republic was going to crash and it was just him Brutus against the empire and just play to type. The media of course went along with this (wait, well that’s partly true).
It is kind of ironic, maybe. You don't, I suppose, in business talk to a private equity guy unless you need a turnaround and are willing to relinquish (some) ownership. The Republicans are seeing if they can get used to that with Romney, a private equity guy to whom they will have to relinquish some ownership even if he is not one of 'them.'

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good article on Mitt Romney's tax return with application to many in the WSJ today, also the teenage mind, and Japanese perfection as applied to the consumer experience. The New Yorker has a good article on imprisonment and I enjoyed one from Jan. 2009 on the movie Defiance.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ann A. linked to:

The CNN Debate, Feb. 26

Gingrich didn't defeat Romney in SC; the Washington Post did when Romney didn''t have an answer to the Cayman's island question. Gingrich and Perry showed that Romney didn't have good defenses against the class warfare plays. I appreciate Gingrich's defense of the Catholic Church most notably about adoption in MA. I'll vote for him (not solely) for that reason. My impression is that the loss of the Speakership was tactical for the Republicans. Though the underlying problem was not a bid deal, they didn't want to use their political capital in defending him; I haven't seen that episode discussed. Overall, the debates have given us a chance to know the candidates. We develop favorites and, yes, grudges but like in a relationship, past issues are also discounted in going to the future. I understand Romney better, see black intellectuals, TNC at the Atlantic, and others are offended by him and will support Romney. Santorum also impressed me tonight in explaining where Obama was coming from in the SOU. Rush, linked through Drudge, had some interesting comments. Gingrich instead of promising Bolton for Sec. of State should promise Ron Paul as Drug Czar.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Thoughts on the race after Saturday's Republican debate

I thought Romney had a good night. I'm mystified somewhat by his take on the Chinese currency question. I'd have to defer to Greg Mankiw's argument on this. The Chinese change the ratio of dollars to yuan by buying our Treasury instruments. Thus they make the dollar more dear, the yuan less so. Romney is thus demanding that the Chinese buy less of our debt which would make our debt service more expensive. I suppose he knows this but doesn't want to explain it in Ohio and will change his position given cover as Gingrich did for him on the immigration question. It's that sort of thing though that bothers me. Here I don't know know if he believes something or if he figures the voters are too stupid/ prejudiced to be talked to. I suppose the currency position polls well, and maybe he has set it up as a defense against Huntsman. He seemed awful ready to counter punch him over the Chinese issue.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A blog post by Ilya Somin in Volokh Conspiracy reminded me of a former German named Pinkie.

One of the commenters (Joe Horton): It seems to me that the Nazis got power not so much by getting votes (which they were able to do in a number of ways) so much as by killing, or at least beating the cookies out of people and families of people who disagreed with them. Once legitimate law enforcers were cowed by the apparent burgeoning Nazis, they, too, came under the spell. This is all pretty well described in the recent book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, which details the ambassadorship of William Dodd to Germany in the 30’s. It makes fascinating, if chilling reading.
Another (SteveMG): Sydney Hook, in Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century, says he was immediately shocked and frightened at seeing Hitler speak. His ability to mesmerize the audience, his outright racial appeal, his open promotion of violence, his appeals to “blood”, it was all there.

Erik H adds at the end a book which also looks interesting,

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

David Brooks has called Santorum a working class conservative, a Volokh post a big gubmint conservative. It was interesting to see him cite his grandfather's leaving Italy in the 20's when Mussolini came to power as to my not real informed speculation Mussolini was also a big gubmint conservative in a way; probably just went a tad far for the pops. Anyway, Santorum is kind of a Catholic Social Welfare kind of conservative apparently; so at least in a religious social sense it's nice that the evangelicals would have him. It's interesting how Iowa broke - quite polar with Santorum and Ron Paul, the latter a simplistic libertarian true enough but also simplistic enough to be anti-libertarian also.