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Hail to the Victor


Bo Schembechler, the legendary Michigan football coach, has died.

Tomorrow, Michigan needs to win one for Bo

Milton Friedman Explains Himself


On an episode of Uncommon Knowledge recorded in 1999, I asked Milton Friedman to explain—and defend—libertarianism. He acquitted himself brilliantly, needless to say, but also proved warm, funny, and conversational, treating me with the same courtesy, intermixed with rigor, that he was famously display toward generations of students. (I’d have represented a very slow student, but still.) A lovely last look at a magnificent man .


Taking One for the Team


The thing I most frequently hear in reference to Marsha Blackburn, House Republican from Tennessee, is that there is a sense among members that she is not a team player. That said, I thought GOPers should consider sucking it up and electing her because they could use a woman, she’s perfectly qualified, articulate, conservative, great on TV, etc. Anyway, fwiw, she lost (didn’t make the final ballot even) but sounds like a team player nonetheless:

 WASHINGTON, DC — Representative Marsha Blackburn issued the following statement today in reaction to the House Republican leadership elections.


“We have a great group of talented public servants in our Conference, and I’m confident that together we’re going to reaffirm our place as the top choice of voters across this country. Running in this election made it clearer than ever to me that all of our Members are leaders. We are all committed to our districts and our country, and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together to be certain Americans know what we stand for and why. I will continue doing my best to support our leadership and support our Party’s principles.” 

House Republicans would be wise to make use of her and she — like the likes of Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling and other cool young conservatives — ought to make her presence known and felt in the 110th minority. They are key members of the team.

Web Briefing: October 1, 2014

Remember What I Was Saying about the Arctic Yesterday?


It turns out there are already signs of cooling up there.  My colleague Myron Ebell has the details – and the quite extraordinary reaction of scientists – over at Open Market.


Fox News All-Stars


From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On the House Democratic Leadership Race

KRAUTHAMMER: [Backing John Murtha] was a losing proposition. . . . You don’t want to lose on day one. And when you lose 2-1, what she has done with Hoyer is . . . created a number two who is . . . a rival. She is going to have to look over her shoulder. If she stumbles in this term, he is going to end up inheriting her spot in the next Congress.

FRED BARNES: On the Murtha thing, this was a win for Nancy Pelosi. . . . Just think if Murtha had won, and was actually the majority leader. Then, she would be in trouble. You know, Brit, as I said a couple nights ago, I thought the media was going to give Murtha a pass. Boy, was I wrong on that. The media has not done that at all, has brought up all the old, and some new, ethical charges against him, even more than the ones Charles mentioned. And, if Murtha were there as majority leader, this would be a continuing story day after day after day. And the whole leadership of the Democrats in the House would be bleeding.

On John McCain’s Run for President

BARNES: Well, I would say his chances among the Republicans are better than anybody else’s. But he has got some real problems. . . . [H]e’s against the marriage protection amendment. He voted against it. But he did some things that I don’t know how he’s going to overcome with conservatives. You know, he voted against all the Bush tax cuts. He voted for, was the architect of campaign finance reform, which, you know, drives a lot of conservatives crazy. He is for gun control and all those things. . . .

KONDRACKE: [Moderates] are the people to whom John McCain will appeal, or can appeal, and I don’t think he is going to go so far off, you know, the independent reservation that he can’t appeal to them. And his strength will be that he, among . . . all Republicans, could probably beat Hillary Clinton.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, he knows his problem is on the right. He has indictments. He is a hero of the media. He has been working assiduously for — over these six years to repair his relations on the right. Now, we heard him in the sound bite. He spoke about reducing the size of government. And, yes, the conservatives like the fact that he has opposed all this spending. But he has also — but he hasn’t opposed the increase in the reach of government. And that’s where conservatives are upset . . .

And he is the strongest candidate for the general election.

HUME: So, you think he can do it, right?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think he can. I think he will.

More on Conference Race


On the third ballot, Rep. Adam Putman defeated current conference chair Jack Kingston 100-91. Reps. Dan Lungren and Marsha Blackburn were defeated on the first two ballots.

More House Baseball


Conference chair 1st ballot: Putnam 81, Blackburn 31, Kingston 58, Lungren 29. Lungren drops off.

Iraq Hostages


John, no more pip-squeak arguing.  I promise!

re: Re: End the Cyclen


Well, I do, in fact, think that when one looks around, that  “that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness” is obvious. Evidence will be at many a bar, in many a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, etc. this evening.

Heard in the airport on CNN


 ”O.J. Simpson’s new book. Has he gone too far this time?”

House Leadership Update V


Roy Blunt beats John Shadegg by a margin of 137 to 57.

Lott, For the Record


My take on that tone-deaf election. Here’s the opener:

Who says the Republicans are the Stupid party?

Huge numbers of voters told exit pollsters that they were disgusted with the nigh-upon Roman excesses of the GOP; the self-dealing, the pork-barrel spending, the aloofness — it was all just too much. Meanwhile, strategists warned that the Republican party was becoming too white, too male and too exclusively Southern. Ken Mehlman, the outgoing head of the Republican National Committee, declared just days after the GOP’s recent thumpin’, “We rely too much on white guys for our vote.”

So what did the GOP senators do when they needed to pick their No. 2 man in the Senate? They shouted, “This is a job for Trent Lott!”

Recall, if you will, that Lott, the Mississippi Republican, was Senate majority leader in 2002 until he proclaimed that America would be better off if only Strom Thurmond — the Dixiecrat segregationist candidate in 1948 — had been elected president.

The gale-force winds of the subsequent political maelstrom were not only enough to blow Lott from his perch as majority leader, but some witnesses actually swear they saw his hair move.

Hummers To the Rescue


I suspect these numbers will receive a lot of scrutiny, but this strikes me as a pretty interesting set of factoids:

It’s easy to focus exclusively on gas mileage when making an environmentally conscious car choice. But there’s more to the story.

CNW Marketing Research Inc., an Oregon-based auto research spent two years collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage. They call it a dust-to-dust analysis of the environmental impact of a car.

You may be surprised if you thought hybrids were the obvious winners.

“The Honda Accord Hybrid has an Energy Cost per Mile of $3.29 while the conventional Honda Accord is $2.18. Put simply, over the “Dust to Dust” lifetime of the Accord Hybrid, it will require about 50 percent more energy than the non-hybrid version, CNW claims.”

And you may do a doubletake after reading this:

“For example, while the industry average of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2005 was $2.28 cents per mile, the Hummer H3 (among most SUVs) was only $1.949 cents per mile. That figure is also lower than all currently offered hybrids and Honda Civics at $2.42 per mile.”

Basically, when considering all relevant variables such as materials, fabrication, plastics, carpets, chemicals, shipping, and transportation, gas mileage turns out to be significantly less relevant than many people assume.

Me: This is from 37 Signals who has more comments and the link to the full study.  It seems to me that pro-hybrid car types would make the argument that they’re trying to create a market for new technologies which would bring these energy costs down and would help wean us of our “addiction” to foreign oil. Both of those are good arguments but this study  — and this is just one study — does seem to undercut some of the sanctimony we occassionally hear about how hybrids are good for the environment right now. 

House Leadership Update IV


Whip Roy Blunt was reelected to serve in that position in the 110th Congress on the first ballot. There is no tally available yet.



The Milton Friedman Choir.

Does anybody know when the album comes out?

Re: End the Cyclen


 K-Lo, I think my problem with your original post was that you made it seem as though the view espoused by the guy in question — that contraception demeans women — was so obvious it didn’t even deserve to be argued with.

You Don’t Have to Go Roman


An e-mail:

Subject: Are you nuts?

“A contraceptive mentality is demeaning to women and men. It’s dehumanizing something that’s essentially all about life.”  As opposed to say continuing to impregnate your wife until one of the pregnancies finally kills her, the child or both or ruins her health.  Oh and playing Vatican roulette is somehow morally superior to taking a pill?  You have really jumped the shark on this one.

For what it’s worth, the idea that contracepting takes some of the joy out of sex (and then some) – and moreso that a crass contraceptive cultural mentality is harmful — is not an exclusively Catholic view. Here’s a Protestant couple talking just good sense.  

Chick Lit


Heather Has Two Mommies meets The March of the Penguins:

A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book’s availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

The concerns are the latest involving “And Tango Makes Three,” the illustrated children’s book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.

AP story here



The tests immigrants must take before obtaining citizenship has needed an overhaul for a long time. A new one is about to come out, according to this story in the Christian Science Monitor:

It will continue to be an oral test, conducted in English, and will have 10 questions. Six correct answers will earn a passing grade. But the content, which is tightly under wraps, is expected to shun simple historical facts about America that can be recounted in a few words for more explanation about the principles of American democracy, such as freedom.

When I was a student, six out of ten on a test earned me a grade of “D” — and just barely. But for some people, even this is asking too much:

The changes raise the bar – critics say too high – for immigrants to show not only that they care enough to study for a test, but also that they understand and share American values.

I certainly don’t think these tests should be excrutiatingly difficult–immigrant naturalization is a tool of cultural assimilation–but those who argue for lower standards should state their view plainly: They don’t think there should be a test at all.

re: the u.s.s. nr straw poll


I’d like to think Romney’s good showing was a little bit of K-Lo influence on the high seas.


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