Thursday, July 31, 2008

Exhibit #65,537...

As to why government oversight results in behavior that defies logic: California investigates planned bottle water plant - for global warming reasons

For those of you wondering, yes, I am well aware that bottled water has quickly become the bĂȘte noire of the environmental movement, and that can be understood. If there are local concerns about what a water diversion plan of this scale would mean to the surrounding ecosystem, then those are things that should be heard before operations move forward. If the citizenry have decided that environmental impact is valuable enough to offset the economic benefit from such a facility's operations, then so be it; it's their priorities, after all.

But what in the blazes does it have to do with global warming? It's not like they're, say, manufacturing the bottles on site. The only greenhouse gas emissions related to the operations that are above and beyond a typical office building would be related to commuters going to work there, not from anything the facility would be doing.

Could it be a knee-jerk reaction to bottled water? Possible. Could there be some nativist resentment over the plant (it will be operated by Swiss-owned Nestlé S.A.)? Possible. Could there be some bureaucratic conflict of interest (i.e. somebody is angling for the site to be used by some other business or social interest)? Also possible; after all, progressivism and heavy-handed conflicts of political interest go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Is global warming being used as a whitewash for whatever reasons somebody has for scotching the development? You better believe it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anybody bother noticing...?

Brent crude falls to $121

Amazing how we heard daily stories about the run-up in price, but only crickets once it drops $25 a barrel from its peak.

Another nail in the coffin of the economic doom-sayers: Gold is down today over $20 an ounce, now off over 10% from its peak.

You'd think this wasn't news or something...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Evangelical case against Mitt Romney

The Washington Times is reporting that various Evangelical leaders are imploring John McCain not to select former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as his running mate on the 2008 Republican Presidential ticket. There are three main reasons for this, neither of which I am particularly fond of.

1. Mitt Romney is not particularly strong on social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Romney admits to developing a pro-life position only within the last decade and was governor when the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, both things that make some in the Evangelical community skittish. Never mind that Romney's position on abortion as governor was to the right of McCain's, or that Romney led an unsuccessful effort to overturn the gay marriage legalization in Massachusetts - it's a "what have you done for me lately?" sort of a proposition. Needless to say, by that metric, Romney is especially weak.

2. Evangelical leaders have other people in mind. Namely, in the case of some leading megachurch pastors, there is a push for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister running on a populist platform, to be McCain's VP candidate. Although eventually picking up a handful more delegates than Romney, Huckabee's appeal was largely limited to the Deep South, and stayed in the race for about two months longer than Romney did, largely relying on a rather impressive grassroots network. As much as I think that Huckabee would be a terrible candidate (he seems less Ronald Reagan and more Jimmy Carter), I can't begrudge people their own personal preferences. I'd just prefer they be more open about it.

3. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Some religious leaders are suspicious of Romney's Mormon faith, considering him to not be a Christian, and therefore diminished in standing in their eyes. Personally, I find this to be, in some ways, analogous to anti-Catholic sentiment prior to JFK's electoral victory in 1960, and just as baseless. I am less interested in what a politician might do with respect to a particular religion than I am concerned about how that politician will impact America as a whole for better or for worse. I am a Christian of an Evangelical stripe, but I cannot begrudge somebody who is sincere in their religious faith.

The main weight behind these threats is that Evangelical leaders will encourage their followers to stay home on Election Day if a VP candidate not to their liking is selected. And then what? Have Barack Obama elected? As dicey as some may think Romney is on sanctity of life issues, even the most strident pro-lifer would have to agree that most any Republican is better on the issue than Obama, who carries a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Also, the power on most social issues rests from judicial appointments, which are the domain of the President, not the Vice President. Considering John McCain is a potential mixed bag on judges, it's possible that those lines of thinking should have been considered long before making McCain the presumptive nominee. In fact, adding Huckabee to the ticket could possibly have the disastrous effect of having economic conservatives either stay home or vote Libertarian, with the only options on the Republican ticket being somebody with an inconsistent record and one with almost no record, but a wide streak of populist, protectionist rhetoric.

Of course, this may all be for naught - McCain has made a career out of not making friends with the Evangelical community, and whatever direction they try to prod him into may end up causing the exact opposite to take place.

Sen. Ted Stevens indicted...

...on seven counts related to graft

From seeing the Senate's King of Pork in action all these years, I must say, I must say... couldn't have happened to a better person.


After having it suggested to me that I should differentiate my political blogging from my personal blogging, I have done just that... from now on, The Corner Keyboard will be the basic ground floor for my posts of a political or economic nature, whereas my old blog ( will remain my personal blog. Pretty basic.

Also, with that, I am announcing a minor change to the format of my posts. As a libertarian, I tend to view existing paradigms with suspicion... including, apparently, paradigms that I create myself. Therefore, The Corner Keyboard will be updated on a more free-wheeling basis, whenever the need arises, to allow yours truly to let off some venting room. Needless to say, without having to adhere to any particular style... this may be pretty damn often.

Buckle up.

-The Corner Keyboard