Oh, Sarah

Emily Zanotti has it right:

Sarah Palin took the stage last night in a strange chainmaille cardigan, determined, it seemed, to relive the best moments from every speech she gave on the campaign trail in 2008. The result was an amalgamation of “Drill, baby, drills!” and vague references to congressional spending as drug use, pulled, seemingly at random, through a Magnetic Poetry kit or the like, from every great speech Sarah Palin has ever given. In some places, you could have easily replaced the what was quickly deemed on social media a “word salad,” with a string of emojis, and still have elicited the same general level of specificity and reason. We will be America! We will go to places! We will ensure the conservative opinion journalists of this world constantly regret their internal provision against day drinking!

The result was bizarre. She raged against crony capitalism — alongside a man who earlier in the day had embraced increased ethanol disbursements to the Iowa farmers we already pay not to grow food. She insisted she was “sticking it to the establishment” — alongside a man who has openly embraced the symbiotic relationship between government and big business at every opportunity. Gone was any indication that she had ever supported grassroots principles — you can’t oppose Obamacare in the same room as a man who recently called for a single-payer health care system, call for lower taxes from a man who has openly committed to raising them, or claim to support the pro-life cause next to a man who claims to be pro-choice “in every respect.” It’s hard to push a conservative agenda when the man standing next to you has no agenda but his own.

[Mid-morning update]

Matthew Hoy is with me:

Now, I’ve never been a big Sarah Palin fan, but I defended her in 2008 against attacks by the media on her fitness to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Not that I thought she was necessarily qualified to be vice president, but she was more qualified to be VP than Sen. Barack Obama was to be president. It was the media’s willful and abject failure to apply a consistent standard that prompted most of my defenses of her.

I don’t know if yesterday’s endorsement will help Trump in Iowa or any other state, but for Tea Party conservatives, Palin has trashed what little remains of her own brand. Donald Trump is in no way shape or form a conservative. It’s almost mind-blowing that in her endorsement speech, Palin would include the following, considering who she was standing next to:

The permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class, and that’s why you see that the borders are kept open,” Palin said. “For them, for their cheap labor that they want to come in. That’s why they’ve been bloating budgets for crony capitalists to be able to suck off of them.
Trump is the living embodiment of crony capitalism. He brags about how successful he is at the crony capitalism game.

I’m through defending Sarah Palin against anything anyone throws at her, no matter how vile.

[Afternoon update]

Does Palin’s endorsement of Trump spell an end to the Tea Party? An interesting conversation with some libertarians:

I’m not one of those guys that thinks that Donald Trump would make a bad president because he’s not a conservative; I’m one of those guys that thinks that Donald Trump is dangerous because he has such an authoritarian instinct that we don’t know what he would do as president. But he would not follow the rules, he would not respect the differences between the executive branch and the legislative branch. And that’s what the Tea Party was supposedly all about. We didn’t like executive power. […]

And I hate to use the F-word, but let’s go ahead and use it: The technical definition of fascism, and the history of fascism in the world, really wasn’t tethered to some sort of ideology the way socialism is. The goals were more random and scattered, but it creates a lot of chaos and it requires a lot of power. And I think we as Tea Partiers, as libertarians, as constitutional conservatives, we should judge a candidate based on whether or not they’ve actually read and respect the restraints placed on government power by the Constitution….

And by the way we should point out that there’s a mythology that all of Trump’s support is coming from the Tea Party. The data suggests something quite different–there’s a lot of independents, there’s a lot of registered Democrats, there’s a lot of people that haven’t participated in the process before.

That’s pretty much my take, too.

The Administrative State

Time to blow it up:

A smaller government would mean fewer phony-baloney jobs for college graduates with few marketable skills but demonstrated political loyalty. It would mean fewer opportunities for tax dollars to be directed to people and entities with close ties to people in power. It would mean less ability to engage in social engineering and “nudges” aimed at what are all-too-often seen as those dumb rubes in flyover country. The smaller the government, the fewer the opportunities for graft and self-aggrandizement — and graft and self-aggrandizement are what our political class is all about.

A more accountable government would be, in some ways, an even greater nightmare. Right now, when the federal government screws up, people often don’t find out — look at how the IRS and the State Department have stonewalled efforts to find out what happened with the Tea Party audits or the Benghazi debacle — and even when word gets out, it’s rare that anybody loses their job. (The EPA knew that Flint, Michigan’s water was toxic for months and didn’t tell anyone. Will there be consequences? Doubtful.)

Most of the time, the bureaucracy acts without any real oversight from Congress, or from the public. It’s able to enact political agendas that, if put to an open vote, would never pass. And to the bureaucracy’s supporters, that’s not a bug, but a feature.

It is indeed.

We Saw The Launch

We’re probably not the only ones, but due to the soup, there probably weren’t very many. Because we screwed up.

Left later than planned, took 154 over San Marcos Pass instead of staying on the 101 to Buellton, got stuck behind a tour bus, passed it, got stuck behind another nimrod, got stuck in traffic in Solvang, was on road from Solvang to Buellton at launch time, pulled over, and watched it ascend, about 25 miles away, through a break in the clouds.

Drove down to Surf Beach, which had been reopened after the launch, talked to people about what had happened, then spent afternoon driving down Foxen Canyon road wine tasting (with other disappointed launch viewers). Back in LA.

Fossil Fuels

Matt Ridley on how they’ll save the world.
The conclusion:

The one thing that will not work is the one thing that the environmental movement insists upon: subsidizing wealthy crony capitalists to build low-density, low-output, capital-intensive, land-hungry renewable energy schemes, while telling the poor to give up the dream of getting richer through fossil fuels.

(Yes, behind paywall, but google the headline and you should be able to read it.)

[Update a while later]

I’m very sorry to hear about Piers Sellers’ illness, and hope for the best, but this NYT op-ed seems to me to be delusional:

All this as the world’s population is expected to crest at around 9.5 billion by 2050 from the current seven billion. Pope Francis and a think tank of retired military officers have drawn roughly the same conclusion from computer model predictions: The worst impacts will be felt by the world’s poorest, who are already under immense stress and have meager resources to help them adapt to the changes. They will see themselves as innocent victims of the developed world’s excesses. Looking back, the causes of the 1789 French Revolution are not a mystery to historians; looking forward, the pressure cooker for increased radicalism, of all flavors, and conflict could get hotter along with the global temperature.

Last year may also be seen in hindsight as the year of the Death of Denial. Globally speaking, most policy makers now trust the scientific evidence and predictions, even as they grapple with ways to respond to the problem. And most Americans — 70 percent, according to a recent Monmouth University poll — believe that the climate is changing. So perhaps now we can move on to the really hard part of this whole business.

I hope that will change next January. As Ridley points out (as does Alex Epstein), it is the poor who would be hit the hardest byaabandoning fossil fuels (particularly with plunging prices), much more so than by “climate change.”

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