Stephen Moore, of the Wall Street Journal, knows how to give a good speech

Stephen Moore by David Shankbone

When conservative writers and thinkers come to San Francisco, it’s a good bet that they’re doing so under the aegis of Sally Pipes’ Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a conservative think tank rather surprisingly located in San Francisco.  Sally’s specialty is free-market medical care, but PRI is concerned generally with free markets.  Thanks to PRI, I’ve already had the opportunity to hear Jonah Goldberg and Michael Ramirez speak.  Today, I added to my collection of scintillating conservative speakers when I attended Stephen Moore’s luncheon talk and book signing.  (If you want the book for yourself, it’s called Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.)

If you get the chance to hear Moore, seize the opportunity.  He’s a delightful speaker.  He knows his stuff, so he doesn’t bother with notes; he’s not shy, so he engages well with the room; he’s an organized thinker so, even when he goes off on a tangent, the tangents are interesting and still relate to the main topic; and he’s quite funny.  I’m still snickering over his statement that a friend of his says it’s no surprise that Republicans are the pro-Life party, because they so often end up curled into a fetal position.  That’s too true.  When the going gets tough — especially when the drive-by media gets nasty (which is always) — Republicans tend to shrink in on themselves, rather than re-taking the field with banners flying.

Moore’s primary topic, which he interspersed with funny anecdotes; ruminations on the wonders of fracking, which will make America one of the giants of the energy world; and on-point (rather than name-dropping) reminiscences about Milton and Rose Friedman and other well-known political thinkers and actors (on both sides of the aisle), was the fiscal cliff.  He had the room (and it was the grand ballroom, not some little back room) eating out of the palm of his hand when he said that Republicans should stop negotiating with Obama, because Obama is not negotiating with them.  Moreover, to the extent there are budget talks, they should take place in the open, rather than behind closed doors, a process that invites dishonesty and corruption.  (Those last two nouns are mine, not Moore’s.)

Moore said that, if he had his way, he would tell the Republicans in the House to pass two bills, one of which keeps the Bush tax cuts in place for everybody and the other of which gives Obama what he told the voters he was going to get:  namely, a tax increase on the top 2% (after all, elections do have consequences).  Then, House Republicans should pass those two bills on to Harry Reid in the Senate and stand down.  Harry Reid then has a problem, which is compounded by the fact that he’s managed to let the United States go three years without a budget.  If he has a brain in his head, he’ll realize that the best deal for American tax revenues is to keep the Bush tax cuts in place.  As John F. Kennedy (D. Mass.) said in 1962 (and Moore approvingly quoted):

John F. Kennedy

It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.

Because Reid is long on political game-playing, but short on practical knowledge, he’ll reject the reinstatement of the Bush tax cuts.  Instead, he’ll have to go with the tax increase.  You know, and I know, and Harry Reid is quickly going to figure out that the tax increase on the 2%, the same 2% that is already responsible for paying a significant chunk of taxes for our underfunded budget, won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to increased revenue and, instead, will almost certainly decrease revenue.  The pressure will then be on Obama to cut his beloved government or to be remembered as the president who led America into bankruptcy.

Moore also said that Republicans shouldn’t fight sequestration — which was Obama’s idea back during his last round of serious negotiations with the Republicans — but should, instead, embrace it.  The best thing to happen to the federal government would be belt-tightening.  Moore acknowledged concerns about the American military but, pointing to stream-lined American businesses, he said that there’s no reason why America’s public institutions can’t do the same — including the military.

Overall, Moore was optimistic about conservativism’s future.  His advice was to bypass the Republican party, which is depleted now, both financially and ideologically, and to give any monies we still have lying around after four years of Obama to innovative, energetic organizations and think tanks, such as PRI or the Heritage Foundation.  He also said that, if Republicans can manage to hold firm to true conservative values, when things go badly, as they inevitably will, Obama, not Republicans, will be on the defensive.  (Can I pat myself on the back here, since I’ve been saying the same thing?)

Moore’s message could be summed up as follows:  Be of good cheer.  Although things are inevitably going to get worse before they get better, they will get better.  Conservative ideas are better, Progressive ideas will fail once they get out of the Ivory Towers and into the market places; and fracking (assuming that Obama doesn’t put a stop to it somehow), will make us the world’s leading energy exporter and will bring production costs down across the board.

This and that, from here and there — the good and the evil from today’s news

There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing someone slice and dice Paul Krugman’s latest idiocies.  Randall Hoven does a magnificent job.  The only sad thing about it is that he’s preaching to the choir.  The ones who really should read his article — namely, the ones who think Krugman is actually smart and honest — will resolutely turn their eyes away from anything that doesn’t bear the liberal media’s imprimatur.

***

I’ve been feeling smug because, next month, I’m going into San Francisco to hear Stephen Moore speak about his new book, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America. I’m feeling even more smug now, because the inestimable Thomas Sowell gives it the highest possible praise:

If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.

Now I’ve added excitement to my previously existing smugness.

***

There’s something wrong with America when it’s Germany that leads the way in announcing that it will not back the formation of a Palestinian state at the UN.  Germany’s absolutely right, of course.  The Palestinians, despite getting Gaza to themselves, have done nothing to create even a semblance of a state.  They have no civil structure, no law, and no economy other than handouts from other nations.  All they’ve got is a thriving genocide-centered terrorism industry.  I wonder when Susan Rice, who currently does occupy the position of the U.S.’s ambassador to the UN, will get on board with this one.

***

Speaking of Rice, Republicans on Capitol Hill, and those few RINOs to whom the media grants access, are again allowing themselves to be silenced by the strident Progressive/Democrat bleat that they are “racist” for opposing Susan Rice’s possible nomination to be Secretary of State.  As for me, I hadn’t realized Rice was black.  I’ve seen her pictures, but I just assumed she was darker of complexion than I am.

Frankly, everyone is darker of complexion than I am.  When I was a baby in my stroller, my mom stepped onto an elevator that already held a woman and her young child.  The woman took one look at me, and then pulled her child towards herself, saying “Say away from that baby, Amanda.  She’s a very sick baby.”  I was not sick.  That was me in the pink of health.  I just assumed that Rice was really healthy.  That she self-identifies as black actually surprised me.

But back to the topic at hand, which is the real reasons Rice is unqualified for the post of Secretary of State.  (Although I will say that anyone who takes on the job from Hillary Clinton is in the fortunate position of having  very little shoes to fill.)  For those who lose their brain power every time the word “racist” comes from the Democrat party, Joel Pollak has assembled a list of the top ten substantive reasons to oppose her nomination.  Because I wasn’t really paying attention in the 90s, I didn’t realize that her habit of lying to protect the Democrats is an old habit:

9. Refused to call Rwanda genocide a “genocide,” for political reasons. According to Obama advisor Samantha Power, Rice urged the Clinton administration not to call the Rwandan genocide what it was, for fear of the political impact on U.S. congressional elections in 1994. She and others worked to sanitize references to the genocide, scrubbing government memos to remove words such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.”

The other facts in the top ten list are equally damning.  It’s not Rice’s dark skin that means she’s not fit to serve.  It’s her absence of any sort of moral compass.

***

And finally, while we’re on the topic of people lacking a moral compass, here’s a short primer on all of the photo and video fraud that Hamas and its media enablers were able to propagate during a conflict that lasted a mere seven days:

***

Consider this an Open Thread, and feel free to add your own interesting comments and links.