Frozen Lizards and Steel Walls

The Big Show is back on the interwebs for another year of civil and clever conversation. Kicking off 2019 with us (sadly, Rob is off this week), are two old pals: Mickey Kaus and Byron York. The latter on the shut down, the new Congress and Byron’s new podcast (coming next week!). Mickey, aka “America’s Most Unusual Democrat” stops by to explain The Wall and whether or not any of it, some of it, or all of it will be built. Also, The Tucker Carlson Manifesto, and some predictions for the coming year.

Music from this week’s podcast: Wonderwall by Oasis

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There are 31 comments.

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  1. kedavis Member

    First correction: “Ticker Carlson.”

    • #1
    • January 11, 2019, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Blue Yeti Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    First correction: “Ticker Carlson.”

    Thanks for the copy edit!

    • #2
    • January 11, 2019, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. EJHill Podcaster

    Ticker Carlson?

    Doing our best to get to the heart of matters.

    • #3
    • January 11, 2019, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. ParisParamus Member

    What’s Witt the generic intro music? Speaking of that, Mr. Lileks, are you familiar with the music of John Shakespeare?

    • #4
    • January 11, 2019, at 9:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. RufusRJones Member

    Tucker may be overdoing it, but the type of governance Mona et. al. wants just can’t go on. 

    Listen to the last time Ben Sasse was on Jonah Goldberg’s podcast. Jonah asked some very poignant questions at the end that Ben just could not handle. We need better policies instead of complaining about what people “ought” to do.

    I would also like to point out that Jonah knows Austrian economics cold. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, but you can easily hear it on his show with Peter Boettke. We need a more libertarian economy, but there is no leadership.

    • #5
    • January 12, 2019, at 3:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. ParisParamus Member

    I thought Mr. Carlson’s statement was insightful, brilliant and sounded like he should run for office. 

    • #6
    • January 12, 2019, at 4:32 AM PDT
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  7. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    I was just reading a book on the End of the Cold War. And every nasty thing you could think of was said about one particular person. A dangerous nationalist populist loon. They of course were talking about Boris Yeltsin.

    • #7
    • January 12, 2019, at 5:23 AM PDT
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  8. Fred Houstan Member

    I guess James did say lizzards.

    • #8
    • January 12, 2019, at 5:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Henry Castaigne Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Tucker may be overdoing it, but the type of governance Mona et. al. wants just can’t go on.

    Listen to the last time Ben Sasse was on Jonah Goldberg’s podcast. Jonah asked some very poignant questions at the end that Ben just could not handle. We need better policies instead of complaining about what people “ought” to do.

    I would also like to point out that Jonah knows Austrian economics cold. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, but you can easily hear it on his show with Peter Boettke. We need a more libertarian economy, but there is no leadership.

    But libertarian has absolutely no traffic with the poorest members of our society who benefit from it.

    • #9
    • January 12, 2019, at 5:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Tucker may be overdoing it, but the type of governance Mona et. al. wants just can’t go on.

    Listen to the last time Ben Sasse was on Jonah Goldberg’s podcast. Jonah asked some very poignant questions at the end that Ben just could not handle. We need better policies instead of complaining about what people “ought” to do.

    I would also like to point out that Jonah knows Austrian economics cold. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, but you can easily hear it on his show with Peter Boettke. We need a more libertarian economy, but there is no leadership.

    But libertarian has absolutely no traffic with the poorest members of our society who benefit from it.

    If you mean it doesn’t sell, I agree with that. This is a real mess. Ronald Reagan wanted to overhaul the Fed and they should’ve done it right after the Soviet Union fell. He wanted to get rid of Fed discretion and that was what we absolutely needed. The other thing is that was the last easy chance to fix entitlements. The whole West should’ve done some version of that.

    Now we have so many central planning mistakes and everyone can only think of fixing it with more central planning. Terrible.

    • #10
    • January 12, 2019, at 5:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. RufusRJones Member

    The issue is centralization. It just doesn’t work anymore. D.C. McAllister had a pretty good interview about it on Whiskey Politics. So many people just don’t want to give it up.

    • #11
    • January 12, 2019, at 6:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Al Sparks Thatcher

    I also thought he said “lizard.”

    • #12
    • January 12, 2019, at 8:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. kedavis Member

    Part of the problem these days is that true low-income housing is basically illegal. Due to zoning, etc. That makes it harder for people to raise themselves up, to climb up the ladder as it were, because the bottom rungs have been removed by government.

    What is reported as “low-income housing” – government-subsidized apartments, etc – is typically a joke. And a very bad joke. Whenever I read about a new such project, I take the total cost and divide by the number of units being created, which are often just 1-bedroom or even “studio” type. The typical result, even in relatively low-cost parts of the country, always seems to be at least $200k PER UNIT. That’s enough to BUY 2 or 3 modest homes (maybe townhomes or condos) in the area, with 2 or 3 bedrooms.

    • #13
    • January 12, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. RufusRJones Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Part of the problem these days is that true low-income housing is basically illegal. Due to zoning, etc. That makes it harder for people to raise themselves up, to climb up the ladder as it were, because the bottom rungs have been removed by government.

    What is reported as “low-income housing” – government-subsidized apartments, etc – is typically a joke. And a very bad joke. Whenever I read about a new such project, I take the total cost and divide by the number of units being created, which are often just 1-bedroom or even “studio” type. The typical result, even in relatively low-cost parts of the country, always seems to be at least $200k PER UNIT. That’s enough to BUY 2 or 3 modest homes (maybe townhomes or condos) in the area, with 2 or 3 bedrooms.

    You can see charts of the price of shelter going up and up and up versus income since forever. Now globalize labor is cheap and we are replacing people with robots because interest rates are low. You do the math. It’s ridiculous. The Minneapolis socialists are going wild with this stuff.

    • #14
    • January 12, 2019, at 11:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Peter Robinson Founder

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    I also thought he said “lizard.”

    Al, I can’t tell you how much better that makes me feel!

    • #15
    • January 12, 2019, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. David Bryan Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “….Now globalize labor is cheap and we are replacing people with robots because interest rates are low. You do the math. It’s ridiculous. The Minneapolis socialists are going wild with this stuff.”

    Wow, Rufus…do interest rates affect the automation of labor? I never knew. Just curious, Rufus, are your views on the Federal Reserve in any way similar to Run Paul’s opposition to the Fed? (I own his book, END THE FED, but have not yet read it)

    • #16
    • January 12, 2019, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. RufusRJones Member

    David Bryan (View Comment):
    Wow, Rufus…do interest rates affect the automation of labor?

    When interest rates are this low you can replace Labor with capital much easier. In my opinion the rates are so low simply because Greenspan created the artificial bubble that blew up in 2008. It’s all caused by propeller heads in the Eccles building.

    David Bryan (View Comment):

    Just curious, Rufus, are your views on the Federal Reserve in any way similar to Run Paul’s opposition to the Fed? (I own his book, AND THE FED, but have not yet read it)

    That is a very good book. Everyone should read it. I really don’t give a crap about auditing the Fed, I just want them to change their policy. The only thing they should be doing is watching inflation and maybe backing up the financial system in a punitive way. Of course this would reduce the growth of government and reduce the power of politicians, so it will never happen.

     

    • #17
    • January 12, 2019, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Al Sparks Thatcher

    David Bryan (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “….Now globalize labor is cheap and we are replacing people with robots because interest rates are low. You do the math. It’s ridiculous. The Minneapolis socialists are going wild with this stuff.”

    Wow, Rufus…do interest rates affect the automation of labor? I never knew. Just curious, Rufus, are your views on the Federal Reserve in any way similar to Run Paul’s opposition to the Fed? (I own his book, AND THE FED, but have not yet read it)

    In the United States and other western countries, businesses do have a loan portfolio. The bigger the business the more complicated the portfolio.

    While there are other ways to raise money — selling stock in a company for example — for most middle class people, it’s loans that are used to raise money whether it’s to buy a car or a house. Or buy robots to replace human labor.

    Interest rates have a big influence on business and personal decisions.

    That being said, probably the biggest influence on hiring is the cost of labor. And labor in western countries costs a lot.

    • #18
    • January 12, 2019, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. RufusRJones Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    Interest rates have a big influence on business and personal decisions.

    It isn’t everything, but it’s almost everything. It makes me crazy when people don’t get this. It drives speculation, envy, mis-pricing of all kinds of assets etc.

    Just to be super clear: low interest rate loans make robots cheaper. The dumbest thing you can do for people is lower interest rates and regulate the hell out of labor, especially now, given globalized trade and automation. Try explaining that to a Democrat.

    This is why I put far less emphasis on people’s character and judgment than many conservatives right now, but it’s not uncomplicated.

    • #19
    • January 12, 2019, at 1:12 PM PDT
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  20. DonG Coolidge

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    You can see charts of the price of shelter going up and up and up versus income since forever.

    Isn’t this part of the plan? Use zoning to restrict housing supply, to keep the pleabs at a distance while supporting borders open to import cheap labor. 

    • #20
    • January 12, 2019, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    WKRP:

    • #21
    • January 12, 2019, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. katy Listener

    @jameslileks, do you really have a peanut allergy? My 6-y-o son is allergic to peanuts and did Oral Immunotherapy w/ our fabulous allergist in Birmingham, and now he’s desensitized to peanut (& pecan/walnut) and eats 6 every day to prevent reactions. He can eat as much PB&J as he wants, and we don’t even need to send his epi-pen to kindergarten w/ him. It’s life changing. 

    And if you were just joking w/ Byron about the allergy, it was pretty funny. 

    • #22
    • January 12, 2019, at 8:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. kedavis Member

    An excellent idea for someone in your position – especially compared with just accepting “fate” and then demanding everyone else accommodate you/your son forever – but That sounds like the kind of thing that could work for young children, at least in some cases, but might not for those who have already grown up with an allergy or developed it later in life.

    • #23
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. katy Listener

    @kedavis, I think OIT does work for adults, too: https://www.oit101.org/testimonials/yes-oit-works-for-adults-too/

    And for other allergies besides peanut/tree nut, as well. It’s a huge breakthrough in treatment.

    • #24
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Tedley Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    WKRP:

    I’ll join the chorus, and say, I heard “lizard” too!

    I enjoyed listening to @jameslileks description of how his father’s family made it through the Great Depression. This touches on both the value of work and “jobs Americans won’t do.” When the depression hit, his father’s siblings took anything they could find to make a buck and pay the bills. I thought that was something worth hearing, as so many don’t want to accept that they have to take a step down when, for whatever reason, they lose a job. 

    • #25
    • January 13, 2019, at 12:38 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. James Lileks Contributor

    katy (View Comment):

    @jameslileks, do you really have a peanut allergy? My 6-y-o son is allergic to peanuts and did Oral Immunotherapy w/ our fabulous allergist in Birmingham, and now he’s desensitized to peanut (& pecan/walnut) and eats 6 every day to prevent reactions. He can eat as much PB&J as he wants, and we don’t even need to send his epi-pen to kindergarten w/ him. It’s life changing.

    And if you were just joking w/ Byron about the allergy, it was pretty funny.

    I was joking. ;)

    • #26
    • January 13, 2019, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Bereket Kelile Member

    I think Byron raised an interesting point about the language in the polling about the border wall. As a researcher, it piqued my interest and I wanted to suggest how I’d approach the question. 

    Byron essentially formulated a hypothesis that something like “barrier” would be better received than “wall.” You can test that by writing two identical questions with one difference: one with “barrier” and one with “wall.” You then split test it by randomly assigning each question to half of your sample, with say 250 respondents getting the one version and another 250 getting the other, as an example. As long as the randomization produces two identical samples in terms of demographics then you should have a nice test of the language.

    I’d take it one step further, though, by testing the effect of various arguments made on the issue. If I were writing a strategic survey for a candidate on this issue then I’d like to know how people may possibly change their minds, if at all. I’d write a neutral version of the question mentioned above and then test various arguments as separate questions. Then I’d repeat the initial question asking for support/opposition. This gives you a full picture about where people stand initially and then where they end up after hearing arguments from either side or both.

    • #27
    • January 14, 2019, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    It took me a while to figure out who or what “AOC” was. Are we not allowed to say her name anymore?

    • #28
    • January 15, 2019, at 5:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. RufusRJones Member

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):

    It took me a while to figure out who or what “AOC” was. Are we not allowed to say her name anymore?

    Saying and remembering all three parts of her name is a big pain.

    • #29
    • January 16, 2019, at 1:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Miffed White Male Member

    Peter has toothbrushing lore to share? Was it passed down as part of his family’s oral tradition?

    • #30
    • January 16, 2019, at 3:52 PM PDT
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