Except that I’m making enchiladas tonight. What are y’all up to? Please feel free to discuss whatever.
Purely for entertainment purposes, Gary Brecher at NSFWCorp:
The Shutdown crisis has given almost all the different focus groups in the giant talk show we call America a chance to have their say. But there’s one constituency that hasn’t been heard from. And yet this under-reported, under-represented interest group has as much at stake in the Shutdown debate as anybody. Their livelihoods, and even their lives, could depend on keeping government comatose.
I’m talking, of course, about the Somali pirates. Three years ago, these small businessmen seemed intent on proving that, in a world of huge, faceless corporations, there was still room for the little guys—specifically the little guys in little boats who zoomed up to giant, faceless corporate cargo ships and demanded a share in the profits in return for not killing the crew.
This was libertarianism in action. Long ago, libertarian theorists suggested that when governments had been destroyed, lighthouses would be run by entrepreneurs who would zoom up to ships benefiting from their light to demand payment. The Somali pirates did these theorists one better. They effectively declared the waters between the Horn of Africa and the coast of Yemen a toll road—after all, what is this so-called “law of the sea” but the tragedy of the commons all over again? By privatizing the ocean, the pirates were able to strike a blow at marine communalism, and make a darned good living in the process. As for price, they let the market determine the amount, as in, “How much do you got?”
Ayn Rand herself would have been overjoyed to see the transformation wrought on the Somali coast. Where once there had been only wretched shacks, mansions were going up, and luxury cars were bouncing over the dusty local roads.
And the money really did trickle down. Even non-pirates cashed in on this booming free market by claiming to be pirates and getting paid for interviews by trusting Western documentary makers.
And then, after years of boom, came the bust. The villain? As always, it was Big Government interference…
It looked like the end for the “little guys” of marine enterprise. But help came from distant comrades. In October 2013, the Tea Party, bastion of America’s libertarians, jammed a 2×4 into the gears of the American governmental juggernaut, bringing it to a screeching halt. Perhaps men like Ted Cruz were not thinking of Somalia’s brave mariners in small boats, but if they had, they would have recognized allies who shared their values, allies worth helping…
Among the many news stories that got overlooked while the GOP terrorists were holding the economy for ransom: Massachusetts had a primary on Tuesday for Ed Markey’s old seat in the House of Representatives. Senator Warren sent out an email that she wasn’t endorsing any candidate “because we are lucky to have a number of great candidates. The men and women running in this election have a tremendous amount to offer to the Commonwealth, and many of them worked their hearts out for our campaign last year…”, Katherine Clark had a head start at fundraising, plus the endorsement of EMILY’s List. Peter Koutoujian was spoken well of by people I trust, including Charles P. Pierce and the owner of Waltham’s Back page Books. Carl Sciortino had the best YouTube ad.
Results, per the Boston Globe:
State Senator Katherine M. Clark bested six Democratic rivals Tuesday, winning her party’s nomination in the race to succeed Edward J. Markey in the House of Representatives and setting her on course to probably become the state’s newest member of Congress.
Clark, a Melrose lawyer, captured 31.6 percent of the vote. Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and state Representative Carl M. Sciortino trailed with 22 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.
As the Democratic nominee in a liberal district north and west of Boston — one that voted by more than 30 percentage points for President Obama over Mitt Romney last November — Clark is now the strong favorite going into the December general election. She will face Frank J. Addivinola Jr., who won the Republican primary Tuesday night…
Now, my fellow Massholes, it’s up to us to show up and vote on December 10 to make sure that the Repub carpetbagger goes back where he belongs (Boston).
It took Ted Cruz 16 days to improve the Democrats position on the generic ballot 5 points. Imagine what he can accomplish in next 6 months
— Steve Lombardo (@Steve_Lombardo) October 17, 2013
This was Daniel Larison, one of the last not-completely-insane conservatives, last week:
… It would have been different if Cruz’s gamble had been over a minor issue that drew little attention, but the purpose of the gamble all along seems to have been to turn Cruz into a national figure and link his name to some of the most important issues available. It succeeded in making him better known, but in every other respect it has backfired badly. More important, Cruz didn’t just misread the political landscape and support a strategy that had zero chance of success, but he did so in a way that maximized intra-party divisions, burned bridges with most of his colleagues, and distinguished himself as a self-seeking bomb-thrower who ended up helping to blow up his party’s own standing. Granted, Cruz didn’t do this all by himself, and there are many others that contributed to the mess the GOP finds itself in today, but he very much wanted to be identified as the leader of the effort, and now he will pay for it…
Larison, last night:
… One of the stranger aspects of Cruz’s rhetoric throughout the last few weeks has been his insistence that Washington must “listen to the American people,” when it could not have been clearer that those advocating the shutdown/defunding strategy were doing their best to ignore what the public had to say. Indeed, for some of Cruz’s defenders the fact that his effort was extremely unpopular meant that it was noble rather than indefensibly foolish. He followed this up today with the bizarre claim that “the American people over the last few months have risen up in overwhelming numbers,” which is true only in the sense that an overwhelming majority of the people disapproves of what Cruz and his allies have been doing…
… Cruz is capable of recognizing when he has reached a dead end, but he is indifferent to the damage done to anyone but himself. Anyone who wants to follow a leader like that should be prepared to be ill-treated and misled from start to finish.
But then, as was once said about a Hollywood honcho, Ted Cruz is a man who has no idea what coffee tastes like without the flavor of an underling’s spit…
A song for the Tea Partiers who shut the government down. Talk about whatever.