Patterico's Pontifications

1/6/2016

Jazz Shaw of Hot Air Accuses Ted Cruz of Flip-Flop for Saying What He Has Always Said

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:26 pm

Jazz Shaw has an inexcusably sloppy post at Hot Air bearing the misleading title Don’t look now, but Ted Cruz just caved on ethanol (Updated). As I will show in detail, Cruz has done no such thing — but Shaw, with his perch at Hot Air, is misleading an awful lot of people with his nonsensical post. What’s more, many people have called him on it, and he still has not retracted. It’s an important issue, at an important time, and he is giving aid and comfort to those who seek to bring down the best hope we have for limited government. So I’m not inclined to be kind.

Shaw starts off with a bit of unintended irony:

You know, it was just the other day when I was telling you about how effective Ted Cruz has been in Iowa in spite of his opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard and related mandates by the government, particularly in the energy sector. I seem to recall using words like brave, or perhaps heroic. It was, I concluded, a potential game changer in terms of the power of King Corn and the ethanol lobby.

Well, there’s a sucker born every minute and apparently this time it was me.

Yes, Mr. Shaw, you certainly are playing a sucker — but not in the way you think.

The link goes to a post titled SENATOR TED CRUZ LISTENS TO IOWA FARMERS, SUPPORTS RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD THROUGH 2022. The post is by “America’s Renewable Future,” a pro-ethanol political organization. Confronted with the fact that Cruz is probably going to win Iowa, despite opposing their agenda, these folks do what all good lobbyists do: spin a loss to look like a win. In order to do that, they have to pretend Cruz’s position just changed to favor them.

Let’s do what Shaw didn’t bother to do, and see what Cruz actually said. The audio, oddly enough, is right there at the link that Shaw provides. For those who can’t handle listening to a short audio clip (like Shaw), I am going to provide a complete transcription — to my knowledge, the first time that has been done since the story broke. (There is a very partial and inaccurate transcript at this Washington Examiner post, but mine is complete.)

CRUZ: …expand its penetration, which is what I expect to happen when I’m elected president.

VOTER: But you also know that the RFS was created and put with a time limit of 2022. And that was to give us the confidence to invest in our local plants, which we have done. So are you planning to jerk the rug right out from underneath us, or are you going to let it expire in 2022 like it should, and then stand on its own? And corn ethanol does not get any subsidies. Steve King, you know that.

CRUZ: Maggie, you rightly noted that the RFS is scheduled to expire in 2022. When I said we should phase it out, I said it should be a five-year phaseout–a phaseout from 2017 to 2022, is five years. I do believe there should be a gradual phaseout, because there have been investment-backed expectations. But let me tell you: look, the lobbyists are trying the best they can to snooker the people of Iowa, and convince the people of Iowa that a government mandate is the only way for ethanol to survive. Look, the problem is, the government is blocking ethanol. And they’re trying to convince you that a mandate is the way to go. I don’t want Iowa dependent on Washington. I don’t think Iowa farmers want to be dependent on Washington. Because you know what that boils down to? That boils down to a bunch of politicians shaking the voters down over and over and over again. It’s the Washington Cartel. And what I want to do is remove the barriers and allow the farmers and ethanol producers in Iowa in the marketplace to expand their penetration. And as you rightly noted, there have been no more ferocious defender of Iowa farmers than Steve King and there’s a reason Steve is standing with me in this campaign. Because he understands that I believe passionately in a free and fair and open energy marketplace.

In other words, he has always said he was for a five-year phaseout of a mandate, and wants to remove any government-imposed restrictions on ethanol (or any energy source) competing in the open market. Sounds reasonable enough.

And what’s more, that is what he has said since 2014. Amanda Carpenter pointed this out on Twitter:

And indeed, if you go to the relevant March 27, 2014 press release from Senator Cruz, it contains the following proposal:

Phase out and repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over five years. The RFS has proven unworkable and costly. Its mandate that an increasing percentage of renewable biofuels be blended into gasoline and diesel each year ignores the reality there are insufficient amounts of some biofuels to meet the standard. It imposes significant costs, and offers few, if any, benefits. The RFS should be phased out so producers and refiners can focus on maximizing domestic resource potential.

So in 2014, Cruz supported a phase out of the RFS over five years. But now that he has to pander to Iowa voters, all of a sudden he supports a phaseout of the RFS over five years. Well, no wonder Jazz Shaw accuses him of a “cave” on ethanol!

The idiocy continues as Shaw breathlessly gasps:

And it wasn’t just the RFS. Oh no! Ted came out with a promise to break the blendwall. Limiting the total blending of ethanol to 10% is the only thing keeping the flood gates partially shut on this mess as it is. What are you talking about Senator Cruz?

The “blend wall” is an artificial governmentally imposed limitation on the percentage of ethanol in gasoline. As Cruz explained in a quote from the America’s Renewable Future post:

That blendwall makes it illegal for ethanol to expand its market penetration, and I intend to eliminate the EPA blendwall to get rid of that barrier, which will enable ethanol to expand in the marketplace to a much larger penetration to sell more ethanol….

But as long as government is not mandating ethanol blends, there is no reason that government needs to set an artificial limit on the percentage of ethanol comprising a fuel. If cars can be designed that run on 100% ethanol (and that is technologically possible) then let it compete in the market. That is all Cruz is saying. (And, by the way, it is not the type of thing that a politician would say if they were in the pocket of Big Oil, as Cruz’s critics claim he is.)

Shaw is hopelessly confusing government mandates with market possibilities. It is one thing to say “government should not mandate any amount of ethanol in gasoline, and if it does let’s stop it at 10%” and quite another to say “government should not limit the amount of ethanol to 10%.”

“Limit” is not the same word as “mandate.” It is not even close to the same word.

Shaw then says:

At first I thought such a stark reversal of the Senator’s previous position on the RFS might be a mistake. But just to make sure I’d gotten the message, Cruz penned an editorial for the des [sic] Moines Register further clarifying his position.

Of course we have seen that the “stark reversal” is anything but. Worse, this becomes painfully even more evident when you actually read Cruz’s op-ed — or even just the part that Shaw quotes:

By this point in the campaign, many readers will have seen the furious coordinated effort being waged by Democrats and big-money lobbyists, who are together spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to convince Iowans that I oppose ethanol. Their charges are utter nonsense.

One of the reasons that Iowa’s own Rep. Steve King — a ferocious advocate for Iowa farmers — is enthusiastically supporting my campaign is because, although I oppose government subsidies, I am a passionate supporter of a free and fair energy marketplace…

The lobbyists’ sole focus is on the RFS, because as long as there is a federal government mandate, Washington remains front and center. Under a Cruz administration, that would change.

I tried to simplify this on Twitter:

Shaw’s logic is the same sort of pablum we routinely hear from brainless leftists: if we oppose the government doing x (feeding people) then we oppose x (people being fed). If Cruz opposes subsidies for ethanol than he must oppose ethanol. If Cruz says he supports ethanol competing on the market, that must be a flip-flop! The fallacies here are really easy enough for a fifth-grader to understand.

Amid an explosion of verbal diarrhea Shaw squirts out this:

So Ted wants to just “extend” the RFS to 2022, eh?

No, you can’t “extend” something that was already set to last until at least 2022. It’s almost as if Shaw has absolutely no clue what the law is, what Cruz’s position is, what the op-ed says, or what Cruz has said on the campaign trail.

I could go on and on fisking this thing, but I am already frustrated to no end, and Shaw says nothing else that isn’t already refuted by the logic above. There’s only one more point to add: when he got eviscerated on Twitter for his absurd post, he issues an “update” which acknowledges none of the distortions of the main post, and essentially criticizes Cruz for saying

the E10 blend mandate should be removed, not just because mandates are bad, but because ethanol can be problematic, and so people could easily get ethanol free gas if they wanted it.

Both the bold and the italics are Shaw’s. Shaw doesn’t understand that you can argue against a mandate by saying that ethanol can be problematic for current automobiles, and yet argue that ethanol sold on the free market could be popular and effective, if engines are built to accommodate them. Again, mandates are different from the market. In the latter, people are free to choose and to innovate. In the former, they are not. Opposition to the former does not require opposition to the latter.

The enemy here is not ethanol per se, but government mandates and restrictions — whether for or against ethanol. This has nothing whatsoever to do with a particular fuel additive, and everything to do with the operation of a free market.

But Shaw’s wretched understanding of the importance of the marketplace is a secondary consideration. What continues to gall me is that at Hot Air — still my favorite blog and a wildly influential site — there continues to be a headline that says “Ted Cruz just caved on ethanol.” That headline is a misrepresentation, and its continued existence is the result of pride and pigheadedness. What’s more, Shaw’s “update” in which he pretends to have accurately represented Cruz’s position all along (“I already noted in the original article here that Cruz was talking about a five year sunset”) fails to acknowledge that Cruz’s position in 2014 was the exact same position he takes today. Shaw tries to defend his “STARK REVERSAL!!!!” freakout by asserting that at CPAC, Cruz talked about a “repeal” and not a “phase out” which are TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!!!!!1!!1! Even if it’s true that at CPAC Cruz did not use the term “phase out” — and I don’t trust Jazz Shaw to have grasped the subtleties, and to have accurately reported Cruz’s statements — this is just not a “stark reversal.” If you talk about getting rid of a very popular program immediately or phasing it by dropping the mandated level by 20% each year over five years (which is Cruz’s proposal) — it’s essentially the same thing.

It’s a bold proposal and a courageous stance to take in Iowa. And it’s no different from what Cruz has been saying for almost two years.

Many people have acknowledged this, even after they initially got fooled by the crowing of the lobbyists. For example, Gabriel Malor initially said:

and (due to my rage over the Shaw post) I was kind of a jerk to him, not realizing that he had already corrected himself:

Similarly, Tim Carney initially said:

but then corrected himself:

I’m not happy that these people fell for the lobbyists’ spin, but I’m glad they had the intellectual honesty and courage to admit they were wrong.

Shaw needs to do the same. He needs to correct that misleading headline and retract his post in its entirety.

It’s time for Jazz Shaw to admit that he was a chump sucker.

45 Responses to “Jazz Shaw of Hot Air Accuses Ted Cruz of Flip-Flop for Saying What He Has Always Said”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  2. Hot Air is a good place to start for interesting reading. Whether or not they are right is an entirely different matter. Especially Jazz.

    JD (34f761)

  3. Well, he didn’t always support a five-year phase-out. In 2013 he supported immediate repeal. In 2014 he supported a phase-out. So he did change his position, but he did it in 2014, not now. And he didn’t flip-flop, he just accepted the reality that an immediate repeal wasn’t doable.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  4. While Democrat journalists and bloggers are smoking weed, our side has someone like Patterico who cuts through the tall weeds in order to ascertain facts from fiction. I think he even took the time to clear away some of those pesky dandelions while he was at it. Meanwhile, Alex NarayanStalinLenin has probably gotten an advance start on his Thursday propaganda assignment by tweeting out that Carly Fiorina is a closeted supporter of North Korea.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  5. it’s was hard to belieber a senator from texas would be in favor of diluting our numptious and puissant oil distillates with nasty foul-smelling corn offal juices, especially when the perverted saudi royal trash have thrown so many good texan men and women out of work

    happyfeet (831175)

  6. Patterico, this Jazz fellow is a poster child for bumper sticker thinking. It’s common these days. Thanks for the careful fisking.

    This is also a good warning for us all to get the facts before spouting off.

    Simon Jester (a37ddc)

  7. Thanks for setting this issue straight and pointing out the sloppy reporting of Jazz Shaw. These guys are SOOOO eager to catch Senator Cruz in a flip or a fib that they don’t do their homework. Not only was he wrong about Senator Cruz and the ethanol subsidy…he was ARROGANTLY wrong. Insufferably wrong. Lose readership wrong.

    sagest (fd5b52)

  8. Jazz Shaw has had a hard on for ethanol abolition for years. In his world, unwillingness to firebomb every ethanol plant between the Missouri & Mississippi rivers is equal to supporting raising the RFS to 30%. It’s his white whale.

    Russ from Winterset (764e54)

  9. With a glut of gasoline on the market we don’t need RFS anyway. There are much better uses for corn. But the Iowa caucuses are important so let’s not get all shook up over political posturing. After all, these are politicians were talkin’ about which means when they’re kissing babies they’re stealing their lollipops.

    ropelight (c29409)

  10. Trump or Cruz, Cruz or Trump. I’ve got my prelims done and am still on the fence, tilting towards Trump. This could turn for me on something silly – I do like the “trusTED”.

    I do in general like the idea of phasing out instead of just doing it. As Cruz poiints out , there were investments made based on certain premises. But when was the last time a gov’t program gt phased out? The “shock to the system” approach still appeals greatly to me.

    seeRpea (ab6952)

  11. Russ is correct, Jazz has become so blinded by his hatred for the ethanol mandate that he can no longer separate the product from the government regulation that began his hate in the first place. No one should have a problem with corn producers and ethanol refineries wanting to sell their product on the open market, so long as the government doesn’t interfere in that market or force unwilling consumers from purchasing their product.

    Cruz understands this, and since he no longer supports the unrealistic immediate dismantling of the ethanol mandate–which would have the effect of destroying the product and any chance it might have on the open market–then he must be drummed out of the Presidential race. I’m sorry Jazz, if you’re reading this, but you sound like a damn leftist arguing against those on the right opposed to EPA regulations by saying we hate clean water and air.

    Sean (221079)

  12. “… As Cruz poiints out , there were investments made based on certain premises. But when was the last time a gov’t program gt phased out? The “shock to the system” approach still appeals greatly to me.”

    –seeRpea

    If we support an immediate drop of the mandate we would be just as culpable as Obama and his ilk when they shafted the investors in Chrysler. I understand that investments are never guaranteed, but I’d rather not have another President that openly hates investors. A five year phase out helps our brothers and sisters in Iowa work on a backup plan for their industry and wouldn’t cause immediate ruin to a part of their economy. That is a good position to take on both the market and business, and one I’m glad Cruz supports.

    Sean (221079)

  13. Jazz has become so blinded by his hatred for the ethanol mandate that he can no longer separate the product from the government regulation that began his hate in the first place.

    Well, at least his approach to the issue originates from a good place. By contrast, if he was a big admirer of such dumb, wasteful policies percolating throughout the government (ie, if he were a typical member of the MSM), or certainly a closeted liberal who grimaced at Cruz’s stance on, say, SSM, that would be a whole different matter.

    Mark (f713e4)

  14. Shaw could attack Cruz for implying there could be a big market for ethanol if there were no federal regulations concerning ethanol at all, saying that that’s not going to happen in the real world, but he didn’t do that. I think Patterico has demonstrated that, at best, Shaw has no idea what he is talking about. And cannot seem to learn. Does he have that problem with other things?

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  15. Hate those lightbulbs too. Compact florescent hand grenades filled with poison gas. Nerve agent.

    The worst of the worst.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  16. To paraphrase Instapundit, the pundits over at HotAir are just GOPe flacks with bylines.

    It seems unfair to single out Jazz Shaw when they all do it. By my lights, Allahpundit is the worst of the lot, though, recently, even Ed Morrissey has been getting in on the action.

    Desperation is an ugly thing.

    ThOR (b81f2a)

  17. I’ve always had a “meh” relationship with Hot Rino, boycotting them for a year or two at times. Same with Ace of Spades. I wouldn’t go to a pro-homo tabloid rag like Twitchy on a dare.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  18. I read Shaw’s article yesterday and was sort of aghast at its errors. I did wonder how long it would take you to respond. Not long at all! I’ll have to go back and read the comments in the article though.

    Typically I do like Shaw’s work, kinda a shame, cause he should hold himself to a better standard.

    G (f85a02)

  19. I read Shaw’s article and Patterico is in the comments.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  20. I typically don’t read the user comments pretty much anywhere, even here, unless I have something to say or some time to kill.

    G (f85a02)

  21. I agree with Patrick on this. Shaw updated his post, but didn’t correct it. Here’s the comment I left there:

    Jazz Shaw wrote, in his update above, “There’s a big difference between a repeal and a phase out, as I said.”

    No. No, there’s not in the real world.

    Jazz, would you want the ethanol subsidies repealed retroactively? Let’s do a clawback and bankrupt all those Iowa farmers who — free market-loving or not — benefited in any way from them.

    So if we’re not doing it retroactively, we’re doing it prospectively. That’s the way actual legislative repeals work, my friend. Always, no matter how wadded your panties may be. Even in civil contexts, “ex post facto” laws are exceedingly rare — the sort of thing you saw in the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror, not in the sort of reprise of the Reagan Revolution which we now so badly need.

    So if we’re going to give those who’ve been relying on, and complying with, existing law for so many years any grace period, we’re going to have a phase-out. That’s implicit in any realistic repeal program.

    Try another update, one that actually corresponds to the way legislative repeals have been accomplished throughout American history. Be gracious instead of thin-skinned this time. Concede that it was you who missed the point, and that you may well have misled some of your readers. I’d respectfully suggest that you change the post title and put at least a bolded warning and internal link to your update up at the very top, to prevent even more readers from being misled.

    I’m a long-time fan and regular reader, but you’re hemorrhaging credibility. It’s hard to regain.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  22. If I could have edited it, I’d have omitted the “wadded” comment, which is gratuitous and ugly. But I’d stick with “thin-skinned.” Shaw’s defending when he ought be conceding and apologizing.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  23. Every GOP presidential candidate promises that if elected, he or she will do something about Obamacare. Most of them use the phrase “repeal and replace.”

    But it won’t be retroactive. Whatever changes are made will be phased in; whatever is repealed will be phased out. The implementing legislation will specify what and when; that will be part of what gets argued about and fought over.

    But does that mean they’ve all flip-flopped on their opposition to Obamacare? One could so allege, with exactly the same credibility as Shaw’s initial post (and especially its headline) about Cruz.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  24. At this very moment, the leading HotAir headline is “Ted Cruz’s immigration reversal.”

    It’s not just Mr. Shaw and it’s not just HotAir, though they do their share of the heavy lifting.

    They, and others like them, deserve credit for making possible the candidacy of “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” We have met the enemy and he is us.

    ThOR (b81f2a)

  25. I absolutely abhor the ethanol mandate. Regarding Cruz, to be fair, he has changed position on ethanol mandates, moving from advocating immediate repeal to phase out by 2022, but his change was in 2014, not yesterday. I didn’t like the change, but it wasn’t a deal killer for me. (As a practical matter, it wasn’t a deal killer because all other candidates whom I find acceptable enough to vote for have worse positions on this issue).

    I detest corn-to-fuel ethanol, period, because it makes no sense economically, or even from an environmental POV; it takes more fossil fuel to produce it than you get out of it in energy equivalent (once one factors in the fact that a gallon of alcohol gets you less MPG than a gallon of gas due to alcohol having a lower energy density.) However, so long as it’s not mandated or subsidized, if people want to buy it, that’s none of my business.

    I can’t much blame Shaw for being wrong. However, while IMHO it’s fine to be wrong, once it’s proven that you’re wrong, admit it, no big deal! Not doing so is IMHO reprehensible.

    Thank you, Patterico, for making the real story clear.

    CJ (da673d)

  26. “I’m a long-time fan and regular reader, but you’re hemorrhaging credibility. It’s hard to regain.”

    – Beldar

    Exactly – though seems to be a whole lot of credibility hemorrhaging going on right now.

    ThOR (b81f2a)

  27. A critic of Sen. Cruz could, with honesty and integrity, point out that in speaking to an Iowa audience about a consistently-held position, Sen. Cruz chose to accentuate the positive by reassuring those who had justifiably relied upon the subsidies (whether they supported them or not) that they’d have a reasonable time to readjust their business plans.

    No honest commenter can say that Cruz has flip-flopped, though. To reach that conclusion, one has to wrench out of context Sen. Cruz’ own words. And that’s what Shaw has done here.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  28. Honest headline: “Cruz refuses to threaten Iowa farmers with retroactive clawback penalties in connection with promised repeal of ethanol program.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  29. Free-market anecdote: There is a booming demand in Houston — and I’m guessing many other places in Texas and along the border — for bootlegged but legal “Mexican Coke.” That’s Coke®™ a/k/a Coca-Cola®™. It’s genuine and fully licensed, and at least some of it is imported legally, but regardless, its distinguishing characteristic is that it has been mixed and bottled in Mexico in the traditional glass bottles and, most importantly, made with cane syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup. All Coke sold in the U.S. for many, many years has been made with HFCS — not because of consumer demand, but because of the government’s meddling in the American agricultural marketplace (in that instance via the American government’s long-standing sugar subsidies and import duties).

    I’m told that among immigrants to the U.S. from many parts of the world, there’s a common revulsion at the taste of American Coke. And there’s no doubt that the original recipe just tastes better, in a way that’s powerfully evocative of my childhood in fact (especially from one of those wonderful glass bottles). In local supermarkets, especially in my majority-Spanish speaking neighborhood of Houston, it’s sold in the old-timey wooden half-height cases. On street corners, it’s sold ice cold by itinerant peddlers/beggars (often along with a windshield wash, which generates a bigger combined “tip”).

    Thus does an irrationally regulated market, meddled with by government at (ultimately) bayonet-point, nevertheless respond to consumer demand around the edges at which it’s most intense.

    I don’t drink many Cokes myself. But I’d applaud the repeal of the sugar subsidies and tariffs, even though that would hurt farmers and American agri-business. It would hurt them in the limited sense of depriving them from the continued protection of an artificial shield from competition — a shield which costs the consumer but which also, history teaches, will ultimately do the domestic beneficiaries of the regulation no good: It leaves them increasingly uncompetitive with the rest of the world, and they cannot thrive in a stagnant or crashing government-regulated market.

    Coca-Cola is still one of the world’s preeminent trademarks and products, and its Atlanta headquarters has been among the world’s most savvy international competitors now for many decades. Watch to see how quickly they abandon HFCS for their original “Classic Coke” products once — if — that American market is freed.

    But do I want to see some massive claw-back, to finance some wild government spending program, by confiscating the past fruits reaped by the beneficiaries of these schemes whereby the government picked winners and losers?

    No, I just want the government to stop doing that — as soon as practicable. When you’re talking this big a change in the premises of all American agri-business, big and small, a five-year phase-out is entirely reasonable: This is a capital-intensive business; you don’t invest in the same kind of equipment and facilities for potatoes or wheat that you do for corn or sugar or cotton.

    Now if Shaw wants to argue that there should be a phase-out measured in months instead of years, let him say that. If he wants to argue for a phase-out measured in weeks — a repeal bill passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Republican president on December 1, 2017, effective January 1, 2018 — let him make that pitch, and explain why a longer phase-out (like the five years Sen. Cruz is proposing) is unnecessary or improper.

    But let’s not misrepresent a candidate’s positions, or assert that they’ve changed when they have not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  30. I drink Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, and you can get “Throwback” made with cane sugar right now in the US of A.

    Though I have wondered whether the price of HFCS has increased to the point that even protected sugar is more economically feasible,
    or maybe the Pepsi CEO just wants to please the consumer, i.e., sell more product.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  31. 26. Beldar – Cokes bring back great memories. thanks.
    Five years sounds about right. As a land owner in Southern Mn. it will take the democratic farm labor union that long to get their collective heads out of the dirt.

    mg (31009b)

  32. I doubt the cost of HFCS has increased. Corn prices are down to around 50% of their high from a few years ago, and corn is the main ingredient (labor, transportation & infrastructure are bigger portions of the total cost).

    Russ from Winterset (f7f216)

  33. And none of the ethanol tax credits have gone to farmers. They’re blender’s tax credits ($0.60/gallon of ethanol that is not assessed like it is on gasoline) that go to the companies who add it to fuel, which works out to about $0.06/gallon of E10. So none of the clawbacks would come from farmers.

    You could say that using corn for fuel artifically increased the price of corn, but I think misallocation & shortages caused by droughts around the globe account for more of the blame.

    Russ from Winterset (f7f216)

  34. There never was a time when Jazz Shaw didn’t suck. His posts are poorly written, never original and rife with mistakes. The good news is that people understand this, and discount everything he says. So don’t worry about it.

    Brian (9f8ec4)

  35. Maybe if we told the hippies that the corn that ethanol is made from is genetically modified? It really is — for smaller cobs and bigger kernels.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. If you can’t find Mexican Coke, but there’s a kosher store in your area, or a supermarket with a large kosher section, check it in about three months and look for Coke bottles with yellow caps. Those will be the special run with sugar that they do for Passover each year.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  37. All the corn we eat has been genetically modified. Have you seen the original corn, before humans started changing its genes? It’s barely edible.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  38. And that’s true to one extent or another for most crops, and most domestic animals.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  39. For Chicago area people, Tony’s markets have Mexican Coke. In the “coke-bottle”-shaped glass bottles. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  40. Them Iowa farmers have to have planned for one day being pulled off the tit.

    Pull the sugar milk away early.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  41. There is an element of https://youtu.be/zOXtWxhlsUg to that policy.

    But it’s no worse than what California has done to the people who bought into Their global warming scheme.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/03/california-government-abandons-rooftop-solar-favours-big-utilities/

    The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to allow a nearly 100 percent price increase on exit fees for customers leaving Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for green energy programs like CleanPowerSF and Marin Clean Energy, which will make those and similar programs more expensive.

    Suckers.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  42. Russ: To protect domestic sugar growers and their affiliates, the federal government has, for decades, artificially supported (kept high) the price of sugar in the U.S. by levying heavy duties on sugar imports (typically from countries with very cheap labor). The reason Coke uses HFCS in the U.S. is that they can’t afford the hit to their market share they’d take from the price increase they’d have to impose to cover the inflated (above-market) cost of American sugar. So yeah, HFCS is cheaper, and it doesn’t taste as good, but Coke calculates that the customers they lose from using HFCS are fewer than they’d lose from raising prices. It’s a classic, indeed paradigmatic, example of the throttling of competition, and the consumer choice competition brings, whenever government puts a thumb on the market scales and picks winners (and therefore losers).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  43. ^^^ In Mexico and pretty much everywhere else in the world where the price of sugar isn’t artificially inflated, based on cost and demand, Coke uses cane syrup (sugar).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  44. re #26 and #33: You should start seeing yellow capped CocaCola in late March. Only in plastic liters.
    If you want smaller glass bottles now, come to the Pacific NorthWest. Plenty of outlet stores have them now (also Fanta). Maybe they smuggled in via Canada? :)

    seeRpea (ab6952)

  45. It’s a classic, indeed paradigmatic,

    This is hilarious because I just finished a post (scheduled for just after midnight) that explores the concept of a paradigm and a “paradigm shift” as applied to politics. I use the word “paradigmatic” in a somewhat ironic fashion. I schedule the post and come here to read your comment!

    Patterico (86c8ed)


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