September 30, 2008
First, brother jg's mortgage broker "I've been a life-long Democrat and have volunteered for several campaigns but when I saw how she tried to fix all the blame for this situation on Republicans I decided I'm going to vote a straight Republican ticket in November."
Now, I'm intrigued by this from Katie Allison Granju:
However, the speech was incredibly inappropriate. At a moment when the Speaker should have been rallying the entire membership of the House to pull together as Americans and solve the crisis before them, Pelosi chose instead to use her pulpit to lay blame and point fingers. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around, and some finger pointing is going to have to occur as we decide what specific mistakes were made and how we can avoid repeating them. But yesterday was not the time.
This Knoxville News Blogress is -- if you'll pardon a little judging by personal appearance -- a young female Democrat right out if central casting. She's bright and earns her frequent Instapundit links, but she is not a budding Republican or Libertarian. If Madame Speaker has lost Granju, I suggest she has lost America.
Hat-tip: Instapundit of course.
Die Obamajungend Singt!
I stole Reason's Headline (though I was tempted to excise the d in Obamajungend). Here's your creepy for the day:
DAMMIT KIDS! YOU'RE NOT HAPPY ENOUGH!!! SMILE!!! MORE HOPEFUL!! ONE MORE TAKE AND IF YOU SCREW IT UP ANOTHER TIME...
Defending James Glassman
It has to be done.
One of my favorite writers (and Buffy-sire) Jonathan V. Last has a little fun this week on the Galley Slaves blog. In About That Financial Crisis, he provides thumbnail photos of two books: "Why the Housing Boom Will Not Go Bust" and everybody's favorite whipping boy "Dow 36,000."
Fair enough and funny. If your innards don't squirm a little bit looking at the jacket thumbnails, you're not paying attention.
But it occurs to me that Gloom-and-Doom books outsell Bullish books by a healthy margin. Dow 36,000 is Glassman's personal albatross (Do you get wafers with that, Mister Coleridge?) It's been the butt of many a joke. And, when your bold prediction fails spectacularly, you deserve it. Back to the "But" part, I never see the Bears on CNBC when the DJIA crests new highs. "Mister Schilling, in your best-seller, 'We're All Totally F$%^ed Now.' you promised bank failures in 2006 -- what do you have to say for yourself, four eyes?"
We have a bias toward pessimism and cynicism -- which are a lot easier to predict. Long term, I have to throw my lot in with Kudlow. Free market capitalism will prevail even against the shackles we encumber it with. Human spirit and creativity will prevail. I'd be a buyer right now.
If I had any money.
Or if I could get a loan.
September 29, 2008
Madame Speaker sure knows how to rally the troops to support an important. bipartisan piece of emergency legislation:
Optimist-in-chief Larry Kudlow writes The End Of The U.S. Financial System As We Know It? It starts with a claim that:
A number of Republican House members and staff, along with others who are plugged in, are telling me that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will come back with a new bill that includes all the left-wing stuff that was scrubbed from the bill that was defeated today in the House.
Great, that'll help. It ends with:
I’m gonna wait and see. Obviously, the financial markets are in total collapse today. And the economic outlook is suffering.
He's been around for a couple bad ones and is the trademark market optimist.
Speaker Pelosi is going to reconvene the House on Thursday -- take a few days off, gang, you've done a helluva job.
UPDATE: A longer clip, in case you didn't get your fill
Quote of the Day
Not that these things are to be excused out of hand, but Palin bends zoning rules — which I'm sure are stringent and a high stakes matter in Wasilla, Alaska — and gets a free facial. Obama gets a freakin' house with help from a someone indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, extortion and corrupt solicitation; has someone raising money for his campaign with well-publicized ties to organized crime; and the Illinois attorney general is currently looking into how Obama earmarked $100,000 for a former campaign volunteer who never spent the money for its intended purpose — and yet, I don't see too many "investigations" decrying Obama's transparently false claims he practices a "new" kind of politics. -- Mark Hemmingway commenting on this AP hit piece
Just in time for the failed bailout:
I laugh to keep from cryin', boys. BR is right, now is a good time to stock up on ammunition. Remember back in oh-seven when we used to have Wheat Thins®?
September 28, 2008
Quote of the Day
The Ethics Committee, after all, has in recent years handed out any number of wrist-slaps - if anything - to legislators accused of serious malfeasance.
You know, it's like a culture of corruption...
Yet Another Huck-a-Whack
The Parsin' Parson is much better suited to hosting a talk show than governing, I should be glad.
But my TiVo recordings of "The Beltway Boys" and "Journal Editorial Report" this weekend all came up Huck. There are only three* good shows on FOXNews, are you telling me that two of them have been cancelled?
* Beltway Boys, Journal Editorial Report and Special Report with Brit Hume. FOX News Sunday is broadcast on the FOX Network
Kudos To GOP Legislators
Can I have a mirabile dictu? The House GOP seems to have removed the worst parts of the "bailout bill." Minority Whip Roy Blunt ($$ - MO) offers a Side-by-Side Comparison of the Paulson Plan, the [Rep. Barney] Frank - [Sen. Christopher] Dodd bill, and the final compromise.
Damn, Sam. Admittedly this is Blunt's report, but it looks like the worst elements were stripped (payola to ACORN and union dictation of CEO compensation) and that most of the limitations to the Paulson plan are probably positive.
I am unhappy to see limits on compensation, but they may be caveatted out of existence: "For equity participation, over $300M total ban for top 5 executives on golden parachutes and tax deduction limit on compensation above $500,000." Sounds like a few escape hatches to me. Dodd wanted to hire some bureaucrat to manage a $700 Billion portfolio and pay him $75K, so the compromise looks good.
As Senator McCain said, Democrats and Republicans "worked together" to craft important legislation. But, praise NED, it looks like the Republicans won.
September 27, 2008
RIP Paul Newman
Number nineteen on Nixon's enemies list died this morning.
RIP, Paul Newman.
September 26, 2008
That did not take long at all.
Here's McCain putting on a class for Senator Obama's benefit.
Overall, Obama looked way too defensive... and he spent his time reliving Al Gore's 2000 debate performance wincing, sighing laughing and interrupting.
By contrast, Senator McCain was calm and collected.
Best line... "... and I didn't even have a seal."
... at one point Obama threw up a white flag... "let's move on."
GOP Victory Center
Looking to help John McCain & Sarah Palin this weekend:
Visit your local Victory Center.
Sarah (Heath) Palin in the 1984 Miss Alaska swimsuit competition.
or... a brazen attempt at getting more hits.
Is this supposed to be a bad thing? Remind me again.
Mark-to-Market or Mark-to-Model?
This, to The Refugee's ignorant eye, seems to be a pretty good primer on the difference between mark-to-market and mark-to-model accounting rules that may have precipitated the current financial crisis.
Abject Terror of the Day
I'm a Kudlow optimist who is bullish on the long term prospects of the American economy. And I'm not quaking in my boots, selling stock, or loading up on water and ammunition.
But I have real concerns about the near term economy and am willing to suspend ideology if it means averting a liquidity crisis. There's no shortage of information or clever arguments for both sides. Here are four for mine, which is: the potential cost of doing nothing is too great, even a bad plan might calm markets; even the government will not lose the whole $700B; Secretary Paulson is as trustworthy to me as any of our 535 economists in chief, far more so than 532 of them.
1) Caterpillar’s 325 bps premium for financing over a similar loan just a few months ago. This is not Joe's Widgets, this is for CAT corporate debt.
2) Friend of a friend and long-time trusted commercial real estate developer is trying to refinance a $4 Million property and cannot get a loan of $900K.
3) A letter to Mankiw:
A LOT of payrolls get paid at the end of the month. The next for many companies is September 30. Three different people with hugely relevant knowledge said to me today words to the effect of: "Why don't your economist buddies want
4) Megan McArdle captures my sentiment:
Again, no one knows. Not $700 billion--that's the amount we're paying for distressed assets, some of which will yield profits. The entire portfolio of fire sale securities may lose money, but it's unlikely to be anything close to the entire amount.
Me either. Give the bald guy the damn money.
September 25, 2008
Appalachia On The Platte
The DC Examiner had an article on Senator Joe Biden's Coal-fired Gaffe Machine. While other gaffes were considered stupid, Chris Stirewalt considers the "no-coal-plants-in-the-USA" to be especially impolitic.
But Biden getting caught on tape last week denouncing the use of coal to an eco-warrior on a rope line will be a blunder that will put a wrinkle in Biden’s blue collar. “No coal plants here in America,” Biden said of his ticket’s energy plan.
Colorado coal culture? I have lived the past 19 years in communities that were founded on coal mining, but thought it all ended with the WPA. Minus ten points: the Colorado Mining Association claims Colorado is seventh in the USA in Coal Production.
So I can be personally offended by one of Biden's gaffes -- excellent!
September 24, 2008
Que Sera Sera
A little-known Chilean wine known as Palin Syrah has apparently lost favor in the City by the Bay. Sales in San Francisco of this boutique product have fallen faster than a thermometer on the North Slope in January. Texas, however, seems to be picking up the slack.
The Refugee will confess to being a bit of a wine snob and may have to see about picking up a bottle at the local Daveco Liquors. He may need to find out how it pairs with a certain $8 cheese.
A Solid Critique of the Paulson Plan
ThreeSources friend The Everyday Economist pens a thoughtful post that compares the current situation to the S&L Crisis and the Paulson Plan to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). It's a good read, allowing you to relive the 80s without big hair and skinny ties.
He comes out foursquare against the plan at the end, by economic and not ideological reasons. I'm not prepared to join him there at this time, but many cite the success of the RTC as a model for the Paulson Plan and the EE develops enough differences to force consideration.
Quote of the Day
And let’s not forget Biden, whose gaffes are the unavoidable byproduct of his limitless gasbaggery. Biden could shout on Meet the Press, “Get these squirrels off of me!” and the collective response would be, “There goes Joe again.” But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she’s unprepared for the job. -- Jonah Goldberg
September 23, 2008
Professor Mankiw isn't much more impressed than I am with Senator McCain's suggestion of Andrew Cuomo for SEC Chair:
Andrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis. He took actions that—in combination with many other factors—helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. -- Village Voice
What Drives You Crazy About Politics?
I went out to lunch with my in-laws and came home to a string of gaffes from Senator Biden.
You guys are all a few steps ahead of me (although I had some really good hot and sour soup), but I enjoyed this exchange (video at the link try 3:30) between Senator Obama and Matt Lauer. They're discussing Biden's making similar statements to Senator McCain on the AIG bailout:
But it's the kind of thing that drives people crazy about politics," Lauer said. "It sounds like you were trying to score some political points against John McCain using his words, when your own running mate had used very similar words."
Now I don't expect Lauer to go any further down the path of actual reporting or investigation than he did. Certainly not when the beneficiary would be a GOP candidate. But on what planet is John McCain a stalwart opponent of regulation? Man, if we could only actually have the candidates that Democrats accuse us of, I would be the happiest party man in the whole USA.
FDR & the Great Depression
President Roosevelt went on TV to explain the causes of the Stock Market crash on 1929.
Nevermind that TV, while invented, was not in wide usage
New Obama slogan: "Dont just MAKE history, CHANGE it."
Biden wants to lose. He's Hillary's Manchurian Candidate so that she can run in 2012.
Unless they're making him say silly things to give a decent reason for ditching him.
If you buy into conspiracy theories, that is.
I cannot possibly improve on the subject line of a ThreeSources friend who sent me this link. I have been on HuffPo a lot this week. My niece sent me a couple links, now this one. I'll probably have to write Arianna a check if this keeps up.
The writer is Naomi Wolf, famous for dressing VP Gore in earth tones in the 2000 election. I saw that Insty linked as well, with a derisive comment along the lines of "Palin drives her crazy, but she's close enough to walk." You can knock HuffPo, and you can dismiss Wolf as a fringe character, but it's a mistake. She is well known, a frequent TV pundit, and I've no doubt her ideas have currency in the Democratic Party. In short, she is not a crazed lefty blogger over at Kos railing about Rove's AmeriKKKa. Yet she is no less unhinged. (My emailer suggests reading the whole thing to get the full sweep of it, but if your heart is not up to it, here's a taste:)
Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. The strategy became clear. Time magazine reported that Rove is "dialed in" to the McCain campaign. Rove's protégé Steve Schmidt is now campaign manager. And Politico reported that Rove was heavily involved in McCain's vice presidential selection. Finally a new report shows that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move.
I'd give her half points for ending with a Sharansky reference, If she had spelled his name right:
Scharansky [sic] divided nations into "fear societies" and "free societies." Make no mistake: Sarah "Evita" Palin is Rove and Cheney's cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push: she will help to establish a true and irreversible "fear society" in this once free once proud nation. For God's sake, do not let her; do not let them.
Thanks to my signing several "support the troops" petitions. my inbox is loaded with the worst of right wing kookery every day: Obama will force gay marriage and grapefruit juice will cure Cancer. I just got something from Pat Buchanan.
But I see very little that compares with the ravings of Andrew Sullivan or this piece by Naomi Wolf. Our esteemed electoral opponents have some serious unhinged people on their side.
UPDATE: Fair and balanced, I clicked a link on the Human Events email I received while typing this, and this is certainly unhinged, but the guy is hawking an anti-Obama book. I posit that Wolf is a more serious player.
Would the mad
UPDATE II: JammieWearingFool gives the piece a more detailed fisking.
September 22, 2008
If You Think the Price of Arugula is bad...
The Refugee was recently shopping and noticed that the price of his favorite cheese has increased from $7 to $8. What do they make this stuff out of - petroleum?
The word "investment" has become so debased as a politician's euphemism for "spending" that most have stopped looking at the difference. Don Luskin spots one:
The fundamental mistake is that the $700 billion would be used to invest in income-producing assets, not to fund consumption. A dollar spent in Head Start, say, or in socialized health care, is gone forever, even though its expenditure may produce a benefit for whomever receives the service it funds. But a dollar spent on a mortgage earns interest, and can eventually be sold -- perhaps even at a profit. And in the meantime, if the government's temporarily holding these assets helps unlock the US real estate and securities markets, then so much the better. To be clear, I'm not endorsing the federal government investing $700 billion in private assets. But love it or hate it, it is investment -- not consumption.
Luskin never says that it is a good investment, and he provides for difference and discussion. But it is worth looking at the bailout in these terms and remembering that the gub'mint actually did turn a profit on the RTC.
Mea Maxima Culpa!
I had a hunch I was wrong when I found myself siding with Bill O'Rielly against the WSJ Editorial Board. Reading this, I declare full capitulation:
McCain told 60 Minutes tonight that he would name New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Bill Clinton, as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mike Allen reports.
AND MAKE ELLIOT SPITZER COACH OF THE GIRLS' VOLLYBALL TEAM?
I know stupidity reigns so thick at 60 Minutes that it's hard to stay focused, but this is the dumbest thing I have heard all campaign and falls well outside of the "let McCain be McCain" rubric. If he wants to play Teddy Roosevelt and rail about greed, I can shudder and look the other way. When he wants to promote Spitzerism to the SEC, it's game over. I'm going back to bed. Wake me up after Obama wins.
Once Upon a Time
A little preaching to choir here, but don't miss the WSJ lead editorial today:
Once upon a time, in the land that FDR built, there was the rule of "regulation" and all was right on Wall and Main Streets. Wise 27-year-old bank examiners looked down upon the banks and saw that they were sound. America's Hobbits lived happily in homes financed by 30-year-mortgages that never left their local banker's balance sheet, and nary a crisis did we have.
They are sadly right that this will become believed and accepted as fact. This could set the cause of liberty (and prosperitarianism) back a lot further than a bad election.
Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.
Go get a cup of coffee, and read this whole post.
Could be one of the most important blog posts in this election cycle... as the truth finally starts lacing up it's boots.
September 21, 2008
Mister Orwell, Call Your Office
Protecting "the children" from speech in the UK: "YouTube is to ban footage showing weapons being used to intimidate people on its website in the UK." (Izzit just me or is that questionable grammar from a BBC reporter? Are the people actually being threatened "on [YouTube's] website in the UK?")
The Home Secretary said she was "extremely pleased" YouTube had "taken action to ban videos glamourising weapons".
Hat-tip Instapundit who says "Clearly, you can't count on Google to champion free speech." Frankly, I am a lot more worried about Britain. We've had Google worries around here, and I will admit that there is a creepy element to the information behemoth. I'm a Yahoo guy® myself and believe that Google will not be able to get the market saturation required to rule the Internet. They have share, but the cost to compete with them is low and the cost to switch is almost zero.
Worry about Google but fear the State's coercive power. The cradle of liberty has already given away its citizens' right to self defense with guns. Now that they are slashing each other with knives, the Home Secretary will ban pictures of knives.
UPDATE: Never mind, there's nothing wrong with the UK. I went to Samizdata to see if they were discussing this and found this:
Five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The government has quietly sanctioned that their rulings are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court. Previously, the rulings were not binding and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.
Yes, the Enlightenment lives.
September 20, 2008
Biden & Berettas
I guess this is what Obama meant about bitter people clinging to their religion and their guns.
"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey," Biden said Saturday at the United Mine Workers of America's annual fish fry in Castlewood, Virginia. "Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you."
It's amazing how come election season Democrat politicians are suddenly church going gun owners. As Jake Tapper points out, Senator Biden regularly scores an F on gun issues from the NRA.
I don't understand why the Democrats are even trying to attempt to compete on the issue of guns. Obama and Biden are hoping the electorate simply believes their words (never mind deeds in Congress) vs a Republican ticket that features Sarah Palin who makes no apologies for killing big things with equally big guns.
Sportsmen aren't fools.
By the way, it's nice of Joe Biden to buy American.
Berettas are made in Italy.
For A Bailout, Press One
You've had a tough week of politics and Wall Street. Have a little fun:
"Hello! You've reached the United States Treasury's automated bailout hotline. Please listen carefully, because our options have recently changed. If you're too big to fail, press or say 'one.' If not, hang up and dial 1-800-FOR-FEMA.' "
Hat-tip: Professor Mankiw
September 19, 2008
Proud to be a Coloradan!
To paraphrase Michelle Obama, "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my state's position in the Electoral College." Stuart Rothenberg identifies Colorado as the state mostly likely to determine the election.
Nonetheless, The Refugee hopes that Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania make Colorado's nine electoral votes a non-factor.
Biden, Ohio & the Environment
This is not how you win a swing state.
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., spent the past two days trying to win over Ohio voters, but he may have undermined that work in one quick dis of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team Friday morning.
He flew from Wilmington to Washington?
Environment be damned!
What McCain Shoulda Said
It must be Friday, I am linking to Kim Strassel:
"I come today to speak on behalf of the forgotten man, and that includes some 50% of Americans that either own their home, or are renting . . . the 95% of homeowners that are making their payments on time . . . the 99% of Americans that did not behave irresponsibly . . . that ultimately will pay the price for this bill."
A typically awesome column about principles over demagoguery, the real cause of the turmoil, and a good political and economic response.
The Refugee's Allies
Blog brother br is way too classy to hide behind the WSJ Editorial board, so I will make his "I Told You So!" post on his behalf.
The refugee and I had a small difference of opinion yesterday on Senator McCain's bruising criticism of SEC Chairman Chris Cox. BR was disturbed that it was scapegoating in lieu of a serious understanding. I agreed on the lack of understanding but suggested that I would not defend Cox, and that it might be smart politics to take a few whacks at a Bush Administration official.
My freedom mentors and intellectual betters at the WSJ Ed Page come down squarely in br's camp today:
To give readers a flavor of Mr. McCain untethered, we'll quote at length: "Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch. The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling -- which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.
Gigot & Co. even defend the decision to not reinstate the uptick rule. This is something that Larry Kudlow has been calling for. Unlike the DH (against it!), I don't have strong opinions on the uptick rule. Put me down for laissez faire, but if the uptick rule (more like infield fly than DH) could keep the US and UK from banning all short selling, I'd give it a listen. Larry suggests "why don't we just ban all selling -- that would protect prices."
Reasonable blog brothers can disagree. I'm not convinced it was bad, but I would love to hear Senator Mac say something useful or true about the ECWTASTGD.
September 18, 2008
Patriotic Taxpayer Biden!
But, Senator, I thought Dissent was patriotic?
AP: Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act
Hat-Tip: Insty. Who also links to Michael Silence:
You mean like this?
Scapegoat in Chief
Certainly everyone has heard that McCain today said that SEC Chairman Cox should be fired for "betraying the public trust." The Refugee is pleased that McCain has a plan... for finding a scapegoat. McCain seems intent on proving that he really is the economic ignoramus that he has claimed to be in the past.
All of the excitement that The Refugee felt for McCain-Palin last week has evaporated.
Sorry, gotta run - the garbage truck hasn't arrived yet meaning that the old nose plugs can still be rescued.
Congress Tries to Fix What They Broke
"I scream, you scream, we all scream for - REGULATION!"
In contrast to the major media narrative on the current financial turmoil there are two articles that everyone must read.
The first is Congress Tries to Fix What it Broke, an editorial by Investor's Business Daily.
Regulation: As the financial crisis spreads, denials on Capitol Hill grow more shrill. Blame an aloof President Bush, greedy Wall Street, risky capitalism — anybody but those in Congress who wrote the banking rules.
The other is Zachary Karabell's Bad Accounting Rules Helped Sink AIG, a WSJ editorial.
The current meltdown isn't the result of too much regulation or too little. The root cause is bad regulation.
No matter what else you hear or read on this subject, keep these two articles in mind.
Other Than That, He's a Big Obama Fan
I have had some harsh words about FOXNews, but I cannot tell a lie -- I enjoyed this commentary
Hat-tip: Cap'n Ed Morrissey
Scientists have developed a system to analyze speeches to determine "spin."
"The important thing to recognise is that politicians aren't typically good at out-and-out lies, but they are very adept at dancing around the truth," says David Skillicorn, a mathematics and computer science researcher at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. "The 2008 election has so far given us plenty of chances to see them in action."
So what are the results for 2008?
Each of the candidates had made speeches containing very high and very low levels of spin, according to Skillicorn's program, depending on the occasion. In general though, Obama's speeches contain considerably higher spin than either McCain or Clinton. For example, for their speeches accepting their party's nomination for president, Obama's speech scored a spin value of 6.7 - where 0 is the average level of spin within all the political speeches analysed, and positive values represent higher spin. In contrast, McCain's speech scored -7.58, while Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention scored 0.15. Skillicorn also found that Sarah Palin's speeches contain slightly more spin than average.
Running this analysis side by side with the Luntz-o-meter would make for interesting political TV.
... if you're a politics nerd, that is.
September 17, 2008
Proof of Intelligent Design
A Boulder, Colorado astrophysicist has posted evidence on YouTube that he claims is "proof" of an Intelligent Designer of the universe. You may not be any more persuaded by his argument than I was but I'm sure you'll agree with me that the following leaves no doubt:
According to the United States Mint, the latest release in their well-known 50 State Quarters Program is the coin which commemorates the statehood of Arizona, home state of GOP presidential candidate John McCain.
The next state to be honored is ... Alaska, from whence we were graced with the GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Though the government website doesn't confirm it (imagine that - an unresponsive government entity) the Alaska quarters are already in circulation, as evidenced by the pair I received in change 2 days ago.
So not only do these coins come out in succession as Palin's place on the ticket succeeded McCain's, they are released immediately before the election that will surely place both of them in the White House just before the Mint releases the quarter commemorating ... Hawaii, home of the Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
(Dude sorta even looks like "The One" too, 'cept for the funny hat.)
Even more spooky is that the first state quarter ever issued, the "oldest" one as it were, is for Delaware.
Barr Carries Texas!
He may be the only guy on the ballot:
Texas election code §192.031 requires that the “written certification” of the “party’s nominees” be delivered “before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before election day.” Because neither candidate had been nominated by the official filing deadline, the Barr campaign argues it was impossible for the candidates to file under state law.
This complete lack of seriousness is yet another reason that this little-l libertarian will never capitalize.
Hat-tip: Samizdat Dale Amon who links approvingly. Amon has a point about ballot access, but I cannot condone this stunt.
I'm a Lover, I'm a Leader...
I'm a Lover, I'm a Leader, I'm a Wild Speechin' Reader!
His Oneness sets up the teleprompter in a rodeo ring in Pueblo, Colorado.
Ain't a metaphor can't be rode! Whoopie! Hat-tip: Hugh Hewitt
I stand by my assertion that we should take Senator Obama at his word and judge him by the executive experience he has shown managing his campaign. You judge a CEO by profits, return on capital, and asset value -- right?
Let's give the Junior, part-time Senator high marks for revenue; he breaks a record for fund raising every time he turns around. But both Senators Clinton and McCain have achieved much higher poll-percentage per dollar. You can actually count delegates in Clinton's case. Divide the delegate counts by the revenue required and you'll see a real ass-kicking emerge.
In rejecting a direct request from his Senate leader, Obama has put a fine point on the financial pressures he’s feeling as the presidential race turns toward the fall.
As for the equivalent of a stock price, I submit that their value on Intrade is a good proxy. McCain President 2008 trades this morning at 49.1. Obama's contract is 50.0 (McCain actually led last week) but you cannot doubt that McCain is getting better return on capital.
Two Failing Grades
ThreeSources has taken a couple of whacks at Senator McCain for his poor response to the current ECWTASTGD (Economic Crisis Worse Than Anything Since The Great Depression). While it's deserved, I want to pass out two failing grades and suggest that Senator McCain might still be a better choice.
The requested Mac-a-Whack goes to the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. His reflexive populism is bad politics and bad economics. After "getting in Obama's head" with his choice of Governor Palin, he allows Senator O inside his cranium:
We'll leave it to the debates to elicit just what each Senator regards as the "economic fundamentals" in a $13 trillion economy, but for our money the notable thing about the exchange was how fast John McCain let his opponent's sarcasm push him off message, such as it is.
To discuss Senator Obama's reaction, I'll yield the floor to Obama supporter Megan McArdle. She calls his reaction "high test hooey" and questions his reflexive blaming of President Bush:
What, specifically, should the Bush administration have done, Senator? Don't tell me they should have beefed up SEC enforcement, since this is not a criminal problem (aside from minor lies by Bear execs after the damage was already done). Perhaps he should not have reappointed Greenspan, or appointed Ben Bernanke? Both moves were widely hailed at the time. Moreover, to believe that a Democrat could have done better is to assert that a Democratic president would have found a Fed chair who would pay less attention to unemployment, or a bank regulator who would have tried harder to prevent low-income people from buying homes. Where is this noble creature? And why didn't Barack Obama push for him at the time?
UPDATE: Michael Shear has a bylined WaPo editorial that smartly asks why McCain is embracing regulation "after many years of opposition. And there's video of the "greed" comments. Ouch.
A longer post is forming on Senator McCain's bad reflex to blame greed for, well, everything bad.
But this was too funny to wait. The Yahoo news headline is Top Clinton fundraiser backing McCain, not Obama
Lynn Forester de Rothschild has said she thinks Democratic nominee Barack Obama is arrogant and has a problem connecting with average Americans.
I'll do the Kos Kids' work for them today. Obama is too arrogant, and cannot connect to "the people" says Mrs. Rothschild. ROTHSCHILD!!!?? Controller of the world economy through the Masonic Lodge Rothschild? Splits her time between London and New York? ROTHSCHILD???
I quit. I am out of question marks.
Ushering in the "Most-partisan" Era
Hillary Clinton was scheduled to attend a rally sponsored by a number of Jewish organizations to protest Ahmadinejad's UN appearance . However, she canceled after learning that Sarah Palin would also be attending. So, a Democrat leader won't even be seen with a Republican at an event to protest a rogue dictatorship that sponsors terror, seeks nuclear weapons and promises to wipe Israel off the map once it gets them. If the Democrat's won't join Republicans on this, what will they join them on? This strips the veneer from the Democrat's "post-partisan" and "bipartisan" rhetoric for anyone who had such delusions.
September 16, 2008
Don Luskin on FOXNews
I didn't think that could happen -- the Murdoch enforcement field is weakening somehow.
Anyways, Luskin's WaPo Op-Ed got some favorable coverage last night on Brit Hume's "Grapevine." Roll tape:
Might Interest a Couple ThreeSourcers
Hat-tip: Don Luskin who says "At last! A viable third-party alternative -- with a woman in the veep position."
Don't know much about e-con-o-my
Remember the old "Mac-a-whack" game we used to play around here? I'm bringing it back.
Barack Obama has campaign commercials slamming John McCain for his ill-advised admission that he "doesn't really understand economics." Today, John McCain proved that he wasn't kidding.
Too many firms on Wall Street have been able to count on casual oversight by regulatory agencies in Washington. And there are so many of those regulators that the responsibility for oversight is scattered, unfocussed and ineffective. Among others, we've got the SEC, the CFTC, the FDIC, the SPIC and the OCC. But for all their big and impressive sounding names, the fact is they haven't been doing their job right, or else we wouldn't have these massive problems on Wall Street. At their worse, they've been caught up in Washington turf wars instead of working together to protect investors and the public interests. And we don't need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly -- we need the best federal agencies to do the job right.
According to John it's all "Wall Street's" fault because those poor government agencies are just too fragmented, too powerless and too overworked to "do their job right."
Sarah, please straighten the poor man out - and be quick about it!
Greed and Gravity
On campus this afternoon I overheard the following remark by a non-economist, trying to explain to another non-economist the Lehman failure and today's stock market decline: “It’s a combination of deregulation and greed. Boy, if you deregulate enough, the greed will follow.”
When I saw the excerpt, I was afraid that the author was whacking Senator John McCain. Sadly, Senator Mac has internalized TR too much, He reflexively blamed yesterday's meltdown on greed (gravity). Of course, Senator Obama blamed it on President Bush, so I am not really declaring a winner here.
But I expect a little more from Republicans, naive waif that I am.
September 15, 2008
And to think I was voted the least likely person to make a Star Trek joke in my Senior yearbook.
The New York Post quotes Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Obama asked the Iraqi government to delay the drawdown of US troops during his visit last July. If there's a sniff of truth to this report (and there's no apparent motive for such a high government official to lie in such a matter), then Obama is playing politics with the lives of our soldiers. If true, this should be a major scandal.
Democrats on Energy
My illustrious Senator, Ken Salazar, was picked to provide the Democratic response to the President's radio address. I'm sure nobody missed hearing that, but let's go over some of our favorite parts, as the Senator sent me a copy:
Democrats are working for change, and it starts with being honest about our energy future.
There's more but you get the drift. Here's the audio if you want to relive the excitement!
This strikes me as one of the most amazing misrepresentations I have heard since "I did not have sex with that woman." Drilling was the only idea at the RNC? GOP legislators have been pretty clear about an "all-of-the-above" strategy with all of Senator Salazar's kumbaya fuels plus nuclear plus expanded offshore drilling. Salazar downplays the environmentalism that he knows won't sell too well with his rural constituents, completely ignores nuclear, and misrepresents the rest.
I'm a big boy. I can handle and dig a little spin, a little shading, and a little aggressive positioning. But this is an outright lie.
And it was heard by at least ten or twenty people!
Palin a Racist?!
Behold, an example of Palinsanity.
1) The Pacific Northwest is full of racists.
2) Alaska is not much different.
3) No evidence Palin is a racist.
4) We need to ask questions and double check that's she not.
... in the Philadelphia Inquirer, no less.
Oh, btw... the author:
Catherine McNicol Stock is chair of the history department at Connecticut College and author of "Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain."
He Can Do Much More With Your Money!
Senator Joe Biden (who? Is he running for something?) releases his tax returns. And -- like all collectivist, redistributionists -- he is a charity cheapskate:
conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure. Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes
It's okay -- as long as he is generous with your money!
UPDATE: Byron York points out the story as well, including a correction to my too generous math (I compared Bidens' most generous year to the average):
“The average American household gives about two percent of adjusted gross income,” says Arthur Brooks, the Syracuse University scholar, soon to take over as head of the American Enterprise Institute, who has done extensive research on American giving. “On average, [Biden] is not giving more than one tenth as much as the average American household, and that is evidence that he doesn’t share charitable values with the average American.”
UPDATE II: The Bidens cry poverty (from the York story):
Put me down as pretty *^&*^ing tired of hearing about the Scrappy-Kid-from-Scranton-PA's indigentism. The dude makes over 300K, has the finest health insurance in the world (second to Castro I guess, but still), a pension that will give him a similar income and health plan for the rest of his life.
It must be very degrading for the other 99 Senators to not be a Kennedy. But you make lots more than me, friend, my less-than-gold-plated health plan is deducted, I have to divert funds to a 401K, and I bet I buy a lot more of my own lunches and plane trips. And, dude, I give a LOT more to charity.
The WSJ Ed Page (and I) agree about some tough love for the financial system:
The result will be a very rough Monday, but the government had to draw a line somewhere or it would have become the financier of first resort for every company hoping to buy a troubled firm. Especially with the Fed discount window now wide open to many more financial institutions, and to many kinds of collateral, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's refusal to blink won't get any second guessing from us. If Lehman is able to liquidate without a panic, and especially if its derivative contracts can be safely undone, the benefits would include the reassertion of "moral hazard" on Wall Street. The Merrill acquisition before it faces a Lehman-like run should also reduce the risk of contagion.
Besides, a complete meltdown of the banking system should take some San Dieagans mind off of football
UPDATES: Let's tack on some quotes of the day:
-- "Lehman Brothers, aren't they the guys who make the cough drops?" -- Don Luskin on Kudlow & Co. last week
September 14, 2008
Centennial State Spirit
"Near Lyons" would be the foothills in Boulder County, pretty reliable Democratic territory, though I am not sure the participants live around there. I like the poll at the end of the clip.
Server Move This Evening
Point of Order: The hosting company that brings you ThreeSources (LunarPages.com -- they’re pretty good!) will be moving our server from LA to San Diego this evening at 10PM Pacific time (that's 1AM in Philly) Posts and comments entered after the synch and before the move might be lost.
There is also a DNS change that might take a while to propagate. Hang in there, it's better than a hurricane.
UPDATE: I hope no San Diego football fan admins hear that this site is registered in Colorado...
Surely no ThreeSourcer would ever miss The Journal Editorial Report but, in case you wanted to see this one one more time, I YouTubed it. Mary Anastasia O'Grady perfectly nails Governor Palin as "The Anti-Obama"
Obama: Is it Over?
Rumours of his desmise might be exaggerated, but man... has the public opinion shifted.
Obama will lose because with less than two months remaining voters won’t be able to get comfortable with him. He can’t stay on message and he can’t avoid sending signals that interfere with the message when he does.
Victor Davis Hanson may have been right all those months ago when he said, "There is a certain irony here. In a year that for historical and contemporary reasons should be a Democratic shoo-in, the Democrats have nominated about the only candidate who can lose in November, the Republicans the only one of their own who can still win it."
September 13, 2008
Jake Tapper points out that Senator Obama is questioning Senator McCain's patriotism:
"Just ask the machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons," Obama said of McCain's record. "Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions 'disgraceful.' Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue.
Lovely. Protectionism = Patriotism.
Last week, Samizdat Dale Amon provided a (cherry-picked, I thought) list titled Comparing the Twins. Like every third party candidate and devotee from Ross Perot, Pat Buchannan, and George Wallce to Ralph Nader and -- I'm guessing Eugene Debs and Henry Wallace, Amon needs to prove that there is "not a dime's difference" between the major party candidates.
I enjoy reading and will always respect Amon, but he cherry-picks the list, then fails to score them accurately. Free trade and confiscatory taxation don't make the cut -- though his pet project "space policy" does. (I don't remember Lysander Spooner's position on government space exploration...)
I commented "Trade! Trade! Trade!" trusting the power of exclamation marks to carry my point. I cannot see any lover of liberty or prosperity ignoring this -- no matter how badly he or she would like to make a point.
It was the worst of times, and it was the worst of times.
Don Luskin takes on the pessimists in a WaPo guest Editorial today:
Barack Obama has frequently used the Depression exaggeration, including during a campaign speech in June, when he said that the "percentage of homes in foreclosure and late mortgage payments is the highest since the Great Depression." At best, this statement is a good guess. To be really true, it would have to be heavily qualified with words such as "maybe" or "probably." According to economist David C. Wheelock of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who has studied the history of mortgage markets for the Fed, "there are no consistent data on foreclosure or delinquency going all the way back to the Depression."
Quote of the Day
I think they spent months trying to figure out how they can position Obama as better qualified than McCain, and basically came up with the fact that Obama can type. -- commenter "Village Idiot" at Ace of Spades HQHat-tip: Insty
Email from my brother:
September 12, 2008
A History Lesson For Whoopi
In response to John McCain's statement that he preferred constitutionalist judges, Whoopi Goldberg responded, "Should I be worried about being a slave, about being returned to slavery because certain things happened in the Constitution that you had to change?" The line actually received some applause and McCain sort of brushed it off, telling Whoopi that he understood her point (Barbara Walters followed by assuring the black women on the show that "us white folk will take care of you"). My response would have consisted of a history lesson.
To the extent that the Constitution is flawed -- and certainly we all agree that the acceptance of slavery is a flaw -- the document can be amended, per Article V, by the legislature with two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate and the subsequent approval of three-fourths of the states legislatures. Thus, as outlined in the document itself, it is not the role of the judiciary to make changes to the Constitution therefore rendering Whoopi's point moot.
Put The Gloves Back On
If this is how you get tough, go with pusillanimous -- it worked in the primary!
Take it away, Jonah:
Yep. The day after 9/11, as part of its "get tough" makeover, the Obama campaign is mocking John McCain for not using a computer, without caring why he doesn't use a computer. From the AP story about the computer illiterate ad:"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
Where was the President?
Senator Dodd (D - Countrywide) looks to the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and "has the gall to ask in a Bloomberg Television interview: 'I have a lot of questions about where was the administration over the last eight years.'" Sorry for Senator Dodd, Al Hubbard and Noam Neusner answer him in the Washington Post today. The whole article is great fun, but the short answer is pretty much "dealing with intransigent House and Senate Banking Committees that refused to acknowledge a problem as they lapped up lobbying funds."
The two former Administration representatives document the number of times that concerns were raised by President Bush (including last year's SOTU) as well as President Clinton, former FOMC Chairman Alan Greenspan, Republican Senator Richard Shelby, &c.
How did Fannie and Freddie counter such efforts? They flooded Washington with lobbying dollars, doled out tens of thousands in political contributions and put offices in key congressional districts. Not surprisingly, these efforts worked. Leaders in Congress did not just balk at proposals to rein in Fannie and Freddie. They mocked the proposals as unserious and unnecessary.
Hubbard and Neusner ask "Where was Senator Dodd?" -- Ooh, I know this one! He was at Countrywide getting a loan!
Hat-tip: Greg Mankiw
Lipstick on a Pig
This just goes to prove the old aphorism - "There's more than one way to put lipstick on a pig!"
(Just doing my part to help Senator Obama keep the phony outrage alive.)
Mike Rappaport on the Gibson Palin interview:
So, according to Wikipedia at least, I had been right. It was associated with several different notions. And more importantly, Sarah Palin was correct to ask Gibson, which aspect of the doctrine? If Wikipedia is correct, Gibson owes Palin another apology.
I suppose one would be wrong to expect an ABC anchor to be as authoritative and factual as Wikipedia.
Everybody is talking about the Gibson interview, which I did not see, and I have not heard a word about the 9/11 Presidential Forum, which I might have been the only American to watch. Juan Williams called it a snore-fest. Brit Hume, when told the campaigns were striving for comity and avoiding controversy, asked his correspondent "well, can't you drum some up?"
Too nicey-nice I suppose. I'll suggest both candidates di pretty well. Perhaps Senator Obama was able to recapture some of his "cool" in the non-combative venue. He was pretty charming in front of a self-described "home crowd" at Columbia.
Yet, I was astonished at the cluelessness of the media moderators. PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff and Richard Stengel, editor of TIME magazine were clearly both auditioning for the role of Ellsworth Toohey when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie get around to filming "The Fountainhead." It was a great example of bias in that it was not intentional, but they clearly don't think anything ever gets done unless there is a government program. Woodruff could not accept Senator McCain's assertion that America was "exceptional" as not "you're saying we're better than other countries."
People really do get their news from Time and NPR and feel that they're informed. But their leading lights were pretty dim last night.
Obama: Gloves Off Again
this is by my count the 4th time Obama's campaign has officially or unofficially made such a declaration that Obama will "take off the gloves" and fight back.
I know, I know.... Generic politicians don't run for Congress.
But the Democrats have to be asking themselves, "what the hell just happened?"
Now that the symbolic leadership of the party is shifting away from Bush and toward the suddenly popular Republican presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, things may be changing. This shrinks Bush's shadow over the Republicans, revealing more of the Democrats' own shadow stemming from high disapproval of Congress. The key question is how much of this is temporary because of the tremendous bounce in support for the Republicans on many dimensions coming right off of their convention. The degree to which the Republican bounce is sustained, rather than dissipates, in the weeks ahead will determine whether the 2008 race for Congress could in fact be highly competitive, rather than a Democratic sweep.
Read it all.
Millions of Green Collar Jobs!
It's -- like -- Senator Obama is already President!
Thin Film Solar Companies Raise Hundreds of Millions in Funding
This could reduce our dependency on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and provide jobs in the clean energy sector! This is awesome stuff! I read the post twice, however, and could not figure out which government office or division was making this happen.
As a Pennsylvanian, I would have never seen this anti Mark Udall running in Colorado, if he hadn't freaked out over it.
"The offensive representations and slanderous image directly tie Mark Udall to the use and promotion of marijuana. This is an outrageous portrayal that finds no credence whatsoever in fact" [Udall attorney] Friednash wrote to [TV station manager] Cornetta. "Further, there is nothing in the Department of Peace legislation that authorizes the purchase of a van or that says one of the activities of the Department will be smoking marijuana in a smoke filled van."
Ok, so that last line was pretty good.
Biden Teaching Obama His Old Tricks
Lost in Obama's recent lipstick flap is the fact that his statement immediately prior to the ill-fated remark was plagiarized. Leading up to the punchline, Obama mocked McCain:
"Watch out, George Bush. Except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics … we’re really gonna shake things up in Washington."
However, this is almost verbatim from a cartoon by Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles.
Who writes this guy's speeches - Joe Biden?
September 11, 2008
I read this Jeffrey Rosen piece on Senator Joe Biden, or as Rosen calls him "Civil liberties' greatest salesman." Pretty hard hitting stuff for the (once proud, I have to remind people) New Republic:
Moments after the September 11 attacks, as Biden watched his colleagues evacuate the Capitol, a reporter asked him whether America would have to revisit the way it protects our public institutions. "I hope that's not true," Biden replied, according to his autobiography. "[If] we have to alter our civil liberties, change the way we function, then we have truly lost the war."
Well said, I suppose (two nice things about Biden in two days, baby!) but to Rosen it is "a telling response, given the situation unfolding around him--and a perfect reflection of his career." I guess we contrast that to the other 99 Senators who were calling to reinstate internment caps and Adams's Alien and Sedition Act.
Rosen then goes on to praise Biden's civil-libertarian performance in the Bork and Thomas hearings. I don't like this locution, but the only thoughtful and intelligent response is "puh-leeze!" Biden was an embarrassment to the nation in both of those (his perfidy is well documented in Justice Thomas's book, My Grandfather's Son). Biden was a cupcake to Judge Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, and a complete bastard to Bork, Thomas, Roberts and Alito.
Well, "puh-leeze" may be the top of my intellectual riposte, but Tom Smith shows a little more heft. "Just Embarrassing," he calls it. Then he destroys it:
I was working in the White House on economic policy during the Bork hearings, and followed them closely. I would have thought a more grotesque perversion of justice would not have been possible, but the Thomas hearings had not occurred yet. The Bork hearings were one of those moments that permanently diminished our political culture, probably irrevocably. And of course, there would have been no need to stop Bork at any cost, had the Supreme Court not created such a vulnerable, because not founded in law, right in the first place. So to protect a made up law we had to throw what were the norms in the legal profession of fairness and civility (such as they were) out the window. Nor is it over yet -- ask Bristol Palin. It's a gift that keeps on giving. And 20 some years after the first Borking (at least the English language, that astute judge, is not deceived), we get to read a journalist piously calling the whole sorry, discouraging, embarrassing, and utterly unedifying mess a cherished moment of public education in the holy right of privacy. I'm sorry, but that's just revolting. Senator Joe was educating Americans on the constitution, all right, but not in the way Rosen thinks.
It is particularly ironic that this inspiring civics lesson that Rosen depicts on the right of privacy was accompanied and followed by so many grotesque invasions of privacy, starting with Judge Bork, moving on to Justice Thomas, and bringing us right up to the present day of what sex education was gotten by Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter. Funny how that works. You start destroying the village in order to save it, and pretty soon everybody is dead or covered in blood.
I consider the Bork hearings to be one of the lowest points in American government. To deify Senator Biden over their handling is too much.
Has it been seven years?
As soon as Sarah Palin delivered the punch line on her 'hockey moms are pitbulls' joke at the convention you just knew it was going to become a catch phrase in this election, didn't you?
Yes, "putting lipstick on a pig" is a well known aphorism.
It's called a double-entendre and Barack used the Palin angle of it to energize his OWN base under the cover of "a well known aphorism" applied to John McCain and his "Bush policies." The talking heads have it all wrong though. Barack wasn't implying that Palin is a pig. Instead he's calling McCain (and his policy positions) a pig that's been "dressed up" by sexy Sarah, the Caribou Barbie. Palin herself is the metaphorical lipstick.
The problem for Barack is, even by this interpretation of his intent, the remark was sexist. (Palin was chosen only for her pretty face and to pander to women.) With people to whom sexism is offensive this episode hasn't made any points. He might as well refer to Joe Biden's opponent as "McCain's sweetie."
UPDATE - 9/11 15:53: Obama admits that my description is accurate as long as, you know, IF that is what he had INTENDED to mean. Letterman: "I don't know, you're way ahead of me." (audience laughs) [Wink, wink.]
Later he says he'd have gone after Al Qaeda and bin Laden in Afghanistan alright but instead of "spending a trillion dollars in Iraq" he'd have "focused on our energy problems here at home" because we really needed to "create the kinds of energy-efficient economy that will allow us to weaken the forces of terror." Also, "what are we doing in terms of giving farmers there [Afghanistan] an alternative to growing poppy, right, so narco-trafficking has funded terrorism in that region."
Maybe we could teach them how to build windmills.
September 10, 2008
When McCain and running mate Sarah Palin appeared this morning at Van Dyck Park, in the city of Fairfax, Virginia, the people spilled out of the natural amphitheater, over the sides, out the back, and nearly all the way to the Old Lee Highway. The rally had originally been scheduled for Fairfax High School, but some school board members objected. With controversy brewing, the McCain campaign moved the event to the park. It was a good idea; the high school facility could handle 6,500 people, which would have been a huge crowd in pre-Palin days. But today, the school wouldn’t have been nearly big enough. After the rally, McCain officials told me 23,000 people had been there. Even if that estimate was a little high, it was still McCain’s biggest rally ever — and that, at mid-morning, on a weekday.
What happens if/when in a few days McCain goes to one part of the country and Sarah goes to another... and she draws crowds two or three times bigger than McCain?
Change You Can Believe In
Professor Mankiw finds a ranked list of recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac political contributions. Expectedly, Senator Dodd (D - Countrywide) tops the list; unsurprisingly, Democrats get the top five and seven of the top ten. I'm a little concerned how the Junior Senator from Illinois scored the number three spot
jk Says Something Nice about Sen Biden
Mark your calendars - 9/10/08. This is a pretty classy escape:
When he got to Chuck Graham, a state senator from Green Meadows, Biden urged the lawmaker to "stand up Chuck, let 'em see ya."But Graham, who is in a wheelchair, can't stand up - a fact Biden quickly picked up on.
Hat-tip: The Corner
Some people are very talented.
September 9, 2008
In Case You Missed It
FOX News Sunday is required viewing for the VRWC, but on the off chance you missed, Power Line has a noteworthy transcript. Wallace is talking to Obama Campaign manager David Axelrod, asking when did Senator Obama ever really stand up against his party. Axelrod answers and Wallace follows up:
Wallace: But David, because you guys always talk about ethics legislation and the nuclear non-proliferation deal with Dick Lugar, I went back and looked -- both of those measures passed by unanimous consent. They were so accepted by the Senate that there was not even a vote. In fact, ethics legislation was one of the campaign promises. These were not -- if I may, if I may. These were not areas where Barack Obama went up against the leadership of his own party nearly in the way that John McCain did on campaign finance reform, on limiting interrogation of terror detainees, on immigration reform. He did not go up against his own party on either of those issues.
Did he answer? Of course not. But this is a handy little fact for your next bar fight. Obama's courageous stances passed on a voice vote! Ohh, the courage literally oozes off of him...
Hat-tip: Hugh Hewitt, yet again
Keep the Day Gig, Bill
Everybody's favorite American terrorist, William Ayers, gets his inner Gary Larson on:
Fannie and Freddie
Two must reads on your new secondary mortgage business:
The Everyday Economist has a smart piece about Where Do We Go From Here (I have no idea whether he is a Buffy fan, but the line will get a couple of ThreeSourcers singing). His piece includes a link that exonerates Fan and Fred from the subprime imbroglio. I would personally blame these hybrid mutations for global warming and the lack of Oakland pass protection if I could, but Thomas Palley makes some good points as part of a larger picture.
The EE and I share concern over the Fed's larger role.
Perhaps more troubling is the development of new programs within the Federal Reserve to deal with this crisis. I have previously mentioned that the Fed has performed admirably in the face of the crisis, but this point needs to be better clarified. The Fed, contrary to its performance during the Great Depression, has been vigilant in its effort to serve as lender of last resort. However, as Allan Meltzer has pointed out, they have surpassed this goal and have actually become the “creditor of last resort.” This distinction is important because as lender of last resort, a central bank is an entity that serves to provide liquidity to the market whereas the creditor of last resort refers to a central bank that holds all of the bad debt that others are unwilling to hold.
He calls the Term Auction Facility a failure because it has not reduced risk spreads between LIBOR and OIS. I'm very concerned about the new Fed responsibility but would have to concede that I think it has contained their growth if it has not shrunk them. It's a smart read and I only had to look up two terms. Your mileage may vary.
It's ultimately a political problem long term as much as an economic problem short term. I suggested the other day that Senator Obama was committed to expanding public-private partnerships. Today, Senator McCain and Gov. Palin have a guest editorial in the WSJ.
The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another outrageous, but sadly necessary, step for these two institutions. Given the long-term mismanagement and flawed structure of these two companies, this was the only short-term alternative for ensuring that hard-working Americans have access to affordable mortgages during this difficult economic period.
I like the high dudgeon, and I like the facets of the plan that Senator McCain claims credit for. I offer no comment on how legitimate his claims are, but he does pick out the good parts of Paulson's plan:
Treasury has broadly followed the McCain plan, outlined months ago, and gets at the short-term heart of the problem. That plan reinforces the federal commitment to meet our obligations and get this mess behind us. It replaces management and board members. It requires that shareholders take losses first. It puts taxpayers first in line for any repayments. And it terminates future lobbying, which was one of the primary contributors to this great debacle. (Emphasis mine)
That said, the editorial does not offer a compelling, first-principles objection to Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). I know looking for libertarian first-principles from Senator McCain is a losing proposition. But most of what he says is good; he just fails to wrap it up in a big philosophical ribbon. That makes it read like a stump speech.
UPDATE: Don't miss David Harsanyi's Risk for Thee but Not for Me
Rather, economy columnist James Pethokoukis of U.S. News & World Report, asks, "doesn't this make the case for privatization, and powerfully at that? Don't forget that we are also sitting here with Social Security and Medicare leaving taxpayers on the hook for more than $50 trillion in liabilities."
Taxes: Comparing the Four Sides
Americans for Tax Reform has a handy comparison chart of the current tax plan, Senator McCain's, Senator Obama's and Senator Obama's during the primaries.
This should be taped inside every voting booth, in a just nation.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Meets Rodney Dangerfield
Having apparently concluded that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has gotten a bad rap, the Corn Refiners Association has initiated a multi-media campaign to soothe a nervous nation. According to the association, HFCS is "nutritionally the same as table sugar with the same number of calories."
Wow. The same nutritional value as processed granulated sugar. That's a relief.
She's No VP Gore, But...
I got an email about this from a good friend. He's a great guy, but you always want to Snopes-ify his emails. This one checks out on Snopes and is backed up by several sites.
The website at www.irenasendler.org/ points out that "A criteria for the Peace Prize is being involved in significant activities during the past two years" and discusses a documentary.
I hereby suggest she receive the 2008 ThreeSources Peace Prize. Without objection...
September 8, 2008
One of the Fifty Seven
AlexC crosses one of the mystery states off the list: "New Pennsylvania."
WASHINGTON — The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.
Experience, Exshmerience... blah, blah, blah
Much has been made of the pick of Sarah Palin vis-a-vis the experience issue. Democrats, and some Republicans, have said that her selection "takes the experience issue off the table." Even Charles Krauthammer, for whom The Refugee has the highest regard, laments in a recent Washington Post column that this issue has been negated:
Palin fatally undermines this entire line of attack. This is through no fault of her own. It is simply a function of her rookie status. The vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready. Nor is Obama. But with Palin, the case against Obama evaporates.
There are few members of Congress whose record on national security matters can be judged, with the benefit of hindsight, to be as consistently bad as Joseph Biden's. It's true that Sarah Palin has precious little experience in national security affairs. But in this instance, no record beats a manifestly bad one.
Let's do a mind experient. Everyone, both left and right, can agree that GWB has more presidential experience that Barack Obama. So, how many Obama supporters would vote for GWB on the basis of experience? The answer: none. In other words, experience does not trump policy. If Obama had 20 years in the Senate, would The Refugee be comfortable voting for him? No, because Obama is profoundly wrong as a matter of policy.
Experience is a "threshold" issue. Once a candidate has met that threshold, more or less experiences is not relevant to the voter; they will vote issues and likes/dislikes. McCain is right to drop experience as a central theme of his campaign at this juncture irrespective of Sarah Palin as a running mate.
Democrats & Guns
A must read from Eric Raymond.
The larger context is that the Democrats are losing, or have already lost, their claim to represent a populist national coalition that includes blue-collar and rural whites as a matter of course. Gun rights are the canary in this coal mine. Bill Clinton understands this, and has repeatedly told the Democrats straight up that their kulturkampf against guns has been losing them national elections since 1994. The folks in Duryea — and Thomas Frank’s what’s-the-matter-with-Kansas — understand the larger disconnect at gut level. And the Democrats just confirmed it by rejecting Hillary Clinton, who at least faked her heartlander populism well enough to fool anyone who really wanted to be fooled by it, in favor of a candidate who is above even being bothered to pretend.
September 7, 2008
NYTimes Gets It Right
We beat up on the Gray Lady around here, but Don Luskin points out that they got it right with this editorial:
Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President? Surely Ronald Reagan does not subscribe to that maxim. Or where is it written that mere representatives aren't qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens?
Sadly, they published this in July 1984...
You're the proud new owners of a corrupt, bureaucratic, secondary mortgage institution.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the actions were being taken because "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil in our financial markets here at home and around the globe."
Because Secretary Paulson called within the first twenty minutes -- they threw in another failed public political institution! That's right you get TWICE the liabilities!!
I jest. I cry. But mostly, I try to point out that Fan & Fred are textbook examples of the private-public partnership that Senator Obama and the Democrats always claim are the answer. They'll give us a health care Fannie and an energy Freddie. All the profits will go to well connected political types (Franklin Raines, paging Mister Franklin Rains...) and the liabilities will all go to the American taxpayer.
Senator Obama loves to talk about "millions of green collar jobs" that he will create (Government create jobs?) and that he will "put a million hybrids" on the road (government production planning?) Keep in mind that what he will create is a stream of hybrid public-private-not-fish-nor-fowl bureaucracies.
The Fannie and Freddie takeover could be instructive if anyone were listening.
September 6, 2008
RNC2008: The Final Post
I should finally get around to the final RNC2008 post.
The curving gridded layout leads to some epic sights on the horizon, especially the view up towards the State Capital and the St Paul Cathedral.
"Minnesota Nice" is absolutely 100% true. The people of Minnesota were hyper nice and always willing to help out with questions.
Without a doubt, the Texas and Alaska delegations were the friendliest... and always willing to BS. Hard to explain... but it seems like everyone I had long conversations with were from those two states. Odd.
The protesters really disappointed me. Not because I didn't get to see their antics... I saw some... but I resented riding a bus from the hotel with a police officer on board and then driving into a double-gated convention compound. Quite seriously, the 10 block area around the Xcel Energy Center was a fortress, with limited access in or out. Because of the hippie gates.
Conservatives protests and protestors are always a lot classier and, with all seriousness, are non threatening. Leftists always want to cause trouble.
Big red marks to the RNC for the way the bloggers were treated. The bloggers I talked to were, for the most part, self funded travelling on their own and reporting on their own.
Blogging from the center was not easy.
Unless you were one of the elite top shelf bloggers, you got to sit in "behind" the stage. Not great. Seating was totally within their control... there were allegedly 200 of us there. That's a couple rows ... in the center... hell, up high is fine. No matter where we sat, there was still the question of power. You can't run a laptop for the four to six hours from your seat, so you need to plug in somewhere.
There was no wi-fi at the center, so you were on your own for internet access... (crucial to a blogger)
I ended up camping out at a concession stand's cafe area, hogging a table (though sharing with other bloggers / journalists) and it's two plug outlet. It was about 10 yards from my blogging area over to the top of the section, so I could snap pictures and watch speeches and run back to my computer. There were some TVs in the cafe showing the networks, as well as the live feed and the audio was pretty decent.
Oh... and the biggest complaint? Where's the master list of bloggers blogging the convention? I still don't know who was there? I met some bloggers at some of the events around town... but was that all of them? Were all 200 there?
But meeting a bunch of bloggers I've been reading for a long time was definitely a big highlight for me.
Despite those complaints, I still had a good time. But it was awful lot of work... my heels are still recovering from the blisters that I broke on the first day walking around and looking for protesters in the city.
St. Paul is a great place and I look forward to visiting again.
Will I go back in four years? That's an eternity in the blogosphere (though I have been blogging since 2002, I think).... maybe as a delegate. ;)
Thank you all for reading and kind words of encouragement.
Quote of the Day II
Bill Whittle (when did he start writing for NRO? That was a stroke of genius.) Has a Whittlesque essay defending Senator McCain and his acceptance speech. He claims that Palin stole the Glamour and McCain stole the message. He details how McCain the patriot and McCain the reformer sealed the deal from a skeptical Republican. And along the way, he has some nice words about the Governor of Alaska:
She is so absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary. I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share: the sense that we personally know five people in our immediate circle who would make a better president than the menagerie of candidates the major parties routinely offer. Sarah Palin has erupted from this collective American Dream — the idea that, given nothing but classic American values like hard work, integrity, and tough-minded optimism you can actually do what happens in the movies: become Leader of the Free World, the President of the United States of America. (Or, well, you know, vice president.)
We watched Palin's speech again this morning (yup, regular folk, my wife and I) and I was struck by two things: her gifts of timing and expressional punctuation, and also contra Sen. Kerry or Sen. Gore, she didn't live her life to be President. She went from the PTA to City Council to Mayor to Governor -- as they say -- to do something, not to be something.
Quote of the Day
Patrick Poole thinks "The wheels are starting to come off the Messiah Express." He may be a little electorally optimistic, but I enjoyed this:
What is also causing existential angst for the Obama campaign today is that the experience of both John McCain and Sarah Palin are the antithesis of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. McCain the Maverick is back, rested and ready, having been in political exile since 2000. And he is joined by Sarah Palin, who has energized the GOP base unlike any other political figure since Ronald Reagan. She personifies an amazing mixture of diverse and seemingly contradictory interests: leave-us-along libertarianism and Bible-clinging evangelicalism. She is the big-tent GOP as Lee Atwater envisioned it. And her real-world existence of bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan immediately strikes a chord with families all across the country having to do the same — except Sarah Palin hunts down the boar before bringing home the bacon.
Ann Althouse found this ad distracting because of its quality of music and visual effects (oooookay).
I like Althouse a lot, but it is an election year and I am a partisan hack. Professor, the irony is that Senator Obama represents MoreOfTheSame®, that he will ally with a very liberal 111th Congress, and that we'll have less of the fresh ideas that the youthful Junior Senator promised in the primaries and more of the tired ideas of Senators Dorgan, Schumer, Reid, Dodd, Leahy and Biden.
September 5, 2008
Random Post-convention Thoughts
The Refugee has had a few random thoughts, hopefully to be found worth by his Three Sources bretheren:
1. First and foremost, WAY TO GO AC!! The daily updates were must-reads and something The Refugee awaited eagerly.
Quote of the Day
A corporate look at the VP pick, from Don Luskin:
Seems like, for Mick, Palin far outshines McCain. But doesn't it take a real man to pick a subordinate who outshines you? Who was it who said, "A-players pick A-players. B-players pick C-players"?
I was thinking of my home state this morning. Though nominally red, the Centennial State has been trending blue and seemed well poised for Obama. I think it was Karl Rove who joked that "when Senator Obama counts electoral votes, he counts Colorado three times." This morning, I suggested (talking at the kitchen table as all politicians posit) that Obama might count it zero times. I think Governor Palin might take it to trending red if not out of play.
I have talked up Ryan Sagar’s book. He talks about the libertarian leanings of the Mountain West GOP to contrast them with the more evangelical populist South. There's a lot of truth to his characterization of the Mountain West. Palin will have wide appeal to many Coloradans on Second Amendment and other freedom issues. And I think she makes Senator McCain more attractive as well.
Todd Zywicki covers the libertarian and western angle:
What is the "western" vibe? This is purely subjective, but to me it is the feeling of no-nonsense, self-reliant, egalitarian, outsiderism, sort of Barry Goldwater-ish. Is it libertarian? Not exactly, but it does have that sort of feeling to it, to me at least. It feels like Goldwaterism. And I think this trickles through to the worldview of the candidates and then to policy. It seems pretty clear to me (especially after last night) that John McCain sees himself as Gary Cooper riding into to town to single-handedly clean-up corruption and gun down the rascals.
I hate to be simplistic, but if she truly took Colorado (and maybe Nevada) out of play, that would be an electoral game changer.
But Will Everybody Watch it Twice?
Last night, I was very disappointed with Senator McCain's speech. I thought that it was too long and the delivery deficit between he and Senator Obama frightens me. The spotlight entrance seemed like Saturday Night Live. The speech started and ended strong but it was a little flat in the middle, was it not?
I watched again this morning and must admit I liked it better. My original opinions hold, but not to the extremes I imagined when I clicked it off last night (I trust all of America TiVoed it and watched it again this morning -- I'm not unusual or anything, just a regular guy).
Maybe the moderates will enjoy the chewy-Kumbaya center. I did not expect a red meat speech and admit that the salute to Obama and his supporters was classy and well done. His harsh medicine for Republicans "We went to change Washington and it changed us" supports his maverick image, though I fear an out of context attack ad. All fair enough.
But I agree with the WSJ Ed Page (can I have a mirabile dictu?) that he should run Truman-style against the 110th Congress. The 111th will be more lopsided Democratic, and I don't want to hear how he is going to meet them halfway and not worry about who gets credit -- that's a nice homage to Reagan, but the President didn't use it buck up Speaker Jim Wright.
The fact is, the 111th Congress will be staffed by collectivists, funded by and pushing a radical Union agenda, back-to-the-caves environmentalism, and a huge expansion of government scope and regulation. Perhaps "Gridlock and Lipstick!" is only a winning message around ThreeSources, but he could have positioned himself as someone who would oppose the excesses. I'm the guy who agrees with him on immigration and even I winced when he celebrated the "American-ness" of the child born to migrant workers. Sure enough, the applause seemed a little thin.
I am glad to see the other reviews are better than mine. I hope to be wrong -- even this morning's view cheered me up. Maybe I should watch it again. Third time a charm?
Barack Obama apparently isn't the only "rock star" in presidential politics this year.
Thank you, MSM, for screwing up the coverage of Sarah Palin for an entire week, driving the interest level to bigger than Obama.
My video from the upper deck:
... and you'll never hear it again.
September 4, 2008
RNC2008: Day 4- The Final Live Blog
Opening Benediction by his Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church....
Robert Duvall narrated video. I sure hope these things get on the internet.... they are fantastic.
Governor Huntsman of Utah, recovering from a cold, discusses Sarah Palin, and the crowd start chanting "Sarah! Sarah!".... and officially nominates her.
After a brief seconding by the Alaska delegations, a huge seconding, "the ayes have it," and more chanting.
Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty warms up the crowd with...
He will force government to live within its means, just like families do.
Overall, the crowd here seems to be a lot more sedate... there's no mountain of anticipation for Palin.... though there is a Palin video on the agenda tonight that was skipped due to time last night. It's good... look for it.
Here's to hoping Cindy McCain is a great speaker.
Brownback gets the biggest applause of the evening. Did he run for President in 2008?
Poingant video called "World Stood Still" which Democrats will trash because of 9/11 references, etc..... ended with chants of "USA USA USA"
Big applause for Gold Medal Decathlete Brian Clay.
Huge applause for NFL Coach and NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs
A happy mother and son from New Jersey.
The Palin video was, as you can imagine, well received.
... and Tom Ridge gets a nice round of applause as recalls pal-ing around with John McCain.
Who for his country, has worked to preserve, honor and protect the great land of the free.
The crowd starts chanting "That's John McCain!"
Anheiseur-Busch gets applause and cheers during the Cindy McCain biopic.
A very measured dignified speech from Mrs McCain.
But I have also seen the resilience of the American people. I've heard stirring stories of neighbor helping neighbor, of cities on one end of the country offering help to fellow citizens on the other.
Gets big applause.
The crowd is still enraptured by Sarah Palin. Every mention of her gets a massive reaction. It's amazing.
McCain biopic is great...I'll say it again, the RNC needs to put these on the web somewhere.
McCain enters to huge applause.
I don't know about the green grass background.
It must gall the left to no end, when the chants are "USA USA USA" not "O-Ba-Ma"... and the protestors, are really classy.
But McCain handles them well...
WOW! Great speech... I have never heard McCain's POW treatment from him personally... it's always been from someone else. Incredibly powerful.... love of country.
They'll be dropping balloons here for a half an hour.
McCain's full text is given after the jump, I'll have more later..
U.S. Sen. John McCain
Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party’s nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.
In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn’t any different. That’s a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They’re leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won’t forget.
I’m grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I’m grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.
As always, I’m indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation’s business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can’t imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she’s more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are - victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects - shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.
When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn’t be here tonight but for the strength of her character.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I won’t let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.
Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
But let there be no doubt, my friends, we’re going to win this election. And after we’ve won, we’re going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.
These are tough times for many of you. You’re worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that’s just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.
And I’ve found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She’s tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. She’s balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. She’s reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. She’s the mother of five children. She’s helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what it’s like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.
She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what’s right, and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down. I’m very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.
I’m not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you we’re going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country’s problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We’ve got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.
You know, I’ve been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it’s meant as a compliment and sometimes it’s not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you.
I’ve fought corruption, and it didn’t matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I’ve fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I’ve fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I’ve fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.
I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn’t a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.
Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.
I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.
I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Master’s Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.
I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.
I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.
We’re going to change that. We’re going to recover the people’s trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.
We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We’re all God’s children and we’re all Americans.
We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.
We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.
We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn’t make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.
I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.
My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.
Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.
I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn’t even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That’s going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We’re going to help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back, find a new one that won’t go away.
We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.
Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.
When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.
Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I’m President, they will.
My fellow Americans, when I’m President, we’re going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we’ll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.
Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It’s an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It’s time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.
This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.
Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.
We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they’ll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia’s leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world’s oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can’t turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.
We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.
When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.
I’m running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.
In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We don’t need to search for it.
We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.
The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn’t a cause, it’s a symptom. It’s what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.
Again and again, I’ve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That’s how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.
Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn’t think of them first, let’s use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let’s try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.
We’re going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won’t care who gets the credit.
I’ve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I’ve never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn’t thank God for the privilege.
Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.
On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn’t any worry I wouldn’t come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn’t think there was a cause more important than me.
Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn’t feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn’t set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn’t get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn’t in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I’d been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn’t know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.
I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.
If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you’re disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.
I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.
Fight for what’s right for our country.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children’s future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God Bless you.
One of my favorite
It occurred to me that the Obama campaign can easily be described as a humungous failure. Seriously, he has record revenue coming in (not based on executive experience) and he is riding an anti-Republican wave against an extremely unpopular President.
So how's the CEO of Obama Enterprises doing? I call the board meeting to order.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I move that the board replaces Mr. Obama. He has been given record revenue and resources and he still runs double-digits behind the generic Democrat. He has considerable benefit of his own star power, and is the beneficiary of many complementary (in both senses of the word) videos from major music and film stars.
RNC2008: Around Town
With no need to get up early, and a late night re-watching the Rudy and Sarah speeches, I took my time getting downtown.
I came across this band playing music in Landmark Park in St. Paul.
STOWAWAY, a country-blues-rock cover band.
They covered Harper Valley PTA and a Heart song whose name fails me right now... but the lead singer had a fabulous voice.
I didn't see too many protestor types, but the police were ready. Everyone of them had a dozen or more plastic cuffs waiting for hippies.
With some time to kill, I went to Heimie's Haberdashery for a shave.
While waiting for my shave, I struck up a conversation with a man who was, like I, marveling at this place. It's like something out of the turn of the 20th Century. A classical gentlemen's shop, custom tailoring, hats, kerchiefs, shirts, cigars and a barber.
Anyway, he and wife were still fired up over Governor Sarah Palin's speech and were wondering how McCain could top it... the electricity still had not faded, and the party faithful are still excited. Rudy's speech came up as well..... and I heard again, where was that Rudy last spring?
That was my barber, "Mustache Jim." (really)
Day 4: The Finale
Big day for Senator McCain... how is he going to top Governor Palin?
We'll find out soon enough.
I'm camped out again in Section 201.
Here's the newly reconfigured stage, which will allow McCain to be "closer" to the audience town hall style... No need for Greek columns. Though I understand he will be led out by shoulder-carried sedan and then leave on a chariot.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Smart Post on Palin
Commenter T. Greer (in whose debt I will forever remain for his calling out one of our youngest authors as old!) has been a fan of the Alaska Governor since before her VP pick and provides a cogent explanation of her appeal.
Those who claim McCain is engaging in an exercise of hypocrisy do not fully understand what McCain and his compatriots mean when they ask if Obama is "ready to lead." These critics are not critical of the amount of time Obama has been in politics; nor are they suggesting that Obama has not gained the knowledge needed to be President of the United States. Rather, it is Obama's sheer lack of achievement that makes the McCain supporter nervous.
I'm collecting anecdotes across the net of those in all corners of the big tent -- plus the hallway -- who have been inspired by Governor Palin and Greer includes two.
P.S. Looks like Terri's in: WOW!!!
Reason interviews an Alaska Democrat:
Q: I was just talking to someone who claimed to have knowledge of Alaska to some degree, and they say where Sarah Palin comes from it's the equivalent of Humboldt or Chico in California, like, of course, you know, she'd have a Girls Gone Wild phase, and smoking pot. Is this just wishcasting, or what can you tell us about her geographical background?
Read the whole short thing. I pulled a filppant quote but the real story is Republican antipathy toward her.
She is what McCain would like to be: She really is a maverick. In two years she stuck it to the two largest oil corporations in the United States of America. That's pretty fucking impressive, you know, that she has antagonized her party to the point that they despise her. And her ratings are still in the 80s.
Hat-tip: Don Luskin
Radical Right - a definition
According to Hillary (no, not that Hillary - CNN's Hillary Rosen) Sarah Palin became a "superstar of the radical right" last night. This morning I heard Jay "Jabba-the-hut" Marvin say that McCain and Palin are "fascists." Why? Did I miss the racism or nationalistic overtones in the Sarah-cuda's speech last night? Do liberals think that McPalin wants to incenerate all of them? Relax, people - they only want to incenerate your ideas.
What's different about Palin that brings out such a frantic 'cockroaches scattering when the lights come on' reaction from Democrats and those even further left? Confidence. Sarah Palin is no more conservative than anyone else on the national scene, but what she does differently is what her running-mate used to be known for - straight talk. A "radical right-winger" is therefore... a conservative who ignores political correctness.
But Ms. Hillary believes the Palinator should be opposed, not on experience or family vs. career, but on her message:
I don't care about how Sarah Palin or John McCain take care of their families. I care about how their policy choices affect my family and millions of other Americans.
Translation: "I care about how they will take care of my family and millions of other families."
And she calls Palin "radical?"
From my brother:
Personality Not Issues
Just heard a blurb on Fox from David Axelrod, Obama's advisor, about the Palin speech.
Paraphrasing: The Republicans are running on personality rather than issues.
WTF? Some people think her glasses are fake?
Supposedly Sarah Palin has 20/20 vision and only started wearing glasses when she ran for election. Her thought was that it made her look smarter. I've seen pictures of her without her glasses but most pictures from the past cpl years she always has glasses on.
Here's a picture of her as a kid, douchebag.
But you're right, "Kerry C" as long as we don't have confirmation from an opthamlogist, let's lean toward "forty year conspiracy to wear glasses to looks like a hot smart librarian in the hopes that she gets to run for high political office."
I've been watching replays on Fox and CNN and MSNBCCCP of her speech.
She's excited a lot of people, the Republicans who were halfway jazzed for McCain are now at 11 on the jazzed scale.
I thought she delivered her lines well, but occassionally stepped on the applause or didn't wait for it at all. For Democrats waiting to pounce on every mis-step and flub, there were few if any at all.
She carried herself extremely well on stage, and indeed in the national spotlight, gaining comfort in her role as the "the next hope of the GOP."
As with Rudy's speech before her, Palin's speech was peppered with jabs (serious though delivered with levity) directed toward the Obama / Biden pair.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities
when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?
... and then there were the more serious jabs.
I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.
But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.
The booing and finger pointing at assembled media was a sight to behold.
The strategy here (and not one I can recall) is to belittle Obama and Biden with humor. Funny to everyone but liberals... funny because, like all comedy, you know it's right.
While we are in serious times, and electing leaders is a serious business, the Democrat team is not serious, but instead drunk on polling and well crafted words from a gifted orator.
The GOP and McCain (to his credit) have found ourselves our next superstar.
... but on Thursday, how in the hell is McCain going to top this?
A Star is Born
On Monday, things looked bleak for the Republican Party. A storm was raging in the Gulf and revelations of a teenage pregnancy served to threaten a nominee that was less than a week old and a campaign that was dead-even in the polls.
Then came Fred Thompson. He delivered a speech like no other, simultaneously highlighting the character and courage of the man on the top of the ticket, the qualifications of the vice presidential nominee, and severe limitations of their opponents. He was thoughtful, articulate, blunt, funny, and most importantly, persuasive.
The subsequent speeches from Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman were similarly effective.
However, each of the speeches given at the convention will forever pale in comparison to that given by Gov. Sarah Palin. Her speech delivered on all levels. She was the attack dog (the "pitbull in lipstick") that went after Obama, highlighting her experience and poking fun at his tenure as a "community organizer." She explicitly highlighted her family, the subject of great controversy in the media and demonstrated pride at their ability to respect life and overcome adversity. Palin stood tall and strong and showed that regardless of the result of this election, she has cemented herself as a star in the Republican Party for years to come.
The Democrats are scared. The media is disillusioned. The Republicans can win by targeting the base. They have done it for the last 28 years. John McCain knew what his ticket was lacking and he found it in Sarah Palin.
Around these parts, I am known as a reluctant Republican. However, this convention actually has me energized (I will pause so that jk can wipe off his computer screen that is undoubtedly covered in some sort of beverage). After all the talk of finding the next Ronald Reagan or the right conservative or the person who can secure all legs of the Republican base, the point is now moot. A strong woman from small town in Alaska who believes in life and in freedom and who fights government corruption has emerged through a crowd of men, of which none truly fit the bill, to become not only the driving force behind the McCain campaign, but potentially the face of the Republican Party for years to come.
Sarah Palin delivered tonight.
September 3, 2008
RNC2008: Day 3 - Live Blog
Brief comments until the big Palin show.
Ruby Brown has a set of pipes on her.... "America the Beautiful" was phenominal.
Robert Duvall is a great American, reminding us again about country first.
Auntie Anne from Lancaster County is speaking.
Life is never about what you can accumulate. It's not about the pocketbook. True prosperity is a richness of heart and spirit.
Senator Norm Coleman's energy part got big applause:
We increase energy supply. The Democrats' energy plan tilts at windmills and ignores the technology and resources at our disposal that would enable us to increase domestic supply.
Montgomery County's & Pa GOP deputy chair Renee Amoore lists the reasons why you are a McCain voter.
If you are sick and tired of all the DC yak-yak-yak... and realize that every day action is delayed, problems just get worse ... If you want action, McCain's your man.
Wow! Her closing got massive applause here....
The crowd is definitely excited in here... a little restless, waiting for the Palin speech.
Cristy Swanson, a Democrat for McCain got the crowd fired up.... and now the Texas Railroad Commissioner gets an ovation from his delegation... and is tossing out red meat.
For energy security, we need to explore more, conserve wisely and aggressively pursue alternatives.
I have to say that Meg Whitman is a little disappointing here... she should be pumping the crowd up... instead it's seems like a slow down.
She was on "a" list for potential vice president.... maybe even my list.... but jeez. Not great.
Let's hope for Fiorina.
Killing time here as we're a bit ahead of schedule.
Fiorina has achieved..... mild applause... speech far too wonky.
I know John McCain. And if we make the right choice, in 2013, American families will keep more of their hard-earned money. Small and large businesses alike will be creating jobs here and spurring robust economic growth, because America will once again be a great place to build a business.
That didn't kill. Sadly she was another one on my VP short list.
Michael Steele! Finally... the crowd wakes up... chants of "MICHAEL STEELE, MICHAEL STEELE".
Let's empower those whose minds are shackled by a poor education with real choices in where they go to school.
So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's make decisions about our security based on what keeps us safe and not on what's politically correct.
Biggest applause of the night.
Mitt Romney is bashing liberals.... "change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington."
The energy is back in the crowd.
It is to pursue every source of energy security, from new efficiencies to renewables, from clean coal to non-CO2 producing nuclear, and the immediate drilling for more oil off of our shores! And I have one more recommendation for energy conservation -- let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground!
Chants of USA USA USA!
Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American
USA USA USA!
Huge applause at the end... maybe one day for Governor Romney. It's a shame this wasn't your year.
A happy family from Colorado.
Two Huckabee speeches in one day? I can't take the folksyness. Though he did manage to get applause out of the crowd for the mainstream media.... for collossally cocking-up the Sarah Palin family coverage.
Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here.
Longest applause of the night:
I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.
The governor of Hawaii is nominating Palin and covering her biography... what happened to Rudy's speech? Sarah's grandchild gets applause.
How much does it suck to be former Governor Frank Murkowski? He's only know for being steamrolled by Sarah Palin?
I think being a mayor, whether in Hawaii or Alaska or anywhere else, is outstanding preparation for higher office.
Chants of ZE-RO, ZE-RO, ZE-RO break out.
9PM. The most important hour of Governor Palin's political career is upon us. But first comes Rudy... and a Palin video.
Huge standing ovation for Rudy... the whole place was standing.
Bashing the liberal media is getting a lot of mileage tonight... I can't imagine why.
Community organizing draws howls of laughter and chants of ZE-RO, ZE-RO.
It was too tough!
Obama's balls must hurt from the punching.
Rudy is pumping this crowd up bigger than before.... it's going to go nuts for Sarah.
Holy crap.. it's endless beclowning.
"We are all Georgians...." ... and the Georgia delegation stood up!
update:sorry about that... the Rudy speech got me up and away from the desk.
and Governor Palin was unbelieveable.... three and half minutes of opening applause.... (a 343 mb AVI) .... and a phenominal speech... words can't say enough... this place is electrified.... everyone is buzzing.... and the Dems are weeping. She brought the place down.
I didn't think she could be Giuliani.
And that ending, with the family, and Senator McCain? Unbelieveable. I have to say when she picked up Trig, my eyes got damp. ( Don't worry, I'm not getting all Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Andrea Mitchell on you....)... holy crap.
I'll have more when I get back to the hotel room... thanks for persevering.
RNC2008: Day 3 Blogging
I'm going to de-camp from the media center and try to find a spot in the area to blog from tonight.
Tonight's program listed below:
RNC2008: The View From the Floor
The Xcel Energy Center is pretty free for all when nothing is going on.
So I decided to poke around.
Levi Johnston, future husband of Bristol Palin on arrival in Minneapolis/St Paul.
Give him a lot of credit.
Specter & Palin
when asked if she was ready to be vice president Specter hedged: “I think she has the potential … so let’s see what she says” during her speech to the Republican National Convention, scheduled for tonight at the Xcel Energy Center.
I rode on an elevator with Senator Specter this morning at the Crowne Plaza where this interview was done. He seemed a little distracted.
He could have given a better endorsement though.
Sarah: Once Post Partisan
Look what Bucks Right uncovered.... a Newsweek story from a year ago... when the media still liked her.
RNC2008: Anarchists Busted
More information on the weekend bust of the "RNC Welcoming Committee"
The self-described anarchist group — whose main goal was to "crash" the Republican National Convention," according to its Web site — traveled to or communicated with affinity groups in 67 cities to recruit members and raise money.
National Lawyers Guild??
Click here to read more about them.
RNC2008: Blogger Brunch
Well, Joe Scarborough had to cancel due to some kind of NBC News emergency. Reports that Keith Olbermann choked on his own hate cannot be confirmed.
In his stead, we got three speakers.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy and pollster Frank Luntz.
Schmidt made very brief introductory remarks then opened it up for Q&A.
Google's position on net neutrality was the first question asked. Google is for net neutrality, arguing that there needs to be some separation of the transport layer of the internet from the content.... as pointed out by Josh Trevino he only made that argument using China as an example. As pointed out by a half dozen bloggers that's not a fair example, as the country is not free. As another example he tried to use the name of a major cable internet provider (name not important, but the Slowsky's are not customers)... The angle taken was that this company to choose to alter the data or add and extened the internet in proprietary ways. His arguments were rejected once again as not realistic as there are a large variety of internet providers to choose from.
Not surprisingly, the group was overwhelming opposed to governmental interference in the internet, and were not too enthusiastic about Google's position.
Speaking of government interference, Google's deal with China was also discussed. To do or not to do was hotly debated within Google. As you know they decided to go ahead and filter their content based on certain keywords... with the provision that their webpages that might return "forbidden" results be marked that it is filtering results. Schmidt added that the Chinese search engine competitors now do their same to their results.
Matt Sheffield of Newsbusters asked about funding of left wing or liberal causes from Google. Schmidt explained that the Google PAC has a roughly 50 / 50 split and he's not legally allowed to talk to employees about political donations. Though he does acknowledge that most of Google's employees are in California and New York, "progressive" states and they find themselves generally socially liberal.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy was chairman of the GOP Platform committee and spoke about the GOP platform program, comparing it with the Democrats' program. Basically GOP = lots of public input via websites & text messages, Dems = handed down from up on high while giving lip service to public input.
He also discussed the GOP's House caucus' Young Guns program. GOPYoungGuns.com... a plan to send a particular group of twenty to Congress. It involves mentoring programs, financial donations and help from members of Congress. All of these seats are potential pick up opportunities, with four of them being in Pennsylvania.
At that point the program was over, so I split. I got down to the lobby before I realized I left my camera on the desk. I ended up walking in on pollster Fred Luntz holding court.
Some video is here at Newsbustersif you're interested.
RNC2008: Pa Delegation Breakfast
Winged my way over to Minnetonka and the Pa delegation's hotel.
Attorney General Tom Corbett gave a speech on the value of retail politics, saying he had been to nearly all county fairs and has seen the business end of a cow more times than he'd like. Corbett challenged everyone in the room to talk to four Democrats or Independants everyday between now and the election.
Congressional Candidate Marina Kats gave brief remarks.... touched on her biography and made mention of winning the 13th district for John McCain and Sarah Palin under the now-united Montgomery County GOP.
Next up was Lord Michael Ashcroft of the United Kingdom.... he's a member of the Conservative Party as well as Treasurer of International Democratic Union, a group of a center-right parties around the world. He touched on his biography, and joked about being a member of the House of Lords. You're in for life, even through prison terms... as a few of it's members have discovered.
National Committeeman Bob Asher also spoke briefly, discussing the McCain campaign in Pennsylvania. Sarah Palin provided a tremendous boost of energy in the state, and phone are ringing off the hook. He promoted the combined McCain/Palin ticket as for one social conservatives.... "a ticket these people can believe in."
The headliner this morning was former Governor of Arkansas and candidate for President Mike Huckabee.
He discussed the Palin nomination, again reitoriating the excitement she brought. (I guess that means McCain on his own was not exciting)...
A fun fact.... Sarah Palin got more votes for Mayor of Wasilla than Joe Biden got running for President. It must be true. Mike Huckabee told me.
He discussed growing up in Hope a town with no Republicans and the southern style of campaigning.. "if you can't win the cemetary vote, you can't win.... like some counties in Pennsylvania."
Hitting Republican themes, he says we got involved in politics not because we want more government in our lives, but because we want less government, and only companies pay taxes, not individuals.
Discussing Sarah Palin again and her daughter's pregnancy he said "People of faith are not people of perfection. That's what makes them people of faith."... to huge applause.
He ended his speech by comparing McCain and Obama.... on one hand you have a man who sees a dangerous world and is prepared to be vigilant. On the other hand a man who's only confrontation with a terrorist was fighting with Bill Ayres on who will pick up the lunch tab.
I can definately understand why people like him.. a great speaker and has that common-folk thing going on.
"Brunch" with Joe Scarborough in 30 minutes.
I'm headed to Minnetonka to have breakfast with the Pa delegation at 8am... and then downtown for 11am breakfast with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
RNC2008: Summing Up Day Two
Palin Bikini Photo Fake
I'm with Dan Rather on this one. It's fake, but accurate... or at least I want to believe.
September 2, 2008
RNC2008: Day 2 - Live Blog
Opening: Star Spangled Banner and Presentation of Colors.
Short video tribute to deceased GOP leaders ending with a tribute to President Ford.
Congressman John Boehner rah-rah speech... he gets rave applause for mentioning his House colleagues who are challenging Nancy Pelosi over oil drilling in the House.
Official Delegate Picture:
Another video presentation,"Country First" this time narrated by Robert Duvall. Pictures of McCain get big applause.
I'm going to resume live blogging when the Bush's speak... and then Lieberman and Thompson.... too boring. ;)
Norm Coleman gets huge applause, and give a history lesson. St Paul is formerly known as Pig's Eye.... till renamed by a Catholic Priest.
(time goes by)
President Bush 41 and former First Lady Barbara Bush arrived to huge applause and chanting.
I'm sitting next to "Drew" from Hillsdale College during Espinoza's speech... "a lot of God talk here today... different than at the Dem convention. Where 'god' was actually there."
Rousing applause for the Bush 41 retrospective.
First Lady Laura Bush addresses the crowd. It's always amazing to me how much applause she gets from the GOP faithful.
Huge applause for President Bush's "angry left" line.
Red meat served up rare by Fred Thompson.
Speaking of the vice presidential nominee, what a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is. (cheers & applause)
What a great biopic speech on Senator McCain by Thompson.. it's a shame he couldn't seal the deal last spring.
... and now we are winning!
Chants of USA USA USA!
Sadly the applause for "no McCain earmarks" was scattered and subdued.... but Thompson did pause for it.
The respect he is given around the world is not because of a teleprompter speech designed to appeal to American critics abroad, (interrupted by rousing applause) but because of decades of clearly demonstrated character and statesmanship.
Thompson doesn't stop...
They tell you they are not going to tax your family.
Awesome... awesome... biggest applause of the night.
Speech ended with chants of USA! USA! USA!
How is the next speaker, Joe Lieberman going to top that?
Was it only eight years ago that Senator Joe Lieberman was the Democrat's VP nominee? Here he is talking about Senator McCain?
"Because country matters more than party!"
"Michael Moore is a fat bastard"
I'll have to check the transcripts for that one.
Even Bill Clinton is getting applause here.... I didn't think Lieberman would be this good.
The real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket
It's awesome that Joe Lieberman is taking his time with this speech giving a big Independent Democrat middle finger to those that made him an Independent Democrat. Better still, is that he's immune to their actions.
It's not every Republican convention that a Democrat takes the time to speak to Democrats... I bet the angry left is going bezerk.
Huge speech by Lieberman... I'm going to digest for a while on the drive back to the hotel.... should have something up by the AM.
Palin's SS Number
F*cking Democrat scumbags.
How dare they do this?
The Politico has received an opposition research file from the Alaska Democrats. You can read it in PDF here.
RNC2008: The Environment
I'm camping out in the concourse, but one with a direct view of the proceedings... so long as I'm not standing at my laptop. I'm also tethered to my iPhone, using the now verbotin NetShare to use it's 3G for internet. It's not perfect, as I can't get Firefox to load the blog editing pages... so I'm stuck with Safari.
Tonight's program has been announced and is listed after the jump.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
10 p.m. to Conclusion
With Obama Loss, A Race War
If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!
RNC2008: Media Filing Center
Not much to see here.... tons of tables with power and ethernet, bunch of TVs playing C-SPAN, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.
I wish the convention schedule was a little more "certain".... the webpage for today says nothing on it.... well, to be fair "come back soon"
Of note, MSNBC and Al-Jazeera have awful boxes inside the arena. Right next to each other and a fine view of the back of the stage. Fox & CNN are right in front.
Actually, MSNBC's is worse... they're even farther back in the corner.
RNC2008: Capitol Complex Protesters
Following the reggae sounds to the State Capitol Complex, I found a larger collection of protester types.
Click "more" to see the pictures & video.
Not actual leftist protesters. They are part of MSP's Somalian community. They are calling for an end to genocide in Somalia. You would have thought there would be more leftists there. I guess hating BushCo and listening to music is more important than Somalian genocide.
The perp walk. The gentlemen they wave to at the end are Ramsey County Sheriffs.
Yoga for Peace.
Begging for money and donations.
Ready to keep the peace.
Talent wasted. She could be a florist, or work at the grocery store's produce department... I guess that would be selling out though.
I have to say, I'm a little disappointed.
Not a single person gave me a hard time despite my GOP-issued Brooks Brothers outfit, convention credentials and cologne. They seemed a little dispirited.
I attribute that to a) the rain b) unflinching justice delivered yesterday.
RNC2008: Xcel Center Protesters
After the Fred breakfast I headed down to the Xcel Energy Center to look for protesters... as they were marching around there on Monday.
Not much action.
... blogging from the media center, btw.
Click "more" to see the pictures.
I think she's gesturing "hands of my lady parts"...
It was a windy morning, as a storm was looming. Yet I could smell this guy's BO 100 yards upwind. Pity the poor hippie who has to wear that papier mâché head next.
In his hand must be the latest Chomsky missive.... so I suppose he can read. Fight the power! Damn the Man!
Sigh... Ron Paul bitter enders.
Straight up call for revolution. Little do they know that the Secret Service has checked the secret watermarks on the paper and already knows who printed it.
Irony is so awesome.
... we would rather abort them.
Not much going on there... just people wandering like mice through the barricades.... but I did hear something being announced... so I had to check it out.
Post from St Paul Capital Complex shortly.
RNC2008: Capitol Complex
Found some at the Minnesota capital... Had to follow the bumpin' Reggae beats.
Got some video of the perp walk... To post when wi-fi located.
Blogged from Phone
And it started raining. Water, to the eternally aggreived leftists, is like acid.
But here is a picture of the barricades.
Blogged from my phone.
The Libertarian Case for Palin
I keep hearing about how Governor Palin has galvanized "The Conservatives" and "The Evangelicals."
David Harsanyi explains her appeal to little-l libertarians:
By now, you've probably seen picture or two of Palin sporting a rifle. Apparently, she's left carcasses strewn across the Alaskan wilderness. In some places -- areas where the nation is growing -- owning a gun is not yet a sin. And unlike Obama, Palin seems to believe that the Second Amendment means the exact same thing in rural Alaska as it does in the streets of Chicago.
There's much more in this great article (Have you bought his book yet?). Hat-tip: Instapundit
I'm intrigued by the Conventional Wisdom view of Senator Joe Biden. It is interesting on a few levels, most notably the incestuousness of Washington DC culture.
1) Senator Biden is appreciated by the Washington media a few steps ahead of his skills. These people have been out to lunch with him a hundred times, on a few junkets, &c. The DC media have a personal relationship with him, as he has been there as long as most of the reporters who cover him. I've no doubt he is a genial and intelligent luncheon guest, but the reporters "misoverestimate" him based on this.
2) FOXNews frequently can be counted in "alternate media" with blogs and talk radio because they do not feature the default, leftward slant of MSM. Yet, the view of Biden shows them to be in the MSM camp. Even the conservatives on FOX suggest that Governor Palin will be hard pressed to keep up with the skilled Senator.
3) I suggest that people who don't see him at Sally Quinn's cocktail parties view him as a comical figure. His presidential runs have been quixotic at best; I'm guessing Rep Dennis Kucinich has scored more delegates. If he is such a fierce debater, why did he have little success in the primaries?
4) Governor Palin gets the opposite. An unnamed insider is said to have been dismayed that "she's never been on Meet the Press."
This year, with Hope and Change in the air, I'm not sure that Governor Palin's story will not be more compelling. And I suggest that she might wipe the floor with the loquacious deliberator in the VP debates.
In the same vein, don't miss Bill McGurn's takedown of the "lunch bucket," "scrappy kid from Scranton" meme:
It's true that when members of Congress release their assets and incomes, Mr. Biden famously ranks near the bottom of the pile. But let's remember that we're talking about a pretty privileged pile. Only in a place as removed from reality as the Beltway could a man who has spent more than three decades in the United States Senate be hailed as a working-class stiff.
RNC2008: Hippie Patrol
The festivities don't kick off for a while, so I'm going to go look for trouble. I'll try to blog from my phone when possible.
Hopefully tear gas is not too nauseating.
RNC2008: Breakfast with Fred
Redstate.com and Google hosted breakfast with Senator and former Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson this morning.
Senator Thompson gave brief remarks deploring the state of the mainstream media (Palin babies on the front page of the New York Times for example) and their coverage of the Palin family as well as the experience question. The Governor Palin experience factor is a perfect lede for Republicans to make comparisons to Senator Obama's Senate experience. As a veteran of the Senate, Mr Thompson did not give rave reviews to foreign policy or domestic security exposure... saying that it was mostly about deal making and bringing back pork to the home state.
Later the floor was opened for questions.
There was some brief discussion regarding the lack of media coverage of the Ayers, as well as Fred Thompson's new PAC, FredPAC. FredPAC is going to be a PAC to further conservative principles, not necessarily Republican ones though we all hope there will be a lot of overlap.
I would post more meat here, but my audio recording was dreadfully inadequate, and I did not take notes. Dammit. While I'm wallowing in self-pity, allow me to kick myself in the ass for not making business cards.
About 30 bloggers and new media types were in attendance, and I know there will be video on Youtube shortly.
I sat at the table with Flip of Suitably Flip, a blog I've been reading for a while, as well as John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit and Anne Leary of BackyardConservative. They were both from the Chicago area and are up on all the Obama info. We discussed Pa's role in the election, both in the Democratic primary as well as the general. There was also some mention at the table that Obama had a job in a Wall Street firm for a year before leaving it, as well as a stunning lack of character witnesses from Obama's past at the Harvard Law Review, Columbia University and Occidental College. Very strange.
Surprisingly, Anne brought up the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin which led into a brief discussion on the sad state of the Philly print media.
I'll take notes for tomorrow's breakfast, which was supposed to be with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He is quite obviously busy, and won't be available... so there is still some mystery as to tomorrow's guest speaker.
updated: A couple of other breakfast bloggers:
Watch it all live here... it's nerdier than C-SPAN.
Kicking Ass And Taking Names
I'm going to shut up a little this week and enjoy the pictures and insights of "our brother in St. Paul," AlexC. Well done, sir.
UPDATE: Brother ac politely declines my offer to let him do all the work...
September 1, 2008
Stay Classy, Hippies
Nothing says free speech like assaulting old ladies.
The delegation - including official delegates, alternates, and guests - numbering approximately 120 people - got off the buses and began to walk through the security perimeter into the Convention Hall when they encountered a large group of RNC protesters who formed a human chain to block the delegation from continuing and shouting epithets at the Nutmeggers.
As I was winding my way out of the exits, I was struck at the number of barricades around the complex. It's really tragic that law enforcement is forced to put those things up because of the radical protesters.
Gateway Pundit writes about this afternoon's bus attack.
... which he was on!
RNC2008: Dirty Hippies
Remember the band geeks in high school?
Remember the ones that were all into reading books by Kafka and Marx and talked in circles?
Take one of those, add four years of liberal arts education, and you get this:
RNC2008: The Blogger Setup
Ed Morrissey of HotAir writes about today's first day, and adds:
It turns out that they don’t really have facilities for all of the bloggers invited, at least not in the hall. Most bloggers got assigned to the seats in the spectator area, which do not have power for the laptops. They can have unlimited access to the Media Filing Center, which most of us didn’t quite realize, but only a few bloggers have actual blogging facilities in the hall. Expect lots of blowback as bloggers realize this; some of this will definitely find its way into the blogosphere. Keep an eye out for it.
Absolutely true.. I'm "seated" in Section 222, which has a pretty good view of the corner of the back of the stage.... if I were even seated there.
There's no where to plug in.
I ended up scouting around and finding a table & chairs, and more importantly some power... but even that isn't great. There's no view!
I'm not sure where the Media Filing Center is, and I only learned about "bloggers row" this afternoon.
RNC2008: Cindy & Laura
After the official business of the convention, First Lady Laura Bush and would-be First Lady Cindy McCain came out to briefly speak and give an introduction to videos from the Republican governors of the Gulf States.
Only Bobby Jindal did not cut a video.
Also listed were the websites of relief agencies in each state.
Comparing and Contrasting Unexpected Birth Annoucements
RNC2008: Day One
The day so far....
Drove down into St Paul to go to the Xcel Center, while navigating the St Paul streets, I managed to find myself, literally, overrun by dirty hippies. Thugs dressed in black were knocking over temporary traffic signs and making a mess of the area. Helpfully, they were being tailed by St Paul PD.
I did manage to snag a video of left-wing Mummers as they played, "We're Not Gonna Take It."
I finally managed to find a spot to park, wade through the smelly masses and get inside the center.
aka. Justice Delivery Platform
I made it up to the special press area in time to watch Mike Duncan officially open the precedings, then came the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Star Spangled Banner and the Invocation.
Some brief business was conducted with State Senator Jane Orie of Pa taking the lead in the process.
Off to recess.
RNC2008: Rocking the Vote
Jon Henke invited me to go with him to the Digg/MySpace/RockTheVote/assorted liberal thing party sunday night in Minneapolis.
So here's a picture of a great cover band whose name I forgot.
Combined with the high quality of the image, that makes this post neigh worthless.