March 9, 2012

Quote of the Day

Jim Geraghty's review of "Game Change" goes up on NRO today, but he provides the special friends on his email list a taste:

If you are a fan of Sarah Palin, you will loathe this movie. If you hate Sarah Palin, large swaths of this movie will be more thrilling than pornography. If you are somewhere in the middle in your opinion of Palin, you will find yourself wondering why you're watching big-name actors reenact extremely recent events, with limited new revelations, insight, or lessons from it all. It's kind of like watching a batch of Oscar-nominated actors performing a dramatic reading of a transcript of the last GOP presidential debate. (Colin Firth as Romney! Daniel Day-Lewis as Santorum! Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gingrich! Sir Ben Kingsley as Ron Paul!) The actors bring their best efforts, but in the end, you realize you've seen it before, and not even that long ago.

Think I'll pass on "Game Change;" but I'd stay up late to watch Colin Firth play Governor Mitt Romney.

UPDATE: NO! NO! NO! The full review is online, and coveted Quote of the Day honors go to his lede:

HBO director Jay Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong spent millions of dollars and cast some of Hollywood's biggest stars in an unparalleled effort to dispel the widespread misperception that John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign was a well-oiled machine.

A W E S O M E ! ! !

Posted by John Kranz at 10:28 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, is Firth eligible to take Romney's place for real?

Posted by: johngalt at March 9, 2012 11:19 AM
But jk thinks:

Not like a long-form birth certificate is required...

(Oh NED strike me down, I made a birther joke...)

Posted by: jk at March 9, 2012 1:30 PM
But dagny thinks:

I recommend a book by Robert A. Heinlein called Double Star that uses this premise. Sometimes fiction is preferable to the real world anyway.

Posted by: dagny at March 9, 2012 2:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Just scored it on Kindle, dagny, thanks!

Been many (harsh mistress) moons since I read Heinlein; and for a guy with professed libertarian tendencies, I have not read enough.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2012 12:27 PM

April 17, 2009

Now They Tell Us!

Nick Gillespie has discovered that President Obama might not be a Libertarian!

Mega-props to our President Obama for yesterday's speechifying about simplifying and fair-izing the Infernal Revenue Service and all that.

Except for one small nitpicky thing: He's full of shit on this topic. How precisely is he or his Slugger's Row of policy mavens (you know, the idjits who can't even use Turbo Tax) gonna make the income tax more fair? As it stands, the top 1 percent of filers pay 40 percent of all income taxes; the top 5 percent pay 60 percent; and the top 10 percent pay fully 70 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent (5-0, Dano!) pay a whopping 3 percent of all income tax.


I'm glad Gillespie has figured it out by April and all. And I confess it is a funny post. But it may have been a little more helpful before the election.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2009

Tough Room

Politics goes on, but I consider that the campaign ends with the Inaugural Address.

I don't want to ask anyone to put their chisels away or anything, but am I the only one who did not think the speech was that good? It is admittedly a failure of high expectations. The dark eight years of monosyllablism were to come to an end at noon on the 20th. A candidate known for gifted oratory was to assume a historic presidency in front of a record crowd.

I think it was one of those 52-10 Super Bowls. The scripted speech tried just a little too hard. Every sentence had an extra adornment. The delivery was good but it wasn't really punctuated with applause lines. I'll admit it was successful in establishing how terrible everything is today, setting a low bar for recovery expectations. He may have used Lincoln's bible but he clearly tried for an FDR address.

Of course I found much to disagree with, that was to be expected ("The debate between big and small government is over" Really?) But I was expecting a more splendid example of oratory.

Me too biased?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | Comments (11)
But Keith thinks:

Perry: I take the parts Terri cited as left-handed rebuke - the implicit meaning being that what he's changing, his predecessor was wrong on.

T. Greer: I'll admit that those words, in the context of anyone else's mouth, would be great statements, but I wonder - "...To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent..." There are those who make a good case that Obama came to power largely through corruption, deceit, and silencing dissent. Good words and all that, but is he the one who ought to be mouthing those words?

Posted by: Keith at January 21, 2009 3:27 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Real quick- I think This commentary on the speech posted at Shadow Government is the best I have seen so far.

~T. Greer, zipping through.

Posted by: T. Greer at January 21, 2009 4:01 PM
But Terri thinks:

T - "affirm our commitment" pretty much sounds to me like he's saying, we're going to keep on keepin on.

I said the speech wasn't that great due to the snark. I didn't mention any previous speeches at all.

Are you saying it WAS great because in comparison he only snarked as much as others? If so, your standards are too low.

Posted by: Terri at January 21, 2009 4:09 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Keith, if those parts were indeed a rebuke specifically of GWB, future generations wouldn't know it, unless Saint Obamus really gets to work on rewriting history. Clinton's words were far stronger, but even those weren't directly implicating his predecessor.

Now let's take something that supposedly criticizes Bush:

"..we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders...."

Conservatives would say that Bush certainly "did something" about "suffering outside our borders" by toppling Saddam and the Taliban. Liberals have no argument against the fact that Bush has done much to increase foreign aid, particularly in response to the tsunami disaster.

But what Obama really means is that we should follow his grand plan and give $85 billion a year to his Global Poverty Initiative. You have to love these names, which taken literally are God-awful. I personally think the world has enough poverty, and we hardly need to initiate more.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 22, 2009 12:45 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Terri- "Reaffirm our new commitment."

Devil is in the details, they say.

But you said it was a "bad inaugural address."

I think this is a silly notion. If every other President engages in this kind of rhetoric, what makes this particular inaugural "bad?"

Now, if I was to criticize the speech, I would say that Obama failed to paint a vision for what he wants to see in America- it felt more like a fluffy State of the Union Address than it did a Presidential inaugural.

But faulting Obama for "snark" just seems a little odd to me. It is what Presidents do on such occasions- it makes just as much sense to me to criticize Obama for invoking American history or declaring that it is time for America to solve some great problem or another. It is simply what Presidents do.

~T. Greer, in all fairness.

Posted by: T. Greer at January 22, 2009 3:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I guess I should return to the scene of the crime. I will take the sum of the ten previous comments as a "no, you were not too harsh or biased, jk."

@tg: your link captures my sentiments perfectly. Expectations were raised pretty high for this speech and my comment was that he did not hit this "high fast one over the plate" out of the park. I have not heard any dissenters.

I will come to bat (keeping the metaphor, that's legal) for my friend Terri. Some of my discomfort was in watching a very good and decent man sit proudly and dignified while President Obama returned his grace with thinly-veiled disapprobation (or you could call it "snark.")

The piece you link to, tg, included several examples of different terms to soften the speech and make it more uplifting. I suspect the transition team wanted to leave a little bit of this "red meat" in there -- and I think the speech would have come of more magisterial without it.


Posted by: jk at January 22, 2009 6:58 PM

December 31, 2008

I'm Not Going Crazy

The real crazy ones always point to another crazy person that thinks the same way as proof.

I saw a Pepsi Commercial and thought they were cashing in on Obama (it would be great if somebody could!) Evan Coyne Maloney agrees:

If Pepsi is invoking Obama’s campaign materials deliberately—and I have no reason to believe that they are—then maybe the folks behind it see some business sense in doing so.

Judging from the volume of painted plates and limited-edition coins being hawked on TV ads that gush about Obama’s “kind eyes and warm smile,” the Merchandising of the President-Elect might be the only growth industry left.

Here in NYC, you can’t walk a block in midtown without passing several street vendors pushing Obamawear.


Click through -- he's got pictures. Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

That's it. That's *%#@ing it. I'm going back to Diet Coke.

I avoid the absurd crowds of Times Square for good reasons, and now I have one more. I already feel like vomiting when I pass the street vendors he mentions -- it's true!

But you see, even this libertarian would buy of their wares, if only they'd just sell Obama sock monkeys...

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 31, 2008 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Hmmm. ThreeSources.com Obama sock monkeys? Could work.

Trust me, the TV commercial is worse -- you keep waiting for "I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message."

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2008 3:51 PM

November 23, 2008

More Cheetos, Dear?

obamaplate.jpg

Order Yours Today!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2008

Daily Anger

If you wanna get mad, watch this. William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn come out to share their views. And if you can watch it without yelling at the screen three times, you get the ThreeSources Calm Award of the day.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2008

Change 3.0

Awesome.

The candidate of hope and change has changed again.

Apparently, Obama has changed his position from his speech at AIPAC. In early June, he told the Israeli-supporting political action group that Jerusalem “must remain undivided,” drawing thunderous applause and roars of criticism later from Palestinian groups. Within hours, Obama retreated to the Bush administration position — that Jerusalem should be left to the two sides to negotiate in the final settlement.

Welcome to Obama 3.0 on Jerusalem. Now he has switched sides to the exact opposite of what he argued at AIPAC. One has to wonder what all of those Jewish voters who supported Obama will think of this new position on Israel’s borders and security, but somehow I doubt it would get thunderous applause at AIPAC.


Leading Israeli Prime Minister candidate Tzipi Livni supports the plan (the Saudi peace plan) in the general, while it is opposed by her rival for the position former Prime Minister (and Pennsylvania native) Benjamin Netanyahu.

Posted by AlexC at 11:57 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

If I might be racist, anti-Semitic, and partisan in one comment, "One has to wonder" how Jewish voters can consistently, reflexively support Democratic candidates when the GOP has been such a better friend to Israel. At least African Americans get a little policy from the Ds that they mindlessly elect.

Did I leave anybody out? Yeah, those damned Armenians! What gives, huh?

Posted by: jk at November 16, 2008 12:59 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee had an interesting discussion with a Jewish friend (a Republican) before the election. That friend forwarded an article from the Cleveland Jewish News, that shed a great deal of light on the subject. The Refugee concluded that support of Israel is a threshold issue for American Jews. That is, if both candidates cross the threshold, then Israel is a non-issue and economic/social issues predominate (on which most Jews are overwhelmingly liberal). Obama crossed that threshold for the election, but it would be interesting to know how many Jewish voters would eventually like a Mulligan.

The Refugee asked another (non-practicing) Jewish friend if she thought Obama would militarally attack Iran if it attacked Israel. She said, "Oh, absolutely!" The Refugee wishes that he shared her confidence. However, he suspects that any response would be Clinton-like: three cruise missiles and an aspirin factory.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 17, 2008 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Hey, I know a Jewish Repoublican. No doubt it is the same guy! We should all go out some night...

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2008 1:17 PM

November 11, 2008

Didn't get the Memo About Hope and Change

I usually ignore trolls and their comments, but this one made me laugh. Insty links to a smart piece on why Obama was smart to stand up for Sen. Joe Lieberman (Traitorous Wretch - CT)

Obama told Harry Reid last week that expelling Lieberman from the Democratic Caucus for his vocal backing of John McCain's candidacy (and trashing of Obama's) "would send the wrong signal after Obama's promises to set partisanship aside," as Paul Kane writes. Obama wants Lieberman to remain on the Democratic side of the Senate aisle. As of now, the situation remains unresolved[...]

One of the commenters, however, isn't ready for bygones:
This is the dumbest post ever. and that takes alot on this page. Lieberman didn't do squat whan he was in charge of homeland security. Now, when he's in position to stick it to Obama on everything Iraq, you think he'll play nice? Obama help LIEberman get re-elected, what did LIEberman do, call Obama a maxist, un-american. JOE MUST GO!!!!

Still left, still angry, STILL USING ALL CAPS!!!!

Posted by John Kranz at 7:01 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

When your rage is as fevered as this it can't just be turned off with a memo (or an election victory.)

And shouldn't "Traitorous Wretch" be in scare quotes?

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2008 10:20 AM

November 9, 2008

Moment of Pride

An African-American -- and extremely liberal -- relative of mine sends several cartoons by email. He got them from Slate. He lists this as his favorite:
ratified2008.gif


This may not melt the bitter and disappointed hearts around ThreeSources, but to ignore it is to deny yourself some joy.

UPDATE: As an olive branch, perhaps, he included this as well:
slate_cartoon15.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 5:46 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Ratified" says Toles, with the election of a mostly-black man as president. Yet it was the Constitution which required ratification, not the Declaration of Independence from which the hallowed phrase was actually borrowed. The Declaration was not ratified, but voluntarily and individually signed by 56 men (yes, men, and white ones at that) who "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

One wonders how, if all men are "created" equal, how it can be justified to take from one later in his life and give it to another. (I know the answer - this is a rhetorical question.)

Indulge me in one more borrowed phrase from "some Jefferson guy's" masterwork:

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2008 5:06 PM

November 8, 2008

Operation Leper

More info here:

Operation Leper

Posted by AlexC at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm in! It is unconscionable that the weasels that ran a miserable campaign for Senator McCain would scapegoat Gov. Palin to a willing press.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2008 12:15 PM

November 7, 2008

Unprompted

Someone get this man a teleprompter.

“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off handed remark he made during today’s press conference," said transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation."

Obama was asked at his press conference today if he'd spoken to all the "living" presidents.

"I have spoken to all of them who are living," he responded. "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances."


Stay classy Mr President-Elect.

Posted by AlexC at 8:50 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

James Robbins reminds:

Nice dig at Nancy Reagan from the President-elect. I seem to recall also that Hillary Clinton had imaginary conversations with the shade of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2008 11:55 AM

November 6, 2008

The Aftermath

Must watch:

Posted by AlexC at 5:16 PM | Comments (2)
But Riza Rivera thinks:

This is about my sister. If I didn't know someone like this it would be funnier. But He gave her meaningless life meaning.He gave her hope. My hopes tend to be different. My hope three years ago was to be able to walk. At the beginning of this year it was to walk like normal people do. My hope now is to have more range of motion in my arm. And that is getting better also.My life is full of hope and dreams that with a ton of hard work are a reality.

Posted by: Riza Rivera at November 7, 2008 11:29 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Now THAT'S hope we can believe in!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 7, 2008 1:17 PM

November 5, 2008

Told Ya!

Got this from work:

Websense® Security Labs(TM) ThreatSeeker(TM) Network has discovered that malware authors are capitalizing on the recently announced results of the 2008 US Presidential election. Malicious email lures are being sent promising a video showing an interview with the advisors to the recently elected US President.

The email actually contains links to a file called 'BarackObama.exe' hosted on a compromised travel site at hxxp://*snip*.com/web/BarackObama.exe. This file is a Trojan Downloader with MD5 9720d70a5da9ca442ecf41e9269f5a27. Upon execution files called system.exe and firewall.exe are dropped into the system directory. A phishing kit is unpacked locally, and the dropped files are bound to startup. The hosts file is also modified.

Major anti-virus vendors are not detecting this Trojan Horse.


Goddam Democrats! Hope and Change, my ass!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Discussion we Missed

We'll spend a little time "fixing" the GOP on these pages -- there's a fun thread waaaay down the page.

But I'd rather fix the level of debate. And I bet I might get The Heretic and LatteSipper (mmmm, coffee) on board. Dr. Helen has a nice quote today. She's glad "It's the Economy Stupid."

Next election cycle, it will be something else. It might favor the Republicans or it might not. But to think that the entire philosophy of individual rights, small government, national security and gun rights is lost on a new generation of voters based on this one election is not only foolish, it shows a degree of cynicism that may not be accurate. The next two or three election cycles will need to be evaluated before we can say that America has rejected the ideas of free markets and free minds.

Does anybody think that was discussed this year? We had a superb differential in candidates' philosophy, a liberal democrat versus a conservative Republican. But the Democrat talked about "hope" and "change" and the Republican talked about Bill Ayers and experience.

McCain was right to propose the ten town hall meetings. I don't think our great nation has the attention span for Lincoln-Douglass debates, but we need the depth of debate we got in the comedy routines of the Al Smith Dinner. The media and debates and campaigns prevented any meaningful discussion.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:36 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

CONSERVATIVE Republican? We weren't watching the same election brother.

You can choose to whistle past the graveyard with Dr. Helen but the mere fact that voters choose Democrats and their socialist solutions to economic problems is proof enough that at least the ideas of individual rights and small government are in peril. National security and gun rights shouldn't rest comfortably either. (See my Inaugural Speech post below.)

Conservatism's electoral problem is principally the effect of forty years of labor union controlled post-modern public education that somehow results in our young people believing that "commies are cool."

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2008 4:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Conservative enough to take the side of the forces of light in a discussion of taxation, health care, free trade, gun rights, and the importance of a muscular defense. I decry his populism but find that to be part of conservatism today. If you disagree, it's semantics but when I part ways with Senator McCain, I don't feel I am taking the "conservative" side.

Keep in mind my hero's magnum opus closes with a chapter titled "Why I Am Not a Conservative." I don't hold the term in the reverence some around here do.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2008 4:47 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And conservative enough to propose a $300 billion bailout that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would have never, EVER supported (let alone proposed), even if it was the one thing that meant winning an election?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 5, 2008 8:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Respectfully, John McCain is conservative when compared to Obama, or even to most Democrats. But there are conservative Republicans, liberal Republicans and then there are quixotic "mavericks" like McCain. I suppose that explains how we can both see the same man differently. In fact, I think we've all shared the conflicting sentiments of loving and hating what the man does at any point in time.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2008 9:09 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

If you want to talk about a real conservative, Mark Levin (no I'm not talking about him) on his radio show last night was playing some of Ronald Reagan's speeches. One was from 1964, in support of Goldwater. Not sure where the others were from.

Reagan decrying how federal agents can search without warrants, and even levied fines without trial against a man who "overplanted" rice. The man's lands were seized and auctioned off to satisfy the federal judgment.

The Gipper decrying foreign aid to poor countries that turn around and buy 1000 TVs for a town with no electricity, and $7 billion in U.S. gold. (The latter is because the inherently broken Bretton Woods system fixed gold at $35 per ounce, but the world market price. You made money by buying gold from the U.S. government and selling it on the world market. That's why Nixon ended our involvement, which was not "taking us off the gold standard" like people think.)

The Gipper blasting the bureaucracy of government: "Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"

Now that was a real conservative, and someone a libertarian could support in good conscience.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 6, 2008 11:34 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah, President Reagan remains the standard. I may still be star-struck, but I see some of that in Governor Palin. She doesn’t have his deep ideological temperment, but she has the courage and the natural ability to operate on both sides of Conservative-Libertarian divide.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2008 12:53 PM

Well, that didn't quite turn out as well as I had hoped

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama. He ran a superb campaign and won fair and square. Next January, he will certainly be "my President." He has surrounded himself with some pretty smart people and I hope that most of his campaign promises get thrown in the overheated rhetoric pile. A Treasury Secretary Summers and OMB chief Goolsbee would likely temper his "redistributionist" instincts.

AlexC might be right. The GOP might make Governor Palin the sacrificial lamb but I certainly hope they don't. Every GOP blowhard of the last three decades will now claim "if they had only listened to me..."

In truth, I think we (Republicans, kimosabe) are reaping what we sowed in the 108th-109th Congresses and enabled by the second Bush term. If you want corrupt, inefficient and bloated government, turn to the pros. The GOP should make a convincing case that less government is better. But they can't do that with Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert, Ted Stevens, Don Young and Jerry Lewis lining their pockets with largess. It's a cliche that "the brand is damaged" but you have to admit it has verisimilitude.

My predictions sucked and my hope was misplaced but I am claiming vindication on my discounting of the Libertarian Party and my suggestion that those who crave liberty find a more efficacious forum for their ideas. The "Star Trek Convention of Politics" recruited a well known candidate and benefitted from both a disgruntled and disillusioned GOP and residual interest from the Ron Paul campaign. With these head-starts, they made new, unprecedented surges into irrelevance. Turn out the lights when you're done boys.

We'll be okay. Rest up folks and remember that you love your country more than your party. Maybe, if we become France, we'll get some of that good cheese and chocolate. Not sure how it works, but that subsidized, protected stuff is really good.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:30 AM | Comments (11)
But The Heretic thinks:

JK: I have enormous amount of respect for McCain for the gracious concession speech he delivered yesterday. AND I respect you for your gracious comments.

I expect that a President Obama will indeed move more to the center. He has to keep the house majority in 2 years afterall.

Posted by: The Heretic at November 5, 2008 12:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I forgot the but:

But you cannot claim that voter fraud (or black racism) delivered this election to Obama. I'll stand by my "fair and square" phrase. He picked and exploited his opportunities. I'll grumble for years about "Bush == McCain" and how easy the media went on both Obama and Biden.

But they played their hand to victory and I will not say "elections matter" when my guy is living at 1600 Penn, and "they stole it" when their guy is.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2008 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

More votes in this election were "stolen" by the media establishment than by ACORN, the Daly machine and the Black Panthers combined.

The blatant favoritism, revisionism and absence of objectivity in "news" coverage of Senator Obama's entire career is too shameful to describe in a few sentences. That entire industry requires reform as much or more than does our two-party political system.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2008 1:15 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Once more, I'm not saying voter fraud is the sole reason, but it's an undeniable factor. ACORN wouldn't have pushed so hard if they felt Obama could win via the Santa Claus platform.

And the fraud was facilitated by the MSM turning a blind eye to it, or "dismissing" it as a few rogue operatives among otherwise law-abiding ACORN operatives. We'll never know, just like we'll never know the full extent of Chicago voter fraud helping tilt the 1960 election to Kennedy. Were they the decisive factor? Can't say. To repeat my comment in the other thread, that's the sinister beauty of it.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 5, 2008 5:00 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heretic,

I hope to heck you are right about a President Obama moving to the, "center." BUT, with Democrats in control of all of congress, that seems VERY unlikely to me. They believe, with a religious fervor, and despite all the evidence of history, that socialism is the solution to the country's problems. I think they will push it as far as they can go, all with the best of intentions. I'd like to be wrong.

Posted by: dagny at November 6, 2008 9:46 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

dagny, we're going to see very soon that the "conservative Democrat," the so-called Blue Dog, is a mythical creature. Mythical like, say, the "chupacabra." Except that Democrats by definition ARE real-life bloodsuckers.

"Conservative Democrats" only pretended to be so, in order to win more conservative districts/states. Now they won't have to camouflage their true colors. Their party has the White House with solid control of Congress, a strong position they haven't seen since 1976. On top of that, the American people have been softened up over the last 16 years to the idea that government should and can take of them. We're going to see an attempt to expand the welfare state that's greater than GWB, Nixon and LBJ ever did.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 6, 2008 12:00 PM

November 4, 2008

Election Day Results

Rocking the vote at my polling place all day long.

Too tired to blog.

Congratulations Democrats, Media (I repeat myself) & Barack Obama.

A big F you to the four Obama NYC douchebag lawyers who stalked around my polling place all day.

Not only did you NOT know our voters or our combined polling place, you were giving people the wrong directions all day long causing chaos inside the poll.

... and thanks for leaving behind your signs. I don't sh!t in your house, don't come to mine and sh!t in it.

As for John McCain.. he ran a good race at the end here, and he was really the only Republican shot this year.

Sarah Palin goes back to Alaska to serve out her terms... She'll get the blame for the loss.... and that will be it.

Posted by AlexC at 9:45 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for your hard work and dedication AC.

Some Americans deserve what we're about to get with Obama and some don't. You're in the "don't blame me" camp.

Bad enough to prove the fallacies of socialism (within 4 years) but not bad enough to cause permanent damage to the Republic - that's a fine line to hope for.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2008 12:07 AM

Gettin' it done in Minnesota?

D'ja see this?

"Hello, this is Jeff Blodgett from the Minnesota for Obama campaign. Our initial data shows this election is significantly closer than the polls predicted. We are putting out an urgent call for volunteers... We are organized groups to knock on doors at five P.M., or earlier if you can, for our final GOTV operation." This was followed by different numbers to call based on your residence.

Way to go, Sugarchuck and T. Greer!

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg smells a hoax.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:57 PM | Comments (1)
But T. Greer thinks:

Methinks it simply be a turn out device.

~T. Greer, noting that Mr. Ambinder agrees with me.

Posted by: T. Greer at November 4, 2008 7:20 PM

jk's prediction

Sorry gang. I don't see either me or Alex coming through for the forces of light. Not a landslide, but not a Phoenix victory party.

jk_08prediction.gif

Interesting aside: If we can swing Colorado, it throws it to the House. Roll your own

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)
But AlexC thinks:

Pa comes through. CO can stay blue.

I'm banking on bitter clingers, rednecks and coal miners.

Not always overlapping groups.

Posted by: AlexC at November 3, 2008 8:51 PM
But Keith thinks:

jk: I'm with Alex; I have a good feeling about Pennsylvania, and we could take Colorado as well. I'm not taking the rosy view of this (I believe in miracles, but on the other hand, I never draw to an inside straight, either), but I'm also not going to surrender until the votes are counted. The Eeyores are not going to dissuade me from voting.

I have it on good authority that any Republican who shows up at a Hamburger Hamlet in California with an "I Voted!" sticker will get a 10% discount on their meal, so even though my vote here on the Left Coast may not turn the tide, at least I'll eat well. If saving America isn't enough to get someone to vote, dinner might help.

And thank you, jk, for the good anniversary wishes over at my site; I wish you nothing but good in yours as well -

Posted by: Keith at November 3, 2008 9:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Boulder County (CO) GOP headquarters is making calls to 150 pages of names for Republican voters whose mail-in ballots have not been received. No word on how many Democrat mail-in ballots are in that category.

Point is, polls don't equal countable votes. The pessimist says Republicans have been discouraged by media drumbeat for "the Big O." The optomist says more Democrats screwed up mail-in ballots than did Republicans.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2008 9:49 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

271-Obama 267-McCain.

I see PA going Republican this election, but VA's 13 votes (and Omaha's single electoral vote) tip the vote back over to Obama.

~T. Greer, hoping CO stays red...

Posted by: T. Greer at November 3, 2008 11:25 PM

November 3, 2008

Operation Chaos: Re-ignition

Erick Erickson @ RedState makes a call.

the campaigns make estimations as the day wears on via exit polls. Lastly, in preparing for the next election's polling, some pollsters will use exit polling to help them. We know how well that's gone this year.

I have a hearty suggestion for all of us: seek out exit pollsters. Find them. Be willing to engage in the exit polling. And lie. Tell the exit pollsters you voted for Barack Obama. Tell them you are a diehard liberal. But tell them you voted for Barack Obama.

Then go home and watch the media realize there is something badly wrong with their data and make them have to watch the results come in with the rest of us.


Pennsylvania & Colorado are sure to have a TON of exit pollsters.

Tell them you're voting for Barack.

Just to screw it up.

Posted by AlexC at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

Obama: Razzle Dazzle

In case you needed some final convincing...

If McCain loses, it's because he couldn't sell these "changes of mind".

Rove did it with "voting for it before voting against it."

This is gallons of flippiness.

Posted by AlexC at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

Socialism II

David Harsanyi -- gently and without malice -- accuses the Obama campaign of Socialism, because "when a candidate explicitly endorses a collectivist policy . . . well, words still have meaning, don't they?"

The proposition that government should take one group's lawfully earned profits and hand them to another group — not a collection of destitute or impaired Americans, mind you, but a still-vibrant middle class — is the foundational premise of Obama's fiscal policy.

It was Joe Biden, not long ago, who said (when he was still permitted to speak in public) that, "We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people." The only entity that "takes" money from the middle class or any class for that matter, is the Internal Revenue Service. Other than that, there is nothing to give back.


It's an excellent read, and not a bad article to mail to an undecided on the last day of the campaign. This is the argument I wish we had been having from the conventions on.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:12 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith thinks:

My barber came to a very similar conclusion - does this mean she should be an economist or a political analyst? See what I mean:

The Wisdom of a Barber

In my book, this just means that she's learned from her life experiences what any American who received a passing grade in high-school Civics should know. And, by the way, Jenny is also a great barber...

Posted by: Keith at November 3, 2008 1:18 PM

Bit Of Hope

Not all have been assimilated. I heard from a lifelong Democrat -- union boss Democrat -- in Colorado yesterday, whose identity I will not divulge. This person was upset about Reverend Wright, un-democratic tactics in the Democratic primary, and the general arrogance of the Obama campaign. This person cast h[is|er] first 'R' vote of a lifetime, and voted the straight GOP ticket!

"I'm tired of being lied to." was h[is|er] final comment.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

My wife and I both worked in the local McCain office (a smallish store front, not the main one for the county) and we both remarked HOW MANY union guys would come in and say, "can i have a sign? i don't agree with my union."

Posted by: AlexC at November 3, 2008 4:33 PM

November 2, 2008

Socialism is good

Like all socialists, Lehigh County Democratic committeewoman Lynne Hanna confuses government (which few people are against) with socialism.

Which all sensible people are against.

Morning Call

John McCain and his supporters have resorted to using the word ''socialism'' as if it is a bad word. Is he really against the police, firefighters, public school system, sewer system, safe toys, roads and bridges, Medicare and Social Security, to name a few? These are run by government to provide for the protection and needs of society.

Republican support for corporate capitalism and deregulation have led us to the current financial crisis. Ronald Reagan started us on this path with his oft quoted, ''We must not look to government to solve our problems. Government is the problem.'' Think about the state of our country today and keep in mind that government is only good for the people when we elect those who believe that with oversight, government is good.


Police? Firefighters? Schools? All local issues.... not federal govt... and those are actually legitimate government roles.

USA Today: (old story, but things haven't gotten better)

Social Security - $4 Trillion dollar unfunded liability.

Medicare - $33 Trillion dollar unfunded liability.

Scores of today's children will be paying out the ass for this.

But yeah, socialism is good if you're not the one on the hook with the tab.

Posted by AlexC at 5:40 PM | Comments (4)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"Socialism" means nothing today when Obama can deny he is one.

"Libertarian" means nothing today when McArdle can claim she is one.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 3, 2008 8:57 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And by the way, I would argue that "education," at the very least in the virtual monopoly sense of modern times, is NOT a legitimate function of government. I fail to see how it safeguards my life, liberty and property.

Even police are questionable today when so many are more likely to abuse you than rescue you. I'm running 50-50 in my short lifetime.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 3, 2008 9:00 AM
But jk thinks:

That's a difficult argument to parry. Look at the length of your (superb, btw) post and two links to make your point to folks who believe in you.

Comrade Hanna's argument is short and intuitive. It lends itself to a good 30-minute campaign commercial with pictures of firefighters saving children. Our argument lends itself to a policy paper, or a guest lecture at the Community College.

Just once, I want to be on the "cute puppies" side of politics. Just damn once.

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2008 11:52 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Liberalism: You can have all the cute puppies you want. Not only will we tax your rich neighbors to pay for your puppies, we'll require all new developments to set aside some land for puppy runs.

Conservatism: You can have all the cute puppies you want, as long as they'll grow up to be faithfuly and morally righteous.

Libertarian: Have all the cute puppies you want, we don't care. Just buy them at your own expense and keep them on your own property.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 3, 2008 2:02 PM

My Last Pitch for McCain

I can't quite stir into full blown optimism, but I ain't goin' down without a fight. William Kristol brings us a superb quote from the first Republican Optimist (apologies to John Fremont):

On December 26, 1839, responding to the confident prediction of one of his political opponents "that every State in the Union will vote for Mr. Van Buren at the next Presidential election" and that Lincoln's opposition to the Van Buren forces was therefore bound to be in vain, Lincoln responded:
Address that argument to cowards and to knaves; with the free and the brave it will effect nothing. It may be true; if it must, let it. .  .  . The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. .  .  . Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if after all, we shall fail, be it so.

As it happens, the Whig ticket Lincoln supported won that 1840 election. So might, against the odds, the party of Lincoln win this year.

UPDATE: I guess the punchline is that President Harrison died 41 days after inauguration, and was succeeded by President Tyler who held extremely different views. Most notably, Tyler was pretty much Jacksonian in his opposition to the National Bank. Poor Nicholas Biddle waited three terms to get rid on Jackson and Van Buren. Then, when "old Tippecanoe" was elected, he was not in office long enough to change policy.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:22 PM | Comments (0)

Whose Money?

Mary Katherine Ham offers Senator Obama a single sentence economics lesson, in response to this stump speech in Missouri:

It's not change when he (McCain) wants to give $200 billion to the biggest corporation or $4 billion to the oil companies when today, Exxon-Mobil announced that it had made the greatest profits of any corporation in the history of the world: $14 billion in one quarter. That's all your money. You are -- you are paying it at the gas station. That's not change when John McCain comes up with a tax plan that doesn't give a penny of relief to more than 100 million middle-class Americans.

Ms. Ham suggests: "Barack, once a person gives his money freely in a voluntary exchange of currency for a commodity, that money does not belong to him anymore. It's not surprising that the Prince of Redistribution does not understand this concept, but it is surprising that he openly talks about it, even in reddish states he'd like to win."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

Brave Sir Obama

Awesome.

ABC's Jake Tapper managed to get Senator Barack Obama's attention on the tarmac this morning.

"What would you tell your Treasury Secretary to do differently with the $700 billion?" he asked, according to the pool report.

"We're on a tarmac," Obama replied.

"Why don't you have a press conference," Tapper asked.

"I will," Obama responded. "On Wednesday."


There's a name for that, but decorum prevents me from saying it. ;)

Posted by AlexC at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

Obama / Biden on Coal

Take away line:

So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

Don't forget Joe Biden's words.

"No coal plants in America"

(tip to HotAir)

Posted by AlexC at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

McCain & Palin on QVC

The network reply from the Republicans as shown on SNL....

Hilarious.

Posted by AlexC at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2008

Libertarian Case for McCain

David Bernstein at the Volkh Conspiracy will be voting for Senator McCain this year. He provides a few good reasons, but my favorite is the first:

(1) Libertarians have been heavily involved in some of the most important constitutional Supreme Court litigation of the last two decades, either in terms of bringing the case, being among the most important advocates of one side's constitutional theory, or both. Among the cases in this category are Lopez, Morrison, Boy Scouts v. Dale, U.S. Term Limits, Grutter, Gratz, Kelo, Raich, Heller, and probably a few more that I'm not thinking of offhand. With the minor exception of Justice Breyers' vote in Gratz, in each of these cases, the ONLY votes the libertarian side received were from Republican appointees, and all of the Democrat appointees, plus the more liberal Republican appointees, ALWAYS voted against the libertarian side. The latter did so even in cases in which their political preferences were either irrelevant (Term Limits), or should have led them to sympathize with the plaintiff (Lopez, Kelo, Raich).

When Libertarians say "there's no difference" or "I could never vote for the author of McCain Feingold" or whatever excuse du jour they have for doing something pointless, I will trot out this observation. Democratic SCOTUS picks will certainly be anti-liberty; with a Republican you have almost a 50-50 chance!

Hat-tip: Insty yet again (sigh!)

Posted by John Kranz at 2:25 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

Quod Erat Demonstratum, Perry. Enjoy the Schumer Court!

Posted by: jk at November 2, 2008 12:52 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I've given up on choosing between the lesser of two evils. I'm getting tired of being told that I can fellate one or be sodomized by the other.

McCain might have gotten my vote if he'd stuck to conservative principles, not even libertarian ones, but he lost any possible support from me by his one-upping Obama on bailing out irresponsible borrowers and lenders.

This country is going to hell anyway. It doesn't matter who the president is. All the major industries are being nationalized anyway.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 2, 2008 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And there, Perry, is the one positive I can take from the potential election of Barack Obama as president - that socialist policies, both in existence and their inevitable expansion, will no longer have any cover from "but the Republicans wanted them too."

We'll have four years to find and/or educate Republican candidates who believe in genuine laissez faire economics. While Democrats shifted further left during their absence from the White House, Republicans must shift further right. The "me too" ideas from the collectivist wing of both parties have got to go.

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2008 1:29 PM
But jk thinks:

You guys are great, but you are so completely whacked.

Maybe we'll find and educate candidates who understand "true laissez faire economics." But we won't elect them! Libertarians love to make the perfect the enemy of the good and will find some childish reason to complete the sentence I can't possibly vote for X because ____________...

Meanwhile, evangelicals and populists and union members and minority/gender groups will actually show up to support their candidates, even if in 1974 they signed a position paper that suggested outlawing heroin or some such heterodoxy.

Read Dougherty's book -- these people split off into People's Front of Judea/Judean People's Front groups at the drop of a hat. And in the end, any responsible party learns that these wackos are not stable nor reliable enough to count on. Ergo, let's put someone on the ticket that will get the populist, evangelical, union, minority &c. groups excited -- they might actually show up!

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2008 6:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It's not very often that I think JK has gone overboard but I really think you're putting too much blame on the Libertarians. Bob Barr got less than 8000 votes in Colorado. Obama had 125,000 more votes here than did Mac. The greater cause for this is that 90 plus percent of Obama voters did so "for" him, while only 70% of McCain voters had that motivation. It's hard to win hearts and minds by saying "I'm not as bad as the other guy."

I'm not saying we need Leonard Peikoff or Yaron Brook as the next GOP nominee. I am saying I'm ready to put our fortunes in the hands of candidates who can be heartily endorsed by Rush Limbaugh, and campaign managers like Karl Rove. And during the next several years before the campaign begins, let's advance the IDEAS espoused by libertarians or, as is my personal preference, Objectivists.

I'll do my part on these pages.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2008 12:49 PM
But jk thinks:

You misread me. I don't "blame" libertarians for Obama's victory over McCain -- I blame them for McCain.

I really don't want to beat on the guy the day after. He is a good man and did a good job. But the 8000 Colorado libertarians could have been decisive in the primaries, and could have provided a candidate that was more lib-friendly than McCain (or perhaps nominated a Democrat that wasn't a socialist).

That's my point: 8000 big-L ballots are a waste of perfectly good paper. Incorporating the IDEAS, with a substantive expectation of support for them is a game changer. I may be overboard, jg, but we're saying much the same thing.

I don't listen to Mister Limbaugh a lot but I am guessing that me and my new 4000 libertarian friends (the other 4K joined the Democrats) will very much seek to nominate a candidate he wouldn't like. Would he like Leonard Peikoff?

Likewise, Karl Rove. I respect him but he brought us "big government conservatism" and is today suggesting that the GOP dedicate itself to solving "kitchen table" economic issues. Is that where you want the party to head?

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2008 1:33 PM

The 'H' Stands for Humility!

Senator Obama's middle name must be "Humble" or "Humility." Like President Coolidge, he expects the Federal government to keep back and out of the way of the people. Well, except for a list of government priorities. Jake Tapper provides this list of promises from "Obama Claus:"

  • "give a tax break to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paycheck every week";
  • "eliminate income taxes on Social Security for seniors making under $50,000";
  • "give homeowners and working parents additional tax breaks";
  • not increase taxes on anyone if they "make under $250,000; you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime –- not your income taxes, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax";
  • "end those breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas";
  • "give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in the United States";
  • "eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country";
  • "create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, and schools -- by laying broadband lines to reach every corner of the country";
  • "invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade";
  • "reopen old factories, old plants, to build solar panels, and wind turbines";
  • build "a new electricity grid";
  • "build the fuel efficient cars of tomorrow";
  • "eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years";
  • "lower premiums" for those who already have health insurance;
  • "if you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves";
  • "end discrimination by insurance companies to the sick and those who need care the most";
  • "invest in early childhood education";
  • "recruit an army of new teachers";
  • "pay our teachers higher salaries, give them more support. But ... also demand higher standards and more accountability";
  • "make a deal with every young person who's here and every young person in America: If you are willing to commit yourself to national service, whether it's serving in our military or in the Peace Corps, working in a veterans home or a homeless shelter, then we will guarantee that you can afford to go to college no ifs ands or buts";
  • "stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq whole the Iraqis have a huge surplus";
  • "end this war in Iraq";
  • "finish the fight and snuff out al Qaeda and bin Laden";
  • "increase our ground troops and our investments in the finest fighting force in the world";
  • "invest in 21st century technologies so that our men and women have the best training and equipment when they deploy into combat and the care and benefits they have earned when they come home";
  • "No more homeless veterans"; and
  • "no more fighting for disability payments."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:23 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The H stands for Hope, as in "I Hope enough of you people keep believing this crap long enough for me to get in office and I can stop worrying about letting my mask slip."

Hope is not his middle name, by the way. His middle name is Steve.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2008 12:49 PM

October 30, 2008

Tito the Builder

How soon till this man is destroyed too?

Enjoy him dismantle Alan Communist.

Posted by AlexC at 11:32 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Awesome.

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2008 11:27 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I enjoyed this:

"Under the Obama plan he's going to give me two thousand dollars a year. That's ninety six cents an hour. I'm not going to give him my vote just for 96 cents an hour."

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2008 11:33 AM

The Cabbage Patch Gap


I barely remember the hype when the regular ones went for big bucks.... but wow.... big bucks.

Cabbage Patch Kids for Toys for Toys:

Sarah Palin: 50 Bids - $2,250

John McCain: 40 Bids - $1,025

Barack Obama: 40 Bids - $801

Joe Biden: 37 Bids - $600

Looks like people are more enthusiastic about Sarah than everyone else!

Bidding closes on Election Day.

Posted by AlexC at 7:42 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Think Sen. Biden's mom is good for the 600 bucks?

Posted by: jk at October 30, 2008 7:57 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Screw those prices! I'm just going to get an Obama sock puppet for $30.

And hang it by a white rope in my living room.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 30, 2008 11:28 PM
But LatteSipper thinks:

McCain and Palin (or should I say Palin and McCain?) have captured the Cabbage Patch collectors demographic. Seems pretty apropos. How's Sarah doing with the Escada and Akris Punto collectors?

Posted by: LatteSipper at October 31, 2008 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow, you really are an elitist snob, ls. I have no idea what you are talking about -- do they give these things away on NPR?

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2008 5:11 PM
But LatteSipper thinks:

Nope. They give those away on shopping sprees if you're the Republican candidate for VP.

Posted by: LatteSipper at November 2, 2008 2:28 AM

The Slippery Slope

The one ad that must run all weekend long.

Posted by AlexC at 3:46 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit equalizers
Around you have grown

And accept it that soon
You'll be soaked to the bone
If your wealth to you
Is worth savin'

Then you better start votin'
Or you'll be worth a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Apologies to Bob Dylan.

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2008 4:14 PM

The 3AM Test

Obama failed:

“You know what he did?” [Bill] Clinton said, heralding Obama’s reaction to the financial crisis. “First he took a little heat for not saying much. I knew what he was doing. He talked to his advisers – he talked to my economic advisers, he called Hillary. He called me. He called Warren Buffet. He called all those people, you know why? Because he knew it was complicated and before he said anything he wanted to understand.”

The President damning with faint praise. Or is it praising with faint damning.

Posted by AlexC at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

King Obama

"Why?" a moderate-to-right-of-center relative asks the other day, "are [enumerate three people, all of whom are intelligent, reasonable, and have voted for Republicans before] so captivated by Obama?"

On some level, many Americans -- heavily weighted toward "moderates" -- internally elect a king every four years. This person will be our face to the world, will represent us, and will affect our daily lives far more than envisioned in Federalist #10.

If you're after a king, Senator Obama is a good pick. He's likeable, confident, strong and intelligent. If your disposition is slanted more toward the Executive modeled in #10, you might still choose Senator O, but I think your predilection will run more toward Senator McCain.

I toil in the fever swamps of ThreeSources and meet precious few moderates. But Fouad Ajami reinforces my riff, if indirectly, in "Obama and the Politics of Crowds." Ajami sees the phenomena of large-crowd political rallies as being outside the traditional American political culture:

My boyhood, and the Arab political culture I have been chronicling for well over three decades, are anchored in the Arab world. And the tragedy of Arab political culture has been the unending expectation of the crowd -- the street, we call it -- in the redeemer who will put an end to the decline, who will restore faded splendor and greatness. When I came into my own, in the late 1950s and '60s, those hopes were invested in the Egyptian Gamal Abdul Nasser. He faltered, and broke the hearts of generations of Arabs. But the faith in the Awaited One lives on, and it would forever circle the Arab world looking for the next redeemer.

America is a different land, for me exceptional in all the ways that matter. In recent days, those vast Obama crowds, though, have recalled for me the politics of charisma that wrecked Arab and Muslim societies. A leader does not have to say much, or be much. The crowd is left to its most powerful possession -- its imagination.


Posted by John Kranz at 2:14 PM | Comments (0)

Obama Energy Plan

The last few seconds of the video are cut off, but I understand Obama's words were "unless it's Iran."

Posted by AlexC at 2:06 PM | Comments (0)

Obama / McCain Dance Off

Must watch.

Posted by AlexC at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Go P.Mamma!

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2008 4:01 PM

LA Times Kowtowing

Sarah Palin comments on the LA Times hiding the Khalidi/Obama tape.

"It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking after his best interests like that... Politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own. In this case we have a newspaper willing to throw aside even the public's right to know in order to protect a candidate that its own editorial board has endorsed. And, if there's a Pulitzer Prize for excellence in kowtowing then the LA Times-- You're winning!"

The bounty for that video is now over $200,000.

Posted by AlexC at 10:05 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The modern American media has apparently misinterpreted its charge to be the "Watchdog of Democracy" as "Guard dog of Democracy." [spelling corrected, jg]

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 30, 2008 2:35 PM

Defining Rich Down

$250,000

Then $200,000

Then $150,000

Soon $100,000?

Boston Herald

Biden told a TV interviewer this week, “What we’re saying is that [our] tax break doesn’t need to go to people making . . . $1.4 million. It should go to [those] making under $150,000 a year.”

The Obama-Biden team isn’t even elected yet and already they are redefining that “middle class” tax cut. Remember how no one earning under $250,000 was going to get a tax hike? Well, the latest ad being run by the Obama campaign talks about “families” earning $200,000 or less would qualify for a tax cut. Well, which is it? Individuals or dual-wage families?
Really now... rolling back promises before you're even elected?

Who do they think they are?

Posted by AlexC at 9:44 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I've said elsewhere that you can always trust a Democrat who promises a middle class tax cut. After all, the last Democratic president first campaigned in 1992 on relief for the middle class tax, saying "It's time for the rich to pay their fair share."

And in 1993, we got the largest tax cut in American history.

Right?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 30, 2008 11:35 AM

October 29, 2008

Obama Blows Sanford and Son Reference


My wife and I heard this on Rush this afternoon, and immediately corrected his line. Even before Rush told us it was wrong.

"Can you imagine if you had your Social Security invested in the stock market these last two weeks, these last two months?

You wouldn't need Social Security. You'd be having a, ya know like Sanford and Sons, 'I'm coming Weezy."

One of Fred Sanford's signature lines was 'I'm coming Elizabeth."

Weezy was the nickname for Louise Jefferson.

Obama departed from his prepared remarks in making the Sanford reference.


Was that last line a subtle shot? From the Chicago Sun Times no less.

Posted by AlexC at 6:05 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith thinks:

Good thing The One doesn't try quoting from "Blazing Saddles." I can only imagine the ocean of gasps that would follow a gaffe there.

The most ironic part is that many people consider "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son," and other similar shows to have been part of an affirmative-action push by the networks to engage more blacks in the viewing audience, and demonstrate increased minority representation in prime-time - and now we know that Obama wasn't even paying attention.

Perhaps he was watching "Hawaii Five-O" or "The Rockford Files" instead. But I know it wasn't Monday Night Football.

Hmmmph.

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2008 11:20 AM

John!

I completed my mail-in ballot on Sunday and drove it to the County office in Fort Lupton on Monday. Lest anyone be concerned, I voted for Senator McCain and Governor Palin, a straight GOP ticket downstream, and took the anti-union side of all the big referenda.

If you still harbor any doubts about the imperfect McCain, click over to Mary Anastasia O'Grady's comparison of their positions on trade:

The U.S. hasn't elected a genuinely protectionist president since Herbert Hoover, and for most of the last 80 years a rough bipartisan consensus has held that free trade is in the American national interest. The erosion of that consensus is reflected in the gulf between John McCain and Barack Obama on trade, which is probably the widest division at the presidential level since the 1920s.

UPDATE: Professor Mankiw notes that The Times of India gets it:
McCain is one of the few American politicians in either party with the courage and conviction to stand up to protectionist populism. By contrast, Obama embodies protectionism....

McCain has voted 88% of the time against bills creating trade barriers, and 90% of the time against export subsidies for US producers. Few other senators have such a splendid record.

Obama has served a much shorter time in the Senate, and avoided voting on many key issues. He has voted against trade barriers only 36% of the time. He supported export subsidies on the two occasions on which he voted, a 100% protectionist record in this regard.


Whole thing great to be read.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:06 PM | Comments (0)

$150K for Obama / PLO Tape

BucksRight

In an email to Dirty Harry’s Place, the CIO of investment firm Dune Capital has pledged $150,000 for a digital or source copy of the tape showing Barack Obama partying with former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi and other enemies of Israel as well as toasting the former PLO mouthpiece according to the site.

It is further alleged that domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn were in attendance at the event, possibly seated as bookends to Obama and his angry wife Michelle.

Posted by AlexC at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I like Rand Simberg's take:

There are PLO and Hamas flags decorating the room, along with Che and Mao posters. Khalidi, Ayers and Obama are slapping each others' backs, raising their glasses and toasting the upcoming destruction of the racist Zionist entity, all the while laughing at the thought of the final Final Solution. Obama says, "You know, when I take over, the first thing I'll do is withdraw all aid from those fascist kikes, and I'll give the Palis a couple nukes." Then he turns to Ayers, and asks him if he's come up with any fresh schemes for mass murder of the millions of recalcitrant capitalists, so that they can be implemented in the first one hundred days. After dessert, they get out an American flag, crumple it up on the floor, and jump up and down on it, shouting "Death to Capitalism, Death to America."

Simberg suggests the LATimes can release the tape to prove him wrong.

Posted by: jk at October 29, 2008 3:05 PM

Tightening!

The sound you hear is the polling getting tighter as well a Democrat sphincters.

Rasmussen

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote nationwide while John McCain earns 47%. This is the first time McCain has been within three points of Obama in more than a month and the first time his support has topped 46% since September 24 (see trends). One percent (1%) of voters prefer a third-party option and 2% are undecided.

THREE POINTS!

McCain is gaining into the final weekend!

We can do this naysayers!!!!

Will will do this!

Posted by AlexC at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin is a Braniac!

Didja see this? Didja?

Elaine Lafferty, "former editor in chief of Ms. magazine (and a Democrat) on what she learned on a campaign plane with the would-be VP."

It's difficult not to froth when one reads, as I did again and again this week, doubts about Sarah Palin's “intelligence,” coming especially from women such as PBS's Bonnie Erbe, who, as near as I recall, has not herself heretofore been burdened with the Susan Sontag of Journalism moniker. As Fred Barnes—God help me, I'm agreeing with Fred Barnes—suggests in the Weekly Standard, these high toned and authoritative dismissals come from people who have never met or spoken with Sarah Palin. Those who know her, love her or hate her, offer no such criticism. They know what I know, and I learned it from spending just a little time traveling on the cramped campaign plane this week: Sarah Palin is very smart.


I am used to disagreeing with people, but it has been a real disappointment to see/hear my lefty friends seethe or incredulously stare when I say that I like her. I know some very bright people who have bought into the stereotype of "Caribou Barbie." When you see her on Kudlow & Co., or listen to those who have spent time with her, you get a little different idea of her capabilities than does the Newsweek reader.

UPDATE: Forgot to hat-tip Bill Dyer at Hugh Hewitt

Posted by John Kranz at 4:41 PM | Comments (0)

Seems Fair To Me!

Don Luskin found a chain letter that makes sense:

Dear Fellow Business Owners
As a business owner who employs 30 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barack Obama will be our next president, and that my taxes and fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Customer will have to see an increase in my fees to them of about 8-10%. I will also have to lay off six of my employees.

This really bothered me as I believe we are family here and didn't know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did.

I strolled thru the parking lot and found eight Obama bumper stickers on my employee’s cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can't think of another fair way to approach this problem.


Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith thinks:

Seems fair to me. They voted to create the problem, they should be the first to volunteer to pay the price.

I'm guilty of the same rationale. Driving on a crowded freeway during rush hour, when someone is trying to cut close into my lane, I find myself looking at the bumper stickers. If I see an Obama sticker, they're not getting into my lane. If they're willing to boast about supporting a guy that wants to destroy my country, I don't feel the need to do them favors. Just judging a book by the cover it chooses to wear...

Does that make me a bad person?

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2008 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Yes, Keith, it surely does. But my McCain-Palin sticker is proudly perched, so I'll look for you when I merge.

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 4:55 PM
But Keith thinks:

jk: Cars with McCain-Palin stickers, "Yes On 8" stickers, Marine Corps stickers, or NRA stickers ALWAYS get a pass with me. Those annoying "Coexist" stickers never do, but since they're usually fastened to Priuses (Prii?) or other underpowered imports, they usually back down from trying to cut me off in my domestic gas-guzzler anyway. Survival of the fittest, I suppose.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2008 5:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Now I HAVE to share this anecdote. I have received a lot less automotive-persiflage from my Mc-P sticker than I expected in Indigo Boulder County Colorado. But I did get a loud F#$% YOU A&*H$%#!! from a passing motorist as I was in the left turn lane. I looked over to see the political scientist sharing his views with me and saw only one bumper sticker as he sped away: "CoExist," naturally. I love this planet!

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 6:00 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

And this gentlemen, is why I do not use bumper stickers.

~T. Greer, the kid whose friends thought it would be funny to put an Obama '08 sticker on his bumper the night before the state GOP convention.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 29, 2008 9:10 AM
But jk thinks:

That is pretty funny. When the scars heal a little, you'll laugh as well.

I am uncomfortable wearing my heart on my sleeve or bumper, but I think it is good to let the denizens of Boulder know that some people actually have not been assimilated.

Posted by: jk at October 29, 2008 11:29 AM

Obama's Personal Salvation

Posted by AlexC at 3:21 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Stunning. Wasn't the first "poor African" in the montage his brother? Somebody has a nicely cranky sense of humor.

Eight days to election and people are just finding out he is a Socialist. Perhaps if we'd run a little more of this and a little less Ayers?

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 5:25 PM
But AlexC thinks:

you mean Ayers the Marxist?

Posted by: AlexC at October 28, 2008 7:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Touche. (The Marxist who orders people off his "property"). I just feel that the wealth redistribution is getting a little traction. Some was inspired by Joe the Plumber, but all of these interviews were there all along and represent a more effective way to raise doubts than his relationship with Ayers,

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 7:59 PM

General Powell's Friends

No, I will not question Secretary Powell's patriotism. But I am starting to worry about his taste.

The October Surprise endorser of Senator Obama will be speaking as a character witness for Senator Ted Stevens.

Anchorage Daily News:

WASHINGTON - One of the nation's best-known retired Army generals, Colin Powell, described Sen. Ted Stevens in court today as a "trusted individual" and a man with a "sterling" reputation.

"He was someone whose word you could rely on," said Powell, secretary of state in President Bush's first term, who self-deprecatingly described himself as someone who retired as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then "dabbled a bit in diplomacy."


The General, like the Senator, has been in Washington too long.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 2:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2008

Megyn Kelly vs Bill Burton

Red meat.

Right off the cow.

Watch it all.

Megyn Kelly is awesome. She takes no crap from anyone.

Posted by AlexC at 6:46 PM | Comments (0)

Philadelphia's CBS3 Banned By Biden

Joe's "hometown" newscast...


CBS3 is not my preferred local news.... but that may change.

Posted by AlexC at 6:12 PM | Comments (0)

Those Adorable Little Mankiw Kids

I doubt that a lot of ThreeSourcers spend a lot of time worrying about the future inheritances of children of Harvard professors. But -- just for today -- tune in, this is pretty instructive.

Professor Mankiw suggests that his present personal needs are pretty close to sated, but that additional speaking and writing engagements would allow him to bequeath a little more to his three children. He compares the marginal effect of earning an additional dollar under the McCain, Obama, and Eidlebus '12 tax plans:

If there were no taxes [Eidlebus] so t1=t2=t3=t4=0, then $1 earned today would yield my kids $28. That is simply the miracle of compounding.

Under the McCain plan, t1=.35, t2=.25, t3=.15, and t4=.15. In this case, a dollar earned today yields my kids $4.81. That is, even under the low-tax McCain plan, my incentive to work is cut by 83 percent compared to the situation without taxes.

Under the Obama plan, t1=.43, t2=.35, t3=.2, and t4=.45. In this case, a dollar earned today yields my kids $1.85. That is, Obama's proposed tax hikes reduce my incentive to work by 62 percent compared to the McCain plan and by 93 percent compared to the no-tax scenario. In a sense, putting the various pieces of the tax system together, I would be facing a marginal tax rate of 93 percent.


Disincentives to additional work from most Ivy League professors mightn’t be such a bad idea, but I thank Mankiw for this illustrative example that will be reflected in every industry and sector: $1.28 out of $28.00

UPDATE: I'm a little late to the party, I see that Instapundit and Hugh have both linked to this. Just the same, I think it needs the weight of ThreeSources behind it.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:17 PM | Comments (6)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Do you see? DO YOU SEE?

The way to prosperity AND liberty is...

Vote Eidelbus in 2012. :)

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 27, 2008 9:04 PM
But jk thinks:

He's being awfully coy about picking his running mate, isn't he?

Politicians...

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 10:59 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

You might already be beaten to it. A friend will similarly run in 2012, and we want to register in at least a few states so our friends can actually vote for us.

So on one ticket, he'll be my running mate. On the other ticket, I'll be his! :)

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 28, 2008 12:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, but don't expect my 18 million supporters to blindly support you. Or my wife to campaign on your behalf.

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 12:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For the benefit of those who didn't read the Mankiw blog, t1 through t4 are various tax rates:

First, I pay the combined income and payroll tax on the dollar earned. Second, I pay the corporate tax rate while the money is invested in a firm. Third, I pay the dividend and capital gains rate as I receive that return. And fourth, I pay the estate tax when I leave what has accumulated to my kids.

And from the WSJ article that Mankiw cites:

In sum, Mr. Obama is proposing to use the tax code to substantially redistribute income -- raising tax rates on a minority of taxpayers to finance tax credits and direct income supplements to millions of others. How much revenue his higher rates would raise depends on how much less those high-earners would work, or how much they would change their practices to shelter their income from those higher rates.

By contrast, Mr. McCain is proposing some kind of tax reduction for most Americans who pay taxes. He says he would finance those cuts by reducing the rate of growth in federal spending.

Stiflingly punitive taxation vs. tax reduction - you decide.

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2008 1:22 PM
But jk thinks:

No excuses for not reading Mankiw. Snotty Harvard kids have to pay $50K a semester -- you just have to click.

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2008 4:36 PM

October 26, 2008

Biden & Murtha on SNL

Hah!

Posted by AlexC at 1:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2008

Plumber & Patriots

Saw this over at Hillbuzz.

Posted by AlexC at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

Tough Questions

My name is Joe Biden, and I don't like tough questions.

and of course this:

"There's nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public -- not misleading the American people with false information. Senator Biden handled the interview well; however, the anchor was completely unprofessional. Senator Biden's wife is not running for elected office, and there are many other stations in the Orlando television market that would gladly conduct a respectful and factual interview with her."

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election."

Posted by AlexC at 7:28 PM | Comments (4)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"How can he be a benefactor for ACORN?"

Biden spoke the truth. Obama is a *beneficiary* of ACORN, at least today.

The rest of his blabber is a pure lie, however. "The tax breaks they used to have."

I would like Biden and Obama to explain how my taxes will actually go *up* once the Bush tax cuts expire. Doesn't that, you know, mean that I got a tax cut? Or maybe that means I'm one of those evil "rich" who isn't "spreading the wealth"?

I salute the reporter, bless 'er heart.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 25, 2008 8:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Biden said, "Just this year people earning $1.4M average, the top 1% of taxpayers (good, honest, decent Americans) are set to receive a NEW $87 billion tax break. A new one, on top of last year." Then he says this is an example of "redistributing the wealth ... UP!"

Is he kidding?

Has he been in congress so long that he actually believes wealth initially COMES from the government?

Oh, the humanity!

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2008 11:15 AM
But jk thinks:

"Who writes your questions?" "Is that a joke?" I cannot imagine Governor Palin would be extended the same latitude in berating her questioner.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2008 10:58 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

The headline the next day:

"Palin rude, refuses to answer tough but fair questions"

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 28, 2008 6:02 AM

ABCNews: Yes, We Have a Media in the Tank

Too damned late to matter, douchebags.

Read it all

Posted by AlexC at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2008

Spreading the Wealth

No regrets saying it.

Posted by AlexC at 3:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2008

Killing 401Ks

Yes, the Democrat Congress & President Obama could be this dumb.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return. Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

Posted by AlexC at 6:51 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

As the WSJ Ed Page says The election is still two weeks away, but we are already living in the world of Obamanomics"

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2008 7:36 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And guess what: that's not real interest. That's interest we're paying to...ourselves. There's a reason the Social Security "bonds" are disparaged as "I-owe-me" notes.

Yeah. I'm going to go increase my net worth by writing a check to my savings account, with a promissory note to repay the checking account at interest. Yeah.

Soon it'll be time to start dealing purely in cash: getting paid in cash and paying for things in cash, and resultingly hiding from the IRS, just so you have a chance of scraping by without the goddamn tyrants stealing every last penny.

It'll be hard, but we're incredibly (I say that in the sense of "beyond believing") getting to the point of Soviet communism: work for no pay, only rations and coupons the government gives us. The feds are nationalizing the major industries (finance/banking, energy, health care, education and insurance), so what's left? Most farmers are already on the federal dole, and "American" automakers are being bailed out. We're already headed for UK/Canada-style "free" health care (for which we must make appointments months in advance). Once private schools are shut down via regulations, we'll have no choice -- meaning with guns pointed at our heads -- but to send our children to whatever "free" schools the government runs.

People always think "It could never happen here," but then it does, and 20 years later they wonder how it slipped under their noses.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 24, 2008 1:49 PM
But jk thinks:

The 401k remains the strongest link of middle class Americans to the ownership society. The enemies of freedom would be wise to try to kill it at this one point of history when its popularity is down.

"Whew, we almost let a few of those bastards get off the Government dole there. Thank God we killed it in time!"

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2008 2:29 PM

Tricks & Treats

Courtesy of the Americans for Limited Government...

Posted by AlexC at 4:38 PM | Comments (0)

Barack Obama Committing Campaign Finance Fraud

Stealing the election?

Probably.

John Galt donates to Obama

Read all of this

Posted by AlexC at 2:02 PM | Comments (0)

"I am Joe the Plumber"

Is it ok to say this ad gives me the chills? It's great.

Posted by AlexC at 1:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2008

I'm Starting To Like This McCain Fellow

A good friend of ThreeSources sends a link to a Jennifer Rubin post in Commentary -- and the suggestion that "it seems McCain has finally got his grove on."

So let’s try to get all this straight. My opponent says he’s going to cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans — including that miraculous reduction for those who aren’t paying any right now. Then he commits to more than a trillion dollars in new federal spending. And even after voting for the 750 billion dollar rescue package earlier this month, he won’t even specify a single cut in spending that he would consider. That leaves us with almost two trillion dollars in new spending to which Barack Obama stands committed, and no explanation at all of how he is going to pay for it.

Does anyone seriously believe that these trillions of dollars are going to come from only the very highest income earners? Even his supporters are skeptical. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said of these plans, quote, “There is not enough money to do all this stuff.” An influential newspaper called his claims, quote, “neither politically nor economically plausible.” That critique came from the editorial board of The New York Times, and when Barack Obama loses them you know he’s gone too far.


I join Rubin in wishing that Senator Mac had stuck with this message throughout the campaign.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

Winner or Talker?

I meant to link to this yesterday and it got away from me. I went hunting for the link so that I could share it with blog brother ls. Randall Hoven is concerned that the media and punditry values debating skills over accomplishment.

I use Sarah Palin as an example. Throughout her life, she was chosen by her peers for leadership roles.

-- In high school she was chosen to be captain of the basketball team. Her team won the State Championship when she was captain. In fact, she sank the winning shot in the championship game - with a broken ankle.
-- In high school she was chosen as leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
-- When she showed up at PTA meetings in support of her own children's education, her peers said she should run for councilman. She did and she won.
-- As a councilwoman, her peers said she should run for mayor. She did and she won.
-- As mayor, her fellow mayors thought she should be President of the Alaska Council of Mayors. She won that election too.
-- The Alaska governor appointed her as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
-- Her peers thought she should run for governor. She did and she won.
-- John McCain selected her to be his Vice Presidential running mate.


Hoven points out that she rose to where she is on her own competence. He goes on to defend her experience vis-ŕ-vis Senator Obama, her intelligence, and her veracity vis-ŕ-vis Senator Biden.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2008

Biden Biden Biden

Heh.

Posted by AlexC at 7:59 PM | Comments (0)

Albright: "Statement of Fact" Obama Will be Tested

... agreeing with Senator Joe Biden.

Is this a good strategy for Dems?

How does Obama's inexperience help him?

Posted by AlexC at 7:06 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Chatterbox isn't sure he's ever read a memoir quite so self-indulgent and morally clueless as Fugitive Days. (He's certainly never before read one festooned with glowing blurbs from respectable folk like Scott Turow--"a gripping personal account.") "Memory is a motherfucker," begins Ayers, establishing the book's literary tone and unreliability in one compact sentence. Throughout Fugitive Days, Ayers reminds his readers that he's had to omit or change many facts throughout his narrative because they describe actions on his part that are, well, illegal. -- Timothy Noah [Chatterbox] in a book review not likely to generate a lot of Bill Ayers book sales or Senator Obama votes.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:27 PM | Comments (0)

The Comprehensive Case Against Obama

Take some time to read this:

The Comprehensive Case Against Barack Obama

Taken individually, most of them would create doubt about the readiness and honesty of any political candidate. Put together as a narrative, we believe this paints the picture of a man who has few real credentials for the office he seeks beyond the Constitutional minimum, and a politician who has succeeded in obfuscating his hard-Left ideology.

Perhaps if Barack Obama had taken more time to build his resumé – especially with executive experience – he might have made a more compelling candidate, and might have demonstrated at least a little of the moderation he has claimed. Instead, Democrats want America to support at once the most radical and least qualified candidate for President in at least a century. They have tried to conceal this with the complicity of a pom-pom-waving national media that has shown much more interest in the political background of a plumber from Ohio than in a major-party candidate for President.

America deserves better than that. Voters deserve the truth from the press, not vague cheers of “hope” and “change” while willfully ignoring or air-brushing Obama’s record. We hope to set that record straight with our essay.

Posted by AlexC at 2:47 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

I think Governor Palin's resume stacks up well against Senator Obama's and she is on the second spot of the ticket. I'll see your James Fallows and raise you one Randell Hoven.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2008 11:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Believing all voices should be heard, I am going to help a blog brother and move this comment to the correct item. LatteSipper sez:

I think the reference to Mr. Hoven's article misses the point. Neither Mr. Fallows nor I were arguing that Mrs. Palin is stupid or that her folksy speaking style disqualifies her. It's her lack of knowledge on subjects. Her M.O. on answering questions regarding world affairs is to spew a collection of talking point fragments, usually unrelated to each other or the question being asked. I think she's terrific at regurgitating bits and pieces of what she's been coached on - she does a really great job of pronouncing Ahmadinejad. I still don't believe she has a basic understanding of world issues. She reminds me of Bush - great reading from a teleprompter, great at throwing red meat to adoring crowds. I believe if a Democrat operated in the same manner - spewing bits and pieces of standard stump speech lines but unable to answer direct questions, Republicans would be howling about that person's competency. Oh, the point about her peers picking for the PTA convinced me though - she's clearly qualified to be president.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2008 11:06 AM
But jk thinks:

You claim that you are not "arguing that Mrs. Palin is stupid or that her folksy speaking style disqualifies her." I claim that you are.

Perhaps it's subliminal, as I'd hate to call you a liar. But Hoven's point about Senator Biden draws the difference. Senator Joe engages reporters and debate moderators in the way we expect and even though his content is no more substantive, we fall for his rhetorical style.

Fallows makes a poor choice with the Gibson "Bush Doctrine" question, Governor Palin responded, immediately, with "in what sense, Charlie?" This was a very good answer, Wikipedia details several policy elements that fit under the rubric of "the Bush [D|d]octrine." An honest interlocutor would have clarified the question. Gibson chose to act the schoolmarm and look down his glasses.

I smelled the PTA line coming. But the point is that Speaker Pelosi has traded on a politically powerful father and Senator Clinton has traded on a politically powerful husband. Governor P started her career in the PTA -- and flew up to Governor. And remains one of the most popular governors in the country.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2008 11:25 AM
But LatteSipper thinks:

Thanks for getting my reply in the right spot and for not calling me a liar. Much appreciated. ;) I think the discussions around Sarah Palin's competency won't go anywhere. My hypothesis is that if a candidate is spouting positions that align with our beliefs, we're willing to overlook a lot. If Obama had picked a running mate that seemed to have limited grasp of today's important issues but was thematically harmonious, I image I would overlook a lot of those shortcomings or be able to rationalize their lack of importance in some way. Conversely, because I’m so at odds with what seem to be Mrs. Palin’s core beliefs, I’m ready to cry foul over every perceived shortcoming (and there are many). I agree to disagree. Regarding the Pelosi/Clinton point, I would argue that Sarah Palin is McCain’s running mate because he was making a desperate play to shake up the election calculus and not because of her “clear and indisputable qualifications” to be vice-president or president, or because she made the winning shot in the big game in highschool.

Posted by: LatteSipper at October 24, 2008 12:56 PM
But LatteSipper thinks:

I withdraw my previous hypothesis. It's BS to assume that I know the truth and someone who disagrees with me knows I'm right but is rationalizing their way to a wrong conclusion. I'm still working on how intelligent people take the same data and come up with such diametrically opposed positions. I’ll get back to you when I have a definitive answer (he writes in his smug, elitist, latte-sipping way).

Posted by: LatteSipper at October 24, 2008 1:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Huh, before you retracted you pretty well had me.

I admitted early-on to Obama supporters that inexperience alone would not cause me to not support a candidate who shared my views. You're right there. What I don't get -- from you and many others -- is how Governor Palin lacks experience for the weighty job of VP because she is only a Governor-Mayor and Senator Obama is okay at the top of the ticket because he was a State Senator and served a couple years in the "World's Most Deliberative Body."

I liked the Hoven piece because he enumerated her executive experience.

And she sunk the shot with a broken ankle!

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2008 2:07 PM

Blocking Palin

Asshats try to block Palin motorcade in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Get face full of asphalt instead.

Posted by AlexC at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

They were driven to this by all the mean underhanded Republican tricks, ac, you can see why they'd lash out.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2008 2:23 PM

October 20, 2008

Part of the Problem

Posted by AlexC at 4:25 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Nice.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2008 4:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nice indeed. There's some other very good points being made over there at http://neverfindout.org/

Pick your favorite. Mine was "Middle Class."

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2008 1:41 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

I like the "chicken button." It is not very often a negative campaign ad makes me laugh.

~T. Greer

Posted by: T. Greer at October 22, 2008 12:55 AM

I am Spartacus Joe

Remember the scene at the end of Spartacus, where the rebels start confessing that they are Spartacus.

Every single one?

Let's hope it ends better than the movie.


How are you Joe the Plumber? Tell us in 30 seconds...

During Barack Obama's recent event in Toledo, Ohio, "Joe the Plumber" asked a simple question and got a surprising answer from the Democratic nominee. When he asked why Barack Obama's tax plan was going to punish him for working hard and living the American Dream, Barack Obama responded, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

In that brief exchange, the American people got to see what this campaign is all about ... a choice between honoring the hard work of everyday Americans like "Joe the Plumber" and increasing taxes to "spread the wealth." In these tough economic times, there is no doubt that John McCain and Sarah Palin stand firmly on the side of hardworking "everyday Joes" who understand the value of honest work and the American Dream.

That's why we want to hear from you and share your story with the American public. It's simple ... make an ad telling us why you are "Joe the Plumber" in 30 seconds and your video could end up on the air as a TV ad. Share your story of living the American Dream, working hard, or owning a small business to tell America why you're standing with John McCain and Sarah Palin.


Posted by AlexC at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

Dear Bitter Clingers:

Fellow Sportsman,

Hello, my name is Rich Pearson and I have been active in the firearm rights movement for over 40 years. For the past 15 years, I have served in the Illinois state capitol as the chief lobbyist for the Illinois State Rifle Association.

I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator. As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone. The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama.

Although Obama claims to be an advocate for the 2nd Amendment, his voting record in the Illinois Senate paints a very different picture. While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens. That same bill would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly confiscate banned guns. Obama supported a bill that would shut down law-abiding firearm manufacturers including Springfield Armory, Armalite, Rock River Arms and Les Baer. Obama also voted for a bill that would prohibit law-abiding citizens from purchasing more than one gun per month.

Without a doubt, Barack Obama has proven himself to be an enemy of the law abiding firearm owner . At the same time, Obama has proven himself to be a friend to the hardened criminal. While a state senator, Obama voted 4 times against legislation that would allow a homeowner to use a firearm in defense of home and family.

Does Barack Obama still sound to you like a "friend" of the law-abiding gun owner?

And speaking of friends, you can always tell a person by the company they keep. Obama counts among his friends the Rev. Michael Pfleger - a renegade Chicago priest who has openly called for the murder of gun shop owners and pro-gun legislators. Then there is his buddy Richard Daley, the mayor of Chicago who has declared that if it were up to him, nobody would be allowed to own a gun. And let's not forget Obama's pal George Soros - the guy who has pumped millions of dollars into the UN's international effort to disarm law-abiding citizens.

Obama has shown that he is more than willing to use other people's money to fund his campaign to take your guns away from you. While a board member of the leftist Joyce Foundation, Barack Obama wrote checks for tens of millions of dollars to extremist gun control organizations such as the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and the Violence Policy Center.

Does Barack Obama still sound to you like a "friend" of the law-abiding gun owner?

By now, I'm sure that many of you have received mailings from an organization called "American Hunters and Shooters Association(AHSA)" talking about what a swell fellow Obama is and how he honors the 2nd Amendment and how you will never have to worry about Obama coming to take your guns. Let me make it perfectly clear - everything the A HSA says about Obama is pure hogwash. The AHSA is headed by a group of left-wing elitists who subscribe to the British view of hunting and shooting. That is, a state of affairs where hunting and shooting are reserved for the wealthy upper-crust who can afford guided hunts on exclusive private reserves. The AHSA is not your friend, never will be.

In closing, I'd like to remind you that I'm a guy who has actually gone nose to nose with Obama on gun rights issues. The Obama I know cannot even begin to identify with this nation's outdoor traditions. The Obama I know sees you, the law abiding gun owner, as nothing but a low-class lummox who is easily swayed by the flash of a smile and a ration of rosy rhetoric. The Obama I know is a stony-faced liar who has honed his skill at getting what he wants - so long as people are willing to give it to him.
That's the Barack Obama I know.

Posted by AlexC at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

Biden: Obama Presidency Guarantees International Crisis

Is this a gaffe or a promise?

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."


I'm at a loss to understand what you in your communities can do in the face of international crisis.

I suppose Obama supporters can keep an eye on the pitchfork and torch brigades.

What is he getting at?

Surely Biden argues for a more experienced hand, right?

It's nice to know that the Obama/Biden administration is going all Bush/Cheney on us.

Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right.

Wasn't that the argument about the War on Terror and Iraq? "Just give us time, you'll see."

Posted by AlexC at 12:47 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Aren't you gratified to know our virtually president-elect, our first boy chief executive, is such a pansy-ass that the world will want to "test" him immediately?

God help us. I'm already thinking how the Islamofascists "tested" Clinton: the 1993 WTC bombing, twin bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, and the U.S.S. Cole. Great tests -- for them, because they showed how weak non-JFK Democrats are on foreign policy.

And with everything going wrong around the world, the Clintons wanted to focus on domestic "paramilitary groups" that never did anything.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 20, 2008 1:00 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Perry, don't be so down on hope & change.

It's all will have soon. :)

Posted by: AlexC at October 20, 2008 2:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh-squared: Tom Maguire sez: "Biden is trying to put lipstick on the Bay of Pigs."

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2008 6:02 PM

We're Looking Fo a Few Good Joes

We want you to tell us how you are "Joe the Plumber" and why you're supporting John McCain and Sarah Palin in thirty seconds. You could even see your video as an official McCain TV ad.

Share your story.

My wife is already calling me "John the Programmer;" I really don't want to encourage it...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2008

B***s**t!

Now he thinks he's Penn Gillette...

The Wall Street Journal -- even under Rupert Murdoch's evil influence -- is still too good to use a scatological bovine reference in a headline. But I think they wanted to, and an editor changed it to Obama Makes It Up.

We actually had a discussion of free trade at the last debate. I'm not a big Bob Schieffer fan, but he was a better moderator than Lehrer, Ifill, and Brokaw put together. Senator McCain was strong, as this is an important issue to him and he has a great track record. Opponents may have thought it Gore-ish, but I liked his eyebrow hurdle when Senator Government -- I mean Obama -- called himself a free trader.

Senator Obama then made a very good case for his opposition to the Colombia Free Trade pact. Like Senator Mac, I thought it was a "no-brainer" but Senator O made a clever case about Columbia's failure to prosecute crimes against labor leaders. Heck, it even sounded good to me. Too bad it was Bullshit:

It is true that Colombia has a history of violence. But since President Álvaro Uribe took office in 2002, that violence has been substantially reduced. The homicide rate through the end of 2007 was down by 40.4% and the rate among union members was down almost 87%. There is nothing "consistent" about a drop to 26 union member murders in 2007 from 155 in 2000.

As for prosecutions: In union-member killings, there were zero convictions from 1991-2000 and one in 2001. But from 2002-2007, there were 80. According to the Colombian attorney general's office, 29% of those murders were "found to have been results of theft, petty crime and random violence unrelated to union activity." Mr. Uribe has nonetheless created a special investigative unit for crimes against union members, and he expanded a special government protection program for unions.


But, is Joe really a plumber? Don't worry the press is on it.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

AP/Yahoo: Obama 44 - McCain 42?

Where did this come from?

Shockingly the poll shows 873 Dems, 650 GOPers, 246 NP. The national registration breakdown is 39% Dem, 35% GOP, and 26% NP. This poll was 49% Dem, 36% GOP, 13% independent.

It's nationwide, not by state, but still... some hope for the Republicans.

Posted by AlexC at 12:15 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

The AP Headline on Yahoo is: Poll: Voters souring on McCain, Obama stays steady

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2008 12:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Do you suppose that if McCain "somehow manages to pull this thing out" the AP headline will be 'Voters sour on McCain, Obama second'

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2008 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

"Obama finishes second in historic presidential bid."

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2008 3:34 PM

Impersonating a Plumber!

Has it been a year and nine days since Graeme Frost? My how time flies. It seems I wasn't the only one thinking about the poor lad and perceiving a little bit of media double-standard. K. Daniel Glover:

It has been almost a year to the day since journalists dropped the ball on telling America more about Graeme Frost, the boy who made the case for sinking billions of dollars more into the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. But when Michelle Malkin and other curious conservative bloggers did the legwork the press wouldn’t, they earned the scorn of their mainstream colleagues.

Hat-tip: Ed Morrissey who adds:
Indeed. And Joe Wurzelbacher didn’t give a speech or make a commercial. He asked a question. He stood on a rope line, and Obama picked him to ask it. The Tanning-Bed Media seems to feel that they have a duty to expose every last part of Wurzelbacher’s life, but that asking Obama to explain his political partnerships with Tony Rezko and William Ayers, and his long friendship and financial support of rabid demagogues Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, are not just out of bounds but downright racist.

I think it's great. It keeps Senator Government's collectivist gaffe on the front page without the RNC's spending a dime. I'm hoping Rep. Waxman calls Joe the Plumber (or whoever the whatever he really is) in for hearings.

UPDATE: Can somebody please explain to me -- speaking slowly and using very small words -- what the "Tanning-Bed" meme is all about? I followed a link from Insty when it started but didn't see anything about tanning beds. I hate to be outside the blognoscenti.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (3)
But AlexC thinks:

Sarah Palin bought a tanning bed for the governor's mansion.

With her own money.

Therefore she is evil and must be destroyed.

Posted by: AlexC at October 17, 2008 12:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks.

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2008 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Isn't criticising an Alaska woman for using a tanning bed a case of latitudinism?

P.S. The Tanning-Bed Media should also look into those "unrepentent punks" in the US Senate who Obaba's admitted to "palling around" with last night. Let them start with Christopher Dodd.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2008 3:02 PM

October 16, 2008

The Joe Ad

Sugarchuck asks, McCain does.

Posted by AlexC at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

Mean Republicans

It was reported that at a Sarah Palin rally today in Lumpluster, Ohio, some Palin supporters -- when Senator Obama's name was mentioned -- yelled "Bake him a lemon pie with only half the sugar!" and "Make him listen to Duran Duran!"

DEVELOPING...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM | Comments (1)
But Conservatism Today thinks:

I think you just made my Conservative Blogger Quote of the Day. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Conservatism Today at October 16, 2008 7:29 PM

Go Joe!

Courtesy of the Americans for Limited Government...

Posted by AlexC at 4:48 PM | Comments (0)

Rawls vs. Nozick

No, that's not Governor Palin's least favorite SCOTUS decision... It's John Rawls versus Robert Nozick.

That's Perfesser Greg Mankiw's description of how people respond to Joe the Plumber (I'm a fan of JtP on Facebook, BTW). Mankiw suggests Obama's "spread the wealth around" is "as good a summary of the Rawlsian notion of distributive justice as you are likely to find from a major political candidate." In contradicting him, Mankiw suggests that Senator McCain might prefer this passage from Nozick:

However, we are not in the position of children who have been given portions of pie by someone who now makes last minute adjustments to rectify careless cutting. There is no central distribution, no person or group entitled to control all the resources, jointly deciding how they are to be doled out. What each person gets, he gets from others who give to him in exchange for something, or as a gift. In a free society, diverse persons control different resources, and new holdings arise out of the voluntary exchanges and actions of persons. There is no more a distributing or distribution of shares than there is a distributing of mates in a society in which persons choose whom they shall marry. The total result is the product of many individual decisions which the different individuals involved are entitled to make.

Also see Mankiw's Who Wins the Rich Vote? (Spoiler: $1-10 million go McCain 75-15; $30M+, 66-33 Obama) Anybody surprised?

Posted by John Kranz at 3:47 PM | Comments (0)

More Joe

I stopped listening to Hannity in 2004, but he used to call people great Americans.

He's talking about men like Joe.

We are the greatest country in the word, stop apologizing for it. I mean really, I get real mad about that. I'm not sorry about being an American. I'm not sorry for having the things i have, I worked for them. I'm not sorry that I wish our borders were closed, and that you have to come through in a legal manner. I'm not sorry for any of those things. I'm not sorry that we're in Iraq. My friends in the military have come back from Iraq and told me of the thanks they recieved for being there. It doesn't get enough play. We liberated another country. Freedom. Things that everyone of you guys take for granted, Everything that Americans take for granted. I'm these guys havent had it, now they got it. That's an incredible thing.

Watch the whole video.

How about a Joe & Sarah barnstorming tour?

Posted by AlexC at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

And they're after him just like they were Sarah Palin. "What were you thinking when you joined the Natural Law Party?"

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2008 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Is he really a plumber? A crack team of AP reporters is on the case!

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2008 6:31 PM

Joe is Smart, S-M-R-T

Don't forget, George Bush is supposed to be a moron.

Posted by AlexC at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Read my lips - no more jobs!"

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2008 3:19 PM

Senator Government!

How much does a pallet of awesome weigh?

I don't know whether Senator McCain "won" the debate last night and I don't know if his strong performance will be enough against severe Democratic headwinds. But, Merciful Zeus, he sure got me back into the fold.

He started out with "Greed and Corruption on Wall Street" and I grabbed my stomach for a long night. But he turned the corner pretty quickly and the final 89 minutes were very good.

McCain was strong on taxes and the proper role of government. His little slip of "Senator Government" was so perfect I'd love to believe it was planned. Either way, McCain was on the side of angels in that debate. Senator Government's solutions are government.

He still doesn't have his health care plan down, but he fit it into the context of market versus government. That's a great start.

Finishing up the debate on school choice? Yes. Yes. Yes.

He could have done a little better on health care and he could have punctured the 95% of you are going to get a tax cut myth. But he did a superb job. The McCain-Palin sticker goes back on the car today!

UPDATE: I mayhave to sue. The WSJ Ed Page steals my headline and, pretty much, my lede:

Whether or not last night's much-improved debate performance helps John McCain rally in the polls, at least voters finally got a clearer sense of the policy differences. For our money, the best line of the night was Mr. McCain's Freudian slip of referring to Barack Obama as "Senator Government." Neither candidate is offering policies that meet the serious economic moment. But Mr. McCain would let Americans keep more of their own income to ride out the downturn, while Mr. Obama is revealing that his default agenda is to spend money and expand the government.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:19 AM | Comments (2)
But merge divide thinks:

-- McCain was completely incapable of sustaining any momentum, and clumsily returned again and again to his "Joe the Plumber" gimmick. It was clear that John had "jumped the shark" when he began talking directly to the unseen "Joe", and congratulating him for being "rich". I think he realized too that he had blown his "last best chance". His eyes started flittering back and forth like he was lost and scared, and he began to make the faces that have been the source of so much speculation regarding his temperament and stability

Read more at SERENDIPITY.

Posted by: merge divide at October 16, 2008 1:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I got your back on this one jk. For the first hour, with the exception of "greed and corruption on wall street" (to which he finally added, "and in Washington") I saw McCain deliver a series of body blows that Obama could just smirk about and rebut with "I agree with you John, but..."

As for the comment above by merde divide (no, it's not a typo) take your Obamaton spin somewhere else. That weak ad hominem stuff won't cut it here.

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2008 2:52 PM

Joe the Plumber!

Joe The Plumber has a Facebook group.

Be a fan!

In terms of who won / lost...

Was refreshing to see that McCain is at least going to go down fighting.... Obama was his usual condecending smug self.

McCain could have used more "air quotes" when he was talking about Obama's eloquence.

... and I don't buy Obama's no-litmus test judge nonsense. At least McCain has a record of voting for Democrat nominees. Obama voted for neither Alito nor Roberts.

Judges are the single most important thing in this election and it's the only way I can talk people down from "it's only two years before we get Congress back" people.

Winner is the one you wanted to win.

Except for Joe the Plumber, who is the most important political figure of our time, or any.

Ever.

Nebucadnezzer.....

Julius Ceasar?

Henry VIII....

Queen Victoria.

Winston Churchill.

Ronald Reagan.

Joe the Plumber.

Posted by AlexC at 1:35 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Okay, I broke down and joined Facebook so I could be Joe's friend (and so T. Greer would stop calling me old). I signed up by my real name, John Kranz, (is that stupid?) in case any of you lowlifes would like to befriend me...

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2008 10:45 AM
But sugarchuck thinks:

McCain should start a series of "I am Joe the plumber" ads featuring real small business owners that would suffer under Senator Government's tax programs. They can talk about the jobs they won't create, the equipment they won't buy and the goods and services they won't produce when the government steps in to "share" their wealth. McCain isn't going to win on Acorn and Ayers and if he has any hope at all it's in pointing out the obvious; democrats always raise taxes and that hurts everybody in the long run.

Posted by: sugarchuck at October 16, 2008 11:32 AM

October 15, 2008

Stealing Elections

Here's how you go about it, sloppily, if you're interested.

Voter fraud alert: Houseful of out-of-state Obama activists registered as Ohio voters, received absentee ballots

Posted by AlexC at 8:20 PM | Comments (0)

Believing the Polling

Two posts for discouraged McCain partisans:

Long, but must reads. I can not stress that enough. Must reads.

Hillbuzz: Eyeore-free zone

The polls that “worry” Eeyores have Democrats at 45% or above in terms of party ID breakdown — with Republicans as low as 20%. In the last 20 years, Democrats have only had a 4% party ID advantage over Republicans. Why on Earth would that historic fact change in 2008 — and swing to a 25% or more Democrat advantage? That’s ridiculous. And everything Eeyores run around with, crazed over, is equally ridiculous if they’d just take the time to critically think through it.

Yes - the media is promoting Obama, to the point where media figures like Chris Matthews actually campaign for Obama in states like Pennsylvania (which he did, in person, the weekend of October 12-13)


Hillbuzz is the blog of Hillary die-hards who are for McCain.

Zombie: The Left's Big Blunder

The entire Democratic strategy in 2008 revolves around the unproven theory that polls do create reality. Otherwise, there would be no point in continuously striving to inflate Obama's perceived public support.

The real question at the end of the day is this: Are people telling pollsters they're supporting Obama due to normative conformity (which is what I suspect) or due to informational conformity (which is what the Left is banking on)? We won't know until November 4. You can lie to a pollster. But you cannot lie to a ballot.

Posted by AlexC at 7:15 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

That could not have been directed at me, could it?

I read both links, ac, and even watched the groovy 70's guys in their rayon shirts do the Asch test, I'll concede that all of these contribute to Senator Obama's poll lead, and I'll state that the worst part of my negativity is believing I am being manipulated by the media.

But I need a bone from Senator McCain tonight. He has to say something in the debate that will make me want to vote for him. If he chases me away again, I'll have no choice but to believe he is chasing away many others.

And let me leave no doubt -- I have my mail in ballot and will absolutely positively be voting for Senator McCain.

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2008 7:44 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee wants to know how AC found out that he has an "Eeyores for McCain" bumper sticker?!?

Anyhow, the root of The Refugee's despair is not with the polls or the media, but with McCain's populist bunk ringing in his ears. As with JK, The Refugee will vote for McCain, but he doesn't have to be excited about it. Nevertheless, should McCain pull his chestnuts out of the fire and win on Nov 4, no one will be more relieved that The Refugee.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 15, 2008 9:45 PM
But AlexC thinks:

It was for me too, JK. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at October 16, 2008 1:56 AM

October 14, 2008

ACORN

Maybe the McCain campaign and I could compromise. They could continue personal attacks against Senator Obama in lieu of a cogent economic argument, but could they please shift to ACORN instead of Bill Ayers?

The WSJ Ed Page has a devastating editorial today on ACORN, its structural problems, and Senator Obama's ties to it:

The Obama campaign is now distancing itself from Acorn, claiming Mr. Obama never organized with it and has nothing to do with illegal voter registration. Yet it's disingenuous to channel cash into an operation with a history of fraud and then claim you're shocked to discover reports of fraud. As with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, Mr. Obama was happy to associate with Acorn when it suited his purposes. But now that he's on the brink of the Presidency, he wants to disavow his ties.

UPDATE: The operative word is "almost:"
It is almost inconceivable that Barack Obama should not have been grilled on this –either by his opponent or the media. (The latter is just beginning to cover the story.) Obama’s ties are deep and extensive with an organization that embraces goals and tactics well outside the political mainstream and that has engaged in a pattern of illegal activity usually seen only in RICO indictments.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2008

Race To The Bottom

Yes, I remain despondent about Senator McCain's failure to articulate a sensical, sentient message on the economy. But, let's do a little fair and balanced. Senator Obama is no better and likely much worse:

TOLEDO, Ohio - Democrat Barack Obama is calling for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a two-year tax break for businesses that create jobs as part of a plan to heal the nation's ailing economy.

Begs a couple of questions:

-- Why not just outlaw foreclosures entirely?
-- If a two year tax break is good, how about a permanent tax break?

Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Temporary tax breaks are extremely pernicious. Obama's plan is no better than a dope dealer suckering someone in. At first there's no cost. Then you get hooked, only to realize the price is indeed high. Or in this case, you hire some extra help. Your business expands. When the tax breaks expire, what are you going to do, lay off workers?

Sometimes no, because it's still worth it to retain the new workers. The problem is when liberals miscalculate and the answer is "yes."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 13, 2008 3:20 PM

The Looming Administration

*sigh*

One insider, who refuses to predict on the record, says privately that Obama will quickly announce his appointments to the cabinet positions of state, defense, treasury and attorney general. He believes Obama's cabinet is shaping up to look like this: retiring U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as defense secretary; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as attorney general; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political independent, at treasury; Susan Rice as national security advisor; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as secretary of state.

Mark Siegel, a former Democratic National Committee executive director, says Obama will want to make it immediately clear to America and to the world that "there's a new sheriff in town." He expects Obama to make that point dramatically by issuing several executive orders.

Siegel says you will see Obama immediately suspend all pending judicial nominations, close Guantanamo, then reassure the world that he will never permit torture.

Posted by AlexC at 2:23 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I'll sure sleep better knowing Chuck Hagel has my back!

I don't know that I have a lot of confidence in these "unsourced insider" predictions, but I bet the real ones will be just as bad. Actually we will probably do worse than Mayor Bloomberg in Hamilton's Chair. He's a nanny of a mayor, but would be a decent Sec-Trez.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2008 10:49 AM
But Keith thinks:

Hagel is a troubling choice - but my sense is that the Kerry choice for SecState is worse. Kerry is the great proponent of the "global test" - and I'm sure you all remember that. Left to Kerry's devices, America would become a vassal state of the United Nations empire.

Imagine how much you'll enjoy Libya defining human rights for us.

I wonder how this Cabinet stacks up against Bill Clinton's first-term cabinet, though.

Posted by: Keith at October 13, 2008 12:29 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Eh, I wouldn't be so sure. We have been hearing rumors like this the whole Summer, and there is no reason to think this particular one is true.

Furthermore, I don't think Obama is stupid enough to put Kerry on as SoS. If it were me, I would elevate Rob Gates (my absolute favorite person in the District of Columbia at the moment) to the position of SoS- he's the only one I would trust to both get SoS the funding it needs and to stick to his grit on diplomatic problems.

I would also be surprised if he chose Hagel as SoD. Jim Webb is a much likely choice than Hagel no matter what way you cut it.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 13, 2008 2:14 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Yes, we could do a lot worse than Bloomberg:

http://www.observer.com/2008/politics/obama-surrogate-gets-his-treasury-tryout

~T. Greer, with links.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 14, 2008 1:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup, as I suggested this list will prove unreliable, but the real list will probably be far worse. Corzine would be an appropriately horrible pick.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2008 2:22 PM

October 12, 2008

ThreeSources Style Section

If only we could hire Simon Doonan, but the NY Observer probably has him locked up.

You have to read this whole, fabulous, thing. Doonan offers fashion advice for hockey moms: "Ditch the Crocs and try sashaying down Main Street in a heavily fringed purple Louboutin boot." Haven't I said the same thing a hundred times on this blog?

You thought "Robert Bork's America" was bad:

In Sarah Palin’s America, there are no Diana Vreelands, hip-hop queens, Janis Joplins, Zelda Fitzgeralds, Gwen Stefanis, Edie Sedgwicks, Annie Oakleys or Babe Paleys. There is a chilling absence of stylish daring. In its place are hockey moms, masses and masses of hockey moms—all attired, one imagines, in those denim dresses, worn over turtlenecks. Uggs in winter. Crocs in summer. Holiday-themed sweaters. Quacker Factory, etc. Pass the cyanide capsules, please.

Stop it Simon, I can't take it...
And what about those “Joe Six-Packs” to which the vice presidential candidate alluded? Initially, this concept sounded quite promising: In my mind’s eye, I saw glistening David Beckham-ish blokes with fiercely toned abs. Then the penny dropped—a bit like the waist on a hockey mom’s denim dress—and I realized she was not referring to those lads in the Abercrombie ads, but rather to that genre of male that unwinds chaque soir by slurping and farting its way through six burpy cans of beer.

Paging Abraham Lincoln! Paging Liberace! Paging Tom Wolfe! Paging any American with a dollop of savoir-faire!

I take comfort from the certainty that Governor Palin’s vision is inaccurate. My America, I am happy to report, is bursting with swaggering boulevardiers and fashion-lovin’ divas. My “Main Street” is filled with showoffs who live to gird up their loins with a stylish garter or two.


And that’s the fashion news for Sunday, October 12 -- have a nice day! Hat-tip a commenter on Althouse.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2008

Palin Puck Drop

To be fair to Governor Palin, Philadelphia fans have booed Santa Claus.

At least there wasn't snow inside the building.

CBS3

To a mixture of boos and cheers, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' home opener against the New York Rangers.

The Alaska governor heard a few boos when she walked onto the ice Saturday evening. But that soon turned to polite applause as she walked out to center ice with Mike Richards of the Flyers and Scott Gomez of the Rangers.

More here.

It would have been cool if she skated out to center ice, but no one likes a show off.

Posted by AlexC at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Obama: Inviting ACORN To Shape The Agenda

The same organization that systematically destroying confidence in the electoral system is going to shape Obama's agenda "during the transition."

It'd be nice if we didn't have a media in the tank for this guy.

Must watch.

Posted by AlexC at 10:45 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Doesn't it warm your heart to know that our next president listens to so many different kinds of people? Communists, terrorists, corrupt officials, welfare queens, voter registration fraudsters, even convicted felons looking to vote again, will have just as much say in an Obama administration as we law-abiding citizens.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 12, 2008 7:19 AM
But Ted thinks:

Rezko, Wright, Raines, Ayers -- and now Acorn!!! This is over the top. Obama's a fraud and should not be allowed anywhere near the White House.

Posted by: Ted at October 12, 2008 1:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And yet, here we are. All because of a little thing called "democracy." When Ben Franklin said, "A republic, my dear, if you can keep it" he meant: Keep it, from being taken over by democracy.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2008 3:21 PM

The Palin Troopergate Probe

Brian Tierney, owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer (and Daily News), this article is why your friends on the right don't care about and don't buy your paper anymore... yeah even though it's an AP story. It's still your paper.

Palin probe finds abuse of power

Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded yesterday. The politically charged inquiry could imperil her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket.

Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report by a bipartisan panel that investigated the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain.

The inquiry looked into her dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who said he lost his job because he resisted pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.

The report found that Palin let the family grudge influence her decision-making even if it was not the sole reason Monegan was dismissed.


The report clears her, yet that is the lede of the story.

The summary report is here... page eight has the four findings.

Here are two most important.

The basis of the Democrats (and don't believe for a second this is not politically motivated) case is that she had acted improperly solely on the basis of familial spite, when clearly the report says was only a factor and Gov Palin had good cause

The reduces the Democrats case to one of mind-reading and penumbral divinations... precisely what percentage of the firing had been for cause, not spite? This is not revealed.

For the record, Mr Moneghan was dismissed from his job as Public Safety Commissioner, but given another job as director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which he turned down.

Regarding the third and fourth findings... three was an HR issue and four was a complaint about Sarah Palin's emails... which found their way to the web. Nothing there.

Some commentary around the web:

JK @ ThreeSources:

Here we have classic Spitzerism -- without the attractive young sex workers. The indictment is the verdict. There is no plan to offer due process, the chance to confront one's accuser, to present contrary evidence. There’s a push to ensure habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants, but nobody wants to extend it to Dick Grasso, Hank Greenberg, or Sarah Palin.

The court of public opinion has spoken, and she must be destroyed.

Roger Kimball: "Is that all they've got?"

It’s like Oakland according to Gertrude Stein, i.e., there’s no there there, Hollis, no smoking gun, no damning evidence, no nothing except 1) evidence of wasting the taxpayers’ money and 2) engaging in a clumsy smear campaign against Sarah. (Don’t you love the way Team Obama labels every criticism of The Dear One a “smear”: Google “Obama” and “smears”: 1,280,000 items in .13 seconds.)

Jules Crittendon:

A hasp and a hinge or two shy of a gate, as the Alaska Legislature’s bid to shaft McCain-Palin comes up a little short. Ethics violation alleged by partisan hacks in efforts to fire the trooper. No law broken in commissioner’s firing.

While Republicans can be happy that there is "no there" here, Alaska Republicans can smile a little wider knowing that chief Democrat inquistor and aspiring Alaska governor candidate State Senator Hollis French goes from Democrat hero a month ago, promising an October 31st surprise to zero today as his report falls flat on it's face.

A damning report would have redounded to the Senator's credit.... now, he's a tool.

Posted by AlexC at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

ACORN & Voter Fraud - To Subtract Voters?

So now we have former Pa Supreme Court judge Sandra Schultz Newman wondering aloud about the efficacy of our election process.

Not healthy for Democracy.

[Pa GOP Chairman] Gleason said ACORN, a nonprofit, submitted 252,595 voter registrations in Philadelphia. There were 57,435 registrations rejected -- most of them submitted by ACORN, Gleason said.

The forms had faulty Social Security numbers, incorrect dates of birth, "clearly fraudulent" signatures, addresses that did not exist and duplicate registrations, Gleason said. A man was registered to vote 15 times since the primary, according to Gleason, and some people listed vacant lots as their addresses.

Other counties, from Delaware County in the Philadelphia suburbs, to Allegheny County have had similar problems, Newman said.


Strangely in the reports, it does not indicate the party of registration for those duplicates.

This Elephant Owners post got me thinking.

Yes, there are investigation all over the country into illegal registrations provided by ACORN. Look out for the real fraud now that every election official in the country is working overtime to purge the obviously false registrations donated by Obama’s supporters.

Indeed. It provides an opportunity to strike real voters from the rolls too.

Though I'm sure some of the "obvious" fakes are Independents (and a few Rs for good measure), I suspect that the vast majority of them are Democrats.

Would a county election official somehow be compelled to strike voters (valid, real ones) from "the other side" in order to maintain some perverse semblance of balance?

Why not?

While it is true that a voter could ask for a provisional ballot, most polling places aren't really conducive to having perhaps even as little as a few dozen voters waiting around the polling place until the Judge of Elections figures out how to handle it.

From my former position as an election judge, I can tell you that even one or two people waiting to "check their registrations" can gum things up... and the phone lines at the County Courthouse checking those registrations were busy all day long with Judges calling from the hundreds of polling places.

They'd walk out... not come back... or even worse... the disorder inside the polling place would lead to longer lines and people driving past the polling place and not voting at all.

ACORN's actions have thrown the whole f'ing election system into a state of uncertainty. ... and I"m not just saying that as desperate McCain supporter. (though I'm not desperate, yet)

Posted by AlexC at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm plenty desperate, but that's not important now.

Now that the election is over, we should take a serious look at process. The ACORN numbers are staggering. If 50 people were prevented from voting it would lead the news for days. Yet we allow tens of thousands (I'm guessing conservatively at the magnitude) of fraudulent votes, each of which cancels out -- disenfranchises if you will -- a legitimate voter.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2008 12:00 PM

Obama RICO Complaints

I don't know about this, but man... those Hillary voters are not laying down.

There IS a RICO investigation of ACORN and the Obama campaign underway - this has now been established by the mainstream media. Right now it’s rumored here in Chicago that Patrick Fitzgerald is heading it (confirmation on that has not come yet). There is a lot of activity in Chicago right now, with a lot of IRS agents looking into the finances coming in and out of this city, and across state lines (this was established on Monday when the GOP issued emergency press releases that much of Obama’s campaign contributions could very well be illegal foreign contributions - what appears to be deliberately poor record keeping designed to hide the true identities and monetary sources of online donors is at issue here). We see in 15 states now that ACORN is being busted for attempted voter fraud, and for fraudulent, illegal voter registratons in the hundreds of thousands, if not a million. The article below states, and we have confirmed this with people who know for sure, that the people who gathered evidence of Obama’s fraud and voter intimidation techniques during the primaries against Hillary Clinton are sharing everything they have with the Republican Party and the federal government.

What’s happening here is something we have never seen before: centrist Clinton Democrats and Republicans are working together to expose the DNC and Obama campaign’s illegal activities and orchestrated, coordinated fraud. Both parties are working with federal agents to investigate ACORN, which has been funded with upwards of $800,000 in questionable donations from the Obama campaign (in what appears to be the expressed and explicit direction to engineer voter fraud in the general election). The tactics being employed now in the 15 states currently under investigation are the VERY SAME TACTICS we saw on the ground in Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Indiana, and other states working for Hillary Clinton in the primaries.


Prosecutions for political activities is always very thin ice.

We need to be very careful on this.

It's long, but read it all.

Posted by AlexC at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

Troopergate -- Classic Spitzerism

Okay, I'm totally in the tank for the Governor of Alaska and you have every right to question my opinion and motives. But may I do the same? Even the AP says it is all about the election:

It goes to anyone's hands who got a copy or clicks the link on the Web," said Democratic state Sen. Kim Elton, the chairman of the committee that released the report. "I can't tell you how the process ends."

Here we have classic Spitzerism -- without the attractive young sex workers. The indictment is the verdict. There is no plan to offer due process, the chance to confront one's accuser, to present contrary evidence. There’s a push to ensure habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants, but nobody wants to extend it to Dick Grasso, Hank Greenberg, or Sarah Palin.

UPDATE: Blog Friend Terri both takes a serious look at the report and manages to make lemonade:

I think this pretty much shows that Palin, once again, is not afraid of the “machine” that can be politics. She did what she thought was right knowing full well how it might look in the end. I think she’s ok on this.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2008

Nice Job Mister Rove

He's a tireless crusader for the GOP:

AP:

TROY, N.Y. - Who is running for president? In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for "Barack Osama."


Buffalo seems to be breaking for Senator McCain...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:50 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Who's more dangerous to the United States: a foreign terrorist who's responsible for several major terrorist attacks, or a president whose foreign policy pusillanimity will make those terrorist attacks only the beginning?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 10, 2008 4:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What's the difference between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden? Just a little b ... s.

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2008 4:44 PM

Obama's Magic Show

Even my jokes about my predictable links to Kim Strassel on Friday have become predictable. Sorry, I have a problem. I must link to Potomac Watch. It is a little bit snarky this week, but so humorously dead on to be devastating.

Strassel becomes a barker for "The Great Obama" who "will defy politics, economics and gravity!"

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It's called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he'll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! [...]

Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects whatsoever! [...]


She even keeps a kneecap for his opponent toward the end:
We'd like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone's fun.

We know he's in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today's financial crisis on corporate "greed," and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We'd also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself these past weeks. It has helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.


Masterful. Devastating. And every word true.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2008

Obama: I Assumed Ayers Was Rehabilitated

Ugh.. I hate Smerconish.

But he did have Senator Obama on today.

To Smerconish's credit, he got Obama to say he thinks you (yes, you dear reader) are an idiot.

"I moved to Chicago," Obama recalled. "I didn't grow up in Chicago. And graduating from law school I was involved in a whole bunch of civic activities.

"The gentleman in question, Bill Ayers, is a college professor, teaches education at the University of Illinois and that's how I met him, was working on a school reform project that was funded by an ambassador and former close friend of Ronald Reagan's and I was sitting on this board along with a whole bunch of conservative businessmen and civic leaders and he was one of the people who was on this board. And he lives in the same neighborhood.

"Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated."


You're kidding me right?

Behold.

Liberalism distilled to it's purest essence.

Rehabilitated.

But still, so let's assume he was rehabilitated. Assume for a minute... at some point he must have learned that, no, Bill Ayers isn't sorry about what he did. When was that?

When did Bill Ayers become the Bill Ayers he didn't know?

Posted by AlexC at 10:03 PM | Comments (1)
But Charlie on PA Tpk thinks:

When did Bill Ayers become the Bill Ayers he didn't know?

As with Rev. Wright, Ayers will become the man 'he didn't know' approximately 5 minutes before Sen. Obama disowns him.

Posted by: Charlie on PA Tpk at October 10, 2008 8:11 AM

Qualifications

Donna Baver Rovito looks at beauty pageant factor.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that being a pageant veteran alone qualifies Sarah Palin for public office. But she shouldn't be dismissed for it, either. And she probably has her pageant experience to thank for at least some of that unflappable poise and self-confidence. Trust me, once you've gotten up the nerve to walk past a panel of judges in a bathing suit, hostile reporters are child's play.

So, to paraphrase the old ad, "Please don't dismiss her because she's beautiful."

Because if attractive women need not apply for power positions in American politics, we just might end up with Rosie O'Donnell as our first female president.


Read it all.

Posted by AlexC at 12:11 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith thinks:

Thanks for that last line, AC - you want the rest of this sandwich? 'Cause I'm not going to be able to finish lunch now.

Dismissing Palin for being in a pageant would be like dismissing Reagan for having been an actor. Being and actor doesn't qualify one for office (paging Warren Beatty) or guarantee ones success once elected (Mr. Schwartzenegger, please go to any white courtesy telephone) - but Mr. Reagan proved it should not automatically disqualify one.

Palin holds her own ideologically and intellectually, and she'd make an outstanding president... um, I meant vice president. Certainly better that her opponent, or either of their running mates. The fact that she's attractive is simply a bonus.

Posted by: Keith at October 9, 2008 3:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To expand upon Keith's Freudian slip just a bit (OK, a lot) there is a full range of political ideologies to choose from in this election:

Palin = Republican
McCain = Democrat
Biden = Socialist
Obama = Communist

Posted by: johngalt at October 9, 2008 6:32 PM
But jk thinks:

And I thought I was saying nasty things about Senator McCain.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2008 7:47 PM

Obamacare Ads

The clearest explanation on the dishonest McCain Health Care plan ads from Obama.

Mr. McCain's health-care plan does indeed propose having employees pay tax on employer-provided health benefits, but that's only half of his idea. Let's say you're a middle-class family of four earning $80,000 per year, and your company provides a $12,000 health insurance plan (which is the same as what members of Congress receive through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, according to data prepared by the Senate Republican Policy Committee). Under Mr. McCain's proposal, this family would now pay income taxes on their $12,000 health insurance benefit, resulting in them owing $3,000 more in taxes if they were in the 25 percent bracket.

But here's the part Mr. Obama leaves out. Mr. McCain also proposes a $5,000 credit to offset any new tax liability. In the case of the family referenced above, they get a health-care plan, enough money to pay the additional $3,000 in taxes, plus an extra $2,000 in their pockets - not a bad deal for the middle class. So the Obama ads are both incomplete and misleading.

Posted by AlexC at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm glad one of the campaigns can explain the goddam thing!

Sorry, ac, for the negativity. And sorry everybody for the language; you deserve better.

But the Executive does not propose legislation. "Obama's Plan" or "McCain's Plan" are only important insofar as it delimits what they consider important and what they will fight for.

If Senator Mac does not think tax-neutrality is worth defending in a debate, then he won't fight for it on the house floor. He will sign HillaryCare 2.0 in a big ceremony in the Rose Garden to highlight his ability to work across the aisle. I hope Senator Kennedy is well enough to make the ceremony.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2008 1:24 PM

Trying to Hide

It's too long for TV, but damn, it's damning.

Ace adds:

I'm glad we're finally getting into this. It's simply not credible that Barack Obama met Ayers in 1995. Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and Charles Manson Fan Club Treasurer Bernie Dohrn all worked at the same f*cking law firm, whose managing partner had gotten Dohrn a job because he was friends with Ayers' father.

The Radical Quartet have been friends since the eighties. Not the mid nineties.

Posted by AlexC at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2008

Obama: Relax

Gosh, it's almost like the AP doing a little fact checking of Obama.

"We meet at a moment of great uncertainty for America," he said. "But this isn't a time for fear or panic. This is a time for resolve and leadership. I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis."

Obama ridiculed his Republican opponent, John McCain, for recently saying "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." But in his 35-minute speech on a muddy harness-racing track, he made a similar argument.

"America still has the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth," Obama said. "We're still the home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities."

Posted by AlexC at 5:50 PM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Facts?!? What facts? Now, it's been a long time since The Refugee took a formal class in economics and even those are limited to the undergraduate classes required of business majors. Even so, the "economic fundamentals" that he recalls include GDP, GDP growth, savings rates, inflation, investment rates, tax rates, employment rates and wages. The closest the candidates' positions come to real fundamentals is worker productivity, which is GDP divided by worker hours, not "hard working" or "innovative."

Ironically, the fundamentals really are strong. GDP continues to grow even though employment is declining (higher productivity), GDP growth during the Bush years has been higher than the average of the past 40 years, unemployment is within historical norms and less than the average during the Clinton years and inflation is moderate.

If McCain had brought up a few of these facts rather than reflexively throwing Bush under the bus (i.e., demonstrating a modicum of economic acumen), he might not be sinking in the polls. Unfortunately, neither he nor Obama understand economics even at the level of a half-drunk college sophomore.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2008 6:47 PM
But jk thinks:

That comment is unfair and hurtful to half-drunk college sophomores!

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2008 7:00 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Anyone who thinks we were better off in the Clinton 90s can make very simple, voluntary changes:

1. Pay the accordingly higher level of taxes. Nothing prevents people from sending more to the Treasury.

2. Pay the accordingly higher level of cell phone fees.

3. Get rid of that widescreen LCD TV, and go back to that little 19" CRT. Similarly, ditch the iPod and go back to your portable CD player. Oh, and burning your own custom CDs will cost you $1 per CD. Say goodbye to your digital camera.

4. Load up your computer with spyware to bog it down to the level of a 486, no more than a P II. Fill up your hard drive so you have only a couple of gigs of hard drive space. Ditch all your MP3s. Replace your flatscreen monitor with a fuzzy 17". Your maximum allowable video resolution: 1024x768, 16-bit color.

Oh, liberals say, but except for #1, George W. Bush wasn't responsible for bringing all these things about.

That's exactly the point. In the same way, Bush is also not responsible for this downturn, which isn't helped by lazy liberals who want government to give them jobs they like.

Phil Gramm was so right. It IS a mental recession. Our economy has so much going for it, but like in 1991-1992, the liberal media needed to propagate a myth of a really bad economy so that a Democrat could get elected. And Americans are stupid enough to wring their hands, cry out "Woe is me!" and not actually go out to look for new work.

Six bleeping percent unemployment, and Americans think we're in tough times?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 9, 2008 9:15 AM

Another McCain Palin Voter

I can't agree with evreything, but this is major league entertaining:


Hat-tip: Jay Nordlinger

Posted by John Kranz at 5:00 PM | Comments (0)

Torpor

I went to sleep peacefully last night, thinking that Senator McCain had basically gotten another draw in the debate and that today everything would start again -- just eight or ten points down.

I woke at 3:15 and spun myself into a state of torpor. The blog pragmatist must admit that Senator McCain has only the minimum amount of ideological overlap to capture my vote. I will vote for him but he will lose and I am starting to piece together my sanguinity. It's A LOT like 1996, so I have a road map.

I finally realize that the reason McCain does not come up with my brilliant debate answers is not because he is not as bright as me, or that I somehow have better handlers. The reason McCain doesn't answer the questions like me is because he does not think like me.

He has an awesome idea for health care. To be fair, he articulated it last night for the first time and did it pretty well. But when Senator Obama counterpunched, there was no defense. When McCain talks about "greed and corruption on Wall Street!" he lights up. He lit up at the end about Global Warming. These topics excite him. As does honor, service and military strength to his eternal credit.

But he will never get as animated when discussing tax relief or health care because he truly has adopted those ideas out of the GOP Hymnal. If I may channel Mark Steyn he knows and mouths the words but he really doesn't know the tune.

No, Senator Obama certainly does not deserve to win, and this Prosperitarian fears for the prospects of recovery in an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Franks-Dodd Empire. But my folks had their chance and whiffed.

Palin 2012!

UPDATE: WSJ Ed Page: Since Mr. McCain offered only a once-over-lightly defense of his plan, allow us to give it a try.

UPDATE II: WSJ Ed Page II:

One of Mr. Obama's gifts is his ability to glide over contradictions with the greatest of ease. He spent minutes explaining that we spend "$10 billion a month" in Iraq that should be spent here in the U.S. But a short time later he was promoting what sounded like a surge in Afghanistan, and vowing to spend even more money to assist "the economies" of Eastern Europe. He also proposes to provide free health care while claiming he'd cut more spending from the overall budget than his new ideas would cost. If Mr. McCain lets that last claim go unrebutted, he deserves to lose.

UPDATE III: It's really not just me. Instapundit's "Are the Republicans Doomed?" poll breaks the server! I'm not Karl Rove or anything, but that cannot be a good sign.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | Comments (14)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee agrees with tg/Brooks to the extent that McCain is driven by an abstract sense of honor and right and wrong. That's what makes him so damnably frustrating: one can never predict how he'll come down on an issue.

Yes, a moral compass is an essential foundation to leadership. However, The Refugee has learned both as a father and leader of various organization that in order to be effective, those underneath you must be able to predict with 90-95% confidence how you will react in a given situation. Only then can they effectively carry out your wishes when you're not there to tell them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2008 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:

TG: I see where you're going but see no proof that Brooks is right. He's Mister Washington Insider, Conservative Journalist Division and suggests that a couple of Washington Insiders from Conservative Legislative Division would be a better pick?

Why? Because he has looked into her heart and seen what she really is and what drives her (when you get a paycheck from the Times, you are able to do this. MoDo can too -- it's uncanny!)

Harsanyi makes a Libertarian case for her and backs it up with several examples. Brooks makes the "public service" case with no underpinning whatsoever, excepting his powerful, NYTimes-writing mind.


Posted by: jk at October 8, 2008 4:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, David Brooks tells The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that "'Sarah Palin is a fatal cancer to the Republican party' but describing John McCain and Barack Obama as 'the two best candidates we've had in a long time.'"

Sometimes it ain't right-versus-left or honor-versus-philosophy, it is frequently DC-insider-versus-sentient-beings.

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2008 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

TG: Am I fair to McCain? No. He is awesome on free trade (Hugh Hewitt is correct to ridicule Tom Brokaw for featuring zero questions on trade), he did some good on the Telecom Committee, is right on the war, and is a stand up guy in the pool of graft that is the US Senate.

Liberty and economic freedom mean everything to me. I have tried, since my guy Mayor Giuliani drooped out, to enjoy Senator McCain's good qualities and ignore our economic differences. With the current relevance and his recent stumbles, I'm not sure I can continue.

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2008 5:25 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

No problem, TG, I missed that you were only quoting. Brooks is generally an idiot, so my criticism stands. Actually, that makes his piece even worse. Here, we just throw out our thoughts. Such absurdity as Brooks' shouldn't get past a high school newspaper editor.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 9, 2008 9:49 AM
But Conservatism Today thinks:

Excellent post, jk. I had noticed that I feel less than inspired watching McCain debate, despote the fact that for the most part he says the right things. I never totally put together why until I saw this - and I echo your sentiments completely.

When I hear Palin speak, except for when she's parroting McCain's populist talking points, I hear a feminine version of Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Conservatism Today at October 10, 2008 12:23 AM

The Obama Associations

If you can't assess a man by his record, you must assess him by his judgment.

... and Barack Obama fails.

Dick Morris lays it out succinctly, like I've never seen it put.

Why did Obama put up with Ayers?

Because he got a big job and $50 million of patronage to distribute to his friends and supporters in Chicago.

Why did he hang out with Jeremiah Wright?

Because he was new in town, having grown up in Hawaii and Indonesia and having been educated at Columbia and Harvard, and needed all the local introductions he could get to jump-start his political career.

Why was he so close to Rezko?

Because he funded Obama’s campaigns and helped him buy a house for $300,000 less than he otherwise would have had to pay.

Posted by AlexC at 1:16 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

AC, nobody cares (sorry, see Torpor above). It's '96 again, and all the people who voted for Senator Bob Dole because of Clinton's foibles will vote for McCain (if they're still alive).

And the electoral map will look the same only Obama will get Colorado.

Posted by: jk at October 8, 2008 11:34 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Gah.

It's so frustrating.

Posted by: AlexC at October 8, 2008 4:52 PM

October 7, 2008

Obama: Promised Better

He lied.

HT to Mark @ Redstate

Posted by AlexC at 2:09 PM | Comments (0)

Obama Loses!

Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses
Obama Loses

At least eight "Barack Obamas" who borrowed the Democratic presidential candidate's name to run in Brazil's local elections lost.

The defeat of the so-called Obamas came in municipal elections on Sunday that selected mayors and council members in more than 5,000 Brazilian cities.

The elections saw the ruling Workers Party and allies of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva make gains across the country.

Brazilian electoral law allows candidates to put any name on the ballot as long as it isn't offensive.

Some used the name Bin Laden, and others resorted to French soccer player Zinedine Zidane.

No one was known to use the name of McCain, the Republican presidential candidate.

"The name Obama definitely helped," said Claudio Henrique dos Anjos, who used it to run for mayor of Belford Roxo on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. "It opened the doors for me to talk about projects. It brought a positive result."

But official results show he didn't get a single vote, though he disputes the count.


Awesome... he'd be a perfect Democrat.

Posted by AlexC at 1:49 PM | Comments (0)

Bad Political Idea of the Day

I'm pretty kind to the WSJ Ed Page (perhaps you hadn't noticed) but less so for some bylined columns of the editorial staff. For a little fair-and-balance, I will call today's Bill McGurn piece an absolute stinker. His plan for a McCain victory? Tie Senator Obama to President Clinton. "Remember the last time a charismatic Democrat made such a promise?"

In some ways, we are today reliving the campaign of 1992. As in 1992, the Democrat is promising a middle-class tax cut. As in 1992, the Democrat is hammering the Republican as a tool of the rich. And as in 1992, the Republican doesn't seem to have an answer.

If we could repeal the 22nd Amendment, William Jefferson Clinton could run in 2008 and win 40 states. The banners may say hope and change, but Democrats and Independents are looking to Obama to bring back the 1990s. Will Buffy be back on?

To be fair, McGurn knows his recent history, and gives the Spirit of '94 GOP props:

Then came 1994, the "Contract with America" -- and a reform-minded Republican Congress. Robert L. Bartley, the late great editor of this newspaper, liked to note the bracing effect the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress had on the market -- and the Democratic president. After a few skirmishes, President Clinton would go on to embrace welfare reform, sign a cut in the capital gains tax, and even declare that "the era of Big Government is over."

I give President Clinton credit for free trade and a pragmatic approach to working with a GOP Congress. Art Laffer boasts that he "voted for Bill Clinton twice." I voted for him zero times and would make it 0-3 in 08. But I'm not sure Mister McGurn has really thought this through.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

The Time Is Now, The Man is ???

The WSJ lead editorial today provides a serious and substantive discussion of where we are (economically), how we got here, and what will likely and likely not get us out. Reasonable folks can differ on individual points, but I think we all might agree about the lack of leadership from the two men who purport to extricate us:

Senator McCain could use tonight's debate to map out an economic argument for the final month of the campaign. He would explain to voters how we got here, and that he has a plan to calm the panic, rebuild the banking system and revive the economy. He could start by saying his economic plan was designed before this crisis, but given the panic he has scrapped it and is proposing a major and immediate across-the-board tax cut.

It ill serves voters if the two men running for the Presidency of the United States offer little more than campaign boilerplate amid a crisis of this magnitude. The whole world is focused on these sobering events. The time is now for the country's next President to match the moment.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2008

Palin!

Are done with the taking off of the gloves analogies?

How many did we put on to begin with?

In any case, here's how Sarah Palin stacks awesome.... wait till the end.

The part where she stabs him in the eye with her naughty monkey high heel pumps was censored, as this is a family blog.

Posted by AlexC at 11:18 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Well it's a good thing you censored her high heel Ninja act lest people have ANY evidence that Governor Palin is "vindictive." I still don't get that one.

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2008 1:48 AM

Dante Albright


Hat-tip: Powerline via Insty

UPDATE: NOW WOW. Here's the introduction from the president of LA's National Organization for Women, Shelly Mandel, who said what my darling bride says almost every day: "America, this is what a feminist looks like."

I wish the NYTimes and Katie Couric would shut up about this (personal, not official) endorsement. Man the way they go on and on about this, I fear people will tire of the story.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Left-wing ideology has become so entrenched in our government that conservatives can truly be called, as Sarah did, "progressive."

Now I can proudly display the old bumper sticker my left-wing buddy used to have: "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm"

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2008 3:16 PM

Dishonorable

More please...

Posted by AlexC at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2008

The Obama Connections

I was not aware that in Obama's career he moved from community organizer to straight to Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Posted by AlexC at 5:52 PM | Comments (0)

Twitter Elections

I don't know why I let this drive me nuts.

But I do.

http://election.twitter.com/

Posted by AlexC at 3:35 PM | Comments (0)

Palin = 10th Grader

Tsk tsk... stupid uneducated hick redneck.

CNN.com

An analysis carried out by a language monitoring service said Friday that Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a more than ninth-grade level and Sen. Joseph Biden spoke at a nearly eighth-grade level in Thursday night's debate between the vice presidential candidates.

To be fair, most liberal newspapers are written at a sixth grade level.
Here's the breakdown:

Grade level: Biden, 7.8; Palin, 9.5 (Newspapers are typically written to a sixth-grade reading level.)

Sentences per paragraph: statistically tied at 2.7 for Biden and 2.6 for Palin.

Letters per word: tied at 4.4.

Ease of reading: Biden, 66.7 (with 100 being the easiest to read or hear), versus 62.4 for Palin.

The analysis said Abraham Lincoln spoke at an 11th-grade level during his seven debates in 1858 against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas in their race for a Senate seat from Illinois.


I knew Abe Lincoln, Senator Biden, you're no Abe Lincoln.

It also used all that high-falootin' English too.

But higher grade level doesn't necessarily mean better sentence, Payack said. He pointed to Palin's second-to-last sentence in the debate, which the formula put at a grade level of 18.3:

"What I would do, also, if that were ever to happen, though, is to continue the good work he is so committed to of putting government back on the side of the people and get rid of the greed and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington," Palin said.

"When she said it, it sounded good, but on paper it's a completely different animal," Payack said. "It's like, what is that?"

But Biden had his own challenging moments, such as this 32-word gem, rated grade 15.6: "The middle class under John McCain's tax proposal, 100 million families, middle-class families, households to be precise, they got not a single change; they got not a single break in taxes."

Posted by AlexC at 3:10 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm afraid the voters operate on a sixth grade level, ac.

Posted by: jk at October 6, 2008 1:38 PM

A Case for Obama

I'm calling blog admin privilege and promoting this comment to a post. "The Heretic" answers Dagny's question of why her [Dagny's] friends and neighbors are voting for Senator Obama:

First off let me digress say that I am with this group when it comes to major economic policies -- especially elimination of Corporate and Personal Income Taxes. BR and I were exchanging e-mail the other day about a pipe-dream: Taxes based solely on consumption. I happen to know a state where it works, namely Dubai. Of course we can debate about civil liberties etc. but that is not the point.

Having said that, as much as Economic policies is at the top of everyone’s mind at the moment, First and foremost I believe that Foreign Policy will and should be the top issue. I believe that Pakistan becoming a failed state and the resulting consequences in Afghanistan is a very real possibility in the next Presidents tenure. What will complicate issues is a economically assertive China (the banker of the US), a politically resurgent and saber rattling Russia and Iran's influence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. McCain other than name dropping hasn't even mentioned Afghanistan. He continues to insist that Iraq is the central battleground in the war on terror while al-Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until months after the US invasion. The real battle in Iraq is the Shia-Sunni conflict and the battle with al-Sadar’s Mahdi army, which McCain refuses to acknowledge. This wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time has significantly reduced not only our ability to take the war to the enemy’s home turf but also alienated many of our NATO allies -- who BTW we need to neutralize Russia. (We can debate McCain’s position on the NATO at another time). In the meantime, bin-Laden and the Taliban have had a chance to regroup in southern Afghanistan/Northern Pakistan enough to pose a threat to the Pakistani establishment itself. I am sure most commentators on this blog will disagree, but Biden is right on this topic.

Secondly, as a first generation immigrant, I grew up looking at the US as the beacon of freedom, be it personal and civil liberties or economic progress. In the 12 +/- years (which is all my adult life) I have lived here, I have seen us lose a lot of the moral fortitude be it gay rights or a woman’s right to choose. Debate over these issues is beyond the scope of what you have asked me.

Thirdly, I cannot in good conscience cast my vote for a lifetime member of the NRA, when every time I read about another shooting in yet another school, my stomach sinks in the thought what of a few years down the lane if my kid is the victim.

Fourth, on economic policies, I neither agree with McCain nor do I agree with Obama. However, I see hope in the fact that just like Bill Clinton, once the political rhetoric of an election settles, Obama will implement what is right for the country rather than sticking to a pre-election political agenda. On this note, I do hope while Obama wins the White House, the Democrats do not have absolute control over Congress. I would like to see the checks and balance built into the system work.

Last but not the least, you could argue that McCain in quite capable of adapting his positions to the circumstances and has gained a lot of political experiences over the years. And I am certain your arguments would be well founded. However, what scares me is the fact is Palin being a “heartbeat away from Presidency”. This notion with McCain is more real than with any other candidate I have known given his health problems. Negotiating with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or President Zardari of Pakistan or containing Prime Minister Putin of Russia or President Ahmedinejad of Iran is not the same as driving kids to soccer practice. She is vindictive and naive. It would be irresponsible of me to vote for her under the current circumstances.

You could argue Obama's inexperience. But he is not naive nor is he vindictive. He is a very level headed person. Further, the ticket includes the foriegn policy expertise of Biden. Hence has my support.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Your post is reasonable and well put, Heretic. Consumption taxes and concern for the yield curve, you are quickly becoming one of my favorite Obama voters (discounting some of my many misguided relatives...)

I'll go first not as privilege, but blogging Sunday at 9am Mountain Time:

Neither of us seems to have an innate trust of our candidate's economic policies. I will agree on the importance -- in 2008 -- of foreign policy and am far more comfortable with McCain. All the concerns you cite are real and all lead me to prefer a more muscular stance. It is not based on experience, it is based on worldview.

I am rethinking my devotion to the "National Greatness Conservatism" that describes Senator McCain, but I am not rethinking the idea of American Exceptionalism at its heart. No other nation has the strength or the stomach to stand up for freedom in the frightening world you describe. I listen to Senator Obama or Sen. Kerry before him or VP Gore before him and it is clear that they would treat terrorism as a law enforcement and not a military matter.

Senator Obama's impulse to draw equivalence between Russia and Georgia is painfully instructive. His first impulse was to make a deal between the aggressor and the invaded State -- a little Rodney King Diplomacy: "Can't we all get along?" McCain recognized Russian aggression for what it was.

In a hostile world, weakness invites conflict and appeasement never provides lasting peace. McCain was right about Russia and McCain was right about Iraq. The battle is not between Shia-and Sunni, the battle is between those that would protect democracy and rule of law, and those that would send the whole country "back to the caves." The former are at the ascendancy and a President McCain would give them the support to triumph.

I would rather attempt a Counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan as a victor in Iraq than after an ignominious retreat. None of the COIN strategies would work after Afghanis (and al-Qaeda) watched us abandon those who supported us in Iraq.

Your second point (are you a computer science guy? You kind of slipped in a 'zero.') is beloved by all Democrats but doesn't wash for me. People still line up for all of the far too scarce visas and legal immigration opportunities -- then jump the fence and sneak in when those chances fail.

Senator O made the impassioned close that the beloved America to which his Kenyan father sought to emigrate has been tarnished. Was that "Ozzie and Harriet" ideal that your folks cling to ruined by Loving v. Virginia which would allow him to marry Barack's white mother in any state, or the Voting Rights Act? America's loss of esteem is limited to the faculty lounges and executive offices of the BBC. The NATO allies President Bush pushed away elected a string of Atlanticist, pro-American leaders.

Three -- hoo boy! -- my NRA membership has lapsed, I should leave this to one of our lifetime members (every one but me). But the Second Amendment states that I am ultimately responsible for the protection of my life, liberty and property -- not the government. It is a matter of liberty to me. But by liberty or by efficacy, gun laws have been complete failures by any measure. I will also point out, just to yank your chain, that neither of your candidates will risk the political fallout of promoting their anti-gun beliefs. When I tell an Obama supporter they are anti-gun I am challenged: "They never said that!" "You can't prove that!" Gosh, TH, you sure you can vote for those two gun nuts, Obama and Biden?

Fourth, you don't agree with Obama's core economic positions, but you think he'll be fine once he gets in office. I wish I had your confidence about your guy or mine. All of Obama's speeches, votes and actions have promoted wealth redistribution, I am pretty clear he will do as much of that as he can get away with. And, Mister Checks-and-Balances, he will get away with A LOT in a Democratic House-Senate-Executive sweep.

I almost get the feeling you don't care for Governor Palin (I'm a subtle, nuanced guy). She remains the only one out of the four whom I do trust that her fundamental economic impulse is to curb government and expand freedom. The other three have loads of experience expanding government and taking liberty away. Her shorter tenure has shown a lot more state-modesty.

I do respect your views and very much enjoy your comments -- please do not confuse my zeal with harshness or dislike. I will end on the warm fuzzy that Senator Obama has indeed shown himself to be bright and level headed. He is way too fond of government intrusion for my taste, but we abandoned constitutional limits long before I was born. If he is what the people choose, our Republic, if not all its remaining liberties, will survive.

How's that for an endorsement? Obama-Biden: we might survive!

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2008 12:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Great posts!

JK, you really got The Refugee with this statement:

"But the Second Amendment states that I am ultimately responsible for the protection of my life, liberty and property -- not the government."

That, in one succinct sentence, is the difference between a conservative and a liberal. Conservatives hold themselves accountable for their lot in life and liberals hold the government accountable for their lot in life.

The Refugee will also stipulate for the record that he is a Life Member of the NRA.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 6, 2008 12:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Other than saying "I disagree" I'll not address any of Heretic's points except the ones on economics, such as they are.

Since this very post is premised on dagny's question I think it only proper to be specific as to what that question was:

"I feel completely at a loss to understand how anyone can be in favor of the socialist policies of Obama and the democrats and yet about 47% of the country plans to vote for him. (...) Can anyone here tell me why?"

So it's not only "why would 47% of the country plan to vote for Obama" but how can that many Americans be in favor of his socialist policies?

If I read him right, Heretic's treatment of this aspect of Obama's candidacy is, "I am with this group when it comes to major economic policies" but "I see hope in the fact that ... Obama will implement what is right for the country rather than sticking to a pre-election political agenda."

Choosing once again not to comment on the obvious self-delusion that "maybe he'll do something other than what he says he'll do" I still don't see any clues here that satisfy dagny's curiosity.

It's the same way when I debate these issues with people I know who support Obama. They always shy away from defending socialist principles but they still think Obama is "what's right for the country."

Consider this: A recent Gallup Poll found that 84% of Americans preferred that government "fix the economy" by "taking steps to improve overall economic conditions and the jobs situation" while only 13% wanted to "take steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans." Even among Democrats, only 19% wanted redistribution of wealth. Nineteen percent!

So what is going on here? Only 13% of Americans KNOW that they want a socialist economic policy but 47% of them plan to VOTE for one. This means that roughly 1/3 of these voters DON'T KNOW that Obama's economic policies are socialist!

Either that or they can't tell the difference because nobody's ever offered them an economic policy that ISN'T socialist.

Posted by: johngalt at October 6, 2008 3:47 PM

October 4, 2008

Walk the Vote

The McCain campaign unveils a new get out the vote program....

Our campaign has launched an online "Voter to Voter" tool that allows you to download and print walking lists of targeted, swing voters in your neighborhood. It's easy to use, and I'm asking you to get involved today by following this link.

With "Voter to Voter" we've made it easy to reach out to fellow voters in your neighborhood in support of McCain-Palin.

Select the "Walk the Vote" Option
* Enter your home address
* Download and print your walking lists, walking directions and scripts
* Visit each voter listed on your walking list
* Return home to record your results online


Posted by AlexC at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

...and those of us who do not walk so well can do the online phone bank. Follow the same link to call twenty people from the comfort of your own home.

I'm a pretty shy guy and it is absolute torture for me. I used to telemarket for a living in my younger days but this is tough.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2008 4:28 PM

October 3, 2008

Palin vs Biden

Time for another comparison...

Palin family donations 2006 & 2007:

In 2006, Sarah and Todd Palin donated $4,250 to charity in cash/check donations and $630 in non-cash/check donations, for a total of $4,880. This is 3.3% of their adjusted gross income.

In 2007, Sarah and Todd Palin donated $2,500 to charity in cash/check donations and $825 in non-cash/check donations, for a total of $3,325. This is 1.5% of their adjusted gross income

Biden Family:

Senator Biden's 2006 earnings were $248,459, he donated $380 for a .15% donation rate. In 2007 he made $319,853 and upped his giving to a whopping $995. Good for .31%.

Better still.

Since 1998, Joe Biden made $2.4 Million and gave $3690.... overall a .15% rate.

The Palins topped him in one year.... in 2006.... and I'd be willing to be she gave him a run for the money in her unreported years too.

Posted by AlexC at 5:47 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

OK, so here's another question:

"Senator Biden, you've said that paying more taxes is patriotic. Which is more patriotic: paying taxes or making charitable donations?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 3, 2008 7:10 PM

House Passes Bailout

Wasn't even close this time.

263-171

Posted by AlexC at 1:54 PM | Comments (0)

Palin's Ratings

Amazing that Sarah Palin is a TV ratings record setter.

Again.

Posted by AlexC at 1:29 PM | Comments (3)
But The Heratic thinks:

The last I checked what viewers tuned in to watch was Biden debate Palin. So to claim Palin drove all the 69M + viewership isn't an accurate statement.

Posted by: The Heratic at October 4, 2008 1:54 AM
But jk thinks:

Tell me you're kidding, TH. Sixty-nine million tuned in because of:

-- the historic nature of having a United States Senator in the VP debate; or,
-- the excitement and rejuvenation of the Democratic Party created by the electrifying Biden.

You can claim that a lot of people tuned in to see a train wreck, but you cannot claim they tuned in to watch Senator Biden.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2008 11:26 AM
But The Heratic thinks:

As many people tuned in to see a repeat of the pathetic performance of the Couric interviews as they did for the Biden gaffs. Thankfully for both of us neither happened.

As much as I take interest in what the other side thinks I am sure you guys follow the liberals as well. There is a "Palin Cheat Sheet" floating around. Amazing how she close she stuck to script.

Posted by: The Heratic at October 4, 2008 1:38 PM

Quantum Mechanix

Clearly, there are alternate universes and clearly, Senator Joe Biden lives in one. In his, France is a brave, muscular, liberating, military hegemon:

Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Not France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.

Joe Biden has literally no idea what he’s talking about.

It’s too bad debate moderator Gwen Ifill didn’t catch him and ask a follow up question: When did the United States and France kick Hezbollah out of Lebanon?


This from Michael Totten in Commentary (readthewholething). I told my emailer that that was a funny joke about Gwen Ifill and the follow up questions...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

This post will make much more sense to readers after they read what Biden said:

“When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.” [Emphasis added.]

But as JK suggests, read the whole thing.

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2008 1:15 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

I want to live in Biden's other alternate universe, the one where we get to not only renegotiate the mortgage down, but the principal too.

Posted by: sugarchuck at October 3, 2008 1:17 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I want to "renegotiate" my gross income when it comes to filling out my 1040...

I never realized that was even an option.

I want that.

Posted by: AlexC at October 3, 2008 2:04 PM
But jk thinks:

You guys are laughing, but they are dead serious. In bankruptcy court, a judge can give you debtors a haircut on principal and interest. Biden and Co love the little guys (who go to Katie's Restaurant 15 years after it has closed) so much, they want to empower judges to do the same for First Mortgages.

Anybody believe for one minute that President Obama and a Democratic 111th will not bring this innovation to fruition? I am glad I have a mortgage, nobody will be able to afford one after this passes.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2008 4:30 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm not laughing. Sigh. My boss is a counsel at our firm, so contracts are exactly what he deals with.

For a while now, we've lamented that contracts are no longer sacred -- and he's quite liberal in his perspectives! Mortgages. Cell phone contracts. Soon it'll come down to nobody wanting to trade, period, whether internationally or at a bank or at grocery stores, because you can always appeal to some damn bleeding heart judge to have the contract invalidated.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 4, 2008 1:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What'll happen is the up-front cost to all customers will rise. Business will be forced to assure profit early in the transaction to avoid back-end chicanery. Those who can pay cash for large transactions should negotiate for favorable terms, since the risk to the seller is eliminated. Overall interest rates will increase to cover those who refuse to pay. Finally, fewer people will qualify for credit, impacting lower wage workers most. That said, moving the economy to more pay-when-you-can-afford-it may not be such a bad thing. Ironically, this will open more investment opportunities to the highly paid/high net worth individuals who can buy investment properties.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 4, 2008 3:35 PM

October 2, 2008

Debate Wrapup

My early thoughts...

Sarah was nervous at first, but improved as the night went on, but I think she fought well... certainly she looked better.... while Senator Biden was angry, like Obama of a week ago. Including a huge sigh during the Afghanistan exchange.

Why do Democrats do that? Like they can't be troubled by being on the dais with the Republican?

Most comfortable on energy, of course, but she gave a great answer on same sex marriage and the Iraq war. Stumbled around a little on climate change.

Strangely Biden was arguing silly Senate procedural interm votes, as if that "voted for it before i voted against it" worked successfully in the past.

How dare he accuse McCain of voting against the troops? Is he serious?

Overall, it was a great outing for Palin. Where the hell has she been for two weeks? Studying no doubt, but WTF John McCain? Unleash her!

Posted by AlexC at 10:49 PM | Comments (8)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

She did well enough to stop the bleeding in the McCain camp. Her populist answers to the economic problems were painful, but as JK says, she has to speak the company line.

In the coming weeks, she will hopefully be unleashed on the talk shows. Her confidence seems to be increasing and she could start to swing momentum.

A few things The Refugee would like to see the McCain camp say in the coming weeks:

"Senator Obama, if you believe that $700 billion is a 'massive' bailout, how can you so easily propose $1 trillion in new spending, as if it were trivial?"

"Senator Obama, at a time when our financial system is tetering and unemployment is rising, your economic plan of increasing taxes and increasing spending is exactly wrong. You'll take a fender-bender and turn it into a train wreck."

"Senator, you say that raising taxes on the investor class is a matter of fairness. Please, tell me why it's fair to take something that someone has earned and give it to someone else?"

"Senator Obama, you're right when you say that the middle class is the economic engine of the country. But what you don't understand is that the investor class provides the fuel. You want to tax the investor class out of existence. Well, Senator, no fuel no progress."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 3, 2008 11:05 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

And another one:

"Senator, you want to punish companies that, quote, 'Send American jobs overseas.' Senator, we have the second highest corporate tax in the world. Surely you can understand that rational business will locate where taxes are lower all other things being equal. Don't you see how lowering corporate taxes will cause jobs to flood into America from all over the world?"

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 3, 2008 11:12 AM
But jk thinks:

Sure, I'll play. Here's an answer for the health care question she ducked:

"Senator Biden, you have worked in government your whole life and I am glad that has worked for you. In the modern, private economy, young people will likely have a career that spans ten or more jobs. They don't lose their car insurance when they change jobs, why should they lose their health care?

"Senator McCain's plan is tax neutral between employer and individual policies. That shift and freedom from state mandates will provide the competitive market we need to provide available, affordable health care for the modern economy.

"And, God Bless America!"

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2008 12:01 PM
But dagny thinks:

I haven't seen the debate yet as I had vaulting practice last night. I suggest, however, that what those of us in this crowd would prefer to hear may not be what wins elections. I feel completely at a loss to understand how anyone can be in favor of the socialist policies of Obama and the democrats and yet about 47% of the country plans to vote for him. I'm having lunch with a co-worker who plans to support Obama to try to help me understand. Can anyone here tell me why? Heretic? Bueller?

BR strikes a chord deep in my soul when he says,

"Senator, you say that raising taxes on the investor class is a matter of fairness. Please, tell me why it's fair to take something that someone has earned and give it to someone else."

I practically have steam coming out of my ears everytime I hear Obama characterize the lower taxes of the Bush Administration as, "giving," more to the rich. Since when is allowing me to KEEP what I EARN, giving it to me????

End of rant.

Posted by: dagny at October 3, 2008 12:57 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

For 2012, I do want to register in at least a couple of states, so friends can write me in. Wouldn't it be great to smile on your deathbed as you think, "At least I got more votes for president than Pat Buchanan!"

Remember my platform? http://www.threesources.com/archives/005468.html

A few more to add here:

Insurance: you want some, get your own. It's not the Constitutional or moral duty of the government to provide it for you. But the federal government will no longer hinder you by preventing you from buying across state lines. Also, I'll be relentless in bashing state governors and legislators who insist on absurd mandates so men can be covered for hysterectomies.

Foreign policy: We won't interfere in your own affairs if you won't interfere in ours, and that means we largely won't come to the rescue if someone invades you. But if you attack us, we're going to destroy your country. If you harbor terrorists or weapons who even break wind in our general direction, we will invade your country to kill those people and/or destroy the weapons, and don't be surprised if we set up a new government before leaving.

Energy: drill, baby, drill. In the best tradition of Andrew Jackson calling for selling off the Bank of the United States, the federal government will sell off all lands that could have at least a drop of oil. Most of these lands are locked off to all but the most elite of the limousine liberal elite, so the American people as a whole will benefit far more when the lands are tapped for fossil fuels.

Crime and punishment: death penalty for liberals.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 3, 2008 1:25 PM
But The Heretic thinks:

Dangy: You ask why I would vote for Obama.

First off let me digress say that I am with this group when it comes to major economic policies – especially elimination of Corporate and Personal Income Taxes. BR and I were exchanging e-mail the other day about a pipe-dream: Taxes based solely on consumption. I happen to know a state where it works, namely Dubai. Of course we can debate about civil liberties etc. but that is not the point.

Having said that, as much as Economic policies is at the top of everyone’s mind at the moment, First and foremost I believe that Foreign Policy will and should be the top issue. I believe that Pakistan becoming a failed state and the resulting consequences in Afghanistan is a very real possibility in the next Presidents tenure. What will complicate issues is a economically assertive China (the banker of the US), a politically resurgent and saber rattling Russia and Iran’s influence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. McCain other than name dropping hasn’t even mentioned Afghanistan. He continues to insist that Iraq is the central battleground in the war on terror while al-Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until months after the US invasion. The real battle in Iraq is the Shia-Sunni conflict and the battle with al-Sadar’s Mahdi army, which McCain refuses to acknowledge. This wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time has significantly reduced not only our ability to take the war to the enemy’s home turf but also alienated many of our NATO allies – who BTW we need to neutralize Russia. (We can debate McCain’s position on the NATO at another time). In the meantime, bin-Laden and the Taliban have had a chance to regroup in southern Afghanistan/Northern Pakistan enough to pose a threat to the Pakistani establishment itself. I am sure most commentators on this blog will disagree, but Biden is right on this topic.

Secondly, as a first generation immigrant, I grew up looking at the US as the beacon of freedom, be it personal and civil liberties or economic progress. In the 12 +/- years (which is all my adult life) I have lived here, I have seen us lose a lot of the moral fortitude be it gay rights or a woman’s right to choose. Debate over these issues is beyond the scope of what you have asked me.

Thirdly, I cannot in good conscience cast my vote for a lifetime member of the NRA, when every time I read about another shooting in yet another school, my stomach sinks in the thought – what of a few years down the lane if my kid is the victim.

Fourth, on economic policies, I neither agree with McCain nor do I agree with Obama. However, I see hope in the fact that just like Bill Clinton, once the political rhetoric of an election settles, Obama will implement what is right for the country rather than sticking to a pre-election political agenda. On this note, I do hope while Obama wins the White House, the Democrats do not have absolute control over Congress. I would like to see the checks and balance built into the system work.

Last but not the least, you could argue that McCain in quite capable of adapting his positions to the circumstances and has gained a lot of political experiences over the years. And I am certain your arguments would be well founded. However, what scares me is the fact is Palin being a “hear beat away from Presidency”. This notion with McCain is more real than with any other candidate I have known given his health problems. Negotiating with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or President Zardari of Pakistan or containing Prime Minister Putin of Russia or President Ahmedinejad of Iran is not the same as driving kids to soccer practice. She is vindictive and naïve. It would be irresponsible of me to vote for her under the current circumstances.

You could argue Obama's inexperience. But he is not naive nor is he vindictive. He is a very level headed person. Further, the ticket inclidesthe foriegn policy expertise of Biden. Hence has my support.

Posted by: The Heretic at October 4, 2008 10:05 PM

Voting Democrat

Heh

Cesar Ortega is my favorite.

Posted by AlexC at 3:44 PM | Comments (0)

Obama's Fundraising

A large chunk of Obama's record setting fundraising may have come from foreign nationals, illegally.

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.

But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain’s or Sen. Hillary Clinton’s online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton’s presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.


Too much to excerpt, so read it all.

Posted by AlexC at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This story first broke last May or so. The MSM has been decidedly incurious. The FEC will get to the bottom of it - by 2010 or so. Then they'll fine the campaign $25,000.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 2, 2008 3:43 PM

September 30, 2008

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...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:13 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Yes we can,
Lift each other up."

And who lifts the one who lifts me?
And who lifts him?

This is reminiscent of "Turtles, all the way down."

Except if you ask a seasoned Obaman who is at the bottom he'll just smile and tell you, "The five percenters."

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2008 7:26 PM

September 29, 2008

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
Posted by John Kranz at 3:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2008

Obama's Leadership

Wow.

That did not take long at all.

Posted by AlexC at 10:55 PM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Cutsie, but not particularly effective. You didn't have to watch the debate to know these bites were taken out of context. That hurts McCain's credibility in the long run.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2008 1:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I watched the debate. How were they out of context? Did he agree with McCain on the stated points or not? Jus' askin.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2008 5:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Because there was always a "but" after his agreement. The "I agree with this portion..." is simply a way of finding some common ground, while disagreeing on other aspects. The ads portray Obama conceding a point, which he did not in nearly every case.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2008 10:33 PM

McCain Wins

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."

Posted by AlexC at 10:41 PM | Comments (4)
But T. Greer thinks:

Eh. I don't think McCain did nearly as well as he could have. He had an annoying habit of not actually answering the question asked of him- sure, the points he made were always spot on, but they didn't answer the questions he was asked.

~T. Greer, with the opinion that McCain's imaginary conversation vetween Obama and Ahmenidijehad was the best part of the night.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 26, 2008 10:51 PM
But jk thinks:

I fell into some tickets for the first night of a three day jazz festival and the debates are waiting for me on my beloved TiVo. I saw the last half hour between sets, then the first half hour when FOXNews reran it. I watched the commentary before the debate, which I usually avoid.

But I am preliminarily pitching in with blog brother ac on this. What I saw made me think of VP Gore -- a lot of eye rolling and sighing (I was waiting for him to ask "What about Diiiiingle-Noooooorwood???")

He was certainly not as bad as VP Gore, but because his candidacy is based so much on personality, I did not the new hopeful change guy. Maybe that's in the middle.

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2008 11:54 AM
But Heretic thinks:

Sen. Obama has generally better substance than Sen. McCain, but he fell short yesterday. He seemed to be stuck in the past and/or defending himself against McCain disingenious attacks. He seemed to be talking more to his base than to the un-committed.

To TG's point about McCain's annoying habbit of not directly answering the question - that is irrelevant. What people remember of the debate are his crisp answers.

Sen. Obama is a known quick learner. Look forward to him running over McCain the next time.

At the end of the day what matters is any shift in opinions in the battle ground states. After this debate, if there is no downward trend, then it is a good thing.

Posted by: Heretic at September 27, 2008 1:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. "Senator Obama has generally better substance than Senator McCain...?"

You mean, organizing an inner city precinct to vote for a particular collectivist candidate for a few elections is more sustantial than introducing, co-sponsoring and critically negotiating legislation in the US Senate for over two decades?

Or, posturing that the war in Iraq must be "ended swiftly and responsibly" (whatever that means to whoever hears it) is substantively better than tirelessly opposing "stay the course" voices in his own party and "surrender" advocates in the other to give our proud and capable military the tactical orders to win the war instead of merely defending their bases while Iraqi parlimentarians dithered?

Perhaps there is more substance in the class-warfare rhetoric that "95% of Americans will receive a tax cut" while nearly half of that group, a record 41% of Americans, already paid zero federal income tax in 2006 amounting to even greater transfer payments from Americans who earn wealth to those who did nothing to earn it beyond casting votes for their friendly neighborhood Democrats.

Is there more substance of leadership for a politician who personally inserted congressional earmark spending of nearly one-billion-dollars (with a B) in his scant few years in office compared to one who promises, if elected president, to "name names" of earmark abusers and "make them famous?"

I certainly can't imagine any serious individual believing a young man who enlists for military service during wartime, displays super-human abilities to defy torture meted out to him by propagandist captors, and remains loyal to the flag and fellow soldiers of his country is somehow bested in a measure of "substance" by another young man who, during roughly the same phase of his own life, was an enthusiastic user of cocaine and marijuana (and who knows what else that he hasn't actually admitted to) in order to cope with the personal adversity of growing up in a Hawaiian paradise and grappling with the tremendous challenge of discovering "who I was."

Obama has generally better substance than McCain? Objectively speaking, I disagree.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2008 5:29 PM

GOP Victory Center

Looking to help John McCain & Sarah Palin this weekend:

Visit your local Victory Center.

Posted by AlexC at 8:06 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Picked up my McPalin signs Friday afternoon. Put one up by the road yesterday. Had to mow down the boundary grass at the edge of the hay field so it could be seen. TAKE THAT, Obama neighbors - all three of you!

First two drivers to see it wore cowboy hats and drove pick up trucks. Got a wave from both of them.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2008 10:24 PM

Miss Wasilla

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.

Posted by AlexC at 8:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2008

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
Posted by John Kranz at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2008

Oops

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

Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

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."

"No, hold on a second Matt," Obama said. "I think what drives people crazy about politics is the fact that somebody like John McCain who for 26 years has been an advocate for deregulation, for 26 years has said the market is king and then starts going out there suggesting somehow that he's a populist who's been railing against Wall Street and regulation -- that's what drives people crazy about politics."


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

That boy is such a fool and a liar. "an advocate for deregulation, for 26 years has said the market is king" are two completely different things. "Deregulation" is virtually Orwellian Newspeak: it's hardly the reduction (let alone elimination) of regulation. The California energy crisis revealed perfectly that "deregulation" is merely a shift in regulation, with occasional quasi-privatization.

And second, as you point out, McCain is hardly a believer in the free market. Sigh. To reword something I heard years ago in church, "If it were a crime to be a free-marketer, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 24, 2008 10:32 AM

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
Oh, and he wasn't President in 1929 either. That would have been Hoover.

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.

Posted by AlexC at 3:22 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

It happened, ac, my grandfather TiVoed it!

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2008 3:32 PM
But HB thinks:

Jesse Walker on the Hit&Run blog:


And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, "Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?"

Posted by: HB at September 23, 2008 3:33 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This is priceless. After saying that a "leader must show people that he knows what he's talking about," Biden goes on to demonstrate that he has no idea what he's talking about. A Freudian slip regarding his leadership qualities?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 23, 2008 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It's no conspiracy - Joe Biden really is a genuine dumb-ass. He doesn't even seem to feel the slightest twinge of "uh-oh, I wonder if I'm saying something destructive to our candidacy here" when he says things like "paying more taxes is the patriotic thing for wealthy Americans to do."

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2008 3:00 PM

Wow

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
billionaire George
Soros run wild in an
Obama White House?

UPDATE II: JammieWearingFool gives the piece a more detailed fisking.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee must admit that he did not have the fortitude to read the whole post. "Unhinged" does not adequately express this level of vitriol. The level of Bush/Cheney hatred is unfathomable, but ultimately the undoing of the Democrats.

Although the average American is currently unhappy with the war, they do not have a visceral hatred of GWB and cannot relate to those who do. Consequently, the hatred makes alignment with the Dems problematic, even if they share many policy positions.

The Refugee wondered what the Dems would do without Bush/Cheney to kick around. Now he knows: blame everything on a Bush/Cheney conspiracy.

Ironically, the Left accuses Bush of abject stupidity, yet alleges conspiracies and schemes that the most diabolical genius could not conceive single-handedly. The paradox of this position never occurs to the Left, while the rest of the populace just rolls their eyes.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 23, 2008 4:03 PM
But Terri thinks:

I didn't have the fortitude to make it through the whole post either.
However, today's Best of the Web had a snippet that was even further over the top. (yes - it turned out to be possible!)

Posted by: Terri at September 23, 2008 5:41 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I knew it'd be a waste of my time, but I wanted to see. The first thing that greeted my eyes was some idiotic link to Lindsay Lohan "news," with another one about Buffett's investment in Goldman Sachs, as if Huff-n-Nonsense readers will ever understand what the latter is all about.

Once she mentioned the "Rove-Cheney cabal," I gave up. Moonbattery at its finest.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 24, 2008 10:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Huh? What was that about Lindsay Lohan?

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2008 12:25 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm not sure, but it was a "news" link at the top. Go figure!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 25, 2008 4:55 PM

September 22, 2008

Grassroots Smearing

Simply wow.

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.

Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign.


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.

Posted by AlexC at 1:14 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I think it's an interesting story, ac, and I applaud your posting it.

As for suggestions that it as big story, color me pessimistic. Hugh Hewitt quotes a conference call where Steve Schmidt "promised to look into the new story closely though he challenged the MSM to investigate the ties between David Axelrod and the Winner firm and whether the internet smear campaign was being run de facto by the Obama campaign."

This brings up my first reaction: the MSM would have to run with this story to make it anything and I just do not see that happening. Even if Schmidt "challenges them."

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2008 7:35 PM

September 20, 2008

Biden & Berettas

I guess this is what Obama meant about bitter people clinging to their religion and their guns.

"Catholic" Senator Joe Biden:

"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."

Biden told the crowd that he himself is a gun owner. "I got two," Biden said, "if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem. I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it. So give me a break. Give me a break."


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.

Posted by AlexC at 5:56 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

And I am not guessing that Senator Obama will reprise his attack on Senator Clinton's new found love of the Second Amendment:

Obama said he was disappointed with her for her response and then launched into a new criticism of Clinton over her recent admission of being a hunter, and compared her sarcastically to Annie Oakley.

"She's running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she values the Second Amendment, she's talking like she's Annie Oakley! Hillary Clinton's out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday, she's packin' a six shooter! C'mon! She knows better. That's some politics being played by Hillary Clinton. I want to see that picture of her out there in the duck blinds."

Duck hunting with a six shooter? She should borrow Biden's over-and-under.

I'm a free-trader, ac, I have no quarrel with Senator Joe on choosing a Beretta (I have a nice abbastanza .380 of theirs). More worried about Mister-I-got-an-F-from-the-NRA's sudden enthusiasm and Virginny grammar. Merciful Zeus!

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2008 6:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And bragging to UMW members about your Beretta shotgun is sort of like pulling up to the local drive-in for a Friday nite hot rod rally behind the wheel of your Bentley.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2008 3:02 PM

September 19, 2008

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.

Before boarding his flight from Wilmington, Del., to Washington, DC, the loquacious Blue Hen displayed some Fightin' Blue Hen alumni bravado in an impromptu airport meeting with the University of Delaware football team.


He flew from Wilmington to Washington?

Environment be damned!

Posted by AlexC at 2:48 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

All those folks who work at Amtrak that he knows by name probably needed a rest, ac. At least compliment his compassion.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2008 3:07 PM
But RBV thinks:

I'm from Ohio. I don't think his actions mattered a bit. All you need to do is look around and see that the state is going for McCain regardless. The KKK headquarters is in our state. Unfortunately, we're not ready for change.

Posted by: RBV at September 20, 2008 12:00 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Absurd comment, really.

KKK HQ allegedly in Ohio? How do you prove that?

... and then you try to tie that into your state voting Republican?

Take off.

Posted by: AlexC at September 20, 2008 11:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Stop racism - defeat Obama.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2008 3:08 PM

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."

John McCain? Dream on. Those were the words of Florida Rep. Tom Feeney in May, as the House considered a housing bailout. If the flustered McCain campaign is looking for pointers on how a principled conservative can politically weather a financial storm, it might make a study of this Sunshine State Republican.


A typically awesome column about principles over demagoguery, the real cause of the turmoil, and a good political and economic response.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2008

Patriotic Taxpayer Biden!

But, Senator, I thought Dissent was patriotic?

AP: Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says that paying higher taxes is the patriotic thing to do for wealthier Americans.

Biden says he and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama want to "take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people."

Under the Democrats' economic plan, people earning more than $250,000 a year would pay more in taxes while those earning less — the vast majority of American taxpayers — would receive a tax cut.

Biden told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday that, in his words, "it's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."


Hat-Tip: Insty. Who also links to Michael Silence:
You mean like this?

Biden gave average of $369 to charity a year

Boy, talk about reinforcing the "stereotype" of spending someone else's money.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:08 PM | Comments (16)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"I will pay my legal tax and not a penny more."

But there's another problem, my friend. All the government needs to do is declare something "legal," and you're on the hook for it. It will stay "legal" until a majority of your voting neighbors keep electing public representatives to keep it "legal."

Every tax I pay is "legal." Bloomberg wants to restore the "commuter tax," which would hit me quite "legally."

Remember that exchange from Episode I? "Is that...legal?" "I will make it...legal."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 22, 2008 3:36 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

*sigh* Lets take this bit by bit, shall we?

Perry said:“Are you so completely blind to the consequences of what you propose? If government is to have the power to fund its projects, and if ONE person objects but must still pay into it, then government necessarily must have some sort of power to *force* taxes from that person.”

Well, I did consider this, and I did come up with the contingency plan for he who does not wish to be a citizen:

T. Greer said: “Of course, the easiest way around this is to simply not vote. But if one refuses to vote, one has no claim to either the protection or the services provided by the elected government to its citizens.”

As long as we are talking about principles, and staying away from the specifics of reality, this works perfectly well. You don’t vote, you don’t get the benefits provided by the government (save those that are non-excludable), and the government cannot force you to do anything. On the other hand, if you do vote, you get the benefits provided by collective action, and submit to the authority of the majority.

Perry said: Again, you're so blind to the consequences of what you say. The very power of voting is *implicitly* about the majority asserting its will over the minority…

What if I have no desire to participate? What if all I desire is for you to leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone, except for *purely* *voluntary* *contact* where all exchanges are done because both sides freely wanted them? To you, that doesn't matter: you and the rest of the voting majority make me lose by default, whether or not I "vote."

To paraphrase Walter Williams, how about you pay for only the goods and services that you want, and I'll pay for only the goods and services I want?
…
I *never* give up anything by voting against the majority or not voting at all, but the majority that opposes me has the luxury of claiming that I do. What about two of my friends who are so principled that they don't vote at all? All they want is for others to not deprive them of their rights, including not "taxing" them.

See my last statement for my response to all of the quoted statements.

Perry Said: While I hate to repeat myself, I will say it again. I don’t think the majority is inherently right. I do think that when a group of people choose their actions by way of vote, they are ceding their authority to that of the majority.
Perry SaidYou should read this: http://eidelblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/in-end-its-force-that-suppresses-rights.html. I suspect you think voting is "peaceful," so pay attention to my explanation of why it is *not*.

Sorry mate, your link is broken.

Perry Said: This is not an introductory economics or political science class, and I have no time to explain such a simple concept that you can look up yourself. If you want to argue with the big boys, then you really ought to inform yourself first.

If you can’t qualify your statement, then you have no right to decry any I have made- particularly if I can qualify mine.

I have yet to come across a single source which has disproven the fact that the military is a public good. Let me take one of the most obvious examples to prove my point: nuclear weapons. Because the United States has several thousand nuclear weapons and the ability to deploy those weapons anywhere in the world, no nation state will launch attack the United States with nuclear weapons, for fear of retaliation. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done- if you are occupying space in the North American you are benefitting from this deterrence. Furthermore, the fact that someone in Seattle is being protected by this deterrence does not lessen its utility to someone in New York, or Chicago, or anywhere else in the nation. This combination of non-rivalness and non-excludability is the definition of a public good.

~T. Greer, still open to holes being poked in his argument.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 22, 2008 4:06 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"Well, I did consider this, and I did come up with the contingency plan for he who does not wish to be a citizen:

T. Greer said: "Of course, the easiest way around this is to simply not vote. But if one refuses to vote, one has no claim to either the protection or the services provided by the elected government to its citizens."

Still a load of manure. You know that it isn't going to happen, don't you? The whole idea of "American democracy" is for a majority to laugh in my face when I say "Leave me alone," because they need *my* taxes for their lives.

I *don't* want government to protect me from myself by taking money supposedly for my retirement, supposedly so it can bail me out later. I'd have no problem with paying minimal taxes so I'd have basic police and fire department services, perhaps public roads. But that isn't going to happen while there's a majority that votes, backed by the threat of violence, to seize my property to fund whatever they want.

"As long as we are talking about principles, and staying away from the specifics of reality, this works perfectly well. You don’t vote, you don’t get the benefits provided by the government (save those that are non-excludable), and the government cannot force you to do anything."

"Reality" is that democracy comes down to two wolves and a lamb deciding on lunch. *I* want my neighbors to leave me alone, but *they* won't leave me alone.

"On the other hand, if you do vote, you get the benefits provided by collective action, and submit to the authority of the majority."

Wrong. Voting against a collectivist official is an expression of my opposition, and in no way implies "submission." Or perhaps you'd like to suggest some way that I can refrain from voting and thus be left alone by my neighbors?

You're simply so blind to consequences. Do you have any idea what "collective action" truly represents?

"While I hate to repeat myself, I will say it again. I don’t think the majority is inherently right. I do think that when a group of people choose their actions by way of vote, they are ceding their authority to that of the majority."

What will it take for a state-worshipper like you to realize that going by majority decision is *implicitly* saying that the majority is correct? Such is the very fallacy of "democracy."

It's not my fault if you can't see that two plus two equal four, regardless of the language or units used.

http://eidelblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/in-end-its-force-that-suppresses-rights.html

Try copying and pasting the link, without the period at the end. I can't do it for you or hold your hand.

"If you can’t qualify your statement, then you have no right to decry any I have made- particularly if I can qualify mine."

Like I said, this is not an introductory class. What I expressed was such a simple concept, despite the fact that you have never encountered it, that anyone more than a simpleton can research it easily.

"I have yet to come across a single source which has disproven the fact that the military is a public good."

Then you need to read more sources.

"Let me take one of the most obvious examples to prove my point: nuclear weapons. Because the United States has several thousand nuclear weapons and the ability to deploy those weapons anywhere in the world, no nation state will launch attack the United States with nuclear weapons, for fear of retaliation. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done- if you are occupying space in the North American you are benefitting from this deterrence. Furthermore, the fact that someone in Seattle is being protected by this deterrence does not lessen its utility to someone in New York, or Chicago, or anywhere else in the nation. This combination of non-rivalness and non-excludability is the definition of a public good."

Since I must lead you in connecting the dots, I'll simply explain that there are two fallacies with your specific example: you're assuming an equal degree of benefit (if it exists at all) even if there is equal desire, and a military force is hardly non-rivalrous.

You said "North American" and so were talking about the continent, but I'll be gentle and not talk about the Northwest Territories or Yucatan Peninsula. Does someone living in Moab, Utah, have the same degree of protection as I, who lives in a metropolitan area that has now been targetted twice by terrorists? I'd like to see you argue that.

Darn, targetted twice. Out the window goes your nonsensical idea that nukes are "deterrent," huh.

A military force is a finite resource. Nuclear weapons may be numerous but are still only a small part of U.S. military spending, so your example hardly justifies the military as a public good. Here I'll necessarily put aside the issue of whether its proper, and speak of how things are happening in the present United States. When the National Guard is deployed to Iraq, that takes away from its domestic presence that could have been used to help in a hurricane aftermath.

But the best point comes from Frederic Bastiat, my patron saint, who debunked the concept of "public good" over a century before it originated. If you'd sit down for an evening and read "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen," you might actually understand the concept that government can spend money only by taking an equal amount of money away from the economy -- which means government spending is only a shift in the economy, and cannot generate an increase in the economy. Thus a public good that seems purely non-rivalrous is in fact depriving the rest of an economy from whatever private goods it would have otherwise produced.

So to insist that something is a "public good" by simplistic definitions does not take into account that while I am forced to pay for it, I am being deprived of "private goods" I'd have instead preferred. Clear enough?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 23, 2008 10:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

All of this is getting repetitive and more than a little confused as to who said what, but what really perplexes me is this idea:

Yet once you cast your vote you have signed the social contract; you have agreed to stick to the decision of the majority- even if it is wrong headed.

Of course, the easiest way around this is to simply not vote. But if one refuses to vote, one has no claim to either the protection or the services provided by the elected government to its citizens.

From where did this idea originate, tg?

Are you implying that it is in some de facto way a reality in this country, or anywhere in the world for that matter?

Do you not take pause at the notion that the "elected government" is the given and that individual Americans must "sign the social contract" in order to attain the Constitutional guarantees of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" (Yes I know that's the Declaration and not the Constitution but the latter would not exist without the former.)

Even if the fantasy you describe were somehow the "law of the land" what recourse does a man have when his neighbor decides that he needs your good plow horse (or tractor) more than you do and comes to take it from you? What you're describing is quite simply - anarchy.

I'm not trying to perpetuate an extended and vociferous debate here, I just want to know where you came up with this idea and to the extent you think it is real, or even good, why on Earth you do?

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2008 3:40 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Well mates, I think that this discussion is growing a bit long. As such, I will offer my final statement here and then invite Perry to weigh in with the last word.

Perry said: “Still a load of manure. You know that it isn't going to happen, don't you? The whole idea of "American democracy" is for a majority to laugh in my face when I say "Leave me alone," because they need *my* taxes for their lives.”

But it is what should happen. In truth, I agree with you when you say that it is wrong for a group of “mobsters” to declare themselves a government and take away your property. Simply put, they have no authority to do so.

On the other hand, those mobsters do have the authority to declare themselves a government and take away their own property. This is political theory 101- the people cede their autonomy to the government (or to representatives in the government) every time they cast a ballot.
This is where you get it wrong Perry. Voting is not a statement of opposition. If you want to express your opposition to something, grab a picket. If you want to be part of the decision making process of the government of the United States, you vote.

Implicit in voting is recognition that your preferred policy might not be enacted. But, in the action of voting, you recognize that the outcome of the vote will become law.

John Galt brings up an interesting point when he ask: “Do you not take pause at the notion that the "elected government" is the given and that individual Americans must "sign the social contract" in order to attain the Constitutional guarantees of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"”

No, I don’t. The way I see it, the constitution does not guarantee us our life, liberty, our pursuit of happiness. No document cast by human hands can give us these rights. They are God-given, non- negotiation able elements of human existence. The constitution does not guarantee these rights- it simply recognizes them.

Perhaps I should clarify on exactly what I meant: If one refuses to pay taxes, or to do jury duty, or to work with the census bureau, then that man should not cede his autonomy to the government (i.e. vote), and the government should not expect him to do any of the said things. Likewise, he should not expect any of the benefits the state actually gives to its citizens- education, public transport, law enforcement, and the like.
I think that sums up my position on the relation between man and state pretty well. As always, feel free to pick this apart as you will.
But before I leave, I would like to make another point in regards to public goods:

1. For something to be a public good, it does not need to have an equal degree of benefit to everyone. Rather, it needs to be non-excludable, which in the case of nuclear deterrence, it is. You CAN’T exclude a person from the benefits of nuclear deterrence if they are living in the United States. (And I am pretty sure an ICBM strike in Canada and Mexico might just set off MAD as well, but that is an unrelated point.)

2. Nope, you debunked nuttin’. If we were talking about terrorist strikes, you would have. Yet seeing as I specified the attack as being a strike originating from a nation-state you can’t use terrorists to break this apart.

3. For the moment (and maybe for quite a bit longer- once I have finished reading What is Seen and What is Not Seen I will probably know for sure) Mr. Bastiat has beaten me. However, the thought has occurred to me that a public good is not made public because its production didn’t involve the consumption of private resources. After all, a fireworks display can be produced by private enterprise, but once the show begins, the actual lights and booms are both non-excludable and non-rival, even if the chemicals that are used to make the fireworks are neither.

@Perry, Joh Galt, & jk,
Thanks for an interesting discussion.
~T. Greer

Posted by: T. Greer at September 24, 2008 2:59 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"Well mates, I think that this discussion is growing a bit long. As such, I will offer my final statement here and then invite Perry to weigh in with the last word."

No discussion is too long if you're interested in *truth*.

"But it is what should happen. In truth, I agree with you when you say that it is wrong for a group of “mobsters” to declare themselves a government and take away your property. Simply put, they have no authority to do so."

Read this: http://eidelblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/for-i-speak-now-in-parables.html. Copy and paste the URL, without the period at the end.

"On the other hand, those mobsters do have the authority to declare themselves a government and take away their own property. This is political theory 101- the people cede their autonomy to the government (or to representatives in the government) every time they cast a ballot."

As you say, that's theory. In practice, it doesn't happen. So again, I'd like to hear your explanation of how I can have my neighbors leave me alone, other than shooting every last one who tries to declare himself a partial sovereign over what is mine and mine alone.

"This is where you get it wrong Perry. Voting is not a statement of opposition. If you want to express your opposition to something, grab a picket. If you want to be part of the decision making process of the government of the United States, you vote."

Wrong again. The only time I've voted for a presidential candidate was in 1996, for Harry Browne. It was in part support for him, but also a statement of opposition for Clinton and Dole.

It's very simple logic: to vote for something is to vote against all other choices. In 1996, I voted for someone who wanted government to leave me alone, so there's no reason whatsoever that my vote was submitting myself to whatever majority turned out.

"Implicit in voting is recognition that your preferred policy might not be enacted. But, in the action of voting, you recognize that the outcome of the vote will become law."

Which is entirely the point of voting against something, as futile as it may be: you hope there will be just enough, a plurality if your jurisdiction allows, on *your* side so that you'll win. But once more, this is the fallacy of democracy: there's no protection for individual rights, because whatever the majority says, goes. Didn't you ever read the Federalist Papers?

"No, I don’t. The way I see it, the constitution does not guarantee us our life, liberty, our pursuit of happiness. No document cast by human hands can give us these rights. They are God-given, non- negotiation able elements of human existence. The constitution does not guarantee these rights- it simply recognizes them."

Actually, no. What do you suppose the Ninth Amendment is about, specifying rights not enumerated in the previous Amendments?

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to, in fact, *guarantee* that the federal government (and later construed to extend to the several States' governments) would not infringe upon the rights of the states and the people.

"Perhaps I should clarify on exactly what I meant: If one refuses to pay taxes, or to do jury duty, or to work with the census bureau, then that man should not cede his autonomy to the government (i.e. vote), and the government should not expect him to do any of the said things. Likewise, he should not expect any of the benefits the state actually gives to its citizens- education, public transport, law enforcement, and the like."

Which sounds good to me, but we all know that's not going to happen in the real world, where my neighbors can't have public education, public transport, law enforcement, and the like, without picking my pocket more than they pay in.

"1. For something to be a public good, it does not need to have an equal degree of benefit to everyone. Rather, it needs to be non-excludable, which in the case of nuclear deterrence, it is. You CAN’T exclude a person from the benefits of nuclear deterrence if they are living in the United States. (And I am pretty sure an ICBM strike in Canada and Mexico might just set off MAD as well, but that is an unrelated point.)"

Which is entirely a problem with your (and most people's) simplistic notion of a public good: the assumption of equal benefit for everyone. There IS no equal benefit (value). Someone in a small Great Plains would need hardly any of this "deterrent," if any at all, compared to someone like me that lives near a major city. The point is that Joe Redneck might not be "excludable" from the benefit, but to him there's no benefit at all. Whether or not your "public good" exists makes no difference to him.

"2. Nope, you debunked nuttin’. If we were talking about terrorist strikes, you would have. Yet seeing as I specified the attack as being a strike originating from a nation-state you can’t use terrorists to break this apart."

Actually, seeing as I talked about the U.S. *military* as a whole, you yourself couldn't reduce things in the beginning to ICBMs and what-not.

"3. For the moment (and maybe for quite a bit longer- once I have finished reading What is Seen and What is Not Seen I will probably know for sure) Mr. Bastiat has beaten me. However, the thought has occurred to me that a public good is not made public because its production didn’t involve the consumption of private resources. After all, a fireworks display can be produced by private enterprise, but once the show begins, the actual lights and booms are both non-excludable and non-rival, even if the chemicals that are used to make the fireworks are neither."

Again, this is a problem with the usual (simplistic) concept of a public good: you fail to consider that the existence of a government-created public good comes only by depriving people of private goods. You can talk about "who benefits" all you want, but that's only part of the picture. Learn to examine the whole instead of just part. It's just like the fallacy of "crowding out": it assumes the U.S. economy is a closed box which cannot accept outside supplies of loanable funds, when we know in the real world that isn't true.

Well, you're at least reading Bastiat, which along with my replies here is a start on your real economics education.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 24, 2008 3:59 PM

The Spin-o-meter

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."

Skillicorn has been watching out for verbal "spin". He has developed an algorithm that evaluates word usage within the text of a conversation or speech to determine when a person "presents themselves or their content in a way that does not necessarily reflect what they know to be true".


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.

So the analysis appears to back up McCain's claim that he is a "straight talker". However, for the purposes of political speech-making this may not be an entirely good thing for him. "Obama uses spin in his speeches very well," says Skillicorn. For example, Obama's spin level skyrockets when facing problems in the press, such as when Jeremiah Wright, the reverend of his former church, made controversial comments to the press.

"When you see these crises come along, the spin goes up," Skillicorn says. "Obama is very good at using stirring rhetoric to deal with the issues. And it seems to work if you look at what happens in the polls afterwards."


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.

Posted by AlexC at 1:07 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Is a spin score of 7.58 for McCain a typo?

I think it was Gary Kasparov who claimed he could always beat any computer at chess because it ultimately comes down to the programming, which is done by other humans. One wonders how an algorithm can "compute" spin. As long as the results agree with one's visceral idea of what they should be I guess we call it accurate. Sorta like global warming or quantum physics.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2008 4:15 PM
But jk thinks:

My blog brother jg des not believe in quantum mechanics? How does he explain the diffusion paradox? Oh well, we'll cover that another time.

My four years with a startup were spent commercializing research in computed analyses of language. I saw some pretty amazing things and while I won't stand up for this particular research, it is a serious pursuit, done by serious people, and I have seen some pretty amazing breakthroughs. The brief pieces of the algorithms included in the article seem to make sense.

But yeah, maybe it was 7.38; I think you're right.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2008 6:03 PM

September 17, 2008

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.

“Supreme Court justices should recognize that their responsibility is to apply the law as passed by the Legislature, and the law is clear that the candidates cannot be certified on the ballot if their filings are late,” says Drew Shirley, a local attorney for the Barr campaign, who is also a Libertarian candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:21 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm the first to say that "the law" shouldn't necessarily be enforced, because whatever is enshrined in statute does not mean it's good, proper or just.

However, like I've said before, bad law ties down *people*, but the purpose of good law is to tie down government. This is election law that sets rules for government, and it should be followed. The SCOTUS decision in 2000 wasn't about "stealing" the election for Bush, but merely to say that it had no right to tell Florida not to follow its law about choosing electors by a certain deadline.

It's a scary thought that the McCain and Obama campaigns' foolishness could mean McCain won't get Texas' precious votes, without which we'd certainly have President Obama. People could still vote for McCain as a write-in, and I'd trust them to be smarter about that than Obama's supporters.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 18, 2008 10:36 AM

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

Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

Executive Experience

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.

So I question productive use of resources, Politico reports (Hat-tip: Insty) that he is still too cash strapped to share with the Democratic Senatorial Committee:

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.

Obama raised a record-setting $66 million in August, leaving his campaign with about $77 million in cash now. Because he has turned down public financing, he can keep raising money through Election Day. John McCain, having accepted public financing, can’t do that — but he already has the $84 million in public money in his campaign coffers.


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

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.

One whiff from Barack Obama about "the mountain in Sedona where he lives," and by day's end Senator McCain was ranting about "corruption" and how he was going to "reform the way that Wall Street does business." Yesterday Senator McCain's inner populist had cooled enough to admit the existence of "honest people on Wall Street," but it still sounded as if this week's version of the McCain Presidency would be more about restructuring private financial markets he doesn't understand than fixing the Washington he knows.


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?

Indeed, I ask the Senator to name one significant thing that Bush has done to create this crisis that couldn't also be laid at the feet of St. William of Little Rock. If Democratic policy is so good at protecting the little guy from asset price bubbles, how come the stock market crashed in 2000?

This kind of foolish grandstanding is not the change we need. It's just more of the same.


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Inquiring Refugees want to know: at what point does the profit motive become greed? Where is the bright line between the two?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 18, 2008 12:19 AM

I Quit

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.

Rothschild is a member of the DNC's Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York. She was one of Clinton's top fundraisers, bringing in more than $100,000 for her presidential campaign. She built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2008

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.

Seriously.

... 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."

Posted by AlexC at 4:58 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Yikes! "Montana Militia, the Posse Comitatus and the Sagebrush Rebels, and individuals such as Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski have made us wonder why so many 'angry white men' populated our rural regions." Scary stuff!

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2008 5:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

...because Sarah Palin is so obviously close to being an "angry white man."

Anyone catch the Peggy Noonan piece Friday?

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2008 6:39 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Liberals have become what they decry. This is bigotry, plain and simple: judging an individual based on stereotypes and superficial factors - including skin color. "She's a white Republican and from the Pacific northwest, therefore we can assume she's a racist until proven innocent."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 15, 2008 6:53 PM

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:


biden_tax_returns_2.jpg


Professor Mankiw shows that the Biden's giving is less than a quarter of typical Americans' and that they fit into a broad generalization (though less broad than the one I am making):

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):
[Spokesperson David] Wade also suggests that Biden, who is famous for being the least wealthy member of the U.S. Senate, simply doesn’t have piles of money to give. “Like a lot of families that put three kids through college and have an aging parent move in with them, the Bidens aren’t divorced from the realities of everyday life,” Wade says. Still, Wade continues, “finding ways to give back is important to them.”

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.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:11 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

He was holding up well in that story talking about his charity giving that he doesn't claim.
He could have been a big giver of thousands in cash on the streets to street people as far as we would have ever known.

But then he had to go a cry "we're too poor to give much!"

Some people just aren't bright enough to be VP.

Posted by: Terri at September 15, 2008 3:00 PM

September 14, 2008

The Anti-Obama

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"



Posted by John Kranz at 1:08 PM | Comments (0)

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.

McCain, on the other hand, has been superb going back at least to Obama’s European tour. Mainstream America is comfortable with him and, with Palin’s selection, conservatives who had their doubts are onboard. The GOP is energized and suddenly an unwinnable election is reversed.

Obama got this far by winning small states and Southern states he has no chance of carrying in November. In Georgia, for example, the latest Insider Advantage poll has McCain pulling 56 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Obama, numbers that are not likely to change more than 4 percentage points in November. The undecideds and those who intend to vote for third-party campaigns are at 6 percent.

In this election, voters will decide early. Obama’s been in a yearlong campaign; McCain’s familiar. The two are sufficiently exposed and known for voters to make a decision now.

It’s not over. But it’s getting there — and Obama knows it.


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."

Posted by AlexC at 12:27 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Hillary tried to tell them this, albeit too late and too timidly. Now the buyers remorse within the donkey clan is growing by the week... no, by the day.

P.S. McPalin scheduled a "pancake breakfast" event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds west of Denver tomorrow. Free tickets were available at a southeast Denver suburban McCain office. There was a sizable line of takers. (Can't say how long - I wasn't there.) The event has been converted to a rally. Apparently there weren't enough pancake griddles to accomodate the throngs of "Palinistas."

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2008 9:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's an interesting data point: According to the latest poll in Minnesota that state is now dead even.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2008 10:26 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Should McCain go on to win in November, the parallels between Iraq and the election will be more delicious than any pancake breakfast.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 15, 2008 11:27 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Q- What's the difference between Sarah Palin and 'The Surge?'

A- Only the number of M-16 rifles that were used.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2008 2:54 PM

September 13, 2008

Free Trade

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.

"So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it’s fair to ask –- which country?"


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.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:59 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

In the great political game of tit for tat, where can we find an example of McCain questioning The One's patriotism?

Why is it always the other side that's replete with examples?

Posted by: AlexC at September 13, 2008 4:36 PM
But HB thinks:

The problem that protectionists have is that if you carry their arguments to their logical conclusion, they believe that we should be living in autarky. Even beyond that, what Obama clearly fails to recognize is that foreign trade does not consist of countries selling to countries, but rather individuals freely engaging in transactions with one another to their own benefit.

Posted by: HB at September 13, 2008 11:13 PM

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 HQ
Hat-tip: Insty
Posted by John Kranz at 1:36 PM | Comments (0)

Cartoons

Email from my brother:


hill3am.jpg
And my fave:

gop_grave.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Amazingly enough, Ms. Goldberg, the Constitition actually has been amended to prohibit slavery (13th), ensure citzenship (14th), and voting rights (15th).

Ten points to hb for watching -- that requires a McCain type toughness with which I was not gifted.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2008 11:31 AM

Obama: Gloves Off Again

Jake Tapper @ ABC

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.

That's a lot of pairs of gloves.

The Isotoner campaign, one might say.


Hee hee.

Posted by AlexC at 12:31 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I thought this was very harsh for Tapper. He's not in the tank for The One like many of his colleagues, but this was tough -- bloom off the rose?

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2008 1:20 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee reads it a tad differently. Tapper and the other Obama campaigners, er, media are frustrated that Obama has not been attacking hard enough. He expresses his frustration in sarcasm.

The phrase "Campaign sponsored by Isotoner" does have a ring to it. It also proves that Obama is hand-in-glove with the Big Mittens lobby.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 12, 2008 3:53 PM

Generic Ballot

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.

Posted by AlexC at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Hurricane Sarah has breached the Democratic levees. They can pump fast enough.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 12, 2008 1:05 PM

September 11, 2008

Saint Joe

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.

Thanks for the memories, Joe. But I guess none of the bad stuff was Biden's fault. He gave into calling Anita Hill (for her utterly perjurious testimony, but that's another story) as a witness, Rosen breathlessly informs us, only after the pressure became "irresistible." Brave, brave, brave Sir Joe.


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.

Puh-leeze.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2008

What Next?

Byron York.

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?

Posted by AlexC at 4:38 PM | Comments (0)

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

Name

Office

Party/State

Total

1. Dodd, Christopher J

S

D-CT

$133,900

2. Kerry, John

S

D-MA

$111,000

3. Obama, Barack

S

D-IL

$105,849

4. Clinton, Hillary

S

D-NY

$75,550

5. Kanjorski, Paul E

H

D-PA

$65,500

6. Bennett, Robert F

S

R-UT

$61,499


Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

Bristol's Mom

Some people are very talented.

Posted by AlexC at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

After Palin's speech at the convention, Jon Caldera remarked, "I want to have her baby!"

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 10, 2008 12:01 PM

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

Posted by John Kranz at 5:10 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Obama vs McCain

This should be taped inside every voting booth, in a just nation.

Posted by AlexC at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2008

One of the Fifty Seven

AlexC crosses one of the mystery states off the list: "New Pennsylvania."





Don't you people have anything better to worry about than this? Well, yeah. But it is great fun and If a Republican said stupid things like this...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:20 PM | Comments (0)

Bounce

USA Today:

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.

McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.


Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by AlexC at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 6, 2008

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.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 3:20 PM | Comments (0)

Good Ad

Ann Althouse found this ad distracting because of its quality of music and visual effects (oooookay).





Then she is able to collect her irony: "Oh, suddenly the irony of it all hits me. What I think about the ad is what the ad is trying to say about Obama! The style is fabulous, but what, really, is the content?"

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.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I hadn't looked at it quite that way JK but you're right: The youthful, fresh, "clean and articulate" Obama is a Trojan Horse for the kind of entrenched and corrupt "good ol' boys" that Governor Palin became popular for displacing.

Let's hope she can be as effective at removing the ticks burrowed into our national government as she was doing so in Alaska. If McPalin continues to press that theme, which Palin started and McCain furthered in their convention speeches, then I think American voters will give them a chance to do it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2008 11:11 AM

September 5, 2008

Colorado's Electors

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.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 2:04 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

I was not in full victiory lap mode, jg, but I think it throws a nice wrench into their plans.

I was hoping for Wisconsin in play, to make them earn Minnesota and Michigan, and I feel better about Ohio. Virgnia is still a problem (as is Colorado if I'm honest).


Posted by: jk at September 5, 2008 5:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Hugh Hewitt says she can connect with voters in The Anti-Freeze Belt. (Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado.)

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2008 6:22 PM
But dagny thinks:

I don't mean to stomp on all the happy back-slapping around here but Colorado is still a very tight race. There are still many Obama stickers in the parking lot at my office including a respected co-worker who, "ought," to know better. Accountants, of all people, ought to understand the value of free markets.

I was at Vitamin Cottage (Yes, I realize its Vitamin Cottage) and the woman at the checkout said to the woman in front of me in line, "nice button." It was, of course, an Obama button. Then we got to hear about all the other cool buttons she has. I wanted to ask these women if they knew what socialism meant but I held my tongue for fear someone would key my car.

Large portions of Colorado are very messed up.

Posted by: dagny at September 5, 2008 9:53 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

If I may be allowed to weigh in-

As someone who lives in Minnesota, I am going to have to say that I think McCain's prospects are bleak. Obama won the state by huge margins in the primaries; likewise, McCain lost to Romney in a landslide. I don't think Palin will bring too many Minnesota hockey moms over- Simply put, I think the general Minnesotan distaste for McCain outweighs anything Palin can bring to the ticket.

(Furthermore, most of the MN republicans I know really wanted Pawlenty to be VP. The fact that the day Palin was chosen, the front-page of my newspaper featured various Republican state senators lamenting that they had to go to the Alaska Governor homepage to find a picture of Palin doesn't help.)

~T. Greer, not particularly fond of the cold.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 5, 2008 11:45 PM
But jk thinks:

tg (four comments, you're initials now): Yup, I was going to make a disparaging comment about women in your state, that they drop the kids off to 5AM hockey practice on the way to a meeting at the local co-op to discuss unionizing locally grown organic foods producers...I don't get that Midwest allegiance to collectivism but it cannot be ignored.

Dagny (dt?): I said victory laps are premature. The Denver-Boulder-Vitamin Cottage Axis will go heavily Democratic, but I think Gov. Palin will excite the El Paso County evangelicals, exurban moderates, and rural gun owners enough to compensate. I counted our state blue until the pick; I think it will be a red-leaner now.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2008 12:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

tg: Don't be so quick to dismiss McCain in MN or anywhere else because he "lost to Romney in a landslide" in the primaries. The same thing happened here in CO and I was one of the delegates on the Romney side at the time. Had I known then what I know now - that the "maverick" would choose this exciting western reform-agenda governor to be his VEEP I'd have dropped Romney like a bad habit.

We're all just gazing in crystal balls here but I still think the "Hey Washington, change is coming" message will draw heretofore unseen electoral support. Particularly, as I said, in Hugh Hewitt's Anti-Freeze Belt.

I'm going to have to have a talk with dagny about speaking up to challenge Kool-Aid drinkers. All she had to say was, "I disagree." If they pressed her she could say, "Have you ever read about the failed history of National Socialism? That's the name for the policies that Obama promises."

I don't think concern for her paint job was the blocking point. Nor was shyness - dagny is NOT shy. Instead I think she's not yet adjusted to this new feeling of pride she feels in a political candidacy. Those Obama stickers in her office parking lot? She didn't want a McCain sticker to counter them but she's asked me three times if I'd ordered the McCain-Palin sticker so she can park it next to those guys.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2008 11:35 AM

September 4, 2008

Executive Experience

One of my favorite whoppers chestnuts from the Obama campaign is that the Senator's experience running his Presidential campaign count toward his experience deficit. (Taranto jokes that Lyndon LaRouche is thus the most qualified...)

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.

I like Mr. Obama personally, we all do, but Milton Friedman has said that we exist to create value for the shareholders, and our current CEO has clearly failed.

Based on his charisma and his personal ties to Obama, Inc. it would be wrong to remove him from office. I therefore propose that we give him an honorary title of "Chairman of the Board." This will allow him to make appearances on the Corporation's behalf.

And we will find somebody more competent to execute day to day operations. Perhaps a bright woman...


Posted by John Kranz at 7:53 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

Well... he did do something that no one else has managed to figure out.

Beat Hillary.

Of course the massive effort on his part by the media needs to be acknowledged.

Posted by: AlexC at September 4, 2008 8:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair point. I will remind the board that he had and used several times the money and the media advantages you describe -- and he almost lost at the end.

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2008 11:02 AM

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.

No really.

Posted by AlexC at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

Glasses?

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.

Does anyone have confirmation if Sarah Palin really needs glasses?


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."

Totally.

Posted by AlexC at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I don't know if it's that "smarter" and/or "librarian" look, but I love, LOVE glasses on women. My fiancee sometimes wears glasses for reading. Nonetheless, it's ultimately the woman who makes the look, not the glasses. Palin is an attractive woman with or without them, and after last night, let no one doubt that she's smart and witty with or without glasses.

Oh, and regarding the faked bikini photo...thank God it was done this year, not 1984!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 4, 2008 11:57 AM

September 3, 2008

Specter & Palin

PolitickerPa

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.

Although Specter said that he was surprised by the Palin pick, he defended the McCain campaign’s vetting process.

“I wouldn’t sell John McCain short,” he said.


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.

Posted by AlexC at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

Sarah: Once Post Partisan

Look what Bucks Right uncovered.... a Newsweek story from a year ago... when the media still liked her.

Posted by AlexC at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

Mooseburgers!

Posted by AlexC at 5:02 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Crude, but cute. Had me laughing repeatedly. Thanks!

Posted by: johngalt at September 4, 2008 1:31 AM

Palin Bikini Photo Fake

This Sarah Palin photo in a bikini is a fake.

I'm with Dan Rather on this one. It's fake, but accurate... or at least I want to believe.

Posted by AlexC at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 2, 2008

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.

In the file, the Democrats have released Sarah Palin's social security number minus the last four digits. Also tied to the information are her various home addresses.

Back in 2005, Democrats used Michael Steele's social security number to get his credit record.

It is atrocious that the Democrats would not only seek out Sarah Palin's social security number, but release it in opposition research to the press.

Posted by AlexC at 9:36 PM | Comments (0)

With Obama Loss, A Race War

Stay classy Fatimah Ali.

If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!

Plenty of Americans would rather stay in their dream state than to recognize the poverty sweeping across the country, right here, right now.

Obama understands that people are suffering. Every week, prices go up at the supermarket, and people are unable to feed their families. It already is dark and stormy for millions, who can't even afford pencils, book bags and lunch money for their children.

But when Obama wins the White House, we may just see a revolution that can turn the tide and improve this nation for everyone, not just a select few.

Posted by AlexC at 5:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2008

Comparing and Contrasting Unexpected Birth Annoucements

The Obamas vs the Palins.

Posted by AlexC at 5:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2008

Have Liberals Lost Their Minds?

I spend far too much time enjoying Al Gore's invention. Perhaps I am not alone. The internet has exposed the left-wing kooks (I should note that these kooks are not confined to the left-wing, but the Bush presidency has sure brought the lefties out of the woodwork). Case-in-point: The Kos kids are claiming that Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's youngest son is, in fact, her grandson (see here and here, if you must). They have absolutely no facts to go on, as their "evidence" is centered around a picture of Palin's daughter that they claim was taken in March that supposedly shows her with "baby bump." However, I did a quick search for the picture that they reference and, according to the newspaper where the picture was published, the photo was actually taken in 2006! (You can verify that I am referencing the correct picture as I refuse to post it here.) While I am not an OBGYN, I can hazard a guess and say that it is unlikely that a girl who was pregnant in 2006 would give birth in April 2008. But then again, facts are not important to the Kos kids.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:03 PM | Comments (4)
But Kevin T. Keith thinks:

You open your comment with a stupid, sneering reference to a conservative lie about Al Gore, then complain about liberal speculation about Palin's odd (no matter how you slice it) pregnancy. Before you finish your first sentence you condemn your own opinion as worthless; whatever else you have to say is of no meaning.

Notice, though, that it's not just liberal Democrats who are pursuing the issue. Andrew Sullivan is hot on the case, as are various gossip magazines and Web sites. And of course the conservative blogs are outraged, just outraged, that anyone would make a political issue of someone's private life, and are doing more than anybody to broadcast the issue by piling on it.

I have already blogged that I think it is unfitting to make an issue of the matter. But to pretend that it is some uniquely liberal characteristic to trespass on other people's reproductive decisions and to harass and demean those people for the choices they make - and to do so when the person you are defending owes much of her political career to her insistence on criminalizing the choices other women make - is offensively dishonest and absurd.

Posted by: Kevin T. Keith at September 1, 2008 2:20 AM
But jk thinks:

Mr. Keith:

The reference to VP Gore's inventing the Internet is a common and harmless joke around here. I find it hard to draw equivalence between saying that and saying that a woman's baby is not hers.

I am not persuaded by the fact that Andrew Sullivan and some gossip magazines are pursuing the issue. Gossip magazines are pursuing the Bigfoot Baby from Mars story; as for Sullivan, I am President of his ex-Fans club. He is a brilliant writer but he departed the plane of earth reason four years ago.

All fair and fine for comment, and I welcome your opinions. I clicked over to your blog and was surprised that you see no valid reason for Senator McCain to pick Governor Palin. I would suggest that you read one more post around here and the comments. The authors and frequent commenters on this blog include some serious libertarians, a religious and social conservative, a couple of serious Ayn Rand devotees, and me, your humble right-leaning pragmatic GOP partisan hack.

We fight like cats and dogs around here on economics, immigration, abortion, and the Designated Hitter (American League morons!!!) But we have all come together to appreciate her pick. She has fought for smaller, cleaner government, she fights today for the extraction of resources required to preserve our prosperity, and her family life reassures the social conservatives.

If you can find absolutely no good reason to put her on the ticket, I'd suggest that you have not been looking hard enough.

Posted by: jk at September 1, 2008 12:00 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Kevin, you're a damn fool.

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system." - Al Gore, interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, 3/9/1999
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09/president.2000/transcript.gore/

There you go, dimwit: chapter and verse. I presume you're intelligent enough to click links, but are you intelligent enough to see why Gore's claim is A SHEER LIE? Or are you so empty-headed to believe the Internet *wasn't* around prior to Gore's "service" in government? ARPA's 4-node network was already cranking a year before Gore arrived in Vietnam, let alone Washington D.C., and was already adding plenty of nodes long before Gore had his first inauguration.

I am continually astounded by how much you and your fellow liberals can remain so *ignorant* of facts, particularly those which are verifiable.

And by the way, global warming is a fact only insofar as it's been occurring for thousands of years since the last Ice Age. Also, paleontologists will tell you that the Earth was warmer than "even now" -- so if you want to stop global warming today, you're only impeding natural progress. Chew on that for a while.

"Before you finish your first sentence you condemn your own opinion as worthless; whatever else you have to say is of no meaning."

Take your own advice.

"Andrew Sullivan is hot on the case"

Wow, you say that as if that turkey were actually an important conservative.

"And of course the conservative blogs are outraged, just outraged, that anyone would make a political issue of someone's private life, and are doing more than anybody to broadcast the issue by piling on it."

No, conservatives are outraged, just outraged, that liberals are the ones making an issue out of it.

Since you are reality-impaired, let me fill you in: liberals are so deranged that Palin was accused of faking pregnancy to cover up for her daughter. *That* was the source of conservatives' justified outrage.

"I have already blogged that I think it is unfitting to make an issue of the matter."

Well good for you. And I'm sure your efforts have completely stopped those who are making it an issue, right? Yeah.

"But to pretend that it is some uniquely liberal characteristic to trespass on other people's reproductive decisions and to harass and demean those people for the choices they make - and to do so when the person you are defending owes much of her political career to her insistence on criminalizing the choices other women make - is offensively dishonest and absurd."

jk said no such thing. You can stop the tired old liberal trick of putting words into other people's mouths.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 2, 2008 4:04 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Let me amend the last part to say "HB" instead of "jk." The rest stands.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 2, 2008 4:07 PM

August 26, 2008

Staring Down Dictators

I'm a partisan hack, but I laugh every time I hear about Senator Biden having "stared down dictators." I cannot imagine -- okay, find it hard to imagine -- a person I would less like to have representing the United States in a tough negotiation than Biden (D - MBNA).

Michael Rubin has a guest editorial in the Washington Post today. He questions the fearless comb-over as well:

In selecting Joseph Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama acknowledged the importance of foreign affairs to this year's election. His Web site trumpeted Biden as "an expert on foreign policy" and a man "who has stared down dictators."

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is well versed in policy debates and carefully choreographed trips. But his record on the Islamic Republic of Iran -- perhaps the chief national security threat facing the next president -- suggests a persistent and dangerous judgment deficit. Biden's unyielding pursuit of "engagement" with Iran for more than a decade has made it easier for Tehran to pursue its nuclear program, while his partisan obsession with thwarting the Bush administration has led him to oppose tough sanctions against hard-liners in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Not only are we looking at Jimmy Carter II, it'll apply to the vice presidency as well.

God help us. Never mind Castro and Chavez. When Hamas openly says they like a particular candidate, can't Americans realize that's the guy you don't want in office?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 27, 2008 9:22 AM

August 25, 2008

Free Trader John!

Professor Mankiw links to an interesting web application on the CATO site that rates each legislator -- based on his or her voting record -- on a two dimensional grid of opposition to trade barriers and opposition to subsidies. The corners are labeled "Isolationist, Interventionist, Internationalist, and Free Trader."

Check out Senator McCain, Senator Biden and Senator Obama.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2008

George Will

I've been a little hard on Will on this blog for being too representative of Washington Conventional Wisdom. I must confess that the man has superior erudition, has been a good voice for free markets for many years -- and knows a lot about baseball.

He takes some good whacks at Senator Obama's energy policy today (more to like) in a column delightfully titled Little Rhetoric Riding Hood.

Obama has also promised that "we will get 1 million 150-mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years." What a tranquilizing verb "get" is. This senator, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, is going to get a huge, complex industry to produce, and is going to get a million consumers to buy, these cars. How? Almost certainly by federal financial incentives for both -- billions of dollars of tax subsidies for automakers and billions more to bribe customers to buy cars they otherwise would spurn.

Great stuff. I'll suggest the whole thing but excerpt the last paragraph in case your mouse hand is sore:
In 1996, Bob Dole, citing the Clinton campaign's scabrous fundraising, exclaimed: "Where's the outrage?" In this year's campaign, soggy with environmental messianism, deranged self-importance and delusional economics, the question is: Where is the derisive laughter?

Hat-Tip: Hugh Hewitt

Posted by John Kranz at 6:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2008

It's Biden

Barring massive juke.

Biden, 65, is a veteran of more than three decades in the Senate, and one of his party's leading experts on foreign policy, an area in which polls indicate Obama needs help in his race against Republican rival John McCain.

The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning.


Do you think?

Posted by AlexC at 1:08 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Wow! You keep people waiting for 36 hours and you give them Senator Biden!

I think this is a great day to be a Republican. Biden is a walking, talking, talking, gaffe machine ("I'm more intelligent than you!") who does not posess Senator Obama's cool charisma.

Biden is also about as conventional Washington traditional Democrat as they come. If Senator Joe is hope and change, I'm a finalist on Dancing with the Stars!

Posted by: jk at August 23, 2008 12:14 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Biden's high water mark in the Democratic primary was 4%. If he can't get his own party juiced, how well will he do with the rest? Some pundits speculated about various "Hail Mary" VP choice. Well, to stick with the football metaphors, this one is "three yards and a cloud of dust."

The Dems have been running against an "old wrinkly white guy." So who does Obama pick for VP to give the ticket credibility? An old wrinkly white guy.

The goods news with Biden is that The Refugee and Friends will hear lots of outstanding speeches from him - even if they aren't his own.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 25, 2008 11:45 AM

August 22, 2008

McCain: Tough on Aliens

The green kind, not the illegal undocumented kind.

When we asked you which presidential candidate could better handle an alien invasion, over 46,000 of you had an opinion. The race was close, but in the end, 58 percent of you wanted former POW McCain, not Barack Obama, in charge when the little green men show up.

President McCain would take no shit from them.

Unless of course they crossed the Rio Grande or overstayed their Visas. Then they'd be welcomed.

Posted by AlexC at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

It's been way too peaceful around here. If the Martians prove to be as beneficial to our economy as other immigrants, perhaps a little tolerance is in order. Let us not judge a being by the greenish tint of its skin but the content of its character and all.

I had no idea we had such Earthists around here...

Posted by: jk at August 22, 2008 12:42 PM

August 19, 2008

Change I Can Believe In

Of all the bad things in our political system, one of the worst has got to be "walking around money" for traditional machine politics for use on bribes, or gas, or phone calls, or bribes or food for volunteers, or even bribes. Ed Morrissey in HotAir:

Last April, I complimented Barack Obama for his principled stand against the corrupt practice of providing “street money” to political organizers in Philadelphia. He insisted that his new kind of politics didn’t allow for the cash-on-demand tradition in Philadelphia, and that his organization would remain voluntary. Even with ward bosses playing the race card against him in response — claiming that Obama spent his money at “white” television stations instead of on black volunteers through street money — Obama held firm.

That was then. This, unfortunately, is now.


"Obama held firm." Until it looked like there might be consequences. Sheeesh!

Hat-tip: PAH2O

Posted by John Kranz at 1:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2008

McCain: The Cheater

... and Obama: The Liar (again).

It'd be nice for the Obama campaign to get their act together.

John Fund's Political Diary:

For its part, the Obama campaign officially says it now assumes both candidates were equally unaware of the questions and isn't interested in pursuing the matter. Interestingly enough, Mr. McCain's campaign is and has written a letter to NBC News citing Ms. Mitchell's ruminations as evidence of bias in its campaign coverage. "Instead of taking a critical journalistic approach to this spin, Andrea Mitchell did what has become a pattern for her of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points," wrote campaign manager Rick Davis. "This is irresponsible journalism and sadly indicative of the level of objectivity we have witnessed at NBC News this election cycle."

The Playbook @ the Politico

So it turns out that Pastor Rick Warren, in an effort to increase the candidates’ comfort level with his pioneering format, gave each of them a heads-up on several of the hardest questions he asked Saturday night during his “the Saddleback Civil Forum on the presidency.”

A source close to Warren tells Playbook that the candidates knew in advance they would be asked their own greatest moral failure, America’s greatest moral failure, and the three wisest people in their lives.

The source said Obama also knew he would be asked if he’d be willing to commit to an emergency plan for orphans, like President Bush has for AIDS. GIVE OBAMA CREDIT FOR ANSWERING CANDIDLY: “I cheated a little bit. I actually looked at this idea ahead of time, and I think it is a great idea.”


It does take the air out of the McCain grand slam performance, but makes the Messiah look even more like a tool. So it's still a net win for McCain. Woo!

Posted by AlexC at 2:53 PM | Comments (0)

McCain Cheated

Awesome-tacular.

Obama did such a shitty job at the Saddleback Church that McCain must have cheated.

How else to explain it?

The debates are going to be fabulous.

Things aren't going our way.... waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

Posted by AlexC at 12:32 PM | Comments (3)
But Wayne thinks:

Placed the audio HERE ... McCain's answers were more mature, I have no idea why Obama was not completely on his game.

Posted by: Wayne at August 18, 2008 5:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

One word: Teleprompter. (Or lack thereof.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 19, 2008 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I dunno, jg, I fear a false sense of security in the "no-teleprompter" camp. McCain happened to be extraordinary last Saturday, Obama was superb. No teleprompter, no problem.

Posted by: jk at August 19, 2008 5:02 PM

August 17, 2008

An Awesome (Non) Debate

I was incredibly impressed with the "Saddleback Church Civil Forum." Saddleback is a humongous mega-church (not one of the small mega-churches) in Orange County, California. And its Pastor, Rick Warren, sat down with each candidate separately and asked the same set of questions.

Warren called for civility in political discourse both to begin and close the event. The pastor practiced what he preaches [I don’t care who you are, that’s a good line] giving each candidate a friendly, non-confrontational platform and a lot of latitude to set the pace and tone of his segment.

Senator Obama went first, by coin toss (I wondered if McCain won, but wanted to sit in the green chair, but I cannot get an answer) and McCain was offstage in a "cone of silence" (Warren's joke) so that he would not hear the questions.

Senator Obama was awesome in every way. As a McCain supporter, I have been lulled into the he-can't-speak-without-a-telepromter meme. You guys can put that away, now. Senator O was engaging and charming, showing off equal charisma and intellect. His answers were long and discursive. If my lefty brother were watching, he'd be thrilled at the nuance. There were no 57 state gaffes. A member of a FOXNews panel thought that a super-nuanced answer on abortion was a gaffe. I didn't see it that way.

As he left the stage, I thought "if this man shows up at the debates, he'll win 40 states."

Then Senator McCain came out and bested him. Where Obama was thoughtful and discursive, McCain was pointed and principled -- not brusqueness but moral clarity. Even on issues I disagree with Senator Mac, I had to appreciate his clarity. He hit several questions out of the park, and was gaffe free as well. And -- as well - a FOXNews pundit said that he had gaffed with an answer to "what defines rich?" McCain refused to answer, saying that "I'm not going to tax the rich, so I don't need to define them." Fine with me, Senator. Then he laughed and said "$5 million/year" -- quickly pointing out after that the point will be taken out of context and used against him. Home run, clear the bases. Four RBIs.

As McCain left the stage I said "If that man shows up at the debates, he'll win 40 states."

Lastly, I would like to see more of this type of forum. I was queasy to see a big-church big-money pastor leading this, but Warren did a great job and the venue was ideal. The crowd leaned a little right but was very supportive of both.

Why not follow this with the same deal at the NYSE? An economic focus, with a panel of CEOs and financial journalists. Race relations at the MLK memorial? It provided more insight than any of the debates I've seen. It was a little aggravating that there were no follow ups or attempts to stop misdirection, but at the same time, viewers can and will judge the candidates by their evasions as well as their answers.

If you missed this and get another chance, run this one down; it was on all the cable networks and I imagine it will be rerun.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:56 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

I disagree... his "super nuanced" abortion line was a gaffe.

If you can't run on your experience, you have to sell us your judgement.... and his judgment on that was to not answer honestly.

His position on abortion & start of life is well defined by his somewhat limited voting record.

Posted by: AlexC at August 17, 2008 5:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Hope you're right. My response would be that nobody who is staunchly pro-life will be voting for him anyway. I don't think he scared away any of the squishes by saying "that's above my pay grade."

I am starting to think (reading punditry) that he might have gaffed by saying that Judge Clarence Thomas lacked the exper -- I mean jurisprudential skills -- to be on the Supreme Court. Some might feel that Senator Obama lacks the exper -- I mean the temperament -- to be President.

Brother ac has the tape.

Posted by: jk at August 17, 2008 7:04 PM

August 15, 2008

Kudlow on Obamanomics

If, like me, you find yourself suffering from Kudlow withdrawal (sorry, the Olympics does not hold up to a good K&C), you can get a little relief on his blog. Today, Kudlow posts a long and thoughtful response to the Furman/Goolsbee tax plan posted in the WSJ this week.

He opens that it represents a "flip-flop" toward supply side thinking. That is a common -- but I think overly generous -- view. Many on the right seem surprised that he might leave some money in private pockets. Over the course of the post, however, he knocks down much of the premises:

Nonetheless, it appears the Obama people acknowledge at least some effects from supply-side incentives. And perhaps they are implicitly recognizing the likelihood that higher tax rates on cap-gains and dividends will generate lower revenues and a higher budget deficit.

It also seems clear that the Obama tax plan is not a growth policy, but a social policy that uses tax fairness as a means of redistributing income. There’s a long history of failed redistributionism, and this is where the Obama plan falls apart.


Read the whole thing (in between Men's basket weaving and tiddly-winks).

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)

Goolsbee Vs. Heraclitus

Professor Austan Goolsbee keeps telling anybody who will listen that Senator Obama's tax cuts won't hurt because he will be raising them to near or below the rates of the 1990s (fish jump; cotton high). If he won't listen to Milton Friedman or Art Laffer, I'd suggest he might give a little weight to Heraclitus. Heraclitus said "you don't step into the same river twice."

Since President Clinton presidented over prosperity, the rest of the world listened to Friedman and Laffer and lowered their tax rates. James Pethokoukis points out that the direction of rate change and the state of the economy is as important as rates. The Wall Street Journal Editorial page (I sense Stephen Moore's hand in this) points out that the relative rates of world countries is important:


corptaxrates.gif


Back to Heraclitus, you can't step into that 1998 river in 2008. You're going to increase the uncompetitive differential of locating business in the United States.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Liberal idiots who keep parroting Paul Krugman's 1995 line, "And remember President Clinton's tax hike ushered in an economic boom" need to be taken out and clubbed to death, just like we used to do to seals.

There were three main reasons the 1990s were prosperous. Only two was within the powers of the federal government, and they sure as hell weren't tax hikes:

1. NAFTA. To his credit, Bubba bucked his own party in pushing for this.

2. The cut in capital gains taxes, which didn't occur until toward the end of Clinton's presidency. This only because a Republican Congress pushed for it.

3. The massive growth in technological globalization, not just the Internet, but the fiberoptic lines allowing cheap, large-volume communication lines around the world. This wouldn't have happened to the same extent had it not been for the second reason. Putting aside the stock market bubble (which the Fed created), the massive investment in new technology wouldn't have happened if investors didn't have the incentive of lower taxes on their investment.

Paul Krugman and Robert Rubin claim that tax hikes created the "economic boom" this way: by reducing budget deficits, interest rates

There are two reasons why this is horse manure. First, "crowding out" is a myth insofar as federal borrowing and interest rates. It would be true if the U.S. economy were a closed box, but the federal government borrows so much from international sources. And think about it: the federal government borrows from China, which got the money from American consumers in the first place.

Second, even were this true, the economic growth began before the budget deficit supposedly started shrinking. Bubba's tax hikes never balanced the federal budget, anyway. Even in the late 1990s, the "surplus" was a lie: the Social Security surplus is always used to mask the true deficit. Oh, and the increase in economic growth produced higher tax revenues, but for the reasons stated above and NOT tax increases. The higher tax revenues included...Social Security payroll taxes! So what really happened with the "incredible shrinking deficit" wasn't because of tax hikes or sudden spending restraints, but because of increased tax revenues from increased prosperity.

The CBO data (http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.shtml) proves it. Year-on-year growth in federal spending was 2.2%, 3.4% and 5.8% in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Bubba gets elected, and suddenly spending grows (again year-on-year) at 9% in 1994, 7.4% in 1995, 7.5% in 1996, 8.7% in 1997, 9% in 1999, and TEN POINT EIGHT PERCENT in 2000.

A lot of conservatives claim that the "gridlock" of Clinton and the GOP Congress helped check federal spending, but the numbers just don't show that. It was the *budget* that went down, but federal spending went up astronomically.

Another thing the budget numbers show is that the initial 1993 tax hike admittedly *did* increase federal revenues...for just a couple of years. There was 3.7% year-on-year growth in 1994 and 1995 federal tax revenues. But once people started noticing the taxes hitting them, federal tax revenues started increasing at a slower pace: only 2.9% and 2.6% growth in 1996 and 1997. In other words, people didn't want to produce as much. But then in 1998, back to 3.2% growth -- now was it really a coincidence it happened just as cap gains taxes were cut?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 15, 2008 1:03 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Oh, actually I'll have to correct some of those budget numbers later on. I was a bit rushed in making the spreadsheet.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 15, 2008 1:49 PM

August 14, 2008

I Kinda Liked Him Better Under the Bus

When Senator Obama selected Professor Austan Goolsbee for his economic team, the news was well received. Even some supply siders recognized Goolsbee as a serious economist, and many were comforted by the University of Chicago. Though never mistaken as one of the "Chicago Boyz," guys like me thought that Milton Friedman's water fountain had magic powers.

As I've complained here before, Goolsbee quickly found hidden talents as a partisan hack. His appearances on Kudlow & Company produced far more talking points than economic commentary. Today, Goolsbee and Obama Economic Policy Director, Jason Furman, pen a guest editorial in the WSJ. The piece purports to calm the business community about the Senator's economic proposals. But it's surprisingly defensive and unsurprisingly (look who's talking) full of partisan hackery. Check the lede:

Even as Barack Obama proposes fiscally responsible tax reform to strengthen our economy and restore the balance that has been lost in recent years, we hear the familiar protests and distortions from the guardians of the broken status quo.

Jeez, you can't argue with these guys. They propose a massive restructuring in the tax code and substantial hikes in marginal rates and in revenues off capital. When people rightfully question that, they get called names.

The rest of the article declares the Obama tax plan as being not as bad as what you have heard or suspected, and the familiar comparison to tax rates in the 90s, when fish jumped and cotton grew high. They provide a few specifics, but when it becomes time to compare their plan to Senator McCain's we get back to name-calling. McCain == Bush:

"The McCain plan represents Bush economics on steroids...Sen. McCain has put forward the most fiscally reckless presidential platform in modern memory. The likely results of his Bush-plus policies are clear...America cannot afford another eight years like these."

The familiar protests and distortions from the guardians of the broken status quo, signing out!

UPDATE: Jimmy P thinks it more significant: With Polls Close, Obama Blinks on Taxes. I'd say that they had never really released details and are now drawing the lines to look more reasonable on taxes. Mister Pethokoukis thinks it a big change in position -- and does a great job fielding the line about how good the economy was in the 1990s with these rates:

Look, it is not just the level of tax rates, it's the direction. Second, the Clinton tax hikes happened after the economy had built up a tremendous head of steam. When Clinton signed his big tax increase bill in August 1993, the economy had been expanding for nine consecutive quarters—more than two years—and was able to power through the negative economic impact of the hikes.

In 2009, the United States might be just emerging from a nasty downturn, only to get hit by a tax increase. Also, recent research shows that tax hikes may be less harmful if accompanied by spending cuts. Yet Obama is planning huge and specific spending increases matched by often vague spending reductions. Clintonomics was all about balancing the budget. This is not a priority for Obama.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2008

Libertarians for Obama!

When I suggested that Atlantic's Megan McArdle fit into that narrow intersection in the great Venn Diagram of politics, it was suggested that that was something of an oxymoron (or perhaps somebody called me a moron, I forget).

I replied that the good people at Reason Magazine -- though they have many good reasons to question Senator McCain’s bona fides -- seem too easy on Senator Obama, whom I consider a greater threat to liberty. I offer yet another example. The always worth watching Drew Carey project on Reason.tv:





There's Senator Mac, first and foremost among the Ethanol jockeys. Because he enumerated the energy sources he thinks should be investigated, and mentioned corn-based ethanol at the end of the list. In fact, he was courageous, opposing ethanol subsidies during the Iowa primaries. He has been a foe to the subsidies, fought against and voted against the farm bill. I think Carey confuses support for ethanol, which is okay with support for ethanol subsidies, which he and I would oppose.

There is another fellah running for President from a major party. The name escapes me at the moment, but he advocates a complete government takeover of the energy industry, has been a consistent supporter of ethanol subsidies, and voted for the farm bill.

Yet the good folks at Reason seem awfully reluctant to portray this other guy in a negative light. As a subscriber to Reason, I of course have a conspiracy theory: the Libertarian game this year is to steal votes from McCain. This will "prove" that Libertarians matter, and they will parade their spoilerhood for four years, until they get trounced again in 2012 (I'm guessing Ted Stevens will get the nomination).

UPDATE: I attributed this to Drew Carey as it is listed under the Drew Carey Project on the Reason.TV website although he does not appear. I'll leave it to other Reason readers to come up with a conspiracy theory for that.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2008

Rick Perry for VP?

Just a thought -- I haven't heard his name come up. Texas fatigue?

He has a nice guest ed in the WSJ today blasting ethanol:

Texas is leading the nation in this movement. We are a top contributor to the nation's domestic fuel supply, and a leader in wind, biofuel and solar energy production. We harness the benefits of clean and efficient nuclear power,
and are investing considerable resources in developing nonfood bioenergy such as algae, switchgrass, jatropha and camelina—all of which have minimal impact on food production and the environment. The U.S. would be wise to follow Texas's lead.

The EPA needs to stop using bureaucratic definitions of what constitutes "severe economic harm" and take a look at reality. American families are struggling to put food on the table because of rising food prices. Without a doubt, the destruction of the Texas livestock industry—the nation's largest beef producer—constitutes severe harm to our country's economy. Forcing Texas ranchers to close their doors because they can no longer afford to feed their
livestock takes food off the table for millions of Americans. If that's not "severe economic damage," what is?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:56 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Rick Perry? The same one who issued a "governor's order" overriding the state legislature, to compel young girls in public schools to get vaccinated against HPV? A vaccine that's conveniently made by Merck, one of his campaign contributors.

**** him. Damn him to hell, where he belongs.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 13, 2008 2:15 PM

August 11, 2008

The Obama Tax Cut

Senator Obama deflects every criticism of his projected tax hikes with the claim that he is going to cut taxes on the middle class. On FOX News Sunday, Rick Davis was confronted with a non-partisan study that claimed Obama's plan would cut taxes for workers making $45,000 far more than Senator McCain's plan.

A graphic from a superb, must read in full, AEI article in the American Magazine gives a visual look at the Obama tax cut:


Obama_Tax.jpg


That's right, kids, if you're a one-eyed Venusion working part-time on odd Tuesdays in the service sector, have between two and three children and rent your home, the Senator is going to cut your taxes! Everybody else? Well, we all want to be fair don't we?

Governor George W Bush ran in 2000 against these wacky vertical lines in marginal tax rates. He called them "toll booths to the middle class." And he was right. The poor fool who qualifies for an Obama Tax Cut had better hope that he never gets a raise or that her spouse doesn't find a job -- they could be wiped out!

Although Obama is offering a new series of tax breaks, they undermine rather than improve economic incentives. First, whether or not you get those breaks will depend on your income. In Washington, taking away tax breaks as families work harder to make more money is called a “phase-out.” Economists have a different name for it—we call it a tax. Reducing a person’s tax credit as his income goes up also reduces his incentive to earn more income.

The supply-side mantra is to cut marginal rates. I cannot believe Professor Austan Goolsbee drank from the same water fountain as Milton Friedman and then signed off on this monstrosity.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:50 PM | Comments (5)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

That's an incredibly insightful article, and it doesn't even get into the fact that Obama wants to lift the ~$100K cap on Social Security payroll taxes. So right at the point when a professional thinks he's starting to do well, bang, that's another 6.2%, plus reduced/lost raises and bonuses in the future, because the employer must somehow recoup its own "contribution" of 6.2%.

I don't know if your "one-eyed Venusion" example was based on Star Trek, but it got me thinking: Obama's tax plan is just like the absurdly complicated card game "fizzbin"! There may be certain points at which you'll want to give back not a card, but part of your salary back to your employer: if you make $y, you want to drop below $x, because below $x you can qualify for a tax credit that's greater than (y-x). And this really isn't far-fetched. It really doesn't take a lot nowadays for a couple to find themselves above $100K in household income, at which point .

My own personal example: I got a pretty nice bonus last year, significantly more than at the end of 2006. Well, 40% was withheld immediately, and though the remainder was still sizeable, I didn't get to keep a goddamn dime of it. That bonus and a raise for 2007, plus increased side employment, unexpected pushed me up into a higher tax bracket. I wound up owing more in taxes than I expected, which turned out to be just a little more than what was left of my main job's bonus! Had I known, it just wasn't worth giving up all that time -- that *marginal* time -- out of my life.

Liberals would say I should have planned better. My response is, "**** you, it's my money and I shouldn't have to spend a second to plan."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 11, 2008 2:15 PM
But jk thinks:

I think most progressive-liberals would say not that you should have planned better but that you should think yourself lucky to have those income opportunities. Your response works equally well with either argument.

My favorite example to combat this nonsense remains Thomas Sowell's hard working taxi driver who works a double shift to earn more money. Okay, Dr. Sowell says, I see why we might tax his double wages at twice what he would earn working one shift, but why do we ask him to pay a higher rate?

Perry in '12 I guess (though I wonder how you will finance the war I wish to declare on Russia).

And actually, no, while I remember your Trek trivia on Eidelblog, I was never much of a Trekkie. The allusion there is a David Bromberg song with the line "I'd let my sister marry a one-eyed Venusian before I'd..."

Posted by: jk at August 11, 2008 3:18 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It's about time PE starting paying his "fair share." When you consider all of the government programs that it can fund, 100% isn't too much to ask, now is it?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 11, 2008 3:48 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Tariffs and bonds were enough to finance the War of 1812, and poll taxes helped fund the Mexican-American War. And Don Luskin pointed out a while ago that lotteries were used for additional federal revenue.

What limited revenue does is prevent a government from going to war lightly. It also prevents it from using the central bank to create money to pay for wars, which has been happening for several centuries (ever since European powers discovered the power of fiat money). Now that's not happening today to the extent Ron Paul says, because our federal government borrows a lot from China that the Chinese received by selling products to American consumers.

Russia is doing what China could try against Taiwan in 15-20 years: retaking land it believes is part of the mother country, with the promise of so much blood that the U.S. won't have the stomach to intervene. Putin isn't really a Leninist, but make no mistake, he's this century's Stalin. With nuclear weapons. He's just the kind of man who will use them, damn any consequences.

What could work, if Americans want to help Georgia, is what my friend Billy Beck suggested: a brigade of volunteers. Or as I'll call them, mercenaries.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 12, 2008 9:57 AM
But jk thinks:

Tough choices in Georgia. Arms and mercenaries would be a good start. I don't know. Were the West (read US of A) to intervene, it would not be done on the cheap. I really don't care for any of the present options.

JG referenced our ongoing China debate. I always worried about China taking Taiwan until recently. I don't think it's 20 years out -- I think the idea is 20 years old. China would not risk the economic damage to her integrated economy.

Let's blame VP Gore. We had a chance to integrate Russia into the world economy but President Clinton -- and his special envoy, VP Gore -- squandered the opportunity.

I don't normally go back and blame Presidents but if today's left is going to blame hurricanes on President Bush, I'll point out that Gore allowed corruption and state influence to poison the 1990s well of economic freedom in the former USSR.

Posted by: jk at August 12, 2008 10:39 AM

Mankiw: I Was Wrong!

No, not about the Pigou Club, dang it. But the good Professor suggests -- nicely -- that some of his earlier praise of Senator Obama "for having a good grasp of economic principles" might have been a tad too generous.

Obama is right about the amorality (not immorality) of oil companies. But he seems to suggest that oil markets are fundamentally different than others. In fact, in all markets, reduced production capacity would increase prices and, sometimes, would increase profits as well. That is why farmers can benefit from policies that induce them to leave land fallow. (I can't say about widgets--empirical studies of that market are hard to come by.)

Maybe Obama is saying that the forces of competition are absent in the oil market and that the deliberate decision by oil companies to keep capacity below competitive levels is the reason for today's high prices. That would be a logically coherent story, but not an empirically plausible one. It is not lack of competition that is keeping oil prices high but, rather, the basic forces of supply and demand. Even if you blame OPEC for noncompetitive behavior, that fact would hardly provide a rationale for taxing domestic oil producers, as Senator Obama is proposing.


Senator Obama is married to his windfall-profits-from-oil-compainies-to-finance-a-$1000-rebate idea. It makes a nice TV commercial (I guess) but in a debate or a serious Sunday interview, it is difficult to explain why you can tax an industry based on its unpopularity.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 8, 2008

As in "OH CRAP!"

obama_salute.bmp or "Oh my!":
"You interlace your hands in a circle, the interlacing being a symbol of different types of people coming together and the circle a symbol of unity," he says. Their design, unlike Fairey's, is free, and Husong is urging people to download it and print it on posters and T-shirts. "We want to see it everywhere, but more importantly we want this sign to take the world by storm."
I did the "W" salute in 2004 when I saw another car with a Bush bumper sticker. I'd like to believe this is as good natured as that. I'd like to believe that it's not at all creepy. But those rays in the illustration...

Hat-tip: Insty who is all over this.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:59 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Does the "O" not look like a mouth crying out in pain?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 13, 2008 12:50 PM

The Trouble with Government Infrastructure

Last Wednesday, Larry Kudlow had Mike Maiello of Forbes magazine as a guest on his TV show, Maiello was a bright and earnest young man with more hair than the rest of the guests (and host) combined. In an ocean of supply-siders, Maiello took the task of explaining the great boon that the Obama Presidency would be to the economy.

Maiello (who also supports a surfeit of vowels) was pressed on how raising taxes on capital was going to create jobs for the poor. While other guests chortled or rolled their eyes, Maiello explained that Obama would rebuild the nation's infrastructure, and he cited (honest to NED) President Roosevelt's WPA as proof of what a great idea this is.

I don't think the ThreeSources faithful need a sermon on the folly of this, but it strikes me that we might start hearing a lot about it. I think it could well appeal to moderate voters: "Golly, we sure need to fix our roads and bridges" and "the electrical grid needs modernizing to power his million hybrids" -- you get the idea. It's a government thing already, so it sounds very reasonable.

Right after watching Larry, I switched the old TiVo over to watch a special I had recorded on FOXNews last Sunday. Porked: Earmarks for Profit. Anybody see it? They offered a DVD after the show. At the very least keep an eye out if they re-run it.

Chris Wallace hosted, and the show bashed/humiliated/massacred two Republicans (one sitting) and one Democrat (33% fair and balanced). In an expose that would make Wallace's dad proud, they detailed these lawmakers' not just lining their campaign coffers but actually lining their own pockets. Speaker Hastert pushed through a huge earmark to build a road that went from nowhere to nowhere, but passed right next to some property he had just purchased. The sitting California Congressmen lobbied for a transportation hub that was close to seven properties he owned. The Democrat set his nephew up with $9 million of largesse and a venture that went bust quickly.

The segue -- you guys are ahead of me, aren’t you? -- is that Senator Obama's call to restart the WPA/CCC and supercharge government investment in infrastructure projects is a call to do 435 of these every year.

Well, 434. Jeff Flake was interviewed at the end and joined in ridicule of GOP leadership that will not give him decent committee assignments. He's the one honest man in Washington that Diogenes was seeking. I got all excited: "Jeff Flake for VP!" It's perfect. Alas, he and McCain are from the same state, so it is Constitutionally prohibited.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2008

McCain vs Obama on Taxes

The clearest example of why voting for McCain is the smart thing to do.

(tip to MyMcCainBlog)

Posted by AlexC at 9:55 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

The reason Perry Eidelbus is your best choice in 2012:

All federal income tax rates: 0%.

Now if we're going to have anything more than 0%, then it goes from 0% at the top to 25% at the lowest tax bracket. Yes, my second choice of a tax system is intentionally *regressive*. "The poor" receive the bulk of government spending, so let them pay for it! Why should a working person like me be taxed to hell to pay for the lifestyle of lazy people?

Capital gains/dividends tax: 0%. Why should saving be penalized?

Child tax credit: $0. Why should people be penalized (meaning having to share a heavier tax burden) because they don't want or can't have children? I want to have a couple, myself, but I see no reason that I, currently childless, should have to pay a higher tax burden than my neighbor with half a dozen rugrats.

Marriage penalty: moot with a 0% tax rate.

AMT rate: 0%. Repeal the goddamn thing.

Self-employment rate: 0%. See above for why. Oh, this also includes abolishing Social Security and Medicare.

Corporate tax rate: 0%. Businesses don't pay taxes; they only collect them from customers.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 7, 2008 1:31 PM

August 6, 2008

The Obama Energy Plan

Not the tire gauges, the kinda-sorta real one.

I was disappointed to see Glenn Reynolds and a good part of the right-of-center blogosphere spin down a road of practicality. Senator Obama decrees a million plug-in hybrids by 2015, and all the geeks ask "could the grid handle this?" and "what will the power requirements be?"

Those questions are interesting, and well worth exploring when the head of General Motors, or T. Boone Pickens calls for a million hybrids. When a major candidate for POTUS calls for a million hybrids, the more correct question is "Who the hell do you think you are?"

This is not yet the Soviet Union, and even with a House, Senate and Executive sweep it will be a few years before the Federal government is explicitly charged with production planning of automobiles (how many red convertibles, President O?) It is an affront to anybody who believes remotely in liberty that the President would proclaim a date, quantity, and style of vehicle.

This fits right in with Reynolds's attraction to the Zubrin mandate of flex-fuel vehicles and L. Gregory Mankiw's devotion to the Pigou Club. I agree with both the good professors 88.47% of the time, but am disturbed by their ability to drop first principles when a clever technical idea catches hold of their imagination.

The WSJ Ed Page comes a little closer, but still becomes too mired in details:

And yet there's more miracle work to do. Mr. Obama promises to put at least one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. That's fine if consumers want to buy them. But even if technical battery problems are overcome, this would only lead to "fuel switching" -- if cars don't use gasoline, the energy still has to come from somewhere. And the cap-and-trade program also favored by Mr. Obama would effectively bar new coal plants, while new nuclear plants are only now being planned after a 30-year hiatus thanks to punishing regulations and lawsuits.

Problems like these are the reality of "alternative" energy, and they explain why every "energy independence" plan has faltered since the 1970s. But just because Mr. Obama's plan is wildly unrealistic doesn't mean that a program of vast new taxes, subsidies and mandates wouldn't be destructive. The U.S. has a great deal invested in fossil fuels not because of a political conspiracy or because anyone worships carbon but because other sources of energy are, right now, inferior.


I'm rarely the one around here calling for full frontal philosophy, but spending too much time describing why Senator Obama's plan cannot be done plays into his hand. He can call for a Manhattan project to fix the grid, financed by windfall profits from the oil companies.

Has anyone ever challenged the Senator on the propriety of government involvement? Senator McCain is not the ideal man for the task, but I think it would be a winner to occasionally suggest that there are actually some areas where government involvement is not a good idea.

UPDATE: To be fair, I missed an update. An Instapundit reader did a great job shooting this down:

1MM pluggable hybrids is nothing. It is less than 10% of cars sold per year. It should happen in a few years naturally without government intervention. As you note, the grid can easily absorb it. In fact, plugging hybrids (and their large batteries) into the grid might actually help stablize our creaky old grid if the charging is managed by the utility. It is likely that pluggables will largely replace 'spinning reserves' in that they can put power back when needed. I know of at least one startup that is marketing this capability. Network enabled energy storage elements will make the grid way better than it is now.

Obama's energy plan is lame for other reasons. At best, it mandates and subsidized things the market is already doing on its own. At worst, it will become yet another pork vehicle that crowds out true innovation. The best thing the government can do is remove barriers to permitting nukes (and maybe also to selling retrofit kits for older vehicles so they can become PHEVs) and otherwise get out of the way. Clever, greedy people will take care of the rest. Obama can then villify and tax them.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 5, 2008

Not Sure She's 35

Other than that, we could do worse:


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Overlooking her gratuitous use of the words "hot" and "bitches" her energy policy isn't half bad. It's more practical and enlightened than Barack's "just say no to oil" energy policy.

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2008 1:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I forgot the hat-tip, but that's exactly what Professor Reynolds said "'Perhaps the reality is that Paris has a more substantive energy plan than Barack Obama.' Well, unlike Obama she's worked in the private sector for years . . . ."

Today, Instapundit is having a Paris-palooza. She outpolls Senator Obama, and Ann Althouse calls it a pro-McCain ad. I agree.

I must correct my brother jg, however. Her energy policy is indeed half-bad; it's just that Obama's is all-bad (and McCain's 11/32).

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2008 12:39 PM

Change

I received this via email:

Obama.jpeg

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 2:08 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Clearly, the use of a white woman was a direct racial ploy by the Republican Attack Machine. I'm astonished to see a well respected site like ThreeSources lowering itself.

Posted by: jk at August 5, 2008 2:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"In many ways, Barack Obama is a typical Marxist-Leninist man. Without even knowing it he will subonsciously cross the street rather than walk past a young child's lemonade stand and face the uncomfortable choice whether to drop a quarter in her coffee can or merely expropriate a cup."

Posted by: johngalt at August 6, 2008 1:09 AM

August 4, 2008

Ag Subsidies: Advantage McCain

Professor Mankiw links to Ernesto Zedillo's article in Forbes. Zedillo is concerned that people are blaming globalization for food shortages, and says "Blame Policies, Not Markets."

It is clear, however, that the most damaging distortions in agricultural markets originate in rich countries. There's little doubt that the present spiral in grain prices is closely linked to U.S. and EU policies enacted to boost production of biofuels. The American and European governments subsidize the production of biofuels, limit their import and mandate their use. The exact extent to which these policies have impacted food prices is still a matter of contention, but not even the most enthusiastic proponents of ethanol can deny that by inducing a greater allocation of agricultural resources toward biofuel production, the amount of grain available for food has been reduced.

Mankiw then reminds us to "Remember where the two presidential candidates stand on ethanol and the farm bill."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie Gasparino on Obamanomics

Don Luskin links to a great NY Post editorial by former WSJ reporter and frequent TV guest Charlie Gasparino. Gasparino is not a favorite of Luskin's and I have had my differences with him, but we both give him props for this superb piece.

Wall Street traders are a gloomy lot these days given all the writedowns, losses and layoffs, but Obama makes them especially queasy. Many traders I speak to think the markets have yet to fully digest the impact of Obama's economic plan on stock prices. The guess is that it will hit after Labor Day, when the campaigning picks up and traders stop taking Fridays off to hit the Hamptons.

In others words, the markets could fall further from their already beaten-down levels once the street begins to focus on an Obama presidency.

Wait, you say: Wall Street's woes don't necessarily translate into Main Street problems. The markets can go down, but people still go to work.

Sorry, those days are over. Never before have Wall Street and Main Street been so intertwined: Nearly every American has a 401-k plan to save for retirement. Here in New York, city and state budgets rely on Wall Street bonuses for tax revenues like never before - just ask Gov. Patterson, who last week warned of budget disaster, largely thanks to the Wall Street slowdown.

One trader recently reminded me of another president who raised taxes and clamped down on free trade, as Obama seems set to do - just after the stock-market crash of 1929: His name was Herbert Hoover. And you know what happened next.


Worth a read in full. In case you don't make it, let me highlight one other line. Gasparino addresses the fact that Warren Buffett and a pile of other industry titans are supporting the tax raiser. Altruism? Nope:
I'm sure there's some noblesse oblige involved in all these CEOs' backing one of our most liberal pols for the White House. But I suspect the real reason the Wall Street elites like Obama so much is that it really doesn't cost them anything: They've already made their fortunes.

At bottom, Obama is about taxing wealth creation - not the piles of cash these guys have already accumulated.


While we're handing out kudos, Gasparino was also the perfect pick for a CNBC feature on Wall Street types who box over their lunch hour for stress relief. Big Charlie was the perfect pick. Maybe he'll get a pugnacious, pugilist Pulitzer...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:00 PM | Comments (0)

Good McCain Slogan

I've been wrong before, but I kind of like:

"John McCain -- he looks a lot like those other presidents on those dollar bills!"

Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

Obama Energy Plan

tiregauge_donation.jpg Perhaps the McCain campaign is finding its stride. I just answered this amusing call. If you donate $25 or more, you will be gifted with this handsome "Obama Energy Plan" tire gauge.

Pretty funny stuff:
Contribute


Posted by John Kranz at 12:36 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm sure someone's said this before, but it's just like any other Democrat's energy plan: a lot of money to spend for empty air of zero value.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 4, 2008 1:52 PM
But Terri thinks:

I of course want to have this latest and greatest energy plan, but the link isn't solid. Politico doesn't have a good link either. Is this direct from McCain?

Posted by: Terri at August 4, 2008 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Part of my daily spam from McCain. Try this.

Posted by: jk at August 4, 2008 4:17 PM

July 31, 2008

Worst. Campaign. Ever.

I had once suggested (I'm too embarrassed to provide the link) that -- in spite of his philosophical faults -- Senator McCain might be a good candidate/president because he was a good communicator, specifically that he could express the importance of the war in ways that President Bush has been unable.

I'm not alone in being disgruntled with the McCain campaign, but I thought I was being harsh in starting to remember Dole-Kemp '96 with fond nostalgia... But I think Dan Henninger puts things in perspective today. In his weekly Wonderland column on the serious WSJ Ed Page, today’s is titled: Is John McCain Stupid? The answer is not encouraging.

This week, Senator McCain delivered differing statements on payroll taxes about which Henninger says "This isn't a flip-flop. It's a sex-change operation." He called Speaker Pelosi "an inspiration to millions of Americans." About VP Gore's certifiably insane energy Jeremiad:

Recently the subject came up of Al Gore's assertion that the U.S. could get its energy solely from renewables in 10 years. Sen. McCain said: "If the vice president says it's doable, I believe it's doable." What!!?? In a later interview, Mr. McCain said he hadn't read "all the specifics" of the Gore plan and now, "I don't think it's doable without nuclear power." It just sounds loopy.

As Shakespeare said, "Sounds loopy? Nay, Sir, is loopy." Senator Obama's flaws are sufficient that McCain still has a chance, but neither Henninger nor I see many hopeful signs.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

Thou Shalt Not Criticize the Obamessiah!

Racist attacks are coming -- just you wait:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare voters by saying Sen. Obama "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

A pedant's first thought is "Was he referring to President Hamilton or President Franklin?" But I guess I am just a racist. As Ludacris would say "paint the White House black and I'm sure that's got 'em terrified."

I could not be more disappointed with the lengthening list of topics that are "off-limits." (Chris Muir nailed it in a Day by Day cartoon.) I have cut some slack because it has been done mostly by subordinates and because it is too effective a tactic to expect them not to use.

But this is a direct statement by the candidate, making post-dated charges of racism, and I think it is time that we all called "Bullshit" on it.

UPDATE: I have been out pedanted -- er, pedanticized -- er, Glenn Reynols is worse:

Er, all those other presidents? Isn't there just one President on the dollar bill?

He has lots more on this.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2008

Day By Day

Too long since I have stolen a Day By Day strip:

daybyday080727.jpg


Mondo-heh! I am starting to wonder if -- in a reverse-uncertainty-principle -- Senator Obama might actually not exist unless there are cameras or crowds to observe him. If so, how would you prove it? If not, is he Constitutionally eligible for the presidency?

Posted by John Kranz at 1:21 PM | Comments (4)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Funny you should bring that up. I've been meaning to blog about that.

When Obama was born, the law conferred U.S. citizenship if at least one parent was a U.S. citizen, but only if that parent had lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years, 5 of which years must have been past the age of 16. Obama's father was not a U.S. citizen, of course. But Obama's mother was only 18 when he was born.

Liberal apologists like the Snopes pair (http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp) have dismissed this, saying that he was born in Hawaii, thus "natural-born" according to the 14th Amendment. Actually, this is incorrect. Courts were interpreting things both ways, in no small reason because because of the "jurisdiction" requirement. Jacob Howard, the senator who wrote the citizenship clause, said it "does not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors, or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of person." In other words, one can be born in the U.S., and not necessarily the child of a visiting political dignitary, and still be a foreigner/alien. I was born in the Philippines, but as a natural-born U.S. citizen, so I was considered a foreigner and needed government permission for my residency.

It wasn't until the 1986 change to federal immigration law that anyone born here was considered an automatic American citizen (which is really when every pregnant Juanita wanted to cross the border before she gave birth). It could well be argued that "Barry" was certainly subject to a foreign power (meaning Kenyan citizenship had precedence), because Obama Sr. had enough jurisdiction to take him to Indonesia for some years. Having a birth certificate from a jurisdiction doesn't make you a citizen of there, either. To add to the above, my birth certificate is from the Philippines.

Now we have this recent thing about the birth certificate on DailyKos being a forgery. So why won't Obama just release the real one? What does he have to hide? Well, like many liberals, he can instead use the "ostrich strategy" with great success: ignore the thing completely and rely on the MSM's help.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 29, 2008 3:39 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually I need to correct myself there, it was his "second father" Soetoro who took Obama Jr. to Indonesia.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 29, 2008 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

As I recall, Senator McCain is subject to a similar question, is he not? (Not that he does not exist, but that he was born in Guam). Perhaps Rep Barr and Mister Nader will be forced to fight it out.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2008 4:35 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

McCain's situation is actually very clear: he's a citizen. Panama Canal, actually. Guam, being a territory, would have been obvious, but the Panama Canal Zone is treated the same because of federal legislation. Besides, the child of two U.S. citizens is a U.S. citizen by blood, regardless of the location of birth, if the parents lived in the U.S. for a minimum number of years. Jus sanguinus.

I myself was born a U.S. citizen abroad, with only one of my parents (at the time) a U.S. citizen. The U.S. State Department gave us a certificate to prove it.

http://eidelblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/once-again-new-york-times-doesnt-know.html

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 29, 2008 11:25 PM

JOHN!

Why should I vote for McCain over Obama? I've been reading a spate of those articles and posts in libertarian leaning magazines and blogs. And while you can paint me as one of the well documented less-than-enthusiastic McCain voters, my pragmatic side is starting to kick in pretty hard. I've long championed his foreign policy ("win") and trade policy ("yes.") Last week, I linked to a great OpEd of his on Freddie and Fan.

Today, I will add "EDJUKASHUN!" to the list and link to the lead WSJ editorial which offers a stark contrast. Here is Senator McCain:

"When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children." Some parents may opt for a better public school or a charter school; others for a private school. The point, said the Senator, is that "no entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity."

Senator Obama:
It's well known that the force calling the Democratic tune here is the teachers unions. Earlier this month, Senator Obama accepted the endorsement of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union. Speaking recently before the American Federation of Teachers, he described the alternative efforts as "tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice."

Mr. Obama told an interviewer recently that he opposes school choice because, "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom." The Illinois Senator has it exactly backward. Those at the top don't need voucher programs and they already exercise school choice. They can afford exclusive private schools, or they can afford to live in a neighborhood with decent public schools. The point of providing educational options is to extend this freedom to the "kids at the bottom."

A visitor to Mr. Obama's Web site finds plenty of information about his plans to fix public education in this country. Everyone knows this is a long, hard slog, but Mr. Obama and his wife aren't waiting. Their daughters attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where annual tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school.


One more issue where the liberty minded can feel good about pulling the 'R' lever in November. The editorial closes: "When the day arrives that these two candidates face off, we hope Senator McCain comes prepared to press his opponent hard on change, hope and choice in the schools."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2008

Paul Krugman is Off Today

So endeth the editorial...

I hope the NYTimes faithful were not too disappointed in getting David Brooks instead. I bet they were, for Brooks was on a tear. He admits that when he first Senator Obama's soaring [C'mon people now] rhetoric [smile on your brother] in Iowa [Everybody get together] "I have to confess my American soul was stirred. It seemed like the overture for a new yet quintessentially American campaign."

The Berlin blockade was thwarted because people came together. Apartheid ended because people came together and walls tumbled. Winning the cold war was the same: “People of the world,” Obama declared, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together and history proved there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”

Yet, now, the paucity of substance is becoming problematic:
But now it is more than half a year on, and the post-partisanship of Iowa has given way to the post-nationalism of Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture is the entire symphony. The golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of hard choices strikes one more.

When John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan went to Berlin, their rhetoric soared, but their optimism was grounded in the reality of politics, conflict and hard choices. Kennedy didn’t dream of the universal brotherhood of man. He drew lines that reflected hard realities: “There are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin.” Reagan didn’t call for a kumbaya moment. He cited tough policies that sparked harsh political disagreements — the deployment of U.S. missiles in response to the Soviet SS-20s — but still worked.


If Senator Obama's view of the past does not quite mesh with reality, is it any surprise that his view of the future is similarly clouded?
The great illusion of the 1990s was that we were entering an era of global convergence in which politics and power didn’t matter. What Obama offered in Berlin flowed right out of this mind-set. This was the end of history on acid.

Since then, autocracies have arisen, the competition for resources has grown fiercer, Russia has clamped down, Iran is on the march. It will take politics and power to address these challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Obama’s lofty peroration.


Now that's a quote of the day: "It will take politics and power to address these challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Obama’s lofty peroration."

Hang on Timesers, Krugman will be back soon. I am certain of it.

Hat-tip: Tom Maguire

Posted by John Kranz at 1:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2008

Bringing Light to the World

Yes! Yes! Y-E-S! I have been waiting for such a column.

Gerard Baker writes in the Times:


And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The rest is below the fold (lest The Times comes calling).

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.

And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

And yet, there were still multitudes of poor...

"Surely you're not saying,
We have the resources,
To save the poor from their lot.
There will be poor always,
Pathetically struggling,
Look at the good things you've got."
-Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar

P.S. That's Gerard Baker in the Times of London, not New York. And it IS a masterpiece.

Posted by: johngalt at July 26, 2008 3:17 PM

July 24, 2008

John!

We've been a little hard on the GOP nominee around here. It's worth pointing out when he does something right. Larry Kudlow links to this Op-Ed and has some kind words for Senator McCain:

Senator John McCain hit a grand-slam homerun today with an op-ed piece (“Take taxpayers off hook for rot at Fannie, Freddie”) that debunks the federal worship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and takes off the table the possibility that these GSEs will get a strong dose of steroids if he is elected president. This is a dramatic statement that completely differentiates his view from the go-along, get-along policy of Sen. Obama.

I think McCain is probably right that some intervention will be required. And more right to call for reform in exchange for exercising the Federal put.
What should be done? We are stuck with the reality that they have grown so large that we must support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the current rough spell. But if a dime of taxpayer money ends up being directly invested, the management and the board should immediately be replaced, multimillion dollar salaries should be cut, and bonuses and other compensation should be eliminated. They should cease all lobbying activities and drop all payments to outside lobbyists. And taxpayers should be first in line for any repayments.

Even with those terms, sticking Main Street Americans with Wall Street's bill is a shame on Washington. If elected, I'll continue my crusade for the right reform of the institutions: making them go away. I will get real regulation that limits their ability to borrow, shrinks their size until they are no longer a threat to our economy, and privatizes and eliminates their links to the government.


That's a good start!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:32 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

McCain doesn't see the real conflict. It isn't Main Street versus Wall Street. It's me against my neighbors. The bailout is sticking responsible people with the bill, by making them pay taxes to pay for bad lenders and bad borrowers.

So McCain says taxpayers should be first for repayments. And at what interest rate? If I wanted to help bail out, I'd have done so already at a rate I wanted, thank you very much.

And no, NO ONE is "so large" that a government bailout is required. Let them fail for all I care. People's mortgages won't go away, you know, and there will be plenty of investors who will buy them up at a fair market price. Fannie and Freddie could completely disappear right now, but that wouldn't make people's houses disappear or force them to be convicted. It just means someone else would buy the mortgage.

Privatization is the ONLY "intervention" that should be done, but no politician will get elected by speaking about what's really required.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 25, 2008 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:

The points he concedes early are alarming, but read that last 'graf again:

I'll continue my crusade for the right reform of the institutions: making them go away. I will get real regulation that limits their ability to borrow, shrinks their size until they are no longer a threat to our economy, and privatizes and eliminates their links to the government.

Purty good stuff -- and nothing Senator Obama will dare flirt with.

Posted by: jk at July 25, 2008 5:50 PM

July 19, 2008

Pretty Funny!

Conan is a little past my bedtime, but this clip made me laugh:


 


Senator McCain has a good sense of humor and sits through the bad jokes pretty patiently. Senator O is starting to make Nixon look like a laugh riot. (Are we rioting in the streets yet over the New Yorker cover?)

Posted by John Kranz at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2008

Digging the Spoiler Role

Good Libertarian Party campaigns put a likeable gadfly into the race to remind voters about our vanishing freedoms. It also provides a nice safety valve to disgruntled voters who are disappointed with the major party candidates.

Rep. Barr is hell bent on throwing the race to Senator Obama. This will vindicate his candidacy: "See, we matter, we drew enough votes to change the race."

You may accuse me of practicing pop psychology but I think this is the real game plan. I offer two recent articles to back my theory. The first is Matt Welch's introductory/masthead piece in this month's Reason. It's not online yet, but Welch spends a good bit of the article bragging that if the planets align just right and the weather is nice that the LP might be credited this year with throwing the race to the Democrats. Aim for the stars boys!

Today, the candidate himself takes to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. The thesis of his piece is that Senator McCain cannot be trusted to make "Conservative" judicial nominations. With Senator McCain being a cosponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act to Repeal the First Amendment, this is what our British friends would call "a fair cop."

But, you’re thinking, what about Senator Obama's judicial picks? Might those be worse? Bob? Rep, Barr has anticipated your question and includes this howler:

Nor is it obvious that Barack Obama would attempt to pack the court with left-wing ideologues. He shocked some of his supporters by endorsing the ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms, and criticizing the recent decision overturning the death penalty for a child rapist. With the three members most likely to leave the Supreme Court in the near future occupying the more liberal side of the bench, the next appointments probably won't much change the Court's balance.

But even if a President McCain were to influence the court, it would not likely be in a genuinely conservative direction. His jurisprudence is not conservative.


Because Senator Obama's most deeply held convictions change with what he had for breakfast this morning, maybe he'll have a bran muffin and renominate Robert Bork. McCain's "jurisprudence is not conservative" but Obama's will likely be fine. Justice Duvall Patrick will be the next Clarence Thomas.

I have no objection to an LP candidate saying "I don't care if I take votes from the GOP, that's not my concern." I do wonder about a candidate who doesn’t want to throw punches at the Democrats as well.


Posted by John Kranz at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2008

Obama's Every Move

Excellent reporting from the International Herald Tribune:


Senator John McCain's trip to Iraq last spring was a low-key affair: With his ordinary retinue of reporters following him abroad, the NBC News anchor Brian Williams reported on his arrival in Baghdad from New York, with just two sentences tacked onto the "in other political news" portion of his newscast.

But when Obama heads for Iraq and other locations overseas this summer, Williams is planning to catch up with him in person, as are the other two evening news anchors, Charles Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, who, like Williams, are far along in discussions to interview Obama on successive nights.

And while the anchors are jockeying for interviews with Obama at stops along his route, the regulars on the Obama campaign plane will have new seat mates: star political reporters from the major newspapers and magazines who are flocking to catch Obama's first overseas trip since becoming the presumptive nominee of his party.

The extraordinary coverage of Obama's trip reflects how the candidate remains an object of fascination in the news media, a built-in feature of being the first African-American presidential nominee for a major political party and a relative newcomer to the national stage.

But the coverage also feeds into concerns in McCain's campaign, and among Republicans in general, that the media is imbalanced in their coverage of the candidates, just as aides to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton felt during the primary season.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:36 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

And this means plenty of face time for war opponents Hagel and Reed. McCain suggested that Senator Obama accompany him to Iraq -- instead he's going with Code Pink.

Posted by: jk at July 17, 2008 10:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"...the media is imbalanced in their coverage of the candidates...?" Poppycock - don't believe it for a second. (These are not the droids you're looking for.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 17, 2008 3:23 PM

July 9, 2008

John!

Larry Kudlow showed this clip last night. Senator McCain has made me roll my eyes on a few issues, but the guy is awesome on the war, awesome of free trade:


Posted by John Kranz at 7:20 PM | Comments (0)

Pas l'Obama I a pensé que j'ai su*

Watch this three times:





Gateway Pundit has some other comments and a little more context -- not that it helps.

* [Not the Obama I thought I knew] and yes, I'll accept grammatical corrections on that.

Hat-tip: Instapundit.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

July 7, 2008

Bob!

We have not talked much about Rep. Barr's candidacy. I don't think we have a lot of LP folk, but I am curious how many agree with Samizdat Dale Amon:

Bob Barr is looking more and more to have been an excellent choice to carry our banner this year. He is getting the sort of serious media coverage we have only dreamed of despite us working towards it for decades. Ron Paul's run for the Republican ticket earlier this year has probably had a great deal to do with it.

I'm a long time fan of Amon, but I left a (n overly snarky) comment that I don't see Rep. Barr as the great libertarian savior. He is neither dynamic nor charismatic -- and his message of purity seems to be undercut by his very un-libertarian career in the House.

Am I missing something?

Posted by John Kranz at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2008

Third Bush Term

The Wall Street Journal Ed Page borrows my meme. Their lead editorial opens "We're beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of "George Bush's third term." Maybe he's worried that someone will notice that he's the candidate who's running for it."

This week the great Democratic hope even endorsed spending more money on faith-based charities. Apparently, this core plank of Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is not the assault on church-state separation that the ACLU and liberals have long claimed. And yesterday, Mr. Obama's campaign unveiled an ad asserting his support for welfare reform that "slashed the rolls by 80 percent." Never mind that Mr. Obama has declared multiple times that he opposed the landmark 1996 welfare reform.

It's okay Paul. It's okay Rupert. I have grabbed a few from you guys over the years. Fair is fair.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2008

The Second City Miracle

Let Senator Obama do for America what he did for his State Senate district:


Hat-tip: Mickey Kaus, who calls this article "Obama's Katrina."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:36 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

I was about to post on this.

These are not the ghettos I knew.

Posted by: AlexC at July 1, 2008 11:37 PM

Third Bush Term

Senator Obama would continue to support the Failed Bush Strategies, yadda yadda...

Yahoo/AP: Obama to expand Bush's faith based programs

CHICAGO - Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans to expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support some ability to hire and fire based on faith.


Next week, he'll suggest that "Brownie" is restored to his post at FEMA...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:16 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Rev. Wright has a mortgage to pay.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 1, 2008 4:29 PM

June 30, 2008

Ignorant Redneck Bigot Bastards for McCain

Pardon me if I am being redundant. This article in today's Washington Post describes -- in excruciating detail -- the McCain voter.

But with their pride came a nasty undercurrent, one that Obama's candidacy has exacerbated: On College Street, nobody wanted anything to change. As the years passed, Peterman and his neighbors approached one another to share in their skepticism about the unknown. What was the story behind the handful of African Americans who had moved into a town that is 93 percent white? Why were Japanese businessmen coming in to run the local manufacturing plants? Who in the world was this Obama character, running for president with that funny-sounding last name?

"People in Findlay are kind of funny about change," said Republican Mayor Pete Sehnert, a retired police officer who ran for the office on a whim last year. "They always want things the way they were, and any kind of development is always viewed as making things worse, a bad thing."


This article should be clarifying for today's Paulene Kaels: who are these mysterious "others" who plan to vote for Senator McCain?
  • Flag Wavers! Retired Air Force (you did see American Beauty didn't you?) and friends who outdo each other in displays of patriotism.

  • Bigots! A handful of African Americans! In our city?

  • Homophobes! Here are the rumors going around Flag City, USA: "Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance" Gay Muslim presidents! Jeeezus H!

  • Anti-Change! One guy says "He's a good speaker, but you've got to dig deeper than that for the truth. Politicians tell you anything. You have look beyond the surface, and then there are some real lies." Burkean Bastard! He dares to deny the veracity of a politician?

You get the idea (good thing I was around to translate the subtlety for you -- I doubt most ThreeSourcers would have picked up on it).

Really, you can't really blame them, the Cooper Tire plant closed and they're a little bitter...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2008

New Thinking on Foreign Policy

Ralph Peters has an awesome, awesome column in the NY Post today. It is adorned with the most unflattering of Madeline Albright ever -- be careful before you click. Peters debunks six "whoppers" about the war on terror "We're not safer. Al-Qaeda is stronger. Ya dda yad da." But I have to give quote of the day honors for #6: "As president, Barack Obama would bring positive change to our foreign policy - and John McCain's too old to get it. "

Hmm: Take a gander at Obama's senior foreign-policy advisers: Madeleine Albright (71), Warren Christopher (82), Anthony Lake (69), Lee Hamilton (77), Richard Clarke (57) . . .

If you added up their ages and fed the number into a time-machine, you'd land in Europe in the middle of the Black Death.

More important: These are the people whose watch saw the first attack on the World Trade Center, Mogadishu, Rwanda, the Srebrenica massacre, a pass for the Russians on Chechnya, the Khobar Towers bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the near-sinking of the USS Cole [...]

You couldn't assemble a team in Washington with more strategic failures to its credit.


Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2008

Hundred Freakin' Years in Iraq

I saw a bumper sticker today: "100 Years in Iraq? No Way, McCain!"

If these people want to make their whole campaign revolve around an out of context quote, bring it on. Senator McCain is right; Senator Obama is wrong.

JohnGalt brings us an amusing parody of the MoveOn "Alex" Ad ("No Senator, my smoochie woomkins is never ever going to think for himself!"). In My wallet -- you can't have it!

Here's another great response I saw today:

Posted by John Kranz at 5:21 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2008

Third Clinton Term

"Third Clinton Term" lacks pejorative power -- it is exactly what my Democrat friends lust for, and wouldn't be a hard sell to moderates.

Glenn Reynolds linked to a jammies wearing fool post about the number of Clinton retreads coming into the Obama advisory camp.

And also to this:

In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.

"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.

Obama says he believes in "opening up a dialogue" with trading partners Canada and Mexico "and figuring to how we can make this work for all people."


My highest hope for Obama was that he might be another President Clinton, governing from the center, caring more about power and likeability rather than pursing any beliefs or philosophy.

If he can pick up Professor Goolsbee from under the bus that quickly on this, this man has no beliefs. That would normally be an insult, but Senator Obama's purported beliefs were sooooo bad, I'll take lust for power as a plus.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:27 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Good posts today JK.

NAFTA is a non-issue in the general election, and there's no novelty in this blatant about-face in the theatre of politics.

Show me a quote of Obama saying he doesn't want to do everything possible to handicap the traditional energy economy, and that previous criticisms of "big oil" were "overheated and amplified rhetoric." Then - maybe - I'll believe that the young senator has no beliefs or philosophy.

But even then I'll never believe he's not an instrument for furtherance of American collectivism.

Posted by: johngalt at June 19, 2008 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

And I must remember that Clinton's "get along" worked with Republican Congresses 104, 105 and 106. A get along Obama administration would cave to the collectivists on the Democrat side and the crooks across the aisle.

I just remember his performance in the debate -- it's seared into my memory -- there was no question that this cowboy unilateralist was gonna pull us out of NAFTA. As Taranto pointed out yesterday, he's even pivoting on Iraq. That will attract a little more attention.

Posted by: jk at June 19, 2008 3:35 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee thinks that any hope of a center-left governing stance from Obama is wishful thinking. The Refugee fears that the combination of Obama and a Congress beholden to the Soros wing of the Democratic party would result in an astonishing lurch to the left. Give Obama two picks on the Supreme Court and the resulting institutionalized collectivism would be impossible to dismantle, just as the current programs are.

The only hope is a continuing turn of events. To use a Texas Hold 'Em analogy, the Dems thought they had a winning hand and bet the farm after the "flop" of Iraq. Then, came the "turn" of events in Iraq. Now, with the "river" of oil drying up, we have a "hole" new card game.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 19, 2008 6:14 PM

Rove on Schumpeter

I wish Karl Rove were still in his hideaway, pulling strings, and running the world. Is it just me, or was life better then?

In his WSJ column today, he takes a major whack at Senator Obama for illiterate economic nonsense, but he lets Senator McCain have it as well for saying "I'm very angry, frankly, at the oil companies not only because of the obscene profits they've made, but their failure to invest in alternate energy." Rove provides a little mini-lesson in Schumpeterian Creative Destruction:

Mr. McCain's angry statement shows a lack of understanding of the insights of Joseph Schumpeter, the 20th century economist who explained that capitalism is inherently unstable because a "perennial gale of creative destruction" is brought on by entrepreneurs who create new goods, markets and processes. The entrepreneur is "the pivot on which everything turns," Schumpeter argued, and "proceeds by competitively destroying old businesses."

Most dramatic change comes from new businesses, not old ones. Buggy whip makers did not create the auto industry. Railroads didn't create the airplane. Even when established industries help create new ones, old-line firms are often not as nimble as new ones. IBM helped give rise to personal computers, but didn't see the importance of software and ceded that part of the business to young upstarts who founded Microsoft.

So why should Mr. McCain expect oil and gas companies to lead the way in developing alternative energy? As with past technological change, new enterprises will likely be the drivers of alternative energy innovation.

Messrs. Obama and McCain both reveal a disturbing animus toward free markets and success. It is uncalled for and self-defeating for presidential candidates to demonize American companies. It is understandable that Mr. Obama, the most liberal member of the Senate, would endorse reckless policies that are the DNA of the party he leads. But Mr. McCain, a self-described Reagan Republican, should know better.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

You don't understand, JK - Rove IS still in his hideaway, pulling strings and running the world. In this post-PC age, however, he doesn't have to do it behind closed doors.

This is good. McCain needs more of these gentle scoldings and lessons in Reaganism. (Ronald Reagan calling ANY profit "obscene?" Nonsense.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 19, 2008 2:47 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee completely agrees, JG. Rove is a greater asset when speaking the truth publicly than operating behind closed doors. GWB was never so persuasive, even if Rove was putting words in his mouth.

McCain is no Reagan. He's only regarded as "conservative" relative to Obama's liberalism/socialism.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 19, 2008 6:23 PM

June 11, 2008

Dems 4 McCain

The Straight Talk Express came to Philadelphia today, and I was there with my family (and neighbor).

After an introduction by Pa GOP Deputy Chair Renee Amoore and Cindy McCain, the Senator gave a brief stump speech, and then turned it over to a town hall style Q&A that he excels at.

Questions ranged from malaria treatments in Africa, to inner city crime to budget policy and unfunded mandates.

Rather notably, he was asked about opening ANWR. The questioner was roundly applauded at the mention of it... (myself included).... and continued through the rest of the question. He replied with his drilling in the Grand Canyon / Everglades comparison, but stressed that drilling off shore was not off-limits.

Picture below includes my neighbor (and fellow GOP committeeman) Matt Tucholke at top right.

Here's some video via FoxNews with me (pink shirt) and my family (curly blonde girl & wife in blue shirt) in the background.

Posted by AlexC at 4:55 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Awesome -- color me jealous!

I fear this year your state will be in play and mine will be considered "hopeless." A sad turn in four years.

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2008 5:18 PM

June 8, 2008

Quote of the Day

I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama than the prospect of an administration where any criticism of the President is treated as racism. -- Glenn Reynolds
Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"If I oppose a black communist candidate for President of the United States because I believe in individual rights and limited government, am I still a racist?"
-johngalt's dad

Posted by: johngalt at June 8, 2008 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes. -- jk's Dad's son.

Posted by: jk at June 8, 2008 7:10 PM

June 2, 2008

Spoiler? Tie-breaker? Insignificant?

I got to know Rep Bob Barr as one of the House Managers during President Clinton's impeachment and followed his career through his Borat cameo.

The NYTimes has an interesting piece on the Libertarian convention and the electoral significance on both big L and little-l libs.

Michael Kinsley, writing in Time magazine last fall, predicted that voters with libertarian leanings are going to be “an increasingly powerful force in politics.” The auguries come even from Hollywood, where a film adaptation of the libertarian writer Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is planned for release next year starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, both of whom are said to be Rand fans.

Our hopes lie on Brangelina, do they? I appreciate voting one's conscience, but the article, and everyone in it make clear spoiler is the highest to which Barr's candidacy can aspire.
Mr. [David] Boaz of the Cato Institute said he already detected some movement to Mr. Barr. “I’ve had friends e-mail me over the last few days and say, ‘I want Barr to keep McCain out of the White House,’ ” he said. “So there definitely are some libertarians who object to McCain and want to see Barr siphon votes away from him.”

This proud, pragmatic, little-l will stay in the McCain camp. thank you.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 3:04 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"Keep McCain out of the White House"? I wonder if these people realize that there's a Democrat running for the same office.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 3, 2008 10:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I participated in the Colorado GOP convention this Saturday past. The only drama was the colorful effort of a couple hundred Ron Paul fans to get themselves elected as delegates to the national convention. No word yet on how many of the 22 delegates and 22 alternates are "Paulatics" but it's fair to say Bob Barr's candidacy is not the only one trying to "keep McCain out of the White House" which is a euphemism for "help Obama become president."

Don't blame the Rand fans, though. I sat next to a man who studied political science in college in 1948, read Atlas Shrugged when it was released, and is also a big fan of early Heinlein work. Both grudging McCain backers, we agreed that Paul would be worth a close look if "he wasn't such an anti-war nut."

The "Libertarian hippies" as Rand called them, and as I witnessed them on Saturday with mine own eyes, wholeheartedly believe the world will leave us alone if we leave it alone. Would but it were true.

Posted by: johngalt at June 3, 2008 11:33 AM

May 21, 2008

Koch May Back McCain

I don't link to Newsmax.com a lot, but I do get their email alerts and this story caught my eye. Former NYC Mayor, Ed Koch, says that he might back McCain against Obama.

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Koch says McCain “has no equal” when it comes to opposing Islamic terrorism. Though Koch says he disagrees with most of McCain’s positions on domestic issues, he could support him because of his strong national security credentials.

Koch carries significant weight with many Jewish Democrats in New York and across the country. He also has a history of playing the maverick and crossing party lines.

He has backed several New York Republicans, including Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for New York City mayor, Al D'Amato for the U.S. Senate, and George Pataki for New York governor. In 2004 he endorsed his first Republican for president, George W. Bush. Koch actively campaigned in several states, including Florida and Ohio.

Bush won both states.


What a mensch! Seriously, one has to wonder how many even überliberal American Jews will be comfortable backing Senator Obama with his perceived weakness in opposing Israel's enemies and his years in the pew of an anti-Semitic church.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:14 AM

May 19, 2008

The Audacity of Government

As the sun shined down, the warm air was decorated with a cool breeze. A sea of faces stretched as far as the eye could see. Approximately seventy-five thousand faces, in fact, each waiting in eager anticipation for the greatest orator in a generation to grace their presence. Even the speaker, Sen. Barrack Obama, seemed astonished by the size of the crowd. To some, the crowd signified a new interest and optimism toward American politics. In reality, however, the size of the crowd reflects what is wrong with politics and the voting public.

It should be clear that what is wrong with politics is not Sen. Obama himself. I have not a horse in the race. Thus a heavily populated speech by Sens. McCain or Clinton would be abhorred just the same. The problem is not the person that the public fawns over, but rather that such a person exists in the first place.

It is not surprising that Sen. Obama has emerged given the current circumstances. The war in Iraq has been mired in mismanagement, housing prices are plummeting, inflation is rising, and globalization is causing uneasiness among laborers who must now compete with cheaper and qualified competition. Perhaps equally important is the fact that Obama is the anti-George W. Bush. He speaks well, oozes charisma, and promises a new dawn in Washington.

Yet turning to an individual is nothing more than misplaced hope. One can give speeches about change, hope, and optimism, but so long as these promises are predicated on the expansion of government, they are unfounded and unhealthy for the future of our nation. Take, for example, the recent “crises.” The food crisis has largely been the result of farming subsidization in developed countries and trade protectionism. The invasion of Iraq went smoothly, but the mismanagement in the aftermath has been disastrous. Critics have been quick to place this blame on the incompetence of the Bush administration, but in reality the fact remains that central planning – no matter how smart the planners – is impossible. No single mind (or group of minds) in the United States government or amongst its populace is equipped with the combined knowledge (cultural and otherwise) of the Iraqi people and businessmen. The housing crisis is also a result of interventionism. A Federal Reserve that kept rates too low for too long and a legislature that pushed for easier standards for those who were not deemed credit worthy by the market test artificially increased the demand for housing only to come crashing down when interest rates returned to more accurate levels. Even the adverse effects of globalization derive from the fact that the government had previously created artificial job security.

The problems that we face are largely the result of government intervention. Nevertheless, the American public is in search of a messiah to lead a government to correct for the previous failures. I am afraid that no matter whom they choose, they will be disappointed.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 1:12 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Superb Post, hb. I still am driving the borrowed car with the "Department of Peace" bumper sticker. That has had me thinking about how plentiful energy would be in this country without its own Department, not to mention how much better education would be. Housing?

Posted by: jk at May 19, 2008 3:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I agree with HB that the federal bureaucracy is so bloated that it has a life of its own. It's almost impossible for a president to shape it to his/her will if it doesn't want to be shaped. Witness GWB's difficulties in the Pentagon, Dept. of State, etc.

That said, the last thing we need as president is a policy wonk. The president should set the national tone and shape policy/perception in terms of ideals and goals. There are plenty of wonks to fight out the details in Congress.

This is especially true in foreign relations, where we cannot dicate policy to anybody per se. The president must be able to influence world opinion in our favor. "Coalition of the willing" could not be more apt. Contrary to the liberal media's slant, GWB has been reasonably successful in this regard.

It is for these reasons that Obama is particularly dangerous. His rhetoric will shape national policy and regulatory implementation. The federal bureaucracy is so liberal that it hardly needs a nudge to go spinning wildly to the left; Congress will not even be a speedbump.

Moreover, he would have a huge impact on our enemy's perception of our willingness to engage them and our friend's trust that we will back them. You can be certain that he will do neither.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 20, 2008 1:35 PM

May 18, 2008

The Oldness We Need

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM

May 17, 2008

Those Remarks are NOT Offensive!

Nice to have our friend LatteSipper back 'round these parts. I'm a cappuccino man myself, but it's good to get another point of view.

I'll cross the aisle on this insane outrage that accompanies every opponent's statement. I did not appreciate Senator Obama's umbrage when the President dared to disparage the great tradition of appeasement. Let me roll my eyes at one of Senator McCain's spokesmen:

A McCain spokesman said Harkin's remarks were offensive and showed that Democrats are out of touch with Americans' values.

It's a hard fought and only-partially--partisan competition for biggest Senatorial Whackjob and the great State of Iowa fields two solid contenders. I think Senator Harkin was wrong to disparage the McCains' military service. And I agree that it speaks to Democrats' being out of touch with American values.

But Senator Harkin's comments were not offensive. Faux outrage is not conducive to debate and I hate to see it used to impede expression on either side.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:25 PM

May 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Steve Forbes on Kudlow & Company:

The only way you overcome the Obama effect is not with atmospherics—he’s going to outdo you on eloquence and that kind of thing. The only way you can do it is with substance. That is, sharply contrast taxes. [Obama] wants to raise them, McCain wants to cut them. Social Security—Obama wants more taxes, McCain wants to allow private accounts to supplement Social Security. Healthcare—more patient control, which McCain wants, versus Obama having Katrina-like bureaucrats run the system. These are very basic differences. And if people recognize them, I think not only can McCain beat Senator Obama, but also inoculate even a Democratic Congress from going down that road.

"Katrina-like bureaucrats" running the health care system. That's a good grace note -- the kind of line collectivists seem so good at using.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:27 PM

May 7, 2008

Potential Vice Presidents

Now that the nominees are set (even if Hillary won't admit it), the talk of vice presidential nominees will begin to pick up. So ThreeSourcers, who should get the nod in each party? Who will actually be chosen?

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:34 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Senator McCain should pick Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (It's my dream, let me live it...) I would be pretty happy with Gov Sanford or Pawlenty. Governor Jindal would be a good out-of-the-box choice. Phil Gramm? (wake up, johnny, it's time for school!)

Senator Obama should probably pick Senator Clinton for a Kennedy-Johnson kind of mutual loathing ticket. She would bring a lot to the table electorally for him. Governor Bredesen would be a good choice if he can't deal with his former rival.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2008 9:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Just met a good friend for coffee, and he made a great case for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She has the conservative bona fides to charm the base and could grab some of Senator Clinton's working class white women demographic.

I suggested that little-l libertarians might not cheer, but my pragmatic friend suggested that they won't be too happy with President Obama.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2008 6:11 PM
But jk thinks:

A frequent emailer is on board with my friend:

Kay Bailey H. is one hell of an idea. I would love to see Condi get it but i doubt he'll go with her. He should, but I'm not holding my breath.

A woman like Kay would be great. She comes across well on tv, she is smart and as far as I can tell she's one of us, or one of me anyway. Did you see David Brooks this morning? There isn't much of a "me."

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2008 11:04 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

An Obama-Clinton "dream ticket" would become the "nightmare administration." If you were Obama, how would you like to have Bill wandering around the White House? Or worse, making speeches? The temptation for Hillary to leak damaging information about Obama would be too much for her to resist. Obama is no doubt savvy to this, which is why such a ticket will never exist. Moreover, rumor has it that Michelle and Hillary loath one another.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 9, 2008 4:02 PM
But jk thinks:

I fear he might have a terrible accident at one of the inauguration parties...

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2008 6:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with B.R. The chances of Obama and Clinton teaming up to solve the Dems embarrasing primary split are slim to none.

As for Condi, I have much respect for the child prodigy who graduated from the university where my father taught (different subjects) and would love to watch the Dems squirm while squaring off against a candidate who is black AND female. (Too bad she's not gay too.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2008 12:10 PM

April 30, 2008

McCain Care

The WSJ Ed Page gives high marks to Senator McCain's health care plan:

For a man whose heterodoxies have no doubt triggered GOP heartburn, John McCain delivered another speech yesterday on health care that offered a sophisticated set of policies that could lead to some of the most constructive changes to the system in decades.

It is good news for his candidacy if Mr. McCain is making space now for political creativity and policy risks. Last week he laid down an economic plan, even venturing to Democratic redoubts like Youngstown, Ohio, and New Orleans's Ninth Ward. Now he has returned to his health-care reform, based on market principles and increased consumer choice, which he first outlined during the primaries.

The Senator is also starting to enfold these ideas in a larger narrative that will be indispensable in the philosophical fight that is so clearly ordained for the general election between private and government health care.


I missed the speech. I did watch a commercial on the McCain website, and I did not get the sweeping narrative. I certainly hope they are right.

While you're trolling around Mister Murdoch’s free opinion page, read Karl Rove's guest editorial, Getting To Know John McCain. It contains even more heroics from his Hanoi Hilton days. (Hat-tip: Terri)

Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM

April 22, 2008

Working the Polls

For those of you who don't know, I'm a Judge of Elections in my precinct in Central Montgomery County...

Basically it entails :
a) get up at crack of dawn for donut run
b) start the machines
c) do paper work
d) crash course the high school kids helping out
e) spend most of the day calling voter services checking registrations & BSing with neighbors & friends that vote.
f) curse those that I know didn't vote
g) count the votes
h) lot more paperwork
i) haul the fate of our Republic to a regional voter station

All while living in radio silence.

We ended with 840-ish voters.

Despite a 46/36 registration advantage, it was all Democrat extravaganza today.

Hillary 319 - 50.8 %
Obama 308 - 49.2 %

I don't know what that means. Demographically, we're upper middle classish.

On the other hand, I can say that I managed to snag 120 votes of my own for county committee... 100% of the vote. :)

Posted by AlexC at 10:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Congrats, ac, that puts you right up there with Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro!

Seriously, good job on judging and committeeing. I was signed up and trained to be an election judge but in 2004 the county GOP asked if I'd be a poll-watcher instead. Now I don't think I could handle it. It's hard for me to stand for any length of time.

I salute you and Sugarchuck for your involvement with local governance -- I sleep better knowing there are at least two of you out there.

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2008 10:30 AM

I Might Vote GOP This Year

Clear choices, <johnmccainvoice>my friends,</johnmccainvoice> clear choices:

McCain to hit hard on free trade in hard-hit town

Youngstown, Ohio, is a struggling steel town where jobs have been lost and free-trade deals are unpopular.

McCain, however, is prepared to argue the overall benefits of unfettered trade, aides said. "Protectionism devastates the economy," said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to McCain.

In an economic speech last week, McCain said: "When new trading partners can sell in our market, and American companies can sell in theirs, the gains are great and they are lasting."


Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 4:14 PM

March 27, 2008

Vive la Difference!

I saw yesterday that Senator Obama had assailed Senator McCain for his taking a "wait and see" attitude like President Bush on the <JAWS Soundtrack swells up>housing crisis!</JAWS Soundtrack swells up>

On one hand, I am happy to have an ideological election. Senator Kerry hid his liberal light under a bushel in 2004 and neither VP Gore nor Governor Bush ran as firebrands in 2000. No doubt Obama will try to tack to the center in the general, but he has laid markers in the debates. We can really discuss the role of government this fall.

On the other hand, part of me is worried about the choice our nation will make. There is an American drive to do something. I cannot believe that lasseiz faire does well in focus groups, even though I am a big fan. The Wall Street Journal Ed Page nails the situation today, in a lead editorial that looks at the differences.

The media coverage of Mr. McCain's speech has portrayed his approach as laissez-faire, and the Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns quickly assailed it on those grounds. But that's true only in the sense that Mr. McCain didn't endorse any vast, new government rescue of bankers or borrowers. If this is laissez-faire, we've come a long way from Adam Smith.

I'll suggest that McCain offered as close to lasseiz faire as is practicable, and very likely went too close. Hands-off is not the press' first choice. And look at what awaits on the other side of the aisle:
Mrs. Clinton called this week for "immediate, bold" action "to unfreeze our mortgage markets." To that end, she would immediately freeze our mortgage markets. She wants a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures coupled with a five-year rate freeze on adjustable-rate mortgages.

This would amount to the broadest price controls in the U.S. economy since the Nixon Administration. Mr. Obama has said this abrogation of contracts would do nothing to help the market clear and would only drive up borrowing costs. For this accurate observation, the Clinton campaign said Mr. Obama was "to the right of the Bush Administration."


Here's to clear choices -- here's to the right ones.


Posted by John Kranz at 1:31 PM

March 26, 2008

Rumor Of The Day

My favorite rumor, anyway:

BREAKING: Condi Rice Flirts With VP Possibility -- Speaks to Grover Norquist's Wednesday Group Meeting

The NFL's loss will be our nation's gain.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:05 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

Is there any chance that nominating someone that gets both of the Democrats perceived strenghts "blank" and "woman" will come off looking as too calculated and craven? (Right or wrong)

It's one thing if she had one in a primary campaign.

It's another to be selected.

Posted by: AlexC at March 27, 2008 12:50 AM
But jk thinks:

Boy, I don't know. I would counter that Secretary Rice is so obviously qualified. The Democrats look like affirmative action hires in comparison.

Posted by: jk at March 27, 2008 10:45 AM

March 14, 2008

If We Can't Beat This Guy...

Who's this 'we,' kimosabe?

Senator Obama has never been vetted by any conservatives or faced a serious challenger on his right. As Senator Clinton starts to take off the gloves and some in the media start to take off their blinders, it seems there are a lot of vulnerabilities:

  • There has been a lot of blog chatter about the Pastor at his racial hatemongering super center church. Ronald Kessler has a succinct and damning collection of Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. quotes as well as a recap of the Obama's extensive and long lasting involvement with the church and its "controversial" pastor. (Controversial would be Senator Obama's word).

  • He may be pushing a lot of transcendent, new politics, but it doesn't look a lot different from the "old" Chicago politics. Jim Geraghty finds "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office." In 2006, Hubby requested a $1 Million earmark for the hospital. That's pretty good Return On Investment.

  • Rezko trial, indictment?


I think when you bundle this with Michelle's negative comments and his refusal to wear a flag pin, the Senator will be a tough sell against a war hero. Y'know, if he wears an American Flag on his lapel, people might misconstrue it, but attending a church that blames America for 9/11, we're supposed to be able to filter it out.

UPDATE: John Podhoretz makes a good point that Senator Clinton is staying in the race just in case of an Obamaplosion (HT: Insty)

When Hillary and her people talk about Obama’s lack of experience, they are not just talking about foreign policy and Washington voting. They are, implicitly, talking about his lack of experience with a hostile media. He has never been subjected to the withering examination of a reportorial or even punditorial pack — not in his service in the Illinois state senate, not in his 2004 Senate race, and not even when it came to his well-reviewed books. One never, ever knows how someone will hold up under such circumstances, or how quickly a reputation can be damaged.

UPDATE II: A relative who does not read blogs just called and said "he's toast." This is actually getting some play in the MSM.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:11 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

It didn't require genius or prescience to anticipate something like this with Senator O. I'm just sorry it happened before he clinched the nomination. He's now vulnerable to election defeat with a bumper sticker slogan but that defeat will be at the hands of Senator C.

A McCain/Clinton general election contest now appears more likely than ever. It's probably for the best, though. I expected widespread race riots if McCain were to "steal" the election from Osama.

P.S. Barack Obama really does come off as a pleasant, intelligent, reasonable man. His interview with FNC's Major Garrett was superb. But no one of any intelligence whatsoever attends a church led by a man with ideas such as Jeremiah Wright's without at least being sympathetic to them, if not supportive. And that's the problem with a liberal minority candidate isn't it? They just can't escape the premises of egalitarianism (or reverse discrimination) and racial identity politics.

And minorities wonder why "white America" doesn't accept them...

Posted by: johngalt at March 15, 2008 12:32 PM
But jk thinks:

I am still not certain that this will take the Democratic nomination from him. This story broke on a Friday night; Monday we could have a bombshell in the Spitzer case or something else. Then when it is brought up in the debate it is "old news" and Senator Clinton (or McCain) is "attacking a black preacher."

He's still got the delegate lead and the way they are apportioned offers no hope.

Hell yes, he's charming. I think he is already parrying this stuff well. He wasn't there when the crazy stuff was said, he doesn't agree with everything that Wright says, he repudiates whatever offends you (I love that one).

Don't be so forlorn, jg, we still might have race riots after all.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2008 8:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If we can't beat this guy, why don't you think Hillary can?

Much has been made of "super delegates" disinclination to thwart the "will of the people" by supporting the candidate with fewer pledged delegates. But Democrats are as skilled in the art of rationalizing as anything else, and what shows the "will of the people" more than the national tracking polls?

If Senator O continues to slip and if the SD's perceive he is damaged goods there's every reason to expect them to go with Hillary. Hillary, by the way, is currently nearing her all-time polling high of 48.5%.

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2008 3:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Hillary cannot use many of the arguments that McCain can, either for fear of alienating her base or because she is exactly the same.

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2008 7:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

No, but she CAN push embarassing stories about Obama in the press. Like, say, his preacher is a 9/11 truther and race baiter.

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2008 8:30 PM

March 6, 2008

Hitchens on Clinton

Interviewed on Hugh Hewitt's Show:

HH: 20 seconds, who’s going to be the next president of the United States?

CH: Hillary Clinton.

HH: Oh…because of yesterday?

CH: No, no, I’ve feared it for a long time, and there’s something horrible and undefeatable about people who have no life except the worship of power.

HH: The Mummy is back.

CH: …people who don’t want the meeting to end, the people who just are unstoppable, who only have one focus, no humanity, no character, nothing but the worship of money and power. They win in the end.

HH: Mordor. Christopher Hitchens, a pleasure. Thank you for joining us from Vanity Fair.


It would be good for Hitch's book sales -- look on the bright side, Christopher!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:10 PM

Dear Senator Obama,

Blog friend Perry at Eidelblog finds a jewel on Senator McCain's website: a letter to Senator Obama dated February 6, 2006.

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.

Yes, We Can!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Hmm, I'll have to check my post. Did I not link back to my first post on it? I'd actually found it via Chicago Boyz in Feb 2006, just after McCain released the letter to the public.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 7, 2008 3:52 PM

February 28, 2008

Obama Foriegn Policy

(Like everything else, barely distinguishable from Senator Clinton's)

1) Bomb sovereign allies without approval;
2) Abrogate commitments in the Middle East;
3) Piss off trading partners;
4) "Restore America's Standing in the World!"

Daniel Drezner notes that Canada and Mexico are not so keen on "renegotiating" NAFTA, and links to an FT story:(WARNING: British spelling)

Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s ambassador to the US, told the Financial Times that the US, Canada and Mexico had all benefited from Nafta and warned against reopening negotiations.

“Mexico does not support reopening Nafta,” he said. “It would be like throwing a monkey wrench into the engine of North American competitiveness.”

Mexican diplomats believe a renegotiation could resurrect the commercial disputes and barriers to trade that the agreement itself was designed to overcome.

Jim Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, also expressed “concern” about the remarks by the Democratic candidates.

“Nafta is a tremendous benefit to Americans and perhaps the [candidates] have not had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the benefit to Americans and the American economy of Nafta,” he said.


Senator Clinton assured, in a recent debate, that "the world will breathe a sign of relief when George Bush leaves office." I'm not sure that's as universal as her health care mandates.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:27 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

5) Unilaterally invade Iraq if al Qaeda establishes bases there, unless they've already done so, in which case, unilaterally abandon Iraq to al Qaeda. [The "eat cake and still have it" policy to prove he's not a metrosexual.]

Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2008 3:25 PM

February 22, 2008

Obama As Libertarian

I like Megan McArdle's writing in the Atlantic. That's one big name blogger they were wise to pick up.

She's guest blogging at Instapundit this week, and she's still leaning toward pulling the lever for the Junior Senator from Illinois.

In the general? I might not vote for Obama; I will not vote for McCain. There are some things more important than the economy, and free speech is among them. Yes, I don't like Obama's stance on the Second Amendment, but the difference is, the president has little wiggle room right now on the second, while McCain might do serious further damage to the first, or the fourth. I dislike the steps Obama is willing to take in order to achieve his goals of economic equality. But these are as nothing to the notion that citizens have to be protected from information because Big Daddy John thinks we'll get bad ideas in our heads.

I conclude that Ms. McArdle is not a Prosperitarian. She gives this paragraph in response to an absolute thrashing of Senator O by Michael Tanner at CATO.
And it's not just businesses that would feel the regulatory hand of an Obama presidency. Consumers too will have to pay, as he imposes new costs on products ranging from homes to automobiles and appliances. In almost everything we do, Obama sees a need for the government to intervene.

A President Obama would mean a much bigger, more intrusive, and costlier government. Indeed, when considering his policies, one searches in vain for any break with liberal orthodoxy. Personal accounts for Social Security? Entitlement reform? School choice? Obama rejects them all, calling such proposals, "Social Darwinism."


I'm not too keen on McCain-Feingold, but it pales in comparison (read the whole CATO piece).

Posted by John Kranz at 7:34 PM

Advice

"Be wary of giving advice," begins an old saying, "wise men don't need it and fools won't heed it."

There are not too many wise men or women in the race for President this (or any) year, but John Stossel offers them all some advice, cribbed from Hayek: Presidents Can't Manage the Economy

The candidates see the global economy as an arena in which countries compete against one another -- an economic Olympiad with winners and losers. Politicians love to promise they will keep America No. 1, as if that matters in a worldwide marketplace.

America as a nation does not compete against China or South Korea or Japan. American companies compete against companies in other countries, but that's something else. The purpose of production is consumption, and American consumers prosper when foreigners compete successfully with American companies.

A president who sees the global economy as a competition among nations will be tempted to intervene on behalf of the "United States" and create "good American jobs." That's how governments mess up economies.


The wise man here is Rep. Ron Paul (who says I never say anything nice about him?) and the fools are, well, everyone left who has a chance, and Governor Huckabee.

It's a great and succinct piece worth reading in full. Hat-tip: Everyday Economist

Posted by John Kranz at 2:16 PM

February 21, 2008

Repairing America's Global Standing

I never tire of that promise from our Democratic friends. President Bush has inculcated such antipathy for our blessed nation. The world hates us. And Obama/Clinton/Edwards will repair the damage.

I'm sure your average BBC reporter or Guardian columnist will be happier on Day One, but this argument is specious on so many levels, anybody who says it -- or listens uncritically -- has just not been paying attention. Even Bob Geldof likes him!

The WSJ Ed Page brings up a good point as well. In addition to wooing the chattering classes on the European Continent and deciding whom and whom not to bomb, it seems that the President of the US has some pretty significant effect on foreign policy through trade. And Senator Obama will not be using this tool to "bring us together." At least not when the Union vote is up for grabs.

President James Hoffa bestowed the powerful union's [Teamsters'] blessing on Mr. Obama yesterday, not so coincidentally only days after the Senator declared his opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. In a statement inserted in the Congressional Record last week, Mr. Obama said he believes the pact doesn't pay "proper attention" to America's "key industries and agricultural sectors" like cars, rice and beef. Opposition to free-trade deals is now a union litmus test, especially for the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union, which endorsed the Senator last Friday.

To be fair, I don't think anybody campaigning on "repairing the damage" has any more liberal view on trade. But that's how you make friends.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:09 PM

February 10, 2008

Dirigsme

So I dream last night that I am participating in a "man in the street" interview. A young lady asks me to "describe -- in one word -- why I would not vote for Senator Clinton."

"Dirigisme," I say.

My interviewer is not familiar with the term and asks me to spell it. With perfect, Leno-Letterman timing, I look at the camera and say "Oh, I have other Hillary words that are much easier to spell."


Wow, dream jk is much funnier than real jk or perhaps the writers’' strike is over.

Senator Clinton is the perfect foil for that joke, but I was thinking of the word because I watched Senator Obama speak last night. His speeches have been more about rhetorical flourish than polity, but last night he let some of his leftist ideas leak out.

Quoting from memory, he said that the fight for Universal Health Care will not be easy because the pharmaceutical firms will not give up their profits; a new energy policy will be tough to enact because Exxon-Mobile made $11 Billion last quarter.

Ah, yes, the failures of the free market. Had pharmaceutical firms discovered thousands of wonderful compounds that lengthened and enriched people’s lives, and had the energy companies kept this nation supplied with ample fuel and electricity for a lower and lower portion of GDP in the face of world instability and increasing regulation, no doubt Obama would have --- wait a minute, all of that did happen!

This is the President who is going to transcend partisan politics and bring us together. Well, I guess Lenin brought people together in a way...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM