Monday, October 27, 2008

Financial Shenanigans

I predict this will be a huge story--after the election!

Teachable Citizens: Do We Get a Cookie from the Teacher?

Kaus links to this quote from Obama describing his great speech on race that was one of the most important of the century for about a week as being prompted by his realization that this was a "teachable moment."  What is remarkable is that this is what he remembers from these events, not the fact that he ended up throwing the Reverend under the bus just two weeks later.  Like Kaus, of course, I also agree that the idea of the electorate as slow students is a bit hard to stomach. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

If Europe is so Great then how come....?

Kimbal's piece on the relative size of the problems in American and European finance.  Turns out that Europe is in much worse shape.  Such bad shape that they are driving up the dollar!  Thanks, euro-screw-ups!  It is also worth noting that the financial crisis did not start here and spread to them as much as it was first detected here.  The fact that it "started here" is really a testimony to the greater openness of our system and strictness of our regulations.

The Real Ayers

What if a person were running for high office and was found to have been on the board of a charity where he worked with a former member of the KKK?  Surely this would not disqualify him, though it would, perhaps, be a cause of concern.  Now what if we find that the association were a bit stronger than simply being on the board together, but that the KKK member had, in fact, recruited the person to be on the chief executive of the board -- the only executive position ever held by this person?  What if the person, once recruited, turned around and voted funds to the former KKK member, even after other members of the board had raised questions about the propriety of such dealings?  What if the funds that he had voted to the former KKK member were to put the former KKK member in charge of the education of some children in public schools?  What if they had gone on to work together on other boards? You would, I expect, be more concerned.

Now what if the former KKK member had not just been in the KKK, but had been a founding member, an ideologist for the group, a designer of bombs for them that were specifically designed to kill people though, through their own incompetence, had only succeeded in killing members of their own group?  And what if the former KKK member were unrepentant?  Unrepentant not only about the violence, publicly stating that his only regret was that he hadn't set more bombs, but about the goals of the group?  In fact, loudly and publicly proclaiming that he is still working for the same goals only by different means?   Surely this would give you pause? 

Now what if this man called himself a moderate? Would you not feel entitled, indeed, obligated to ask how this moderation squares with the Association of described above? Why, if you are indeed a moderate, did a former member of the KKK decided to recruit you to head the foundation he'd created? Was the beneficiary of the funds you disposed of?

And even if, after all this, you decided you would vote for this man after all, would you feel guilty for asking these questions? Would you feel that by investigating these questions you had somehow sullied political discourse in your society? Had somehow violated the rights of the man who was asking for your vote?

Surely not. And yet this is exactly the position of the American electorate in the current campaign. We are told that to even ask about this association is to engage in McCarthyite tactics, is to incite hatred, perhaps even endangering life of the candidate, to be a racist.

It is one of the standard functions of an election campaign to make a systematic comparison between the candidates rhetoric and stated goals, and the candidates prior conduct. To ask whether a candidate stated goals reflect his real goals, whether the candidates will stated goals are reflected in his past conduct, is not cheapening our democracy or degrading our political discourse, it is a requirement of democratic discourse. When have we ever shied away in comparing the candidates "dreams" for the future with his actions and associations in the past?

Never, until now.

Obama promises change; he has already delivered and we have already lost.

Of course, one might argue that the comparison is unfair. The Weather Underground were merely idealistic youths that went too far. Or, that though their methods were "despicable," as Obama said of this "guy who lived in his neighborhood," their goals were mobile or least understandable.

Even if one accepts this argument, their goals were certainly not moderate. No one can seriously argue that the Weather Underground was not a far left organization, nor can they argue that Ayers is anything other than a radical leftist now. indeed, William Ayres is at pains to point out that his  beliefs haven't changed. Far from repentant, he is proud.

Nor is there any reason to put the word terrorists in scare quotes in their case. The Ayers'  designed bomb  in that killed the members of the Weather Underground who were assembling  it was, by Arizona's mission, packed with nails and sharp objects in order to kill more soldiers at Fort Dix dance where they intended to detonate. If they did not kill more people it was thanks not to their compassion but to their incompetence. 

The argument is not that Obama is a terrorist, but that he is a leftist. The argument is not that he will conspire with terrorists, but that he has a similar view of the world.

This is a special election for me. I lived in Mr. Obama's neighborhood when he was State Senator. This will not only be my second chance to vote for Senator McCain, whom I supported in the Republican primary in 2000, being my second chance to vote against Barak Obama.

As a graduate student at the University of Chicago I lived in district of state Senator Barak Obama.  It is no ordinary place. it comprises the two census districts in the United States which represent the largest gap in wealth between any two contiguous census districts in the country. It comprises not only desperately poor areas like the Robert Taylor homes, but extremely wealthy areas, like the Hyde Park neighborhood around the University of Chicago. And thus it is a land of contrasts. But one thing is constant: its politics are of the radical left. Baraka by was seen as a moderate and conciliatory figure who could reach across ideological lines, but it was only the line between the radical black nationalism former Black Panther Bobby Rush (who was our congressional representatives) and the post-nationalist socialists of the U of C faculty, two flavors of far and farther left.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Stealth Candidate

Obama is the Presidential analogue to the David Souter nomination: a candidate that wins because he has nothing to provide the basis of an attack. Souter had written virtually nothing other than narrowly drafted opinions, his scholarly accomplishments being virtually nil. Obama has an equally thin written record, though in his case it is as much because he is allowed to get away with not producing it or talking about it as much as not having it. Rich lowry makes a similar argument.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Biden: the gift that keeps on talking

A writer with a great name quotes in buying this latest gaffe at length, a practice more columns should take up. You almost couldn't make it up and how Saturday Night Live resists the temptation of going after this guy is beyond me. He even ends with:

"I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here."

No, Joe, don't worry: you're on the side of the angel, the Obamessiah, and in the state of grace reporters can hear no wrong, or at least not those who depend on them for their news.

The Obama and Ayers Saga Chronicled

 A nice cataloging of the competing and ever-changing explanations Obama has given of his relationship with Ayers.

Blow Joe

 Biden's gaffes and the deafening silence of the mass media analyzed here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Intelligence vs. Glibness

 Here's an excellent post from Todd Zywicki at the Volokh Conspiracy on the difference between   intelligence and goodness, with a reference to another piece in the American thinker on the same topic by Randall Hoven

My own thoughts on Sarah Palin's  intelligence are there she meets the first test but having a sound mind:  she agrees with me. Of course some people can just agree with me through luck or habit, but usually takes some sustained thinking to come to the correct conclusion -- mine -- on such a large number  issues. Such broad agreement with me is unlikely to be due to just coincidence and so must surely be attributed to intelligence.

I've been struck by how certain people are that Obama is intelligent because he speaks well. I think we are witnessing the birth of a new Mandarinate  based on certain, highly specialized, education. Instead of the Confucian classics are new mandarins are talked constitutional  law. Instead of having beautiful handwriting and knowing lots of characters, David Vance by being able to argue themselves out of any corner, make a distinction that rescues them from any apparent contradiction, and greatly recommend a course that takes the middle between two extremes, preferably a course that involves taking as little action or risk as possible. In other words, bullshitting. 

I think that both McCain and Palin  our looked on with some contempt by members of this new class, this new Mandarinate, precisely because of their inability to bullshit.   they are too honest. It even has this terrible habit of when she doesn't know something saying that she doesn't know. Even more excusable sometimes before saying she doesn't know, she actually thinks about it. This was her undoing in the Couric interview, for instance. When she was asked if she knew any times the McCain fought for regulation she was supposed to pivot, and say something like, "of course, Katie, but the real question is..." Instead she inexcusably said something along the lines of I don't know and don't get back to you. One of my colleagues in the political science department said that she was shocked at payments in the middle of the two turn the question around to something she wants to talk about, as if this were a desirable ability.

It may certainly be a desirable ability in a trial lawyer, but it seems of limited use, if not positively pernicious, in any walk of life concerned with actually accomplishing things. I remember reading James McPherson's comments on Grant's memoirs and his orders to generals in the field. McPherson said that it was striking how clear grants instructions were.  It was always playing what Grant expected his subordinate to do and when he expected the subordinate do it. What makes this unusual,  as I recall McPherson's argument, was that it left Grant no out if things went wrong. Most of the generals typically wrote their orders with enough  wiggle room so that if things turned out badly they could avoid blame. Grant left himself no such outs. He was not bullshitter.

I think  that Palin  is a bit like Grant in this regard. She is concerned with getting things done and so has not cultivated the ability to hide behind words. It is no use to someone who wants to get someone else to do something to obscure their own meaning. the ability to expand abstractions with one hand and whittle them down with fine distinctions with the other is mainly of use to people concerned with fixing responsibility, either claiming credit or escaping blame. It is the skill that defines lawyers; it is a quality that repels others.

That Palin and McCain not cultivated this skill speaks highly of them. That  are new Mandarinate has equated with ability and wisdom, is a bad sign for us.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Plumbing the Deepsts of Steyn's Wit

Here Steyn never gets around to crunching the numbers of Obama's tax plan, but has so much fun inventing new plays on the Onointed one's name that it hardly seems to matter. 

The Credit Crunch and Congress

A learned discussion of the government's involvement in the current crisis from an historical perspective from John Steele Gordon. 

Service with a Smile

Not-for-Profit doesn't mean poor, anymore.  Especially in San Francisco.

Schulman on Class Anxiety and Palin Hatred

Brilliant article by Sam Schulman.  The greatest trick a ruling class can pull is to hide the fact that it is a class.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

times have changed

 here is a post about Cindy McCain's lawyer complaining to the Times. He argues that if they're going to to a story about Cindy McCain's past drug use why not Barak Obama's? He points out that they haven't even tried to interview Obama's drug dealer, whom he talked about in his autobiography.

you know times have changed when the controversial statement is the claim that a candidate's drug dealer should be interviewed. The fact that he has a drug dealer is not part of the story.

Mr. Dowd, Cindy McCain's attorney, goes on to make this argument:

"I suggest to you that none of these subjects on either side are worthy
of the energy and resources of The New York Times. They are cruel hit
pieces designed to injure people that only the worst rag would
investigate and publish. I
know you and your colleagues are always preaching about raising the
level of civil discourse in our political campaigns. I think taking
some your own medicine is in order here."

 how in the tank are they?

I have one prediction to make: if Obama does win this election it will end up destroying the press as we know it. Once he is elected all of these stories as they have been ignoring become fair game. The press is restrained itself in order to see their preferred candidates get elected, but once that happens the other, normally more powerful, imperative kicks in: the urge to compete. There are just too many good stories about Obama's past and been ignored. Once  he is safely ensconced in office, there will be nothing to keep the press often. I expect that will along with these stories will appear stories of how they had been earlier spiked or suppressed by the "will of the newsroom."

Obama is the most liberal candidate for president perhaps ever. It is hard to think of a man whose underlying preferences are so far from those of the median voter.  his statements are, on the surface, images of moderation. His actions, particularly those before he got to the Senate, are those of a hard left radical. As president he he will not be  able to help revealing this. He has to make too many appointments, too many executive decisions, for his true preferences to remain secret long.

The great disadvantage  under which  liberal intellectuals operate is their belief that deep inside every American beats the heart of a Swede. They are convinced that the only thing which stops the American people from expressing this preference at the polls is the manipulation of opinion by their enemies and be stirring up of retrograde prejudices among those poor, frightened, economically insecure  lower classes, who out of their economic insecurity, "cling to their guns and to their religion." there is is the, "try it you'll like it,"  theory of public policy: if only we can institute socialism people realize how much better it is for them. Moreover, they are, in their own way, as isolated and insulated from opposing views as the most insular white suburbanite in a gated community, or backwoods Baptist Bible thumper in darkest Alabama. They never hear opposing voices. That is  why William Ayers could become a respectable figure in Hyde Park: most Americans on being introduced to such a man would grow their hands back in disgust. Obama saw and nothing controversial in handing over other people's children to be educated by him. Why should he have? No one else he ever talk to did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How Do You Feel About Right Wing Hate Groups at McCain Rallies?

I have been asked this by my liberal friends.  I tell them I feel about them the same way I feel about witches--I am very much against them and am glad they don't exist.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Silent Cal Can Tell Us about a President Obama

Calvin Coolidge had the nickname Silent Cal.  Once, at a dinner party, a woman who had been seated next to the President said, “they bet me that mean I couldn’t get you to say three words all evening.” Coolidge answered, “You lose.”

His personality fit with his conception of how to do the job.  “People come into your office to ask you for things. Usually these are things they shouldn’t have, but if you just sit there long enough without saying anything they’ll usually just get up and leave.”

Coolidge’s little story draws our attention to a fact about the presidency: it mostly involves giving people money. And so, in asking whether or not some would be a good president, a reasonable thing to examine would be what kind of people they’ve given money to, especially other people’s money.

This is why it is fortunate that the Annenberg foundation has finally consented to release the records of the time it was run by Senator Obama.  After all, the senator has an unusually short political career for a presidential candidate, and has been unusually reluctant to release records that other politicians make public as a matter of course: his legislative records, college transcripts, etc..

Obama was the founding Chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Grant, from 1995- 1999.  The Annenberg foundation gave $50 million – an amount which later grew to some $160 million through other contributions – to the Chicago organization to improve elementary education in Chicago.  Obama’s job was to decide who got the Annenberg foundation’s money.  It was his first big job and his first and only executive position.  And yet, Senator Obama has shown little interest in talking about this part of his resume.

Part of the reason may be that according to their own audits the organization’s own internal reports their efforts did not achieve much: students at schools that received the challenge Grant showed no statistically significant improvement.  Fortunately for Mr. Obama he was not the mayor of a small town where going through $160 million without anything to show for it might be something of a problem.

Perhaps part of the reason Mr. Obama’s efforts produced so little in the way of educational achievement was that the people he Obama said yes to were more interested in radical politics than reading and math.  One of the groups that Obama decided to get money was one run by William Ayers, the unrepentant Weather Underground member.  Ayres’ group sought to inspire grade school children to recognize the American system as a repressive tool of capitalism and empower them to resist. 

Obama’s supporters counter that it is ridiculous to think that the Annenberg Foundation, created by a conservative Reagan Administration member, would be supporting radical causes, but that is precisely the point.  Ambassador Annenberg probably did not expect the money he put up to improve reading and math scores be used for radical indoctrination. 

Senator Obama’s supporters are indignant about these questions, claiming it is guilt by association.  But “association” is a rather broad term. It can cover everything from a guy who just happens to live in your neighborhood to a guy you to whom you entrusted the education of other people’s children.  That one happens to be on a board with someone we don’t like tells us nothing; that one decides to give money to him tells us quite a lot.  The amount of money spent on education may not shift wildly with whoever is President, but the way in which that money is spent often does.  Obama has portrayed himself as a moderate, but the list of people and organizations to whom he has directed substantial resources—Reverend Wright, ACORN, Bill Ayers—suggests something else. 

Senator McCain has the same problem in the form of his involvement in the Keating five scandal.  But whatever one thinks of Senator McCain’s answers to these questions he has never suggested that people don’t have a right to ask them.  Senator Obama stands poised to become the first President since Jimmy Carter to have a majority of his own party in the House and a filibuster proof margin in the Senate.  We are, in effect, handing over to him 100,000 Annenberg challenge grants.  If we don’t like the people to whom he has given other people’s money, we may not like how he spends ours. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Even CNN can see it

Here is CNN's Wolf Blitzer reluctantly digesting the news that ACORN and Obama really are on the same team.

Left Wing Hate Round-up

Nice round up of the left-wing hate speech that has been ignored or even, incredibly, favorably received by the media. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bob Krum

An interesting argument for why the increased Democratic registration numbers might not pan out in increased votes from Bob Krum.  He points out that many people are being hounded or enticed into registering multiple times by ACORN activists and their minor blandishments.  If these people vote only once it will mean that they are not going to have the effect on the election that registration numbers would imply.  Moreover, if they only registered to get an extra pack of cigarettes or get them off their backs they might not vote at all, given that voting is a higher "cost" activity than registering.


Glenn Reynolds nails it:

NYT article on Obama and Nuclear power

If this isn't against I would hate to see what is. Here is an article the NYT explaining why Obama isn't against nuclear power, he just doesn't want to build any new ones.  He is willing to let existing plants continue in operation and will consider building new ones on that magical day when all of the concerns about storage of waste have been addressed. 

Oh?  That's helpful. Now can I be considered for free speech if I oppose anyone writing new books but am not advocating burning old ones?  And even in favor of new speech if I am happy to have it once the concerns about "harmful" speech have been addressed to the satisfaction of the interest groups that share my concern and I designate as the true guardians of the welfare of the people?  If he isn't anti-nuclear the words have no meaning.  He is the ultimate Mandarin, playing word games to get what he wants past the people.

Duplicity Obama's Ally

John Dickerson argues in Slate that the cynicism that Obama is running against is what is finally making the questions being raised about his relationship with Ayers ineffective: voters now expect politicians to use whoever is convenient to advance their careers.

An Argument Against Hereditary Aristocracies

Here is Bill Buckley's son explaining why he is voting for Obama.  Intellect and temperament are his arguments, that and Sarah Palin. 

Truely Scary

Here is a nice report from Michael Barone on the Obamites' campaign to suppress free speech.  It is not just in the campaign but in their policy proposals, such as card check, the fairness doctrine and speech codes.  The normally staid Dr. Barone uven used the term "thugocracy." 

Friday, October 10, 2008

I need the Eggs

It is a bit like that joke when the guy tells the doctor his brother is crazy because he thinks he is a chicken.  When asked why he doesn't take him to a doctor he says he can't because he needs the eggs.  Here is the head of Ohio State's elections complaining about a judge's order to purge the rolls of unqualified voters because a) it is unnecessary and b) it would cause chaos.  Now if it would cause chaos wouldn't that imply that there are a lot of unqualified voters and so the purging of the rolls is, you know, necessary?  It is like a thief indignantly refusing to return stolen property because 1) he is not a thief and wouldn't have any stolen property and b) can't afford to give up all this nice stuff he's got there.

Yes, repeat no

Professional journalism in action: fact checking McCain comes to opposite conclusions.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

And His Charming Wife

The ties between the Obama's wife and Ayers wife are much deeper and cannot be denied.  Moreover, she was the real sicko. 

Obama: not just another baby kisser

The Obama campaign admits he "misrepresented" his vote against the Born Alive Act.  If this were about someone else it could almost be a story!

remember Bill?

  And makes an obvious point which has surprise surprise, and mentioned in the mainstream media. The financial deregulation which Mr. Obama blames for the current financial crisis was a creation of the Clinton administration.  is not only illogical to blame a problem that is centered on only a part of the financial system -- the mortgage market -- on the entire financial system, it also implicates the Democrats. Is McCain guilty of causing the current problem because he supported President Clinton, a Democratic president?   if one accepts this argument, the Democrats are convicted by their own words. No wonder the press as "forgotten" to mention who deregulated the financial industry.

Of course McCain does not make this argument. He is at a disadvantage. He is an honest man. He voted for the financial deregulation because he thought it was a good idea. He would've voted for it if it been proposed by Republican or a Democrat. so, they're accused of having voted for the financial deregulation which caused the problem by a Democrat it doesn't occur to him to turn the question around him. He defends his decision. He defends his decision out because he believed it then. A more practiced liar, a politician more focused on expediency, would have no trouble skipping over a principled defense of his actions -- his actions not being based on principle.  he would move immediately to the challenge to logic  a man arguing that we need to put a Democrat in the White House  because of your support for the last Democrat who was in the White House.

Rewarding the culprits in

  It is one thing to see the thieves get away or go unpunished. It is quite another to see them caught red-handed and then instead of being punished being given an award for returning stolen property.  having been caught with chickens under their arms, they are not only being given an award for returning stolen property they are being given keys to the chicken coop. They are reaping the political benefit from the very crisis they  caused.

That is what is happening in this election. The Democrats, who are the cause of this economic meltdown, are perversely benefiting from it.  the press with its ideological certainty that the problem lies in a general lack of regulation has blamed the problem at the door the Republicans. Their questions in their reporting are premised on the cause of the problem being deregulation itself. They are in curious Dennis as to the relationship between the Democrats and Fannie and Freddie, and, more importantly, between the credit market crisis and the mortgage market problem, has left the casual observer with no inference but that the Republicans are the culprits. McCain's "greed on Wall Street" rhetoric does not help matters.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

There is something about Obama

There is something about Obama that I don't think anyone has commented on. He has this tendency to frame problems as being simply a matter of telling someone to do some obvious thing that they are already trying to do as if he is the first person to have noticed a problem.  I can't put my finger on exactly what to call it.  It is a sort of know it all little kid kind of thing. I wrote them a letter and told them they should do something about these sub-prime interest loan thing. Well, well, noticed that was a problem?  How cleaver of you.  Don't suggest a solution, don't take any heat. "I wrote them a letter."? I am reminded of the answer he gave about nuclear power, something to the effect that it would support it if but that he had told them they had to do something about the storage problem. --the storage problem?  How nice of you to think of that.  We were going to put it in tupperware and bury it out back.

Something else he isn't telling us

Good article on Obama's time as a director of the Joyce Foundation.  The article documents the underhanded tactics the foundation financed and apparently even conceived to influence law reviews. 

One thing that is not addressed is how Senator Obama voted when he was on the board.  Neither are the minutes of the meetings discussed.  It would
make a great deal of difference if he was there arguing against these
proposals and voting against them. On the other hand, if he is voting
for these proposals it is all the more damming. As it is his supporters
will surely say that he should not be held responsible for what the
majority voted for. To hold him responsible in that way would have the
effect of penalizing a person for serving on the board of an
organization that did anything they disagreed with.

Still, the questions almost ask themselves.  Do you support the efforts to serruptitiously influence academic publications?  Did you support their efforts to bar opposing voices from speaking on campuses that took your foundation's money?  And why, if you are a supporter of an individual's right to bear arms, vote for a campaign to have it read out of the Constitution in the first place?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Frank Rich

Kass on Obama

Kass points out that Obama was a go along to get along kind of guy, but offers nothing specific that Obama has done that is new.  It seems that there would be more specifics in this attack, though even without a scandal attaching to Obama the contrast with Palin, who actually took on corruption in her own party, is telling.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

More on Obama Ayers

Detailed quotes from Ayers, a "small c" communist. Priceless.

If American Capitalism is such a Failure?

Turns out the Euro-geniuses are in even worse shape.  Funny, I don't recall them having a deregulation?  Only a lot of sophisticated public-private partnerships.

don't pull your punches

  Comments by call Paul Begala  showed the danger of the McCain campaign’s attack on the “ guilt by association,” front.  They got argues that McCain was also associated with some strange people in 1981, through serving on the same board as some of them.

That is precisely why McCain and Palin have to be much more specific about the nature of the association between William Ayers and Obama. It is not that they were merely on the same board, but the air is gave Obama the job as head, chairman of the Annenberg challenge grant.   This was Obama’s only real executive experience, and it was a failure.  By its own estimate, the organization accomplished little with over $100 million. And he didn’t just show up together in meetings. Obama approved billions of dollars going through  Ayers’ organization. This organization at a radical, anti-American agenda, that talk to school children in public schools. Some of the board members thought that this arrangement represent a conflict of interest. Obama dismissed it, voting with those who allowed Ayers to both sit on the board distributing the grant that he’d written and receiving money from that grant.

 Fortunately for Obama he wasn’t the mayor of a small town, where blowing $100 million on radicals indoctrinating children in public schools and showing no results for it, might be considered something of a problem.

The McCain campaign continues to pull its punches. They merely raise an eyebrow. They use the word “associates,” which invites the kind of counter argument that Begala outlines. Obama is an unknown quantity. He has a thin legislative record and a voting record that in spite of  unusually sparse attendance  and an unusually high number of “presents” still puts him at the extreme left of the Senate.  If, as is expected, the Democrats have a  filibuster proof majority in the Senate and control of the House, we will see a specter not seen in decades: complete control of the  elected branches of government by one party. Therefore it is extremely important to examine what he has done in his life to predict how he will use the enormous power of the presidency. On the evidence of his time at the Chicago challenge grant, we are in for some unpleasant surprises. The McCain camp is not only within its rights to bring up these issues, it is its duty.

In the tank? Naaahhh.

 Professional journalist Solodad O’Brien calls a 12- 11 win in a focus group of 32 and “overwhelming victory” for Biden in the debates. Fair and balanced as  always. (here's a link from Megan McArdle)

 You know the thing that really worries me about Sarah Palin,  he said she sometimes cites her degree in journalism as something to be proud of.

Bill Ayres and Obama

 Bill Ayers didn't kill anyone but wasn't for want of trying. Here's a link to an article by one of his intended victims who, like Obama, was only a child when Ayres committed his detestable  acts.  it seems that the Weathermen didn't particularly the boy's father, who was a  New York State judge and who was not ruling for the proletariat. Ayers and his fellow revolutionaries decided to teach him a lesson, Kim and the rest of his sleeping family. They set to gasoline bombs at the front door and one under the gas tank of their car.

 I wonder, is it somehow relevant to the American people’s decision about who should be president, that one of the candidates in the election approved giving millions of dollars for the purpose of educating children in public schools, to a man who has attempted to murder them? Or my just being racist?

Our incurious media

 here is a link to an interesting post about some of the contributors to the about campaign, found via it seems that  Obama has received over $17,000 from a contributor named  "Mr. Goodwill."

 "If Mr. Obama were a Republican, the news media
would be demanding he disclose the names of all of his donors - as er,
the Republican has done - so we can see if there are among them other
Good Wills and Doodad Pros.

CNN recently sent a reporter to Little Diomede Island, the westernmost
part of Alaska (2.4 miles from Russia) to determine whether Sarah Palin
had ever been there to see Russia with her own eyes. But CNN - and the
rest of the media - have been incurious about the Obama campaign's

  Jack Kelley of the Toledo  Blade also makes a good case that much of this money came from overseas. You just can't get more in the tank in our mainstream media.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A good start

McCain is finally starting to call the Democrats on Fannie and Freddie but he is still going very lightly. Pethokoukis nails it:

" markets, and by extension Reaganomics and the last 25 years of
American economic policy, are getting the blame for the housing and
credit crisis."

No Shame in my Game

The Democrats in the House congratulating themselves on propping up their friends at Fannie and Freddie.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

For the Record

Here is a nice collection of what they said about Fannie and Freddie before the fall. Anyone want to guess which side wanted to continue to "roll the dice?"

Environmentalists oppose solar power

The real plan is to get us to live tepees and cook with buffalo chips.

Europe's Banks in Trouble

Well, at least that will spare us some Euro-gloating.  Seems that their banks are in even more trouble.

Blowface strikes again

Here is uberblowhard Bill O'Reilly making us feel sorry for Barney Frank.  Frank is so wrong on this issue there is no reason to yell out him.  Aside from the general fact that being rude is,well, rude, it is also counter productive.  Given that Frank really is responsible for this problem and is so blatently wrong, letting him try to talk his way out of it is the worst thing that you could do to him. 


Can Pakistan's weapons hit Israel?  Seems I would have known that.  I can't really believe that.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Can Pakistan's weapons hit Israel?  Seems I would have known that.  I can't really believe that.

Live blogging the debate

Terrible start and going to be nice to each other.

It wasn’t Wall Street that was running wild friends at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that ran wild and the only man in Washington to try to stop them with John McCain.

Why does she want to tell us times are bad? We know this. I suppose this works but I’ve never understood it. It’s clear she has not adjusted her answer in response to his. I suspect that’s going to be a pattern

John McCain sounded the warning but she doesn’t explain why that’s important.  She doesn’t really know her way around this issue.  But of course, neither does McCain.

She sounds hurried and canned.

Biden explains why he is able to reach across the aisle, but isn’t the issue the top of the ticket?

“The fundamentals of the economy are strong,” and she should defend that remark.

She gives a halfhearted defense of his remark, but she does respond directly, which is a good sign. And she turns the focus to the top of the ticket. Good move.

She is given the choice between greedy lenders and blaming homebuyers (voters). Gee, I wonder which one she will pick? She chooses lenders. Good move. But a better move would be to say Congress, particularly the Democrats in Congress who gave implicit backing to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bankers have always been greedy. But they don’t loan money to people who can’t pay it back. That only happens when you have the government insulating a private company from risk if it loses but allowing it to keep the money if it wins. That’s what got us into this problem and that is the responsibility of the Democrats.

Biden says McCain is at fault because he is in favor of deregulation. She has to make the distinction. It’s fine if the rich people are playing with their own money. Problem is when you give a guarantee from the government against their losses. That is what led to this problem.

Banks were deregulated for all of their business back in 1991. Investment banks were never regulated because they never had a guarantee from the government. That’s not what went wrong. What went wrong was the mortgage market, and what went wrong in the mortgage market was that government created these entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, staffed by Democratic pols, becoming a retirement home for Democratic lobbyists.

Man, Biden really knows each vote that happened in the Senate.

Biden makes a good point, the 400 times he voted to raise taxes is a bogus standard. Moreover he is correct she did not answer the deregulation question and it’s a terrible mistake because that should be something she should hit out of the park.

What about campaign finance reform? John McCain is the architect of the system. The top of the ticket went around the country saying it was fundamental to his is very being, fundamental to “what I’m about,” the system of campaign finance reform and then after checking his bank account a few days after winning the nomination, he changed his mind became the first politician residential candidates in our history to abandon the system.

Now we are on to whose taxes are going to be raised. He says people who make over $200,000 year are small businesses. That is correct, but doesn’t that admit his premise? That they really won’t raise taxes on anyone unless they’re already making $250,000 a year?

“Are you interested in defending Senator McCain’s health-care program?” I wonder if Senator Biden will be asked if he wants to defend any of Barak Obama’s plans?

Biden says that 95% of small business and make less than $200,000 a year. Sounds plausible, and the fact that he knows a statistic like that is kind of impressive.

Biden argues that you lose the $12,000 plan your employer to issue and all you get in return is $5000. Now isn’t that odd? The fact that the average health care plan through an employer is $12,000, isn’t that a problem? Doesn’t that indicate that there’s something wrong?

Palin has a very good comeback on that $4 billion tax break for Exxon Biden is talking about. “Bless their hearts, they’re doing what they have to do as CEO”s, but they’re not my biggest fans.” Biden is smiling as she said this. I think it’s a smile of admiration.

Obama vote against it before he voted for it. There is a certain disadvantage to knowing too much sometimes.

Biden takes advantage of her policies in Alaska and says he would like to apply them nationally. I guess that’s why he was smiling.

She blames Wall Street greed.  Then she gives us a short lecture on living within our means.

Why doesn’t she talk about Washington corruption?  Why focus on Wall Street corruption?  Doesn’t that play into the hands of those who want to make it all a matter of Wall Street regulation. 

Someone has to point out that if you can buy a house with no money down based on a teaser rate, and then can’t pay when the interest rate goes up, there’s nothing wrong with you defaulting on that mortgage. You don’t have any equity in the house. The rest of the American people don’t owe you anything. It took a risk to reasonable risk and if you just walk away you haven’t done too badly. You’ve been branding. And we can’t leave these nonperforming mortgages houses occupied because the market won’t clear. (This is where it can never be a politician, never think out loud)

Her neck looks really old.

She decides to ignore all that massive detail and swerve toward the issue of energy wins from a celebrity talk about that. Totally unscrupulous and the absolutely right thing to do. Yes, please lay into this were going to vote more money for windmill research Dodge. What are we going to do now?

Shouldn’t the governor of Alaska to take advantage of the fact that she lives in a very cold part of the world and if anyone has an excuse for not being too worked up about global warming it’s them?

She makes an excellent point. When we come out with all this purity, don’t drill here, all that happens is the oil was drilled in some other country where they care much less about the environment. All our precious concern for the environment is just moving the damage somewhere else to people who can much less afford to bear it.

One man’s vital energy research project is another man’s pork. John McCain voted against a lot of these because they happen to be in the district of an influential legislator. Paired

I feel reasonably certain that the oil will get here before the wind power.

“Drill baby drill,” she then corrects him. More jujitsu. Excellent.

Great the way she mentions that Biden called Obama out on voting against funding for our troops.

Biden saying that everyone’s in favor will bomb his plan now. Of course, everyone’s for leaving once you win. That the people that wanted to surrender and leave in the middle of the fight vindicated. It was said we should leave in the middle of flight and let the enemy take the field because the fight was hopeless are not vindicated when after we win we start talking about leaving. If we had done what Obama wanted to do we would have a humiliating defeat and Al Qaeda would have had a famous victory at the very center of the Arab world. At the very center of the world oil supplies. It would have been a disaster. It would’ve been in Vietnam on steroids.

Biden says they don’t have a plan because they don’t have a timetable for leaving. But of course this is a non sequitur. Obviously we want to leave. That’s why we’re welcome in the first place, because people know we want to leave.

Biden accuses McCain of voting to cut off funding for the troops. He explains the McCain voters against a $1.6 billion amendment for M-raps, because it had a timeline in it. Unfortunately, he didn’t oppose it because it included funding for the M-raps, which are stupid. The way you protect yourself from landmines is not hiding behind giant pieces of metal rumbling through the streets it’s by getting out of your vehicles getting to know the people convincing them that you can protect them from the terrorists and finding out from them who the terrorists are. To protect the troops by acting like the good guys, not like you’re afraid, not like you’re criminals who step out of the tanks.

Biden wants to defend Obama and his judgment against McCain’s on the conduct of the war in Iraq. Is that really a winning strategy? Is clearly something that Biden himself does not leave.

It is a pity the Democrats didn’t go after them when they had excellent though it was the first three times.

Again, Eifel helps out her boy, and turns Obama’s promise to meet face-to-face with America’s enemies within the first year of his presidency in two “having some level of engagement with our enemies.” Of course we have some level of engagement with our enemies. That is not and never has been the issue. The question is do we naively think that having face-to-face, heart-to-heart chats with cold-blooded murderers is going to bring them around.

Our friends and allies have been saying sit down talk.  The fact that Bush sent a high-level diplomat after five years is not a defeat, it is the result of five hard years of work through our allies in the six party talks are four party talks with Iran.

A two state solution is the solution, but what is standing in the way of that is not a lack of American diplomacy, is in transients on the side of Hamas and the PLO. And as long as we keep rewarding them for terrorism they will continue to be the obstacle.

Sometimes there are people you just can’t negotiate with. There’s nothing to negotiate about.

Has the administration’s policy towards his robe and an abject failure Western Mark well if you measured by the number of agreements they’ve had signed perhaps yes. If you measured by the number of Jews have been killed, it’s a great improvement. Israel finally faced up to the fact that they didn’t have a negotiating partner, so to protect themselves, they put up a wall. They stop suicide bombers cold. The rest the world turned on Israel attacked her President Bush defended her still buy her.

Now, in answer to his criticism of the Bush administration’s policy on Israel, she goes into this canned speech about too much finger-pointing. That is a shame. I like the way she was actually engaging him directly. More importantly, why is she admitting that the Bush of ministrations policy is going to be McCain administration’s policy?

Biden says “I haven’t heard how his policies will be different.” He is exactly right.

She’s asked about the use of nuclear weapons. She should’ve used this as an opportunity to criticize those who say that an Iranian nuclear weapon is no problem because it would have return address. Are such people saying that our security should be paced on the willingness to commit mass murder? If we must seriously contemplate a thing such a thing in the event of an Iranian nuclear weapon, isn’t that an argument for using military force to prevent having to face the choice?

“Our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle will not work in Afghanistan.” Biden takes that as a reason not to try the surge tactics in Afghanistan. But didn’t all of our generals say the same thing about the surge in Iraq?

“Nuclear weapons require nuclear arms control regime.” But isn’t the point that we already have one? We have a nuclear nonproliferation Treaty that the Iranians themselves signed. The problem is in not a problem is the lack of treaties it’s a lack of partners that will follow them. All of our problems is around and North Korea have evolved from getting them to live up to the obligations they’ve already signed his treaties. Getting him to sign more, having more diplomacy, is not going to move us ahead.

Biden wanted to go into Bosnia, in spite of the experts telling him that these people been fighting each other for thousands of years. He went against the experts and was proved right. Good for him. I’m about to make him an honorary neocon.

She should use these Biden positions to fork him, use them against him. Apply them to the situation in Iraq.

“When a country engages in genocide, when a country engaged in harboring people who are killing our people. Period.” Aren’t these arguments for a new meaning in Iraq?

Biden says “we would be tied down for years, we would not be greeted as liberators, we would have to deal with Sunni she fighting,” then why did he vote for the war? In defense of the neocons, they lease didn’t think these bad things would happen.

When she is nervous she smiles. It shows a lack of gravitas. It is not presidential. She should stop it.

The “heartbeat away” question comes up. Biden uses it as a queue for his stump speech.

The Bush policy of preemption and regime change. I kind of like those.

She, on the other hand, uses it as an occasion to repeat the word  “maverick. ”Then she goes into her, I’m just an everyday working class American,” shtick.

Biden says Bush has been bad and McCain agrees with his policies. That deserves a state answer.

“Let’s look ahead, doggonit.”

“The money was left behind,” is something she should jump on. How much did money go up under no Child left behind? I’ll bet it at least doubled.

She should use this as an opportunity to point out that all the other guys are senators. Then she should go on to talk about what she will do in the office.

She is in such a hurry to get her little bon mots out.

John McCain voted against the violence against women act. It is amazing that has not come up. It was 20 years ago I suppose, still, how often do you vote against apple pie?

I think she has a much more interesting story to tell about what she brings to the table, much better than these mechanical, canned recitations of a resume. She has had to deal with people telling her that this or that issue is over her head and she should just listen to the experts, and do as she is told. And she has stuck to her guns and proven them wrong. It seems a very good story for president. That ability, to not be intimidated by “experts” or “the people with experience” is pretty important. It is perhaps more important than knowledge in any one particular area.

Biden gives a list of places where Kane is not a maverick. She should hit back on every one of these.

If Bork had been on the court, elected officials would be making a lot of decisions that are now made by judges.  He congratulates himself on making the judiciary and object of ideological warfare.

Biden has been able to work across the aisle, it is the top of the ticket that has the problem there. She should say, “I think Senator Biden has set a fine example of bipartisanship. I wish the man of the top of the ticket could make the same boast.”

She never pauses between her sentences. It’s as if she’s afraid she’s going to be cut off if she stops and breathes.

Biden mentions, graciously, that McCain has kids in Iraq.

Biden: My Achilles’ heel - “my excessive passion.”—isn’t that in one of those self-help books?  In a job interview you say your fault is being too committed to your job?