Friday, October 31, 2008
I'm stuck in a concourse in Atlanta somewhat forced to watch CNN while waiting for a plane. CNN, in the few nauseating minutes I've watched, has insulted Gov. Palin, interviewed Obama ad nauseum and discussed the so called news that, by his grace, the One might actually lower himself to offer "a job" to McCain once we get through that falderal of an election. All this with the polls tightening and McCain now within only a few.
How embarrassing it would be to the MSM were McCain to pull an upset.
It is no wonder that CNN, NBC and the others have all lost viewers because of their overt bias in the recent weeks and months. Whatever the outcome, CNN has lost me. So has NBC and MSNBC.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Device
Monday, October 27, 2008
A Senescent Man's Guide to the Presidential Choices
Taken from today's WSJ, and put in table form to make review and decision making easier.
Short Term Economic Relief
|Sen. McCain proposes cutting the capital-gains rate on stock held for more than a year to 7.5%. He also would increase the amount of stock loss that is deductible against ordinary income from $3,000 to $15,000, and would tax withdrawals by seniors from IRAs and 401(k)s no more than 10%.||Sen. Obama proposes a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to families ($500 for individuals) and penalty-free withdrawals of 15% from 401(k)s and IRAs up to $10,000. He also wants to temporarily suspend minimum distribution requirements for retirement accounts.|
|Income Taxes||Sen. McCain wants to permanently extend all 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, raise the personal exemption for each dependent from $3,500 gradually over several years to $7,000 and keep the top tax rate at 35%, leaving "upper-income taxpayers" with "the most to gain under McCain's plan," according to a report by Deloitte Tax. The nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that the top 1% would see a tax cut of more than $125,000.||Sen. Obama favors tax cuts for middle-class workers and tax increases for top earners -- families that make more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 a year. He wants to extend most of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, but raise the top two marginal rates to 36% and 39.6%. Sen. Obama wants to eliminate taxes on seniors making less than $50,000 a year and to provide a "Making Work Pay" tax credit of 6.2% of the first $8,100 in wages (about $500) for individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. Outside analysts estimate that the top 1% of wage earners would see an average tax increase of $19,000.|
|Estate Taxes and AMT||Both candidates support extending the Alternative Minimum Tax's 2007 "patch" exemption levels and index for inflation, and changing the federal estate-tax law to make the $2 million per-person exemption ($3.5 million next year) portable or transferable from one spouse to another.||Sen. McCain has proposed a 15% estate tax (down from the current 45%) on roughly 0.2% of estates, those valued at more than $5 million per person. A $5 million estate would pay nothing under this plan, Deloitte Tax notes.||Sen. Obama wants to freeze the 2009 estate-tax structure, which taxes roughly 0.3% of estates -- those valued above $3.5 million per person -- at a top rate of 45%. According to Deloitte Tax, a $5 million estate would pay a tax of $675,000 under this plan.|
|Health Care||Sen. McCain wants to replace the current income-tax exemption for health-insurance premiums paid by employers with a refundable tax credit of $5,000 per family ($2,500 for individuals). Any unused credit could be deposited into a Health Savings Account. His Guaranteed Access Plan (GAP) would allow people denied coverage to obtain insurance through state-run high-risk pools administered by private insurers, according to a report issued by the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies. Sen. McCain wants to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, which could reduce the effectiveness of state regulations. Under this plan, premium payments for families would increase by about $379 and direct payments for health services by about $105. "This would be more than offset by a net increase in tax subsidies of $1,570" and wage gains resulting from employer savings, the Lewin Group says. The Lewin Group projects that the McCain plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 21.1 million people.||Sen. Obama proposes income-related subsidies for health insurance through a new national exchange, along with expanded access to Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and mandatory care for children. He would require employers that don't offer health coverage to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the national plan, with small businesses being exempt (and eligible for refundable tax credits on 50% of premiums). Under this plan, premium payments for families would fall by about $185 and direct payments for health services by $253. The Lewin Group projects the Obama plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 26.6 million people in 2010, from 48.9 million.|
|Investments||Both candidates offer plans to support small businesses, but they offer different strategies for capital gains, dividends and retirement savings that will affect investors.||Sen. McCain calls for maintaining the 15% top tax rate on dividends and long-term capital gains.||Sen. Obama wants to eliminate all capital-gains taxes on start-ups and small businesses but raise the top long-term capital-gains rate on securities and qualified dividends from 15% to 20% for families making more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 for individuals). He wants to tax carried interest as ordinary income.|
|Retirement & Social Security||Both candidates have moved to temporarily suspend the requirement that people over age 70½ tap their retirement accounts, but neither candidate has offered a substantial long-term plan to overhaul the way Americans save for retirement.||Sen. McCain favors privatizing Social Security in programs that allow younger workers to place a portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts invested in the market.||Sen. Obama wants to institute a 2% to 4% payroll tax on incomes above $250,000, split between employer and employee. It would take effect in 10 years or more. He also proposes a retirement-security plan to automatically enroll workers in a workplace pension plan. Employers that don't offer a retirement plan would be required to enroll employees in a direct-deposit individual retirement account. Sen. Obama also proposes a saver's credit to match 50% of the first $1,000 of savings for families earning less than $75,000.|
Noticing Less Interest in the Traditional Network News Outlets? You're not Alone
From colleague and fellow blogger, Steve Graham:
The following is from an ABC News Site:
The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game -- with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.
The media have covered this presidential campaign with a bias and that ultimately could lead to its downfall.
The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I've found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.
But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I've begun -- for the first time in my adult life -- to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was "a writer," because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist.
You need to understand how painful this is for me. I am one of those people who truly bleeds ink when I'm cut. I am a fourth-generation newspaperman. As family history tells it, my great-grandfather was a newspaper editor in Abilene, Kan., during the last of the cowboy days, then moved to Oregon to help start the Oregon Journal (now the Oregonian).
But read the whole thing.
Labels: 2008 Election
The Polls are Tightening (a little)
The latest polls and predictions (HT: NRO):
IBD/TIPP Monday: Obama 47%, McCain 44.2%
Zogby Monday: Obama 49.9%, McCain 45.1%
Gallup Monday (presidential preference poll): Obama 50%, McCain 45%
Barrons Prediction: GOP Loses 27 in House, 5 in Senate
Labels: 2008 Election
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Forgotten Man of the New Deal
From the WSJ
People always underestimate how bad things can get. So advised a guy who made millions as a short seller in the 1980s. His insight certainly is borne out in the continuing market selloff -- and one reason is the incentive for political actions that actually make things worse.
Raymond Moley, a New Dealer who ended up dissenting from the Roosevelt administration, voiced a well-founded fear that FDR and his brain trust were more interested in exploiting the crisis to expand their political majorities and centralize power than in getting the economy growing again. David Kennedy, the Yale historian, forthrightly addressed these considerations in his book "Freedom from Fear." Amity Shlaes, in her recent "The Forgotten Man," pushed the analysis further. Sadly, these are brave exceptions, because arguing about the FDR legacy is tantamount to taking sides in current political contests. Ben Bernanke has learned the monetary lessons of the Great Depression, but the political class is largely ignorant of how the disaster was prolonged by tax and regulatory policy out of Washington.
Our next president is likely to be a guy with some book learning and all the life lessons you can gain from three terms in the Illinois state senate. He's already besieged by excited advocates of a "New" New Deal, a vast expansion of federal responsibility to assuage the supposed insecurity of the Middle Class. Except there's a problem: Washington over the past 70 years has not surrendered the Middle Class to the law of the jungle but already made it dependent on government for retirement income and health care for fully a quarter of the average person's adult life. Without any change in policy or bold new initiatives, we will soon have European-like levels of taxes and government spending to meet these commitments. We don't have a crisis of insufficient government as (arguably) we did in the 1930s. We have a crisis of too much government -- an insight likely to be lost on anyone afflicted with indiscriminate FDR idolatry. Forced selling by hedge funds undoubtedly plays a role, but the market cannot but be discounting the likely outcome of the presidential election: An Obama landslide that would sweep from the table any nonstale vision of a path to the future based on privatization, personal savings and curing the third-party-payer illness of our health care system.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Wheels are Coming Off the McCain Straight Talk Express
Labels: 2008 Election
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
For Those Palin and Cheney Haters, a Word from the Next Veep
The following is a fairly average but nonetheless cuckoo comment from the next Vice President (HT: Patriot Post):
“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy... 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... 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.”
—Joe Biden **It won’t be apparent because you won’t be right.
Labels: 2008 Election
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Here is a Little Sacrilege for You
No-bama --> You Can Keep the Change
And now for a little sacrilege (HT: NRO):
Friday, October 17, 2008
You can win in the Ninth
Anyone watching tonight's ALCS know that you can come from a 7 - 0 deficit to win 8 - 7 in the ninth. Someone ought to wake up the McCain campaign management and tell them. It's possible.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Device
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Race Card
From Charles Krauthammer on Fox News when asked about a statement by Representative John Lewis, an Obama supporter and a prominent member of the civil rights leadership, who accused Senator McCain and Governor Palin of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division...[And t]here was a governor of the state of Alabama, George Wallace. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights.”:
When John McCain runs an ad with a white woman, Paris Hilton in it, he is accused of racism. He runs an ad with Franklin Raines, the former head of Fannie Mae in it, who is African-American, and that’s racist. And then he runs an ad with William Ayers, who is a white male in it, and that’s racist.
If it weren’t so comical, these promiscuous accusations of racism, it would be tragic.
The Obama campaign has been playing the race card over and over again. Look, this is a campaign that in the primaries succeeded in painting Bill Clinton as a racist.
Now, Clinton, with all of his flaws, this is a man who throughout his career from governor of Arkansas to president of the United States and beyond, has been a great and sincere friend of African-Americans who shared and tried to advance their aspirations. So if you can pull off a trick like that on Bill Clinton, you can pull it off on Republicans.
And look what Obama has said. He’s the one who raised the “Barack Hussein Obama” a year or two ago in which he said the Hussein is actually an asset and would be an asset in dealing with Muslims abroad. He’s the one who openly said that the Republicans will say I’m black, they will say he’s scary. They will say he’s different. They will say he doesn’t look like the guy on the dollar bill.
That is Obama preemptively accusing McCain of racism, which is a scurrilous charge. Racism is a serious charge in our country, and a false accusation is doubly serious. As we saw in the Duke lacrosse case, it can destroy lives. Given our history, it ought to be used with great care. And to accuse preemptively McCain of racism even before there is any evidence of it, and there has not been any evidence of it before or since, is scurrilous.
They say patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Accusations of racism is the last refuge of the liberal scoundrel, and it has been used again and again on the part of the Obama campaign.
Labels: 2008 Election
Another Great Depression?
Thomas Cooley 10.15.08
What's the difference between a financial crisis and a Depression?
At least initially, the symptoms appear similar. Banks won't lend to one another, even overnight. Strong and respected businesses cannot borrow short-term money in the commercial paper market even though their default rates are negligible. The banking systems in many countries have ceased functioning and required major government intervention. It is like a patient experiencing multiple organ failure because the basic circulatory system has gone kaput. Despite urgent measures, the patient appears unresponsive.
Yes, it's that bad ... but is it the beginning of another Great Depression?
That question has been posed repeatedly--and often feverishly--over the past several weeks. The answer--and I don't mean to be theatrical--is "No ... but ..." So first, let's talk about the "no," and then we'll come back to the "but."
The current situation in the U.S. economy is not even slightly good. The financial crisis is global, and real. Nevertheless, the impact on the "real" U.S. economy is not yet dire. To date, more than 700,000 jobs have been lost, and we can expect more, but some perspective is in order.
The losses to date represent less than .5% of the work force. In the relatively mild recession of 2001 to 2002, job losses equaled about 1% of the work force. In the much more severe recession of 1981 to 1982, job losses totaled nearly 3% of the labor force--six times today's figure. And in the (truly) Great Depression--invoked, now, with an alarmist frequency--job losses between 1929 and the trough in 1933 were 21% of the labor force; and by 1939, total employment remained 13% below 1929 levels.
Output in the Eurozone economies, as well as Britain, Japan and others, is shrinking; but measured output in the U.S. has yet to decline in the current slowdown. I believe it will shrink, but in the Great Depression, real output shrank by 38% between 1929 and 1933 and remained well below trend for a decade.
Evidently, we are a long way from a Great Depression.
Now, given the amount of hand wringing that is going on, some of you will assume that I'm channeling Mr. Micawber, one of literature's most hapless optimists. The situation is serious, and something has to be done. Unlike Mr. Micawber, I don't expect that "something will turn up."
Rather, I want to ask the more important question: What do we know about the road that leads from a financial crisis to a severe and prolonged downturn--and how can we avoid it?
The American Great Depression of the 1930s is the most familiar--and most studied--economic collapse, but it is important to know that it is not the only one. Other countries suffered prolonged downturns in the 1930s, and many, including Japan, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Switzerland and Finland have experienced prolonged episodes of below-trend output in the period since the Great Depression.
The book Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century, edited by Timothy Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott, contains studies of depressions in 14 countries. Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian have done the most in-depth recent research on the American Great Depression, as well as the long decline in the U.K. economy. There is also a terrific book by Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man, which reexamines the roots of the Depression.
With all of this scholarship, what do we know about why depressions--whether in upper, or lower, case--occur?
Not surprisingly, there isn't one story that fits all of them, but there's a common theme that emerges: It is that unwise policy choices made in the throes of a crisis exacerbate and prolong the real downturn associated with the crisis. In particular, government policies that affect productivity and hours of work are most often responsible for throttling economic growth.
That this was true in our Great Depression is now clear. While earlier historians focused attention on the failures of monetary policy, and on the distortions caused by the Hawley-Smoot tariffs, evidence now points more strongly to policies that tried to keep wages artificially high (under Hoover and then Roosevelt) and to cartelize industry (under Roosevelt).
OK, now here's the "but" part: Policies matter. Roosevelt was viewed as a great activist leader during the Depression. In fact, he was a great experimenter, willing to try one thing, then another, to turn the country around. The result was an economic downturn that lasted for many years longer than it might have.
For many decades following the Great Depression, conventional historians viewed the crash as a failure caused by laissez-faire policies, rampant speculation and the incompetence of people like Hoover and Andrew Mellon. They attributed the subsequent recovery to the inspired leadership of Roosevelt and to the role of the government in directing economic activity. We are beginning to hear these rumblings again, along with rhetoric that is hostile to trade, globalization and immigration, not to mention a mounting distrust of markets.
These are easy populist positions to adopt, but they are dangerous and false--even dangerously false--because policies matter. They matter deeply, and once adopted, it is extremely hard for the country to change course. Can the current leadership in Washington right the ship enough to forestall a head-long rush into a catastrophic storm? This writer is optimistic--guardedly--that good sense will prevail. But he is not, as yet, a Micawber.
Thomas F. Cooley, the Paganelli-Bull professor of economics and Richard R. West dean of the NYU-Stern School of Business, is a weekly columnist for Forbes.com.
Labels: The Panic of 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Obama and Abortion and the Problem of Evangelical and Catholic Support for his Candidacy
A seminal piece by Robert P. George, a McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics who had previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. (HT: The Corner)
Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.
Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.
Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals-even self-identified pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals - who aggressively promote Obama's candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.
What is going on here?
Just for the sake of argument, though, let us assume that there could be a morally meaningful distinction between being ''pro-abortion'' and being ''pro-choice.'' Who would qualify for the latter description? Barack Obama certainly would not. For, unlike his running mate Joe Biden, Obama does not think that abortion is a purely private choice that public authority should refrain from getting involved in. Now, Senator Biden is hardly pro-life. He believes that the killing of the unborn should be legally permitted and relatively unencumbered. But unlike Obama, at least Biden has sometimes opposed using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, thereby leaving Americans free to choose not to implicate themselves in it. If we stretch things to create a meaningful category called ''pro-choice,'' then Biden might be a plausible candidate for the label; at least on occasions when he respects your choice or mine not to facilitate deliberate feticide.
Barack Obama and John McCain differ on many important issues about which reasonable people of goodwill, including pro-life Americans of every faith, disagree: how best to fight international terrorism, how to restore economic growth and prosperity, how to distribute the tax burden and reduce poverty, etc.
But on abortion and the industrial creation of embryos for destructive research, there is a profound difference of moral principle, not just prudence. These questions reveal the character and judgment of each man. Barack Obama is deeply committed to the belief that members of an entire class of human beings have no rights that others must respect. Across the spectrum of pro-life concerns for the unborn, he would deny these small and vulnerable members of the human family the basic protection of the laws. Over the next four to eight years, as many as five or even six U.S. Supreme Court justices could retire. Obama enthusiastically supports Roe v. Wade and would appoint judges who would protect that morally and constitutionally disastrous decision and even expand its scope. Indeed, in an interview inGlamour magazine, he made it clear that he would apply a litmus test for Supreme Court nominations: jurists who do not support Roe will not be considered for appointment by Obama. John McCain, by contrast, opposesRoe and would appoint judges likely to overturn it. This would not make abortion illegal, but it would return the issue to the forums of democratic deliberation, where pro-life Americans could engage in a fair debate to persuade fellow citizens that killing the unborn is no way to address the problems of pregnant women in need.
In the end, the efforts of Obama's apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn't even amount to a nice try. Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.
Labels: 2008 Election
We Need An Amendment, Quick
I am outraged that our president thinks the Federal government needs to purchase shares in the troubled banks. This is a huge step towards socialism. Does he not see that? Is this was compassionate conservatism is, a disguised lead-in to socialism? I know the left will jump on this as a good thing, so it will likely happen unless the courts throw it out.
Yet, the framers of the Constitution did their work before socialism, communism, and Marxism had their chance and failed, and so probably did not address this adequately in our foundational law. So, when the government doing this is challenged in court, the courts may not have any basis for preventing the government from buying companies.
Buy a small piece of private companies today, a bigger piece tomorrow, control them after that, nationalize them after that. This needs to be stopped. If the Republicans and Democrats won't stop it, maybe something like the Constitution Party will--if such a critter exists. Going to look right now.
Monday, October 13, 2008
An Idea Whose Time Has Come - Actually it Came a Few Months Ago, but,...
Bill Kristol had a good idea which he expressed in his regular column at the NY Times:
It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign.
He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed.
He may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.
But I’m not convinced by such claims of inevitability. McCain isn’t Bush. The media isn’t all-powerful. And the economic crisis still presents an opportunity to show leadership.
Best part comes at the end,...
McCain should stop unveiling gimmicky proposals every couple of days that pretend to deal with the financial crisis. He should tell the truth — we’re in uncharted waters, no one is certain what to do, and no one knows what the situation will be on Jan. 20, 2009. But what we do know is that we could use someone as president who’s shown in his career the kind of sound judgment and strong leadership we’ll need to make it through the crisis.
McCain can make the substantive case for his broadly centrist conservatism. He can explain that our enemies won’t take a vacation because the markets are down, and that it’s not unimportant that he’s ready to be commander in chief. He can remind voters that even in a recession, the president appoints federal judges — and that his judges won’t legislate from the bench.
And he can point out that there’s going to be a Democratic Congress. He can suggest that surely we’d prefer a president who would check that Congress where necessary and work with it where possible, instead of having an inexperienced Democratic president joined at the hip with an all-too-experienced Democratic Congress, leading us, unfettered and unchecked, back to 1970s-style liberalism.
At Wednesday night’s debate at Hofstra, McCain might want to volunteer a mild mea culpa about the extent to which the presidential race has degenerated into a shouting match. And then he can pledge to the voters that the last three weeks will feature a contest worthy of this moment in our history.
He’d enjoy it. And he might even win it.
But Kristol should have added, "if, that is, he is ready, willing and able to adjust his campaign radically to such an approach, and still that doesn't guarantee a victory, it just might give him a better shot."
McCain's Speech in Arlington, VA Today
Three weeks from now, you will choose a new President. Choose well. There is much at stake.
These are hard times. Our economy is in crisis. Financial markets are collapsing. Credit is drying up. Your savings are in danger. Your retirement is at risk. Jobs are disappearing. The cost of health care, your children's college, gasoline and groceries are rising all the time with no end in sight. While your most important asset -- your home -- is losing value every day.
Americans are fighting in two wars. We face many enemies in this dangerous world, and they are waiting to see if our current troubles will permanently weaken us.
The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight.
I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.
I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it.
I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him.
I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings.
I have a plan to rebuild the retirement savings of every worker.
I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home.
Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.
The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive.
If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, on top of the $700 billion we just gave the Treasury Secretary, as Senator Obama proposes. Because he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do.
I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.
If I'm elected President, I won't fine small businesses and families with children, as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a new huge government run health care program, while I keep the cost of the fine a secret until I hit you with it. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice to lower your premiums, and make it more available to more Americans. I'll make sure you can keep the same health plan if you change jobs or leave a job to stay home.
I will provide every single American family with a $5000 refundable tax credit to help them purchase insurance. Workers who already have health care insurance from their employers will keep it and have more money to cover costs. Workers who don't have health insurance can use it to find a policy anywhere in this country to meet their basic needs.
If I'm elected President, I won't raise taxes on small businesses, as Senator Obama proposes, and force them to cut jobs. I will keep small business taxes where they are, help them keep their costs low, and let them spend their earnings to create more jobs.
If I'm elected President, I won't make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs as Senator Obama proposes. I will open new markets to goods made in America and make sure our trade is free and fair. And I'll make sure we help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.
The last President to raise taxes and restrict trade in a bad economy as Senator Obama proposes was Herbert Hoover. That didn't turn out too well. They say those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Well, my friends, I know my history lessons, and I sure won't make the mistakes Senator Obama will.
If I'm elected President, we're going to stop sending $700 billion to countries that don't like us very much. I won't argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and building new nuclear power plants in America, as Senator Obama does. We will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives -- nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.
Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them.
What America needs in this hour is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people. I come from a long line of McCains who believed that to love America is to fight for her. I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country, but I've never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.
I know you're worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future. Will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?
My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.
I know what fear feels like. It's a thief in the night who robs your strength.
I know what hopelessness feels like. It's an enemy who defeats your will.
I felt those things once before. I will never let them in again. I'm an American. And I choose to fight.
Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight.
Fight for a new direction for our country.
Fight for what's right for America.
Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.
Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Now, let's go win this election and get this country moving again.
Labels: 2008 Election
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It's No Longer Morning in America
In a post this morning in the Corner at National Review Kathryn Jean Lopez said, "Americans should be taking a second look. Will they? Wake up, America. Good morning. There's still an election going on. Contrary to Obama-Pelosi-Reid posturing, it ain't over yet."
I wish I could agree, and in fact there are another, what? 25 days or so? But on today's Meet the Press, I witnessed rare agreement between guests (conservative) Paul Gigot of the WSJ, (liberal) John Harwood of the NYT, Ted Koppel of Discovery Channel and Erin Burnett of CNBC.
What were they in agreement on?
(1) That the economy and the current financial crisis / panic has completely eclipsed all other issues in the minds and hearts of the average voter. And who can blame them for concern for their jobs, keeping their homes, and being able to afford retirement with their 401K's dropping to half their value in the last 10 days?
(2) That the McCain campaign is uncomfortable moving the strategy of his campaign from one of "experience and character" to "the economy," an issue about which he admitted early on of not being the brightest light in the tree, and an issue he has proven to be spastic at best and incomprehensible at worst. McCain has jerked around with various approaches and strategies, many of which seem and are contradictory as he has attempted to maneuver through the recent change in climate.
(3) That neither candidate has really offered any substantive policy or major construct that would begin to address the current cataclysm. And let me stress that: neither have done so. When Harwood was confronted with the question of what substantive initiative has Obama offered, his answer was that Obama, with McCain, voted for the "rescue" package in the Senate. Apart from that, not really very much of anything else.
(4) Nonetheless that Obama is still the ONE perceived by voters as the best to handle the economic crisis.
Not withstanding, these observations are valid even though Obama has no record indicating he'd even have the character to have a chance to deal effectively with a crisis. He didn't even deliver on a promise to cut taxes in Illinois. I don't know about you all, but his meager record doesn't build my confidence in him, but voters are so emotional right now, they want to flip the card over, not really knowing what's on the other side. This is the real tragedy, that voters are jumping on the Obama bandwagon, not knowing from whence it came, and really where it will take them, except if the voter does its homework - which it is too distracted to do - they would see that Obama's meager record of non-action (some say he wasn't even good at community organizing, whatever that means), his radical socialistic leanings, all of these indicators are apt to take them in a disastrous direction, but I think that's where we're going. Like it or not. It's too late to wake up.
It is no longer morning in America. We've awakened to the beginnings of a long night, and one that will linger and be exacerbated by unknown, unproven leadership with clear indications that it will have at least anti-free-market values, accompanied with a veto proof liberal congress, and a gradually left swinging Supreme Court peppered with new judges who will read new interpretations to social issues like gay marriage and assisted suicide. Welcome to the coming long and rainy night.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Obama's Radicalism - A "Bottom-Up Socialism"
A debate between Ramesh Ponnuru and Andy McCarthy at National Review on Obama's "radicalism" that I think will give the reader a shiver down his / her spine as one gives consideration to McCain's liberalism in the clear, bright daylight of Obama's overt Leftism:
Ramesh Ponnuru :
Andy: During this campaign, Obama has taken some extremely liberal positions but few radically left-wing ones. He has not denounced capitalism or America, his tax plan contemplates raising the top marginal federal tax rate on income but leaving it below 50, he recognizes that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns, etc. The positions he has taken in this campaign, combined with his past, leave open at least two possibilities. One is that he has quietly ditched his former radicalism for a more mainstream left-liberalism. Another is that he remains as radical as he was years ago but is concealing his basic orientation for political reasons. There is a question mark here, and it is one reason many people ask "Who is Obama?"
Andy McCarthy :
Ramesh, that's all fair enough but I think you've subtlety changed the question and missed the mark on the nature of Obama's radicalism.
First, assuming (as we both appear to do) that Obama has been a radical in the past, I asked which of his past radical positions he has now moderated. You've responded with new positions he has taken that leave unchanged his old stands — and even the ones you've suggested are misleading. (To be clear, I don't mean Ramesh is being misleading; I mean Ramesh has cited Obama positions that are misleading — moderate-looking camouflage for his actually extremist positions.)
For example, what he calls his "tax plan" does not account for — to take just a couple of examples — the tax (probably on fossil fuels) that would have to be imposed to pay for the Global Poverty Act he proposes, nor the levies implicit in any cap-and-trade or similar scheme in response to climate change. And on the Second Amendment, Obama is posing as supportive of the Supreme Court decision with the caveat that the decision leaves plenty of room for gun regulation — a loophole that you can drive a truck through.
Second, and relatedly, Obama's radicalism, beginning with his Alinski/ACORN/community organizer period, is a bottom-up socialism. This, I'd suggest, is why he fits comfortably with Ayers, who (especially now) is more Maoist than Stalinist. What Obama is about is infiltrating (and training others to infiltrate) bourgeois institutions in order to change them from within [my emphasis] — in essence, using the system to supplant the system. A key requirement of this stealthy approach (very consistent with talking vaporously about "change" but never getting more specific than absolutely necessary) is electability. With an enormous assist from the media, which does not press him for specifics, Obama has walked this line brilliantly. Absent convincing retractions of his prior radical positions, though, we should construe shrewd moves like the ostensibly reasonable Second Amendment position as efforts make him electable.
This is why Ayers is so important: it is a peek behind the curtain of Obama's rhetoric. When he talks about "education reform," that sounds admirable and, given the state of the schools, entirely reasonable. But when you look at what the Obama/Ayers program really tried to do to the schools (see, e.g., Stanley's work on this), it is radical. With a guy who speaks in euphemisms — "change," "social justice," "due process," etc. — it is vital to have concrete examples of how these concepts are put into action.
I've been trying my best to get out this message on Obama, but I think it is too late. The media has facilitated this, and the American voter is in a trance, exacerbated by the current financial panic, but it is my contention that America will awaken on November 7th to discover it has elected and placed into the office of the highest position of the free world a left wing '60's radical, and we will ask, "what in the world have we done!?" But it will be too late. Way too late.
Labels: 2008 Election
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
But each time the government is called upon to solve the problem, that very government increases its power and gets bigger; functions previously reserved to the states get transferred to the Federal; and individuals loose rights and responsibility. After the civil war, amendments to the Constitution resulted in a huge transfer of state responsibility to the Federal. At the Great Depression, we cried out to government to fix our woes, to the point where government became the guarantor of our retirement (a.k.a. Social Security). We cried out at 9/11 and have had the disaster of the war in Iraq and many other changes that have been so recently implemented that the long-term effects cannot yet be assessed.
Now we have the Republican Party, through their nominated candidate John McCain, proposing that the Federal government implement a huge program to stabilize housing prices. Does anyone else see that as a bad thing? Should the government do anything to stabilize housing prices? Can they do anything to stabilize housing prices? Housing prices have fallen due to falling demand. The only way to stabilize those prices is to increase demand or reduce supply. McCain’s proposal, as I understand it from the media (I did not watch the debate), is that the Federal government will buy up mortgages of non-payers and renegotiate (meaning either lower principal or lower interest, or both) them so that people who can’t afford those houses will be able to stay in them. Artificial demand will only result in a new bubble in real estate prices, which will be burst at some point in the future. Or, will it have the opposite effect? If the government buys up worthless mortgages and renegotiates to keep people in those houses, would that not reduce housing prices, since the renegotiated mortgage would certainly have a lower principal, some of the indebtedness being forgiven?
I don’t want to seem heartless when people are suffering either from economic setbacks or their own stupidity, but do we really want the Federal government to be guarantor of our mortgages and guarantor of our house prices? Ridiculous in the extreme. Our founding fathers were afraid of government, and sought to limit its power through the Constitution. It seems we have forgotten the hard-fought lessons of the 18th Century. I am afraid of how powerful the government is now, yet more afraid of how willing our people are to expect the government to bail them out of every crisis. The Federal government now guarantees our retirement (Social Security), guarantees our wages (through minimum wage laws and the Davis Bacon Act), guarantees our education (through forced attendance and ineffective pubic schools funded through confiscation), guarantees our mortgages (the Freddie and Fanny takeovers), will soon guarantee our house price, will soon guarantee fairness in labor-management wage differential (through executive compensation controls; you know they are coming), and will soon attempt to guarantee our lifespan (through socialized medicine). What’s next?
By proposing that the Federal government spend one cent of my tax dollars to stabilize housing prices, he may have just lost my vote.
I am very pessimistic about the future of America, as you can tell. I believe we have passed our zenith, and are on the slow downhill slide to residence in the neighborhood of the average nations.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Soft Ball to McCain
Would you wait for the UN were Iran to attack Israel. Interesting that Obama is practically parroting McCain's answer. But McCain got him on his no preconditioned chat with Iran's dictator. I am amzed that Obama never, never admits to an error in his statements like the surge won't work, or that no preconditions matters.
Labels: 2008 Election
Obama is holding his own on foreign policy issues, even though he is wrong. For example, from NR Corner:
We DID Have the Ability to Invade Rwanda [Michael Graham]
And we can invade Sudan today. And Darfur is genocide right now. The African Union troops are widely viewed as a joke, and people are dying right now. But Sen. Obama says we can't create a no-fly zone until the world community approves.
So Sen. Obama says we have the duty to do the right thing and save lives, but only when someone else (the EU? UN?) say it's OK. That's not much of a moral duty.
I don't understand why they haven't devoted more time to the issue most pressing on America's minds tonight: will I be able to survive retirement?
Labels: 2008 Election
Point to McCain
McCain just won the last couple of points on alternative energy, the environment, and actually having a record on it. Also how Obama never introduced any tax relief for the middle class of Illinois he promised - how can we believe him? Good point from McCain. Obama is criticizing him now.
Labels: 2008 Election
Steyn on Where we are at
Mark Steyn has it right. This is what he says about the first half hour of the debate tonight:
Well, in this first 30 minutes or so, they're both singing the same song - lobbyists, special interests, greed on Wall St, populist boilerplate, etc - but Obama is the more mellifluous vocalist. All he has to do is sound competent and moderate, and so far he's succeeding. He looks like the kind of guy you'd cast in a big movie about Hollywood's first black president, and nothing he's saying is at odds with the looks.
It doesn't look that good for McCain tonight, and he needed a decent showing to stay in the fight because people blame him and the Republican party, wrongfully, but they blame him, and he needed to set himself apart, and he isn't cutting it.
Labels: 2008 Election
Obama Sounds Like McCain
What is Obama doing? He sounds exactly like McCain: President Bush said to go shopping. We need clean coal.
Labels: 2008 Election
McCain's Response to "Whjy Should We Trust You?"
I think McCain's "I'm a maverick with a history of bi-partisanship" is getting really old and tired. Why isn't he angry? Why doesn't he emote and feel for the people. The question (below) could have been knocked out of the park.
Obama on the Question: Why Should We Trust Either or You or Your Parties?
Obama is sounding a lot like SNL's version of him: "Look,.." And not all that empathetic.
The Second Debate - Live
I don't see what energy independence has to do with the immediate crisis, and I don't understand why McCain is bringing that up now.
McCain is also bringing attention to his failed tactic of suspending his campaign to go to Washington, and since that time, everything has gone even further into the hand basket.
Whoever coached McCain missed all the choice preparation we've been sharing up to now.
Bill Bennett on CNN said the candidates should explain concisely to the American people what they believe has happened, and then, with empathy, explain how they will get us out of it. So far, only Obama is doing the explaining. What is McCain thinking?
Monday, October 06, 2008
An Idea for McCain
I'm quickly coming to the cold realization that the Panic of 2008 is hurting McCain simply because he is a Republican, and it is probably all over but the crying for the McCain - Palin ticket, but here is one idea from David Gelernter at the Weekly Standard that could possibly keep hope alive - I could hear him say these words, it would be like him to say them:
McCain might break through the media fortress that protects independents from the truth if he'd repeat a small packet of information word-for-word at the end of every single speech. Soon crowds would anticipate these words and reporters would know them by heart, and they'd start making an impression on the country. Here are mine; but whatever words he chooses, he must start hammering home some simple truths right now.
1. Mr. Obama is the most liberal senator in Washington.
2. Like other liberal presidents, he'd load the Supreme Court with the most liberal judges he could find.
3. Like other liberal presidents, he'd spend tax dollars like they were going out of style--when the economy must have a steady, experienced, pork-hating hand at the wheel.
4. Like other liberal senators, Mr. Obama was prepared to surrender to terrorists in Iraq.
5. Like other liberal senators, he is the wrong man to protect your children against Russia, Iran, North Korea and al Qaeda in dangerous times.
6. I fought for responsible regulation of the mortgage merchants when the Democrats were against it. I don't just talk, I act.
7. My closest Senate colleague is a Democrat, Joe Lieberman. I don't just talk bipartisanship, I act.
8. I picked Sarah Palin because our country needs young leaders who don't just talk; who act.
9. I'll do what I know is right, no matter what China or Germany or the U.N. thinks. You can't protect this nation by talking. You have to act.
10. Don't judge me as a politician or speech-maker. Judge me as a man who is more than talk. I would lay down my life for this country.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
McCain and the Hispanic Vote
John McCain has a good story to tell to Hispanic Americans, but one wonders why his campaign is not telling it.
Look at these recent voter trends by race according to Gallup. As of late September, non Hispanic Whites give a 52% to 41% advantage to McCain, while Hispanics favor Obama 65% to 26%, and Non-Hispanic Blacks overwhelmingly prefer Obama 89% to 5%.
McCain has had one of the most Hispanic favorable records on immigration, and the most pro-Hispanic record of all Republicans who sought the nomination. It seems like he needs to do more to make that known.
Labels: 2008 Election
Demagogueing on Taxes
Obama has a new TV ad, new to me at least, that implies that McCain will reward businesses with tax breaks as they malevolently move jobs from the homeland to low cost countries. The implication is that it is wise and just to give tax breaks to us middle class folk directly instead - something about which I am incredulous coming from a tax and spend liberal.
Where does one begin disassembling the knot of snakes in something like this ad, a big fib that only takes 10 seconds or less to state, and repeat over and over in network television ads? And as an old Russian proverb states, "repetition is the mother of propaganda."
First of all, businesses, large and small, are being driven to low cost countries because of the enticement of low cost labor, but even more compellingly, through tax incentives from those low cost countries who draw them to come and commit to their country with jobs and cash - and over the past half dozen years or so, American businesses were pulled into that. Raising US taxes on such businesses is not going to dissuade them from seeking cost control, but what it will do is cause such business to lose their competitive edge in a global economy, and ultimately result in their decline. And when businesses like these decline, it will mean a further loss of middle class jobs.
What we should do to provide incentives to US businesses to encourage the movement of jobs back to the US is to provide them with tax incentives to reverse the trend - which is the very thing Obama demagogues against. And even that wouldn't be enough in a world economy, but it is better than letting the whole house of cards to fall in a time of declining equity values, affecting people's pensions and personal savings.
Is this economic wisdom? Is this economic leadership? The pundits tell us the it is "still the economy, stupid," and I would agree that declining 401 K values, bankrupted banks and the sudden fall of huge 100 year old financial giants tends to center the mind on this subject, but I hope the American people are wise enough to differentiate economic demagoguery from economic wisdom.
Voters may like Obama's calm demeanor and cleaver articulation, but what of his ideas? Are they right? Are they workable? Are they practical? And what has history taught us about them?
The Hillary Clinton campaign determined a way to differentiate between her more substantive approach to Obama's in the closing days of the Democratic primary. She started to close the gap, particularly in the big industrial states like Pennsylvania. The McCain campaign would be wise to step on the same gas pedal. Instead they're yapping about Obama's relationship to Ayers. I don't think the people care about these things right now.
Follow the Money.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Biden and Clean Coal - Palin was Right On
Are we really in for four years of this? One of the many mistakes, lies, fibs, mischaracterizations, what-have-you of Biden in the Palin-Biden debate the other night:
Labels: 2008 Election
Friday, October 03, 2008
What Really Happened?
Can someone explain in layperson's terms? Here it is in a nutshell:
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Did Biden Lie?
I believe Biden out and out lied, not just spun the facts, and realized he got caught.
Anyone else notice that moment, and have that impression?
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
In the early 1970s Congress, at he urging of President Nixon, froze wages and prices to control inflation and ease the nation off the gold standard. The results were predictable. Wage and price increases were restrained for a few years, but once the controls were fully removed, we had the ultra-inflation of the late Carter-early Reagan era (and yes, I know there were many other factors helping to cause that inflation). Government interference with wages and prices worked--until it didn't, at which time it failed big time.
Ever since the Great Depression, it has been government policy, both Democratic and Republican, to never let that happen again. So attempts have been made to prevent normal economic cycles from continuing.
1. (and this may have pre-dated the G.D.), we would call them "depressions" instead of panics. My history is fuzzy on this, but I remember learning of the Panic of 1837, leading to the defeat of Martin Van Buren and the Democrats in 1840. Seems there was one in the 1890s as well, which probably led to McKinley's first victory. Panics have always happened. Call them depressions if you want.
2. Then, when the G.D. hit, the government began policies to prevent such a deep depression from ever happening again. The Federal Reserve, Keynesian economics, money supply, etc., to prevent deep dips in normal economic cycles. Let the peaks run wild, but keep the bottoms as small as possible.
3. Then, we could no longer tolerate the word "depression", so the became "recessions", and more frequent and intrusive government intervention tried to make the new lexicon come true.
4. Then, the controls became so tight the term "slow-down" and "soft landing" became the government's aim. The controls needed to make that come true were stifling.
I believe we are now seeing the results of economic cycle control. The pent-up cyclic nature of the economy is going to burst out, and we will have a Panic, if not in '08 then surely in '09. No matter what bill they pass, no matter what they do with taxes. Deaden the cycles through regulation, but just as in attempts to control inflation through wage and price controls, so the economic cycle, dampened for years, will be a greater drop than anyone can believe.
I predict we will have a panic. It will be short lived, and will result from the difficulties of getting credit and the domino effect from that. Part of the policies to control cycles was the great expansion of credit in the 1980s, '90s, and '00s, such that our economy is now based on credit. If only the tax payers will spend more than they make, the economy will have soft landings and mere slow-downs. Our trifles-obsessed tax payers were only too happy to oblige.
After the Panic of '08-'09, which I think will be short-lived, we are likely to have a period of recession or stagnant growth for about eight years. The demographics of the aging baby boomers, now past their peak spending years, and soon to be awakened to the dangers of credit, make this period of no economic growth an inevitability.
So says the one who never took a college class in economic theory, but who has observed through the years and read much. The senescent man in the past encouraged strong opinions, even if they might turn out to be wrong, and so I am only too happy to oblige him.
Noah Pollak over at Commentary noted that though Obama has complained a good deal about McCain's ineffectiveness in lobbying his colleagues in Congress over the Panic of 2008, that he, himself, lifted not a finger to convert a single soul, that is a single member of his own Party in the House, to support the bail out! What's with that, you ask? Here's Pollak's view:
"Right now Barack Obama is droning on in the Senate, imploring his colleagues on the importance of acting with unity and purpose in approving the bailout. It is time to set aside our differences and act decisively on behalf of the American people, says The One. This is funny, because as Mary Katharine Ham at the Weekly Standard first noted, Obama didn’t lift a finger to help get the first bailout bill passed in the House. Not one phone call to a House Democrat. Not one act of arm-twisting. Not one private threat of retribution should his colleagues in the House not approve the bailout. This is the New York Times’ account:
Aides to Mr. Obama said he had not directly reached out to try to sway any House Democrats who opposed the measure.
This is remarkable. Once again, it seems that the only time Obama acts like a leader is when he’s in front of a television camera."
Labels: 2008 Election
In Case You're Wondering What People Think About Gwen Ifill's Self Proclaimed Objectivity
This from the nauseatingly liberal MSNBC - The answer is NO. She Can't be objective.
LIVE VOTE Do you think PBS' Gwen Ifill was a smart choice to moderate the vice presidential debate? * 67184 responses Yes, her stellar political record speaks for itself. No, there is a clear conflict between her moderating duties and the book she's authoring. Not a scientific survey. Click to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.
Do you think PBS' Gwen Ifill was a smart choice to moderate the vice presidential debate? * 67184 responses
Yes, her stellar political record speaks for itself.
No, there is a clear conflict between her moderating duties and the book she's authoring.
Not a scientific survey. Click to learn more.
Results may not total 100% due to rounding.
Labels: 2008 Election
The VP Debate Tomorrow - A Preview
How one blogger believes Gwen Ifill will ask her questions of Biden and Palin tomorrow night (HT: Weekly Standard):
Mayor Palin, Barack Obama is a handsome, charismatic demigod. How many boxes of Kleenex will you need after your crushing loss?
Senator Biden, what is your favorite color? And if you have time for a follow-up question: Why?
Mayor, you talk funny and you own a tanning bed. Why haven't you released Trig's birth certificate?
Senator, have you seen those pictures of Obama in his swim trunks? If not, I have them right here.
Mayor, what are the names, ages, and blood types of all 71 members of the Belgian Senate? And why are you unwilling to admit that your inability to instantly produce any and every fact I demand makes you unfit to stand in the way of history?
Senator, you've spoken at length. Could you please continue?
Mayor, which is your preferred method of stifling dissent, banning books or burning them? Since it's both, please rebut the accusation that you're a fascist, which I'm making now.
Senator, could you please sign my book?
But the WSJ has a bundle of really good and legitimate questions for Biden. A sample:
Gwen Ifill (debate moderator): Sen. Biden, the following questions go to you.
Let's begin with your approach to diplomacy. During the primary campaign last year, you criticized Sen. Obama's pledge to meet with the leaders of states such as Iran and Venezuela as 'naive,' particularly if such meetings were held without preconditions.
You also noted that when you met Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s, you did so on condition 'that no press would be available,' and you added that 'I'd only meet him in his office late at night, and I wouldn't dignify being seen with him.'
Having said that, senator, do you think that as president, Barack Obama would be 'dignifying' Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by meeting him? Or do you agree with Sen. McCain when he argued in last week's debate that 'if without precondition you sit down across the table from someone who has called Israel a "stinking corpse," and wants to destroy that country and wipe it off the map, you legitimize those comments'?
Ifill: Senator, you have been a stalwart supporter of Georgia during the recent crisis with Russia, and you've described Georgia as a 'worthy candidate' for NATO membership, along with Ukraine.
Do you think it is in America's national security interest to extend a military guarantee, via NATO, to Georgia, particularly if it risks direct confrontation with Russia?
Labels: 2008 Election
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