Category Archives: Politics

I hold my nose

I hold my nose, club my conscience, and smother my scruples and voted for Chambliss today. Barr’s suggestion was important to me, enough to get me over my outrage at his campaign literature mentioning “Fiscal Responsibility”.

Incidentally my polling place was deserted, which points to a substantial win for Chambliss.

Something that goes unmentioned

Many people have mentioned that Palin has benefited from being an attractive woman, and Obama has benefited from being black. One thing that has not been mentioned is that Obama is a good looking black guy. If he were eight inches shorter, 80 pounds heavier, and sweated a lot, would anyone even remember him at this point, or would he be hanging out with Richardson on the short list for Secretary of State?

Thoughts on the debate – VP Edition

In random order

  • Regarding Palin – If you can cram enough into 6 weeks to pull off an acceptable job at a debate, either the interview process is flawed or the job simply isn’t that hard. The fact that McCain and Obama can not show up for work for two year periods would suggest the latter.
  • While I don’t think Palin won the debate (it wasn’t set up to have a winner really) she clearly took and held the initiative the entire evening
  • Biden looked like the knowledgeable guy he probably is, which is really all the veep should be.
  • Should McCain lose this election – which it seems he will – Palin probably will be competing with Huckabee for the face of the Republican party, and winning. It certainly seems to going in a populist direction
  • The deep love of Israel was particularly noxious on both parties. Granted, Palin is a tribal candidate, not an ideological one, but there seemed to be more love and affection for Israel from her than there was for America as a whole (small town America is a subset). Biden was just foppish on that matter.
  • It’s insulting to only mention Israel when talking about our allies, particularly when the UK and Australia have always stood buy us. Neither mentioned those members of the Anglosphere.
  • The constant mentions of energy independence destroyed any ability for me to take either seriously.
  • While I’ve seen several mentions of Palin winking at the camera, I haven’t seen any mention of her refering to him as “Senator O’Biden” nor of Biden’s reference to “Bosniaks”.

Friday link clearing

Since these have been piling up in Firefox, here’s what I’ve been reading

  • Obama and the Born-Alive issue – ghoulish stuff. The controversy of abortion is where one draws the line on person vs potential person. Even the most ardent pro-choicers seem to draw it at birth, but it seems not everyone does.
  • Via Will Wilkerson

    Obama terrifies me: an intelligent, thoughtful, well-prepared, capably extemporaneous man ascribing a future holocaust to some sort of non-existent, fantastical, steroidal Iran; talking about unsanctioned cross-border incursions into Pakistan because we found bin Laden, or some such, and must “take him out”; warbling around about “main street” while, in a lawerly, circumlocutory way signaling that he’s ultimately going to get behind hundred-billion-dollar cash bailouts to institutions that ought to be dismantled, destroyed, scattered to the wind. He wants GM to make electric cars. He wants the American people to know that he will appear before them to make extravagant xenophobic declarations in order to assuage their insecurity about the rise of other competing economies. He does this all in a calm, perfectly reasonable manner, with a convincing boardroom demeanor, and judging by the reactions of my liberal friends, with whom I listened, this was basically pleasing to them.

    McCain is of course out of his mind: forgetful, vicious, reactionary. And his ideas are even crazier than BO’s, but there’s a certain comfort in the fact that their insanity is laid so plainly and mercilessly bare by the grinning psychopath’s delivery. He provides no quarter for those who want to convince themselves that by Killing People for Their Own Good we are not actually killing them, or that by suborning corporate malfeasance we are combating it, or that by desperately seeking to maintain the geography of radial sprawl and the automobile we are seeking “energy independence.”

    I’ve had the thought lately regarding McCain, Bush, and bailouts – if we’re going to have corporate socialism shouldn’t we have a Democrat do it? At least they don’t have the supposed association with the free market that Republicans do.

  • David Friedman on the bailout

    The failure of a firm doesn’t wipe out wealth, except to the extent that the firm itself—its firm culture, web of relationships and such—has some value. When a firm fails, that is at least some evidence that that value was negative, which is why nobody chose to buy out the firm and keep it going. The ordinary assets of the firm—its buildings, land, stocks, bonds, mortgages, and whatever it owns—don’t vanish when the firm fails, they get sold to someone else.

    The bailout is not a way of preventing the loss of value. The loss (or transfer) of value occurred when people made bad mortgage loans. What happened more recently was the recognition of that loss. All the bailout can do is to shift the loss from some people to others, from the stockholders and creditors of firms that are now effectively bankrupt to the taxpayers.

Thoughts on the debate

On the whole, I think they both came out well. Obama is clearly not at his best in this forum, and does not think on his feet that well. His response to the economics questioning was stunted and halting, but largely came around during the foreign policy portion. McCain was consistent throughout. The real shocker (to me anyway) was Obama supporting Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO, which is truly a horrible idea. Of course, McCain seemed to support it too.

There was little I actually agreed with in most of the debates; both of them seemed to like the status quo of America the GloboCop, and neither seemed to have any meaningful problem with the Wall Street bailout, but it could have been a lot worse (for America). On the whole, it seemed like McCain was the honest authentic guy, and Obama was an honest authentic guy’s attourney which is the usual pattern.

More thought later most likely.

Profiles in lameness

As Congress seems to be willing to give the Treasury secretary a check for 700 billion with no strings attached, where are our two main nominees? As far as I can tell they’re not in the Senate doing the job they were actually elected to do. And we’re expected to respect their “experience” and “judgment”?!?!

A bad sign for the Democrats

From this AJC article

The Democrats’ desire to put the vice presidential candidates behind podiums grew out of the 2000 and 2004 vice presidential debates, when the candidates sat close to each other behind the same table. Cheney had the upper hand in both debates, said several Democrats involved in the debate process, in part because the setting made it difficult if not impossible for Lieberman and Edwards to go after Cheney aggressively. Whether that was because of the setting or because the two Democrats wanted to avoid confrontation is a matter still disputed by participants.

If they’re already grinding their excuses to that fine level of detail then they’re already expecting bad things.

Random Thoughts:
The real question is – will McCain have the nerve to run a commercial saying “isn’t it awesome when we have divided government? Do you really want Nancy Pelosi to have total control over everything?

Will the 527 groups have the nerve to run an ad like that? Come to think of it, where are the 527 groups this year?