Monthly Archives: October 2008

Saturday night special

4 things

  • Wilkerson pegs the lack of ideology with McCain and Obama with

    McCain doctrine and Obama doctrine for use of force in humanitarian situations: Obama: There might be moral issues at stake. Surely we should stop Holocaust. Rwanda. Standing idly by diminishes us. Basically, I have no principle. I leave it at the discretion of my evolved moral intuition.

    Why do we have to guess what these people want to do?

  • This graphic gets it right
  • Death to the Four Year Degree – I’ve felt this way for a while actually.
  • And we need this guy back again

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.