Oct 222008

This morning while getting some internet and coffee, I overheard a conversation at the next table. The nice elderly couple were explaining to the waitress how they used to vote Republican, but this year were voting for Obama. They were concerned that the Republicans had run our country so far into debt. They were also concerned that they weren’t getting enough Medicare spending and whatever else it is that older people want the government to do for them.

I guess some people are their own worst enemies.

Too bad it’s the younger generations, like that of the young waitress who wasn’t so sure Obama was right, who will have to pay most of the price for their greed.

Oct 182008

This is one of the best campaign seasons ever. The election won’t be so good, because there is a danger that either Obama or McCain will be elected as our next president. But the campaign itself is giving us an acrobatic show such as has never before been seen.

On the one hand the leftMediaDem crowd thinks it’s terrible, just terrible for Republicans to try to play up Obama’s association with the likes of Bill Ayers and Acorn. “Their vilest hour” wrote Frank Rich in the Wall Street Journal.

But along comes Joe the Plumber, who of course needs to be thoroughly vetted. And it turns out he may have some sort of family connection to Charles Keating. And that connection is somehow of the utmost importance to the election.

Aren’t these contortions wonderful? It’s like a gymnast trying to do the parallel bars and the flying rings both at the same time.

Oct 172008

Before getting to Joe Plumber, let me point out that I didn’t watch the debate. I haven’t watched a presidential debate since Lieberman vs Cheney, and the last one before that was probably Bush the First vs Dukakis. I prefer to watch the post-debate spin. Wasting time on the actual debate would hinder me from concentrating on what’s important.

So here’s how the left-wing activist group Associated Press is trying to spin it in an article by John Seewer.

HOLLAND, Ohio (AP) — Joe the Plumber’s story sprang a few leaks Thursday. Turns out that the man who was held up by John McCain as the typical, hard-working American taxpayer isn’t really a licensed plumber. And court documents show he owes nearly $1,200 in back taxes.

It’s the typical government-centric point of view. A government-centric reporter defines a plumber as someone who has made proper obeisance to the ruling class so as to have been graciously granted the proper documents. A people-centric reporter would think of a plumber as someone who does plumbing work for other people who need to have such work done.

And the $1200 in back taxes? Doesn’t that help make McCain’s point?

If a person owes more money to the bank than his home is worth, the left holds that up as a failure of capitalism. They want the government to take over. But owing $1200 in back taxes is somehow not seen by these same people as a failure of big government.

Oct 172008

Barak Obama’s web site says he wants to encourage diversity in media ownership rather than consolidation. That’s a good goal, but there are no specifics and it would be contrary against every specific policy he has ever supported. So color me suspicious. He needs to be questioned on just how he thinks he would accomplish that.

Also consider the weasel words in the same paragraph in which he talks about diversity: “As president, Obama will … clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.”

That doesn’t sound like an endorsement of the freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Why do those “obligations” need to be clarified, anyway?

Vladimir Putin has been clarifying the public interest obligations of the news broadcasters in Russia.

Hugo Chavez has been clarifying the public interest obligations of the news broadcasters in Venezuela.

Nancy Pelosi has been trying to clarify the public interest obligations of our news broadcasters.

The government of China was busy clarifying the public interest obligations of its news broadcasters during the Olympics.

So why do we need clarified obligations. What’s wrong with just maximizing First Amendment freedoms?

What we need clarity on is what he meant by Obama’s statement. It’s probably too much to expect his adoring groupies in the MSM to bother him with questions, though.

H/T to Paul Greenberg who called attention to Obama’s statement in his article, “The Unfairness Doctrine. And it was good to see him mention Nat Hentoff, who is 83 years old now. When Hentoff is gone, there will be no more liberals.

Oct 122008

Today’s headline: “John McCain and Sarah Palin try new tactics”

I went to Google News and searched for the words “Barak Obama John McCain Tactics” What did I learn? I learned that John McCain often tries tactics, but Barak Obama very seldom does. Maybe tactics are a Republican thing.

I tried again, replacing the word “tactics” with “accused”. The result is not quite as clearcut. McCain does some accusing, but Obama does a lot more. Maybe when McCain does it, it’s tactics, but when Obama does it, it’s an accusation.

Oct 122008

For a moment I thought Obama was showing signs of being something that people of the younger generations may have read about but have never seen: a liberal. It was when I saw the headline:

“Obama: ‘Subsidize’ Americans who can’t afford health insurance.”

That’s something I could support. Provide health care vouchers for the poorest of the poor. In itself it wouldn’t be enough to deal with the problem of people who have chronic, pre-existing conditions that would price anyone out of the health insurance market. But it could do a lot, and do it in a pro-choice way that would harness market forces to create better health care options for all of us.

But alas, that’s not what Obama meant. His is just another of the same-old, same-old leftwing fascist proposals. He can’t get out of the old ruts of the Democrat party. He does say some words about letting people choose, but the effect of his every proposal is to eliminate choice.

He wants to require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. That is going to drive private health insurance prices way up and eliminate private insurance. It means we’ll all be in his government plan which is NOT an insurance plan in any meaning of the term, which means we’ll have more of the same social pathologies that are destroying the UK, the Netherlands, and other countries that have gone that route.

Obama claims to love markets, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. He adheres religiously to the first commandment of the leftwing catechism — a slight variation on Martin Luther’s version:

Thou shalt have no other gods before The Great God, The State.

What does this mean? We should fear, loathe, and mistrust markets and personal choice above all things.

Oct 112008

USA Today editorializes against term limits, giving the old, tired (and untrue) reasons why it’s better to have entrenched incumbents in our nation’s legislatures rather than inexperienced rookies. Then it tells us there’s a better way to replace entrenched incumbents with inexperienced rookies: Do away with legislative gerrymandering.

I’ll bet USA Today is hoping people won’t notice the doubletalk.

Doing away with legislative gerrymandering is a good idea, but there’s no reason why it can’t coexist with term limits. We can do both. In fact, we’re more likely to have both if we have term limits.

H/T to Don Bon Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek for leading me to the editorial, by way of Howard Rich who points out other flaws in it.

Oct 112008

Bush says the crisis won’t be solved overnight. But the $700 billion bailout? That he had to have overnight. (He and the Democrats, that is.)

From the WSJ:

Emerging from a meeting with finance ministers from the group of seven leading industrial nations, U.S. President George W. Bush said Saturday that turmoil in financial markets requires a “serious global response,” but cautioned that the world wide economic crisis won’t be solved “overnight.”

Oct 102008

Let’s see. The last time the stock market had a good day was in response to the defeat of the Big Bailout. I wonder how it would respond if it would get rescinded. It would be worth a try, don’t you think?

Here’s another idea to restore confidence in the economy. Both presidential candidates and their VPs should withdraw from the election on the grounds of general cluelessness and lack of seriousness, as demonstrated by their stances on the Bailout. Let the two party conventions reconvene and choose someone else.

You might argue that there is not enough time, that the news media couldn’t possibly vet the candidates before election day. Well, if you look at the rate of investigation into candidate Obama, you would be right. But they’ve shown what they can do in the case of Sarah Palin. So maybe there still is enough time.

Oct 092008

James Corsi, The author of an anti-Obama book was detained in Kenya and deported. He may (or may not) be a crackpot and his book may be full of lies, but this response looks a lot more like government censorship than a case of, “I may disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Here was a chance for Obama to prove that he means it when, as his web site says, “Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions.”

OK, he’s not president yet but he probably could have some influence in Kenya anyway. Here was a chance for him to call up the President of Kenya and say, “I appreciate that you don’t like this Corsi guy any more than I do, but that’s not how we do things.” He could provide a sample of the diplomacy that he plans to use with leaders of Iraq and other countries to convince Kenya to let the guy be heard. And he would come out looking to Americans like a true defender of civil liberties, allaying those suspicions of those who fear his administration will be one of reprisals against dissidents.