Friday, October 31, 2008

Iran Endorses Obama, Iraq pleads for McCain

While Al Qaeda is demanding the "humiliation" of the Republican party (clearly implying that by electing a Democrat the GOP will be "degraded and defied"), Iraqis - who have seen their lives improve over the five years that the Americans have been repairing their country - are hoping for a McCain victory.

McCain understands that to truly win the War on Terror the United States must ensure the complete reformation of former terrorist strongholds.  In order to do this, America cannot employ solely violent means of expulsion, rather it must pursue the creation of an education system and provide opportunities for intellectual growth in order to expel radical ideologies not simply from the actions of the people, but from their minds and from future generations as well.  While the argument exists that America must focus on the situation at home - be it health care, the economic crisis, or our own school system - this argument ignores the obvious truth that in order to ensure true domestic security, safety overseas must be secured as well.  It is noble to desire a leader such as Obama who promises to provide all the domestic comforts that Americans wish for. However, if this leader is not willing to engage in an active and firm foreign policy that guarantees the safety of those Americans then the validity of his domestic policies are undermined.  If safety abroad is not ensured then safety at home is not either and so, all the comforts of government provided benefits will be for naught because even with their health insurance, free schooling, and extra money, Americans will still be dying (to be blunt).  The federal government's first and primary prerogative must therefore be the assurance of safety from threats both at home and abroad.

It is because they recognize that McCain understands what security means that the Iraqi people would vote for him.  Iraqis look at previous American endeavors and see that for all their altruism, the US, as it did in Afghanistan, always seems to leave to early.  McCain will ensure that the job gets done abroad and will thereby also ensure that domestic reforms can be lasting and productive.

On November 4th a critical decision will be made by all Americans.  Will we elect as the role model for the world a leader who is dedicated to the security and well being of all people and has a lengthy record of sacrificing for others?  Or, will we give power to an individual whose life has been about climbing the ladder of power; who has promised much, but has given little and who has already begun limiting the speech and freedoms of those who oppose him?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's New Deal No Better Than Old One


Michael Barone

With victory in sight, Barack Obama's supporters are predicting
that he will give us a new New Deal. To see what that might mean, let's
look back on the original New Deal.

The purpose of New Deal legislation was not, as commonly thought,
to restore economic growth but rather to freeze the economy in place at

a time when it seemed locked in a downward spiral. Its central program,
the National Recovery Administration (NRA), created 700 industry
councils for firms and unions to set minimum prices and wages. The
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the ancestor of our farm bills,
limited production to hold up prices. Unionization, encouraged by NRA
and the 1935 Wagner Act, was meant to keep workers in jobs that the
unemployed would have taken at lower pay.

These policies did break the downward spiral. But, as Amity Shlaes
points out in "The Forgotten Man," they failed to restore growth.

Double-digit unemployment continued throughout the 1930s; despite

population growth, the economy failed to rebound to 1920s production
levels. High taxes on high earners (a Herbert Hoover as well as
Franklin Roosevelt policy) financed welfare payments ("spread the
wealth around") but reduced investment and growth.

The political verdict was negative. New Dealers were whalloped in

the 1938 off-year elections. Polls show that Democrats would have lost
the White House in 1940 if that election had been decided on domestic
issues. But war loomed. France fell in June 1940, just before America's
two national party conventions, and Adolf Hitler and his then-ally
Joseph Stalin controlled most of the landmass of Eurasia. Republicans
did not have an experienced leader in this world crisis -- Democrats
did: Franklin Roosevelt, who cynically engineered his nomination for a
third term and then swept to victory on foreign policy.

Roosevelt had thought that economic expansion was a thing of the

past. But World War II stimulated huge growth in the American economy.
New Deal welfare programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the
Works Progress Administration (WPA) arts program were terminated.
Wartime domestic policies were growth stimulators. Veterans
Administration home mortgage loans, building on the FHA mortgage
program, encouraged home-buying and after the war converted a nation of
renters to a nation of homeowners. The G.I. Bill of Rights subsidized
higher education for millions of veterans.

These programs stimulated growth partly because they required real

effort -- down payments, military service -- from beneficiaries before
they received aid.

The postwar Republican Congress elected in 1946 dismantled some New

Deal anti-growth policies. Labor unions' powers to strike were sharply
restricted. Tax rates were lowered, and wage and price controls were
dismantled. Many hold-the-economy-in-place policies were retained until
the deregulation of the 1970s and 1980s. But the New Deal was
transformed sufficiently to permit buoyant economic growth for two
decades after the war.

Obama seems determined to follow policies better suited to freezing

the economy in place than to promoting economic growth. Higher taxes on
high earners, for one. He told Charlie Gibson he would raise capital
gains taxes even if that reduced revenue: less wealth to spread around,
but at least the rich wouldn't have it -- reminiscent of the Puritan
sumptuary laws that prohibited the wearing of silk. Moves toward
protectionism like Hoover's (Roosevelt had the good sense to promote
free trade). National health insurance that threatens to lead to
rationing and to stifle innovation. Promoting unionization by
abolishing secret ballot union elections.

The impulse to social engineering is unmistakable. Government

officials will allocate resources, redistribute income, and ration good
and services. Use government stakes in banks, insurance companies and
Detroit auto manufacturers to maintain the position of those already in
place, at the cost of preventing the emergence of new enterprises that
might have been spawned by the capital being allocated.

Social engineering of course is far easier when you are dealing

with an economy that is frozen in place. It's harder when you have to
deal with the creative destruction, the emergence of new firms and
businesses, and the decline of old ones, which as Joseph Schumpeter
taught is the inevitable consequence of economic growth.

Roosevelt in the 1930s had some extremely competent social

engineers, like Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes and Fiorello LaGuardia, who
could enroll 750,000 people on welfare in three weeks and build an
airport in less than a year. But even they could not spur the economic
growth produced by utterly unknown and unconnected people, as Warren
Buffett and Bill Gates were in 1970.

When financial crisis looms, there is an impulse to freeze

everything in place and accept what is as the best there can ever be:
Barack Obama's new New Deal. The history of the old New Deal suggests
this is not a sustainable approach in the long run. (source)

Obama's Policy on Accountability

While Barack Obama is arguing that "politics as usual" is not how he will run the White House, his campaign strategy has, unsurprisingly, been all about the underhandedness that has become associated with politicians. Here and here are two great examples from today's news.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome to the Spin Room

Thomas Sowell makes a valid point in his argumenet that it is not facts but fluff that attracts voters.

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher
Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years-- including the
present year-- denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big
risks that could lead to a financial crisis... It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today's financial

Despite these and many more facts that offer substantial proof that it is the Democratic party that must be held responsible for the current crisis, voters seem not to care. On November 4th, current polls predict, America will elect a democratic president thus giving that party supreme control over the government. The idea of checks and balances is crucial to our system of government and to ensuring our way of life. It would not be intelligent, during a time when Americans abroad are still ensuring Iraqis their freedoms on a daily basis and Americans at home are struggling to make ends meet, to elect one of the most socialist American politicians in recent history. Giving Mr. Obama the keys to the Oval office while Congress is still controlled by the Democrats undermines the fundamental principals of this nation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe's Election

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

This is what Obama's economic plan boils down to.  He wants to tax the "rich" to feed the "poor."  Very nice sounding in theory - very socialist in reality.  What ever happened to the American dream where anyone can become rich?  Under the Obama Plan it would be all but impossible for new people to enter the realm of the "rich" (keep in mind that according to Obama $250,000 of income a year qualifies one as rich) when their taxes are increased the closer they get to that landmark.  Essentially, what will happen is that as one works harder to earn that higher income they will be slapped with increasing taxes thus discouraging their continued efforts to break out of poverty (lower than $250,000).  The socialist model doesn't work because it discourages economic growth.  In this difficult economic period, the last the our country needs is another barrier to growth.

We don't need to increase taxes on Joe the Plumber in order to strengthen our economy and society, we need to make it easier for him to work so that he can buy his company, employ more workers, and eventually enable those workers to buy their own companies, thus continuing a cycle of economic growth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Debate

Currently the closing statements are being made.  My favorite line from the debate was McCain's final argument for vouchers when he summed up Obama's argument as "well, there aren't enough vouchers therefore we shouldn't use any even though its working."

Anyway, I'm gonna post more later but for now I want to watch the commentary...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie

Sen. John McCain's 2006 demand for regulatory action on Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac could have prevented current financial crisis, as HUMAN
EVENTS learned from the letter shown in full text below.

McCain's letter -- signed by nineteen other senators -- said that it
was "...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to
ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound
manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American
taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail."

Sen. Obama did not sign the letter, nor did any other Democrat.

The full text of the letter appears below.

McCain Letter

Monday, October 6, 2008

What the Main Stream Media Doesn't Want You to Know

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

"More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised
has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't

This headline and quote from shines the light on an issue that, while not necessarily illegal, is certainly crossing the threshold of proper ethics. Obama's slogan has constantly been "Change" yet, his methods have been anything but. Mr. Obama claims that he has dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s, but that has not been the case. I don't know who gave him the money, but I, and many other voters shure would like to. If Mr. Obama wants the American public to believe his impassioned cries of hope and belief in his ability to reform Washington, he must match those words with his actions. As of yet, he has not done so.

Biden's Fantasy World

From the Wall Street Journal

In the popular media wisdom, Sarah Palin is the neophyte who knows
nothing about foreign policy while Joe Biden is the savvy diplomatic
pro. Then what are we to make of Mr. Biden's fantastic debate voyage
last week when he made factual claims that would have got Mrs. Palin
mocked from New York to Los Angeles?

[Biden's Fantasy World]

Start with Lebanon, where Mr. Biden
asserted that "When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah
out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, 'Move NATO forces in there.
Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah
will control it.' Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part
of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel."

The U.S. never kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and no one else has
either. Perhaps Mr. Biden meant to say Syria, except that the U.S. also
didn't do that. The Lebanese ousted Syria's military in 2005. As for
NATO, Messrs. Biden and Obama may have proposed sending alliance troops
in, but if they did that was also a fantasy. The U.S. has had all it
can handle trying to convince NATO countries to deploy to Afghanistan.

Speaking of which, Mr. Biden also averred that "Our commanding
general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work
in Afghanistan." In trying to correct him, Mrs. Palin mispronounced the
general's name -- saying "General McClellan" instead of General David
McKiernan. But Mr. Biden's claim was the bigger error, because General
McKiernan said that while "Afghanistan is not Iraq," he also said a
"sustained commitment" to counterinsurgency would be required. That is
consistent with Mr. McCain's point that the "surge principles" of Iraq
could work in Afghanistan.

Then there's the Senator's astonishing claim that Mr. Obama "did not
say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad" without preconditions. Yet Mr.
Biden himself criticized Mr. Obama on this point in 2007 at the
National Press Club: "Would I make a blanket commitment to meet
unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the
first year I was elected President? Absolutely, positively no."

Or how about his rewriting of Bosnia history to assert that John
McCain didn't support President Clinton in the 1990s. "My
recommendations on Bosnia, I admit I was the first one to recommend it.
They saved tens of thousands of lives. And initially John McCain
opposed it along with a lot of other people. But the end result was it
worked." Mr. Biden's immodesty aside, Mr. McCain supported Mr. Clinton
on Bosnia, as did Bob Dole even as he was running against him for
President in 1996 -- in contrast to the way Mr. Biden and Democratic
leaders have tried to undermine President Bush on Iraq.

Closer to home, the Delaware blarney stone also invited Americans to
join him at "Katie's restaurant" in Wilmington to witness middle-class
struggles. Just one problem: Katie's closed in the 1980s. The mistake
is more than a memory lapse because it exposes how phony is Mr. Biden's
attempt to pose for this campaign as Lunchbucket Joe.

We think the word "lie" is overused in politics today, having become
a favorite of the blogosphere and at the New York Times. So we won't
say Mr. Biden was deliberately making events up when he made these and
other false statements. Perhaps he merely misspoke. In any case, Mrs.
Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at
least most of what she knows is true.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Biden came off as having a better command of the issues. However, Palin was charming and connected with the audience. It is fair to say that ultimately Sarah Palin did very well. She had no major "gaffes" and she was able to to go head to head with a Senator of nearly 40 years. While Fox (obviously) says that she won the debate hands down, I tend to look for the issues and substance of the arguments more than the style or showiness. So while her ability to perform on stage may help McCain - a result I am certainly hoping for - in the interest of objectivity I must say that I liked Biden a lot. Sen. Biden is good at serious speeches where he discusses critical issues with very little humor, Gov. Palin is good at connecting with the mainstream voter.

I am looking forward to seeing what the polls show tomorrow - how significant an impact will this debate have on the current ratings?


"Say it ain't so Joe!"  As I've said before, at the end of the night, it is her personality that will draw voters.  With a quick series of teasing jokes that nobody seemed to get, Palin has just warmed up.  As a whole, this debate is raather friendly, with neither side attacking to harshly, the weaknesses of the other.


I wish I was better at multi-tasking, because there is so much to comment on.  Essentially, Biden is coming off as strong, knowledgeable, and fed up.  The Senator seems to be frustrated with Governor Palin's "talking points."  I don't blame him.  Biden has an enourmous resume to boast of; he is one of the most knowledgeable Senators when it comes to foriegn affairs.

Palin's most potent attacks are coming in the forms of pointing out the hypocracies of both Biden and Obama, but of "Washington insiders" in general.  "I am just not used to the way you all talk."  While she is not completely devoid of substansive remarks, her most sailient comments are those that point out the records of Obama and Biden.  I can't help but notice that as Palin speaks, Biden chuckles and nods  - sometimes it seems that he is being condescending.  At other times, I think he actually likes the way palin is making her points.


Biden just mentioned that Iranian President Ahmadinejad does not control the security in Iran.  "It is the theocracy that controls the security."  This brings out a very valid point: Ahmadinejad does not ultimately make the decisions in Iran, the mullahs do.  Therefore what really is accomplished by talking to him?  Anyway, moving right along...

[On a side note Jonathan Martin does a great job blogging the debate.]

Palin just botched the nuke debate: "A deterant... is a safe stable way to use those nuclear weapons."  While she is of course refering to the way America "uses" nukes, she has also opened the door (as if it really needed opening) to the double standard argument.  Not only that, but she has legitimized the argument that nukes for self-defense (i.e. a deterant) is okay. 

The VP Debate - First Impressions

My first thought: Palin looks like a kid trying to box with Muhammad Ali.  Its now half an hour into the debate, and Palin looks no more relaxed than she did 30 minutes ago.  That being said, Palin is handling herself fairly well in this debate.  Currently, the discussion has turned to the War in Iraq.  Palin seems to be sticking to the party line: the surge worked, we must stay the course and "it would be a travesty if we quit now in Iraq" because it would constitute a failure not only there but in Afghanistan as well. 

While Senator Biden is certainly coming across as the more experienced politician of the two, I am not convinced that that is a point in his favor.  As Palin keeps mentioning, she is just like the rest of us; her family and issues are most similar to those of the middle class voters that are so often mentioned.  While Palin is the more relatable of the two, for my part, I am enjoying hearing (and watching) Biden debate.  He is confident and while not always honest, certainly presaents an image of honesty and sincerity.  Biden very smoothly avoided Palins barb that he once stated that he would be honored to be on a ticket with McCain.  For her part, Palin likes to mention Obama's "story" - a referance to Gwen Ifill's forethcoming book on Obama?