Monthly Archives: September 2008

Wake me when it’s over

In my humble opinion, Jim Lehrer was annoying last night.  His shtick of “I’m trying to get you two to fight with each other” — “he tried his best to goad the two into battle,” said one commentator approvingly — was obvious and intrusive.  Why should they take his lead on this?  Each will fight in his own time and maybe not at all. 

It takes a sharp panel of news people, each with his or her own hard fact-based questions aimed at pinning the debater to the wall, to provide real, as opposed to manufactured drama.  Some who recall the original “Meet the Press” will ask, “Where are today’s Lawrence Spivaks and why aren’t they up there trying to skewer the candidates?

Rush Limbaugh predicted correctly: it was like watching paint dry.

What happened at the White House?

Obama screwed it up yesterday at the White House, says Rush Limbaugh.  All four Democrat leaders handed him the ball at meeting start, and he took off after the House Republicans in quite obstreperous manner.  That’s when meeting blew up.

More later . . .  

Later: Rush cited American Spectator, which is so busy a site it was hard to get to it.  It has this:

When Sen. Barack Obama was given the floor to speak during White House negotiations, according to White House aides, he did so raising concerns about a House Republican alternative to the Paulson/Bernanke $700 billion bailout. But those concerns weren’t necessarily his, as he was not aware of the GOP plan before reviewing notes provided him by Paulson loyalists in Treasury prior to entering the meeting.

How else does AmSpec (it’s Prowler blog) know this?

According to an Obama campaign source, the notes were passed to Obama via senior aides traveling with him, who had been emailed the document via a current Goldman Sachs employee and Wall Street fundraiser for the Obama campaign. “It was made clear that the memo was from ‘friends’ and was reliable,” says the campaign source.

And what the effect of this impromptu blast across the aisle?

The memo allowed Obama and his fellow Democrats to box in Republican attendees and essentially took what President Bush had billed as a negotiating meeting off the rails.

And where does Paulson come in?

“Paulson and his team have not acted in good faith for this President or the administration for which they serve,” says a House Republican leader who was not present at the White House meeting, but who instead is part of the team hammering out the House GOP alternative.

He suspects skullduggery:

“We keep hearing about how Secretary Paulson is working with Democrats on this or that, yet he never seems to consider working with the party that essentially hired him. Perhaps he’s auditioning for a Democratic administration job. Our proposal didn’t just spring forth fully formed; we’ve been working on this for several days, and Treasury staff has known about it.”

And O. had a chance to do away with politics as usual.  This be what he does without a TelePrompter?

Other points by Rush:

* Dems have votes for this but want House Repubs to repudiate their principles and want cover if it doesn’t work out.  (Pelosi has specified the need for 100 Repubs in favor of this bill.) 

* Dems including O. have known where House Repubs stand but act surprised and indignant.

Time warp, warped outlook

“Blame deep-seated racism if Obama loses,” argues Sun-Times woman Deborah Douglas, who seems stuck in a pre-civil-rights movement past.

Pssst! I have a not-so-secret to tell you: America is no place for uppity black folks. At least that’s what I’ve been finding out lately.

Does she really think a white guy could have beat Hillary in the primary?  Or, for that matter, that she’d be where she is if she were white? 

The question arises, inevitably, in our race-preferential society, which has raised victimhood to an art form and laid guilt on non-black people — the younger, the more susceptible.

For more on this, see Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, by William McGowan, a 2001 book.

In this piece, Douglas refers to “grass-chewing Southerners” who call blacks “uppity” and to herself as “a nappy-headed black woman.” 

O. would be “way ahead if 40 percent of white Americans didn’t have negative views of African Americans,” she writes.  “The Great American Gut Check won’t give Obama a break,” however, citing the recent

AP-Stanford University poll that validates what [she has] suspected: If Barack Obama doesn’t win in November, we can blame racism.

Yes, the poll:

There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn’t mean there’s only a few bigots,” said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.

That might be so, by why did the study only address how the prejudices of whites are impacting the campaign while totally ignoring how racist feelings by blacks are entering the equation?

asked Noel Sheppard at News Busters.

My point exactly.  What white candidate could count on 78% of the black vote in S. Carolina, for instance, as he did in the recent primary?  Works both ways.

============

See Dennis Byrne for comments on same subject, including:

The poll finds that nine percent of all respondents said that Obama being the first black president would make them less likely to vote for him. Yes, this is wrong. But if you bother to read the survey’s next line, you find that another nine percent said that Obama being the first black president would make them more likely to vote for him.

The lady missed that point.

He comes with lots of tricks up sleeve

Meanwhile, at the Wednesday Journal of OP&RF:

However the cookie crumbles in November, when the final poll is taken, I’m a winner. Even if my man and woman come up short, I will get to watch a miracle-when Big O. and his Delaware sidekick create jobs while raising tax rates. He will truly be The Messiah if he pulls that off.

Needless to say, there’s more more more where than came from.

Big O. goes for the experienced accountant

An FDR baby, no less:

Franklin Delano Raines, the former chairman of Fannie Mae, repeatedly moved through a revolving door of high-power political positions in Washington and the financial industry until he was forced to resign amid an accounting scandal.

But there was life after Fannie, Wash Post reported last July:

[T]he post-scandal Raines “has been quietly constructing a new life for himself” and had recently “taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.”

On what not to do?

The bomb-thrower and the candidate

Obama needed Bill Ayers’s ok to get on the board of Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), which he chaired and whose

agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. [Italics added]

Ayers believed in this sort of thing.  He wrote

that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. . . . .  “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist,” [he] said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, “Sixties Radicals,” at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC was made to order for him.  It

translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn). [Italics added]

More more more in WSJ, where Stanley Kurtz delivers on his plowing through the UIC library archives. 

You take the “Dem” out of Democrat, and nothing’s left

It starts with “Dem-“ and it’s Democrat, right? 

Partly.  Try “demagogue.”

In Daytona Beach, Obama said that “if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week.” He referred to “elderly women” at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support “grandmothers and grandfathers.”

Remember when he talked about rejecting old-style politics?

Actually,

The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.

“In our “Scaring Seniors” article posted Sept. 19,” says Fact Check, 

we took apart a claim in an Obama-Biden ad that McCain somehow supported a 50 percent cut in Social Security benefits, which is simply false. Then, on Saturday Sept. 20, Sen. Barack Obama personally fed senior citizens another whopper, this one a highly distorted claim about the private Social Security accounts that McCain supports.

It’s what the teleprompter had written on it, apparently.

Forget you, Wall Street!

Get a load of this really stupid populism, treating Wall Street problems as if they do not affect Main Street:

Democrat Barack Obama Friday said his “panicked” White House rival John McCain was flailing at a time of financial crisis and said a government rescue for Wall Street must shield regular Americans too.

Mayordaley II exhibited similar innocence of economic awareness:

Daley said yesterday (Wednesday) the [bailout] money would be better spent on education.

Daley said he feels sorry for the people of the United States. He said the nation doesn’t have enough money for education, but it has enough money to . . . fix every problem on Wall Street.

As if the whole economic shootin’ match has nothing to do with his payouts to schools. 

Meanwhile, he’s ready to make it harder to do business in Chicago, having bought into Kyoto, etc.:

Next month, the City Council is expected to consider an ordinance that would update the city’s energy code to require such things as better insulation, heating and cooling systems and windows in all commercial, industrial and residential buildings.

The city also has an agreement with two coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions or shut down by 2015 and 2017, respectively, [ Suzanne] Malec-McKenna [Chicago's environmental commissioner] said.

Onward and upward, Richard M.  Intervene, intervene, intervene.

Econ for the believer: think twice about it

Chi Trib’s Manya Brachear talks up a book that questions what some think Jesus would do when it comes to economics.

“Good intentions do not assure good results, and they can at times lead to policies with perverse unintended consequences,” co-authors Bob Smietana and Charles North write. “As in the rest of life, the road to economic hell is often paved with good intentions.”

How true.  The book is Jesus Freakonomics, by a religion writer and an economist.  They

project long-range implications of certain economic choices and evaluate them according to biblical criteria.

They found that what sounds moral isn’t always so. For example, the battle to raise minimum wage sounds moral, but from an economist’s perspective, granting an “earned income tax credit probably works better than minimum wage to get money in the hands of poor families,” Smietana said.

“You can argue all day about whether raising minimum wage is moral or not. But if the earned income tax credit gives people more money, then go with that,” Smietana said.

I’m full of that kind of thinking these days, reading Thomas E. Woods Jr.’s excellent The Church and the Market: a Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, with its dissection of Catholic sources, including the social encyclicals of Leo XIII, Pius XI, Paul VI, and John Paul II.

Woods is as devoted a Catholic as you will find, and no liberal in belief matters.  But he sharply distinguishes what’s of faith and what isn’t, and has no problem picking apart Paul VI, for instance, on the moral imperative to support nation-to-nation foreign aid — it’s a pernicious practice, he argues, precisely in its consequences, which is what these two authors care about.

Earlier in the book, he explicates the 16th-century Jesuits from Salamanca and other Catholics, including Dominicans, who firmly decided that the just wage is what’s determined by a free market. 

Very stimulating stuff, which must not sit well with the good fathers of America Magazine, not to mention other priests and laity who buy into state interference in economic matters.

As for the America Jesuits, we would have to ask them what they think, since the Woods book was not reviewed there.

 

With a yip, yip here, a yap, yap there . . .

I will have to be careful where I wear my NObama ‘08 cap:

In Elko, Obama . . . called on the crowd of about 1,500 to sharpen their elbows, too.

“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” he said.

Oh boy.  See what they did to Milt Rosenberg on WGN radio (also here).  It could happen to you, so watch it.

“And if they tell you . . .  ‘Well, we’re not sure where he stands on guns.’ I want you to say, ‘He believes in the Second Amendment.’ If they tell you, ‘Well, he’s going to raise your taxes,’ you say, ‘No, he’s not, he’s going lower them.’ You are my ambassadors. You guys are the ones who can make the case.”

Like the 20–something waitress addressing the sixty-something diners: “What would you guys like?”

He talks that way.  He began his session with the Chi Trib board of examiners in March with a “you guys.”

Are we heading for another four or eight years when no grownups are allowed in the White House, as in ‘92 to ‘00?  In my face indeed.  Listen, kid . . .

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