Category Archives: 2008 Presidential Election

Hate Crimes in the 2008 Election

I’ve previously supported hate crimes law beacuse they help crack down on racial and political violence. Of course, for hate crimes to actually function that way and not to encourage such violence, the powers-that-be have to actually be against such violence.

I haven’t heard the Obama campaign calling for a hate crimes investigation into this yet:,

Woman Attacked At ATM, Assailant Scratches Letter Into Her Face – Pittsburgh News Story – WTAE Pittsburgh
Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the robber took $60 from Todd, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim’s car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter “B” into her face, Richard said.

The Tribune reported that Todd, who isn’t familiar with the area, drove to a friend’s house and together the pair located the Citizens Bank ATM at Liberty and Pearl where the attack happened and called police.

Todd declined to comment to the Tribune. Friends said she is in Pittsburgh volunteering for the McCain-Palin campaign.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank’s surveillance cameras.

The robber is described as a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build, short black hair and brown eyes. The man was wearing dark colored jeans, a black undershirt and black shoes.

Barack Obama has previously opposed urban COIN.

Update: The complaint may be false, which brings to mine the Duke LaCrosse scandal. In that, Obama called for an investigation into District Attorney Nifong, but not for any action against the false accuser. I cannot recall McCain’s reaction. It will be interesting to see how behavior around this scandal relates to past behavior.

Impressed with Obama’s Adjustment

I am impressed with Barack Obama’s recent adjustment. After being criticized by John McCain for expanding welfare (increasing payments to those who do not work)… Obama improved his position, dropped those payments, and focused on a class which we used to call the deserving poor:

Political Radar: Obama Tweaks Tax Plan to Rebut McCain
Facing criticism from John McCain that his tax plan constitutes “welfare,” Barack Obama recently added a work requirement to one of his proposals.

“They started saying this was welfare,” said Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee. “So, just so they would absolutely not be able to say that, we decided that for the last two percent we’ll simply add a work requirement.”

Goolsbee referred to the number of non-working Americans who would benefit from the original understanding of Obama’s plan as an insignificant “sliver” when compared to the much larger number of working Americans who would benefit from Obama’s plan.

Our brains are wired to detect cheaters. Cheater detection is the part of human nature that revolts at providing subsidies to those who do not contribute fairly. One big problem that old-style tax-and-spend liberals had is that they wanted subsidizes for all those who were poor, whether they were deserving or not.

People naturally are repelled at providing to charities to encouraging social cheating, such as shirking responsibility, and it is virtuous for people to refuse to support such institutions. Too many old-fashioned Democrats were never able to see that, so potentially good social programs were either trashed out of concern the Democrats would let the cheaters in, or become magnates for cheaters themselves.

Obama, by shifting his position to try to freeze out the ‘undeserving poor,’ seems to understand that. And that’s a good thing.

Economic Plans

McCain’s plan, to buy bad mortgages from people who can’t afford them, and then have the home owners pay back the new market value, is a give-away to foolish speculators. Obama’s right to hit him on the bail-out to banks, but Barack’s silence on the give-away to foolish home-owners is worrying (if predictable).

The latest news from Treasury, that the government is considering using the $700 billion to buy stock instead of subprimes, is promising. I’m glad someone is reading this blog!

Thoughts on the Bail-Out

The Bush-Pelosi bail-out passed the House on it second try, its cost now swollen from $700 billion to $850 billion.

The Democratic Party confirmed its status as run by limosine liberals — an upper/lower class alliance against the American middle class

The Republican Party confirmed its status as being run by idiots. While most House Republicans still voted against the Wall Street Bailout, the Republican leadership did everything possible to conflate the economic mismanagement of Democrats with the economic mismanagement of the GOP.

John McCain foolish suspended his campaign to support the bankrupt Bush line, and worked as hard as he could to undermine the House Republicans.

Barack Obama dutifully followed his Party’s leadership in its attempt to nationalize as much real property in the country as possible.

The Republicans demonstrated no ability to handle a complex economic crisis.

The Democrats demonstrated their known ability to manipulate markets, wreck important institutions, and hurt the country.

Whatever the specific fates of the Wall Street firms and their Washington men, it’s hard to think that the US financial system is not irreparably wrecked. What we had before is unlikely to come back. The executive branch sees as its purpose protecting investors from risk, and the legislative branch apparently has ignored the lessons of the 1990s and regressed to economic policies that would be familiar to Adlai Stevenson.

That all said, the candidate with the best economic policies at this point appears to be Barack Obama — prsuming he is lying on international trade, the capital gains tax, and so on. The lack of national health insurance means that the U.S. is the only industrialized country where losing your job means losing your health insurance: this is a systemic break on free trade and creative destruction.

Political Corruption, the Bush-Pelosi Bailout, and the Soros Plan

The big-government ‘regulation’ of the mortgage market is a major cause of our current financial crisis. Problems which were known about nearly two-hundred years ago came back again. Bought-off Senators, such as Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, took the ideological easy route of pushing loans on people who could not pay them off, at the risk of a financial crisis such as we are now having.

The first President of the modern Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, summarized the corrupt Bank of the United States as follows:

By the early 1830s, President Andrew Jackson had come to thoroughly dislike the Second Bank of the United States because of its fraud and corruption. Jackson then had an investigation done on the Bank which he said established “beyond question that this great and powerful institution had been actively engaged in attempting to influence the elections of the public officers by means of its money.” Although its charter was bound to run out in 1836, Jackson wanted to “kill” the Second Bank of the United States even earlier. Jackson is considered primarily responsible for its demise, seeing it as an instrument of political corruption and a threat to American liberties.[5] The head of the Second Bank during Jackson’s presidency was Nicholas Biddle who decided to seek an extension of the bank’s charter four years early, in 1832. Henry Clay helped to steer the bill through Congress. But Jackson vetoed the bill in July.

Now, because in part of Obama’s and Dodd’s actions, we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

There are two major approaches being discussed: first, give even more wealth and influence those incompetent investment banks which helped create this mess, or partially nationalize the banks.

Both approaches are ugly, but given the choice between rewarding the stockholders who helped create this mess, or punish them, I say punish.

I’ll take the Soros Plan over the Bush-Pelosi Bailout.

Obama captiulates on foreigner-bashing!

Good news! Both Slashdot and Weekly Standard note the news, but both miss the story. Obama has always been a flake, a candidate of the establishment who can be trusted to do what he is told because he does not know any better. Today, we see more evidence of that. Given the choice between bashing China or following the Democratic Party elites, Obama flops. Good.

Versionista has the comparison. Obama’s old webpage pushed the view that H1Bs were in general not particularly qualified, and we could get away with less immigration if our schools were better. But that nonsense is now gone! The old page was full of language like this:

Most H-1B new arrivals, for example, have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent abroad (42.5%). They are not all PhDs. We can and should produce more Americans with bachelor’s degrees that lead to jobs in technology. A report of the National Science Foundation (NSF) reveals that blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans as a whole comprise more that 25% of the population but earn, as a whole, 16% of the bachelor degrees, 11% of the master’s degrees, and 5% of the doctorate degrees in science and engineering. We can do better than that and go a long way toward meeting industry’s need for skilled workers with Americans.

The implication of lines like this is that if we spend more money on “blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans,” we would need less Asians. Thankfully, the establishment got to Obama, and this 19th century racial-politics/bundle-of-work nonsense is gone.

I previously criticized Obama for hinting that he would kick the forigners out of the country. I am glad he came around.

Here’s hoping Obama’s next move to betray his original supporters and befriend the establishment is changing his tune on Colombia.

Obama’s Intelligence

One of the many annoying memes that was going around early in this campaign is that Obama was an unusually smart and intelligent candidate. My impression was exactly the opposite, and the meme seems to have slowed down, so perhaps otehrs are coming around to that realization, as well.

Half Sigma, however, now disagrees. In a series of posts (including More on Obama’s intelligence, Was Obama in the top 10% of the class at Harvard Law School?, Barack Obama’s high-IQ brother, and Harvard Law Review confirms Obama’s magna cum laude),

In the posts, Half Sigma misunderstands the role of general intelligence (or IQ) in higher education. Sigma claims that higher education is highly g loaded (that is, depends on general intelligence). Well, it’s definitely true that people with more higher education are much more likely to get into these institutions, but once there success depends more on study behaviors, access to high quality peers, prior knowledge, and so on.

With the sole exception of grades, Half Sigma’s other arguments for Obama’s intelligence are equally true of George W. Bush. And remember, even Bush’s grades were better than Kerry’s.

Of course, if you come from a politically correct background (as did both Bush and Obama), the g-loading of graduate school goes down anyway.

So: Obama’s smart enough. He’s smarter than most Americans. Like Bush. And also like Bush, would come to the office after the great shift of the talented and ambitious to business.

We may now be in the age of second-rate Presidents.

(Obviously, however, in the form of intelligence that may matter the most — experience — Obama is as lacking as Palin.)