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!
Watching now. Both candidates are taking turns saying stupid things. Really annoying, especially considering how important some of the issues are. Also annoying, considering how candidates seem intent on pulling idiocy from the teeth of sense. Barack Obama’s comment on the Chamber of Commerce is a perfect example of this.
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.
Strings of good luck can’t last forever. Â But this has one sure lasted a long time for McCain. Â Clues of the out-of-touchness of the national media only help the McCain camp, as they alienate Americans from the Establishment’s childless norms:
The Weekly Standard
From the New York Times:
In the press galleries at the convention, journalists wrinkled their noses in disgust when Piper, Ms. Palinâ€™s youngest daughter, was filmed kitty-licking her baby brotherâ€™s hair into place. But to many Americans â€” including some I talked to in the convention hall â€” that looked like family church on Sunday, evidence of good breeding and sibling regard.
Elsewhere McCain is at 48%+ on intrade, and has quite the lead against Obama.
A while back, people were calling McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as VP a hail-mary pass. Â It wasn’t. Â It was a statue-of-liberty play. Â Much easier to execute than a statue-of-liberty, it requires only the cluelessness ot the opposition to work.
And Obama’s pick, in retrospect, is politically quite clueness. Â (If substantively sound for a Democrat).
Nykrindc’s summary of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin is very in-depth, and highly recommended. Perhaps the most efficient comparison, however, is Tom’s, who contrasts McCain’s pick of Palin with Obama’s choice of Biden
Interesting difference in Veep choices (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)
Again, a pretty bold call given the circumstances, suggesting a difference in leadership style: Obama will be more careful and McCain more bold.. So the flip-flop of party identities remains in tact: Clinton was more conservative (despite all the talk) and Bush was more radical (despite all the talk). I think Obama would end up being surprisingly conservative in leadership style (despite all the hype) and McCain more the radical (despite all the imagery). Social issues aside (the great mania of the Boomer generation), the politics remains upside-down compared to the GOP and Dem parties I grew up knowing.
Two major issues caught my attention. One McCain answered very well. The other less so.
On Crime, McCain emphasized Rudy Giuliani’s success in New York. He went a step beyond that to emphasize that similar tactics are working in Iraq, and they work for the same reasons: without security nothing is possible, but once security exists, the foundations for growth and trust exist. Obama, by contrast, opposes urban counter-insurgency operations. Obama supports a ‘Rumsfeld Doctrine’ of minimal policing both at home and abroad. I think that is dangerous, and McCain’s response is the way to go.
Unfortunately, McCain was weak on health care. He said he wanted every Ameriacn to have the opportunity to purchase health care, but did not emphasize the need for universal coverage that is required to keep America. Fareed Zakaria described this dynamic well in The Post American World (which I previously reviewed). We already have socialized health care in this country, and if we’re going to have this degree of massive government interference, we can at least create a system where losing your job doesn’t mean losing your health.
Barack Obama plays the race card yet again, “jokingly” complaining that he is “too black.” This is analogous to if John McCain would complaining that he is “too heroic” — it is obvious, cheesy, and an attempt to short-circuit debate.
I am against race-based campaigns or race-based administration, so Barack Obama’s race-baiting (and John McCain’s attempt to move the country beyond race) makes the decision in 2008 even clearer for me.
John McCain’s recent op-ed begins with this strange header:
EDITORS’ NOTE: The New York Times wouldn’t print this oped from the GOP candidate.
As many readers of this blog know, the New York Times published an opinion-editorial piece by Barack Obama. When John McCain attempted to publish a reply piece, the Times refused. This is to be expected. As far as domestic policies proceed, the Times is as ideological and partisan as, say the Daily Kos of the Huffington Post. There’s no reason to think the Times is interested in anything other than pushing their own agenda.
Fortunately, the New York Post stepped in. Now that the editorial is published, and a second reason for the Times rejecting it is obvious: it includes a devastating attack against Barack Obama that is difficult to refute. McCain has finally called Obama on running for Bush’s third term:
GETTING IRAQ RIGHT – New York Post
During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I’ve heard many times from our troops what Major Gen. Jeffrey Hammond (commander of Coalition forces in Baghdad) recently said: Leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”
The danger is that extremists supported by al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq.
Sen. Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. Indeed, he’s emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.
I’m dismayed that he never talks about winning the war – only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will – and a triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us.
Obama is repeating the “Mission Accomplished” debacle, assuring us that because kinetics are now down, we can leave. Bush III has not learned this lesson from Bush II.
There is a saying, those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.
But the intellectually incurious are condemned to repeat what happened five years ago.
That spells trouble and blood for an Obama administration.
there is one good reason to vote for Obama: China.
Obama is running for Bush’s third term, in the sense that he is an inexperienced outsider who will have to rely on establishment faces to make his administration work.  This means that his defense policy on China will be shaped by the center-left defense establishment, his commercial policy on China will be shaped by the center-left commercial establishment, his diplomatic policy on China will be shaped by the center-left diplomatic establishment, and so on.
In other words, our policy of “separate lanes” will continue.
McCain is smart, experienced, and knowledgeable enough to have a different policy, and implement it.
Novelty can be dangerous, especially if McCain is serious about the “league of Democracy.”
Obama’s said more dangerous things (renegotiating NAFTA, not importing any more Chinese toys, etc), but as outlined above, no one takes his words seriously.
The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting thinks the government should offer a $300 million prize to the person who can develop an automobile battery that leapfrogs existing technology.
The prize would equate to $1 for every man, woman and child in the country.
In a speech being delivered Monday at Fresno State University in California, McCain is also proposing stiffer fines for automakers who skirt existing fuel-efficiency standards and incentives to increase use of domestic and foreign ethanol.
The $300 million bounty on a new feat echoes the Ansari X-Prize, a financial award given to the first successful commercial spaceflight. Indeed, McCain’s plan is similar to the official Automotive X-Prize, which would give a far smaller amount to the creator of an environmentally-friendly car. I don’t know whether the Ansari X-Prize’s success would translate into better car battery life, but it seems that the downside is small and the upside is great.
Still, an “X-Prize for Electric Cars” should be only part of a broader push to get us better technologies. Other approaches include granting permanent residency to foreigners to graduate with PhDs at U.S. R-1 research institutions, as well as abolishing affirmative action. (So far neither candidate has pledged to do these things.)