Archive for September 2008

The First Debate

First impressions before reading anyone else’s thoughts…

McCain had an opportunity to do something tonight and he didn’t.  He seemed too focused on hitting his talking points (how many ear-marks did Obama have again?) and not on speaking to his vision of America and where it should be heading.

I disagree with Obama on just about everything, but he tried very hard to make the point that he was for more regulation of the American economy (and that’s a good thing?).  McCain didn’t do enough to make the counter point, to be against regulation and to highlight how the current problem isn’t a failure of regulation, but rather a problem caused by government interference in the markets.  The government caused this mortgage problem by forcing the banks to make bad loans and then surreptitiously subsidizing them through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  This is not a market failure, but a government failure.

McCain should have made that point because it very nicely dovetailed with his talking points about government waste and government corruption coming from too much government spending (and all the money flowing from Fannie and Freddie to Obama and his buddies).  But he didn’t and that was a missed opportunity.

Obama didn’t wow me.  His much vaunted charisma was not on display as far as I could tell and between the two of them I think they put on the most painfully boring presidential debate ever.  Which is saying something (Bush/Dukakis anyone?).

Scoring points in the debates will be important for McCain if he wants to win this election and he didn’t score any on Friday.  Was he playing it safe because he thinks he has more to lose than Obama?  Perhaps the closeness of the polls is messing with the McCain campaign and convincing them the election is theirs to lose.

I don’t think that’s the case, I think McCain needs to hammer Obama to win, to overcome the intensity gap between his followers and the Chosen One’s, and I don’t think giving milquetoast performances in the debates is the way to do that.

Ugh. Jamie Gorelick

She of the Chinese Wall between Intelligence and Law Enforcement that kept CIA from talking to FBI leading to 9/11.  She’s also a Fannie Mae Maven…

It’s not often that one person plays such a key role in two unmitigated disasters.

Go read the whole thing.

And go read The American Thinker, I’m just stealing from them today…

Amazing impenetrability

Some people’s minds are impenetrable to the obvious. Case in point. Edward, the doctor and Obama supporter:

Edward, 35, who declined to give his last name for fear it would damage his medical practice, said Obama and Palin are historic figures. But he also believed that Palin was a phenomenon destined to fade.

“The more she’s exposed, the less she’ll shine,” said Edward, who vowed that if McCain and Palin won, he and his friends would move to Canada.

“A lot of people left after 2004,” he said. If McCain and Palin win, “we’re all leaving.”

that’s from the Post. Describing an Obama march that drew less than 500 people. And they were all talking about Palin.

I don’t even know where to begin. Edward, the doctor , will be moving to Canada where he can trade in his private practice for the life of a government functionary in the DMV hospital system of Ontario. uh-huh.

Because Palin is “destined to fade”.  Edward is convinced Obama can’t lose, so convinced that he won’t give his name for fear that his patients will desert him.  Wait, walk with me here, Ed.  Can I call you Ed?

If everyone is going to be voting for Obama, as you expect, then why would you need to hide your identity from your patients?  Aren’t they voting for Obama?  Isn’t everyone voting for the One?  Even if your patients are some of the evil few who have not been enlightened, aren’t there plenty of minions who would fill the void in your waiting room?

Ed confuses me.  But then, they all do.

Obama-prompter

From TheAnchoress, to The American Thinker, to here…

Too bad we have only one major party candidate for the Oval Office capable of speaking without a prepared script. It raises questions about his authenticity when Obama is afraid to speak without a script.
This disability of Obama should give pause to all those who think he is so well-prepared for our nation’s highest office.
heh.

Written better

But saying the same things over at Investor’s Business Daily.

The Clinton-era corruption, combined with unprecedented catering to affordable-housing lobbyists, resulted in today’s nationalization of both Fannie and Freddie, a move that is expected to cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

Thanks, Bill!

Mortgages, Bailouts and things, UPDATED

I was bickering with a friend of mine the other day about the mortgage crisis, about the evil bankers who had lured the poor benighted masses into taking loans they couldn’t afford. About the horrible monsters in Washington ignoring their duty to reign in the crimes of these monstrous bankers devouring the first time home buyer’s and their dreams.

Rather, that’s what he was saying. Needless to say he was somewhat disappointed when I failed to immediately concede to his wish to regulate the industry out of existence.

There is another story to be told about the mortgage crisis, and those darn “liar’s loans” and so forth.

Does anyone remember, way back in the heady days of the 90′s when Clinton was President and the markets only went up? Anyone remember how then the problem was those darn banks discriminating against the poor, the undocumented folks who couldn’t apply for a regular loan? Anybody remember Redlining?

The elephant in the room of this whole scandal is simple to see if one remembers and thinks. In the 90′s the Clinton HUD and the Clinton Justice Department leaned on banks to make more loans to “the poor” or they were gonna get hit with racial discrimination law suits (“Racist! Racist!” being the favorite crime of the Left then as now). The tacit agreement was this; The Banks make bad loans and the Government through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buys up the questionable debt to spread the risk around. If things go south, it’ll be too huge to let everything collapse and the Government will come in and bail everybody out.

Now, in an election year no less, the check has come due and everyone on the Left conveniently forgets they blackmailed the Banks into making all these crap loans and decries “corporate welfare” as loudly as they can.

Those in the mainstream media who acknowledge the government’s role in the mess conveniently forget where it all started in their zeal to blame everything on Bush, but let’s put this baby on the correct parish doorstep, alright?

Here’s some links on the subject:

Openmarket.org pegs it, here. Also here. They’ve got tons of stuff so just go there and start clicking. h/t DrewM. at Ace.

Here is the Washington Post piece.
This is not a case of markets letting people down, it’s a case of government coercion distorting markets to achieve a policy goal and then running for cover when the bill comes due.

UPDATE:  And wowsers.  Who’d a thunk that Obama’s favorite fascists, ACORN, were involved in the Freddie fiasco?

Which brings us to the Fannie Mae Foundation. A sweet little set up for handing out cash to a nice little outfit called ACORN among others. Here are a few of the grants to ACORN.

ACORN Housing Corporation-National
Chicago, IL $100,000 approved in 2004
General operating support of an organization that helps families of limited means to secure and protect decent housing by providing housing counseling services, building homes, and educating policy makers in Chicago, IL; Phoenix, AZ; and Brooklyn, NY

Wow.  That’s a huge post, and rambling but it joins a lot of this mess to Obama directly which I wasn’t doing before.  As they say, read the whole thing. h/t The American Thinker.

The world’s verdict will be harsh

Jonathan Freedland: The world’s verdict will be harsh if the US rejects the man it yearns for | The Guardian

Perhaps Jonathan Freedland has not heard, but in 1776, the United States officially broke with the British government. And even then, there were many doubts, especially abroad, that the U.S. could possibly survive. Who were these upstart colonists to think they could run their own government? George III and others doubted it very much indeed.

Well, she did survive. And prosper. Yes, thanks France for your warships in the 1770s — we couldn’t have done it without you. Seriously. And thanks, The Netherlands, for your generous loan once we had won freedom. And thanks to all the other countries around the world who, due to their own poor governance over the last two hundred years, led many of their most driven and intelligent citizens to become Americans.

And now that we’re all grown up and have actually helped you out several times (and yes, according to our national interest. We’re generous, but we can only be generous if we have stuff to give away. Simple economics — don’t bother your pretty head about that), we have the temerity to think that we can make our own decisions?!

Yes. .. Yes We Can.

Sincerity, honor, and service

Those would be the themes I think the McCain campaign was going for with this speech.  And I think it succeeded. I would have loved to hear more specific policies, to respond to Obama’s Marxist prescriptions, but the timing and audience was not right. Or at least that’s what more knowledgeable pundits than me are saying.

Were attacks on Obama necessary tonight? Maybe not. After all, Palin and Giuliani and others have gone after Obama/Biden.  I kept wanting the speech to look forward more than backwards, but he did need to sell his experience, and more importantly, his principles and love of country. Those were indeed the most affecting lines.  In part because they do stand in contrast to Obama’s camp. He can say he loves his country, but he is so quick to find fault with it.

And he ended strong, no doubt about it. Talking through the impassioned cheers of the crowd was a good move. It showed strength of purpose and confidence and passion.

Now. Let’s get down to specific policies, and why the differences matter. Because they do.

Home run for Pioneer VP!

In not only a well-delivered, but principled and inspiring speech, Sarah Palin proved that she carries all the necessary qualities of a Vice President.

  1. She respects her running mate. His honor, his desire for reform, his service to the US. For crying out loud, we, who actually didn’t like McCain at all during the primaries, felt our hearts start to swell with pride (this doesn’t mean we agree with him on immigration or certain votes that he cast over the last 6 years, but friends, as McCain would say, look at the alternative).
  2. She has principles . In Palin’s case, strong principles toward reform and freedom
  3. She has action. As she rightly noted, she as mayor has actually done things, while Obama as community organizer (and Rudy had perhaps the best line of the night about that — “What??”), has done next to nothing. He has not one meaningful piece of legislation to his name. NOT ONE. And he is running for President.
  4. She can deliver a speech well. Yes, she had help from excellent speechwriter Matt Scully. More power to her. But it was clearly still her speech. She spoke to the nation, not at the nation. Point scored.

This was not ony a first-inning home run, as Nina Easton said tonight, it was maybe a homerun with two men on base. In the second.

I think it was Peggy Noonan who today in her column who said that Sarah Palin would be a different kind of woman politican. She wouldn’t be a slightly curmudgeonly older woman, like Maragaret Thatcher (who we still love!), or a woman brought into politics because a father or husband or brother was in it, but a pioneer woman, straight of the American West. The one who had to keep the homestead safe from attack by bears or criminals or others when the usual protector (yes, usually a man) was away. She could shoot when necessary. She understood what was worth fighting for.

And by the way, here’s Noonan’s response to the off-mic comment she got caught making on Wednesday before Palin’s speech.

And real fast, I note that some friends of mine are quick to jump on that fun “I have more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin” wagon. It makes me … amused. I smile. Okay, maybe you do, if by foreign policy we mean getting a passport stamp and little or no thought given to things, like, umm, policy. What else do you have? Executive experience? Passion for reform? Compassion? A love of the U.S.A.?  A running mate (who, by the way, is running for the top job) who has far, far more foreign policy experience than anyone else currently running, and who has a mother who is 96 years old and in seemingly robust health? Well then, let’s vet you.

I’m with the convention-goers who carried the hand-made ‘Palin Power’ signs. Let’s go!