October 29, 2008
Yesterday I went to the McCain rally. We stood outside for two hours in the cold to get in, and the line was huge. It was pretty fun, clapping and booing and laughing with the crowd. Ours is a swing state, and I hope things go well for us next week. At this point, I don't know what to think.
Sadly, this isn't Ohio: I only get to vote once.
October 27, 2008
These are the times that try men's souls.
I have been off the internet for a couple of days, but so much has come out. This Syria thing is huge, and a plot to assassinate Obama. And this 2001 tape of Obama that's out? Whittle says it all:
We have, in our storied history, elected Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives and moderates. We have fought, and will continue to fight, pitched battles about how best to govern this nation. But we have never, ever in our 232-year history, elected a president who so completely and openly opposed the idea of limited government, the absolute cornerstone of makes the United States of America unique and exceptional.
If this does not frighten you regardless of your political affiliation then you deserve what this man will deliver with both houses of Congress, a filibuster-proof Senate, and, to quote Senator Obama again, a righteous wind at our backs.
And Dean Barnett died, which makes me sad. I liked him.
My soul is tried these days.
October 21, 2008
You're crusin' for a bruisin'. Seriously.
We sent your campaign money. And you've spent several dollars of it sending me junk mail every day asking me for more money.
Stop doing that.
All you're doing is making me mad I got on your mailing list. It's not making me want to send you more money.
But I did like the photo of you and Sarah that you sent. It's on the fridge. (And I'm totally going to be Sarah Palin for Halloween.)
Knock it off with the mail. Please.
October 19, 2008
SO - we no longer ask our Presidential candidates any questions that involve the military?
Three debates and I don't get any answers on these and many other important issues, I get the equivalent of what it feels like to have two used car salesman run back and forth and "ask their manager" if they can get me a "discount on the price for the undercoat" ( an undercoat that I don't want or particularly need, but will be forced to take to get off the car lot with my wits and my wallet mostly intact.)
October 15, 2008
Mr. Murtha said it has taken time for the state's voters embrace a black presidential candidate.
"There's no question Western Pennsylvania is a racist area," said Mr. Murtha, whose district stretches from Johnstown to Washington County. "The older population is more hesitant."
Hogwash. My grandparents live right over the border in small-town Western New York. My 83-year-old grandmother is most likely voting for Obama.
Quit pointing out imaginary racism, Democrats.
Here's the political catch. All but the clean car credit would be "refundable," which is Washington-speak for the fact that you can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability. In other words, they are an income transfer -- a federal check -- from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this "welfare," or in George McGovern's 1972 campaign a "Demogrant." Mr. Obama's genius is to call it a tax cut.
The Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year.
We're so far from the concept of a "safety net" here that it's sickening. And there's more, as The String Beans say:
There's another catch: Because Mr. Obama's tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, they impose a huge "marginal" tax rate increase on low-income workers. The marginal tax rate refers to the rate on the next dollar of income earned. As the nearby chart illustrates, the marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.
Some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job. As public policy, this is contradictory. The tax credits are sold in the name of "making work pay," but in practice they can be a disincentive to working harder, especially if you're a lower-income couple getting raises of $1,000 or $2,000 a year. One mystery -- among many -- of the McCain campaign is why it has allowed Mr. Obama's 95% illusion to go unanswered.
So both poor and rich people have a "disincentive to working harder" under the Obama tax plan. Boy, that sounds like a winner for the future of America.
But all Obama voters are genuises, right?
October 09, 2008
October 08, 2008
Seemingly unrelated things can give important insights into someone's outlook and character. For example, after the Cold War was over, it came out that one of the things that caught the attention of Soviet leaders early on was President Ronald Reagan's breaking of the air traffic controllers' strike.
Why were the Soviets concerned about a purely domestic American issue like an air traffic controllers' strike? Why was their attention not confined to "the real issues" between the United States and the Soviet Union?
Because one of the biggest and realest of all issues is the outlook and character of the President of the United States.
It would be hard to imagine any of Ronald Reagan's predecessors over the previous several decades-- whether Republicans or Democrats-- who would have broken a nationwide strike instead of caving in to the union's demands.
This told the Soviet leaders what Reagan was made of, even before he got up and walked out of the room during negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev. That too let the Soviet leaders know that they were not dealing with Jimmy Carter any more.
(Found via CG)
October 07, 2008
8:20PM Obama makes me want a cigarette, and not in that nice afterglow way.
I thought tonight's debate was phenomenally boring. I couldn't tell you at all "which one" I thought won or lost. I think McCain did well in some areas but he didn't wow me, and since I can't stand anything that comes out of Obama's mouth, I am not able to objectively assess his performance.
I can tell you what I thought the most egregious moment of the night was. The candidates were asked whether health care is a "privilege, a right, or a responsibility." McCain said it was a responsibility; Obama said it is a right.
Health care is a right.
Do people have just a completely different understanding of what the word "right" means than I do?
You never have the right to someone else's labor or money. And that's what national health care is. If you cannot afford it, you will need to take money from someone else in society to apply it to your health care.
You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have the right to free speech, to practice your religion, and to assemble.
As Leonard Peikoff says, you have a "right to action":
Observe that all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people. The American rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave you alone. The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want -- not to be given it without effort by somebody else.
The right to life, e.g., does not mean that your neighbors have to feed and clothe you; it means you have the right to earn your food and clothes yourself, if necessary by a hard struggle, and that no one can forcibly stop your struggle for these things or steal them from you if and when you have achieved them. In other words: you have the right to act, and to keep the results of your actions, the products you make, to keep them or to trade them with others, if you wish. But you have no right to the actions or products of others, except on terms to which they voluntarily agree.
The scary thing to me is that Obama came right out and enumerated health care as a right, and that no one will call him on it or argue it. It made my jaw drop.
You know, in every debate, they repeat the same talking points. And we can discuss the nitty gritty of policies, and who will give tax cuts to whom, and whether we need a surge in Afghanistan, but I am far more interested in these little revealing statements. I was blown away when Obama said that we're "spending money on tax cuts," and I'm blown away again tonight to hear that he thinks health care is a right. These are the statements that expose a fundamental difference in worldview between Obama and me.
Obama thinks that Americans have the right to other people's earnings. He believes in redistribution of wealth. I find this remarkably frightening, and all of his policies stem from this worldview.
What I don't understand is how people are undecided. I have to imagine that the undecideds are people who just haven't been paying attention, because the difference in worldview between Republicans and Democrats is staggering.
Definitely read Peikoff's Health Care Is Not a Right.
7:52PM Obama says McCains health care plan will give with one hand and take from the other. Which might well be true. Obamas plan, however, will give with one hand and stuff will just appear in it. Really.
7:58PM Obama: Health insurance is a right. We our endowed by our Creator with a really sweet no-co-pay plan from Aetna, and maybe some free speech. At least I think thats what Jefferson wrote.
I tend to hold to a rather odd doctrine myself, which is that partisanship is supposed to stop at the water's edges: we can argue as loudly as we want about domestic policy, but we do our best to speak with one voice once we get past the nation's shores. Old-fashioned and crazy I know, but it's just how I see the world. There was a time in America when if you'd spoken of the Democrat Franklin Roosevelt as a liar, a traitor, and a warmonger during World War II, accused him of engineering the Pearl Harbor attacks, referred to our war over there as "Roosevelt's war" (as a few dipshit Republicans did back then) you might well have gotten yourself a bloody nose even in the most Republican counties in America.
Because debate all you want but, once a decision is made, partisanship should stop at the water's edges. At least so far as I'm concerned.
Now here is my interesting question: I've made myself some friends among conservatives by speaking this way. But I do find myself wondering: how many of you on the right will embrace such a philosophy if John Kerry should carry the election in November?
I don't want to hear why you think it won't happen. Indulge me: pretend it might. How many of you will have the patriotism to say, "I disagree with many of his policy directions, I do not think he is conducting our foreign policy in the right way, but I will do my best to get behind him and support him until elections come around next time?"
I'm genuinely curious. For that is the stance I intend to take. I will refuse to call him traitor, loser, liar, incompetent. He will be my President, my Commander In Chief, the Chief Executive of a great nation, elected by the will of a majority of the electors in these 50 great united States. So even if he does things I disagree with in conducting foreign policy, I will say, "I respectfully disagree with the President's directions, but I will do my best to express my dissent respectfully and hope that I am mistaken and that he has made the proper decisions after all."
That's my pledge. How many of you will take a similar one?
As I face the idea that Barack Obama might become my husband's boss, I wonder if I can uphold the same pledge I made to be respectful to John Kerry. I ought to be able to do it; it's not like Kerry's meeting with the Viet Cong is any less heinous than Obama's relationship with Ayers.
Good heavens, that just gave me pause. Why do the Democrats keep nominating people who consort with the enemies of our country?
Four years removed, I am having a hard time conjuring the gut feelings I had for John Kerry. It feels now like I dislike Obama more than I disliked Kerry back then, but I doubt this is true. Is there really any difference? (Well, the Obamessiah stuff is pretty unsettling.)
I can't promise that if Obama is elected I will like it. However, I will pledge to try to be respectful of the office of the presidency. I can, as MAJ Winters said, "salute the rank, not the man." I will write against Democrat policies, but I pledge that I will never call Obama names or compare him to a chimp, as classless people have done for the last eight years.
But really, it makes me sick to think I might have to do this.
P.S. This pledge in no way prevents me from laughing at stuff like this.
October 03, 2008
Buford Gooch: CNN and ABC already had focus groups of uncommitted voters saying it was Biden by a landslide. I think too many of them mistook uncommitted to candidate for uncommitted to an asylum.
And am I the only one who had a problem with this answer to which long-held view Biden has changed?
BIDEN: Yes, I can. When I got to the United States Senate and went on the Judiciary Committee as a young lawyer, I was of the view and had been trained in the view that the only thing that mattered was whether or not a nominee appointed, suggested by the president had a judicial temperament, had not committed a crime of moral turpitude, and was -- had been a good student.
And it didn't take me long -- it was hard to change, but it didn't take me long, but it took about five years for me to realize that the ideology of that judge makes a big difference.
That's why I led the fight against Judge Bork. Had he been on the court, I suspect there would be a lot of changes that I don't like and the American people wouldn't like, including everything from Roe v. Wade to issues relating to civil rights and civil liberties.
I think Biden got this exactly backwards. Judges are not supposed to rule based on ideology; they rule based on constitutionality. No one else seems to be talking about this one, so maybe I am overreacting. But it simply doesn't matter what changes Biden would or would not like to see. The only thing that matters is what the Constitution says. It just seems to me that this is a gross misunderstanding of the judicial system.
Of course, he didn't do so hot on the legislative branch either.
October 02, 2008
I think Sarah Palin made me ovulate.
More tomorrow, but hellz yeah.
I just watched the Palin-Couric Supreme Court exchange. It strikes me that Palin's critics and defenders are both right. The Supreme Court question was a bit "pop quiz." What was trying to be gleaned here? Palin is not a lawyer or Supreme Court historian. But she could have said that, and then elaborated on her judicial philosophy. She could have discussed how court rulings have influenced policy she's had to carry out as governor, for example. But that on-camera confidence takes practice to acquire. And in the beginning, its really hard.
I heard the exchange too, and I knew exactly what Sarah Palin was doing. She was searching her brain for the right answer, the best answer. I know because I do it too, every time I sit on a panel at SpouseBUZZ or the Milblogs Conference. My body tenses when a question is directed at me and all I can think in my brain is "Don't say something dumb, please let me know the answer." And my moderators aren't out to get me!
In Las Vegas last week, Guard Wife asked me which SpouseBUZZ posts get the most comments. I got a deer-in-headlights look on my face and wracked my brain as quickly as I could to come up with what I thought was the right answer, the factually correct answer. I wanted to answer the question well.
The politician's trick though is to just open your mouth and start saying whatever is tangentially related to the question you've been asked to steer the conversation to what you want to talk about.
Sarah Palin apparently hasn't mastered that trick. But I don't really see why that is a bad thing.
If someone asks her which Supreme Court decision she doesn't like, I want her to really search her brain and come up with one. I don't want her to just start flapping her gums around the question.
Here's what happened at the beginning of the first presidential debate:
LEHRER: Gentlemen, at this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?
First response to you, Senator Obama. You have two minutes.
OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Jim, and thanks to the commission and the University of Mississippi, "Ole Miss," for hosting us tonight. I can't think of a more important time for us to talk about the future of the country.
You know, we are at a defining moment in our history. Our nation is involved in two wars, and we are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
And although we've heard a lot about Wall Street, those of you on Main Street I think have been struggling for a while, and you recognize that this could have an impact on all sectors of the economy.
And you're wondering, how's it going to affect me? How's it going to affect my job? How's it going to affect my house? How's it going to affect my retirement savings or my ability to send my children to college?
So we have to move swiftly, and we have to move wisely. And I've put forward a series of proposals that make sure that we protect taxpayers as we engage in this important rescue effort.
So he spent at least a minute in a two-minute answer saying absolutely nothing. And then McCain does the same baloney, and then Lehrer has to come back and re-ask both the candidates to answer the fricking question. That's how politics works. You do everything you can not to answer the question.
Sarah Palin hasn't figured that out yet. That's why some of us are OK with her.
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