Friday, October 31, 2008

The Case for John McCain 2: The Man

Remember the republican primary, when the political future looked bright with a strong stable of Republican Conservative candidates, and we said "Who ever wins, we'll be alright, as long as we don't wind up with Ron Paul or John McCain"?
Well, republicans consoled each other about Ron Paul by saying he'd never win, and on John McCain by saying he's a fine man.

Both of which are true. John McCain's life story is one that would stand up proudly against any President in the History of the United States, from Washington to Jackson, Grant to Eisenhower, Kennedy to Bush.
United States Naval Pilot, shot down twice, 5 years a political toy of a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, returns home to a wife who had been crippled in a car fiasco, family and a nation that no longer appreciates what saves it, returns to health against medical diagnosis, earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation as a training squadron leader, only to become the Navy liaison to the Senate, and then the US Congress.

Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Navy Commendation Medal
Bronze Star

McCain earned these through his service. He's not some whippersnapper coming out of college for office and climbing the political ladder for politics sake, he's not the trial lawyer who was bored, he's not the spouse of a famed political figure, and he's not some community organizer.
He's the best of America, and though I don't agree with most of his policies, he is one of the few remaining Statesmen in a relatively peaceful political environment, and a man who has served his country as few surviving men can claim.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

"I've seen many men sacrifice their lives for the Iraqi people. They died for a purpose, not a mistake.

They died giving hope.
They died giving freedom.

Do you rescue a fireman just as he's about to save a child?

(Here's a staggering note: This man set up a camera in a park, said his piece, and with a little post edit and uploading it to YouTube on August 27, 2008, has more then 11 Million views. The internet has power.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Debate = Glorified Talking points

The Case for John McCain

Heading into the election next week, I've been torn in many different directions on the presidential front. It will be my first election to vote in, and the 2 worst possible candidates from the primaries have come to the forefront of the nation.

In the Punditiosphere of Politics, there are plenty of assaults flying fast and furiously in the direction of Obama, and justifiably so. The man has a veritable cornucopia of serious flaws in his past and present policies, associations, and experience. But what is lacking from the Right is a case for John McCain that doesn't include socialism.

Why? Because McCain is, at heart, an excessive creator of government. The Fed will be enlarged, likely as expansively as it was under Bush, and likely to the same degree as Obama would. So what are we left to support him on?

In the coming days, I'll be giving reasons that are outside the mainstream new cycle, but certainly have a lasting impact upon our nation and society.

Over the past 60 years, the Supreme Court has become the final arbiter of America, a bench of 9 that is capable and frequently exercises its assumed ability to legislate by fiat. The 9 members of its hall receive lifetime appointments, and often cling to their seat until the end. The list of abysmal decisions runs long, and the court is still evenly split, likely to go to the right or the left depending on the issue.
John McCain would be in a position to fix that, and put another justice along the lines of Alito or Roberts on the bench. Obama certainly would not, and this may be the most lasting legacy of the W presidency, the appointments of Alito and Roberts. McCain would continue in that tradition, appointing a constitutionalist justice to the bench. Like Bush, this would likely be his legacy, and if handled correctly, can alivieate a multitude of problems for the coming generations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Krauthammer for Mac

Seeing as the election is closing in, I'm finally going to get around to pushing for McCain and pushing against Obama.

With his typical ability to put excellent thoughts to words, Charles Krauthammer is endorsing John McCain. Here's an excerpt:

"...The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.

The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.

Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Iran arrests US citizen

AP: "Esha Momeni, a student at California State University, Northridge, was driving on a highway in Tehran when she was stopped by authorities who said they were traffic police, the London-based Amnesty said.

Iranian officials said Momeni was arrested Oct. 15 for a traffic offense. But Amnesty said in a statement Tuesday she was taken to her family's home where her computer and other materials related to her research on the Iranian women's movement were confiscated.

Momeni, who is a member of the California branch of Change for Equality _ an Iranian women's rights group _ was later taken to Evin prison, the Tehran facility notorious for holding political prisoners, Amnesty said.

Her family was told by an Iranian court on Monday that her case was still being investigated, and no details would be released until after the probe was completed, Amnesty said."

AFP: "Momeni, who is a photographer and graduate student, is a member of the Change for Equality campaign, its website said. She was arrested while at the wheel for illegally overtaking another vehicle.

Change for Equality said Esha had since her return to Iran "conducted video interviews with members of the One Million Signatures Campaign in Tehran" that aims to ensure equal rights for women in the Islamic republic.""

It's unfortunate. Because of the observation of Politics as Theater, rather then the arbitar of leadership, in collusion with the market spiraling with reckless abandon, this is another story that will slip through the cracks.

Practically, the lesson is don't drive in Iran if you are a US citizen.
Don't drive fast in Iran, especially if your taking up the cause of oppressed women.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama, up by 1.1%


Most telling is the very bottom stat. Displaying the flag has a very large correlation with canidate support.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The State of Journalism

This is an excerpt from a column by Orsen Scott Card, one of the finest science fiction writers of our age, and also a pretty good political columnist. He's a democrat, but this is the most eloquent and scathing bit of journalistic review I've read this year. (For those of you that listen to Rush, he read this on air today)

"...There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned..."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Polls? We laugh at polls

Ann Coulter: "This is how two typical voters might answer a pollster's question: "Whom do you support for president?"

Average Obama voter: "Obama." (Name of average Obama voter: "Mickey Mouse.")

Average McCain voter: "I'm voting for McCain, but I swear it's just about the issues. It's not because Obama's black. If Barack Obama were a little more moderate -- hey, I'd vote for Colin Powell. But my convictions force me to vote for the candidate who just happens to be white. Say, do you know where I can get Patti LaBelle tickets?"

In addition to the social pressure to constantly prove you're not a racist, apparently there is massive social pressure to prove you're not a Republican. No one is lying about voting for McCain just to sound cool.

Reviewing the polls printed in The New York Times and The Washington Post in the last month of every presidential election since 1976, I found the polls were never wrong in a friendly way to Republicans. When the polls were wrong, which was often, they overestimated support for the Democrat, usually by about 6 to 10 points."

Good read, and with her typical scathing rebukes of all things left of the right, its salve for an angry conservatives soul.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MY Congressman still has principles

I just got this email response from Congressman and Doctor Michael Burgess, my rep in the corridors of power.

Dear Mr. -----:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that recently passed the US House of Representatives. I appreciate hearing from you on this very important matter.

As you may know, the Secretary of Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Congressional leadership, President Bush, and various financial experts, asked Congress for decisive action to prevent dangerous harm to our nation's economy. The situation presented to Congress included failures in our credit markets, extreme bank vulnerability, and a threatened economic depression. In response, the United States Senate passed H.R. 1424 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 by a 75-24 vote. H.R. 1424 then passed the House of Representatives on Friday, October 03, 2008 by a 263-171 vote. The nearly $800 billion package was rushed through the House of Representatives in a little over a week and did not adequately protect tax payers from Wall Street liability or address the causes of this market failure, for those reasons, I voted against the emergency rescue package on Monday, September 29, and again on Friday, October 3.

In my view, legislative time would have been better spent shoring up systems designed to protect the American middle class. This bill did not do enough to protect Oak Street and Elm Street despite the endless references to the impact on Wall Street and Main Street. H.R. 1424 gives the Department of Treasury the authority to borrow money from foreign banks to appease the foreign banks that lost money investing in our housing market, this is wrong. With this vote, Congress gave up the ability to control these funds and acted without appropriate oversight to protect the taxpayer. We responded to questionable investing with questionable spending of tax payer funds. Wall Street is made up of a well paid, sophisticated group of institutional investors who are well aware of the risks and benefits of investing. Wall Street must repay the good faith provided by tax payers by picking up the tab that resulted from unsound investment vehicles tied to the housing market.

Although I disagreed with the emergency financial package, I am dedicated to working towards results. Congress has a responsibility to fix the cause and hold those responsible for this situation accountable for their actions. We have a duty to protect American taxpayers from more debt, higher taxes, and untold risk due to market failures or our legislative response. Ultimately, the government entities responsible for regulatory authority over financial markets never exercised the proper oversight over complex 21st century financial instruments. The Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in need of systemic changes to the way they do business and our federal programs need improved flexibility to better avoid risk and respond to crisis.

While Congress debated the large spending package, federal agencies took the opportunity to embrace steps recommended by Members of Congress. I am grateful the Securities Exchange Commission acted to end short selling stock without actually possessing it; and modifications to ensure "fair value accounting" within banking institutions. I also defend the important steps that are being made at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; your money is safer today because of their continued response. I am encouraged by these steps that protect American assets from financial risk, and I look forward to recommending more changes in the future.

Congress was given a small window of time to consider this very expensive program and as a result, it will carry long-term financial implications that must continue to receive scrutiny. This government action was not right, it was heavy handed, and we were right to question the government's ability to intervene and the tax payer's right to object to payment. As we move forward, I will continue to keep you informed of my progress and I hope you will continue to support my efforts to protect your financial assets, and your freedom from government intervention. "Too big to fail" is a phrase our government should use only once and only when looking in the mirror.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website ( or contact me with any future concerns.


Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Member of Congress

On the sunny side...

I can get a gallon of gas for $2.87 now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What just happened?

George Friedman:
"...The weekend was essentially about this: the global political system is seeking to utilize the assets of the global economy (by taxing or printing money) in order to take control of the global financial system. The premise is that the chaos in the financial system is such that the markets cannot correct the situation themselves, and certainly not in an acceptable period of time; and that if the situation were to go on, the net result would be not just financial chaos but potentially economic disaster. Therefore, governments decided to use the resources of the economy to solve the problem. Put somewhat more simply, the various governments of the world were going to nationalize portions of the global financial system in order to stave off disaster. The assumption was that the resources of the economy, mobilized by the state, could manage — and ultimately repair — the imbalances of the financial system.

That is the simple version of what is going on in the United States and Europe — and it is only the United States and Europe that really matter right now. Japan and China — while involved in the talks — are really in different places structurally. The United States and Europe face liquidity issues, but the Asian economies are a different beast, predicated upon the concept of a flood of liquidity at all times. Damage to them will be from reduced export demand, and that will take a few weeks or months to manifest in a damning way. It will happen, but for now the crisis is a Euro-American issue.

The actual version of what happened this weekend in the financial talks is, of course, somewhat more complex.

This is the best analysis I've seen of this situation, and I'm linking to it so ya'll can read it as well.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Second Presidential Debate

It's Brokaw. I like this guy, if only for his fantastic picture of history, The Greatest Generation.
I'm going to say, I like this format much better then the standard one.

How do we fix this?
Obama: would make a rescue package for the middle class, with infrastructure projects to foster growth.
Mac: will buy out people who are faulting out of their mortgages. Energy policy and our trade with china are not the issue at hand, if anything, those are remarkably contributory to our current prosperity.
(What right does the government have to stabilize home values? A market requires fluctuations in the price of a commodity in order to function, without the variations in price the supply will not move to meet demand as it is needed. )
Grade: FAIL. Both of them. Miserably. If this is indeed to be the economic policy of the future, the hope and dream of continued economic greatness by the United States is doomed to failure.

Treasury Secretary, who will you pick?
Mac: Warren Buffet. Meg Whitman. Some one who inspires confidence.
Obama: Tax Cuts!! (that's the ticket!)
Grade: Mac wins, he answered. And Whitman is a dumb pick, but Obama looses.

How does this bailout help us out?
Mac: It's rescue, not bailout. Unloads on Freddie and Fannie and Obama's party. Brilliant.
This rescue means we will stabilize markets, but its not enough. That's why we have to stabilize home values.
Obama: Deregulation caused this. Damn the free markets!
Grade: Both fail. There is not a lick of the American dream in either of these candidates.

Will the American Economy get much worse before it gets better?
Barrack: We need new regulations and coordinate with the global economy for that. We also need to make sure people can pay their bills.
McCain: It depends on what we do. If we act effectively, and buy up loans with taxpayer money, it will be better.
Grade: Fail. Again.

How can we trust either of you with our money?
Obama: I understand. The deficit is bigger because of Bush. So I'll spend more money. But cut some too. Really. Trust me.
Mac: I'll take on the special interests and the earmarks, and I'm bipartisan. (That's the ticket!) And then rips Obama a new one on spending records, $3 mil for an over head projector?
Grade: Obama gets a D, he barely answered the question.
Mac gets a B, 'cause he answered and then unloaded on Obama.

Basically, neither one can stay under a time limit. Brokaw is just letting them run wild with rhetoric.

What sacrifices will you ask every American to make?
Mac: We'll have to get rid of excess. I'll do it. Defense spending, and every project needs to be scrutinized. Spending will have to be cut, so we'll have to freeze it. (WHAT???)
Obama: Bush said go out and shop. That wasn't leadership. I think we need to save energy.
Grade: Neither really gave a good answer.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

Did the feds and the American consumer get drunk on spending?
Obama: It starts with Washington, and we have to stop running up deficits. We need to increase revenues. More class warfare, thats what we need to answer. I want to use a scalpel on the budget, McCain wants to use a hatchet.
Mac: Obama is like jello on the tree. Tax increases in a recession are bad.
Grade: Eh. Neither was good or forceful.

Ha! Brokaw just enforced time.

What about social security and Medicare?
Obama: We can't solve it without solving tax policy. (He's just rebuttaling without answering the question, and in the process is giving an absurd answer about tax rates.)
Mac: I'll answer the question. Social security isn't tough. A bipartisan solution. Medicare is harder, and we'll make a commission.
Grade: Obama didn't answer, Mac mostly did. Mac B, Obama F.

What will you do in the first two years for the environment? (Rubbish topic)
Mac: I think global warming is a big deal. Nuclear power ahoy! I was on a navy ship, nukes are clean and safe and make jobs! Alternative fuels too! Whoo!
Obama: This is one of the biggest challenges of our time. But look, 5 million new jobs for alternative fuels! We need more government funding for it. And Mac voted against these! We have 3% of the worlds oil, so we can't drill out.
Grade: Nuclear is good, hybrid mandates are not. B for Mac. Obama... what? C.

Brokaw brings the hammer down on the one minute topic.

Should we fund a Manhattan like project to solve this energy crisis or fund a vast array of American inventors?
Mac: I voted against the Bush energy bill. Obama voted for it. I want to drill off shore, when there is more supply, the price goes down. Stayed in the time limit.

Selling healthcare as a commodity, good or bad?
Obama: We have to do something about this health care crisis. Digitize medical records, and then give bundles of federal employee insurance to everyone.
Mac: We don't need the state borders on insurance.
Grade:Eh. Mac for B, Obama for C.

Is health care a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?
Mac: It's a responsibility, and everyone should have it. But not by government mandates.
Obama: It is a right, people shouldn't have to argue with insurance companies from their death bed.
Grade: A for McCain, B for Obama cause he answered. He's sorely mistaken, but he answered.

Brokaw slaps around timing from Obama. Mac asks for the size of the medial insurance fine, Obama ignores.

How will the economic stress affect our ability to be a peace maker in the world?
John: America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world. We have gone to all corners of the globe and shared our blood to defend others freedoms. We need a strong economy for this. I understand foreign policy, Barrack doesn't.
Barak: This war is expensive. We need our allies, and this costs to much.
Grade: Obama answered this well, B. Same for Mac.

Are actions like Rwanda justified?
Obama: Genocide needs to be stopped as a national interest, where possible. Darfur has not been handled right.
Mac: We will win our actions, and we must do whatever we can to prevent genocide, and we have to be a positive force with a strong leader. Somalia was a failure, and we have to know the limits of our strength.
Grade: B for Obama, he echoed biden on Darfur. A for McCain, he has a grasp of history and he showed it.

Should we respect Pakistani sovereignty regarding Al-Queda?
Obama: We made a mistake in Iraq, we need to go back and destroy al-queda. More pressure on the Afghan government, stop drug trafficking, and pressure the Pakistanis. We will kill Bin Laden.
McCain: Speak softly and carry a big stick. We need to cooperate with Pakistan, and Barrack has no grasp of diplomacy. We can't just withdraw from Iraq, or we make another Afghanistan. We need to help the Pakistani government to work with us, not threatening to attack them.
Obama: I get a rebuttal. Mac doesn't speak softly!!
Mac: I supported what I agreed with, and I didn't what I didn't. I was joking with a veteran. Deal with it. I will get Bin Laden, but I will not telegraph my punches.
Grade: C for Obama, A for Mac, especially in the rebuttal.

How will win in Afghanistan?
Obama: We need to take troops from Iraq and put them in Afghanistan.
Mac: Petraus will fix this. Watch him.
Grade: B for Obama, A for Mac.

How can we apply pressure to Russia without starting a cold war?
Mac: We won't have a cold war. Putin is KGB, and aiming at the Ukraine. We need to advocate for their placement in NATO. The G8 is an option as well.
Obama: This is a central issue. I agree with Mac, but we need to give more then just moral support, they need financial and real aid. We need to anticipate these problems. We need to drill too.
Grade: A for both.

Is Russia the evil empire?
Obama: They act like it.
McCain: Maybe.

If Iran attacks Israel, will you commit or wait for the UN?
Mac: We obviously would not wait, as China and Russia would pose problems. We will fight Iran if they invade. We can never allow a second holocaust.
Obama: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuke. I want sanctions on Iran.
Grade: A for McCain, C for Obama and his vacillations.

What don't you know, and how will you learn it?? What a terrible question. It's really just a closing statement.

Overall? Mac gets a B-, Obama gets a D.
They are both blithering idiots on economic subjects, but performed well on the foreign policy.

EDIT: Mac gets a C-. This mortgage buy out business is in excusable.

Also, it is significant to note what topics Brokaw avoided,
ie Illegal immigration, Gun Policy, Judicial appointments, Infanticide & Abortion, Stem Cell research, education, Homosexual rights, Star Wars, agriculture, and whatever else i didn't bring up.
These might have been on the agenda, but the candidates atrocious tracking of time and refusal to stay under their agreed rules likely pushed this issues off the table.

Second Presidential Debate

Ok, I'll be honest.

I didn't watch it, I was leading a guys bible study.
I really don't have the stomach to watch a replay of it either.

So what did ya'll think?
And feel free to link back to yourself when you comment!

A sign of the times?

Kansas City Star:
"MyKey allows parents to limit teen drivers to a top speed of 80 mph, cap the volume on the car stereo, demand seat-belt use and encourage other safe-driving habits.

MyKey will be standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and eventually on all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.
MyKey can sound a chime whenever the vehicle travels above 45, 55 or 65 mph, and prevent the driver from turning off safety features like traction control, which inhibits spinning tires. It can also be set to mute the radio and chime repeatedly until the driver buckles up.

Parents choose which of the restrictions to activate, and they take effect whenever a specific key is used in the ignition. There are no limitations when the master key is used."

As a exuberent youth of america, I wouldn't like this. Fortunately, I'm one of those responsible people who bought his own jeep, an old one without nutty restrictions like this.

My first thought about this was 'wow, what a way to revive flagging sales!'

But I think the better reaction, as one commentor put it, "If you cant trust your children to keep themselves alive, please dont let them drive. No amount of tech can help them."

In other automotive news, Nissian is going to rolling out the Eco-Pedal, which gives force feedback when you accelerate to fast.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A different take on Russia

Washington Post: "...But behind the shiny surface, Russian society may actually be weaker than it was even during Soviet times. The Kremlin's recent military adventures and tough talk are the bluster of the frail, not the swagger of the strong.

While Russia has capitalized impressively on its oil industry, the volatility of the world oil market means that Putin cannot count on a long-term pipeline of cash flowing from high oil prices.
According to U.N. figures, the average life expectancy for a Russian man is 59 years -- putting the country at about 166th place in the world longevity sweepstakes, one notch above Gambia."

Interesting look at the other side of Russia. Not the aggressive kremlin policy, but the underpinnings of a civilization.

Market Salvation plan by US a blunder of epic proportions

World markets suffered massive losses Monday, striking four-year lows, as panic-stricken investors doubted whether a Wall Street bailout package would stem the global financial crisis.

London, Frankfurt and Paris all tumbled more than six percent approaching the half-way mark while a 15-percent dive in Moscow forced a halt to Russian trading.
On Monday, Tokyo ended down 4.25 percent as Hong Kong's stock market shed 5.0 percent, Seoul tumbled 4.3 percent and Sydney lost 3.3 percent. Shanghai dived 5.23 percent and Mumbai was down 5.58 percent in late afternoon trade.

European stocks plummeted after Germany's fourth biggest bank had to be rescued over the weekend...
The Saudi stock market, the largest in the Arab world, shed 9.6 percent at the opening on Monday after a week-long holiday, and shares in other energy-rich Gulf states also slumped. "

So quickly the failures of market socialism and social welfare for the rich becomes apparent. This is an indication of how powerful the US yet remains on the world economic scale. We go down, the rest of the globe quickly tanks with us. Well, it's going to be fun watching Europe stride further down the path of marxism, as the EU and its constituent members procede with their heineous bailouts.

On the bright side, there is less demand for Petrol, so the price of crude has gone sharply down, as has the political strength of Russia, Venezuela, Iran, and a host of other petroleum based economies.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

I watched most of this debate last night, which I think was far more engaging, informative and entertaining then the presidential debate of last week. I missed a few segments here and there because I was working with a high school class to build a robot, so when they needed some instruction I was somewhat distracted.
Nevertheless, I managed to take 4 sheets of notes and transcribe my thoughts. But as I'm lazy and my stream of consciousness may not interest you, I'm posting my condensed version.

Before the debate started, one of the talking heads on CNN said he's noticing a sentiment from Americans, which is best summed up as "Damn those idiots in Washington!". I concur.

Glen Iffle will be moderating, and she did well. It still amuses me they decide the order of debate with a coin toss, but if its good enough for the Superbowl, why not a presidential debate?
And I think there was a Freudian slip here on the House vote on the Emergency Socialist act.

Ok, an issue I'd like to address that comes up every election cycle, 'polarization'. Those who are ignorant of history and naive in all aspects of ideology can almost be excused for wilting away from politics because of its Parisian nature. But the rest of the world, people who hold informed opinions and perhaps even a grasp of history, realize this is one of the least polarized points of time in our history. So can we stop talking about our political reality as if its in bad shape?

Friend's comment when Biden begins to speak: "We went to hell in a handbasket when the democrats took over. So shut up!"

On the economic issue, both fail miserably. At least Biden kept to the same track, and consistently called for one thing: More government oversight, and more taxes on corporations.
Palin wandered far and wide from answering these questions, calling for both more government and less at the same time, while bragging about raising taxes and calling for less taxes, even going so far as to state "Darn right we need tax breaks!".
Baffling and inept on this topic, not because of the call for a tax cut, but for the pride she takes in the tax on success in Alaska.

I'm also tired of hearing the Median American income is $42k. It is $50k.

So here's something that doesn't need clarifying, but I will anyways. You raise taxes on corporations, you raise taxes on me. I pay corporate taxes, as a customer.

Biden did a smack down on Palin and Mac's health care plan. Brilliantly set up and executed.

They repeated the question, what needs to be sacrificed from your administration in light of the new deficit spending, and Biden nukes his tax cuts. Decent, if wrong answer. Palin wonders over to energy policy and nicely dodges the question.

On Iraq, its the same. Republicans will win. Democrats will leave and loose.
Palin did a tidy job of scorching Biden for his floppy record and scathing remarks towards Obama earlier in this election.

On the subject of Israel, Palin was weak and largely noncommittal.
Biden on the other hand, was as forceful, emphatic, and decisive as one can be. Both rebuking the heinous "Abject Faliure" of the W administration, and laying his own plan on the table, it was clear who of the two VPs knew this area of foreign policy.
Palin retorts with much fire but little substance, and then promptly returns to mocking Obama. Thats the kind of change we need... Which is what Biden fires back with.

Bosnia? Really??

Then we enter the morass of political records on the War on Terror, where Biden says he didn't vote for the war when he did. Palin tries ineffectively to label Biden as John F Kerry, says she watched the democrat primary debates, and then starts on energy policy again.

Biden says when a country commits genocide, it looses its sovereignty. Not a bad thought.

Biden brings up the Office. Er, Scranton, his home town. A lot as the night winds down.

After some lame joke chatter, the debate ends. Solid closing remarks by Palin, and decent by Biden.
Then Palin keeps talking! "Thank You" shouted like 8 times! There is no real reason for that.

On the whole, Biden took the night on topics, debate points, substance and experience.
But watching it, I got the feeling Palin just didn't care about what she did or didn't know, and was just there to smile and toss out references to elementary schools. Judging from the polls, that's all Americans want anyways. A pretty face who likes kids and can talk with a back country accent and bravado, despite a crater of inexperience and phenomenal devotion to two topics, Joe Six-Pack and energy policy.