Archive for September, 2008

I Refuse to Debate

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Exciting News!  John McCain has conceded the election, and will cease to campaign, taking his campaign commercials off the air and allow Obama to discuss the issues all by himself at what were once debates!  He has yet to announce his intent on lifting his name off the ballot, but I guess we will just have to wait for that one.

Vive Le Presidente Barack Obama!


Okay.  Let me approach this another way.  You know.  When you have lost David Letterman, you have lost America, my friends.  I suppose this is a Jay Leno Nation, and it has been a Jay Leno Nation ever since Hugh Grant picked up a prostitute and happened to appear on Jay Leno first is his talk show circuit  — though, that probably only sped up the inevitable.  But McCain would have been far better dissing Leno, who’s broad popularity is the product of a certain toothlessness.  (The youtube clip of the hour distilled to its essential nine minutes and change is available, and probably on the front page in the “most watched” section.)
Note that the sidebar “McCain and Obama Debating Styles” section is rather moot at the moment.  We are on the verge of that old Political Theater of the “Empty Chair Debate”.  Too bad there isn’t a third candidate, as with Reagan’s debate with John Anderson, Carter opting out in protest of the inclusion of John Anderson… which was ninety or however many minutes of Anderson and Reagan effusive praise for each other.

It is a gambit and a half.  At the beginning of the day, and at the end of yesterday, new polls were released which were described as “having a lot of eye candy for Democrats.”  The McCain campaign was once again on a chart toward doom.  Yes.  Under those auspices, John McCain will now save the World.

Sure there are Obamacons, but none of them host a nationally blanketed talk radio program

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

And thus begins George Will’s near endorsement of Obama repudiation of McCain.  (And the implications of this essay were not lost on the National Review denziens.)  He later makes the necessary anti-Obama curmudgeonly caveats, and a pox on both them houses.  But this area of “leval-headedness” and temperament tends to the basis for the argument of disgruntled Conservative supporters of Obama.  Witness the former publisher of the National Review, Wick Allison (which came to most by way of dailykos, but there’s a decent chance it was found by way of Drudge), who actually has some — frankly disarming– positive reaction to Barack Obama.:

Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

The other National Review connected Obama supporter, William Buckley Jr’s son Christopher Buckley, has much the same to say on the issue of the election, though one notable item here.:

My hope being that once he inherits this mess—and it’s going to be a mess: he inherits a country at war and in its worst financial crisis since 1929; are you really sure, Mr. Obama, you want this job?—that his instincts and his thoughtfulness will lead him toward creative, non-ideological solutions.

— an implication that anyone who actually wants the job at this juncture in American history might as well be granted to be saddled down with it.  This is largely anecdotal — toss in Douglas Kmiec where at least there I can spot the Obama campaign has been actively campaiging for Evangelical and conservative Catholic voters.  It’s also weary of being the quadranial rite of passage of one party unleashing a “Other Party for My Guy” campaign — the “Democrats for Bush” headlined by Zell Miller and Ed Koch, and the “Republicans for Obama” roster was disappointing in its absence of any noted Senators from Nebraska.  Anyway, this “brain class” Conservative siphon probably does not much infiltrate the great Drudge / am talk radio / Fox News arena of Republican formatted talking points and thus not much into the broad popularly understood “Conservative Movement”.  But it is worth noting the notations of a “Conservative Temperament”.

Joseph Biden states a historical anachronism

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Good news!  Joseph Biden made a wacky comment worthy of derisive laughter.  (Lifted from the libertarian magazine Reason’s blog, which plucked it from somewhere else, where it came from an interview with Katie Couric.)

When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, “look, here’s what happened.”

I am circumspect about such gaffes, tending to view the whole lot of them as generally not disqualifying — though they do tend to be illustrative of something.  So, Governor Roosevelt’s statements on the Stock Market Crash must have really taken a bite out of the audience share then currently held by the number one television show of the era — the Felix the Cat Ticking Clock Show.  Meanwhile, for all his faults, President Hoover was busy using the mass medium of the day — radio — to communicate his policies and views to the American people.  In this case Biden is shuffling about for an example to slam George Bush against for delinquency and putting in a good word for Franklin Roosevelt, and he misfired.

The bigger issue is that this would be a bad analogy even if were not a historical anachronism.  Joseph Biden seems to be suggesting that anyone anywhere wants to hear George Bush address the problem, that somehow that is going to soothe the nation.  In these days of Great Peril, an address from George Bush is the last thing that the nation needs; it could only exasperate our nation’s Crisis of Confidence.  Frankly, I think this shows a lapse of judgement on Joseph Biden’s part which is not befitting of (potential) Presidency.

nineteen percent and zero percent

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

A new poll from American Research Group shows that zero percent of Americans believe the economy is improving.  The poll also measured President Bush’s approval rating at 19 percent.

Hm.  Over the weekend, an editorial was published from one of those Victor Hanson Davis or Max Boot orCharles Krauthammer or one of those Intelligent Idiots, some looming in the advisor ranks of a McCain presidency, stating that age old premise en vouge since Bush’s presidency skidded firmly out of public favor — “History will vindicate Bush.  Look, over there!  TRUMAN!!”.

Still, looking down the ranks of these economic confidence indicators, it is worth noting that the “Zero” percentage is only marginally worse than the previous low, February’s 1 percent and July’s 3 percent, which shows we are right on the cusp of a rebound.  These things are cyclical, and the problem may have been that inflated sense of confidence before the bubble burst, last month when nearly one out of five people had confidence America’s economy was going anywhere. 

Bush is no Truman.  He is not Hoover, either, because I tend to think Hoover may just have been the Right Man for the Job — if it were 1920.  I don’t think Bush was the Right Man for the Job at any point in our history, and any conceivable moment in the future.

Quick check in with the horse race, very nearly at 269

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

That Electoral vote calculator sticks the map up as Obama at 273 and McCain at 265.  This differs from this day in 2004 which had Kerry at 269 and Bush at 253, and which glancing at seems to have included some outliers which screwed that particular day up.  I note the significance of this is that if you threw the states that were “tied” to Bush, the electoral vote would have come to 269 to 269.  Likewise, if you edge “New Hampshire” from Obama to McCain, it would 269 to 269.  Neither of this would precipate a Constitutional Crisis, as the vote would go over to the House and be voted on by state delegations, presumably by a more or less party-line vote, but it would lead to some hard feelings, I suspect, for such a convuluted and anarchronistic system.  Which means that a Constitutional Crisis would be ginned up just for the Hell of it… kind of… familiar.

… On Barack Obama and the “A” word

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

The last time Lyndon Larouche poked his way into any public conciousness — in the US, some modest blips are abound in Great Britain, eh? — and this is a rather marginal definition of “public” here, Larouche spoke out about Barack Obama as being the product of “every monkey in every tree” and OH THE MISCEGENATION! It was a blip to be sure — a back page on daily kos, Wonkette, some blurbs for news aggregations to followers of cults and of news of particular interest to African Americans. A blip is what Larouche gets.

I had been wondering, though, when and how one item of Obama’s popular awareness with popular gray-area of public discourse would poke out of Leesburg. No self-respecting conspiracy theorist can possibly leave the topic of the Assassination of Barack Obama alone, right? Well, here we go:

But my view is, they’re still going to dump him. I see the signs of the readiness to dump him all over the world. And they get him in any way, they can assassinate him. I mean, a guy like this, with his—he comes in a sense, as long as he’s around, they’re stuck with him, but they don’t want him. What do they do with him? They kill him. And they try to kill him with the kind of effect would (sic) be most useful for their purposes.

You know, one of Molly Kronberg’s friends’ll probably kill him or something like that—and put the blame on us! [laughs]

That makes sense. [Sure it does.] It’s the way they do things.

Interesting, I believe. It’s a demented bit of sarcasm, and really is more a posit that Molly Kronberg is leading a troupe against Larouche and blaming Lyndon for killing Kenneth Kronberg. And that is where the demise of his organization comes from. Thus Lyndon Larouche manages to broach the provocative topic of Barack Obama’s assassination without saying anything about it, instead dwelling on intimately personal matters. Understand this falls into that weird realm of public / private consumption, as Lyndon Larouche has earlier gone on record declaring how pleased he is that every word he speaks is available to turn up for anyone’s reading pleasure — and I suppose I could go back and link to such, except I’m not terribly interested. Look on through this particular conversation, though, and you see Larouche once again reminiscing about the past Good old times — “We had fun” (and the authorities locked him up in prison because… they were having too much fun. Good one!) Appropriate enough for the Last Rites, I suppose, and here I can cue the following quote from an article rolling past defeated opponents of Oklahoma Senator James Inhoffe:

Inhofe has run against Republicans and he’s run against Democrats. He’s run against independents and Libertarians and a candidate from the Natural Law Party.
He even ran against one of the late Lyndon LaRouche’s minions.

And, naturally, a few days later in the Tulsa World.:

A Sunday Tulsa World story referred to the “late Lyndon Larouche.” LaRouche is not dead.

How would anyone know, really?

Sigh. I do have more cheeky bemusement. Maybe I’ll post it later in this very space. Have Fun, Everybody!

Joseph Biden’s Charge to Keep

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

The Borders book store offers a table of books related to the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.  There are several books pro and anti McCain, several books pro and anti Obama.  There is the rushed out reprinting of that small publisher’s Sarah Palin book.  And then there’s the Joseph Biden book — I don’t know what it’s called, but let’s just reference the George W Bush 2000 campaign book title: “A Charge To Keep”.

Almost perfunctory, this Biden book.  I imagine the table really ought to only have three, four, maybe five copies instead of the dozen or so it holds.  And I further imagine that those three, four, maybe five copies should be the only copies the store has in stock, to remain right there — on that table — until the first Wednesday of November — all three or five copies.  It is a necessary book to place at this table, but it’s nothing that is going to be purchased, and in the event that it is purchased there is a three or four book buffer.

When I hear Biden on the radio, as opposed to when I see him speak on television, I feel as though I am hearing John Kerry.  And maybe I am.  The mediocre but you wouldn’t be able to do any better Democratic strategist Bob Shrum states that if he hadn’t been the presidential candidate in 2004, Kerry would almost assuredly have been selected by Obama as his running mate, which sounds about right, and also sounds about why Biden sounds Kerry-ish.  The smart thing for the Democratic Party, of course, is that this time out he’s at the bottom of the ticket.  The Republicans can have their little “gaffe clock” clicker.  And they can believe that the public is going to be watching and playing a “Foot in the Mouth” drinking game at the Vice presidential debate — which I’ve noticed when I’ve looked over as their rejoinder to voices over Sarah Palin on the looming vice presidential debate.  Nope.  It’s all a drinking game dedicated to the words “moose-burger” and “Hockey mom”.  I even suggest Biden may as well lay off the initial obvious line “You are no Hillary Clinton”, as by now Palin’s advisors have worked up something amusing and fireworky, as opposed to Dan Quayle’s biting of the lips.  Biden — a fire-cracker in the innards of Washington and when only the most politically interested are paying attention; boring in the rest of the country and when everyone else is paying attention.  Buy his book!

That “Too Big to Fail” Trap

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

The problem is shown with that phrase… “Too Big To Fail.”  The problem is our current course propagates The Biggness that Cannot Be Allowed to Fail, including the relief we are all supposed to have when one bank swallows up another struggling bank and thus ensuring that solvency.  The problem is it serves as a permanent Insurance for “The Biggness”, and from what I am gleaning — from my admittedly ignorant position — our new bailout shows that steady erosion from any balance of reformation and insurance for the tax-payers footing the bill as opposed to the deal that came out of the Savings and Loan Debacle, which shows the old George Carlin line, “The Rich Write all the Laws, and” — (Regretably I can’t find the whole part of that particular monolouge, but I immediately do end up with a conspiracy theory charging that George Carlin was Assassinated.) 

In all of this light, what we need at this moment may not be so much a Franklin Roosevelt as a Theodore Roosevelt (John McCain’s muse, although McCain seems to miss the good points and hit the bad points)– willing and able to Bust the Trusts, an eye out on the Monopolies.  It is a bit of a subtle difference in how the Roosevelts regulated the monstrous beast of Capitolism, but not insubstantial.  Eliot Spitzer strikes me as the closest to fitting that bill, but he’s been taken off the political stage… Coincidence?

A phrase used in reference to Todd Palin which needs to cease being used, and whose users need to be punitively punished.

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

“First Dude.”