As of this writing, the modified Paulson plan has been voted down by Congress and the Dow has taken the largest one-day plunge in history. All of this could have been avoided as recently, even, as a few weeks ago. It could still be solved, but it’s going to take at least one more upgrade for the Paulson program to get it to work.
The economy is a lot less worrisome than the onslaught of left-wing demands for refrigerator police. For the “enlightened” of the global warmism religion, the goal is control. The environment is just the Trojan Horse to truck in their agenda.
If one accepts the common understanding of the word “pig” as it relates to over-indulgence, then there is no word that more aptly describes our political ruling class: they are a bunch of pigs fattening themselves and their friends on the largesse of hardworking Americans.
OK, you want to talk issues. You’re tired of talking personalities, character, experience and Sarah Palin’s eyewear. You’ve had it contemplating whether Barack Obama’s or John McCain’s campaign ads are more full of lies and distortions. You’re above all this bunkum. You want to talk about some substantive difference between the two presidential candidates that could shape the way we live — that could alter some basic American value — in the decades to come.So here’s the issue. It’s a big one that’s below the surface and not getting a lot of attention, and it’s not the racial issue. It’s called card check.
Subject: Short interview with World Defense Review in reaction to the car bomb that exploded in Syria today. The main thesis is that the Syrian intelligence may have been behind this explosion to prepare for retaliation against anti-Syrian communities in Lebanon and to convince the West that the Syrian regime is also “targeted by Terrorism.”
I may be wrong but nothing rankled me as much as Obama’s repeated references to McCain as “John.” It was not an informal setting. Everybody else called each other by their honorific but not Obama. He repeatedly called McCain John. What a cheek! How tasteless.
I suspect he wanted to show he is on the same level as John McCain. Sorry. There was no escaping the difference between the civility shown by John McCain and Jim Lehrer on one side and the lack of civility shown by Barack Obama. The first “John” was excusable. The continued use showed the kind of stubborness which has been George Bush’s pitfall. As John McCain noted Obama has been unprepared to admit mistakes. He insists he was right on the surge and agreeing to meet personally with a host of dictators during his first year in the presidency. It seems he is too insecure to admit mistakes.
Yes, youth and inexperience include that pitfall too as anyone who has ever dealt with a teenager knows all too well. And to be honest, during much of the debate, Barack Obama reminded me of an over eager student much more than of a presidential candidate. As I am fond of such students, most of the time his posture brought an indulgent smile to my face but whenever he called McCain “John” a look of dusgust took it’s place. Barack Obama proved yet again that his audacity is based not on merit but his inability to understand just how short he falls of being a worthy man not to mention president.
Yes, I know I wrote nothing about the substance of the debate. I may do so later. I will say only one thing. Al Qaeda is NOT stronger than it has ever been. Even in the Muslim world it has lost support and is viewed as an obstacle for progress. In other words, the war on terror is being won. Second, anyone who wishes to locate the central battlefield against the war on terror in the most difficult battlefield in the world, which is Afghanistan/Pakistan is a bloody fool, as the British would say and as John McCain hinted.
Call Kathleen Parker my new sister-in-arms: When Sarah Palin went to the U.N. this week to meet her first world leaders (sorry, I’m already cringing), the no-reporters-allowed controversy was clearly intended to shield the VP nominee from likely gaffes. Kathleen Parker writes on JWR today that it was fun while it lasted, but Palin has shown that she’s clearly out of her league. Now, in the eyes of Freepers and other conservative faithful, she’s suddenly a plant for the left hellbent on sabotage. Never mind where she’s really coming from: She wants McCain to win and doesn’t think this is the ticket.
Today in my Rocky Mountain News column, I address the latest sideshow in this three-ring circus of an election: A number of pro-choicers who don’t support the notion that Feminists for Life member Sarah Palin could choose to be against abortion thought it would be a stroke of clever irony to make donations to Planned Parenthood in her name, including the address of the McCain campaign so that Planned Parenthood would send Palin a card to let her in on the joke, basically. Call this “fiendish” stroke of “brilliance” immature at best, and incredibly callous at worst. Regardless, it takes another whack at the rapidly deteriorating level of political discourse this election season.
I just got off the phone with Ed Lazear (Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors), and he made a good case for the severity of the crisis, esp. negative interest rate on t bills. It got bad last week. The sun turned to sackcloth, moon ran blood red, burning hailstone, etc….crazy stuff. Something had to be done.
This morning on CNBC Governor John Corzine (D) of New Jersey blamed the current crises in the market on what he called the “laissez faire” mood of regulation which we have seen “over the past decade.” Does he even believe this stuff? Lehman Brothers, like Bear Stearns and others was basically lobotomized by Corzine’s former colleague Eliot Spitzer, who severed communication between the research divisions of these firms from the trading operations. He did this in the name of “conflict of interest.” Who’s interest was served by severing the higher brain functions of these firms from the rest of the nervous systems? With one populist fell swoop, allegedly designed to make Wall Street safer for investors, Spitzer made it dumber.
Congress should instruct the US Treasury to issue to each American household a mortgage reduction voucher worth $7,500 dollars. There are about 100 million households in the USA. Hence the costs of such vouchers would be the same as those now being suggested to bail out Wall Street investors and banks. Because ultimately these vouchers can be cashed only by paying off mortgages, all these funds will end up greatly alleviating the financial crisis that has resulted from people being unable to make their payments. Thus these vouchers will help the banks by helping the people, rather than hoping that by saving the banks—the people will be bailed out. Think about it as trickling up, instead of down.
Anyone who believes that the United State can march into a country, topple its regime, and build a prosperous democracy, ought to read, study and read again Imperial Life in the Emerald City. The book is a very close-quarter account of the first year of the American administration of Iraq. It does not lay out any development theory or make sociological generalizations. It does much better. It provides a detailed account of the numerous mistakes the US made, one on top of the other.
A new play has just opened dealing with the life of Irena Gut Opdyke, the Polish housekeeper who managed to hide thirteen Jews in the basement of the home belonging to Eduard Rugemer, the highest ranking Nazi in Tarnopol (now in Ukraine) during World War II. It is an inspiring story of heroism, moral certainty and hope amidst despair. Yet Irena’s Vow fails to do justice to its subject, except by virtue of bringing her story, and by extension, that of the six million Jews who weren’t saved, to our attention.
Writing from Israel the state of world affairs could not be clearer. Israel in 2008 stand alone just as the czechoslovakia did 70 years ago. No one is going to lift a finger to stop Iran from acquiring the weapons needed to achieve it’s goal - the destruction of the state of Israel and the eviction of the Jewish people who may survive that destruction from their ancient homeland. Whatever hopes were invested in international sanctions are gone. There can be no longer any pretense to the contrary. The founders of Israel are gone and its fate is in the hands of their children and grand children. In a few months they will have to decide whether they will follow in the footsteps of their European predecessors or choose a different path.
I’ve always been a fan of old movies. Part of the reason is the pictures themselves, but an even bigger part is the way they reveal how people used to think and behave. Bottom line: our current level of “progressive” thinking is killing the nation.
There are few scholars I respect nearly as much as Richard Thaler (University of Chicago) and Cass Sunstein (Harvard), and none more. Their new book, Nudge, is chock-full of new ideas, and they pulled off quite a feat by winning the favor of both the Tories in the UK and of Obama in the US. However, even the best and brightest can get off on the wrong foot. Their claim, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, that more and better disclosure is the best way to deal the current financial crisis, is wrong-headed.
Recently, Sergey Brin, a 35 year-old Russian émigré who comes to work in T-shirts, jeans and sneakers, revealed a secret about himself on his personal blog that may be important to you. With slicked-back hair and fair complexion that make him look ten years younger, he could easily be mistaken for your typical Starbucks trainee. But a quick Google search identifies Sergey Brin as the fourth youngest billionaire in the world and fifth richest man in the United States. That quick Google search increased Brin’s fortune since he happens to be a cofounder of Google Inc.
The RAND Corporation dug into its own funds to produce an unusual report. It seeks to determine how terrorists groups end. It found that in the best cases, they turn into political parties (like the Resistencia Nacional Mozambicana in Mozambique did). When force must be used to end terrorism, a combination of policing and use of intelligence is much more effective than committing conventional armies. The RAND report provides more ammunition to those who reject the metaphor of a “war” against terrorism and all that it evokes. At the same time the report points out that Al Qaeda is especially unlikely to agree to a political settlement, given its ambitions, goals, and religious fundamentalism. To learn more, go here.