Has Obama Won?

October 23, 2008

This is the post I’ve been avoiding writing for a week.  McCain’s performance in the debate was shameful.  There was no substance there, only attacks on Obama and continual references to Joe the Plumber. On the other hand, Obama was poised, confident, with coherent answers and kept trying to steer the conversation back to issues.

I don’t trust Obama.  There’s too much he’s done he refuses to talk about.  His friends have weird and unworkable ideas.  It’s too much we don’t know.  And we don’t know ANYTHING about Biden.  It’s as if he doesn’t exist.

But McCain is becoming a disappointment.  I was embarrassed during the debates. AIl he talks about since then is Joe the plumber.  I didn’t know who the guy was at the time, but since then, I’ve learned I’m noting like Joe.  Joe is a cheat and a tax scofflaw.

And Sarah.  A year ago, when almost no one else knew who she was, she was my choice for Huckabee’s running mate.  Now, I’m not sure she’s electable.  It’s a one-message speech, and that message sounds like “the little lady” – not a successful governor.

Sarah’s ethical problems are also troubling.  I’ve been a government employee a long time, so I know about travel regulations and try to err on the side of conservatism.  It’s clear she’s been abusing the rules and treating a public service position as her private cash cow.

I’ve gone from stongly McCain to undecided, but I’ve got to decide soon, since I’ll be voting absentee.  (I’ll be out of state on election day.)

Somebody tell me McCain is safe to trust.


Obama lacks the experience we should demand

October 20, 2008

The lead editorial of the Daily Press, the leading newspaper in southeast Virginia, says “John McCain is the better choice, whether we look at the past or the future.”  They praise Senator Obama’s accomplishment, his vision, and appeal to young voters.  But when you look at his accomplishments and values, their reasoned opinion is that he’s not ready, and not good for the country.

“…when the hopeful message of change is subjected to the glare of factual light, Obama does not emerge as the best candidate to lead the world’s most powerful nation during a time of threats both domestic and abroad, both economic and military.”

This is significant in part because the Hampton Roads region is still considered “undecided” territory, in a state that is considered a swing state.  Senator Obama was there only 3 weeks ago, and will be in nearby Richmond later this week.  It’s both heavily military (every service is represented) and with a significant Black population, with Hampton University and Norfolk State, both Historically Black Colleges.   The economy is struggling, but holding its own. It could go either way.

And so the leading information source in the region came out with a well-reasoned thought piece on what an Obama Presidency would mean for the nation.

“Obama lacks the experience we should demand from the world’s most powerful man, and his fundamental political beliefs are better suited to a more statist European nation such as France than America’s energetic capitalist culture, which demands individual responsibility as the price for maximizing our potential as humans.”

The editorial notes that when you look at his service in both the Illinois state Senate and the U.S. Senate, the resume is “thin.”  I reminds us “we look to what applicants have accomplished in their previous jobs as an indicator of what they will want to and be able to accomplish.”  There’s not much there.  He hasn’t submitted many bills, engaged in much debate, or made many public policy statements, except for his memoirs.

What we do know is what he’s proposed for his Presidency.  And it looks expensive.  Senator Obama wants to “dip into our wallets to achieve its ambitious aims.”  This does not match the lessons of history.  “America succeeds, despite down cycles that affect all nations, thanks not to government but to its citizens’ hard work and economic enterprise.”

If you want to learn more about his character, you’re out of luck there, too.  The Senator has “an inclination to turn his back on stated beliefs when it suits him, probably the most telling cautionary tale about Obama’s character. … (his) modus operandi has been to deny, then defend and eventually distance himself from political embarrassments. All of which makes one wonder what Obama truly believes.”

And McCain?  The Daily Press notes hihs “long and public record, and his forthrightness about his values and plans, leave fewer doubts about where he will take this nation, and whether he’s capable of getting there. He will focus on building the infrastructure of success — freedom, responsibility, judicious regulation, well-placed incentives — instead of hoping to achieve success by extending government’s reach and responsibilities.”

They – and I – recommend Senator McCain for President.

Source:  Daily Press, Newport News, VA


Obama Already Costing Us

October 18, 2008

On October 4, Barack Obama visited Newport News, Virginia, on the north side of battleground Hampton Roads.  It was a great venue, on the banks of the James River, framed by the Victory Arch where soldiers coming home from both World Wars first stepped off the troop transport onto American soil.  But it was a city park on the edge of downtown, and accomodating 18,000 people on a Saturday morning meant closing all the streets in the area with every spare policeman they could find, many on overtime.

The problem is that it cost the City $30,000, but the Obama campaign only paid $4,693, a reimbursement for bottled drinking water for the crowd.  And according to the local paper, the Daily Press:

“It’s unlikely that the city will go back to the Obama campaign to ask for more money. “We never indicated we would charge for security,” Morgan said. “We provided the support like we always have.”

Compare Obama’s visit with a visit a week later (Monday, Oct 13) by John McCain and Sarah Palin to Virginia Beach, just 20 miles away on the other side of the James.  The Republicans rented the Virginia Beach Convention Center for $20,000 and paid extra to use a satellite parking lot and the shuttle to it.

There’s no estimate of how much Virginia Beach spent for security and support personnel.  It’s a larger city with 817 sworn officers — the second-largest police department in Virginia.  They were able to meet the demand with available on-duty personnel and paid no overtime.  “It generated revenues,” said Courtney Dyer, general manager of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. “We treated it like any other event. It was business like usual.”

If Obama creates a $20k unfunded cost on cities while campaigning, what’s he gonna do if he’s elected?


McCain – not Obama – predicted today’s crisis

October 12, 2008

In a previous post, I gave some background on how the Senate had warned against out-of-control lending.  That included legislation in 1999 (S900) that put restrictions on loans and sounded warnings of a risky future.  It also included action by McCain, as a key cosponsor of legislation, to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie May in 2006.

Recently, HumanEvents.com has obtained a copy of an internal Senate letter from May 5, 2006, calling the Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and the Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (Richard Shelby) to bring action on S190, the Federal Housing Enterprise Reglatory Reform Act.

The concern of the letter was the growth of Freddie and Fannie’s loans, by then touching over half the nation’s housing mortgages.  “With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would actually pay this debt if Fannie or Freddit could not?”

The letter mentions recent testimony from all the major players, that this is well-thought-out legislation, and that it needed to be addressed soon, having cleared Sen Shelby’s committee.  It reiterates that it is the role of Congress to “Take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe and sound manner, and are primarily focused on their statutory mission.”

The letter ends with a warning:  “Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event either GSE should fail.”

No Democrat signed the letter.

For McCain to say he’s been fighting for our interests for years is in clear evidence.  For the Democrats to claim otherwise is a misrepresentation of the truth.


Dad McCain: “Don’t make me come down there!”

September 25, 2008

John McCain got frustrated with the “Christmas tree” effect already starting in Congress in their efforts to address the fiscal crisis.  He threatened to do what we had told him to do – suspend his campaign long enough to return to Washington and fix the problem. 

But he delayed, until Congress started adding pork and special interests into the bill, so that the costs became really fuzzy.  He announced Wednesday he was going to quit the campaigning long enough to go fix the problem, create a bipartisan solution, and if it meant missing the debate, so be it. 

It’s like dad announcing “don’t make me come down there, cause you won’t like what I’m gonna do if I have to come.”

Congress heard. 

They went from deadlock yesterday to agreement today.  It wasn’t Bush’s lackluster speech, because there wasn’t a report this morning of a solution.  Agreement didn’t come until after McCain spoke at Clinton Forum, outlining 5 common sense demands for the solution:  accountability and transparency, ownership instead of bailout (repayment to taxpayers instead of treasury general fund), and no extra trinkets.

Here’s what he said:

First, there must be greater accountability included in the bill. I have suggested a bipartisan board to provide oversight for the rescue. We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight. Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person, and there must be protections and oversight in place.

Second, as a part of that oversight, there must be a path for taxpayers to recover the money that is put into this fund. When we’re talking about 700 billion taxpayer dollars, that money cannot simply go into a black hole of bad debt with no means of recovering any of the funds.

Third, there must be complete transparency in the review of this legislation and in the implementation of any legislation. This cannot be thrown together behind closed doors. The American people have the right to know which businesses will be helped, what that selection will be based on and how much that help will cost. All the details should all be made available online and elsewhere for open public scrutiny.

Fourth, it is completely unacceptable for any kind of earmarks to be included in this bill. It would be outrageous for legislators and lobbyists to pack this rescue plan with even more taxpayer money for favored companies. And frankly, members of Congress who would attempt such a thing are scarcely better than the most reckless operators on Wall Street.

Fifth and finally, no Wall Street executives should profit from taxpayer dollars. Let me put it this way: I would rather build a bridge to nowhere — and put it square in the middle of Sedona, Arizona — than take money from teachers and farmers and small business owners to line the pockets of the Wall Street crowd that got us here in the first place. And I can assure you: if I have anything to say about the matter, it’s not going to happen.

It’s not a done deal yet.  I’d say they’d better get to work.  If Mom would say wait until dad gets home, I’d want to get my stuff done before he showed up.  Congress is still quibbling.  I say they’d better get to work.

(Thanks to grist.org for capturing and posting the text of the speech!)


Why McCain Must Win

September 15, 2008

Orson Scott Card is a very smart, very educated, well-read man.  You know him as a science fiction writer.  He’s also a political commentator.

Here’s what he said recently about why his choice for president – Barack Obama – should not win this year’s election.  It was in the form of an open letter to John McCain:

“I’m also an American who believes that we must have a President who understands that we are at war with Islamic terrorists, and that there is great danger from Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and others waiting on the horizon for us to show any weakness.

“We also face a crucial showdown between judges who interpret the law and judges who think they get to make laws up. Obama would appoint more dictator-judges; you would not.

“If it were not for those issues, I would be voting for Obama this year.

“Instead, I must vote for you. And you must, for the sake of this country’s future as a free land, win.

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Thus says an Obama democrat political activist, an accomplished writer who has made the case better than I could.


McCain Owns No Houses

September 15, 2008

The Obama campaign has attacked McCain for not knowing how many homes he owns, implying he has so many he can’t keep track – and thus is out of touch with common Americans.  It was in response to criticisms about his $1.1M shady deal for the $1.65M Chicago mansion.

According to politico (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12700.html), his wife and trusts controlled by her or him own eight houses and condos, but McCain owns none outright.  He lives in her condo in Phoenix, and in a Virginia condo owned by her, her children and their trusts.

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About the convention:

Robert Gibbs, strategist for Barak Obama, heard the same speech you and I heard, but he doesn’t acknowledge any of the economic reforms we heard her propose:  American oil and gas, alternative energy investments, tax relief for small business, competition and fairness from large corporations.

The democratic pundits took tidbits out of context and made absurd comments.  They kept trying to paint her as only a small-town mayor with no qualifications, and that they would be the same as Bush Cheyney.  (Do they not see how stupid that makes them look?)  They actually said that community organizing – important as it is – was the same as running a state.