Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beyond Self-Parody

This was too funny, to pass on. John Kerry, pictured at right is quoted as saying that Sarah Palin is "cheney-esque" because of her socially conservative views, and that her term as vice-president would be ...."the third term of Dick Cheney." Words fail, so I'll just let you look at the pictures.

Programming Alert

At great personal expense, BwD and TILoBO are embedding staff at the McCain rally in O'Fallon, near St. Louis today. We hope to bring you pictures and commentary later today or early tomorrow. Our intrepid correspondent lacks his own blog, so we will be shamelessly stealing his impressions to beef up our output.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Experience - Off the Table?

I've seen it argued on the left, that by picking Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has taken the issue of Obama's experience off the table. After all, she was a mayor of some podunk town in Alaska before becoming Governor of Alaska less two years ago. But they haven't thought this through. If the McCain campaign continues to hammer at Obama's lack of experience and they respond with, "Sarah Palin is even less experienced," the have actually conceded the overall debate to McCain. Turned on its head, one might ask, would you rather have an experienced Vice President and inexperienced President or vice-versa? This is another reason why the Biden pick looks so bad for Obama, it sets up an odd symmetry between the two campaigns, with McCain and Biden looking right-left versions of each other and Obama-Palin having their own uniques juxtapositions. (African-American vs. Woman, inexperienced senator vs. inexperienced governor.) The problem for the Dems is that the inexperience is at the top of he ticket. To use a physics analogy, its as if the heavier nucleus is orbiting the lighter electron, not the other way around upsetting the fabric of the universe.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Letting His Speech Sink In

First, congratulations to John McCain on the timing of his Veep announcement and its boldness. He deprived Obama of more time to milk the news cycle with the aftermath of his acceptance speech. I hope this means his campaign is waking up and not suffering from an "energy deficit." I am also a little nervous about whether they did their homework on the vetting.

Many Dems are congratulating themselves on their nominee and how he is now the "fighter" they are looking for, how HE won't let himself be "swiftboated." But I wonder. In his speech and on the campaign trail Obama has billed himself as a "new and improved" kind of politician, who can heal our nations wounds and get past the politics of the past. But the tone of his speech, with its repeated and repetitious jabs at Bush and McCain-Bush, blah, blah, etc. sounded very much like an old-school, FDR-worshiping, tough-Dem pol to me. In his effort to be taken seriously, he may have gone too negative and hurt his own branding. I think McCain, by contrast, has burnished his own credentials by picking someone very far from Washington for his running mate.

A little more on yesterday's theme of half-truths and lies. Obama blames Bush for the mess of Katrina, "...sits on its hands while a major city drowns..." I remind the readers that it was the abysmal failure of local government to follow its own evacuation plans and bus people out that was most responsible for the tragedies in the wake of Katrina. Obama promises that "I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work." Fat chance. First, every President since Richard Nixon has made this promise. Second, there is a good reason it doesn't work. It's called the constitution, Professor Obama. Article 1, Section 7 states in part:
"Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it..."
As a consequence, the President lacks the authority to do what Obama proposes, essentially a line item veto. Plus, he never met a government program he didn't like, so I doubt he would really propose cutting them anyway. But I am appalled that no one calls him on his constitutional idiocy. If by some tragedy, he is elected, I hope that the Republicans hold him accountable for his pledge to pay for new programs by cutting old programs. BTW, for a detailed treatment of why it is so hard to cut programs, see Jonathon Rauch's groundbreaking article on demosclerosis. First published in 1992, it was one of those rare articles that changed my thinking about the nature of politics and government.

Now we will see how this Pallin thing turns out and whether McCain can capitalize on the position handed him. Will he emulate Bob Dole or Ronald Reagan?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Demagoguery and Lies, But A Flourishing Finish

I listened patiently and he did not disappoint. Barack Obama finished his acceptance speech with pretty decent oratorical flourishes with content that could have been equally delivered at a Republican convention. Maybe that was the point. But first I had to keep my cool while he demagogued and delivered lies and half-truths and just a little stupidity. Also, the whole Greek column thing was a set up, the stage was made to look like the set of West Wing, as in, see Obama already looks like the President.

First, the stupidity:
He got the crowd chanting "Eight is enough." An allusion to the popular TV show starring Dick Van Patten that ran from 1977 to 1981. And who was President during most of that time.......(drum roll please). That's right boys and girls, Jimmy Carter. So maybe he is seeking to remind us of the last Democrat candidate who promised change on this scale.

Some lies:
He implies that the economy is in recession, not a "mental recession." However, GDP grew at a 3.3% clip in the last quarterly statistics. He also accuses John McCain of saying $5 million a year income was middle class. McCain never said that, was clearly having a joke with Warren when that was asked, and the question was "Define rich."

Some half truths:
That somehow the Republicans proposals of the "ownership society" meant dismantling health care, welfare and unemployment benefits. Over and over making out McCain to be the third coming of George Bush.

Somehow Obama is going to prevent jobs from going overseas. First there will always be job growth and destruction in a free market. (Obama promises to continue with free markets, a big relief for me.) Without the freedom to make changes, we will turn into France iwith its high unemployment because businesses are afraid to hire because they can never fire or lay off. It is the sheerest demagoguery to suggest these laws of economics can be repealed without consequence. And I think Obama knows this.

The finish and in my view the rhetorical highlight:

Instead, it is that American spirit — that American promise — that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
Unfortunately he never really closes the deal and clearly explains what exactly American promise exactly is. Certainly, Obama explains that the spirit is that we never turn back, no matter the obstacle.

Transcript here, so you can judge for yourself.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Did He, That is Himself, Slip in Here?

So, now He goes and does it. By most reports, and in reading the text, Bill Clinton delivered a masterful liberal speech today. I did not agree with much of it, but that's not the point. Clinton was on his game and the crowd and even the lefties in the blogosphere were eating it up. (He also delivered the kind of speech that Obama needs to deliver but probably won't.) So where was this guy when Hillary really needed him, other than stirring up trouble, brooding over slights and injecting race into the campaign, that is? Now... he looks like quite the elder statesman. Which just goes to show you, it's always about Bill. The only electoral prediction I ever got right was that he would sabotage his wife's campaign. Now that it's official, he can get back to making himself look good. Here's to you Bill Clinton, who better?

I confess to a love-hate relationship with Bill Clinton. Even though he came to power promising liberal outcomes, he had the good sense and pragmatism to sign NAFTA, greatly benefiting the American industry; welfare reform, which greatly reduced the welfare roles and some balanced budgets, which were good for the economy. These were very conservative outcomes. But of course, he was always and intensely self-absorbed which led to his lying under oath. Giving Clinton credit like this drives my family and friends nuts, so let your comments rip.

UPDATE #1: Even Peggy Noonan, whom I greatly admire, was impressed with Clinton's speech. She makes the curious comment that Bill did something no one else has, not even Obama himself, he made the case for Obama.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama, Rock Star and More?

According to ABC News, Obama plans to make his acceptance speech will be made on a stage that will resemble a miniature Greek temple. There will be a whole stage raising thing with Obama coming up at the 50 yard line in typical rock concert fashion. Later, a fiery goat's skull will descend as Obama gets in some mean licks on his stratocaster (ok, I made that part up.)

The whole cult following thing is starting to grate. When will this guy live up to his hype. Name one thing he has done or one policy he has proposed that would bring people together as he claims. BTW, he can't seem to bring much unity even to the Dems, at least so far. Read Maureen Dowd's article here, but I love this quote:

But this Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult with Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.

“What is that feeling in the air?” I asked him.

“Submerged hate,” he promptly replied.

Ah, yes, now I recognize that sulfurous aroma.

Back on the rock star/messiah thing, Road Dawg linked me up with the following:

If you can't watch the whole thing, the money quote is at the end from G.K. Chesterton:
"When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."
H/T: Road Dawg and Drudge

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hope, Change and McCain's 8 Houses

According to Ben Smith over at this Democratic convention is shaping up to be the most negative in some time. The toughness and negativity, of attacking McCain for his wife's wealth, is openly applauded over at lefty site MyDD. (Challenge to reader, find the hidden snarky comment.) What a platform to rally the country behind the candidate who is a "new kind of politician."

Obama's admirers pictured above are gesturing the genuine number of new ideas he has and the number of times he has broken from his party's liberal orthodoxy.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama and Card Check

A quick check of Daily Kos following the Biden announcement tipped me off to a key Democrat Party goal. Dems are looking to strengthen their Senate numbers and get Obama elected President to achieve a key goal of getting "card check" passed (please click the link.) Obama's comment:
"I will make it the law of the land when I'm president of the United States."

Last year this legislation stalled in the Senate after being passed in the House. This bill would require businesses to certify a union after 50% of the workers signed a card requesting one. Sounds reasonable? Except for the fact that workers are now allowed to vote with a secret ballot. And why do we have secret ballots in America, boys and girls? Because we want elections to be free of intimidation, collusion and bribery. Over at Daily Kos, they complain that union elections are never fair. Me, I'll always believe in the tried and proven processes of democracy. I'll let you be the judge: Daily Kos article here, web site here.

I couldn't resist embedding Ted Kennedy's response to the advertisments. What is he thinking? If they are getting this kind of reaction out of Ted, they must be doing something right.

Housekeeping Update: To those folks I invited to read and comment on this blog who aren't regular readers, I have updated the blog settings to allow anonymous posting.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why, Yes.... Yes, He would.

Dean here. I asked and He provided. The Good Lord has granted this wish as Suit has chosen Joe Biden (D-small, insignificant East Coast state no one’s heard of) that will be certain to stir the masses and awake the echoes.

From some exhaustive research I did, Biden is supposedly veeeery strong in foreign policy matters. We’ll take this as an admission that perhaps Suit acknowledges that indeed, his inexperience in foreign policy is an issue… if by “inexperience” one also means “utter cluelessness”. Good luck, Senator from tacked-onto-the-ass-end-of-Maryland, you’ve got your work cut-out for ya.

And for all you Veep hopefuls: Better luck next time, suckers. Especially you, Tim Kaine of Virginia. Your performance during the initial stages of the Georgia/Russian crisis was one for the ages. Stating how pleased you were that the two sides “complied” with his Suit’s edict for a cease-fire while Russian armor continued to roll into Gori was breathtaking. But now its time to get up, brush off your knees and get back to the business of governing the great state of Virginia.

Update #1:If Hillary’s supporters are looking for any more fuel to fan the Flames of Denver, then the vetting process, if not necessarily the selection of Biden, will fill the bill.

The “process” is one big bone-throwing hootenanny… something that governors, senators, and one would think, the person that finished second in pledged delegates during the primaries can tell their grand-children about… “Yes, Suit had me vetted as a potential Vice Presidential candidate but… well, damn… ask your Grandpa Billy why it is I didn’t make the ticket.”

Thing is – Hil’ was never vetted - not even asked to be vetted, which as far as we know is a requirement for anyone even being remotely considered for the job.
A top Clinton advisor also told CNN they were "outraged," over how the process was conducted.

"You can't put [Obama VP vetters] Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy on an hour plane ride to Chappaqua just to check the box? They should have done it just for the optics," this person said. "Barack never even said to her, 'Here's how I envision the job'– not one discussion with her about [the position]."

It’s not quite clear what possessed Camp Obama to not even make this most ceremonial and party unification-obligatory of gestures. And the claim by Camp Obama that the Clintons have lived the most public of lives and thus, have been vetted in a manner of speaking by the public already is the ultimate in stained blue dress irony.

Seriously. What is Suit thinking? Oh yeah, Audacity, Arrogance, Inexperience... its all there, folks... dig in.

H/T: Hot Air

Update #2: : Obama feels compelled to mention at least twice Biden’s Catholic faith in his introduction of little Joey B. And here’s little Joey B. on, one presumes, McCain and then… I have no earthly clue: “These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader -- a leader who can deliver."

Friday, August 22, 2008

In The Tank

I officially don't get it. I have subscribed to The Economist for a long time, because, well, I fancy myself a pointy-headed intellectual. There, I said it. The Economist is generally dedicated to free trade, free markets and limited government. However, in this week's leader the venerable magazine said:
Mr. Obama is an impressive nominee with the potential to be a fine president.
But wait, there's more. They proceed to take him to task for his tilt towards protectionism, his stance on denying funds for the "surge" in Iraq, his insistence on withdrawing troops from Iraq on a rigid timetable, and his incentive destroying proposals to tax the "rich." The editors also allow as how many Americans see him as "too young and inexperienced for a dangerous world." Further, they describe his breaking of his campaign finance promise as cynical and shabby. Finally, he has "never exhibited political courage by daring to take on his party's powerful interests." But other than these modest failings, what's not to like?

But hey, the man can speechify, especially with a teleprompter. In the article, Chris Matthews is even given a pass for the "thrill up the leg" comment. I somehow lucked into seeing both of the speeches Obama and McCain gave that night as well as Matthews' comments live. I was appalled by Matthews. McCain's discussed how we wished to serve his country because his country had first saved him. That resonated deeply and moved me to tears. For the life of me, I cannot remember a single thing Obama said that night. I challenge the reader to remember as well, go read the speeches (linked above). Somehow the hip, cool, young, speechifier is going to repair America's damaged relationships in the world. That's it. That's the whole deal, why they like this guy. Good grief.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Designing Health Care

"Doctor" Obama was in Albuquerque Monday talking about health care:
"If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system."

(Picture not from that speech.)

Who is he trying to pay back, Teddy Kennedy? As documented on BwD, (which I like to think of as Beers with Dean) when Ted Kennedy was diagnose with brain cancer he availed himself of the finest U.S. technology to get himself cured. (NYT article says the surgeon claimed success.) BwD article futher points out the gross failings of single payer both in Canada (with Canucks traveling south for needed care and in Great Britain.) Once again, Obama's true intentions slip through. Why won't he say it out loud, or other Democrats for that matter, is that they know single-payer is deeply unpopular with the public.

H/T: WSJ Print

John McCain's President

The man pictured at right is no longer President of the United States of America. News to you? His Oneness has declared that George W. Bush is just President of part of the country. From an AP story on Sunday:
Obama called the U.S. economy a disaster thanks to "John McCain's president, George W. Bush," and chided his Republican rival's campaign team for trying to make him look unpatriotic and weak.
Mr. Obama, how demeaning to the office to which you aspire. Think ahead, if, by some disaster, your Oneness is elected President, don't you want to be thought of as President of all the people? Maybe you don't. Maybe you think the office is just a political sinecure and has no larger meaning. You keep making me wonder.

(No need to thank me for the word link citizen, you know who you are.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't Question His Patriotism

Obama returned to this theme of attempting to dictate the terms of debate through intimidation and name-calling. John McCain suggested that His Oneness' foreign policy stance was related to his political ambition (shock!). Obama responded today:

"One of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can't disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism,"

What? As McCain rightly retorted, he was questioning Obama's judgment not his patriotism. Is Obama implying that failure to support the war automatically calls one's patriotism into question? That would be an odd stance to take. Or is he just saying that Republicans questioning his war judgment are automatically taking the low road of name calling? So much for elevating the discourse.

I also wonder about his thin skin over the subject of patriotism. He has taken flak for removing the flag lapel pin, and can't really explain it adequately. (But I can, it's a cultural message, letting his left wing base know that he too is suspicious of American power. It's a sort of Dog Whistle politics. Also, for the record, I do not wear a flag lapel pin even though I wear a suit most days. You can question my patriotism, it won't phase me.) He has been buds with folks like Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright who see America as a source of great evil in the world. Michelle Obama is proud of America for the first time in her life. If it was just one thing, we wouldn't wonder about his true feelings, but there seems to be a trend building.

So ok, I won't question his patriotism; but I wish Pastor Rick had asked the following: "Overall, is America a source of good or evil in the world?" Is there any doubt what McCain's answer would be? Do we have a clue as to what Obama's would have been, other than meandering?

That God would be so good to us.

Dean here. Oh goody… a new toy. Want to thank B-Daddy for allowing me to help(?)-out here at TILoBO.

Conjecture is running rampant as to whom M.T. Suit’s Veep pick will be. The unveiling of said pick is reportedly to be made at a campaign rally in Illinois this Saturday. The Hillary talk just won’t go away but at this point, talk is all it is… and it ain’t happening.

Making a late surge is Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. Seriously, we're not kidding. We fervently wish for Suit to make Biden his choice because nothing says reaching out and broadening your appeal like a moderately liberal Senator from a small east coast blue state that looks on the map to be a administrative afterthought to some of Maryland's less desirable water-front property and who is still best known, for better or worse, in the public’s mind for a plagiarism scandal that scuttled his bid for the Presidency back in ’88 when he was one of the Democratic field’s Seven Dwarves. Make it happen, Suit!

Exit question: How many of the Dwarves can you name without Wiki?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome to My Little Blog

Mr. M.T. Suit, pictured at left, and his surrogates have let it be known that using his middle name, calling out his lack of experience, comparing him to empty headed celebrities, etc. will get you accused of the most heinous crime in America today, racism.

His inability to deal with criticism and taking the low road with regards to race prompted me to start this little blog. Hopefully, Obama will keep saying things that are revealing of his character, providing fodder for this blog.

My prediction for Obama quote that will turn out to be a big whopper has to do with Bill Ayers, an unrepentant 1960s radical, with whom Obama has had professional and personal association, however, Obama has said Ayers was just a "guy who lives in my neighborhood." H/T No Quarter