"Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking - if that's the appropriate word - would drive the White House in a McCain presidency."
LA Time Endorsement of Obama
at 11/01/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist."
at 10/29/2008 Posted by Andy Rand
The man who drives me into Indiana is a construction worker in a shiny new Dodge pickup. A sling holds his right arm, so he steers and lights cigarettes with his left one. He’s heading for a car wash in Terre Haute. He lives outside of town.
“There’s my house, right up there,” he says, pointing with his good arm to a cabin on a wooded hill. “Yeah, it’s nice out here. No niggers out here. Them niggers ruin everything. Run the value of your house down, everything.”
When he drops me at the car wash, I see an African-American pulling out in a Porsche. I take a few steps before realizing he’s the first black person I’ve seen since leaving California.
I have a good friend who is black. He’s often told me that there are entire regions of the country he’d rather see from an airplane. I always thought it was hyperbole. Until now. How sad it is that you can travel through ten states and encounter only white Americans along the way.
Three-quarters of the people who give me rides say they never pick up hitchhikers. An equal number tell me I’m “clean-cut.” I knew appearances would count for a lot on this trip. But every time I shave and shower and put on a fresh shirt, I never think about the one aspect of my appearance I can’t change: the color of my skin.
If a clean-cut black man set out from San Francisco on a penniless journey and followed my exact route, how far would he get? I’d like to think he’d be standing here with me, in Terre Haute, Indiana, but I fear that may not be the right answer.
The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America
at 10/29/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"Conservatism, an ideology once driven by principle, has shrunk until its purview can be, and often is, delineated in three syllables: God, guns, gays. Worse, it has embraced a win-at-all-costs ethos and intellectual dishonesty that are, even by the seamy standards of modern politics, astonishing...."
"...You cannot, if you've got half a brain, define that as anything but hypocrisy. And if true conservatives hate seeing that kind of duplicity associated with conservatism, I understand. But I have a question for them: Where have you been the last 15 years? Where were you when conservatism was untethered from principle, unhooked from reality? Where were you when it became smug and self-righteous, when it traded its integrity for situational outrage, its credibility for angry certitude, its honor for ballot box success? Where were you when it sold out to evangelicals and anti-intellectuals? Where were you when it got hijacked?..."
Leonard Pitts, Jr.
at 10/28/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street is driven by fear, not fact. This is too much money in too a short a time going to too few people while too many questions remain unanswered. Why aren't we having hearings on the plan we have just received? Why aren't we questioning the underlying premise of the need for a bailout with taxpayers' money? Why have we not considered any alternatives other than to give $70billion to Wall Street? Why aren't we asking Wall Street to clean up its own mess? Why aren't we passing new laws to stop the speculation, which triggered this? Why aren't we putting up new regulatory structures to protect investors? How do we even value the $700 billion in toxic assets?"
at 10/27/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
I'm confused here. Palin says she wants to put "country first." Isn't that what the so-called "communists" do? Isn't she supposed to be putting the individual first?
Since taxes have long be levied since ancient times, I'm unclear as to how taxes have suddenly become singularly tied to socialism. I believe Obama is talking about restoring the tax code so it would be similar to what was in place during the Clinton administration. You remember the booming 1990s? Call it what you will, but I call it a "progressive tax code."
If you are wondering what the future of the Republican Party looks like, think Palin and Michelle Bachmann. I seeing a battle coming in the GOP between the base supporting the guns, God and gays platform of Palin and the intellectual, ideological conservative minority.
Look for Palin to be a force in the scream, shout and hate branch of the Republican Party that man the rhetorical pitches in the mob mentality that fights to put "country first" when they actually mean "individuals first."
On March 3, 2005, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid attacked Greenspan as one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington and criticized him for supporting Bush's 2001 tax cut plan. Greenspan has also received criticism from Democratic Congressman Barney Frank and others for his support of Bush's plan to phase out Social Security in favor of private accounts. Greenspan had said Bush's model has "the seeds of developing full funding by its very nature. As I've said before, I've always supported moves to full funding in the context of a private account."
2008 Noble Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, a frequent Greenspan critic, wrote in the New York Times that Greenspan was a three-card maestro with a lack of sincerity who, by repeatedly shilling for whatever the Bush administration wants, has betrayed the trust placed in the Fed chairman. Charges that Greenspan was veering beyond the Fed's purview of monetary policy into fiscal and political matters traditionally left to lawmakers became more prevalent, coming for example from sources such as Republican Senator Jim Bunning who voted against reconfirming him.
Then-Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated in 2005 there were serious questions about the Fed's independence as a result of Greenspan's public statements. But others like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell disagreed, stating that Greenspan has been an independent player at the Fed for a long time under both parties and made an enormous positive contribution. Furthermore, Greenspan had used his position as Fed Chairman to comment upon fiscal policy as early as 1993, when he supported President Clinton's deficit reduction plan, which included tax hikes and budget cuts.