July 31, 2008
The economy this year has proved surprisingly resilient in the face of tighter credit, soaring energy prices, a tumbling housing sector and consumer gloom. “It’s quite remarkable that we’re still managing to get some growth,” said Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner. But he added, “The fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year are going to be very challenging.”
July 30, 2008
In a speech to Cuban-Americans in Miami, you called the Cuban trade embargo “an important inducement for change,” a 180-degree shift from your prior position. The trade embargo has been in place for 46 years. Did denying an entire generation of Cubans access to American goods, culture, and ideas induce any actual change? Wasn’t the real effect just to keep Cubans poor and isolated? In communist countries like Vietnam and China, trade with the U.S. has ushered in economic reform, and vastly improved the standard of living. Why wouldn’t it be the same if we were to start trading with Cuba?
In October you asked a congregation in South Carolina to help you become “an instrument of God,” and to join you in building a “Kingdom, right here on Earth.” Is such lofty, sanctimonious rhetoric really appropriate from a would-be president? Why shouldn’t we be suspicious of a man who believes politics — indeed, his politics — are God’s politics? Isn’t using the political process to build a “Kingdom on earth” the sort of thing we’re used to hearing from the religious right? Should we be cautious of political leaders who believe they’re agents of the Divinity?
In your January primary debate, you referred to “greedy” Wall Street stockbrokers, and in contrasting your career to the business career of Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, you said, “I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy. And I did it out of patriotism, not for profit.” Do you think a career in public service is inherently more noble and virtuous than a career in the private sector? Are people who spend their lives on the taxpayer dole as politicians and government employees simply better people than those who create wealth and jobs through private enterprise?
America was founded on the idea of inalienable, individual rights — our Declaration of Independence outlined three of the most important rights as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But your speeches and public statements seem to show a kind of contempt for individualism, or at least a preference for a kind of patriotic national collectivism. You’ve said, for example, that “each and every one of us has a duty to serve a cause greater than our own self-interest.” You’ve also said that patriotism should be about “putting the country first, before party or personal ambition, before anything.” Do you really believe this? Should we put love of country ahead of family? Faith? Our morality, or sense of justice?
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.
(h/t Cafe Hayek)
July 28, 2008
This story got the wheels going (painful as that is).
Kajagoogoo (the vid is from Limahl (such a great name); the bitch hasta make a buck, ya know):
July 28, 2008
BO obviously thinks I’m not paying attention. Here is his recent interview with (the ever adorable) Bill Hemmer talking about the surge in Iraq and whether it was or wasn’t a success:
Vodpod videos no longer available.vodpod
The “HUH?” moment:
Bill Hemmer: When you opposed the surge publicly…I did not hear you say the Sunni Awakening is happening and that’s going to turn Anbar province
Barack Obama: I don’t think anybody understood the degree of significance of that.
Sorry, BO, you don’t get to rewrite history. Here is what President Bush said when outlining the specifics of the surge in 01/07:
Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders, and they are protecting the local population. Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda. And as a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists. America’s men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan — and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.
Make it up as you go along. Maybe no one will notice.
July 27, 2008
Maybe I need an attitude adjustment. Yeah, I know there is more to the world than fluffy kittens, hot guys and fun youtube videos. The world can be a depressing place. Make up your own rules…
July 24, 2008
In honor of BO campaigning in Germany (who knew that the Germans are such a important voting bloc?):