You are currently viewing archive for July 2008
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
In brief, as I gave Barack Obama holy hell for rolling a dismal 37 game in his disastrous bowling photo op during the Pennsylvania primary, it is only right to note with much admiration (perhaps even some awe) his magnificent performance from beyond the three-point line in front of a big crowd and huge television audience during his world tour.

If you haven't seen it (if that is even possible) here it is via YouTube.

By the way, this was no fluke. Evidently, Obama really is deadly from the outside--and he can perform this feat almost on demand.

Certainly, no one would argue that "draining threes" is a necessary presidential skill--but, undoubtedly, clutch play in tight situations is a big plus.

I am convinced that he is the wrong man for the job, but, for me at least, he is nearly impossible to dislike.
Category: Politics
Posted by: Tocqueville
Gerard Baker of the Times Online has an amusing piece today:

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

Read the whole thing here
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
Gateway Pundit has the round-up on the continuing threats and now actual violence against Clinton supporters from Obamaniacs.


Does anyone else find this scary? The adulation Obama receives, coupled with the threats and violence, make his movement seem like Third-World politics.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
This afternoon I had a conversation with a former chairman of the Comanche Nation. He mentioned that he had met John McCain once. My friend was returning from a meeting in Washington, D.C., after the 9/11 security procedures were in place. After he cleared security and was putting his shoes back on, things into his pockets, etc., he noticed that the man next to him putting on shoes was John McCain. My friend spoke to him and shook his hand. While he remains a staunch Democrat, this encounter impressed him; McCain asked for no special treatment but stood in line with everyone else.

Character is revealed day-by-day in small actions. Take a lesson Cynthia McKinney.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
This essay argues that an Obama presidency will not resemble Carter's--who was weak and president during a time of economic malaise--nor Clinton's--who lacked Congressional support for left-of-center policies--but rather will be like LBJ, promoting significant change in the direction of Big Government as the attempted solution to all perceived social problems. Worth checking out. Link from Instapundit.

In fairness to LBJ, I think the big Texan loved his country and had a genuine connection to and affection for common Americans. And some of his actions were good and overdue, like signing the Civil Rights Act.

Obama is seeming more and more like an elitist without a deep affection for this country as it is and has been.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The Cover

Is it funny?

Not so much. It took my breath away, but it did not make me laugh. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, the droll brilliance of the celebrated New Yorker cartoons is often wasted on my simple palate.

Should the Obama-nation be this angry?

Obama is not my guy--but, if he were, I would be crying foul, overflowing with contempt for the mainstream media. What I might say if the New Yorker did this to John McCain: "Would they do something like this to Barack Obama? Hell No!"

Of course, if the tables were turned, the other side surely would be saying: "lighten up, fellows. It is merely a cartoon. You Republicans need to have thicker skins."

Having said that, this seems mean-spirited and ugly.

What was the point?

Inoculation. This clunker of a cover was an obvious attempt by the New Yorker, an Obama-friendly den of sophisticates, to make opponents of their candidate seem ridiculous. As I have declared before on numerous occasions, the claim that Obama is actually a closet Muslim and, therefore, potentially an Islamist Manchurian Candidate is one of the most patently asinine accusations in all of American political history. No one with any sense gives this story any credence. Almost everybody (90 percent of Americans, according to recent polls) understand perfectly well that Barack Obama is an evangelical Christian (possibly from Kansas). Upon the foundation of that egregiously spurious claim, the cartoon connects a series of images that convey other less outlandish worries.

The Message: any concern you might have about Barack Obama is backward, ignorant, and possibly racist.

What went Wrong?

1. It wasn't funny. It was too New Yorkerish. There are too many people like me who aren't snarky and hip enough to appreciate this genre.

2. The satire was a bit too close to reality. Even the intended beneficiaries realized that the caricatures struck too close to home. In the midst of the satirical sketch, there is the "fist bump," which is actually a true staple of the Obama public personae.

The real problem: apart from the Muslim garb, the other gags are not so outrageous. There is a legitimate worry in Middle America that Michelle really is a limousine radical. Some Reagan Democrats really do fret that Barack may be a bit too naive when it comes to confronting terrorists. Floyd R. Turbo wonders why the Senator seems so uncomfortable with Old Glory as a unifying national symbol.

Although this was indisputably friendly fire, in the end, the New Yorker outsmarted itself and inflicted a non-lethal wound on Barack Obama.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
"Just remember," George Bailey cautions the panicky, wide-eyed, mini-mob in the midst of a run on the Building and Loan, "this thing isn't as black as it appears."

How black is this thing?

A slew of unhappy customers descended on the numerous Southern California branches of IndyMac bank today (Monday), following the news reports that federal regulators seized control of the troubled mortgage house on Friday.

Easy day for the press. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae conflated with IndyMac, roll tape of hot and bothered depositors standing in long lines outside a newly failed bank during a summer heat wave, and this story writes itself.

I am reminded of the reportage of the 1994 Northridge (Reseda) Earthquake, which I happened to experience up close and personal. You may remember the iconic picture in which a two-story apartment building in Reseda collapsed on itself, rendering a buffeted and compressed one-story structure. CNN ran that image with every one of its up-dates for several days, as did a lot of other news agencies. That visual became the emblematic image for most of news-watching America.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked sincere questions about my experience in that earthquake derived from that video. "Did your house collapse?" Based on that reporting, a huge number of news consumers in the Heartland unconsciously assumed that a vast majority of the people in the San Fernando Valley lost their homes to piles of rubble.

In truth, it was a devastating earthquake: seventy-two deaths, over 12,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in damage. Depending on how you calculate, and your criteria, the so-called Northridge Quake can be ranked as one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

For the record, it was a big-time scary event, and we were shaken and inconvenienced for a long time following our 4:30 a.m. moment of terror. Power was out for several days in places (I never saw the CNN coverage everybody else watched because I was in the dark). Water was unreliable. There was visible damage everywhere. But very few of us were homeless, and very few of us were dead. Of a population of approximately 17 million residents in the Greater Los Angeles area, less than 100 of my fellow Angelenos died. Even seventy-two mortalities is a tragic number, indeed, but it always seemed to me that most of America had the sense from watching television that something much more catastrophic had transpired.

How black is this thing?

I really don't know--but things are generally not as bad as they seem on TV.

Is this financial crisis another Great Depression? I doubt it. But if it is, I suppose we will live through it the way our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did. Were a lot of people in line at IndyMac today? Yes. Did it really happen? Yes. But let's keep some proportion to all this.

We should take these events seriously. There are in fact some very scary components to our current panic.

However, one quirky reason I continue to have faith in our potential for recovery is that politicians are not to the point of being frightened enough to refrain from seeking partisan advantage.

A number of Democratic legislators (many of whom are Obama cabinet hopefuls) blame the Bush administration and other appendages of the greedy Republican-Big Finance axis. The politicians bemoan the practice of "predatory lenders...luring potential homeowners into mortgages they could not afford." These mean lenders, the story goes, did not do due diligence and "take into account the borrowers inability to repay the loans."

Is it just me, or is that crazy?

It is the responsibility, and in the interest, of the lender to make sure borrowers can pay back loans. Bad credit risks don't get lured into buying homes against their better interest.

I get a house because a lender wants to make a loan and is not sufficiently cautious. Wooohooo! I pulled a fast one---and I am in control of my own destiny. I pay back the loan and I keep the house. It is a time-honored (and fairly accepted) practice in America to buy more house than you can afford.

Remember the days when you hoped and prayed to get your home loan approved, carting box loads of check stubs and personal financial records to your loan officer in hopes that he/she would smile on your application.

Every home loan is an opportunity.

This ubiquitous talking point seems tantamount to accusing employers of luring unqualified job seekers into high-paying, prestigious positions for which they are not prepared. It just strikes me as an odd way of looking at this set of facts.

In this case, obviously, people who bought houses on speculation are in trouble. Lenders who loaned money for a plethora of over-valued homes are facing serious consequences. The housing bubble collapse is very bad news to them--and, by extension, bad news for all of us. A go-go economy is fun for everyone while it lasts. A crash depresses all sectors of the community. In retrospect, these reckless lenders were foolhardy--and they generally have come to a fool's end.

But let's cut the election cycle hysterics and give a rest to the melodramatic storyline regarding the poor benighted ignoramuses suckered into buying nice homes by greedy lenders who only wanted to make a buck.

In conclusion, perhaps we should consider George Bailey's other words of comfort: "Let's stick together and resist panic and we can work through this thing."
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
At a recent conference, both candidates made a pitch for the Indian vote: McCain by video, Obama through a surrogate. If the election is close, the Native vote becomes more important.

While the Indian vote traditionally has gone Democrat, there are signs of possible change. Russell Means, the AIM activist, campaigned in South Dakota for Republican John Thune, helping him defeat Tom Daschle.

From an article in Frontpage back during the campaign against Daschle:

It makes perfect sense. There has been little improvement in Indian country under the Democrats. Conditions in South Dakota reservations certainly haven’t improved under Daschle. What’s an Indian to do politically? "I'm going to work with Sen. Thune's staff,” says Means, “and the state Republican Party, and that will open doors to work with the National Republican Party to completely change Indian policy in America."

For some years, in fact, Means has recognized the impotence of the Democratic Party’s approach to Indian problems. He joined the Libertarian Party in 1987, and ran as the Libertarian candidate for governor of New Mexico in 2002. “What is an American? I believe an American loves to be free. You are free to be responsible. That's the only rule you should understand,” Means says.

That American freedom does not exist on the great Indian reservations. In fact, tyrannical communism reigns on the reservations. Means explains, “This [America] is the only place where communism is successfully practiced in the world. Communism is alive and well on Indian reservations run by the United States government.”

The Republican ticket may offer Indians an alternative, says Thune, and he has more than just Russell Means behind him.

Bruce Whalen, also an Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge, is committee chairman of the Republican Party in Shannon County. Whalen says, "I know there's a lot of Republicans out there on Pine Ridge. They just don't know it yet.”

Whalen believes the Republican Party more closely mirrors his traditional Lakota values than the Democratic Party. Those values are respect for life, limited government, sovereignty and local control.

McCain should be in a better position to reach out to the tribes with his experience in Arizona.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
Blackfive compares the two from the perspective of martial virtues.