Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 23, 2008
POLITICS: Oh, Joy

More goodies to expect from a Democratic president and Congress:

*Elimination of tax breaks for 401(k)s in favor of a government system.

*Bailout for Obama's buddies in the ethanol industry. (Yes, this one comes from Bush's Agriculture Department...but just remember that McCain is Big Ethanol's least favorite Senator, while Obama is its favorite).

*Obama says that taxes are bad, so he has a plan to reduce state and local property taxes by sending $25 billion to state and local governments. He will get the $25 billion from...voluntary charitable donations?

*Eliminating year-end bonuses that provide the bulk of compensation to employees on Wall Street and the backbone of the tax base for New York State and City.

*A replay of the foreign policy blunders of the early Kennedy years all the way down to the management style.

Meanwhile, here, here, here and here (and look at this and this), we are starting to see some very significant commonalities between Obama's phony or foreign donors, the donations made through credit card fraud, the phony voters ... and given the deliberate decision not to take the most basic steps to prevent these things from happening, it's not looking like isolated incidents at this point.

While I am at it, no surprise that Gov. Palin isn't distancing herself from McCain on immigration. The devil is in the details, though, as far as what hoops people have to jump through to get citizenship and what law enforcement tactics short of mass deportations would be appropriate.

I swear the immigration debate drives me up the wall. About 95% of it should be common sense. Enforce the border, make it hard for illegal aliens to get jobs and don't give them driver's licenses, make it faster and easier for people to come here legally, more guest workers and H1-B visas, make sure there are real but not impossible hurdles for illegal aliens who stay out of trouble and learn English to earn citizenship...I know all of that would set people off Left and Right, but really it's not hard to come up with a non-ideological, common-sense set of proposals that the broad middle of this country can accept. But the whole thing always gets framed as an ideological death struggle between mass deportation and mass amnesty.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:02 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (54) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Obama is WRONG about taxes being bad. But something tells me this isn't a point where the GOP will vociferously defend the counterpoint that taxes are good.

Yet another reason to kill both parties and start again with those who care about the welfare of all citizens in this country (and not just the elites).

Who is with me? Crank?

Posted by: Berto at October 23, 2008 1:58 PM

My point, of course, is that Obama plans to reduce taxes....with taxpayer money. It's a shell game.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 2:11 PM

Crank, don't worry. Thanks to the inept Republican policies that have left us in tatters, we can't run a shell game. We can't afford shells.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 23, 2008 2:20 PM

Socialism is when money goes from one place to the other without it being earned. How is what the Bush Admin (and pretty much every other one as well, they are just historically amazingly bad) not socialism? Because wealthy people got it? Foreign countries? Unknown entities cause cash was "lost"? Let me know when we don't have some form of socialism going on in this country. You got kids? I don't. Why don't you write me a check to pay me back for schooling, tax credits, etc.? Stop with the socialism bullcrap.

Posted by: jim at October 23, 2008 2:25 PM

I've got kids, I pay taxes to support public schools and tuition to send my kids to Catholic schools. The whole public school system is a tax on the religious and the childless.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 2:28 PM

Berto,

"[K]ill both parties and start again with those who care about the welfare of all citizens in this country (and not just the elites)."

Who are those people, exactly? Can you name one of them for me?

Posted by: MVH at October 23, 2008 2:36 PM

Anyone else notice the correlation between Crank's increasing paranoia level and Obama's rising poll numbers? Probably not a coincidence.

Posted by: Ryan at October 23, 2008 2:36 PM

Got a house? I do. How about giving up the ability to write off your interest? Socialism is funny. People are perfectly willing to have it when it comes their way and bitch about it when it goes the other. Hell, in other "socialist" countries they don't even THINK about doing what we do with mortgage interest. So, again, cut the socialism bullcrap out.

Posted by: jim at October 23, 2008 2:46 PM

He has some fair points, Ryan. Where exactly is Obama going to get the $25 billion?

Not that the republican party is doing states and municipalities any favors. Consider unfunded mandates such as No Child Left Untested.

I'll be much more comfortable with republicans and the economy when they get past their simplistic understanding about tax cuts, debt and economic growth.

Posted by: MVH at October 23, 2008 2:46 PM

MVH,
Allow me to introduce myself...

If enough people in this country realize they've been played (and I'm hoping they will even if the Dow has to reach 2000 before they do so) you won't be able to swing a cat without hitting others like me. We're already out here, but aren't "serious enough" for the media to speak with. Instead we get Bill Kristol, Judith Miller, and Maureen Dowd (the 3 Stooges without the laughs, but with much more death and destruction while they sit idly by and chatter about nonsense) instead.*

*In their defense, they're just doing the job they've been paid millions of dollars (by "special interests") to perform.

Posted by: Berto at October 23, 2008 2:49 PM

jim, I'd be fine with a flatter tax system that eliminated the home mortgage deduction...that said, I'd have wanted to know that before I bought the house.

But it's not socialism to take less of people's money. There is a difference between deciding how much to take and how much to give. Two different things.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 2:50 PM

Crank,
And the whole internet is a tax on those who don't use computers or IPDs.

Posted by: Berto at October 23, 2008 2:52 PM

Ryan, I have noticed that you never actually try to defend any of Obama's policies, platform, record, statements, etc.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 2:52 PM

Love your sources Crank. Redstate, Hugh Hewitt, National Review, etc., etc.

So, when you are practicing law, do you cite only to cases that support your view and hope the judge never finds the ones that go against you?

Posted by: Magrooder at October 23, 2008 4:08 PM

Right, and to say that the GOP hasn't been conducting it's own socialism experiment over the past several years is to deny reality. I'll take another form of socialism over what we've been getting and what is being re-packaged by your great-grandfather.

Posted by: jim at October 23, 2008 4:16 PM

Berto,

So..what is your platform?

Jim,

I don't know how you can construe republican economic policies as socialism. I'm not a big fan of their fiscal policies lately, but they are clearly not socialists in any form.

Posted by: MVH at October 23, 2008 4:38 PM

Ryan, I have noticed that you never actually try to defend any of Obama's policies, platform, record, statements, etc.

Guilty as charged! Doing so would be engaging with someone who is intellectually incapable of seeing Obama in anything but the worst light possible. The man could ban abortion, privatize Social Security and mandate the death penalty for all felonies and you'd be cranking out yet another loopy diatribe about his radical Left agenda. Given, I don't often read many far-right blogs like The Corner and Hugh Hewitt, but you're by far the most partisan -- and therefore, dishonest -- blogger I've encountered. So forgive me for not wanting to waste my time arguing an issue with someone utterly locked into his position and immune to facts that don't confirm his underlying bias.

Posted by: Ryan at October 23, 2008 4:39 PM

"Love your sources Crank. Redstate, Hugh Hewitt, National Review, etc., etc. "

At least he has sources. If his sources are bad, then they should be easily refuted by other sources. How about posting some?

Posted by: MVH at October 23, 2008 4:42 PM

Ugh. The 401K thing is scary. Social Security is such a mess, so we want the government to double it now, by requiring another 5% of my pay goes to the government. And yeah, I'm real excited about getting a 3% return ... although that's better then the return on investment I'll get from my Social Security taxes.

Just tell the government to LEAVE US ALONE. Everything the government touches becomes a mess ... why let them take over more?

Posted by: CT Ron at October 23, 2008 4:58 PM

And by the way ... I enjoy this site, and enjoy the comments, and enjoy the back and forth dialogue. But can you guys stop the name calling and partisan rancor, and discuss the merits of the issues? Please? If you think Crank is wrong, tell him why, and what you think. Don't just yell and call names. This isn't second grade, this is supposed to be an intelligent discussion.

Posted by: CT Ron at October 23, 2008 5:02 PM

The man could ban abortion, privatize Social Security and mandate the death penalty for all felonies

Interesting world you live in. Let's take those three issues.

Abortion: Obama, of course, repeatedly opposed the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act - legislation even Hillary, Ted Kennedy and NARAL did not oppose (Obama has lied to cover his vote on this, claiming that it required the insertion of a clause that was later inserted and he voted against it again). Obama voted against the partial birth abortion ban and supports legislation to end the 28-year-old ban on federal subsidies for abortion with taxpayer money as well as saying his first act would be to support federal legislation creating a federal right to abortion for all nine months of a pregnancy. Obama's record on this issue? Plainly, outside the mainstream.

Social security: Obama wants to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax while using the payment of payroll taxes as justification to give tax 'credits' to people who pay no federal income taxes. As far as I can tell, he's not proposing to alter the benefits paid on either end to correspond to the changed payment structure. Result: fundamentally transform the system from one that retains a vestigial pretense of being a defined-benefit pension system to one that is expressly a progressive transfer-payments system. He's planning to move the system well to the left of what FDR or LBJ ever tried.

Death penalty: Obama helped push the prior Illinois Governor to declare a moratorium. He supports the current governor in continuing it.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 5:03 PM

From Magrooder -
"So, when you are practicing law, do you cite only to cases that support your view and hope the judge never finds the ones that go against you?"

Well, if I were ever before a judge, I would want my lawyer to plead my case. Yes, a good lawyer will be well versed to know previous cases and laws that would work against me, but my lawyer should be able to cite reasons and persuade a judge and jury why those cases are not relevant to my case. I would also want my lawyer to cite case law supporting me and demonstrate why those cases are relevant.

In other words, I would expect my lawyer to extremely partisan with the party being me. I would want my lawyer to be more partisan than any politician.

Posted by: Chris at October 23, 2008 5:23 PM

Ryan,

You are being a chicken. To say "So forgive me for not wanting to waste my time arguing an issue with someone utterly locked into his position and immune to facts that don't confirm his underlying bias. " is really just a cover because you don't have any facts to back up your opinions. Maybe if you did come with facts you could sway others to see your point. To say it is pointless, is just being lazy. It is an excuse to not make any effort.

You can criticize Crank all you want, but he puts alot of effort into presenting his points. If you put in 10% of that effort on your posts, you might be able to have people respect your ideas more.

I challenge you, as one thinking person to another, to start actually providing facts instead of just do a brain dump.

Posted by: Lee at October 23, 2008 5:25 PM

Crank, you think schools are a tax on the childless and people like you who have decided to go private. And any other tax is a burden on someone else. A little history (and no the world did not start on a republican edict, but we'll move up).

Public schools actually started as a place to put children after they were no longer allowed to be used as indentured servants and serfs in factories. So when they couldn't make their pennies for their families, they had nowhere else to go so they hung around and started making trouble. So public policy became one of giving them a place to go where they might actually benefit society. Thus started what became a mandated educational system which is considered good for the country at large. And frankly, my kids go (or have gone, one is in college) through public schools, as have I--well, that and a couple of college degrees, including an Ivy League masters. And they get a pretty good education. And please don't start on vouchers and choice and all, because in the end, that simply does not serve enough kids, and couldn't for years.

Tax policy is, by nature, taking from someone to give to someone else. And let me guess, when Bill Bradley had the idea for a postcard for a return, with a super simple tax plan, you were against it because of your own knee jerk republican reaction.

And in answer to the question you posed Berto, here is what I've said before. I like Obama's plans on energy independence, getting our troops out of Iraq, where they never belonged, and working with other countries on this planet again in a constructive way. Plus I support his ideas on a rethinking of a non-working medical insurance system. And his ability to pick a running mate who doesn't need to spend $150 grand on clothes, or lie about donating it later; or endorse a secessionist organization. I want intelligent this time. Mavericky is so passe.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 23, 2008 5:43 PM

Daryl, I'm not calling for abolishing the public schools, just accurately describing them in response to jim....I've never been a fan of the argument that if you can't get support for a voucher system that covers everything, you oppose vouchers. Every time there's a new voucher program, it's oversubscribed. That tells me parents, who know best, think it's a good thing for their children. If vouchers do not provide an improved education for kids, parents won't choose them.

You like the fact that Obama is calling for less energy independence than McCain because he's beholden to forces opposed to domestic oil and nuclear production? There's no way around the fact that Obama supports less domestic energy. Although at least he seems to have abandoned the silly "windfall" profits tax that was designed to put US oil companies at a competitive disadvantage to Saudi, Iranian, Russian and Venezuelan state oil companies.

I'm all for tax simplification. I liked Jerry Brown's flat tax. You'll recall in my big post on the Democratic Governors I identified a few who were pretty good on taxes, including Bill Richardson. I don't recall the details of Bradley's plan. If it looked like Huckabee's "Fair Tax," I would not support it.

Link for "endorsing" the AIP, please. As opposed to giving them a polite welcome to town. And recall that while the AIP folks are a strange bunch in a Ron Paulish way, their platform is to call for a referendum. Ooooh, scary. Are you seriously saying the AIP nonsense plays a significant role in your opinion of Palin?

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 6:14 PM

Daryl,
I believe you are in error on a couple of your points and I beg to differ with you on others.

1) Public schools were not invented as a means to keep kids out of trouble or to save them from the evils of the capitalists. Here is a link to a history. http://www.servintfree.net/~aidmn-ejournal/publications/2001-11/PublicEducationInTheUnitedStates.html. I don’t like the overly liberal portions of this article, but it does give a decent account of historical facts before it begins to spout liberal propaganda. You should like it.

I send my daughter to catholic schools because our local public schools (thought extremely well funded) have discipline issues and provide a much inferior education. I am fine that I had to pay for both but would have liked the voucher system. IMHO, the voucher system would help (not hurt) families send their kids to private schools because us “rich” people will pay the $s anyway. A poorer family can use the voucher to offset a portion of the cost. Allowing more competition in education might force the public schools to shape up. At least in my area they are not up to par. When my child got to college, she was far ahead of the public school kids even though the catholic schools had less money and poorer equipment/facilities/etc. What they lacked in funding, they made up for in better teachers who were willing to work for less because the atmosphere was better.

IMHO, the problem with our Public Schools is the people who run them and the lack of accountability they have to the parents. Until we "throw the rascals out", we will never get our Public schools to improve. Maybe giving them some competition would help. Something has to be done. It is not because they lack money!

2) “Tax policy is, by nature, taking from someone to give to someone else.” I am sorry, but I disagree. Taxes originally were for paying for necessary shared government services (defense, etc.) It was not until recent times that it has been warped to be a means for influencing society. The Great Society initiated by Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic controlled Congress was one of the biggest shifts in using the power of taxation to try to implement social changes.

I have always been in favor of making taxes easy to file (I supported Bradley’s idea even though conservatives had the idea way before he did). I also in favor of stopping taxes from being used to try to manipulate people to do what a portion of society wants to have them do. It rarely works as intended.

3) In response to your last paragraph, can you show cases when Obama has actually done any of the things he says he wants to do? What has he actually done? When has he actually accomplished any of the things he now says he wants to do? His record does not show a person who has actually done anything. So if you are counting on him actually doing what he says he wants to do, you will probably be very disappointed.

While I don’t like Obama’s liberal political ideas, my main reason for not supporting him is his total lack of experience. He has not done anything significant. Before you play the race card on me, I’d like to say I would have supported Condoleezza Rice. I might even have supported Collen Powell except now I don’t agree with some of his ideas.

By the way, note that I actually took a minute to google Public Education in the US to find some facts. See how easy that is! Maybe you liberals could try to do that some times. Do you need some internet training? You could be in the same training class as John McCain! ;-)

Posted by: Lee at October 23, 2008 6:38 PM

Daryl,
I believe you are in error on a couple of your points and I beg to differ with you on others.

1) Public schools were not invented as a means to keep kids out of trouble or to save them from the evils of the capitalists. Here is a link to a history. http://www.servintfree.net/~aidmn-ejournal/publications/2001-11/PublicEducationInTheUnitedStates.html. I don’t like the overly liberal portions of this article, but it does give a decent account of historical facts before it begins to spout liberal propaganda. You should like it.

I send my daughter to catholic schools because our local public schools (thought extremely well funded) have discipline issues and provide a much inferior education. I am fine that I had to pay for both but would have liked the voucher system. IMHO, the voucher system would help (not hurt) families send their kids to private schools because us “rich” people will pay the $s anyway. A poorer family can use the voucher to offset a portion of the cost. Allowing more competition in education might force the public schools to shape up. At least in my area they are not up to par. When my child got to college, she was far ahead of the public school kids even though the catholic schools had less money and poorer equipment/facilities/etc. What they lacked in funding, they made up for in better teachers who were willing to work for less because the atmosphere was better.

2) “Tax policy is, by nature, taking from someone to give to someone else.” I am sorry, but I disagree. Taxes originally were for paying for necessary shared government services (defense, etc.) It was not until recent times that it has been warped to be a means for influencing society. The Great Society initiated by Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic controlled Congress was one of the biggest shifts in using the power of taxation to try to implement social changes.

I have always been in favor of making taxes easy to file (I supported Bradley’s idea even though conservatives had the idea way before he did). I also in favor of stopping taxes from being used to try to manipulate people to do what a portion of society wants to have them do. It rarely works as intended.

3) In response to your last paragraph, can you show cases when Obama has actually done any of the things he says he wants to do? What has he actually done? When has he actually accomplished any of the things he now says he wants to do? His record does not show a person who has actually done anything. So if you are counting on him actually doing what he says he wants to do, you will probably be very disappointed.

While I don’t like Obama’s liberal political ideas, my main reason for not supporting him is his total lack of experience. He has not done anything significant. Before you play the race card on me, I’d like to say I would have supported Condoleezza Rice. I might even have support Collen Powell except now I don’t agree with some of his ideas.

PS: See how easy it was for me to do a Google search and get some facts? Maybe you liberals could do that sometimes to support you posts. If you having trouble using the internet, you could attend training with John McCain. Oh, that's right it is not that he is too dumb to use a computer it is because he had his finger crushed by your communist friends. So what is your excuse. (Just trying to poke at you guys in fun!)

Posted by: Lee at October 23, 2008 7:18 PM

You define Obama as a socialist because of which direction the money is going. Apparently if it flows upstream that does not make it socialism. Call it what you want it is still an unearned re-distribution. Have a fancy title for it but it's not capatalism. I don't know what you want to call the Bush policies or the intended McCain policies (Disasterism? Nomakesenseism?) but if you don't call the utter pile of poop they have left on the field a re-distribution of wealth (or at least money) then you are completely blind to the reality of what they have done and would continue to do.

Posted by: jim at October 23, 2008 7:21 PM

Crank,

Regarding public schools and that form of taxation. Your description is no more apt, if only more specific than mine. There are tons of things that are essentially socialistic in this country and generally speaking the higher up the food chain you are the more likely you are to benefit from those policies. Of course there are exceptions and the childless, renters, etc. get screwed so it is not entirely a wealth re-distribution from class to class but it is moving money from some folks to other folks who didn't earn it and (in many cases) don't need it as much as the people who are having it taken from. Obama is no more or less a socialist than McCain in this regard and you know it.

Posted by: jim at October 23, 2008 7:27 PM

jim, what you are doing is redefining the term so it has no meaning. It's like some of the hilarious perennial liberal efforts to redefine "liberal" and "conservative."

No matter how you slice it, the public properly identifies socialism with two phenomena: (1) expanded, centralized government control of the economy and (2) taking away more money from some people to redistribute it to others, mostly taking from people with higher incomes and giving to those with lower. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Democrats for years have called for more regulation and more progressive taxation, but Obama's proposals take us much further down that path than the Democrats have gone since at least McGovern. His "spread the wealth" tax policy goes beyond merely arguing that the government needs more revenue and the wealthier should bear more of that burden, to outright using tax policy as an instrument of redistribution. As noted above, it's not just income taxes; he's trying to do the same with Social Security. And he's undeniably calling for a dramatic expansion in government regulation, including his opposition to the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 7:38 PM

Jim,

I am childless, so I receive no benefit from the property taxes or other taxes used to fund schools. Taxes used for social services, while I would rather not pay them, I see as necessary. Taxes used for funding public hospitals, another social service, is a place where I hope to never need the benefit provided. I accept these taxes without any difficulty. This really isn't socialism.

Taxes used to "spread the wealth around," such as giving a check to somebody who didn't even pay income tax, are essentially taking my money which I earned and giving it to someone else. There is is a big difference.

Posted by: Chris at October 23, 2008 7:39 PM

Socialism? And here I've been thinking (2) is Christianity.

Posted by: rs at October 23, 2008 8:36 PM

Christianity commands the government to do no such thing. The command of Christianity is charity, which is rather a different matter than redistribution by a government agency.

Posted by: Crank at October 23, 2008 8:40 PM

Crank, the AIP is a fundamental issue. The bloodiest conflict in our nation's history was fought to ensure that states could not leave the Union by fiat. And I am willing to bet that when she became Governor, and probably mayor of Wasilla, where she says good Americans are, she swore to uphold the Constitution. So the AIP is a very important issue. It means her sworn word is meaningless. Uh, wasn't that what you hated about Bill Clinton?

BTW, Palin isn't do dumb after all. I figure she had others overpay by about $140,000 worth of clothing, but she only has use of them, meaning she doesn't have to declare them as income, then she donates them to charity, and probably takes a deduction on something that isn't hers. I wonder if an independent Alaska would have that kind of tax structure.

And for the umpteenth time, Obama is not against nuclear power. However, we do have to deal with waste issues. Maybe we can contract with an independent Alaska to take it. They will need all the business that can get up there. And anyone who thinks that drilling offshore for oil is an answer must have money in oil companies. It takes ten years to get it out, and BTW, we are maxed out in refining capacity.

Taxation has been an American issue (as opposed to the Stamp Act) since we first adopted the Constitution. Patrick Henry was against the Constitution because he felt the Feds should not be allowed to tax directly. It was a central point with him. Enough so that he gerrymandered Virginia (a neat trick considering Gerry hadn't done it himself yet) to deny Madison a senate seat, and almost had it so Madison would lose in the House (which is what he really wanted). Madison only won because he campaigned against his good friend Monroe, also an anti-Federalist, but a Reagan type of guy. Henry ran dirty campaigns, Monroe didn't, and Madison, and the Bill of Rights (which came next) won. You, my friend Crank, are Patrick Henry. I'm no Madison, but I am proud to stand with him.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 23, 2008 11:24 PM

So, the oath to defend the Constitution means you can't give a friendly greeting to people like the AIP? (I note you declined my invitation to back up the implication that she did more than that. And no, her husband being a former member does not count). It's not like they are, oh, say, a group that set bombs or something. To pick an example.

No, I am not opposed to all federal taxes (although I do have a particular problem with the feds sending tax money to the states and cities...if states and localities want to spend that money they should raise it themselves). But I doubt Madison would have been anything but horrified by a plan to tax incomes for the purpose of "spreading the wealth" with federal handouts.

And PS: dirty campaigns? By far the two most dishonest ads of this election cycle were the Obama ads claiming that McCain is anti-immigrant and opposes stem cell research (the ones Obama was wholly unable to defend in the third debate). Those ads not only completely mischaracterized McCain's position, they did so on issues where he bucked his own party at great political cost. Nothing else any candidate has done in the past two years even comes close, not even some of the Romney attacks in the primaries.

Posted by: The Crank at October 23, 2008 11:35 PM

>>Public schools actually started as a place to put children after they were no longer allowed to be used as indentured servants and serfs in factories. So when they couldn't make their pennies for their families, they had nowhere else to go so they hung around and started making trouble.>...make it faster and easier for people to come here legally, more guest workers and H1-B visas...

We encourage non-procreation through laws and social strictures, thereby reducing the eventual labor force. We pay welfare which reduces the motivation for gainful employment among existing laborers. Then we import foreigners to replace the missing and unwilling, thereby depressing wages that might otherwise encourage those on welfare to choose to work. No doubt there is some good reason for these policies, but no one has ever explained it to me.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at October 23, 2008 11:53 PM

Something went seriously wrong with my previous post, so let's try again.

"Public schools actually started as a place to put children after they were no longer allowed to be used as indentured servants and serfs in factories. So when they couldn't make their pennies for their families, they had nowhere else to go so they hung around and started making trouble."

I must have missed the history class that contrasted serfdom and enforced schooling, so I'm just going to proclaim this utter fantasy.


"...make it faster and easier for people to come here legally, more guest workers and H1-B visas..."

We encourage non-procreation through laws and social strictures, thereby reducing the eventual labor force. We pay welfare which reduces the motivation for gainful employment among existing laborers. Then we import foreigners to replace the missing and unwilling, thereby depressing wages that might otherwise encourage those on welfare to choose to work. No doubt there is some good reason for these policies, but no one has ever explained it to me.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at October 24, 2008 12:19 AM

Crank, I was in Pennsylvania last weekend, which gave me the chance to see the ads not seen in NY. McCain's commercials were almost all anti-Obama, to the point where you knew where Obama didn't stand (except it was much of the same BS--no mention of immigration, lots on taxes and off shore oil drilling)--McCain wasn't mentioned until he said he approved this message. Obama's was very effective I thought: Looking friendly, telling parents to shut the TV off and read with their kids.

So when you say who has been negative, well they all are, but just because you say someone is more negative means only you say it. By far the dirtiest campaign I can think of was the one Karl Rove in Bush 43's name was in the primaries against McCain. So I feel for him, and do understand that he thinks it works well, and it might.

And Crank, a friendly greeting to a secessionist group? Yes I think it's inappropriate. Also, listen to what she said. If she doesn't believe it, then, as GB Shaw said, we've established what she is, the rest is haggling over the price. If she does, then she has no business running for VP.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 24, 2008 8:30 AM

Daryl, I'm not talking about negative. As a general rule, I don't have a beef with negative. I'm talking flagrantly false.

Posted by: Crank at October 24, 2008 9:45 AM

Fair enough. But then the anti-nuclear issue is false, and it's wrong of McCain to keep lying about it. That too is flagrantly false.

And he still picked a clown to be his running mate. "America First?" Not with Palin there.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 24, 2008 10:47 AM

He's running in Nevada against Yucca Mountain. It's a familiar dodge - claim to be fine with nuclear but make it impossible to actually run plants (there was also his notorious call for a worldwide ban on "fissile material" but I assume that was Obama being ignorant, not actually meaning to call for a global ban on nuclear power). And he's certainly not proposing the kind of aggressive France/Japan-style program to build new plants that McCain is.

Posted by: Crank at October 24, 2008 11:23 AM

Crank, you say about Obama's immigration and stem cell attack ads that: "Nothing else any candidate has done in the past two years even comes close, not even some of the Romney attacks in the primaries."

Agreed. The ads went too far and Obama was wrong to air them. But "nothing comes close"? How about:

In July, McCain released an ad saying that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops" when the Pentagon "wouldn't allow him to bring cameras." Although the individual claims are all true, the implication is false. Obama had previously visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed and in Baghdad – both without cameras in tow. He did cancel a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany after the Pentagon told him that Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Jonathan Scott Gration, an Obama foreign policy adviser, would not be permitted to accompany him. Obama said afterward that he had "a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political."

Or

A McCain-Palin ad says that Obama was "born of the corrupt Chicago political machine" and implies that the candidate himself is corrupt by association with four local political figures. But the ad's implication and many of its supporting details are false. In fact, this is a particularly egregious example of ricochet sliming:

William Daley, the first figure mentioned in the ad, is indeed related to the other famous Chicago Daleys, but he's never been accused of any wrongdoing. And the former commerce secretary isn't Obama's only economic adviser, as the ad implies.


Emil Jones, Illinois state Senate leader, may indeed have been Obama's "political godfather." But he, too, hasn't been charged with or even seriously accused of misdeeds despite the ad's claim of an "ethical cloud."


Obama did have a past relationship with real estate developer Tony Rezko, but he is no longer Obama's "money man." Obama hasn't been associated with him since his indictment for wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and attempted extortion, and Obama donated all of the disgraced businessman's previous campaign contributions to charity.
Rod Blagojevich has been touched by plenty of scandal but his relationship with Obama doesn't extend much beyond being "his governor." In fact, Obama has worked on ethics legislation triggered by some of the Blagojevich's questionable moves.
Most important, the ad offers no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama himself in connection with any of these relationships, however close or distant.

Source -- factcheck.org

Posted by: Magrooder at October 24, 2008 2:35 PM

The Landstuhl ad was, as you note, basically correct (even leaving aside the he-said-she-said debates over why exactly Obama backed out). As you note, it left out context - other visits by Obama - but given the hype surrounding his European trip, I think it was fair to point out a spot he should have visited and didn't. Certainly not on the level of a 180-degree misrepresentation of McCain's positions.

On the Chicago machine ad, I'd refer you to the chapters on the machine and the favor factory in my Integrity Gap post - Obama's seriously in bed with the Daley machine all the way down to his endorsement of (David Axelrod's client) Mayor Daley following the convictions of Daley's senior staff on the patronage scheme (to say nothing of the other crooked machine people he endorsed, like the Stroger machine), he had a very longstanding relationship with Rezko that includes Rezko providing the seed money for Obama's first campaign and crucial financing for Obama's home, Obama waited for months of public pressure before he'd lift a finger to get Jones to move that ethics legislation, and Jones does indeed have an ethical rap sheet including the "ethics" bill Obama put his name on that lets Jones take a half-million-dollar golden parachute with campaign contributor money.

You cannot seriously deny Obama's ties to the machine.

Posted by: Crank at October 24, 2008 3:03 PM

The Landstuhl ad was not correct, not even basically correct. I guess in Palin-Land it is sort of like continuing to claim that she was found not to have abused her power as Governor after the Legislative Council report found precisely that she had abused her power.

I have read your Integrity Gap post and, with all due respect and especially considering the sources upon which you rely, I, um, found it totally unpersuasive.

Posted by: Magrooder at October 24, 2008 4:43 PM

1. Now that is some serious blanket denial. Deny the NYT reports, the Tribune, the Sun-Times...yes, I cite some conservative sources, although I note that in most cases they are relying on public record. I mean, you deny public endorsements made by Obama? Wow.

2. Cite for the Legislative Council making findings? Council voting to release Branchflower's report, while noting that the Council members did not endorse its conclusions, doesn't count.

Posted by: Crank at October 24, 2008 4:51 PM

Crank,

1. You're truly delusional. Yes, you cite reliable sources for basic facts (who, what, where, when). Essentially all the "why's" are what Jack Germond called the "full mooners."

2. Neither you nor anyone on the right has offered any factual rebuttal to the very strong circumstantial evidence that Palin unlaqwfully abused her office. I'm calling. If you've got cards, lay them on the table.

Posted by: Magrooder at October 24, 2008 10:29 PM

Just wanted to add that I actually agree with the sensible position you lay out on immigration. This may be the only topic where I thought Bush had it kind of right and he was flying in the face of his party and (in general) the right-wing punditry. This topic is so bizarre in that it is polarizing but the most common sense solution would seemingly be palatable enough to all to make it fly. Credit where credit is due.

Posted by: jim at October 25, 2008 12:21 AM

"more guest workers and H1-B visas" these programs are used to drive down wages. They sound good till you see them in practice.

Posted by: javaman at October 25, 2008 12:28 AM

Okay, seriously. There is a lot of fruitless back and forth here.

Can we have a real discussion of this 401(k) proposal. Can someone actually stand up and defend that proposal, or at least, show us that it's not an idea Obama would support. Because, wow, it's scary. And there is no way a majority of the American people would be in favor of it.

Posted by: per14 at October 25, 2008 5:38 PM

The 401(k) proposal is a bad deal all around. That would substantially reduce anybody's ability to save for retirement and it would hurt business as well. A good chunk of 401(k) plans include mutual funds which are largely a collection of stocks. If workers aren't putting money into their 401(k) plans, corporations will not be getting new capital, thus limiting their ability to grow. Not what we need when we already headed for a severe recession.

Posted by: Chris at October 25, 2008 7:28 PM

Looks like Obama is getting all prepared to rip us off really good! Obama’s tax policy and his proposed "tax cuts" are not going to make more jobs in America, instead it will make more unemployment and will cause people to lose more money, not make more money. His left wing illuminati thoughts are going to get this country into trouble and leave us there for years to come!

Posted by: mnotaro at October 27, 2008 2:01 PM

"His left wing illuminati thoughts are going to get this country into trouble and leave us there for years to come!"

Mnotaro, I have some sad news for you: illustrious president has already done that to us. And pity the poor sumbitch, Obama or McCain who has to fix it.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 27, 2008 6:00 PM

"Can we have a real discussion of this 401(k) proposal. Can someone actually stand up and defend that proposal,"
No, not on this blog. It would soon dissolve into name calling and etc. Maybe after the election, but ask on Calculated Risk or some semi-neutral econ blog. And since that is what the HotAir link is, here is an ABCNews one. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/PersonalFinance/story?id=6122417&page=1

Fundamentally, it has good points - 401k's are subject to stock market swings more than defined benefit plans, majority of people lose money through fees and the products aren't that great. You could make good, personally owned decisions over 30+ years and be wiped out because Wall Street loses its mind.

401(k) could use some work, but her ideas aren't it. Really, forced inclusion of annuity options with Federal insurance - since we're insuring everything else - take the winds out of much of the argument.

If you take the view that the stock market is essentially gambling with an unknown outcome and bracketed with "historical performance" and "no future guidance" - this takes on a different sheen, as does her proposal. Still bad.

"That would substantially reduce anybody's ability to save for retirement"
Not necessarily, as we're seeing many companies pull back from matching contributions. It lowers risk, which many people would willingly accept right now.

"If workers aren't putting money into their 401(k) plans, corporations will not be getting new capital, thus limiting their ability to grow. Not what we need when we already headed for a severe recession."
First, it's not like this would happen without 2 years notice. At which point we may still be in the Great Recession. Ugh.
Second, mutual funds that are mostly stocks do not change capital.
Third, most mutual funds that do invest, invest in short term commercial paper in addition to Treasuries. This is money needed to make it to the next month more than grow, though there is some overlap.
And this doesn't impact small business at all, which employ nearly half the country.

And hey, the Fed is doing that anyhow. Who needs private money!

Posted by: Dave at October 29, 2008 5:17 AM

"Eliminating year-end bonuses that provide the bulk of compensation"
Man, it's right there in the story you link to: 'It's pretty unlikely they'll pass a law that interferes in Wall Street bonuses'
Sheesh. How about this though?

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/WallStreet/story?id=6130933&page=1
'Experts have said the payouts will be plumper than they would have been in such a disastrous year because of the taxpayer money flowing into the institutions.'

Are you comfortable that banks which are receiving bailout money, federal guarantees on investments, and direct government investment in addition to everything else that is going on - are padding bonuses because of taxpayer money?

Posted by: Dave at October 29, 2008 5:33 AM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg