Tuesday, September 30, 2008
And then there are the overseas donations — at least, the ones that we know about.
The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.
More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.
But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.
Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
With that bubble popped, we will now go through a major financial de-leveraging. It will be painful. Yet to preserve what has made this country great, we need to be on guard against Washington offering endless cures to our ills.
We will be told of bailouts that "won't cost anything." We should caution policymakers that this has never been the history of bailouts, and remind them of Milton Friedman's suggestion that the capitalist system never works without loss. ...
We will be told "trust us" on pricing assets, and we should not -- because no matter how pure one's intentions, no one watches your money like you do. This makes transparency and open bidding incredibly important.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
OODA Loop. So what? Well, if you understand the OODA Loop, you can also figure out how to disrupt an opponent's decision-making. The applications of this are seen in warfare and business quite often but they also work in most every human interaction including politics and sports. Take sports for an easy example. The center snaps the ball to the QB and he drops back Observing. He Orients himself to where his receivers and the defenders guarding them are while also noting the pass rush. He Decides where to throw and then he Acts. Easy.
But what if the defensive coordinator devises a scheme that gets inside the QB's OODA Loop. Let's say he calls for a blitzing pass rush scheme that doesn't reveal itself as a blitz until the snap. As the QB drops back he Observes, then Orients... but the blitz is coming so he has to Observe and Re- Orient... now he sees a rusher coming from an other direction... that causes another Observe re-loop... and so he tries to Orient again... the next thing he Observes is the turf as he is buried under his opponents. He never could get to Decision and the only Act he gets to make is picking himself up off the carpet. What happened? The defensive team got inside his OODA Loop and caused him to get stuck at O-O-O-O-O-O-O. Also known as "Oh, Oh!"
An excellent columnist, Jack Kelly, wrote on September 13th that "Mr. McCain is so far inside Mr. Obama’s OODA loop that I almost feel sorry for the senator from Illinois." Kelly was referring to how the choice of Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate had knocked the smooth, auto-pilot gliding Obama campaign into a turbulent tailspin. Remember that the closely guarded naming of Palin came the morning after the grossly over-the-top Denver stadium speech. Jack Kelly was exactly right. By the way, the Palin pick also got inside the OODA loop of the mainstream media. They expect to be leaked key news early. McCain didn't court them and seek their wise council. The beltway media likes guys like Biden who they've chatted with at countless Georgetown cocktail parties for decades. In fact, as long as McCain was bashing Republicans they liked him too. But this Alaskan Governor move-- well, the legacy media has not found their bearings yet and, in fact, by attacking Governor Palin personally day after day they are not only hurting their favored candidate but damaging their own soiled brand names irreparably (see: NBC and New York Times).
Michael Barone also noted last week how McCain got inside the Obama/Axelrod OODA Loop. He quotes John Boyd's biographer:
Robert Coram describes what can happen when one player gets inside another's OODA loop. "If someone truly understands how to create menace and uncertainty and mistrust, then how to exploit and magnify the presence of these disconcerting elements, the loop can be vicious, a terribly destructive force, virtually unstoppable in causing panic and confusion and — Boyd's phrase is best — 'unraveling the competition.' ... The most amazing aspect of the OODA loop is that the losing side rarely understands what happened."
So, how does McCain stay inside the Obama OODA Loop creating "menace" and "uncertainty"? Well, for example, 48 hours before a huge debate on Foreign Policy he could abruptly say that it's time for all good men to come to the aid of their country and do their day job, US Senator, to help solve the economic problems of the day. So far the reaction from Obama/Axelrod and the Democrat handmaiden media shows them panicked, confused, and unraveling-- in the words of Robert Coram. They expected McCain to lose gracefully. To be a Bob Michel, Bob Dole type of Washington DC Republican. They are spinning and in danger of augering in.
Why did John Boyd come up with the loop? To help train fighter pilots to succeed in dogfights. John McCain: Navy fighter pilot. I don't think they teach the OODA Loop at Ivy League schools or in the street organizer/ agitator handbook.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"
Just when I think Ol' Slow Joe can't top himself he does this! Just for the record, the 1929 crash predated both the FDR presidency and TV as a means for a US President to address the nation. Yes, it's a Two For Tuesday gaffe from Slow Joe, The Gaffe-o-matic, Biden.
Ben Smith has the details.
Club for Growth Condemns Federal BailoutGovernment Intervention is not the Answer
Washington – The Club for Growth condemned the massive government bailout proposed by the Treasury and the Bush administration as unnecessary, unfair to taxpayers, and fraught with serious costs to the American economy.
Eighteen months into the credit crunch, many largely capitalized financial services firms are experiencing serious difficulties but the overall economy continues to grow. GDP growth over the past 12 months was 2.25 percent and 3.5 percent when excluding the drag imposed by the housing sector. Even within the financial sector, many banks are doing well. Regional bank indices had risen significantly since the lows of last July—prior to the bailout announcement—and thousands of community banks are thriving. It is extraordinary that a massive government intervention in the economy is considered inevitable when the economy is not even in a recession.
At the same time, socializing economic risks come at a great cost to the American economy by misallocating capital, inviting political manipulation, and putting taxpayers on the hook for possibly a trillion dollars. Such a large takeover by the government will surely be accompanied by adverse, unintended consequences. Already, other companies and industries are lining up at government’s door asking for their own bailout. And if the government incurs $700 billion in debt to finance the purchase of bad bank assets, the danger that it will eventually monetize that debt and trigger dramatic inflation is very worrisome.
“The Treasury’s bailout proposal will likely cause more harm than good,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Instead of launching the largest government bailout since the Great Depression, the government should be implementing policies to stimulate the economy. These include, at a minimum, cutting the tax on capital gains, cutting corporate taxes, reviewing and considering repeal of FAS 57 which requires banks to mark-to-market most securities, and emphasizing the need for a strong dollar.”
“Finally, many politicians are using the current struggle to make free-market capitalism the scapegoat for the economy’s troubles, when in fact, government played a major role in getting us into this mess in the first place. Free-market capitalism is alive and well, and we should be embracing its tenets, not rejecting them.”
Ostensibly intended to help deserving minority families afford homes — a noble idea — it instead led to a reckless surge in mortgage lending that has pushed our financial system to the brink of chaos.
Fannie and Freddie, the main vehicle for Clinton's multicultural housing policy, drove the explosion of the subprime housing market by buying up literally hundreds of billions of dollars in substandard loans — funding loans that ordinarily wouldn't have been made based on such time-honored notions as putting money down, having sufficient income, and maintaining a payment record indicating creditworthiness.
With all the old rules out the window, Fannie and Freddie gobbled up the market. Using extraordinary leverage, they eventually controlled 90% of the secondary market mortgages. Their total portfolio of loans topped $5.4 trillion — half of all U.S. mortgage lending. They borrowed $1.5 trillion from U.S. capital markets with — wink, wink — an "implicit" government guarantee of the debts.
This created the problem we are having today.
As we noted a week ago, subprime lending surged from around $35 billion in 1994 to nearly $1 trillion last year — for total growth of 2,757% as of last year.
No real market grows that fast for that long without being fixed.
Monday, September 22, 2008
She was welcomed like a star, with tens of thousands cramming into a plaza and nearby streets in this enormous retirement community about an hour north of Orlando. Some waited more than five hours in 92-degree heat to see her speak for 23 minutes.
Palin arrived in Florida on Friday and had no public events Saturday, though she told the crowd her daughters Piper and Willow got to go to Disney World.
“We need serious reform on Wall Street. We need better regulation. It’s like Senator McCain said just yesterday — we don’t need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly, we need the best agencies doing the job right,” she said.
She said McCain had warned about the problems affecting financial institutions, and attacked Democrat Barack Obama on the issue.
“This week when the economic crisis threatened the livelihood of millions of Americans, John McCain took a clear stand and he offered his own recovery plan. Our opponent refused to even take a stand on the position,” Palin said.
The largest was the crowd — an estimated 60,000 according to the fire chief. Some people had to wait in line about 90 minutes just to park their cars. Biden’s largest crowd during a visit earlier this month was about 2,000.
Palin had star power. One teenage girl held up a sign that read, “When I grow up, I want to be Sarah Palin.” Another sign read, “This chick supports Sarah Palin.” Many said they didn’t even know who Palin was until last month.
“I knew absolutely nothing,” said Tyler Deeds, 19, who made the drive from Auburndale 90 miles away and waited more than 5 hours to see Palin. “I couldn’t even tell you who the governor of Alaska was.”
But Deeds, who plans to enter the Navy soon, said he “tends to cling to my guns and religion” and he quickly grew excited about Palin’s candidacy.
Joan Guay, 81, dabbed bottled water on her arms as she waited for Palin in the broiling heat. She said she previously supported Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“This country needs a woman up there,” Guay said. “I like her background, I like her family. It’s a family that does things together. And I like her work in the community.”
She will also meet with rock star and humanitarian, Bono on Wednesday.
As previously reported, on Tuesday she will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and Dr. Kissinger in separate meetings.
The meetings will be in New York and coincide with the United Nations’ General Assembly which attracts leaders from all over the world.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
We've heard a lot of words from Senator Obama over the course of this campaign. But maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems. The crisis on Wall Street started in the Washington culture of lobbying and influence peddling, and he was square in the middle of it.
But to get through this tough time for America, and to come out stronger, we need a strategy of economic growth. And the massive new tax burden that my opponent plans for the American economy is exactly the wrong answer. His tax increase — along with the enormous new federal programs he proposes — are the surest way to turn a recession into a depression. In every respect, the Obama tax hikes would make things even worse for the working people of this country.
Business taxes will be cut from the second highest in the world at 35 percent to 25 percent. Tax incentives will spur investment in new plants and equipment. Research and development incentives will keep companies on the cutting edge of their industries. Healthcare costs will diminish. Companies will stop sending jobs overseas to low-cost, low-tax countries and start creating jobs here in America.
I will expand markets for our goods and services. And one in five of all jobs in this country are linked to world trade. In five states alone Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado over 5 million jobs depend on trade. My economic recovery plan will create millions of jobs in America instead of driving them overseas.
I will adopt an "all of the above" energy policy which expands our use of oil, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear facilities. We will embark on a national mission to build an alternative energy base, creating millions of new jobs. We will create the most diversified energy economy in the world. And, I will return to the American economy the $700 billion dollars we send overseas every year to buy oil.
My opponent offers a very different economic future. He has continuously shifted his position on taxes. At the beginning of this campaign he promised to raise taxes on your savings and investments. He said he won't raise taxes for most people but he has voted 94 times in his short Senate career for tax increases and against tax cuts. He said he would only tax the rich, but he voted this year to raise taxes on those making just $42,000. Senator Obama has simply not given Americans good reason to trust him with your tax dollars.
My opponent is against lowering taxes on businesses which are the second highest in the world. He will impose mandated health insurance on businesses that would cost up to $12,000 per employee. He opposes free trade. He also wants to take away the fundamental right of workers to have a secret ballot when voting to be part of a union.
The entire text is available at The Corner.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
BIDEN: “I don't know any economists who are saying that.”
It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an "Obama Action Wire" alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.
Monday night's target was David Freddoso.
Monday, September 15, 2008
In fact, Senator Joe argued that McCain “Just doesn't get it.” Good insight there: malarkey and a hackneyed phrase. Excellent ripostes, sir. I salute you.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father's example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation. We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband to be and the entire Palin family as they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public."
Monday, September 1, 2008
Brash McCain pick of AK Gov. Palin neutralizes historic Obama speech, stunts the Dems' convention bounce
Republican John McCain's surprise announcement Friday of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate - some 16 hours after Democrat Barack Obama's speech accepting his party’s presidential nomination - has stunted any Obama convention bump, the latest Zogby Interactive flash poll of the race shows. The latest nationwide survey, begun Friday afternoon after the McCain announcement of Palin as running mate and completed mid-afternoon today, shows McCain/Palin at 47%, compared to 45% support for Obama/Biden.