Friday, September 26, 2008

The Coming Disaster

or Why You Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Bailout.

I was listening to an old recording of Frederich Pohl and Isaac Asimov, and Pohl said something that I think applies to this discussion. He said (paraphrasing) that the world of the future, as seen by us today, will be a disaster. The transformation to the disaster will be slow and the changes will be accommodated, such that those living in the future will not see it as a disaster. Their main concern was overpopulation but I think this is true of any gradual change.

I will plead ignorance to the financial problems whose solutions are way over my pay grade (pun intended). I have a sharp pain in the place where I keep my fiscal conservatism right now. On one had, the pols are saying that a bailout is required to stop a crash leading to a long recession. On the other hand, bu-bye free market controls if bad decisions by the market can be fixed by Mommy (gov) and a can of Bactine (bailout).

All I know is that Warren Buffett, the one capitalist with enough street cred for me to believe right now, says the bailout is needed. So I guess I'll take some pain meds and wait and hope. The whole situation really pisses me off, though. I hate having solutions forced down my throat because the options are worse, especially when the problem could have been avoided.

Maybe what we need, once all the pieces are put back together, is a more heavily regulated financial environment, with ALL the regulation geared at making the playing field even and transparent. The reason I have been against regulation in the past is that they become tools for the pols in power, pushing the ideology of the time, with regulations fluctuating with the political winds. That kind of regulation is all drag.

Regulation should be like the referee in a basketball game (well, the non-corrupt referee, if they still exist).

I first posted this on the Brights Forums.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin Needs Some New Cue Cards

If I hear Governer Palin say "We said thanks but no thanks for the Bridge to Nowhere..." I'm going to vote libertarian this November.

I have complained all year about Obama's empty rhetoric. Now we have Palin taking the Obama style one further. Not only is her rhetoric empty, it is the same speech over and over. Not just talking points (which both sides love to push incessantly) but the same damn speech.

It was a great speech. But the minute she gave the speech again, it lost all its lustre. If she can't be trusted to say more than one speech in a month, then how is she going to be able to handle the presidency.

I don't know enough about here to vote against McCain because of her, but whoever is planning Palins events should be tarred and feathered, then run out on a rail.

I want a press conference. I want to see her handle the full blunt attack of the press that is almost unanimous against her. I want to see her admit to what she doesn't know, intelligently and humbly, and expound upon her strengths. Because every attack on her experience after such a show would be an attack on Obama, whose only real experience is that he has campaigned for 2 of his 3 years as Senator.

Oh, and everyone with an IQ over 10 knows that Obama didn't call Palin a pig. If they think we are buying that, they need to smoke better stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Advice for the McCain-Palin Campaign

...because you know they want my opinion.

First, let me state my current political position: I am leaning toward McCain but am not decided. Obama hasn't won me over, and unless he starts getting specific will go the way of Kerry and Gore (I didn't want to vote for Bush twice, but I did because of their empty rhetoric). But the McCain that I voted for in the CA primary in 2000 is not the McCain of today, and I am not going ga-ga over Palin they way the Nutroots is over Obama.

I am an independant waiting to be won.

So, back to my advice for McCain.

I listened to the Palin's speech live on NPR and wow, it was great. It beat Biden's speech by miles and IMO beat even Obama's. Still, it was a speech. She passed test #1: she didn't fold in her coming out party. Still, what I have seen since then is depressing.

Like when someone tells a good joke and gets a great laugh, then goes on to tell the same joke for the next week expecting everyone to laugh just as hard, Palin has been doing almost nothing but her convention speech. What is up with that? Maybe that RNC speechwriter took a vacation.

Speeches don't win elections. Debates do, and real interviews. Palin is scheduled to go on ABC this week, but she should be lined up after that. I want to see her on Face the Nation, Meet the Press, The O'Reily Factor, Larry King (well, not Larry; we need hard interviews). She needs to suprise everyone and hold a press conference, then let the questions go for an hour. In short, she needs to prove to us that she can handle the media.

So far the only qualification that Obama has that Palin doesn't is that he has proved to be a good campaigner. In fact that seems to be the Obama-Biden talking point answer to the comparison between his and Palin's experience. And it has some merit. He has run an excellent campaign, beating the heavyweight tagteam Clintons in their best event (campaigning of course). His fund raising and primary skill show a level of tactics worthy of Karl Rove. But other than that, he is a lightweight whose main claim to fame is that he was against the war in Iraq back when he had no real say in the matter (unlike McCain, Biden, Kerry, and both Clintons).

Yet in their overconfidence the progressives are going full tilt at smearing Palin. If she is the lipsticked Pitbull conservatives are making her out to be, where is she? Why are her speeches so obviously retreads. Why haven't we seen any unscripted moments? The answer may be that she isn't ready. And if she isn't able to handle the campaign/media/press conferences, she should not be one heartbeat away from the president.

From the little I've seen, I think she can handle herself. They should take off the muzzle and let her go. That is what a VP candidate is for: attack dog.

With lipsick.