Conventioneering

September 3, 2008 at 5:24 pm 11 comments

Maybe one of these days I’ll go to one of these crazy conventions. Right now I am quite content to post a link and a video with some former candidates for the GOP nomination and their defenses of John McCain and Sarah Palin. First, Fred Thompson’s speech is relayed in its entirety here, and he shows the benefit of his theatrical experience.

Here Rudy Giuliani offers a defense of Palin, making particular mention of how she has been treated vis-a-vis Barack Obama:

Finally, I quote a portion of Peggy Noonan’s column:

This is true: fact is king. Information is king. Great reporting is what every honest person wants now, it’s the one ironic thing we have less of in journalism than we need. But reporting that carries an agenda, that carries Bubblehead assumptions and puts them forth as obvious truths? Well, some people want that. But if I were doing a business model for broadsheets and broadcast networks I’d say: Fact and data are our product, we’re putting everything into reporting, that’s what we’re selling, interpretation is the reader’s job, and think pieces are for the edit page where we put the hardy, blabby hacks.

That was a long way of saying: Dig deep into Sarah Palin, get all you can, talk to everybody, get every vote, every quote, tell us of her career and life, she may be the next vice president. But don’t play games. And leave her kid alone, bitch.

Yowza. Somebody’s feeling it.

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Entry filed under: Commentary, Current Events, Politics. Tags: , , , , , .

The Un-Manager Strikes Back! The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 10: Tyranny of the Minority

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patty  |  September 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I am a huge Peggy Noonan fan, but had not read her column about Sarah Palin. Thanks for including it.

    Reply
  • 2. JL  |  September 4, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Palin’s speech was the first sign of hope for the GOP in this election season. She knocked it out of the ballpark and may be the only relatable person in this race for most of the country.

    Things just got much more interesting…

    Reply
  • 3. TRussell  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    For all the Obama supporters out there, you really have to be asking yourself “Am I being intellectually honest?” after the last two days. I think the speakers so far have really shown that when you take away the glamor and glitz, you’re left with mind-boggling contradictions such as:

    1) Declining economy – solution: higher taxes on business which lower incomes and gains which are then taxed at a higher rate

    2) Alternative fuels – solution: because I have taken the “wind” out of the sails of the American economy through my tax policy, the only way for me to even make an attempt to keep this promise is the claim that the government will invest in alternative fuels. As if good things only come because of government.

    3) After all that, he thinks he can finance universal health care? Someone wake me up from this nightmare!!!

    Would someone please explain the Laffer Curve to this man. Fred Thompson made it clear, you tax business, you tax us all.

    Believe you me, if you are voting to end the war so you can put those dollars to work for welfare programs, you are out of your mind. We are not leaving no matter who is President for some years to go.

    What else do you have to stand on? Tell me why I should vote for Team Obama? And don’t tell me why I shouldn’t vote for McCain as your answer.

    Reply
  • 4. Sportsattitude  |  September 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    TRussell, let me try to make a case for Team Obama…first regarding the taxing of business…I’d be thrilled to reduce taxation on what business is left in this country if I had proof they would do anything but line their pockets with the difference. If we had a check-and-balance in place where tax reductions had to result in documented, tangible re-investment in hiring and increasing employee earnings, etc. – or it resulted in a “refund” due back to the government – that would be something to work with. But, what business out there isn’t actively looking to move at least part if not all of their operations to Mexico or China or Romania, etc.? That’s not because of taxes, that’s because it is the only way the businesses can continue to keep profits up…move jobs. It has nothing to do with their tax rate and everything to do with the fact we underestimated the fact the rest of the world can readily afford to work for less. You pass along tax breaks to business and they show tangible investment in new employees and higher wages for existing ones, you got a deal…for those few businesses left here…but trusting business to create jobs by reducing their tax rates won’t work now. Job creation and raises aren’t happening in this country anymore. Not being pessimistic, being realistic. I don’t buy anyone being able to “fix” the U.S. economy, regardless of the party. Therefore, I don’t really have a problem trying to get money from the few businesses that are left and, yes, I do believe the rich should be taxed at a higher rate, which Obama will do for sure. Neither party is at fault here – the world beat us to the punch. However, Obama appears to be more concerned with the lower and middle-class and that is where my heart is. As for war, I wanted Bin Laden, not Iraq. Do you honestly and seriously think anyone – anyone -would have voted to invade Iraq if they knew the length of this engagement? We better be pulling up stakes in Iraq right now because we had no business being there in the first place. War is not the answer anymore and fear can no longer rule the country, and that is something McCain seems to be ok with on both counts. If someone wants to kill us a la 9/11, they’ll find a way no matter what. We can’t kill everyone who hates us but I think McCain thinks we can. A strong military – yes, absolutely!!! But, not a military who roams the world looking for a fight – no way. An Obama presidency would be more diplomatic and compassionate in my opinion…that is what McCain would call weak, I guess. I believe McCain thinks anyone who doesn’t like us should be in the crosshairs of our guns, and he is certainly much more likely to continue proactive military aggression than Obama. Health care – challenging indeed, but since McCain has on at least one occasion indicated he really doesn’t know a lot about the economy, how can he address health care? – they are intertwined like a pretzel. I have always felt Dems have been in the lead on that issue, again because I sincerely feel they are sensitive to the lower and middle-class. Finally, I will never, ever deny my woman or anyone else’s woman her right to make a decision on her body…so you know that seals the deal for me on Team Obama, especially with his VP selection. And while I am the first to admit Biden was not my first choice for Team Obama, my opinion is his VP selection was actually the more bold and less pandering than the one McCain made. I believe McCain decided he was behind and had to try to energize the rest of his own party, not to reach out to the independents and “undecided” who will probably decide this election. Obama’s first decision as his party’s nominee was to shore up areas he has little experience in himself. McCain’s first decision as his party’s nominee was to try to get more votes from his own party.

    Reply
  • 5. Mel  |  September 5, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I realize that as the only apparent democrat on here, I could be opening myself to loads of trouble. But still, you can’t deny the resemblance.

    start at 2:51

    And go Obama!

    (too much?)

    Reply
  • 6. TRussell  |  September 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    As always, I admire the statesmanship Sports.

    This really comes down to a basic understanding in economics that you learn in a freshman economics course. In all sincerity, it’s not any more complicated than that. I hope that I can make it clear, that we are both trying to show compassion, but that only by allowing the economy to run its course, is actually the means to the end.

    1) The case has been made that business has left the country. Right you are – that is, manufacturing businesses. Let’s take the textile industry, one that LeMare is familiar with. The state of CT used to be a huge textile industry, but now, the countryside is littered with abandoned textile mills. Question, if those jobs (and others like it) are gone forever, then why doesn’t the unemployment rate reflect a structurally higher unemployment rate? Because even though textile jobs are gone forever, people have moved on to other jobs.

    We should absolutely embrace jobs moving overseas. Basic economics teaches us about a law of comparative advantage – essentially, even though we can produce every good we consume at home, we should only produce the ones that we are best at producing and let the less efficient (profitable) industries move elsewhere. The result is the consumer can consume both products for a cheaper price than had the products been produced at home. Result, we buy more for less and raises the standard of living for all.

    A little historical context would prove this true. Europe for centuries had embraced a system of Merchantilism, a kin to Protectionism. It wasn’t until the knowledge of the law of comparative advantage had seeped into the policies of the monarchs of Europe did growth really begin to take off, which growth led to the only time in the history of our earth where there arose a middle class. The middle class is a modern marvel. To the extent the middle class suffers is due to not following prescribed economic theory.

    2) Take it from a former investment banker that regulating the way businesses invest their “excess capital” from tax breaks may keep CEOs from lining their pockets, but it would sure enrich the pockets of Wall St. If business were forced to invest, they would end up squandering those resources on acquisitions or “diworsifications” as Peter Lynch liked to call them. Wall St. would be all too happy to take a 1% fee on each of those transactions and line their own pockets. So the result would be what you fear – rich getting richer – but with the added wound of lost wealth by way of poor investments. Much of economics is counterintuitive, which is why the populist message is so easy to buy into. But when you take it a step further, populism and regulation often make the problem you are trying to solve worse and the little guy gets hurt. I am not arguing for more CEO pay, but know the market always rewards and prospers the enterprise of the wise stewards of capital and punishes the greedy (albeit that is a relative term).

    3) I was in the health care practice of our investment bank, so take it from me, the government already has a huge hand in the way health care is run. There are so many laws in place to “protect” the less fortunate. But know that your biggest friend in the health care industry is not your doctor, it is actually the insurer. Surprise, surprise. They have an incentive to keep costs low and so do you. Hospitals and doctors have an incentive to keep costs high. Hospitals often pad their expenses on those who have insurance to compensate for losses on those who don’t by about 3-4x. Doctors routinely, and I have a personal story to prove it, order way too many tests in order to protect themselves from malpractice suits. The result is, those with insurance pay more and more while those who have no insurance get off the hook. Please understand, if hospitals were allowed to treat only those with insurance or had the ability to pay, and people weren’t so happy to drop a lawsuit, that 47MM uninsured number would be a lot less. I would just be pulling a number out, but I would be shocked if it were more than a third. And we would still have the best health care in the world. Competition is key. Hospitals also have HUGE lobbyist interests in Washington. Surgery Centers and Hospitals and physician owned hospitals that specialize in certain procedures are super cheap to hospitals in comparison and should be the way of the future. But Pete Stark D-CA passed a law limiting these facilities and passed taxes on them to pay for mentally ill health care. Shrewd and evil in my opinion. He could have found other money for the mentally ill. Now we as consumers of health care have to pay for that through higher premiums.

    Its stuff like that. If the mean old market were allowed to work, we would all be the better for it. See, I am in favor of helping out the little guy too! Socialized care would be a total mistake. In that system, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You talk about protecting a woman’s right to choose, but know that other choices will be made for you. Like if you are 65 with aggressive cancer, sorry. You are too old to treat. Ben Franklin said something to the effect that when you look for the government to take care of you, be prepared to surrender your freedom.

    4) The war is an interesting one, since just about every Dem voted for it. We all share in that burden. Don’t tell me Bush lied. The whole world and the UN touted the same intelligence. Whether or not you agree Ali-Q was in Iraq, Saddam was a terrorist. Just go ask Israel how many suicide bomber families there are who got a $25k check per pop from him.

    Just because we can’t kill all our enemies doesn’t mean we should stop the ones we can do something about. In all fairness, I doubt Obama is a John Kerry. Where I do find fault with him is his decision-making capabilities. I don’t think he gets it. He needs to go around the block a couple more times.

    Sports, just know that I whole-heartedly want every American to reach their full potential. I also whole-heartedly believe in economic theory that if followed, would do just that. It is the more compassionate path. Just read a little Milton Friedman.

    Reply
  • 7. Sportsattitude  |  September 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    TRussell, I so enjoy the dialogue and find many of your points extremely valid and will investigate accordingly. I also enjoy the fact we can find some common ground and are willing to engage in subject matter in as you say, a statesman-like manner. As someone who has been in manufacturing and seen two layoffs in this decade, I am admittedly more sensitive to the current employment situation in that arena…as well as others. Your economic points are very interesting to me and as I implied “between the lines,” I don’t have any answer personally for those whose jobs have been displaced. Perhaps the energy challenges will actually result in U.S. jobs as we design, drill and build solutions? My concept of taxing the rich is, in part, to just keep the rest of the country alive. Health care is a mess to tackle and I also have the experience you speak of regarding the medical community – you are spot on there. If we agree Palin is a “breath of fresh air” potentially for Washington and an agent of change, so should we all now acknowledge Obama is as well. And I know he hasn’t been around the block, but once more if the point being made for Palin is she has the judgement to lead if not the experience, once more we should acknowledge Obama might as well. And since Obama is running for President and I side with his party on many subjects, so be it. We do agree we want every American to reach their full potential, and in its own way IRF contributes towards that end!

    Reply
  • 8. TRussell  |  September 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Ah shucks Sports, I am going to blush…

    Till next time.

    Reply
  • 9. lowdogg  |  September 7, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Sports, as to the abortion issue, that actually provides a lot of insight into your selection of Obama. Although the election of a Republican and subsequent nomination to the Supreme Court of a judge inclined to overturn Roe v. Wade could happen, it would hardly lead to the abolition of legal abortion. There are states, like Utah, that would likely make it illegal except for certain exceptions, but it would be done on a state-by-state basis.
    My point is that if that was an issue that moved me I would have a very hard time voting Republican too.

    Reply
  • 10. Sportsattitude  |  September 9, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Lowdogg, I have heard similar talk that the abortion issue would most likely move to a “state-by-state” scenario. I know it is a huge hot-button issue with a lot of folks like me and in some cases, both pro-life and pro-choice, I am sure it will fully determine who someone votes for even if you try to convince them abortion will never become fully illegal and completely unattainable. I continue to be amazed McCain went in the direction he did. From what I could tell, he was in this thing to the end no matter what and selecting a lightning rod like Palin will drive lots of people out now to vote against him…as well as for him. Quite a gamble, one I am sure the party pushed him to roll the dice on. Doesn’t seem like a move he would have made. I think he wanted his pal Lieberman badly, but that would have been an equally calculated gamble in the other direction, I think.

    Reply
  • 11. critts  |  September 13, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    lol Mel, love it!!

    Reply

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