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April 28, 2008

Jeremiah Wright is a terrible person

Why? Because we all know that using Barack Obama's actual middle name is the worst thing anyone could possibly do, ever.

"Barack HUSSEIN Obama," [Wright] said, emphasizing the Illinois senator's middle name dramatically, "Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Barack HUSSEIN Obama. There are Arabic-speaking Christians, there Arabic-speaking Jews, Arabic-speaking Muslims and Arabic-speaking atheists. Arabic is a language, it is not a religion. Stop trying to scare folks by giving them this Arabic name like it's some disease."

April 27, 2008

The NYT is pathetic

When I read this headline in today's New York Times

McCain Frequently Used Wife’s Jet for Little Cost

my eyes glazed over before I even got to the first paragraph. Nonetheless, I forced myself to wade through the article, because as a dedicated political blogger I post here once a month, whether I need to or not. At the end of it all, I found it a rather sad, pathetic effort on the part of the Grey Lady.

Look, I realize that the Times is going to pull out all the stops to see that the Obamessiah is elected president this year. McCain may be their favorite Republican, but at the end of the day, he's still, well, a Republican. But if this is the horse shit is the best they can up with, I can't help but feel pretty damn good about the McCain campaign.

Deep into the story, the Times grudgingly admits that McCain broke no laws, yet somehow they think it unseemly that his campaign paid so little for leasing the plane in question. But it doesn't take much imagination to envision what the NYT headline would have been if he'd done exactly what they wanted:

Candidate Pays More than Required for Wive's Plane! Inappropriate Transfer of Funds from Campaign to Wife?

Oh well. The good news is that the New York Times is even worse financial shape than McCain's campaign. Gee, I wonder why?

April 19, 2008

Can we distort McCain's record?

Yes we can!

This is beginning to be a pattern. Obama has never appealed to me as a candidate, but I was at least hopeful that he'd represent a break from the sleazy, dirty soundbite politics we've seen too much of lately, in which one side seizes on a phrase or sentence, lifts it completely out of context and deliberately mischaracterizes it.

I guess I was naive. Perhaps Obama fears he can't win an honest campaign against John McCain. He may be right.

(via Glenn)

April 17, 2008

Last night's debate

Lol. Atrios says that Charlie Gibson and George Snuffleupagus were "gang raping democracy" last night because they asked Obamessiah confrontational questions rather than simply genuflecting and prostrating themselves. Yes, that's right. If your preferred candidate is forced to suffer the indignity of facing and uncomfortable question, it's the very same thing as Democracy Herself suffering one of the most brutal, violent crimes imaginable. Whatever.

Anyways, I actually watched the debate last night. I hadn't planned to, but I happened to be visiting some pro-Obama friends' house, and they had it on, and, well, I got sucked in. I thought Obama did better than most of the Monday morning quarterbacks seem to be giving him credit for. I was a bit surprised this morning to find the punditocracy nearly unanimous in viewing Obama's performance as dreadful, but oh well. I often disagree with those folks.

And even though I thought he performed as well as could be expected, he also finally and definitively destroyed any chance that I could be sanguine about an Obama presidency. Hillary I can live with. Obama I can't. He lost me in this exchange with gang-rapist Charlie Gibson. In it, Gibson points out that cuts in the capital gains rate often results in more revenue, while increasing rates results in less. In response, Obama seems to be saying that raising revenue is less important than taking money away from rich people. That's a bit too socialist for my tastes.

Look, I'm not totally unsympathetic to the whole "tax fairness" thing, but why does tax fairness always seem to mean raising taxes? Why couldn't fairness be achieved by cutting rates on earned income to bring them in line with long term capital gains? Or be revenue neutral about it and split the difference. Set them both at (say) 25%.

But no, that doesn't seem to be the direction Obama wants to move in. He seems more inclined to raise every tax he can find -- income to 39.5%, capital gains to 28%, dividends to 39.5%, and the estate tax all the way back up to 55%. To top it all off, his elimination of the FICA cap would add an additional 12.4% at the margin for self-employed entrepreneurs. (For salaried folk, you'd have a 6.2% increase, along with a de facto increase in our corporate tax, already among the very highest in this tax-competitive, global economy, a fact which even Charlie Rangel seems to appreciate.)

Oh well. I'm sure none of this stuff will prevent him from winning the Democratic nomination. Come November, however, I think it'll be a different story.

April 12, 2008

Good luck with that in November

Glenn and Tom have some pretty good roundups on Obama's recent campaign cock-up. I'd have expected this kind of insulting, bone-headed condescension from Michelle, but am a bit surprised that it came from Barack himself.

The Democratic success in 2006 was due in large part to making the party more salable to heartland America. Well, so much for that. This kind of elitist paternalism, so carefully avoided in the mid-term campaign, won't help him make inroads into red America.

I guess I can go ahead and start planning the menu for my John McCain inauguration party. I'm thinking maybe something with a Southwestern motif.

April 10, 2008

It's that time of year again

The political junkie's favorite map is back up and running, although the map on the main landing page is a bit schizophrenic. The red and blue states, as you'd expect, show where McCain is winning or losing to the Democrats, but the brown and pink colors represent which of the Democratic candidates lead the other, and doesn't necessarily suggest that they lead McCain. (Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that the dude used brown and pink to represent Obama and Hillary? I lol'd.)

Anyway, the map will probably make more sense after the Dems are done duking it out. There are previews here and here.

Meanwhile, here's a bizarre poll that has to be regarded as an outlier, but is interesting nonetheless.

A Republican presidential ticket of John McCain and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would beat a Democratic ticket of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama - in either combination - in heavily "blue" New York, a surprising poll showed yesterday.

The Marist College-WNBC survey found a McCain-Rice team ahead of a Clinton-Obama ticket, 49 percent to 46 percent, and an Obama-Clinton ticket, 49 percent to 44 percent.

I happen to think (hope) such a pairing is extremely unlikely. It's hard for me to see what benefit Rice would bring to the ticket, unless it's just naked identity politics ("we'll see your black person and raise you a woman!") I guess I'm a bit skeptical, but still, if you're a Democrat, you can't be too happy about this. If the Dems even have to compete in New York, that's a very bad sign.