Ruminations

Opinions, thoughts, & recommendations.

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Name: Dave Leigh
Location: Union, South Carolina, United States

I was born too young. And when I die, I'll still be too young.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Suspends Campaign; Puts Country First.

John McCain has announced that he's suspending his campaign (including his television ads) to go back to Washington and work on the financial bailout. He had already spoken with Senator Obama and invited him to join McCain.

I agree. We have three senators campaigning who should be rolling up their sleeves and doing their day jobs. McCain's statement indicates that the bailout will not pass "in its present form." I'm sure it won't.

I have a suggestion or two... first of all, I like the idea that while in the government's "care" that no CEO should make more than the highest-paid government worker. However, this makes for some difficulty in finding talent, so I'd suggest that these top execs should be able to reap substantial bonuses upon successfully repaying the government.

Keep in mind, too, that this "$700 billion" is not necessarily $700 billion. It's security against risky loans. Some or most of it may never be used. So I would include in the legislation some provisions that make it very difficult for lenders to foreclose, and to encourage lenders to renegotiate the loans. Here's why...

Many of these loans were adjustable rate mortgages that were (barely) affordable at the deeply cut introductory rates. Of course, they're risky because the loan should never have been given unless the borrower could pay it back at the higher rate. So re-lower the rate. Tank their credit rating for all I care, but if they're currently in a mortgage, do everything possible to keep them in the house and keep them making payments... any payments. 90% of a loaf is better than none, and this scheme would not torch the economy.

What we need is a completely new way of thinking about how we handle risk. Tossing people out in the streets is not an option when there is no mortgage insurance to pick up the loss. At the moment there isn't, because the risks were off-loaded to companies that didn't set aside enough capital to follow through with their obligations. Rather than you thinking, "we taxpayers can't afford to let BankX fail," BankX needs to be thinking that they can't afford to foreclose on you. In the meantime, they would be heavily discouraged from making more risky loans. This approach would maintain home ownership, rescue the economy, and be generally superior than a simple bailout.

Of course, my plan would never make it to the table because it actually makes sense and it would actually work. Let's see what sort of "second best" solution they come up with.

Nearly an hour after McCain's announcement we're still waiting for Obama's response. And the University of Mississippi still thinks the debates are going ahead on schedule. Wishful thinkers. As it stands, Obama is in a political "no-win" scenario. Either he goes to Washington and follows McCain's unquestioned leadership, or he doesn't go, in which case he's all talk and no action. Either way it's a bold, magnificent move on McCain's part. It's magnificent from a political perspective, and it's even more magnificent given that "political" is exactly what this move is not intended to be... it's just something that needs to be done, and once again John McCain is unhesitatingly willing to walk the talk.

Update: Obama found a podium an hour and a half later. Obama states that he initiated the call with a mind toward issuing a joint statement, laying out the broad principles of an acceptable agreement. (BTW, I agree that the principles he lists are reasonable. They're also readily addressed by my own proposal.)

When asked about his plans, Obama said, "What I'm planning to do right now is to debate on Friday. That's what I'm preparing to do." When pushed for a statement regarding action he would take to do something about the bailout, he said, "I've done what I set out to do." That is, he issued a statement.

Alrightey, then. All talk and no action it is, then.

In the lull between the two candidates' statements, one thing really stood out. On MSNBC there was an interview with Sen. Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas. She thinks that the debates should go forward so that people can see how their future leader would deal with problems. I think that's exactly what we're seeing: John McCain will roll up his sleeves and do something about the problems; Obama will just talk about them.

If what Senator Lincoln wants to get out of this debate is an understanding of leadership styles, then the debates are unnecessary, as John McCain has already won.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hillary Clinton needs a dictionary

The Associated Press reports, "Clinton Cancels Rally Appearance After Learning Palin Invited". Well, there's no surprise there. What is a surprise is the revelation in this story that Hillary Clinton doesn't know what the word "partisan" means. From the story:
“Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines. “Sen. Clinton will therefore not be attending.”
Obviously this is not a partisan political event. That's the reason that representatives of both parties were asked to attend. It's a rally, sponsored by American Jewish voters, against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both parties ostensibly agree on this issue, but in the case of Hillary Clinton it's turned out to be nothing more than lip service, as she has pointedly chosen not to join this protest after having first agreed. Most pundits suggest that Hillary Clinton is insulting Governor Palin. She is not. Hillary Clinton is spitting in the eyes of each and every Jewish voter in America.

Maybe she's just clueless. Maybe she just doesn't play well with others. Or you can put on your tinfoil hat and suppose that this is a clever and subtle way of subverting Obama's chances by driving tens of thousands of Jewish voters to the Republican party. After all, an Obama presidency would mean that Hillary will never have a shot at the White House; but if he loses she can try again in four years.

It doesn't matter. For Jewish voters, these kind of one-sided party games mean exactly this: it is the Republicans who give a damn about issues concerning Jews and Israel. It is the Republicans that understand when it is time to set aside partisan politics and join a common cause. It is the Republicans who have an open policy of working together, even with people who who disagree on other substantive issues. It is the Republicans who are willing to reach across the aisle to work on common goals.

Democrat politicians support none of that, and Hillary just proved it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And a star is born!

Sarah Palin didn't knock it out of the park tonight... she launched it into orbit.

Tonight she showed us a beautiful, intelligent, decisive leader who is a better orator than Barack Obama. Whereas Obama has stilted rhetoric, Palin has sincerity, humor, a relaxed conversational style, and substance. With a smile and a quip she tore the Democratic ticket apart. Here's the speech.

This excellent picture of a pit bull with lipstick is from townhall.com

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thanks for the advice, Alan

Alan Colmes provides provided us with a milk-through-the-nose moment this evening when he said, "If McCain wanted to be a maverick then he should have picked somebody like Joe Lieberman."

Get that? To be a maverick, McCain should make the choices that the Liberals expect him to make. The left-wing media's outrage about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin boils down to "why didn't you choose who I wanted you to choose?" And the reason for this is simple: they are very, very scared. They would not be making up sexist FUD about about Palin if they weren't. They wouldn't be dredging up complete irrelevancies as her husband's 22-year old DUI charge. That's right boys and girls... over two decades ago the Vice Presidential candidate's spouse had too much to drink.

Hmmm... years ago what was Barack Obama doing? Oh, yeah... according to his memoirs, he was doing drugs. Y'know, like marijuana and cocaine.

The Democrats do NOT want to put the same scrutiny on their own candidates as they'd like to put on others, and that's just a fact. But they can't afford not to try, simply because Palin is so strong a choice. So you're going to see increasingly vicious attacks against her while Obama sits back with clean hands and decries it. And you'll see more "helpful advice" like Alan Colmes'.

Folks, McCain doesn't need anybody to appeal to moderates... he does that all by his little lonely. In case you've forgotten, McCain is the guy who has differed with his party on several substantive issues of conscience. "Someone like Joe Lieberman" just doesn't add anything to the ticket that McCain doesn't already bring. Remember that when you hear the "helpful" advice spouted by people who have a vested interest in seeing you fail. Fortunately, McCain doesn't take advice from Alan Colmes, and is free to make the right choice instead. And this choice has the far left quaking in their boots.

Live in the present, Obama

This from Reuters. Barack Obama, on his qualifications vs. Governor Palin's:
"My understanding is that Gov. Palin's town, Wasilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million dollars a year -- we have a budget of about three times that just for the month," Obama had said.
Y'know for somebody who's supposed to be a pretty smart guy, Barack Obama can't keep his facts straight. Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska, not the mayor of the town of Wasilla.

She used to be mayor. She has about as much experience at being governor as Obama has at being a Senator. The big difference is this: as a Senator, Obama has no executive experience; Palin does. She is, quite frankly, more qualified to be the Chief Executive than Obama. Also, she has a solid, proven record of not just campaigning for change, but actually delivering it, even when that means going against her own party incumbents.

Thanks to Obama for once again highlighting the fact that he himself is less qualified than John McCain's running mate, and horribly underqualified compared to McCain himself. It is after all, the maverick reformer John McCain that Obama must beat. Perhaps if he's reminded enough Obama will remember that. I suggest he tape a note to his bathroom mirror... because whatever he's doing now just isn't working.

And thanks to Obama for highlighting the difference between his own empty promises and the actual reforms instituted by Palin in her home state and by McCain in Congress.



A couple of posts ago I noted that the masks are off, and the Democrats were showing their true faces. Those faces are uglier than I thought, and more sexist. Their comments run the gamut of nasty conspiracies, ranging from "Trig's not really her child" to "She's a bad mother for seeking office". Most boil down to thinking she has to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen to be a good conservative... and these idiots think they are feminists.

Let's straighten out some common misconceptions; being a conservative doesn't mean that your children are never going to be in trouble. Conservative parents face the same issues as Liberals: the big difference is how they respond to them and how their children respond. Sarah Palin's daughter is 17 and pregnant. She's also keeping the child and getting married. That's walking the walk, and shame on the hypocritical Democrat or Republican that criticize her for it. My own mother wes 16 when she got married. So?

Also, being conservative doesn't mean that the "little woman" stays home. The Palin children have a mother AND a father. It takes both of those - not a village - to raise children. Without a mom and dad you're in trouble no matter how many people try to run your life... but with two parents you can grow up happy and strong without the village. And it doesnt' matter which parent works. When any Democrat casts doubts about whether Palin can be VP and a mother I want you to look him in the eye and ask exactly why it's OK for John-John and Caroline, or Amy, or Chelsea to have had a father who was President, but it's not OK for Trig to have a mother who's the VP? Ask what possible reason could they have for such a sexist, pig-headed and blatantly wrong point of view?

I've heard them disguise the argument this way: "Many conservatives feel...". Bullshit. I'm conservative, and so are most of the people I know, and I know of not one who subscribes to that anachronistic way of thinking. Not. A. Single. One. The Democrats who are using that argument are simply using it as a smokescreen. They don't really know any conservatives that feel that way; but saying they do give them license (in their minds) to say the most outrageous lies and blame it on those nameless, faceless (and bodiless) "conservatives." They should be ashamed of themselves, and should be called out.