Wednesday, October 15, 2008

oh, well that's okay then

Sarah Palin hasn't been negative. At least, according to Sarah Palin. Likewise, the troopergate investigation cleared her of any hint of unethical behavior. And up is down, and black is white.

On the debate: I thought Obama had substance, but McCain won on style points. He had several good zingers prepared ("Senator Obama, I'm not George W Bush; if you wanted to run against George Bush you should have run four years ago."), and appeared to be going for broke while Obama continued to project genteel politeness. He let McCain interrupt him constantly, and never seemed to rise to the bait or really go for the throat like he could have (eg, on the question of the VP candidates' qualifications, or on the way McCain dodged some of the questions and took off on tangents, or the question about the negativity of the campaigns.) Which I guess makes sense if you're ahead in the polls, but I would have liked to see Obama take off the gloves a bit. Or at least smirk back at McCain's barbs and say sarcastically "Good one, John."

I also thought that McCain looked scary and a bit corpse-like, with ghastly fake-looking smiles and constant grimacing and smirking while Obama talked. Almost like a robot that had been programmed to smile at a particular time, but didn't understand the real meaning of the act. But of course, we're all bound to be pretty hard on the opponent and easy on our own favorite candidate...


At Thu Oct 16, 10:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

Somebody described the debate last night as a tennis mach with McCain running all over the court and Obama at the baseline mechanically lobbing the ball back.

Bryan, I think you have a subliminal crush on Sarah Palin because you seem to mention her on all of your posts. :-)

At Thu Oct 16, 01:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

I like the tennis simile, BB.
And you're probably right about Palin -- her personality is extremely annoying to me, probably partly because I find her physically attractive in spite of not being able to stand her. If that makes any sense.

At Thu Oct 16, 02:12:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

Bryan, remember your ol' friend, Rex Hinkle? He sent me this: maybe you can answer his question?

Per 2006 government numbers (latest I could find - ):

The breakoff point for top 5% of taxpayers is $153,542, not $250,000 as Obama states. The cutoff for top 1% was $388,806.

The total income taxes received from those with AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) over $153,542 was $615 billion. Supposedly Obama plan would increase top rates from 33% to 35% and 36% to 39.6%, or roughly 10%. 10% of 615 billion is about 62 billion. Those making over $388,806 paid $408 billion so about $41 billion more in taxes would be generated.

Pick a number somewhere between $41 billion and $62 billion - how many of Obama's new programs could be funded???! The credits, promised tax cuts, etc. are not even included in above. Am I missing something?

At Mon Oct 20, 05:37:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

hi, jay aitch. i admit to knowing next-to-nothing about either man's tax plan other than what they've said about it themselves. but that's not the point for me. if we wanted to save $ we could, let's say, not be dumping $ into iraq. the decision is more about temperament and fundamental philosophy WRT what the country stands for and the direction we'd like to move.

At Mon Oct 20, 06:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

On the other hand, Obama has requested close to $1 billion in earmarks and several million for Acorn. His social programs will cost America $1 trillion per year and he claims that a reduction in military spending ($100 billion for Iraq ) can pay for it.

The drain to America 's economy by foreign supplied oil is $700 billion per year (5% of GDP) while the war in Iraq is $100 billion (less than 1% of GDP).

Math seems off here.

At Mon Oct 20, 06:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

...but thank you for addressing this. I will pass it on to RH. May the best man win!

At Mon Oct 20, 09:23:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

Well, I think it probably all depends on which math book is being read. The math book I've seen has Obama's plan putting the deficit at 3.7 trillion over the next decade and puts McCain's at 5 trillion. The trillion dollar assertion comes from the additional spending over the course of the four-year presidency; it's not a trillion dollars a year in new programs.
But more data really isn't the issue or the solution, I imagine.

At Fri Oct 24, 10:37:00 AM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I think it would be safe to say this is unfair reporting and an unfair interview.
And no apologies from CNN

At Fri Oct 24, 10:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger alleykat said...

hey Brian! your blog has been recommended to me by Google as an interesting place to be, so does that mean you've arrived???
good going!

At Tue Oct 28, 04:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

dunno if it means i've arrived, alley -- i suspect not... :-)

as to the CNN interview: yeah, Griffin misattributed the comments, making it sound like it was York & the Natl Review saying Palin was dumb, when they really were pointing out that the media was saying it. IMO, it was bad journalism. But whether it was careless or deliberate, AFAIC it's (a) just one interviewer, and (b) microscopic compared to baseless slanderous insinuations that have come directly out of the McCain/Palin campaign: (Terrorist, Socialist, etc.) And Palin isn't stupid, but she *is* astonishingly ignorant, and apparently corrupt, and her mendacity is breathtaking.

on the tax issue (and also about "socialism"), for jay aitch:

At Tue Oct 28, 04:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

More about the "socialist" thing, and labeling in general:

PS. My favorite quote recently about McCain's choice of Palin: "It's like taking a crap on the whole world and saying, "I don't care what happens to you and how bad she is -- stupid people will like her and then I might get elected."

At Tue Oct 28, 08:59:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

Come on Bryan, the quote that you just quoted is the kind of nonsense that is just blatantly mean spirited and turns off people in your own party.

At Tue Oct 28, 10:18:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

It sounds to me more like a statement made with deliberate exaggeration to make a point. I found it rather amusing but only because I tend to kind of agree and because, like I said, I took it as: "here's an utter exaggeration that gives you an idea of how serious and even (possibly) offensive I think this is."

At Wed Oct 29, 01:01:00 AM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

First of all, I don't consider it mean-spirited (ie, malicious or petty).
Further, I don't think it's an exaggeration.
McCain chose someone dreadfully unqualified -- someone who would make a terrible president -- someone who by (off-the-record) admission of McCain staffers "knew almost nothing about national or international issues."
If he died in office, we'd have a president who doesn't know about fruit fly research, can't name a supreme court case or a printed news source, who (possibly) thinks dinosaurs were on the earth 4,000 yrs ago, who appears to have an almost complete disregard for the truth, yet possesses an unmerited but seemingly unshakable confidence in her own abilities. Her hubris is astounding to me.
And why did he do it? Because he's hoping people will be ignorant enough to miss what a bad choice she is, and will like her enough to elect him.
What part do you not agree with? Do you want to argue that Palin's not ignorant?
Or that to like her as a VP candidate is not a demonstration of ignorance?
Or that McCain chose her for any reason -- ANY reason at all -- other than to bring in votes?

At Wed Oct 29, 01:13:00 AM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

Oh, forgot about the "crap on the whole world" part...
Someone with her limited grasp of the issues, coupled with the don't-blink-shoot-from-the-hip style we've seen her demonstrate, plus her lack of discipline in how she uses her power (troopergate), plus her anti-intellectual disregard for the nuances of national and international issues, her idea that joe six-pack can do as good a job running the country as the "washington elites", plus her idea that "real america" is defined by a single viewpoint (ultra-conservative), suggest to me that she'd be a poor choice to control the worlds most powerful military and largest nuclear arsenal.
To put someone like that in charge of international relations in the worlds richest and most powerful country could very well be taking a big crap on the world.

At Wed Oct 29, 09:16:00 AM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I really tried to look at this thing objectively. When I ask an Obama supporter to name some of his accomplishments in the Senate, they can’t come up with anything except he will introduce change. Plus they always compare Palin’s accomplishments with Obama’s like McCain will certainly die in office.

Palin held elective office for 5 years before Obama ran for anything and wasn’t allowed to vote “present” 130 times.

Having most of the media on you side plus spending more than 600 million dollars I guess its bound to have an effect.

I thought this was interesting. It’s an article the NY Times ran in 1984 when Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President:
Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President? Surely Ronald Reagan does not subscribe to that maxim. Or where is it written that mere representatives aren’t qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens? Representative Morris Udall, who lost New Hampshire to Jimmy Carter by a hair in 1976, must surely disagree. So must a longtime Michigan Congressman named Gerald Ford. Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial? That didn’t stop Richard Nixon from picking Spiro Agnew, a suburban politician who became Governor of Maryland.

At Wed Oct 29, 12:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

you're right about most obama supporters not being able to name anything he's done in the senate. (likewise most of mccain's, i suspect.)
but much of obama's appeal is visceral, not logical -- i have no problem conceding that point.
also, you're right that ppl like to compare obama with palin, bcz it's an easier win -- the more apt comparison would be biden/palin.
but it *was* mccain's campaign who brought up the "experience" issue, before he then picked someone with virtually none.
being mayor of wasilla, in the words of the song, "don't impress me much." my town is about half the size of wasilla, and i live 3 houses from my mayor. he's a great guy, but he's not exactly prepared to be president.
but the larger point isn't that Palin isn't a senator -- that's a red herring -- the point is Palin herself. she is ignorant, provincial, and mendacious. as the saying goes, "often wrong, but never in doubt." i don't care if the VP candidate is the Director of Maintenance at the local junior high school, if he/she can show relevant experience and command of the issues. And the bottom line is, Palin can't.

At Wed Oct 29, 12:20:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

PS. i love passionate debate. i really appreciate all who take the time and effort to actually *have* an opinion, and comment. wanted to make sure that i included an acknowledgement of the bigger picture, which is that everyone i know here -- especially family -- is valuable to me, and respected, whether or not i agree with them. what i mean to say is "i hope this doesn't piss people off, because all u people (you know who you are) are far more important to me than this discussion..."

At Wed Oct 29, 01:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

Oh, man. I have wanted to stay out of this because love and harmony among family and friends is more important than politics. So here's hoping that harmony and discussion can coexist...seems the rest of you are managing it. :-) Here's a link to a list of Barack's accomplishments in the Senate. You might have to copy and paste the link.

I was the one who made that comment about "taking a crap on the whole world" and I wholeheartedly stand by it and defend it. Perhaps I should have said "foolish people" instead of "stupid people." In other words, what I was saying is, in choosing Sarah Palin, McCain did not have any regard for the safety and security of the US and the world -- he just picked the person he thought was most likely to help him get elected. This is very irresponsible and puts us in jeopardy. By any measure, Sarah Palin is not ready to be president. According to McCain's own aides, she "simply knew nothing about national and international affairs." They also said, and it is obvious, that she lacks intellectual curiousity, and indeed intellect -- she ain't brilliant and it shows. The main job of the VP is to be ready and able to step in to the job of the President. This comment: "Plus they always compare Palin’s accomplishments with Obama’s like McCain will certainly die in office" is not the point. It's not meant to be a gamble. He *might* make it, so maybe we'll be She is like W with lipstick on. She speaks first and thinks later. Like all profoundly incompetent people, she has no idea of her incompetence. Just like W. W's foreign policy has destroyed our credibility around the world. The Iraq war has done more for recruitment than Osama Bin Laden could ever have done. If you don't believe those last two statements, read some perspectives from the rest of the world. Whether you agree that this perception is deserved or not (and I do), the world at large now does perceive us as frightening, willing to bomb first and find out the details later, and it does not trust us. She defends and shares the misguided W/McCain foreign policy stance, except she knows much less about the world. I am frightened to imagine her at the helm. I think that many who defend her are simply unable to separate her from their loyalty to the party. This is unfortunate. When Bill Clinton screwed up with the Lewinsky thing, I criticized him willingly. I wish people would be willing to do the same with Sarah Palin.

At Wed Oct 29, 01:47:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

P.S. The recruitment I was talking about was recruitment for Al Aaeda, in case that was not obvious.

At Wed Oct 29, 01:47:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...


At Wed Oct 29, 01:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

PPS Bryan actually articulated the reasons for my statement better than I did, but I did want to defend it since I said it. Last comment. For now. :-)

At Wed Oct 29, 03:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

Well in the name of love and harmony, then, I would add a few (LONG) things:

Let's forget qualifications for one minute (that's another issue and thanks, anya, for your link regarding accomplishments). Let's just talk about "smarts", and about being able to think on one's feet and instantly have an answer to a question about complicated matters (I have a feeling this will be a needed skill as president and really, even, as a useful vice-president). Who can do this BETTER----Palin or Obama? For me it's a suspension of belief to think that Palin can better answer a question immediately, without a script, without a prompt---with knowledge and skill---regarding the economy or foreign relations. Now tweak the question, add another dimension or element, and see who can shift and answer intellectually and with a new thought and depth and insight. Again I pick Obama—not because I believe Palin is stupid but because I believe Obama is smarter. I puzzle sometimes at the defense of Palin that goes something like this: "Well, being smart isn't everything. I'm so tired of this elite idea that somehow being smart is the greatest thing ever." ?? Like I've said before—and likely on this blog--I darn well want a scary smart surgeon working on me. I darn well want a spooky smart engineer designing the plane that is carrying me thousands of feet above the ground...and I darn well want a scary smart person leading the country that I live in. Does it really make sense to assume that these leaders of other countries are NOT complicated, multi-dimensional thinkers? It seems a little naive (to use a phrase Palin likes to link to Obama) to think that average intelligence and average world-knowledge and an average ability to think in a complex manner is going to be a sufficient defense against these world leaders. It's a little naïve, perhaps, and dangerous to just hope they're all joe six-pack, hockey folks. It's true that she's not running for prez, “only” vice-prez. As I understand it tho, her role is to be ready for prez on day one. Just In Case.

Also it seems unlikely that it's only media and money on Obama's side. When you've got smart conservatives who normally would be backing their own party but aren't, does that mean they've all been snookered? Seems unlikely. And also I'm puzzled by the “traitor” label that's been attached to many of them. I'm sure that many dems have decided to back McCain---they're not traitors, they've just gone a different direction this time 'round. It's the same thing.

Well, I'm hoping that umbrella of love, etc. is a big one!

At Wed Oct 29, 04:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I guess I’m looking at the political issues rather than IQ.

Sure it’s great to have a person running the country that is eloquent speaking and with impressive resumes of schools that he or she attended.

However if you don’t’ agree with their philosophy, and political ideas, should IQ matter? Should a high IQ trump your general principles that you have on the political and social issues that are really important to you?

jay are said:
“I darn well want a scary smart surgeon working on me”

Me too but if the doctor refused to operate on African Americans or Jews I would say no thank you and take my chances with a regular doctor that is not scary smart.

jay are said:
“I darn well want a spooky smart engineer designing the plane that is carrying me”

Me too but if I knew that engineer refused to provide space in the doorway to allow the disabled to board the plane because it might affect his superior design then I would not fly with the airlines that bought from that spooky smart engineer.

My principles come first before how smart someone is or might sound.
Sorry folks.

At Wed Oct 29, 04:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I just wanted to add that the examples that I just made does not mean in my mind that jay are would not make the same decisions I made. (I think she would) It was just to make a point about issues coming first before IQ.

At Wed Oct 29, 04:40:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

That blogball is an astute fellow....and no doubt has a high IQ

At Wed Oct 29, 05:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

I TOTALLY agree that people should vote according to their philosophy and with what aligns with that. I was merely addressing the matter that was touched on previously regarding Palin's vs. Obama's experience/qualifications/readiness. And I don't think it's all about IQ either. It's in the ability to think about complex things because the next president is going to be faced with exceedingly complex matters regarding the economy and the world stage--that's an ability not necessarily just about IQ, though that's part of it. In my opinion, one of them far surpasses the others in that category. That's all.

And while I'd also want a doctor who operated on me to have a moral compass, I'd probably also kind of like it if he knew the difference between hemostatic forceps and an endoscope.

Principles are of utmost important, I agree. I guess I don't see either candidate as being exceptionally without any (as far as politicians go). Unless a person gathers all of his or her data from FOX or Rush, that is. Then it's easy to see who the angel is and who the devil is. Therefore, Rush aside, it comes down to "this side aligns a little more with where I'm coming from" which is a more principled conclusion in my opinion than "he's pallin' around with terrorists."

Also, just one other little thing, "My principles come first before how smart someone is...sorry folks" made it seem a little bit like: "sorry you guys have no principals and only care that the guy speaks eloquently." I conclude, however, that that's not what you were saying.

This all comes across so adversarial and it isn't meant to at all. Hopefully it's all being taken in the spirit of healthy discourse and debate.

At Wed Oct 29, 05:02:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

I see, blogball, that you answered my last question while I was typing my comment. ha! Good stuff, then.

Here's to a healthy USA.

At Wed Oct 29, 05:03:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

I agree with Jay Are's points, and I think we are talking about "smarts" that equate to competence and qualifications, not fancy resumes. (W has a fancy resume. Need I say more.) I also think blogball's statement gets to the heart of something I wish more people would admit: they are voting a certain way because of issues, and in a certain way, they don't really care who the candidate is. I understand that philosophy, and to a point, I also follow it -- to a point. (However, I would probably abstain from voting if my party offered up what I thought was a truly bad candidate, and I certainly would not defend that candidate.) That position -- voting on ISSUES -- I can understand, and respect. I vote on issues too. Also, this time, I really respect the candidate I'm voting for, and I really believe he can do a very good job running the country. What I don't respect is when people vote on issues, but they pretend it is because "the other guy is a terrorist"; "the other guy is anti-American"; and believe and forward every stupid story that people make up, AND, to boot, defend Sarah Palin to the death as if she really is qualified enough or competent enough to run the country. Just admit it! You're voting on issues!

At Wed Oct 29, 05:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

I posted my comment w/o reading Jay Are's last one, by the way...I guess we are all commenting at the same time. :)

At Wed Oct 29, 05:15:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said... was an instantaneous comment fest. woo-hoo!!

At Wed Oct 29, 05:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

Reading all the comments again I would say jay aitch and I are a little out numbered.
Where is unca?

Plus I would much rather be visiting with all of you guys and holding my latest Grand Nephew than doing this. :-)

At Wed Oct 29, 09:02:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

and he is SOOOO cute (not that I've gotten to HOLD him, mind you) and he's got this little kissy face that you just have to see (I'm assuming you have, tho, cuz I have a feeling that he has a very proud grandma and grandpa)!

At Wed Oct 29, 09:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya said...

I would rather that that's what we were doing too! And yeah I have to say, he is pretty cute. The other day, I think he was asking me when we were going to visit his Grand Uncle, Grand Aunt and first cousin once removed. I could have misinterpreted his grunts and gestures, but I don't think so. No, he has not met them yet.

At Wed Oct 29, 09:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

dang. i get on a plane, and when i get off there are 34 comments. you guys need more to do. :-) anyway, i'm working in las vegas for a cpl days; if i don't post it's not cause i didn't love you.
PS. i noticed that here at the hotel, if you appear to even be *thinking* about gambling, they keep trying to give you free drinks. naturally, i refuse. nearly every time. ;-)

At Fri Oct 31, 06:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger unca said...

Maybe it's cheating to just post somebody's column but I think this is short enough to fit in the blog and expresses many of my concerns (Sowell is an economist, by the way):
Ego and Mouth
Thomas Sowell
Friday, October 31, 2008

After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis, is there going to be an even bigger gamble, by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth?

Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.

Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.

The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.

The signs of Barack Obama's self-centered immaturity are painfully obvious, though ignored by true believers who have poured their hopes into him, and by the media who just want the symbolism and the ideology that Obama represents.

The triumphal tour of world capitals and photo-op meetings with world leaders by someone who, after all, was still merely a candidate, is just one sign of this self-centered immaturity.

"This is our time!" he proclaimed. And "I will change the world." But ultimately this election is not about him, but about the fate of this nation, at a time of both domestic and international peril, with a major financial crisis still unresolved and a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon.

For someone who has actually accomplished nothing to blithely talk about taking away what has been earned by those who have accomplished something, and give it to whomever he chooses in the name of "spreading the wealth," is the kind of casual arrogance that has led to many economic catastrophes in many countries.

The equally casual ease with which Barack Obama has talked about appointing judges on the basis of their empathies with various segments of the population makes a mockery of the very concept of law.

After this man has wrecked the economy and destroyed constitutional law with his judicial appointments, what can he do for an encore? He can cripple the military and gamble America's future on his ability to sit down with enemy nations and talk them out of causing trouble.

Senator Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, has for years shown the same easy-way-out mindset. Senator Biden has for decades opposed strengthening our military forces. In 1991, Biden urged relying on sanctions to get Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait, instead of military force, despite the demonstrated futility of sanctions as a means of undoing an invasion.

People who think Governor Sarah Palin didn't handle some "gotcha" questions well in a couple of interviews show no interest in how she compares to the Democrats' Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Biden.

Joe Biden is much more of the kind of politician the mainstream media like. Not only is he a liberal's liberal, he answers questions far more glibly than Governor Palin-- grossly inaccurately in many cases, but glibly.

Moreover, this is a long-standing pattern with Biden. When he was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination back in 1987, someone in the audience asked him what law school he attended and how well he did.

Flashing his special phony smile, Biden said, "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do." He added, "I went to law school on a full academic scholarship" and "ended up in the top half" of the class.

But Biden did not have a full academic scholarship. Newsweek reported: "He went on a half scholarship based on need. He didn't finish in the 'top half' of his class. He was 76th out of 85."

Add to Obama and Biden House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and you have all the ingredients for a historic meltdown. Let us not forget that the Roman Empire did decline and fall, blighting the lives of millions for centuries.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

At Fri Oct 31, 10:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

This post is absolutely brilliant, outstanding, sagacious and perspicacious!! Very well-said!

At Fri Oct 31, 10:09:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

P.S. Of course, just to clarify, I mean the comment just posted by Unca.

At Sun Nov 02, 09:50:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

Thanks for that bro. Very interesting article.

At Tue Nov 04, 12:11:00 AM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

So, just a cpl of comments on the Thomas Sowell article (and FWIW I think it’s perfectly appropriate post, unca.)

Re “cocksure confidence”: Whatever one says about Obama in this regard goes triple for Palin, and a McCain/Palin ticket has a good chance of resulting in a Palin presidency.

Obama’s proven that even if he had nothing else to demonstrate, he can run a masterful political campaign, which involves selecting, motivating, and organizing a team of competent people. Even FOX news and conservative talking heads concede that. He’s stayed on message, he’s made very few errors, and he hasn’t resorted to the shrill negativity and absurd charges that the McCain campaign has.

Also, is it coincidence that Sowell mentions managing a sports team – isn’t that what GWB did, but not very well…?

And I think it’s a little hasty to assume that Obama’s never had to deal with situations in life where he was “chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.” Is he saying that to come from Obama’s background to be the leading presidential contender was just handed to him? That it was luck? What?

I agree that Obama has a notable amt of hubris – as does anyone who wants to be president, I think. And he may be naïve about some things, but he also seems smart enough to engage with reality. And what’s wrong with having vision? AFAIC, it’s unlikely his optimism is going to have consequences as bad as Bush/Cheney’s unwarranted optimism about Iraq has had.

I also agree that Obama has a lot of “true believers” who apparently think he’s the second coming. They are foolish. (Maybe not as foolish as some of the Palinites I’ve listened to, but pretty foolish.)

This “spreading the wealth” thing is absurd. That’s exactly what the graduated income tax does, which is what we’ve had for decades. So someone who likes a 36% tax on the top bracket is apparently a free-market capitalist of the first order, while someone who favors a 39% rate is a dangerous socialist. It’s ridiculous. And Sarah Palin used the phrase “spreading the wealth” herself last year (

As to decline and fall of the Roman Empire (which seems a little dramatic): IMO, America’s decline (and fall, if that eventually happens) isn’t going to be because of anything Obama does – it’ll be because we are too privileged, too insulated as a people, too unwilling to recognize our interdependence, too afraid of things like community service, or sharing the wealth.

Or I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I guess we have a chance of finding out tomorrow. In the words of bill maher " the grace of allah, comrade obama and his nubian army will usher in a new era of socialism and gay marriage..."



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