Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Answer the question.

Mark Halperin of TIME interviews Robert Gibbs on Ayers. The key question: "Does Obama think it's ok to associate professionally with known terrorists?"

Gibbs is Obama's communications director so he's probably very good at what he does. But he fails to answer the question. I hope this is just a one-off thing and the campaign actually does have an answer because it's a fair question to ask.

In the service of his country, in trying to help raise money for schools, Obama joined a reputable philanthropic organisation, the Woods Fund of Chicago, and he felt it necessary to overlook the past of one of the members in order to get some important work done for the kids. It's a matter of what best serves the county.

Easy. Next.

UPDATE: Other Obama supporters are asking the same questions.

Monday, October 06, 2008


When John Kerry was Swift-Boated, he refrained from striking back or even defending himself. He felt that doing so would lend credence to the attacks. Unfortunately the American voters did not see it that way.

Obama is not that kind of guy. From what I've seen in the primaries, when he is attacked, he is not satisfied with just defending himself.

Palin stepped over the line yesterday, overtly casting doubt on a fundamental core of Obama's value system. His patriotism.

Referring to Obama, she said, "this is not a man who sees America as you see it, how I see it...Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

They are playing with fire. The McCain-Palin campaign is throwing stones from a very precarious position and they should know better.


The McCain campaign has allowed Sarah Palin to do what she does best. In the final stretch of the campaign, the overriding narrative of the attacks on Obama are going to paint him as unsafe. Linking him with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

This is not something that is very different to what you get in a normal presidential campaign. The vicious and spurious kind attack politics was going on even since Jefferson and Adams.

If those two succumbed to that kind of campaigning then it's hard to make too much of a big deal about McCain.

However let's not underestimate the damage this does to the nation.

Negative attacks aren't bad just because they are mean. No one cares about being mean to a politician. Negative attacks are a problem because it interferes with governing.

Obama could go all out and attack McCain on his associations with dubious figures like Pastor Hagee. He could attack him on McCain's treatment of his ex-wife. Those kinds of attacks work because the press will cover them extensively. They are more entertaining and easier to follow than policy debates.

But Obama will also alienate a lot of pissed off republicans. When it comes time to govern, that's going to impede his bipartisan efforts. And let's face it, we need compromise and bipartisanship if anything is going to get done.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


A lot of fun has been made of Palin's performances so far. A lot of it is deserved, but maybe not all of it.

I'll give her a pass on the Bush Doctrine exchange with Charlie Gibson. That was a stupid question. The term means many different things and anyone would have needed clarification. And the interviewer was a twat.

I also give her a pass on the "I read all of them" comment. She was boxed into a corner by the McCain campaign's strategic war on the press. If she had named a journalistic institution like NYT or Washington Post, she would be diluting the message. She chose to look like an idiot instead.

Her answers on abortion and Gay marriage are no better or worse than any other politician's. Including Obama. She's not quite as crazy as the liberal blogs and Bill Maher make her out to be. Her answer on teaching creationism in schools is actually very good.

What worries me is a her near total lack of knowledge on the economic and national security issues that concern the country and the world today. Her defense of her lack of foreign policy experience is scary not because she doesn't have any, but because she doesn't even know what 'foreign policy experience' means. Does she know anything about the bailout and the financial crisis that is occurring right now? Watch this video till the end and tell me if that makes ANY kind of sense.

All through the convention John McCain and the republicans were attacking the judiciary for 'legislating from the bench'. We all knew it was about just one single issue, and one single case. When asked to name one other bad judicial ruling, Palin was unable to answer.

And did her answer on Palestine sound to you like she knows who Hamas are?

Governor Palin's disengagement says one thing. She doesn't care enough about the troubles of the American people that she hopes to represent. She doesn't care enough to find solutions or to even learn about the solutions other people have come up with. She doesn't care enough to understand their problems. She doesn't care enough to even know about the threats they face.

Her whole 'hockey mom' thing is an act. This was made most evident to me during the debate where she spent most of the time winking and gosh-darning it.

Harsh? Maybe so. But we've just had eight years of that exact same attitude of proud ignorance. The world can't put up with eight more.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Playing the Ref.

Michelle Malkin et al are up in arms about Gwen Ifill writing a book on the implications of the Obama campaign. How utterly predictable.

But do they have a point? My first thought; she's doing a book in this election cycle. It's been historic and it's going to change things in the way people look at race relations and policy in America. It's going to change the way people everywhere look at America. And it's mostly due to the fact that an African American is the winning candidate.

Then I think, wait, she obviously has a lot of admiration for Senator Obama's run and is possibly not the most impartial person on the planet to be moderating this debate.

In either case, it's unfortunate how they bring it up just before the debate, when there is no way for the Obama campaign to change proceedings. OB08 should have done their research and avoided this trap.

Jon Get's Angry.

On the Economic Crisis.

Warren Buffet: