Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain for President

Why John McCain? First, because his health care plan would end the absurd linkage of health insurance with employment. There are hundreds of thousands who can't quit their jobs to take a better one because they will lose their insurance. Also, the factor mentioned in the previous post, of government subsidies creating inflation, will be reduced. The subsidy currently is a percentage off the top, no matter how expensive the insurance. The McCain plan is a fixed amount, which will encourage shopping around. Also his plan allows consumers to buy an out-of-state policy, which may be a better fit in terms of coverage, or be more affordable.

McCain is one of the few politicians to take on the Farm Bill. This wasteful program funnels huge amounts of taxpayer money to agribusiness in this country, while it makes it hard for poor farmers elsewhere to sell their produce to American consumers. The Farm Bill is harmful to Americans as taxpayers and consumers, and should be massively cut. Obama continues to pander to Big Corn and supports it.

McCain was a member of the "Gang of 14" Senators who worked out a compromise on Judicial appointments. It seems clear that his appointments would be sensible conservative jurists, who would not gut the Second Amendment or graft new laws into the Constitution because it seemed like the right thing to do. Obama's program is a frightening contrast. He would appoint Judges who view the law as a tool to remake society in their own image, bypassing both the legislature and the considered judgement of our Founding Fathers as contained in the Constitution.

McCain supports the Second Amendment. McCain will not punish success with "spread the wealth" taxes. McCain supported the surge which has basically won the war in Iraq, while Obama wanted to surrender to Al Qaeda.

Okay you say, but what about Choice? Aren't you pro-Choice? If there were an election to outlaw abortion, I would probably vote against that. But this is not that election. McCain will face a Democratic Congress, and a Democratic Senate. There will be no Federal Laws limiting abortion in his administration. His Judicial appointments will be sensible Conservatives. Even if they feel Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided (as I do, there is no clearer example of "legislating from the bench", though Breyer's dissent in Heller comes close) they will honor it as Stare Decisis. It may be bad law, but it is the law of the land.

Finally some of you may ask, "what about Israel?" I am a proud supporter of the America-Israel relationship, and I know that John McCain will continue it. I heard Obama's speech to AIPAC this past June, and it was a fine one too. Of course he made an error by mentioning an "undivided Jerusalem" which he had to back away from the next day, showing that Obama is not quite the policy wonk some say he is. In any case the difference is a matter of confidence. We have seen McCain for years and years, but have only a short record on Obama. Obama's relationship with Rashid Khalidi might be of some concern too of course.

Obama and Fear

Obama is running on fear. It took me a while to figure this out, because the CW is that he is running on Hope, and the Republicans are the ones who run on Fear. Now there is an element of truth to the CW, in that Obama talks a lot about Hope, and McCain has suggested that Obama is not ready to protect America. But there is more to the story.

People in America are afraid of many things. Not just terrorism. Not even primarily terrorism. They are afraid of losing their job. Losing their home. Not being able to send their kids to college. It is these economic fears that Obama is playing on.

Obama's plan is to "spread the wealth" around, to help the folks who can't afford groceries, or gas, or their mortgage. The problem with this is that unearned money is like morphine, it dulls the pain, but it also reduces the incentive to work. Even worse, subsidies for specific goods will raise the prices of those goods. If the government offered people money to buy eggs, and you sold eggs, wouldn't you raise your prices? Of course you would! And people wouldn't complain, because the government was footing the bill.

The same thing happens with college tuition. Why has tuition risen faster than inflation for so many years? Because the government subsidizes it, with low-cost loans and grants. Why did we see in the past few years a huge run-up in home prices (followed by a crash of course)? Because the government was encouraging, via the CRA and Freddie and Fannie, low-down and no-down loans. More money coming into the market makes prices go up, this is inflation 101.

What does this mean? The fears Americans have are real. There is no question that the economy is suffering. What we need is Hope. Hope for a better America, in which we can work hard, and reap the rewards of our work. Not Obama's Fear America, where success is taxed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clarence and Candle

Hard to believe tomorrow makes a year.

Taken with the iPhone.


I got a new phone number, so the above number no longer works. If you like, you can email me for the new one, in the 505 since I live in NM now. My email is myfirstname@mylastname.com. Well, not that exactly, but if my name were John Doe my email would be john@doe.com. Well, that is not really true either, since if my name were Doe I would probably not have been able to buy the doe.com address, whereas my actual last name was a bit easier to get hold of.

In any case, if someone is frustrated trying to call my old number, perhaps they will google it, and then they will see this, and then they will be happy!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Angry old man

This fellow called me a fascist for taking his picture. Is that typical, confusing freedom of expression with fascism? Does he own a dictionary?

Angry young woman

Note she is standing by the stolen yard sign sign.

Obama is theft

There were some protesters outside the Student Union. They shouted at the rally attendees as they walked out. I noticed this sign, but it took me a while to realize that it is made of stolen yard signs. I guess it is all part of a trend, Obama supporters are for free speech, as long as it is pro-Obama speech. Any criticism of Obama is racist, so presumably the free speech act of putting up a McCain yard sign has no protection.

The scariest bit is that they seem to be proud of their act of repression, flaunting it in this way.

Cindy McCain

Cindy introduced her husband, and stood by him as he spoke. Afterwards they both shook hands of people in the crowd. I was able to get this picture, but I did not get a handshake.

Happy Warrior in Albuquerque

Went to see McCain speak at UNM this afternoon. He definitely lived up to the "Happy Warrior" moniker today. His speech was very tough, and got a lot of applause. He did it all with a smile on his face too. I was especially happy to hear him point out that Obama has close ties to the execs at Fannie Mae who benefited from the loose lending practices encouraged by the Democratic Congress. The loose lending practices that created the current crisis. If you heard someone yelling "That's right!" when McCain said it, that was me.