Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why Competitive Endeavors Must Be Well Regulated

"The forces that produced the current crisis actually reflect a powerful dynamic that afflicts all kinds of competitive endeavors. This may be seen clearly in the world of sports." Read more.

McCain has No Honor, Part II

McCain only hope, and current strategy, is the Us. vs. Them strategy -- raise doubts about Obama's patriotism and attempt to persuade independent voters that Obama is a threat to the country. In part, this strategy will try to build on doubts some have because of Obama's race.

But because of the current economic crisis McCain will likely lose the election (mostly because he is a Republi-con), and in the end McCain will lose his honor.

The End of the American Era

I've often said that we are witnessing the zenith of American military and economic power. The following article explains: Washington Post, 9/11 Was Big. This Is Bigger. It begins:

"Two September shocks will define the presidency of George W. Bush. Stunningly enough, it already seems clear that the second -- the financial crisis that has only begun to unfold -- may well have far greater and more lasting ramifications than the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

That's because while 9/11 changed the way we view the world, the current financial crisis has changed the way the world views us. And it will also change, in some very fundamental ways, the way the world works.

Of course, the Sept. 11 attacks left a deep scar on the soul of the country and caused immense tragedy. Beyond human losses, they also revealed that being the sole superpower did not make us safe. But the attacks themselves were not, in a real sense, as significant a turning point in world history as they may have seemed at the time. (Remember, it was actually Bush's father who had first been put in charge of an American "war on terror" during the 1980s when he was Ronald Reagan's vice president.)

The current economic debacle is far more likely to be seen by historians as a true global watershed: the end of one period and the beginning of another."

Only a Heart Beat Away

Remember, Sarah Palin will be only a heart beat away from being the president. Is she ready? These ladies don't think so:
  • Washington Post, Sarah Palin's Bridge to Somewhere by Kathleen Parker (She was often too cute by half -- winking and gosh-darning her way through the debate -- but she did what she needed to do. . . Over and over, Palin skipped past Ifill, as well as Biden, to speak directly to the American people. I am one of you, she told them. And these people -- Democrats and the media -- are neither of us, nor for us. And she said it in the nicest, gosh-darn way, bless her little heart. The GOP loved it, but did anyone else? Did Palin change hearts and minds? Probably not. . . With the very first question about the bailout bill -- was this the worst of Washington or the best of Washington? -- Palin went straight to her hockey mom narrative, though she switched to the more mainstream soccer field. "As we try to figure out has this been a good time or a bad time in America's economy, is go to a kid's soccer game on Saturday, and turn to any parent there on the sideline and ask them, 'How are you feeling about the economy?' And I'll betcha you're going to hear some fear in that parent's voice." . . Palin's strategy throughout the evening was to avoid questions to which she didn't have answers and rely on the American people to like her so much they didn't care. "I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also," she said when asked to respond to a Biden comment about deregulation. . . Before we relax into giddiness or cynicism, however, it's important to consider that a debate differs from an interview in significant ways. A debate is a point-counterpoint exercise that allows little opportunity for probing or follow-up. An interview requires that a candidate explain an idea in depth and offer specifics. The Katie Couric interview that was such a disaster for Palin -- and that prompted me to conclude that she was out of her league and should leave the ticket -- was awful precisely because Palin couldn't explain anything. For whatever reason, she couldn't even speak coherently. The debate format clearly worked better for her because she could control her message and keep pounding well-rehearsed talking points. Does that mean she's ready to lead the free world should circumstances warrant? That question remains.)
  • New York Times, Talking in Points by Gail Collins (Palin did indeed answer each question with poise and self-confidence, reeling off a bunch of talking points that were sometimes totally unrelated to the matter at hand. When she was asked to respond to Joe Biden’s critique of the McCain health care plan, she announced: “I would like to respond about the tax increases,” cheerfully ignoring the fact that tax increases had never been mentioned. After the recent Katie Couric unpleasantness, Palin told the viewers that this time they were getting a chance to hear her “answer these tough questions without the filter.” And, indeed, her answers were murky in the extreme. She railed repeatedly about government regulations getting in the way of the private sector, then announced that the financial rescue plan “has got to include that massive oversight that Americans are expecting and deserving.” She said that she didn’t want to discuss what caused global warming, only how to ease its impact. . . When the moderator, Gwen Ifill, asked under what circumstances the candidates would consider bringing America’s nuclear weapons into play, Palin said: “Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period.” . . Since [her nomination], she has spent most of her time going from one Republican rally to the next, repeating chunks of her convention speech, which have grown more disjointed with every stop. (In an airplane hangar in Ohio recently, she told the people of Youngstown she was happy to be there because Alaska has, per capita, the nation’s most “small planes and small pilots.”) For reporters hoping to question her, she has been determinedly unfindable, a Judge Crater from Juneau. And after the Couric debacle, you can bet your boots that the campaign is going to take Palin’s debate performance, declare victory and wrap her up until after the election. . . The people boosting Palin’s triumph were not celebrating because she demonstrated that she is qualified to be president if something ever happened to John McCain. They were cheering her success in covering up her lack of knowledge about the things she would have to deal with if she wound up running the country. )