Sunday, July 20, 2008

Real Men

Sometimes, it helps to have a clear view of the Right's point of view. Hattip to digby

Lou Aguilar on John McCain on National Review Online: "Real Men Vote for McCain"

Real Men Vote for McCain
Top 10 reasons why.

By Lou Aguilar

1. Barack Obama spent 20 years sitting in church while his preacher and others bad-mouthed the United States of America. Navy pilot John McCain spent five years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton, and refused a chance to walk out ahead of fellow POWs with more seniority.

2. Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground or future consequences. McCain took on the president and secretary of defense in demanding more troops for Iraq, a policy that is inarguably winning the war. He also has two sons who fought in Iraq.

3. McCain supports nuclear power. Obama backs wind energy.

4. Obama wants restrictive gun control because only economically depressed middle-Americans “cling to God and guns.” McCain unwaveringly supports the Second Amendment.

5. McCain has deviated from his party’s conservative base on several occasions (McCain-Feingold Bill, Gang of 14, McCain-Kennedy Bill, opposition to torture). Obama has voted the left-wing line every single time, and been designated the most liberal Senator in Congress.

6. Obama is willing to meet with hostile state leaders like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez without preconditions. McCain will set conditions first, talk later — maybe.

7. Obama is married to a bitter, angry lawyer who became “proud” of her country for the first time this year. McCain’s wife is a beer heiress who founded an organization to provide MASH-style units to disaster-torn world regions. Did I mention that she’s a beer heiress?

8. Obama supports higher taxes for a government-run nanny state that will coddle all Americans like babies. McCain trusts people to spend their less-taxed money however they wish.

9. The name John McCain sounds like “John McClain,” the action hero played by Bruce Willis in the manly Die Hard series. “Barack Obama” sounds like the kind of elitist villain John McClain has to outwit and defeat.

10. McCain is endorsed by Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Obama gets support from Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, and every weenie in Hollywood. Plus, Susan Sarandon has vowed to leave the country if McCain gets elected. Case closed.

Lou Aguilar is a fiction writer and former Washington Post video critic, Washington Times television critic, and USA Today reporter.

Good Lord, save us. Is parody even possible?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Putting out the Fire

The News Media has a compulsive need to make the Democratic and Republican candidates seem alike. It is all about eliminating policy choice from politics.

Los Angeles Times: Obama, McCain agree on many once-divisive issues

Sure they do.

McCain and Obama: two peas in a pod. . . . NOT!

Here are a couple of take-downs:
The Carpetbagger Report: The drive to downplay differences between Obama, McCain — redux

The Reality-Based Community: Los Angeles Times: Sub-zero stupid

Digby at Hullabaloo is more optimistic: " . . . the LA Times is signaling that it believes that non-proliferation, global warming, stem cell research and comprehensive immigration reform are safe middle of the road positions. Even on the war, they seem to be admitting that 100 years in Iraq and the whole 'victory' concept is an extreme right wing position."

One of the most disturbing lines in this general, coordinated effort to neuter this election will be the effort of the Bush Administration to create the impression that the U.S. is about to declare victory and get out of Iraq, and in Atrios's words, "suggest Obama is a big spoilsport for wanting to 'surrender.' " Atrios points to this piece in the International Herald Tribune, as an example of the genre.

More aggressive is Martha Raddatz: Obama's Iraq Plan: Mission Impossible?. Raddatz quotes various officers in Iraq, asserting progress on the ground, rejecting a timetable for withdrawal and, finally, asserting that withdrawal might be logistically "impossible". It is all crap, and the usual "he said, she said" convention of allowing contrary voices is, of course, thrown aside, for this, from General Jeffrey Hammond:
I'll speak for the coalition forces, men and women of character and moral courage; we have a mission, and it's not until the mission is done that I can look my leader in the eye and say, 'Sir, Ma'am, mission accomplished,' and I think it is dangerous to leave anything a little early."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Your Liberal Media at Work

Daily Kos: John McCain's assigned reporter
Ms. Howell (Washington Post ombudsman) gave her usual tortured rationalizations to excuse shoddy reporting. But there was one interesting bit in her explanation:

The Post has teams of reporters on each candidate. Stephens, who came from the investigative unit, has been assigned to report on Obama; another reporter, Kimberley Kindy, is doing the same on McCain.

Joe Stephens is an investigative reporter who has won three Polk Awards, and is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. And Kimberly Kindy? She was hired by the Washington Post in May and hasn’t been heard from since writing two articles about McCain at the end of May.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Financial Crisis is BACK!!

U.S. Considers Takeover of Two Mortgage Giants -
Alarmed by the growing financial stress at the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, senior Bush administration officials are considering a plan to have the government take over one or both of the companies and place them in a conservatorship if their problems worsen, people briefed about the plan said on Thursday.

The companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Their shares are plummeting and their borrowing costs are rising as investors worry that the companies will suffer losses far larger than the $11 billion they have already lost in recent months. Now, as housing prices decline further and foreclosures grow, the markets are worried that Fannie and Freddie themselves may default on their debt.

Under a conservatorship, the shares of Fannie and Freddie would be worth little or nothing, and any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee — which could be staggering — would be paid by taxpayers.

I've written many times that the Perfect Storm must have an economic basis. Economic pain is a required element, even if it seems tangential to policy problems or personalities.

Gas prices, alone, would be enough to sink John McCain's increasingly ridiculous Presidential campaign.

The failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could easily take down the mortgage market, ending all house buying for a time, and threatening the solvency of the U.S. banking system, which is already in serious doubt. Yet, rescue would involve vast sums, and could well imperil the credit of the Federal government. And, of course, rescue is unmistakeably an act of class warfare.

Good times!