Shock: Wall Street Journal Praises Obama

Monday, August 11, 2008

This actually happened on Friday, but I didn’t get around to reading it until today. The Wall Street Journal, as conservative an editorial page as there is, actually praised Barack Obama for his strong dollar statements at a town hall forum in Ohio. Quoth the Journal:

This ought to be a bigger story. In linking the dollar to oil prices, Mr. Obama is pointedly at odds with the Bush Administration and Federal Reserve, both of which blame high commodity prices on supply and demand, despite falling demand due to slower global growth. Fed officials — in particular, Vice Chairman Donald Kohn — have expressly rejected any strong link between the dollar’s collapse and the oil price surge since last August.

This conveniently absolves the Fed and Bush Treasury of responsibility for the consequences of what has been their destructive and all but explicit dollar devaluation strategy. If the Illinois Senator rejects greenback debasement, that’s the best news to date about Obamanomics.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement but, considering the source, high praise indeed. For what it’s worth, Obama and the Journal are right. Bernanke has done a good job thus far containing the Housing Crisis/Credit Crunch, but inflation is on the march, and it’s spreading around the globe (despite the recent decline in the price of oil). It’s soon time for him to begin hiking rates. This will help control prices and help Bernanke find balance in fighting the many ills afflicting our economy.

In any case, maybe the Wall Street Journal has begun to see that Obama is this country’s best bet for the future. It is frightening to think of the impulsive and disorganized John McCain in charge of the world’s largest economy. I imagine the editors of the Wall Street Journal must sometimes realize that same fear.


The Hillary Hags Are So Over

Monday, August 11, 2008

Now that Barack Obama has announced Hillary Night at the Democratic Convention it is absolutely time for the Hillary Hags to call it a day. I enjoyed their antics – the weak organization, the outsized press coverage, the outraged feminist sputum – at first, but their act quickly grew tired. My feeling now? Please go ahead and vote for John McCain. Feed his coffers. Stay away from the Democrats.

Of course, that won’t happen in a million years and everyone knows it. Just say the word “abortion” and these women will sprint to the voting booth for Obama, threats to the contrary aside. So, ladies, accept your candidate Barack (He’s a Man) Obama and please stop whining.

To which the Hillary Hags would undoubtedly respond: “We won’t stop until we decide to stop.”

OK, don’t. You’re so not important anymore. Hillary will have her celebration (and this, believe me, is more than she deserves. Those people in Appalachia were not voting for Hillary Clinton, they were voting against Barack Obama.) And these 40,000 or so women, whose lives are wrapped up in Hillary’s candidacy, can just talk and hug it out in private (or in public, it doesn’t make a difference). No one will pay attention anymore.

I do have to say, for entertainment value, reading about this furor has been fun. Nothing gives me more pleasure that to see the various factions of the identity politics coalition tear themselves apart. Can you imagine the mental gymnastics necessary for a black, feminist woman to have to make to reach a decision? For this reason alone, Barack Obama is worth supporting.

At any rate, cheers to the Hillary Hags. Enjoy the convention, gain catharsis, and have fun in the voting booth.

A Clear Conditions-Driven Timeline

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Iraqi government continues to insist on using Barack Obama’s plan in negotiating the long-term security agreement with the U.S. The Bush administration is on the verge of agreeing to those very same terms.

So…remind me again, why do we need John McCain?

Why Isn’t McCain Doing Better?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Despite the coordinated effort of conservatives to create doubts about Barack Obama by wondering in public why he isn’t doing better in the polls (Rove, Hansen, yesterday alone), Obama continues to hold a slight lead on John McCain. According to RCP, Obama is ahead by better than the margin of error (MoE) in nationwide polling. He leads in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and is within the MoE in Florida.

In short, for a black guy with a Muslim name and a dark-skinned black wife, he’s doing fucking great.

Republicans are working this angle as a means to attack Obama. Yeah, they want you to say, why isn’t he ahead by more? After all, the economy is tanking. Gas is more than $4 a gallon. The black guy should be up by ten points. There must be something wrong with him.

But the better question is, why isn’t McCain surging?

He is a white, establishment war hero with a beauty queen wife. His main (only) issue, Iraq, is going very well largely because of a tactic he advocated long before it was fashionable. America loves a maverick. This guy should be ahead by ten points.

Obama, frankly, has been lucky. He’s going to have to start firing back in order to maintain and expand his lead. He will have to remind voters of McCain’s weaknesses. McCain is a man without a clue on the economy who hired Phil (Quit Whining) Gramm as his chief economic adviser. He is a Washington insider who has coasted through life on his father’s connections and wife’s fortune (yeah, I know, McCain will bring up the POW thing. It doesn’t qualify him to be president). Lastly, he is deeply dishonest, old, and more than a little unstable. He is not fit to run a pet store, never mind the White House. Obama needs to remind Americans that if they want a full scale war in the Middle East all they have to do is push the lever for McCain.

Right now, Obama is benefiting from Bush fatigue, but, make no mistake, McCain is the favorite in the race. Obama has to watch his back and hit McCain in his many, many weak spots as hard as he can.

Iraq Withdrawal Agreement Near

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The AP is reporting that two Iraqi officials have said that the Iraqis are near an agreement with the U.S. to have all combat troops out by 2010.

The proposed agreement calls for Americans to hand over parts of Baghdad’s Green Zone — where the U.S. Embassy is located — to the Iraqis by the end of 2008. It would also remove U.S. forces from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, according to the two senior officials, both close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and familiar with the negotiations.

Will John McCain call it a defeat? It sure smells like victory.

McCain’s Vietnam Neurosis

Thursday, August 7, 2008

For John McCain to suffer from complex psychological issues resulting from his Vietnam experience is understandable. He fought in that war, and was a tortured prisoner of the North Vietnamese for five years. In end, in his mind, we lost.

That is the accepted historical understanding of Vietnam. I think a case could be made that we lost the battle of Vietnam but won the war against communism in southeast Asia, in large part, because of that battle. But that is not the point of this post.

The point is that John McCain’s suffers from a debilitating neurosis as a result of his Vietnam experience. Neurosis is defined as:

a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, and compulsive acts dominate the personality.

In attempting the frame the question of Iraq during the campaign, John McCain repeatedly states that he will “never surrender” and that by following his plan our troops will leave with “victory and honor.”

He also states that we are “winning” in Iraq. On the military front, he’ll get no argument from most people. Petraeus and the troops are winning in Iraq (I say they have won). The surge really has worked.

But his rhetoric raises an obvious contradiction. If we are winning, why compulsively repeat this business about never surrendering? And why obsess about victory and honor when they are so close at hand? The answer, McCain will say, is that we haven’t won yet.

But the question that arises then is this: If we haven’t won yet, when will we win? And why does only John McCain get to declare victory?

Sound neurotic? It is.

By continually snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, McCain is stripping the military of the praise and reward it rightfully deserves. Our troops have done a brilliant job in securing the country and creating the conditions for political compromise and reconciliation. Why not give them full credit?

It is because John McCain suffers from a syndrome (he’s not alone in this) that contrasts Iraq with Vietnam (and both wars with World War II).

What he has failed to grasp is that America is different than it was in 1968, and that America will not reject its soldiers, but will welcome them as heroes and thank them for a job well done. There is no reason to keep them there until Americans will respect them. We already do. John McCain is guarding against a forty year-old phantom.

Secondarily, he is waiting for a resolution that, unlike World War II, will never come. There will be no surrender from the Sunni extremists and Iranian-allied Shia. There will be no peace treaty on our terms and Marshall Plan for Iraq. Any reasonable person can see this. But John McCain is not reasonable. He is suffering from Vietnam syndrome and it puts our troops in danger.

The fact is, the Iraqi military is ready to stand up, so it is now time for America to stand down. Not on our knees, as John McCain would have it, but with pride, honor, and yes, John McCain, victory.

What happens after that? Well, that’s a political issue, and that battle was lost from the start by McCain, George W. Bush, and the rest of their neocon brethren. Don’t hold our troops hostage to your ideological dreams.

For John McCain, the best thing to do might be to seek psychological help. The Vietnam War is over. It would be a good thing for him and for us, if he came to that realization.

Iraq’s $79 Billion Surplus

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I’ll have more to write on this when I get a chance, but for now, here’s the article by James Glanz in the New York Times. The short version? Iraq is sitting on a pile of loot while America goes into debt to pay for our presence there.

At nearly $1 trillion and counting, the Iraq war is destroying this country’s economic flexibility at a time when we need it most.