“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain v. Obama

Friday night at the EB

Obama came out swinging, ready to rumble but McCain came back. Who won? Who knows? The polls may tell but it looks like a draw to me.

Obama did not stutter and stammer, possibly because he was repeating what he has said a thousand times on the campaign trail.

McCain missed a big opportunity to point out that it has been repeatedly shown that tax cuts lead to increased receipts in the treasury.

McCain carried on about two sentences too long on the issue of veterans but his command of foreign leaders and the issues was impressive and not matched by Obama.

Also, I thought McCain scored well on Pakistan. It's as if Obama, like some of us haven't figured that COIN is the only way we're going to resolve the problem of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the FATA.

The big question which may be answered at this election is do the American people want a big nanny state. Have they been convinced that they're hurting and struggling and must have a government bailout.

Obama plays to the downtrodden, the oppressed, the victims. McCain tries to appeal to the strengths of the American character. Obama plays his role well but McCain is no Ronald Reagan.

It was very interesting when McCain went after Obama for saying that it was irresponsible or imprudent for him to say "outloud" that he would go into Pakistan, Obama came back with you said, "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."


  1. I was impressed with McCain. Obama is smart and determined, but his lack of experience came through and he looked rattled at times.

    I honestly do not believe that he would be a good president.

    Obama wisely decided to keep running against George Bush.

  2. Obama also used every opportunity to go to talking points.

  3. McCain came off somewhat the better. I am sure of this as Gene Burns at KGO is struggling to say Obama fought it to a draw, and he's an Obama guy.

    The theory at KGO is Obama was told to be deferential to the old man, and McCain came off as condescending.

    I'd like to see Obama torn into face to face sometime, as he is ripped on some of the better talk radio shows, but it never seems to happen.

    To me it seems Obama has gotten a get out of a hole free pass on all this Wright, Ayers etc etc stuff, which I can't understand. But then, I don't see any of the tv ads out here in the boondocks.

  4. He, Obama, came across as simply repeated memorized lines. You know he stammers and stutters when he's speaking extemporaneously.

    The spinning is fierce on Fox News. "McCain won." "No, Obama won." Also, Fox has an survey that you can text to: So far, 86% say McCain won.

  5. Fastest ad in American political history--

    Obama concedes that McCain Is Absolutely Right

  6. I think that McCain showed that as a 72 year old man, he's up to the challenge. Anyone watching would have to concede the experience factor.

    Obama is very good though. Very smooth. Almost slick like Willie.

    It was interesting to see how Obama's positions have changed over the course of his campaign. He's sounding downright moderate. Nothing like the "most liberal member of the Senate."

    I bet the far left will not be happy with him as he tries to compete for that 10% of voters in the middle.

  7. Both get a failing grade, but Obama more so. Obama missed a great chance tonight.

    I think Obama could have turned on McCain and really discredited him by asking him point blank how is he going to finance the transition away from oil with a spending freeze, and without cutting the bloated military budget which accounts for 85% of Federal income receipts. Talking about $8 billion in wasteful earmarks spending, when $10 billion a month is wasted in Iraq and $1.4 trillion a year is spent on defense related expenses is joke. The real corruption is in the bloated military budget and these fake wars, and Obama needs to have the balls to say so.

  8. McCain got some praise from a variety of sources — CNN’s Bill Schneider and Politico’s Jonathan Martin. But the killer quote came from Henry Kissinger whom Obama had invoked to criticize McCain’s stance that we should not meet unconditionally with Ahmadinejad. Kissinger retorted: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

    Pajamas article

  9. Obama won. All he had to do was "not puke on the carpet." He didn't puke on the carpet.

  10. and without cutting the bloated military budget which accounts for 85% of Federal income receipts.

    Pie chart time.

    McCain was strong on nuclear energy, which, as I tirelessly say, is the only thing that's going to get us out of this pickle.

  11. Mat, your numbers on defense spending are silly. Do some research.

  12. Mat, your numbers on defense spending are silly. Do some research.

    Current yearly US Military expenditure

    $965 billion:

    • Military Personnel $129 billion
    • Operation & Maint. $241 billion
    • Procurement $143 billion
    • Research & Dev. $79 billion
    • Construction $15 billion
    • Family Housing $3 billion
    • DoD misc. $4 billion
    • Retired Pay $70 billion
    • DoE nuclear weapons $17 billion
    • NASA (50%) $9 billion
    • International Security $9 billion
    • Homeland Secur. (military) $35 billion
    • State Dept. (partial) $6 billion
    • other military (non-DoD) $5 billion
    • "Global War on Terror" $200 billion [$162 billion added to the last item to supplement the Budget's grossly underestimated $38 billion in "allowances" to be spent in 2009 for the "War on Terror," which includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan]

    Past Military expenditure

    $484 billion:

    • Veterans' Benefits $94 billion
    • Interest on national debt (80%) created by military spending, $390 billion

    $484 billion + $965 billion
    = $1,449 billion

    Current yearly US gov tax income

    $2,566 billion:

    • $1,163 billion - Individual income tax
    • $869.6 billion - Social Security other payroll taxes
    • $370.2 billion - Corporate income tax
    • $65.1 billion - Excise taxes
    • $26.0 billion - Customs duties
    • $26.0 billion - Estate and gift taxes
    • $47.2 billion - Other

    $2566 billion - $869 billion
    = $1,697 billion

    $1,449 billion / $1,697 billion
    x 100%
    = 85%

    Excluding Social Security, income from the equation, the percentage spent on the military related expenditures is 85%.


  13. Excluding Social Security income from the equation, the percentage spent on the military related expenditures is 85%.

  14. I haven't watched the debate yet but I'm struck by how, even hard core partisans like our hosts said:

    2164th said...
    I was impressed with McCain. Obama is smart and determined,...

    whit said...

    Obama is very good though. Very smooth. Almost slick like Willie.

    These things from Obama haters...uh oh for McCain.

    Now, to be fair, I should go to ObamaMessiah sites and pull similar things but, I'm here.

  15. That's just bizarre.

  16. That's just bizarre.

    Tell me what figure you want to dispute. Cause them are the facts.

  17. Now, to be fair, I should go to ObamaMessiah sites and pull similar things but, I'm here.

    Yes Ash, 2164th and whit among others do display integrity.

    I also wonder if you could find that from the Messiah sites.

  18. Excellent caller from KGO.
    Says he been in the hiring business all his life. Two kinds of people, talkers and knowers, doers. Always hire the knowers, doers. Talkers use abstractions, and, with the proper voice inflextion, tone and cadence, you can make a statement such as, "I would use our military wisely", which any 6th grader can say and agree with, and make it sound profound, even though really nothing has been said.

    McCain is the knower, doer of the two, Obama the talker.

    Hire McCain.

  19. John Shadegg on the money crisis--

    In Too Deep

    Working away from a “stunningly irresponsible” bailout.

    By David Freddoso

    Conservative Republican members of the House of Representatives have offered a “free-market alternative” to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion plan to bail out the mortgage industry. Arizona’s John Shadegg talked to National Review Online about the state of negotiations Friday night.

    What would you consider the definition of “success,” in terms of what Congress is trying to accomplish?

    I believe the definition of success would be passing financial legislation that … ensures no financial collapse, no job loss, but also results in no burden going forward on average Americans, in terms of taxpayers. The original proposal that Secretary Paulson put forward, I’m convinced was not the best idea to do that …

    Is a bailout necessary to save the economy at this point from complete collapse — from a major failure of multiple institutions at the same time?

    I think that’s the most difficult question that could be posed under these circumstances, and it’s the question that I have struggled all week to find the answer to. I have talked to a lot of smart people who know Wall Street, know banking, know the economy quite well, and you hear different opinions. Some will tell you that it is absolutely essential. Quite frankly, I’m skeptical about that.

    But I think that in some ways the question doesn’t matter any more. Because Secretary Paulson chose to raise the matter in the way he did — that is, to go public in a very high-profile way, not just with his concern, but with a kind of Chicken-Little, the-sky-is-falling kind of demand — it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    That is to say, once the secretary of the Treasury announces to the world that there is a pending financial collapse, perhaps as great as the Great Depression, and Congress must act — he has sent a signal that essentially tells world markets that Congress must act. I will tell you that has been one of the most frustrating things about this since the very beginning...

    I can’t tell you how many members of Congress were stunned at that news, and were stunned that none of their local bankers were calling them. And then they called their local bankers, as I called my local bankers, and my local bankers said, “I think things are just fine.” I talked to one banker who said, “Gosh, we’ve got money, and we’re liquid, and we’re making a profit. And we’re in the market selling loans, and we’ve got competitors trying to sell loans against us.”

    So, at that point, there’s a disconnect. Secretary Paulson is claiming that this is a catastrophe of generational proportions that could go worldwide. And none of what we were hearing back home matches that. And I’m not speaking just for myself, but also for many of my colleagues who were making similar calls. They weren’t being called by their bankers, or by any of the businesses back home saying, “I can’t borrow any money”.... If, in fact, Paulson had struck a chord with the American banking community, wouldn’t you think that after he announced on Friday that there was a crisis of liquidity that threatens the entire nation’s financial solvency and Americans’ jobs from coast to coast, that my community bankers in Arizona wouldn’t have been picking up the phone by Monday morning, if not over the weekend, to say that “I share the Secretary’s concerns”?

    The proposal for an FDIC-style agency that is funded by Wall Street sufficient to solve the current crisis — is it necessary?

    I think it is a dramatically better vehicle than what Mr. Paulson proposed. And if he is absolutely convinced that is not sufficient, then it’s his job to step forward now and show that he has actually listened to the proposal and make the case for why it isn’t sufficient. Do I know if it’s necessary? ... Now that Paulson has made the assertion that we are in deep trouble, he in fact has to send the signal that we are taking the potential of the serious troubles seriously... He has not done a very good job of making his case, he has not had people rallying to his side, saying he’s absolutely right... If you’re in the banking business now and you’re a lender, you’re going to say “Wow, Paulson says the government has got to get involved... I guess I’ll wait until I see what the government involvement is going to be.” And so there may have been some restriction in lending this week. And I’m inclined to believe that’s because Secretary Paulson said there’s a problem...

    Can this afford to wait a little longer, to make sure that the bill is right? And when you say in your press release that you’re “cautiously optimistic,” are you just getting my hopes up or do you think we may avoid a massive bailout of Wall Street here?

    What I’m “cautiously optimistic” about is that rather than passing a terrible nightmare put forth by Secretary Paulson — as was proposed earlier in the week — I’m cautiously optimistic that in fact we are in fact going to revise that proposal in ways that will make it quite dramatically better. The insurance proposal — that’s dramatically better... There was language earlier in the executive draft that would have the government take ownership interest in all the banks that brought assets to the table to be bought. I have a real problem with government owning a whole bunch of those assets and government partially controlling them. Can you imagine a banking system, going forward, where the government owns a part — a third of these banks, or even half? .... So I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be a dramatically better proposal — quite frankly because of John McCain. Prior to John McCain saying, in the Cabinet Room [Thursday], “Here are my five points, and beyond that, I’m with House Republicans,” Henry Paulson was attempting to use fear — and it was... fear-mongering — in an effort to stampede the Congress. And the only people standing in his way at the time were House Republicans — from passing his bad idea which was $700 billion to spend without restrictions, and in a stunningly irresponsible way...

    What about funding for ACORN? Can that be eliminated?

    One of the things we’ve put on the table is either a complete elimination of funding going to ACORN, or a restructuring of that language to the point where it is unlikely funds would ever flow to them. And I have heard House Republicans say, “I will never vote for a bill that allows a dime to go to ACORN” …

    According to the polls I’ve seen, the public opposes the bailout — it could be an issue as powerful as the drilling issue... Does it also give you a way to distance yourself from President Bush?

    I certainly want to distance myself from him on this issue, anyway. Look — President Bush has a tendency to surround himself with smart people, and to trust them... Secretary Paulson earned that trust, evidently. And in this case, I would say he has abused that trust. And you can put that on the record.

  20. Since Pelosi is smiling again, you know it's Fucked.

    The biggest outrage of this season is the complete fabrication by the lying Dems of what took place at the Whitehouse.

    Barry was put in charge by the Dems, the place blew up, and the big lie they all repeated afterward was that it was all John's fault.

    That disgusting POS Schumer repeated several times that John should "Get Out of Town"
    ...maybe C4 has a point for turds like that.

    Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, what lowlife scumbags to lead a national party.
    Shameless liars and hypocrits.

    McCain had nothing to do with it, but those scumbags, knowing the MSM would carry the water for whatever lies they decided to spin, all repeated the Fabricated Talking Point ad nauseum.

  21. paragraphs. No slight meant to you…BTW it doesn’t look like we’re ever gonna get around to what I did at CIA during part of my career that allowed me to be here, there etc..well here it is…I was a clandestine courier. I got to act and dress as a semi long hair. I would get to site X deliver the goods and then go to site Y. If the station chiefs at any of those places needed support I was, as were the other eleven of us available for helping out. We were all former military with combat experience and other training. So that’s how it was done. I never said I flew the SR-71 but it was in my sphere…I would often take the briefing orders to the crew, wait for the mission e.g. Operation Long Reach and then escort the film canisters’ back to NPIC, etc.
    Now don't you all feel guilty?

  22. exhelodrvr:

    What SR-71 det were you with in Peshawar?

  23. "Why, the 2164th, of course."

    As if you didn't know

  24. Obama repeated his assertion about what kind of stand he took, and the courage and foresight required to oppose the War in Iraq.

    ...left out was the fact that he was not a member of either the US House or Senate at the time, and that in the environment where he resided at the time, (Chicago) taking a stand against the War was the easiest thing to do.

    Courage would have been required to speak out FOR the War!

    High point was when he responded to a challenge to his Foreign Affairs expertise by listing Joe Biden's credentials in the field!

    McCain should have loudly condemned the Democrat Criminals responsible for destroying Fannie and Freddie and carrying home the loot.

    Ditto on having Dodd and Barney Frank, two of the most culpable politicians, lead the way in addressing and solving the problems *they* created!

  25. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't

    Welcome to the World of Maverick

    Unless Ms Sarah was sowing low expectations in her talk with Katie, that's gonna be a long night

  26. "No. wait, it was the 193rd Inf Bde., that's it"

  27. "Oh, that Peshawar.

    3/7 SFG, yeah, that's it."

  28. In a choice beetween a talker and a doer, if that is the choice.
    One must ask, what will the "doer" do? What tasks will be requiring action, as opposed inaction?

    What MORE should the Federals take on?

    Better to have Obama talk about taxes, than to have Maverick act as if we were all Georgians, now.

  29. As regards Iran, Mr Bush knows the Deal, when he said to to Mr Olmert.

    The risks of military action far out weigh the rewards, for US.
    The position of the US is clear, does the "best" way forward revolve around talking, or not?

    Because preemptive "military option" IS off the table.
    Our troop levels in Iraq make it so.
    Tjere are just to few to fight, post surge, a greater battle in Iraq.

    COIN Ops, amigos, are no panacea. There is a reason the US military shied away from them for so long.
    They are not politically sustainable, utilizing US troops thusly prove unsuccessful, strategicly.

  30. Who was the guy that tried to collect the ten diamonds from Habu for outing his multiple resumes?

  31. whiskey 57 or something like that?

    Not the whiskey that posts now.

    Heck, I can't remember for sure.

    Wasn't jwillie was it?