Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adventures on Craigslist

This may expose my immaturity, but this blog describing various adventures on Craigslist made me laugh.

L.A. Times Obama VIdeo

The L.A. Times is still refusing to release a 2003 video of Obama at a dinner honoring his long time friend Rashid Khalidi (William Ayers was also in attendance). Khalidi is the former mouthpiece for one of the centuries' most prominent terrorists, Yassar Arafat. The L.A. Times reported that guests said many racist, offensive things about Israel. The L.A. Times refuses even to release a transcript from the video.

This highlights two important aspects of this campaign. One, the despicable bias the media has for Obama. If the L.A. Times had a video of McCain at a Klan rally is there any doubt it would be broadcast non-stop between now and Tuesday? And please don't tell me that hating and promoting violence against Jews is different than doing the same to African-Americans. Two, Khalidi is just the next in a long line of close Obama associates with whom you wouldn't shake hands. Obama can't seem to find anyone on the far left who is too radical to embrace. Instead he gravitates toward those with the most radical and dangerous views. Everything we know about Obama indicates that he is a radical. He may not share all the views of Ayers, Rev. Wright, and Khalidi, but he is far left of even mainstream Democrats. How can anyone feel comfortable voting for this man?

Another interesting story: did William Ayers ghost write Obama's book Dreams Of My Father?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yes, my beloved NBA is back. If only I could watch the Pistons every night. If you like the NBA as much as I do (I know it's much trendier to be into college basketball, so you don't have to tell anybody) check out Bill Simmons' preview on, it's pretty funny.

As for predictions, I think the Lakers make it back to the Finals, but the Celtics are really going to miss James Posey. The Cavs new scoring point guard, Mo Williams, puts them over the edge. Lakers beat the Cavs 4-2 in the Finals.

I'll differ from Simmons a little bit on my playoff teams. The East: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, Washington. The West: Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Utah, Dallas, Portland.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


McCain is finally sounding pretty good:

We finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is, spread the wealth. In a radio interview revealed this week, he said the same thing, that one of the, quote, tragedies of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about redistributive change. You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He said that even though lower taxes on investment help our economy, he favors higher taxes on investment for, quote, fairness. There's nothing fair about driving our economy into the ground!

He's more interested in controlling wealth than creating it! And redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I'm going to create wealth for all Americans by creating opportunity for all Americans! Senator Obama is running to be-redistributionist-in-chief. I'm running to be commander-in-chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful.

One additional thought on the Obama interview I posted yesterday from Thomas Jefferson (one of those darn founding fathers who tried to put obstacles in the way of politicians like Obama):
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government.

Monday, October 27, 2008



Obama claims that he will cut taxes for 95% of Americans. When confronted with the fact that more than 30% of Americans don't pay any income taxes (15% more very little) and that this would require checks to be sent to these people, he modified the plan to include a "work requirement," as if it makes sense to send welfare checks (paid for by someone else, against their will) to people as long as they are working. Obama's "tax calculator" ad claims to show your tax cut under his plan vs. John McCain's. It shows no tax cut under McCain's plan for anyone making less than $250,000. This is a complete falsehood, equal to the Obama's other lies like associating McCain with Hispanic slurs, cutting Medicare and cutting Social Security.

McCain's health care plan provides a big tax cut for all Americans. Obama and Biden have done their best to distort the plan, but every independent analysis of the plan has shown that it benefits 95% of Americans. The plan provides a $5,000 tax credit to everyone who wants to buy their own health plan. A tax credit is different than a deduction. If you owed $10,000 in taxes, but bought your own health plan, you would now owe $5,000. Isn't that a tax cut?

Obama says this plan will cause people to lose their employer based insurance, but that's kind of the point. Obama either doesn't understand economics or is being intentionally misleading. Your health insurance from your employer is part of your compensation. Your total compensation is based on the value of your work to your employer and the availability of workers with comparable skills. McCain's plan would encourage many people to choose to get all of their compensation in cash and then buy their own health insurance. They would get an increase in take home pay and a tax cut.

More importantly, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire in 2010. Then 100% of people that pay income tax will get a tax increase, though Obama doesn't see it that way - he considers it the end of a tax cut. Don't you see the difference. McCain would extend the Bush tax cuts and he would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which would save working families with children ensnared by the AMT an average of $2700 a year.

Obama has also proposed raising the payroll taxes for anyone making over $94,700 a year and would raise capital gains taxes from 15% to 20%, a substantial tax increase for the 50% of Americans who own stock. And let's not forget his new taxes on businesses, which will be passed down to you through higher prices.

I guess the calculator missed a few things.

Wealth Redistribution

This is a truly alarming 2001 radio interview with Barack Obama. He states that the greatest failure of the civil rights movement was that the "Supreme Court didn't pursue distribution of wealth, didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution... Generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you. But it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. One of the tragedies of the civil rights movement [was that it became] so court focused... [causing a] tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities... through which bring about redistributive change."

In the interview, he is clearly not debating the right or wrong of income redistribution. He sees income redistribution as an important civil rights issue and offers a strategy on how to achieve it.

How can he place his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution when he clearly has disdain for it and hopes to put Supreme Court justices on the bench that will "break free from the essential constraints were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution?"

The man is a radical leftist doing his best to fool enough moderates and mainstream Democrats to win an election. If you are a moderate, you have much more in common with John McCain.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama and Fairness

Senator Obama promises to bring about more "fairness," in our tax code and in life in general in this country. Obama and Biden have equated higher taxes with being "patriotic" (Biden) and "neighborliness" (Obama). In an interview, Charlie Gibson noted that historically, when capital gains taxes were raised, tax revenues from capital gains fell. Obama didn't think that was important, he maintained that he would raise capital gains for "purposes of fairness." Who cares if it hurts the country? It's more fair.

Who can be opposed to fairness? Everybody wants fairness. We just might not want to go for Obama's definition. The problem is that Obama thinks equality is the measure of fairness. If you work hard and achieve success, it's not "fair" because there are others who didn't achieve the same success. In trying to correct this "injustice" Obama then would hurt everyone in his attempt to even things out. If you watch the clip, it doesn't even bother him that raising capital gains taxes would likely lower tax revenues. It achieves the goal of fairness.

Raising the capital gains tax would cause a massive sell off, driving the stock market and other investments even lower. Wayne Huizenga, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, is desperately trying to sell the team because as he told ESPN, he is trying to avoid paying higher capital gains taxes if Obama is elected. Higher taxes on capital gains discourages investment and job growth requires investment.

Obama clearly feels that the intentions of his policies are more important than the results of his policies. Consider our current financial crisis, triggered by Democratic policies intended to help people with poor credit buy houses. Obama sees nothing wrong with how his party handled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, viewing the intended social goal as more important than the result: massive destruction of wealth that could trigger a global recession.

Results are more important than intentions. Freedom is more important than "fairness."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AP Poll: Race Now Tied

Hope you didn't put too much stock into the media's take on the third debate. They marched in lock step, saying Obama won the debate. Too bad the voters thought otherwise. The latest AP pool (among likely voters) show that McCain made up significant ground since the debate, closing the gap to 43% vs. 42%. The media is trying their hardest to get Obama elected, but it might not be enough.

I subscribe to Newsweek, for reasons that are often unclear to me. The last four issues have been non-stop Obama cheer leading and McCain/Palin bashing. I don't recall a single article in the last four issues supporting a McCain presidency. One cover called Obama "Mr. Cool", contrasting him with McCain as "Mr. Hot" (Obama is so cool and collected, as opposed to that maniac, John McCain). Another with Sarah Palin proclaimed "She's One of the Folks (and that's the problem)." Another Palin cover dug up an unflattering, six year old photo of her holding a shotgun (she's one of those gun nuts!).

This will be a close election. The pollsters want to influence the election (and discourage Republicans), but they also want to be right. The closer we get to Nov. 4, the closer the polls will get to the true feelings of likely voters.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden: World Thinks Obama is Weak

Senator Biden: "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

Do we really need more international crises? Wouldn't it be better to have a president who didn't invite our enemies to challenge us? We live in dangerous times, with the challenge of Muslim extremism, Russian aggression, and the ever expanding power of China. Our enemies know John McCain means business. As Biden readily admits, they don't feel the same about Obama. Biden was asked during the primary whether Obama was ready to be president. He replied, "I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

Compare that to what Biden has said about John McCain: "America would be well served [by a McCain presidency]," and "I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, I think the country would be better off."

McCain responded: "America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested, my friends." I think I might like Palin's response even better: "I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden's next speaking engagement."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Down to Two Points

McCain had his best debate performance last night and the polls are moving. Gallup has Obama up 49% to McCain's 47% among likely voters, within the margin of error. However, I felt like McCain could have done much better.

On the abortion question, McCain failed to articulate why we need originalist judges on the Supreme Court instead of activist judges. The point is not whether or not the judges are personally pro-life or pro-abortion, but whether they believe in interpreting the Constitution based on its original intent. Roe v. Wade is an example of judicial activism, where judges somehow found a "right" to abortion in the Constitution where there is none. Their ruling usurped the right of the states to decide this issue. An originalist judge would overrule Roe v. Wade regardless of their personal views on abortion and then each state would pass legislation regarding abortion. And the bill that Obama opposed that would force hospitals to care for babies born after botched abortions? It did not infringe upon a woman's "right" to an abortion at all. It is understandable that Obama would lie about this, given how reprehensible his position on the issue is.

On the economy, McCain didn't explain how the Democrats have screwed our economy through their meddling in the housing industry. McCain and Republicans attempted to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were opposed by Democrats. The bad loans encouraged by Democratic policies are what have caused this meltdown. Does Obama still want to increase capital gains taxes? That would really help my 401k come back.

On taxes, McCain didn't ask Obama to explain how he can cut taxes for 95% of Americans when only about 65% of Americans pay income taxes. McCain did make the case forcefully that raising anyone's taxes during times like these is a recipe for disaster. Obama maintains that it's only "fair" to raise taxes on businesses. As McCain noted, American corporations already pay the second highest tax rates in the developed world. Obama doesn't seem to understand that this country doesn't have some special right to the trillions in capital around the world. If investors can get a better return somewhere else, the money will go there, taking the jobs with it. Also, if we increase corporate taxes, who do you think pays for the increase? They are passed down to you and I through higher prices, in effect taxing us instead.

This Gallup poll is encouraging. The undecided voters are often people that don't pay much attention to politics until the end. They also tend to blame the incumbent for a weak economy. Hopefully McCain can keep making the case for his plan for the economy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

U.S. Outgrows Debt Clock

The national debt is now over $10 trillion and no longer fits on the National Debt Clock in Times Square. Here's the Onion's take. This video is pretty funny too: "Gunman Kills 15 Potential Voters in Crucial Swing State."

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Real Life Socialist

There is now a smoking gun connecting Barack Obama to bona fide socialism. Not liberalism, not leftist ideology, but pure socialism. During Obama's State Senate run, Obama joined forces with the Chicago "New Party" to win the Democratic nomination. The New Party was established by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to help socialists win Democratic primaries. Understanding that as a third party they would have little impact, their goal was to promote the Socialist movement by supporting socialists who were running in Democratic primaries.

The DSA covered up Obama's membership in the now defunct New Party, but at least four sources, the New Party's website (Obama's name had been purged from the site, but was found in web archives) the "Progressive Populist" magazine, the Columbus Free Post and the DSA's newsletter all show that Obama was indeed a New Party candidate in 1996. E.g.:"Illinois: Three NP-members won Democratic primaries last Spring and face off against Republican opponents on election day: Danny Davis (U.S. House), Barack Obama (State Senate) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)."

Obama took advantage of technicalities of election law to remove all of his competitors from the ballot for his 1996 Illinois State Senate run. Even though he didn't need to, he sought out the endorsement of the New Party. The New Party required candidates pledge their support for the party. Obama wasn't merely associated with this socialist group, he was a member of the socialist group. His alliances with William Ayers, Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, and ACORN, as well as his voting record in the State Senate and the U.S. Senate do nothing to indicate that Obama has changed these anti-American, dangerous views since 1996. Consider this video.

In case you need a reminder of why socialism is one of the great evils in world history, the American Thinker details why Obama's commitment to socialism is important:

Regardless of Obama’s presumed good intentions, socialism always brings a society to a bad ending. I don’t want to believe that Americans who live in a free society that allows people to think what they will, do what they want, and succeed if they can, will willingly hand themselves over to the socialist ideology. They must therefore be reminded, again and again and again, that socialism isn’t just another political party; it’s the death knell to freedom. So remember, while McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

McCain's Letter

Here is the letter from Senator McCain and 19 other Senators, sent in 2006, demanding reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The letter said it was "...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail."

Neither Obama nor any other Democrat signed the letter. If Congress had acted on McCain's recommendations we might have avoided this economic crisis and I might have the courage to look at my 401k. Unfortunately, Democrats fought reform tooth and nail, perhaps preferring the political benefits of providing "affordable housing" to their constituents and the campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie. Is this the party we want in charge of Washington?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McCain's Healthcare Plan

Obama and Biden have been distorting McCain's health care plan both in the debates and in commercials. Obama says it will be a net tax on you and that you'll be less likely to have insurance. This is absolutely false.

The average employer contribution to family coverage is $9,325. Everyone with employer contributions under $20,000 benefits under McCain's plan. McCain's plan allows for you to have a $5,000 tax credit to buy health insurance for your family if your job doesn't include it as part of your compensation. Most jobs would probably still offer health insurance in order to attract good employees, but the new tax credit may encourage some people to choose to get their own insurance and get more in cash from their employer.

One advantage to having individual health insurance is that it is portable if you switch jobs. McCain's plan also allows you to shop across state lines for the plan that fits your needs best. Obama considers this incredibly dangerous because you are too stupid to know which plan to choose. States usually weigh down insurance plans with too much regulation. Liberals love it when the government requires insurance companies to cover everything, but it makes insurance incredibly expensive. You might want a more basic plan you can actually afford, but the state government has probably made that plan illegal. McCain would allow you to choose from plans offered around the country. McCain also favors tort reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits that also drive health care costs up. Obama opposes tort reform, as do most Democrats who get millions from trial lawyers.

Obama's plan is to force employers to either provide health insurance or to pay a fine to the government (Obama says "asking employers" instead of "forcing" like they would have any choice in the matter). It's really impossible to know the impact of this plan because Obama refuses to say how much the fine would be. If it is high, it would encourage employers to offer health benefits, but it would also destroy jobs for people who currently don't have health insurance because many employers wouldn't be able to afford it. If the fine is low, it would encourage the employer to just enroll the employee in the government's plan and we would see a mass exodus from private insurance plans into the government plan. Voila, government run health care. All-knowing government officials would then ration health care to keep down costs and the free markets role in health care would be over.

Monday, October 06, 2008

MLB Payrolls and World Series Success

Now that the White Sox and the Cubs have made hasty exits from post season play, the whole city of Chicago is now on suicide watch. The 5th and the 7th highest payrolls respectively netted exactly one playoff win and the Yankees, Tigers and Mets failed to reach the post season altogether despite having the three highest payrolls (although the Tigers were close, they only missed the playoffs by 14.5 games).

This got my friend Rudi and I thinking. What is the relationship between payroll and post season success? While our wives rolled their eyes and talked about more meaningful things (like the Hills), we punched the numbers into Excel.

As you can see in the graph, many World Series champs had payrolls that exceeded the median payroll by over 50%. Only 5 out of the last 19 champs had payrolls within 5% of the median ('89 A's, '90 Reds, '91 Twins, '02 Angels, and '03 Marlins). As for the big spenders, 9 out of 19 had a top 3 payroll and 11 out of 19 had a top 5 payroll. The highest payroll won the World Series 4 times.

With 30 teams in Major League Baseball, each team theoretically has a 3.3% chance to win the World Series. However, in the last 20 years at least, if you have the highest payroll, you win 21% of the time. Your odds are dramatically improved, but you'll still lose 79% of the time.

Of the teams that are left, the Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers have top 10 payrolls, the Phillies are near the median and the Rays are second to last. The Rays payroll is about half that of the median and a little more than a third of the White Sox. Go Rays!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Gosh Darn It, Joe!

National Review Online has a good article about Biden's debate performance. Biden was lying through his teeth through most of the debate.

For the most part, these were gross exaggerations or convenient fictions aimed to allow him to make a point he couldn’t otherwise support. How to answer the charge that he and Obama voted for a budget resolution that called for taxing Americans making $42,000? Assert that John McCain voted for it too, although he didn’t. How to argue that we’re paying no attention to Afghanistan? Claim repeatedly that we spend more in Iraq in three weeks than we have spent in Afghanistan in seven years, although that’s very far from true. How to explain his vote for the Iraq war in light of his subsequent views? Say it wasn’t a war resolution, though it was. And on and on Joe went.

Biden misrepresented McCain's views on deregulating the banking and health care industry. The Washington Post says Biden's claim that McCain's healthcare plan would result in the middle class paying more for health insurance and in taxes was a "fabrication." Part of McCain's plan is to allow you to buy insurance from out of state (currently illegal). This is what Biden calls "deregulation." McCain's plan would make health care more affordable, give you more control, and make it portable if you switch jobs.

Biden claimed that McCain has special tax cuts planned for oil companies. This is untrue. McCain wants to lower corporate tax rates for all corporations, not just oil companies. And who does Biden think pays corporate taxes? They are passed down to us through higher prices.

Sarah just turned me on to It's an online radio station that only plays songs you like. You start with typing in a band you like and then it plays songs from that artist and artists that are similar. Pandora learns more about your taste in music as you rate the songs it plays. For example, I started with Wilco and I've heard artists like Ryan Adams, the Flaming Lips, and Mason Jennings. If you listen to a wide range of music, just create different channels for the different styles. It's a great way to discover new music or just to have playing while you check email. I think you can share channels with your friends but I haven't gotten that far yet.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Palin Takes Off the Gloves

After the debate, Governor Palin said “Some of [Obama's] comments that he has made about the war that I think may — in my world– disqualifies someone from consideration as the next commander in chief. Some of his comments about Afghanistan and what we are doing there supposedly– just air raiding villages and killing civilians. That’s reckless."

I can think of a few other comments or positions that should disqualify him for the presidency in the minds of Americans. Electing a president with Obama's extreme left views would be more shameful than Clinton's indiscretions.

  • William Ayers is "respectable" and "mainstream" despite being a completely unrepentant terrorist.
  • Obama's arguments against making infanticide illegal for babies that survive botched abortions. He argued that protecting the "right" to abortion was more important than protecting innocent, born alive, babies.
  • Choosing an America-hating, racist pastor to be his spiritual adviser and attending his church for 20 years.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Debate Tonight

I'm looking forward to the VP Debate tonight. Random thoughts:

Hopefully Senator Biden's plane lands safely, without being forced down by enemy fire.

Great choice for moderator tonight, Gwen Ifill is committed ideologically and financially to an Obama win. She violated journalism ethics by failing to disclose to the Commission on Presidential Debates that she has a book coming out on inauguration day titled "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." She's probably studying Charlie Gibson right now to learn how to look at Palin with contempt after every answer.

Joe Biden should be a formidable debater. After all, he received academic distinction in college, was the "outstanding student in political science," "graduated with three degrees," "went to law school on a full scholarship - the only one in [his] class to have a full academic scholarship," won an international moot court competition, and finished in the top 1/2 of his law school class. Oh wait, I forgot, he made up every one of those claims.

Palin should be debating Obama and let Biden debate McCain. That way we'd get the debate between the inexperienced candidates out of the way first.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Blame Game

Obama says the financial crisis is like a house fire - we need to put it out before worrying about who started it. McCain has taken the same position. They are both wrong. Right now, the arsonist is grabbing the fire hoses.

It is important to know why this crisis has happened so we can fix it. The Democrats pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make risky loans to people with poor credit. Knowing that risky investments have a higher reward than safer investments and that they were protected by the guarantee of a bailout should things go badly, Fannie and Freddie made a lot of bad loans. President Bush and other Republicans, including Senator McCain, pushed for more regulation of Fannie and Freddie's lending practices, knowing the taxpayer could be on the hook for the loans. Democrats opposed them, afraid that regulation would harm the greater social good of "affordable housing." It didn't hurt that Fannie and Freddie showered them (Obama was a top recipient) with millions in campaign contributions. Now the Democrats have the gall to blame Republicans and the media is letting them get away with it.

Although the Federal Reserve bears some blame for keeping interest rates too low, a disaster of this magnitude doesn't happen without Fannie and Freddie and the Democrats who decided they knew how to loan money better than bankers.

A couple good articles: NRO, Thomas Sowell.