The thing is, this inexperienced candidate made one of the most profound statements I have heard in a long time:
"Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help."
This statement was attacked as Palin insisting the US would go to war with Russia. But think about it for a second. In the Clinton/W.Bush admin's rush to admit countries to NATO, has ANYONE stopped to ask what that means if these countries are attacked. For a brief moment in time, Sarah Palin did.
"It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a cold war, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries,"
The headlines however?
Palin: U.S. might have to go to war with Russia
Palin: War with Russia may be needed
Palin won't rule out war with Russia
Talk about misdirection. What the hell do these people think "It doesn't have to be war" means?
I work with many people who _actually believe_ Palin said "she could see Russia from her house." They also said "Did you see Palin on SNL talking about 2012?"
Me: "That was Tina Fey."
"Who? It was McCain and Palin wasn't it? And Palin with that Hillary look-alike."
I do think Palin probably was not ready for the national stage, and the McCain campaign has probably ruined what could have been a bright future star.
Carter, Clinton, and W. Bush certainly knew just about as much about foreign policy when they took the presidency. Bush famously failed that "quiz" that was thrust on him during the campaign.
And we're talking about the vice-presidency here, not these inexperienced presidential candidates.
Biden certainly is no foreign policy expert. The only evidence needed is when he completely made up a story about Hezbollah in the VP debate. He just made it up. He also just made up that Obama took some kind of stand about NATO troops.
Not a peep from the media. That is a _real_ gaffe... not a fake one like "You're no Jack Kennedy" (which was a low insult to say to a man who was specifically asked by the moderator to choose a past American hero to compare himself to. He chose. Your insult of the answer was low and immoral). Not a fake gaffe like looking at your watch. Not a fake gaffe like sighing. That was a real deficiency in knowledge and preparedness.Comment Posted By CGomez On 7.11.2008 @ 08:32
The Obama campaign has successfully obfuscated the tax issue to the point that many voters think there is this big tax cut coming.
The biggest problem I have with the plan is, why does it have to be so complicated? For decades all money collected by the three federal income taxes (the income tax and the two flat taxes: FICA and Medicare) have all been thrown into a giant slush fund. There is rhetorical talk about the Social Security/Medicare surplus, but that surplus is meaningless since any surplus in these taxes has been spent since they were created.
I am all for lowering taxes on the working poor. It is sad that we punish the working poor with a flat tax around 8% (FICA and Medicare) and then further discourage employers from continued hiring by kicking them for that same flat amount.
Why not just lower those tax rates? Why not lower them and increase the income cap on Social Security? Sure, we could argue the program was meant to be one where we tax those who derive benefit from it. However, let's be pragmatic. For decades, Social Security has been considered a responsibility and as long as you don't make too much money (or trigger the Windfall Elimination provision), you are entitled to this pension at age 62+.
So if it's simply a shared social responsibility, why not start lowering those rates to help the working poor, increase the cap to get the richer folks to pay their part of the responsibility, and maybe consider graduating the tax scale?
In fact, why not just consolidate the rates into one federal income tax rate. It sure would be more transparent, and I thought transparency in government is important?
But the Obama plan is about obfuscation. If we make it complicated enough, there might be many people who actually get a refund back that is larger than their income tax (often zero), FICA and Medicare tax combined. Then it's no longer a tax cut but simply welfare. And that's where it becomes immoral. The welfare department should be separate from the revenue department. You might call it shuffling the deck chairs, but it certainly prevents a double dip into an already sinking Treasury.
Why so complicated? What would be wrong with just lowering the Social Security and/or Medicare tax rate for now? Why not drop the income cap and lower the rates to keep that balance revenue neutral? If we have a "surplus" then why don't we let the people keep that surplus and raise the rate as we need it? It's not like the money is being saved anyways.
Is it so the Democrats now have permanent campaign issues? "I'll double the credits Obama started," will be the new campaign pledge, until some working poor aren't just getting $100 or $1000 dollar refund over their FICA and Medicare, but $2,000. Then $5,000. It's the new "Social Security" for the 21st century, and of course, it's unsustainable. But once it's in there, you can't ever get it out.
That would make too much sense. And look, the GOP is not saintly. They are too stupid to propose such common sense reforms because they are scared about the inevitable attacks that they just want to privatize or end Social Security. They are too stupid to try and simplify the tax code. The party is too fragmented to even stand for limited government and strong defense.
Why make it so complicated, Senator Obama, when there is such a simple, transparent solution? Is it that this plan might actually lower taxes for the working poor but not past the point of paying no taxes at all?
Well meaning Middle Americans are hearing the broad and incorrect term "tax cut" and thinking: "Well, that doesn't sound like a Democrat. This Obama guy must really be a moderate." And being a moderate, for some reason, is the holy grail of American politics. The media will uphold you as "bipartisan" and someone "trying to get things done".
Things seem to go so much more smoothly when Congress can't get anything done to screw up our lives any further.Comment Posted By CGomez On 3.11.2008 @ 10:00
The term "strict constructionist" is probably liberal term invented in academia as a dysphemism to make proper interpretation of the Constitution seem like a bad thing.
The Constitution says what it means and means what it says. It has an amendment process so we can add other things that we think it should say. Instead of just making up what we think it says, we should rule that it says what it says. The legislative branches all over the country have the right (and duty) to correct and amend it as needed.
If that is "strict construction", then sign me up. No need to splinter those who believe in liberty over a term invented to make sound judicial interpretation sound like a bad thing.
Bravo! Well said.
ed.Comment Posted By CGomez On 28.10.2008 @ 13:48
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