Monthly Archives: October 2008

Smearing Joe the Plumber

Barack Obama reminds me a bit of John Gotti. Obama is no murderer, of course, but here is the analogy: John Gotti (before his incarceration) was a well-dressed, genial, smooth-talking guy. Not a visible threat in sight. But if you crossed him, his thugs were very quickly at your door. Likewise with Barack Obama. He is always at pains to seem high-minded, but his tactics are anything but. If you »

Fools and their money

Michael Barone takes a penetrating look at the presidential race in Pennsylvania, where John McCain and Sarah Palin have devoted plenty of energy but apparently don’t have much to show for it. The Republicans liked their prospects in Pennsylvania this year because they expected Barack Obama to encounter resistance from blue collar voters in the Southwest (the Pittsburgh area) and the Northeast (e.g., Scranton), which traditionally are Democratic strongholds. Based »

Who is arrogant?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly views Barack Obama’s position on Iran as as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.” Sarkozy is also said to have remarked that it would be “arrogant” for Obama, if he is elected president, to ignore allies like France and open a direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions. As Emanuele Ottolenghi notes, Sarkozy’s use of the term “arrogant” is interesting because Obama’s »

A Winning Message, But Is It Too Late?

It is extraordinary that only now, a week before Election Day, have Barack Obama’s beliefs and policies come into focus. After months of “hope,” “change” and “I’m not George Bush,” the truth has finally tumbled out: Barack Obama wants to redistribute America’s wealth, raise taxes on those who create jobs, create vast new handout programs styled as “tax relief,” and appoint judges who will radically redefine the relationship between American »

The Israeli elections, Part Two

My post from late last night about a possible Obama effect on the Israeli elections, now set for early next year, contained a factual error regarding the chronology of past U.S. meddling. You can read the original post with the correction here. My apologies for the error and my thanks to P. David Hornik for calling it to my attention. UPDATE: Noah Pollak emails to suggest that the “Obama effect” »

VDH’s 7 reasons for optimism

Earlier this week Victor Davis Hanson proclaimed ten random politically incorrect thoughts. Hugh Hewitt suggested that Professor Hanson follow up with the best things he sees around him. Yesterday Professor Hanson obliged, offering seven random politicallly incorrect reasons to be optimistic on Thanksgiving Day. Here is part of his column devoted to health care, though it applies equally as a ground to be pessimistic about the effects of prospective reforms: »

Obama’s Constitution

Yesterday the Obama campaign called on University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein to tamp down the furor over Obama’s advocacy of “redistributive change” and overcoming of the Constitution’s “negative rights” in his 2001 radio interview. Politico’s Ben Smith reliably channelled Professor Sunstein’s spinning on behalf of Obama. Professor Sunstein was actually the right man to call on to explain Obama’s remarks. They derive directly from Sunstein’s advocacy of Roosevelt’s »

The Washington Post abets an Obama con

This report by Robert Kaiser — “Iraq Aside, Nominees Have Like Views on Use of Force” — is far from the worst thing we’ve seen in the Washington Post during this campaign season. However, it may be the most clueless. Kaiser contends that differences between Barack Obama and John McCain about Iraq “may obscure a consequential similarity between their hawkish views on the use of American force in other places.” »

Drink Diet Coke!

Advertising Age reports that Pepsi-Cola is launching a new logo as part of a world-wide branding campaign. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi, whom we wrote about here and elsewhere, and other top Pepsico executives explained the new look: [T]op executives Indra Nooyi and Massimo d’Amore called for a “quantum leap” forward in transforming the soft-drink category and defining Pepsi as a cultural leader, said Frank Cooper, Pepsi’s VP-portfolio brands. “We felt like, »

The Israeli elections — would there be an Obama effect?

It’s official — Israel will hold elections early next year, after which a new government will be formed. The discredited Ehud Olmert will remain prime minister until then. The election figures to be a knock down, drag out battle between Kadima’s Tzipi Livni and Likud’s Binyamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister. Ehud Barak, also a former prime minister, will be the Labor candidate, but it is thought that he has »

Minor Differences?

The Associated Press fact-checks Barack Obama’s claim, in his speech today, that John McCain’s economic policies don’t differ significantly from President Bush’s, and actually does a pretty good job. The AP notes a number of important areas where McCain’s economic proposals are very different from Bush’s. Personally, I favor Bush’s approach in some instances and McCain’s in others, but it is absurd to deny that many important differences exist. The »

Barack Obama, Redistributor

John McCain has started using the 2001 radio interview that Scott wrote about this morning in his stump speech: McCain does it pretty well, although I don’t think he fully captures the chilling, matter-of-fact radicalism of the Obama interview. It will be interesting to see how much impact this theme–which started with Joe the Plumber, of course–will have. Not too many years ago, a Presidential candidate who explicitly advocated taking »

The Return of Jeremiah Wright

After too long an absence from the campaign, Jeremiah Wright returns in this television ad which is running in several key states. It’s a legitimate issue and a good ad, and if a financial panic hadn’t hit at the worst possible moment, Wright and Ayers might have made a big difference in the campaign. In the climate we’re facing, though, I doubt that Obama’s associations, no matter how troubling they »

Sarah Palin Was Right

In today’s New York Times, Glenn Reynolds takes on the tricky issue of the proper role of the Vice President. Sarah Palin’s comments on the Veep’s constitutional role in the Vice Presidential debate have been denounced by some, but Reynolds says she was right to emphasize the Vice President’s role as part of the legislative branch. As we noted here, it was Joe Biden, not Palin, who mangled the Vice »

Dean Barnett RIP

Dean Barnett has died at the age of 41. Barnett (I use his last name because I didn’t know him personally) emerged as a blogger, first on his own SoxBlog, then on Hugh Hewitt’s blog, and finally with The Weekly Standard. But he considered himself a writer, not a blogger, and the quality of his prose fully justified this assessment. Indeed, at The Standard Barnett contributed frequently to the magazine »

Obama shrugged

Last week we explored the fundraising practices of Barack Obama’s online credit card donations in “Who is John Galt?” and “What did Della Ware?” New York Times reporter Michael Luo took a look at the story for the Times’s campaign blog in “Obama’s online site accepts more fakes,” but missed the heart of the story. Over the weekend, National Journal posted Neil Munro’s “FEC rules leave loopholes for online donation »

Obama’s Brave New Deal: A Preview

Many readers have written to alert us to the audio of Senator Obama’s reflections on, and advocacy of, the redistribution of wealth in this vintage 2001 audio clip. Underlying Obama’s remarks is his hostility to the constitutional protections of property that I wrote about in “Obama, Joe the plumber, and the gospel of envy.” Based on the audio, one must conclude that Obama has thought long about the subject and »