Thursday, September 25, 2008


Banking on Obama

I suspect I am not going to like a lot of what a bailout will portend. I say “suspect” because I just do not know what the details of the plan are…and I further suspect that the same politicos putting it all together now aren't that conversant on the details either. (Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank…’nuff said.)

So anyway, I’m reading the latest on the proposed bailout:

“Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee said they came to an accord on many of the issues dividing them as they negotiated the specifics of a $700 billion package proposed by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.”

The Senate Banking Committee? About two months ago, wasn't that Senator Obama’s committee?

I scour the article but no mention of the Harvard Law grad. How can they possibly be functioning without his leadership, honed, as it was, by his three years of community organizing...?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Great Moments in Prioritizing

I think most of us do not begrudge the handicapped their preferential parking status – even if a few who avail themselves of it are a bit suspect. This, however….Hybrid Trumps Handicap for Tysons Parking

Monday, September 22, 2008


Bill Clinton gets it!!

Bill Clinton says he understands Palin's appeal

“...she's hot …" Clinton said.”

(Yes, that is an obvious “dowdification”...forgive me, I'm weak.)


Why Alan Alda was always underpaid

Shankar Vedantam is hardly a must-read as I have previously found his attempts to explain studies fairly simplistic and naïve. But I admit – I got sucked in today by the headline: Study Ties Wage Disparities To Outlook on Gender Roles -

Yep – it turns out if you’re one of the good guys, it’s killing your wallet:

“Men with egalitarian attitudes about the role of women in society earn significantly less on average than men who hold more traditional views about women's place in the world, according to a study being reported today.

“It is the first time social scientists have produced evidence that large numbers of men might be victims of gender-related income disparities.”

As one whom instinctively recoils at the designation “social scientist” (it's an insult to real scientists), my eyes were in full rolling mode by now. But I did catch this:

“Livingston and Judge [the so-called social scientists] said there are two possible explanations: Traditional-minded men might negotiate much harder for better salaries, especially when compared with traditional-minded women. Alternatively, it could also be that employers discriminate against women and men who do not subscribe to traditional gender roles.”

Now in their defense, Mr. Vendatam may have just screwed-up in his paraphrasing but either way, someone here doesn’t understand the market: Employers are not one big monolith. I will accept that an employer is discriminating based on sex if she is paying a man more for the exact same function as she pays a woman. However. it is simply a non sequitur to suggest that one employer is a sexist bigot because she pays a woman less than a guy down the street is getting from a different employer.

On the bright side, though, think of all those married men who can now throw their "egalitarian"street cred in their wives’ faces (figuratively, of course) next time the subject of why the family isn’t financially better off comes up.



Congratulations to the United States Ryder Cup Team for finally bringing the Cup back to where it belongs. It was quite simply one of the greatest sporting events I have ever wasted a considerable part of a weekend watching. The biennial event was played in Kentucky before a thoroughly partisan American crowd but the next Ryder Cup will be played in Wales.

Playing back in Europe coupled with the impressive American 2008 victory, you would normally expect that to produce a very pro-European crowd rooting against the Americans…but if we elect Barack Obama, I’m sure even the most rabid European golf fan will be rooting for us too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


All Speech can be divided into two groups:

…that favorable to Barack Obama and "diversions":

"The McCain camp would much rather have this be about phony and foolish diversions," Obama said.” ABC News: Obama Says 'Enough' About 'Lipstick' Smear

The problem with not fawning over the Illinois Senator? Let’s ask him:

“… Obama declared. “Because then we go another year, or another four years or another eight years without addressing the issues that matter to you." Obama Talks Lipstick and McCain The Trail

…which is a recurring theme of The One:

“They seem to be focused on a negative campaign what I think our campaign wants to do is focus on the issues that matter to American families." Obama responds to race card charge

Of course, not everyone agrees that this is what Mr. Obama’s campaign really wants:

A day after John McCain's campaign accused Barack Obama of having "played the race card," the senator from Illinois was confronted by self-described members of the "International African Revolution" concerned he doesn't talk enough about race.” Obama Heckled on African American Policies

Famously, Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, recently opined that:

“This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." McCain Manager: 'This Election is Not About Issues' - The Fix

Eliciting this:

““I guess I don’t blame them,” Obama added, “because if you don’t have any issues to run on, you want it all to be about personality.” Ben Smith's Blog: Obama hits Davis on 'issues' -

Now you would think if it really was to be all about “personality”, Senator Obama would win in a landslide. But of course, that’s not what Mr. Davis said or meant. For the non-Harvard Law educated amongst us, I think most would recognize that what Mr. Davis meant was that we won’t just be voting for the person we most agree with on the certain issues that are important to us now but rather we will apply issue affiliation in determining which of the two we most trust to govern responsibly. This would be a lot more obvious if those quoting Mr. Davis included the next line:

"And of course, issues will play an important role in people's final decision." Transcript: Rick Davis on 'FOX News Sunday' –

So, by all means, let’s talk about the issues that matter to people. Perhaps some organization could sponsor a Town Hall-type meeting where the candidates would answer questions directly from the non-press public. And, if the issues that people care about happen to include past affiliations (cough*Jeremiah Wright*cough*Bill Ayers*), past votes (cough*Born Alive Act*) or public service jobs right out of college (i.e. US Navy*cough*community organizing) well, it would be better than going “…another year, or another four years or another eight years without addressing the issues that matter to you.”

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