I just voted by mail. I'm a bit jaded by politics right now.
Here's a beautiful picture of a solar eclipse. Click on it to see the detail.
Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Arise, ye wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world's in birth!
Arise ye fearful of deflation,Arise ye victims of the crunch!Your paper suffers condemnation,You don't have time to go to lunch!No more the market's tides shall drown us,Arise ye bankers, one and all;Our bonds shall rest on new foundations--The government will pay them all!'Tis a right fine bailout,Line up now for your pie,The international rentier classHas George Bush as its ally!
Unless McCain can make a passionate and convincing case that Obama’s is not just “risky” on character and judgment but badly misguided on policy, the voters will decide he’s the best shot they have for changing course and arresting the economic chaos played out before them. Perhaps they already have.Jennifer Rubin's recipe: personal attacks. But of course Obama comes from a pinko milieu. Wasn't that always the point? Here's another zf, Peter Wehner:
It’s true that in politics, things can change fast. For the sake of John McCain, they better. He is now in the position of having to engineer a remarkable political comeback. It’s possible, but it’s not the place you want to be less than a month away from an election.Maybe the country's not ready for a spade in the White House, but it's not ready for another four years of the GOP, either.
In banana republics, admittedly, very often the only efficient behavior is displayed by the army (and the secret police). But our case is rather different. In addition to exhibiting extraordinary efficiency and, most especially under the generalship of David Petraeus, performing some great feats of arms and ingenuity, the American armed forces manifest all the professionalism and integrity that our rulers and oligarchs lack. Who was it who the stricken inhabitants of New Orleans and later of the Texas coastline yearned to see? Who was it who informed the blithering and dithering idiots at fema that they could have as many troops as they could remember to ask for, even as volunteers were embarking for Afghanistan and Iraq? What is one of the main engines of integration for blacks and immigrants, as well as one of the finest providers of education and training for those whom the system had previously failed? It may be true that the government has succeeded in degrading our armed forces as well—tasking them with absurdities and atrocities like Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib—but this only makes the banana-republic point in an even more emphatic way.
I can't say that these questions are totally irrelevant. To me, they are surrogates for the question of where the candidate comes from--does he hang out with policy wonks, good-old-boy lobbyists, fishermen, or trendy radicals? Whose attitudes does he share? The Ayers and Keating questions are snot enough, by themselves, to tell us where the candidates come from, but they can't be wholly dismissed.
Now that the question has been raised, however, we ought to hear answers. Obama seems to have soft-pedaled the Ayers connection as he did the influence of Rev. Wright.
That said, I would much rather, but doubt I'll get answers in two areas: the economy and war.
The economy. Why did both candidates allow themselves to be stampeded into this ridiculous bailout giveaway? What other steps should government take to avert economic disaster? If you believe that inadequate regulation contributed to the meltdown, what new regulatory steps would you adopt, and why? And the question neither man answered the last time, in spite of Jim Lehrer's persistence--what goodies in your endless wish list will you forego or postpone because of the ballooning deficit and the added costs of the financial crisis?
War and Foreign Policy. Looking forward, under what conditions would you go to war? When, if ever, would you launch a preemptive war? We have troops and alliances around the world, created to resist communism and an expansive Soviet Union; these are gone, so why do we need foreign entanglements around the globe? Which ones would you reduce? There are thousands of nuclear weapons in the world, mostly in Russia and the US; will you do anything to eliminate or reduce them? Would you favor a regional conference to sort out the future of Iraq? If not, what, beyond a temporary deal with Iran and bribing the Sunni tribes, do you propose by way of a political solution? How big a military do we really need, and what changes in its armament and deployment would you make? Don't you think it's crazy to provoke Pakistan, a huge nuclear-armed Muslim country? Will you end the disgrace of officially countenanced torture by Americans?
If I had time, I'd ask why we have a higher rate of imprisonment than any industrial country, at enormous cost, and what the feds can do about it, if anything? Do we need a "war on drugs"?
I doubt I'll get much substance out of this debate, but hope springs eternal.