Note To The President: The Care And Feeding Of Entrepreneurship

Note To The President: The Care And Feeding Of Entrepreneurship

Posted By edgelings On October 31, 2008 @ 8:32 am In Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Whichever candidate is elected president of the United States Tuesday, he is going to face the same collection of economic problems. And those problems — a credit crunch, recession, limping stock market, growing international protectionism, a burst housing bubble with the attendant mass foreclosures, inflationary pressure from the bail-out, rising unemployment — are all adding up to a perfect storm of economic woes, with the potential to play upon each other and create even more nasty system effects.

What this means is that for perhaps half of the first term of the new president, he will likely be unable to implement most of his social programs and deliver on his campaign promises … but, instead, will spend most of his time focused upon economic triage and be at the mercy of larger social forces.

And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that the new president, whoever it is, will (in Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden’s words) likely be seriously tested by one or more of the bad guys around the world. If that occurs, and the odds seem pretty high, then whatever dreams the president-elect had when he decided to run for office, the reality will be a lot closer to trying to successfully navigate the ship of state through rock-strewn raging rapids.

The crucial challenge, then, for the new president is to figure out how to nurse the U.S. economy back to health — and quickly. Only a healthy economy can create the wealth needed to implement all of those changes the candidates have promised. Only a strong economy can absorb the next generation of workers, pay for added health care and lift the poor upwards to a better quality of life.

Happily, both candidates seem to understand that.

Unfortunately, neither one seems to have a realistic strategy for getting there.

There’s a good reason for that. Sen. Barack Obama, being a Democrat, seems to have very little idea of how the economy actually works and ritually evokes business not as the only true creator of wealth in our economy, but as a predatory menace.

Sen. John McCain, being a Republican, has a marginally better understanding of the economy and the role of business — but his attention, as usual with GOP elders, is focused upon established companies, which undergird our economy, but do little to create new jobs or new wealth.

What is missing from the economic debates of this campaign — as it has been from every presidential campaign at least since the Reagan years — is a recognition of the absolutely central importance of the entrepreneur to the health of the American economy.

Entrepreneurs, and the new companies they create, are the source of almost all of the new jobs, the new wealth, technological innovation, revolutionary new products, positive balance of trade, and improvements in productivity (and thus, international competitiveness) in the U.S. economy.

Yet, in the debate over how to ‘fix’ America’s current economic mess, they are the forgotten men and women. They alone have the ability to not just slice the economic pie more fairly, but actually make it larger, rewarding everybody — just as they have over the past century.

Indeed, at a time when we are arguing over income redistribution, no one seems to have noticed that the greatest income redistribution mechanism ever created is entrepreneurship — which essentially creates each year, from nothing, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and billions of dollars of new wealth — money that is less likely to go to the same old fat cats, but smart young inventors, veteran middle managers, even secretaries and factory workers.

Entrepreneurial start-ups are also brilliant trust-busters, because they pull down or render obsolete older, less competitive big companies and replace them with smart, fast-moving upstarts. The result is a fairness, and equality, and a virtuous upward economic spiral that has never been duplicated by government fiat.

But to do that, entrepreneurs have to be protected. And they have to be unleashed. And even though I’ve heard Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin both mouth the word “entrepreneur” in recent days, nothing I’ve seen in either platform suggests that this is much more than lip service.

The Republican Party, for example, despite being genetically pro-business, has over the last eight years done its level-best to slowly strangle all new high-tech business creation in the U.S. From the crushing cost and bureaucracy of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation, to the board of directors-gutting new governance rules or the forced valuation of stock options, the current administration couldn’t have done a better job of gutting new business creation in the U.S. (Yes, I know many of these new regulations emanated out of Congress, but where was the fight from the White House?) and strengthening the power of big business.

That, of course, may have been the plan all along. As I’ve written many times, entrepreneurs, busy with company-building, have little influence in Washington and no distinct constituency to argue their case.

Meanwhile, established and big companies understandably hate entrepreneurship and will do almost anything to slow the progress of entrepreneurs — like all of those onerous regulations described above. And it has worked: This year has seen almost no high tech company IPOs, traditionally that moment when entrepreneurs gained their freedom and rewarded their teams.

These days, the only recourse for a hot start-up company is to sell out to an established company — further consolidating power and wealth. And meanwhile, of course, those older companies find it much more pleasant to buy these new competitors than compete with them.

Nothing in McCain’s campaign suggests that he understands any of this, or will change the status quo. To look more hip and in-the-know about the tech world, the senator likes to point to the fact that eBay’s Meg Whitman is his campaign’s advisor on business.

She is, in fact, one of the finest business executives I know, but Meg is not an entrepreneur. And this suggests that a McCain presidency is not going to come to the aid of America’s entrepreneurs — and that the best we can hope for is that it will get out of the way, at least when it comes to taxes. That may work, but it will be a long, slow recovery.

As for Obama, leaving aside all of his other proposals for massive social change, the single most frightening plank in his platform is his plan to increase the capital gains tax. If there is one single factor in the U.S. economy that defines the rate of new company creation, it is taxation on capital gains — in particular, the differential between the capital gains and regular tax rates. To understand the long Reagan/Bush/Clinton boom of 1980-2000, you need only look at Reagan’s slashing of that differential.

Assuming that his comments about “corporate greed,” etc. indicate that he has no intention of getting rid of Sarbanes-Oxley or any other crippling corporate regulation, then Obama’s plan to raise the capital gains tax will all but kill creation of new companies — especially new tech companies — in America. No new Apples or Facebooks or Twitters, no explosive new industries spinning off endless amounts of money and jobs, no new competitive advantages in the global economy.

I don’t see how you can accomplish real change, finance massive social works and raise up the poor and middle class when you are stuck in a 1970s-type economic doldrums with the inevitable cultural malaise that follows.

I had coffee yesterday morning with a Silicon Valley veteran who is a serial entrepreneur and staunch Obama supporter, and I asked him about this dark scenario. He didn’t disagree with my assessment, but only replied that Obama was a smart guy and that he hoped the president-elect would surround himself with equally smart guys who would explain it to him.

I told him that was a pretty dangerous kind of hope.

So who does get it? Ironically, it may be my own governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two weeks from now he is convening in L.A. a [1] Conference on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (Edgelings publisher Tom Hayes and I are keynote speakers). The last time anybody attempted this was President Reagan back in the early 1980s — so long ago that the hot technology topic was the fax machine. I suspect Schwarzenegger is going to come away with an earful — and a far deeper understanding of what really drives California’s economy.

It seems to me that the new president-elect should take a clue. Right after his inauguration, he should invite the nation’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to a summit … and then, during the opening address, announce the death of Sarbanes-Oxley and the cutting of the capital gains tax. I guarantee that before that speech is finished, the attendees will already be rushing out the doors to make the new president’s term in office a roaring economic success.

10 Reasons Why McCain Might Win

10 Reasons Why McCain Might Win

Posted By John Podhoretz On October 31, 2008 @ 12:14 PM In Contentions | 181 Comments

This is why it might happen. Not saying it will.

1) One poll has undecided voters at 14 percent on the last weekend, which means most of them probably really aren’t undecided, that they are either going to stay home or vote preponderantly for McCain and pull McCain across the finish line.

2) Most pollsters are claiming the electorate this year is six to nine points more Democratic than it is Republican. That would be an unprecedented shift from four years ago, when the electorate was evenly divided, 37-37, Republican and Democratic, and a huge shift from two years ago, when it was 37-33 Democratic. A shift of this size didn’t even happen after Watergate.

3) Obama frequently outpolled his final result in primaries, which might have many causes but might also indicate that he has difficulty closing the sale.

4) The argument in the past two weeks has shifted, such that many undecided voters who are now paying attention are hearing about Obama’s redistributionist tendencies at exactly the right moment for McCain.

5) The tightening in several daily tracking polls indicates a modest surge on McCain’s part that could continue through the weekend until election day. If he is behind by three or four points right now, a slow and steady move upward could push him past the finish line in first place.

6) In terms of the electoral map, the energy and focus McCain is directing at Pennsylvania could pay huge dividends if he pulls it off. If he prevails there, it might follow that the message will work in Ohio too. And if he wins Pennsylvania and Ohio, he will probably win even if he loses Virginia and Colorado.

7) Early voting numbers are not oceanic by any means, which may indicate the degree of enthusiasm for Obama among new voters is not something new but something entirely of a par with past candidates, like John Kerry. And they show more strength on the Republican side than most people expected.

8) What happened with the Joe the Plumber story is that Obama has now been effectively outed as a liberal, not a moderate; and because liberalism is still less popular than conservatism, that’s not the best place for Obama to be.

9) The fire lit under Obama’s young supporters in the winter was largely due to Iraq and his opposition to the war. The stunning decline in violence and the departure of Iraq from the front page has put out the fire, to the extent that, like the young woman who made a sexy video calling herself Obama Girl and then didn’t vote in the New York primary because she went to get a manicure, they might not want to stand on line on Tuesday.

10) Hispanic voters, who are always underpolled, know and appreciate McCain from his stance on immigration and will vote for him in larger numbers than anyone anticipates.

There you have it. It’s admittedly not the strongest case, and the idea that McCain will win on Tuesday is hard to square with the fact there isn’t a single poll that has him in the lead five days out. But unexpected things do happen in politics every election.

‘It’s gonna get nasty’ in final days before election

‘It’s gonna get nasty’ in final days before election

  • Story Highlights
  • Obama, McCain hitting the campaign trail with multiple events in key states
  • Obama tells supporters: “They will throw everything at us” before Election Day
  • Obama campaign rolling out ads in McCain’s home state
  • McCain blasts Obama for “measuring the drapes”
  • Next Article in Politics »

From Ed Hornick
CNN

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — With just days to go before Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is warning his supporters that things are going to get unpleasant fast — and that the race will come down to every last vote.

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday.

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday.

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“Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes anything. It’s gonna get nasty, I’m sure, in the next four days,” Obama told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night.

“They will throw everything at us like they’ve been doing, and we’re gonna have to work like our future depends on it in this last week. You know what? Because it does, and every single young person here tonight — I’ve gotta have every single one of you voting, and you’ve gotta grab five more, all of you, have gotta vote,” he said.

The warning comes after the Illinois senator said in an interview Thursday night that his campaign was winning — some of the most confident language from Obama since he won the Democratic nomination.

“I think we’re winning right now,” he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “Maybe I’m doing something right.”

And that confidence from Obama may be expanding, despite assurances that the race is going to narrow. Video Watch more on the state of the race »

On Friday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters in a conference call that the campaign is encouraged by results of massive get-out-the-vote efforts in early voting states.

Plouffe said the campaign is pleased that a large part of the early vote so far is coming from sporadic and new voters

“The dye is being cast even as we speak,” he said. Video Watch more on a possible early voting earthquake »

Early voting in Colorado, Nevada and Texas ends Friday. North Carolina’s early voting ends Saturday, and Florida’s ends Sunday. Early voting in Ohio and Indiana — states where polls show a neck-and-neck race — ends Monday.

The Obama campaign is also looking to expand its electoral map strategy. On Friday, the campaign announced that it was going on the air in Sen. John McCain’s home state of Arizona for the first time this cycle.

The news comes as a new CNN poll of polls, released Friday morning, finds the Republican nominee leading Obama there by just 4 percentage points, 49 to 45 percent. Six percent of the state’s voters said they were unsure about their presidential pick. Video Watch more on Obama’s efforts in GOP-leaning states »

Plouffe told reporters that the Obama campaign’s positive spot, “Something,” will hit the airwaves in Arizona. He also said the campaign was going back on the airwaves in Georgia and North Dakota with its negative spot, “Rearview Mirror,” which ties McCain to President Bush.

Obama plans to campaign this weekend in Colorado, Nevada and Missouri. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, plans rallies in Indiana and Ohio.

Earlier this week, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee launched negative robo-calls in Arizona telling voters that Obama was unready to handle an international crisis.

On Thursday, MoveOn.org announced that it was targeting McCain with ad buys in each of the state’s major media markets. The Obama campaign also issued a call for volunteers there, citing tightening polls in the state.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds dismissed the new Obama push Friday morning, calling it a “waste of his resources.”

McCain, meanwhile, continues to hammer his opponent for exuding confidence in the final days of the campaign. He has been repeating a standard campaign line recently, saying Obama is “measuring the drapes” for the White House.

At a campaign rally Friday morning, McCain expressed confidence that the tide was turning in his favor.

“I want to tell you the enthusiasm and the momentum that I feel here in Ohio is going to carry us to victory here in Ohio and throughout this country,” McCain told supporters in Hanoverton, Ohio. Video Watch McCain fight for the battleground state of Ohio »

A CNN poll of polls in Ohio calculated Wednesday indicates that Obama has an 8-point lead in the state, with the Illinois senator ahead of McCain 50 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent unsure.

No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.

And the Republican ticket is wasting no time in reaching out to other battleground state voters.

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin plans on holding five rallies Saturday in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia — states where the two campaigns are locked in a close race.

On Sunday the Alaska governor will campaign in Ohio, then travel to Iowa.

McCain will hold rallies this weekend in Virginia and Pennsylvania — both states where Obama is leading, according to several recent polls.

And just two weeks after his running mate made an appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” a McCain campaign aide tells CNN that the Republican presidential nominee will appear on the the late-night comedy show Saturday.

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McCain has appeared on the show several times over the years.

His most memorable appearance on the long-running show was in October 2002, when he hosted the program for a night. In a spoof commercial hawking an album called “McCain Sings Streisand,” he sang several of Democratic loyalist Barbra Streisand’s songs.

Workers at Top Wall Street Firms Give Millions More to Dems

Workers at Top Wall Street Firms Give Millions More to Dems
Media echo liberal claim they represent Main Street not Wall Street, but Democratic candidates receive more cash from firms boosted by bailout. By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
10/31/2008 11:51:12 AM

     Based on media coverage, conventional wisdom suggests Wall Street would favor Republican Party candidates when donating to campaigns. But that’s not the case.

 

     According to the Center for Responsive Politics Web site OpenSecrets.org, out the top 25 political contributors for the 2008 election cycle, nine were Wall Street banking or investment firms, including the now defunct firm Lehman Brothers. Employees at eight of those nine firms gave more money to Democratic candidates – nearly $17 million to Democratic candidates versus only $11 million to their Republican counterparts. That’s 60 percent for Democrats to only 40 percent for Republicans.  

 

     Four of the top six overall donors are Wall Street financial firms participating in part of the recently passed $850 billion bailout – Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). Employees of those firms gave $10.4 million to Democrats and $6 million to Republicans or 63 percent Democrat. Employees of bank Goldman Sachs alone gave $3.6 million to Democrats and $1.3 million to Republicans, a nearly 3-to-1 ratio.

 

     Still, the Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama criticized Republican President George W. Bush for putting Wall Street before Main Street with the blame for the crisis. “Now, this didn’t happen by accident.  Our falling GDP is a direct result of eight years of the trickle down, Wall Street first/Main Street last policies that have driven our economy into a ditch,” Obama said at a speech in Sarasota, Fla., on Oct. 30.

 

     And, Obama has had his blame game message conveyed by the media in many cases – that “Republican policies” are behind the financial crisis.

 

     “Barack Obama and Joe Biden – they deliver a tag team attack on John McCain,” CNN “The Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer said on Sept. 15. “They say Republican policies are to blame for this latest financial blow and they’re accusing the McCain camp of smears and deception.”

 

     Although Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has had harsh words for “Wall Street greed,” the media in many instances have linked the GOP to the Wall Street crisis, despite donations from Wall Street being a huge part of funding for the Obama campaign.

 

     “I was just in Ohio this past week and I can tell you in small towns in Ohio, the economic debate is dominating and it’s not so much that they are in love with Obama plan but they are tired of Republican policy and saying they are though the hearing much different from John McCain,” CNN’s John King said on the Oct. 7 “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “So that is his challenge to prove he has an economic plan and prove it is different from the current administration.”

 

     And that echo of the Democratic candidates by the media has had an effect on public opinion. According to a Sept. 22 CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 47 percent of registered voters polled blamed Republicans for the problems facing financial institutions and the stock market versus only 24 percent that have blame Democratic candidates.    

 

     Even when companies outside the top 25 are counted, Democratic support is strong. Out of the top 100 political contributors for the 2008 election cycle, 16 were Wall Street banking or investment firms, including Bear Stearns. Employees of those 16 firms gave more to Democratic candidates – $22 million versus $16 million to GOP candidates. That’s 58 percent for Democrats.

 

     The data from the Center for Responsive Politics are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more to federal candidates and parties as reported to the Federal Election Commission, released on Oct. 19.

Purported former Hillary Staffer on Team Obama ‘Comes Clean’

Purported former Hillary Staffer on Team Obama ‘Comes Clean’

Taken with a grain of salt, as must all anonymously submitted tidbits, RedState has posted an anonymous submission that purports to be one of the few HillTeam staffers picked up by Camp Obama, and she lays out the ‘weaknesses’ of Obama. Disaffected and unhappy, the “female grad student in my 20’s, and a registered Democrat” apparently offers up some information that McCain-Palin supporters should consider as the relentless assault on their enthusiasm continues: What you were never intended to know in this election.

4 – The Bradley Effect. Don’t believe these polls for a second. I just went over our numbers and found that we have next to no chance in the following states: Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada. Ohio leans heavily to McCain, but is too close to call it for him. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa are the true “toss up states”. The only two of these the campaign feels “confident” in are Iowa and New Mexico. The reason for such polling discrepancy is the Bradley Effect, and this is a subject of much discussion in the campaign. In general, we tend to take a -10 point percentage in allowing for this, and are not comfortable until the polls give us a spread well over this mark. This is why we are still campaigning in Virginia and Pennsylvania! This is why Ohio is such a desperate hope for us! What truly bothers this campaign is the fact that some pollsters get up to an 80% “refuse to respond” result. You can’t possibly include these into the polls. The truth is, people are afraid to let people know who they are voting for. The vast majority of these respondents are McCain supporters. Obama is the “hip” choice, and we all know it.

With such things as the Missouri Truth Squad comprised of sitting prosecutors, warnings of riots if Obama loses, and a candidate who has ugred his followers to “get in their faces” and confront McCain supporters, why ever would people be afraid to respond to a call?

Perhaps stories like the woman in Texas who had the Secret Service thrown at her after an Obama campaign worker lied and said she threatened to kill Barack Obama. Or the attempted public destruction of Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, driven by Ohio state employees digging in official records for dirt fed to the media.

There is no argument that Obama supporters are forthright and not hesitant. But McCain supporters? The concept as presented has merit, whether the anonymous submission comes from who it claims to come from or not.

A Bombshell: Speechwriter for Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on Why She’s Voting McCain.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Bombshell: Speechwriter for Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on Why She’s Voting McCain.

h/t to HH

A speechwriter for Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on why she’s voting McCain.

Wendy Button is a writer in Washington, DC. She has written for Senators John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Mayor Tom Menino of Boston as well as other national and international leaders. She received her MFA in writing from Bennington College and is currently writing the CNN Heroes Award Show to air Thanksgiving night.

Since I started writing speeches more than ten years ago, I have always believed in the Democratic Party. Not anymore. Not after the election of 2008. This transformation has been swift and complete and since I’m a woman writing in the election of 2008, “very emotional.”

When I entered this campaign, it was at the 2006 Edwards staff Christmas party. My nametag read “Millie Worker.” When former Senator John Edwards read it, he laughed and said, “That makes you like my parent.” He went on to say, “Would you please come down to Chapel Hill so we can talk about what’s coming up.” I sat in John and Elizabeth’s living room for two and half hours. I left North Carolina, energized about politics for the first time in months.

Not only has this party belittled working people in this campaign, it has also been part of tearing down two female candidates.

I didn’t hear from anyone for three weeks.
When I finally received the official offer, it was the kind of political offer that said, “Go away.” That happens. It’s their campaign and I just assumed that I had been pushed out. The problem was that I had canceled a number of freelance writing jobs because I had assumed that when John said, “Start right away” I would. I needed a job right away and so I took the one in front of me with Senator Barack Obama.
When we first met, Obama and I had a nice conversation about speeches and writing, and at the end of the meeting I handed him a pocket-sized bottle of Grey Poupon mustard so he wouldn’t have to ask staff if it was okay to put it on his hamburger. At the bottom of the bottle was the logo for “The South Beach Diet” and he snapped, “Oh so you read People magazine.” He seemed to think that I was commenting on his bathing suit picture.

I helped with his announcement speech and others. I worked in the Senate when he was in D.C. One day after a hearing on Darfur, we were walking back to the office. I was still hobbling from a very bad ankle injury and in a very kind and gentle way he offered his arm when we approached the stairs. But later in debate preps and phone conversations and meetings, I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn’t belong. No matter how hard I tried, my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

See campaigns get complicated when you’ve written for so many Democrats. Not only had I written for Senator Edwards, but I had also been Senator Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter. Senator Joe Biden is a “good looking” man and his care after my father almost died from an aneurysm is the kind of kindness you never forget. When I saw Edwards at a traffic light in D.C. about a year after our meeting, he asked for help and I did and it was an honor to help him with his concession speech. And when the primary ended, it was a privilege to help Michelle Obama with a stump speech, be considered as a speechwriter for the V.P. nominee again, and send friends in Chicago ideas until the financial crisis hit. This is what the Democratic Party has been for me; it’s family. Now, it doesn’t even feel like a distant cousin.

This drift started on a personal level with the fall of former Senator John Edwards. It got stronger during the Democratic National Convention when I counted the substantive mentions of poverty on one hand and a whole bunch of bad canned partisan lines against Senator John McCain. Some faith was lifted after Senator Hillary Clinton’s grace during a difficult hour. But that faith was dashed when I saw that someone had raided the Caligula set and planted the old columns at Invesco Field.
The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”

Having worked in politics, I know that absolutely none of this is on the level. This back and forth is posturing, a charade, and a political game. These lines are what I refer to as “hooker lines”—a sure thing to get applause and the press to scribble as if they’re reporting meaningful news.

As the nation slouches toward disaster, the level of political discourse is unworthy of this moment in history. We have Republicans raising Ayers and Democrats fostering ageism with “erratic” and jokes about Depends. Sexism. Racism. Ageism and maybe some Socialism have all made their ugly cameos in election 2008. It’s not inspiring. Perhaps this is why I found the initial mocking of Joe so offensive and I realized an old line applied: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.”

The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.
Our economy is in the tank for many complicated reasons, especially because people don’t have enough money. So let them keep it. Let businesses keep it so they can create jobs and stay here and weather this storm. And yet, the Democratic ideology remains the same. Our approach to problems—big government solutions paid for by taxing the rich and big and smaller companies—is just as tired and out of date as trickle down economics. How about a novel approach that simply finds a sane way to stop the bleeding?

That’s not exactly the philosophy of a Democrat. Not only has this party belittled working people in this campaign from Joe the Plumber to the bitter comments, it has also been part of tearing down two female candidates. At first, certain Democrats and the press called Senator Clinton “dishonest.” They went after her cleavage. They said her experience as First Lady consisted of having tea parties. There was no outrage over “Bros before Hoes” or “Iron My Shirt.” Did Senator Clinton make mistakes? Of course. She’s human.

But here we are about a week out and it’s déjà vu all over again. Really, front-page news is how the Republican National Committee paid for Governor Sarah Palin’s wardrobe? Where’s the op-ed about how Obama tucks in his shirt when he plays basketball or how Senator Biden buttons the top button on his golf shirt?

Oh right, this story goes to the sincerity of her Hockey Mom persona. What planet am I living on? Everyone knows that when it comes to appearance, there’s a double standard for women politicians. Remember the speech Speaker Pelosi gave on the floor the day of the bailout vote? Check out how many stories commented on her hair that day and how many mentioned Congressman Barney Frank’s.

Here we are discussing Governor Palin’s clothes—oh wait, now we’re on to the make-up—not what either man is going to do to save our economy. This isn’t an accident. It is part of a manufactured narrative that she is stupid.

Governor Palin and I don’t agree on a lot of things, mostly social issues. But I have grown to appreciate the Governor. I was one of those initial skeptics and would laugh at the pictures. Not anymore. When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper. When someone fights her way to get scholarships and work her way through college even in a jagged line, that shows determination and humility you can’t learn from reading Reinhold Niebuhr. When a mother brings her son with special needs onto the national stage with love, honesty, and pride, that gives hope to families like mine as my older brother lives with a mental disability. And when someone can sit on a stage during the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live, put her hands in the air and watch someone in a moose costume get shot—that’s a sign of both humor and humanity.

Has she made mistakes? Of course, she’s human too. But the attention paid to her mistakes has been unprecedented compared to Senator Obama’s “57 states” remarks or Senator Biden using a version of the Samuel Johnson quote, “There’s nothing like a hanging in the morning to focus a man’s thoughts.”

But thank God for election 2008. We can talk about the wardrobe and make-up even though most people don’t understand the details about Senator Obama’s plan with Iraq. When he says, “all combat troops,” he’s not talking about all troops—it leaves a residual force of as large as 55,000 indefinitely. That’s not ending the war; that’s half a war.

I was dead wrong about the surge and thought it would be a disaster. Senator John McCain led when many of us were ready to quit. Yet we march on as if nothing has changed, wedded to an old plan, and that too is a long way from the Democratic Party.
I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It’s wrong and someone has to say that. And also say that the Democratic Party’s talking points—that Senator John McCain is just four more years of the same and that he’s President Bush—are now just hooker lines that fit a very effective and perhaps wave-winning political argument…doesn’t mean they’re true. After all, he is the only one who’s worked in a bipartisan way on big challenges.

Before I cast my vote, I will correct my party affiliation and change it to No Party or Independent. Then, in the spirit of election 2008, I’ll get a manicure, pedicure, and my hair done. Might as well look pretty when I am unemployed in a city swimming with “D’s.”

Whatever inspiration I had in Chapel Hill two years ago is gone. When people say how excited they are about this election, I can now say, “Maybe for you. But I lost my home.”

Wendy Button (Obama staffer who’s voting McCain) inspired by Joe the Plumber

Wendy Button (Obama staffer who’s voting McCain) inspired by Joe the Plumber
Posted: October 29, 2008, 3:38 PM by Shane Dingman

Former Obama campaign speechwriter Wendy Button has made herself a cause célèbre in the Republican party with an op-ed on Tina Brown’s Daily Beast in which she announces that she’s voting for John McCain.

(BTW Tina, nice work on the launch-month buzz. She seems to have figured this interweb thing out.)

Not for nothing, but the inspiration for this Dem turncoat? Joe the Plumber! (And all those pernicious isms.)

The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”

As the nation slouches toward disaster, the level of political discourse is unworthy of this moment in history. We have Republicans raising Ayers and Democrats fostering ageism with “erratic” and jokes about Depends. Sexism. Racism. Ageism and maybe some Socialism have all made their ugly cameos in election 2008. It’s not inspiring. Perhaps this is why I found the initial mocking of Joe so offensive and I realized an old line applied: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.”

I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It’s wrong and someone has to say that.

As side note, in the middle section of this opus there was here’s some strange praise of Sarah Palin, strange emphasis anyway:

When someone can sit on a stage during the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live, put her hands in the air and watch someone in a moose costume get shot—that’s a sign of both humor and humanity.

Overall, the piece moans about her treatment at the hands of once-inspiring pols, it dwells on her career for far too long, and leaves the impression of someone who realized there was no job for her in an Obama administration, so she might as well step outside the tent and lob some bombs.

Still, enjoy your 15 Wendy Button… if you start working for the GOP you could stretch it to 20.

Obama Forgot to Spread His Own Wealth

Obama Forgot to Spread His Own Wealth

Patrick Poole
Even when making more than $250,000, he gave away less than 1 percent to charity until he became a millionaire.

Thinking about Barack Obama’s impromptu lecture to Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher about his plans to “spread the wealth”, I wondered whether Obama was a practitioner of his own “spread the wealth” principles when he had the opportunity to do so, or whether he was the cheap political opportunist and redistributor of the wealth of others that he appeared to be.

 

Looking at Obama’s charitable giving in since 2000 based on his tax returns, we find that Obama consistently refused to follow his own advice to “spread the wealth” when he had the opportunity to do so. This is especially true in years when he made nearly $250,000 or more. Their contributions didn’t increase until Barack Obama’s extraordinary book deal helped make him a millionaire and Michelle Obama received nearly $200,000 raise in May 2005 when she assumed a new position with her employer as vice president of “community and external affairs”.

 

As the chart below shows (HT: TaxProf Blog), from 2000-2004, Obama’s charitable giving was less than 1 percent:

In fact, Obama gave substantially less than the average family making more than $150,000, which averages giving of 2.2 percent of total income according to University of George Professor Russell James.

 

By comparison, John McCain gave more than one-quarter of his income in 2006 and 2007 (28.6 and 27.3 percent respectively). And according to the New York Observer, since 1998, he has donated royalties on his books totaling more than $1.8 million.

 

When Barack and Michelle Obama could voluntarily give more of their own income and had the means well beyond most Americans to do so, they refused. In the event that Barack Obama is elected President, however, he and his Democrat allies in Congress intend to force others to do what he couldn’t do on his own.

 

Vote accordingly.

FOX News Poll: McCain Closing Fast

FOX News Poll: McCain Closing Fast

Thursday, October 30, 2008
By: Rick Pedraza

A FOX News poll released Thursday shows the race between presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama has tightened considerably, with Obama now leading McCain by just three points among likely voters, 47 percent to 44 percent.

Just last week, Obama held a 49 percent to 40 percent lead over his Republican rival, but changes in several swing states has narrowed the margin the Democratic junior senator from Illinois has over McCain.

Among likely voters who say they are independent, Obama has gone from a 9 point lead over McCain last week to just 5 percentage points.

“Independent voters have long been regarded as one of the keys to this race and these results may foreshadow a tightening in the battleground states where independents carry disproportionate weight,” says Ernie Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics Corporation.

In addition, among white Catholics, Obama has completely lost the 11-point edge he held over McCain last week to a split this week of 46 percent to 46 percent.

McCain also has considerably increased the support he receives from his own party over Obama. Fully 88 percent of Republicans now back McCain, up from 83 percent last week, while Obama’s 89 percent of support among Democrats is only slightly up from the 88 percent he was receiving last week.

Among his backers, 88 percent say they support Obama “strongly” and 12 percent “only somewhat.” For McCain, 78 percent of his voters support him “strongly” and 22 percent “only somewhat.”

Among those who have voted early, Obama leads 52 percent to 43 percent over McCain, and newly registered voters say they will come out for Obama by 54 percent to 38 percent.

Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national poll from October 28 to October 29. The poll has a 3-point error margin. ”

Open letter to B.O.

Dear Mr. Obama, 
 
It is 
August 30, 2008 .  My name is Mark Gregg.  
 
I am a 50 something conservative white male. 
I have followed your campaign closely, including the speeches you and others made at the democratic national convention .  
 
I am respectfully providing you with seven simple (probably shallow) reasons why I could never vote for you.  
 
I believe my opinion is shared by many people. 

 

While there may not be quite enough to prevent you from becoming president of this nation, I do think there is an awakening to the fact that you are not a (the) messiah that the media and liberal Hollywood entertainers are trying to portray you. 
 
1. I hear your mantra of change, change, change.  Yet, you picked a long term, liberal, Washington insider ( Joe Biden )  to be your running mate .  
 
 
This is NOT change.  
 
 
It is a move that hypocritically refutes the very thing you supposedly stand for.  Your campaign then slammed McCain for picking Sarah Palin , apparently, because she is NOT a Washington insider.  She is a maverick who cleaned-up Alaska ‘s quagmire of political scandals. 

 
Which way is it, Barack? 

 
Is it okay for you to pick a Washington insider under the mantra of ‘change’, but not okay for John McCain to pick a smart, aggressive, reformer? 
  
 
2. You have the single most liberal voting record in the senate.  
 
This indicates to me and others like me that you may very well be an angry black man seeking to punish our country for sins of a different generation.  
 
 
I am not racist. I have some biases just like you and every other human alive. 
Unlike the democratic party who claims to be for the minority (but their record heavily refutes this), I will give any person who truly needs help, help. 

 
I married a ‘minority’ girl 35 years ago (she is Hispanic) and have seen the evils of prejudice first hand.  
 
However, I have also seen my wife and my children and others in her family throw off the veil of self imposed prejudicial bondage and move ahead. 

 
They love our country and do not view themselves any different than I view myself as a citizen of this country. 
Your lovely wife so disappointed people like me during this campaign when she stated it was the first time she had ever been proud of this country.  
 
 
She apparently never noticed the massive aid we give dozens of other countries.  
 
 
She apparently never noticed the sacrifice of literally millions of veterans who helped make this country a free nation and helped liberate other nations from brutal dictators such as Adolf Hitler .  
 
 
She apparently does not remember that she attended ivy league universities with scholarship money that ultimately (at least some of it) was paid for by our taxes.  
 
 
This troubles me more than you know.  
 
 

She is an angry black woman who appears to not like her country very much. 

 
I don’t want her representing me to the rest of the world. 
    
 
3. You claim Christianity but apparently do not realize that the Bible teaches that he who does not work, does not eat.  
 
 
The Bible does not say or even suggest that he who CANNOT work, should not eat.  
 
 
Yet, your liberal policies reward people who are capable of working, but choose to not do so. 

 
This bothers me. 

 
I know that if you are elected our taxes will spiral upwards.  
 
 
You should heed the words of Winston Churchill :  
 
 
‘We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.’  
 
 
If I like anything about you, it is your campaign promise to balance the federal budget.  Unfortunately, 
we have heard this a huge number of times from a number of different politicians and we realize that when you energize the very liberal Nancy Pelosi , Robert Byrd , Ted Kennedy , etc, etc, and the many other democrats like them, a balanced budget will never, ever happen on your watch.  
 
  
 
4. During your question and answer session with Rick Warren of Saddleback Church your answer concerning the question of where does life begin, stunned  me: 

 
‘Above your pay grade?’  
 
 
Does this mean when something bad happens as President of this nation that you are going to look at your salary to determine if you can respond?  
 
 
I am sorry, but this was the most serious gaffe I have seen you make. 

 
Frankly, it shows me that you are pandering in the most obvious manner.  
 
 
You will choose your words not from your heart, but from an agenda that I believe is still hidden from the American people . 
  
 
5. If anything stands out about you it is probably your appeasement mentality.  
 
 
In this era of rampant, radical Islamic extremism and with the latest stunt pulled by the re-energized Russian government,

 
I am not sure appeasement is healthy.  
 
 

I again revert to the words of Winston Churchill:  
 
‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’ 
  
 
6. You and your party tacitly believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl must have the parents approval to have the school nurse provide them with a Tylenol when they have a headache at school.  
 
 
Yet, this same girl can become pregnant and the school can skirt her off to a clinic and abort the child in her body without the parents knowing or being notified. 

 
This scares the hell out of me. 

 
You have two little girls.  Would you be upset if this happened to them and you were not informed?  
 
 
Then why do you stand for this?  It makes no sense to me. 
  
 
7. My seventh and final point (for now) is your supporters.  
 
 
I have watched the Hollywood entertainers that support you, 
systematically embrace Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and others like him.  
 
 
I see the continuous smut and garbage produced by Hollywood , 
the very people who promote you the most vigorously.  
 
 
It is not a positive point to me and others like me to see these over-paid, bizarre, poor examples of human existence fawn over you and push you and your liberal agenda as hard as they do. 

 
The way I see it;    
 
       When the devil is for you, we should question whether or not we should be against you.  
 
  
 
In closing, 

 
I just want you to know that you scare me. 

 

I cannot vote for you.  
 
 

It is not because of your skin color. 

 
It is because these items I’ve listed and many, many others like them.  
 
 
Do not claim that my dislike for you is race based.  
 
 
It is because I do not feel you have the best interests of this nation at heart. 
  
 
Respectfully, 
  
 
  
 
Mark A. Gregg