From the front lines: Ranchers speak out on border chaos

From the front lines: Ranchers speak out on border chaos

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 30, 2010 11:09 PM

I will continue to keep you updated on the investigation into Arizona rancher Rob Krentz’s brutal murder. The latest:

*Funeral services have been set for April 9-10 in Douglas.

*Police are working on theories about the shooter possibly belonging to “a drug cartel scout or a band of thieves terrorizing Arizona ranches.”

*Open-borders Sen. Johnny Come Lately McCain, in the political battle of his life, is now calling for the National Guard. Don’t read his lips. Read his border security-undermining, law enforcement-abandoning record.

*The Arizona Farm Bureau sends the following statement:

“The murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz this last weekend should not have happened and was preventable,” said Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers. He and his organization send their deepest sympathy to the Krentz family for their loss.

According to Rogers, the ranching and farming community along the border, have been asking for a secure border for many years. “Our members are the ones who see the illegal traffic including drug and human cargo smuggling coming across their farms and ranches.” Rogers explained that over the last several years, his members have reported coming face to face with these smugglers that are well armed and menacing. “It is time for the federal government to fix this problem before another one of our ranch or farm families are injured or killed. No family should have to endure what the Krentz family is experiencing.”

Rogers said inaction by Congress can no longer be tolerated. “The border needs to be secured,” said Rogers. His organization has long called for securing the border and fixing the worker visa program so we know who is coming into the U.S. and who is overstaying their permission to be here. “Fixing the worker visa program becomes part of securing the border,” he emphasized.

If this tragedy is connected to smuggling from Mexico, swift action is needed to make sure this will not lead to an escalation in Arizona of the violence associated with the drug cartel brutality now just south of our border. “Until Congress addresses securing the border, all necessary resources should be focused on Arizona’s border,” concluded Rogers.

Letters from ranchers along the southern border are pouring into my e-mail box. Here’s a sample of messages from the front lines:

From Michael in Florence, AZ…

Thanks for mentioning the story about Bob Krentz’ death. This hit my own family pretty hard at the nearby Riggs Ranch. We’ve been their neighbors for over 100 years, our own place established in 1881 in Dos Cabezas. This Government of ours just won’t provide the protection needed to secure this border, and the media is not even on the same planet with reporting about it. When the US Customs office located at the Maricopa BOT in Nogales got machined gunned last December by one of the cartels, not even the Arizona Republic did the episode any justice. The Fourth Estate doesn’t exist anymore; today, its just a propaganda outlet for special interests.

Thanks for your good work.

From Danielle…

Thank you for calling attention to the murder of the Arizona rancher. This is not an isolated problem. Families who have farmed and ranched on the US/Mexico border for over a hundred years. For many years, we farmed along side those on the other side of the border. Most people who crossed our properties were not a threat, but that has long since changed. We now find ourselves faced with a government that feels the issue is not significant, as well as our neighbors in the city who are more concerned about “immigrants rights” than our safety. While Bush’s fence project had a lot of problems, the section that crosses our property created a significant deterrent. Traffic decreased from over a hundred per day to a handful per week. The cartels don’t care how they get access to your property. If they can’t buy you out, they will kill you and your family.

Families who live along both sides of the border have been threatened and attacked for some time now by cartels. On the same weekend that the consulate worker was murdered, a young man from Fabens, Texas and his father in law were kidnapped and taken into Mexico. He had turned in a group who had moved onto his property and set up a meth lab to law enforcement. Both men were tortured for several hours before they were finally murdered and dumped.

Many families are sending their children, especially their sons, to live with friends or family away from the border so that they can attend school in relative safety without being intimidated into working for the cartels.

The cartels have been cultivating deep reaches into US communities for many years. They front legitimate businesses on this side of the border. Cartel members have used these “respectable faces” to gain influence and seats on school boards and city and county governments as well as working in many of our law enforcement agencies.

From Billie in CA…

Michelle,

…As a ranching wife, my heart goes out to Bob’s family and especially his wife Susan. No one outside the ranching community knows how hard a life this is ( in terms of physical work never being done). To those of us who love it, the price is well worth the benefits. But not for Susan Krentz. I cannot imagine what she must feel, knowing they have been robbed before, vandalized and terrorized.

While Obama and his minions wax poetic about health care ( and the so called threats of not having it) there is a hardworking woman who has been pulling her own weight for decades that now faces her golden years without her beloved husband and without any security for the future of her children or herself on the ranch they love.

Ranching families work hard as teams to get everything done to care for their animals. They are usually short on help considering all that needs to be done. I hope that Susan’s loss of her husband, her partner in the business and the head of a multi generational legacy is not lost in the reporting. Her life is forever changed and helping her find a sense of peace and sanity is what we all need to think about.

Meghan McCain: Laura Ingraham ‘can continue to kiss my ass!’ Tea Partiers at town hall meetings during the last year are “filled with vitriolic feelings that walk a fine line with the spewing of hate,” McCain said, and the “voices [at these town hall meetings] have become saturated with anger.”

Meghan McCain: Laura Ingraham ‘can continue to kiss my ass!’

Posted By intern1 On Friday, March 26th, 2010 @ 12:21 PM In DC Exclusives, Middle Column, Sub4:Politics | 111 Comments

Meghan McCain spoke to students at the George Washington University on Thursday as Young America’s Foundation [1] protesters criticized her stance on gay marriage and counter-protesters showed their support for the daughter of Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain.

Meghan McCain, who calls herself a “progressive Republican,” implored Republicans to “stop being so stubborn and closed-minded.”

Throughout the night, McCain was critical of right-wing pundits, telling the audience, “I’m not Ann Coulter, I’m not Glenn Beck … I’m not trying to get my own show on Fox … I’m adamantly against hate-mongering.”

There is “no place for the nasty Laura Ingrahams and Ann Coulters,” McCain said, briefly touching on a spat she had with Ingraham last year.

In a March 2009 Daily Beast column [2], McCain said of Coulter: “I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time.” Ingraham responded [3], calling McCain “just another Valley Girl gone awry” and “plus-sized.” Co-hosting ABC’s The View a few days later, McCain told Laura Ingraham, “Kiss my fat ass!” [4]

Has the situation between the two been resolved? Not exactly. “By the way, she can continue to kiss my ass!” McCain said. “I was too fat to be a Republican … yeah that makes me feel good. Too fat to be an elephant!”

Though unhappy with pundits, McCain expressed mixed feelings about town hall protesters.

Tea Partiers at town hall meetings during the last year are “filled with vitriolic feelings that walk a fine line with the spewing of hate,” McCain said, and the “voices [at these town hall meetings] have become saturated with anger.”

“I don’t think the Founding Fathers expected [the town halls] to turn into World Wrestling Federation arenas,” she joked.

She did give some credit to town hall protesters: “Many of those people asking heated questions did so because the media isn’t doing its job.”

In her speech, titled “Redefining Republican,” the 25-year old addressed critics who say that she isn’t really a Republican. “I am not saying, ‘Let’s abandon the core ideals that the Republican Party was built on,’” she said, “I love the Republican Party, I really do.” But, she asked, “Why am I not allowed to question [the GOP]?”

“Not everyone has to fit the profile or a stereotype,” she said, warning against the party using a litmus test to determine who is a real Republican and who is not.

McCain stressed her beliefs in a strong national defense, a limited government that leaves people alone and said, “the health-care bill has scared the shit out of me this week.” Spending, she said, was the common thread among Republicans of all stripes, and that’s what keeps her a proud member of the Republican Party.

“Start talking about Afghanistan and I’ll show you just how Republican I am.”

She did stress her staunch support of gay marriage, a position that has gotten her into trouble with more conservative members of the party.

“You hear that, GW Young Republicans [5]?” she said after espousing her beliefs on gay marriage, referring to the initial drama several months ago over sponsorship of her visit.

College Republicans at the university originally agreed to co-sponsor McCain’s speech with Allied in Pride [6], an organization for LGBTQ students. But when College Republicans learned that the speech was intended as the keynote event for Marriage Equality Week [7], they pulled sponsorship. The event eventually had to be re-scheduled due to snow storms in Washington, D.C., and Thursday’s event was no longer a part of Marriage Equality Week, but the College Republicans had already pulled their funding and were replaced by the Log Cabin Republicans [8].

McCain also shared thoughts on a slew of politicians and media personalities:

On South Carolina representative Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst [9] during President Obama’s address to Congress: “I have been to many heated rallies, but still I was taken aback … the president didn’t deserve that.”

On Joy Behar [10]: “I actually love Joy Behar even though she’s a huge Democrat.”

On John Kerry [11]: “I voted for John Kerry in the 2004 election cycle. Yes, I was on the wrong boat.”

On two of her favorite senators, Joe Lieberman [12] of Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham [13] of South Carolina: “I just think they’re rock stars.”

And on Sarah Palin [14], her father’s 2008 running mate: “I don’t dislike her in the way people assume. I respect any woman who can go out and kick ass in politics.” Asked by a student whether McCain and her father ever talk about the former Alaska governor: “Never.”

“God DAMN America !”

“God DAMN America !”

by Beth Gilinsky, Action Alliance Network, November 2, 2008

 

Gary Cooper in High Noon

Gary Cooper in High Noon

Once upon a time there was an America that wasn’t embarrassed to be like a Gary Cooper or Joel McCrae character: big and straight-talking; at times a little rough around the edges but so quick to smile you felt like the sun was coming out after a rainstorm. It was a loyal America that cherished not only ideals as vast as liberty, justice, equality under the law, and victory over Evil, but also things as basic as a summer afternoon’s baseball game — or any game — where the playing field was level. 

It was a strapping, Big Blue Sky America of adventurous kids who grew into can-do adults who still got goose-bumps at the first notes of “Stars and Stripes Forever” because it symbolized the greatness that was still within us. This was an America where a man’s handshake was his word and he knew he loved his country, and that plus an unbeatable Constitution created the most miraculous and magnanimous nation ever. Of late it seems a memory, but it was there and it is still to be found in America ’s heartland if one only takes the time to look.

Educators, Hollywood, and the media have for decades so dumbed down language and ideas, debased standards, and depressed the sweetness and beauty of life for much of our citizenry that many Americans are convinced now that patriotism means having to say you’re sorry – in every foreign country and at every opportunity — for America. They have been convinced that America is so rotten that no one should be able to examine the credentials of a man laden with activities and items open to question since this man espouses this new, “enlightened” version of America . We are being lead to believe that someone’s virtue is beyond question because he espouses the fashionable “virtue” of “blaming America first”. Because he consistently questions America we, perversely, can no longer question him.

If we don’t wake up in the next 24 hours, the man beyond investigation will be entrusted as Commander in Chief of our military forces, appoint heads of the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies, and will have access to any piece of information, classified or not. Barak Obama evidently deems as insignificant the Constitutional and security concerns of American voters, because he has refused to have released his records from Occidental College and Columbia College and Harvard, his selective service registration, his medical records, his Illinois State Senate schedule, his law practice’s client list, a certified copy of his original birth certificate and an embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth, any Harvard Law Review or University of Chicago scholarly articles he published, or even a record of his Baptism. This does appear to be a man of deliberate and planned secrecy.

This, combined with his disquieting associations with extremists and plans to meet without preconditions with dictators troubles those of us who have not fallen for everything Obama. We are weary of being instructed that we should not question anyone’s patriotism. Well, many question the patriotism of Obama’s associate, Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. We also wonder why Obama skirts the issue of his relationship with former PLO operative Rashid Khalidi and presides over a campaign that remains mum on the sources of many of the millions of dollars raised for this most expensive election ever.

Barak Obama sat for twenty years, was married by, had his children Baptized by, and was a friend of a vicious hater, the Rev. “God DAMN America !” There is no possible explanation for Obama’s continued presence in Rev. Wright’s sphere but one: he liked what he was hearing. If you are voting for Obama, you must also find the words “God DAMN America !” an idea, the new form of “patriotism”, you can live with comfortably.

When you go to the polls on Tuesday, please follow the words of Martin Luther King and judge Barak Obama not on the color of his skin but on the content of his character, as well as on the quality of his associations, the soundness of his policies and ideas. Meeting without preconditions with human rights abusing dictators who are giving weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations that label America the Great Satan is not sound foreign policy. If you vote for Barak Obama, you are in essence asserting that American and Allied leaders should have met with Adolph Hitler before the war, with no preconditions.

Joe the Plumber asked a simple question of Barak Obama and an Ohio Party hack suddenly approved a records investigation on him. Can you also live with this comfortably? Is this the kind of America you want where, if you ask a question of the “anointed one” the state opens an investigation into your past? Can you really say you care about our basic rights and not question why this occurred and its implications for America in an Obama Presidency? Why are those who even dare utter Barak Obama’s middle name, “Hussein,” branded as bigots by his admirers? Is it to silence them? Today there may be one Joe the Plumber, but after Election Day, we may all become Joe the Plumbers.

If you are voting on Tuesday and cannot discern between America and the dictatorships in different countries where people are tortured and beaten by their governments, women are gang raped by dictators, dissidents are incarcerated for years without trial, and young children are strapped with bombs and sent to blow themselves up, then either you have not seen enough of the world Barak Obama so wants us to meet with and apologize to or you yourself have been so desensitized and confused by the media bias and “entertainment” industry violence you are no longer able differentiate between a basically decent but at times flawed America and those horrific regimes and tyrants exerting daily their perverted form of barbaric cruelty. And before you leave to vote, ask yourself if, in a couple of years you might possibly find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering, “What was it about the words ‘God DAMN America’ that I found so convincing? How could I have cast my vote to hurt the country that really was so good to me?”

Voter Information Sheet for Tuesday (hand out at polling places)

Voter Information Sheet for Tuesday (hand out at polling places)

by Bill Levinson

The Word document is formatted to fit on a single page, for distribution at polling places tomorrow. Please feel free to copy and circulate. Be sure to obey your state’s regulations regarding the distance you must keep between yourself and the polling place when you hand out partisan material.

election_day
Captain (USN, retired) John McCain
A lifetime of service to our country

Barack Obama
A lifetime of service to his personal ambitions

(1) Has vowed to destroy the coal industry with carbon taxes—a position supported by his running mate Joseph Biden, who vowed “No new coal plants.”
(2) Will be tested with an international crisis similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis (the closest the U.S. and USSR ever came to nuclear war), again per Joe Biden.
(3) Launched his political career in the home of Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
(4) Committed “voter suppression, harassment, and intimidation” during the Nevada caucuses, per a letter from Hillary Clinton’s campaign counsel.
(5) Misused tax exempt church resources by giving a speech with campaign-related content at the United Church of Christ’s 2007 Synod in Hartford.
(6) Refused to “reject” the endorsement of the prominent racist, anti-Semite, and Catholic-hating bigot Louis Farrakhan until Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton backed him into a corner during a nationally televised debate.
(7) Accepted a testimonial from Michael Pfleger, who mocked Hillary Clinton’s tears while exulting that “There were a whole lot of white people crying.”
o Obama’s fellow churchgoers gave this hate speech a standing ovation.
(8) Accepted a testimonial from Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.
o The Obamas belonged to Wright’s church for 20 years, during which time it published blood libels of both the U.S. and Israel (false accusations of developing the AIDS virus and an Arab-specific “ethnic bomb” respectively) and other forms of hate speech.
(9) Solicited and accepted the endorsement of MoveOn.org, which:
o Welcomed anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic hate speech at its now-disgraced Action Forum
o Published a derogatory photo-manipulation of Pope Benedict
o Published a defamatory insult to General David Petraeus
(10) Endorsed Al Sharpton and his National Action Network in April 2007.
o The NAN, while under Sharpton’s leadership and supervision, shouted racial and anti-Semitic epithets at a Jewish-owned store in Harlem (Freddy’s Fashion Mart) that one of Sharpton’s deranged followers then set on fire.
o See also the Crown Heights riots and Tawana Brawley for Sharpton’s long record of inciting hatred of white people, and especially Jews.
(11) Endorsed Black Nationalism in “Dreams From My Father”
o Belittled a Black classmate for having a white girlfriend
o Spoke of the need to “show loyalty to the Black masses”
(12) Welcomed the most vicious imaginable anti-Semitic and ageist hate speech at his official campaign site (over which his campaign exercises editorial control)
(13) Supports live birth abortion (infanticide) per his vote in the Illinois State Senate

Barack Obama’s pastor called upon God to damn America.
God BLESS America, McCain ‘08

(Copies paid for by the user, not authorized by any campaign)

Thoughts on the instinct of self-preservation or, Why I still, even now, believe John McCain will be moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20

Thoughts on the instinct of self-preservation or, Why I still, even now, believe John McCain will be moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20

Posted By Roger Kimball On November 3, 2008 @ 7:21 am In Uncategorized | 146 Comments

[UPDATE: Alas, the story about Michelle Obama’s taste in champagne and caviar turns out not to be true: see [1] here. I regret the mistake. I also take this occasion to correct a couple of typos readers have graciously called my attention to.]

I know, I know: Michelle Obama has placed a large order for [2] Bolly, Iranian caviar, and lobster to be delivered to the servants’ entrance on January 20, but she’ll have plenty of time to redirect the order. Will she need to? Not if you ask Nancy Pelosi, most pollsters, anyone remotely affiliated with The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, etc., etc. It’s not just the conventional wisdom, it’s the weight of the Zeitgeist: Obama must win, indeed, if you read the script, he already has won. The whole tedious election thing is really just a formality, a public ratification of a reality that has already been achieved by acclamation.

Maybe so, maybe so. Obamamania is a more powerful hallucinogen than I’d reckoned on. I [3] once compared it to Beatlemania, but it affects middle-aged men (witness Chris Matthews and his leg) as well as pubescent females. A few months ago, [4] Mark Steyn admitted that whenever he heard an Obama speech, he startedto giggle. I know how he felt. The combination of earnest presentation and utter vacuousness is amusing, like an precocious eight-year-old dressed in a suit and tie pretending to give a speech. (”Obama,” [5] Thomas Sowell recently observed, “has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.”)

I stopped giggling some time ago, not because I think Obama is any less preposterous, but because I saw that this was a case in which–history is full of melancholy examples–the preposterous was colluding with the the rough currents of naked political power. The Chicago machine politics out of which Obama rose to prominence. The radical, violence-saturated ideas of  Obama’s colleague Bill “the bomber”  Ayers. The equally radical racialist ideas of Rev. Jeremiah “God-damn America” Wright, in which Obama and his wife were steeped for more than 20 years. The influence of organizations like ACORN, which notoriously specializes in voter fraud and yet [6] still enjoys public funding.

Such things made me realize that Obama’s preposterousness was nevertheless a worrisomely  effective political force. Will he prevail tomorrow? Against the odds, I continue to have my doubts. Why? Various commentators have enumerated some reasons. John Podhoretz, for example, provided [7] ten plausible reasons for thinking McCain might win. And there are all the little hints, cracks, adumbrations, and anomalies in the polls. Team Obama is braying publicly. Privately, I suspect, they are concerned.

They should be. Yes, they might win. Having vastly outspent McCain–in some key states the ratio was reported to be something like[8] 20-1 in television ads–and (let us acknowledge) having also smoothly outcampaigned McCain, Obama has reason to feel confident.

Nevertheless, I continue to think McCain can pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Why? Not because of any complex statistical alchemy but for the simple old fashioned reason that I do not believe the instinct for self-preservation has been entirely bred out of the American electorate.

I understand that larger and larger swaths of America are turning purple if not blue as affluence coupled with tertiary education and cultural relativism transform more and more people into latte-drinking, NPR-listening, global-warming hysterics who regard Karl Rove as an evil genius and Sarah Palin as an anencephalic breeding machine on skis.

I understand that. Even so, the current financial meltdown (and whose fault was that, [9] Barney Frank?), like the prospect of hanging in a fortnight, has done wonders to concentrate the mind. The world, many people are beginning to realize once again, is a dangerous and unpredictable place. Bad things can happen. And in the great existential lottery that assigns everyone his chit, to be born an American–black or white, rich or poor–is to have pulled a very enviable number indeed.

I think a lot of people understand that, even though they may not wish to mention it at their Obama rally or while signing a “U.S.-Out-of-Guantanamo” petition. A lot of them get a little thrill proclaiming their solidarity with Obama–”Hey, I’m voting against the awful legacy of slavery by helping to elect the first black candidate in history!” Never mind that Obama, the child of a Kenyan father an a white American woman, has no more to do with the “legacy of slavery” than does Barbra Streisand–it’s the symbol of the thing! Obama looks the part, and he does so (as [10] Joe Biden observed before he became the pick for VP) in a way that is “clean and articulate,” i.e. not scary.

Of course, there are many, many people who are die-hard Obama supporters. But on the other side are not just knuckle-dragging right-wing throwbacks like me. There are also, I suspect, many, many people who worry about Obama’s offhand comment to Joe the Plumber about “spreading the wealth around.” When the shouts of Change! Yes We Can! Change! are not ringing in their ears, they wonder about politicians setting an arbitrary limit to individuals’ prosperity and then using the awesome mechanism of state power to prevent them from rising higher.

Despite Obama’s reassurances about a tax-cut for the little guy, they worry when a [11] 2001 interview surfaces and Obama can be heard criticizing the “essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution” regarding things like “the redistribution of wealth.” If Obama wants to remove such “essential constraints,” can he in [12] good faith place his hand on the Bible and swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”?

Judges must swear to administer the law “without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.” But [13] Obama is on record saying he thinks judges should empathize with and give preference to the disadvantaged. In an Obama administration, we’ll have to start chipping off the blindfolds from the figure of Justice that adorns so many court houses. I think that will give many people pause.

Americans who worry as much about energy costs as they do about their carbon foot-print will also be given pause by [14] Obama’s promise–recorded in an interview last January, but only recently released–to “bankrupt” the coal industry with greenhouse gas taxes if they dare to build any more coal-fired plants. How is that playing, I wonder, in Pennsylvania?

Many Americans, I say, look around at the world at large and they worry. They cast an anxious eye on a newly rampant, nuclear-armed but also imploding Russia. When Russian invaded Georgia this summer, John McCain instantly condemned the act. Obama–what did he do? [15] He began by saying there was fault on both sides and they recommended turning the problem over to the U.N.

But Russia isn’t the only international problem. There is Venezuela, for example. Hugo Chavez has made no secret of his ambition to topple “the [16] American empire“. There is Iran, with its nuclear ambitions and wild anti-Israel rhetoric, there is Islamic terrorism. There is a long and growing list.

Many Americans will be thinking about such contingencies and asking themselves: Whom would I pick in a crisis? In the privacy of the voting booth, I suspect many people–even, perhaps, some who sport an Obama button–will ponder such questions and conclude that Obama makes a great celebrity but is just too big a gamble to entrust with the future of our country.

The instinct for self-preservation is a simple, primitive force, difficult to eradicate or even blunt. We’ll see tomorrow to what extent ACORN, moveon.org, and their allies have been able to supplant it with the lemming instinct.

McCain pokes fun at campaign on ‘SNL’

McCain pokes fun at campaign on ‘SNL’
Nov 2 01:41 AM US/Eastern
By BETH FOUHY
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Republican John McCain poked fun at his presidential campaign’s financial shortcomings and his reputation as a political maverick in an appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”The presidential hopeful made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the show, with Tina Fey reprising her memorable impersonation of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

McCain, who is trailing Democrat Barack Obama in most battleground state polls, also appeared during the show’s “Weekend Update” newscast to announce he would pursue a new campaign strategy in the closing days of the campaign.

“I thought I might try a strategy called the reverse maverick. That’s where I’d do whatever anybody tells me,” McCain said.

And if that didn’t work, “I’d go to the double maverick. I’d just go totally berserk and freak everybody out,” the Arizona senator quipped.

Earlier in the show, McCain and Fey, portraying Palin, said they couldn’t afford a half-hour campaign commercial on network television like Democrat Barack Obama aired earlier this week. They said they’d sell campaign products on the QVC shopping channel instead.

Among other things, McCain advertised a set of knives to cut through pork in Washington. His wife, Cindy McCain, briefly appeared to advertise “McCain Fine-Gold” jewelry, a play on the campaign finance law McCain authored with Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Fey, as Palin, advertised a set of “Joe” dolls commemorating Joe the Plumber, Joe Six Pack and her Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

The pretend Palin also pulled out T-shirts saying “Palin 2012” and said she wouldn’t be returning to Alaska after the election.

“I’m either running in four years or I’m going to be a white Oprah,” she said.
.

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.