I highly recommend this long but excellent piece, “Wall Street Lays Another Egg,” by Niall Ferguson in Vanity Fair. You’ll be smarter if you read even half.
Hat Tip: Ralph Hancock on the Postmodern Conservative blog @ Culture11
CEI’s Iain Murry corrects (UK) Times‘ writer Danny Finklestein on our recent election and American politics. Worth reading no matter which side of the Pond you reside on.
As Jay Nordlinger would say, some pointlets:
Joe the Plumber, forget owning your own business: you are now teed up for your own hit reality show.
Obama is now “Senator Government.” Brit Hume said he thought it was a slip. If so, what a great slip. If not, brilliant.
Schieffer asked a couple of pretty good, hardball questions tonight. And stayed quiet when he should have. He was way better than the other two moderators, I thought.
Loved McCain’s “I am not George Bush” bit. About time. But too little too late? Why has the McCain team been so poor at communicating? Ironically: they share that failure with the Bush administration.
On economics and taxes, why didn’t McCain mention his new thing this week: cutting the capital gains tax to 7.5% from 15% plus a bigger capital loss write-off – ? They are pro-growth policies and important.
Obama gave ONE example of something specific he would cut, and I can’t even remember what it was now. McCain listed at least half a dozen things. Brownie points there for having thought about it.
Loved it when McCain bashed the very bashable ethanol subsidies. He did well on energy, I thought. Liked the detail on nuclear energy and reprocessing plants. Liked that he called Obama out on “we’ll look at it” comment re: drilling (which in polspeak means we’ll do absolutely nothing).
McCain FINALLY hit Obama on all the false/negative ads on his health care plan. A $5,000 tax credit is more than anyone’s getting now, and the benefits tax would be nominal in comparison.
Why did Obama keep smiling and laughing when McCain was hitting him hardest? It seemed odd. A serious, indignant look would have been more effective. And normal.
McCain listed a few of Biden’s wrong judgments on foreign policy including the “cockamamie” idea of splitting Iraq into three parts; good.
McCain brought up ACORN, and that was good. But he should have given more specifics. ACORN has been investigated, and has had employees indicted and incarcerated, for the same kind of voter fraud they are perpetrating this year, yet Obama’s camp still gave them big bucks, and still defends them. There are other ACORN ties as well, and I bet most voters don’t know about them.
I wish McCain were better at narrative. There are connections that could be made, a story that could be told, of who Obama is and where he came from and where he will surely lead us. It’s clear to most of us who have been reading and doing our homework, but the average American probably does not have a cohesive picture of the whole thing. (I’ll try to find that flow chart thingie I saw the other day.)
Sum up: McCain did much better than in the other debates because he had some fire and said things we hadn’t heard umpteen times and went after Obama more on legit points; and Obama did a little worse than previously because he reverted to talking points when flustered and because of the weird laughing thing.
I think McCain won by a little, but not sure it’s enough.
And now for a serious look at this year’s campaign season (turn speakers on; page load time is worth the wait).
Well, I don’t relish raining on conservatives’ celebratory parade after Tuesday’s primary victories here in Nevada, but a commitment to fair analysis requires that I do just that.
Those acquainted with me pre-E!! know I was a Fred Thompson supporter before he dropped out of the presidential race. I believed then (and still think) he was the most reliably Conservative of all the GOP candidates in all the areas that matter most.
One of my favorite things about Fred was that he wasn’t overtly enthusiastic about getting The Job. This annoyed a lot of people and probably cost him a spot in the top 3, but I considered his reserve – i.e. his lack of zeal for politicking - a big plus. It was (and will continue to be) my contention that our pick should always be the man most qualified to lead but least lustful for power and the public eye.
Thompson’s analysis on the Russian invasion of Georgia and other international issues today is just excellent. Be sure to read his conclusion, with which I thoroughly agree and would add: the White House driveway is a dangerous place for Obama to practice his driving skills.