Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, October 31, 2008

A Rerun Of My First Blogger Costume Party

Who's that with Joshua Claybourn?

Sasha Castel

Andrew Ian Dodge, Paul Jané

Samizdata's David Carr and Perry de Havilland act out one of their favorite James Bond scenes.

The Four Horsemen of the Arcturcalypse: (from left) William Sjostrom, Jay Manifold, Alan Henderson (before LASIK surgery), "Vinteuil"

Looks like they done fisked a Redcoat.


Josh feels a disturbance in the force - it's Darth Lileks!

After successfully infiltrating the Federation and stealing the formula for Romulan ale, Andrew Ian Dodge makes a costume change and reports back to Babylon 5 with his findings.


The Joshua Claybourn link now goes to group blog In The Agora, where he now posts.

Sasha Castel and Paul Jané have since left the blogosphere.

Jay Manifold's blog hasn't been updated in ages, but he is a contributor at group blog Chicago Boyz, which now joins the blogroll.

I have now embedded a hyperlink to the identity of the Redcoat.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Latest McCain Endorsements

Besides Joe the Guitarist, there's Wendy Button, former speechwriter for Barack Obama:

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.

I wonder if moose costumes with faux bullet holes will be seen this Halloween...


The Latest Obama Endorsements

Tom Metzger, Director of the White Aryan Resistance, backs Obama:

"The corporations are running things now, so it's not going to make much difference who's in there, but McCain would be much worse. He's a warmonger. He's a scary, scary person — more dangerous than Bush. Obama, according to his book, Dreams Of My Father, is a racist and I have no problem with black racists. I've got the quote right here: 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's white race.' The problem with Obama is he's being dishonest about his racial views. I'd respect him if he'd just come out and say, 'Yeah, I'm a black racist.' I don't hate black people. I just think it's in the best interest of the races to be separated as much as possible. See, I'm a leftist. I'm not a rightist. I hate the transnational corporations far more than any black person."

Obama says his book is misquoted - click the above link for details.

The source is an Esquire article titled Why White Supremacists Support Barack Obama. The title is a bit misleading - Ron Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Imperial Klans of America, sees McCain as the lesser evil ("I don't like McCain, but he's the only one I can vote for...I'm going Republican and I talked to my guys and most of them are voting for McCain too"), and Yahanna is a black supremacist opposing Obama ("Every black leader that has some form of power has given black people false hope, when in fact, the closer they get to the white establishment, the more they become an actual enemy to black people").


Rush Dissects Obama "Mourning In America" Disinfomercial

Right here. This sums up the mood:

Obama really is a depressing man, and he sees a depressing country. He sees an America with nothing but victims. He's got a depressing family; he has depressing friends. His solutions are depressing. He's got depressing methods of running a campaign. He's got policies that are going to lead to an economic depression! The word that we need to associate with Barack Obama is depressed and depression.

REad the whole thing, and check out the linked articles at the end.


Joe Perry Supports McCain

Does that mean he can play Aerosmith tunes without getting complaints? I guess we have to ask Steve Tyler. Where is he these days?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What Occupied The First Half Of My Week

Dallas County Criminal District Court No. 7. I was juror 9.

Anyone who wishes to attempt a parody of Love Potion Number Nine is welcome to it.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Class Is In Session

Redistributionism in one lesson.

Via Obnoxio The Clown, in comments to this Samizdata post.

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The Great Escape



Monday, October 27, 2008

How Do You Say "Yikes" In German?

Obama invokes Godwin's Law (emphasis added):

"...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home."


Volokh Conspirator Quote Of The Day

Ilya Somin reacts to an incident in which Bill Ayers, not a respector of other people's property, invokes property rights to oust a nosy reporter from his doorstep:

I want to emphasize that this is a small example of how property rights play an important role in protecting unpopular people. Private property gives minorities with unpopular views, lifestyles, or identities, a secure space in which they are protected from the hostility of the majority.

FYI, like both Volokh brothers, Somin was born in the Soviet Union, a nation famous for its war against the very institution of private property. See his curriculum vitae here.


Barack Obama Praises Wealth Redistribution In 2001 Interview


Keep in mind that a hefty chunk of that "redistribution" goes to bureaucratic overhead. Hm, I wonder what that percentage is?


Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 60, "She Who Is Tested"

Robert Spencer has the installment here. Chief topic is treaties with unbelievers.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008


Michelle Malkin was right. And she offers sound advice:

Stop jumping every time Drudge hypes something in Armageddon-sized font.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

That Alleged Political Mugging Incident

Michelle Malkin is skeptical about the woman's claims.

So am I. She's got the black eye and the facial marking, but the story doesn't add up. I tossed out some random thoughts at Transterrestiral Musings:

I have a hard time that she would keep her head still enough for the perp to carve that "B" on her face.

Note this detail:

"She told police the man then sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and used what she believed was a dull knife with a roughly 5-inch blade to carve the B"

(Link via a skeptical Michelle Malkin.)

That means that her head was right side up when the mugger carved it (if that's what happened).

Maybe it's an underlined M instead of a B?

Actually, it looks like two thirds of the EIB logo

Look at her pic in the Malkin post. The skin isn't even broken. What kind of a mugger carries a knife that dull? I've seen butter knives sharper than that.

If it weren't for the letter carving allegation, this would be dog-bites-man. Of course muggers are offended by the party that's tougher on law enforcement.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

We Have The Technology

Cancer-fighting beer.


They Say That Obama Will Turn Us Into France

It's worse - he could turn us into Great Britain. The NRA has a fact sheet on Obama's Second Amendment record. The Rott has the NRA's latest video ad.

This 2004 Telegraph article gives a short history of the disarmament of British citizens, and some mention of its appeasement of criminals. British gun control goes so far as to criminalize self-defense:

Finally, in 1967, tucked into an omnibus revision of criminal law, approved without discussion, was a section that altered the traditional standards for self-defence. Everything was to depend on what seemed "reasonable" force after the fact. It was never deemed reasonable to defend property with force. According to the Textbook of Criminal Law the requirement that an individual's efforts to defend himself be "reasonable" is "now stated in such mitigated terms as to cast doubt on whether it still forms part of the law".

The right to self-defense seems to be making a comeback in Great Britain. Let's not follow the opposite trend here.

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It's Back!

I just discovered that the original version of "Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?" is back on YouTube.

Let's revisit a claim documented in my original post. Ed Morissey had stated that "entire songs were used in this publication." Oh really? Here's the soundtrack list with duration times:

"Money for Nothing," Dire Straits -- 2:20
"Free Falling," John Mayer -- 0:51
"Burning Down the House," Talking Heads -- 0:33
"Holding Out For A Hero," Bonnie Tyler -- 0:52
"Money Talks," AC/DC --2:07
"Save Me," Remy Zero -- 3:16
"Redemption" (Rocky II theme), Bill Conti (composer) -- 0:09
"Eye of the Tiger," Survivor -- 0:58

The closest thing to an entire song is the third to last; this YouTube video of "Save Me" has a 4:20 duration.

Mayer doesn't have that Tom Petty creepiness to make that song work. This is how "Free Falling" is done:

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Tell Me About It

America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree

College professor Glenn Reynolds has one word: "ouch."

I read this sentence and thought of an entirely different subject than that the author Marty Nemko pursues:

Colleges are quick to argue that a college education is more about enlightenment than employment.

By "enlightenment" Nemko refers to the propensity to prioritize research over education; "Colleges and universities are businesses, and students are a cost item, while research is a profit center."

What concerns me is that four-year programs prioritize subjects outside the major than within. Degree programs require that students take the same history and literature classes they took in high school - that's four classes that could be devoted to learning something that's actually needed on the job. Colleges need to be more vocationally oriented.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Like The Moon

India sends its first unmanned mission.

(via Insty)



Ben Bernanke endorses Obama.

Ben Bernanke says don't raise taxes (via Pej).

My head hurts.


Monday, October 20, 2008

What Obama's Involvement With Ayers At Annenberg Means

Given the history as stated in the post below, one of three possibilities exists:

  1. Obama accepted the offer to chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge without bothering to find out what kind of people were involved with the organization.
  2. Obama was apathetic about Bill Ayers' evil.
  3. Obama could not recognize Bill Ayers' evil.

I don't want to see any of those characteristics in a president, especially when it comes to foreign policy and domestic law enforcement policy.

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Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Story here.

Note Powell's resume: US Army general, National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State. This man is endorsing a candidate who had a policymaking relationship with a cofounder of the Weather Underground, whose exploits included a plot to set off a massive bomb at Fort Dix. A US Army base.

Obama chaired the Annenberg Challenge, which funded and implemented education programs in many Chicago schools. Some programs were drafted by CAC itself - that department led by Bill Ayers. Stanley Kurtz has details. Here's a snippet:

In the first year, 1995, Obama headed the board, which made fiscal decisions, and Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative, which set education policy. During that first year, Obama’s formal responsibilities mandated close cooperation and coordination with the Collaborative. As board chair and president of the CAC corporation, Obama was authorized to 'delegate to the Collaborative the development of collaborative projects and programs . . . to obtain assistance of the Collaborative in the development of requests for proposals . . . and to seek advice from the Collaborative regarding the programmatic aspects of grant proposals.' All this clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers...As CAC board chair, Obama was essentially authorizing the funding of Ayers’s own educational projects, and the projects of Ayers’s radical allies.

What sort of curricula did CAC foist on Chicago? Blogger Maggie M. Thornton has unearthed a few examples.

Wikipedia notes CAC's effectiveness:

The results of an August 2003 final technical report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project by the Consortium on Chicago School Research "suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.

Update: These protest signs long predated Powell's endorsement. Did he ever notice?

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Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 58, "The Pleading Woman," and 59, "Exile"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Do You Think Like Obama?

I took this test and disagreed with Obama on all 48 questions.

The quiz is administered by Brad O'Leary, author of The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's War on American Values.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Much Belated Nobel Blogging

Well, this year the Nobel Peace Prize (which I really stopped caring about a long time ago) went to somebody who actually negotiated for peace. Don't know enough about the regions where Martti Ahtisaari visited to know if his diplomatioc efforts actually had any lasting benefit. Results was never a criterion for the prize, but hey, that's me.

Results are a criterion for the Nobel prize in Economics, however. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is not one of the five prizes established by the Nobel Foundation; it is the creation of the Bank of Sweden, named in honor of Alfred Nobel. This year's award went to Paul Krugman, "for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity."

National Review's Jonah Goldberg is one conservative who has not let Krugman's career as a hack opinion writer for the New York Times distract him from the fact that he really did deserve the prize. He argues that Krugman was given the prize specifically for furthering the understanding of international trade economics, and his subsequent career as a hack opinion writer for the New York Times is a separate issue not relevant to the prize.

(As someone who has awarded a liberty prize to Communists - who overthrew Communism - I can't argue with that logic.)

In this item at The Corner, Goldberg posts a fascinating dissenting letter that contrasts Milton Friedman and Krugman. Friedman brought his economic genius to his popular writings, but Krugman chose a different path:

He routinely fudges facts and, when called on it, refuses to admit error. He never presents both sides of an argument dispassionately and then uses reason and observed experience to discern the truth. He consistently demonizes anyone who doesn’t agree with him. His shrill, hysterical voice trivializes honest differences and invites counter-attack rather than reasoned rebuttal. Plus he’s not even well-informed on many issues that fall outside his academic specializations.

I know the Nobel committee doesn’t judge entirely on the basis of someone’s career, but Krugman’s Nobel should make them rethink this. He continues to use his NYTimes column in a way that diminishes the intellectual standards of his field. This does significant, long-run harm to what the Nobel Committee calls “Economic Sciences,” perhaps entirely offsetting the value of Krugman’s academic contributions.

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A Modest Compromise Proposal

What if we let the illegal aliens stay and deport all of ACORN?

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Bush Quits

Not really, but I'd love to hear him deliver this speech (minus the part about Cheney resigning too and leaving Pelosi the White House). And the part about the WMDs - he forgot to mention those truck convoys to Syria that never got searched, that Saddam was able to send because like idiots our government gave him advanced warning.

(Via Samizdata)

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No "Kill Him" Remark During Palin Speech, Says Secret Service

LGF has the story.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Latest Campaign Myth

Weekly Standard establishes that the "kill him" remark yelled by a Palin rally attendee was made in reference to Ayers, not Obama.

Freeper "2ndDivisionVet" throws out this bit of snark:

Since the subject was Ayers, then the "Kill him", if it existed, would most likely be about him. And Ayers would not be on very good philosphical ground for opposing it.

This death fantasy, by contrast, is clearly intended for a public officeholder.

It's pretty normal for people to call for the death penalty for people who commit murder and/or attempted murder. But it's bad PR (for Republicans) to shout it out at a campaign rally. And it's not civil, especially since due process can't touch the thug in question. (At least as far as the criminal courts are concerned - maybe Ayers and his fellow thugs could be sued.)

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 54, "The Moon," 55, "The Merciful," 56, "The Inevitable," and 57, "Iron"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

The first of the listed suras begins with a supernatural phenomenon: "The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain" (Pickthal). What hour? Yusufali adds a qualifier, in parentheses: "The hour (of Judgment)." This places verse 1 in context with the following verses, which describe nonbelievers' rejection of this sign and, in vv. 7-8, the wages of this disbelief:

They will come forth,- their eyes humbled - from (their) graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad, Hastening, with eyes transfixed, towards the Caller!- "Hard is this Day!", the Unbelievers will say. [Yusufali translation]

All three translations reference unbelievers rising from their graves - this is obviously the scene of Final Judgment. That doesn't prevent some imaginative sorts to conjure this sort of (ahem) moonbattery, as Spencer explains:

Some modern-day Muslims, however, claim that this verse constituted a prophecy that was fulfilled during Neil Armstrong’s moon landing in 1969, when the astronauts dug up a bit of the lunar soil and brought it back – although, despite their imaginative forays into numerology in connection with this claim, it is more than a stretch to consider that gathering of a small amount of soil as amounting to a splitting of the moon.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Thought Occurs To Me

Hey, remember Obama's remark about having visited 57 states? Is it possible that he unwittingly let out a disturbing secret about ACORN voter registration drives?

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A Major Victory In The War On Speech

Mark Steyn has been acquitted by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. That was the final Canadian jurisdiction before which heresy charges could be brought before Steyn.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How ACORN Destroyed Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac

Stanley Kurtz has the story. ACORN was the driving force behind the subprime scandal, strongarming Fannie and Freddie and other financial institutions into lowering lending standards. The Clinton Administration played a key role, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge surfaces as provider of funds and "personal-leadership training" to ACORN.

Read the whole thing. Keep breakables out of reach.

I am beyond furious.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Alec Baldwin For Congress, Part Deux

Not only is he savvy to lawyerly mischief, he knows who caused the financial crisis.

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This Obama Connection Could Be Troubling



The Obama/Ayers Connection

Instapundit has CNN video, with additional links. Yes, CNN.

Update: LGF links this article by John Murtaugh: The Weathermen Tried to Kill My Family.

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Kenya Doesn't Have A First Amendment

Keep this in mind if you happen to write an unflattering book about Barack Obama and decide to travel there.


Mark To Market

Recall from this post that both Newt Gingrich and Anthony Randazzo put abolition of the mark-to-market accounting rule on their finance sector reform plan. Two former AIG CEOs agree:

[Robert] Willumstad, who was CEO from June through the September action by the Federal Reserve, said "mark to market" accounting rules - which require companies to value securities at current prices in distressed situations - forced financial institutions to book billions of dollars in losses for securites that were not in default.

He said those losses led to a spiral that included debt rating downgrades.

[Martin] Sullivan, who was CEO from March 2005 until June, said the accounting rules were key among several factors leading to AIG's problems, saying they had "unintended consequences for financial institutions when markets seize up."

The Motley Fool has an easy-to-follow guide on how mark to market works.


Monday, October 06, 2008

In Bed With The Special Interests

Fox News reports:

Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.

So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.

Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank's relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannie’s assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.


The two lived together in a Washington home until they broke up in 1998, a few months after Moses ended his seven-year tenure at Fannie Mae, where he was the assistant director of product initiatives. According to National Mortgage News, Moses "helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs."


Citicorp Strikes Back

The bank is sending its fleet of Imperial star destroyers filing a lawsuit to stop Wells Fargo's Wachovia bid


Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 53, "The Star"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

Remember Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses? That phrase is a reference to certain verses within this sura. Allegedly, Satan momentarily tempts Mohammed into embracing polytheism. This article by University of Vaasa (Finland) profess tor Joel Kuortti sheds some light on the issue. Wikipedia also has an article on this topic.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008


The LA Times puts the bailout in proper perspective.

(Via Samizdata)

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Joe Biden's Fourteen Debate Lies

The McCain/Palin campaign site has the list:

  1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

  2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

  3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.”

  4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.

  5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

  6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

  7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people's health insurance coverage -- they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false

  8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska -- she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it's not a windfall profits tax.

  9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

  10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation -- he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

  11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

  12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

  13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”

  14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won't pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.

Lie #2 is more of a deception than outright lie. What's the difference? James Taranto explains. He links this transcript from the July 23 Democratic Presidential debate:

Stephen: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

Obama: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them--which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration--is ridiculous.

Taranto's response:

It seems Biden is right on the very narrow factual point: Obama did not specify Ahmadinejad as the Iranian "leader" with whom he would meet. But Palin's broader critique of Obama is quite on target: Whichever Iranian Obama had in mind, it was both naive and dangerous for him to advocate allowing Iraq to collapse and then expecting Iran and Syria to behave "responsibly."


Citigroup Got Run Over By A Stagecoach

Its attempted acquisition of Wachovia appears to have been thwarted by Wells Fargo.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

I Want My CRA - Update

The video linked by No Pasaran (see this post) has been yanked from YouTube due to a Time Warner "copyright claim."

The video lives on with a different soundtrack - and some added footage speculating on the motive of Time Warner's action.

Ed Morissey says the copyright claim is legit:

I'm less inclined to see this as a copyright infringement. The Mouth Peace tried reposting it with a claim of "safe harbor" because he wouldn't see any profit from the use of the copyrighted material, but that doesn't give people leave to reproduce copyrighted material without permission. The property rights of the owner allow him or her to determine the circumstances of publication, not anyone else. Since the entire songs were used in this publication, it doesn’t qualify under "fair use" excerpting either.

There are two problems with this analysis. First, if I remember correctly the video in question did not reproduce entire songs - extensive portions, but not the whole thing. Second, YouTube is saturated with amateur videos using copyrighted songs in their entirety. We have yet to see the mass yankings of those vids.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McCain/Obama Debate In One Minute


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The Teleprompter: Rise Of The Machines

Technology turns on Obama.

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More Subprime Scandal Analysis

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron blames the government for the problem, and prefers bankruptcy over bailout.

The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources.

His advice:

So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending.

Thomas Sowell lightly touches upon the Fannie/Freddie coverup:

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

This video touches more on the coverup. You will actually here Franklin Raines describe Fannie Mae's assets as "riskless." Not low-risk. Riskless. There's a lot more to the video than just him.

Watch it to the very end, where Bill Clinton makes this remark:

I think that the responsibility that Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans and the Congress, or by me when I was President, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie May and Freddie Mac.

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