Archive for September, 2008
So, the presidential debates were this Friday, and Obama won hands down. Not only is Obama a better speaker, a quality almost required in a president, McCain never had to call bullshit on anything Obama said. Anything McCain brought up Obama quickly shot down, and the only time at which it might have appeared McCain gained the upper hand, Obama revealed that he, too, agreed with a statement.
It doesn’t help your case when your only mode of campaigning is attack ads. So far as I’ve seen, McCain hasn’t run an ad that merely exemplifies his qualities or policies. All I’ve seen just attacks Obama, many times about his personality, especially the stupid celebrity attack ads. While many people seem to think either candidate would be a good president, McCain seems to be stuck in a world where everything is still black and white, where everything has clear-cut boundaries the world is an easier place to navigate.
While Obama may seem to be naive, he at least understands that the world is not a happy place, nor is it a nice one. He understands that we can’t just go around bombing countries, and that’s why he wins.
So, the Russian military is showing its might in the Caribbean near Venezuela. I canâ€™t help but think Russia is gearing up for another Cold War. Now, before anyone comments that Russia is just simply trying to get some respect in the modern world, letâ€™s look back at August. The whole Georgian conflict is a giant indicator of Russiaâ€™s world attitude and that theyâ€™re not going to stay back just because the rest of the world sided with Georgia.
Now, on the other side, we are not doing anything to make this escalation any better. Weâ€™re making threats that we wonâ€™t back up under most circumstances, and meanwhile, weâ€™re also provoking Russia into a more aggressive stance. Putting a missile defense system in Poland certainly wasnâ€™t a great idea, what with the current tensions, even if it would make Poland a much better ally. Besides, the more we provoke Russia, the more likely they are to attack, and our military is already not in a great position. We cannot afford a major world war, and we certainly arenâ€™t invincible. Fears of mutually-assured destruction may have worked the last time around, but if tensions escalate, it wonâ€™t work this time.
It saddens me greatly to find out that Ben Bernanke, the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, thinks the Bush Administrationâ€™s $700 billion dollar bailout plan is a good idea. Considering this current economic â€œcrisisâ€ is a result of banks and other financial institutions taking too much risk and paying the price for it, I see no reason why they shouldnâ€™t be made to suffer, especially since if they do get bailed out by the government, theyâ€™ll just do it again in ten years or so. Perhaps Iâ€™m just being cynical, but this seems a horrible idea to me.
This is a perfect example of when we should take a lesson from the past. While the circumstances leading up to it are different, we are on the verge of a second Great Depression. What we need to do is move the governmentâ€™s investments back onshore. If we could initiate programs like those from when Franklin Roosevelt was president, not only would the economy recover, we could fix many of the other problems we have. I think itâ€™s high time for the three-letter anachronisms of the 1930s to make a comeback. Buying out failing mortgages isnâ€™t the solution, creating jobs is.
Itâ€™s pretty clear now that the economy is going to be a critical factor in the Presidential Election. As painful as it sounds, we will have to spend more before we can recover. I do not see any feasible way we can recover at the rate we are going (barring some freak incident). This not only applies to the government, but to everyone in America. Every individual person affects the economy. The more we are able to spend, the greater overall cash flow increases, which is what sustains any economy (whether local or national).
By this reasoning, I agree with Obama on making bankruptcy laws more lenient. Bankruptcy is supposed to help a party recover when they are too deep in debt to do anything. Iâ€™m not saying they shouldnâ€™t be punished for doing something wrong; let the credit bureaus decide if those who go bankrupt should be allowed to take out more loans. Iâ€™m saying we should get them back up to a reasonable place financially as soon as possible. Let their assets flow through America. Freezing their assets will not do us any good. Once they start spending again, at least theyâ€™ll be generating local cash flow.
Domestic drilling seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now, what with the rising gas prices (they will go back up). Many people seem to think that domestic drilling, whether responsible or not, will fix the US economy and lead us all to economic prosperity again.
Let’s go back a bit. Shooting seismic on land takes anywhere from six months to a year, possibly more depending on how remote the location is. Oceanic seismic can take around 8 months. Then, you have to get the data processed, and if you want it done right, that can take another two to six months. Next, you have to drill for the oil and get production going, another long job, because you have to build the rig and production platform, and finally, you have to transport the oil to market.
That means a turnover time of about two to three years before you would see any benefit from domestic drilling. Then, after all the oil has been produced (there are not any massive reserves left), you’re still left with the problem of shifting over to a more renewable form of energy. Domestic drilling is not a solution to energy problems.
It’s really intriguing how much a presidential election can unite a community. While it is true that debates can get quite intense, Barack Obama’s arrival shows how important elections are to us. Its one thing to want to go see the man give a speech, and it’s another thing to stand in line for hours on end to get tickets. However, it takes a whole new level of dedication to watch the speech live from a video feed in a completely different building. I really do have high hopes for this election.
Barack Obama coming to town certainly brought out some interesting reactions. We had an interesting combination of people who came out of the woodwork for and against Obama. While I think it’s a bit rude to have signs that say “NObama ’08,” I think it’s nifty to have people display opinions other than “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat.” Another interesting thing was the Secret Service that was around campus. It was a surprisingly low-key event for the fact that one of the presidential candidates was here. I hope there are more events like this on campus, as it was certainly a way to bring people together.
I would like to spend an entry off of the election this week. I stumbled upon an interesting article when I was perusing the news for campaign information. Apparently, some high schools in Chicago are paying students for performing well on diagnostic tests the school gives every few weeks.
I’ve always been for more money for education, but this is a very interesting application. Sure, this could be construed as bribery, but think how beneficial this could be for America as a whole. We’ve all had problems with financing, whether it’s for college, for a project, or just for fun. Now, students will be able to afford more. The Chicago Tribune reported that a sophomore could earn $4,000 by the end of their sophomore year. That chunk of change right there could finish off dues for a semester of college.
There is a good chance that many students will blow it the second they get it, but even that can be beneficial for society as a whole. Spending generates circulation, which is exactly what our economy needs right now. Thus, tax dollars spent on education will almost instantaneously provide returns for everyone. Finally, there will be people that will donate the money to non-profit projects, further increasing returns on the investment. I really think Chicago is onto something with this idea.
So, Obama made a comment on late-night TV about McCain’s campaign being akin to “putting lipstick on a pig” due to stale ideas. McCain’s camp has jumped back, accusing Obama of making a sexist comment aimed at Sarah Palin.
Perhaps it’s just a little crazy of me, but this doesn’t exactly seem like a comment that a person in a presidential campaign would make as an attack on the other side’s VP pick.Â If Obama were to truly make a comment about Palin, he’d be sure to make it a well-developed one. Obama is not a stupid man, and even though he may seem to be doing well right now, he’s not going to throw away the entire race on one comment.
Besides, if Obama were going to make any sort of sexist comment, he’d have made it already, back when Hillary was still in the race. He didn’t make any sexist comments and he isn’t gloating about his victory over her, so why should he make a dumb comment about Palin?
I know that people should think for themselves, but it’d certainly be nice for candidates to drop the slandering. It’d make the whole election process better.
The economy is going to be a big factor in the coming election. After watching the O’Reilly Factor, I am fully confident in Obama’s plans. While Papa Bear is correct in saying that Obama’s tactics can be construed as “socialist,” this is by no means a socialist movement. By taxing the rich a little more, we are helping to offset the advantage they gained with taxes from the Bush administration. It is important for us to return back to square one. The economy was just fine before the 21st century, so maybe we should revert back to old policies.
In fact, the economy is in worse condition than when Bush first took office. I hate to beat a dead horse, but the Iraq war is taking a huge chunk out of the nation’s taxes. The Republicans in Congress try to blame the Democrats for excessive spending, yet somehow seem blind to the fact that the majority of spending is on Iraq and that “pork-barrel spending” is not something that only the Democrats do. Instead of focusing on petty things, such as declaring a week something or another, let’s focus on actually getting some bills passed that use money effectively.
I really want to know whose idea it was originally to put Sarah Palin on the Republican Vice President ticket. First of all, she’s the governor of Alaska. Thus, until last week, her notoriety was very low. I think it is very unwise to introduce someone that new into the race at this time.
The next problem is that her policies are way too much like Bush’s. America is definitely looking for something new in both the next President and Vice President. This cannot be helpful for her at all. Then again, if the Republicans are pulling their candidates out of nowhere, it’s kind of logical to assume they might be out of touch with what people want in the mainland.
This leads me to another complaint about her; Palin tended to focus on attacking Biden’s lack of experience in politics. She is the governor of freaking Alaska! She may have experience, but I believe it is safe to assume that the key issues in Alaska are different from the key issues down here. If she were a congresswoman, this would be a different story. Obviously, I’m not voting for McCain, but not picking a big name running mate will cost him more votes.