Monthly Archive: October 2008

Oct 17 2008

The Barack and Joe Show

I watched the final Obama-McCain debate. As usual, I found it hard to judge a ‘winner’, despite the fact that I used to debate myself and have judged debates. The problem is that when I was a debating judge, one used evidence, arguments, and coherence as major criteria. Personality traits, quirks, body language, etc, were …

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Oct 16 2008

Sarah, mean and small

Like most people, I was startled by the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate. My first reaction was that it was a bad choice, for reasons that I wrote extensively about earlier. (See list of ‘Recent Entries’ on the right.) My misgivings with her were mainly because there are too many potential …

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Oct 15 2008

McCain’s debate dilemma

It was no secret that the McCain-Palin campaign was in trouble two weeks ago. With the elections looming, they were stagnant in the polls. The Palin boomlet was gone and she was increasingly seen as a liability, firing up the base but alienating pretty much everyone else. McCain’s stunt of ‘suspending’ his campaign to solve …

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Oct 14 2008

Solving the mortgage mess

Now that we have the subprime mortgage mess, solving it is inevitably going to create a sense of injustice in some quarters. During the second Obama-McCain debate, I was startled by McCain’s sudden revelation of a new plan to address the mortgage crisis: “As president of the United States…I would order the secretary of the …

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Oct 13 2008

Retirement savings losses

Like most people who have retirement accounts, the beginning of October saw the arrival of my quarterly statements and they did not make for pleasant reading. Mine showed a drop of 12% since the beginning of the year. I have heard many people express dismay over similar losses. It is, of course, not pleasant to …

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Oct 10 2008

Unbalanced coverage-2: More examples

(I wrote the first post in this two-part series some time ago. I got distracted by the bailout and political coverage.) There are a few journalists in the US who push the boundaries of the propaganda envelope to the extent that they can to try to get at the facts. What they report is not …

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Oct 09 2008

Reflections on the debates

Here’s an old joke: There was this old man who had a favorite hunting story that he liked to tell over and over. Even though his friends and family had heard it many times, he was always looking for a suitable opportunity in any gathering to repeat it. At one function, there was no break …

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Oct 08 2008

Obama and the Bradley effect

Will attempts by the McCain camp to paint Obama as some kind of sinister and dangerous figure work? Analysts seem to feel that such smear campaigns can be effective at times. Recall the absurd situation in 2004 where John Kerry’s actual service in Vietnam was ridiculed and called into question by the supporters of Bush …

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Oct 07 2008

Brace yourself

Breaking news: Barack Obama is black. It is quite remarkable how little salience that fact has had in the race so far considering that if he wins, the election of the first non-white president of the United States is an event of major historic significance. While his ethnicity is a complex one, he cannot escape …

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Oct 06 2008

Government of the Dow, by the Dow, for the Dow

The recent financial crisis and the frantic (and finally successful) attempt by the government and Wall Street to strong-arm the public to provide immediate relief to the very institutions that caused the crisis is striking evidence, if anyone needed it, of exactly for whose benefit the government is run: Wall Street. You can ignore all …

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