Office Rumors

Office Rumors Blog – “Better reading this than the insides of your eyelids!”

Posts Tagged ‘election

All Square

leave a comment »

Rasmussen is reporting, for the second straight day, that the race for the White House is all square at 43% for both Obama and McCain. It’s refreshing to see that neither has a majority, and Obama’s Nixonian move to the center is not only confusing the GOP partisans, but his base as well.

Rasmussen adds: “Just 15% of voters say the nation is heading in the right direction while 79% say it has gotten off on the wrong track.”

Hat tip: Instapundit

Image: justinep via Flickr

UPDATE @ 9:30a: Ann Althouse asks the question: “Were the swooning Obama supporters of yore really in love with him, or were they in love with the idea of themselves in love with loving him?” How quickly the dem partisans turn their crush undying love affair with Barry into a bi-polar, drama-filled middle school-style relationship.

Advertisements

Written by walonline

July 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

Collectivist Presidential Candidates

leave a comment »

The Volokh Conspiracy has a very interesting post on how both parties’ presidential front runners are both collectivist and the meaning behind the collectivist idea should concern us. They quote the Cato Institutes’s David Boaz, who (as summarized by Volokh writer Jonathan Adler):

notes, both candidates discourage the individual pursuit of happiness, particularly if it has anything to do with money. They disparage success in business or economic pursuits, implicitly denigrating those who have done the most to ensure this nation’s prosperity and wealth.

Boaz goes on to say,

They’re wrong. Every human life counts. Your life counts. You have a right to live it as you choose, to follow your bliss. You have a right to seek satisfaction in accomplishment. And if you chase after the almighty dollar, you just might find that you are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do things that improve the lives of others.

Boaz is spot-on. One of the many, many things that is great about this country is that we are able to work for our own (and our families) betterment. The Declaration of Independence was written initially borrowing the concept from John Locke saying “life, liberty, and estate (or property).” Jefferson’s change to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” opened up a set of important human rights to not just property, but other rights such as those included in the Bill of Rights (free speech, etc.). These candidates believe that working personal gain is something that should be frowned upon. The founders would have frowned upon this.

Obama and McCain are two-faced on this front. They themselves are seeking personal gain, as the vast majority of politicians do, by seeking a higher office and more power. The founders were the same way. Politics was a second career for aristocrats, who had enough wealth in their estates to sustain them as they sought power and prestige elsewhere. This makes the collectivist rhetoric used by the candidates needless.

Being a recent college graduate, I am not the least impressed by these comments. Once I get established in my career, I can become more heavily involved in local charities where the community, career and employer will all benefit from my work.

But it will be my choice which charities I serve, not some communal government.

UPDATE May 29 @ 12:25p: Megan McArdle links to Boaz as well, but adds another perspective on Obama’s collectivism. Is he the most hypocritical of the two candidates on the collectivism front? I’d have to see the data as well, but it would make sense.

Written by walonline

May 29, 2008 at 8:24 am

Ouch, On Two Fronts

leave a comment »

Via the Economist‘s Free Exchange blog:

UBS has warned members of its private banking team to steer clear of America. UBS bankers responsible for rich American clients have come under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission based on suspicion that bankers may have assisted in tax evasion schemes.

This is especially interesting with news from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo on the developing connection between McCain and one of his economic advisers, former Senator Gramm, who lobbied and worked for UBS. Many of his lobbying-related staff purges have appeared quite embarrassing. Is this the next?

Both of the party front runners continue to try really hard to get me (and the rest of the non-party ideologues out there) to vote for someone else.

Written by walonline

May 28, 2008 at 11:18 am

Barry to Nominate Hill for SCOTUS?

with one comment

The Washington Post, among other news agencies, believes that Obama giving Clinton a nomination to the Supreme Court would go a long way to unify the party, and allow a better VP choice.

This choice is simply asinine. It would go a long way to show moderates how liberals enjoy having politically active justices on the bench. Granted, Clinton is a lawyer by trade, but having her as Attorney General would be a much less overt way of bringing liberal politics to the bench.

This would do nothing more than play strongly into Republican hands for 2012 with the Democrat President turning the Supreme Court into a political institution as opposed to one that checks the political institutions on the legislative and executive branches.

Matthew Franck, writing at the National Review, via Andrew Sullivan, agrees:

Promising the Democratic Party that he would appoint Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court would put Barack Obama on record as committed to the proposition that the Court is just another political institution like any other. Its vacancies would be viewed as political chips, to be wagered in a presidential campaign without regard to legal or constitutional categories of thought.

We’ll just have to add this to the many different offices Obama could give Hillary and the strategery still to be played out.

Written by walonline

May 22, 2008 at 9:40 am

Or, Is Hill Sabotaging Barry?

leave a comment »

Earlier today, I posted regarding a clip of Obama’s post-primary speech last night. This afternoon, James Pethokoukis posts an analysis from Merrill Lynch’s David Rosenberg, who believes that Clinton may be trying to sabotage Obama ala the 1976 Ford/Reagan primary. Here’s the quote:

[The battle between Clinton and Obama] is highly reminiscent of the intense battle between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan back in 1976 that also went all the way to the convention (Ford ended garnering barely more than 52% of the delegates)—and what happened when all was said and done was a Jimmy Carter victory as the GOP was still in healing mode during the presidential campaign (maybe this is why Hillary wants to take this to the finale—Reagan took the White House in resounding fashion in the next election in 1980).

Of course, we’ll all be hanging around to see what happens. One thing is for sure, it will certainly be entertaining.

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Did Barry Offer Veep to Hill?

with 2 comments

John Podhoretz believes that to be the case. He points out the following from Obama’s speech last night:

One of the most formidable candidates ever to run for this office….In her 35 years of public service, Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people…We’ve had our disagreements, but we all admire her courage and her commitment and her perseverence…Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and has changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age and for that we are grateful to her.

Podhoretz thinks Obama used this in a coded fashion to Hillary and supporters of either candidate. Depending on the context, it could also show his weariness at how long this primary has been extended.

If Obama and Clinton ran together on a ticket, I’d give John McCain about a 2% chance of winning the general.

(hat tip: Instapundit)

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

Ways the Next President Can Fix the Economy

with one comment

Many talking heads have said that the economy will be a major issue this election cycle. When electing a President–in my book–the economy should always be a big issue. James Pethokoukis, writing at his Capital Commerce blog, notes a Time magazine article prescribing what the next President should do to fix the economy. He summarized the Time article (by Justin Fox) saying:

Insecure Americans want higher taxes and more regulation. Government should spend more on infrastructure to combat income inequality. Get rid of the Bush tax cuts even if it weakens the economy. Raise energy taxes. Increase regulation on Wall Street. Nationalize healthcare, pretty much.

Then he adds five ideas of his own, which he thinks are more agreeable to the free-market liberals and conservatives:

  1. Eliminate corporate income taxes, especially if you are also going to hit companies with all these energy taxes.
  2. Get companies out of the business of providing healthcare benefits.
  3. Index Social Security benefits to inflation, and extend the retirement age, allowing a big cut in payroll taxes for the middle class.
  4. Create government-funded “innovation prizes” for key technology challenges.
  5. Give universities incentives to create more science geeks, and offer grad students free-floating fellowships to choose whatever field they see as the best market match for their skills.

The key thing that all free-market folk will agree with is maintaining American competitiveness. This idea is not new to this cycle and is well publicized through books such as Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat. As developed nations continue to move towards service-based economies, it is important that the U.S. government do whatever it can to foster the development of ideas, intelligence and technologies that are of high value in the global market. A government that impedes the development of those and fosters Americans’ satisfaction with their status quo will bring about the downfall of the country as a world market leader.

Do readers have any suggestions other than the ones given by Mr. Pethokoukis? I would support a fair tax, but in light of the current political situation, that is basically impossible. Some simplification of individual taxes would be helpful to all, though.

Written by walonline

May 19, 2008 at 12:13 pm