Sep 15 2008

The New York Times (Obama surrogates all) interviews 14% of Alaska: bumped for Powerline update below

Category: election 2008,media,Palinharmonicminer @ 4:21 pm

It would seem that the New York Times has discovered Sarah Palin is actually a politician.

Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes

This was the headline for the NYT article detailing all the investigative reporting done by the Obama campaign….er, I mean, the New York Times staff of professional reporters and researchers.

Since Palin has an 86% approval rating, and since the NYT seems not to have interviewed much of anyone who actually likes Palin, they must have just canvassed the 14%.

Continue reading “The New York Times (Obama surrogates all) interviews 14% of Alaska: bumped for Powerline update below”

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Sep 15 2008

If only reporters understood economics

Category: economy,election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,Palin,politics,taxesharmonicminer @ 3:57 pm

Sarah Palin criticizes Obama’s tax plans, and the AP seems to think it has corrected her, by stating an irrelevant piece of data. (not to mention a largely wrong one)

Campaigning on her own, the Alaska governor also said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “wants to raise income taxes and raise payroll taxes and raise investment income taxes and raise business taxes and raise the death tax.

“But John McCain and I know that’s not the way you grow the economy,” she added.

In fact, independent groups such as the Tax Policy Center have concluded that four out of five U.S. households would receive tax cuts under Obama’s proposal, which include higher income and payroll taxes only for the wealthiest wage-earners.

Note that Palin did not say that Obama was going to raise everyone‘s taxes.  But the AP responds with a “fact check” from the Tax Policy Center that implies she did.  Surely this is simple failure to understand plain English. 

Speaking of plain English, four out of five U.S. households cannot receive income tax cuts, because two out of five U.S. households pay no income tax at all.  The last time I looked, two plus four does not equal five, a fact that apparently escapes both the AP and the Tax Policy Center.  Giving “tax cuts” in the guise of “refunds” to people who would not pay tax anyway is not a tax cut, it’s welfare, plain and simple.  It’s old fashioned socialistic confiscation/redistribution.

Speaking of the “independent” Tax Policy Center, while it is not directly affiliated with either party, it is most assuredly Left leaning, and usually favors Democratic policies.  They are sometimes subtle about it (although not in this case, calling a give-away a “tax cut”), but they are not possessed of Olympian detachment.

It would be more impressive (as journalism goes) to match the perspective of the Tax Policy Center with one from the Club for Growth, or the CATO Institute.  Both of these are also “independent” and “nonpartisan”, but simply more likely to lean Right. 

You can form your own opinion about why the AP would not seek their input in interpreting Palin’s statements.  I have mine.

In the meantime, what Palin said, quite clearly, is that if all of Obama’s tax plans are carried out, regardless of whether low-tax payers and non-tax payers get a short term “tax cut”, the economy is far less likely to grow vigorously than under McCain’s plan.  That economic growth would provide much more benefit to low- and non-tax payers than a single short term check, whether “tax cut” or “welfare”.

Go back and read her quote.  The APs rejoinder, masked as input from an “independent” think tank, is completely irrelevant to the point.

Embarrassingly, the AP seems not to know that.

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Sep 15 2008

Why the Left is flummoxed by Sarah Palin

Category: election 2008,McCain,Obama,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:25 am

Essentially, the Left thought it had a “magic candidate” in Obama.  He would be beyond normal criticism.  He would be both person and symbol.  He would speak with such power and transcendence that normal considerations of logic and rhetorical connection would not apply.  His mystical relationship with the message of the future of mankind would resonate in each person of good will without having to be explained in detail.  We would all just know that he was “the one” to change everything.  Indeed, he seemed untouchable: though there were scandals and questionable relationships in his background, it seemed not to matter to the electorate, surely another sign that he was blessed.  What other presidential candidate could have gotten away with being friends with terrorists and America haters?  Surely it must have been because people could see through these surface things to the soul beyond, and were moved by its purity and grace.  (After all, Jesus associated with publicans and sinners, and elevated them by His presence.)  His meager background was almost a plus, proving his uniquity and special annointing.  He was untouchable.

And then came Sarah.  She was, in most ways, the exact opposite of Obama.  She spoke simply, and clearly.  She seemed to get away with just being herself (unlike Obama, she was the same on home video as on stage before tens of thousands).  She did not appear to self-consciously cultivate an image or presence: she simply was.  She did not seem to need a script.  Shooting from the hip (literally and figuratively) she was on target.  People simply responded to her.  And despite the best the a scandal mongering media could throw at her, she simply sailed above it all, and let her acolytes defend her.  There were pleny of acolytes.

Obama was supposed to be special.  He would not have to make sense according to the normal rules of logic and evidence, because to know him created a faith that transcended the merely rational.

Yet, here was Sarah, actually making sense, very simple, unassailable sense, artlessly appealing to the perceptions of the people as the outsider who was the real agent of change, the unknown, waiting in the wings, whose time had come.  She, too, was the symbol of longings held by many.

Suddenly, Obama was not the only transcendant figure in the race.  He knew how to fight people who merely used logic and facts.  He appealed to the higher sense of personhood in his listeners.  But what could he do against someone who had as much mystical magnetism as he did, and also made simple, logical sense?

It was a pretty problem.  Someone would have to be destroyed for the other to prevail.  And Obama was determined that it would not be him.  His minions would see to that.

There are plenty of minions, in and out of his campaign.

The contest rages, for now, but it is no longer one of rationality against spirituality, because now both can be found on one side.  And the real game changer was not Sarah Palin…  it was John McCain, who selected her as his running mate, proving a defter hand than anyone suspected at crafting his image and staying true to his own often stated values at the same time.  And McCain is showing something else: he doesn’t care that Sarah Palin polls higher than he does, because all that matters is success in the election so he can do the work that needs doing, with her help.

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