Oct 12 2008

Steyn: you have to read this

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 7:55 pm

The Indefinable Barack Obama by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

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Oct 12 2008

Obama and Fannie/Freddie CEOs: some clarity

Category: economy,election 2008,McCain,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 2:48 pm

As reported at SNOPES, a normally reliable fact-checking website, an email has been making the rounds linking Obama to Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and Tim Howard.  Johnson and Raines are former Fannie Mae CEOs whose tenures were marked by fraudulent accounting practices and the reporting of false profits to pump up earnings reports and get executive bonuses.  Howard was CFO (Chief Financial Officer) during Raines tenure, and was right in the middle of the false accounting and false profits scandals.

Snopes declares that the email is FALSE.  That’s odd, because significant parts of the email are TRUE, but it does have a few incorrect assertions.  Snopes’ practice in such situations is usually to say something is partly true and partly false, and to be very clear on the distinctions regarding which is which.  One can only wonder why that practice was not followed in this report, which was simply declared FALSE at the top, and only a careful reader would discover that much of it was TRUE.

The email first gives the history of the involvement with Fannie Mae of former CEO Jim Johnson, former CEO Franklin Raines, and former CFO Tim Howard.  Even Snopes does not deny the accuracy of this summary.

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Oct 12 2008

Teddy Roosevelt: not a saint, a prophet, or particularly good role model

Category: election 2008,McCain,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:19 am

Knowing a bit more about Teddy Roosevelt than the whitewash they teach in the public schools, I’ve gotten just a bit tired of hearing McCain constantly refer to him as an icon worthy of emulation. So I was especially glad to read George Will’s take on TR, and whether he’s the model for McCain. Speaking of TR, Will writes:

He was an individualist who considered the individualism of others an impediment to the social unity required for national greatness. Having read Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” at age 14, and having strenuously transformed himself from an asthmatic child into a robust adult, he advocated “warrior republicanism” (Hawley’s phrase). TR saw virtue emerging from struggle, especially violent struggle, between nations and between the “Anglo-Saxon” race and lesser races. Blending “muscular Christianity,” the “social gospel” — which sanctified the state as an instrument of moral reclamation — and Darwinian theory, TR believed that human nature evolved toward improvement through conflict.

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