Friday, July 04, 2008
Why Liberals Sometimes Seem Unpatriotic
Maybe because they write buffoonish statements like this
Ultimately, I think the United States is a pretty awesome country but it very plausibly would have been even awesomer had English and American political leaders in the late 18th century been farsighted enough to find compromises that would have held the empire together.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Will Obama Throw Obama Under the Bus?
Jeez, at this point, the entire campaign is under the bus
The freshman Democratic senator received a discount. He locked in an interest rate of 5.625 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, below the average for such loans at the time in Chicago. The loan was unusually large, known in banker lingo as a "super super jumbo." Obama paid no origination fee or discount points, as some consumers do to reduce their interest rates.
Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama's rate could have saved him more than $300 per month.
You may recall that the last member of Obama's campaign team to get a sweetheart loan was allowed to resign; presumably that option isn't available here.
Five thirty-eight does a yeoman's job
of trying to rescue Obama:
So Obama's rate was 30 basis points better than the average. However, the amount of the loan and the nature of the property are not the only factors that determine a mortgage rate. Another major consideration is the creditworthiness of the borrower. According to current rate quotes from myFICO.com, a borrower with very good credit can expect a mortgage rate about 30 basis points better than someone with pretty good credit, and a borrower with excellent credit can expect about a 50 basis point discount.
But Obama was going for a very high mortgage amount (over $1.3 million). Contrary to what you might expect, those loans are a little more expensive than average-sized loans. And (as you might expect) borrowers on those loans tend to be credit-worthy individuals.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
The Moderate Voice: Don't Run to the Center, Barack
Heheh, if there was any doubt
that this is the "Moderately Liberal Voice" it should be gone by now.
To repair the damage done by Bush and his gang of neocons, what’s needed isn’t a balancing bipartisan approach but immediate corrective action. It’s outmoded ‘conventional wisdom’ to believe that Democratic candidates always have to tack centerwards (meaning shift right) to prevail in a general election or to attract swing voters and independents. I don’t buy it.
What most Democrats I know want now is an entirely different approach. With the Republicans still mechanically spouting policies consistent with Bush-era neoconservatism, what’s needed to achieve balance again isn’t compromise action, but corrective action. What most Democrats I know want is a different choice: in our government’s approach to the economy, national security, civil liberties, health care, energy policy and the environment and on and on.
Note that in the first quoted paragraph, Damozel doubts that Barack has to tack to the center to attract swing voters and independents. But in the next paragraph, what does she talk about? What Democrats
want. Sorry, honey, Barack ain't fishin' for Democrats anymore.
Barack Gets AdviceAiriheadda Huffington
As part of this process, I looked at the Obama campaign not through the prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning. From that point of view, and taking nothing else into consideration, I can unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Hillary Clinton in December.
Isn't that amazing? Arianna looked at Obama's campaign with cold eyes, and saw the same thing that she would see with the warm eyes of a progressive. What an amazing coincidence!
Of course, inevitably Arianna is going to be disappointed. Obama's already begun flip-flopping on some of the issues he ran on during the primary, like NAFTA:
In an interview with Nina Easton in Fortune Magazine, Obama was asked about having called NAFTA "a big mistake" and "devastating." Obama's reply: "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified."
Overheated? So when he was campaigning in the Midwest, many parts of which have been, yes, devastated by economic changes since the passage of NAFTA, and he pledged to make use of a six-month opt-out clause in the trade agreement, that was "overheated?" Or was that one "amplified?"
The key is that we have to make sure that the people don't buy Obama's run to the center as a legitimate expression of his real thoughts.