Fort Mill, SC Mayor Danny Funderburk said he forwarded a chain email suggesting Barack Obama is the antichrist because he was “just curious” if it was true:
“I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”
The e-mail, which has circulated in the last six months, claims the biblical book of Revelation says the antichrist will be in his 40s and of Muslim ancestry. The Charlotte Observer reports, “There is no such scripture. And Obama is not a Muslim. But that hasn’t stopped the e-mail.” In March, CNN’s Glenn Beck wondered aloud “Is Obama the antichrist?“
During the debate on Friday, John McCain referred to “Ronald Reagan, who wouldn’t sit down with Brezhnev, Andropov or Chernenko until Gorbachev was ready with glasnost and perestroika.” Brad DeLong points to this April 26, 1982 Time article which says otherwise:
In an interview with Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, Brezhnev rejected President Reagan’s proposal, made earlier this month, that the two leaders meet informally in New York this June after the disarmament talks at the United Nations General Assembly…
In short, McCain is either ignorant or dishonest. And ignorance in this kind of situation is a form of dishonesty. Why bring up Reagan’s willingness to meet with Brezhnev if you haven’t looked up the facts? I didn’t catch this slip-up because 1982 is ancient history for me — I was eleven months old when that article ran. But John McCain was a sitting member of congress in his forties with a background as a military officer and as a lobbyist for the US Navy. He presumably had an opinion about Ronald Reagan’s conduct of Cold War diplomacy.
UPDATE: McCain was not, in fact, a sitting member of congress in 1982. Rather, he was a congressional candidate running for his first term.
Paul Krugman says the plan isn’t very good but nonetheless pronounces it “good enough.” But apparently the text he’s read isn’t final, so we’ll see. My plan in ultimately making up my mind is to rely more heavily on the judgment of folks like Krugman than on my personal Raveonettes-based speculations.
How do you know when an oil company spokesperson is lying? See if her lips are moving.
Last December, when Congress worked on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Senate Democrats proposed shifting several billions of dollars in tax breaks from the oil industry to pay for an extension of tax credits for wind and solar energy development. The oil industry screamed “tax hike,” President Bush threatened a veto, and the provision was removed before the bill was passed.
Now in Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter, champion of a new energy economy in that state, is being maligned by the oil and gas industry over an issue on the November ballot.
Palin responded to a question about the economic recovery plan, which was hashed out overnight. She answered, but she made it clear that she was then going to concentrate on the Blue Star Moms, “Bailout? Ok? Then I’m going to talk to these gals whose sons are also in the service. But, thankful that John McCain is able to have some of those provisions implemented in that Paulson proposal to have more sound oversight,” Palin said. “Taxpayers aren’t going to be assumed to be called upon to bail out so I’m glad that John McCain’s voice is heard and his leadership too.”
Oh for the days when politicians could dodge questions in complete, comprehensible sentences. That’s like a copy of a copy of a copy of a talking point.
When Palin was first picked, some people said that attacks on her inexperience would backfire because it would remind people of Barack Obama’s relative lack of experience. But my dad pointed out to me earlier today that the more she talks, the more the reverse happens — when you compare Obama and Palin side-by-side, purely abstract concerns you might have about his lack of experience tend to melt away in the face of a concrete example of a politician who’s not ready for prime time.
This is one of these wingnut talking points that I can’t even begin to unpack in a coherent argument, but white supremacist sentiment has always been an important element of the modern conservative movement so it’s not surprising to see it rear its head even in odd contexts. Stephen Bainbridge knocks this business down and proclaims the people making these arguments the folks who “mae you embarrassed to be a conservative.”
Kevin Drum seems to have found this Joe Nocera article about the need to pass the bailout plan quickly convincing. I find it, if anything, anti-convincing. It’s emblematic of the continuing efforts of Wall Street’s allies to bully opinion leaders into the belief that passing a $700 billion bailout is the only viable option rather than persuading us that it’s a good idea. Key to this, a tactical Nocera heavily engages in, is acting as if the only basis for disagreeing with this proposition is populist anger at the spectacle of a bailout. Then you acknowledge the populist anger and the validity of the underlying emotions, but say that nonetheless we need to be rational and do this.
So far so good, but surveying the scene I’m seeing hundreds — hundreds — of perfectly sober-minded economists who simply don’t think that this is a good idea. At the same time, I’m seeing tons of sober-minded experts who believe that Sweden, when faced with an analogous situation, came up with the solution of temporary nationalization of the relevant institutions and that we ought to go for a Sweden-modeled solution. I haven’t heard Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, or anyone else even begin to offer me a persuasive argument that their model is better than the Swedish model. At the same time, their model is more friendly to the financial interests of Wall Street players. So opposing the Paulson Plan on the grounds that we need a Swedish Plan isn’t an example of wanting to harm the overall economy for the sake of spiting Wall Street; rather, preferring the Paulson Plan is an example of wanting to harm the overall economy for the sake of being more generous to Wall Street.
I understand that Wall Street players want candy from the government, but since free candy isn’t the only solution to the crisis, I don’t see why it’s a solution we should opt for:
Indeed, Nocera has moved beyond even trying to argue that the plan he favors is a good plan. Rather, he says we need to pass it even though it’s bad because we need to act really quickly. His evidence for this consists of citing things like “Washington Mutual was seized by the government. The markets may not be as panicked as they were last week, but with every passing day, the situation is getting increasingly dangerous.” But Washington Mutual’s depositors are fine. We have a perfectly adequate procedure in place to liquidate insolvent depository institutions. Yes, WaMu’s shareholders got wiped out, but so what? Again, I can see perfectly well why bank owners might want us to spend $700 billion in an unfair and ineffective way in order to preserve the value of their investments. But I’d rather put their investments at risk than spend $700 billion in an unfair and ineffective way.
The idea that the scale of the crisis somehow makes responding to the crisis with a bad plan desirable is weird. The financial jam-up is a very big deal. Which is all the more reason to respond to it effectively rather than just spewing money around to give the markets a psychological shot in the arm.
Today, during an interview on ABC’s This Week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) finally admitted that his health care tax credits would not cover the costs of a comprehensive health insurance plan:
Actually, my position is that it will be, it will give people actually more money to go out and purchase tax – health insurance on their own and only those with the Cadillac gold-plated health insurance policies today are the ones who might suffer from it.
Ironically, McCain’s health care plan raises taxes for families whose yearly income just barely covers the cost of a Cadillac. The Wonk Room has a detailed explanation here.
A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows 46% of people who watched Friday night’s presidential debate say Democrat Barack Obama did a better job than Republican John McCain; 34% said McCain did better. [...] The poll suggested the debate was to some extent a wash for McCain: 21% of those who watched say it gave them a more favorable view of him, 21% say less favorable and 56% say it didn’t change their opinion much. Three in 10 said their opinion of Obama became more favorable after seeing the debate, compared to 14% who said less favorable and 54% who said it didn’t make much difference.
These are bad results for McCain but hardly catastrophic. What is catastrophic for McCain is the opportunity cost of having lost some ground during the national security debate. Of the things under the McCain campaign’s control with the ability to make up for his deficit in the polls — the national security debate, the townhall debate, the domestic issues debate, the ground game, and final week television advertising — the national security debate seemed like by far the most plausible spot for McCain to make up ground. Instead, he lost ground. Which basically leaves him either needing a dominating performance in the remaining debates, or else for al-Qaeda to bail him out with an inflammatory tape or spectacular terrorist attack designed to frighten people into voting for a continuation of the status quo policies that al-Qaeda believes are bleeding the U.S. economy and driving Muslim public opinion toward their side.