Bailout rejected: Politics or Management?

House Voted ‘No,’ 228-205 for highly political reasons : this crisis threatens an economic and political basis: the free-market.

Republican, like Jeb Hensarling, argue that "the country was on a 'slippery slope toward socialism'." He explains: "If we bail out risky behavior, we will soon see even riskier behavior". And he's right. Considering the free-market logic, to his merit, he's coherent.

This bailout is a band-aid made up in too much haste, which betrays the principles of deregulation and make the State plays a role is not supposed to play according to them. Changing the rules of the game will change the game.

Either the whole system needs a thorough review or it has to be let follow its own rules.

This crisis happens during a presidential race. This is the greatest opportunity to raise questions about going on or not in this system. Which role has to play the State? Which deregulation? To what extent? This is a fundamental matter.

And I'm surprised that both candidates are so caureful to bypass this debate. They are both preoccupied by putting the finishing touches of their own styles of campaigning and management: John McCain was focused on showing himself off and Barack Obama was "inclined to work the phones behind the scenes". This article underlines: "Mr. McCain, who came of age in a chain-of-command culture, showed once again that he believes that individual leaders can play a catalytic role and should use the bully pulpit to push politicians. Mr. Obama, who came of age as a community organizer, showed once again that he believes several minds are better than one, and that, for all of his oratorical skill, he is wary of too much showmanship."

But is this only an issue of management?

This Sunday, McCain said nothing more than this vague declaration: "This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with" on ABC's This Week, while Obama only talked about his participating to the negotiations and the principles he proposed to make the plan better on Face the Nation:

As we saw, their moves weren't useless, since the Paulson plan was improved. But eluding a fundamental question, which will anyway come back in the aftermath of this bailout, is an opportunity, which the debate between the candidates as the debate in the country will miss.


McCain's gambling past: end of bets

Since we may say this financial crisis began because of a kind of gambling with mortgages, I assume McCain's gambling past, which the New York Times pointed yesterday, is quiet ironical.

More seriously, this article underlines: "Mr. McCain portrays himself as a Washington maverick unswayed by special interests, referring recently to lobbyists as “birds of prey.” Yet in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests — including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors."


Some conservatives call Sarah Palin to quit

Kathleen Parker writes in the conservative magazine "National Review", that "to express reservations about [Sarah Palin's] qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman."

She explains that she watches "her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted."

And she calls Palin to quit : "Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first."

We will let conservatives women saying everything they need to say about being a woman or being conservative...

It is accurate anyway that criticizing Sarah Palin is perilous, because of the fact she is a woman, even though this could be anti-woman not to criticize a woman because she is a woman.

Her speech is more than surprising, as in this segment of her CBS interview with Katie Couric:

Mocked this saturday on SNL :

But what precisely disturbs us about Sarah Palin, apart from her opinions, which may be strongly discussed, like, among a lot of examples, her billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams, when she was a mayor, as the New York Times brought it to light yesterday.

Is it really because she is not experienced enough? Or is it just because she is an outsider trying to sound like an insider, loosing the strength of her authenticity in this try, made up by a team of cynical advisers?

What is the problem with Sarah Palin for conservatives, which was not a problem with George W. Bush, who sounded quiet the same to me: inexperienced and dummy? This is a mystery only conservatives could solve...


1st one-on-one debate: Both candidates stuck to their lines

Maybe because Barack Obama was too well-prepared for this first presidential debate and McCain threw up screens of smoke: they seemed to stick to the lines of their campaigns.

McCain saved times on the economic issues and had not a lot to say, except this overused point : Barack Obama will increase taxes... He finally succeeded to slide the debate to Iraq.

He insisted on how Barack Obama does not understand, how naive he is...

And he once again plaid the POW card at the end.

Barack Obama may not have taken enough advantage about this long part on economy, which could have been a great opportunity for him...

His answer about his gaffe concerning his meeting Ahmadinejad without preconditions was well elaborated by really good advisers, who smartly linked it to a Kissinger declaration, and begins to be convincing:

His referencing McCain's confusion about Prime Minister of Spain Zappatero was well done and funny.

His insisting on his ability to restore US image to the world was good, since polls seem to agree with that point.

But all of it was made up before with his advisers and he may not have stretched out enough on this debate and reacted to John McCain.

An agressive campaign of screen of smoke, without any content but stunt on the one hand and on the other hand such an uptight effort to prove how ready he is... Nothing really new though...

By the way, when you insist that much to prove something, doesn't it turn out people see more the effort than the point you're trying to make?

MCain's shambles

Suspending his campaign was a bright idea of the McCain's advisers, since no other move seemed to be possible for him. But, as any stunt, it asks the man to stick to his line to be convincing.
This shambles on the Late show underlines how dishonnest this posture was...


State vs religion: Is Sarah Palin a witch?

For someone who stands strongly up for separation of church and state, this is impossible to make any difference between this prayer at DNC, which mixes politics and religion and uses both in a confusing way:

And this delirious worship :

Barack Obama resists

The Obama campaign found a good idea to answer to McCain's skillful move: "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once." This may lower the impact of the surprise by making fun of it.

Morevover, Barack Obama insists not to postpone the debate and starts to connect the favorable subject of foreign policy to the more dangerous matter for McCain: the economy, by the smart bias of the global economy:

This could forecast a difficult moment for McCain, if Obama succeeds to make this point in the debate and to urge him to take an impossible position on the economy. But McCain is warned now...


John McCain's surprising trick

We saw how uncomfortable the crisis was for John McCain, unable to take a frank position without either alienating a part of his base or sounding too close to the Bush administration. His own record disproves his arguments somehow anyway.

The McCain campaign finds a skillful idea to wriggle out of this positioning deadlock: suspend campaigning! And to minimize the damages of McCain's taking position, they called for a joint statement with Barack Obama, using the need of a bipartisan solution as an excuse.

The surprise is delicious, creates a movement (we saw how the republican camp uses movement) and makes McCain sounded like a determined leader, even if he determined nothing but moving, actually suspending any movement...

to raise or to lower expectations before the debate : two different strategies

The Obama campaign seems to raise expectations before the first one-on-one debate.

They schedule three days for "intensive preparation" and call for hosting "Debate watch parties":

Of course, this is a part of the whole Obama strategy to imply and motivate people, but it also makes a fuss about it.

John McCain chose the opposite posture and lower expectations by praising Obama's eloquence.

Barack Obama used this tactic before his acceptance speech, intensifying the moment by preparing it in solitude... But those expectations may have been to high at that time and his speech good, but not enough good, not surprising enough to come up to them, as the post DNC bounce in the polls may suggest, since it was minor than the post RNC one...


Hillary Clinton: slogans producer

After her "no way, no how, no McCain" at the DNC, here is the fresh slogan Hillary Clinton made up with her talented easiness of producing them by the dozen : "don't ask who are you for, but instead ask who is for you"... Enjoy it at the end of this well-prepared and straight to the point interview :

McCain's embarrassing situation : where are the democrats?

After the fuss around Sarah Palin, whose nomination was close to succeed to make the whole journey of Barack Obama looks dusty, this economic crisis opens more difficult times for John McCain, who looses all his margins on this subject. Do democrats take enough advantage of this crisis?

We know John McCain can not afford to move too far away from a part of his base, who has supported deregulation and probably still do. As a strong supporter of deregulation himself for over two decades, as The Obama campaign recalls it lately, he wouldn't be persuasive anyway. (The New York Times underlines how his campaign manager was paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations). But, of course, he also can not clearly back the unpopular George Bush administration.

We remember he avoided the worst at the RNC when George Bush canceled his appearance, because of Gustav, and stayed at Washington to endorse John McCain. The point on which he really needed to make a difference without alienating his base was the war in Iraq and the "success" of the Surge he supported was a lucky and well-used event for him. Now his difficulty of positioning comes back with this fundamental political issue.

The most difficult is for him to explain how he could be for regulation by now after having supported deregulation and how he could accept a 700 billions $ bailout without sounding socialist, admiting the policy he supported failed and backing an expansive plan of the Bush administration... Most of all, he needs to sound connected to the people who struggle everyday.

His attempts go from his saying he does not regret deregulation on "60 minutes" to his hesitations to be critical of bailout plan or his try to raise doubts about Obama to throw up a smoke screen.

He must be trying to sweep it under the rug and waiting for the emergence of a more favorable subject in the debates... (the first debate between the two candidates, which is coming on friday, will not be on economy but on foreign policy by the way)

The democrats seem not to take enough advantage of McCain's embarrassing situation. They launch a weak attack with this ad where they link this crisis to the Health Plan issue. Of course, this is a favorable subject for Obama, maybe overused already, but the link is not accurate enough to be powerful and the potential of the crisis of McCain's positioning could be better used to underline his incoherence, fall him out with his own base, question his record and make him sound out-of-touch, and not only with computers as this another worthless ad underscores, so "terrible" said even Joe Biden, before withdrawing.

Are democrats going to let John McCain save time ?


An example of the McCain campaign's strategy...

The McCain campaign's redefining the idea of "change" to make it match to their "maverick" slogan is a smart strategic trick. The "change", according to the republican camp, is the ability to reform "across party lines", as Tim Pawlenty said in this interview.

The strategy bypasses McCain's problems with his conservative base, and lower the impact of Obama's main point.

You can watch with this segment of "This Week", how Obama struggles against this subtle confusion, tries to save his own definition of change by separating it from the bi-partisanship and, since he's brought in this bi-partisan issues, tries to convince of his ability to lead "across the lines" without alienating his own base :

You see the skill of the trap ? How it conquers every margin of Obama? I assume this is an example of how democrats are not offensive enough by letting republican redefining and confiscating their trumps...


McCain's flip-flop on the economy

How McCain was embarrassed by his claiming "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" is delicious.

His several attempts to try to justify this gaffe and to make it sounded different that it does are a real beautiful exercise of trial and error in a deployment of a strategy.

Finally, he succeeded to connect it to a more favorable matter, saying the "fundamentals" are the workers themselves. This point must have been suggested by a clever economic adviser. But isn't it too late to be convincing?


Is the McCain campaign running against Sarah Palin?

I'm not sure Sarah Palin's refusing to testify in this "Troopergate" is such a good idea for her long-term career and I wonder if the McCain Campaign's advisors are just saving time and minimizing the damage for the campaign... Do they only care for their own interest? Are they ready to sacrifice her career for this campaign? I'm just wondering...


McCain campaign spreads lies : who cares?

This is quiet fascinating to see that the fact that the ads of McCain campaign are airing inaccurate information or complete lies about Barack Obama doesn't matter that much. What seems to matter the most is the movement those attacks launch.

Is being in movement more important than being reliable?


Sarah Palin's using is sexist

I'm surprised no voices are raising to denounce the fact that Sarah Palin's picking up and her using as a puppet, a marketing trick or a schoolgirl by the McCain campaign is outrageously sexist.


Are candidates free of speech?

There's something you surely do when you watch and pick up so carefully every single word or act, jokes or mistakes of both candidates, as this screen behind McCain, Joe Biden's saying Hillary Clinton "might have been a better pick than (him)" or now this "pig with lipstick" affair... You question the freedom of speech. And this is more serious than it sounds through these dishonest quarrels.


John McCain's cheek

Such an operation to take possession or steal every single democratic argument with a complete cheek is astonishing...

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Sloppy and serious mistakes in McCain' acceptance speech

I'm not sure whether this fuss about the screen behind McCain during his acceptance speech is just a joke or do people really intend to make it mean more than it is : probably a mistake? Isn't there enough serious matter-of-fact to discuss about to use the confusion between a picture of a school and an other of an army hospital?

For those who want to argue, what about about this overuse of the P.O.W. card...

And for those who love the details, let's talk about an other fuss: the use of 9/11 for partisan purposes during the RNC? Isn't it more important, more outrageous?

But if it's a joke, ok well done, the mistake is delicious.


RNC : Day 4 : John McCain's acceptance speech

What happened to John McCain? Isn't he supposed to have a great sense of humor? Did the speech writers use all the jokes and others wisecracks they made up last weeks for Sarah Palin's speech? It sounded like they did actually...

Or did they find appropriate to lower McCain's talent to emphasize by contrast Palin's ability to read?

Are Republican cynical?

So, I was not the only one to think it was cynical to pick up Sarah Palin as veep nominee... Even Republican agree :


Sarah Palin's speech

Ok we were expecting a lot of this first national speech, so now we know : she can read!


Scandals and gossip

There is something quite strange for someone bored by details of the privacy of others, to see the media, starting with those "serious", enjoyed with things, which are nothing else than gossip. What is surprising is the implacable march of something incredibly reactionary and normalizer.

It's not only that we know that this one (John Edwards) has cheated on his wife with this one, nor even that we know when and how... It's not only that we know that the daughter of this other one (Sarah Palin) is pregnant before to be married or that her husband was arrested more than 20 years ago for driving under the influence of alcohol... It's not only that there are people to peel biographies, investigate, reveal or create "scandals", and others to buy them, "friends" to be paid for their secrets and bargain their betrayal... in short, a whole system implying terrible and sordid things... I assume it could be funny. The point is mostly what it reveals about what is asked to a candidate for the presidency of the USA, which has absolutely nothing to do with the exercise of his functions: to fulfill archaic moral values.

Then they will say that what sets to end the career of John Edwards, is not his affair, but the fact that he has lied. Certainly. The subtlety of reasoning is amusing, which does not see that if he had lied about wether putting socks on or not, his career would continue its running. Or they will say that the pranks of Sarah Palin's family are an issue because of what they reveal the lack of seriousness of the McCain advisors, who has not enough study her record before choosing her as running mate, disregarding the fact that these pranks are none of our buisness.

It is indeed the fact that candidates are expected about their moral values, which astonishes me. It is indeed the fact that they are not only men or women brought to manage records, but entire families engaged to reassure on the probity of a candidate. It is this curious confusion which questions not only the program, but also the values of a man, his morals and his faith.

Who is candidate in this election? What does he stand for? Before who? Those are the questions inevitably arose by Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC, in which she gave so many details, going as far as telling how her husband ask her out, to give an image of good and perfect straight white bourgeois and reassure America.

Sometimes, people are struggling to convince they fulfill the perfect son-husband-father model. Sometimes one detail of their lives betrays their inability to be entirely submited to such values. And this is certainly the least they can do. But the fact that these values and expectations are not questioned, this has to be surprising and inhuman.