Are the Wheels Falling Off McCain’s Wagon?

September 23, 2008

Today, as leaders wrangle over the future of American capitalism, Sarah Palin was inviting pictures to be taken of her with world leader types and being briefed on foreign affairs.  She would not allow journalists to see the photo opportunity until CNN refused to be so brazenly used for publicity purposes.  After 40 seconds of listening to small talk the me3dia was dismissed.  Her experience in Wasilla and the year and a half in the governor’s office was apparently deemed sufficient for domestic issues.  (Who can argue with the need for this after she blithely considered going to war with Russia in one of her two recent interviews.)

The question is whether this sort of thing will counterbalance the flack McCain is taking for lying on attack ads against Obama, and for seemingly irrational responses to the economic crisis.

What has not come to the forefront is McCain’s career long undeviating commitment to deregulation.  This is what I want him to address.  While Obama says that recent events will require a re-analysis of the wisdom of proceeding with some of the plans he has proposed, McCain has launched a barrage of denials and finger pointing that is fast alienating people on his side of the fence.

It has gotten to the point where not just Sarah Palin is in hiding from journalists, but it seems that the whole campaign has burried its head in the sand and is carefully cheery picking interviews.

George F. Will Finally Says It: McCain Has No Clothes.

September 23, 2008

McCain seems to have lost it.  McCain has been the foot soldier of deregulation for decades.  He chose as his top economic adviser the architect of deregulation, Phil Gramm.  He has denied there was a problem with the economy the entire time he has been running for office.  He advocates deregulation insurance, eliminating the tax credit for employers who provide healthcare insurance to employees, and he even last week sang the praises of the successful deregulation of the financial industry.  (Obama has been contending that the economy is flawed all along.)

McCain then blames the recent collapse on Obama of all things and trumpets himself as the person to bring regulation to the financial industry.  Last week he falsely claimed that Obama was being advised by the ex-chief of Fannie Mae.

That same week he began smearing the reputation of Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and said that he would fire him. At one point McCain even wanted the head of the Federal Reserve fired, which of course the president cannot do.

George F. Will was particularly interested in McCain’s attacks on Cox.  He concludes (in an article in the Washington Post today that I am apparently unable to link to) that McCain is probably not fit to serve as president and recommends Obama as the better choice after McCain’s meltdown.

After the Sarah Palin choice and other examples of bad judgement, Will does not even trust McCain to choose federal jusges:

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

McCain Owns Fewer Cars than Average (Per House)

September 23, 2008

John McCain advocates deregulation of insurance for our healthcare and praises the effects of deregulation in the banking industry while calling for more regulation on Wall Street.  This has some people confused.

Those who know John McCain to be a down to earth guy and were a little stymied by the fact that he didn’t know how many houses he owns will be relieved to know that his ownership of automobiles is not just modest, but below average.  As two cars per household becomes the standard in this country, Senator McCain has learned to live with reduced expectations. His thirteen cars work out to be fewer per house than the rest of the country has learned to live with.

The Obama family’s single car just proves that he is an elitist intellectual.  McCain has certianly proven that he is not an intellectual.  His discourse on the benefits of deregulation leaves him scrambling to regain footing as rational.

Be Sure You Have not Been Taken off the List of Registered Voters

September 23, 2008

In Washington over 400,000 people has been taken off the list of registered voters since 2006 and  slightly more than a quarter of the eligible population is not registered to vote.

Washingtonians should promptly confirm that they can vote.  This can be done very easily by checking here.  If there is a problem, you must contact the county election department, which can be reached through this site.

There are many aspects to the problem of unregistered voters.  (The United States which bills itself as the paragon of global democracy actually is significantly less democratic than other Western democracies if percentage of people voting is used as the index.  Here the feeling of disenfranchisement, as well as actual hindrance to voting, is higher than other countries.)

One aspect of this problem is that some voters find on election day that the doors of the polls are closed to them.  In 2004 this was literally true in Ohio, a state that decided the presidential election.  But I’m writing about a different problem: those voters who arrive at the polls and find that they are not registered.

In Washington 15 percent of the population moves each year.  Most of these people do not update their voting records right away.  Voting-related material is sent out periodically and if any is returned because the person moved, that person is placed on the inactive voter list. If two federal elections go by without that person having voted he or she is removed from the registered voter list entirely.

In some states the Secretary of State has been aggressive about sending out mail to take people off the active voting list.  I at least am unaware that Washington has seen any such activity intended to reduce the number of registered voters for this upcoming election.