Thursday, August 28, 2008

Running On Empty -The Speech

I just finished listening to Obama at the Parthenon in Invesco Field.

Aside from the ridiculous Greek Temple setting, my first impression was - is that all there is?

What we heard from Elmer Gantry with a tan is the same old stuff...hope and change and lot of pie in the sky by and least, once the coronation happens. Mixed of course,with a number of out and out prevarications and untruths.

Even worse was that for all the hype and frenzy, the speech wasn't the sort to bring a tingle to anyone's leg but the already converted. Maybe it was the stadium setting, but it lacked the soaring quality of some of the Chosen One's earlier utterances.

Or maybe we're all just simply getting wise to the game.

A transcript is here, for those of you with too much time on your hands, but I'll merely address some of the more obvious nonsense so you don't have to put on big boots and wade through it.

The speech starts out with the usual salutations then goes right into Obama's standard meme...America's broken and only government can fix it:

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.{...} week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

I can't imagine how we survive with an economy that actually grew in real terms during the first two quarters of this year. And as for that tuition the Chosen one suggesting that colleges lower their tuitions by perhaps reducing the hefty salaries and perks paid to administrators and professors and cutting back on certain frivolous majors like ethnic studies and the so-called peace and justice studies? Some how, I don't think so. And the bit about cars they can't afford to drive - would that have anything to do with the Democrat's opposition to domestic drilling or building gasoline refineries here in America?

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

Let's see, where should I start? With Obama's silly deliberate misreading of McCain's '$5 million a year' quote from Saddleback? Or with Obama's trembling rage of over tax breaks for corporations, something he himself proposes to do later on in The Speech, while ignoring McCain's endorsement of further tax cuts? Or perhaps I should comment on Obama's characterization of McCain's dislike to turn America's health care into England's National Health where people wait years for an operation?

The deliberate lies on education and social security are absolutely stunning.Again, is Obama talking about colleges and universities cutting costs so they can lower tuitions? And what about school choice,so working class Americans can afford to send their kids to the same kind of fancy private schools he and his bitter half do? No, that's not what Obama has in mind...because it would mean going against one of his core constituencies,the teacher's unions and the educrats.

As for Social Security, it has been Obama and his fellow Democrats that have kept any sort of meaningful reform from happening,insuring that as the boomers retire and the crunch comes,the medicine needed will be a lot harsher to take.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

Hmmm...protectionism, anyone? Unless the Chosen One is planning to magically conjure money out of the air to rebuild factories here in America that pay American style wages while somehow bypassing the high taxes,red tape and environmental regs that have businesses shifting there manufacturing overseas, he's blowing smoke. And by the way, let's remember that that 5% he's talking about pay the vast majority of the taxes and not only is taxing them out of existence unlikely to lead to creating those great jobs Obama is yammering about, but it will cost jobs, thus leading to even less revenue for the gimmees the Chosen One is promising.

Not only that, but taxing 'the rich' out of existence isn't going to generate enough money to pay for the spending Obama has in mind. So that '5%' , along with the definition of who is 'rich'is likely to grow substantially.

As for his remarks on energy, we once again see Obama promising a magic bean to eliminate fossil fuels, except natural gas...which is a lot more volatile to transport than crude oil. As for biofuels, they're already responsible for markedly higher food prices. So much for Obama's concern with the lifestyle of everyday Americans!

I also wonder how he could tout energy self-sufficiency and nuclear power with a straight face, when it is he and his party that have prevented any progress on either.

On the foreign policy front, Obama made the journey from the merely farcical to high comedy, invoking JFK and FDR as proof that `Democrats know how to defend this country.'

John Kennedy's record on foreign policy is fairly mixed, from the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and being the first president to allow a breach in the Monroe Doctrine as low points and the Alliance For Progress and Berlin as high points. And Franklin Roosevelt's actions to make the country secure after Pearl Harbor make George Bush's policies for domestic security after 9/11 - the ones today's Democrats routinely denounce as 'fascism'- look positively benign by comparison.

Neither man would be welcome in todays Democrat party - just ask Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman.

Obama also parrots the usual line that Iraq made us 'take our eyes off the real war in Afghanistan' if al-Qaeda are the only ones we're fighting, and as if occupying Afghanistan in force while ignoring the global jihad elsewhere is going to do anything to win this war.

And I particularly liked this line, coming from someone who refused to condemn MoveOn's 'General Betray Us' ad and who voted every time - when he voted at all- to sabotage our men and women under fire by trying to starve them of funds needed to
supply them in the field:

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

Simply the height of cynicism and dissembling...but then, that could be said about most of the speech.

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