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Obama Admits Kenya Birth

One of the most plausible wacko/conspiracy theories about Barack Obama holds that he is not a Natural Born US citizen, and therefore is not Constitutionally qualified for the office of President. A former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, a Democrat, filed a suit challenging Obama to prove his qualifications.

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For the Record

I AM JOE. I am a Wal Mart schlub in flyover country who changes my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I smoke and drink beer and toss the football in the front yard with my kid, and I figure I can fend my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah's candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me.

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The Living American Gospel

Is the Word of God open to interpretation? Is there a “Living Gospel”? Some, like the oft-maligned Biblical Literalists, say the Bible is absolutely accurate. Modern Islamic theology holds that the Koran loses its divine nature when translated out of Arabic.

The Muslim view seems to echo St. Augustine:

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

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Obama’s DoD Prescription: More Rumsfeld

Barack Obama says he represents “the change we need”. Looking beyond the slogan and into actual policy guidance offered by Obama, I see old prescriptions rather than new ideas. Barry’s plan for national defense seems to resonate strongly with the past.

From Obama’s campaign website:

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Pew Poll Shows Dems Less Patriotic

Nearly every American agrees with the statement "I am very patriotic," but there is a large and growing division in the intensity with which Republicans and Democrats express this sentiment. Currently, 71% of Republicans and just 48% of Democrats say they completely agree with that statement.

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Superficial Endorsement

Al-Jazeera chose to quote these reasons offered by Colin Powell for his endorsement of Obama:

In an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday, the retired US general said Obama had "met the standard" to lead "because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all cross America".

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Greed Hauls No Freight

I find much inspiration in the Antiplanner’s posting about railroad magnate James J. Hill.

[Hill] quickly built to Grand Forks and Devils Lake, North Dakota, accessing hundreds of thousands of acres of prime wheat growing country. The St. Paul & Pacific came with a small land grant, which Hill sold to settlers at rock-bottom prices with the goal of putting farmers on the land who would grow crops that his railroad could ship. The railroad was soon shipping close to a quarter of the spring wheat grown in the U.S. and paying its shareholders 8 percent annual dividends.

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The Unseen Root of Wealth

The Antiplanner has posted on James J. Hill and the beginnings of the Great Northern Railway. Hill was surely proof the American Dream can be realized. Few are so gifted and so driven to achieve Hill’s level of riches. But remember, the dream is not about dollars and motorcars. It is to be allowed to attain according to capacity, without confinement to class or caste.

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The American Dream

The idea of the American Dream is evoked so often, from so many quarters, I decided I was no longer sure we all agreed on just what the dream is.

From Wikipedia, quoting James Truslow Adams:

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A Magnificent Bastard?

Senator McCain has begun attacking Senator Obama’s judgment in choosing friends and associates. McCain is echoing the rhetoric employed by running-mate Sarah Palin. A primary component of this tactic is attempting links between Obama and William Ayers.

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Unqualified to Speak From the Ivory Tower

Don Boudreaux, head of the econ department at George Mason University, responds to a request for Obama to speak on campus:

…I have negative willingness to be part of an effort to give any politician a platform to speak about economics. Very few of them have any knowledge of the subject, and even fewer of them are courageous enough to speak about it honestly.

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Wilkinson Tops Them All

Who won the Presidential town hall debate? Wilkinson. Again. He’s 2–0 vs. all the candidates and the rest of the typing heads.

Here’s the healthcare section:

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It’s Fascism

Congress has passed the bailout/rescue bill, and the current President scurried right over and signed it into law.

Pundits speaking for the huge popular majority opposed to the plan seem to have decided to call it socialism, or a nationalization of banking and real estate. There is a political philosophy which combines those terms. National Socialism. Or, in a word, fascism.

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Veep Showdown

Mostly a snooze.

Palin is one long run-on sentence. Her, Palin’s, sentence construction, also makes it hard to follow her points. Due to her sentence construction. And running on, also.

Biden likes numbers. He claims McCain voted 20 times for something Obama voted for 6-1/2 years ago. Or 7. Which is 39% of 4-billion-dollar tax breaks to ExxonMobil that McCain voted for. Just like Bush.

So…I got nothing substantive to examine.

Palin is outstanding at being herself. She glows when talking about American principles and the privilege of representing the public.

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Every Interest is Special

The term, “Special Interests” is in the standard cant of politicians. We’re told there are “Special Interests” at the root of every problem we face. Wall Street, Big Oil, Agriculture, Big Education, Abortion Rights, Unions, Climate Change, the Drug Companies, ad infinitum, have hired string-pulling lobbyists to pervert and corrupt our virtuous society.

Walter Williams adds perspective:

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Who Will the Sky Land On?

All the headlines seem to be telling us the sky is falling. Economically, this time. I can accept that the sky might have come down a bit. But I'm not yet seeing anyone clobbered by chunks of heaven.

The Chorus of Doom is riffing on various forms of a “credit crunch”. A StarTribune story on troubles at Twin Cities auto dealerships sheds some light on the current availability of consumer credit:

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What’s the Hurry?

The current President is urging Congress to act immediately. A crisis of catastrophic proportion can be averted if we are united in quick and decisive action. Essentially everyone in Congress has reviewed the available facts, and agrees with a dour assessment.

The President has consulted with his top advisors. There is a plan to avert the crisis. It will be hugely expensive. We do not know how long the US forces must remain involved. Details are sketchy, but the measure before Congress can be fairly described as a “blank check”.

Iraq? Nope.

Wall Street.

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Picking Losers

A phrase used by libertarian-leaning thinkers is, “government should not pick winners.” It descends from the calculation problem.

An agency or bureau cannot possibly consider all the knowledge embodied in a market, and thus acts with at least partial blindness. They may get it right anyway, but more by luck than by smarts. Any errors are compounded and made persistent by bureaucratic inertia, politics, and rent seeking.

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Shorts are Heroes

Al Jazeera asked five prominent economists - Does the [2009 bank liquidity] crisis signal the end of US-style capitalism?

Of the five, John Berlau, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), is the contrarian. In his reply, Berlau says:

everyone is bashing the short sellers but they are heroes—they were right and we should have been listening to them years ago.

Bingo!

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McSame?

The lefties have a nickname for John McCain. O.K., probably more than one. Here's one they can say aloud near nuns an schoolchildren: John McSame. Very witty. But is it accurate?

Steven Landsberg says no. Although not happy about it, he’s voting for McCain. Here’s Landsberg’s #2 reason for that choice:

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