Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Economics 101

The left has been proclaiming that the era of Reaganomics is over. The proposed bail-out of Wall Street will user in a new era of expanded government and re-regulation. While that may be true, there are several lessons from the Reagan era that should not be forgotten - or in the case of Senator Obama, should be learned for the first time.

1. We cannot tax our way into prosperity.
This is a big one but easily forgotten. The government does a poor job of creating prosperity. Taxes take money that could be invested or spent and redirects it elsewhere. Bill Clinton likes to talk about the economy during his presidency but it was built on and continued Reaganomics (except for the gasoline tax that he enacted early in his presidency). Obama has talked about raising the corporate tax rate, either directly or by eliminating "loopholes". This will reduce the amount of money that corporations can invest and make it more desirable for them to move overseas.

1a. We cannot regulate our way into prosperity.
Some regulations are needed. Even staunch Libertarians admit that the marketplace needs laws and regulations to keep things honest. Once those basic standards are met, regulations can quickly become a problem. One factor in the current credit crisis was regulations designed to increase minority home ownership. Banks were told to start lending to people who previously had been denied mortgages. There was a good reason for denying these loans. This is where a lot of the defaults are coming from - people who previously did not qualify for loans.

1b. We cannot redistribute our way to prosperity.
Tax cuts stimulate the economy. Tax increases create drag. If you raise taxes on one group and cut them for others the best you can hope for is equilibrium.

2. Bubbles happen.
Bubbles happen fairly often. Some are fairly small and self-contained like the Beanie Baby craze in the late 1990s or POGs prior to that. Others are large and affect the entire economy when they burst. The dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and the Japanese real estate bubble in the late 1980s are examples.

The problem with bubbles is that you can never have enough regulations to stop them. They are a product of the free market and they never happen the same way twice. There is also a phase when the participants believe that growth will continue in a straight line forever. During the 1990s, Bill Clinton spent a lot of time bragging about the Internet and the New Economy. People claimed that it would be recession-proof and continue to grow past all previous limits. The Japanese insisted the same thing about their economy in the late 1980s. There was a major craze in the US for emulating the Japanese way of doing business. as it turned out, Japanese business growth was tied directly to real estate prices in Japan. Companies that were losing money reported paper profits because the land that their offices sat on appreciated. At one point a single block in the Tokyo business district was reputed to worth more than all of California.

A second problem with bubbles is that no one wants to end them. It usually becomes obvious to outside observers that the bubble cannot last but by that point, breaking the bubble will cause pain. No one wants to be the one to do that. There were several warnings over the last few years that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were buying too many questionable loans but stopping this practice would make home ownership more difficult so nothing was done.

Housing values present a difficult problem. On one hand, they are too high which creates an entry barrier for the same low-income people that were supposed to be helped. On the other hand, lowering the value of housing back to reasonable levels will hurt everyone who bought during the bubble. Probably housing values will essentially freeze for several years until the actual value catches up with the inflated value.

3. Government interference in the marketplace often turns out badly.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are terrible examples of the free market. They are public/private entities. They have access to below-market interest rates but private ownership. It has always been assumed that they are too bid to fail and that the government will bail them out if they get into serious trouble. That encourages risky behavior. The government is involved in every level of the current crisis. For example, Real estate prices started to climb when the Fed reduced interest rates to historic lows in order to stimulate the economy after the dot-com crash.

Senator Obama's solution to every problem is more government involvement. In the last century we have had two periods when we expanded the size and scope of government - the 1930s and the 1960. Both were followed by long-term economic hardship. The problems of the 1960s didn't end until the 1980s and the start of Reagonomics. A return to the economic principles of the 1960s and 1970s almost guarentees a return of stagflation and the other economic ills of that period.

Class dismissed.

Hedge funds are not as tightly controlled by the government and are not having the current problems.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain, Obama and the Bailout

I still haven't made up my mind out the bailout. Was it worth it? Should we have let AIG and other big companies fall, taking lots of others with them? Or should we commit nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt?

Regardless, my subject for today is McCain's decision to suspend his campaign to help work out the bailout. He challenged Obama to do the same but the senator from Illinois declined.

So, why did McCain do it?

Some people have suggested that it was a move made out of desperation. That he was behind in the polls and knew that he didn't have a chance otherwise. This isn't likely for several reasons. The most important is that he isn't that far behind in most polls. In fact, he is within the margin of error. He is on the wrong side of it but he is close. More important, the Electoral College doesn't look too bad for him. Granted he has lost a few states including Virginia but he is very close in several states including Pennsylvania. A one-point gain in a few states and the election is his.

Plus, McCain may already be ahead. There were several stories last week about how Obama is having trouble with white male Democrats. There is also speculation that he is polling higher than his real support. This isn't surprising considering the number of Democrats who have announced that the only racists will vote against Obama.

The first debate is on foreign policy which is expected to favor McCain. In fact, the debate in general is expected to favor McCain. He did better against a crowd of Republicans than Obama did against either a crowd of Democrats or Hillary by herself.

The safe thing to do would be to continue to campaign and count on a enough of a bump from the debate to put McCain in the lead.

Obviously McCain didn't do that.

Many people think that it was a political move. There is something to that. It never looks good for a candidate to have to follow the other's advise. At the same time, by not following McCain, Obama is giving some clear signals about his priorities.

The main thing here is that McCain could have easily continued running campaign ads while looking presidential in DC. He didn't which could cost him with the election so close.

So, what if McCain is serious about the need to put the country first? He is not only a candidate for president. He is also a senator. If this legislation is as important as President Bush claims then McCain's place is in the Senate.

What about Obama? He is a senator, also, but he has not rushed back to the capitol.
"This is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama told reporters in Clearwater, Fla.
Ironically, Obama wants to someone else to deal with the mess for the next 40 days. He is too busy running for President to be part of the fix. He is perfectly happy to delegate the problem to someone else until he is sworn in. If McCain is putting country first then who is Obama putting first?

Note to Obama: The election may be in 40 days, but Bush continues in office in until January 20. You might have seen the 1/20/09 bumper stickers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Election and the Economy

A few days ago I was planning a post on how Obama's own qualities make him an unwinnable candidate. Since then there has been a major financial melt-down which gave Obama a sizable bounce. I would hate to see Obama win on this for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Democrats' fingerprints are all over the crisis, right beside the Republicans. The roots of the problems go back to the Clinton administration and actions taken after the Internet Bubble collapsed (Remember that? Bubbles happen under Democrats, too.).

The bigger reason is that Obama's proposals would strain the economy at any time. They would break it under current conditions. The reason that the Depression lasted so long and got worse under FDR was his response to the economy that he created. The problem is that he was seen as trying to help. Even if policies such as a punish-the-rich tax code and trade isolationism caused long-term damage to the economy, they were seen as being pro-worker. Obama is running hard as FDR's 5th term.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A view of socialized medicine

Read A Tale of 2 Sickbeds. The author contrasts his experience with a severe urinary tract infection in the UK and, a decade earlier, in New York. He relates several horrific experiences that happened to him in England. The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. The UK system is over-stretched and offers sub-standard care. The US system can be expensive but you never feel ignored nor do you find patients calling for help for an hour at a time.

Personally, I prefer the threat of high costs to the idea of being in a noisy, crowded ward without enough beds.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back in the Pocket

Yesterday I complained about Senator Biden calling tax increases on the "rich" patriotic. Today I am going to analyze the other part of that statement. Biden said, We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people.

The interesting part of that statement is the word "back" and the implications it has. At first glance Biden is just playing Robin Hood, taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor (who they refer to as the middle-class). If that was the case then he would have phrased it differently.

By using the word "back", Biden implies that the rich somehow have money that they took from the poor and it is the government's job to give it back. How does he come by that notion?

Democrats have been insisting that Bush's tax cuts were unfair because they favored the rich. This can be argued either way but the important thing here is that Bush did not raise taxes on the poor (or middle-class). He lowered them. No money was taken from the poor.

Maybe Biden means that Obama will take the tax cuts that should have gone to the poor (middle-class, whatever) and give them where they belong. But that isn't what he said, either.

I suspect that Biden's statement comes from a socialist zero-sum view of economics. If someone is rich, it is because he took advantage of the poor. This view matches Biden's statement. The rich were allowed to make too much money so it is up to the government to redistribute some of it from the undeserving rich to the deserving poor (they deserve it because simply they are poor). This fails economics 101. If I sell you something I may make a profit but that doesn't mean that I took advantage of you. You were free to not buy from me (there are exceptions to this but most involve government-sanctioned monopolies). You gained something of value to yourself.

There have been hints before that Obama was influenced by Marxism. Apparently Biden has a similar background. The idea of government redistribution of income seems like classic Marxism.

A side-note to this. Rep. Chris van Hollen (D-md) tried to justify Biden's statement this way:

Look, as Barack Obama himself has said, and as we all know, nobody likes to pay taxes. But I would ask Governor Palin a simple question; How do think we're providing equipment to our troops in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan? How do you think we're supporting the wounded veterans who are coming home at places like Walter Reed and other military hospitals? How are we supporting our troops in Afghanistan?

I thought it was patriotic for all of us to be supporting the troops in the field and providing them with the resources...

This is disingenuous. Biden was not suggesting that the rich pay more taxes in order to support the troops or even to lower the deficit. He (and Obama) want to give the money from the new taxes to the poor. If Obama and Biden were suggesting an across-the-board tax hike with the rich paying most of it then Biden might have a point. This is nothing of the sort.

A second side-note. The Democrats love to point out that McCain was against Bush's tax cuts but wants to keep them. They say that this represents a flip-flop. It does not. McCain voted against the tax cuts in protest because he wanted matching budget cuts. Regardless, he has pointed out that rolling back tax cuts years after they passed amounts to a tax increase which he also opposes.

Maybe this is too nuanced for the democrats.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Democrats insist that they are patriotic (even the ones who claim that the US was behind 9/11). So what does patriotism mean to a Democrat? In Senator Biden's case it means redistributing income.

We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people. It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.
Keep in mind that this is coming from the vice-presidential candidate. Also remember that their definition of rich is a numbers game. If you make more money than 90% of the population then you are rich and don't deserve your ill-gotten gains. If you are under that magic 90% then you are the deserving poor (or middle-class).

In the early primaries the candidates all insisted that they were progressives instead of liberals. In Obama's case, this is correct. The progressive movement was heavily influenced by socialism and emphasized class warfare.

Biden has now codified patriotism as including class warfare.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Are We Safer?

I would have posted this on September 11 but it's hard to keep up when you are on vacation. Anyway, are we safer? I would say yes, for several reasons.

First, we were not really paying attention to possible terrorist activity prior to September 11. This was a bi-partisan problem.

More important is what has happened to al Qaeda in the last seven years. While bin Ladin is still at large, a number of al Qaeda leaders are dead or in jail. Their communications structure has been disrupted. What had existed as a de-centralized organization is now a bunch of independent cells. They can no longer coordinate well enough to do anything on the scale of 9/11. While it is true that the Taliban is gaining strength in Pakistan, it is unclear how much al Qaeda has profited from this.

Then there is Iraq. Al Qaeda sent tens of thousands of jihadists there. Most are dead or captured.

Internationally, bin Laden's stock is down. Immediately after 9/11 he was seen as the hero who brought the mighty America to its knees. Now he is seen as the person who provoked America into overthrowing Afghanistan. He announced that the fight for Iraq was of central importance. not only did his forces loose, they also killed Muslims indiscriminately. Bin Laden is now seen as a loose cannon rather than as a leader.

Of course, none of this means that we can declare victory and quit. That's what makes the next election important.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig

Ok, this is a common expression and Obama (and McCain) may have used it before. Obama probably didn't mean to explicitly call Palin a pig. Given all of that, Obama still deserves all the grief he has gotten over this remoark for a couple of reasons.

Fisrt, the most memorable line out of both conventions was the one about the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom - lipstick. After that, Obama and his advisors should have scrubbed his speaches so that there were no mentions of lipstick, just to avoid this sort of situation. He didn't do this and is paying the price.

The second reason has to do with how Obama's supporters have been acting during the campaign. For months they have been disecting everything said about Obama, looking for hidden, racially coded messages. Suddenly, anything could become a racial code word. When Biden described Obama as "articulate", he didn't add, "For a black man." This was added for him by Obama supporters who then forced Biden to appologise for something that he hadn't said.

Obama never did anything to stop this. Instead, he benefitted from it. He could easily have made a statement saying that he was positive that Biden did not mean anything racial. Obama never did this, even when he invited Biden onto the ticket.

Obama ran a campaign where every utterance can be twisted into a coded reference so it is fitting that this should be used against him.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Convention Roundup

The two parties conventions are over. Now the campaign begins in earnest. How did they do?

The Democratic National Convention was a mess. It was a good-looking one but a mess, never the less. In modern politics, the purpose of the convention is to sell the candidate. Everything else is secondary. So what did the Democrats do?

The first night was split between Michelle Obama and a tribute to Ted Kennedy. Michelle was practicing damage control after some widely-repeated remarks earlier in the campaign. Kennedy was a distraction.

The next two nights featured the Clintons. This is where the convention really failed. They felt that they had to give Hillary speaking time in order to reconcile her followers with Obama. They also felt that they had to give Bill Clinton speaking time. I'm not sure why since Obama (and Hillary) ran campaigns promising the end of Bill's compromises with the Republicans. Neither Bill nor Hillary made more than a token effort to elect Obama. any momentum from the first night was lost.

Joe Biden gave a speech somewhere in there. No one paid attention.

Obama was the main even on Thursday. Instead of addressing the convention, he addressed a campaign rally. He stood on an O-shaped island with a backdrop of Greek columns. His speech was toned down quite a bit from some of his other rhetoric. He didn't say anything like "We are the ones we have been waiting for" (translation; I am the one you have been waiting for). He didn't repeat his assertion that he would stop the oceans from rising and would heal the earth. He did go through a long laundry list of new programs and give-aways. Better yet, he said that he would reduce taxes and insurance payments for 95% of the country and pay for it all without new taxes.

Obama's ratings were through the roof - around 40% of the country watched.

The Democrats left their convention feeling pretty good about themselves. The Republican convention was to start a couple of days later on a holiday, Bush would be addressing the convention, and a hurricane was bearing down on New Orleans, threatening to cancel the Republican convention.

But there were some whispers that things weren't going so well. The old-timers were concerned that Obama wasn't attacking strongly enough. according to some reports, the stadium crowd wasn't impressed by Obama's speech. Where normally uninspired speakers like Gore and Kerry had given the speech of their life, Obama's was rather ordinary... especially for him.

Then things really went sour. McCain announced a surprise VP pick - Sarah Palin from Alaska. The Democrats' first response was to jump on her hard in the hope that they could hurt her reputation enough that she would have to withdraw. McCain's candidacy would have never recovered. Nothing was too extreme in this blitz. It failed and left the Democrats looking mean and petty. Obama had to denounce his supporters more than once.

The hurricane helped the Republicans far more than it hurt them. The first night of the convention was cancelled. This solved the problem of what to do about President Bush. He was too busy to address the convention in person. He ended up making a short address by satellite.

With an hour of airtime to fill, the networks covered the hurricane. The only real story there was how much everything had improved over Katrina.

The Republicans compressed their convention into three nights, all devoted to selling McCain and Palin. Palin's speech on Wednesday established her as a rising Republican star and matched Obama's ratings. McCain's speech on Thursday wasn't as inspired but he did manage to tie his POW experiences to his candidacy. Overnight estimates of his ratings put him higher than Obama.

So, where does this leave us? Often the conventions will give a candidate a bump in the polls that is enough to win the election. Clinton got a huge bump in 1992. Bush was running behind Kerry in 2004 until the Republican convention gave him a bump. On the other hand, Kerry got a slight negative bump, possibly because he overplayed the "reporting for duty" bit. McCain is in danger of doing this with his time as a POW but has not reached that point.

Obama got a slight bump from the Democratic convention but it only put him back to where he was in June. That bump has vanished by now. McCain is not showing much of a bump, either. He is back to running slightly behind but within the margin of error.

The real indicator is the electoral college. Polling by state is out-of-date and still reflects Obama's temporary bump.

With the two candidates running neck and neck, the debates will probably produce a winner. That is bad news for Obama. He is not as good without a script. He has poor instincts and the first thing he says is often wrong. His statement about meeting with hostile foreign powers without pre-condition came from a debate and he is still trying to live that one down. Expectations are lower for McCain which, as with Bush, makes it easier to win a debate.

Biden the Attack Dog

Most Democrats spent Thursday complaining about attacks by Sarah Palin. Joe Biden showed that he could up the ante. When asked about trying the current President Bush and associates as war criminals, he seemed to be saying that they are already working on it. Biden is trying to back off of his comments but you can judge for yourself. The video is here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Experience Issue

The Left keeps harping on Sarah Palin's lack of qualifications to be "a heartbeat away from being president". When Republicans point out that their ticket has the experienced candidate on the top, the Left counter-charges that Obama's campaign is good enough.

Now, you could make the point that running a national campaign is a big job and should count as executive experience but that isn't what they mean. Newsweek's Johnathan Alter is typical:
Obama won 18 million votes, faced countless tough interviews and emerged with a reputation for fluency in discussing affairs of state, whatever one thinks of his politics. Palin's vote totals for mayor were measured in the hundreds; she has served only 20 months as governor of a state half the size of Brooklyn, and knows nothing of national or international issues beyond energy.
Part of this is easy to dismiss - Palin has served 20 months as governor, Obama has served 32 months as junior senator and spent most of it campaigning. If all you count is time in office then Obama is unqualified.

The size of the state is also relevant. Ross Perot pointed out in 1992 that Arkansas is a tiny state (although more populous than Alaska) and one of the poorest. Does Alter think that Clinton was unqualified?

Obama's credentials on foreign affairs are debatable. Alter is impressed. I am not. Obama was against the war with Iraq but has never said how Saddam should have been handled instead. He was against the surge. He spent part of the primary in a bidding war with Hillary over how fast they would pull our troops out of Iraq. He still has not admitted that we are winning.

He promises to get along better with other nations (Bush also promised to be more humble when dealing with the international community) but he has also caused concern with trading partners. He threatened to start bombing Pakistan (an ally and a nuclear power) while promising to meet with national leaders who want the destruction of the US. Most recently he seemed to be unaware that Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council. Obama talks a good game but has not shown any real depth.

And, it should be pointed out that presidential candidates seldom have any real foreign policy experience. The last one who did was George H. W. Bush (former ambassador and vice-president). Prior to that you have to go back to Nixon (former vice-president) and Ike. We often elect governors as our president, valuing executive experience over foreign affairs. Palin is just one more in that line and not even at the top of the ticket.

Obama has indicated that he would make up for his lack of foreign policy experience by leaning on Joe Biden. Biden, it will be remembered, was for chopping Iraq into three parts then abandoning it.

That leaves Obama's votes and his participation in debates as his qualification to be president. What this really means is that the voters looked at Obama's thin resume and decided that they wanted him anyway. It doesn't reflect anything exect his ability to sell himself.

Palin wasn't (and isn't) running for president so she didn't get any votes.

Biden did run. He came in 5th. In New Hampshire he got 638 votes. He got a consistent 1%-2% of the vote. This raises the question, how can someone who was rejected by 99% of the primary voters be qualified to be vice-president?

All of this is partisan bickering. The Left loves Obama so he must be qualified. They see Palin's lack of experience as a way to hurt McCain so she isn't qualified. It is as simple as that.


After listening to the Left for the last few days, you would have expected Sarah Palin's speech would make George W. Bush seem eloquent. That isn't what happened. She made a great speech. The crowd loved her and even the AP admitted that it was a "star-turning performance."

If the Democrats were surprised they have only themselves to blame. They have spent so much time belittling Governor Palin as the mayor of a small town that they overlooked her very real accomplishments. She defeated an incumbent Republican governor in the primary then defeated a former governor in the general election and went on to become a popular governor herself. This takes political skill. I'm betting that this is what made McCain put her on the ticket.

Keep in mind that the real job of the number two person on the ticket is to get the number one person elected. Sarah's first task was to present herself as a credible candidate. She did this very well, coming off far more presidential than Biden. I can see her running for president herself in four or eight years.

The Democrats should be worried about the vice-presidential debate. Biden is known for talking too much.

The Democrats have made other miscalculations in the past few days. They assumed that an unknown must have some disqualifying secrets in her background so they spent a lot of effort trying to find something. In the process they aired everything possible, no matter how irrelevant. Possibly the worst was posting a photograph of Sarah in college waring a tee shirt that said, "I may be flat broke but at least I'm not flat-chested!"

After these attacks, any doubts that Republicans had about Sarah were dismissed. They are far more supportive of McCain and Palin than they were of McCain by himself.

This push-back may spread to the general public. The press is getting stories from the DailyKOS and Huffington. Eventually the number of unfair attack will produce a sympathy for Sarah.

Update: according to the 9/4/8 Rasmussen Daily Polls, people think that the press has gone too hard on Sarah by a 10-1 margin.

The Democrats made one other miscalculation over the weekend - Hurricane Gustav. They were laughing over the prospect of a hurricane hitting New Orleans during the Republican convention. "This proves that there is a God," Michael Moore said.

I wonder if they are still laughing? New Orleans is still standing. FEMA is functional. Everything went as well as it possibly could have given that a major storm hit our coast.

Instead of reminding people about their outrage three years ago, Gustav has shown how much the government's response has improved. It also showcased the new Republican governor of Louisiana.

Update: Governor Jindal is now being talked about as a future presidential candidate.

It may prove that there is a god but it doesn't prove which side he is on.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hating Sarah

If you had asked the Left a week ago who Sarah Palin is, you would have gotten a lot of blank stares. They didn't know (neither did most of the Right).

Now if you ask the Left about Sarah you will get a united answer - they hate her, they think that she is the least qualified candidate for vice president in history and by nominating her, John McCain has shown himself unfit for office.

Of course, they don't really think this. Some of them might have convinced themselves that this is what they believe. Many of them have worked themselves up over it. But, deep down, they don't really know or care anything about Sarah.

What they do know is that she is an unknown. They have probably been gathering dirt on the expected VP choices and sharpening their knives if it was Lieberman. Sarah's selection left them unprepared.

That didn't stop them from coming out swinging. The original statement from the Obama campaign was that she was the former governor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience. Obama himself realized that this reflected badly on him (a former state senator with zero foreign policy experience) and issues a more gracious statement.

Over the weekend the Left has gone to extremes to try to find dirt on Sarah. They insisted that her child is really her grandchild (forcing a public announcement that Sarah's daughter is pregnant). They found a ticket that her husband got 22 years ago. They announced that the vetting process for a vice-president has to include a newspaper search and that McCain hadn't done one.

I hope that Sarah isn't taking any of this personally. The Left has devoted itself to tearing her down in an effort to bring McCain down. That is all they care about. Deep down, Sarah Palin is nothing but a possible tool to be used in securing the election of their chosen one. They don't care who they hurt in the process.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Is Nothing Out of Bounds?

The big story of the weekend is that Sarah Palin's daughter is pregnant. This was announced in order to stop rumors that Sarah's most recent child was really her grandchild who she claimed as her own. The proof for this claim was virtually non-existent but that didn't stop people posting to the DailyKOS from calling Sarah an outright liar.

Last week
the former chair of the DNC laughed at Gustav hitting New Orleans around the time that the Republican convention begins. Here
"God is on our side."

Michael Moore thinks that Gustav proves that there is a god. Here. His reasoning is that the Republicans are at one end of the Mississippi and the hurricane is at the other end. Afterwards he realized that this was over the top, even for him, so he wrote a letter to God asking him not to hurt anyone. He assumes that God reads the Huffington Post.

The kids at KOS also celebrated when former White House spokesman Tony Snow died.

Was Tony Snow part of a Goebbels-like propaganda machine allowing a cabal of pillaging, warmongering thugs to seize War Powers of an Industrialized "Democracy" allowing said Regime to unrepentently torture, maim, and kill civilians in foreign lands while rationalizing his patrons Police-State Powers at home via the comprehensive, calculated dissembly of the Rule of Law?
Protesters at the Republican National Convention dropped sacks of cement on buses carrying Republicans.

The left has shown that nothing is beyond the pale. In fact, the thread (now deleted) about Palin's child had a survey asking if this was going too far. The overwhelming response was that this election is too important for anything to be out of bounds.

This is nothing new. Four years ago liberals tried to make a fuss about Dick Cheney's daughter being gay.

You don't see conservatives acting like this. Conservative attacks have been limited to Barack Obama and his documented record (the Obama is Muslim rumor is nasty but from the timing, it probably started with Hillary-supporters).

This raises an important question. The left thinks that they are committed to doing good. Why don't they act like it?