A Tacit Endorsement

Posted in 2008 Election on November 2nd, 2008

It seems that Sen. Obama has received an endorsement – though a very tacit and roundabout one – from a much unwanted quarter. An October 30th, 2008 video received by Reuters in Dubai shows Al-Qaeda giving their tacit endorsement to Senator Obama.

From DUBAI (Reuters):

An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.

“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, a top al Qaeda commander believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God’s wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S. elections. Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.

Terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group said in a report on Wednesday that militants on al Qaeda-linked websites have for months been debating the significance of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.

Some posters have also argued over the merits of trying to attack the United States before the election or waiting until later, the report said.

But SITE said it did not expect al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or deputy Ayman al-Zawahri to openly favor a candidate.

“To support a particular candidate would debase al-Qaeda’s long-standing argument that the United States government is a corrupt institution no matter who is at the helm,” SITE director Rita Katz said in the group’s November newsletter.

In 2004 bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the U.S. elections. It derided Bush and warned of possible new September 11-style attacks.

Bin Laden made little mention of Bush’s Democratic challenger, John Kerry, telling Americans: “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.”

Kerry has attributed his loss in part to the video’s high-profile reminder of the terrorism issue.

In 2006, after Democrats captured Congress, Zawahri issued an audio message saying all Americans remained al Qaeda’s enemies regardless of party, SITE said.

SITE said militant postings on al Qaeda-linked websites typically discuss Obama in terms of his race, or his religion and foreign policy. Some forecast a racial crisis dividing the United States if he wins. Others say his planned phased withdrawal from Iraq would be a boon to al Qaeda’s affiliate and give it a base for Middle East expansion.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been portrayed as likely to allow “the continuation of Republican control and aggressive policies toward the Islamic world.”

H/T to Bold Color Conservative

It must be noted that this is at best – or worse – a tacit endorsement. However it does seem that Al-Qaeda views Sen. Obama as “the lesser of evils.” One wonders if the media will bury this story. One also wonders what effect Al-Qaeda’s tacit endorsement will have on Obama’s chances of being elected.

Some Intel Analysis

There’s not a great deal of insight into the mind or workings of Al-Qaeda that can be taken away from this article; it’s too short and too filtered to provide good intelligence for analysis. A few points can be inferred though:

Bush & The War on Terrorism
Al-Qaeda doesn’t like and probably fears President George W. Bush and anyone that they feel will continue to prosecute the war against them in a similar fashion to how it’s been prosecuted so far.

We have hurt them and continue to hurt them. That is something worth knowing, no matter who is elected on November 4th.

Iraq
Al-Qaeda still has active operations in Iraq, but those operations are currently in disarray. Al-Qaeda needs the US to pull out of Iraq before it can further its agenda within within that region. The Surge has achieved – or come close to achieving – it aims.

Afghanistan & Pakistan
This is is much harder to analyze because I’m forced to analyze the meaning of an absence of rhetoric rather analyzing the content of existent rhetoric. I see a couple of possibilities:

Possibility #1
Al-Qaeda isn’t worried about Sen. McCain’s or Sen. Obama’s approach to prosecuting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan because they have few if any assets in those areas.

There has always been some debate on how Arab-centric Al-Qaeda was. Osama bin Laden may have – or have had – close ties to the Taliban and to the Afghans and Pashtun Pakistanis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Al-Qaeda as whole has similar ties.

Possibility #2
Al-Qaeda prefers Obama’s more hawkish and unilateral approach to prosecuting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan over McCain’s more cooperative approach to that theater.

Al-Qaeda may hope that Obama will will follow through on his promises and that this will embroil the Us in an open war with Pakistan. This would further galvanize the Muslim world against the US and keep the Waziristani region of Pakistan as a relatively safe haven for Muslim extremists such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Please understand that this analysis has a fairly low Confidence Factor. Most of it is nothing but inference substantiated by general analysis of the long running situation as it has been reported over the years.

I think that the important point to take away from this analysis is that Al-Qaeda is hurting and hoping that America will back off on direct military action in the Middle-East and approach that theater in a softer and more diplomatic manner. If they favor Obama – as the video by Abu Yahya al-Libi suggests – it is for that reason.

Not Just A Trophy Wife

Posted in 2008 Election on November 2nd, 2008

Ok – just to show everyone that some Republicans can laugh at both ourselves and our candidates I’d like to point out that I find this particular picture from LOL News & Politics to be very, very funny.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
Courtesy of LOL News & Politics

LOL – That’s right! Cindy McCain is not just some trophy wife; she’s also a wealthy heiress and Sugar Mamma. I guess that makes Sen. John McCain her Kept Man.

Trickle Economics

Posted in 2008 Election, Politics on November 2nd, 2008

Trickle-down economics” and “trickle-down theory” are terms of political rhetoric that refer to the policy of providing tax cuts or other benefits to businesses and rich individuals, in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broad population. Strangely it is believed that Will Rogers of western movie fame first coined the phrase during the Great Depression.

Money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy

— Will Rogers

First there was President Ronald Reagan with his supply-side economic which were labeled Reaganomics. This was the first example of the now classic, post-Keynesian Trickle-Down Economics.

President Ronald Reagan was a strong proponent of Trickle-Down economics, and it was he who brought the term to the notice of the general population.

He believed that reducing taxes on capital gains, corporate income, and higher individual incomes, along with the reduction or elimination of various excise taxes would increase gross domestic product (GD) and that this would benefit the poor.

Despite the clear economics benefits of Reagan’s Trickle-Down Economics, it is generally considered to have been a failed experiment in in macro-economics. While median family income grew and interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under Reagan than they did immediately before or after his presidency, the income gap between the wealthy and the poor grew and the perceived benefits to the lower income quintiles was far less than expected.

President Reagan forgot to take greed into account.

The wealthy used their new tax breaks and deregulation to increase their wealth greatly, but only caused a tiny fraction of that increase in wealth to trickle down to the average American family. Greed won out.

~*~

Senator Barack ObamaNow we presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, who wants to increase income taxes on capital gains, corporate income, and higher individual incomes, along with increasing the payroll taxes on both employers and employees in the upper economic quintiles.

He believes this is necessary to provide immediate relief to the poor and middle-class.

Some might choose to describe this as Trickle-Up Economics, others would choose to describe this as Socialism – an intermediate step between Capitalism and Communism. In point of fact – and without the weighted rhetoric of politics – it is Demand-Side Economics as espoused by 20th-century British economist John Maynard Keynes. Sen. Obama’s economic plan is a return to the economic theories of Pres. Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Sen. Obama’s Trickle-Up Economics or Demand-Side Economics is based on the theory that by directly increasing the capital available to the lower income quintiles greater demand will be generated for goods and services across all sectors of the economy. This is turn would generate greater supply and increase gross domestic product (GD) and that this in turn would benefit the poor even more.

Sen. Obama is forgetting to to take greed into account.

The wealthy will do what they can to protect their wealth. Increasing their costs through taxation will lead them to take measures to offset the depredations of their wealth though a variety of methods. None of those methods will benefit America’s poor or middle-class.

  1. Corporations will likely reduce or adjust domestic workforces by either increased automation or adjustments in full-time to part-time employee number
  2. Corporations will likely move as much of their business and production facilities overseas as they can manage. In this world of Globalism a dramatic increase in domestic production costs will inevitably lead to an equally dramatic increase in “off shoring” of jobs and production.
  3. Available capital in the lending markets will likely be reduced since increased income and capital gains taxes will make such business models less lucrative
  4. General investments – including 401Ks and pension funds – will taper down do to the increased capital gains taxes. Fund administrators would have a much harder time maximizing the growth of such investment portfolios in the wake of greater taxation.
  5. Corporations will likely increase the basic costs of most goods and services, both to offset their increased tax burdens and to take full advantage of the greater buying power of the poor and middle-class. Inflation never benefits the poor.

Once again, as it did under Pres. Reagan, greed will have one out.

Reagan was an idealist and Obama is an idealist. Both men failed to fully take into account the level of greed in people when they put together their economic policies. The difference between the two lies in the effects of their disparate plans.

Cut His Nuts Off!

Posted in 2008 Election, Society on July 17th, 2008

Jesse Jackson’s response to Sen. Barack Obama’s Father’s Day speech at at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago was both stupid and brutish. Jackson made a rude and thuggish comment to a fellow guest at Obama’s speech, not realizing that the microphone he was wearing for an upcoming interview with FOX News was already on.

See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith basedI wanna cut his nuts off. Barackhes talking down to black people.

— Rev. Jesse Jackson

Jackson was apparently incensed by Sen. Obama’s call for Black men to take responsibility for the children that they sire. Jackson was angered enough by Obama’s desire for Black men to become involved in the lives of the children they breed to both forget he was wearing a FOX News microphone and to feel the need to threaten to castrate the Senator.

At first glance the situation and Jackson’s reaction seems fairly typical, stereotypical in point of fact. The elder generation of “Black Leaders” have a long history of denouncing and deriding anyone – especially any Black man – who speaks out on the issue of absentee Black fathers. Their “party line” has always been that Mother and Father being replaced by Baby Daddy and Baby Mama in the Black Community is solely or primarily the fault of Whites and racism. Bill Cosby and now Barack Obama have run afoul of people like Jackson whenever they admit that the irresponsibility of Black men is a major part of why 67% of Black children are born into single parent households.

If one looks a bit deeper into this though, it becomes plausible that Jesse Jackson was not just spewing the same vitriol as one would expect. Obama’s speech may have hit Jackson far too close to home. For Jackson the feeling of insult might have been entirely personal.

In the early weeks of 2001 the national press was reporting the scandalous details of Jackson’s long-term adulterous affair with Karin Stanford, a top aide working for his Chicago-based Rainbow Coalition, an affair that resulted in the birth of a daughter in 1998. Jesse Jackson then used his Rainbow Coalition’s funds to pay his mistress $35,000 to relocate her to Southern California and to provide her with continuing $3,000 a month in support. He also used $365,000 in funds from the Rainbow Coalition to purchase Stanfords house.

By any reasonable accounting, this was a gross misuse of the funds of the Rainbow Coalition, which is a tax-exempt entity bound by strict rules governing dispersement of it funds. Yet, the Rainbow Coalition not only didn’t complain about spending this money on Jackson’s mistress and bastard daughter but actually signed off on it with their official approval. The larger organization willingly chose to overlook Jackson’s behavior and shield him as best as they could from the consequences of his transgressions.

Yeah…I think Jackson’s anger was quite personal. Any admonitions about taking personal responsibility for your misdeeds and the children they engender is going to hit far too close to home for Jackson’s comfort.

Daddy’s Home!

Posted in Humor on December 13th, 2007

A special thanks to Blakkfrogg for this one:

Hi honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?

No Daddy. Shes upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.

After a brief pause Daddy says, But honey, you havent got an Uncle Paul.

Oh yes I do, and hes upstairs in the room with Mommy right now.

Brief Pause.

Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddys car just pulled into the driveway.

Okay Daddy, just a minute.

A few minutes later, the little girl comes back to the phone.

I did it Daddy.

And what happened honey?

Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming.

Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isnt moving at all!

Oh, my God! What about your Uncle Paul?

He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared, and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool.But I guess he didnt know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool, and I think hes dead.

***Long Pause***

Then Daddy says, Swimming pool? Is this 555-9600?

OMGs, can you say “Oops!” Then again, justice often takes as winding path…