Is Your Part of the Country “Pro-American”?

One of the more serious problems with Republican rule has been the polarization they have brought about. This can be seen in the latest gaffe from Sarah Palin in which she referred to visiting “pro-American” parts of the country. Presumably she sees the rest of the country as being anti-America.  Palin’s explanation is not very satisfying.

There is only one way that I can see which remotely makes any sense to differentiate between pro-American and anti-American parts of the country. This would be based upon support for secession. Therefor Sarah Palin’s close ties to anti-American secessionists only makes her references to pro-American parts of the country sound more absurd.

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Obama Attacks McCain For Planned Medicare Cuts

When The Wall Street Journal first reported that John McCain would cut Medicare spending I half expected to see an ad out on this the same say. Instead it looks like Obama’s campaign decided to hold back on this and use it later in the campaign. I wonder how much this will cut into McCain’s lead in the elderly vote. I also wonder what else Obama has been holding back to use in the final days of the campaign.

Obama is also bringing up Medicare while campaigning:

Appearing in front of a crowd estimated at about 8,000 at the Roanoke Convention Center, Obama suggested cuts of “more than 20 percent” were possible by next year under the McCain plan.

“If you count on Medicare, it would mean fewer places to get care, and less freedom to choose your own doctors,” he said. “You’ll pay more for your drugs, you’ll receive fewer services, you’ll get lower quality care.”

Obama said McCain has “voted against protecting Medicare 40 times” during his 26-year tenure in Congress.

Joe The Plumber Admits He Would Pay Less Taxes Under Obama’s Tax Plan

Throughout the campaign John McCain has been trying to mislead the voters by falsely claiming he would lower their taxes and Obama would raise them. When objective data proved that McCain was wrong, he tried to get away with using a partisan Republican known as Joe the Plumber as a source during the last debate. While Joe claimed that Obama’s plan would raise his taxes, he was wrong. Now he has finally admitted it. CBS News reports:

Sen. John McCain then used Joe’s story to claim Obama will raise taxes for millions of small business owners.

“And what you want to do to Joe the Plumber and millions more like him is have their taxes increased,” McCain said during Wednesdays third and final presidential debate.

The fact is, millions will not be hit by a tax hike. An estimated 335,000 small business owners – just 2 percent of the total – would be impacted by Obama’s tax increases.

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Obama’s tax hikes apply only when personal income, not the value of the business, rises above $250,000.

“What goes on your income tax form is your profit, not your gross receipts,” said Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center.

So today, Joe, who said he makes much less than $250,000, reluctantly admitted Obama would lower his taxes.

“I would, if you believe him, I would be receiving his tax cuts,” Wurzelbacher said.

Joe would pay less in taxes under Obama’s plan than under McCain’s as he makes much less than $250.000. But what of those who do make over $250,000? McCain has really manged to get many of them scared that they will pay more in taxes, but the amount is far less than they are led to believe. Bloomberg reports that even if Joe did make $280,000 per year his taxes would only be $773 per year higher under Obama’s plan, and most small business owners don’t come close to this income level:

One other problem in making Wurzelbacher a symbol of the overtaxed: he would pay just $773 more in taxes under Obama’s plan than McCain’s if he did earn an adjusted gross income of $280,000, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, a Washington research group that is critical of high taxes.

Earning that much would make Wurzelbacher very unusual among small businesses. According to the Internal Revenue Service, most small businesses organize in ways that allow their owners to pay taxes at personal rates rather than as corporations, which impose a second layer of taxes. Almost 95 percent of 21.5 million owners of small businesses who file as sole proprietors had receipts under $100,000 in 2007.

Another 4 million businesses organize as so-called subchapter S corporations, according to IRS data; less than 5 percent of them earn more than $200,000.

Now that Joe got this straignt, I wonder if Joe, along with John McCain, will stop distorting Obama’s response about spreading the wealth around. Obama was not arguing for redistribution of the wealth as Republicans are twisting this. Taxes under Obama even for those making $280,000 per year would be less than they were under Ronald Reagan, hardly making Obama a socialist.

Obama was simply making a point which should be obvious. Giving the middle class a tax break and putting more money in their pockets will give them more to spend on businesses such as the one Joe wants to buy. As a small businessman myself, I have no doubt that Obama is right about this.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy

I might not agree with Sarah Palin on the issues, but I do sympathize with her on this. The Trail reports that to avoid feeling depressed, Palin skimps on reading the news. I’ll ignore her whining that her message is being distorted. This is nonsense and even if this was the case the solution would be to talk to the media rather than to avoid their questions as Palin has been doing.

Beyond this, I sure can understand that Palin would not want to pay much attention to the news which shows how badly the ticket is doing. Sometimes bad news really is depressing and it helps to avoid reading too much of it. I’ve been doing the same lately. Since the market crashed I’ve avoided looking at the specifics of how my investments are doing. Sooner or later I’ll have to look and re-balance, but for now I’m just waiting to see what happens, not wanting to sell after investments have already dropped so much in value.

I’m also reading far less college football news this year than usual with Michigan having its worst team since the 1960’s. While I fear it might take a few years for the market to recover its losses, I’m hopeful that new coach Rich Rodriguez can restore the team in another season or two. Among other problems this year, Michigan lost last year’s quarterback, Chad Henne, due to graduation and the back up, Ryan Mallett, (who I was not all that impressed with anyways when he filled in when Henne was injured) transferred to Arkansas. Michigan is trying to get by with a red shirt freshman transfer (Steven Threet)and a former walk-on (Nick Sheridan). Both lack experience and and both seem to lack the ability of recent great Michigan quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Brian Griese. Adding a new quarterback and getting the rest of the team accustomed to Rodriguez’s offense scheme should make a tremendous difference.

Come to think of it, there is a real similarity here. Michigan’s football team is doing poorly this year with a pair of quarterbacks who are unable to handle the job. The Republican “team” is failing due to a having pair of candidates who are also not up to the task. The analogy ends here. Michigan already has some commitments for next year which should lead to rapid improvements. Looking at the who the Republicans have lined up, they could be in trouble in national elections for years to come.

McCain Shows Up on Letterman While Comics Mock Republicans

After standing up David Letterman on September 24, John McCain showed up for his appearance tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman. Just in case, Dave had Keith Olbermann on stand by.

Mr. McCain walked on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theatre, the site of “The Late Show,” in New York around 5:20 p.m. Eastern. Mr. Letterman immediately asked: “Can you stay?”

“Yes, sir,” Mr. McCain said, and adjusted himself in the chair. He quickly added: “Depends on how bad it gets.”

Then Mr. McCain jokingly said that he asked his son in the Marine Corps to FedEx his flak jacket in preparation for the visit.

Mr. Letterman got right to it: “So what happened?”

Mr. McCain answered: “I screwed up.”

McCain continued to claim both that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president and that Palin was right in her claims that Barack Obama pals around with terrorists:

Mr. Letterman pressed Mr. McCain on Ms. Palin’s preparation for the office of president, and asked whether she was “the woman to lead us through the next 9/11 attack.”

“Absolutely” she is, Mr. McCain said. “She has inspired Americans. That’s the thing we need.”

Mr. Letterman also asked if Ms. Palin had said that Senator Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists.” Mr. McCain started to say he didn’t know, then said “Yes. And he did.”

Dave went on to note John McCain’s association with G. Gordon Liddy.

In a related story, Fox is running a report complaining that the late night comics are skewering the Republicans seven times as often as the Democrats. There is something bizarre in seeing this at Fox’s site, considering how biased and one-sided Fox is with regards to what they claim to be news. News reports, as opposed to the partisan propaganda which comes for Fox, is expected to be “fair and balanced” in fact as opposed to in slogan only. Late night comics are not bound to the same standards of balance as a news organization.

Besides, there is good reason why the comics make fun of the Republican candidates far more often. This post gives two good examples above: John McCain claims that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president when she clearly is not and John McCain continues to repeat the same lies about Ayers when the claims have been thoroughly debunked. The campaign being run by the Republicans is a total joke which is out of touch with reality. McCain and Palin repeatedly say the most absurd and dishonest things and totally ignore all evidence that what they say is untrue. There is simply far more material to mock in the Republican campaign than there is in the Democratic campaign.

Update: Here are some video highlights of McCain’s appearance with Letterman: