Monday, September 22, 2008

Myth #5: McCain is experienced and can handle crisis better

When a crisis occurs, what should a President do?

I think a President needs to:
1. Recognize the crisis
2. Listen to the right people to deal with the crisis

Bush has been heavily criticized in the past on both aspects when it comes to crisis. He either did not recognize the crisis on a timely fashion (i.e., the 9/11 event), or appointed incompetent officials to deal with it (i.e., FEMA in Katrina).

Now let’s exam both McCain and Obama. Last week’s financial turmoil should serve as a preview of how candidates handle crisis. After all, this is a "once-in-a-century" financial crisis according to former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan.

Recognize the crisis:

As late as last Monday (9/15) when Lehman Brothers filed the largest ever Chapter 11 bankruptcy, McCain claimed the economy was fundamentally strong.
Then, within 36 hours, as he stumbled over his record of championing deregulation, he flip-flopped over the government takeover of AIG and declared that “our economy in crisis”.

On 9/15, Obama said the crisis sweeping Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street firms posed a major threat to the U.S. economy and underscored the need to modernize the financial system. (Actually Obama called for the overhaul of the financial-regulatory system and tougher enforcement well before this past week's financial tsunami.)

Winner: Obama

Listen to the right people

McCain called Martin Feldstein, the well-known Republican economist and Reagan administration adviser, John Taylor of Stanford University, who served in President George W. Bush's Treasury and Carly Fiorina, once the chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Obama called former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and former Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

OK, let’s see what Bloomberg has to say about these two groups:

Feldstein, for all his intellect, was ineffective in the Reagan administration; then-White House deputy chief of staff Dick Darman cut him out of important action. Volcker, first at the Treasury and then as chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a towering figure in every way.
Taylor is a well-regarded academic. In four years as undersecretary of the Treasury, he left few footprints. Summers, as both deputy secretary and secretary, left a lot.
Fiorina is smart and quick; to put it charitably, Rubin will forget more about financial markets than she'll ever know.
The bottom line: “It was a mismatch.

Winner: Obama

So, here is the preview. You take your pick.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Myth #4: Obama is an elitist!

The rhetoric usually goes like this:
1. Obama is an elitist
2. Therefore, he does not understand and sympathize the middle class

First of all, how can a second generation African American who is raised in single mom family an “elitist”? How can someone who goes to grocery shopping using food stamps an “elitist”? How can someone who needs college tuition loans in order to go to college an “elitist”? This is just absurd.

Yes, he is an extremely smart individual, similar to many Chinese here in US, who is able to earn distinguished honors at prestigious schools. At the end of Obama’s first year in Harvard Law School, he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. In his second year, he was elected president of the Law Review, the first black president of Law Review in Harvard’s history. However, please don’t confuse smartness with elitism. It is not a fault for someone to be outstanding.

At many levels, Obama mirrors us, basically the thousands of first and second generation Chinese or Chinese American scholars and students in US. We all work hard to excel in the academic field. We all endure the pains of prejudice and discrimination manifested in this society. We all keep our heads down when the time is bad and work our way out of any adverse social and economic situations. We are all winners; I am really proud of what we have accomplished as a group academically, socially, and economically. Obama’s success just further excites me that maybe one day we, as a minority, can be proud politically as well.

Secondly, how can you call someone who has been a volunteer and social worker for his life as being lack of sympathy for the poor? Obama has been working for the past 16 years on Chicago's far South Side. If you don’t think that’s poor enough, I dare you and double dare you to go there to see for yourself. The number of poor people McCain and Palin have seen in their life time is probably smaller than the number of poor people Obama has spoken to directly.

The fact is that you don’t become a social worker or community organizer unless you feel the pain and love of the community and the people in it.

At the end of the day, it’s just comical to see McCain calling Obama being an “Elitist”.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Myth #3: Sarah Palin is the real thing

No, she is not.

She is not going to be the savior of the Republican party. Her "touching" story looks good on paper, but her right wing positions and stunning lack of knowledge and experience will alienate independent voters before November. Her "cute" lies will hurt her deeply and Palin will get the reality check the the way as Mitt Romney did.

Here is a long list of things about Palin that it's truly disturbing:

(1) Palin's position on abortion
This is ugly, really ugly. She opposes almost all forms of abortion, including rape and the pregnancy endangers the woman's health. She is opposed to Roe vs. Wade decision and wants to overturn it. Her position is so extreme that an average pro-life person won't even consider.

(2) Palin's foreign policy experience
If you are saying "I know about Russian politics because I can see real Russians from my state", you know you are simply pulling shit out of your own ass.
It's like saying "I know about saving people's life as I can see a huge hospital from my apartment". Are you freaking kidding me? Basically Palin is betting that everyone is so dumb that her argument can actually fly. This is sad that a potential VP thinks so lowly of her own countryman.
Btw, she even said that she paid little attention to Iraq since the war. Oh, we know she is not lying on this one, as she just linked 9/11 to Iraq several days ago. Oh boy, even Bush acknowledged that there is no link between 9/11 and Iraq FIVE YEARS AGO!!!!!!! WTF, are we back to future now?

(3) Palin's robotic interview answers
If you have seen her interview on ABC several days ago, her performance probably reminds you the time when you were in college and had to pull an all-nighter for a class that you only went to twice in a semester. Yes, you probably got most of the key sound bits, but you are still clueless and hopeless.
Well, that's what Palin did. She provides sound bit quality answers, and at times, they don't even match the questions being asked. She used the same "we can't second guess Israel" to answer three different questions around US-Israel relationships. It's like some sort of mal-functioned electronic device where it keeps saying the same thing as you press different buttons.
Also she didn't know the Bush Doctrine, which is THE reason behind the Iraq war. Ouch!

(4) Palin's lack of substance
In all her speeches so far, she provides zero substance. No real policy, no real strategy, only high level sound bits.
Well, it's understandable. She can't provide substance, because if she does that, people will notice how far right she really is on the political spectrum. All the middle independent voters who love McCain will disappear.
But the problem is that how long can she keeps avoiding substance? Not much longer, i am afraid. Debates are coming; interviews are coming; and voters will eventually demand answers to various social issues and policies. Her days are numbered. She will show her ugly right wing face.

(5) Palin's objection to Bridge-to-Nowhere
No, no, no, Palin didn't object the bridge-to-nowhere before she voted for it. She has been using this sound bit to show how strongly she opposes earmarks. The funny thing is that she actually said during the ABC interview that she is not against earmarks but rather against the way some of the earmarks are budgeted. Are you kidding me? This whole semantics battle is getting childish.

(6) Palin's foreign travel trips
She claimed that trips to Germany, Kuwait, Canada, Iraq, and Ireland made up her foreign travel. Actually Ireland is a refueling stop, and she never set foot on Iraq. She stopped at the Kuwait/Iraq boarder and didn't enter Iraq during her Kuwait trip.
The refueling stop thing is just embarrassing. This kind of little "resume enhancement" comments remind me Mitt Romney during the GOP primary. If people were sicken tired of Mitt Romney in the primary, I have every reason to believe that people will soon or later be sicken tired of Sarah Palin as well.

(7) Palin's Down syndrome child
Please, don't tell me that you are better because you have a retarded kid. When you are at the age of 44, any non-retarded people would have already learnt how to use a condom correctly.
Having a Down syndrome child just shows how poorly you plan things. Having a baby should be carefully planed to ensure a good life of the child. It should not be a random event after a drunken night at bar, nor should it be a I-am-too-lazy-to-use-a-condom thing. If you can't even ensure your child has a normal healthy life, how can you lead a country of 300 million?

(8) Palin's love for hunting and rifle
Hunting is not a sport. There is nothing victorious about using a high powered rifle, a 50 times magnified scope, and a sound and heat tracker to kill harmless, hungry, big furry animals. It's like beating up a kindergarten kid. I take no pride doing that.
Oh, she is worse. She loves aerial hunting. Basically riding on a helicopter and use machine guns to shoot at animals running around scared. The practice is actually outlawed by Airbone Hunting Act 1972 due to abusive practice in Alaska. But she does it anyway by exploring some loopholes in the law. What a smart woman!
She is also a life long member of the NRA (National Rifle Association), which is responsible for the rampant gun violence in US. This is just sickening.

(9) Palin's energy position
Palin can be any color but green. She voted against protecting polar bears because polar bear reservation got in her way in drilling oil in Alaska. She denies that global warming is the result of human activity, although it is proven and accepted by near all intellectuals.

Enough rant for today. The bottom line is that Palin is either a dumb ass or a freaking liar. Oh, maybe both.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Myth #2: We are average people just like you!!!

I have heard this so many times from a Republican candidate before. Bush used this and Palin is using it now:

"I am just an average pal/gal/buddy/people/hockey mom/wife/husband/American like you!" (VOTE ME!!!)

For some strange reason, American people got all excited after hearing this. "Shit, this is HOT! I am as good as the president! Sweet dude, let's vote!"

But I have to pause and ask myself: "Since when, being average is a good thing?"

Let's say you walk in an interview with Goldman. The interviewer shakes your hand, greets you warmly and says "OK, tell me something about yourself that you deserve this job." Then, you smile back and say "well, you know, I am average just like everyone else"

What are the odds that Goldman will give you a job after that? The truth is that being average is not even good enough to get a job at Goldman, let alone the president of United States of America.

I truly believe that being a president is not for everyone. He or she has to:
(1) be intellectually smart and understands the complexity of this world;
(2) have a clear vision where the country should be;
(3) be able to feel the pain of other and be compassionate;
(4) know how to motivate people and be a great communicator;
(5) follow his own principal and never yield under pressure;
(6) have to have the ability to succeed with his own resource and effort in the private sector.

Average Joe is not gonna cut it. An average super rich kid is not gonna cut it. McCain is not gonna cut it. Palin is not even close. Obama is the only answer:
(1) he graduated from Harvard law school at the top of his class
(2) he has talked about his vision in his books long time ago and never gives in or gives up
(3) he is an active community leader in the poorest communities in Chicago
(4) he is fanstatic in front of crowds and extremely charismatic.
(5) he has been following his dreams for 20 years
(6) he is able to be a sucessful lawyer, writer, teacher and leader. Extremely successful running his own campaign.

Bottom line is that we don't need an Average Joe, we need and deserve someone FANTASTIC!

Myth #1: McCain is a maverick in GOP

The argument usually runs like this "McCain is different. He is not a typical Republican. He can bring the change this country is craving for. He can unite both parties and has the experience to bring real changes"

OK, let's see how illogical this argument goes:

First, if he is a maverick as he claims he is, he won't be able to lead either party.

Maverick, by definition, is a "lone dissenter". The key word here is LONE. You can't be a maverick and someone that everyone follows at the same time.
Maverick is someone that stands out in the crowd; someone that disagrees with his/her peers; someone that others feel odd and strange.
If you are so popular that every Republican admires you and follows you, you are a majority leader in your party, and you are NOT a maverick. You simply can't lead the Republic party by saying and doing things that a typical Republican disagrees with.
Since McCain can't even lead his own party as a maverick, let alone leading the Democratic party.

Secondly, he has no experience.

Yes, yes, we got it. He was a POW (prison of war) before. I heard it, you heard it, and we all heard about it at least 200 times. Being POW is, without a doubt, not easy. It says a lot of about your personal characters, especially when you refuse the chance to be released earlier than fellow POWs. McCain definitely has a long list of admirable attributes: resilience, determination, courage, strong-will and such.
However, it doesn't make you an effective leader. He never led any military units in his life time. Never a true commander on the battlefield. POW experience sounds very touching but just doesn't make you a better decision maker, which is a prerequisite for a president. Besides those personal attributes, a president needs to make intelligent decisions in this complicated world. This is a MUST.
Well, in terms of intelligence level, McCain is ranked 894 out of 899 graduates from the Navy Academy. That's the 5th from the last. Oh boy, we just got by the Bush era, now comes McCain.

Finally, he is just like any other republicans and he is not special.

OK, here is what we got for McCain: born into a golden family; married a rich pretty blonde; supports war and vote in line with Bush 90% of the time; super rich and never will tell you how many homes he has; involved in financial scandals before and will not show your his tax return; below average academic score; below average looking; above average age; can't talk eloquently....
You tell me that he is different from other Republicans?? Oh, really?

Here is the conclusion:
McCain is just a typical republican that we have seen so many times before. Move on, nothing special here.

Election 2008 Series