September 4, 2008

Meanwhile, Back in the Economy ….. (090408)

Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:14 am

Business necessity dictates that this will be today’s last post.

Just in today:

  • (via e-mail) Mostly good, from the Bureaus of Labor Statistics — “Productivity grew 4.3 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the second quarter of 2008, and unit labor costs declined 0.5 percent.  In manufacturing, productivity fell 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008; unit labor costs rose 6.2 percent.  All rates are seasonally adjusted annual rates.”
  • Not so good — ADP says private-sector jobs fell 33,000 in August; July’s original 9,000 was revised down to 1,000.
  • (via e-mail) Good — “Wal-Mart reports 3% rise in August same-store sales, topping estimates.”
  • Good — The Institute for Supply Management’s Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 50.6%, after July’s 49.5%. That’s back to expansion (anything above 50% means expansion), beating the consensus that it would remain in contraction at 49.5% (Forex, Bloomberg, Reuters).

Sarah Poise, and the BOOHOO Reax

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:21 am

Ms. Underestimated has it in three .wmv segments.

Remind me again — Who’s the great speechmaker?

John McCain has a tough act to follow (/understatement).

TNR blogger Mike Crowley at The Stump reports reax from the left:

Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing–few if any would ever vote for McCain–but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.

It was so good that the New York Times’s home page could only acknowledge what transpired:


Off the cuff, not in the script:

…. the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: Lipstick.

Ed Morrissey, following up on what I expressed at the start of this post yesterday:

Perhaps the media and Democrats would have been better advised to set expectations high for Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech tonight at the Republican convention. After ridiculing her as a small-town yokel for the better part of three days, Palin would have looked good if she managed to avoid drooling during her speech. In the event, though, they could have set expectations as high as a Barack Obama acceptance speech, and Palin would still have exceeded them in a tremendous debut on the national stage.

Palin made it clear to the condescending media and her Democratic critics that she is no pushover, no cream puff. Her nickname, “Sarah Barracuda”, seems a lot more fitting after tonight.

A snide commenter at yesterday’s pre-speech post asked, “‘Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH’? Did your five-year-old help you come up with that one?”

Well, first of all, the kids are older. But more important, this pitiful, whiny response I got in an Obama campaign e-mail early this morning from a David Plouffe shows how utterly appropriate the nickname is:

Thomas –

I wasn’t planning on sending you something tonight (uh-huh — Ed.). But if you saw what I saw from the Republican convention, you know that it demands a response.

I saw John McCain’s attack squad of negative, cynical politicians. They lied about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and they attacked you for being a part of this campaign.

But worst of all — and this deserves to be noted — they insulted the very idea that ordinary people have a role to play in our political process.

You know that despite what John McCain and his attack squad say, everyday people have the power to build something extraordinary when we come together. Make a donation of $5 or more right now to remind them.

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let’s clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

….. Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Wahhhhhhhh — and bullcrap.

It is long past time to puncture Obama’s “community organizing” mystique.

Memo to “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” and Mr. Plouffe:

  • In all too many cases, the Saul Alinsky-driven Obama definitely included, a “community organizer” is someone who attempts to accomplish through clever PR, gaming the system, blackmail, and intimidation what they can’t accomplish at the ballot box or by running for office.
  • It is more than safe to say that many “community organizers” who want to achieve elective office have to pretend to be something they are not to get there. Obama would be among them. His books, his false recitation of accomplishments, his resume-padding, are all false facade.
  • It is more than safe to say that many of those with such a “community organizing” background who subsequently achieve elected office are more interested in serving as a conduit for their “community organized” constituencies than they are in serving the people they are supposed to represent.

Note that the movements Mr. Puff Plouffe cites are ALL from a very distant past of 40 years or more. Who does he think he’s kidding? “Community organizers” have long since co-opted the tactics of authentic social movements to undermine the democratic process (e.g., ACORN), and have long since lost their legitimacy. Their George Soros money gives them the time and resources to subvert representative government that “ordinary people” who try to play defense don’t have.

Exit question: Thanks to Sarah Palin, a $26 billion natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the rest of the US will be built that will tremendously benefit the US economy and the lives of “ordinary people.” What positive things, if any, has Barack Obama ever done to revive the economy and create more jobs in South and Southeast Chicago where those steel plants closed?


UPDATE: Note that commenting Obama co-whiners haven’t even tried to answer the exit question.

Positivity: Cherish Stories Such As These (President Bush Visits a Fallen Soldier’s Family)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

What is so positive about this story is how apparently typical it is (others instances, which have been all too rarely reported, are here and here).

We will miss George Bush’s fundamental decency, no matter how many refuse to acknowledge it, and can only pray that those who follow him will possess it.

From Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska (HT Blackfive via Drew at Ace’s Place):

I learned a big lesson on service Aug. 4, 2008, when Eielson had the rare honor of hosting President Bush on a refueling stop as he traveled to Asia.

It was an event Eielson will never forget — a hangar full of Airmen and Soldiers getting to see the Commander in Chief up close, and perhaps even shaking his hand. An incredible amount of effort goes into presidential travel because of all of the logistics, security, protocol, etc … so it was remarkable to see Air Force One land at Eielson on time at precisely 4:30 p.m.–however, when he left less than two hours later, the President was 15 minutes behind schedule.

That’s a big slip for something so tightly choreographed, but very few people know why it happened. Here’s why.

On Dec. 10, 2006, our son, Shawn, was a paratrooper deployed on the outskirts of Baghdad. He was supposed to spend the night in camp, but when a fellow soldier became ill Shawn volunteered to take his place on a nighttime patrol–in the convoy’s most exposed position as turret gunner in the lead Humvee. He was killed instantly with two other soldiers when an IED ripped through their vehicle.

I was thinking about that as my family and I sat in the audience listening to the President’s speech, looking at the turret on the up-armored Humvee the explosive ordnance disposal flight had put at the edge of the stage as a static display.

When the speech was over and the President was working the crowd line, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see a White House staff member. She asked me and my wife to come with her, because the President wanted to meet us.

Stunned, we grabbed our two sons that were with us and followed her back into a conference room. It was a shock to go from a crowded, noisy hangar, past all of those security people, to find ourselves suddenly alone in a quiet room.

The only thing we could hear was a cell phone vibrating, and noticed that it was coming from the jacket Senator Stevens left on a chair. We didn’t answer.

A short time later, the Secret Service opened the door and President Bush walked in. I thought we might get to shake his hand as he went through. But instead, he walked up to my wife with his arms wide, pulled her in for a hug and a kiss, and said, “I wish I could heal the hole in your heart.” He then grabbed me for a hug, as well as each of our sons. Then he turned and said, “Everybody out.”

A few seconds later, the four of us were completely alone behind closed doors with the President of the United States and not a Secret Service agent in sight.

He said, “Come on, let’s sit down and talk.” He pulled up a chair at the side of the room, and we sat down next to him. He looked a little tired from his trip, and he noticed that his shoes were scuffed up from leaning over concrete barriers to shake hands and pose for photos. He slumped down the chair, completely relaxed, smiled, and suddenly was no longer the President – he was just a guy with a job, sitting around talking with us like a family member at a barbeque.

For the next 15 or 20 minutes, he talked with us about our son, Iraq, his family, faith, convictions, and shared his feelings about nearing the end of his presidency. He asked each of our teenaged sons what they wanted to do in life and counseled them to set goals, stick to their convictions, and not worry about being the “cool” guy.

He said that he’d taken a lot of heat during his tenure and was under a lot of pressure to do what’s politically expedient, but was proud to say that he never sold his soul. Sometimes he laughed, and at others he teared up. He said that what he’ll miss most after leaving office will be his role as Commander in Chief.

One of the somber moments was when he thanked us for the opportunity to meet, because he feels a heavy responsibility knowing that our son died because of a decision he made. He was incredibly humble, full of warmth, and completely without pretense. We were seeing the man his family sees. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.