StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

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  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 15 weeks ago

    I think he was busy getting his undergraduate degree at Columbia, doing the same things most college students do (taking classes, studying).

    From Wikipedia:

    "Obama graduated with a B.A. from Columbia in 1983, then worked for a year at the Business International Corporation[11] and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.[12][13]
    After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side.[12][14] During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[15] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[16]"

    I'm pretty sure he got into Harvard Law the same way everybody else does -- by applying to the school. As far as getting named to the Harvard Law Review as editor, that was based on grades and a writing competition. He supervised the law reviews staff of 80 editors, sort of an executive position, probably had more people working for him at that time than the mayor of Wasilla (pop 6,700). He was also director of the DCP in Chicago. There's more on the website. He taught constitutional law at University of Chicago . . . that's not exactly a schmooz school. Where did Palin teach law?

    He's also an excellent writer. I've read both his books . . . the first one ("Dreams from my Father") gave me excellent insight into his formation and life philosophy. How many books has Palin written?

    I don't see anything mysterious in his bio . . . you can look it up on Wikipedia or on a number of other websites.

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 15 weeks ago

    If you haven't seen her in action there are several television appearance that have put up on You Tube. This one on Charlie Rose is interesting, because about eleven minutes into it Janet Napolitano inadvertently boosts Palin's qualifications.

    Or, her her military bearing.

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 15 weeks ago

    Any executive is a decider. Palin has that kind of experience. So does McCain as a senior officer in a POW camp and as a squadron commander.

    Biden has none, he's been a member of an exclusive club almost all his adult life.

    Obama is the International Man of Mystery. He MIGHT have executive, buck stops here experience, but he won't talk about just what he did when he was Chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. He sure didn't write about it.

    In fact, do we know much of anything SPECIFIC about Obama? What he did at Columbia? Where he worked in NYC after graduating? How he came to decide to go to Chicago? How he got into Harvard Law?

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 15 weeks ago

    What tough choices does the Gov of Alaska face?

    Nothing like the Federal government!

    Palin has instituted a windfall profits tax on oil profits derived from Alaska. Back in March 2008 the BP Exploration exec for Alaska stated:
    "Today, by our calculations, Prudhoe Bay has the highest production tax now in the world"

    and as of 1 Sept 2008 all Alaskans enjoy a 1 year vacation from motor fuels taxes. Not exactly earning Palin a membership in the N Greg Mankiw Pigou Club.

    Alaska has No state income tax and No state sales tax.
    Indeed Alaskans have the lowest total tax burden in the USA.

    Never the less they had a...
    Huge increase in state revenue this year due to the windfall tax and the bump up in oil prices.

    FYI: Alaska fiscal year ends June 30.

    So what have they done?
    Granted something on the order of a 50% increase for the annual payment (1 year bump) to all Alaskans from the Oil Royalty fund. This fund exists because Alaska can not only tax the oil production and profits but the state owns the land.

  • This Week's "Fiscal Fitness"   8 years 15 weeks ago

    One reason for the lack of discussion is policies that are NOT SERIOUS.

    The Republican Platform endorses a Balanced Budget Amendment “to require a balanced budget except in times of war” and then page 17 says that “because the problem is too much spending, not too few taxes, we support a supermajority requirement in both the House and Senate to guard against tax hikes.”

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 15 weeks ago

    McCain, the maverick who has made a career out of running against the government now wants to run the government. There is a huge difference between being a protest warrior and running a functional government.

    My observation of McCain is that he has close to zero interest in fixing the economic problems of our country and gets really bad advice from representatives of wealthy special interests like Phil (Enron) Gramm.

    McCain wants to be Commander in Chief. I want to see a president that will put priority on domestic economic policy, building infrastructure and improving the workforce. I want to see a president that will dump the current imperialist policies and work on building international institutions.

    McCain doesn't even talk about any of my issues. He is out of touch.

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Obama got by a Clinton in a campaign - something not many have accomplished.

  • Let The Sun Shine In   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Actually, Hair is making a comeback. They just celebrated I believe to be there 40th anniversary last year, so there have been numerous showings of the musical around the country. Just within the past two weeks there was a free showing up in New York City.

    The only demographic isn't those around to see it when it first came out-Hair is one of my favorite movies, I would love to see it live (hint-birthday!!) and I actually used the song "The Flesh Failures" aka "Let the Sunshine In" for my history project last year-we had to choose a song from the '60s and '70s time period and relate the lyrics to how people felt during those time. It was one of my favorite projects to do for school ever!

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 16 weeks ago


    I have been blogging about the political aspects of the choice and trying to understand why McCain made it.  That shouldn't be construed as an endorsement.

    Like Palin, Obama lacks on his resume the requisite experience to suggest that he should be a leading candidate for president.  But we have had 18 months or more to gauge Obama's mastery of policy issues.  He's had his ups and downs.  I've gotten to see them from a unique vantage point.  After all of that, I don't have any lingering questions about his capabilities or how he would likely staff his administration.

    Unlike Obama after the 18 month campaign, Palin is a complete unknown on the national stage.  If she gets out on the campaign trail, particularly including the vice presidential debate, and cannot convey the requisite mastery of policy issues, then I will agree with your criticism of McCain for picking her and of his fitness for the presidency based on that choice.  If she can convey that mastery, will you think differently of her and of McCain for picking her?

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 16 weeks ago

    That McCain even markets himself as a "maverick" scares the h*** out of me.

    This is a guy who shoots from the hip, makes impulsive decisions (was the VP choice properly vetted?).

    I want a candidate who makes THOUGHTFUL, sound, evidence-based decisions, NOT a loose cannon.

    We have enough messes to clean up after 8 years of that approach. We don't need 4 more.

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Wow, here we see an example of what has happened to conservatives.

    When I was a kid, this did not describe Republicans:
    "a restless, thrill-seeking personality, a tendency to personalize issues, a tendency to lead life as a string of virtuous crusades".

    And you, coming from the business community, don't object to these qualities in a president? You think it's just dandy to have a VP with the same weaknesses?

    No wonder we have melt downs in our financial system. The loonies have taken over!

  • What the Palin Pick Says   8 years 16 weeks ago

    David Brooks is really stretching with this.

    "Like McCain, Palin does not seem to have an explicit governing philosophy."

    Sounds like the way she runs her family/personal life too. Inconsistent governing with get you unpredictable results. And that's not always a good thing.

    And above everything else the voters want to know the philosophy of the person they are electing. They need to have confidence/trust in the candidate. One reason Wellstone was respected (even by many of the opposition) was summed up by many voters in this way: "I might not always like what Wellstone stands for, but I always KNOW what he stands for (and against), and how he'll vote."

  • Could This Be The "Dewey Beats Truman" Moment Of The 2008 Election   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Sarah Palin can join them to announce that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.

    That should be a great example of her Christian upbringing that will make her all that more attractive to the Christian righ.

  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Lost in all the discussion about Palin being for the bridge to nowhere before she was for it is that she hails from the nation's biggest welfare state. According to the Concsolidated Federal Funds Report (2006), the US Government spent or obligated $13,806 for every man woman and child in Alaska (that's $96,642 for the Palin family alone). This places Alaska at the top of the federal trough with spending representing 37% of total personal income.


  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago

    I got the insider info last night.

    Palin was a desperation pick.

    Evangelical Christian ministers are quietly telling their church members to either a) stay home or b) vote for Obama.

    Not kidding. This is actually happening.

    This video is funny.

  • Does Anyone Believe In The Free Market Any More?   8 years 16 weeks ago

    This is a prime example of "crony" capitalism as practiced by Team Bush.

    The major meat packers are afraid that this might lead to the public wanting more testing so they are tying to nip such a possibility in the bud.

    It is a very old story that has been written about several times at Angry Bear.

  • Does Anyone Believe In The Free Market Any More?   8 years 16 weeks ago

    There was a similar story last November about Monsanto and dairy cows.  See

    Truly, a microeconomics free zone.

  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago
  • Does Anyone Believe In The Free Market Any More?   8 years 16 weeks ago

    "Why did they even ask permission?"

    The Reuters version of the story has more details that add some explanation (if not a lot more sense).

    ... Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC, a small Arkansas packer, filed suit ... to gain access to mad-cow test kits. It said it wanted to test every animal at its plant to assure foreign buyers that the meat was safe to eat.

    In a 25-page ruling [two judges] said USDA has authority under the 1913 Virus-Serum-Toxin Act to prevent sale of mad-cow test kits to meatpackers. USDA interprets the law to control products for "prevention, diagnosis, management or care of diseases of animals."


    David Sentelle, chief judge of the District of Columbia appeals circuit, dissented from the decision. He said USDA "exceeds the bounds of reasonableness" for a law enacted to prevent the sale of ineffective animal medicine...

    USDA allows the mad-cow test kits to be sold only to laboratories that it approves. It says the tests should not be used as a marketing tool and the cattle that comprise the bulk of the meat supply are too young to be tested reliably.

    Two large export markets, Japan and South Korea, accept beef only from younger U.S. cattle. Mad cow is found mostly in older cattle. Its incubation period is two to eight years. Creekstone said it lost $200,000 a day due to reduced U.S. beef exports when it filed its lawsuit...

  • Let The Sun Shine In   8 years 16 weeks ago

    I think it's just you. Dial your strange irony meter back a few notches. Please add a bit of substance to your posts...

  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago

    Palin wasn't chosen to appeal to the kind of people who think being president of the Harvard Law Review is a qualification to be President. There are far too of them in battleground states to matter.

    She was chosen to appeal to people who think this is, because there are lots of them.

  • The Politics of the Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago

    The major newspapers pretty much covered most of the Palin nomination. After reading IBD, FT, WSJ, Barron's and NYT: I think McCain and Palin's chances were better than prior to reading the newspapers. IBD and WSJ like her. The NYT seemed neutral at this point. The one negative edit board comment (FT) that stuck with me was that Obama and the Democratic party convention were about unity and bringing people together. Palin and the GOP, on the other hand, are explicitly trying to divide people. In this respect, the GOP sounds like the Democratic party of yesterday. But it might work, so who knows.

    In addition to the concern on foreign policy, I'd have some concern about general knowledge of domestic urban policies - Detroit, NY, Boston, Philadelphia, LA, Chicago, etc. Disasters such as Katrina or 9/11 require may require people with experience in major urban areas. Maybe Palin could hire Giuliani as an advisor if she gets elected VP.

  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago
  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago
  • The Politics Of The Palin Pick   8 years 16 weeks ago

    McCain has judged that Palin has enough experience to step in and replace McCain if something bad should happen. She is after all a governor and it takes a minimum competence to be a governor. Certainly Governor Bush had little national experience when he was elected president. Bush had not traveled much more than Palin has. In fact, I remember reading that Bush had Condoleeza Rice tutor him to prepare him for the presidency. So I would rate Palin at least as experienced as Bush. With the proper tutor, she could be at least as up to speed on foreign policy as Bush was when he took office. It would be difficult for President Palin to do worse at foreign policy that GW Bush.

    I think John McCain is correct. All of McCain’s foreign policy "experience" has not stopped John McCain from being wrong on Iraq from the start middle and currently. Palin had the judgment to talk about an exit strategy for Iraq. McCain has a permanent occupation plan. John McCain is wrong about Russia and Georgia and is wrong to view that situation through his "Anti-commie Cold War Experience" or part of the "Great Game of past centuries". John McCain is certainly wrong to want to extend Bush tax cuts (which he originally opposed). In this case McCain seems to be not remembering or learning from his experience. Quite frankly, Palin could probably do just as well as McCain and maybe better because she would be more likely to seek expert advice and less likely to blow up and shoot from the hip.

    Palin would probably do better at domestic policy than McCain, because McCain seems to have very little interest in domestic policy, is admittedly not up to speed on economic policy and has proposed a fiscal policy that will explode the deficit, exacerbate inequality and do little to fix what is wrong with our economy. Palin has at least had to deal with real domestic issues including support for SCHIP that McCain in spite of his "experience" voted against.

    Palin was able to run a successful campaign for governor and get endorsements from establishment Republicans like Senator Stevens after winning an insurgent campaign. Palin has shown she is willing to raise taxes, understands the importance of infrastructure projects to her state and has shown political ruthlessness against appointees that don't do what she asks. Palin is a hard core social conservative and reflects many of the values of the Republican Party social conservatives. However, Palin is much more modern than many of the social conservatives in her actions as a mother who works outside the home and is willing to let others look after her young children so she can have a career. It is a subtle way for McCain to send a message to the "women's place is in the home, husband and family first and last" religious right voters in his own party.

    I have no idea how Governor Palin would perform as president because she has not really been tested on the national stage. We had no clue how well Bush would do either. I do think that the McCain internal polling must be really bad, because McCain passed up numerous possible VP choices with much more experience than Palin. If Palin is a risky choice, it is because her potential upside gives McCain a chance to win. McCain must have looked at his poll numbers and decided that making a more experienced pick would give him no chance to win. With Palin, McCain has a chance to win.

    I am totally glad it was not Fiorina because she has the same type of poor performance as CEO that Bush had as a CEO. I am not impressed with MBAs in general and although it is an N=1, the Bush experience suggests that trying to run our government like a business is not a winner. The Palin pick proves that experience is not qualification enough to be president, especially if people are drawing the wrong conclusions from their years of experience as McCain has obviously done.

    No matter how much politicians try to hide behind slogans like “Country First”, it is always about the candidate, in this case, McCain first. If he doesn’t win, he has no chance to be Commander in Chief.

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