Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama Photos Iowa, Houston, Kenya

Top: What's wrong with this picture? Barack Obama, Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Harkin's wife, Ruth, during playing of America's National Anthem
Middle: Fox News Photo of Obama Volunteers in Houston. On wall is a picture of a Cuban flag with a superimposed image of Communist fanatic Che Guevara.

Bottom: A photograph of presidential candidate Barack H. Obama (on right) in Kenya in 2006.

I know that today John McCain denounced the Cincinnatti talk show host who spoke of Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" and described him "a Chicago political hack . . . out of the Daley machine." I know that the media generally think it's unfair to criticize Obama, but I don't have a problem with the talk show man.

Obama's name is in fact "Barack Hussein Obama." If he doesn't like his name, he can always change it. As far as his being a product of the Daley political macine, that happens to be true. In the Illinois Senate, he voted "present" 130 times, often on controversial issues. If that's not the behavior of a hack, I don't know what is.

The national media's "love affair with Obama," whom many of them call a "rock star," will continue. It will be up to the new media, including this blog, to present a more balanced view of Barack Hussein Obama.
Do Barack and Michelle Obama Love Their Country?
If Not, Why Not?
Here's an excerpt from an AP story last week:
"Michelle Obama told an audience in Milwaukee, 'For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change.'"

"Cindy McCain, McCain's wife, days later responded by saying, 'I have, and always will be, proud of my country.' Barack Obama has expressed frustration that his wife's remarks had been taken out of context and turned into political fodder — both the Obamas say she was talking about politics in the United States, not the country itself."

My views: Michelle Obama has an undegraduate degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Harvard University. Presumably, she know the distinction between the word "politics" and the word "country." If she didn't mean she has previously disliked or despised her country, she should have made that clear. Her "clarification" of her remarks was full of the same rhetorical fuzziness that her husband has cultivated to an art form.

The lesson too many students at schools like Princeton and Harvard learn is that they should be embarrassed by their country because of its great strength and the opportunity it provides for many people -- including the Obamas -- to become wealthy. It is a great country, Barack and Michelle, and you both need to get to know it better.


Christopher said...

Good thoughts as usual from you below columns. McCain is more conservative by huge margins over Clinton or Obama. That is not an opinion but a fact. There is not one position where McCain is to the left of either Obama or Clinton.

I recently wrote about the McCain VP picks over at my place and would love your opinion.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Thanks Christopher. I'll be over tonight to see what you've done. You're consistently one of the best young bloggers out there.


Anonymous said...

The mainstream media has gone insane, more so than they already were. If Obama takes the candidacy, then let's all hope he's trounced by McCain. People voting for Obama might as well have been born yesterday.

As for universal healthcare proposal and 'leftness' and 'rightness' go, a social compact with Health care, as we already have with things like Education and Social Security, makes economic sense provided the government does not exert conservative fiscal pressure on the Health System (e.g., capping docs wages, capital investment on things like buildings and equipment).

In economics it's a simple case of maximizing total social benefit (note this has nothing to do with rich vs poor).

Let me explain. Whenever you get a situation where people benefit from a good or service that they don't pay for but that someone else pays for (i.e. a positive externality) we (as a country) have a higher social cost than we do social benefit. In other words, those individuals who DO NOT PAY for health care actually BENEFIT from the fact that there are individuals who ARE paying. In other words, a big chunk of the cost of the uninsured (and those barely insured) is born by those who are insured adequately!

The fact that your neighbour has health insurance and can, therefore, be treated prompty and appropriately actually benefits YOU who (just for the sake of argument) does not have health insurance. Why? Because their probability of transmitting disease to you is lowered by virtue of their better health. Thus, you benefit from your neighbour's having to PAY for health insurance. See, if you were both insured, you both pay less individually than your neighbour did originally. Two reasons: 1) we've internalized the cost of the uninsured: you, previously uninsured, now have to pay! 2) now that you're BOTH insured, you are healthier and are less likely to transmit disease and then burden society with your illness -- the cost you impose to the rest of society via your illness, is reduced because you are now less likely to be ill AND when you are ill, your illness does not last as long!

See, this kind of economics only works where there are POSITIVE EXTERNALITIES. You CAN'T (SHOULDN'T) DO THIS with, say, icecream, because when you buy and consume icecream, YOU are the only one who benefits from eating that icecream. I, by purchasing said icecream, have fully paid for the cost of producing that icecream, and then by consuming the icecream, I'm now the only one to benefit from the icecream I just paid for.

Alright? So you see, when it comes to talking about a Social Compact with Health Care, we're not really talking about becoming commies or socialists. We're talking about what makes economic sense.

You see, if we were socialists or commies, we'd make everyone pay for the icecream that only YOU benefited from eating -- which makes NO SENSE and is why comminism is retarded (and why it failed).

We have a Social Compact around Education for the same principle outlined above regarding universal health care: Everyone benefits from education -- even those who are uneducated!! Why? Because people who are educated bring about technological advances that EVERYONE, including the uneducated, end up benefiting from.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Dear Health-Care Expert: I promise to respond to your thoughtful comments on economics and health-care. Let me just add this simple point: I went to a wonderful doctors, smart, insightful, asked good questions, was respectful. His name is Dr. Fuchs (pronounced Fox) in western PA. Gee, how would people know that such a doctor exists in this ancient mill town where I live? The answer is that they wouldn't except by (local) word-of-mouth. One of the biggest problems about the health care business is that it exists outside the regular markets and inforamtion channels. It's very hard to know if you're seeing a great doctor or just an amiable quack (I've seen that kind also). Since I have adult onset diabetes, this doctor insists that I see a couple of specialists who can prevent problems occurring from the diabetes. Frankly, he goes far beyond the guy with the stethoscope who takes your bp and then chats about the local football team. Almost no one knows where the good providers are -- and where the best values are. In other words, we know more about the local Wal-Mart than we do about the local doctor. There's no way to control costs or advance quality in such a system.
Anyway, thanks for commenting. I promise to comment specifically on your piece tomorrow. Come again!