Herbert Hoover used the day before the market crashed in 1929:
Responding to the collapse of several major investment banks this week, John McCain reassured us, "I think still -- the fundamentals of our economy are strong." That move comes from an old playbook: On Oct. 25, 1929, Herbert Hoover declared, "The fundamental business of the country, that is the production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis."
The day before Hoover insisted that the fundamentals were strong was the day that came to be known as Black Thursday, when in heavy trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about 9 percent of its value. And while, in endless stock-footage documentaries showing images of dumbfounded traders over a soundtrack of mournful jazz clarinets, the crash is supposed to begin the Great Depression, it wasn't quite so. The real cause was the collapse of the banking system, which followed the crash in part because Hoover believed strong fundamentals would protect the economy from disaster.
For the likes of Hoover and McCain, asserting the strength of fundamentals is shorthand for saying that business leaders, with maybe a little cheerleading, can sort out the crisis and that Congress should not try to regulate their behavior.
1. Religious Leaders Petition Palin: Will You Please Start Acting Like A Christian?
The Matthew 25 Network, a Christian political action committee that is supporting Barack Obama, last week released a letter to Sarah Palin, which, in so many words, called on her to start acting like she follows Jesus's teachings instead of Karl Rove's. The signers, religious leaders of different Christian traditions, said they were "extremely disappointed in Sarah Palin's divisive, sarcastic, and often deceptive address at the Republican National Convention," and asked Palin as "not only as a political figure, but also as a prominent Christian, to recommit herself to campaigning in good faith, with a strong commitment to truth-telling." The letter cited Ephesians 4:25, which reads, "Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are all of the same body."
One of the chief signers, Brian McLaren, is a prominent figure in a movement known as "emerging church", an eclectic and growing subset of Christians who eschew the theological literalism of the religious right as well as its politics. In an interview this summer, McLaren described what propelled him to support Obama. Referring to U.S. foreign policy after 9/11, McLaren told me that "some of our darker motivations are at work in our national psyche so that fear and even revenge and a desire to reestablish dominance -- I think those are dark motivations, as a Christian."
Compare those words to Palin's description of the Iraq War being part of God's plan, as captured on video at a Wasilla church. (Palin flew to Wasilla that day on the state of Alaska's dime.)
"Still, I find it staggering that two out of three women say Palin is unqualified to be president, and that more women say the choice of Palin makes them LESS likely to vote for McCain, while more men say it makes them MORE likely."--Jim Ledbetter, Slate.
At the very least anyone on our side who participated in perpetuating this rumor should have their head examined. You did not help us...in fact you hurt us by forcing our candidate to beg you to shut the he** up. jeezus. Let's get on with getting Senator Obama elected President! Get out there and GOTV.....especially in the swing states!
they just brought on a vice president who they'll treat as a national security intern and McCain's supporters are asserting that Palin is so unqualified that if McCain were to die in the next year or two she'd obviously appoint someone else to be president (incidentally, I don't think the VP has the power to "appoint" the president [sorry, to be clearer: The Democratic Senate would have to confirm this person, Palin, couldn't just do this on her own]). With friends like these...
I realize, of course, that she's totally unqualified to be President at this point in time. If McCain were to die in February 2009, I hope Palin would have the good sense to appoint someone who is more ready to be President to be her Vice President, on the understanding that she would then resign and be appointed Vice President by her successor. (Lest anyone say that this is an absurd, unconstitutional or undemocratic scenario, recognize that this is pretty much what would happen in a Parliamentary system where, if the head of government dies, a successor is chosen by the party.) Palin is absolutely not ready to be President now, but that is a problem that is very easily dealt with if she is and the governing party want to do so.
And if McCain dies in February, 2012, who's to say she won't be ready by then? She'll have had three years of being Vice President under her belt. She'll have been a close observer of national governance and will be pretty familiar with the issues of the day. I think a very good case can be made that after three years as McCain's VP, she'll be substantially more qualified to be President than Barack Obama is now.
"But as for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell ya, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me, what is it exactly that the VP does every day?" - Sarah Palin, 8/1/08, CNBC, Kudlow and Company
With the pick of Sarah Palin as Vice President, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of the Vice President's office. Many pundits and conservatives have claimed it isn't that important. McCain after the 2000 primary campaign made his thoughts clear on the office when he said the main job of the VP was to check every day on the health of the president and attend funerals for dead dictators. And even Sarah Palin asked out loud in an interview "what does a vice president even do?" Well, they do foreign policy.
The notion that the Vice President's office is irrelevant represents a highly outdated view of the world that fails to recognize both the increasing complexity of global affairs since the end of Cold War and the high demand for U.S. involvement in crisis after crisis. In fact, the Vice President's office is most relevant, not on domestic policy, but on foreign policy - where a Vice President can effectively represent the administration and the country.