Friday, August 29, 2008

No Country for Small Plans

Sen. Barack Obama's a big man, with big plans:
You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I'll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will, listen now, cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East. We will do this.
It's amazing, the capabilities that one man has in his back pocket. Tax breaks bestowed on the deserving like the gentle rains from heaven. The cessation of tax breaks hurled like thunderbolts from the mighty hand of an angry god onto the vile heads of earthly malefactors. Love-from-above for "working families." Now, there's a term that keeps coming up in the words of Sen. Yes-We-Can -- that qualifier, working. Reminds me of "combat troops." Suggests that some careful parsing is in order. When the Tax Fairy defecates on your head, it'll probably turn out that your family's not a "working" one ... you're probably rich, you miserable faker. And when it turns out that a large fraction of the number of American soldiers that are in Iraq now is still there eight years from now, it'll turn out that they're not "combat" troops. God help us, they'll probably be designated "peacekeepers."

But, to continue:
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain's been there for 26 of them. And in that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil that we had as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.
Evidently not.

Okay, never mind any quibbling from me about how prosperous, industrial societies should be importing raw materials and exporting finished goods, and how that's the way in which wealth is built up. After all, we now import virtually everything and export essentially nothing, except for cultural crimes and whimsical promissory notes. I can't be bothered to think about that stuff; I'm lost in awe of the guy who -- without so much as an engineering degree that I know of -- just said he'll "find ways to safely harness nuclear power." All by himself! On second thought, considering that nuclear power is pretty-damn-safe right now and has been for half a century, maybe that's not such an ambitious promise. But consider Sen. Obama's prowess as a businessman. To start with, he must be fabulously wealthy: he says he's going to invest $150 billion in various energy enterprises. I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of scratch kicking around in my pocket. And look what he'll do! With that investment, he'll create five million high-wage, non-outsourceable new jobs! Let's see ... divide $150B by 5M ... just a minute ... bring down the zero ... done. That says that a $30K "investment," one time only, creates a high-wage, non-outsourceable new job. To me, the term "high-wage" implies, well, easily more than that $30K, each and every year.

Amazing, I tell you, just amazing. Definitely not "small plans."

Now let's turn our gaze outward:
For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.
Gee, so did I -- but, in my case, what I was "knowing" was that it was monstrously wrong.
When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
Now, I'm no enthusiast for Ol' Grampaw Angry-Pants. But really, let's be fair here: hasn't Sen. Obama had just as much personal opportunity to visit with Mr. bin Laden -- in a cave or at Hell's gates or wherever he may really be -- as has Sen. McCain? And before moving on, let us note that Obama's no more honest in his language than anyone else in the War Party. When he's longing for the extrajudicial murder of bin Laden, he apparently can't say the simple word "kill;" instead, it's "take out." I wonder if Michelle O. appreciated her mortal danger, back when the Barackster first started courting her, when I'm sure he must have occasionally offered to "take her out" to the movies or somewhere. Let's continue, though:
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances.
Folks, someone please tell me how this twaddle differs from the words of any other War Party propagandist? What is the purpose of America's armed forces? No, wait -- a truthful answer to that question is too depressing to think about. Instead, let me ask a related question: what should the purpose of those armed forces be? Actual defense of actual U.S. territory, maybe? Isn't Israel a foreign country? (Don't laugh -- I'm being serious, here!) Isn't Georgia?

"That's not the change we need!" I kept hearing that from Denver. It certainly is true of Sen. Obama's big plans.

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