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Why I Support Barack Obama

In my talks this year, I have been outlining some of the world’s great problems, highlighting some of the things that are being done by technology innovators to solve them, and urging my listeners to “work on stuff that matters.”

We are in unprecedented times. And folks, I’m sorry to say that the current financial meltdown is not the worst of it. Political instability around the world, wars over access to resources, and yes, terrorists, are all in our future. Scientists who’ve studied global warming agree that we’re heading towards decades of extreme environmental stress, leading to even more severe economic disruptions than we have seen to date. Meanwhile, we have an aging population with ballooning healthcare costs, an unfair economy in which some people receive outsized gains while others fall behind, an educational system that is not preparing children for the future, and deficits that require an increasing percentage of our tax dollars to service debt to other countries. Even if there is a short term recovery, huge problems loom in the years ahead, problems we can no longer pass off to our children and grandchildren.

Faced with these problems, we need a president who can harness the best and brightest our country has to offer, a president who is conversant with, and comfortable with, the power of technology to assist in solving these problems, a president who is good at listening, studying, and devising solutions based on the best insight available, rather than on narrow ideology. We need a president who can forge consensus, not just among the partisans in our own fractured democracy but around the world. We need a president who can inspire our citizens and our global partners to forgo narrow self interest and embrace the possibilities that we can achieve if we work together to build a better future.

I believe Barack Obama is that president. He is a man of intelligence, but also a man whose character and temperament seem suited to the problems of our age: unflappable, optimistic even in the face of adversity, willing to speak the truth about subjects that have long been taboo (I’m thinking of his speech on race, and his speech on fatherhood) and with unscripted reactions that show his fundamental decency (I’m thinking of his reaction to those who wanted to make a campaign issue of Sarah Palin’s daughter’s unplanned pregnancy.)

Because this is a tech blog, not a political blog, though, I primarily want to address the subject of why members of the technical community should join me in supporting Barack Obama. (The New York Times has made a compelling case based on the broader issues, as has Colin Powell.) I outline four principal reasons:

1. Connected, Transparent Government

2. The Financial Crisis

3. Climate Change

4. Net Neutrality

I will also discuss some important additional considerations, personal and political, that I hope Radar readers who don’t want to see politics in these pages, will forgive.

I want to be clear that this is my personal endorsement, and not an endorsement by O’Reilly Media. I’d like O’Reilly to be a company where people of all political persuasions are welcomed and supported, and feel free to express their personal opinions, as I have here.

1. Connected, Transparent Government

Web 2.0 has shown the power of what I’ve elsewhere called harnessing collective intelligence. Despite the claims of critics like Nick Carr and Andrew Keen, Google does make us smarter. So does Wikipedia, and Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, the blogosphere, and Twitter. Our access to information today is unprecedented; the ability of individual citizens to discover and share important new ideas is greater than it has ever been in our history; important ideas are able to bubble up and become visible to those who need to know them.

Barack Obama understands this. His campaign has demonstrated his ability to harness the internet not only for fundraising, but also his comfort with its decentralized nature. my.barackobama.com is not a one-way fundraising machine, but a platform that has enabled his supporters to act independently, while coordinating their decentralized, bottom-up activities in a way that adds to their effectiveness. What’s more, it is a platform that has allowed supporters to disagree with him, and so to shape his policies – a far cry from the current administration’s belief that disagreement is equivalent to disloyalty.

Further, I believe that Obama’s prowess in fundraising from small donors has the potential to change the culture in which Washington is for sale to lobbyists. I’m not naive: I know that bundlers and big donors will continue to have privileged access under any administration. But I also know that the internet enables the long tail, and what we see here is the long tail of influence, a long tail in which self-organizing groups of people who care about important issues will have far more impact than they do today.

I also believe that in an Obama administration, there will be significant investment in applying the lessons learned from internet campaigning into the tools of internet governance. There are efforts already underway to build better tools for two-way communication, for government transparency, and for harnessing innovations from outside the public sector to improve the work of the public sector.

Those of you who follow my blog and my speeches know that I am a big believer that “alpha geeks” show us the shape of the future. I’ve been watching the work of folks like Ellen Miller, Greg Elin and Micah Sifry at the Sunlight Foundation, Adrian Holovaty at Everyblock, Carl Malamud at public.resource.org, and Tom Steinberg of mysociety.org in the UK, and I believe that in an Obama administration, we’ll have an unprecedented opportunity to put their pioneering applications and approaches to work to build a more responsive, more transparent, and more effective government.

I should add, for those of you who are concerned about the financial downturn, that reinventing government will be a huge business opportunity. Yes, much of that business may well go to existing government contractors – navigating the maze of Washington procurement is not for the faint-hearted – but there will be tremendous demand for expertise that today can only be found in the cutting edge technical community.

2. The Financial Crisis

The financial crisis we face today is a damning indictment of a philosophy that insists that the market is always right, that government only gets in the way, and that unfettered capitalism is the best system. Left to themselves over the past eight years, Wall Street bankers have feathered their own pockets at the expense of customers, shareholders, and the public. Meanwhile, investments in the real economy have faltered, been diverted to artificial wealth creation using obscure financial instruments that, in retrospect, turned our banks into willing participants in a giant Ponzi scheme.

It’s clear that the era of hands-off government is over. Ironically (or perhaps inevitably), it is the failure of deregulation, not the expansionist ideas of an activist government, that is driving us towards ever greater government involvement in our daily lives.

Meanwhile, John McCain repeats the old mantras of deregulation, of letting the market work its magic. I’m a big believer in the market, but I also know that markets, like games, depend on clear rules of fair play.

It’s not going to be easy for anyone to unwind the enormous mess that has been created as a result of the mismanagement of the economy under the current administration. It will take great insight, intelligence, and an about-face in our attitudes towards regulation.

More than that, though, making the right decisions, coming up with the right regulations, will take insight into the nature of networks, the nature of markets, that can be profoundly informed by what we’ve learned from the internet over the past decade. I realized last year that there was a productive – nay an essential – dialogue to be held between the world of financial markets and the world of Web 2.0. (See Web 2.0 Meets Wall Street (pdf).) It’s why I launched the Money:Tech conference, and why I’ve been spending so much time thinking about what we can learn from the development of markets that are, effectively, run by computer programs, or as Richard Bookstaber put it so eloquently, A Demon of Our Own Design.

It will take a president and presidential advisors with enormous technological sophistication to understand, let alone design and manage the kinds of regulatory regimes we will need for increasingly automated markets. We are far more likely to find that sophistication in the administration of Barack Obama than in the administration of John McCain.

It will also likely take significant government spending to boost the real economy as part of the recovery from the collapse of the shadow financial economy.

Given the inevitability of increased government spending, the question becomes one of priorities. Obama understands how important it is to invest in infrastructure, in education, in health care, in energy independence and green technology, and in making our society fairer to all its citizens. At the same time, he is a believer in markets.

He has been described as a ‘University of Chicago’ Democrat, in reference to the way he has tried to synthesize the market-oriented economics of the University of Chicago, where he was a lecturer for twelve years, with the traditional Democratic ideas that government can play a large role in creating markets, in leveling the playing field, and in creating a fairer society. As University of Chicago professor Cass Sunstein notes, in the article linked-to at the start of this paragraph, “His policies often involve setting up a government program to address a market failure but then trying to harness the power of the market within that program.”

We need a new approach that synthesizes the best of what the right and the left have had to teach us, and Barack Obama has demonstrated, long before the current crisis was upon us, serious thinking about what such a synthesis might entail.

We need fresh thinking, not a pendulum-swing from one ideology to another. And despite claims to the contrary by his opponents, I believe that Barack Obama isn’t afraid to take the best economic ideas from any part of the political spectrum.

3. Climate Change

I have come to believe that climate change provides one of the most severe long term threats to our society – greater even than the current financial turmoil.

While no one knows for sure just how bad the effects of climate change might be, the worst case scenarios are bad indeed – so bad that they might entail the end of civilization as we know it. However unlikely you may consider these worst case scenarios, or however distant, it’s worth remembering that in our everyday lives, we insure against outcomes that are far less likely.

And however much you discount that worst-case scenario, it’s clear that investment in green technology will provide an enormous boon for our economy and a long term strategic benefit for our country.

If global warming doesn’t get us, oil depletion will. It’s easy to forget that the US was once the world’s biggest oil producer. Our oil fields are now mostly gone, providing only 3% of the world’s supply and 10% of our own needs. It takes someone very short-sighted not to realize that the same fundamentals that marginalized our domestic oil industry will one day do the same to other nations whose oil supplies we depend on today.

I highly recommend the video documentary A Crude Awakening, which makes a compelling case for the end of cheap oil. As demand rises around the world, so will the price of oil, and competition for this precious resource. The current pullback in oil prices is temporary, driven by a recession-fueled decline in demand.

And as oil becomes scarce, we face the dangerous prospect of increasing our reliance on coal. I’ve been in Beijing on days when you can’t see buildings a quarter mile away, and I assure you, it isn’t pretty. And the consequences for warming the planet are dire.

Meanwhile, the need to secure oil supplies around the world will hold our economy hostage to the whims of countries who have no love for us.

Given how long it takes for new forms of energy production to come onstream, we need to make major investments today if we are to have any hope of replacing fossil fuels with green alternatives.

But once again, this crisis provides huge opportunity. Reinventing the energy economy will require enormous technological innovation as well as huge capital investments in generating capacity, upgrading the grid, and instrumenting the world to measure and manage our carbon output. If we do not invest in these technologies, we face the real danger of becoming a second class nation, as those nations that do make the investments reap the rewards.

Progress from the climate crisis towards the green economy will require strong government policies. If we’d stuck the course that President Jimmy Carter outlined in 1977, we’d be in a very different position today. This is not something we can leave to the unfettered market. We need government leadership.

Given a free rein by the hands-off attitude at the highest levels of government, oil companies have reaped record profits while making only token investments in alternative energy, independence from foreign oil, and the strategic interests of our country. Given choices among alternative energy sources, existing energy companies, agricultural lobbyists, and unscrupulous promoters took us down a disastrous path towards corn-based ethanol, a proposed solution that raised food prices and did little to address the real problem, but much to line the pockets of entrenched multi-national companies.

Now, I’m not saying that any multi-national company is likely to put national interests ahead of self-interest, but it’s clear that it is a foolish ideology that opens the sheepfold to management by wolves.

I will say that I’m not satisfied with Obama’s energy policies. We need to move more urgently and more broadly than even he envisions, but at least he has resisted the political posturing that characterized John McCain’s embrace of offshore oil drilling as a solution to the spring runup in energy prices, which was, after all, only a rehearsal for the much larger problems we will face down the line.

But for those concerned about climate change, the most urgent case for the election of Barack Obama was made by John McCain. Despite being an early and thoughtful advocate on the threat of global warming, he lost all credibility with his selection of Governor Palin as his running mate. We can not afford to take the risk of a Vice-President (especially for a candidate as old as McCain) who is scornful of science, denies human involvement in creating climate change, and is completely unprepared to tackle this most urgent of problems.

If scientists are right, we have to act now. Every year counts. There is no “do over” on this issue.

Climate change and energy policy can no longer be dictated by “politically possible” but must be dictated by “technically necessary.” NASA’s James Hansen has recently argued that an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 ppm looks to be the safe bet climate wise for humanity. We are already at more than 380 ppm! (Here’s Hansen’s full paper (pdf).)

As my son-in-law Saul Griffith argued at our Emerging Technology Conference earlier this year, we need to pick a target CO2 concentration and work backwards to get to an energy policy, rather than guessing at an energy policy with fingers crossed, hoping for a climate outcome that is tolerable.

4. Net Neutrality

I love the internet. It’s been one of the most fertile grounds for technological innovation, wealth creation, and social change that our country has seen in my lifetime. I believe passionately in the “small pieces loosely joined” model that allows anyone to invent a compelling new service, find other people to use it, and grow a business without having to ask anyone’s permission.

It’s essential that we preserve the architecture of the internet.

Under the guise of free market experimentation, big companies with monopoly positions in local markets are asking us to change the fundamental rules that have served the internet so well. They want to be able to charge differential fees for different types of data traffic.

This will, quite simply, be the end of the internet as we know it, turning it into a network that works much more like the cellphone network, slow to innovate, hostile to its users, extracting profits through artificial barriers rather than true value creation.

Barack Obama supports net neutrality; John McCain, as in other areas, once again claims that government should get out of the way.

Other Key Issues

I would be disingenuous to suggest that my endorsement of Barack Obama is driven purely by technical issues. Here are some of the other issues that are on my mind:

9/11, The War in Iraq, and the Growth of Authoritarian Government

Perhaps the most frightening thing about 9/11 is how easily we, as a nation, forgot who we are and what we stand for. We threw away the sympathy of the world by acting as though the threat of terrorism justifies the abandonment of human rights. The false intelligence and the lies that linked Iraq with the terrorists of 9/11, the abuses in Guantanamo, the drumbeat of fear that was used for political gain, all lost us the respect and moral leadership we once enjoyed. Meanwhile, Americans gave up freely the liberties that were the very foundation of our nation and made us a model for the rest of the world.

We need a clear break with that sordid epoch. John McCain is as outraged by Guantanamo as Barack Obama, but he continues the misplaced focus of American foreign policy on Iraq. And he seems to share the Bush administration’s idea that terrorism is the greatest threat facing this country.

Barack Obama has outlined a commitment to extricate ourselves from a colossal foreign policy mistake. This plan, derided as naive by the Republicans, is in line with the wishes of the Iraqis, and will allow us to realign our foreign policy priorities to deal with far more substantial threats to our national interest.

But more importantly, it is itself a strategic move in “the war on terror. ” By invading Iraq, we created a haven for terrorism that didn’t previously exist. Even worse, we gave them exactly what they wanted, an enemy that could serve as a recruiting tool.

And we played completely into their hands here in America as well! What, after all, is the goal of terrorism? To disrupt the society of an enemy by creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

Al Quaeda no longer needs to do anything to create that atmosphere of fear. Our government does that for them! From the horrific — abuses of civil rights that undermine fundamental constitutional freedoms — to the ridiculous — what Bruce Schneier has so ably criticized as security theater that has increased the costs and inconvenience of travel while providing no added security, the Bush administration has acted the puppet to Osama bin Laden’s game plan.

On the internet, we know how to deal with people who try to disrupt our activities. While griefers are not the same as terrorists, the same principle applies. We say, “Don’t feed the trolls!”

Even without any overt action, an Obama presidency will undermine the aims of terror by providing a clear break with the past, a break with the policies that have made America more of a target for terrorism than we were before 9/11.

My hope — and I’ll admit that it’s only a hope — is that Obama is smart enough to know, like Roosevelt, that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and will use the power of the presidency to reverse the fear-driven policies of the past seven years.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of what has happened in those years is the way that fear has been used to claim extraordinary power for the Presidency. Those of you who know my background know that my degree is in Greek and Latin Classics. So it’s perhaps forgivable that historical parallels with ancient Rome are quick to come to my mind. The claims of the Bush administration to be above the law, its claims that the threat of terrorism demand the suspension of civil liberties, are eerily reminiscent of the events that led to the end of the Roman Republic. Faced with an invasion by pirates (the terrorists of 68 BC), Pompey the Great was given extraordinary powers. Within a decade, Rome was a dictatorship, led by the one Senator who had supported Pompey’s exaggerated claims, Julius Caesar.

Of course, we are a long way from that point, but the drift of our country towards authoritarianism is alarming. John McCain has been trying to paint Obama as the candidate of big government. Yet it is the Right, not the Left, that is bringing us the biggest, most powerful, most centralized, and most intrusive government that America has ever seen. Many members of the technical community have libertarian leanings; you should vote for Obama for this reason alone!

I don’t see evidence in Obama’s platform that he has come to explicit grips with this issue. But it is seems far more likely to me that any Supreme Court justices he appoints will be more inclined to stop this mad slide towards an authoritarian society than the candidates who might be proposed by John McCain. I do know that the technological sophistication and political predilections of Obama’s advisors will be to warn of the slippery slope that awaits us if we continue down the path of fear, with the tools of technology applied to end freedom rather than to increase it.

Abortion

I come from a conservative Catholic family. I am no longer a practicing Catholic, but conversations with my brothers and sisters who are have made clear to me just how fundamental the issue of abortion is to their support of John McCain.

If you believe that abortion is murder, as they do, that literally millions of lives are lost each year in government-sanctioned killing, then virtually all other issues pale by comparison. The chance that a John McCain will appoint one or more Supreme Court justices who will make it possible for the court to overturn Roe v. Wade is hard to pass by.

Meanwhile, Obama’s voting record on the other side of this issue speaks volumes to them about what they consider a fundamental failure of morality on his part.

I understand their concerns. I hate to see a candidate with a perfect voting record on one side of an issue that so clearly divides the country, with passionate and compelling arguments on both sides. But I remind them that Obama said, in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination, “We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.” He expanded on these views in an interview with Relevant Magazine in July.

It seems to me that the debate about abortion has been polarized far too long, with each side unwilling to give an inch, for fear that the other will take a mile. While Obama will surely not give my family and those who agree with them a Supreme Court justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade, I would hope that, with his gift for finding a middle ground, he will be willing to engage, and perhaps break the deadlock in our culture around this most divisive of issues.

It is almost certainly true that, by contrast, John McCain and Sarah Palin would continue the “culture wars” strategy that has made it impossible to make any progress on this issue.

Character

Senator McCain has made much of character in his career and in his campaign, yet he has run a race that gives the lie to those claims. He hired the very people who used lies to undermine his campaign for the presidency in 2000; he has adopted the sleazy tactics that he once abhorred.

McCain’s tilt to the right, pandering to the base of the Republican party while abandoning many of the positions he fought for in his maverick years, culminating in his cynical selection of Sarah Palin, shows a man who has been driven by the pressure of the race to sacrifice principle to expediency.

Contrast this with Barack Obama, a man who, faced with these attacks, has largely maintained the high road.

I’m not saying that the Obama team hasn’t played politics, using trivialities to paint McCain in the worst possible light. But McCain has demonstrated a far greater willingness to stretch the truth, to stoop to tactics that have dismayed even his supporters.

At the start of this election, I was prepared to give McCain serious consideration. But his behavior during the campaign forfeited my good opinion. The ancient philosopher Heraclitus once said that “Character is destiny.” John McCain used that quote as the title of his book, but it is Barack Obama who has demonstrated the sure character of a man who will not change how he acts for the sake of political gain.

Barack Obama shows us that character is also the deepest foundation of strategy. When strategy comes from a fundamental sense of both who you are and what you want to accomplish, it has secure roots. His campaign has been disciplined without being authoritarian, focused without being myopic, responsive while maintaining consistency. These are all signs of a man whose strategy is deep rooted and a reflection of who he is.

Competence in Leadership

The final argument for the presidency of Barack Obama is the enormous competence he has shown in running his campaign. He has demonstrated unprecedented ability to motivate people, to gather support for his vision and his programs, and to surround himself with people who can execute on that vision. For the past two years, he’s managed what you could easily think of as the fastest growing and best-funded startup in America, and as CEO of that startup, he’s come through with flying colors.

If Barack Obama were a company, I’d say he was ready for the IPO. And I for one intend to buy shares on November 4. I hope you will too.

Update: As you continue the discussion in the comments below, I ask you to be respectful of the people you disagree with. Comments that contain ad hominem attacks will be deleted. Most of the initial comments were thoughtful, but as the debate continues, tempers are rising. Remember that whomever is elected, we are all in this together, and will have to continue to work and live together after the election!

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  • CoolName

    Get better informed. Look up Obama’s ideas on abortion and babies that survived their abortion. That is what speaks volumes about his morality. Check him out as the Gov of Illinois.

  • http://www.arkansawyer.com/wordpress John A Arkansawyer

    That probably would be informative, had Obama ever been the “Gov of Illinois”–but of course, he was not.

  • http://aeroculus.blogspot.com/ Michael Ferrari

    along the lines of the ‘scornful of science’ comment

  • Jason Marcuson

    Consider this computer book publishing colleague firmly in Obama’s corner as well.
    Thank you for taking the opportunity to speak out on this issue so critical to our nation’s, and our world’s, future. This transcends politics or government. This is a crucial paradigm shift.

  • PaulV

    American turning it self into a third world country,
    By Electing a man “Barack Obama” who straight out supporting KNowN Terrorist, this is just a Fact now

    Los Angeles Times has a video of Barack obama supporting a torrorist and toasting him, on Video
    To many facts there, THe left wing like Pelosi and many other Or trying to stop this tape from getting out,
    If it was Hillary or JOhn McCain, you can rest assure this tape would already be out, But more facts MSM is suppressing this video,

    Like so many third world Dictators in other country, Who control the Media, CNN, MSnbc , los angeles times, New york times, So many other Medias
    WHo trying to elect a Man who supports Terrorist,
    Barack Obama,
    No one calling Barack a terrorist, but he sure does support them,
    His Track record is sure proving this, ,, Rev Wright, Ayers, Rezko Barack Obama sure love surrounding his self with Crminals,

    Hitler started out this way, Going after the simple Young crowd, to elect them,,then after he is elected its to late, the country in turmoil, and lost, History has proven this,
    Why do you think Barack Obama created his own Seal, Why do you think he is trying to make this country a Socialist country, ALL the signs are there, Bias Media, criminal as friend, the man has no real agenda, and for the simple fact, Barack Obama has his Own News Station, to get the lies out there,, THat News Station is Msnbc, Followed by CNN, the 2 most bias News media stations, by next year after Obama is elected, American will be in a Depression there will be food line, TO SHARE THE WEALTH, SURE SOUND LIKE RUSSIA TO ME, DONT THIS SOUND VERY FAMILIAR!!!!!

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Coolname – If you follow the link I gave, you’ll see that Obama responded to this particular smear:

    “The other email rumor that’s been floating around is that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. That’s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the “Born Alive” bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn’t think it was going to pass constitutional muster.”

    It seems to me that a great deal of the inability to make reasonable compromise around the more extreme aspects of the abortion debate (such as third trimester partial birth abortion) is the result of “gotcha politics” like the bill Obama refers to above. Someone introduces a bill with a strong purpose, but it’s got hidden provisions that make it impossible for pro-choice legislators to support, because the real agenda is to overturn Roe v. Wade, while using the high visibility issue to tar the other side with inflammatory claims like “they support dismembering babies.”

    If pro-life advocates really want to reduce the number of abortions, they need to do three things, in my opinion:

    1. Get solidly behind a program that encourages contraception and family planning. In arguing this issue with my sister, I turned up an interesting Unicef report that shows stats on teen sex activity, pregnancy, birthrates, and abortions across developed countries (pdf).

    The US has highest rate of teenage births AND teenage abortions of all countries surveyed. Countries like Scandinavia that have clear and strong sex education and birth control programs have 1/3 or less the abortion rate of the US, which relies on abstinence-based education.

    This seems pretty clear statistical data that birth control and sex education reduce the abortion rate. Yet opponents of abortion are unwilling to go down this very reasonable path to achieve the goal that they claim is so important.

    It’s particularly remarkable that the teen sex rate clearly has no correlation to the politics of the country in question. The US has a higher teen sex rate than France, for instance, which is notoriously permissive towards sex. (81% of people in the US report having had sex before the age of 20.)

    2. Stop producing “gotcha” bills that link together limits on egregious procedures with more subtle clauses that seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, and paint opponents into a corner by making them vote “no” or “present” on provocative issues. Take one issue at a time, and try to get a real solution rather than scoring political points.

    3. Acknowledge that there were significant abuses and risks in an era where abortion was illegal, just as there are abuses and risks in an era where it is legal. Work together with pro-choice advocates to find common ground on what problems we can solve. Let’s narrow the differences, until only the really contentious ones are left.

    That’s how we do negotiation in business. Politics seems to have a lot more grandstanding in it, where people are most interested in scoring points than in getting to solutions.

    Personally, I’m very reluctantly pro-choice. I have two children. They were my beloved children from the first, not from the moment of birth, but from the moment of conception. The line “It’s a child, not a choice” has a great deal of truth to it. I sensed, from the first moments I knew of their existence, who they were, even to the differences between them, which manifested in the womb. Biology teaches us that there is no magical dividing line beyond conception on one side of which we can say, “this is just a piece of meat,” and on the other, “this is a child.”

    But I also know that many first trimester babies spontaneously abort (and sometimes even later than that.) Life is profligate, and not every shoot that sprouts is destined to live to maturity. First trimester abortion perhaps fits into this grey zone (though I also know that if either of my daughters wanted to have an abortion, I would do anything I could to dissuade them, but without compulsion, knowing that it is not my choice.)

    I also know that for many women, raising a child is an unsupportable challenge, and that in the years before birth control was legal, many died from back-alley abortions. Even today, unwanted children grow up in poverty, only to die as teens in gang shootings. You have only to look at the slums of Sao Paulo to see the end game here: not infanticide, but teen-i-cide, where children are left to fend for themselves in a dog-eat-dog world.

    It is this equally passionate concern for life that motivates the most thoughtful pro-choice advocates. They can’t understand why “pro-life” advocates can’t see what kind of life they are dooming so many children to, especially when they oppose commonsense methods for reducing the number of unwanted children via sex education and birth control.

    I’d love to see these two sides get together and make abortion, as President Clinton said, “Safe, legal, and rare.”

  • http://www.catholicdems.blogspot.com Ami

    As a practicing Catholic and a Democrat, I really appreciate your giving space to talking about such a divisive issue. I usually put it this way: I don’t think abortion is right — I just don’t think it should be illegal. Safe, legal, and rare is what we should aim for. I am always puzzled that the mainstream media doesn’t spend more time focusing on the fact that the rate of abortions go down when economic climate is positive, and when there are more support structures in place after the baby is born. But I digress. My larger point is this: there are SEVEN pillars of Catholic Social Justice, and over 2000 verses in the Bible that deal with caring for the poor. As a practicing Catholic, it was all seven of those pillars and the poor I was thinking about when I pushed the button for an Obama ticket last week. Obama measures much better if you look at the big picture.

  • Realist

    Those supporting this avowed socialist deserve the scorn you will receive when the full light of the damage he will do to this country comes to light.

  • http://livepaola.wordpress.com LivePaola

    Around the world we seem to overwhelmingly agree with you: see the Global Electoral College (unscientific) poll run by the Economists’s site:

    http://www.economist.com/Vote2008/

  • http://blog.plasticmind.com Jesse Gardner
  • http://www.mymeemz.com Alex Tolley

    Agreed. Obama is clearly the best choice.

    However, let’s be realistic about what is possible for both GW and the financial crisis.

    Both are global issues. The best we can hope for is that the US takes a constructive, rather than obstructive, role in the changes necessary.

    The financial crisis may need a “Bretton Woods II” plus better national financial regulations.

    GW will require all countries to wean themselves off carbon fossil fuels. The US is going to have to not only change itself, but persuade China to follow suit (or is it going to be the other way around?). Both these changes will need Congress to agree to, which it did not do with Kyoto. I know of no culture that has successfully changed its energy generation policies, whether slave power or specific carbon deposits. Hopefully this will be the first.

  • http://blog.plasticmind.com Jesse Gardner

    One other thing, Ami, as an evangelical Christian, I don’t deny that compassion is one of the fundamental responsibilities that we as individuals have to those who are in need. I just don’t think it’s the government’s responsibility to force me into charity work; how and when I give should be a personal choice. As soon as helping those in need becomes involuntary, it loses an important part of what it is and we lose freedom.

  • Liz

    A web-2-driven president would be great, but I favor a web-2 system where the president is somewhat-to-completely irrelevant.

    Check out the future of government:
    http://www.metagovernment.org/
    http://www.freegovernment.org/
    http://www.democracylab.org/
    http://www.govit.org/

    One of these, or something like them, will eventually become a much better system of government than any single president could ever be.

  • Michael

    @PaulV- Please get all of the facts before adding more hate and division into the debate. The tape that you are talking about was given only under permission from the source to be reported on and not released. The LA Times will not release the tape due to that requirement of the source. Also the “known terrorist” was funded by a committee that was headed by John McCain. The association does not help either candidate.
    Now the share the wealth argument you use is funny to me in so many ways. Lets go back to your great Ronald Reagan. He instituted the Earned Income Credit into our tax system. So in your words he spread the wealth around. Did that make him Marxist or a socialist? I think we should go all the way back to the tax rate from the Reagan era- tax the top at 50% instead of the 36% from the Clinton era. Would you support that tax rate since it was set by a republican President?

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Ami, I very much agree with what you said.

    Jesse Gardner – the piece you link to is a compelling read, and makes the case strongly that I’m being over-optimistic in thinking that we could see progress in the abortion debate under Obama.

    But I stand by what I said in the comments above: if you want to reduce abortion instead of scoring points, get behind contraception, sex education, and other proven tools for reducing the reasons why women choose abortions (including efforts to reduce poverty and increase social justice.)

    Yes, there are women who regard abortion as just another slightly less convenient form of birth control, but that’s a result of the extremism on both sides, which prevents a consensus forming around the goal of “safe, legal, and rare.”

    As to your second comment: I don’t see anywhere that charity is forced by the government. Obama’s tax plans return us to the rates under Reagan, not to some imagined socialism! We’ve endured years where the Republican right has starved fundamental investment in infrastructure, education, science, and people, while funding wars, surveillance of our citizens, and providing tax breaks to huge companies, all in the name of an ideology that now, after two separate runs at it (Reagan, and Bush II) has been definitively discredited by the economic results: exploding deficits, low economic growth, huge growth in income inequality, with abuses like those we’re now seeing on Wall Street becoming the norm.

    Obama’s economic policies aren’t about forcing you to unwanted charity; they are about limiting the looting of our nation by robbers at the top of the pyramid.

    It’s no accident that a man like Warren Buffett, the greatest value investor of all time, a man who believes in the real economy rather than the phantom one we’ve built under Bush’s disdain for regulation, and that McCain wants to continue, is an Obama supporter and a fan of higher marginal taxes, while the quick-buck bandits of finance are typically against them.

  • http://blog.plasticmind.com Jesse Gardner

    Tim: Fair enough… I’m most likely bringing to this conversation other conversations I’ve had with Obama supporters I respect a great deal who have spent countless hours trying to convince me that Obama *does* support socialism and that it *is* the best thing for our country.

    I have roots way down low on the economic ladder, so I’ve seen the abuses of welfare even by members of my own family… and that’s mostly where that comment was coming from. (I’ve never been very good at staying focused!)

  • Shane

    Tim,

    Very thoughtful and methodical approach to your endorsement. Glad to see people using their brains on the ISSUES. I hope that all American’s will do the same and break the chains that bind people to any party. It’s about what is the future of the country and our standing in the world. It’s about what the candidates will do and NOT strictly about what the other won’t do.

    When selecting a leader, we should imagine he or she passing the hiring process! At the heart is this question. Will this person lead with this key tenant “Of The People, By The People, For The People”

    BTW, glad you pointed out the Ponzi Scheme. I tweeted about this way back in Sept. http://twitter.com/DragonI/statuses/927752567

  • Scott

    This Financial Crisis began a long time before America was “discovered”, long before the British Isles were settled, in fact so long ago that we’ve forgotten. It was when humanity first made the decision that Land could be considered personal property and belonged in the marketplace as a commodity when in fact Land is a necessary component of Life and therefore a Birthright. Food and materials for clothing and shelter all originate from Land. In fact Land is where the majority of wealth producing goods originate. Along with Oxygen and Water, Land is a necessary component of Life and therefore a Birthright of every human being. All “great” societies have met their demise due to the neglect of this simple fact. We can point our fingers at peripheral problems and solutions all we want but until we learn to honor the contract of Life and build our social structure upon that Sacred Foundation we will always reap dire consequences in the long run. Land is a Universal Birthright!

    There is a principle called Ockham’s razor which is attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham. It basically states that – “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”

    The following are two simple ideas that effectively create the ideal social construct.

    Simple Idea #1

    1. Socialize ALL Land (True Socialism defined as the vesting of ownership of Land back in the community as a whole)

    2. Charge leases on ALL Land based on current market prices.

    3. Return 100% of the resulting revenue equally to every man, woman and child (no matter their financial status) in the form of a yearly dividend check.

    4. Make the Universal Birthright of Land an Everlasting Standard in the education/understanding of every human being.

    This effectively makes the average piece of Land Free for every Living Soul and restores our Natural Birthright as well as coupling our social construct to the Principles of Life.

    Simple Idea #2

    1. Remove ALL FORMS of taxation

    2. Implement a Tax on ALL NEW goods based on the resources they contain and the resources they use in production and delivery (this can easily be implemented with the current barcode system used at the checkout)

    3. Use this system to encourage/discourage various resource usages (High tax on non-renewable/ecosystem damaging products and low/no tax on renewable/ecosystem enhancing products) and to encourage purchasing of local products.

    4. Use the resulting revenue to fund infrastructure expenses and the restoration of ecosystems.

    This effectively encourages the creation/use of longer lasting, high quality products as well as encouraging recycling and reuse of existing products while also establishing a compatible relationship with the ecosystem.

    Idea #2 effectively constrains the ravaging appetite of the capitalistic consumer society within the Boundaries of Sustainability while Idea #1 effectively encloses both Sustainability and capitalism within the Principles of Life.

    That’s it! The path to True Democracy (rule by the people) – True Liberty (Freedom of expression) – True Socialism (Universal Birthright of Life). Simple and Effective

    Scott

  • http://ekolsky.wordpress.com Esteban

    People,

    Tim did a magnificent job across the board – alas, all we can think of focusing on is abortion? yes, it is an issue, but it is not the defining issue for anyone in this world. abortion does not make you a better or worse person, just someone with a mind and a choice.

    do you want to help? focus on what matters. how to change this country so we can focus on other things… abortion is a distraction issue. we will probably never solve it so that everyone is satisfied… why waste time saying what we think about it? it is not an important issue now, nor will it ever be. you support it? good for you. you are against it? good for you. you have a choice? that is what it should be. and, you will never change anyone’s minds on it. society-driven issues are not paramount to the success of this country, nor to the long survival of our planet.

    let’s use our power of choice and choose to focus on any of a number of issues that will move us forward and help us become a better global society. abortion is not it.

  • Smarmy

    For you to give your endorsement without even approaching Obama’s form of redistribution, straight checks to non-income-tax payers, is a gross oversight on your part and thus this cannot be taken seriously. THIS is what everyone is talking about, and whether his bottom up ideology can work. The rest is just fluff, I’m afraid.

  • Steve

    Smarmy, did you read Tim’s comment above? I know “redistributionist” is the smear du jour, but progressive income taxes have been in place for over 100 years. Reagan supported them, and McCain supported them.

    Obama wants to roll back Bush’s tax cuts. McCain in 2000 called those tax cuts “irresponsible.” Why would undoing something irresponsible be “socialist”?

  • http://www.dickmanagement.com Sean O'Reilly

    Your thoughts are compelling as usual but largely and for the very reasons you cite, I am voting for McCain.

    1. Connected, Transparent Government
    2. The Financial Crisis
    3. Climate Change
    4. Net Neutrality

    1. Mccain has demonstrated a clear desire for 25 years (not just during this campaign) for connected, transparent, and I might add, thrifty government. Most conservatives and many liberals desire this very thing.

    2. McCain is well-suited as a compromiser to spearhead effective change relating to the financial crisis. He has a record of working both sides of the aisle–a much longer record of effective political activity than Obama. He sounded some early alarms re: FHLMC and Fannie, and while he is no economic genius, he can work with both liberals and conservatives. I doubt that Obama has many advantages here.

    3. McCain has been a supporter of global warming issues (this part just seems out of character to me. Palin provides a welcome reality check.) Maybe this is a McCain analog to Obama’s support for abortion–just a political pull toy made of fly paper for those voters that are more slogan than thought-oriented.

    4. McCain, as do most conservatives, supports a hands off the net policy, which while it may not be what you are terming net neutrality, will achieve the same result: no net taxation or moralist filtering of the web.

    You like Obama’s style and character and you may even be right that he is the better man to spearhead these issues but you are most definitely not reflecting on the dark side of an Obama victory, viz., the resurgence of a Democratic party that has become the tool of every leftist cause imaginable. The party that is attached to Obama (a disturbing collection of intellectually splintered and often morally devolved groups) will continue to gnaw at what little is left of the moral foundation of America.

    That being said, I am uneasy with–of all things–McCains’ character. He reveals himself to be a nasty little man without much in the way of grace. (He treated his ex-wife like a disposable item and has a long pre-marriage history of apparent sexual recreation.) He was classless, for example, during the debates in attempting to portray Obama’s inexperience as a liability. Obama got a lot of points for not rising to take the bait.

    Palin, on the other hand, radiates grace and charm. I’m voting for someone with about the same level of experience as Obama: the one and only Ms. got beauty, booty and more. The smart and experienced politicians have gotten us into this mess to some extent. America needs untainted and even untrained leadership that can see outside the box and perhaps, see issues more from the heart of a good person than from the jaded perspective of a clever politician.

    Sean O’Reilly

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    @Smarmy -

    You mean as opposed to the kind of income redistribution that takes taxpayer funds and gives them to wall street banks so they can improve their balance sheets enough to make acquisitions, rather than to give loans?

    Or you mean as opposed to the kinds of handouts that Sarah Palin is so proud of in Alaska, where every citizen gets a $3-4000 check every year?

    Or like the economic stimulus checks already given out by the Bush administration?

    There is a term, sophism, that Socrates defined millenia ago as “making the better appear the worse,” usually by creating obfuscating names for things so that people don’t understand what is really being talked about.

    The “Obama as socialist” argument is an great example of such sophism. Do your own homework, and stop repeating the exaggerated claims of political hacks.

    Yes, Obama and McCain differ on tax policy, but Obama is no more a socialist than McCain is a fascist. The facts: Obama’s proposed tax rates are less than they were under Reagan.

  • Chris Coleman

    Tim,

    You make a thoughtful case for electing Obama. It’s sad, however, to see others leave comments basically just parroting McCain and Palin’s attacks. It’s sad, but some people would rather repeat talking points than read what you’ve written and make a reasoned response.

    This comment above is a perfect example:

    For you to give your endorsement without even approaching Obama’s form of redistribution, straight checks to non-income-tax payers, is a gross oversight on your part and thus this cannot be taken seriously. THIS is what everyone is talking about, and whether his bottom up ideology can work. The rest is just fluff, I’m afraid.

    These people take McCain and Palin’s word as gospel. If McCain said it about Obama, then it’s true.

    I read a post earlier today on ABC’s web site thoroughly debunking the claims about socialism that stem from Obama’s 2001 radio interview. Of course, the very first comments are from people who continue to spew the same “socialist” talking point.

    There’s just no reaching some people. Some are irrational. Some are stupid. Some are racist. Some are all of the above. And now that the election is so close, they’re getting desperate and increasingly nasty.

    It is possible to debate someone with whom you disagree, and I think you laid out a strong argument that could be used as a starting point for a healthy dialog with the other side. But let’s be clear: These people aren’t interested in debate.

    I can only wonder what ridiculous line of attack they’re going to try four years from now when this country is in much better shape.

  • Tom

    Tim,
    Nicely stated comments above regarding abortion, which is usually a divisive issue that prevents people from coming together to solve other problems. When you minimize the emotions and look at it pragmatically, like addressing a business problem, I think there is common ground that can be found to really reduce the reason a woman would need an abortion.
    The same can be said for other issues like taxes, health care, etc.
    The thing I like about Obama is that he really seems to have that pragmatic approach to the important issues facing our country and the world, which gives me hope that we can finally make some progress on dealing with these problems instead of just stirring up people’s emotions to win political points.
    If we could just resist the temptation to fan those flames and instead have thoughtful discourse…

  • rosedale

    Tim,

    On the issue of how these candidates relate to technology I would be interested in knowing what you think of Joe Biden. Obama may support Net Neutrality, but it seems that Biden doesn’t. In fact, as it relates to technology, Biden scares me more than John McCain. Fortunately he is not running for president, but do you think that his influence won’t be felt by Obama?

    Thank you for the article. You make some very good points and I like how you tied it in with Technology.

  • Peter

    Tim,

    While no one can doubt the passion that you have brought to your endorsement and your belief in Obama being the one, a careful look into the whole picture is needed.

    First, technology is an enabler, it is NOT the answer to the problems of government. That can be no clearer than economic crisis that we face today. It was human beings that caused this and fortunately were not at that point in our history where cyborgs control our destiny. Captain Kirk must wait in the wings on this.

    As for Obama on top of this technological greatness one but has to look at his internet funding machine to see that technology can be used in self-serving ways not necessarily good for all Americans.

    Let’s examine internet donations for a second. There are standard security and verification mechanisms with Obama’s system to reject fraudulent donations. Those mechanisms have been TURNED OFF by Obama. For example – there is NO WAY FOR ANY VERIFICATION OF PREPAID CARDS – NONE. So theoretically a very wealthy person or group could buy thousands of prepaid cards and donate under different fake names. Perhaps that is why in Obama’s internet fund raising system Osama Bin Ladin, Bill Ayers, and Saddam Hussein are STILL donors in good-standing. But wait it just doesn’t have to be fake people.

    Because Obama’s people (humans and not computers)have intentionally chosen to turn off the safeguard mechanisms of fraud we have but to look at Mary T. Biskup, of Manchester, Missouri where it has been documented that she donated 175,000 to Obama’s campaign. When asked how she donated that amount 173,800 above the limit she was adamant – I never donated that amount and my credit card shows no indication of the charges. Translated – prepaid cards where bought and Mary’s name was used over and over again. But wait where does the money go? You see pre-paid cards can’t be refunded.

    Just because someone can use technology and make it seem to be so great doesn’t mean that he should be President. If that were the case then I have some top black hat hackers that would be a better President than Obama by a factor of 100.

    Transparency is being redefined by Obama and his supporters. Is it transparent when Obama tells everyone that 95% of Americans are going to receive a tax break when 40% don’t pay taxes? His statement is mathematically impossible. Furthermore, when you take a look at Obama’s plan here it bases that on a family of four.

    But when you look at a single person with an income of $120,000 that person actually receives an INCREASE IN THEIR TAX BASE, AN INCREASE OF UP TO 12% in social security taxes and penalties for not being married or having kids. Perhaps Sen. Biden was just giving us a glimpse of what’s to come. Perhaps it was Senator Biden who is providing some transparency albeit unknowingly.

    In regards to trying to place the economic crisis at the feat of republicans it shows another instance in which Obama, Democrats, and the MSM try to redefine deregulation.

    Don’t get me wrong I lay blame at both democrat and republican politicians. However, it was Sen. McCain who proposed stricter regulatory requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005 only to have democrats block it not once but twice. One only has to actually look at Sen. McCain’s record to see that he is for less government involvement not no government involvement. Regulating smartly always trumps over regulation or none at all. We have but to look at our businesses being taxed at the 2nd highest rate in the world to see what oppressive taxation and regulation will do.

    In closing I can only make the analogy that when you look at an iceberg you only see the tip, sometimes only 5% of the whole picture. Grand, breathtaking, and awesome on the surface to see. But when you look below just the surface though an entirely different picture reveals itself – the utter size and scope of what is below shows the enormity of danger that lies just below the surface.

    What Obama has shown the American people is the tip of his iceberg and when people look below the surface then they see the enormity of danger that Obama represents not only to individual Americans but to the very fabric of this great United States of America.

    Last week Obama was up by 8 or 10 points, now he’s inside the statistical margin of error.

    Perhaps the American people are finally seeing not just the tip of the Obama iceberg but the danger of the Obama iceberg below the surface that’s set to crash into America and it’s peoples, ripping apart the very fabric of this great nation.

  • whatever

    Tim,
    Everything you believe about Obama is just words on paper and vague promises.

    Voting for a President should NOT be like believing in God, hoping/praying he’ll do what he says.

    Barak has no track record to speak of. No record period, he has never (except for the Iraq war) stood up for anything. Pragmatic, please…

    everyone hopes, i need facts – surprises you don’t require a little evidence.

    Enjoy the higher taxes

  • http://americandigest.org vanderleun

    “a president who can harness the best and brightest our country has to offer”

    We had one like that. He along with his best and brightest gave us Vietnam.

  • http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/10/mccain-in-2000.html Tony

    The Republicans can’t bring down Obama on what he actually believes, so they have to resort to distorting his positions. The socialist/marxist charge is one of the most ridiculous yet, because it’s based on progressive taxation, something that even McCain has defended:
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/10/mccain-in-2000.html

    Obama is one of the most gifted individuals this country has ever has the chance to elect to office. I pray that the people of this country are smart enough to see past the Faux News / McCain propaganda that’s trying to pervert who he is.

  • Michael Loukides

    The biggest problem with McCain’s vice presidential choice isn’t Sarah herself, much as she would be likely to become president. But if you look at the Bush administration, probably the biggest problem isn’t Bush, it’s the people he appointed. I don’t agree with Bush about all that much, but I think he’s probably a fundamentally decent person. But when you surround yourself with a cabal of advisors who are really evil–and I have nothing but scorn for Rumsfeld and Cheney–you’re in serious trouble. I don’t think Palin is evil, but I do think she’s indicative of the sort of appointment McCain would make. If she’s smarter than she lets on (which is likely), she could easily be in a class with Cheney. And that’s an awful start, given that the job of the president is, more than anything else, to make appointments.

  • http://unalone.net Rory Marinich

    I find it sad, the people who are entering this argument with nothing to back themselves up. Especially considering this level of debate, with good points being made on both sides, coming in saying talking points just doesn’t seem respectful.

  • Damon

    A well-written explanation Tim, but like many others I don’t believe the hype. For the first time in recent years, I actually am FEARFUL of what change Obama may bring if elected. He is just too liberal for me. I like his demeanor and speaking skills a lot (compared to the doddering McCain), but feel he is dangerous. It is a shame, because I agree with some of your points, especially about the Republican admiration of unfettered capitalism.

    Even though I disagree with you, I respect you for not only posting your candidate of choice, but also why.

    *fingers crossed for the future*

  • Gary Bradski

    Tim

    You need go no further than these issues for Obama:
    (1) For the first time in a generation, we can have a leader who is, at his core, an adult.
    (2) Obama is highly intelligent, a scholar of both the constitution and the federalist papers — how long has it been since we’ve had a president who actually understood these documents?
    (3) He can be a game changer — I wouldn’t vote for him just because he’s black, but the fact that he is will be shocking to much of the world and allow us an opening to once again be perceived as an attractive power. That alone can be worth $100Bs in military savings.

    The fact that he seems truely focused on energy is also, I’d argue, absolutely crucial now — for security, for economy, for environment.

  • http://www.futurethought.tv Jay

    Sean,

    I agree with many of your thoughts but:
    1. Any connected, transparent government in the future will need to implement a technological solution that is accessible to all – Obama has already proved this capability through his campaign – as a New Media and Internet Enterpreneur I have been positively surprised to see such an effective Internet campaign from a Presidential Candidate – town hall meetings on Facebook, iPhone apps that allow you precise targeting, LinkedIn questions to the public at large – yes, there are some things they could improve but they have created an efficient system that could be used as a case study for following how Government could leverage New Media/Internet to increase efficiency, productivity and so forth. mcCain may demonstrate the need for open Government but can he execute on his promise?

    2. McCain has shown an absolute lack of judgement when it comes to the economy – its almost like he has difficulty understanding any of it – which is an admission he’s already made! If you talk to any economist today they will tell you there is a need for a new kind of creative capitalism that channels efforts into a constructive bottom-up approach – the old “trickle-down” effect has not worked – don’t take my word for it – look at the US, India -which went capitalist in 1991 and even capalistic dictatorships like China – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor get poorer!

    3. McCain has over 23 times against bringing in new energy reform. Look at hi record – again every president has promised to give America a new energy future but noone has delivered – its time to give someone else a chance and not “more of the same” – talk, talk talk and no execution to prove it.

    4. Net neutrality: no government intervention or bias on behalf of corporations – no walled gardens like the telecom carriers which have failed to really create a successful mobile Internet – only someone who understands the power of these social networks can make judgements on whats right and wrong.

    Sean, words like “socialism”, “leftist”, “terrorist”, “Anti-American” are being dropped by the McCain/Palin campaign to distrcat the isues at hand – Palin maybe beautiful and smart but she has shown a gross lack of intellectual curiosity and has a worldview that is so microscopic it will only harm this great nation.

    Tim, thank you for your thoughts! They reflect the sentiments of many of us. I agree with you – lets give Obama the mandate to make change and then actively ensure that true change does occur – too many people think that their responsibility ends after they vote – a democracy requires active participation from the people at all times!

    Best,
    Jay

  • http://www.xforms.org Kurt Cagle

    One of the most significant problems that the US faces right now is the high degree of polarization that eight+ years of oligarchic rule have induced on the electorate.

    The progressive side for the most part is made up of people who believe that constructive dialog and discussion are a necessary condition for any form of governance.

    The conservative side, on the other hand, has been made up of dogmatists who feel that autocratic rule, absolutes of morality and social policy, and the dictates of the individual are key virtues.

    This latter viewpoint, embodied in eight years of an autocratic president and twelve years of autocrat rule in Congress (1994-2006) have led us to a state where we are in two costly wars, where trillions of dollars have effectively “evaporated” from the market, where pollution (the politically incorrect term for global warming) is causing the polar ice caps to melt even in winter and causing drought and massive hurricanes to form, and and where the physical and social infrastructure that the US built is now collapsing around us.

    Yet what I see of the McCain campaign is an ill, frail old man who has had four cancerous lesions removed and a governor of a state with a population not much larger than my home here on Vancouver Island, who has an appallingly minimal amount of education and who has shown herself to be an ideologue of the most extreme stripe. They have offered few policy changes to the existing (and largely heinous) existing political climate, and they have shown, singly and together, a very disturbing tendency to use the presidential bully pulpit not to build consensus but to incite hate and violence.

    Even if I did not admire Obama (and I do, highly, as an extraordinarily intelligent, thoughtful and capable man) I would vote for him. With McCain, I see only a descent into madness, a continuation of a dangerous set of policies that will lead this country to bankruptcy and ruin.

    Tim, thank you for giving this endorsement.

  • djm

    Interesting reading and views all. After having lived in the Chicago area and noting the esteemed accomplishments of BO, I point out that we clearly have a zero in his column. Yes he claims a lot and makes really charismatic speeches, but as to the accomplishments, I see nothing.

    In terms of policy, he is promising and trying to purchase votes as many in the Chicago area have done over the years. The danger is clear, BO has stated his objectives, he with the D-congress will tax us into deeper recession….recall JCarter?

    Further, by Bidens own words…..”gird your loins” since we are in for a real storm with someone who clearly does not value the country he would lead.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    I’d love it if those who make arguments would provide links to supporting documents, as I did. Put your link URLs in quotes (i.e. a href=”somelink” not just a href=link) for MT to pass it through properly.

    If there’s more than one link, the comment will be held for moderation (against spammers), but I’ll try to get to it quickly.

    There are real issues at stake in this election. Let’s not decide it on soundbites, especially repeating comments by partisan pundits.

  • Kevin

    Tim,

    Thanks for the thoughtful statements. It’s apparent most of those posting opposing comments have not put thought into anything, they just copy/paste from conservative pundit sites.

    Peter,
    You are an exception. I would ask that you look carefully at McCain, using that same iceburg analogy. I grew up in Arizona and always supported McCain, even in 2000, but something happened around April 2000. His speeches started changing. He no longer spoke what his real position was, or if he did, his position on most things had suddenly shifted completely to the other side. He was a maverick, but alas, the maverick died in mid-2000.

    vanderleun,
    Are you talking about Eisenhower or is that a “snappy” reference to JFK? Please be sure of your history if you plan on citing it. Also, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to mention the two current wars?

    Lastly, Right-to-Life vs. Right-to-Choose is a passionately divisive issue for most of the country. I have seen it come up in campaigns over the years, but it is usually led by Republican vocal outcry for “Life” and Democratic quiet support of “Choice.” What I haven’t heard was someone standing in the middle, until Obama. Most political advisers shrank in horror at the fact that he spent so much time in the last debate on the issue, but it was the first time I’d heard a politician say that no one on either side WANTS abortion and that he’d rather focus on eliminating the cause of unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Tim, you cover this well. Unfortunately, those that are most vehemently opposed to any right-to-choose also most vocally oppose any sexual education or contraception support programs.

  • Kevin

    Tim,

    Thanks for the thoughtful statements. It’s apparent most of those posting opposing comments have not put thought into anything, they just copy/paste from conservative pundit sites.

    Peter,
    You are an exception. I would ask that you look carefully at McCain, using that same iceburg analogy. I grew up in Arizona and always supported McCain, even in 2000, but something happened around April 2000. His speeches started changing. He no longer spoke what his real position was, or if he did, his position on most things had suddenly shifted completely to the other side. He was a maverick, but alas, the maverick died in mid-2000.

    vanderleun,
    Are you talking about Eisenhower or is that a “snappy” reference to JFK? Please be sure of your history if you plan on citing it. Also, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to mention the two current wars?

    Lastly, Right-to-Life vs. Right-to-Choose is a passionately divisive issue for most of the country. I have seen it come up in campaigns over the years, but it is usually led by Republican vocal outcry for “Life” and Democratic quiet support of “Choice.” What I haven’t heard was someone standing in the middle, until Obama. Most political advisers shrank in horror at the fact that he spent so much time in the last debate on the issue, but it was the first time I’d heard a politician say that no one on either side WANTS abortion and that he’d rather focus on eliminating the cause of unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Tim, you cover this well. Unfortunately, those that are most vehemently opposed to any right-to-choose also most vocally oppose any sexual education or contraception support programs.

  • Rationalist

    Yes, but you admit there are better 3rd party candidates, right? Why uphold the notion that only two vew points could be correct.

    There are more than two choices, and if you are one to fall for the lesser of two evils argument – you need not worry if you are in a non-red state. Contribute to the power of politicians who haven’t sucked up to oil, war, anti-constitutionalism, zionism, and countless other things.

    Every politically educated person that has told me their views thus far has been better suited for a 3rd party candidate than Barack or McCain.

    So again, I ask you: why?

  • http://www.InklingBooks.com/ Mike Perry

    Call it the “Nerd Syndrome.” I first noticed it in 1992 when I worked for a biotech firm in a Seattle suburb. People with PhD’s in various branches of biology were eagerly supporting Ross Perot? Remember him, the business genius who was going to save our country? Or so he told us. Personally, I thought he had a massive ego problem.

    Obama has a similar problem. Search his rather shadowy history, and you’ll discover only two notable accomplishments.

    1. He was in charge of allocating $165 million dollars to improve Chicago schools (the Annenberg Challenge). The project’s conclusion was that they’d made no significant difference in education. Outsiders say the money did harm. In a twisted sense, you need real talent to spend that much money in a single city and accomplishing nothing. Of course, if you real objective is making The Right Sort of Friends, it becomes easier. The poor kids of Chicago be damned, Obama got what he wanted.

    2. Screwing fellow Democrats. To become a Chicago alderman, he used a technicality to get his three fellow Democrats expelled from the primary. In the Illinois state legislature when it went Democratic, he was allowed to put his name on legislation others had worked for years to pass and for which they deserved the credit. And now, running a campaign flush with cash, he’s not sharing the wealth with other Democrats. He’s going to take over four TV networks for a half-hour this evening to promote himself. Obama is for Obama.

    Other than that, I promise you, he has done absolutely nothing. When the sub-prime crisis hit, McCain was needed back in Washington to work out a compromise. No one cared if Obama returned or not. What O’Reilly interprets as his calm, was really simply a sophisticate form of sulking that no one cared what he thought. Note too that in 20 years in Chicago politics, he’s never inconvenienced a single of the city’s many crooked politicians. In a year and a half in Alaska’s similarly corrupt politicians, Sarah Palin’s got ethical sanctions against three members of her own party. Who’s the most talented.

    And by the way Mr. O’Reilly, Bush, McCain, Dole and several other Republican leaders have been trying to regulate our out of control financial markets since 2003-2005. They’ve been blocked by powerful Democrats in thrall to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The top four recipients of their lobbying funds are Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, all liberal Democrats. That’s why the in-bed-with-Obama press has given us so little specifics about the mess. You need to read more widely. A Google search will turn up that information and YouTube has videos of Democrats defending Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac.

    You really should investigate before you pontificate. You know computing. You don’t know politics. That’s the essence of the Nerd Syndrome. People expert in one narrow speciality think they have good judgment in broader areas. They don’t.

    Oh my gosh, O’Reilly, I didn’t know this when I wrote the above God bless Google!. In an April 2008 interview at the MySQL Conference and Expo, Stephen Pizzo refers to Ross Perot as “your personal hero.”

    You do have the Nerd Syndrome, a real bad case.

    –Mike Perry Seattle

  • http://spinn3r.com Kevin Burton

    Another way to say it is that McCain supports deregulation…

    We all know how well that worked for wall street.

    I can’t wait until we have to bail out AT&T :-/

  • Scott_3

    Realist, you say “Those supporting this avowed socialist deserve the scorn you will receive when the full light of the damage he will do to this country comes to light.”

    What about the damage done by President George W. Bush’s administration?

    What do you think about the damage done to our reputation as “world citizens” and not just “American citizens???”

    It’s amazing how we can distance ourselves from the rest of the world, as if America is the *only* piece of land on Earth that counts.

    Our foreign policy is shameful, and as Tim mentioned, any good will that we received during 9/11 is long gone and this is fully due to Bush’s colonialism.

    And as far as everyone saying how afraid they are of what would happen if Obama was elected president, my response is:

    CHANGE IS SCARY.

    Had you known that George W. Bush was going to put us in the current situation in Irag, would you have voted for him?

    Knowing that there were no WMDs and that they couldn’t even get their information correct, I find that terrifying. Let’s hope Russia doesn’t follow our lead on invading other countries based on bad information.

    Americans need to wake up and realize that they are citizens of the *world* and hope that we can regain our standing in the *world* with a democracy, not autocracy, which is where we’re currently heading.

  • French Duchie

    Go back in the closet Tim.

  • dave

    It just occurred to me, while reading this article, that Barack Obama using the Internet and modern technologies to build a modern campaign for democratic elections is the ultimate exercise and fruition of Jeffersonian ideals. Jefferson laid the foundation for democratic participation, but BO has shown how the insignificant can alter the course of history through democratic participation. BO gets the credit and my vote, but hats off to Jefferson for having the foresight.

  • Jay

    Mike,

    Excellent piece at smearing someone (Tim) who’s making a statement that they believe in – you haven’t told us how you are in a position to judge?

    Nobody claims Obama is perfect but what irks me is when someone says something positive about him the only response McCain or his supporters have is to attack Obama rather than point out the positive aspects of McCain.

    Could you point us to legislation that Dole, McCain, Bush et al suggested for regulation? Isn’t the Republican ideology to remove government from regulation?

    Also, having been a McCain supporter till last year I have to say I can’t recognise John McCain any more! Sarah Palin is narrow-minded with a microscopic world view and little intellectual curiosity – when McCain was the Repub candidate I thought this would be a great time since we would leave Bush’s idiocy behind – surprise, surprise – we got someone actually worse!

    PS: If you look at the donations from Fannie and Freddie, the execs gave McCain 10X what they gave Obama – the employees were the ones that donated generously to Obama.

  • Tim in PA

    Sean O’Reilly [10.29.08 10:10 AM] makes a good argument for McCain – well thought out. This is the kind of debate we need, not baseless accusations.

    The main driver for people choosing Obama is change. Some may call it empty promises without a record; however, I would submit that McCain has made promises as well, and of those, he has not always delivered.

    There is no guarantee of anything; however, to have one’s mindset in the right place is a good start.

  • Fake Catholic

    I am a fake Catholic. I make things up as I go. I think it’s okay to vote for politicians that support abortion. I don’t care that the Catholic Church opposes abortion. I don’t think abortion should be illegal, even though my religion says clearly that is the greatest injustice and evil of our time. I would rather change the topic to a discussion about the poor. Because I’m feel good about myself when I focus on the poor. That’s just what I do. I guess I’m a fake Catholic. I cannot oppose abortion by voting against politicians who are pro choice. I’m a fake Catholic. Because I make it up as I go.

  • http://www.redbrazil.com Sean O'Reilly

    I have to say it that is great to see all the comments pro and con. There is nothing like a vigorous debate to stir the pot and shake loose fresh ideas. What is most amazing is how tenaciously partisans cling to ideas. Even when your guy and my guy are both wrong, we each cling even more aggressively to our tribal coordinates.

    If there is any hope in Obama, it is that he will see his way past the disgraceful tribalism of both the Democratic and Republican parties. There is much to despise in both parties and there are, to be sure, individuals in both parties who are truly moral and spiritual Frankensteins.

    The first step on the rung of enlightenment should be acknowledgment of wrongs on both sides without trying to turn every fault into the political equivalent of cruise missile.

  • http://www.futurethought.tv Jay

    Tim,

    Fannie/Freddie:
    Execs not with Obama Campaign http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/are_three_former_fannie_mae_executives_economic.html

    Fannie/Freddie paid McCain campaign manager 2 Million$
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/us/politics/22mccain.html

    Execs from Fannie/Freddie give Obama more:
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/19/fact-check-did-obama-profit-from-fannie-and-freddie/

    McCain voted against Green Energy 23 times:
    http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/09/26/debate_reality_check_mccain_vs.php

    It is also on several news sites.

  • Channing Ballzone

    I am voting for Obama and Biden. Because I am a lawyer. I think lawyers are the smartest people on the planet. Notice how they invented all that great subprime paper and CDOs and other great stuff like “gay” marriage. Why, isn’t marriage supposed to be gay? If its not, then just hire a lawyer. Lawyers will make sure that marriage is gay for every citizen. Besides, educated lawyers like Obama and Biden are much smarter than ordinary people like McCain and Palin. Too bad the whole world couldn’t be lawyers. It would be a much more intellectually qualified and happier, even gay, place.

  • Daniel Ho

    Mike Perry,

    Right…McCain was need and RUSHED back to Washington. Umm…who needed him, and what exactly did he do? Oh, for that matter, check how how fast he rushed…stopping by to see a supporter, screwing over David Letterman for an interview but showed up at Katie Couric’s for a chat.

    McCain even admitted to have not read the bailout proposal the day before and spent creating drama and the sense of importance around himself with no real substance.

    Get real. Check your facts!

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Mike Perry -

    The inaccuracy of your closing comment about my opinions of Ross Perot is a good indicator of how deep your research has been. I’ve never said or thught any such thing, and I haven’t talked to Stephen Pizzo for years.

    Again, if you can’t take the time to provide links, you probably are just reporting hearsay.

    Re Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac – both sides were in bed with them. In any event, they are a symptom (and a tiny part) of the current problem, not the cause.

  • Kevin

    Tim,

    Thanks for the thoughtful statements. It’s apparent most of those posting opposing comments have not put thought into anything, they just copy/paste from conservative pundit sites.

    Peter,
    You are an exception. I would ask that you look carefully at McCain, using that same iceburg analogy. I grew up in Arizona and always supported McCain, even in 2000, but something happened around April 2000. His speeches started changing. He no longer spoke what his real position was, or if he did, his position on most things had suddenly shifted completely to the other side. He was a maverick, but alas, the maverick died in mid-2000.

    vanderleun,
    Are you talking about Eisenhower or is that a “snappy” reference to JFK? Please be sure of your history if you plan on citing it. Also, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to mention the two current wars?

    Lastly, Right-to-Life vs. Right-to-Choose is a passionately divisive issue for most of the country. I have seen it come up in campaigns over the years, but it is usually led by Republican vocal outcry for “Life” and Democratic quiet support of “Choice.” What I haven’t heard was someone standing in the middle, until Obama. Most political advisers shrank in horror at the fact that he spent so much time in the last debate on the issue, but it was the first time I’d heard a politician say that no one on either side WANTS abortion and that he’d rather focus on eliminating the cause of unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Tim, you cover this well. Unfortunately, those that are most vehemently opposed to any right-to-choose also most vocally oppose any sexual education or contraception support programs.

  • Jay

    Correction:

    Employees from Fannie/Freddie gave Obama more while Directors/Lobbyist give McCain more:
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/19/fact-check-did-obama-profit-from-fannie-and-freddie/

  • Patrick Giagnocavo

    Tim, do you consider the publishing industry regulated or de-regulated? And how well do you think the publishing industry functions?

    You can speak from experience on this subject; so possibly how you feel about the level of regulation in your industry, could inform us a little more about regulations in other industries.

  • wdnorman

    1. Connected, Transparent Government -NOPE. Part of the biggest, longest lived and most pervasive political machine in the history of this country

    2. The Financial Crisis -NOPE brought on by his party, his friends and cohorts.

    3. Climate Change – NOPE – 1974 we were all going to freeze to death in the dark – but we would have plenty of PEOPLE to eat. Tell the volcanos to stop erupting so we can drive our cars in peace.

    4. Net Neutrality -NOPE Party of the “Fairness Doctrine” Today it’s “broadcast radio” tomorrow it’s blogs, next day it’s pay per bit and censors on every ISP.

    How can you tell a liberal is clueless ? It’s lips are moving !

  • http://www.kennelson.com Ken Nelson

    Reluctant McCain voter here…

    I think you haven’t told us why you _really_ want to vote for Obama. In my experience, there is one issue that trumps all. I’m dubious the list below is it. I’ll address them anyway.

    1. Connected, Transparent Government

    Obama hasn’t released his donor list for those under $200. Many of these are fraudulent. In an easy test of “transparency” he fails.

    2. The Financial Crisis

    Both suck here.

    3. Climate Change

    It baffles me that so many technical people fall into the trap of believing in human caused climate change. Sigh. Poor = environmental devastation. Obama’s wealth destruction policies will cause more environmental damage.

    4. Net Neutrality

    Hmmm… both scare me a tad. Socialists are into “control” – of not just the net. But I think McCain’s tendency (proven) is to not interfere with the net.

    Ultimately, you should go with McCain because I doubt you will like Democrats controlling the entire Government.

    Consider Net Neutrality for instance. Picture this scenario… something bad happens via the internet, like a virus that kills finance for a day. All of Congress is one party. Do they do nothing, or panic and impose controls. Who stops them?

    If you can’t have limited government then divided is better.

    BTW: You’ve done wonders for the technical community over decades. Thanks!

  • Robert

    So what did Obama do as a Senator? Practically nothing. He voted “present” more times than anything else. He was only in office 143 days as a Senator before his bid for President. Why people think that is “enough experience” is beyond me.

    His comments over and over on “redistributing the wealth” speak clearly on his core values (based largely on socialism).

    He is THE most liberal member of congress based on his record. Everyone he ran against said he wasn’t ready to be President. That would be Hillary Clinton for one. Obama himself has stated the same thing in interviews.

    The fact that he is for “change” and picked one of the old guard in Biden shows that he really isn’t. It does show he knows he isn’t qualified to be President.

    The fact that he continually surrounds himself with people that are extremely questionable is another red flag.

    The current financial crisis started squarely in the democratic realm in 1999 with the change in mortgage quals.

    There is nothing about Obama that makes me want to vote for him. He has taken the “change” mantra that people want and applied it to his campaign and people ate it up, hook line and sinker. If you look at his RECORD…there is no change.

    If he wins, there will be “change”… none of us are going to like it.

  • Scott_3

    Ok, wait a second Robert, you’re questioning Biden, but supporting someone who would possibly put Sarah Palin as the leader of the free world in the even that McCain dies in office? OMG.

  • Jay

    Robert,

    If you were a senator and did not like a piece of legislation because both sides had added flawed ideas into the legislation how would you vote? Anybody who lives in California and sees several of the Props knows that the “yes” and “no” vote are both flawed as there are pitfalls on both sides.

    That is exactly the reason I like him – it makes a statement that I support neither side since I don’t agree with either! That is what is called “moderation” in good ‘ol English!

    Redistribution of wealth is a basic tenet of the tax code.

    If you believed in change and wanted things done in Washington who would you choose to b your Vice President?

  • http://stoneblue.com Ken Stone

    Tim – Awesome endorsement ! ! !

    Nothing like putting it right on the front page of ora ! !

    I wish they would hand the national debates back over to the League of Women Voters.

    Ken

  • Phatt

    Transparency? This campaign has refused to provide any information regarding donations under $200. This is a campaign that has, as the Washington Post noted, accepted nearly 100 million in donations from bogus donors and pre-paid credit cards. If they can’t be transparent about where their donations come from, then how can we expect them to run a transparent government?

    What good is Net Neutrality when Obama and a Democrat super majority in Congress try to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine in order to silence their opposition?

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Patrick Giagnocavo -

    You ask a thought-provoking question. My answer is a bit off the cuff, and I haven’t thought deeply about it, so take it for what it’s worth.

    Overall, I’d say that the publishing industry is appropriately regulated — not perfectly, but appropriately, with laws and regulations designed to lay out the basic rules of the game within which the industry operates.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Copyright: provides the basic framework of a limited time monopoly to authors. Via lobbying by big content providers, has gotten out of whack, with extension to unreasonable terms. As my readers here know, we’ve done lots of experimentation with how copyright-free books can still sell. But on balance, this bit of government “intervention” is essential to our business.

    2. Robinson-Patman act prohibits publishers (and other manufacturers) from giving better discounts to some buyers and not to others. Again, fairly appropriate govt intervention to prevent a market failure.

    3. Lots of laws we take for granted. Contracts, libel, torts — again, major elements out of whack, but the basic rules of the road that make markets work.

    Most of what gets out of whack is a bit like the stuff that gets out of whack in our body as we get older. Accumulated cruft. Very hard to sweep it away and get younger again.

  • Maggie

    Tim, thank you so much for your post.

    To those who claim Obama has no relevant experience, please take a few minutes to review his actual record:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/21/164117/783/290/461422
    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/02/obama-actually.html

    Or do a simple google search — his resume in the Senate is public record.

    As Obama pointed out in the last debate, making absurd claims about his resume with no backing says more about his critics than it does about him. Please do your civic duty and seek out information, be informed.

  • http://theworkinggeek.com Andy Lester

    He is THE most liberal member of congress based on his record.

    Sounds good to me! Not everyone sees “liberal” as a dirty word.

    How can you tell a liberal is clueless ? It’s lips are moving !

    If the only thing Obama brought to US politics was to raise the level of discourse by example, I’d be a happy man.

  • michael

    I like to step into political blogs just for the humor.It is funny to me how people point fingers at
    democrats,republicans,liberals,conservatives.This candidate said this,that one said that.You still dont get it do you?ITS ALL A SHOW!The politicians are mere puppets.It truly is a ONE party system.You think you have a choice,YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!No wait i stand corrected you have a choice.Picture the 2 partys as 2 brand new ford mustangs.One is red,one is blue.THATS the choice you have,they are both ford mustangs though.People are extremely gullable,this obama says he will help the middle class,Mccain says he wont cut taxes.Here is some info for everyone,THEY ARE ALL LIARS!They say what they need to say to make the show entertaining for the foolish masses.Its funny how obama had an 11% lead and in 3 days its down to 3%.Way to make the show better guys.

    The truth is that the bankers at the PRIVATELY owned federal reserve are the masters.The cartel has set up central banks all over the globe in every industrialised nation that it is worth it to have 1.They have played both sides of every war and made enormous profits to the point where money doesnt mean anything anymore.THEY CREATE IT!All they want now is POWER AND CONTROLL!

    so go on with debates about these puppets that mean nothing.until you know about the federal reserve act of 1913 and how the masters have manipulated since then,you are in the dark.

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world – no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
    -President Woodrow Wilson

    idk if this will work,but this is kennedy speaking of the federal reserve.its why they killed him.

    hahahahha support these puppets,i think not!

  • michael

    And we played completely into their hands here in America as well! What, after all, is the goal of terrorism? To disrupt the society of an enemy by creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

    Al Quaeda no longer needs to do anything to create that atmosphere of fear. Our government does that for them!

    wow,you still havent figured out 911 was an inside job.
    you remind me of jim marshall from the 1970′s vikings.he picked up a fumble and ran the wrong way with the ball.

    what confuses me is that you seem to be a smart person who looks into things.yet you are still in the dark.

  • Lumyr

    Mr. Whatever said…
    “Everything you believe about Obama is just words on paper and vague promises. “

    At least Obama has stated his vision and what he intends to accomplish. What has McCain said that is any less vague? He doesn’t say much more than “I’m a Maverick”, “I’ll change Washington” “I’ll get rid of the corruption and cronyism” “Obama is Socialist” “Obama will raise your taxes” “Obama pals around with terrorists”, etc. etc. Basically, McCain’s message boils down to 2 points:
    1) Obama bad
    2) I am better

    Where’s the why and how?

  • http://www.twipphoto.com Scott Bourne

    Thanks for a well-reasoned post Tim. I agree with almost all of them and I too find Senator Obama’s message of hope refreshing. I believe his approach to the economy and the war are the right directions for us. And I believe he can restore our place in the world as a leader.

    Noting the right wing crazies who’ve responded here with nothing but talking points learned from draft-dodging chickenhawks like Lush Flimbaugh, it’s too bad they can’t articulate any factual basis for their belief McCain would be a better choice.

    Your endorsement shows the basic differences between right and left. On the left, we have a factual basis for our beliefs. On the right, they have talking points and ideology. Because they are driven by ideology rather than facts, they don’t have any real desire to think about this in a critical fashion.

    It’s much easier to parrot Limbaugh and call Senator Obama a “socialist” than it is to reconcile the fact that Bush/McCain want to redistribute (share) the wealth of our citizens with those in Iraq in the form of a war that an overwhelming majority of us don’t support.

    It’s much easier to try to pretend that Senator Obama is guilty by association due to relationships, real or imagined, that he had with “terrorists” than it is to reconcile the fact that McCain helped Khalidi’s group by giving them almost a million dollars.

    It’s much easier to claim Senator Obama is a heathen because he’s a “Muslim” when in fact he’s a Christian and John McCain doesn’t even go to church.

    It’s much easier to say Michele Obama isn’t patriotic than it is to reconcile the fact that Sarah Palin’s husband Todd (and perhaps Sarah herself) was a registered member of the radical Successionist Alaska Independence Party and said he was an Alaskan NOT an American…

    I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. I’ve never ever heard a McCain supporter articulate with anything remotely approaching specificity why they like McCain. They do however with tremendous vigor like to attack Obama.

    And that really sums it up. We’re voting FOR Obama and they aren’t voting FOR McCain…they’re voting AGAINST Obama and that’s why they’re going to lose.

  • http://pudge.net/ pudge

    Hey Tim.

    “we need a president who can harness the best and brightest our country has to offer, a president who is conversant with, and comfortable with, the power of technology to assist in solving these problems, a president who is good at listening, studying, and devising solutions based on the best insight available, rather than on narrow ideology.”

    Wow, Tim, have YOU drunk the Kool-Aid. Come on, just a few weeks ago Obama said that the government invented computers so scientists could talk to each other. And Obama’s ideology is *more narrow* than McCain’s, by a long shot. Obama wants to shoehorn most things into a government solution, and everything else he wants to influence to accomplish HIS goals.

    It’s sad when business people like yourself buy into this garbage. I accept that you don’t mind that he is going to drastically increase your taxes, significantly higher than they were under Clinton (no, it is not a mere rollback, as he adding on an addition SS tax and phasing out a lot of exemptions); if you want to pay more, then more power to you.

    Some of us, however, believe the purpose of government is to get the fuck out of our way and let us practice liberty as much as possible. Obama represents regress, not progress.

    “We need a president who can forge consensus, not just among the partisans in our own fractured democracy but around the world.”

    Obama has NEVER done this. Ever. At any level, in this country, or in any other country. McCain has.

    “We need a president who can inspire our citizens and our global partners to forgo narrow self interest and embrace the possibilities that we can achieve if we work together to build a better future.”

    Obama has only done this in people who agree with him, which, if you haven’t noticed, is only about half the country.

    “Connected, Transparent Government”

    McCain has been working on transparency in government even before Obama started preaching about wealth redistribution. Please.

    No, Obama does not understand this better than McCain. There’s no evidence to support this in anything Obama’s actually done in office.

    “I believe that Obama’s prowess in fundraising from small donors has the potential to change the culture in which Washington is for sale to lobbyists.”

    McCain has done far more in both word and deed to fight the influence of lobbyists than Obama has. Hell, Obama’s running mate is Mr. Lobbyist.

    Like Joe Biden (and his professional lobbyist son), I actually do not think lobbying is a bad thing overall, but McCain and Obama do, and that’s fine; but still, McCain has done far more on this subject than Obama has.

    I am bored and going to stop now. What’s clear, Tim, is that you like Obama better, and so you are blinding yourself to McCain’s accomplishments and Obama’s deficiencies to make the case for Obama. It’s not honest.

  • http://pudge.net/ pudge

    Scott Bourne:

    Allow me to enlighten you.

    You say, “I’ve never ever heard a McCain supporter articulate with anything remotely approaching specificity why they like McCain.”

    I’ve done so many times, and will do so again, for your benefit.

    The two most important issues to me are national security, and the size of the federal budget. McCain is the best candidate, out of all of them, of both parties, on these two issues.

    On national security, McCain has always been a hawk in protecting our people and our country, but a very cautious and reasoned one. He was against our troops in Lebanon. He helped foster relations with Vietnam, after what they did to him. He has been steadfastly against torture and other things that are illegal and hurt our ability to defend ourselves. He consistently criticized Bush’s poor prosecution of the war in Iraq. And so on. No other candidate comes close to McCain on this issue.

    On the budget, no one in the Congress — including Ron Paul — matches McCain’s combined will and the ability to reform how we spend money, to reduce waste and pork and to respect the Tenth Amendment.

    There are other issues too. He favors judges who respect the rule of law, rather than — as Justice Breyer does — make up excuses for why they ignore the Constitution. I thought his efforts in the Gang of 14 were extraordinary. I largely agree with his view on illegal immigration, though I came to the realization long before he did that his plan was not politically feasible.

    I could go on. But I think I’ve made my point, that many of us DO support McCain because of who he is, and not just because of who Obama is.

    I also have my problems with McCain, FWIW. I dislike McCain-Feingold, intensely, as I believe it violates the First Amendment. I think he has a tendency to rely on mealy-mouthed rhetoric, sometimes even to hide his opinions, almost as much as Obama does, and this annoys me.

    But no one is perfect. McCain is thoughtful and independent and I backed him as one of my top candidates for 2008 way back in 2006. My top candidate in 2007 was Fred Thompson, but I am proud to support John McCain for President.

  • Arwen O'Reilly Griffith

    I was surprised to see that Ross Perot comment cited by Mike Perry too, and googled it myself. The
    interview he mentions does in fact have Pizzo saying “as I know your personal hero, Ross Perot, says” and then you say “Oh yeah, right” which is clearly sarcastic for those of us who know you but not for those who don’t. It’s on an O’Reillynet page and the top of the page has the MySQL dates from April 2008 (although the first page of the interview dates it to 2000), so I can see how someone might take it seriously, especially if it fits in nicely with their preconceived theories :-)

  • http://dotNetTemplar.Net J. Ambrose Little

    “We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.”

    This has got to be the weirdest logic ever. You can’t suggest that the Freedom of Choice Act would do anything to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Sorry, Mr. O’Reilly, you rightly identify that millions being murdered each year pretty much pales all these other issues (technology?? really??).

    Not only does Obama’s position on life issues show a moral failure, it shows basic reasoning capacity failure. I am not a big McCain fan, but I just can’t overlook this. Sorry.

  • Deb S

    O’Reilly You Just Alienated Half Your Market.

    From now on every-time I see a O’Reilly book I will think that book is from that Liberal company that supports the Socialist Obama.

    I embrace competition and free enterprise (both of which will be restricted or eliminated under Obama). I will choose NOT to buy O’Reilly books because of the negative associations that I have knowing O’Reilly is aligned with Socialists.

  • Jack Wright

    I support Obama because I dont like Liars and McBush is a proven LIAR and his word means nothing.

    Jiff
    http://www.online-anonymity.kr.tc

  • Peter

    Great discussions going on here:

    Tim – maybe I should’ve put links in my original post. However – I don’t believe in helping others do what is their duty to themselves and America.

    To completely and fully research for themselves the actual facts when selecting the person who will become the Leader of the free world.

    If anyone doubts my assertions in my post or thinks I am being untruthful then by all means go research it yourself and come back here and call me out.

    I for one take integrity seriously. No one can take my integrity away except for myself.

    Kevin- Thank you for the compliment. I do live in Arizona myself and yes I do have issues with Sen. McCain. I was particularly upset with his position on immigration. However when looking at the choices for President – there can be no clearer choice who is the best choice by a factor of 100. That is Sen. McCain.

    Scott – Funny I’ve seen your words on all the blogs that you are probably reading – DailyKos, Huff Post, MSNBC. It’s a shame to see that you drank the koolaid.

    You carpetbomb everyone who doesn’t vote for Obama with your ridiculous comments – obviously you didn’t read my post. I think for myself and research both candidates seriously.

    You’re last statement in your post clearly shows just how flawed your logic is:

    “We’re voting FOR Obama and they aren’t voting FOR McCain”

    Actually if you are voting for Obama and you carefully researched the details of his plan you probably wouldn’t be voting for him. Careful research shows that Obama is about massive government programs, massive spending – $1 trillion according to Obama’s own plans, and OPPRESSIVE TAXATION and WELFARE GRANTS TO OTHERS WHO HAVE NOT EARNED IT.

    Now contrary to your flawed logic I AM voting FOR Sen. McCain. If you do serious research and study each candidates plans carefully and in detail and not stuff your brain with fluff and hope then there is no other way to vote but FOR John McCain.

    As an example Scott – Answer this question – How can you give 95% of Americans TAX CUT when 40% don’t pay taxes.

    Here let me help you with the answer – Buy taking money from others and giving it to others who have not earned it. That’s not a progressive tax, that’s a grant, a give away, a welfare check.

    Don’t take my word for it – listen to Sen. Obama himself – “That’s spreading the wealth around”
    You can look at each Presidential candidate’s record and you will see time after time after time that is Senator McCain who has the experience. Sen. Obama has absolutely none. Running an organized campaign and being up on technology does not qualify a person for the most important job in America.

  • http://grenadams.wordpress.com/ Charles

    The only thing I will give Obama is he’s an eloquent speaker, saying exactly what he thinks the majority of people want to hear.

    Sure you can look at any candidates political history, as far as how they voted on specific bills etc. Although the vote of yes or no on any bill is not that cut and dried. Bills are stuffed with all sorts of trade-offs (if you want this, you’ll have to give me that) the trade-offs come down to the lessor of two evils…sort of like the presidential election.

    Talk comes cheap, it don’t cost either candidate (excluding campaign money) anything to promise a rose garden. If anything McCain as president is much more predictable than if Obama won.

    Basically, all that anyone knows about Obama are his talking points. Promises cost money! Where is Barack planning to come up with all the money to fulfill all his wonderful promises of prosperity and his artful depiction of the good life for one and all.

    Our government’s corruption has plunged us into an economic tsunami. Economics 101..you can’t borrow yourself out of debt. Obama is preying on the naivety of people who are eager to believe that he is “The One”.

    Ask yourself honestly what Barack has really done. A community organizer and a short time as a senator with no real stand on any issue. Now he has basically come out of nowhere with an agenda…and that is to be the first black president of the United States. When Obama says “This is not about me” I find that very hard to believe. The only thing we really know as voters is what we’ve heard Obama say in his talking points rhetoric. The only thing people are hearing is the words “affordable health care” with no idea what this actually details or how Obama plans to accomplish this one issue. Let alone all the other great promises he has made.

    I fear voters out of hope and disparity are being very gullible and naive to believe in a talking point summary of issues before actually reading the whole book.

  • http://robwarmowski.com Warmowski

    On the coming regulatory renaissance under an Obama administration:

    Technologists understand there is hell to pay when you monkey with taxonomy. The SEC and the Fed did not – or would not – understand, and allowed Wall Street to play jaw-dropping games with instrument categorizations, resulting in the current global crisis.

    The credit derivatives that caused this meltdown were very much the result of taking high-risk debt, storing it in a folder along with low-risk debt and calling the folder “low-risk”.

    Washington desperately needs an infusion of clue. Tim is correct that an Obama administration is the most likely to bring that clue – and to have the philosophical underpinnings to deliver it.

    The government’s regulatory apparatus is today staggering under three decades’ assault by those handmaidens of business interests, the radical libertarian-republican think tanks (Cato, AEI, Heritage, etc). For nearly thirty years, the barest notion of an extant public interest has been shunned by the prevailing free-market fundamentalist philosophies in DC.

    That philosophy must be brought to an end before the free market can be normalized – sometimes very much like a DBMS.

    Even if it were not preoccupied with private interests to the exclusion of public interests, would a McCain administration even possess the basic vocabulary necessary to head off further economic disaster?

    Of course not.

  • Martin Haeberli

    Tim,

    re the abortion / choice / education issue, I found this article of great interest:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_talbot?printable=true

    Best,

    Martin

  • http://galaxyspectrum.com/ AD PR New York

    There is still no escaping the fact that – despite his ideals – he just does not have that much federal experience.

    The perfect candidate would be one with McCain’s experiences and Obama’s ideals and fresh outlook and Hilary’s connection to Bill to get ‘off the record’ advice.

    The real problem lies in the ‘winner takes all’ political system we have. No one person can be everything to everybody

  • Kevin

    J. Ambrose Little,

    The unifying factor on both sides of the abortion issue is simple: Neither WANT abortion. Pro-choice is not about wanting abortion. Abortion is like duct tape or a band-aid. The real problem is unwanted pregnancies. Stop that and abortion is a null value argument. Of course there will still be debate about abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and possible death of the mother, but it wipes out 98% of the debate to just focus on sex education and contraception.

    Sex is a basic instinct. Whether you’re a creationist or not, you can either call it the biological imperative or God’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.” Entering into sexual congress as an informed participant, knowing that the end result of this sex instinct = babies, and how the babies part can be avoided before conception, would eliminate the issue of abortion.

    Obama is the only politician who has ever spoken the words that regardless of whether you’re “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” we can both agree that it is better to educate and prevent the desire or need for abortion in the first place.

  • Peter

    Warmowski,

    Yeah Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are the ones to make the changes huh? They had the publics interest in mind didn’t they.

    Wasn’t it McCain who prophetically predicted the meltdown when he proposed increased regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Oh that’s right – the Democrats blocked it.

    Wasn’t Franklin Raines involved – responsible in the Fannie Mae fraud of 10.6 Billion dollars scandal while he took in a $90 million dollar paycheck? Oh that’s right he’s Obama’s housing advisor.

    LMAO – Yeah great team warmowski.

  • SW

    It’s not about McCain

    It’s not about Obama

    It’s about the administration they put forth to fix the issues. God bless america

  • http://www.tv1.com Jonathan G

    Thank you Tim O’Reilly, not just for taking a stand on a non-technology issue, but for walking us thoughtfully through your thinking here.

    I have been pulling my hair out when I see Palin or McCain or their spokespeople accusing the Democrats of Big Government. McCain ahs said nothing about the Bush-Cheney shredding of the Constitution and implementation of what is other nations is regarded as The United states of Torture.

    In addition to connecting the dots between net neutrality and democracy, as well as the secretiveness and Big Brother empowerment that the past eight years have brought us, this comment by O’Reilly’s merits repeating for the many of us trying to sway the somehow undecided:

    John McCain has been trying to paint Obama as the candidate of big government. Yet it is the Right, not the Left, that is bringing us the biggest, most powerful, most centralized, and most intrusive government that America has ever seen. Many members of the technical community have libertarian leanings; you should vote for Obama for this reason alone!

    To this I would add the incredible deficits that the Bush admin have created. The national debt nearly doubled to $10 trillion during the past eight years. Looked at another way, Bush’s runaway spending for wars, tax cuts for the super-rich and multinationals, and crony-run privatization of everything from mercenaries protecting out diplomats to fuel supplies to our troops has created more debt for Americans and our future generations than THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF OUR REPUBLIC COMBINED.

    Incredibly, Ronald Reagan achieved the very same result: getting in power decrying “tax and spend” Democrats, then doubling the national debt.

    McCain’s response: cut (unspecified) earmarks representing less than a fraction of one percent of our federal spending, while making Bush’s notorious tax cuts for the super-rich permanent, and hundreds of billions in tax breaks for corporate multinational.

    It’s time to pull America out of Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin’s Bizzaro universe!

  • I support the better America

    The way I see it is that Obama craves power. He moves back and forth when it comes to who and what he supports and why. Yes Obama can recite amazing speeches, but do they have information about what he really wants to do for this country? I personally don’t care for either candidate, but we’re choosing the lesser of two evils here. And McCain is the lesser of two evils.
    Obviously, the main conflicts our country is dealing with are,

    -Economy
    -Abortion
    -The War in Iraq

    There are many more issues but these are what we really seem to be highlighting.
    When it comes to our economy it seems like a black hole that we can’t seem to get out of no matter what we do. But raising taxes, and sharing everyones money doesn’t seem like the answer. If Obama just taxes the wealthier than they will start to cut down on the luxuries,(and maybe some necessities)that they had before and now don’t have. Which is fine, unless you add in the whole vital issue that then those company’s that sell those things that are cutting down on, will start lose money and will be forced to let go of employees and downsize. That leaves all of those employees without a job. Things like that are already beginning to happen, Like Coca-Cola. Those company’s won’t have as much money and won’t be able to hire, which means all of those employees fired won’t be able to find another job. Like Sean Hannity always says, “I never was hired by a poor person.”
    Abortion. It’s wrong, end of story, period. People come up with excuses all the time saying it’s acceptable because the babies really aren’t human beings yet. Absolutely wrong. By having an abortion you are taking away a life that can then never be. Like mentioned above, Obama says we can work on reducing unwanted pregnancies. Right, DON’T have premarital sex! Of course no one can stop that happening so those that want to be whores and sleep around probably completely drunk, then get pregnant, fine by me, just DO NOT get an abortion. Yes, they made a mistake and some truly do regret it and feel remorse.People say that we can’t make those women’s choice for them. We are not making a choice for them at all, we are simply eliminating their options. An option that is wrong to choose. Obama said that a teen(or someone else for that matter) should not be punished with a baby for making a mistake. Babies are not meant to be a punishment, so don’t take it as one. Take it as a learning experience and an opportunity to serve someone. Thousands of couples aren’t able to have children and would be overjoyed with an adopted child. So put it up for adoption.
    The war in Iraq has been on the list of greatest issues in America since 2001. And will be for a while more. No one seems to know where to turn when it comes to the war so they blame it all on Bush. How wrong they are. As Laura Bush has commented, is that her husband is the one who is having to make the most unpopular choices at the present and is being criticized for it. Years down the road when this all blows over, is when people of America will realize that he has made some mistakes, but overall his decisions concerning Iraq have been the correct ones. McCain really knows and understands what is going on with the war and can pull us out of this never-ending battle. McCain has had first hand experience on this death and money trap that we need to get out of, without showing the white flag and running with defeat out of desperateness.
    Obama is not experienced enough to handle what lies ahead for America and clearly is not ready for the most important job in the world. I support McCain 100% of the way, he has experience and opinions to match the position of president. I am not racist, I would vote Condoleezza Rice in office any day. Just not Obama. People say that he is a turning point, a symbol of change, but the question is what kind of change? Not good change. Being African American should not be a strong point of his campaign! It has NOTHING to do with what needs to be done in America and everything else.
    I am 14 years old and a freshman at North Gwinnett High School. I am probably more educated and opinionated than more than 50% of America. Too bad i can’t vote yet or I would vote for McCain!

  • http://robwarmowski.com Warmowski

    Peter,

    The toxic mortgage-backed securities were not originated by Fannie and Freddie, they were originated in private OTC markets by dealers on Wall Street whose practically nil government oversight was in the hands of persons hostile to the SEC’s mission. Example: Harvey Pitt, attorney for the accounting industry trade association, Bush’s SEC chairman. That Fannie and Freddie didn’t originate the problem is even acknowledged by libertarian-republicans like Seb Mallaby at the Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/05/AR2008100501253.html

    The quasi-public banks certainly bought up plenty of the radioactive paper, and that constituted an abuse of the public interest to be sure, but how is that different than the explicit bailout called for last month? It isn’t. Handing a bad deal to Uncle is just the endgame for free-market fundamentalists, green-lighted by thirty years of “getting the government off our backs” to get theirs in post-Reagan DC.

    And why were so many trillions of it allowed to exist to be bought in the first place? Because it made dealers money, and under free-market fundamentalism, that is all that matters. This is how you end up with an SEC run by a shill for the corporate accounting industry and a Treasury Dept. run by a Goldman Sachs CEO.

    The Obama administration should be the first in thirty years to not scoff or mumble at the premise that a public interest actually exists and it’s Washington’s job to serve it.

    If you want more of the same, I guess you’re welcome to it. You know, next election. Good luck with that.

  • Rob

    The problems with all this thought is these: everyone thinks that a different guy is going to make all the difference but how is a guy with just 2 years in Congress going to change everything? Potentially, you are not voting for Obama but voting for Biden. Biden is the Dick Cheney of this new government while Obama will only be the front man because he gives good speeches…period.

    In the decades past, Republican or Democrat, things have been getting decidedly worse. So is the solution to vote Republican or Democrat? If you keep doing the same thing you’ll keep getting the same thing.

    So I’m voting with Ron Paul’s choice of Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.

    Now, before you try and talk to me of a “wasted vote”, a wasted vote is one for someone I don’t think will do anything different. If nothing else, it will help give encouragement to 3rd parties to step up and step in.

    What we really need is another Ross Perot.

  • ScarletPimple

    “it is Barack Obama who has demonstrated the sure character of a man who will not change how he acts for the sake of political gain. “

    Oh please. Sen. Obama has changed how he has acted many times for the sake of political gain. I can think of a few rather easily. He dropped Jeremiah Wright after twenty years of attendance when it became a political liability. He was all for cutting NASA’s budget until it became clear that might affect his Florida outcome; now Obama wants to give NASA $2B more. I could go on.

    If you were as rational as you would like your readers to believe, you wouldn’t make such glowing (and factually inaccurate) claims.

    There has been little serious debate on issues of substance because members your profession and field have become apostles instead of journalists and reporters.

  • mackle

    tim, thanks for a thoughtful discourse on a very complex issue. i found it through google news, clicking through huffingtonpost carrying the article. too bad they cannot be as balanced as you. i respect everyone’s right to feel the way they do and their corresponding leanings towards a particular candidate.

    this election is not going to determine much in terms of the direction we move on the issues you discussed. too much political meddling and influence. we have a systemic meltdown in common values and the things that bind us together as a people and a nation. instead of tailoring the tax code (using it as a weapon/tool) for social agendas that swing like a pendulum, we need to put the tax code back to where it belongs: a simple way to generate the revenue the government needs to operate; that everyone understands and agrees is fair. our national behavior is not positive for future sustainment. too little saving, too much consumption. instead of basically taxing value, we need to tax consumption. that will hit rich people where it hurts the most (in their BMW). take away the incentive to solve problems by throwing money at them (i’m against the bailout btw).

    before we attack all the other things, we need to get the first things done first. a turnaround ceo would know that. in your analogy, i do not believe we are in a startup state and barack’s startup behavior may not be the right prescription.

    i’m not too happy about the republican offerings either, but at least there is a glimmer of thought on a simplified tax code from mccain.

    what we need, regardless of who gets elected is a gang of independent smart people, like you, to go to some expensive resort that AIG cancelled on and come up with a common 10 point plan to attack the problems you mentioned from a global perspective, giving rational reasons for your choices. an intelligent, executable, centrist agenda. set clear national priorities that are actionable, not ones that just give 50% of the population a warm feeling.

    god bless america and be sure to vote.

  • http://5000dollarsin45days.com TomG.

    I appreciate your arguments. I believe that it is easier for those who are comfortable financially to support a candidate such as Obama. I like the man and believe him to be sincere. There are many reasons why I fear an Obama presidency.

    First: He is very inexperienced. Plain and simple. Please don’t try to downplay this very real problem.

    Second: He does not always exercise the best judgment in selecting his friends and acquaintances. Please refer to the volumes about his pastor, real estate dealings and “former” domestic terrorists. Another offshoot of this point is Acorn. I don’t think he personally wanted those people to go and commit voter registration fraud but the point about dubious associations is valid.

    Third: Having the Democrats rule both houses and the White House will be a disaster. The tax and spending spree that will ensue will most certainly bury us. Witness the absolutely obscene distribution of our taxpayer dollars to Fannie May/Mac, Citibank, et al. Democrats strong-armed lenders to lend money to almost anyone. Now they are pointing fingers at greedy Wall Street. Do you think they are demanding tight controls on the cash they are throwing at the problem? NO, they ARE NOT.

    I could go on and on, but these are the main points of concern for me.

    TomG.

  • http://www.arkansawyer.com/wordpress/ John A Arkansawyer

    I’m sorry not to have links to support my first argument here, but since I’m going to grant a premise and then reason from it, I think that’s a fair approach.

    I grant that, as pointed out, Obama has not completely escaped from big money donors.

    He has, however, gotten enough support from smaller donors to make, in my opinion, a qualitative difference. He won’t alienate all his large donors–no politician under the current system can–but he will be in a position to play them against each other, to credibly tell each of them individually he doesn’t need them. That’s different. That’s promising.

    I have a second argument, which is, in the context of this thread, self-documenting.

    The quality of much (but not all!) of the opposition to Obama on this thread is genuinely sad, yet I understand where it’s coming from and what causes it. The politics of hatred and personal destruction, of overblown rhetoric and wild talk, has been very successful for some time now, and there’s been discussion of adopting a liberal version of it in self-defense.

    What Obama has done which is so impressive is extracting the morally acceptable kernel in the Atwater/Rove method and used it against the reprehensible part. He has attacked at a point of his opponents’ greatest strength. He has lanced the boil of resentment and entitlement and inhumanity that underlays the radical right wing. It’s been an ugly sight, like any festering wound.

    It’s a brilliant strategy, calculated to draw out the worst in his enemies and wreck their ability to oppose him, played by a man who clearly intends to be more than a merely good president.

    He outfought the Clintons in the primaries. He’s now taking John McCain’s campaign apart at the seams, having pushed McCain into the deadly embrace of those who he’d earlir formerly denounced as “forces of intolerance”. At the same time, he’s defanging those same forces. I like Obama’s chances in foreign policy a heck of a lot better than I like those of the man he’s kicking around. Experience counts, but less than ability.

  • Steve Thompson

    Reading through some of the comments here, I do fear for the USA. People seem to be so lazy and base their voting choice on skin colour, the number of bibles the candidate owns and what’s said in the media regardless of whether it’s true or not. As soon as someone does a bit of research in to the reasons why he likes a particular candidate he’s shot down with half truths, misquotations, scaremongering and idle threats.

    I was reading an interview with McCain the other day where he said he wanted to start with a “clean sheet”. I can just see him cutting eye holes in it and putting it over his head.

    To PaulV, you ask “DONT THIS SOUND VERY FAMILIAR”. I don’t know – I couldn’t understand most of it but you seem to be comparing Obama to Hitler. That’s a bit like comparing McCain to Bush as in “compared to Bush he’s a complete moron”. But as for making promises then breaking them, find me a politician – anywhere in the world – that hasn’t broken their promises. That’s just naive.

    There’s a lot more to politics that issues that don’t actually affect you but you like the bandwagon. For starters, there’s issues that do affect you that you’re not bothering to understand.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/gregmorton Greg Morton

    Thought some folks might be interested in my latest Obama blog. I posed the question to real people, not politicians, news anchors or fake plummers, “who really is better for business, Obama or McCain?”

    See my thoughts and responses at http://gregorymorton.wordpress.com/

    Cheers and let’s get it done!

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Has anyone else noticed the correlation between pseudonyms (like ScarletPimple, Whatever, Smarmy, etc.) and less-constructive engagement?

    And amazing how few people are willing to do research and show their work by linking to it to support their arguments.

    @Peter – You repeat the canard about Franklin Raines being an advisor to Obama, despite it being debunked (complete with link) by Jay above (see http://radar.oreilly.com/2008/10/why-i-support-barack-obama.html#comment-2045033)

    @pudge – I respect the fact that you get concrete in reasons why you support McCain, but I don’t think you have your facts straight. On reducing the size of government, yes, McCain has talked about that for years, but his specific proposals on the table now increase the deficit more than Obama’s. The stuff he’s talking about in waste is a tiny percentage of total budget, not even a rounding error on the INTEREST ALONE that we will be paying for generations as a result of the Iraq War costs, for example (which he wants to continue.) See Jonathan G’s comment on this subject, which is quite right. I also think that you’re talking about the old John McCain, the one I supported as well, and not the one who has emerged in the course of this campaign.

    @Deb S – if you’re going to stop buying O’Reilly books because I support Obama, are you also going to stop using Google because Eric Schmidt does? And I hope you’ll be sure to avoid Geico insurance, and Benajamin Moore Paints, and See’s Candies, and Fruit of the Loom underwear, because Warren Buffett supports him too? Try to be serious. Obama supporters represent at least half of this country. Are you going to avoid businesses owned by any of them? Be my guest.

    @ScarletPimple – I thought Obama’s reaction to the Jeremiah Wright controversy was exactly the opposite of what you portray. Obama said, if I recall, “I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother when she makes racist remarks.” He distanced himself from Wright only when Wright used the opportunity for repeated media grandstanding. I would have done the same. His response to this situation was more nuanced and honorable than I’ve seen from any other candidate. You should read that speech on race, which I linked at the start of my piece. You either haven’t done so, or prefer sloganeering to thoughtful discourse.

    Sorry I can’t respond to all of your comments. Doing my best while still trying to run a business.

    Thanks to everyone for wading in, especially those of you who are marshalling reasoned arguments and sharing actual sources and references, showing you’ve done your homework, and helping other people to see the data that helped to shape your point of view.

    We need a LOT more of that in this discussion, rather than slinging unsupported allegations back and forth.

    Bringing this back to tech – showing the data behind your argument is a lot like open source. It’s a way of verifying the “code” that’s inside your head. If you can’t show us your code, it’s a lot harder to trust your results!

  • http://www.igotananswer.com Noah Glaser

    THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME.
    There is not much difference between Obama and McCain. I am sorry but as the great John Stewart once said,”It like coke and pepsi debating the side effect of soda.”

    I really like what Georg Carlin once said about politicians and voting
    “The public suck, %%%% Hope”
    The best thing you can do for the people of this country is not vote.

    In conclusion,

    Don’t Vote.

  • Hans Meiser

    Peter,

    I would like to discuss some of your points.

    Tax cuts under Obama are for 95% of *working* Americans. He has said it time and time again, and it has been part of his “blue print” (see Obama’s web site) of his tax policies.
    Those who do not work do not simply receive a check as part of a tax cut.

    The biggest part of your argument, taxation, falls apart because you have not researched it well. When a candidate puts their policies online, and you fail to even remotely get them right, then your research failed.

  • http://www.twipphoto.com Scott Bourne

    Peter I am under some time constraints so I can’t fully respond to your post but frankly you help make my argument. While you’re supposedly talking about why you’re voting FOR McCain you’re still left citing your arguments AGAINST Senator Obama. I rest my case there.

    As for your tired “socialism” argument – the right considers any government program “socialism” that they don’t support. For instance, taking my tax money to Iraq for a war the majority of Americans don’t support – that isn’t socialism. Giving 4 billion in tax breaks to Big Oil – that isn’t socialism. Giving huge tax breaks to churches, that isn’t socialism. Giving money for health care, food and education to poor women who’s babies you claim to want to see born, that is socialism.

    We’ve had a tax policy that redistributes wealth for decades. Including those decades that the right controlled both the White House and the Congress.

    Back to the point – by McCain’s standard, socialism is really ANY government spending you in the GOP don’t like.

    I did review Senator Obama’s plans and since you don’t know anything about me, you can’t assume you know what I will or won’t or might do. I know his plan will provide tax cuts for all those making less than $200k a year. I also know that according to the non-partisan http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/ McCain’s policy will create TWICE the federal deficit that Obama’s will. And if we’ve learned anything over the 8 years that the GOP has controlled the White House and 12 that it’s controlled the Congress – they’re not interested in cutting deficits.

    Your comments about Palin completely render your opinion incredible. Only the faaaaaaar right in America think Palin is REMOTELY qualified to be anything other than mayor of a small town in Alaska.

    So many prominent Republicans (http://www.republicansforobama.org/?q=node/3341) have signed on to say that Palin isn’t qualified that I would think you’d be ashamed to even go there.

    Clearly it’s you who have drunk the Kool Aide and again, you proved that you can’t defend McCain without attacking Senator Obama.

    Luckily, a majority of America appears to disagree with you.

  • Jay Zaveri

    Sorry Tim,

    You can’t win this argument against people who have closed their mind to rational argument. The strategy in the McCain camp is to throw words like “socialist”, “communist”, “marxist”, “terrorist”, muslim”, “distribute wealth”, “inexperience” and create a sense of fear so deep that rational thought breaks down.

    See this nice blog by Anil Dash: http://tinyurl.com/6nbwba – it is to say the least a brilliant strategy – divide, conquer and rule! Media cannot attack of defend it let alone understand this!

    They have a few journalists like this one that asked Biden if they are Marxists:
    http://tinyurl.com/55b6jv

    The person who put this video up admittedly has a great bias but look at the questions she asked McCain – subliminal programming!

    Then Joe the plumber comes out and says Obama will be the death of Israel – http://tinyurl.com/5cupyk – implying again he’s a muslim. Even Fox News found it important to clarify!

    Sow the seeds of doubt, use a swiftboat style attack, divide, spread fear and win votes – Rovian strategy!

    This country was built on hope and trust and dreams – sorry guys Al Qaeda is winning because they have managed to create a distrustful country that does not seem to be able go back to the philosophy it was built on – hope, trust and dream big!

  • http://qa99s2 Ilene Hill

    Im a mother and wife,my husband and I come from middle class hard working familys.I am in support of obama and so is my husband, we believe in him that he will turn this counrty around,and OBAMA WILL.FROM A REAL MIDDLE CLASS VOTER NOT JOE THE PLUMMER.

  • Maria

    I ‘am very dissapointed that you support Barack Obama, you should not make politics through your business.. I used to buy a lot of the O’reilly books (I have more than 50 books) but from now I will be purchasing book from other book publishing firms instead.

  • Jay Zaveri

    Deb S,

    You’re practicing exactly what you preach against – if you are against socialism and communism you’ll understand the idea of a democracy is for people to have an opinion and express them. By saying you won’t buy O’Reilly books because of a pesonal belief on his part maybe you should consider that is the spirit of democracy and while you claim to enjoy it you don’t understand it!

    Socialims means nationalising business – I don;t think you understand the principles! Obama has not ever outligned such a philosophy!

    O’Reilly in a perfect example of a capitalist business – just because you don’t agree with an individuals thoughts (Tim) does not mean you become vindicive and ban their business (O’Reilly) from society! Please stop the hate – people can have opinions!

  • http://www.michaelabanks.com Michael A. Banks

    To the point about global warming: We are not going to be able to reverse it before the situation gets worse, and going green isn’t a solution of immediate effectiveness.

    Hence, work needs to be done on technology to adapt to the changes that global warming will bring in the near and mid-term future. Better storm forecasting, building techniques and materials that fit altered climates and environments (like coastal regions), and much more.
    –Mike

  • http://www.futurethought.tv Jay Zaveri

    @ Andy Lester – if you think “Liberal” is not a four letter word by now see this -

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/17/gop-rep-channels-mccarthy_n_135735.html

    OK – enough – got to go back and run my business now – this has taken too much of my time!

  • http://foreigner I R Sutherland

    As a foreigner I am often asked who I want to win the election. My response is that it is none of my business and it probably does not matter who wins – as President they will be constrained by the realities of this globalized world. What really matters is who they will bring into executive government.
    Neither candidate has given the slightest hint so far and nor should they. But it matters. I vaguely wondered if General Powell might have been tapped for SecDef say in return for an endorsement of Sen.Obama.
    I was asked if the UK system produced ‘better’ results and diplomatically said “..about the same..”.
    Nobody in your history – even George Washington – has been qualified in advance to be President – at least in the usual terms of knowledgeable and experienced. Washington was a fine war leader as was Churchill – but were they good peace leaders ?
    McCain is too old to start – I too am 72 – and however ambitious would not seek the job at this stage. At least Governor Palin has had to make executive choices – Senators have no such experience. As President – if it happened – would she be good at taking advice ?
    Obama worries UK people on the grounds of judgement. Anybody who takes twenty years to realise that Wright was a nasty piece of work must lack judgement. Picking Senator Biden seems odd when he thought Roosevelt addressed the nation on TV in 1932.
    I do not go with the Obama is a Muslim nonsense. But I would like to have heard more about the content of his education in the nominally Islamic republic of Indonesia. How much was he made to read the Koran ? – without question the nastiest, most boring, repetitive pseudo-religious manifesto ever written. Did it instill any sympathy for Islam ? Al Quaeda ‘endorsing’ Senator McCain suggests they expect him to be more confrontational than Senator Obama – by implication that Obama would be more pliable – not what is needed now.
    You must elect who you choose but do remember the USA does not live in isolation from other civilised and mostly friendly countries. They are also affected by your decision.
    Good luck.
    Ian Sutherland

  • ScarletPimple

    “Has anyone else noticed the correlation between pseudonyms (like ScarletPimple, Whatever, Smarmy, etc.) and less-constructive engagement?”

    “Whatever”?

    “Smarmy”?

    No, but I have noticed the correlation between diminution and denigration when someone doesn’t like what a poster has written.

    It was nice of Wright to give Obama cover. Obama’s encapsulation of the issue as one of “disowning” Wright is rather clever. Instead of making it this issue of Obama’s judgment, that of being an active member of a church that has some significant issues, Obama cast this as an issue of family. Very interesting and one that I don’t accept. If I were to adopt the interpretation you seem to espouse, Obama distanced himself from Wright for something far less consequential than preaching radically divisive views: media grandstanding. It seems like rather politically motivated behavior to me. Perhaps you are correct though. Perhpas Obama didn’t change his behavior; perhaps he would have shed Jeremiah Wright one way or the other.

    Yes it’s cheap of me to reduce other points I might like to make down to a sentence which you characterize as “sloganeering”. I worked so hard to achieve brevity and am heartbroken it was perceived as “sloganeering”. Boo-hoo.

    Good luck to us all post-election.

  • FEAR BITER

    “All we have to fear is fear itself.”

    If you read most of the very ANGRY comments here, they’re coming from the Republican side.

    It’s amazing that many Republicans I’ve talked to have this FEAR that illegal immigrants are going to take all of their hard earned money from them because “they’re not paying taxes, but they’re collecting from the US government.”

    How much of our hard earned money has gone to support the war in Iraq, which was based on wrong information regarding WMDs that didn’t exist? Google how much money has been spent on that war and be amazed.

    I’ve heard Republicans rattle off things like, “those lazy people would rather leech off of the government while I have to work 60-70 hours a week to support them.”

    Well, I have to work that many hours as well, and I’m willing to help my fellow Americans, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, color of their skin, politics, what have you. Like all people who come to this country, they’re looking for a better future for themselves and it’s obvious desperation why they choose to come here illegally. Who are we to judge or, to coin a famous term, “cast the first stone?”

    I know that this country wasn’t based on the morals of these Republicans.

    I know you’ve heard this before, but diversity is our strength, and you know that’s true. Did any of your ancestors come over to America by way of Ellis Island?

    And it doesn’t seem to me that Republicans are all that accepting of groups different from themselves,
    ie. blacks, gays, Mexicans, Muslims, the list goes on.

    And don’t forget about religion and how ultra Christian the Republicans are, and how “Freedom of Religion” seems to have no meaning to them.

    God forbid a woman gets raped or is going to have a baby that won’t survive due to an absent brain stem, or what have you, and wants an abortion. First and foremost their religion tells them that that’s wrong, and this then drives their moral compass.

    And don’t forget about helping your fellow man, but the bible must have had a caveat excluding illegal immigrants.

    This way of thinking isn’t what our forefathers envisioned when they were drafting the Declaration of Independence.

    So who are the true Americans?

    Who are the ones who are unAmerican?

  • anon

    I have an idea how about keeping your political views to yourself Tim? Not everyone who buys tech books is a left winger.

    I must say that I’m less than impresses that you would devote a whole blog post to support either one of these two idiots we have to select from. Normally the selection is bad but this year we have a choice between “evil” (McCain) and “super evil” (Obama).

    The only way anyone could be for obama enough to devote a blog entry on their non-political website is if they were an ultra-left wing nut and I would prefer my money doesn’t go to someone like that.

  • D D Wiseman

    Sutherland – It’s great to finally hear an outsider’s point of view here. So much of the debate (inasmuch as that word applies to some of the comments) here so far has been focused, a bit too narrowly at times, on how the States will be affected. The world sees things differently, and this is something the States needs to be reminded of occasionally.

    I’m currently abroad, but the few people who I speak to about it are worried about McCain (the JibJab movie sums it up) – and I’m in a fairly conservative country. Having said that, the media here (and elsewhere, if I’m not mistaken) portrays the election as Obama vs. McCain – a two-party election, something that I keep wishing they’d re-evaluate.

    But, Sutherland, there are two points I feel the need to correct you on: First, a US Senator, while not needing to make executive decisions, still has enough responsibility to “move up in rank”, as it were – more so than a member of the House. The Senate decides on the law, the Executive stamps it – I personally would go for someone who has at least had some experience in the former, rather than the latter exclusively.

    The second, much more grave, is your opinion on the Koran. I don’t belong to a religion of any stripe, shade, or structure, but your thoughts on it stick out in an otherwise even-tempered comment. Religious texts survive for a reason, and problems arising from them are usually questions of (or just plain questionable) interpretation(s). Every such text has some nasty bits (the Bible has Leviticus, for example – hilarious reading until you consider that they were followed, for a time) and I’m sure the Toran is no different. Might even be a fun read, if you’re up for it.

    So yeah. Glad that Tim O’Reilly has taken his stance, and moreover in such a clear way. Also, if y’all haven’t yet seen Colin Powell’s candidate pick on Meet the Press a couple of weeks ago, do so. It’s on YouTube, and he’s always worth listening to (unfortunately…).

  • Sam

    If Obama was really interested in transparency, I suppose that he would be urging the LA Times to release the contents of a videotape showing him at a confab of anti-Israel radicals in the company of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn.

    http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/what_is_the_la_times_hiding.php

    Right?

  • http://pudge.net/ pudge

    Tim:

    You’re wrong. I do have my facts straight.

    I do not believe the analysis that says McCain’s proposals would increase the deficit more than Obama’s, for various reasons (which I will come back to), but more importantly is that Obama would bloat the budget much more. I would rather have a slightly higher deficit with lower spending than much higher spending with a slightly lower deficit. Most fiscal conservatives would.

    Besides, you say I am wrong on the facts, but I never mentioned those things. Praytell, Tim, what facts did I get wrong? Come on.

    And you have your facts wrong on the Iraq war: both McCain and Obama have the EXACT SAME PLAN for pulling out of Iraq. Both will pull our troops out when Iraq is capable of providing its own security. There is no actual distinction here.

    And I also don’t buy the bullshit about the “old John McCain.” I’ve been around the block too many times. It’s sad that you’ve fallen for this campaign line from the Democrats. There’s no truth to it.

    As to Jonathan G’s comment about spending: almost everything he said was about “the right” and “Bush.” You really want to point to those comments to back you up about McCain? The answer to him is simple: what he said doesn’t apply to McCain. Well, he did say a few things about McCain, but they are misguided.

    He said McCain he wants to keep taxes low for the “super-rich.” Surely, Tim, you know single geeks making $160,000, who certainly are not “super-rich.” Obama wants to raise their taxes. McCain wanting to keep taxes lower for EVERYONE is a GOOD THING. Obama wanting to raise taxes on the top earners while cutting checks in the form of tax credits to people who pay no income taxes … that is literal socialist wealth redistribution, in its purest form.

    And again, Obama will not just put the tax rate back to 39.6 for the top rate, but he will tack on more taxes in addition, plus remove significant exemptions. This is the definition of punishing success.

    Jonathan G also says that McCain wants to cut taxes for overseas American businesses. To this I say, it’s about damned time. Our American companies have trouble competing overseas because of a much higher tax burden. Americans are not helped by retaining these high taxes on overseas businesses. And Obama is dishonest on this: he pretends it would encourage offshoring, which is based much more on labor costs, which this won’t have anything to do with. All this does is harm American companies, and gives more business to foreign companies. I don’t begrudge foreign companies, but I do begrudge the American government harming American companies through the tax code.

    The one final thing he said about McCain, which you also mentioned, is the idea that McCain won’t cut much spending. But you are basing it on an incomplete analysis. McCain has not said “I am only going to cut these things.” In fact, he has said he would consider across-the-board cuts on non-defense spending, and that he would go through the budget and eliminate many programs. Not just earmarks.

    Remember how Barack Obama wouldn’t commit to anything to fix Social Security? “Everything is on the table”? That’s fine and good. You want to get into the job and talk to people and come to a consensus as a group, as much as possible, and you don’t want to damage your ability to accomplish your goals by pre-stating the way you will accomplish your goals. That’s bad politics.

    That is McCain’s plan for cutting spending. And it is misrepresenting him to say he would only cut earmarks, and a few programs here and there, when he has promised to do much, much more.

  • http://pudge.net/ pudge

    By the way, Tim, as you may know, I have been involved with your company for some time. I was at the first several, and many subsequent, Perl Conferences/OSCONs; I was at the Perl 6 meeting (the one after the mug-throwing); I’ve tech edited for your authors; I’ve contributed to your books and web site, and have even been paid by your company.

    And obviously, I disagree with you politically.

    And this is just a note that I don’t mind that you are stating your views, though others have complained about it. I may dislike your views, and think that some of what you say is poorly framed and ill-conceived, but this is America. Bully for you. And I also appreciate the way in which you conduct yourself during this discussion.

    Cheers.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    pudge,

    Of course I know you from the Perl community as well as from the various things you’ve done for O’Reilly over the years. I also appreciate the way you’ve conducted this discussion. It’s great to have comments with substance.

    The bottom line is we all have to make judgments based on very incomplete information. The best we can do is to share our best thinking with each other, and dig as deep as we can.

  • http://keithtom.com keith

    Tim,

    Regardless of my opinions, thank you for writing this article, voicing your opinion, encouraging thought (for the most part) and most importantly debate.

  • Mike K

    Polarization is to be expected on issues but is it really necessary for presidential debates?

    Why doesn’t the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) allow other candidates to participate? While it’s purpose is “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners”, the criteria is specified in such a way that we will rarely if ever hear more than two opinions.

    Criteria
    1. Evidence of Consitutional Eligibility (Makes sense that you must be eligible)
    2. Evidence of ballot access (Must appear on enough ballots to have at least a mathematical chance of winning an electoral college majority)
    3. Indicators of Electoral Support (Must have support from 15% of electoral college. That’s a great way to keep it to two parties.)

    Their position is that the candidates are “afforded many opportunities in a great variety of forums to advance their candidacies”. I don’t recall seeing any of these great variety of forums on TV. As a viewer and listener, how am I receiving the best possible information on presidential candidates?

    Watching televised presidential debates with only two candidates reminds me of a quote from H.L. Mencken.

    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.

    Now that we’re seeing some success with rocking the vote, I would like to see another effort unfold: rock the debate!

    References:
    http://www.debates.org/pages/about.html
    http://www.debates.org/pages/candsel2008.html
    http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/1227.html

  • Jonathan

    Hello Americans,

    You know, in Canada we have universal health care, a balanced budget and our banks are stable. Amazing what a little liberal (dare I say socialist) attitude can do. I am scared for America and for the world. Obama has to win this election so that he can invest in education to teach Americans about “crazy” ideas like evolution, human rights, history and shared responsibility.

    P.S. Good original post Mr. O’Reilly.

    Regards,

    Jonathan

  • http://www.5000dollarsin45days.com TomG.

    “I know that this country wasn’t based on the morals of these Republicans.”

    Ignorant rubbish. Obviously this person has no idea of American history.

    “And it doesn’t seem to me that Republicans are all that accepting of groups different from themselves,
    ie. blacks, gays, Mexicans, Muslims, the list goes on.”

    Not true. And I might point out that the most strident hating voices out there are liberals trying to shout down and intimidate those who don’t agree with them.

    “And don’t forget about religion and how ultra Christian the Republicans are, and how “Freedom of Religion” seems to have no meaning to them.”

    Oh really? Again, you show what a complete ignoramus you are. Christianity, unlike some religions teaches humility and respect for others. Have you heard the saying “Turn the other cheek?” Obviously not. Tolerance for other religions is a basic tenet of Christianity. I am offended by your stupidity.

    TomG.

  • http://www.5000dollarsin45days.com TomG.

    Jonathan, honestly, you say this: “You know, in Canada we have universal health care” with a straight face? A friend of mine is a doctor in Canada and he says that many of you simply die waiting for services like heart transplants and the like. He also says that there is little to no motivation for excellence so the best doctors go to the US. When my cousins (who live in Canada) need real health care, they come here.

    TomG.

  • http://www.tv1.com Jonathan G.

    I was going to say my piece and sit this out, but facts are helpful in a forum like this one, and I feel compelled to respond to distortions. Responding to Pudge, and others who are perpetuating the McCain line that our economy needs even greater tax cuts for large corporations in order to thrive:

    US Corporations have a high tax rate on the books, but have for so long had their way with the White House and Congress that due to loopholes and offshore tax havens, they now pay SIGNIFICANTLY LESS in taxes than in almost any other major country one earth!

    Who says?

    “According to a study by the Treasury Department, from 2000-2006, an average of 2.2% of GDP was collected in corporate taxes. This compares to an average of 3.4% in other industrial countries. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current law, corporate revenues will decline to 1.9% of GDP by 2017.
    see
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-borosage/the-great-corporate-tax-h_b_118479.html?show_comment_id=14678591
    which also notes that according to a General Accounting Office study released in August, in 2005, during a period of record profits, 28% of US corporations paid no tax at all.

    McCain’s corporate tax reduction is estimated to cost the US Treasury $1.3 trillion during the next 10 years.

    That’s trillion with a “t,” folks; $13,000 from every household in America. Guess who is going to make up the shortfall if McCain is elected? I am already furious at how precarious our economy has become, how reliant we are on Gulf States and China to buy our T-bills in order to float our economy, how much of our federal taxes go to pay this ballooning national debt.

    I write this as a taxpayer, civil libertarian, fiscal conservative and reformist capitalist who believes that the government has a critical role regulating the economy in ways that prevents things like Wall Street’s meltdown, and allows things like the New Deal.

    Instead, we have been getting a raw deal. It’s time to change that, folks. It’s time for Barack Obama.

  • Jesse M.

    Peter wrote:
    As an example Scott – Answer this question – How can you give 95% of Americans TAX CUT when 40% don’t pay taxes.
    Here let me help you with the answer – Buy taking money from others and giving it to others who have not earned it. That’s not a progressive tax, that’s a grant, a give away, a welfare check.

    You’ve been misinformed, the tax credits in Obama’s plan can not in any reasonable sense be called “welfare”. Many people don’t pay income taxes, but taxes still come out of their salary, not to mention taxes on things like gasoline. The tax credits are meant to give people back some of the money they pay in these sorts of taxes, not give people back more money than they’d have even with no taxes whatsoever. I suggest reading over this article from factcheck.org:

    The fact is, a worker can be a “taxpayer” whether or not they owe any income tax. Just about every worker is subject to federal Social Security and Medicare taxes totaling 7.65 percent on every dollar of earnings, up to $102,000 per year. (For earnings over $102,000, only the 1.45 percent Medicare tax applies.) Low-income workers, and retired and jobless persons as well, also pay federal excise taxes whenever they buy gasoline or pay a telephone bill, for example. Obama and other Democrats argue that for low-income workers, refundable tax credits are not “welfare” but, in effect, a reduction in their overall federal tax burden, counting payroll taxes.

    Congressional Budget Office figures show that even those in the lowest-earning fifth of households pay an effective federal tax rate, on average, of 4.3 percent of their income, despite benefiting from existing federal refundable tax credits to a major degree. This group had average income of $15,900 in 2005, the most recent year for which CBO has done the calculations. But despite receiving “a federal check” through the income tax system that boosted income by an average of 6.5 percent (this shows up as a negative tax rate in the CBO tables), they still paid an average of $600 in federal taxes. That’s true even after subtracting the effects of refundable tax credit “welfare.”

    The article also notes that McCain’s health care plan includes tax credits of his own, up to $2,500 a year for individuals and $5,000 a year for families.

  • Jesse M.

    To add to my previous post, I’d also like to point out that there is a long history of giving tax credits to people who don’t pay income taxes, this is not something new that Obama is proposing. This article notes that Ronald Reagan once called the earned income tax credit (EITC) “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” The article also says that the EITC was created in 1975, and has historically had bipartisan support, quoting a summary from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

    The Earned Income Tax Credit has been found to produce substantial increases in employment and reductions in welfare receipt among single parents, as well as large decreases in poverty. Research indicates that families use the EITC to pay for necessities, repair homes and vehicles that are needed to commute to work, and in some cases, to help boost their employability and earning power by obtaining additional education or training.

    The EITC has enjoyed substantial bipartisan support. President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, and President Clinton all praised it and proposed expansions in it, and economists across the political spectrum – including conservative economists Gary Becker (a Nobel laureate) and Robert Barro, among others – have lauded it.

    Obama is just proposing to increase the EITC somewhat; again, it’s definitely not the same as welfare.

  • Deb S

    So O’Reilly it never occurred to you that by publicly professing your allegiance to Obama’s Socialist agenda you might alienate half your customers. Well you have, and good luck with that.

    And, if you think by aligning the O’Reilly brand with other band names, that are supporting Obama, makes you less vulnerable to losing half your customers you are sadly mistaken.

    Within your blog I’m not concerned about the allegiances of other companies. I’m only commenting on O’Reilly as a brand and as a business, and as a business you never want to do anything that might cause half your customers to think badly of your brand.

    Besides if Obama’s minions can use state computers to find dirt on Joe the plumber I’m sure they already know I not wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear.

  • amit

    Hope you are right on Obama. Personally I see him doing 3 things in first term.
    1) End the war ( Eventual outcome, no matter who is president). Middle-East, Pakistan leadership will take him on wild ride, without much progress either in Iraq or Afghanistan, they are master of status-quo also expectation is too low.

    Pass some minor bill on green technology, schools, union and insurance. Idea is to play safe.

    He will be full time maestro of public speaking. His media campaign will be on-going , talk about hope, unity .. lot of hot air..

  • alex brecht

    To all the Republicans repeating the attack
    points dictated by the campaign managers about personality, taxes and experience.Lets get a little perspective here,the Republican party is responsible for the creation of the massive amount of debt,the world has ever seen, so much for your fiscal conservatism.Under republican control the Fed has printed so much money and indebted us to such an extent, no taxing even compares to the actual cost already paid and imposed to the middle class. The ineptitude of the GOP and now its present incarnation, petty Mcain and phoney climber Pailin. Then you dare mention morality and you don’t have any, you start unprovoked pre-emptive wars,neglect the enviroment, destroy the middle class , encumber science all in the name of your so called high morals. Until you evolve out of you tribalism and cripto-racism the world will still be stuck,the world knows that if you where actually thinking , there would be no contest, Obama is the sane choice.You can ask the Seventy six American Nobel Prize winners that endorsed Barack Obama in a strongly worded letter rebuking the Bush Administration’s contempt for science.
    About Obama being a socialist, what a joke, here is a quote from Adam Smith , hardly a socialist,’regarding taxation of the rich, in “The Wealth of Nations”

    The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

    Even Warren Buffet agrees..

    But you republicans, it seems, already chose your colors, you bought it and now you own it for the rest of your petty and selfish little lives , no argument or logic will sway you, its a moral imprint,like a baby duck following the first choice, in your world , you are and always will be right.
    Obama and people like him listen and learn and make decision base on the best data available, no more, no less, they are cognitive humans

    A lot of us are sick of the same morons that have been calling the shots for eight years, have run this country to the ground,live in a bubble of their own creation and now are whining because there is a chance ( if you don’t steal it again,) that reason and real compassion are coming back to the white house.
    May the good people of this great nation come next Tuesday, celebrate an Obama, Biden victory!

    They are not perfect, but they are the best choice.

  • http://www.davesharpandfriends.com Dave

    Great Obama Ad/Music Video – A Change Gonna Come

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM5lcHG3rD8

  • http://www.gopmom.com/2008/10/clever-real-estate-strategies-for-politicians/ JT

    It’s finally finished… and you won’t feel the same once you know the truth. You can read it yourself at

    http://www.gopmom.com/2008/10/clever-real-estate-strategies-for-politicians/

    OBAMA LIED TO US. What else has he lied about? If you lie about connections with the worst kind of political corruption than how can we call ourselves America? See for yourselves…

    http://www.gopmom.com/2008/10/clever-real-estate-strategies-for-politicians/

  • http://blog.grunties.com Brad Brizendine

    Tim, thank you for writing this. It’s reassuring to note that clear, well-written essays still have a place and can still elicit substantive dialog.

    I’ve been involved in Web stuff since 1995, and in my experience, the bigger the budget, the less effective the solution, and the longer to completion. Within reason, of course. I just rolled off a $50mil project that turned into $80mil which was summarily canceled after spending $20mil.

    I see the same thing in government: Homeland Security is the new SAP.

    I thoroughly agree with your analysis and sentiments, and I will be voting for Obama. But I wonder just how much of a difference he can make when the ship he’ll hopefully be piloting is so massive.

    Answers might borrow from Web 2.0 ideas or the bottom-up structure of my.barackobama.com, as you mention in your first section. To me, Web 2.0 looks to have had a thoroughly wide, horizontal start, providing the foundation for a great deal of innovation. A few shining stars have shot to the top, garnering VC capital and major followings along the way. However, government is by definition top-down, and experience dictates that’s a non-starter for innovation and therefore real change.

    So: what specifically do you think could help Obama make real change happen inside one of the world’s largest ships? What would you advise him to do, and how can we in IT help push for change?

  • G. Marini

    Comrad O’Reilly, as I have read your writings I understand you are a staunch supporter of Obama’s Socialist agenda and therefore I’m sure you agree with Obama’s plan to “spread the wealth around.”

    So let’s just skip the middle man, the Federal Government, and O’Reilly you prove your commitment to Obama’s Socialist agenda by wiring me a good sum of money.

    Of course the larger the sum of money I receive the more I will believe your commitment to Obama’s plan to “spread the wealth around.”

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      There was an article today in The Nation, An End to Dog Whistle Politics, that is very relevant to this discussion.

  • Jesse M.

    G. Marini, Obama’s “spread the wealth” comment was just his way of explaining why richer Americans pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than the less well-off, what is known as a “progressive income tax”. This has been true of every federal income tax plan that’s been enacted since 1913! (see here for some background) Are you suggesting that everyone who doesn’t support a flat tax is a socialist? If so, McCain is a socialist too, as was every Republican President since 1913.

  • Bonez

    Beyond being Democrats Obama and Clinton share another trait. – They care more about their own short term popularity than they do long term stability and the well being of the country.

    - Clinton CAUSED the current economic crisis by way of instigating Sub Prime Lending.
    THAT WAS CLINTON, NOT BUSH!
    In 1999,under pressure from the Clinton administration, Fannie Mae relaxed credit requirements to increase loan

    availability for low-income buyers. By putting pressure on the GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprise) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Clinton administration looked to increase their sub-prime portfolios, including the

    Department of Housing and Urban Development expressing its interest in the GSE’s maintaining a 50% portion of

    their portfolios in loans to low and moderate-income borrowers.

    Remember when Clinton did all that downsizing of the military and all those Base closures?
    There was a plan laid in place before he came into office to reduce the size of the military in a controlled fashion over several years. It was set up that way to not send a shock wave through the economies affected by the military. Clinton, in his infinite stupidity and desire to ‘be popular’, decided to accelerate the plan by closing bases all over the country in 12-18 months.
    - As a result the value of my home dropped from $130,000 to $70,000 in 30 days.
    - NOT just me.
    - EVERY HOME (owner in the military or not) within 20 miles of a military base anywhere in the US was in the same boat. Millions of home owners were affected.
    - All Clinton cared about was the Democrats looking good to most of the public.
    - The the damage done was someone else’s problem.
    - Obama THINKS THE SAME.

    DON’T EVEN ~TRY~ TO TELL ME:
    That Democrats care about “main street”.
    That Democrats have the slightest CLUE about how to fix an Economy.

    Obama is focusing on younger people partly because THEY DON’T REMEMBER CLINTON.

    Iraq:
    Obama does not even comprehend why we are there.
    -
    After the Soviet-Afghan War ended in 1988 we did not go in and help Afghanistan establish as stable government.
    As a result of that:
    - Afghanistan is a mess, unstable.
    - The Taliban regime.
    - Osama bin Laden
    - 9/11
    - And yet another war

    Going into Iraq to stabilize it was based on lessons learned by not going into Afghanistan in 1988.

    THE REGION NEEDS TO BE STABLE! Not just Iraq.

    If stability in the region is not maintained then ALL of the OPEC nations are affected.
    No one is going to be getting oil if the OPEC countries are busy bombing the snot out of each other.
    -
    You can blame the fact that people don’t understand this on the news media focusing on the superficial issues instead of explaining the big picture.
    -
    We are there to keep the region stable.
    Yes, the localized area of Iraq is a mess.
    But the ENTIRE REGION is not.
    To that end we have been SUCCESSFUL up to this point.

    Pulling out of Iraq too soon may lead to yet another war and that would be the failure.

    Obama wants to pull out because it’s the POPULAR choice, not because it’s the right and most sensible thing to do.

    I expect that if Obama wins we will see pandemonium much worse that the race riots of the 1960′s in less than 2 years.

    .

  • http://www.dariosalvelli.com Dario Salvelli

    Ok, we can change! (i’am italian but i like Obama) :)

  • Jared

    OK People why are we voting for someone who states that there is 53 states in the usa. Why are we voting for someone who takes the american flag off his private jets, vechiles and makes his own sign??? Has anyone noticed that he is not black nor American he is muslum. There is no proof or records to show that he is american. The money he is getting to campaign is from over seas!!! Michelle has her own clothing line only made for over seas, have you heard that??? Have you also notice ever since she open her mouth about the united states and she states that she is never been proud or supported the us until her husband began to run. Did you notice she has not spoke in front of anyone since!!!!

    I don’t know about you but why am I getting less in taxes if Obama is president like alomst another 600 dollars less. What a great idea that he put that tax caculatar under his ad!!

    Why haven’t we seen or heard more about this because its are media who will make are decision what they want!! People I am not saying McCain is the perfect person but I tell you what atleast I know he is an American and American who keeps the flag and respects the flag!!!

  • Frank

    Funny how all the flag waving wingnuts who scream and yell about Obama “palling around with terrorists” either ignore or are ignorant about Palin’s close associations with the Alaska Independence Party.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/10/10/palin_chryson/index.html

    Google up “Joe Vogler Alaska” and be horrified. “God Damn America” indeed!

  • freeInfo

    I have been a member of the safari bookshelf for almost 7 years now, and I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription.

    Why should I have to pay for the O’Reilly subscription?

    I’m a software developer working with technology and the information in those books should not be owned by anyone. It’s my right as a technology worker to have access to all of that information.

    It’s just thoughts after all. How can anyone own thoughts? Free the information!

    Maybe Obama’s Government should regulate the publishing industry. Maybe there should be laws that force O’Reilly (obviously a rich company with a rich owner) to give the information away.

    Why should I, of little money, have to pay the O’Reilly company, of vast wealth, for this information? Withholding the information severely limits my ability to work as a technology worker.

    I wonder if O’Reilly could stay in business if they supported my ideology of FREE INFORMATION?

    Obama should enact “freedom of information” laws which force O’Reilly to set their information free.

    Oh, would that limit O’Reilly? Would that send O’Reilly out of the country where the laws allowed them to charge for information? You bet.

    And so, if you can’t even run your business upon your ideology, how could you expect the whole world to run upon it?

    If you don’t believe this post is relevent to the conversation, then you need to examine Obama’s ideas of redistribution.

    America is freedom, or it is nothing. But freedom, don’t mean free of charge!

  • Ben

    Bush and his policies did not lead to the current financial crisis in the banking industry. Mr. Bill Clinton along with DEM and REP law makers signed a bill into law that created our current climate (http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/nov1999/bank-n01.shtml. http://moneynews.newsmax.com/streettalk/deregulation/2008/10/01/136247.html. ). That source among others is there for everyone to read…information is a great way to shape our opinions.

    Additionally Mr. Clinton started NAFTA which, though not mentioned above, is another talking point/sleight of hand used during this political season.

    Lastly, I look to this site and the books that come from the company for a source tech information, not politics…I think it is out of place.

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      Ben,

      You mis-state the facts. Yes, Bill Clinton signed the repeal of Glass-Steagal, as the sitting president signs EVERY law that is passed by Congress. He does have the opportunity to veto, but this is very different from being the originator of the bill.

      From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall_Act)

      Provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in one form on a party-line vote of 54 (53 Republicans and 1 Democrat) to 44 (all Democrats) and on a 343-86 vote in a different form in the House of Representatives, before being resolved by a joint conference committee; the conference report was approved by both houses of Congress (Senate: 90-8-1, House: 362-57-15) and signed by President Bill Clinton.

      (There are further supporting links in the wikipedia article.)

      So yes, you can see that eventually Democrats caved and agreed to the bill, but that it was almost entirely a Republican creation. What’s more, its original author was Phil Gramm, who has long been John McCain’s economic mentor and is currently the national co-chair of his campaign as well as his one of his economic advisers. So any attempt to pin this repeal on Clinton is either uninformed or mendacious. In your case, I assume that it means that you’ve heard the partisan claims, but haven’t bothered to check them out.

      As to George Bush, you are correct that he was not involved. However, he and his party are the ones who espouse the kind of deregulation that was the proximate cause of this event. I’ll also point out that the previous such episode, the S&L crisis, was the result of Republican deregulation of the S&L industry during Reagan’s presidency, under the same philosophy.

  • Bruce Epstein

    Face it Tim, you were going to vote for any guy from Harvard. ;-)

    I was too lazy to read the entire post. What I read, I mostly agree with, but I just kept thinking, “Tim needs an editor.”

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    Cheers
    Bruce

  • Mr. Jas Scavok

    Abraham Lincoln best expressed my opinion of your opinion: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Anyway: voting for B.O. takes absolutely no courage–it is a gutless choice.

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      Jas, that’s a great quote. It passes the “insult” filter (which I’ve started applying this morning) because of its heritage and its quality.

      But I have to say that I’m not sure I understand your comment about voting for Obama being gutless. Have you seen the comments on this blog from customers threatening to take their business away because I expressed an opinion they don’t share?

  • http://www.pntcincy.com Scott Frost

    BHO will slaughter the economy by trying to balance the budget on the backs of the rich. This has happened other times in American history, look back and see what happened.

    You are correct on the environmental impact though. He is beholden to the far left extremist and will do everything in his power to bend to the whim of the global warming believers (who number less and less every day, at least among the scientific community).

    Thinking he would bring about transparent government when his campaign simply cuts off ties to stations and networks that ask him tough questions is laughable. Clearly you haven’t been following the news if you think he supports any kind of transparency.

    A vote for BHO is a vote for socialism. You can deny it all you want.

  • Scott_3

    I’m voting for Ralph.

  • FEAR BITER

    Tom G. I would have responded to you about how you invalidate your argument about humility and tolerance of others, after attacking me personally by calling me stupid, but it seems I can’t post that comment here.

    I would have also mentioned that tolerance and respect for your fellow man/woman, which is a basic tenet of Christianity, is exempt when it comes to abortion and gay marriage.

    I guess depending on which direction your moral compass is pointing, is where the country needs to go.

    Be scared America.

    In the meantime, I’m getting ready to sit in the back of the bus.

  • http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/668-how-to-dress-like-sarah-palin chelseabites

    I’m amazed by the incredible amount of public interest in Sarah Palin. Good or bad, she’s become somewhat of a pop icon. People are dressing like her to be and/or mock her all at the same time.

    For instance, I found this video on dressing like Palin:

    http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/668-how-to-dress-like-sarah-palin

  • meofcourse77

    I have tried and failed to understand why ANYONE would vote for him.

    The only people I have determined would benefit from an Obama dictatorship would be the homeless and the poor. Everyone else will get a tax increase. I don’t care what he says, I go by actions and his numbers don’t add up.

    Democrats either don’t understand or don’t care, but you can not build an economy up by punishing your employer. You have not considered that any business that gets a tax increase WILL pass that on. That means we, ALL OF US, will be paying more for EVERYTHING.

    Also, redistribution of wealth is communism. Who was it that said “spread the wealth around” to Joe the plumber? He also said that “next, John McCain will call me a closet communist…”. Why would he call the O a closet communist when the O is proving it in actions in the open…and is not ashamed of it?

    Why would anyone vote democratic to begin with? There is a long list of democrats with blood on their hands over the last economic debacle. I know that there are a few bloody republicans too. But in 2006, John McCain warned that something like this could happen. There was not enough support in the Senate to do anything about it, but he is on record saying that the Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac thing was headed for trouble. I was disappointed to see him vote for the $700 billion mistake.

    The O will try to grab your guns, then God only knows what is next on his power grab. You worry about Net Neutrality? Once he is in power, he will try to get everything he can get under the government umbrella, including the internet. Say goodbye to the internet as we know it. That is another reason for us to NOT have a democratically controlled Senate and House.

    Abortion is murder. You are taking a life. Once an egg has been fertilized, the woman is the vessel or a “host”. If the host kills the fetus, it is murder, or a death of a viable life. Just because it can’t live without the host, it is still a life. Ending it would be murder. Supporting the O is a vote for murder.

    Remember, just because he states it on his website, does not mean that is what he will do. I have no reason to think that he will not get the same pass by MTM that he is getting now, after he is elected.

    Vote the way you want, but don’t put ice cream on a turd and tell me it taste good.

  • http://mysticcowboy.com michael mckee

    Thank you Tim for your well thought out opinions.

    As a former McCain supporter I unfortunately have to say that I agree with you. In 2000 I would have voted for McCain without pause but I can no longer do so.

    There are a number of reasons why I’ve made my decision but Colin Powell has elaborated compelling reasons to vote for Obama so much more eloquently than I could have myself.

    Obama is untested at the presidential level but then so were most of our recent presidents. Only George H. W. Bush really had the experience that I consider appropriate. He was a competent administrator but little more. Republicans can point to Reagan and Democrats to Clinton as role models that led the country in the direction approve of. Both surrounded themselves with brilliant advisers.

    I look at the people that Obama has chosen to support his campaign and am impressed, as impressed as I am with his speachifying. Then I look at the people that McCain has chosen, who are pretty much George W. Bush idealogues. We have had enough of a presidency that makes decisions based on political theory rather than such trivialities as facts, and that pursues a course of unilateralism. WMD’s anyone?

    And McCain’s choice of Ms. Palin as a running mate honestly frightens me. The McCain whom I used to admire has been replaced by a look alike who seems to have sold his soul to an ideology that has dramatically harmed this country in the last 8 years. I cannot image a person less prepared for the position to which she aspires.

    Obama has limited experience, true, but his experience has been in tough, tough urban politics rather than in a rural state with strong separatist leanings. I lived in Alaska for a few years and can’t imagine a place less connected to mainstream American problems, policies and aspirations.

    And Obama has shown that he can work with others. The very term ‘maverick’ strongly implies and unwillingness to do so.

    And finally, I see Obama as a person who is strongly in tune with the realities of this new century rather than with the last, as is McCain.

    Yes, John McCain is a true American hero, who has served our country admirably but he is a dinosaur who has sold out to the very party he once so proudly rebelled against in an attempt to win an election. It seems that McCain’s goal is to be president. It seems that Obama’s goal is to be an agent of positive change. I’ll vote for the latter.

  • Enrico

    It seems to me that Republican voters shot themselves in the foot in 2000. They elected a likeable, but dumb, cowboy who surrounded himself with some pretty evil people. (WMD, anyone?) These same voters then shot themselves in the OTHER foot in 2004 – they elected him AGAIN. Sound judgement there, guys!
    So with both feet all shot up, no wonder Republicans are looking a little wobbly these days…

  • http://innig.net/ Paul

    It’s amazing to me how, over the last few weeks, every election-related article and blog post attracts this amazing crowd of right-wing trolls. Do these people have nothing to do all day? And for heaven’s sake, didn’t more of them take high school English? Mangling the language undermines credibility.

    I appreciated your piece, and agree wholeheartedly.

    My compliments to the dignified minority of McCain supporters who managed to disagree without name-calling and wild exaggeration.

  • Bob

    Tim,
    I agree with your endorsement and really appreciate the well thought out arguments for your position.

    It is easy for liberal thinkers to look at McCain voters and assume that they are ignorant or fanatics, or (fill in your own derision), but I’d like to offer another explanation in the form of a video from TED.com by Jonathan Haidt called: “The real difference between liberals and conservatives”.

    While I strongly disagree with the arguments put forward by McCain/Palin supporters, Mr. Haidt’s research lets me better understand what motivates them.

  • Pedro

    Whats curious about the conservative’s abortion discourse is that it is not about solving the problems of the world we live in. there is very little pragmatism and when abstinence is the solution to abortion you realy must be living in another planet. thats not human nature. It would be wonderful to live in a world were we all loved each other, where children would be treated fairly and would all have wonderful opportunities to grow and learn – but that’s just not the case . Conservatives I have got the impression live in that fantasy world. Their rules or solutions they come up with can be applied in that world but not in ours. Then there is an approach to solve a problem that is not really about solving the problem but about keeping a banner that defines them – life is sacred and there are no arguments – la la la (cover my hears). i have got the impression that they would be dispointed if sudently there were no more unwanted pregnancies because they define themselves by this fight.

  • Chuck

    Edwin Vieira asks “Why doesn’t Obama prove, with conclusive documentary evidence, that he is ‘a natural born Citizen’ of the United States who has not renounced his American citizenship?” Because of his failure, America is potentially facing the gravest constitutional crisis in her history. “The potential for chaos, both domestically and internationally, arising out of this systemic uncertainly is breathtaking.” http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin84.htm It is crucial that people not vote for Obama until he produces proof that he is eligible to be president. Dr. Vieira says “If Obama turns out to be nothing more than an usurper who has fradulently seized control of the Presidentcy, not only will the Constitution have been egregiously flouted, but also this whole country could be, likely will be, destroyed as a consequence.”

  • Anthony Tarascio

    Dear Mr. O’Reilly:

    As a professional who has found your books useful and well-written throughout my career, let me express my approval of your decision to express your personal opinion on a matter of national importance.

    It is your right, and the right of all of us as Americans to discuss and try to understand each others’ positions in such matters.

    The trend of the last few years, where almost everyone has been afraid to express an opinion on anything controversial for fear of employer or client retribution, is wrong.

    Thank you for having the courage to elucidate your opinion. I would no more allow it to affect my opinion of your professional work than I would any other personal aspect of your life.

    If we are going to move forward as a country, we must return to the principles that made our country great – and refusing to hold public discourse on anything contentious is not one of them.

  • Ryan

    I think the US needs to take a hard look at Obama. His economic & health programs will nullify the monetary gain aspect of further education.

    What is one of the easiset ways to save money under a government run health care system? Pay the providers less. So, doctors, nurses and administrative personnel will be paid much, much less. Therefore, there will begin to be a shortage of providers. On top of that if you start providing free medical care to everyone, hospitals and doctor’s offices will not be able to handle the volume of patients. Can you say selective treatment? Will your 60 year old mother be denied an operation because the 23 year old illegal alien gets the operation needed just because there is not enough resources to do both? Ask someone from Canada about getting an operation. Compare their wait time of months to the current time in the US of days – weeks.

    His tax plans are merely class warfare. Take from rich (very small percentage of people) and give to the poor (very large percentage). When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will never get a complaint from Paul. Of course he is going to get a majority of the vote from poor uneducated people. What they don’t understand is that his plan will put their boss or company out of business, then they won’t have a job. His 95% of the people will get a tax cut is a lie. Do you make over 97k per year? If you do you will get a tax increase. He is talking about removing the cap on the social security tax which is currently set at 97k. So his promise that you won’t see a tax increase unless you make more than 250k is a lie. Once he starts this you will see a gradual shift towards equalizing income. Anyone making over the median income in the US will soon be taxed 100% over the median.

    Why spend years in school to become an engineer or doctor when you can make the same amount of money at your local fast food restaurant?

    He will raise the capital gains. Investors will stop buying and selling or at least not do as much business. His tax plans will create an environment with no incentive for anyone to start a business or even stay in business. The median will start sliding lower and lower. All businesses will then start being regulated by the government so everyone has a job. Capitalism will be dead at this point and then America will fail. This is exactly what Obama wants. He will get it if he wins the white house due to having Pelosi & Reed in the house and senate.

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      Ryan,

      The tax rates proposed by Obama would take us back approximately to the level under Bill Clinton, a period of extraordinary prosperity, and the only period in recent history when we ran a Federal Budget Surplus. And in fact, they would be considerably lower than they were under Ronald Reagan. This is hardly punitive to business.

      I run a business. I am quite comfortable with the Obama tax proposals. The economic uncertainty created by the funny-money era ushered in by deregulation is a far greater threat to my business (and everyone else’s) than what turns out to be a relatively tiny increase in marginal tax rates.

      Your comments demonstrate pretty clearly that you are not actually running a business, but just repeating partisan arguments that sound compelling, but in practice turn out not to have any substance.

      This isn’t to say that I trust Obama to get everything right. Like everyone else, there is a risk when you change the way things work. But it’s pretty clear that the spend-but-don’t-tax approach of the Republicans has done far more damage to business than anything the Democrats have ever done.

      As to health care, once again, it’s not at all sure that Obama will get things right. But it’s almost certainly clear that the current system is badly broken, with health care expenditures getting more and more out of control, taking a bigger and bigger slice of both the family budget and the federal budget. I’ll take a party that recognizes the problem and wants to try something different over one that insists that we stay on the present course.

  • http://www.gerv.net/ Gerv

    Obama said (in the linked-to speech): “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.”

    If anyone in US politics really believed that, they would support allowing the father to have a say in any abortion decision. You can’t both assert that the father has responsibility from the moment of conception, and deny them a say in the life or death of their child. It’s morally incoherent.

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      Gerv, I would agree with that suggestion. I would not expect that Obama would, but it’s a reasonable position to take, and one that I would support. I do think, however, that he has outlined the right steps to take to get some movement on this issue.

      My principal point on abortion is this: if you want to stop it, the most pragmatic method is to reduce the need for it by getting behind birth control, sex education, and the elimination of the conditions that lead to unwanted children. Abstinence has been tried as a policy, and as I noted in the comments above, there is pretty clear evidence that abortion rates are far higher in the US because of it conflicted attitudes on this subject than in countries that have taken this commonsense step.

      Take this step, and you make it harder for pro-choice advocates to answer one extreme position with another.

      That being said, there are many candidates who might have been better on abortion than Obama. But it’s pretty clear to me that McCain proposes to continue the failed deadlock of the past.

  • http://kenjanuski.blogspot.com Ken Januski

    Tim,

    What a pleasure to read! You’ve covered so many of the important issues, as well as the small but important to some issues, like abortion.

    Like others I wish those that criticize you would actually criticize what you say in the same thoughtful manner that you wrote it.

    It’s hard not to just give up on reading comments on the web due to their generally rude and thoughtless quality, no matter how thoughtful the original post. I admire you and anyone else who can go through all these posts, particularly the rude and thoughtless ones, and still try to respond thoughtfully and civilly. It’s a great service to the country when we need thought not mindless name-calling.

  • britani

    I don’t think that supporting Barack Obama is a good idea for many reasons. First he wasn’t even born here in America, he was born in Kenya and he’s also friends with MANY terrorists and I don’t know about you people but that scares me and so does the fact that his name almost sounds likes Osama. Even the vise president that he wants has almost the same last name as Osama Ben Laden with Biden. He also agrees with partial birth abortions which is just cruel. He also doesn’t even think that English should be spoken as a first language in the United States but come on. This is America for crying out loud! Obama is not the right choice to make. John McCain is the right choice for America to make. Be sure to re-think you decision. It’s your choice but your vote depends on America’s survival so make the right one.

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      Britani, and Chuck -

      Before passing on the notion that Obama has not proven his American citizenship, take a look at the image of the birth certificate that he has provided.

      Snopes.com is a good source for debunking the kinds of stories you get from Robo-calls, and from anonymous chain letters you get over the internet. You shouldn’t be basing your decisions on innuendo.

      Here’s their rebuttal of the claim that Obama is not a citizen: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp

  • Marian

    Please open your hearts to the most vulnerable and unprotected of our culture:

    Please – just take a minute and read it!!!
    Goodness gracious come on.

    October 27, 2008

    Dear brothers and sisters,

    In these days you are seeking the votes of your fellow Americans for public office. At the same time, you take the position that abortion, however regrettable it may be, should remain legal.

    I write to express the convictions of tens of millions of citizens. Your position is a blatant contradiction to the very meaning of public service, the first requirement of which is to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public!

    We ask, first of all, Have you ever seen an abortion? So many who defend abortion’s legality cannot even bring themselves to look at the horrifying pictures of children torn apart by the procedure (www.unborn.info). But if we cannot look at it, why should we tolerate it?

    We likewise ask, Are you willing to publicly describe what you think should be legal? Abortionist Dr. Martin Haskell, in sworn testimony, described the “D and E” abortion procedure, still legal throughout our nation, by saying, “Typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece…” (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S). In the same case, abortionist Dr. Hylan Raymond Giles, when asked, “Can the heart of a fetus or embryo still be beating during a suction curettage abortion as the fetus or embryo comes down the cannula?” answered, “For a few seconds to a minute, yes.”

    When you say the word “abortion,” is this what you mean? When you say it should be legal, are you willing to quote those who explain what it is?

    Your position is undermining the fabric of our nation. We repeat to you again the question posed by Mother Teresa in her speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on February 3, 1994. “And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

    We have not yet heard a “pro-choice” candidate answer any of these questions.

    That’s why people cannot vote for you, and you shouldn’t be asking for their vote. If you can’t respect and protect the life of a little baby, how are you supposed to respect and protect our lives, or any other right we possess?

    When you ask someone for your vote, you are actually asking them to share in your failure to protect these children. You’re asking them to share in the deception by which you justify that failure. You’re asking them, too, to contradict the meaning of public service. They are not morally permitted to say yes to what you are asking.

    We in the pro-life movement do not need any reminders about the plight of young mothers. We serve them every day, providing real alternatives to abortion.

    Nor do we accept the accusation that we are narrowly focused on a “single issue.” We are not ashamed of the fact that we recognize a holocaust when we see one, and that we understand the foundation, heart, and core of our concern for all the other issues – life itself.

    We’re not a vote for you to court or an interest group for you to appease. Rather, our movement represents the heart and core of every movement for justice. That is why, whether you end up elected to public office or not, we will be there – in the halls of government, in the media, and on the streets of every city, town, and countryside across America – pressing the cause of justice for a group of human beings whose rights you have forgotten.

    We will neither cease to remind you, nor will we wait for you to remember. Our cause is as great as America itself, and it will prevail. May you have the wisdom to join us.

    Sincerely,

    Fr. Frank Pavone

    National Director, Priests for Life

  • Mick

    britani, Please listen to yourself. You sound ridiculous. You are uninformed and making accusations that you can not back up with facts. Please educate yourself before you talk with others you have truly made yourself look stupid. I am not going to try rebuke your claims made here because they have been beaten to death, over and over again. Please for own sake, when you travel outside of your trailer park learn to spell and present yourself with some dignity.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    For those of you who argue that the Obama and the Dems will drive the economy off the cliff, there’s a really interesting article that points out just how much economy has fared better under Dem presidents. From the article:

    “During the 20th century, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 7.3 percent per year on average under Republican presidents. Under Democrats, it rose 10.3 percent – which means that investors gained a whopping 41 percent more. And the stock market declined further during George Bush’s two terms.

    Moreover, according to research from Professor Larry Bartels of Princeton, real middle class wage growth is double when a Democrat is president, contrasted to that growth under a Republican president.

    Since World War II, Democratic presidents have increased the national debt by an average of 3.7 percent per year, and Republican presidents have increased it an average of 10.1 percent. During the same time period, the unemployment rate was, on average, 4.8 percent under Democratic presidents; it was 6.3 percent under Republicans.

    That’s the historical record.”

    The article continues:

    “What about economic policies over the past 15 years? The Clinton-Gore administration presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history. The national debt was reduced dramatically, the industrial sector boomed, wages grew and more Americans found jobs.

    How has the Bush-Cheney team fared? In the past seven years, we have experienced the weakest job creation cycle since the Great Depression, record deficits, record household debt, a record bankruptcy rate and a substantial increase in poverty. We have gone from being the nation with the biggest budget surplus in history to becoming the nation with the largest deficit in history.

    The Bush administration, supported by Republicans on Capitol Hill, pushed through a sweeping tax cut in 2001, under which the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans reaped 43 percent of the gain. In less than a year and a half, the federal government’s 10-year projected budget surplus of $1.6 trillion had vanished. In 2000, we had a surplus of $236 billion. In 2004, we had a deficit of $413 billion. This dramatic reversal is the direct consequence of Bush’s tax cuts – and McCain wants to pursue the same bankrupt policies.

    Since the conventions, McCain and his surrogates have been pounding away at the Democrats, labeling them as the “tax and spend” party. Yet recent research has shown that more than 70 percent of our national debt was created by just three Republican presidents: Reagan and the two Bushes.”

  • http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/ PacificGatePost

    Mr. O’Reilly,

    Your wish for solutions to the numerous problems you delineate likely mirrors that of most taxpayers. The fervent desire to have someone transcend the Bush years of often embarrassing gaffs, and worse, the Bush administration’s disastrous foray into Iraq, is understandable. Your post, however, is rather filled with “hope” and positive feelings anticipating potentialities, rather than confident, concrete, foundation blocks on which future actions, and legislation, are likely to stand.

    It is even understandable that an argument can be made that a cycling of parties in charge of the White House is prudent.

    In the running of any business, hiring competence is not the result of accidental hopes and prayers. When hiring, particularly for critical positions, you do in-depth analysis of “background” and “track records.” Such tell you what an individual is likely to do when actually on the job. This should be obvious. Yet here we are, staring blankly, or in adulation, at someone whom polls tell us will likely be the next President. We are all in the dark about who this person really is, but in reaction to the past eight years, it may be hard to admit. He has no track record other than a very disquieting lack of “position” on anything of substance. Being educated is not a sign of leadership, nor evidence of capability.

    Obviously it would feel good to have a leader that “inspires.” While inspiration is a nice “want” on a wish list, it isn’t going to solve any serious problems. The most important challenge facing American taxpayers is an economy sliding into a recession, and possibly worse. The real culprits aren’t deregulation or greed of some who should be dragged off to jail. The culprits are in Congress, and the roots of the current disaster lie at the door of the Clinton White House and his advisors.

    Although you state that we don’t need a pendulum-swing from one ideology to another, that is really what we now face. Solutions will also not be found in technology, as you suggest. Strong leadership, from someone who firmly knows where he stands, and who he is, might have a chance at making a difference. Not a lawyer whose only evidence of accomplishments are two self-absorbed autobiographies. Such self-centeredness in itself is troublesome. It would certainly not lead to, as you suggest, “stop this mad slide towards an authoritarian society.” Your argument really rests and culminates on your final point that Obama has shown competence in the running of his campaign. That in itself should lead you to second guess your position. Granted, McCain and his crew ran a disastrous campaign, yet his track record suggests someone who knows where he stands, and that was not always with his party.

    Numerous forces are now at work, pressuring American voters into a decision during a time of extreme stress. This is not a time for knee-jerk or emotional reactions. Cool heads should prevail.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/10/vote-critical-decision-in-dangerous.html

    • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

      PacificGatePost -

      It is precisely on the subject of competence that I think we can more safely choose Barack Obama over John McCain. We’re just going to have to agree to disagree about whether the conduct of his campaign are evidence of that competence. I’d say that over the last 21 months of his campaign, Obama has demonstrated an extraordinarily organizational and management ability. He has attracted the support of an extraordinary group of talented individuals, and melded them into a very effective organization. (See my concluding trope, comparing his campaign to a startup ready for the IPO.)

      By contrast, John McCain has demonstrated what can at best be described as erratic leadership. His team members are now fighting among themselves; he’s been unable to settle on a consistent message or vision (other than continuing both the approach of the Bush years with regards to tax policy, deregulation, and the Iraq War); he’s stooped to tactics that even conservatives have found repugnant. You yourself refer to his campaign as “disastrous”, and even a conservative stalwart like George Will recently said, “Call him John the Reckless.

      You also repeat the ill-informed notion that Clinton is responsible for the current financial disaster, because he signed the bill that was put forward not just by “the Republicans” in the abstract, but by John McCain’s economic advisor and campaign co-chair. I’ve addressed this point above.

      And “inspiration” is exactly what we need today. Look at moments of great crisis and the leaders who got their nations out of them. Abraham Lincoln. FDR. Churchill in the UK. These were in fact inspirational leaders whose words are still quoted because of their power to stir men’s souls to greatness.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Marian, thanks for sharing Fr. Frank Pavone’s letter.

    I do not support abortion, and most certainly not the late term abortion that he so vividly describes. And I agree that it would be really worthwhile for anyone contemplating an abortion to look at the pictures at the unborn.info site that he points to. It’s a gut-wrenching set of images.

    However, I do believe that it will be a lot easier to reach consensus on ending abortion as a common practice if we get behind the goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. You obviously haven’t read (or don’t respond to) the arguments that I presented above, about the far lower abortion rates in countries that have more progressive policies on sex education, contraception, as well as more of a social safety net, than we have here in the US.

    The approaches we’re taking right now aren’t working.

    Imagine how much easier it would be to change the law regarding abortion if it had become so much less common that it was no longer an issue that so many American women cared about.

    I do agree that we need a deep dialogue about the morality of abortion. Like you, I believe that life begins at conception, and that parents shouldn’t regard abortion as simply another form of birth control. But I also know that before abortion was legal, it was still practiced, and at that point, we were killing women as well as their unborn children.

    Let’s try a new approach to solving this problem.

  • Not_so_Fast

    It’s amazing that whatever side you’re on you can always find things to say to convince others why you’re right. You should research who got us into the mortgage mess.

    It’s amazing (and sad) how, knowing your position at the company, you can so easily alienate half your customers.

  • Josh Street

    Tim – thanks for posting your thoughts and reasons for supporting Obama. Well reasoned and explained as always.

    I’d also like to thank those who’ve take then the time to articulate their thoughts and move past the sound bites.

    Beyond all of this, I would like to share a bit of my own journey. I’ve been a life long Republican mostly because I agree with the Reagan-era view of social issues and the modern interpretation of welfare issues (ironically, these seem best expressed during the Clinton presidency, which I was not a huge fan of). However, over the past few years, the shift in the party to one based on a slavish devotion to a backwards notions and comments from party members (like those from britani – not claiming to know her affiliation, but I’ve often heard similar from various friends and family who remain with the party) has led me to leave the party completely.

    To clearly identify, I am a small entrepreneur who maintains a day job working for one of the large banks and focuses on technology issues and strategy. I have a very clear understanding of the financial situation we find ourselves in and feel very confident that the McCain plan would provides some uplift in the economy – for one to two quarters. It simply isn’t viable from a long term perspective. Obama’s plan does threaten to increase my taxes (though I’m not sure on this – it can be difficult to judge when balancing properties and current familial deductions), but it does inject sustainable levels of capital into the economy, which is what is needed (this is based on the tax plan and his various programs – neither one helps by itself, but together they have a complementary effect).

    Unlike others here, I do believe that technology is a key enabler for the US to continue as a just, prosperous society. This requires a strong commitment to and investment in education, not dogma, as well as a clear understanding of technology. I would strongly encourage people to visit the SEA’s website and view the candidates responses to our interviews (http://sharp.sefora.org/people/presidential-candidates/). I think both are well reasoned, but the responses from Obama’s team just seem more thought out and evidence a solid understanding of the science and technology issues that are going to be critical over the next decade.

    In terms of foreign policy, people are right to characterize McCain as a hawk, which is the last thing we need at the moment. Historically speaking, no major civilization has survived a rate of warfare like we are currently experiencing. It is necessary that we cool things off and take a period to reflect rather than continue to respond with knee-jerk strikes and ill-planned military actions.

    Obama makes strong arguments without feeling the need to delve into emotionalism – he attempts to reason through issues. Call it egalitarian if you will, but contrary to rhetoric, this country was founded by thinkers trying to envision a more perfect union – not street preachers or populist panderers. During the eighties, the focus on reasoning through problems rather than feeling through them led me to the Republican party with its strong thinkers and brilliant orators (regardless of your opinion of people like Bennet, they have done more positive discourse than their opponents give credit), but this is not the same party and its clearly evident when I look at the candidates. I will vote for a few Republican candidates this year, those who uphold the old tradition, but I fear that there are fewer this year than during the last election and I suspect there will be fewer still 2 years from now.

    I did want to comment on one other point someone made – a comment to the effect that claims that McCain has changed are baseless. I was a strong McCain supporter during the 2004 election. I live in NC, near the SC border and witnessed the slander, filth and vile perpetrated by the Bush campaign against McCain. McCain ran a good campaign that year – I was proud to be a supporter. This is not the same man. That John McCain would never have allowed the filth being uttered at his campaign rallies (the infamous comments from Rep. Hayes were made five minutes from my home – I don’t even want to discuss the racist, xenophobic crap that is also being discussed) and never would have allowed some of the ads currently being aired. I still believe that John is a good man – I just wish he would ditch his advisers and be that man again. It would have cost him his party, but it might have won him the presidency.

  • http://www.futurethought.tv Jay

    Illogical Arguments from people:
    1. Obama is a terrorist

    Bill Ayers: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/he_lied_about_bill_ayers.html
    Rashid Khalidi: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/29/is-columbia-professor-khalidi-a-political-ally-of-barack-obama/

    2. Obama is a muslim – too many fact checks have denounced this – read them

    3. Obama is born in Kenya – too many fact checks have denounced this – read them

    4. Obama is the anti-Christ – I can’t even go here

    5. Obama is socialist/marxist/communist – A socialist is someone who believes the government should nationalise businesses and run them – there has been nobody in the Obama camp who believes in this. If anything George Bush partially nationalised the banks by injecting capital into them and buying equity. I firmly believe they should hold convertible warrants so the banks have some accountability because of the fear of warrants being converted – I’m against Government buying equity in banks – as are many in this country!

    A communist is someone who doesn’t believe in elections but a totalitarian state! Common ownership of all assets – nobody is prescribing this. Having said that under Eminent Domain here is what the non-interventionist Bush did – http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/2004/articles3/bush_and_eminent_domain.htm
    Scary? Neither party is really good when it comes to Eminent Domain!

    6. Obama believes in welfare – None of his tax plans claim to give back money to people that do not work. They only put the burden of paying higher taxes on more wealthy individuals. Businesses have to make profits to pay taxes – please remember that – you are taxed on earnings not cost. And the way it looks right now for families with two kids you will pay about $ 7,500 more on an income of US$ 500K vis-vis McCain. If you make $ 2.8 M you will pay ~$ 98,000 more vis-vis McCain. **http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/

    Anti-Democracy Arguments from people:
    1. Let’s stop buying O’Reilly books because Tim supports Obama

    Logical Arguments from people:
    1. Personally disagree with abortion and how do we find common ground “or” my concience won’t let me support someone with this view point – this is an acceptable argument – just so you know Obama has clearly said his philosophy would be to work towards reducing the number of abortions
    2. Obama’s “trickle up” philosophy will not work in a recession – possible but the “trickle down” is not working – period – this is clearly if you look at wage data versus inflation

    My thoughts:
    66% of economists in the US including 2008 Nobel winner Paul Krugman support Obama
    http://econ4obama.blogspot.com/
    76 Nobel winning scientists support Obama including the 3 Americans that won this year – http://chronicle.com/blogs/election/2569/nobel-scientists-throw-support-to-obama

    Not to mention the 1000′s of business owners who support Obama. Why are all these people supporting Obama?

  • Smarmy

    Tim, I was both disappointed and mildly shocked at your reaction to my post. I never mentioned the word “socialism,” only “redistribution,” which Obama himself has called it. I am neither a polemicist nor a deconstructive poster. Your maligning my comment based on your simplified conceptions of “socialism” is circular reasoning. Attacking my username is ad hominem at best. Surprisingly weak. You are the one who repeated the word “socialism” and then accused me of doing so. Talk about research. Research my one paragraph comment and talk about the issue, I implore you.

    We’re talking factually about whether Obama’s form of redistribution, as opposed to the generally more accepted form (do I really have to explain this to you? Redistribution in the form of public policy, like schools and roads, is very different from redistribution in the form of money to folks who work and don’t make very much and to folks who don’t work at all). Angling it as redistribution that “gives them to wall street banks so they can improve their balance sheets enough to make acquisition” is laughably one-sided and thoroughly unresearched. The trickle down approach, which I’m happy to explain to you on your own blog, is that preserving the money for investors and businesses creates more jobs through acquisition, and drives prices down through credit for businesses and future investment. This is, unfortunately, a completely different issue than the regulation/deregulation issue surrounding the current economic crisis and bailout.

    Like many mature, intelligent Americans, the question isn’t whether he’s more likable or a better speaker. Rather, will his policies work. Your weak, extreme, and one-sided response to my comment is again, fluff, and you would do well to research the facts of at least his tax policy before blindly supporting a candidate who may propose economic measures that don’t benefit the country in the long run.

    Or did you just want to talk about “socialism” and sophism again?

  • Jay Zaveri

    Smarmy,

    Hasn’t the tax code been progressive under Nixon/Reagan/Bush?

    There is no factual evidence to claim that Obama is going to cut welfare checks. Please see his tax code – “working Americans” – http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_welfare.html

  • Smarmy

    I hasten to add that your example of Bush’s economic stimulus checks is, again, an example of poor research on your part. If you would deign to do a little fact checking yourself, you’d discover that these checks were given to those who had to file for income tax.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080124-4.html

    This is very different from Obama’s plan, which gives checks to many Americans, including those who do not file income tax or who pay payroll tax (which is coming back to them anyway).

    Tim, you’re really going to have to do better than this, and I mean it sincerely. I’ll ignore the irony that my comments have thus far been better researched than your own.

  • Smarmy

    Jay, I’ve read the article. Now let me ask you. Do you personally think that even those folks who pay ONLY payroll taxes can be put in the same bracket as folks who pay income taxes? Don’t payroll taxes come back to you in the form of Social Security and other benefits? How does it make sense that the top 5% offsets their own Social Security (which is almost like a savings account in this case) AND pays them extra? Does that make sense to you?

  • Jay Zaveri

    I think it makes sense in order to preserve/increase the size of the Middle Class so that there are more consumers today. Yes, this is theoretical economics but considering the “trickle down” has not worked and the Middle Class is shrinking the “trickle up” is worth a look – many economists agree. There was an interesting article in Time last year for the need of a Creative Capitalism in order to preserve the ideology – Bill Gates made some great points. If the Middle Class shrinks we will lose our consumers and growth!

    Because of trust there was greater “social capital” in the past – that “social capital” has shrunk and rich people are giving less back to the community.

    More so, initially liquidity was created by freeing up savings, then debt was leveraged to maximum, now there is no room to maneuvre! Choice is to borrow from foreign countries and be beholden to them or distribute down so growth can continue at the top.

    None of these are facts – only theory. Trust me, noone is happy paying taxes – me included!

    My theory goes beyond – I think the government should split the whole system based on pet peeves – national security, education, health care etc. Then you donate to your pet peeve area a minimum tax that is progressive. If Government reaches a maximum threshhold they can move into welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare etc. This also allows for activism – like after 9/11 more people give to National Security. Obama could acutally achieve this considering how he has raised money in this campaign. This syetem makes you feel like you are in control of where your money goes and makes you feel better. Again, this only theory – and I have’t thought of all the problems.

  • Smarmy

    Kudos Jay, to you well thought out and decently expressed response.

    My only comment here is this idea that “trickle down” hasn’t worked. We continue to enjoy unprecedented prosperity on many fronts, and yet we insist our own economic process has been a failure. Granted, this current economic crisis is indicative of problems, but I’m not sure that they touch on capitalism.

    Regardless, thank you for replying smartly and civilly to my comment.

  • Jay Zaveri

    One more thing Smarmy:

    Please remember that people with lower incomes pay a higher % of their incomes in payroll taxes.

    Also, when wages shrink, inflation grows and more than 10% less people qualify as middle class it is clear “trickle-down” is a problem as of now. I can’t say “NEVER/EVER” but it is worth looking at other options in light of the significant problems we face today.

    Thank you for your thoughts – remember, if you make 500K you will only pay 7,500$ more vis-avis McCain – is that asking too much to provide relief to people that can barely make ends meet? Also, selfishly, i want more people in the Middle Class. This is why Buffet and many wealthy people who would pay far more than us support Obama.

    Also, I do not want to look at this narrowly, Obama has proven to be a deep thinker and has many other parts of his plan that are more well thought out than McCain. Trust me I’ve seen both sides – I switched from supporting McCain to Obama over six months ago!

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Smarmy,

    Apologies if I read into your “redistribution” comment the accusations of socialism that the McCain campaign has worked so hard to associate Obama’s comment with.

    Jay Zaveri has responded ably to the rest of your message. Apologies again.

  • http://Twitter.com/Tinu Tinu

    Tim, I’ve never responded to a single one of your posts the entire time I’ve read your site. Today you’ve impressed me with the way you made your views known, the way you’ve handled the ensuing discussion, and the update that calls for respectful disagreement.

    I had to say something to you because sometimes the Net feels like a big mound of dirt where bullies are fighting other bullies and people who want to be assertive but not dangerous get trampled in the fight. And reading your words today, and watching your conduct, reminds me of what I want to aspire to.

  • Paul Kamp

    Tim,

    Nice thoughtful post and follow up.

    Personally I am conflicted about the vote. As a tech person I am a big supporter of Net Neutrality. Further, I think government should extend the concept to carrier networks. Asking permission of Verizon to run an application on their network is just plain wrong. The airwaves belong to the people and we license them to companies like Verizon for our benefit. Requiring open access as part of the 700Mhz spectrum auction should be fundamental. The FCC half solution does not really cut it for me.

    About being a catholic and how to vote, I agree with one of the other posters about the broader context of the right to life agenda. This was laid out by Cardinal Bernardin as a seamless garment here:
    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bernardingannon.html

    and asks for a commitment to life from womb to tomb. Generally speaking I think the candidates are split and you can choose which part of the spectrum is most important to you.

    Specifically about abortion, Senator Obama is wrong on the facts and the law about a partial birth abortion bill over-ruling Roe vs. Wade. Roe laid out a ruling that spoke to the trimesters of pregnancy. The third trimester is where the state could regulate. That is what the partial birth and late term abortion legislation is all about.

    Further, over-ruling Roe would not make abortion illegal. Most likely it would return the question to the states. This was the original reason the court took up the case, women had different “rights” in different states. However, as Mary Ann Glenden argues in her book Rights Talk it is really about the clash of rights. The rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn child/fetus.

    Glendon’s over-riding point is that the debate and discussion was taken away from the public that lives primarily in the middle and enshrined by the court in a ruling that is much more legislative then an interpretation of the constitution.

    The original ruling relies a lot on the science of the day. However, science evolves but we are stuck with the decision and all its implications. It is the evolution of science that struck Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she wrote that Roe was on a collision course with itself. Using the rationale of the original decision where women have a different set or rights depending upon state so too it is true for the unborn child/fetus. Some of them would have more rights at an earlier time than a fetus in another state because of better medical procedures available.

    Senator Obama is a very inspirational speaker and generally thoughtful. However, his legislative history shows that he is not in the middle on abortion where most of America resides. Rhetoric aside he’s at one polar end of the spectrum. Being at one end of the spectrum does not get you to a place where there are upon which you can agree very easily. No amount of rhetoric can change that.

    For many catholics it will be a very hard choice and will come down to a lesser of two evils.

  • Jesse M.

    Smarmy wrote:
    Jay, I’ve read the article. Now let me ask you. Do you personally think that even those folks who pay ONLY payroll taxes can be put in the same bracket as folks who pay income taxes? Don’t payroll taxes come back to you in the form of Social Security and other benefits? How does it make sense that the top 5% offsets their own Social Security (which is almost like a savings account in this case) AND pays them extra? Does that make sense to you?

    Regardless of what you think of this policy, you are laboring under a misconception if you think it’s a new innovation of Obama’s. As I said in a comment earlier in this thread, the idea of giving a tax credit to those who don’t pay income taxes (in order to compensate for payroll taxes and gas taxes and such) is known as the “earned income tax credit” (EITC) and it’s been around since 1975, Obama is just planning to increase it somewhat from what it’s been under Bush. I recommend reading this article which gives some history and has a lot of supporting links. The article notes that Ronald Reagan once called the earned income tax credit (EITC) “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” They also quote a summary from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

    The Earned Income Tax Credit has been found to produce substantial increases in employment and reductions in welfare receipt among single parents, as well as large decreases in poverty. Research indicates that families use the EITC to pay for necessities, repair homes and vehicles that are needed to commute to work, and in some cases, to help boost their employability and earning power by obtaining additional education or training.

    The EITC has enjoyed substantial bipartisan support. President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, and President Clinton all praised it and proposed expansions in it, and economists across the political spectrum – including conservative economists Gary Becker (a Nobel laureate) and Robert Barro, among others – have lauded it.

  • John

    I’ve noticed that much of the negative comments on this site come from the “Republican” side. But when I visit a site that supports McCain, I see that most of the negative, angry comments come from the “Democratic” side. So that dog don’t hunt, to those of you making it.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Tinu -

    Thanks a lot!

  • craig mckinney

    what i want to know sen. obama (by the way i’m a life time dem.&like what you stand for). you talk the talk, but can we really be sure you can walk the walk? i have never done so much research before an election in my life. i would like to think my research has been to my benefit ,so reassure me that your the real deal
    signed craig the carpenter

  • http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/ PacificGatePost

    Mr. O’Reilly,

    Undoubtedly all comments on this post come from individuals differing views on what kind of leadership America will require over the coming four years, and personal experience impacts percepts overwhelmingly. The difficult challenge is to separate fact from hype and fiction as it relates to the current challengers fighting for the keys to the White House.

    We all enjoy being inspired by talented orators, however, if that talent was a precondition to leading the nation, we would look to someone like Tony Robins to fill the Presidency. Getting the nation out of its mess, which will likely get much worse over the coming year or two, America will need someone with the temerity and strength to pull both sides of Congress together to a common cause.

    While Hillary Clinton’s experience might have provided some comfort that she would be capable of such magic, of the two current candidates, McCain is the only one who can claim such capability with confidence. He has not been a party hack, and has a long, deserved reputation as a maverick, not by accident. Since neither candidate has delineated any real “vision” for America, one must depend on what is “known.” McCain is known.

    If you don’t want to lay any blame on Clinton for the current financial mess, perhaps it can be agreed that all of Congress is responsible. It is also impossible to refute the payments that were principally made to Democratic members, by Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Such payments were made by the executives of those institutions, for very selfish reasons. Keeping diligence at bay, served their bonuses well. It is rather peculiar that the payments have received so little coverage, given the disastrous impact that Congress looking the other way has had on America.

    Jay Zaveri,

    The Bill Gates Creative Capitalism, while commendable, is intended for ignored corners of the world where markets have not yet been tapped, and for products that have not yet found the path to commercialization:

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/08/bill-gates-and-creative-capitaliism.html

    He is not practicing such capitalistic “altruism” on this continent, that anyone is aware of.

    … and “trickle-up” was attempted by Bush with his recent cash-back to taxpayers. It was a strange and misguided experiment probably concocted out of fear.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    PacificGatePost -

    We do have evidence from both candidates of how they would lead. They’ve been doing it over the course of this campaign.

    Obama has demonstrated consistency and competence. McCain has demonstrated that he will abandon his principles, pander to the right, and surround himself with the kind of politics that he decried in his maverick days.

    Sorry, but I can’t buy that argument. If John McCain had stuck to his guns, and acted as he used to, I’d be really open to him as a candidate. Colin Powell said it really well. Go watch the video I linked to at the start of this post.

    This is not the John McCain we once knew. And he’s an old man, and his backup team is someone with truly radical views, a shocking ignorance of most of the issues that the president will have to face, and a willingness to sling dirt with the best of them. She’s charismatic, but without any of the substance that Obama displays behind his charisma.

  • http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/ PacificGatePost

    … and Mr. O’Reilly,

    Thanks for the level headed dialogue. More such interaction should find its way to the blog world. Perhaps all points along the political spectrum can learn something through the process instead of strictly listening to emotional diatribes.

    Perhaps you can convince the Huff Post to quit straying off the path of sane discussion. :-)

  • http://cera.us Chris Cera

    Tim, Bravo. Your transparency is appreciated.

    Prediction: Tim O’Reilly leaves O’Reilly Media to run for president in 2016?

  • Jay Zaveri

    Pacific Gate Post,

    See this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7207808.stm – Gates espoused a broader philosphy at Davos. After all this is a problem that will occur in a “free market” world with fewer barriers!

    I only referenced Creative Capitalism as there is a need for it to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, the “haves and the have-nots” – no reason why a creative thought process like that cannot be used to solve the problems faced by America.

    You should see some of the micro-credit progams in developing countries like India in essence giving the capability and ability to under-privileged people to start businesses if they have the interest, passion and belief.

    I am not in the least comparing America to these places – all I’m saying is a lot can be learnt on how to take capital further and create greater value for investors, consumers and employees if we keep our minds open!

    C.K. Prahlad’s: “The Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid”

    Again, I am only offering the thought that there are alternatives that can help especially when the barriers will break down and we need to compete in a global market place – not specifically pointing to these as “solutions” for America!

    Regarding other comments: “Known” does not mean “proven” – besides, what in McCain is known if we can’t recognise him from 8 years ago – he essentially comes with the greater risks than Obama in that department.

  • http://pudge.net/ pudge

    Jonathan G:

    I distorted nothing, and resent that you falsely implied that I did, while not providing an example of me doing so.

    I never said anything about net taxes for all companies. Many individual companies DO pay much higher taxes than that 2.2%, as you obviously concede when you say many companies pay no taxes at all.

    And you even implicitly admit that the high tax rate doesn’t work, so why keep it? What’s needed is a lower rate with fewer ways around paying it.

    And if the estimate of $1.3 trillion over 10 years is accurate, then obviously the tax is really hitting some companies disproportionately hard, since, again, many companies pay much less than the actual corporate rate.

    This is all supporting the contention that many companies care taxed way too highly.

    And I do not believe for one moment that you are a fiscal conservative. A fiscal conservative would oppose Obama’s huge proposed spending increases.

  • Alan Grey

    Tim, I was directed to your article by someone who praised it highly.

    Unfortunately, I cannot do the same. From what I can tell, your article for the most part essentially relies on accepting every talking point of Obama’s campaign and ignoring or discounting the talking points of McCain’s.

    Personally, I put little stock in talk of Obama being born overseas nor being a Muslim (A Caveat: According to the Islamic religion he may be considered a Muslim [as they do not accept someone can convert, and all that is required to be a Muslim is the following of some rituals], but according to his own professions he is not and that is why I don’t agree that he is a Muslim)

    That you mention the character and judgement of Obama in such a positive light is the most concerning to me. Obama has shown an incredible lack of judgement and lack of character.

    From the start, he went back on his word about using public campaign financing.

    He has mislead about his associations with .

    He even said that he ‘…can no more disown him [Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother” and then disowns Wright afterwards. And this was after outing his grandmother as a racist.

    I am instantly suspicious that Obama said he never had heard the fiery rhetoric of Wright before. To be even more clear, you cannot sit in a church and have a close spiritual mentor for 20 years and not fit into the culture of that church and not have at least some agreement with that senior pastors views. It just doesn’t happen.

    I would liken your argument regarding Obama’s leadership ability as being evidenced by how he has run his campaign to saying that a person is qualified to be CEO of your company simply because he interviews well.

    If Obama becomes president and sees out the term, it will be the longest he has been in any job. His record as a senator is merely someone who shows up to work and is present. Hardly a resume of a man who is meant to lead.

    Yes Obama is smooth, and yes he has good speechwriters, but being president of the U.S.A requires so much more. Obama may have the goods, but with his record, there is no real way to tell.

  • http://www.newsknife.com Neil Pharazyn

    Our site http://www.newsknife.com rates news sites based on their appearances at Google News.

    At present Newsknife has an Election Special developed from our monitoring of Google News since August 1.

    It’s a valuable and even entertaining election resource. Included are…

    * 89 top election headlines in date order
    * Top election blog sites
    * Top election news sites
    * A count of candidate name appearances at Google News

  • http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/ PacificGatePost

    Mr. O’Reilly,

    Using Colin Powell as a source of credible pronouncement might have had some weight eight years ago, however, his conversion of late from Republican to Democrat appears disingenuous. Though we will never really know what happened behind closed doors between Powell and the rest of the Bush/Cheney folks in the Oval office just prior to his exit, it is hard to deny his complete loss of credibility once he “sold” a war he appeared not believe in.

    He once had the capital in public support that might have swept him into the White House. Today’s Colin Powell is a shadow of that man. His comments supporting Obama didn’t ring true when he said them IMHO. Yes, McCain’s campaign launched some idiotic taunts, and he has every right to hold them against McCain, however, Powell’s vague positive comments on Obama’s “economic” policy were delivered with about as much conviction as his small white powder vial speech.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/06/colin-powells-difficult-choice.html

  • http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/ PacificGatePost

    Mr. O’Reilly,

    Using Colin Powell as a source of credible pronouncement might have had some weight eight years ago, however, his conversion of late from Republican to Democrat appears disingenuous. Though we will never really know what happened behind closed doors between Powell and the rest of the Bush/Cheney folks in the Oval office just prior to his exit, it is hard to deny his complete loss of credibility once he “sold” a war he appeared not believe in.

    He once had the capital in public support that might have swept him into the White House. Today’s Colin Powell is a shadow of that man. His comments supporting Obama didn’t ring true when he said them IMHO. Yes, McCain’s campaign launched some idiotic taunts, and he has every right to hold them against McCain, however, Powell’s vague positive comments on Obama’s “economic” policy were delivered with about as much conviction as his small white powder vial speech.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/06/colin-powells-difficult-choice.html

  • Enrico

    An interesting quote from The Economist, who endorse Barack Obama on their website today :

    “But the exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.”

    “http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12516666&source=features_box2″

    This echoes some of your comments, Tim. Judged solely on his performance during the campaign, Obama has persistently outperformed McCain. Even Republicans must admit that. (Ok, maybe not the rabid ones, who seem to be foaming at the mouth right now…)

  • http://www.nagleresearch.com John Nagle

    To those who say Obama is not a socialist:

    Increasing taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 (or is that $150,000…it keeps changing)…to pay for a tax cut for those who earn less than that…that’s redistribution of wealth.

    I came up with an analogy on taxation and I think it’s a good one. Consider the following:

    Think of the U.S. government as a freight train, the economic health of the U.S. is the train’s speed, and think of taxation as the brakes. The companies that employ the citizens and provide incomes to their families supply the energy that makes the train move.

    When the train brakes, we are converting the train’s energy into something we’ll call “prosperity”, i.e. good government infrastructure; schools, utilities, police, firemen, military, etc. We *have* to brake occasionally, or the train will simply fly off the track; no prosperity.

    But the trade-off for all this prosperity is that the train slows down a little bit each time the brakes are applied.

    So along come the tax-and-spend-addicted passengers on the train and believe me, they like what they see when we hit the brakes. So they fire the engineer and take control of the train, and pull like hell on the brake handle. The resulting “prosperity” is enormous; a million social programs, handouts for people who do not meaningfully contribute to society, extreme excess in every budget. Sparks are flying, and all that prosperity becomes very addictive.

    But over time they start to notice that it becomes harder and harder to get energy out of the train. So to get the same amount of “prosperity”, they hit the brakes harder and harder until finally…

    The train stops.

    The fundamental attribution for the failure comes from 2 very different belief systems as to where prosperity comes from. The left generally believes the prosperity came from the train itself; pull a lever, get prosperity. The right generally understands the prosperity actually came from the companies providing the power to the train.

    (You could take the analogy a step further and say that companies are the engines and the people who work there are the fuel, etc. But it’s a moot point, as both are required to generate energy.)

    The classy envy crowd, of which Obama is a card-carrying member, would have you believe that we should punish the “greedy” companies that earn “too much”, and make them “give back” to the have-nots in our society. This short-sighted revenge-driven ideology only accomplishes one thing; it slows the train down more and more.

    And believe me, if Obama is elected and given a willing democrat-controlled congress, there will be no one to stop them from yanking the hell out that brake.

    Ok, the train analogy is done…you may resume your exchange of talking points.

    -John

  • JP

    I am from Czech Republic, Europe- i must write you Americans- Your media is now extreme communist , it is the same in earlier time in my country, when my country was called Czechoslovakia SOCIALIST republic. Your New York Times is the same as in earlier time was PRAVDA (in english TRUE) in Moscow. I dont trust ANY word in this media, and all of them supporting OBAMA.

  • http://www.millionface.com Haroon

    Instead of writing such a big post, you could have written a few crisp lines about why you like him.
    It simply boils down how you view what the candidate has to say.
    I do not support one candidate over the other, but what I know is that Obama does not really have any hands-on political experience. Nice speeches do not work when you are really in the field.
    But keeping another thing into consideration that it’s not the president who runs US but intelligence agencies, then it gives me a relief that whoever is the president, it doesn’t matter at all.

    thanks
    MillionFace.com

  • http://www.zyvax.com Todd Charske

    Wait until the Democrats try to control Radio, Control tv , and TAX us more than 90 % of the countries in the world. Sounds almost dictotaoral to me. The people that are hoping for change will be wishing change never happened. Remember, even if you are a lifeless loser that rely’s on the government for your income/foodstamps/snacks (via t.v. ad) that the money has to come from someone that worked harder than you and when the Democrats tax the jobs out of America you’re financial support will go away! America could be broke. Rome fell and when the vote swings toward the unproductive entitled losers of the country, then the country will fall. Learn from the past do not be consumed but the elogance of a Left winged radical like Obama. . . with ties to terrorism and socialism. Obama is as bad for America as the Democratic congress has been the past 4 years. Remember, the democrats have put us in a mess with groups like Acorn and entitlement programs and the fight they have pushed against reform in the mortgage market that costs Billions to us the Tax payers. John McCain is the one that tried to stop the mortgage meltdown and people like ACORN would not allow it. FYI Acorn is a group Obama worked for and was a “community organizer for. So Obama best qualification for president is with a organization that is central to our economic collapse! SCARY!!!!
    - Todd Charske

  • Matteo

    I just hope that what the Democrats say is the truth, that Barack is a new J.F.K. and would bring a Golden Age to the U.S. and Peace to the World.

    I actually fear that what the Republicans say is the truth.

    I don’t thrust Obama, he’s too far from the standard American way of thinking and if, as asserted by Winston Churchill, is the Anglo-Saxon Civilization the rightful heir to the Roman one, Obama could be rightful considered a barbarian.

    It’s not so wondreous that he supports the terrorists, the he considers the real evil the America patriots. I wouldn’t wonder either if he would proclaim a Joint and Peace day, buying drugs from Southern American commies narcos or Afghani Al-Qaeda drug dealears to enslave the minds of the American People (and of the Western Civilization as well).

    May the Allmighty Bless America and hinder the triumph of Obama.

    He just reminds me the evil Queen from the Titus Andronicus.

    Yours,

    Matteo from Milan – Lombardy (Northern Italy)

  • Ben

    Mr. O’reilly,

    I did not miss-state the facts. What I said was factually accurate. “Bush and his policies did not lead to the current financial crisis in the banking industry. Mr. Bill Clinton along with DEM and REP law makers signed a bill into law that created our current climate.”

    This is what you confirmed. Whether you want to call it caving or not is your opinion which is not also based in fact. The facts are exactly as I stated it.

    Additionally the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (passed by Carter) and Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 (Regan as you pointed out) was sponsored by Fernand St. Germain (DEM) Jake Garn (REP) and co-sponsored by Steny Hoyer (DEM) and Charles Schumer (DEM). These three acts combined (according to the WikiPedia article you referenced), majority of which were sponsored by DEMs and 2 signed into law by DEM Presidents, seemingly set the stage for what we see today.

    Whether you want to assume Clinton and Cater caved in or not is up to you BUT the evidence seems to point to our 2 last DEM presidents having a majority roll in our current financial climate.

    It is easy to point fingers at the man (Bush) and or party the man represents (REP) when things hit the fan. It makes it very easy to run a campaign against a candidate from that same party who inherited a doomed to fail economy (DOT COM BURST, 9/11) by blaming him. Unfortunately that tactic is banking on the ignorance of the American public that would be happier to vote on emotions than facts.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

    Re Govt Transparency & responsiveness, former FCC chairman and Obama advisor Reed Hundt discusses plans to use wikis to gather citizen input on proposed regulations, in a debate for which McCain’s representative failed to show up:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10079575-38.html

  • marine2171

    Technology – He said that he wants to cut funding from: a proven USA based Missile defense program, our military (no new armor, no more protection for our troops, cancel the UAV program), and more.

    On the financial side, According to the people at the Wall street journal (I think thats where it was), the tax plan Obama wants will not work with out bankrupting this country further. The housing issue was caused during Clinton’s term when the democratic congress repealed a law preventing banks from making bad loans. This law was written after the Depression to prevent another Depression. If you want a good example of free market at work, look at oil and gas prices. Demand is down, OPEC has reduced production and prices continued to fall for another week. If you keep increasing taxes on big corps. they have no incentive to remain or keep jobs in the USA. Then we are all out of work. Obama’s plan doesnt help the little guy either. Take a look at your current tax rate, compare that to the same tax rate from before Bush’s tax cuts. Accounting for inflation you will find they will be higher. Obama (and the incoming congress) has no plan to continue those tax cuts.

    Climate change – I keep asking for proof from various places proving that man is the cause; still none.

    The war in Iraq – reguardless of how anyone feels about it, it was completely warranted. As a reminder, the UN gave Saddam an ultimatum to allow weapons inspectors in to Iraq or face an invasion force. He didn’t, we invaded. Regardless of the validity of the information of WMD’s, we still had a reason for going to war in Iraq. The left conveniently ignores this fact. Somewhere I did read that we recovered several tons of yellow cake shortly after the invasion…I cant confirm the validity of that though. I was in Iraq when the war first started, The people there did not live better then they are now. The lived in fear and oppression. If you think its over, Obama already announced we are going to Afghanistan next. It will be the same war in a different country.

    I aggressively oppose a person who will not render appropriate honors to this country and who publicly claimed that the constitution is flawed and needs to go away. Americans need to wake up and think through what he has been saying. Obama is a politician that speaks very well, sounds like a snake when he talks.

  • RETIRED IN COLORADO

    WHAT DOCTOR DELIEVERED OBAMA, FOR 6 MONTHS I HAVE CONTACTED OVER 6 GP/OB/GYN DR(S) PHYSICIANS AND 14 LOCAL NURSES WHO WORKED IN HONOLULU DURING 1961, SOME MILITARY….AND NO ONE HAS A RECORD, RECOLLECTION OR CAN OR COULD VERIFY THE VALIDATY OF OBAMA’S BIRTH – WHICH HOSPITAL WHAT DOCTOR?

    There are no other supporting records (PUBLIC)
    that Ann (Stanley) Dunham gave birth
    or that a negro(raced) child was born on this date in the state hospital or any of the local plantation hospitals….

    OB/GYN and the GPs (Three who were practicing)
    during this period (NOT TO BE RACIST)

    mention this would be in their notes, records
    and would be flagged….

    so where was he actually born?

    If no GP or OB/GYN will attest to facilitating the birth.
    And the actual hospital records DO NOT EXSIST

    so far there are alot of people saying ( IN HAWAII)

    I didnt deliver him…….

    So who did,

    EXCEPTION THE MILITARY BASES
    During this period, off the military bases…
    In the local community, an muslim, an single woman, or a black mixed race child was memorable and NOTABLE.

    sorry.. this smells

    (retired issie in HI (Japanese DR)
    Living in Denver Colorado)
    NO HOSPITAL NO MD NO MIDWIFE NO RN RECORDS

  • Scott_3

    I still find it unbelievable that people think Obama is some type of Manchurian candidate for Islam. (of course if that were true, he would have long ago changed his name to something like John Smith. :)

    And as far as Democrats controlling all of us with a bigger government and the fear of us being watched and all of our moves tracked. I have three words to respond to that:

    The Patriot Act.

  • Ben

    The Patriot Act; Bush signed into law after overwhelming bipartisan support. Only one major detractor Russ Feingold.

  • Scott_3

    You’re correct Ben, after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, both parties voted and it passed. And the fear and uncertainty of those times played a huge part.

    But at least, after some hindsight and a better understanding of what that the bill actually represented, when the reauthorization was put forth, this is how the vote went down:

    FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 414

    H R 3199 RECORDED VOTE 21-Jul-2005 9:44 PM

    QUESTION: On Passage
    BILL TITLE: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act

    Republican Ayes – 214 Noes – 14
    Democratic Ayes – 43 Noes – 156

  • Jay Zaveri

    Ben,

    DIDMCA was a small part of the problem. How about:
    Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) 1982?

    Prior to the passage of AMTPA, banks were barred from making anything but the conventional fixed-rate, amortizing mortgages. AMPTA lifted those restrictions, giving birth to all the new and exotic mortgages that have so many borrowers in hot water today. For instance:

    Adjustable-rate mortgages, in which the interest rate becomes floating after a number of years.
    Balloon-payment mortgages, which have an outsized payment when the loan comes due.
    Interest-only mortgages, which require only repayment of interest (not principal too) during the first few years of the loan, only to hit borrowers with crushing monthly-payment resets once the new monthly payment kicks in.
    And worst of all, the option-ARM, which allows borrowers to underpay by as much as they want during the first few years. The awful upshot is the unpaid monthly interest gets tacked onto the size of the loan. So your $300,000 mortgage can turn into a $350,000 loan in a hurry, destroying any equity you have in your home.

    Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA). The TRA increased the demand for mortgage debt because it prohibited the deduction of interest on consumer loans, yet allowed interest deductions on mortgages for a primary residence as well as one additional home. This made even high-cost mortgage debt cheaper than consumer debt for many homeowners.

    See this: http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

    Having said the above nobody is denying change is requires – the question is who will bring real change.

  • Alan Grey

    One other thing….if Obama is so ‘tech-savvy’, then why is his campaign saying it would be ‘too difficult and time consuming’ to extract the donor list from the campaign’s database?

    See slate for details of how they were able to do it with a similar sized database in a couple of hours.

    If indeed Obama is tech-savvy, then really the only reason he hasn’t released the details is that he is hiding something and lying about why. Character indeed.

    Open and transparent indeed.

  • http://www.hypnotoad.tv Trevor

    re: Ken Nelson

    1. Connected, Transparent Government

    “Obama hasn’t released his donor list for those under $200. Many of these are fraudulent. In an easy test of “transparency” he fails.”

    I would be interested on what basis it is that you have decided “many of these are fraudulent”. There is absolutely no indication that this is true.

    I feel that it is important to note that although sub $200 donors don’t need to be reported publicly, they are still required to be tracked very carefully.

    2. The Financial Crisis

    “Both suck here.”

    Obama and the Democrats have promoted Infrastructure development. By funding domestic infrastructure development, jobs are created, people have money to spend, other business benefit. This is basic Economic theory and history has proven it’s effectiveness.

    It also helps us in the fact that our infrastructure is repaired. Our water pipes alone are in desperate need of repair. This plan spends money now on things that we would have to pay for in the future anyway, so the net cost over time is much less.

    Even Ben Bernanke admits that this is the best plan currently being floated.

    3. Climate Change

    “It baffles me that so many technical people fall into the trap of believing in human caused climate change. Sigh. Poor = environmental devastation. Obama’s wealth destruction policies will cause more environmental damage.”

    So you believe that

    A) global warming is a hoax being perpetrated internationally by over 90% of the world’s scientists.

    OR

    B) you are a better judge of the effects of human activity such as CO2 release on the climate of our planet than the vast majority of scientists who have studied the subject as their specialty for years.

    Tell me if it is A or B so that I can properly rebut you.

    4. Net Neutrality

    “Hmmm… both scare me a tad. Socialists are into “control” – of not just the net. But I think McCain’s tendency (proven) is to not interfere with the net.”

    I didn’t know that Brian Moore (the socialist candidate) was being discussed here. Personally, I prefer Barack Obama (the democratic candidate). His plan ensures net neutrality and he promotes treating internet access as we do most of our national infrastructure such as phone lines.

    He also has suggested that he will appoint a technology secretary who can keep up on issues that may affect the internet and keep him informed of concerns.

    “Ultimately, you should go with McCain because I doubt you will like Democrats controlling the entire Government.”

    So, ultimately you were voting for the Republican regardless of anything else? Why did you bother with all of this other writing?

    “Consider Net Neutrality for instance. Picture this scenario… something bad happens via the internet, like a virus that kills finance for a day. All of Congress is one party. Do they do nothing, or panic and impose controls. Who stops them?”

    I think it is fair to guess that a Democratic government would impose controls on the finance industry and regulate their actions online. I think this would be a good move. We have all seen recently what lack of financial industry regulation leads to.

    “If you can’t have limited government then divided is better.”

    Where do you draw the line? Do you vote for a candidate that you disagree with on every issue simply because the other candidates party already has power?

  • http://www.americasthirdparty.com Sarah Hart- America's Third Party Campaign Manager

    I wrote-in David Jon Sponheim for President. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to do the same. Also, check him out as he is continuing to build a coalition for 2012. David Jon Sponheim is pro net neutrality. He believes in: Transparent Government and eliminating Government Waste. He believes we need to focus on our resources and proposes a seawater pipeline to help deal with the Climate Crisis and droughts our country is facing. As a centrist, he truly can help people work together for the common good of America. He has innovative ideas the major two parties have not thought of. As far as the Pro-choice/Pro-Life debate is concerned, David Jon Sponheim is Pro-Prevention and Pro-Education. Pro-Prevention: do educate people about safe sex. Pro-Education: inform pregnant women about all their options, especially those of adoption. The parents of the woman or the father of the child may also want to help raise the child. He would not make abortion illegal however, because he understands that it would become a black market situation with back alley abortions being performed. We need to work together for the good of our country. David Jon Sponheim at America’s Third Party is the President we need.

  • Flora Legium

    Kudos to Tim O’Reilly for the qualities he values in Obama: clarity, transparency, courage. I’m sure we all spend too much time in “information silos” — hearing mostly or only the opinions with which we’re inclined to agree. We need to figure out how to disagree with each other respectfully and thoughtfully if we are to have any future as a deliberative democracy.

  • Mike – North Carolina

    Get a copy of Ayers’ 1974 book. The book reads like a manifesto as to how to destroy America and all that it stands for.

    That isnt the only disturbing point, Ayers’ dedicated that book to a number of foreign and domestic thugs, one of whom is Sirhan Sirhan. He murdered Robert Kennedy. And, Ayers also wrote another book in the 1980′s that is dedicated to a lot of questionable people – all of whom are cop killers.

    The 1974 book is also the book that also calls for the extermination of 25 million US citizens who won’t accept reeducation into thinking like William Ayers and his domestic terrorist friends.

    Obama is backed by Ayers who supports the guy who killed Bobby Kennedy. Ironic that the 2008 Democratic Party Presidential candidate is backed by a guy who supports the guy who killed the 1968 Democratic Party Presidential candidate.

    We are dealing with a very, very bad group of people. Connect the dots.

    * Tony Rezsco – scumbag
    * ACORN – criminal organization in all aspects
    * Khalidi – PLO spokesperson, has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror, Obama’s friend and Columbia University in NYC Professor
    * Wright – pro Palestinian, Obama’s paster for 20 years
    * Ayers – terrorist, dedicated book to Sirhan Sirhan, Obama’s friend
    * Sirhan Sirhan – Palestinian immigrant, assassinated R. Kennedy

    The list and the connections go on and on and on.

    Nice friends Obama has. Which ones will he appoint to his Cabinet positions I wonder.

    This is the guy that the majority of this nation wants to lead them? We have a nation full of complete idiots and I think the Internet and cable TV has helped to unite them all.

  • Anthony – Indian Trail, NC

    OK, he’s my take on this Obama guy. All accounts of his inexperience or interesting economic ideas aside for a moment..

    The guy wouldnt pass a background check to become a legal assistant for a Federal Government job! He wouldnt pass the background check given to those who are protecting him day in and day out. His associations are so shady that I cant trust this guy as far as I can throw him.

    You will find one VERY VERY angry United States, should this guy get elected.

    Why would anyone put up with not getting a job because they dont have the experience? Why would anyone put up with not getting a job because of their background? If Obama gets elected, then change is what we will have in this nation. Are you SURE you want it?

    Be careful for what you wish for. This guy makes event he most shady of Republicans (who are certainly no angels either) look like gold.

  • Ray Vee

    Dir Sir,

    I greatly respect that you care enough to exercise your right to free speech. I hope you will likewise respect my right to no longer fund your campaign. I purchase your books to learn about technology, not for political opinion!

  • http://angrykeyboarder.com Scott

    Tim.

    Thank you for this well thought out post. I agree with the vast majority of what you have said and I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of Senator Obama for just over a year now.

    The only other thing I’d like to say that is somewhat specific to your remarks is this: I just don’t understand why those who are against abortion are also so often in favor of the death penalty.

    Call me crazy but isn’t that beyond hypocritical?

    I am pro-choice. Nobody thinks abortion is a good thing. And I’ve known a number of women who are pro-choice but would also never even consider an abortion if they were to become pregnant.

    Who am I to say that a woman has no right to what she does with her own body?

    I’m Agnostic. I don’t know if life begins at conception or not, but considering the life form of an embryo at say 6 weeks is so low, I don’t see how it is much different at this stage than the life of an insect.

    Are those who are opposed to abortion also opposed to swatting flies, killing mosquitos or even killing rats that have turned up in their homes?

    With that out of the way…

    I have to say that as a geek, I’m very disheartened by the ignorance and gullibility of so many of your readers who dislike Barack Obama (for the most absurd of reasons).

    Even McCain has (finally!) admitted Obama not a socialist and yet vast numbers of McCain supporters still insist otherwise.

    I’d say that is ignorance on their part, but that would be a gross understatement.

    I’m especially disheartened to see so many of the readers of your blog taking these absurd positions.

    I was somehow under the impression that your readers (like me) are “geeks” and therefore of above average intelligence.

    I just don’t get it.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad that Barack Obama has the support of folks like you and Eric Schmidt.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Mike from North Carolina -

    I’ll grant you that Obama’s deal with Rezko was a mistake – he himself has admitted it. But McCain has similar mistakes in his past. Go look up the history of the Keating Five, as well as Cindy McCain’s connection to that affair. The question is whether, in either case, the senator in question returned political favors for the help.

    As to Ayers, he was a member of the Weather Underground and a protester of the Vietnam War. Like a lot of people at the time, he did some extreme things (though he was never convicted of any crime), all of them before Obama was even born. He later became a respectable member of society, in fact being named Chicago’s citizen of the year in 1997. Yes, Ayers remains on the far left wing, but so what?

    Obama worked with him on a the board of a foundation dedicated to improving education. Saying that that makes Obama a communist and/or a terrorist is a bit like saying that I smoke a lot of dope because I served on the board of the EFF with John Perry Barlow, who was a songwriter for the Grateful Dead. Or, for that matter, that I’m a right-wing republican because I’m friends with venture capitalist Don Lucas, with whom I served on the board of Macromedia. Don is quite conservative, and considers Condoleeza Rice a personal friend. It’s a real stretch to make assumptions about anyone’s politics on the basis of shared board seats.

    If guilt by association is so important to you, what do you make of Palin’s association with Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaska Independence Party? This is the man who told an interviewer in 1991: “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. … And I won’t be buried under their damn flag.” There’s a lot more evidence that Palin flirted with his political views than there is that Obama shared the radical views of Bill Ayers.

    For every Reverend Wright, I can give you preachers on the Right who have made statements as least as looney and disgraceful as any made by Wright. And they have been embraced by Republican politicians.

    As to Khalidi, McCain has his own ties to him. McCain has been chairman of the International Republican Institute since 1993, which has provided substantial funding to the Center for Palestine Research, founded by Khalidi. The bottom line is that Khalidi was a Palestinian moderate, is currently a professor at Columbia, and one of the many sometimes dissenting voices that make up this great nation.

    If I didn’t believe in dialogue between those with opposing views, I wouldn’t be reponding to your comments here. Are you of the opinion that there should be no engagement, no admiration even, between those of opposing views?

    I’m reminded of something I read recently, about the young Winston Churchill and his fierce political rival F.E. Smith. They tore into each other with gusto during debates in Parliament, but at night they were the best of friends, and in fact founded a club together for people who disagreed with each other.

  • Carrie

    I actually heard that Barrack never even held an executive position. How can you know he knows what he is doing or talking about. Im voting for McCain. What he offers may not sound as good as what Barrack “says” he can do, but at least he is for real.
    P.S. If we do not first ensure that companies will do their business in America (AKA tax breaks for $250,000 + entities are companies not just evil rich people) then how can we assure there will even be jobs in this country? Think about the big picture.

  • Carrie

    I actually heard that Barrack never even held an executive position. How can you know he knows what he is doing or talking about. Im voting for McCain. What he offers may not sound as good as what Barrack “says” he can do, but at least he is for real.
    P.S. If we do not first ensure that companies will do their business in America (AKA tax breaks for $250,000 + entities are companies not just evil rich people) then how can we assure there will even be jobs in this country? Think about the big picture.

  • Mike

    A little late to the party but here goes:

    This crisis is not a repudiation of “hands-off government.” The asset bubble was mainly a result of moral hazard created by government (HUD extending credit to bad risks and Freddie/Fannie buying subprimes), coupled with Wall Street insiders taking advantage of regulation to make money. And then these same folks got “bailed out,” which is more government interference for the benefit of the rich! This is not an example of “hands-off government.”

    So a (seemingly gleeful) excoriation of the free market simply makes no sense.

  • Mike

    @RETIRED IN COLORADO:

    This is because he is not a US Citizen and YES, this all smells very rotten.

    http://www.obamacrimes.com

    However, you can not get through to all of the kool-aid drinking whackos who have thrown all logic and common sense to the wind.

    They want Obama and they better understand that this nation had a revolution once before and it could have one once again.

    I would certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, join it.

  • Mike

    @Tim O’Reilly

    You should be embarrassed and ashamed. Your reply to me reads like a kindergarten tit-for-tat child argument.

    This isnt right vs left. This isnt D vs R. This isnt blue vs red.

    This is RIGHT vs WRONG and someone else said it – the man isnt even qualified to be his own bodyguard. He would not pass the background test!

    Its not about his associations. ALL politicians are inherently dirty. These associations show a fundamentally major flaw in Obama’s judgement. His associations are DANGEROUS, not simply dirty.

    DANGEROUS. Do you understand the logic here. There is no emotion speaking.

    I voted for myself. I wrote my own name in. I dont like either side. This isnt partisan.

    You know, I used to love your books and bought many of them. Not any more.

    You should have bit your tongue as I hope your business doesnt fail in this tough economic climate as you express your support for a very dangerous man who has ties to very dangerous people that dont care one ounce about you or me or the homeless in the street.

    Ask Obama’s own Aunt. She lives is a shack that even homeless people wouldnt live in.

    Your sentiment, along with the other’s who align with you, dictate that this nation is headed for very, very dark times. And its sad.

    Dont even reply. I wont be looking back. You cant defeat the logic I threw at you – nor do you understand it.

    Good luck to you.

  • http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html Scott

    @Mike.

    You remind me of George W. Bush. Once you’ve gotten something in your mind there is no changing it.

    You say Obama is not a U.S. Citizen?

    I’m afraid you’re mistaken there. And I’m surprised you’ve not seen this refuted many many times.

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

  • RyanP

    I am a huge Obama supporter, however my personal biggest issue that I focus on the most is energy and alternative fuels, primarily to reduce global and eliminate pollution. While I think Obama has a greater under standing of the issue over McCain/Palin, there is one thing I have not heard from him, that I have heard from McCain, and that is using Nuclear Energy to help support future energy needs. As well one thing that I have been from both candidates in Clean Coal, to the majority of Americans who have not researched Clean Coal, including probably both candidates, Clean Coal is a horrible idea, not as bad as regular coal, but still a wrong direction. Clean Coal is just coal that produces far less pollutants, but as for CO2, it produces just as much, and with rising energy needs leaves us on a faster track to global warming. Now many people think of nuclear energy and think it’s this horrible, dangerous power source that is going to lead us to some kinda of nuclear holocaust, but this is just one of those stereotypes that has followed nuclear energy since it’s discovery, but in the light of it all, it actually does the exact opposite, both producing zero emission energy and taking a role in dismantling nuclear weapons. Now I’m not going to say that I don’t like wind, solar, and hydro energy, but thing those energy sources can’t do is provide us with ALL of our energy needs in a quick and relatively cheap solution to current problems. Also just to add to that I think we also need to move towards electric powered vehicles, which furthers my support for nuclear energy. Biofuels are not liable, we already have a shortage for food and a decrease in are farming capabilities, so that plan clearly doesn’t work, and hydrogen power is a joke, using nearly 4 times as much energy to produce as pure electric vehicles. I know the waste of nuclear power is an issue, but I think we have a clear solution to it, that far over weighs what were doing with the waste from oil and coal, which just releases it in the air and into are lungs. I don’t want to see nuclear fission be are solution forever though, I think with in 1-2 generations of nuclear fission, we can then move to nuclear fusion, which eliminates nearly every issue that fission has.

    While I am disappointed that I haven’t heard about a solution like that from Obama, I think when he actually goes about researching it and point advisers to the issue he will see the clearer picture and make the right decision. Unfortunatly though I will be unable to vote this year, living in a different state than I am registered in and not finding any way to make it back to cast my vote.

  • http://noahgift.com Noah Gift

    @Pudge and all,

    I am glad to get the chance to debate with you yet again, and I see our views are polar opposite yet again. Tim, did in fact, lay out a very thoughtful reason as to why voting for Obama makes sense for our country. In par

    You mentioned that the two biggest reasons for voting for McCain are National Security, and the Budget. I

    Let’s first address our National Security, which you claim McCain would do a better job on. One of the reasons why we have such a problem with National Security is the President George W. Bush invaded Iraq, under a false premise, and created problems in the region. This false premise was to protect us from “terrorists”. Instead the region is destabilized, and we recently attacked yet another country Syra.

    McCain voted for all of this, and egged the war on. McCain would continue those immoral, my opinion, polices. You might want to read a recent interview with Republican, retired Senator and Vietnam War Vet, Chuck Hagel. He lays out a very well thought out indictment of both McCain, Bush, and the war on Iraq. He also mentions that McCain’s world view has a real problem, as it often involves attacking countries.

    Republican Chuck Hagel, New Yorker

    This behavior by McCain degrades our National Security.

    The second argument against McCain being the best choice for National Security is his Vice Presidential pic. She is apocalyptically underqualified by anyone’s standards, and numerous people have made this same conclusion. She being anywhere near the Presidency is perhaps the greatest threat to our National Security in the history of the United States, period.

    In terms of the budget, Obama would be a much better choice to fix this crisis then McCain. McCain finished last in his class in school, his Vice-President had an equally bland academic career in which she bounced around schools until she finally scraped up a journalism degree.

    George W. Bush, and the Republican policies have put our nation in Trillions of dollars of debt, by invading Iraq, redistribution our wealth to the ultra-rich. McCain has voted with Bush policies on the economy like they were clones. Finally, McCain admits he knows almost nothing about economics. He has eight houses, due to his ultra wealthy wife’s fortune, and just plain doesn’t understand our economic problems.

    Finally, the republican party, and George W. Bush, needs to be thrown into the street like dogs for what they did to America. We are the laughing stock of the world, our economy in a mess, civil liberties have decreased, we torture people, invade other countries at will and kill people that are “bad people”. Much of this has been enacted in the guise of fighting terrorism, and it is just as inane as McCarthyism was. Famous computer scientists Donald Knuth, has a great list of infrequently asked questions on the war in Iraq. One of my questions is what line do we cross in invading countries before we are the bad people, and we are the terrorists?

    The only rational argument I have heard that makes sense, is that a large portion of people, mostly Catholic and Christian, are voting for Republicans just based on the fact that they feel Supreme Court Justices will be appointed that will overturn Abortion Laws.

    I really do understand this rigid viewpoint if someone feels abortion is Murder, but at one point does the rigidity become a noose around people’s neck such that they can never compromise? As Tim mentioned Abortion is a very divisive issue, and our country cannot afford this divisiveness, as it allows other evil to go unaddressed.

    Mathematician Blaise Pascal said, “
    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

    Is this what is happening with Abortion? We as a country have to some how find a way to move past this issue, and form some compromise, otherwise, these “religious convictions”, may enable others to do evil.

    This is why I am voting for Obama.

  • AfraidOfRepercussionsForBeingPoliticallyIncorrect

    Don’t tell me about all these “issues.” Go back to what your comment: “Given the inevitability of increased government spending, the question becomes one of priorities.”

    No. It’s not inevitable. There is a great war going on between people who are willing to get an education and work for a living and support themselves and those who want other people to give them a handout. From the corrupt politicians in Washington and (especially) the California Legislature, to old people who want others to pay for whatever expensive drugs they hear about, to public-employee unions who think they should get automatic raises and lifetime retirement benefits regardless of cost, the government is at war with people who are willing to work for a living. Now the government wants to give the money of current working people and future generations to those who lied on loan applications and pretended not to know they were lying. This is the government war against educated, responsible people. John McCain joined that war by voting for the bank bailout.

    Nevertheless, the war against those who are willing to work and to support themselves will accelerate if Democrats control both Congress and the presidency. Tim, if government is so great, why don’t you give all your money to government so I can keep a penny more of mine? A vote for Obama is a vote to give even more of all the working, responsible people’s money to government. There’s no question about it.

  • http://www.tv1.com Jonathan G.

    I am visiting relatives in the red state of Oklahoma today, and took the opportunity to discuss the election. In the midst of an otherwise rational discussion about which candidate would be better for the middle class and health care, a woman in her late forties told me, “I just can’t vote for Obama. He is a Muslim. And that’s their plan: to secretly control our country by having one of theirs become president.”

    This exchange brought this discussion forum to mind. Tim leads with a very civil, factual argument as to why he is for Obama; based on Obama’s positions on the issues, actions he has taken and decisions he has made. The many of us in this space who support Obama attempt to bring in facts and figure to support this position. Those opposing Obama threaten to intimidate Tim by not buying O’Reilly Publishing books, accuse Obama of socialistic tendencies based on a purported “redistribution” of wealth, and toss around groundless accusations with no basis in reality.

    In response to Pudge, earlier, doubting that I am a fiscal conservative because I support Obama:

    I don’t hear you, or McCain talking about the cost of the unnecessary pre-emptive Iraq War, estimated to eventually cost our economy over $2 trillion. I hear Obama talking about it.

    I don’t hear you worrying about the national debt which has doubled during the past eight years, and which will soak up double the debt payment costs from our federal budget for the rest of our lives. I am the one bringing that up. A fiscal conservative like me believes we should tax to pay for our spending and spend what we raise, not that we ought to not tax at all. I am also for progressive taxation, like virtually every government in the world has. I am for a strong, responsible economic system, not one that, through deregulation, allows our largest banks to be less regulated than a Las Vegas casino.

    Pudge’s accusation that government gets bigger and more intrusive under Democrats, an argument that is being repeated more and more by McCain and Palin these days, is false. The only thing this Administration, without a word of protest from Senator McCain, has decreased is the independent oversight of how our federal dollar are spent, how our environment is protected, and how our constitutional rights are upheld.

    Meanwhile our federal government has increased its power over our lives, forced hundreds of thousands of members of our National Guard and Reserve to fight in its illegal war in Iraq, invaded our privacy, trashed our rights to Habeas Corpus, as the checks and balances over executive power, to a degree never before witnessed in U.S. history. But it is Obama you accuse of being for Big Government?

    This debate reminds me of the term a White House aide, in 20004, used to reporter Ron Susskind for a profile on the George Bush that appeared in the New York Times Magazine, saying that the Administration had led the country without our “reality-based community.” The senior Bush aide told Susskind, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”
    (see http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html)

    Well, this Administration has created its own faith-based reality for eight years now. They’ve made out like bandits, redistributing billions for their funders and families, and getting re-elected in 2004. It’s the rest of the country, the middle class, the working poor, the residents of New Orleans, the people who are jobless, those who need health care, and the hundreds of thousands of shattered lives in our military and in the nation of Iraq, who have paid the price. Not to mention our Constitution, civil rights, and the Geneva Convention.

    So speaking as one American to another: it’s time to restore reality to our discourse. And responsibility to our government. Vote Obama this Tuesday.

  • fleab

    I don’t care who you endorse but would like to visit the site for books and tech information, not for political opinion. Are there products for sale here or is this now a political editorial column? Keep it up, will lose a customer, I can go to CNN for political drivel.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    fleab -

    You know perfectly well that this site is my blog, and that books and other technical information are still available on oreilly.com.

    I made a strong effort to make my comments relevant to the tech community by arguing that Obama’s presidency would more directly address issues of importance to the tech community. If you disagree with my assessment, I’ve provided you a great platform here in the comments to present a reasoned argument on the issues.

    I look forward to your thoughts.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    AfraidOfRepercussionsForBeingPoliticallyIncorrect -

    Everyone, on the right AND the left, agrees that government stimulus of some kind is needed with the economy in its current shape. Either McCain OR Obama will need to shape this spending.

    If you actually take the trouble to follow some of the links I’ve provided, you’ll discover:

    1. On the management of his campaign alone, Obama looks to be a better bet. He’s pinched pennies at the top in order to direct funds to things that really matter, while McCain spent far more on high priced consultants and top associates. What a perfect mirror of their respective proposals!

    2. Obama’s proposed tax increases would return us to levels under Clinton, a period of unparalleled prosperity in recent decades. Have you really read no modern history that you can still buy the ridiculous claims that the Democrats are the “tax and spend” party when it is spending by Republicans that has come so close to bankrupting the country?

    Anyone who believes in smaller government should, at this point, be voting for Obama, believe it or not, because the Republicans have so lost their way that while they still repeat the mantra of smaller government, what they do is precisely the opposite. Look at the facts, please, the size of the spending, the growth of intrusive government, the size of the deficit, and tell me, with a straight face, that the Republican rhetoric is more than that, sand in the eyes of their followers.

    Watch what they DO, not what they SAY.

  • Rocky34

    To support other posts on why we have a melt down in the market. If you don’t believe Democrat President Bill Clinton, Allen Greenspan, and the Senate got us in this mess today, then you need to watch this.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4546583n

    The tax plan that will affect all Americians even if you make 25,000.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/senator_obamas_four_tax_increa.html

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    John Nagle -

    Your analogy is a good one – taxes can put a brake on the train of economic growth. But no money to repair the tracks can really ruin the day for the train and all its passengers!

    The question is appropriate balance. The philosophy of the Right, which McCain still supports, says that we shouldn’t pay for maintenance on the tracks, we should keep going at reckless speed.

    Have you looked at the actual amount of the additional tax burden on people making over $250K a year in Obama’s plan?

    It won’t make the tiniest difference to economic growth. And as I and others have said repeatedly, taxes were higher during the last period of real prosperity in this country, under Clinton. So your argument is just not borne out by the facts.

    There’s no question in my mind that some of the Democratic rhetoric on taxing the rich is as out of whack as the Republican rhetoric on on giving the rich a free ride. But we’ve gone way out of whack in the Republican direction. We could raise taxes a LONG way without getting to a reasonable middle.

    Do you really think that anyone is really planning to raise taxes back to the punitive level that they were 30-40 years ago?

  • Andy

    We hear and believe what we choose, and ignore that with which we disagree. It’s happening on both sides.

    If Obama is elected, I firmly expect him to be treated as well as those opposed to Bush have treated the current President.

  • Just Me

    Just a couple of comments for all of those who seem not to get it.

    From the Economist – a right-leaning, pro-Conservative mag:
    —-
    There is no getting around the fact that Mr Obama’s résumé is thin for the world’s biggest job. But the exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and out-fought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.

    —–
    And he did that, and campaigned against McCain, not once using Orwellian tactics of “if you vote for my opponent, the terrorists will get you”. Obama has shown that actually does have the executive experience that you say is lacking – maybe none of you realize that what Obama has done in the past, does require a level of executive experience (that Palin can only dream of). Who thinks it’s a breeze to qualify and serve as the director of the Harvard Law Review? By the same token, where exactly is John McCain’s executive experience? Deciding to spend time not in the Middle East gaining valuable military training, but South America because that’s where he’d “get laid”?

    Obama has demonstrated the kind of character that is needed in a good leader, which our leaders have lacked for the past years.

    And for others who criticize Obama, like the high school kid who thinks he knows it all, please go look at your own candidate and ask the same questions. For example, McCain cheated on his wife with many other women, including Cindy McCain, (he wrote of these in his own book, so it’s not liberal media talking)- now you really think that McCain is the God-loving Christian that you think Obama is not? Go through the news records to see that McCain only this year started regularly attending church after a decades long hiatus. Who’s trying to play you?

    The Republican party continues to feed us all poison, and when something new, and promising comes along, you say “I’d rather keep having this poison because I know what it is, and although it has made us sick, it hasn’t killed us yet. But this Obama guy, he might actually feed us something that tastes bad.” Genius.

    Here’s a guy who wants to roll tax rates back to the Clinton days – OMG! We all know how bad the economy was back then! – and he is called a socialist. Do you know what socialism is? It’s when government owns businesses. LIke when government bails out big corporations, and then has to limit their actions, such as impose CEO compensation caps. That’s a closer step to communism than anything Obama has proposed.

    And since when is a tax cut for 90% considered socialism? I thought you righties blindly approved anyone who said tax cuts, even if it ended up making you poorer (under GW, taxes for the top went down, and the cost of sending kids to school, to fix roads, to take care of health care, went UP, and salaries went down – why not keep on voting for this same party who keeps bending you over…?)

    Whichever way the election goes, people really need to wisen up or this country will be left behind by China, India, and others. While they concentrate on education and health care, and continue to pump out smarter people, creating more wealth for the country, we’ve been following the Grover Norquist plan to dumb down America (call everyone who’s not an elitist), and hope to squeeze out every bit of wealth out of the bottom 90% and give it to the richest, so they can offshore their company’s work, keep their money in foreign investments, and afford to keep buying their imports, and sneering at you when you talk about America First.

    Wake up Red America. No matter how bad you think Obama is, the reality is that in 8 years we have gone from surplus to deficit, from peace and hope to war and depression. You can’t dispute that. And McCain has his fingerprints all over it (With Bush Cheney, et al).

  • http://www.themattperry.com Matt Perry

    Tim,

    Thanks for your well-reasoned article and endorsement. Thanks especially for pointing out Obama’s support of network neutrality. Although he already had my support for entirely unrelated reasons, it’s encouraging to know that Obama has a complete understanding of the issue and its importance. It’s also worth noting that he plans to create some sort of cabinet-level position that would be akin to a CIO/CTO of the US government. (see http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/oct2008/db20081019_258155.htm) This should be nothing but encouraging to anyone in our industry.

    As to the quality and tone of some of the other comments to this post — I think it’s unfortunate that some people: a) can’t seem to disagree with each other without displaying an attitude that is hostile/disrespectful b) don’t seem willing to do their homework to distinguish fact from fiction.

    In any case, thanks for this post.

    Matt

  • http://www.lighttouchtheater.com Christina O'Reilly

    Thanks Tim,

    I wanted to share a letter I wrote to a friend on the fence:

    I know what you mean about the queasy feeling. I started out there, but the more I’ve read the clearer I’ve gotten. Also watching the way McCain and Obama have run their campaigns and the choices they’ve made has made me clearer. This is where I’ve arrived.

    I feel Barack Obama is a statesman. He will lead this country through inspiration and hope and not fear mongering and polarization which have been Bush’s tools for the last 8 years. Obama cares about building bridges between communities, creating dialogue between disparate peoples, and looking for finding practical solutions as opposed to standing in ideologies that don’t work. His training and his life have prepared him for the world stage and prepared him to look with open eyes and heart to different peoples’ different beliefs. He’s lived in Hawaii, Jakarta, Cambridge, Chicago and raised by a mother who was an anthropologist and a white grandmother who was originally from Kansas. He’s black and he’s black and white. He’s had to build bridges in himself. He’s gone on a conscious introspective journey in his life and changed and let go of wounds inside himself. I believe his path will be one of constant growth and change. That’s why when faced with crises he takes his time. When burned out he takes time off to reconsider. When he’s been behind in the polls for the most part his tactics have been to find different ways of reaching out not to vilify and lie. When he was given the task of connecting more to the working class, he decided that he needed to show up more. Just simply show up and show them that he cared. He’s not the type of man who will act out or use the presidency for personal power or personal vendettas. His book “Audacity of Hope” was very moving to me.

    He’s a brilliant mind with pragmatic roots. He went to Harvard Law one of the toughest schools on the international stage and graduated magna cum laude. His mind has the scope and complexity and flexibility to cope with the appalling number of crises our country is in and is heading towards. He knows what he knows and knows what he doesn’t. He picks very good advisers. I see this from his campaign staff. His campaign has mostly kept to the higher ground in the face of appalling lies and has tried to keep the dialogue to the issues and to the differences between the candidates. His campaign has raised more money from a grassroots level than any other candidate in the history of the United States. And these monies come from many many many small donations. Tim knows some of the people Obama has picked for advice on technology and says they are men of high integrity and they deeply respect Obama. Obama’s health plan is both simple and multiplex and could really make a difference. The New England Journal of Medicine says his plan is far better than McCain’s. Obama felt we should not go into Iraq because Afghanistan was still not resolved and our true goal should be to find and kill Obama bin Laden and that if we went into Iraq we’d loose ground in Afghanistan. That has been true. Our country is now in so much in debt because of the war it will take years to get out. Our reason for going in to destroy weapons of mass destruction has been proved to be false. Obama felt the economy was in trouble and was saying this when it was not a message that wanted to be heard. He’s much more conservative than people realize. His training in economics is from the University of Chicago that believes in free markets. Obama just feels that there also needs to be some regulation. I feel he’s got the scope of mind to get the advisers he needs and then support the myriad of step by step solutions we’re probably going to need. This is not going to be a quick fix. He knows it and I feel won’t create more of a mess by attempting to solve it quickly besides the emergency measures.

    He’s looking at ways to get the money he needs for the programs that matter. He wants to tax incomes over $250,000 and give tax breaks to the middle class and poor. The scale of money at the top is such that it would bring a vast amount of money in without hurting the corporations. Tim says the amount of greed and graft in the upper echelons of the corporate world is such that it must be scaled back since it’s ruining our country. The CEO’s are plundering their own corporations (and this is from my ex-republican honey who is a businessman and thinks likes a businessman). Obama wants to go over the budget with a scalpel and cut out the dross. He feels we can find money there that can support programs that really matter instead of saying we have to have a stiff upper lip and cancel vital spending in areas like health care and education. He wants to get out of Iraq on a timely basis and one that happens to comply with the Iraqi government. We’re spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. A small pittance of that could work miracles for education, health care, roads, alternative energy. He takes global warming seriously and thinks we can be practical about it. We can create jobs for people while saving the planet. With our financial crisis we could loose our eye on the global warming crises. I don’t think Barack Obama will do that. He’s got the kind of creative mind that can see a crises as an opportunity to make progress in other areas. That’s what Tim is warming up to do with his company. He’s saying that when times are tough that’s when you really need to work on things that matter. This kind of out of the box thinking is what we need. Obama has that. And finally as I alluded to earlier. Obama is not going to be led by the nose by the progressives. He’s going to keep his sights on what works. He’s not going to undermine this country that he loves that has given him such opportunity by kowtowing to the knee jerk programs of the ultra left. He believes in this country. He believes in the people and believes it will take all of us working together to get ourselves out of the deep difficulties our country has become mired in and will be facing. The old way of doing things and old paradigms are not working. United we stand. Divided we fall.

    And one last note which many people don’t think about, but i do having been a government and international relations major in college. Obama cares and wants to protect the Constitution. He taught constitutional law. The Constitution is the backbone of our country and the Bush government broke many many of its tenets in its grab for more and more power. The Constitution has honored our rights and kept our country from going into total chaos in times of upheaval.

    McCain was interesting in 2000 ( I was thinking of voting for him), a maverick, independent thinker, worked both sides of the aisles in the Senate, but since then he has slowly been deconstructing himself in order to win this presidency including hiring the very people to work for him that smeared him. His campaign of outright lies and inflammatory words keeps people from looking at the issues, gets people very cynical about the democratic process. I steered away from Hillary Clinton for that reason. Both candidates I feel were willing to sacrifice almost anything to become president even harming the country with fear and lies. To me this has all culminated in the robocalls which outright lie about Obama and picking Palin who is totally unqualified to be President of the United States (and that is the primary role of the Vice President) for purely political reasons. Picking Palin for me was a total show stopper. I saw a video about her where she doesn’t even know the true duties of the vice -president. She thought the vice-president was in charge of the Senate as opposed to the basically ceremonial role that is given or the rare time that the vice-president can break a tie vote. This is not about political leanings. This is about a woman who has no knowledge of the national or international stages. She couldn’t name the newspapers she’s read. In interviews she spends her time deflecting or covering up her ignorance. When asked about her knowledge of international affairs, all she could say was that Alaska was close to Russia. And these are not deep questions. Many republican women and men are disengaging from McCain for the reasons i’ve just mentioned. You could look at youtube for Colin Powell’s speech where he’s endorsing Obama among one. If you can’t find it let me know. The agony Colin Powell must have gone through to switch parties. McCain is the oldest man to run for the job of presidency. He’s had several cancers and he picks one of the most inexperienced people that have ever been picked for purely political reasons. He’s not thinking of the needs of our country. There are good Republican women out there with experience.

    Besides the show stoppers for me that i just mentioned there are other major difficulties. McCain calls himself a maverick, but has voted for 90 % of Bush’s policies which have bankrupted our economy (we had a good surplus before he became president) and taken our country into ruin, dismantled our reputation abroad with how we’ve acted in Iraq by bullying other nations not supported our soldiers in battle (they were being sent over with woefully inadequate protection) and then not taken care of when they get back. I don’t think our country can handle another 4 years of a Bush’s type of conservative leadership based on lies and fear. Everyone feels our country is far worse off than it’s been due to the Bush presidency. Both McCain’s voting record and choice of campaign tactics show me he’s headed down the same path. He’s a total hawk. He’s up for going into Iran and then Syria. He’s for staying in Iraq forever if need be On a very simple level we can’t afford it. On moral and international levels we can’t go creating war where ever we go. War should only be used in extreme situations not as the first alternative. I haven’t seen any good negotiating skills besides anger and drama in his campaign. And finally two days before the bottom dropped out on our economy he said our economy was solid. i don’t think he has the background, tools, or instincts to get us out of this mess. I think it’s going to take a great deal of creativity and perseverance.

    i could say a lot more and go into a lot more detail, but you asked for me to stick to the main points. If you’ve got questions about what I’ve written due to inarticulateness on my part or points you’re really concerned about that I haven’t addressed or simply want more information or there are issues about Obama that i haven’t covered that make you nervous I’d be delighted to answer what I know. I’ve even written a lot more that I haven’t sent you–some i sent inadvertantly :-) And for background, neither Tim nor I are dyed in the wool Democrats. I voted for Ford since I thought Carter didn’t have the international experience he needed and he didn’t. I recently voted for Schwarzenegger since I thought John Davis was an old party hack.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Nice to see Linus Torvalds making his own case for why Obama is a better choice. As a Finn, obviously Torvalds can’t vote, but perhaps his perspective will matter to some of the tech people reading here:

    http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/2008/11/black-and-white.html

    I love the way he starts with why he doesn’t like Richard Stallman’s approach to free software as his lead-in to why he supports Obama:

    “The reason has always been that I don’t like single-issue people, nor do I think that people who turn the world into black and white are very nice or ultimately very useful. The fact is, there aren’t just two sides to any issue, there’s almost always a range or responses, and “it depends” is almost always the right answer in any big question. And not being even willing to see the other side makes for bad decisions.

    “Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing people who are really passionate about what they do, and many people have something they really care about. It’s just that when that becomes something exclusionary, it often gets ugly. It’s not passion for something, it becomes passion against something else.”

    He goes from there to a description of why Obama’s nuanced thinking on important issues seems like the right approach. Black and white is just not the way the world works.

  • BLACK BARACK

    Thank god I do not work for this dimwit. This is a wish for what he wants, not what is. For example, his paragraph on energy was a diatribe on global warming, with no plans for what we need now.
    O’Reilly is the classic left wing liberal, and I suspect he is in for a very rude shock come tax time.

    Needless to say, I could never buy another book from this guy.

  • Another opinion

    Why didn’t he make any changes in Chicago, one of the most corrupt cities in the country, he just was well trained by the Daily machine. How doyou know what he is going to do since he has never done anything. What bills did he wirte? Foreign leaders will chew him up and spit him out like gum, doesn’t ahve a clue, i.e going to talk to them? I guess Chavez is looking forward to it. Has never had a real job to know what it takes to make a buck! Just because he can BS bricks off a wall doesn’t mean he can be president.

  • Jay

    I’m shocked! Whether Barack Obama wins or John McCain, Democracy has lost! How can people be narrow-minded enough to threaten to ban a business because of its founders personal opinions? This is very disheartening to say the least! Why can’t people just respectfully agree to disagree and move on? Where is all this vindictiveness coming from? Don’t question someone’s motives and punish them – laud them for having an opinion. It’s pathetic!

  • fleab

    Tim,

    I respect your response and your blog, but disagree on your judgement to have it linked under news on oreilly.com. The blemish lies in the correlation of relevancy to opinion rather than that of information in relation to the main site.

    fleab

  • http://benturner.com/ Ben Turner

    Last week there was supposed to be a debate between Reed Hundt (former FCC head) and Holtz-Eakins (McCain’s chief economic advisor) here in DC regarding tech policy. Holtz-Eakins cancelled shortly before the event and didn’t send a replacement. For those of us who consider tech policy to be really, really important, that was a telling sign.

    Thanks, Tim, for giving your support to Obama on your site, knowing what sort of feedback you’d get on it. I just wrote a post on my own site about how the last 8 years with Bush and Obama affected my own life, from daytrading to enlisting in the Army to going to Iraq to going to school: http://benturner.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/how-bush-and-obama-have-shaped-my-last-eight-years/

    A perfect digital history will judge us.

  • FreeInfo

    Tim,

    You said:
    “Black and white is just not the way the world works.”

    You say this when you refer to _the world_, but I bet you feel different, when the thief puts his hand in your pocket, don’t you?

    I’m willing to bet that if a thief hacked your bank account and stole all your money, you wouldn’t want to talk about gray areas.

    Would you want to hear about the thief’s desire to support his world view that he believes is better than yours?

    What if the thief sent your money to help needy families in a 3rd world country? Oh, don’t be such a whiner, about someone stealing your money. It all went for a good cause, after all.

    See, you know _exactly_ what the _truth_ is. No gray area there.

    What would it mean if you were to act differently if the circumstances directly affected you?

    Well, the online merriam-websters dictionary defines,
    “A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings” as a hypocrite.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed this nuanced discussion, and find it as humorous as I do.

  • Scott_3

    To stop reading someone’s books because of the opinion of the president of the company is unfortunate.

    Would you stop taking antibiotics for an infection if the president of that company posted his thoughts or opinions on the pharmaceutical company’s Web site?

    That’s what makes this country great. The freedom of expression. Unlike other countries where one can be exiled for stating their position.

  • Raven

    Hi,

    I have been an O’Reilly customer for 15 years.

    I definitely do NOT appreciate Tim O’Reilly’s political endorsement on the front page of your web site.

    Sell books. Sell technology. Do the things you do {and very well, I might add}.

    I think blogs are a great place to express ideas. Tim O’Reilly’s write-up was well thought out. However, I don’t think it belongs on the front page of the web site as “top news”.

    I probably have 80+ of your books on my bookshelf and for the first time ever, I am actually disappointed in you guys.

  • Richard Peck

    Tim,

    You are always thoughtful; always worth reading, including “Why I Support Barack Obama.” I would love to vote for Obama, but can’t.

    When I worked on certain kinds of problems in grad school, linear programming (LP) was useful in finding optimal solutions. But LP also recognizes circumstances under which a preemptive priority must be met before optimization can proceed.

    The right to life is a preemptive priority. A genetically unique human being exists at conception. We do not have the right to interrupt that continuous stream-of-being at 80 (because his or her care may be costly); or at 8 (because the child is a terror); or at 4 weeks after birth (because we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into); or at 6 months before birth (because we changed our minds).

    “The value of a human life is intrinsically, not merely instrumentally, good” (Robert P. George, Princeton University, The Clash of Orthodoxies. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2001). Dr. George’s book did much to shape my thinking, including the stream-of-being argument, which he expresses far more cogently and I give him full credit here.

    Richard

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Freeinfo -

    So I assume that either:

    1. You are a complete libertarian who believes that all taxation is wrong

    2. You have swallowed the McCain exaggerations that Barack Obama wants to pick your pocket.

    In the first case, there’s nothing I can do for you. In the second, I suggest you do some actual homework rather than just swallowing slogans that, I suspect, even McCain himself doesn’t really believe.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    fleab -

    There is some justice to your complaint. I’ve sent it on to Allen Noren, who runs oreilly.com, to consider. However, I increasingly post on non-tech matters, like climate change and the need to “work on stuff that matters.”

    What I think matters to many O’Reilly readers. If you weren’t on the other side of this particular issue – say it were a call for people to participate in a challenge to end world hunger, or build better tools for responding to disasters – would you have the same reaction?

    The choice of our next president is one of the biggest issues facing the tech community, as it is the biggest issue facing the rest of the country. Are we to stay on the sidelines with so much at stake?

    I think we’d be remiss in not making the case for the right choice, just as we do in any of the other areas we cover.

    What’s more, the comments here provide a great platform for anyone who wants to take the opposite point of view to do so. A number of people have addressed specific points – this is a great discussion. But it’s interesting that no one has provided anything like a comprehensive argument as to why McCain would be a good choice for tech voters.

    What an opportunity, if you believe in informed debate!

    You could draft on my visibility and get your arguments in front of a lot of people. Yet many of the conservative comments on this post are instead about how I shouldn’t have made my arguments.

    Take up the challenge! This is, among other things, an experiment in how the new tools of conversation on the net can be handled to enable responsible dialogue.

    I’ve tried to respond to commenters because I am trying to model a kind of behavior that I believe we need more of, serious discussion, with links to our sources, the “source code of our thinking.”

    So while I agree that it is controversial for some, this is an appropriate use of the platform I’ve built to reach the people who care what I think.

    If I were shutting down debate, and making it a one-way channel, or spouting hate, I’d agree with you. But I’m trying to foster dialogue.

    There’s still a day before the election. Make your best case!

  • shishir

    Ok, I am not an American. I live in; largest
    democracy (or so they call it) on this planet; India. But here is what I felt after reading all comments and digesting them. I couldn’t help
    myself from posting a comment, even though its
    against my policy to comment on political, religious or ideological issues.

    Abortion:
    People have very strong opinions on abortion,
    especially those citing that its taking human
    life. But then its quite inexplicable that you
    support war (be it on terror or whatever).
    And those who oppose it for reasons of faith,
    you have compassion for the child not yet born
    but you don’t have compassion for the mother,
    would you go out and adopt the child that the
    mother (or father or both) can not support ?
    And you’d still suppor these wars in which
    “God” is on your side ?

    I come from a country which has large number
    of female foeticide and infanticide. But it
    also has a large population of malnourished
    children. So even though I am “pro-life” I
    am also “pro-abortion”, contradictory, perhaps
    not if you find out about our reality.

    Socialism:
    I think people should really go out and
    read something about it, may be even read
    Das Kapital, nothing which Obama says actually
    is socialist. Besides wasn’t (I may be wrong
    here) Christ also socialist..? No government
    can ever be socialist, or communist in the
    real sense of the word.

    I live in a socialist, secular republic which
    is neither socialist nor secular :).
    If any government can ever be humane that is
    what it must aim to be, but can it ever happen
    I don’t know, my country doesn’t have that.
    The country Bush has created isn’t one, perhaps
    the country which your founding father’s carved
    aimed to be one, it has long lost its path.
    Your country was once the leader of the
    so called “free” world, but freedom was whatever
    you defined it to be, but you are losing even
    that position, and it has happened pretty fast
    ~over last 10 years.
    To me it appears only option left for you is
    to restart, in this I think Obama is better but
    only slightly.

    Who is on people’s side:
    Fact is none of the politician’s are ever on
    people’s side, these are both (infact all)
    highly ambitious people who want power. This
    is true for almost all people but more so for
    politicians. I can never really decide if
    democracy is an illusion or a farce…

    McCain vs Obama (Record wise):
    The experience thing is just too overplayed,
    having more experience doesn’t make you better
    it makes you more prone to compromises, and if
    one wants to affect change..compromises just
    do.Your own history teaches you that, and mine
    teaches the same.
    But then being inexperienced means you may
    commit more errors, but you are also likely
    to be more creative..but yet you’ll have lots
    of people against you, for people just don’t
    like young upstarts succeeding, see British
    didn’t like your success but you succeeded
    didn’t you..so may be Obama is a decent choice.
    So and so has voted against such and such on
    X occasions, doesn’t really matter, because on
    most issues, people are pushing agenda of those
    that put them in the position of exerting
    influence.”Principled politics” is an oxymoron.
    For that don’t trust either Obama or McCain.

    I too tend to lean towards Obama but I think
    McCain will win, primarily because the sense I get
    from watching these news channels and reading
    various sources on web, is America is too insular,
    and is also very very afraid to change.

    I may be wrong about more things than 1, but that
    is quite alright, I hope you all will make a
    choice that will help us make earth a better place
    for coming generations.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been buying O’Reilly books since becoming a computer science undergrad in ’87. I have bought my last, though, since you guys want to use the profits from my purchases to promote politics I don’t agree with.

    Jeff

  • Dee Richins

    Not knowing what to believe in today’s society, when I read something, I must go with my gut feel. I think Obama is too slick. He seems to come from a good back ground but that’s exactly what I would look for if I wanted to back someone of dubious beliefs. His resolve about abortion bothers me, his resolve about the medical system bothers me, his resolve about “taking from the rich and giving to the poor” bothers me (guess I really don’t belive in Robin Hood), his resolve about guns bothers me. All in all I can’t find common ground.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Dee -

    I hear you about the difficulty of knowing who to believe in this media-saturated world of ours. But I will say that I know a number of the tech people working on Obama’s campaign and on projects that will hopefully be carried out if he wins. I also know the quality of his tech advisers, compared to McCain’s.

    Think of it as an investment decision. Would you rather invest in a company run by Eric Schmidt of Google (one of Obama’s advisors), or one run by Carly Fiorina, the ousted CEO of HP, who nearly ran it into the ground, who advises McCain?

    I believe there’s more than gut feel to base this decision on. I initially had my doubts about Obama too, and I’m sure that he will let us all down in one way or another, but I really admire the way he has run his campaign, both from the point of view of effectiveness, steadiness, and the relative “high road” he’s taken vs. the negative approach of the McCain campaign.

    I hope you’ll change your mind.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Jeremiah Oywang has a great post with the comparative stats on
    Obama’s use of social media technology during the campaign, vs McCain’s.

  • Ray

    Tim,

    A thoughtful, forthright post on Stuff That Matters.

    Thanks for venturing out into this territory.

    One can look at every nuance of this issue, and I am glad that some do.

    For me, it is simple. Our nation is at risk, and our position of strength has been degraded by the botched misadventure in Iraq, by the botched economy (yes, lots of blame to go around, but the last 8 years of Republican “oversight” must be part of that calculation), by the toxic level of political discourse (lots of blame there, but again I think Rove & Company should get more than their share of credit for poisoning the body politic).

    John McCain is, or used to be a good honorable man. But he has lost either his judgement or lost control of his campaign, and allowed snakes and weasels (Davis, Schmidt, Salter, Bounds) and fellow travelers (the extreme right) to bloom unfettered.

    If McCain does such a weak job in leading his campaign, he will be a terrible leader. Not every national hero can be a great leader, just like not every rocket-scientist software genius can be a great company CEO.

    At this point, I am so fed up I would vote for a week-old pumpkin over any Republican-aligned candidate. Fortunately, we have Obama, while undeniably young and inexperienced, has has run a masterful campaign, written his own speeches, chosen his advisors (and gone against them on occasion), shown good instincts, careful judgement and great temperament. He is the real deal, as much as we can get from any politician who worked his way up in urban politics, rather than having a silver spoon handed to him, or bedded a wealthy heiress.

    Last point, no matter who wins, they will have a boatload of fecal matter to contend with — the legacy of the Bush administration accumulated over the past 8 years. I almost wish McCain/Palin should sit under that dumptruck as it unloads its waste. Except for that fact that we all must suffer the consequences.

    Vote early tomorrow!

  • http://www.futurethought.tv Jay Zaveri

    Tim,

    Thaks for the link to Jeremiah’s blog. O had beat Mc hands down on social media. Here’s some more info:
    Google Trends show bo.com beats jm.com by 3X.
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=barackobama.com%2C+johnmccain.com&ctab=0&geo=US&date=ytd&sort=0

    Alexa Traffic Ranking yesterday:
    bo.com – 415
    jm.com – 2054

    Google Search reults:
    bo name – 71 MN
    bo website – 68 MN
    jm name – 61 MN
    jm website – no info

    Don’t forget the bo iphone app that targets your address book by swing state!

  • SW

    Every single “Red Right Winger” is always saying “Obabma is not experienced enough for the job”

    My question to them is?

    What great things did GWB bring to the table before he ran in 2000

    1. His dad was a pres
    2. He owned a baseball team
    3. He was Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000

    This does not look like alot of experience to me.

    Just a thought

  • sc

    Wow, this is great. I came here looking for javascript/dojo information and instead I learn tons I did not before. Though I’ve already voted this morning, I honestly do not think anything I’ve just read would have changed my choice for president. Yet I still wish I had a time machine so I would at the very least made more thoughtful votes on items (referendums, city probate court officer, etc, etc).

    I vote we discussions such as these on oreilly.com in ’10 and ’12 well in advance of the elections.

  • http://www.millionface.com Haroon

    This one is in response to ‘SW’ -

    The only political experience GWB had was 5 years of governor experience, as per you. This is one big reason why he screwed up the country! Do you want Obama to repeat that ?!

    thanks
    MillionFace.com

  • SW

    Experience for Obama “haroon” Alot diffrent then the cowboy GWB

    A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School

    He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

    Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004

    US Senate 2004

    Now I ask you, what does it take to be the command in chief ?

  • http://www.nagleresearch.com John Nagle

    Back @ Tim O’Reilly:

    Thanks for a well thought out reply. Let me respond to a few points:

    >> taxes were higher during the last period of real prosperity in this country, under Clinton.

    You and I both work in the technology field, so let’s be completely honest about this. The “prosperity” under Clinton was the result of wealthy investors throwing gobs of money at companies whose technology they didn’t understand, all for the purpose of catching the “next big thing.” I remember full well, as do you I’m sure, the multi-million dollar launch parties, the lavish offices, the $150,000 junior software engineer salaries, etc. It wasn’t real. In fact, in a really ironic way, it demonstrated beautifully that trickle-down theory is sound; money flowed from the wealthy investors down to the people, and everyone prospered. For a while. Unfortunately the money in this case didn’t come from revenue, it came from speculation, and much like the housing “crisis” now, giving away free money is simply not sustainable.

    (Democrats also conveniently forget that the bubble had already begun to burst during the spring and summer of 2000, well before the election of GWB.)

    Also the track metaphor, as you employed it, doesn’t really work here, I don’t think. The track represents, in my opinion, good old-fashioned capitalism. It’s the rule set by which we play. What causes derailments are the anti-capitalist practices people try to put on the track to “improve” it.

    Do I think taxes will go back to extremely high levels? I fear they could, now that the democrats have won the Whitehouse and strengthened their position in Congress. The temptation will be to run roughshod over conservatives; the only thing standing in their way is that somehow we were able to keep them from a super majority.

    In the 12 hours or so since the Obama victory, I’ve already heard socialism apologists (some with real power) in the media. So I think my fear is well-founded.

    Nevertheless, Obama won and I congratulate you and your party. I am being honest when I say that I intend to give him a chance, and offer my firm support and respect. I feel a little like Fox Mulder right now; I WANT TO BELIEVE. But it will take more than platitudes and good speaking ability to run this country, I sincerely hope he’s up to the task.

    -John

  • http://www.nagleresearch.com John Nagle

    One final comment on a post you made to Dee:

    “Think of it as an investment decision. Would you rather invest in a company run by Eric Schmidt of Google (one of Obama’s advisors), or one run by Carly Fiorina, the ousted CEO of HP, who nearly ran it into the ground, who advises McCain?”

    I’d just remind you that Meg Whitman also advised McCain, and I think it’s pretty safe to say she’s done an excellent job of transforming a business that started out as a weekend Perl script into the quintessential dot com success story.

    -John

    PS: Your captcha system sucks. ;-) Or I’m going blind.

  • http://www.whiotv.com/forums/index.html?q=http%3A//forums.ibsys.com/viewmessages.cfm%3Fsitekey%3Dday%26forum%3D629%26topic%3D18552%26startmsg%3D11%26messageorder%3DDESC Todd Charske

    It’s all Democrats now

    House – Senate – President

    No More Excuses can’t balme Republicans. next election

    - Todd Charske

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    John Nagle -

    You’re conflating the strength of the stock market under Clinton with the internet stock market bubble. The internet bubble was coincident with the second half of Clinton’s second term, but does not explain the sustained prosperity, the balanced budgets, etc. Sensible tax policy led to the deficit reduction.

    But I really wanted to respond to your comments about Meg. I agree that she built eBay into an extraordinarily successful company. But I had to bite my tongue from mentioning that she also turned eBay bit by bit away from Pierre’s original idealistic, empowering vision into a platform for big companies, a perfect mirror of Republican economic policy.

    And yes, the captcha sucks. I’ll will talk to the team about it (again).

  • drew

    We are blessed to have such an intelligent, honest, selfless & focused man as our next president.
    Yes time will tell
    but I believe it will tell a story of greatness in regards to this man.

    Peace on Earth!

  • kaetuu

    Tim,

    I’ve read your reasons for supporting Mr. Obama and I am really quite surprised. You seem to have bought into all the most fashionable progressive issues and have aligned yourself with the likes of those who fully expected President Elect Obama to start handing out the checks in Grant park… Planning on handing out some yourself? If so, I’ll happily give you my mailing address. I sure could use an extra $100,000.00.. Of course, 60% will go to my new federal tax schedule….. (deep depression)

    I would suggest that instead of listening to Mr. Obama’s speeches you should have been paying more attention to his voting record.

  • Andrew

    A guy named “Hussein” could never win an election in America!

  • Andy

    Tim,

    Would you hire this clown to work in your own company?! The guy has experience running for office and being an adjunct professor. Where is his experience running a company, an organization, or even chairing a simple meeting?! Nowhere to be found. This guy is as incompetent as they come, yet somehow he embraced as some sort of messiah or something, as though he is going to save our country. A third-shift McDonald’s manager has more managerial experience than Obama has — that’s a fact.

    This idiot doesn’t have a clue what he’s going to do or how he’s going to do it. He’s a product of the media, and gullible folks like you have been snookered.

    Andy

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Andy,

    You either didn’t read the post, or haven’t read and thought about the news, or both. If nothing else, Obama put together the most impressive campaign in history, raising more money, putting more feet on the ground, and building the most powerful campaign organization in history. Even his most vitriolic opponents grant him that (unless they are just spewing thoughtless venom). If that isn’t evidence of competence, I don’t know what is.

    That’s why I used the image of the startup ready for the IPO.

    No, we don’t know how effective a president he’ll be yet, but his performance during the campaign was surely evidence of very effective leadership skills.

  • http://www.amarketplaceofideas.com FreemonSandlewould

    I can summarize why you support B.O. much more quickly. You are a liberal idiot who believes his own magical thinking.

  • Matt Westerburg

    Knowing now what he has done since his election, would you still vote for him? Wiretapping, pulling out from iraq and bailouts. Might as well be Bush don’t you think? The scientist from NASA got busted fudging the climate data numbers. I’m sorry, but the science I grew up idolizing had to prove something. To my knowledge no one to date, despite it being one of the biggest topics right now, has proven we are doing it. And we might be, but seriously there is room for debate. And frankly the technology is not here yet. It’s just not sustainable. It will be, but not now. Anyway I am sick of people like you endorsing candidates. I have to live in this country and it’s annoying as hell when the vast majority of other voters listen to people like you.

  • http://www.uptownpetshop.net/ online pet shop

    My pets are my children
    As pet lovers, I’ve been through my trials and tribulations trying to locate the best online pet resource and, believe me, it’s not been an easy task! After several years of trying site after site now i find that one special place which offered just the
    right balance of information, resources, products, and, plain old ‘fun’, I finally decided that we I just
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  • http://afencepost.blogspot.com ckncook

    It’s been 9 months since you posted these reasons why you support Obama. Has anything changed? Has he delivered so far? Do you still have the same confidence in him?

    I did not vote for Obama, and based on his performance so far, I feel that my assessment was accurate. I’m just curious to know if an Obama supporter can still justify their support for him based upon his job performance to date, and if so, how?

  • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

    ckncook -

    I’m not 100% happy with all that Obama’s done, but he’s sure done a far better job than the previous incumbent, and IMO considerably better than McCain would have done.

    He’s been handed a pretty tough deck of cards: a huge deficit and economic collapse driven in large part by his predecessor’s policies, overseas wars (ditto), which have made it difficult to address his own key priorities.

    I am most concerned with how closely aligned his financial policy is with the wishes of the titans of Wall Street, but given the gravity of the situation, I’m not sure he’s been wrong. “Get the patient stabilized first” is one of the first rules of a crisis. And it’s hard to imagine the opposition doing anything different.

    I’m disgusted by the Republican cries that he’s bankrupting the country when it was their party that did the bankrupting. He’s just paying their bill.

  • http://afencepost.blogspot.com/ ckncook

    It’s been another month and I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think Obama has been a disaster.

    The deficit? Please. There is no comparison. And there is STILL no plan for the stimulus money. The fact that he gave it to Joe Biden to administrate tells you all you need to know about how seriously he takes his responsibility for that money.

    A tough deck? Maybe so. Do we not all play with the hand we are dealt? Did he not realize what he was getting in to? Why was he not more prepared? He ran for TWO years and still cannot articulate a specific health care reform plan that was supposedly one of his “key priorities.”

    Driven by predecessor’s policies? Why must every comment supporting Obama be prefaced with commentary about his predecessor? I think his actions – from disastrous foreign policy decisions, to decreased transparency, to a politically motivated justice department to the demonization of average citizens – speak quite clearly on their own. If an employee was stealing, would you be satisfied simply because he was stealing less than the previous guy? He’s not by the way … Obama is stealing MORE, specifically your liberty.

    It’s hard to imagine the opposition doing anything different? I doubt they would have taken over the auto industry and given it to organized labor, or demanded control of the financial industry and executive pay. I think they would have looked for more market-based solutions.

    You are disappointed that he’s cozying up to Wall St? Are you really surprised? Big business LOVES big government, because it helps them control the market and drive out competition. And big labor LOVES big government because it helps them regulate employers. Why do you think big business is on board with health care reform? Who gets squeezed? The middle and little guy, who, despite the spin of the Democrat Party, ALWAYS pay the freight and suffer the consequences of the “government largesse.”

    Obama doesn’t have the character to deliver on his populist/progressive rhetoric because at heart he is an elitist. I sense that you are surprised by his actions, that he’s not an altruistic “lift up the little guy” progressive you expected him to be. Many of my young friends, who supported Obama, have now lost interest in him as a ‘transformational’ leader because his policies are so disconnected from his rhetoric, but, on a positive note, they have also lost some naivete.

  • Keith Mathis

    GLOBAL WARMING: AMERICAS PERILOUS FIGHT

    You have heard a lot about ‘global warming’ lately and the causes of this warming. This movement to battle ‘climate change’ stands behind the assumption that: 1) the earth is warming and that it is unusual; and 2) that human activity, especially carbon emissions, is the sole or main cause behind this warming. Scientists agree that (co2) carbon dioxide, known as a greenhouse gas, traps heat inside an atmosphere, therefore, causing the average global temperature to rise. But those assumptions alone do not provide logical explanations of ‘climate change’ when you consider just some of the other elements that affect our planet.

    What is in debate is the predominant causes of our apparent recent warming and more importantly, the cost of trying to slow down, or eliminate this warming, and if it is even possible to make a substantial difference. Please consider all the factors discussed in this article and do your own research to come to your own conclusion. Consider who benefits most from this movement, their actions, and the repercussions that will inevitably devastate the United States and its citizens if we allow our government, foreign and special interest groups, at break-neck speed, to enact their plan to combat “global warming”.

    Billions of years ago, our young planet’s developing atmosphere consisted of mainly carbon dioxide. It is believed that when the first microscopic bacterium and fungi appeared, they, as do plants today, took in carbon dioxide, and as a byproduct, gave off oxygen. Over millions of years, this process developed our atmospheric levels of oxygen to the 21% that we enjoy today. If we maintain enough vegetation to offset our current co2 emissions, then we should be able to maintain co2 levels. But then again, that may be too simple, and would thus eliminate the grand opportunities provided to those who lobby for this multi-billion dollar industry to fight against ‘global warming’.

    Consider the fact that throughout earth’s history, global temperatures rise and fall, just like a heart-rate monitor. Global warming and cooling is a natural process of our planet. It has been happening since our planet formed an atmosphere billions of years ago. Global temperature charts show that lows haven’t been as substantial in the last 600,000 years. We are currently in an ice-age—the defining conditions of an ice-age being simply that ice be present on our planets surface (Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, glaciers, Greenland, etc.). Atmospheric composition does have an effect on global temperatures, but if the pollutants from human production, which started during the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1800’s, is the main cause, then why are temperatures cooler now than they have been centuries before the Industrial Revolution.

    In recent times, we have not hit the high temperatures that existed in our planets not too distant past. Although I must say that huge amounts of melting freshwater causes changes in the salinity of our oceans, thus affecting currents in our oceans and local weather pattern, therefore giving logic to the cooling we have recently experienced. The question is, are the causes of this ice-melt due to co2 emissions alone, or could it be the many other elements affecting our planet internally and externally, man-made and natural.

    Carbon emissions are a part of life. We are a carbon-based life-form and therefore emit carbon every time we breathe, sneeze, cough, speak, pass gas, etc. This is the same carbon dioxide that is being disputed for causing ‘global warming’. The ratio of plants to carbon emissions is vital and probably the easiest, most efficient, and most economic form of atmospheric management concerning co2 emissions possible. Plant and save trees, for it’s not a financially corrupt and destructive path toward fighting ‘climate change’ like some of their proposals seem to be.

    Our sun goes through natural patterns of activity itself. It undergoes an 11-year cycle, with low and high activity, known as the solar minimum and solar maximum. This cycle dictates sunspot activity, and therefore the amount of energy that radiates from the sun, thus reaching earth. A NASA resource states that, “The sunspot cycle is behaving a little like the stock market. Just when you think it has hit bottom, it goes even lower”. They go on to say, “2008 was a bear. There were no sunspots observed on 266 of the year’s 366 days (73%). To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days”.

    Did our politicians and companies we won’t name here, bet on this trend, similar to playing the stock market? By the way in 1913, when this record low solar activity occurred, the Great Lakes experienced the worst winter storm on record with hurricane force winds, killing hundreds of people and destroying many ships while during the summer of that same year, North America’s record high temperature was reached at 134 degrees in Death Valley.

    Consider how our planet orbits the sun. It is not a static path. It fluctuates over long periods of time. The pattern changes from circular, where at any point on the perimeter is equidistant to the center; to an elliptical (oval) pattern, where different distances are attained depending on where you’re at on that ellipse. The differing distances cause fluctuations in the amount of solar energy that our planet receives. Think of the seasons we experience, and the differing climatic changes, caused by a simple 22.5 degree tilt of our planet and its relation to the sun. These fluctuations in our orbital pattern alone can explain temperature differences.

    Think of our magnetic field which salvages our protective atmosphere and keeps harmful solar radiation from raining down upon us. It is believed that the magnetic poles may be again switching positions—north to south, etc. This is weakening our magnetic field and has created a large gap of vulnerability over the Pacific Ocean. Water is an excellent source of heat storage, and this barrage of solar radiation may also be affecting oceanic temperatures, and therefore atmospheric temperatures. How about our depleted ozone layer?

    The de-forestation, building, expansion, and the materials used in our constructions also make a difference on solar heat gain. Certain hardscapes and dark colors absorb and retain more heat than other materials and colors. This has encouraged talk within this current administration to paint rooftops and asphalt white for this very reason. Even though we know dark colors absorb and retain more heat, does this really sound like a logical solution. Well only if we use low VOC paint, right? What about the poor birds who may now freeze at the tops of frigid buildings? What about the increased icy conditions on the now chilly white asphalt roads causing accidents? What about the inefficiency and lack of home heat gain that some depend on in winter months? Well don’t worry, I’m sure our government, certain politicians and corporations will come up with the answers at your expense. After all, the more problems we face, the more solutions we need, and therefore, the more tax money that will be abused for almost any reason other than to truly provide what majority of Americans want.

    Going green and utilizing sustainability is an important responsibility that all humans on earth share. Providing production from renewable energy that causes no alterations to our atmosphere, earth, or water supply is obviously a great thing, and we should head toward that direction. But it’s hard to swallow this push when it comes from politicians, ex-politicians, and corporations whose existence and/or substantial monetary or political gains may depend on the success of this movement. This makes us question their motivation and if they truly care about their cause, or is what drives them the benefits they will reap from its promulgation.

    The inconvenient truth is that the changes our planet is undergoing are normal, and we will not be able to stop it. That is not to dismiss the fact that co2 emissions from production may also contribute to it, along with breathing, talking, etc. There has even been talk of taxing farmers because of the co2 emissions that their livestock emits, which inevitably will raise costs for US consumers.

    This presidential administration wants to pass ‘Cap and Trade’ legislation which is a financially devastating joke. It taxes and caps the amount of co2 emissions companies can emit. Sounds great, right? Well, companies who want to emit more than their allowance can purchase rights to do so from other efficient companies who haven’t reached their co2 limits. Who benefits from this? Our government, past and present politicians, and closely tied corporations. Who will suffer from this burdening tax—we the people. The utility companies are not going to eat that enormous cost, they can’t, and they will pass it down to consumers. It is believed that your monthly utility bill may raise $100 to a few hundred more a month. Barack Obama himself said, “. . . under my plan of a ‘Cap and Trade’ system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”. But as long as were combating climate change, it’s worth it, right? We may soon all be in the dark as most Americans would not be able to adjust to this exorbitant raise in rates.

    At a time when we face economic collapse, soaring unemployment, and soon to be hyper-inflation, is this good move for the people of our country; or is it good for those who are pushing for it. Consider this hypothetical situation: a huge corporation puts all their financial chips on this green movement. Their stocks have plummeted, and only the acceptance of this movement can save their investment. Not to mention the hypothetical CEO of this company runs a major media outlet who gave the current president seemingly non-objective positive coverage during their campaign. This CEO also became an economic recovery advisor to the president and now resides on our Federal Reserve board. Wouldn’t that be absolutely sickening if that were true? America, do your homework!

    Why does our government seem so concerned about climate change when there is no definite proof that its main cause is from co2 emissions? Why aren’t they as concerned with the true toxins and pollutants being dumped into our environment by some unscrupulous corporations? I’ll tell you why. It’s because there is no money or political payback involved in passing legislation that forces individual companies to clean up their messes. But if we quickly went to ‘green’ sustainable energy, the coffers would be limitless.

    We do not have the equipment, logistics, or infrastructure to carry out this movement. Therefore, we would have to spend billions of dollars to create and accommodate energy of this type. American taxpayers, and the sovereignty of our nation will carry this burden, while certain politicians, companies, and contractors live lavishly as they spew tons of co2 from their private jets to attend yet another conference on ‘climate change’ speaking of how we can do more to better our planet, while India, China, Russia, etc. continue to emit co2. We help and encourage other nations to build nuclear facilities, but we have no plans to really implement this as a dominant source of our energy needs. Wake up America!

    Keith W. Mathis
    Concerned Citizen for our planet, economic future, and national sovereignty

  • Michelle

    How’s that hope and change working?

  • Anna

    Ohhhhhhhhh goshohgoshohgosh!! Lookie here! This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in ages! Not because of the blog! Oh no, that was well thought-out and was wonderful and intelligent. I’m talking about the comments. I’m a teenager and I’ve seen more childish behaviour here than I have at school. Made me want to hide under my bed. I know that the internet isn’t exactly a rarity in the household these days, but I also know that some of my far more intelligent friends lack access to many resources unlike some of the people here, and it scares me that these people who are obviously better off aren’t taking advantage of it and trying to support their arguments rather than just snarling at anyone who doesn’t agree with them. And if you’re going to have a go at me too for saying this, no big words please. I’m still in high school and I feel that I’m allowed a certain level of immaturity so if everyone else is going to mentally sink to my age level then get rid of the high-flown language. After mucking through the comments, when I got rid of the sophisticated language they used I didn’t find much. Some, not all. By the way, I didn’t support either side because I didn’t really get them. I don’t live in the US of A, I live down under so I wasn’t really exposed to as much of the campaigning and I don’t understand the process either. That’s actually how I found this blog, while searching up just what was so good/bad about Obama anyway… People either say he’s bad or he’s good; I don’t hear much from the people in the middle. After reading everything, I think I would have felt in the middle leaning towards Obama. Not that that matters anymore, obviously, and from what I hear he isn’t doing that great a job.
    Anyway, politics aside, I just felt I had to say something about the stupid comments. And yeah, call me ignorant, but I had no idea who Tim O’Reilly was when I read this blog. I thought he was intelligent and entitled to his own opinion. Imagine my shock when I discovered he actually owned a business (and a large one at that)! This changes things, obviously! Now I have to look at this in a whole new manner! All his opinions must be linked back to his business. If I don’t like something, I will stop buying anything related to him and encourage others to do the same! All the way for peer pressure!
    O_O I beg your pardon?
    Again, I thought some of my peers were childish. I’ll think better of them now.
    Think before you flame. And if you can’t think, don’t flame. It’s for your own good.
    And again, I think I’m allowed to be juvenile. I have to grow up in a few years (and vote, among other things… Compulsory for us to vote at 18 down here). So yes, let me be silly. Ima gonna blow raspberries at you and giggle over Mama Mia while I still can. And uh, what’s with the online pet store?
    ***

  • A Murad

    Pres Obama is the best president the US will ever get

  • Jerry

    I thank Obama because …He is doing his job in protecting American Citizens by standing against SB 1070.
    What people don’t realize and I suppose don’t really care about is that there are Hondorans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese, Cape Verdeans, Venezuelans, and people of other nationalities that are LEGAL American citizens who resemble people who are in the group this law targets. Unless you actually speak to them you will not know the difference. I doubt very seriously they are going to take the time to ask. If this law is allowed to go into affect it will negatively impact not only the group they are trying to target but other innocent American citizens as well. It has been done in the past with ICE raids and people were thrown in jail, separated from their families, abused and more.
    I am sure when the door to this country was opened to immigrants many decades ago they did not open the door with intentions to unnecessarily traumatize these people decades later. Did they?
    If they did as a veteran of the USA I will denounce my service to this country and leave!
    There are biracial children this law could hurt unnecessarily. This law opens the door for undue harassment at the hands of law officials who often tend to shoot and ask questions later. Even though there are many states who have already attempted to or who have adopted this law quietly, President Obama is doing his best to keep this from going widespread and he is doing is job! This is what the people who voted put him in office for. He cannot just arbitrarily choose to support one group of people and allow another group to be mistreated and abused just because there are people in this country of different nationalities!
    And people shouldn’t try to impeach him for doing his job!
    Thank you! President Obama & I thank your wife too for supporting you.

  • Barry Lynch

    So have you changed your mind yet?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75YhFScM5sU