So, a businessman is awaiting sentencing for his role in a $2.2B stock fraud.   Two congressman are declining to return campaign contributions from him, and refusing to release an earmark for the guy’s pet project. 

The one that kind of fascinates me is Moran –

In an interview with Politico, Moran said he had been unaware of Samueli’s legal problems but would stand by the couple, the campaign contributions and the earmark. Politicians, he said, cater to the worst impulses in politics when they rush to return contributions from troubled donors.

“They see somebody down, so they want to kick ’em, so they can look good in the eyes of the media,” Moran said. “That kind of annoys me. It disgusts me, actually. I don’t enjoy kicking people when they’re down. Frankly, I’m proud that he saw fit to contribute to me, and I don’t intend to try to embarrass him by sending him back the money.”

So … that’s what returning dirty money is about?  Kicking people when they’re down, just to make yourself look good?  It doesn’t have anything to do with, say, maintaining public trust that our elected officials aren’t riddled with corruption? 

Seriously, Moran thinks that not embarassing this guy who’s been convicted of defrauding investors is more important than cutting financial ties to convicted fraud perpetrators?  The guy was convicted of cheating the public!  I mean, I could see if the guy was just under suspicion and hadn’t been indicted yet.  Or maybe even indicted, but not yet convicted.  But the guy was convicted!  Of massive financial fraud! 

Let’s review.  What do we do when a campaign contributor is convicted of massive financial fraud?  We cut ties with them.  Which includes … returning their money.  So that the public doesn’t think we’re in bed with them.  Simple, yeah?

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JPost has a good article about Obama padding his resume.  It struck me, this is one of the big things I really dislike about Obama.  He really reminds me of executives who hop from company to company and care only about their own career and image, not the company. 

They pride themselves on their “leadership abilities”, but don’t actually do anything one can point to.  They jump from stepping-stone to stepping-stone without ever really interacting along the way.  Their chief abilities are promoting themselves and quietly detaching themselves from ill-considered initiatives which they enthusiastically promote until the initiative sinks.  As long as they get their bonuses, they don’t care how the company is doing.

Basically, Obama reminds me of a useless MBA.

Krugman had a good column yesterday about Obama’s lack of attention to economic issues.  The economy under Bush has collossally sucked.  Job growth is the slowest in 60 years.  The income gap has widened substantially over the last decade – and that’s just earned income, it doesn’t include other wealth.  McCain promises more of the same.  

Why is Obama not seizing on this?  His tax plan is actually fairly progressive and would help the middle vs. the rich – but for some reason he’s not talking about it.

The middle and lower-middle classes are descending towards outright poverty, with the wealthy detaching like the tip of a rocket and blasting off without the rest of us.  Foreclosures are at a record high.  The increasing cost of life basics – gas, food, housing, medical care – has got to be hurting a lot of families. 

That is, the economy has to be hurting a lot of families with a lot of swing voters.  So why is Obama strangely silent about all this? 

These are classic strong issues for Democrats.  Economic fairness – the basic guarantee that if you work hard, you’ll at least stay afloat, if not get ahead.  It’s a freaking no-brainer.  That Obama is not talking about issues that matter to the average voter only adds to his aura of elitism. 

C’mon, man, you’ve styled yourself as this amazing orator – do your stuff, already.  Get people to sign on to your vision, not McCain’s. 

Does he not believe his own promises?  Is that why he can’t bring himself to talk about his great plans – because he knows he can’t carry them off?  Seriously, why is he not talking about this?

Participating in a long-standing tradtion, Obama left a note to God in the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

“Lord—Protect my family and me,” reads the note published in the Maariv daily. “Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”

I love that.  Not “Dear Lord, please …” or even “Lord, please,” or even “Lord,” Instead of a comma, he uses the efficient, business-like dash.  No please, no thank you, no sign-off – just a list of directives.  To God.

Hunh.  Apparently Obama doesn’t think Turkey is a democracy.

And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East’s only democracy for the region’s extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

According to a 2007 survey by the Economist – hardly a bastion of liberalism – Israel was somewhat more democratic than Turkey.  But even Israel wasn’t in the category of “fully functioning” democracy, but a “flawed” democracy.  If you’re going for “as democratic as the U.S.”, or a “fully functioning democracy” – which Obama seems to be using as a yardstick – then neither Israel nor Turkey is a democracy.   If you use this standard, there is no democratic nation in the Middle East. 

But Obama knows what side his bread is buttered on.  Accordingly, Israel is a democracy, and Turkey is not.

Italian architect Dr. David Fisher announced on Tuesday the launch of a revolutionary skyscraper in Dubai dubbed as the “world’s first building in motion,” an 80-story tower with revolving floors that give it an ever-shifting shape.

Call me crotchety, but buildings should not be in motion.  In general, a building in motion is a distinctly suboptimal state of affairs.

Remember when Obama ridiculed Hillary for voting for the Iraq war even though she was against it?  Remember how very bright-line he made it seem?  If you’re against the war, then vote against it!  Duh.  It’s what he would have done, if he’d been there to vote.  No-brainer!

Oh, If only politicians could vote according to their consciences.  Unfortunately – as I’m quite sure he knows well – they often can’t.  As he himself recently could not, on the FISA bill telecom immunity.  What?  If you’re against it, why didn’t you vote against it?  Duh.