Saturday, December 27, 2008

George W Bush: winning the war on terror

Europe's political elites are no doubt salivating at the prospect of George W. Bush departing the White House in January.
George W Bush
Criticism of George W Bush is often driven by a dislike of his personality, not analysis of his achievements Photo: EPA

On much of the world stage, President Bush has been widely reviled as one of the worst U.S. leaders of modern times, and it is hard to think of an American president who has received a worse press since Richard Nixon.

To his critics, who are legion on both sides of the Atlantic, the war in Iraq has been a monumental disaster, at a cost of more than 4,000 American lives and at least $500 billion. They see the war on terror, with the notorious Guantanamo prison camp as its symbol, as a catalyst for radicalizing tens of millions of Muslims that has made the United States a pariah in the Middle East.

The war in Afghanistan, they argue, is going badly in the face of a resurgent Taliban, the cost of Washington pouring most of its resources into Iraq. Bush, the theory goes, failed to keep his eye on the ball, weakening the fight against al-Qaeda through his supposed obsession with Iraq. He is also accused of undermining America's standing in the world, adopting a unilateralist foreign policy and refusing to work with its Allies.

Some of the criticism of Bush's foreign policy is fair. The early stages of the occupation of Iraq were poorly handled and there was a distinct lack of post-war planning. America's public diplomacy efforts have been poor or even non-existent, with little serious attempt to combat the stunning rise of anti-Americanism. More recently, Washington's failure to stand up more aggressively to Moscow after its invasion of Georgia projected weakness and indecision.

Much of the condemnation of his policies though is driven by a venomous hatred of Bush's personality and leadership style, rather than an objective assessment of his achievements. Ten or twenty years from now, historians will view Bush's actions on the world stage in a more favourable light. America's 43rd president did after all directly liberate more people (over 60 million) from tyranny than any leader since Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Widely seen as his biggest foreign policy error, the decision to invade Iraq could ultimately prove to have been a masterstroke. Today the world is witnessing the birth of the first truly democratic state in the Middle East outside of Israel. Over eight million voted in Iraq's parliamentary elections in 2005, and the region's first free Muslim society may become a reality. Iraq might not be Turkey, but it is a powerful demonstration that freedom can flourish in the embers of the most brutal and barbaric of dictatorships.

The success of the surge in Iraq will go down in history as a turning point in the war against al-Qaeda. The stunning defeat of the insurgency was a major blow both militarily and psychologically for the terror network. The West's most feared enemy suffered thousands of losses in Iraq, including many of their most senior commanders, such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Qaswarah. It was the most successful counter-insurgency operation anywhere in the world since the British victory in Malaya in 1960.

The broader war against Islamist terrorism has also been a success. There has not been a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, and for all the global condemnation of pre-emptive strikes, Guantanamo and the use of rendition against terror suspects, the fact remains that Bush's aggressive strategy actually worked.

Significantly, there have been no successful terrorist attacks in Europe since the July 2005 London bombings, in large part due to the cooperation between U.S., British and other Western intelligence agencies. American intelligence has proved vital in helping prevent an array of planned terror attacks in the UK, a striking demonstration of the value to Britain of its close ties to Washington.

President Bush, in contrast to both his father, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton before him, had a crystal clear, instinctive understanding of the importance of the Anglo-American Special Relationship. Tony Blair may well have been labeled Bush's "poodle" over his support for the war in Iraq, but his partnership with George W. Bush marked the high point of the Anglo-American alliance since the heady days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

The decision by Bush, with Blair's support, to sweep the Taliban out of Afghanistan was a brilliant move, one that not all U.S. presidents would have taken. A weaker leader would have gone to the United Nations Security Council and sought a negotiated settlement with Kabul. It was a risky gambit that was vindicated by a stunning military victory in the space of a month, with a small number of U.S. ground forces involved.

Bush also made a firm commitment to defending the fledgling Afghan government, and succeeded in building a 41-nation NATO-led coalition. The notion that the resurgence of the Taliban is America's failure is nonsense. The U.S. has more than 30,000 troops in the country under U.S. or NATO command, making up over half of all Allied forces there. Continental European allies have simply failed to step up to the plate with more troops, with almost the entire war-fighting burden placed on the U.S., UK and other English-speaking countries. Afghanistan is not a failure of American leadership, it is a damning indictment of an increasingly pacifist Europe that simply will not fight.

President Bush also recognized the importance of re-shaping the NATO alliance for the 21st Century, backing an ambitious program of NATO expansion, culminating in the addition of seven new members in 2004. He also had the foresight to support the development of a missile defence system in Europe, successfully negotiating deals with both Poland and the Czech Republic. Bush was right to back the eventual inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, and both would be well on their way to membership today were it not for the feckless decision of France and Germany to side with Russia in blocking their path to entry.

Bush began his presidency primarily as a domestic leader. He ends it as a war leader who has left a huge imprint internationally. His greatest legacy, the global war against Islamist terror, has left the world a safer place, and his decision to project global power and military might against America's enemies has made it harder for Islamist terrorists to strike against London, Paris or Berlin.

Bush's decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power will make it less likely that rogue regimes, Iran and North Korea included, will seek to militarily challenge American power. The memory of the invasion of Iraq and the unequivocal message that sent is by far the most effective deterrent to Tehran developing a nuclear weapon.

If superpowers do not demonstrate an ability and a willingness to wield power (as Britain did on numerous occasions at the height of the Empire) their hegemony will be increasingly challenged. President Bush exercised U.S. military power to stunning effect in both Iraq and Afghanistan, an important reminder that America was still a force to be reckoned with after the 1990s humiliation of Somalia and the half-hearted missile strikes against Bin Laden in Sudan. In an age of growing threats and challenges, the projection of hard power matters, and America's next president would be wise to take heed.

Nile Gardiner is Director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Person of the Year

TIME Magazine in its usual style, has pronounced Mr. Obama this year's "Person of the Year." Going so far as to chart how Obama is connected to every previous person of the year, TIME haughtily presents the president-elect as the American messiah. While Mr. Obama's victory is certainly historical, it was not his victory alone. Barrack alone did not win the elections, nor is he the one who has changed America's (perceived) past and present status as a racist nation.

The American people are the ones who deserve credit, they are the ones who turned out to vote and it was because of them that Obama won. While he certainly is now tasked with the responsibility of fixing this nations economic crisis (amongst others), Obama has not yet been tested. In fact, Barrack Obama has not made any major impact on policy during his obviously lengthy career in politics.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Bush Shoe Attack: A Sign of Hope

By Roger L. Simon

As the world knows now, a particularly juvenile Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at George Bush in Baghdad Sunday. Bush characteristically made light of the situation. If there's one thing many can agree on about the president, it's that he doesn't take insults too personally, at least in public. Good thing too, considering all the abuse that has been heaped on him in recent years. I can't imagine I would have behaved the same way. With my temper, I would probably have picked up
the shoe and gone after the dopey journo myself.

Well, maybe I wouldn't have. The clod probably did Bush a favor, making the president look good. And Bush could use it, because I can't think of a public figure in my lifetime who has been so reviled except Nixon. And Bush never did anything provably wrong. He didn't cover up an illegal break-in, try to sell a Senate seat or even have oral sex with an intern in the White House (and then claim it wasn't sex). He just did his job to the best of his ability.

Oh, yes, I forgot, the WMDs. "Bush lied and people died." Or did he? If he did, then so did those many dozens of Congress people and foreign leaders working off the same information - not to mention that no one has ever proven those WMDs weren't there. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as the famous "argument from ignorance" goes.

But more importantly and more apposite to today's event was that other, oft forgotten, reason Bush went to war in Iraq - that the only way to bring true peace to the Middle East would be through democracy. He wanted to spread the democratic system preemptively. A lot of people have sneered at that idea lately, but while they were sneering Iraq has inched forward toward a democracy. It's even turning into a (somewhat) decent place to live. That buffoon-like shoe shucker - his name is Muntazer al-Zaidi from Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo - proved it. No matter what happens to al-Zaidi now (and it won't be much if anything), it will be nothing like what would have happened to him if he had hurled a shoe at the president during the previous Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein. As we all know, in that case, he would either have had his tongue and scrotum cut out or both, if he would have survived at all.

And that's the point - something good has happened. Something very good.

What isn't so clear, yet, is how history will treat George Bush. I have a suspicion it's going to be better than a lot of people now suspect - or are willing to admit.


Roger L. Simon is an award-winning mystery author, blogger and screenwriter living in California. He is currently the CEO of Pajamas Media.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Christmas Give The Gift of Death

This year you can give that special someone the gift they've just been ready to kill for. What could be better than seeing the beaming face of a happy almost-but-not-quite mom who has just freed herself from the awful burden of caring for another human being? Because I am so sure that the gift certificates that Planned Parenthood chapters in Indiana (and coming soon to a store near you: IL, NY, AK, and MI) are offering this season will bring insurmountable joy and holiday cheer to so many caring people, I strongly suggest that these delightful little gifts be purchased for all your friends and family.

Seriously though, what is wrong with these people!? Abortion, while sometimes necessary should not be thought of as a gift! It is true that there are other uses for these gift certificates aside from abortion, and to be sure, advocates of the certificates will use that as an argument in their defense. However, at a time when the moral ramifications of abortion are still under heavy debate (a debate that perhaps could be solved simply by turning to religion for the answer - though not guns in this case, sorry Obama) it would seem unwise and perhaps overtly political to advertise the use of abortion as a gift.

In such situations where an abortion is warranted it is important for the mother to understand that what she is doing is in fact okay. But it is okay - not because a business or lobbying group tells her it is - it is okay because she must act in such a fashion that protects her own health. (There are other situations, most notably rape where a valid argument could be made for abortion, however that brings about a whole new discussion that I won't get into here.) The use of abortion to simply avoid responsibility should NOT be allowed.

One final note: "pro-choice" advocates like to argue that because it is the woman's body it is her decision to make. What about the father? Does he have any say? After all, without him the mother would not even be dealing with the issue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Military At Home

According to the Washington Post, "The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe."

The ACLU and libertarian groups argue that this plan "threatens to...undermine the Posse Comitatus Act," and in fact they have a valid point. If, that is, these 20,000 troops are being deployed to make house arrests, serve warrants, and deliver speeding tickets. Title 10 of the United States Code states that:
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may
be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of
any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel)
under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a
member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search,
seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law
.

As such, it would appear that the Pentagon's action to create a domestic terrorist response force is lawful so long as the soldiers are assisting in and not actually executing the duties of local law enforcement. While that knowledge may not reassure the concerned citizens fearful, no doubt, of having their homes invaded by black-clad special forces wielding M16s in the dead of night, the recognition that the best trained military in the world is going to be prepared to assist in the event of a major nuclear or biological attack - which is predicted by a bipartisan commission to happen before 2013 - should comfort the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gates To Stay

The decision to keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for another year is one of the best decisions the President-Elect has made so far.  In the years that Mr. Gates has held his post, he has constantly reminded the military of the need to adapt to the new method of warfare that must be employed in the Middle East.  Additionally, he has instituted an overhaul of weapons, calling for a new arsenal that can better equip the troops that will be called to service in these new altercations. 

Obama's willingness to keep Gates shows that Mr. Obama recognizes that in some areas at least change must wait.  This decision by Obama shows that he may indeed recognize that this war is actually a more prolonged and less definitively conclusive fight.  In fact, with Mr. Obama at the helm, it might be easier for those military leaders who recognize the need to update the armed forces, to do so.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great Op-Ed Piece

Yes, it's from the NYT, but Thomas Friedman makes some valid points with regard to the ability of Hillary and Obama to work as a cohesive team when it comes to international policy. Read the whole piece here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The New First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press
; or the right of the people peaceably to

assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
- Amendment 1, Bill of Rights

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights seems simple enough.  Congress can't limit speech.  Period.  However, according to the Politico, many right-leaning media outlets are preparing to face exactly that.  Aside from rumors of the rejuvenation of the Fairness Doctrine which would force radio and TV stations to provide equal airtime to opposing views, there are serious worries that the Obama administration would limit access to the president to those journalists it feels would bolster the administration's agenda. 

Clearly, this is part of Mr. Obama's strategy to change the Washington politics.  No longer will he allow tough, challenging questions to be asked by both conservatives and liberals alike, but rather he will seek out those few "special" members of the media who are more prepared to sacrifice their obligation to inform the public in order to get a quick story. 

Sarcasm aside, it will, I am sure, be pointed out that previous presidents have granted more favorable access to those reporters who they felt would present a favorable story, however, as the president who ran on a message of change and a promise to reform politics, it is interesting that Obama has so quickly begun a campaign of politics as usual.  it is my prediction that Obama will attempt to present a facade of change, but with limited opposing views, it will be hard to understand whether his proclamations are in fact truth, or if they are simply the empty words of yet another Washington insider.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Sarah Palin Should Not Be The Republican Choice in 2012

There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of Palin running for president in four years.  Sure, she brings a relatively fresh face to politics, and as a Washington outsider she can easily use that tactic when running against a DC insider.  However, Palin also comes across as the new kid on the block all too often.  Sure, she arguably has more executive experience than Obama, but that's now.  In four years it will be Obama with the experiencing, and it would seem that he only becomes more persuasive the higher up the ladder he climbs.  A rather goofy sounding Palin running against an incredibly articulate Obama will never work. 

In four years from now, the voting public will not have forgotten the Bush years, they may or may not be happy with an Obama administration, but certainly any Republican candidate will want to distance their campaign from Bush as much as possible.  If Sarah Palin runs, her campaign will immediately be connected to McCain and thus also to Bush.  That's just simple campaign strategy - don't remind the voters of what they hate.  But, aside from strategy, Palin does not seem to be capable of formulating her own fresh ideas; in order to rejuvenate the GOP, a leader with the energy and strength to enthuse the masses is required.  Palin is not going to invigorate anyone, she isn't ready for the major leagues yet, and it is doubtful that four years will change that, especially since she seems to think that she is ready.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

To All Those Who Think The GOP Is Over

It's not.  We've lost before.  True, the Grand Old Party has been the party of power for most of a decade, but it was also the party of power during the Reagan and Bush years.  Yes, we lost big.  But this will simply provide momentum and inspiration to grow our base and come back stronger than ever.  We are still the party of morals and a wish for a stronger America.  So unless one wants to argue that Americans no longer values morals and its safety and strength in the world, it's a safe bet that the Republicans will be back in power.  (Oh, and when people wake up to the harsh reality that socialism doesn't work they're gonna elect a Republican congress that will have the backbone to do what is right for the country.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Wins

Well it's finally over. I truly hope that my concerns will be proven wrong.  I hope that Obama will indeed be the leader he has been touted to be.  Let us all wish for the success of this great nation in the future. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Iran Endorses Obama, Iraq pleads for McCain

While Al Qaeda is demanding the "humiliation" of the Republican party (clearly implying that by electing a Democrat the GOP will be "degraded and defied"), Iraqis - who have seen their lives improve over the five years that the Americans have been repairing their country - are hoping for a McCain victory.

McCain understands that to truly win the War on Terror the United States must ensure the complete reformation of former terrorist strongholds.  In order to do this, America cannot employ solely violent means of expulsion, rather it must pursue the creation of an education system and provide opportunities for intellectual growth in order to expel radical ideologies not simply from the actions of the people, but from their minds and from future generations as well.  While the argument exists that America must focus on the situation at home - be it health care, the economic crisis, or our own school system - this argument ignores the obvious truth that in order to ensure true domestic security, safety overseas must be secured as well.  It is noble to desire a leader such as Obama who promises to provide all the domestic comforts that Americans wish for. However, if this leader is not willing to engage in an active and firm foreign policy that guarantees the safety of those Americans then the validity of his domestic policies are undermined.  If safety abroad is not ensured then safety at home is not either and so, all the comforts of government provided benefits will be for naught because even with their health insurance, free schooling, and extra money, Americans will still be dying (to be blunt).  The federal government's first and primary prerogative must therefore be the assurance of safety from threats both at home and abroad.

It is because they recognize that McCain understands what security means that the Iraqi people would vote for him.  Iraqis look at previous American endeavors and see that for all their altruism, the US, as it did in Afghanistan, always seems to leave to early.  McCain will ensure that the job gets done abroad and will thereby also ensure that domestic reforms can be lasting and productive.

On November 4th a critical decision will be made by all Americans.  Will we elect as the role model for the world a leader who is dedicated to the security and well being of all people and has a lengthy record of sacrificing for others?  Or, will we give power to an individual whose life has been about climbing the ladder of power; who has promised much, but has given little and who has already begun limiting the speech and freedoms of those who oppose him?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's New Deal No Better Than Old One

By

Michael Barone


With victory in sight, Barack Obama's supporters are predicting
that he will give us a new New Deal. To see what that might mean, let's
look back on the original New Deal.

The purpose of New Deal legislation was not, as commonly thought,
to restore economic growth but rather to freeze the economy in place at

a time when it seemed locked in a downward spiral. Its central program,
the National Recovery Administration (NRA), created 700 industry
councils for firms and unions to set minimum prices and wages. The
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the ancestor of our farm bills,
limited production to hold up prices. Unionization, encouraged by NRA
and the 1935 Wagner Act, was meant to keep workers in jobs that the
unemployed would have taken at lower pay.


These policies did break the downward spiral. But, as Amity Shlaes
points out in "The Forgotten Man," they failed to restore growth.


Double-digit unemployment continued throughout the 1930s; despite

population growth, the economy failed to rebound to 1920s production
levels. High taxes on high earners (a Herbert Hoover as well as
Franklin Roosevelt policy) financed welfare payments ("spread the
wealth around") but reduced investment and growth.


The political verdict was negative. New Dealers were whalloped in

the 1938 off-year elections. Polls show that Democrats would have lost
the White House in 1940 if that election had been decided on domestic
issues. But war loomed. France fell in June 1940, just before America's
two national party conventions, and Adolf Hitler and his then-ally
Joseph Stalin controlled most of the landmass of Eurasia. Republicans
did not have an experienced leader in this world crisis -- Democrats
did: Franklin Roosevelt, who cynically engineered his nomination for a
third term and then swept to victory on foreign policy.


Roosevelt had thought that economic expansion was a thing of the

past. But World War II stimulated huge growth in the American economy.
New Deal welfare programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the
Works Progress Administration (WPA) arts program were terminated.
Wartime domestic policies were growth stimulators. Veterans
Administration home mortgage loans, building on the FHA mortgage
program, encouraged home-buying and after the war converted a nation of
renters to a nation of homeowners. The G.I. Bill of Rights subsidized
higher education for millions of veterans.


These programs stimulated growth partly because they required real

effort -- down payments, military service -- from beneficiaries before
they received aid.


The postwar Republican Congress elected in 1946 dismantled some New

Deal anti-growth policies. Labor unions' powers to strike were sharply
restricted. Tax rates were lowered, and wage and price controls were
dismantled. Many hold-the-economy-in-place policies were retained until
the deregulation of the 1970s and 1980s. But the New Deal was
transformed sufficiently to permit buoyant economic growth for two
decades after the war.


Obama seems determined to follow policies better suited to freezing

the economy in place than to promoting economic growth. Higher taxes on
high earners, for one. He told Charlie Gibson he would raise capital
gains taxes even if that reduced revenue: less wealth to spread around,
but at least the rich wouldn't have it -- reminiscent of the Puritan
sumptuary laws that prohibited the wearing of silk. Moves toward
protectionism like Hoover's (Roosevelt had the good sense to promote
free trade). National health insurance that threatens to lead to
rationing and to stifle innovation. Promoting unionization by
abolishing secret ballot union elections.


The impulse to social engineering is unmistakable. Government

officials will allocate resources, redistribute income, and ration good
and services. Use government stakes in banks, insurance companies and
Detroit auto manufacturers to maintain the position of those already in
place, at the cost of preventing the emergence of new enterprises that
might have been spawned by the capital being allocated.


Social engineering of course is far easier when you are dealing

with an economy that is frozen in place. It's harder when you have to
deal with the creative destruction, the emergence of new firms and
businesses, and the decline of old ones, which as Joseph Schumpeter
taught is the inevitable consequence of economic growth.


Roosevelt in the 1930s had some extremely competent social

engineers, like Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes and Fiorello LaGuardia, who
could enroll 750,000 people on welfare in three weeks and build an
airport in less than a year. But even they could not spur the economic
growth produced by utterly unknown and unconnected people, as Warren
Buffett and Bill Gates were in 1970.


When financial crisis looms, there is an impulse to freeze

everything in place and accept what is as the best there can ever be:
Barack Obama's new New Deal. The history of the old New Deal suggests
this is not a sustainable approach in the long run. (source)

Obama's Policy on Accountability

While Barack Obama is arguing that "politics as usual" is not how he will run the White House, his campaign strategy has, unsurprisingly, been all about the underhandedness that has become associated with politicians. Here and here are two great examples from today's news.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome to the Spin Room

Thomas Sowell makes a valid point in his argumenet that it is not facts but fluff that attracts voters.

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher
Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years-- including the
present year-- denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big
risks that could lead to a financial crisis... It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today's financial
crisis.

Despite these and many more facts that offer substantial proof that it is the Democratic party that must be held responsible for the current crisis, voters seem not to care. On November 4th, current polls predict, America will elect a democratic president thus giving that party supreme control over the government. The idea of checks and balances is crucial to our system of government and to ensuring our way of life. It would not be intelligent, during a time when Americans abroad are still ensuring Iraqis their freedoms on a daily basis and Americans at home are struggling to make ends meet, to elect one of the most socialist American politicians in recent history. Giving Mr. Obama the keys to the Oval office while Congress is still controlled by the Democrats undermines the fundamental principals of this nation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe's Election

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

This is what Obama's economic plan boils down to.  He wants to tax the "rich" to feed the "poor."  Very nice sounding in theory - very socialist in reality.  What ever happened to the American dream where anyone can become rich?  Under the Obama Plan it would be all but impossible for new people to enter the realm of the "rich" (keep in mind that according to Obama $250,000 of income a year qualifies one as rich) when their taxes are increased the closer they get to that landmark.  Essentially, what will happen is that as one works harder to earn that higher income they will be slapped with increasing taxes thus discouraging their continued efforts to break out of poverty (lower than $250,000).  The socialist model doesn't work because it discourages economic growth.  In this difficult economic period, the last the our country needs is another barrier to growth.

We don't need to increase taxes on Joe the Plumber in order to strengthen our economy and society, we need to make it easier for him to work so that he can buy his company, employ more workers, and eventually enable those workers to buy their own companies, thus continuing a cycle of economic growth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Debate

Currently the closing statements are being made.  My favorite line from the debate was McCain's final argument for vouchers when he summed up Obama's argument as "well, there aren't enough vouchers therefore we shouldn't use any even though its working."

Anyway, I'm gonna post more later but for now I want to watch the commentary...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie

Sen. John McCain's 2006 demand for regulatory action on Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac could have prevented current financial crisis, as HUMAN
EVENTS learned from the letter shown in full text below.


McCain's letter -- signed by nineteen other senators -- said that it
was "...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to
ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound
manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American
taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail."

Sen. Obama did not sign the letter, nor did any other Democrat.

The full text of the letter appears below.

McCain Letter

Monday, October 6, 2008

What the Main Stream Media Doesn't Want You to Know

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

"More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised
has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't
disclose."

This headline and quote from Newsmax.com shines the light on an issue that, while not necessarily illegal, is certainly crossing the threshold of proper ethics. Obama's slogan has constantly been "Change" yet, his methods have been anything but. Mr. Obama claims that he has dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s, but that has not been the case. I don't know who gave him the money, but I, and many other voters shure would like to. If Mr. Obama wants the American public to believe his impassioned cries of hope and belief in his ability to reform Washington, he must match those words with his actions. As of yet, he has not done so.

Biden's Fantasy World

From the Wall Street Journal

In the popular media wisdom, Sarah Palin is the neophyte who knows
nothing about foreign policy while Joe Biden is the savvy diplomatic
pro. Then what are we to make of Mr. Biden's fantastic debate voyage
last week when he made factual claims that would have got Mrs. Palin
mocked from New York to Los Angeles?


[Biden's Fantasy World]
AP

Start with Lebanon, where Mr. Biden
asserted that "When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah
out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, 'Move NATO forces in there.
Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah
will control it.' Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part
of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel."


The U.S. never kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and no one else has
either. Perhaps Mr. Biden meant to say Syria, except that the U.S. also
didn't do that. The Lebanese ousted Syria's military in 2005. As for
NATO, Messrs. Biden and Obama may have proposed sending alliance troops
in, but if they did that was also a fantasy. The U.S. has had all it
can handle trying to convince NATO countries to deploy to Afghanistan.


Speaking of which, Mr. Biden also averred that "Our commanding
general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work
in Afghanistan." In trying to correct him, Mrs. Palin mispronounced the
general's name -- saying "General McClellan" instead of General David
McKiernan. But Mr. Biden's claim was the bigger error, because General
McKiernan said that while "Afghanistan is not Iraq," he also said a
"sustained commitment" to counterinsurgency would be required. That is
consistent with Mr. McCain's point that the "surge principles" of Iraq
could work in Afghanistan.


Then there's the Senator's astonishing claim that Mr. Obama "did not
say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad" without preconditions. Yet Mr.
Biden himself criticized Mr. Obama on this point in 2007 at the
National Press Club: "Would I make a blanket commitment to meet
unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the
first year I was elected President? Absolutely, positively no."


Or how about his rewriting of Bosnia history to assert that John
McCain didn't support President Clinton in the 1990s. "My
recommendations on Bosnia, I admit I was the first one to recommend it.
They saved tens of thousands of lives. And initially John McCain
opposed it along with a lot of other people. But the end result was it
worked." Mr. Biden's immodesty aside, Mr. McCain supported Mr. Clinton
on Bosnia, as did Bob Dole even as he was running against him for
President in 1996 -- in contrast to the way Mr. Biden and Democratic
leaders have tried to undermine President Bush on Iraq.


Closer to home, the Delaware blarney stone also invited Americans to
join him at "Katie's restaurant" in Wilmington to witness middle-class
struggles. Just one problem: Katie's closed in the 1980s. The mistake
is more than a memory lapse because it exposes how phony is Mr. Biden's
attempt to pose for this campaign as Lunchbucket Joe.


We think the word "lie" is overused in politics today, having become
a favorite of the blogosphere and at the New York Times. So we won't
say Mr. Biden was deliberately making events up when he made these and
other false statements. Perhaps he merely misspoke. In any case, Mrs.
Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at
least most of what she knows is true.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Conclusion

Biden came off as having a better command of the issues. However, Palin was charming and connected with the audience. It is fair to say that ultimately Sarah Palin did very well. She had no major "gaffes" and she was able to to go head to head with a Senator of nearly 40 years. While Fox (obviously) says that she won the debate hands down, I tend to look for the issues and substance of the arguments more than the style or showiness. So while her ability to perform on stage may help McCain - a result I am certainly hoping for - in the interest of objectivity I must say that I liked Biden a lot. Sen. Biden is good at serious speeches where he discusses critical issues with very little humor, Gov. Palin is good at connecting with the mainstream voter.

I am looking forward to seeing what the polls show tomorrow - how significant an impact will this debate have on the current ratings?

Personality

"Say it ain't so Joe!"  As I've said before, at the end of the night, it is her personality that will draw voters.  With a quick series of teasing jokes that nobody seemed to get, Palin has just warmed up.  As a whole, this debate is raather friendly, with neither side attacking to harshly, the weaknesses of the other.

Attack

I wish I was better at multi-tasking, because there is so much to comment on.  Essentially, Biden is coming off as strong, knowledgeable, and fed up.  The Senator seems to be frustrated with Governor Palin's "talking points."  I don't blame him.  Biden has an enourmous resume to boast of; he is one of the most knowledgeable Senators when it comes to foriegn affairs.

Palin's most potent attacks are coming in the forms of pointing out the hypocracies of both Biden and Obama, but of "Washington insiders" in general.  "I am just not used to the way you all talk."  While she is not completely devoid of substansive remarks, her most sailient comments are those that point out the records of Obama and Biden.  I can't help but notice that as Palin speaks, Biden chuckles and nods  - sometimes it seems that he is being condescending.  At other times, I think he actually likes the way palin is making her points.

Randomness

Biden just mentioned that Iranian President Ahmadinejad does not control the security in Iran.  "It is the theocracy that controls the security."  This brings out a very valid point: Ahmadinejad does not ultimately make the decisions in Iran, the mullahs do.  Therefore what really is accomplished by talking to him?  Anyway, moving right along...

[On a side note Jonathan Martin does a great job blogging the debate.]

Palin just botched the nuke debate: "A deterant... is a safe stable way to use those nuclear weapons."  While she is of course refering to the way America "uses" nukes, she has also opened the door (as if it really needed opening) to the double standard argument.  Not only that, but she has legitimized the argument that nukes for self-defense (i.e. a deterant) is okay. 

The VP Debate - First Impressions

My first thought: Palin looks like a kid trying to box with Muhammad Ali.  Its now half an hour into the debate, and Palin looks no more relaxed than she did 30 minutes ago.  That being said, Palin is handling herself fairly well in this debate.  Currently, the discussion has turned to the War in Iraq.  Palin seems to be sticking to the party line: the surge worked, we must stay the course and "it would be a travesty if we quit now in Iraq" because it would constitute a failure not only there but in Afghanistan as well. 

While Senator Biden is certainly coming across as the more experienced politician of the two, I am not convinced that that is a point in his favor.  As Palin keeps mentioning, she is just like the rest of us; her family and issues are most similar to those of the middle class voters that are so often mentioned.  While Palin is the more relatable of the two, for my part, I am enjoying hearing (and watching) Biden debate.  He is confident and while not always honest, certainly presaents an image of honesty and sincerity.  Biden very smoothly avoided Palins barb that he once stated that he would be honored to be on a ticket with McCain.  For her part, Palin likes to mention Obama's "story" - a referance to Gwen Ifill's forethcoming book on Obama?


Friday, September 26, 2008

Whose Fault Is It?

I am currently watching Harry Ried speaking on C-SPAN
and blaming the president (of course) for the economic crisis.  As I
understand it, Congress is generally more directly responsible for the
taxes and laws (effecting the economy) than the president.  That being
said, the economy was considered to not only be strong, but to be gaining strength, prior the arrival of the Democrats in the seat of power. 

On her first day as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi declared
that, "Today we change the direction of our country."  This country's
direction has indeed changed, although not for the better; it has gone
from growing and prosperous to weak and stagnated.  So to you Madam
Speaker I must offer my congratulations on a job well done.  Mission
Accomplished.

Now fix your damn mess!

Homeowner Bailout

While there are many criticisms of the Paulson Plan, one of the most voiced is that the plan does not bail out homeowners; a plan must be crafted to help homeowners. However "both sides seem to have forgotten that Congress approved a $300 billion mortgage rescue package in late July." I don't think that it's such a major issue that this plan seems to have been forgotten so quickly, I merely think that it is not a valid excuse for holding up the passage of a financial plan.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One More Reason to Educate Voters

Using his brilliant powers of deception - excuse me, deduction - Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) argued today that because she carries "guns and strip[s] moose" Sarah Palin "don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks."  Putting aside the grammatical error (which I'm sure was used solely for dramatic emphasis), I'd truly like to understand this statement.  I mean, basically, this guy is saying that a knowledge of firearms equel anti-semitism and a hatred of blacks.  So, continuing this man's thought process, it would be fair to say that the entire United States armed services is really a front for the Aryan Nation?

Hastings attempted to clarify his statement as simply a comparison between Jews and blacks:

"Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable health care, energy
independence, and the separation of church and state," said Hastings.
"And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work,
investment in alternative energy, and a woman's right to choose."

This may (or may not; seeing as how Hastings is apt to create broad generalities based on insubstantial evidence) be true, however I am sure that Jews and blacks care about national security, self-dependance, and a non-overreaching government as well, so it is just as likely that they should in fact be Republican.

Anyway, my point in all this is that I am amazed at how this idiot managed to convince people to elect him.  If this was my Congressman I would be asking for a refund.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let the Debate Begin

"I'll suspend my campaign and return to Washington... I have spoken to Senator Obama... and asked him to join me."

This is leadership.  This is the action we need to see.  The American people, in this time of financial crisis do not need to hear partisan politicking and campaign slandering.  Senator McCain has made the right choice in deciding to go to Washington for although he may not be the leading economist in the Senate, his determination to be at the center of the storm shows his recognition that the general well being of the nation is more important than anything else.

Obama's response is characteristic of his inability to actually fix problems as opposed to simply pontificating about how he is the only one who can fix them (yet never really saying exactly how he'll do that).

"It's my belief that this is exact time when the American people need to hear form the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsibly for dealing with this mess and I think that it is going to be part of the President’s job to deal with more than one thing at once."

Mr. Obama makes it sound as if the American people have not heard him (or McCain for that matter) for the past 12 months.  Instead of proposing an intelligent economic plan - or at least giving us some idea of what he would do - the first term Senator is letting his personal ambition stand in the way of doing what is best for the nation. 

A debate is neccessary.  However, simply repeating prepared answers and reiterating talking points is not the debate needed at this time.  Let the candidates debate with their actions.  Let us all look at the accomplishments - both past and present - of the candidates.  Let us turn to the candidates for the best actions that will stabilize and secure this country.  This will be the true debate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Checks and Balances - They're Here for a Reason

A New York Times article I actually like talks about the incredible amount of power being requested by Treasury Secretary Paulson:
“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are
non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be
reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency”

And So It Begins

I take issue not with the fact that Biden is criticizing his own campaign's tactics, but rather I am worried that Obama is getting undermined and outshone by his running mate.  As president of the United States, the buck must stop with Obama.  It sends the wrong picture now, and would certainly send bad signals in the White House if every time "President" Obama speaks, the nation turns to Joe Biden for confirmation. 

It was wrong to select Biden in the first place.  The fact that his disagreements are already being publicly aired only hightens concerns that in a time of national crisis we will not have a unified front to protect national interests.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Democrats Are Right - Part 2

Just a follow up question based on the theory that if Obama loses it is because he is black.  If McCain loses is it because he had a woman on the ticket?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where's Our Congress?

“We will do something this week — but if we learned anything from right
after 9/11, it’s that the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask
for just because it’s an emergency,” Leahy says.


Yes, it is a big mistake to improve the nation's economy speedily.  It as much a mistake as, say, passing a bill that would allow America to become more energy independent, before going on recess.  Is it any surprise that only 20% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing?

Now I am as big a fan of a reasonable solution to the economic crisis as the next guy.  I believe that too many elected officials stood still for too long.  Yet, is now the time to act slowly?  At a time when the nation is concerned with rising gas prices, the fall of the dollar, and collapse of major Wall Street firms, hesitance is not desirable.  It is time for Nancy Pelosi to finally accept that as the leader of the majority party, it is up to her to ensure that something be done.  Perhaps the Democrats could take a page out of the Republican play book and actually try to get something done for once. Nah, that would be asking too much...

The Democrats Are Right

The front page of today's Politico features a story about Mr. Obama's race and how it seems to be becoming an issue in the campaign. However, the Politico states that,
"Many Democrats see the explicit discussion of race and politics as
almost unambiguously negative for Obama, a reminder to voters of
fraught questions of identity and a distraction from the economic
troubles."
This is true. By bringing in the "concern" of color, the media is distracting the public from the real issues. Whatever one's argument may be against voting for Obama, it would be naive and, in fact, irresponsible to keep him out of office because of his skin. Granted, it is justifiable to argue that because he is black he may have had different life experiences, and as a result, a different outlook on the world. That being said, I think his varied experiences would be an advantage in his pursuit of the oval office. To begrudge someone the ability to lead not because of his ideas but because he (or she) does not fit the mold is wrong.

While it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are people who won't vote for Obama because he is not white, this is not a national problem. It is the problem of a minority of individuals who are incapable of looking past themselves. In the event that Mr. Obama does not get elected, it would be unfair - no, it would be untrue and demeaning - to argue that it was because his skin is dark. It would bolster the erroneous idea that blacks cannot succeed in this country. It would also undermine the high caliber of the presidential position.

If race becomes a major factor in this contest the nation will not benefit. Instead of being about leadership and original ideas, the competition for White House will have been diminished to a playground argument. While the media may prefer to talk about race, at a time when the economy is struggling and the nation is still at war, race is not of utmost concern. Let's stay on topic people!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Rich Democrats Can Afford to Raise Our Taxes

Um... They're rich...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

McCain on Taxes

The Wall Street Journal has a great article comparing McCain's tax plan to Obama's. I especially like this paragraph:

In stark contrast to Barack Obama, Mr. McCain believes that tax policy should be used to foster the creation of jobs and higher wages through economic growth, rather than to redistribute incomes. The economy is not a zero-sum game in which some people can enjoy higher incomes only if others are made worse off.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Introducing VP Sarah Palin

video

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obma Unfit to Serve

According to both Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama would be a bad president. Let me repeat: the man Obama chose to be his VP said that Obama ddoes not have the neccessary experience to be president.

Biden:

Biden Said Obama Is Not Ready To Serve As President. ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "You were asked is he ready. You said 'I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.'" Sen. Biden: "I think that I stand by the statement." (ABC's, "This Week," 8/19/07)

  • Biden: "If the Democrats think we're going to be able to nominate someone who can win without that person being able to table unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy, I think we're making a tragic mistake..." (Sen. Joe Biden, "The Diane Rehm Show," 8/2/07)
  • Biden: "Having Talking Points On Foreign Policy Doesn't Get You There." ("Biden Lashes Out At Obama," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 8/2/07)

Clinton:

video

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama's House

While John McCain attempts to stick to the issues, Obama - the self-proclaimed harbinger of change - is busy playing dirty politics. Attempting to prove that Senator McCain is not able to relate to the pains of ordinary Americans, the one-term Senator from Illinois recently released an ad called "Seven" attacking McCain's ability to afford numerous dwellings. Capitalizing on this ad, The Politico recently asked McCain how many homes he owns and when he refused to play into this obvious trap, Mr. McCain was branded as being "unsure" of his own wealth. (Interestingly, so are the Democrats - according to Politico McCain owns at least eight homes, not seven - if he can't even get the number of properties owned by his competitor correct, how can we reasonably expect Obama to accurately assess America's security issues, foreign policy matters, to say nothing of the economy itself?)

As Obama points out, he only owns one home, thus the reasonable conclusion should be reached that he is more capable of relating to the economic pains plaguing this nation.

"But if you are like me and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."

Of course, Mr. Obama fails to mention that his one home is worth over $1.5 million dollars and that's after he was given "a sweetheart deal from a fraud embezzler like Tony Rezko" (in the words of Rush Limbaugh).

I think the words of McCain spokesman Brian Rogers sum up the situation pretty well:
"Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?" Roger said. "Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"
In conclusion, I just need to say that while I may have completely blown this issue out of proportion, I did so because it frustrates me to see the mainstream media falling in love with a politician to the extent that they purposely distort or simply refuse to report what one of the candidates says and does. True, I am supporting John McCain, and that certainly plays into my own biases and frustrations, however I am not entrusted with reporting the NEWS to America. When someone reads my (or anyone's) blog, they are doing so because they want to hear that person's opinions. This is not the case when reading a newspaper like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or watching the evening news or listening to the radio. These sources are supposed to provide information allowing the public to make up their own mind. It is dishonest to provide only one side of an issue to the extent that it is nearly impossible to hear the other side's point of view. Case in point: in the past two weeks I have not once seen the NYT homepage post a McCain story unless it was to attack him - yet, even while on vacation, Obama got more positive coverage and first-page stories than McCain.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama Shows Weakness vs. Clintons

I found this interesting article from previous Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, who points out that while Obama has become a media darling his inability to control even his own convention may ultimately prove his inability to meet the extreme demands of leading this nation:


Hillary and Bill are demonstrating the ease with which Barack Obama can be pushed around. With no real leverage over Obama, they have managed to secure prime time speeches for themselves on Tuesday and Wednesday night at the convention and to get Hillary’s name placed in nomination. They have won all of their demands for convention scheduling. In the name of party unity, Obama has given away the store. After the nominations, there will be a roll call vote. This further assures that the convention will be a continuation of the primaries and that Obama will be a guest at his own convention.

This begs the basic question: Is Barack Obama strong enough to be president?



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

McCain, not Obama, was right about Georgia


Mention Georgia a few days ago, and most of us would have thought of the state evoked so sweetly in "Georgia on My Mind," the classic tune sung by Ray Charles. Very few of us had heard of the South Ossetia province of Georgia, the nation with the misfortune to have Russia as its neighbor, until war broke out last week.

Like Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait and other unfamiliar places before, Ossetia reminds us that a small, remote corner of the globe can explode into an international crisis. One who was up to speed on Georgia and the menace it faced from Russia was veteran Sen. John McCain. He had visited the Caucasian nation three times in a dozen years. When fighting erupted, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate got on the phone to gather details and issued a statement Friday summarizing the situation, tagging Russia as the aggressor and demanding it withdraw its forces from the sovereign territory of Georgia.

It took first-term Sen. Barack Obama three tries to get it right. Headed for a vacation in Hawaii, the presumed Democratic candidate for commander in chief issued an even-handed statement, urging restraint by both sides. Later Friday, he again called for mutual restraint but blamed Russia for the fighting. The next day his language finally caught up with toughness of McCain's.

Making matters worse, Obama's staff focused on a McCain aide who had served as a lobbyist for Georgia, charging it showed McCain was "ensconced in a lobbyist culture." Obama's campaign came off as injecting petty partisan politics into an international crisis. This was not a serious response on behalf a man who aspires to be the leader of the Free World. After all, what's so bad about representing a small former Soviet republic struggling to remake itself as a Western-style democracy?

The comparison between the two candidates served to emphasize the strength McCain's experience would bring to the White House in a dangerous world.

Obama's favored approach to international issues, diplomatic talks, failed to stop Russia's invasion. Vladimir Putin, a KGB bull in the former Soviet Union, wants to restore Russia as the supreme power of Eurasia and, to that end, bully former vassal states like Georgia out of their democratic ways. The fear is that Ukraine will come in his cross hairs next.

However the world's newest war ends, America's leadership must recognize and respond to the underlying dynamic of Russia's resurgent aggressive instincts -- the power bestowed on Moscow by its oil and gas riches.

While we don't get fossil fuels from Russia, Western Europe does, and the Kremlin's energy might is fueled by the worldwide demand for oil. Developing U.S. domestic energy sources and alternatives to oil will only enhance our national security and, by reducing the world's petroleum demand, undermine the economic, political and military advantage vast oil and gas reserves give to unfriendly powers like Russia, Iran and Venezuela.

Obama calls for transforming America's economy in a decade. He's got the right idea -- long term. But short term, this nation must push for energy security on all fronts -- now. That includes new offshore drilling for oil, which Obama loathes, and new nuclear plants, which he views with aversion. We can't just wait for breakthrough technologies for wind, solar and biomass energy.

McCain has got it right in advocating new offshore drilling and a federal push to add 45 nuclear generators over the next two decades. Given the evidence of Russia's energy-fueled aggression, he should abandon his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and to extending subsidies he favors for nuclear energy to include renewables.

As Georgia burns, we need to light a fire under all the talk about energy security and start doing what it takes to make it happen.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pied Pipers

By Cal Thomas, New York Sun

When wants and needs are confused, desires become entitlements and politicians are afraid to tell people what they need to hear. Instead they tell them what they want to hear. Anger and envy result, as well as frustration with a political system that was not designed to indulge its citizens in their lusts or subsidize their greed. The economy isn't bad. We are bad for believing that more is better and the most is best. We have an abundance of things, but a deficit of character. The economy is a false god, a golden calf. When this false god doesn't deliver, we complain to politicians who are happy to accept our faith in them to give us what we want - if we will only pledge to them our allegiance at election time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grand Old Party

In sheer agony I am watching the progress (or lack thereof) of this presidential competition. While Obama rushes to the right, McCain is sitting back watching the days go by. Aggression. That is what this campaign is all about, and it will be the more aggressive candidate sitting in the Oval come January 09.

McCain is currently running a losing campaign. If he wants to win the election he needs to step up the pressure on Obama; he needs to bring the fight to Obama's territory. Instead, Senator Obama has brought the fight to the Republican dominated territories, forcing the GOP to go on the defensive.

Why, why, I ask, is the Republican party incapable (apparently) of fighting, of tackling the issues in a way that will show America that it cares. Where is the passion and the drive that once defined this Grand Old Party?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Politics 2.0

In the 21st century America will see a drastic change in the character of its politicians. In a society obsessed with "progressiveness" as defined by its Hollywood idols, the once great leaders of the most respected nation on in history will soon be viewed as no more than mere celebrities - icons in the culture zoo that the media has built.

Hillary Clinton, for example, was never expected to win the nomination on ability or leadership qualities; she was meant to win because of her gender. Now that she has lost, cries of "sexism" will be heard and the mainstream media will accuse Americans of not being open-minded enough to vote for a woman. In a race as crucial as this one, where the ISSUES are what matters how can we as Americans allow such a crucial matter to be so belittled?

Our politicians have become accustomed to the excuse of "we are only human." Yet, political figures are not meant to be placed on the same scale as the average American for they are intended to be the leaders, chosen to do what is best for the nation while upholding a higher level of integrity and morality.

If America's leaders are allowed to be placed on the level of the average Hollywood celebrity, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. is loosing favor in the eyes of the world. The many nations look at us and see a vast community of people obsessed with themselves as typified by the average politician. The key to winning the support of the global community is not to show them that we are capable of electing a woman or a black man - of being "sophisticated" - but to show them that we are a nation of morals, ethics and responsibility.

To be a leader means to lead, not follow the wealthy, publicity-hungry masses.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How #2 Becomes #1

Hillary CLinton is not giving up. She is not admitting defeat, nor is she conceding the most coveted prize in American politics to her rival Barack Obama. Clinton's long-awaited withdrawal is merely a political maneuver aimed at saving face while she continues to pursue the Vice Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket.

That's right, I said "continues" - for I refuse to believe that Clinton did not already recognize months ago that she would not be nominated for President. Hillary Clinton, in an act of brilliant political strategy fought hard to prove her necessity; to show the Democratic party that they need her in order to win this November. Hillary has already begun her campaign for VP, a fact that is obvious to anyone her saw or heard her speech last night in which it would have seemed that she was declaring victory rather than defeat.

Yet, Hillary's attempt to achieve VP will soon be brushed aside for it would be political suicide for Obama to grant her that level of closeness to himself. Firstly, Hillary's supporters and Obama's do not and never have sen eye to eye on anything. Obama runs on a platform of change, whereas Mrs. Clinton dredges up bad memories of scandal and political doublespeak. By granting Hillary the VP slot, Obama would effectively cancel out the votes of his own supporters.

Secondly, if Obama truely wants to prove his ability to lead, he will not allow the Clinton dynasty to overshadow his presidency. As she did when her husband was president, Clinton will attempt to interfere in all aspects of the presidency. It would be the first time in history that the president answered to his VP - a fact that Obama recognizes and fears.

It is for these reasons that Obama will not choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate, and it is for these reasons that the Democratic party cannot yet declare itself united, for the battle for power has merely been clouded over but not yet erased from the public eye.

EDIT: I just read this Dick Morris article which basically agrees with me but throws Bill CLinton into the mix.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

US Iraq Deaths At Four Year Low

US military deaths in Iraq are said to have fallen to their lowest monthly level for four years, after about 20 soldiers were reported killed in May.

The figures for Iraqi civilian deaths vary according to different sources, but have also dropped.

Most accounts put them at about 530 - or about half the levels seen in March and April.

Meanwhile, Australia has begun withdrawing its contingent of about 500 combat troops from Iraq.

The pullout honours a pledge made by the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, when he was elected last November.

The Australian troops had been mainly playing what they call an "overwatch" role, assisting Iraqi forces.

Troop 'surge'

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says one reason for the reduction in US military deaths was the ceasefire in early May, which stopped fighting in the Sadr City district of the Iraqi capital.

Iraqi and American troops had been engaged in an offensive there against Shia militiamen of the Mehdi Army, loyal to the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

But our correspondent adds that the overall trend of the violence since late last summer has been downwards.

He says the US troop "surge" was clearly a big factor, as was the trend within the Sunni community to turn against al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups.

The withdrawal of the additional US troops brought in last year for the surge is expected to be completed by July.

Friday, May 30, 2008

On Winning a War

While Obama still claims that things are not going well, and the Democrats are still claiming that the war in Iraq serves no purpose, the CIA seems to disagree. According to CIA director Michael Hayden, "Al Qaeda is essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the world."

Of course, this story will be buried in the depths of your newspaper and probably not even mentioned on the TV or radio. If the Democratic party is really concerned about America's success in Iraq and defeat of terrorism, shouldn't they be the ones publicizing this story?

Alas, the sad truth is that the leaders of the Democratic party do not care about the safety and security of this nation. No, their concern is whether a woman or an African American wins the nomination so as to "show the world" that we are more progressive.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think that bin Laden really cares if he blows up a building filled with men or women, blacks or whites, adults or children. Although they have claimed to not care, the issues of race and gender have grossly overwhelmed the Democratic party, deriving them of the ability to focus on substance and issues. While Senator McCain is visiting Iraq in order to gain firsthand knowledge of what is really going on, Senators Clinton and Obama prefer to prolong their manufactured war and merely speak about their "experience" without having the substance to back up those words.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

House Democrats have passed a bill to stifle the good news that we're winning in Iraq.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

US air strikes on Iran would be major step towards Iraq victory

From DEBKAfile:

Former American UN ambassador John Bolton said that while a hostile Iranian response harming US interests existed, the damaged inflicted by Tehran would be far higher if Washington took no action. He was quoted by the UK Telegraph as urging therefore that Washington order air strikes against the Revolutionary Guards Corps camps training Iraqi insurgents.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

They Deserve Our Support and Thanks

video

Sunday, April 27, 2008

WTF!?

"We strategically know how to stop the city so people stand still and realize that you do not have the right to shoot down unarmed, innocent civilians," Sharpton told an overflow crowd of several hundred people at his National Action Network office in the historically black Manhattan neighborhood. "This city is going to deal with the blood of Sean Bell."

So just to clarify: In order to protest the American legal system working the way it was intended, hundreds of people should wreak havoc on many innocent and uninvolved individuals? What do they hope will be accomplished? The government is not going to say "no, we made a mistake." And if because of violent uncivil protests it does, and declares the police officers guilty, won't
THAT be a perversion of justice?

"You're not really guilty, but because we're scared we'll say you are." Come on!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'll Be Back

To my loyal readers:

Unfortunately, due to a butt-load of research papers I have due in two weeks, I am forced to take a break from blogging. I appreciate your bearing with me during this difficult period of mental and emotional suffering and I look forward to seeing you back here in May.

Thanks for reading!

Stryd3r

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In Memory of a Hero

video

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

All Talk

In the same breath, Senator Obama today said that he wants to withdraw from Iraq and begin talks with Iran to mitigate what he perceives as being a declining situation in the area. Put aside for a minute the fact that immediate withdrawal from Iraq is not in America's best interests and will in fact cause harm to this country (as stated by Amb. Crocker and Gen. Petraeus). How does Mr. Obama plan to sit at a table with Iran - a nation that has publicly declared its intent to harm America and is a known sponsor of terrorism - while presenting an image of squeamishness about power.

It may indeed be necessary to talk to Iran; to tell them to cease their nuclear program. However, Mr. Obama is not the man to do this. He cannot expect to be taken seriously if he refuses to act as necessary. America and the United Nations has already threatened sanctions on Iran and Iran has responded with haughty laughter.

The leaders of Iran are not blind to the politics of America. They recognize that the American people hold tremendous power over the decisions of their elected leaders. The sheiks understand that more often than not the president will eventually bend to the will of the people, all that need be done is simply wait for America to lose its patience.

The leader that is needed now is not one who will listen to the voice of the people, but one who will do what is right for the people. To withdraw from Iraq sends the message that Iran is correct; pump money into terrorist groups, wait a little and poof, the politicians run home. Mr. Obama is such a politician. He is not going to follow through with his threats, nor does he present an image of power and strength - an image crucial to our survival as a nation.

In Obama, the leaders of Iran have found their savior. They will be allowed to create their weapons of terror for at least four years without having to worry about much more than a few empty threats.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Freedom of Expression... Not!

Americans have traditionally maintained a claim on the right of expression. In fact, it can be argued that it is that right that is the premise for all our other liberties. However, the right of expression has always given way to the right of existence - in other words the right to be protected from harm. So, when "An unprecedented security blanket will be draped across San Francisco for the US leg of the Olympic flame's global relay here Wednesday amid worldwide condemnation of China's crackdown in Tibet and its human rights record ahead of the summer games in Beijing." it is not totally uncalled for.

I do not mean to imply that Americans are being restricted in their ability to protest. The mere fact that Breitbart is reporting that so many cops will be out for the torch run is attestation to the impact the global protests have had. However, at times protesting is not enough. Studies show that unless significant monetary or physical (i.e. violent) pressure is exerted, governments will more often than not simply ignore protests.

Of course, the journalistic outcry will impact China's leaders and force them to recognize that they do not operate in a bubble. Be that as it may, I am dubious of the lasting effects this brief outcry will have on impacting significant policy change. Witness Darfur.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Ketchup Candidate

The big news for the Obama campaign today was the additional campaign trail support of Teresa Heinz Kerry. Joining Michelle Obama in Pennsylvania, Kerry compared Mr. Obama to both of her husbands who won the election in that state.

In her statements today, standing beside Kerry, Mrs. Obama said that "she has seen how the bar for her husband has been consistently raised this year, and how he has met each of the challenges." I just want to take a moment to ask what challenges??? The media has been consistently soft on Obama. They let him brush aside his mentor of 20 years as being simply a "crazy uncle." Mr. Obama has not been challenged; his claim of restoring hope and change has been proven completely false. Mr. Obama has stooped to the level of Hillary in the name calling, the lying and the general disdain for the American people.

Friday, March 28, 2008

In Defense of Decency

This story is really worth the read. It not only epitomizes the true greatness of our American soldiers, but it serves as a truly touching reminder of human kindness and decency.

Boy’s Wish Comes True at Fort Sam Houston

By Phil Reidinger
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 27, 2008 – Gavin Cox could have traveled to any exotic locale or tried any profession in the world, but this 5-year-old with leukemia had just one wish: to be a soldier.

His wish was granted March 18 when he became a soldier for the day here.

“He could have chosen any activity during this break in his treatments, to include Disney World,” said Gavin’s father, Troy Heminger. “He wanted to be a soldier.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Candidate Who Cried Wolf

From Dick Morris:
Hillary simply cannot tell the truth. Here's her scorecard:

Admitted Lies


• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)

• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)

• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A girl presented her with flowers at the foot of the ramp.)

• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)


Whoppers She Won't Confess To

• She didn't know about the FALN pardons.

• She didn't know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.

• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.

• She didn't know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.

• She didn't know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.

• She opposed NAFTA at the time.

• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.

• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.

• She played a role in the '90s economic recovery.

• The billing records showed up on their own.

• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.

• She was always a Yankees fan.

• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).

• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).

With a record like that, is it any wonder that we suspect her of being less than honest and straightforward?