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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I spent 25 years in the private sector. I’ve done business in many foreign countries. I know why jobs come and why they go away. And I know that liberals don’t have a clue. [Democrats] think we have the biggest and strongest economy in the world because of our government. They’re wrong. America is strong because of the ingenuity and entrepreneurship and hard work of the American people.

-- Mitt Romney

"What is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this? The answer is simple. I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.

My Democratic friends know all about John’s record of independence and accomplishment. Maybe that’s why some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else. I’m here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don’t be fooled. God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.

Sen. Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man, but eloquence is no substitute for a record."

-- Joe Lieberman

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character...”
-Noah Webster

Why Obama’s ‘Community Organizer’ Days Are a Joke

By Michelle Malkin
Let me clarify something. Nobody is mocking community organizers in church basements and community centers across the country working to improve their neighbors’ lives. What deserves ridicule is the notion that Obama’s brief stint as a South Side rabble-rouser for tax-subsidized, partisan nonprofits qualifies as executive experience you can believe in. (READ MORE)

Biden Received Five Student Draft Deferments During Vietnam War

Huckabee: ‘Shocking Sexism’ in Media Coverage of Palin

“I think what we’re seeing today in the questions that are being asked, and the columns that are being written, and the commentaries that are being delivered reflect what was really deep inside (the media) all along – and it is shocking,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

Troop Surge Was a Big Success, Obama Now Says

The troop surge in Iraq has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,” Sen. Barack Obama told Bill O’Reilly in an interview that aired on the Fox News Channel Thursday night. Obama not only opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, he also opposed the troop surge and predicted it would not work. (READ MORE)

Lawrence Kudlow: There's Something Missing in St. Paul
On CNBC Wednesday night, Jack Welch, GE's CEO from that firm's salad days in the '80s and '90s, pointed out the dangers of a three-house Democratic sweep. He says it's dangerous for both the stock market and the economy. And he wants to know why the St. Paul Republicans aren't running against Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

"With Pelosi and Reid pushing him," said Welch, "there's no limit to the taxes (Obama will) raise." Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who joined Welch on our show, was in full agreement: "You've got a prescription for turning America into France," said the Senate minority leader, "which is exactly what the Democrats want to do if they get all three (houses)."

I agree completely. A three-house Democratic sweep is a....


Bill O'Reilly: Chatting with Obama
Like him or not, you have to give Barack Obama credit for waging a smart, focused campaign. Destroying the Clinton machine was a major achievement, and so was putting together a successful convention in Denver. Obama is now firmly a part of U.S. history no matter what happens in the presidential election.

The problem some Americans continue to have with the senator is that he is long on charisma, but short on detail. This frightens some voters.
Read more.

Michael Barone: The Battle of the Party Themes
The national conventions are political shows staged to influence voters.

Soon, we can measure the bounce that the two tickets have received from their gatherings. But the more important question is whether the conventions establish arguments that are sustainable -- over the course of the campaign and, for the winning ticket, over four years of governance. Four years ago, John Kerry's convention produced a narrative that proved unsustainable. Read on.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Obama Gets Iran's Endorsement

Iranian TV goes ga-ga over Obama
Heaps praise on Democrats while blasting 'absentminded' McCain, 'inexperienced' Palin

By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – GOP Sen. John McCain is "absentminded" and "terrible" and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, doesn't have any appropriate experience.

Sen. Barack Obama, by contrast, is "highly educated" and "eloquent" and would serve the world much better and improve America's overall situation. Read more.

Report: Muslims ripped off by CAIR

Organization allegedly threatened to sue over subsequent complaints
Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which claims to represent the interests of American Muslims, allegedly defrauded a number of Muslims recently seeking help with citizenship delays, and then threatened to sue them if they complained to the media, according to a security watchdog group which has obtained internal CAIR documents.

The former legal director of CAIR's Maryland/Virginia chapter shook down Muslim hardship cases for thousands of dollars without providing promised services, officials with the Mapping Sharia Project charge.

Continue reading.

Wilson row over green 'alarmists'

The Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has angered green campaigners by describing their view on climate change as a "hysterical psuedo-religion".

In an article in the News Letter, Mr Wilson said he believed it occurred naturally and was not man-made.

Read more.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim."

James Wilson, 1790

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Noteworthy Headline News

Washington Times:
Mexican drug wars threaten U.S.
'Deadly force' spills over border

Pakistani PM survives attack

Fox News/AP:
Mexican Police Uncover Secret Border Tunnel to U.S.

Washington Times:
White House careful on cutting ties with Moscow

USA Today:
Hanna, Ike and Josephine move toward USA

Denver Post:
Sheriff's investigation: Anarchists discussed kidnapping delegates

Houston Chronicle:
Houston startup joins others in trying to get more oil from existing wells

The Hypocritical, Woman-Hating Left Targets Palin
By Ben Shapiro

“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once remarked.

Where, then, are the liberal women when it comes to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin? (Read on)

Palin Has Not Pushed Creation Science As Governor
Anchorage (AP) - As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin called for teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools. But after Alaska voters elected her, Palin, now Republican John McCain's presidential running mate, kept her campaign pledge to not push the idea in the schools.

2008 GOP Platform Eliminates ‘Commitment’ to United Nations
The 2004 Republican Party platform mentioned the U.S. being “committed” to institutions like the U.N., but the reference does not reappear in the 2008 platform. In general, however, the 2008 platform’s treatment of the U.N. differs little from that in the 2004 platform. The new document says the U.S. “will pay a fair, but not disproportionate, share of dues” to the U.N., and “will never support a U.N.-imposed tax.”

Choice of Sarah Palin Prompts Praise and Protest
St. Paul
– Pro-life activists did not waver in their support of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, one day after the Republican vice presidential candidate announced that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant and would have the baby. In fact, based on the crowd’s reaction at a gathering of the Republican National Coalition for Life, the news might have helped Palin.

Medicare's Financial Woes: Bigger Than Official Estimates

By J.D. Foster, Ph.D.
The Medicare Trustees' Annual Report released earlier this year projects Medicare's excess costs to be $85.6 trillion.[1] This amount is six times the U.S. econ­omy in 2007. Worse, as the Trustees' Report suggests repeatedly, by rule their analysis reflects a badly flawed assumption and so their calculations understate the magnitude of the problem.[2]

The flawed assumption is that the Trustees are pro­jecting unreasonably low rates for physician compen­sation under Medicare Part B. Fully acknowledging the problem, the Medicare Office of the Actuary has pro­vided a memorandum discussing the flawed assump­tion and describing two illustrative alternatives.[3] Using these alternatives, it is then possible to estimate the additional amount of Medicare's excess costs attribut­able to more realistic assumptions regarding physician compensation.[4] Under one assumption, Medicare's excess costs rise by about $3 trillion in present value; under the somewhat more generous assumption, Medicare's excess costs rise by about $5.9 trillion, to a total of $91.5 trillion.

There is now broad agreement that Medicare must be fundamentally reformed to preserve this vital program for seniors without bankrupting the country. These estimates suggest the full extent of Medicare's fiscal woes is even greater than previ­ously believed.

Read the full article here.

Palin Pitches Sam's Club Tent

By Gerald F. Seib
Republican reformers have been crying out for the party to do more for the ranks of "Sam's Club Republicans" -- that is, working-class GOP voters more comfortable in a big-box store than a country club.

With Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as John McCain's running mate, the party now has a new national leader whose personal story resonates precisely with those Sam's Club Republicans.

The question for the reform movement now is whether Gov. Palin and the party can develop an economic message with equal appeal to the party's blue-collar contingent, which has been responsible for much of the party's growth in the last two decades. And on that front, reformers think the party has some work to do.

"On paper, and I'm sure this is partly why the McCain people picked her, she is the prototypical figure for working-class Republicans," says Ross Douthat, author of a new book entitled, "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream."

Read on.

Oil Falls for Fourth Day as Gulf Platforms Escape Storm Damage

By Grant Smith
(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil declined for a fourth day as companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips said that Hurricane Gustav caused no structural damage to Gulf of Mexico facilities. (Read more)

Obama Embraces Media Hype about Economic 'Turmoil'

Networks virtually ignore good economic news, don't challenge claim economy in 'crisis.'

By Julia A. Seymour
Business & Media Institute

As Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., accepted his party’s nomination for president he warned of an American economy in “turmoil.” Throughout convention week the news media helped reinforce Obama’s negative perspective.

During the Democratic convention week, networks broadcast pessimistic reports about the economy and downplayed or ignored the announcement that second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) rose by a full percentage point more than expected. The media even validated Obama’s assertion that the Clinton administration built an “incredible” economy, although the economy grew slower than 3.3 percent during nearly half of Clinton’s presidency. (Continue reading)

Stick With Sarah

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:
Sarah Palin's selection will end up as a big win for John McCain. He has to stay with her and quell any talk of pulling an Eagleton (after the time when 1972 Democratic nominee George McGovern yanked the plug on Missouri Sen. Tom Eagleton, who had been his choice for vice president). McCain and Palin will confound their critics and gain good yardage in the presidential race.

None of the criticisms of Sarah Palin amounts to any misconduct on her part. Her daughter got pregnant. Her husband had a DWI 20 years ago. Her sister married a bum -- a state trooper -- who admits he shot a tazer gun at his 11-year-old son to instill discipline, and a lot of her friends and family badgered his boss to discharge him. Palin, acting without explanation, but with ample justification and within her authority, fired the trooper's boss. All this comes to a massive, so what?

The important thing about Sarah Palin is her public life. She has......
(Read more)

"There is little need of commentary upon this clause. No man can well doubt the propriety of placing a president of the United States under the most solemn obligations to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. It is a suitable pledge of his fidelity and responsibility to his country; and creates upon his conscience a deep sense of duty, by an appeal, at once in the presence of God and man, to the most sacred and solemn sanctions, which can operate upon the human mind." -- Joseph Story, Justice (1833)

“Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases. They tell you they are not going to tax your family. No, they’re just going to tax ‘businesses.’ So unless you buy something from a ‘business,’ like groceries or clothes or gasoline... or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small ‘business,’ don’t worry... it’s not going to affect you. They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the ‘other’ side of the bucket! That’s their idea of tax reform.”Fred Thompson

“Election 2008: John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is brilliant. Her individualism matches McCain’s. But it’s the new strengths she brings to the ticket that make the team formidable. To say it was a bold pick is putting it mildly. Palin, after all, isn’t well-known outside Alaska. But McCain is maverick-bold, and this masterstroke looks like a game-changer for Republicans. A first look at Palin, 44, shows striking political similarities with the man who heads the ticket. Like McCain, she thinks independently and has shown political courage. Elected governor in 2006, she became popular for tax-cutting and budget-balancing, both hallmarks of McCain’s own career. Also like McCain, Palin has confronted political corruption, even at a cost to herself... Palin is also a straight-talker. As governor of a small-population state, she’s accessible, with a history of working with and listening to people, taking in all sides. She uses plain language and doesn’t fear gaffes. She couldn’t be further from the canned, focus-group-driven politicians who dominate politics. This builds trust. McCain’s and Palin’s similarities present an emerging political coherence and unity of message that should appeal to voters.”

Investor’s Business Daily

“The more Congress does, the less Americans prosper. Freedom, not legislation and regulation, is what powers the U.S. economy. The old political wisdom is a sound investment guideline, too: That government is best that governs least.” —Jeff Jacoby

“If a 44-year-old Alaskan governor lacks experience to be vice president, what does that deficiency say about the credentials of the a 47-year-old sometime community organizer in Chicago and one-term U.S. senator to actually lead the nation and, by inference, much of the world? Nothing very hopeful, is what it says.” William Murchison

“We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.” Voltaire

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

'Black' ops killing off al-Qaida

Led by MI6, secret war shuts down many suicide attacks
LONDON – Members of Britain's MI6 intelligence service, attached to a highly secretive unit called Task Force Black, have led Britain's SAS and the U.S. Delta Force to kill what a secret intelligence report confirms as "hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in the past two years and the capture of 3,500 insurgents," according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

The operations are described by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq due to leave his post shortly, as a "phenomenal job which has been an immense help in Baghdad."

The SAS units operate as small, deep-cover teams often disguised as Arabs. They were formed to deal with the wave of suicide car bombers which, at the height of the terrorist campaign, was claiming 2,000 lives a month in Baghdad. Read more.

Russians seize key city, open 2nd Georgia front

Saakashvili says Moscow forces have effectively cut his country in half
--Associated Press

Russia: Saakashvili 'no longer' president

'The present Georgian regime has collapsed ... He is a political corpse'
--Agence France-Presse

Palin electrifies GOP convention

Party leaders see vice-presidential nominee, abortion platform signaling 'conservative' path.

Illegals refused to evacuate before hurricane

Claim government didn't do enough to assure aliens they wouldn't be deported

Illegal aliens decided to stay in New Orleans and tough out the storm, rather than board buses and trains and risk arrest by immigration authorities.

The Medvedev Doctrine and American Strategy

By George Friedman
Geopolitical Intelligence Report

The United States has been fighting a war in the Islamic world since 2001. Its main theaters of operation are in Afghanistan and Iraq, but its politico-military focus spreads throughout the Islamic world, from Mindanao to Morocco. The situation on Aug. 7, 2008, was as follows:

1. The war in Iraq was moving toward an acceptable but not optimal solution. The government in Baghdad was not pro-American, but neither was it an Iranian puppet, and that was the best that could be hoped for. The United States anticipated pulling out troops, but not in a disorderly fashion.
2. The war in Afghanistan was deteriorating for the United States and NATO forces. The Taliban was increasingly effective, and large areas of the country were falling to its control. Force in Afghanistan was insufficient, and any troops withdrawn from Iraq would have to be deployed to Afghanistan to stabilize the situation. Political conditions in neighboring Pakistan were deteriorating, and that deterioration inevitably affected Afghanistan.
3. The United States had been locked in a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program, demanding that Tehran halt enrichment of uranium or face U.S. action. The United States had assembled a group of six countries (the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) that agreed with the U.S. goal, was engaged in negotiations with Iran, and had agreed at some point to impose sanctions on Iran if Tehran failed to comply. The United States was also leaking stories about impending air attacks on Iran by Israel or the United States if Tehran didn’t abandon its enrichment program. The United States had the implicit agreement of the group of six not to sell arms to Tehran, creating a real sense of isolation in Iran.

In short, the United States remained heavily committed to a region stretching from Iraq to Pakistan, with main force committed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the possibility of commitments to Pakistan (and above all to Iran) on the table. U.S. ground forces were stretched to the limit, and U.S. airpower, naval and land-based forces had to stand by for the possibility of an air campaign in Iran — regardless of whether the U.S. planned an attack, since the credibility of a bluff depended on the availability of force.

The situation in this region actually was improving, but the United States had to remain committed there. It was therefore no accident that the Russians invaded Georgia on Aug. 8 following a Georgian attack on South Ossetia. Forgetting the details of who did what to whom, the United States had created a massive window of opportunity for the Russians: For the foreseeable future, the United States had no significant forces to spare to deploy elsewhere in the world, nor the ability to sustain them in extended combat. Moreover, the United States was relying on Russian cooperation both against Iran and potentially in Afghanistan, where Moscow’s influence with some factions remains substantial. The United States needed the Russians and couldn’t block the Russians. Therefore, the Russians inevitably chose this moment to strike.

On Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in effect ran up the Jolly Roger. Whatever the United States thought it was dealing with in Russia, Medvedev made the Russian position very clear. He stated Russian foreign policy in five succinct points, which we can think of as the Medvedev Doctrine (and which we see fit to quote here):

* First, Russia recognizes the primacy of the fundamental principles of international law, which define the relations between civilized peoples. We will build our relations with other countries within the framework of these principles and this concept of international law.
* Second, the world should be multipolar. A single-pole world is unacceptable. Domination is something we cannot allow. We cannot accept a world order in which one country makes all the decisions, even as serious and influential a country as the United States of America. Such a world is unstable and threatened by conflict.
* Third, Russia does not want confrontation with any other country. Russia has no intention of isolating itself. We will develop friendly relations with Europe, the United States, and other countries, as much as is possible.
* Fourth, protecting the lives and dignity of our citizens, wherever they may be, is an unquestionable priority for our country. Our foreign policy decisions will be based on this need. We will also protect the interests of our business community abroad. It should be clear to all that we will respond to any aggressive acts committed against us.
* Finally, fifth, as is the case of other countries, there are regions in which Russia has privileged interests. These regions are home to countries with which we share special historical relations and are bound together as friends and good neighbors. We will pay particular attention to our work in these regions and build friendly ties with these countries, our close neighbors.

Medvedev concluded, “These are the principles I will follow in carrying out our foreign policy. As for the future, it depends not only on us but also on our friends and partners in the international community. They have a choice.”

The second point in this doctrine states that Russia does not accept the primacy of the United States in the international system. According to the third point, while Russia wants good relations with the United States and Europe, this depends on their behavior toward Russia and not just on Russia’s behavior. The fourth point states that Russia will protect the interests of Russians wherever they are — even if they live in the Baltic states or in Georgia, for example. This provides a doctrinal basis for intervention in such countries if Russia finds it necessary.

The fifth point is the critical one: “As is the case of other countries, there are regions in which Russia has privileged interests.” In other words, the Russians have special interests in the former Soviet Union and in friendly relations with these states. Intrusions by others into these regions that undermine pro-Russian regimes will be regarded as a threat to Russia’s “special interests.”

Thus, the Georgian conflict was not an isolated event — rather, Medvedev is saying that Russia is engaged in a general redefinition of the regional and global system. Locally, it would not be correct to say that Russia is trying to resurrect the Soviet Union or the Russian empire. It would be correct to say that Russia is creating a new structure of relations in the geography of its predecessors, with a new institutional structure with Moscow at its center. Globally, the Russians want to use this new regional power — and substantial Russian nuclear assets — to be part of a global system in which the United States loses its primacy.

These are ambitious goals, to say the least. But the Russians believe that the United States is off balance in the Islamic world and that there is an opportunity here, if they move quickly, to create a new reality before the United States is ready to respond. Europe has neither the military weight nor the will to actively resist Russia. Moreover, the Europeans are heavily dependent on Russian natural gas supplies over the coming years, and Russia can survive without selling it to them far better than the Europeans can survive without buying it. The Europeans are not a substantial factor in the equation, nor are they likely to become substantial.

This leaves the United States in an extremely difficult strategic position. The United States opposed the Soviet Union after 1945 not only for ideological reasons but also for geopolitical ones. If the Soviet Union had broken out of its encirclement and dominated all of Europe, the total economic power at its disposal, coupled with its population, would have allowed the Soviets to construct a navy that could challenge U.S. maritime hegemony and put the continental United States in jeopardy. It was U.S. policy during World Wars I and II and the Cold War to act militarily to prevent any power from dominating the Eurasian landmass. For the United States, this was the most important task throughout the 20th century.

The U.S.-jihadist war was waged in a strategic framework that assumed that the question of hegemony over Eurasia was closed. Germany’s defeat in World War II and the Soviet Union’s defeat in the Cold War meant that there was no claimant to Eurasia, and the United States was free to focus on what appeared to be the current priority — the defeat of radical Islamism. It appeared that the main threat to this strategy was the patience of the American public, not an attempt to resurrect a major Eurasian power.

The United States now faces a massive strategic dilemma, and it has limited military options against the Russians. It could choose a naval option, in which it would block the four Russian maritime outlets, the Sea of Japan and the Black, Baltic and Barents seas. The United States has ample military force with which to do this and could potentially do so without allied cooperation, which it would lack. It is extremely unlikely that the NATO council would unanimously support a blockade of Russia, which would be an act of war.

But while a blockade like this would certainly hurt the Russians, Russia is ultimately a land power. It is also capable of shipping and importing through third parties, meaning it could potentially acquire and ship key goods through European or Turkish ports (or Iranian ports, for that matter). The blockade option is thus more attractive on first glance than on deeper analysis.

More important, any overt U.S. action against Russia would result in counteractions. During the Cold War, the Soviets attacked American global interest not by sending Soviet troops, but by supporting regimes and factions with weapons and economic aid. Vietnam was the classic example: The Russians tied down 500,000 U.S. troops without placing major Russian forces at risk. Throughout the world, the Soviets implemented programs of subversion and aid to friendly regimes, forcing the United States either to accept pro-Soviet regimes, as with Cuba, or fight them at disproportionate cost.

In the present situation, the Russian response would strike at the heart of American strategy in the Islamic world. In the long run, the Russians have little interest in strengthening the Islamic world — but for the moment, they have substantial interest in maintaining American imbalance and sapping U.S. forces. The Russians have a long history of supporting Middle Eastern regimes with weapons shipments, and it is no accident that the first world leader they met with after invading Georgia was Syrian President Bashar al Assad. This was a clear signal that if the U.S. responded aggressively to Russia’s actions in Georgia, Moscow would ship a range of weapons to Syria — and far worse, to Iran. Indeed, Russia could conceivably send weapons to factions in Iraq that do not support the current regime, as well as to groups like Hezbollah. Moscow also could encourage the Iranians to withdraw their support for the Iraqi government and plunge Iraq back into conflict. Finally, Russia could ship weapons to the Taliban and work to further destabilize Pakistan.

At the moment, the United States faces the strategic problem that the Russians have options while the United States does not. Not only does the U.S. commitment of ground forces in the Islamic world leave the United States without strategic reserve, but the political arrangements under which these troops operate make them highly vulnerable to Russian manipulation — with few satisfactory U.S. counters.

The U.S. government is trying to think through how it can maintain its commitment in the Islamic world and resist the Russian reassertion of hegemony in the former Soviet Union. If the United States could very rapidly win its wars in the region, this would be possible. But the Russians are in a position to prolong these wars, and even without such agitation, the American ability to close off the conflicts is severely limited. The United States could massively increase the size of its army and make deployments into the Baltics, Ukraine and Central Asia to thwart Russian plans, but it would take years to build up these forces and the active cooperation of Europe to deploy them. Logistically, European support would be essential — but the Europeans in general, and the Germans in particular, have no appetite for this war. Expanding the U.S. Army is necessary, but it does not affect the current strategic reality.

This logistical issue might be manageable, but the real heart of this problem is not merely the deployment of U.S. forces in the Islamic world — it is the Russians’ ability to use weapons sales and covert means to deteriorate conditions dramatically. With active Russian hostility added to the current reality, the strategic situation in the Islamic world could rapidly spin out of control.

The United States is therefore trapped by its commitment to the Islamic world. It does not have sufficient forces to block Russian hegemony in the former Soviet Union, and if it tries to block the Russians with naval or air forces, it faces a dangerous riposte from the Russians in the Islamic world. If it does nothing, it creates a strategic threat that potentially towers over the threat in the Islamic world.

The United States now has to make a fundamental strategic decision. If it remains committed to its current strategy, it cannot respond to the Russians. If it does not respond to the Russians for five or 10 years, the world will look very much like it did from 1945 to 1992. There will be another Cold War at the very least, with a peer power much poorer than the United States but prepared to devote huge amounts of money to national defense.

There are four broad U.S. options:

1. Attempt to make a settlement with Iran that would guarantee the neutral stability of Iraq and permit the rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces there. Iran is the key here. The Iranians might also mistrust a re-emergent Russia, and while Tehran might be tempted to work with the Russians against the Americans, Iran might consider an arrangement with the United States — particularly if the United States refocuses its attentions elsewhere. On the upside, this would free the U.S. from Iraq. On the downside, the Iranians might not want —or honor — such a deal.
2. Enter into negotiations with the Russians, granting them the sphere of influence they want in the former Soviet Union in return for guarantees not to project Russian power into Europe proper. The Russians will be busy consolidating their position for years, giving the U.S. time to re-energize NATO. On the upside, this would free the United States to continue its war in the Islamic world. On the downside, it would create a framework for the re-emergence of a powerful Russian empire that would be as difficult to contain as the Soviet Union.
3. Refuse to engage the Russians and leave the problem to the Europeans. On the upside, this would allow the United States to continue war in the Islamic world and force the Europeans to act. On the downside, the Europeans are too divided, dependent on Russia and dispirited to resist the Russians. This strategy could speed up Russia’s re-emergence.
4. Rapidly disengage from Iraq, leaving a residual force there and in Afghanistan. The upside is that this creates a reserve force to reinforce the Baltics and Ukraine that might restrain Russia in the former Soviet Union. The downside is that it would create chaos in the Islamic world, threatening regimes that have sided with the United States and potentially reviving effective intercontinental terrorism. The trade-off is between a hegemonic threat from Eurasia and instability and a terror threat from the Islamic world.

We are pointing to very stark strategic choices. Continuing the war in the Islamic world has a much higher cost now than it did when it began, and Russia potentially poses a far greater threat to the United States than the Islamic world does. What might have been a rational policy in 2001 or 2003 has now turned into a very dangerous enterprise, because a hostile major power now has the option of making the U.S. position in the Middle East enormously more difficult.

If a U.S. settlement with Iran is impossible, and a diplomatic solution with the Russians that would keep them from taking a hegemonic position in the former Soviet Union cannot be reached, then the United States must consider rapidly abandoning its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and redeploying its forces to block Russian expansion. The threat posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War was far graver than the threat posed now by the fragmented Islamic world. In the end, the nations there will cancel each other out, and militant organizations will be something the United States simply has to deal with. This is not an ideal solution by any means, but the clock appears to have run out on the American war in the Islamic world.

We do not expect the United States to take this option. It is difficult to abandon a conflict that has gone on this long when it is not yet crystal clear that the Russians will actually be a threat later. (It is far easier for an analyst to make such suggestions than it is for a president to act on them.) Instead, the United States will attempt to bridge the Russian situation with gestures and half measures.

Nevertheless, American national strategy is in crisis. The United States has insufficient power to cope with two threats and must choose between the two. Continuing the current strategy means choosing to deal with the Islamic threat rather than the Russian one, and that is reasonable only if the Islamic threat represents a greater danger to American interests than the Russian threat does. It is difficult to see how the chaos of the Islamic world will cohere to form a global threat. But it is not difficult to imagine a Russia guided by the Medvedev Doctrine rapidly becoming a global threat and a direct danger to American interests.

We expect no immediate change in American strategic deployments — and we expect this to be regretted later. However, given U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip to the Caucasus region, now would be the time to see some movement in U.S. foreign policy. If Cheney isn’t going to be talking to the Russians, he needs to be talking to the Iranians. Otherwise, he will be writing checks in the region that the U.S. is in no position to cash.


Weaker Gustav loses hold on energy costs

Refineries and rigs emerge unscathed
Boston Globe

Savaging Sarah Palin
When MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggested in Denver that Barack Obama earned his present elevation in American politics, unlike “showcase appointments” like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, he reminded the world of the peculiarity of liberalism. John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate underlined it.

Liberals find no joy when Republicans select women or minorities for top positions. They are all fraudulent traitors to their own apparent group interests. Conservative blacks aren’t really black. Conservative Latinos aren’t really Latino. Now, conservative women are somehow not really women.

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift spoke for her colleagues on the Palin selection: “If the media reaction is anything, it's been literally laughter in many places ... In very, very many newsrooms.” Read more.

Same old - same old

UN Anti-Terror Effort Bogged Down Over Terrorism Definition
Seven years after the U.N. Security Council responded to 9/11 with a tough resolution aimed at tackling the scourge of terror, its ability to do so remains hamstrung by a failure to agree of a definition of terrorism – and by policies evidently designed to avoid embarrassing or annoying member states. More.

Kyoto-Like Rules Being Pushed at State Level, Experts Say
Even as the Bush administration has resisted the Kyoto Protocol as official U.S. policy, there are efforts underway at the state and local level to impose mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions to combat alleged climate change that could prove costly, according to a policy expert with the Capital Research Center (CRC). MORE

Obama’s ‘Blueprint for Change’ Includes Scores of New Spending Proposals
A review of four of the 23 pillars of “change” outlined in Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) “Blueprint for Change,” posted on the candidate’s campaign Web site, reveals nearly 100 objectives Obama has set for the federal government if he wins the election this fall.

The “Blueprint for Change” is an “innovative approach to challenge the status quo and get results,” Obama’s Web site says, but a spokesman for a conservative anti-tax group told CNSNews.com that it will be impossible for the government to afford many of the things Obama said he will do.
[Full article]

‘Ludicrous’ to Say Palin Has Less Experience Than Obama, McCain Says
Is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin the best choice to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Many Americans are asking that question, and Sen. John McCain answered it with a resounding “yes” on Sunday.

“The facts are funny things,” McCain said in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.

“She’s been in elected office longer than Sen. Obama. She’s been the chief executive of the state that provides 20 percent of America’s energy; she has balanced budgets; she has had executive experience as governor, as mayor, as a city council member and PTA. [Full article]

Monday, September 01, 2008

“The greatest threat to mankind’s prosperity is government. A recent example is Zimbabwe’s increasing misery. Like our country, Zimbabwe had a flourishing agriculture sector, so much so it was called the breadbasket of southern Africa. Today, its people are on the brink of starvation as a result of its government. It’s the same story in many countries—government interference with mankind’s natural tendency to engage in wealth-producing activities. Blaming poverty on overpopulation not only lets governments off the hook; it encourages the enactment of harmful policies.” —Walter Williams

“When we hear about rent control or gun control, we may think about rent or guns but the word that really matters is ‘control.’ That is what the political left is all about, as you can see by the incessant creation of new restrictions in places where they are strongly entrenched in power, such as San Francisco or New York.” —Thomas Sowell

Palin by Comparison

While the the old tired main stream media, which now serves as the Democrat Party's personal communications department and cheerleading squad, is trying to dig up mud on the Palins, they continue to ignore Obama's past associations and keen house buying skills.

You can go to the American Daily and read Jim Kouri's article "Resume of a Terrorist: Obama’s Buddy Ayers."

“Guilty as hell. Free as a bird.
America is a great country.”

- William Ayers , 1981 -

$10 Million Woman: Palin a Hit with GOP Donors

ABC News:
McCain Campaign Raises Over $10 Million Since Palin Tapped as Running Mate


The McCain campaign raised more than $10 million in the two and a half days after Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was named as the vice presidential running mate, bringing the total raised in the month of August to more than $47 million, campaign officials tell ABC News.
Read more.

Iraq takes over security control of Anbar province from U.S. troops
RAMADI, Iraq, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Iraq on Monday took over security control of the western province of Anbar from U.S. troops, a provincial security source said.

In a ceremony held in the provincial government building in the provincial capital city Ramadi under tough security measures, the U.S. military transferred the security file of the Sunni province to Iraqi security forces.
Continue reading.

EU summit ends without sanctions against Russia
BRUSSELS, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- An extraordinary European Union summit ended here on Monday without sanctions against Russia though the 27-nation bloc managed to speak in one voice in condemning Russia and urging it to fully implement a cease-fire deal with Georgia.

After a few hours of discussion on the situation in Georgia, a concluding document from the meeting said that the crisis in Georgia "puts the relationship between the EU and Russia at a crossroads." More.

Ongoing Afghan battle kills over 220 militants in South
KABUL, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the U.S.-led Coalition forces have killed more than 220 militants during clean-up operations in southern Afghan province of Helmand since Aug. 25, said a Coalition statement released hereon Monday.

The joint forces were attacked repeatedly by militants with small-arms and heavy-weapons fire during multiple engagements while soldiers responded with small-arms fire, heavy-weapons and close air support, eliminating the militant threats, the statement said. More.

Second Missile Strike On al-Qaeda In Pakistan In Two Days

From The Strata-Sphere:
There has been a second missile strike into the Pakistan Tribal areas thought to be where the remnants of al-Qaeda are hiding out in their last sanctuary on Earth. More.

G_D Damn!! The Revern is back!

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's fiery ex-pastor, re-emerged yesterday with a crude reference about race and sex in the White House.

"This ordinary boy [Obama] just might be the first president in the history of the United States to have a black woman sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania legally,"
Wright said, referring to Michelle Obama, in a sermon at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston.[Read more.]


New York Post

ST. PAUL -- The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. (Full details)

Reportedly McCain was aware of this prior to selecting Palin as Veep, but did not see this as disqualifier, and I agree.

Liberal bloggers were throwing mud at Governor Palin in an attempt to raise doubts of the Governors last child, Trig, as to who the mother really is - Gov. Palin - or her 17 year old daughter, Bristol.

They decided to refute these rumors by making this announcement. Trig was born in May and Bristol is 5 months pregnant. It would be an oddity indeed if Bristol could pull this off.

McCain's website has this posted:

“We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”

It is not a curse or "punishment" some would like us to believe. Right Barack? But, it is a consequence of having sex, and a responsibility to be shared by the parents - married or not.

Authenticity is the one word threat to the Obama-Biden ticket.


Let's see how this plays out. Biden's camp is denying he said it (why wouldn't they)?

Obama camp denies report Biden said Israel will have to reconcile to nuclear Iran

Haaretz - Israel News
According to an unsourced report by Army Radio, the senator made the remarks to senior Israeli officials behind closed doors, adding that he opposed "opening an additional military and diplomatic front."

An unsourced report from a closed door meeting claims Biden said it. Why would they make it up?


“I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office... I was just your average hockey mom in Alaska... busy raising our kids. I was serving as the team mom and coaching some basketball on the side. I got involved in the PTA and then was elected to the city council, and then elected mayor of my hometown, where my agenda was to stop wasteful spending, and cut property taxes, and put the people first. I was then appointed ethics commissioner and chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. And when I found corruption there, I fought it hard, and I held the offenders to account. Along with fellow reformers in the great state of Alaska, as governor, I’ve stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ole-boy network. When oil and gas prices went up so dramatically and the state revenues followed with that increase, I sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska. And we are now... embarking on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. I signed major ethics reform. And I appointed both Democrats and independents to serve in my administration. I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress... ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we’d build it ourselves. Well, it’s always... safer in politics to avoid risk, to just kind of go along with the status quo. But I didn’t get into government to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why the ship is built. Politics isn’t just a game of competing interests and clashing parties. The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reasons. And the right reason is to challenge the status quo and to serve the common good. Now, no one expects us to agree on everything, whether in Juneau or in Washington. But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions, and a servant’s heart.” —Alaska Governor and Republican VP Nominee Sarah Palin


“The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”
— Thomas Jefferson



Sarah Palin does not simply represent an opportunity to appeal to women voters and to add a new, charismatic presence to the ticket. Her selection signals the rebirth of John McCain, the courageous, independent senator who seemed to have been anesthetized during the long primary process.

[Read more at the New York Post]

One line quotes:

“The timid, civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (RIP - 2008)

“If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.” —Henry David Thoreau

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
—George Orwell

“It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths.” —Herbert Spencer

“A sure sign of a genius is that all of the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” —Frank Lloyd Wright

“I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.” —William F. Buckley Jr.

“The most enthusiastic members of the Denver party believe that the country is finally, for the first time really, on their side. The nation’s and the party’s Left is both enlarged and inflamed. The shrewder ones, who are calling the shots, hope that the public will be sufficiently disaffected with the Republicans to tolerate or overlook their ideology. Thus the task before Obama and Biden this week is threefold. They must feign toughness on foreign policy and moderation on values. At the same time they must present their enthusiasm for bureaucracy as sympathy for the economic challenges of the middle class. They must persuade the country that they are not what they are: the most Left-wing ticket their party has run in 36 years. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; 51 percent may be more feasible.” National Review

“[W]hat does one call a lawmaker who would condemn to death the child survivor of a botched abortion by permitting doctors to refuse that child, once born alive, potentially life-saving medical treatment and nutrition? A number of things come to mind. Mr. President isn’t one of them.” —Matt Barber

“Just what changes the old Democratic order when you have Bill Clinton speaking one night and Hillary Clinton the next night? Is Mayor Daley, Obama’s strongest backer and the boss of the corrupt Chicago Democratic machine, a symbol of change? You look at this... convention and you have to ask yourself, ‘Have I not seen this show before?”’ —Michael Reagan

“Joe Biden wasn’t even on Barack Obama’s short list until August 7, when Russia suddenly invaded the neighboring country of Georgia. That’s the word from key Democrats meeting here in Denver who say the Obama campaign’s need to shore up its foreign policy bona fides helped push the Delaware senator to the top of the pack. ‘We didn’t pick our nominee. Vladimir Putin did,’ is how one Democrat, who professes to be pleased with the Biden choice, put it.” —John Fund

“When Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, according to the 2007 vote scoring done by National Journal, picks the third-most-liberal senator, does that count as reaching across the aisle?” Jonah Goldberg

“In selecting Sen. Joseph Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama gains some needed foreign policy expertise, but loses some credibility. If Washington is as bad as these two say it is, was Biden a contributor or an enabler during his six Senate terms? If 36 years in the Senate doesn’t make you an ‘insider’ and part of the problem, what does?” Cal Thomas

Environmentalists: Oil project could kill Dead Sea
TEL AVIV — Israel is debating the feasibility of searching for crude oil near the Dead Sea. The project has been opposed by environmentalists who warn of permanent damage to the desert.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics was a business bust

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin and Platform Change the Game

Ken Blackwell:
Senator John McCain's pick of Mrs. Sarah Palin to be the GOP vice presidential nominee is historic. Coupled with the GOP platform he enthusiastically embraced, Mr. McCain has completely changed the game, and put Senator Barack Obama in a difficult situation.

The Obama campaign has already erred by attacking Mrs. Palin as inexperienced. The attack backfires against Mr. Obama in two ways.

First, people understand that it's.... [continue on...]

There Are American Values - and There Are "Obama Values"

Austin Hill:
You gotta love Senator Biden.

In his speech, wherein he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for Vice President, he sure sounded like an everyday American - -a “regular Joe,” if you will.

But is Barack Obama an “everyday American?” And where does he stand, on the principles and ideals that make America unique? Is Barack okay with those things, or is all about “change” - - even when it comes to things that Americans consider sacred?

Biden, along with nearly every other speaker of note at the Democratic National Convention, repeatedly tied the words.....
[continue on reading]

John McCain's Trifecta on the Road to Victory

Nina May:
John McCain has just experienced a political Trifecta garnering the coveted conservative base that is absolutely necessary for any Republican to win an election. It is the very oxygen of the party in much the same way liberals are the core of the Democratic Party.

The first win for Senator McCain that shook his slumbering base was the Saddleback Forum where his direct answers that revealed conviction and resolve stood in sharp contrast to Barack’s fumbled, arrogant, non-answer responses. So distraught was the left that they had to create an immediate spin that McCain had the answers before hand. Although that has totally been disproved, let’s run out that scenario and look at the idiocy of it.

First of all, you would have to be totally out of touch with..... [continue..]

Changes in Politics

Thomas Sowell:
We don't need Barack Obama to create "change." Things change in politics, in the economy, and elsewhere in American society, without waiting for a political messiah to lead us into the promised land.

Who would have thought that Obama's big speech at the Democratic convention would disappoint expectations, while McCain's speech electrified his audience when he announced his choice of Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate?

Some people were surprised that his choice was a woman. What is more surprising is that she is an articulate Republican. How many of those have you seen?

Despite the incessantly repeated mantra of "change," Barack Obama's politics is as old as the New Deal and he is behind the curve when it comes to today's economy.

Senator Obama's statement that "our economy is in turmoil" is standard stuff on the left and in the mainstream media, which has been dying to use the word "recession." [Read the rest here.]