"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cindy McCain: John Wears Me Out!

An interesting interview with Cindy McCain appeared in The Times (U.K.) yesterday. She's asked if Senator McCain is too old. "Oh my gosh no," she says, "he wears me out!" "You should meet his 96-year-old mother, she would wear you out also.” (see video below with John McCain and mother Roberta)

Cindy McCain is a former junior rodeo queen and presently CEO of a family owned beverage distributorship in Arizona. Her charitable work with The Halo Trust once took her to a Vietnam hospital where she found herself in the very room where her husband lay after being shot down over Hanoi. Some excerpts form The Times interview:

Mrs McCain, 54, who may be the next Republican First Lady come November, has two causes in her life: John McCain's political career and her humanitarian work. That moment, standing in a hospital room where her husband had once lain captive, with broken arms and a broken leg, brought the two together. “That,” she said, with an understated Arizona twang, “was a very unique experience.”

.... on the subject of Michelle Obama, her opposite number on the Democratic side. A few weeks ago, Cindy McCain made a sharp reference to Michelle Obama's controversial remark that she was “really proud” of America for the first time.

“I am very proud of my country,” Cindy McCain said. “I don't know about you, if you heard those words earlier. I am very proud of my country.” When asked yesterday whether she had ever encountered the wife of the Democratic contender in person, she was wary, but crisp: “I've met her once.”

“Did you like her?”

“She was fine. It was a ten-second meeting.”

Cindy McCain would never say it, but she leaves the impression that ten seconds was long enough.

There were a number of interesting photographs accompanying the article, some of which are reproduced here:

Tags: john mccain,cindy mccain,first ladies,first lady,first couple,barack obama,michelle obama,campaign 08,roberta mccain,mccain's mother

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why Obama Must Go to Iraq....

(reprinted from Wall Street Journal - June 5, 2008)

Why Obama Must Go to Iraq

By PETE HEGSETH (Mr. Hegseth, is chairman of Vets for Freedom, served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and returned as an embedded reporter.

June 5, 2008

Earlier this year, I spent five days in Iraq, walking the same streets in Baghdad where I had served two years earlier as an infantry platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division.

The visit reinforced for me not only the immense complexity of the war – so often lost in our domestic political debate – but also the importance of taking the time to visit Iraq to talk with the soldiers and Marines serving on the front lines in order to grasp the changing dynamics of a fluid battlefield.

It is for this reason that the failure of Sen. Barack Obama to travel to Iraq over the past two and a half years is worrisome, and a legitimate issue in this presidential election.

Since his election to the United States Senate in 2004, Mr. Obama has traveled to Iraq just once – in January 2006. This was more than a year before Gen. David Petraeus took command and the surge began. It was also several months before Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government came into office. Although Mr. Obama frequently criticizes the Iraqi leader on the campaign trail, he has never actually met him.

Mr. Obama's conduct is strikingly different from that of Sen. John McCain, who has been to Iraq eight times since 2003 – including three times since surge forces began to arrive in Baghdad. The senior senator from Arizona has made it his mission to truly understand what is happening on the ground, in all its messy reality.

Mr. Obama has dismissed the value of such trips, suggesting they are stage-managed productions designated to obfuscate, not illuminate, the truth. This has become an all-too-common sentiment within the Democratic Party leadership, especially since the surge began to transform conditions on the ground for the better. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has denied that there is any value in visiting the troops in Iraq, and has never done so.

In fairness, there are a number of Democrats who visit Iraq frequently – namely Sens. Joe Biden, who has made eight Iraq trips, and Jack Reed, with 10 trips. Mr. Obama's absence and cynicism stands in stark contrast to their serious approach. It is especially problematic given his intention to become our next commander in chief.

As anyone who has spent time on the ground in Iraq – speaking with troops of all ranks and backgrounds – can tell you, it is hardly a mission impossible to get them out to speak bluntly and openly about the problems they face.

Indeed, Mr. McCain's own frequent and vociferous criticisms of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his warnings, as early as 2003, that the Bush administration was pursuing a flawed strategy in Iraq, were directly informed by his firsthand interactions during his trips to Iraq. Troops and commanders warned him that we lacked sufficient forces to defeat al Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias, and they were correct.

In turn, Mr. McCain's early advocacy for the surge and his prescient conviction that it would succeed were rooted not only in his extensive knowledge of military affairs, but in his close consultations with troops serving in the theater. They recognized that the new strategy was succeeding far before the mainstream media in the U.S. was willing to acknowledge these gains.

That Mr. Obama apparently doubts his ability to distinguish spin from reality, and to draw bad news out of subordinates, does not bode well for his possible future as our nation's chief executive. As I'm sure he will discover, if he wins the White House, these are among the most important skills for a president to possess.

Even more astonishing than Mr. Obama's absence from Iraq, however, is the fact that he has apparently never sought out a single one-on-one meeting with Gen. Petraeus. The general has made repeated trips back to Washington, but Mr. Obama has shown no interest in meeting privately with him. It's enough to make you wonder who exactly Mr. Obama listens to when it comes to Iraq?

Mr. Obama frequently decries the danger of "dogmatists" and "ideologues" in public policy, yet he himself has proven consistently uninterested in putting himself in situations where he might be confronted with the hard complexities of this war. It suggests a dangerous degree of detachment and overconfidence in his own judgment.

After all, Mr. Obama was among those in January 2007 who stridently opposed the surge and confidently predicted its failure – even going so far as to vote against funding our soldiers in the field unless the Bush administration abandoned this new approach. It is now clear that Mr. Obama's judgment on the surge was spectacularly wrong.

Yet rather than admit his mistake, Mr. Obama has instead tried to downplay or disparage the gains our troops have achieved in the past 12 months, clinging to a set of talking points that increasingly seem as divorced from reality as some in the Bush administration were at the darkest moments of the war.

Mr. Obama continues to insist that "Iraq's political leaders have made no progress in resolving the political differences at the heart of their civil war" – despite the passage of numerous pieces of benchmark legislation by the Iraqi Parliament and unequivocal evidence of grassroots reconciliation across the country.

Mr. Obama also continues to claim that America has "simply thrown U.S. troops at the problem, and it has not worked" – despite the dramatic reduction in violence in precisely those areas of Iraq where American forces have surged, and since handed over to Iraqi Security Forces.

And of course, Mr. Obama persists in his pledge to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq, on a fixed timeline, beginning the moment he enters office – regardless of the recommendations of our commanders on the ground, regardless of conditions on the ground, and regardless, in short, of reality.

America is longing for an informed and principled debate about the future of Iraq. However, such a debate seems unlikely if the Democratic nominee for president won't take the time to truly understand the dynamics on the ground, let alone meet with commanders.

The time for talking points is over. Too much is at stake. When will Mr. Obama finally return to Iraq and see the situation for himself?

Tags: barack obama,iraq war,surge strategy,obama in iraq,john mccain,campaign 08,vets for freedom,pete hegseth

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Patriot Microchip....

THE PATRIOT MICROCHIP, which is to be implanted in terrorists. The implant is specifically designed to be installed in their foreheads; when properly installed it will allow the implantee to speak to God instantly.

It comes in various sizes:

The implantee may or may not be allowed to choose the size.

The implant may or may not be painless. Some bleeding and or swelling may occur at the injection site.

Please enjoy the security we provide for you.

Best regards,
U. S. Marine Corps

Tags: us marines,terrorist microchip,killing terrorists,war on terror

Friday, June 13, 2008

Treachery 5, Rule of Law 4: Defeat for the Nation....

Making law from the bench, five out of control, radical leftist Supreme Court justices* ignored the constitution and precedent to allow overseas detained terrorists, "unlawful enemy combatants",access to civilian courts here at home. Never before in our history as a nation have prisoners of war been entitled to constitutional protections. Constitutional scholar, and one of our best legal minds, Mark Levin has this to say about the tragic decision:
"....what was once considered inconceivable is now compelled by the Constitution, or so five justices have ruled. I fear for my country. I really do. And AP, among others, reports this story as a defeat for "the Bush administration." Really? I see it as a defeat for the nation."

I am publishing the entire Levin piece below; it is deserving of a wide audience.
The Gitmo Defeat [Mark R. Levin]

While I am still reviewing the 5-4 decision written by Anthony Kennedy, apparently giving GITMO detainees access to our civilian courts, at the outset I am left to wonder whether all POWs will now have access to our civilian courts? After all, you would think lawful enemy combatants have a better claim in this regard than unlawful enemy combatants. And if POWs have access to our civilian courts, how do our courts plan to handle the thousands, if not tens of thousands of cases, that will be brought to them in future conflicts?

It has been the objective of the left-wing bar to fight aspects of this war in our courtrooms, where it knew it would have a decent chance at victory. So complete is the Court's disregard for the Constitution and even its own precedent now that anything is possible. And what was once considered inconceivable is now compelled by the Constitution, or so five justices have ruled. I fear for my country. I really do. And AP, among others, reports this story as a defeat for "the Bush administration." Really? I see it as a defeat for the nation.

UPDATE: The 5-4 GITMO decision brings to the front, yet again, John McCain's position on judges versus his own policies. McCain undoubtedly supports the 5-4 decision, yet the justices who voted against it, and argued strenuously against it, are of the kind McCain claims to want on the bench. We have seen the same issue arise respecting campaign finance. This is not to say that McCain won't nominate originalists to the bench. But if he does, he will be nominating to the Court individuals who are better adherents to the Constitution than he is.

Meanwhile, the always predictable Bush hating New York Slimes editorializes today with the heading: Justice 5, Brutality 4!

*Ginsberg,Souter,Kennedy,Stevens & Breyer
This post also appears today at Steady Habits.
Tags: u.s. supreme court,terror detainees,habeas corpus,guantanamo,rule of law,p.o.w's,unlawful enemy combatants

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Moving Toward Energy Rationing....

Moving Toward Energy Rationing

By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats.

Predictions of catastrophe depend on models. Models depend on assumptions about complex planetary systems -- from ocean currents to cloud formation -- that no one fully understands. Which is why the models are inherently flawed and forever changing. The doomsday scenarios posit a cascade of events, each with a certain probability. The multiple improbability of their simultaneous occurrence renders all such predictions entirely speculative.

Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

If you doubt the arrogance, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue.

But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, i.e., of Exxon, Cheney and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual left.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but -- even better -- in the name of Earth itself.

Environmentalists are Gaia's priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect. (See Newsweek above.) And having proclaimed the ultimate commandment -- carbon chastity -- they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

Just Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research -- untainted and reliable -- to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of man is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.

Second, reduce our carbon footprint in the interim by doing the doable, rather than the economically ruinous and socially destructive. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean.

But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo.

Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing?

Copyright 2008, Washington Post Writers Group

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/moving_toward_rationinghtml at May 30, 2008 - 07:09:53 AM PDT
Tags: energy rationing,global warming hoax,charles krauthammer,nuclear power

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rupert Murdoch Scarier Than Obama....

Rupert Murdoch is even scarier than Obama because of the enormous power he wields via his media properties. What follows is my rough transcript of a portion of an interview with him this week. The video from WSJ is here.

WSJ: Did you have anything to do with NY Post endorsing Obama over Clinton?

RM: Yes!....he'll probably win....you've got the Obama phenomenon, he's a rock star...he won't carry Florida because the Jewish people are suspicious of him, and so are the Hispanics...we've got undoubtedly a recession and the majority of Americans are really hurting.

WSJ: What is the McCain issue from your perspective?

RM: he's been in the congress a long, time... had to make too many compromises; a patriot, a decent guy...doesn't now too much about the economy..I think he has a lot of problems.

WSJ: Who are you backing?

RM: ..I'm not backing anyone...I want to meet Obama...I want to know if he's going to walk the walk...if you read his education policy..it's just great....the educational system in this country is a total disgrace...he's got to take control of the curriculum..

WSJ: Why is she (Clinton) staying in?

RM: Everyone is telling her to get out except her husband and Mark Penn...I think Obama would never, never give her the number two spot...he doesn't want the Clintons around...

WSJ: And you like that idea, the notion...

RM:..I'd like a complete break with the past.

WSJ: WSJ: Did you have anything to do with NY Post endorsing Obama over Clinton?

RM: Yes

Tags: rupert murdoch,barack obama,hillary clinton,murdoch media empire,murdoch for obama,

Monday, June 02, 2008

Surge Working: What Say You Now, Bammy?

The defeatists and white flag wavers are awfully quiet out there now that Iraqi forces (imagine that!) have pretty much subdued the militias and even taken charge in the port city of Basra. Barack "Bammy" Obama is going to have to scramble now to readjust his anti-war rhetoric t fit the new reality on the ground. The Washington Post editorializes today in an opinion piece titled "The Iraqi Upturn":

Don't look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war.

....Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained "special groups" that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans....the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments -- and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the "this-war-is-lost" caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama.

A video message from Vets for Freedom:

Tags: iraq war,war on terror,surge working,appeasers,defeatists,barack obama,bammy obama,iraqis control,vets for freedom

Sunday, June 01, 2008

White Woman Thrown Under Bus....

"an inadequate black male" "our democratic party threw us down the tubes" "McCain will be the next president of the United States."

Those are the words of Harriet Christian, a New York democrat and Hillary supporter, reacting to her party's treatment of the Clinton candidacy. She apparently was ejected from a Rules Committee meeting. Video follows:

Recent polling shows 28% of democrats would vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee while if Clinton prevailed only 19% of Dems would go McCain.

Tags:harriet christian,angry hillary supporter,hillary clinton,democratic party rules,campaign 08,