Thursday, February 28, 2008
Prince Harry gives an interview after embargo on news reports of his service in Afghanistan is lifted. Note the U.S. flag on his cap.The Daily Mail has full coverage. Like most U.S. troops Prince Harry is loyal to his fellow soldiers and demanded to be permitted to go to combat along with them.
Your mother would be so proud: what Prince William told Harry when he went to fight the Taliban
The Daily Mail (U.K.)
28th February 2008
• 'This gives me my best chance to be normal ... All my wishes have come true,' says Harry
• Harry: 'William wrote to tell me our mother would be proud'
• Harry: 'I would never want to put someone else's life in danger by being a bullet magnet'
• Prince was told by the Queen he would go to war
• MoD praises British press for keeping Harry's deployment secret until foreign media leaked it
Not exactly a palace: Harry's living quarters.
Prince Harry sits with Lance Cpl of Horse Chris 'Dougie' Douglass atop a Spartan armoured vehicle in the Helmand province, Southern Afghanistan.More photos at the Daily Mail.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I had the privilege of meeting him in Ohio in 1982 (photo right) shortly after the death of John Ashbrook, another founder of the modern movement and my employer (that's an Ashbrook for Senate button on my lapel below the Ohio flag pin).
I wish I could remember what we talked about, but I was too nervous.
We thank God that men like William F. Buckley Jr. were born and able to inspire us all with thier vision, insight and towering intellect.
William F. Buckley Jr.
November 24, 1925 - February 27, 2008
World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.
Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global CoolingHow long will it be before a worldwide climate emergency is declared and along with it a demand for radical changes in our lifestyle as well as a worldwide tax on prosperous nations to fund an army of UN bureaucrats to lecture us all on how bad things are?
by Michael Asher
February 26, 2008
Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming
Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.
Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.
Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.
And will the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations who have made millions in fundraising on the Global Warming emergency how scratch
And for the global warming zealots that say "it's only the observations from one year, it doesn't mean anything" we'll remind them how they insisted that the terrible hurricane season of 2005 brought their predictions of worse to come with global warming to blame followed by the two calmest hurricane seasons in a decade.
For all of you trapped in frozen climes this time of year, here's my advice on how to keep warm: The next time you encounter some know nothing global warming zealot, point at him and laugh until you are warm!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Remember when the Hillary campaign said they had the dirt on Barack Hussein Obama and they were just too ethical to use it? Well, we knew that wouldn't last.
I'm wondering if the photo of Barack Hussein Obama in african garb while visiting in Kenya is the Hillary hit we've been waiting for.
Apparently, despite denials, her campaign has been leaking the photo of Barack Hussein Obama to the news media one week before the Ohio and Texas campaign.
Can you see this backfiring on Hillary? Just think of all those Obama cult fans out there seeing this photo and their reaction: "Awww... doesn't he look cute?"
Breaking News: Obama Supporters Follow Suit
You knew it was just a matter of time before one of them took it too far.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Artist hanged herself after aborting her twinsPeople like Emma's boyfriend "Ben" who think that unborn life is disposable or inconvenient apparently don't understand, or do not care, about the moral and spiritual cost involved.
The Telegraph (U.K.)
February 24, 23008
An artist killed herself after aborting her twins when she was eight weeks pregnant, leaving a note saying: "I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum."
Emma Beck was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day - her 31st birthday.
Her suicide note read: "I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."
The inquest at Truro City Hall heard that Miss Beck had split up with her boyfriend, referred to as "Ben" after he "reacted badly" to the pregnancy.
The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim's mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter's death, saying: "I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.
"She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins.
"I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done."
What a sad tragedy. And it raises the question: how many women have been scarred forever by abortion?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten is $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings) .
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger?
Listen to the rhetoric of Barack Obama ...
by Gerard Baker
The London Times
February 22, 2008
For most ordinary Americans, those not encumbered with an expensive education or infected by prolonged exposure to cosmopolitan heterodoxy, patriotism is a consequence of birth.
Their chests swell with pride every time they hear the national anthem at sporting events. They fill up with understandable emotion whenever they see a report on television about the tragic heroics of some soldier or Marine who gave his life in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Foreigners don't have to like America - and they've certainly exercised that freedom in the past few years. But most Americans can distinguish between the transience of policy failure and the permanence of the national ideal.
And surely even critics of the US could scarcely deny that there have been real causes for American pride in the past 25 years: the fall of the Berlin Wall; the victory in the first Gulf War in 1991; the nation's unity in grief and resolve after September 11. Heck, I suspect most Americans got a small buzz of patriotic pride this week when they heard that one of their multimillion-dollar missiles had shot a dead but dangerous satellite travelling at 17,000 miles per hour out of the sky so that it fell harmlessly to Earth.
But not, apparently, Michelle Obama, wife of the man who is now the putative Democratic candidate for US president, and at this point favourite to succeed to that job. In what might be the most revealing statement made by any political figure so far in this campaign season, Mrs Obama caused a stir this week. She said that the success of her husband Barack's campaign had marked the first time in her adult life that she had felt pride in her country.
This, even by the astonishingly self-absorbed standards of politicians and their families, is a remarkably narrow view of what makes a country great. And though she later half-heartedly tried to retract the remark it was a statement pregnant with meaning for the presidential election campaign.
Now, to be fair to Mrs Obama, she would surely have a point if she had said that it was a source of incomparable pride to her and all African-Americans that in a country with a long and baleful history of racial discrimination, one of their own was within serious range of becoming president. All but the most irredeemably racist Americans would surely agree with that.
But that was not what she said. She said this was the only time in her adult life that she had felt pride in America.
It was instructive for two reasons. First, it reinforced the growing sense of unease that even some Obama supporters have felt about the increasingly messianic nature of the candidate's campaign. There's always been a Second Coming quality about Mr Obama's rhetoric. The claim that his electoral successes in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin might transcend all that America has achieved in its history can only add to that worry.
Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect it reveals much about what the Obama family really thinks about the kind of nation that America is. Mrs Obama is surely not alone in thinking not very much about what America has been or done in the past quarter century or more. In fact, it is a trope of the left wing of the Democratic party that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place.
There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.
Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.
This, I think, not his inexperience in public office, is the principal threat to Mr Obama's campaign. His increasingly desperate opponent, Hillary Clinton, keeps hammering away that his message is all talk and no substance - and she was joined this week by Mr Obama's likely Republican opponent in the November general election, John McCain.
But if you listen to Mr Obama's speeches, it is not the lack of substance but the quality of it that ought to worry Americans. His victory speech after his latest primary win in Wisconsin this week was a case in point.
There was no shortage of proposals. He plans large increases in government spending on health and education. He wants to tax the rich more to pay for it. He is against companies using the opportunities of free markets to restructure their operations in the US. He is vehemently protectionist. He continues to insist, despite the growing evidence that this left-wing nostrum would be lunacy, that the US must pull its troops out of Iraq with the utmost dispatch.
While he speaks of the need for Americans to move beyond partisanship (“We are not blue states or red states, but the United States” is a campaign meme), when you cut through the verbiage there is nothing to suggest he believes anything that is seriously at odds with the far Left of his party. If you think about it for a second, it's not really an accident that he has been endorsed by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson.
Though he talks with great eloquence about the future, he sounds for all the world like one of the long line of Democrats from George McGovern to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis, who became history by espousing policies and striking a rhetorical pose that was well out of the mainstream of American politics.
America is certainly moving left in the post-George Bush era. The long period of conservative ascendancy is clearly over, buried by a Republican Party of recent years that has preached intolerance and practised incompetence. That a new era in American politics is beginning is not in doubt. But are Americans really ready to leap all the way across in one go to embrace a European-style Left?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Update: No one want to answer the quiz question? Come on... it's EASY!
Quiz: Who Else Was Disappointed?
In Toledo, Ohio on Thursday, Cindy McCain was asked to react to the New York Times hit piece on her husband:
"Well, obviously, I'm disappointed," she said, her voice low but clear and self-assured. "More importantly, my children and I not only trust my husband, but know that he would never do anything to not only disappoint our family, but disappoint the people of America. He's a man of great character."Reader Quiz: When was the last time a spouse of a major political figure repeatedly used the word "disappointed?"
Sorry there is no prize, everyone knows how I feel about rigged contests (see here and here).
Related: Everyone warned McCain that the libs and Dems who were his best buddies when he was undermining the Bush Administration would turn on him the minute he was the GOP nominee. The New York Times smear is just the tip of the iceberg.
A week ago, liberal columnist Bill Press wrote:
Now that it's clear he's going to be the Republican nominee for president, it's time to end our love affair with John McCain.We told you John! These folks will NEVER vote for you, no matter how you try and appease them!
Don't feel badly if you were once a “McCainiac.” So was I. We all fell in love with the maverick McCain back in 2000, when he beat the pants off George Bush in New Hampshire. But the McCain of 2000 is not the same McCain we see today. That McCain doesn't exist anymore.
What happens in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas if your last name is Huckabee!
Guess who took a break from the presidential campaign and headed off to see a boxing match in Vegas and stayed at the Hooters resort? Hint: It wasn't a former Baptist preacher who has run a strong campaign among Christian evangelicals... IT WAS HIS WIFE!
Michelle Obama: Wonderful Childhood, Not Proud of America as an Adult!
Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama, got in hot water earlier this week by saying what most Democrats believe: America sucks! She said "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."
But the next day she said: "I wouldn't be in this if I didn't care deeply and didn't believe that the kind of possibility that I had as a kid should be available for every single child."
Let me get this straight: So America sucks when Michelle was an adult, but it was great when she was a child. What tripe!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
She's running out of excuses and time!
With a 17% blowout in Wisconsin, Obama rocked the Clinton machine and makes it appear that the firewall Hillary plans for March 4th primaries in Texas and Ohio may be more fizzle than fire.
Obama won nearly every demographic group among Wisconsin voters except those over 65. He tied Hillary among white women, union members and among union households. That's nothing but bad, bad, bad and WORSE news for Hillary in the big races to come.
In Wisconsin, Obama picked up 42 delegates and Hillary 29. Obama's delegate lead continues to increase.
Are The Clinton's Up for A Desperate Gamble?
Even if Hillary wins in Texas and Ohio, it would only even up the score of their delegate totals. If she continues to lose, but by a reduced margin than the double digit loss in Wisconsin, she can still limp forward and hope.
It takes 2,025 delegates to win the Democrat nomination. Various news services have differing delegate counts, but Real Clear Politics has Obama at 1,342 and Hillary at 1,265. Reports of delegates available in remaining primaries and caucuses ranges between 716 and 941.
If Obama continues to beat Hillary, he may not accumulate the total number of delegates required for the nomination. At that point the 795 superdelegates (Democrat elected officials) may be the deciding factor. The Clintons are working those superdelegates, most of whom owe something to Bill Clinton, hard.
Tuesday also brought news in the Politico suggesting that the Clinton machine may try and turn pledged Obama delegates. Apparently, there is no rule in the Democrat Party requiring pledged delegates to vote in the convention for the candidate they were chosen to represent.
Such an aggressive move, combined with an attempt to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates excluded under current party rules would create chaos in the Democrat Party and even the Clintons, whose own lust for power knows few bounds, would likely not attempt it.But when it comes to the Clintons, anything can happen!
Update: Clinton Reality
For those who think that the Clintons see the same writing on the wall as the rest of us, a reminder: Clintons create reality to suit themselves. And just like during the Impeachment crisis when Bill Clinton refused to resign for the good of the Party, it's highly unlikely that they will accept defeat now.
Proof of that surfaced this morning with the release of a new web site funded by the Hillary Campaign: Delegate Hub. In it, Clinton reality is on display with an absolute insistence that they will fight this out to the bitter end no matter what!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Meet "Flocke" (pronounced Flock-uh) meaning Snowflake, the polar bear cub rescued from her mother who kept dropping her (video here).
It's said that photos of cute baby animals can relieve stress. And after the past few weeks of politicking, don't we need some relief?
Flocke has her own web site, though it's uncertain if she will start blogging any time soon.
By now most of us have seen the news stories describing the Cult of Obama, or Obamania. People cry when he speaks. Despite holding signs that say "Stand for Change" his speeches are interrupted by women fainting and falling to the ground. (Wordsmith has photos and video).
Hillary Clinton, the once annointed Queen of the Democrat Party has done everything in her power to overcome that flood of raw emotion and remind people that it takes a President, not a good speechmaker, to get the job done.
Hillary: Talk is CheapIf Hillary's desperate appeal for substance over style fails, what makes people think that a 71 year old Republican, even a maverick like John McCain, can bring this Obamaphoria down to earth?
Feb. 14, 2008
"Over the years you've heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches and some of those speeches were probably pretty good, but speeches don't put food on the table. Speeches don't fill up your tank. Speeches don't fill your prescriptions or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night. That's the difference between me and my Democratic opponent: my opponent makes speeches. I offer solutions," she said to applause. "It is one thing to get people excited. I want to empower you. This is not about me. This is about you."
There's a big difference between us: Speeches versus solutions, talk versus action. You know, some people may think words are change, but you and I know better. Words are cheap."
It's true that McCain will draw a starker contrast ideologically between himself and Obama in a way that Hillary Clinton cannot. Both Hillary and Obama basically agree that the answer to America's problems is to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and give poor people their last good meal. But McCain has also said that greedy Wall Street types should be "punished."
McCain will contrast his national security policy and experience with Obama who feels we should talk to our enemies and invade our friends. But will that be enough to overcome the flood of millions of new voters who don't seem to care about anything except the fact that they get emotional and tend to keel over when Obama speaks?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
For the above photograph, I entered the following caption for the Flopping Aces 2 millionth reader caption contest:
Obama to Hillary: “Girl, who does your nails? I can’t get mine to look like that and I went to same gal John Edwards uses.”
It's come to my attention that the other two captions in the contest were submitted by McCain and Huckabee supporters.
I ask for your support. Go here and vote for "Number 1." Vote for MIKE'S AMERICA! The world will be a better, more peaceful place if you do. If you don't, the world will suck!
It's your choice!
UPDATE: The contest is over. Thanks for your support. Unfortunately, the original caption submitted by yours truly came in second.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
A Declaration of Independence for the Conservative Movement
An Address Delivered by the Honorable Newt Gingrich
at the 35th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference
February 9, 2008
...I tried in thinking through what I could say to you this afternoon to literally ask what would Ronald Reagan have said in this setting at this time, not to repeat what he said in other times, but to think about the clarity and the historic context. I went back and looked at what Barry Goldwater said in 1960 when there was a conservative eruption because Nixon was going too far to the left, and Goldwater’s name was put a nomination for vice-president, and he withdrew it and said he would support the ticket. Compared to the other party, there was no choice. I looked at what Ronald Reagan said in 1976, when having risen in rebellion against an incumbent Republican President and come within 70 votes of the nomination, he said that given a choice between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, there was no choice, because Jimmy Carter would be about as bad as he turned out to be.
Now the third number, which I think should have led to a vastly bigger discussion in the Republican Party, is 0 to 6. That’s the track record of incumbent U.S. Senators in a close election in 2006. Now if your party loses every single close incumbent election despite having raised an immense amount of money, maybe there’s something wrong. I don’t want to be too bold,
but I want to suggest that if I were a stockholder and we were 0 for 6, I would like to talk about what’s going on. And yet we sleepwalk through 2007.
Now, because we were sleepwalking through 2007, we get to the last set of numbers which should sober every person in this country who does not want to have a left wing president. On Super Tuesday, there were 14.6 million Democratic votes, and 8.3 million Republican votes. Now, I want to repeat this because I want it to sink it in here. There were 14.6 million Democrats who thought the presidential nomination was worth voting for, and there were 8.3 million Republicans on Super Tuesday. That is a warning of a catastrophic election. I was in Idaho this last week, and Barack Obama on last Saturday had 16,000 people in Boise. The idea that the most liberal Democratic Senator getting 16,000 people in Boise was inconceivable. And every person who cares about the conservative movement and every person who cares about the Republican Party had better stop and say to themselves, “There is something big happening in this country. We don’t understand it. We’re not responding to it. And we’re currently not competitive. And if we want to get to be competitive, we had better change and we had better change now.”
Let me tell you flatly. I said the week before Super Tuesday, actually a week before the Super Bowl, reporters asked me, I think it was on Hannity and Colmes, and they said, “What are the Republican chances this fall?” And I said, “Well, I think they’re about as good as the New York Giants beating the Patriots.”
People thought I was saying we didn’t have a chance to win. I was saying, the game hasn’t started, and if we field the right team with the right issues in the right way, we have fully was much chance to win as the Giants did, but I’ll tell you, we are currently no where near being ready to do this. This is not a comment–I want to make this clear for the news media–this is not a comment about any of the current candidates for president.
This is a comment about the conservative movement, and it's a comment about the Republican Party, and all the candidates currently running fit within those two phrases. But it is about all of us. It is about our Congressman, our Senator, our governors, our county commissioners, our school board members.
And let me make this very clear, I believe we have to change or expect defeat.
[T]here are two grave lessons for the conservative movement since 1980. The first, which we still haven’t come to grips with, is that governing is much harder than campaigning. Our consultants may be terrific at winning one election, they don’t know anything about governing. And unfortunately most of our candidates listen to our consultants. And so you end up with people who don’t understand briefing people who don’t know, and together they have no clue.
We win the election and then we lose the government. And this happens at every level. It happens in Sacramento, it happens in Tallahassee, it happens in Albany, it happens Trenton, and it happens in Washington D.C.
So the first lesson is that we are going to have to learn as a movement how to actually create conservative government, not just conservative politics. And that is a fundamentally harder thing.
There is one other declaration of independence we need and this will startle some of you. And remember I say this from a background of having been active in the Georgia Republican Party since 1960. In a fundamental way, the conservative movement has to declare itself independent from the Republican Party.
Let me make very clear what I'm saying here. I am not saying there should be a third party – I think a third party is a dumb idea, will not get anywhere, and in the end will achieve nothing.
I actually believe that any reasonable conservative will, in the end, find that they have an absolute requirement to support the Republican nominee for president this fall.
And let me remind you, I say that in the context of personally believing that the McCain-Feingold Act is unconstitutional and a threat to our civil liberties.
And I say that in the context of believing that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill was a disaster and was correctly stopped by the American people.
But I would rather, as a citizen, and I say this with Callista and I have two wonderful grandchildren. Maggie who is 8 and Robert who is 6. We think about their future. As a citizen, I would rather have a President McCain that we fight with 20% of the time, than a President Clinton or a President Obama that we fight with 90% of the time.
Let me, if I might, carry this a step further so that you understand where I am coming from. I believe the conservative movement has to think about reaching out to every American of every background. I think we have to decide that in 2010, we are going to recruit and support conservative candidates in Democratic districts, because the right answer to gerrymandering is to beat them in the primary.
Now all of you have a copy, I hope you got a copy, but if you didn't, you can get it later on outside of the Platform of the American People from American Solutions. And it’s also at the back of my new book Real Change. And you can also get it at AmericanSolutions.com. And you can download it for free.
Now it turns out when you develop a tripartisan platform, it's a center-right platform because this is a center-right country. The fascinating thing will be watching Senator Obama who is for “Real Change” and has “change” on all his slogans, and I am for it. We wrote the book Real Change last summer and I want to thank the people at Regnery for going along with the title, it turns out this February that it was really a good title.
But it was also an obvious title. But here’s the question: Are you for the right change or the wrong change?
Let’s talk about the right change versus the wrong change. 85% of the American people believe we have an absolute obligation to defend America and her allies.
So if we need to strengthen our intelligence capabilities, and strengthen our interdiction and surveillance capabilities, and strengthen our ability to win wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere that would be the right change. But if we want to have weakness, under funding, and crippling of our departments of security that would be the wrong change.
Now let me give you a second example. 75% of the American people believe we have an obligation to defeat our enemies.... The Director of National Intelligence said, let me tell you, al-Qaeda is working all day every day to find a way how to kill Americans. And they’re recruiting Westerners to have more sophisticated people to come and kill Americans. Now you would think if that was on then someone might say to Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, okay if al-Qaeda wants to come here, would you like to stop them over there? And if you want to stop them over there, how can you run back home to here if we’re trying to stop them over there?
Just three more examples to show you the difference between right change and wrong change. 92% of the American people believe that for us to compete with China and India in an age of science and technology we have to dramatically improve math and science education. Now, I am prepared to change every bureaucracy in America that is failing our children until we get them to actually succeed, and I think the change should start today, because we shouldn’t lose a single child to prison who ought to be in college if only they had a decent school to go to.
And the question for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton is simple. Are you prepared to put the children ahead of your union allies, and actually measure achievement rather than union dues as a primary success?
Two last examples. 87% of the American people believe English should be the official language of government.
Now, 87% means an absolute majority of Democrats favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of Republicans favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of independents favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of Hispanics favor English as the official language of government.
Both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton voted against 87% percent of the American people, but nobody knows it.
Well, it’s not their fault that nobody knows it, it’s our fault. So I would think if you want an example of real change, I think the Senate Republicans should say you know we like this idea of working together, we like this idea of getting real change, we’re prepared to work with Senator Obama next week, and Senator Clinton next week, and then once a week I would give them a chance to vote up or down on making English the official language of government. And let it just keep drawing it out.
Because there’s a profound principle here. If something is both historically right, and has 87% of the American people in favor of it, then leadership which is prepared to stand firm will in the end be successful in getting the right change, not the wrong change, for America’s future.
Lastly, 84% of the American people would like to have a one page tax form with an optional flat tax.
I believe the following. And I say this having lived through the narrow defeat of 1960, the great convention victory of Goldwater followed by a disastrous defeat in ’64, the recovery in the ’66 off-year election, the very narrow election of Nixon in ’68, the stunning landslide over McGovern in ’72, the collapse of the Nixon administration, and the rise of Reagan, the loss to Jimmy Carter, the extraordinary victory of 1980.
I believe we have two futures this year.
I believe we can be for real change now. We can put the Democrats on record every day from here on out. We could use the House and Senate as opportunities to have the country focused on what’s the right change and what’s the wrong change. We can take on the bureaucracies and decide that we don’t care who the nominal head is. The permanent bureaucracy is permanently liberal, permanently obsolete, permanently incapable of doing its job, and we need fundamental deep change from school board to city council to county commission to the sheriff’s office to the state legislature to the governor to Washington, D.C., and we are the movement of real change by this summer I suspect we will win one of the most cataclysmic elections in American history. Because the sad reality is that our friends on the Left are trapped by their allies, they’re trapped by the trial lawyers, they’re trapped by the unions, they’re trapped by the big city bureaucracies, they are trapped by their allies in tenured faculty, they are trapped by the Hollywood Left.
And if there is a clear choice of which change, we will win. But if we run a traditional consultant-dominated tactical Republican campaign, like we’ve seen in the last eight years, we will be defeated this fall, and we will be having a CPAC meeting next year talking about how we rebuild for the future with either President Obama or President Clinton in charge.
I’m here as somebody who has spent his entire life practically, since I was fifteen years old, trying to find a way for us. And we’ve had great successes. We cut taxes dramatically, we re-launched the American economy in the 1980s, we eliminated the Soviet Union. The fact is we won the Cold War. People are freer.
So we have had great successes. But we can’t rest on them. And so we need to go out dedicated to insist on real change now, on the right change now, and about making sure that every American, of every background, in every neighborhood, understands that their future, their children’s future, and their country’s future, rest on creating the kind of opportunities that we are building, and that that requires real change in the obsolete, expensive, and destructive bureaucracies we’ve inherited in the past.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Obama's first coming
February 09, 2008
IT was early 1994 when Nelson Mandela gave a speech in a slum outside Cape Town and spoke in grand terms of a new beginning and how when he was elected president every household would have a washing machine.
People took him literally. A few months later he became South Africa's first black president. That's when clerks in department stores in Cape Town had to turn people away demanding their free washer and dryer.
Having spent some time as a reporter in South Africa watching the Mandela presidency I was reminded of that story this week when I travelled with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on the campaign trail.
How does a cult figure, in the eyes of some something akin to a messiah, make the transition to a political frontrunner - president even - where disappointment will soon crush what seemed to be a journey to a promised land?
Looking into the faces of a more than 16,000-strong crowd in a basketball stadium in Hartford, Connecticut this week, the Mandela magic I'd seen before was there too. Black and white, and the youth; they appeared in a state close to rapture watching Obama speak. Here and there one could see women crying and the some men wiping away tears too.
In the US today there are echoes of that Rainbow Revolution. Through the media and on the streets people are getting a bit giddy over Obama. In this man they are projecting a new course - one that he says he will lead - where the US buries the culture wars, charts a new course in bipartisan politics and heralds a new dawn for America.
After more than seven years of the Bush administration and when 70 per cent of the populace think America is on the wrong course, there's little wonder that the hunger for something new is real and fertile ground to till for a politician.
But Obama is part politician, part cult. Supporters wearing T-shirts with an Andy Warhol like pop-art image of his face testify to that. But then they - him - were once easy to dismiss until people realised Obama's charisma was being matched by one of the most sophisticated ground operations ever seen. It is one that is outsmarting the Clinton machine. He's marrying inspiration and cult with old-fashioned political grunt.
One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by Obama on the stump. It's not so much by what he says but it's the way the crowds respond to his words. When 16,000 people, without prompting, start shouting some of his keynote phrases as he delivers them, you know something special is going on.
The atmosphere at his events is such that one wonders if Obama is about to walk out with a basket with some loaves and fishes to feed the thousands.
Well known political journalist Joe Klein of Time magazine, who was travelling on the campaign plane this week with Obama, too, wrote of a nagging concern about this kind of rhetoric of inspiration over substance, noting "there was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messiahnism".
In his Super Tuesday speech Obama said "we are the ones we've been waiting for", attempting to make the case the time was now to get some "change" in Washington: a post-partisan world where politicians reach across the aisle for the common good. "This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different," he said. "It's different not because of me. It's different because of you."
As Klein notes, this is "not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire.
"Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause - other than an amorphous desire for change - the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is."
I hear that too in the voices of Obama's staff constantly, themselves referring to this "cult of Obama".
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The strange GOP nominating victory
by Tony Blankley
February 6, 2008
Assuming John McCain gets the Republican nomination, it will show how whimsical history can be. It would be the first time in living memory that a Republican presidential nomination went to a candidate who was not merely opposed by a majority of the party, but was actively despised by about a half of its rank-and-file voters across the country —and by many if not most of its congressional officeholders. After all, the McCain electoral surge was barely able to deliver a plurality of one-third of the Republican vote in a three-, four- or five-way split field. He has won fair and square — but he has driven the nomination process askew.
This result reminds me of the nursery rhyme: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost; For want of a shoe the horse was lost; For want of a horse the rider was lost; For want of a rider the battle was lost; For want of a battle the kingdom was lost; And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."
In the current instance the lost nail was a viable conservative candidate. And, despite the crabby, orthodoxy-sniffing, slightly over-the-hill condition of the conservative Republican majority, it could still easily nominate its candidate. In fact, we had two strong conservative candidates —either of whom would almost surely have unified the party early as George W did in 2000. But through accidents of history, neither ran.
Consider the recently former very popular, tall, attractive, smart, eloquent, conservative, successful two-term Republican governor of one of our most populous swing states — married to a beautiful Hispanic woman no less. In fact, he is the son of a former president. Unfortunately for him and the party, he is also the brother of the current president. If Jeb Bush's name were Jeb Smith, the former Florida governor could easily have kept the conservative two-thirds of the Republican vote united and won the nomination. But fate made him a Bush in the only election in the last 20 years when no Bush need apply.
Or consider the cheerful, handsome, solidly conservative Virginia senator expected to run as the son of Reagan. Unfortunately, he uttered three little syllables: ma-ca-ca. He lost his re-election, and so, adieu Sen. George Allen.
These two quirks of history have nothing to do with the fundamentals of the conservative hold on the Republican Party. But what was left after the two strongest candidates couldn't run was one venerable candidate (Mr. McCain), one suspiciously newly minted conservative (Mr. Romney), one not-quite-plausible factional figure (Mike Huckabee), one social liberal (Rudy Giuliani), a quixotic anti-war candidate (Ron Paul) and an older Southern gent with a smashing younger wife for whom he seemed to be saving most of the energy he should have used in what was risibly called his "run" for the presidency (Fred Thompson).
So, the mischievous gremlins and elves inside the wheel of history have served up John McCain to lead Ronald Reagan's party into November battle. Mr. McCain is both the finest war hero since Dwight Eisenhower to run for the presidency, and the one senior Republican who has gleefully put his thumb in the eyes of his fellow Republicans and conservatives for a decade and a half. He is the apostate leader of a party tending towards ossified orthodoxy.
Conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, worry (with good cause) that this fluke of Republican history might permanently deflect the course of the party away from conservatism. And indeed, we came to power in the party through, in part, a fluke of history. In the nomination fight of 1964 (in which I was a youth coordinator for Barry Goldwater in California), Goldwater had been running even or behind all spring. (He lost New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, most of the Northeast, West Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania. He won Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska and some caucus states.)
We were losing the decisive California primary until a few days before the vote, when Nelson Rockefeller's new young second wife — "Happy" Murphy Rockefeller — gave birth to little Nelson Jr., reminding social conservatives of his previous, presumed adultery. Goldwater won by a thin 2 percent.
We went on to the Cow Palace Convention in San Francisco, where we Goldwaterites and Rockefeller exchanged vulgar angry epithets. Rockefeller, Mitt's dad, George Romney, and other moderates refused to support Goldwater. Some moderates formed "Republicans for Lyndon Johnson." Would we conservatives have taken over the party if Goldwater had lost that California primary? Perhaps we had history's wind at our backs anyway, but I remember being very grateful at the timing of young Nelson Jr.'s arrival. History is made of such things.
If conservatives sit on our hands this November as moderates did 44 years ago, will we marginalize ourselves within the party (as the old Romney moderates did)? Or will we be saving the party for the grand old cause? Let's watch Mr. McCain's next moves.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Meanwhile: "Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., wipes her eye as she listens to a disabled U.S. veteran in the audience tell his story during a campaign stop at The City of Lewiston Memorial Armory in Lewiston, Maine., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008."
And let's not forget that Mike Huckabee embarrassed John McCain by besting him by nearly 3-1 in Kansas, and a narrow win in Louisiana.
McCain is currently leading in the Washington State caucus, but by the narrowest of margins and more people are voting for a combination of Romney or uncommitted than McCain.
Check CNN or Politico for updated results.
McCain's weakness in these contests is further proof of conservative disquiet over his nomination. Apparently, his speech on Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference won't be enough to convince conservatives that he is one of us.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
It's the end of the interview and the interviewer says "We only have about twenty seconds left" before asking his question about Bill Clinton's role:
The same You Tuber who posted the above also has a shout out to Ron Paulians and asks if they will return to "normal" after Paul's campaign finally exhausts itself. And the video answers the question: what is "normal" for a Ron Paulian?
At today's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Mitt Romney made it clear that it was more important in a time of war for Republicans to win in November than to permit Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to become President and declare surrender and retreat in the War on Terror.
"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney told the crowd.
"This is not an easy decision for me," Romney continued. "I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters ... many of you right here in this room ... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country."
The nomination fight in the GOP is over.
John McCain has won the GOP nomination for President. But Mitt Romney has won the hearts and minds of conservatives. Doubts about the former Governor of one of the most liberal states were swept aside by those who heard him speak today at CPAC. The response to him by attendees was wildly enthusiastic and emotional. Romney has now donned the mantle of Reagan conservatism that was denied to him earlier in the race.
Mitt has Class!
From Brit Hume's Political Grapevine:
This Magic MomentOn the not so funny side, Hillary Clinton has loaned her campaign $5million of what she calls "my money." While she did receive an unprecedented $8 million advance for her book, it's difficult to believe that after taxes and purchase and furnishing of two expensive homes a U.S. Senator with an annual salary of $165,200 has five mil in the bank. Did some of Bill's dirty money from questionable business deals find their way into Hillary's campaign?
Chicago has a rich history of election-day shenanigans — but what happened Tuesday may be near the top of the list. Twenty voters in Chicago's 49th ward were told that the pens they were given — the kind used for touch-screen voting — were filled with magic invisible ink to mark their paper ballots.
City election board spokesman James Allen tells FOX News — poll workers may have actually believed that the styluses they somehow ended up handing out were really inkless pens that would mark paper ballots that could be seen by scanning machines.
When the scanners rejected the ballots, the judges overrode them and processed the ballots with no votes. One voter said the poll workers insisted they had been trained in the use of the magic pens. Eventually election officials tried to contact the 20 voters to get them to come back and fill out real ballots.
Allen says "Your first reaction is ... is this a joke? Some odd things are going to happen ... We always are surprised... This is one that no one could have predicted."
Timing Is Everything
Turnout was a big factor on Super Tuesday. Voters in Virginia deluged the Board of Elections with phone calls — and turned up at several polling places — even though their primary does not take place until next week.
In Wisconsin — a woman told a local radio station that she and six-to-10 other people were standing outside a polling place about 6:30 in the morning waiting to vote. Wisconsin's primary takes place in two weeks.
And in Florida — state officials fielded hundreds of phone calls from voters wanting to know where they could vote. Florida's primary was last week.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
And those numbers aren't good for Mitt Romney. Mitt needed California to keep his overall delegate strategy viable and while opinion polls predicted he might win California, McCain snagged nearly every delegate in the Golden State with a 42% win compared to Mitt Romney's 34%.
Due to differences in interpreting state party rules for awarding delegates, nearly every major news organization shows a different delegate count for the GOP race (NYTimes, NBC, Wash. Post, Real Clear Politics ). However, one truth is undeniable: McCain now has a commanding lead ranging anywhere from the NY Times 689 to NBC's 720 delegates won out of a total of 1,191 needed for the nomination. Romney's total ranges from 244 to 312.
21 states and the District of Columbia have yet to hold a primary and the available pool of GOP delegates in those contests (again, open to some interpretation) range from 963 to 1264.
Old Washington insider, Charlie Black, a senior adviser to McCain put it this way:
The remaining contests account for roughly 963 delegates. For Mitt Romney to match our delegate count, he would have to win more than 50 percent of those delegates. And, he would have to win nearly every single delegate still available in order to become the nominee. And, many of these contests are proportional, so Mitt will have to win by big margins in many states to garner every last delegate. For example, in this weekend’s Louisiana primary, he would have to win the with more than 50 percent of the vote in order to win (1191 delegates to win, 963+236=1,199).
With Mike Huckabee still a factor in this race, particularly in the South, and many contests moving forward proportional, the math is nearly impossible for Mitt Romney to win the nomination.
McCain needs only get one third of the remaining delegates to cinch the nomination on the first ballot. It's unlikely at this point that the Stop McCain movement has enough gas left in the tank to prevent that from happening.
The next move is up to Romney and his speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington will be closely watched by all with an interest in this race.
Meanwhile McCain will also address CPAC after snubbing the group last year. He understands that without conservative support it's hard to see how he could win a general election. GOP strategist Greg Mueller summed up the importance of conservatives in the general election: "the conservative base is made up of those people who go out and knock on doors and make phone calls for the nominee. You need their enthusiastic support to win.”
And McCain has made a career out of sticking it to conservatives. Again, I'll remind readers what McCain told me personally in November when I asked him about conservative disagreements with him on issues. He said directly that if we disagreed with him on the issues raised in that meeting that we conservatives "shoud not vote for him.... I'm not your candidate" he said.
Now of course not only is McCain asking us to vote for him, but to help him win. I figure that the libs and moderates who supported him and didn't even bother to show themselves before he started to win can carry the water on this one. After all, they believe as McCain does in manmade global warming, preventing the "torture" of monsters intent on killing thousands of Americans and bringing Gitmo terrorists to the U.S. and granting them full Constitutional rights.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Mary Matalin, former Fred Thompson campaign official warned that, on Super Tuesday, “A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain.”
If you need proof, here it is:
Huckabee Wins All 18 W.Va. DelegatesFred Thompson supporters may recall that Huckabee stole Fred's early thunder in the presidential race with his media generated blitz of folksy humor in debates. Now, Huckabee's willingness to collude with McCain to block the only viable conservative alternative to McCain should open some eyes to the dark side of Huckabee's political persona.
Feb 5 02:32 PM US/Eastern
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Mike Huckabee won the first contest declared on Super Tuesday, picking up all 18 national delegates awarded at West Virginia's state GOP convention.
Huckabee bested Mitt Romney, who entered the Mountain State event with the largest bloc of pledged convention-goers. Both men and Ron Paul made in-person appeals to the more than 1,100 convention delegates attending Tuesday's convention.
But the former Arkansas governor beat his Massachusetts counterpart after delegates for John McCain defected to his side.
The first round of voting at the state convention produced no winner, but eliminated Paul after his fourth-place finish.
The results are the first from the 21 states with GOP primaries or caucuses Tuesday.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Since the South Carolina primary, I admit I haven't posted as frequently on the latest polling updates for the GOP presidential nominating contest. However, on the eve of Super Tuesday, a few brief reflections:
- Zogby's California poll with an extraordinarily large sample of 915 likely voters gives the nod in that state to Romney at 40% over McCain at 32%. A Rasmussen poll in the same period shows a tie while two other recent CA polls (notice smaller sample size) show McCain ahead. (recent CA polls). Note also that California awards it's 173 delegates based on the candidate winning each congressional district. McCain could capture a significant number of delegates.
- In the remaining Super Tuesday Western states there is not sufficient polling data to make a prediction. It's possible Romney could do well in these states, but there are also not a great number of delegates at stake.
- The race in Georgia is extremely close between McCain and Romney but Huckabee is only a few points off both. In most polls in Tennessee, Missouri and Alabama McCain is leading followed by Huckabee.
- In the Northeast, Only Massachusetts looks solid in the Romney column and McCain has large leads in New York and Connecticut which award all their delegates to the winner and New Jersey.
Pollsters Rasmussen and Zogby have been on major media today describing a small boomlet for Romney, but also cautioning that it is unlikely to effect the outcome significantly.
One bright and hopeful sign that has gone widely unreported was Mitt Romney's win in the Maine GOP Caucus on Saturday capturing 52% of the vote even though McCain had been endorsed by the states two liberal GOP Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
The Mitt Problem
Mitt Romney's current appeal is that he isn't John McCain. Considering that Romney was the second or even third choice for many voters who had initially shied away from supporting the former Governor of one of the most liberal states, that says more about the weakness of John McCain in the GOP than it does about the strength of Mitt Romney.
During the early part of the 2007 race the field was wide open. And as late as last fall, who thought McCain would stage such a remarkable comeback? Not even his supporters who were largely silent until he started to win.
If Mitt scores well enough on Super Tuesday, it's reported that he intends to carry on and fight it out state by state in the contests which follow Super Tuesday. There, he would be able to focus his anti-McCain forces intensely, but the available delegates in those contests are half what they are on February 5th.
There is a countervailing group of GOP insiders who insists that it would be better if Romney stepped aside after Super Tuesday and devoted all his efforts to helping GOP candidates win in 2008. Thereby, he would be the natural choice in 2012 if McCain failed. In other words, it would be Romney's "turn" which is the same idiotic thinking behind letting McCain have his "turn" in 2008.
Sorry folks... After this, it's OUR TURN again, and we're not going to be dictated to by any more of these Washington insiders!