Monday, June 30, 2008

Bush Signs Iraq Funding Bill

Even Dems realize defeat is a losing proposition!

Readers may be forgiven if they were unaware that Congress passed and today President Bush signed the latest war funding bill for Iraq. In the past, these bills were a contentious knock down drag out fight with Democrats trying to impose all kinds of conditions that would scuttle the mission and force withdrawal.

With good news continuing to flow out of Iraq (see highlights from the latest quarterly progress report here) Democrats must have realized that it wouldn't be good politics to trash what is now widely regarded as a successful Iraq strategy so close to the November election.

President George W. Bush delivers a brief statement Monday, June 30, 2008, at the White House after signing H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008. With him from left are: Deputy U.S. Secretary of State John Negroponte, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Veterans' Affairs James Peake and John Walters, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The war supplemental spending package includes nearly $162 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, increased education benefits for veterans, and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.
President Bush Signs H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act
The White House
June 30, 2008

THE PRESIDENT: ...I appreciate that Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed to provide these vital funds without tying the hands of our commanders, and without an artificial timetable of withdrawal from Iraq. Our troops have driven the terrorists and extremists from many strongholds in Iraq; today violence is at the lowest level since March of 2004. As a result of this progress, some of our troops are coming home as result of our policy called "return on success." We welcome them home. And with this legislation we send a clear message to all that are servings [sic] on the front line that our nation continues to support them.
So much for Nancy Pelosi's vow upon taking control of Congress in 2006: "my highest priority, immediately, is to stop the war in Iraq.'' Will the anti-war left abandon Democrats who have utterly misled them in attempting to stop the war?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Books that Explain Obama to Children

Easy enough for Democrats to understand!

Dr. Seuss stories have a way of simplifying complex issues in ways that even Democrats can understand. Why, even the classic "Sneetches" story has been used to teach racial tolerance to Bosnians.

Here, we adapt the Sneetch story in ways that help children understand who and what Barack Obama is. We start by reminding our readers that Sylvester McMonkey McBean and his Star On/Star Off machine was tremendously successful in duping those just looking for change. Instead, they simply parted with what little change they had.

The Amazing Obama Flip Flop Machine

When I ran in Ohio I said I'd can NAFTA. Now that I won, I really don't hafta.

Gun control was the rule when I ran in DC. Now I think guns are totally cool.

I pledged to support campaign finance restrictions. But that went like some of my other great fictions.

I could not disown Rev. Wright at first. But later I learned there were more votes in the reverse.

A FISA filibuster was high on my list. Now, I think I'd rather desist.

I said I would debate anytime, anywhere. But my advisers think I'd better not dare.

I count on my minions, the Obama supporters, they get so confused yet still give their quarters.

Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. It's all part of playing the Obama game.

If there's an issue you can bet I will try it: on both sides at once and voters will buy it.

You've watched me spin and now you are dizzy. But I don't really care if you're in a tizzy.

So many lies and all my jive. McCain can't stop me, he's like a hundred and five.

McCain's still trying to get some traction. But when he points to my lies, I just call it a "distraction."

I laugh and I smile and charm the voters relentless. And in November, I hope they're defenseless.

If I con enough voters before they catch on, I'll have a big party on the White House lawn.
And now, a preview of "McCain I Am"

In this tale, the classic "Green Eggs and Ham" has been adapted with the title "McCain I Am."

Here's a taste:

MCCAIN I AM: Will you debate me? Will you please? How about we do it on TV?

OBAMA: I will not debate you on TV. I will not debate you in a tree. I will not debate here or there. I will not debate you anywhere. I will dodge and I will weave, but I will not open my mouth and watch my supporters leave. I will not debate you now or later. I won't debate you in an elevator.


And Coming Soon:

Friday, June 27, 2008

McCain Vogue: "Strikes a Pose"

You think Madonna will endorse him?

Gov't. Moratorium Blocks Solar Power Development

Dr No's energy policy: No gas, no oil, no wind power, no solar power, no nuclear power....no,no,no,no NO!

Obama hasn't even been elected and already the liberal bureaucrats are doing his bidding!

Mirrors channel sunlight onto a tube filled with oil at a solar power plant in Boulder City, Nev. The plant produces energy to power about 14,000 homes.

Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects
By DAN FROSCH
New York Times
June 27, 2008

DENVER — Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.

The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

But the decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Holly Gordon, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs for Ausra, a solar thermal energy company in Palo Alto, Calif. “The Bureau of Land Management land has some of the best solar resources in the world. This could completely stunt the growth of the industry.”

Much of the 119 million surface acres of federally administered land in the West is ideal for solar energy, particularly in Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, where sunlight drenches vast, flat desert tracts.

Galvanized by the national demand for clean energy development, solar companies have filed more than 130 proposals with the Bureau of Land Management since 2005. They center on the companies’ desires to lease public land to build solar plants and then sell the energy to utilities.

According to the bureau, the applications, which cover more than one million acres, are for projects that have the potential to power more than 20 million homes.
Is it any wonder some people are calling Obama Dr. No?


Environmentalists Will Allow Offshore Drilling for a Price

This kind of "green" doesn't grow on trees!

Get this: a California environmental group formed in the wake of the disastrous 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill to fight offshore oil drilling approves of a new plan for 22 new oil wells offshore.

What brought about this change? A little "green" motivation is all it took.

The group: Get Oil Out, or GOO, joined The Environmental Defense Center and other local groups in supporting a plan by the Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP) to tap as much as 200 million barrels of oil and 50 billion cubic feet of natural gas in what is called the Tranquillon Ridge off the California coast at Santa Barbara, site of the 1969 disaster.

In return, PXP will turn over 200 oceanfront acres and 3700 interior acres for parklands and pay millions for low emission buses for mass transit.

The cost of this exchange will be paid for by oil and gas consumers. Think of it as just taxation without the middleman.

Interestingly, the same Environmental Defense Center which approves of oil drilling offshore from Santa Barbara, opposes President Bush's call for offshore drilling elsewhere. Perhaps if President Bush were to help grease the skids, the EDC would get on board.

What this proves is that when you are an environmentalist, there is more than one way to "go green!"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guess Who Said This?

Hint: The year was 1979*

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another.
...
I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this Nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980's, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade -- a saving of over 4 1/2 million barrels of imported oil per day.
That's a mighty strong promise to make... How'd that work out?

*No fair Googling.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Have You Ever Wondered?



  • Have you ever wondered why the same crowd that shouts "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" to protest U.S. military action in the Middle East aren't first in line demanding we become energy independent by drilling for oil here in the U.S.?
  • One of Barack H. Obama's campaign slogans (he has so many) is "Yes we can." But whenever there is anything difficult to accomplish (Iraq, energy independence, etc.) it seems the following slogan would be more appropriate:

As usual, Ann Coulter gets it:

YOU CAN'T FUEL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME
Ann Coulter
June 25, 2008

...Liberals complain that -- as B. Hussein Obama put it -- there's "no way that allowing offshore drilling would lower gas prices right now. At best you are looking at five years or more down the road."

This is as opposed to airplanes that run on woodchips, which should be up and running any moment now.

Moreover, what was going on five years ago? Why didn't anyone propose drilling back then?

Say, you know what we need? We need a class of people paid to anticipate national crises and plan solutions in advance. It would be such an important job, the taxpayers would pay them salaries so they wouldn't have to worry about making a living and could just sit around anticipating crises.

If only we had had such a group -- let's call them "elected representatives" -- they could have proposed drilling five years ago!

But of course we do pay people to anticipate national problems and propose solutions. Some of them -- we'll call them Republicans -- did anticipate high gas prices and propose solutions.

Six long years ago President Bush had the foresight to demand that Congress allow drilling in a minuscule portion of the Alaska's barren, uninhabitable Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In 2002, Bush, Tom DeLay and the entire Republican Party were screaming from the rooftops: Drill! Drill! Drill!
No Democrat has a plan that will provide MORE energy for the American people. The only option they offer is what amounts to a conservation-only policy by default. Such a policy will cripple the U.S. economy and impose ever increasing financial hardships on the American people.

With at least one prediction that gas at the pump may soon hit $7 a gallon, the time to act is way past due. The longer we wait the higher the price of energy will go. Americans have a choice to make in November. Will they choose more of the same and higher gas prices or will they choose to make us energy independent and lower prices?

Obama Lies Again

Trying to Cut and Run from Debates with McCain after promising "anywhere, anytime."
Getting to Know Obama
By David S. Broder
Washington Post
Sunday, June 22, 2008; Page B07

We are barely at the beginning of the long period in which most Americans will give their first serious scrutiny to the presidential candidates and decide whether Barack Obama or John McCain will get their vote.

Americans have many questions about both men. In the Post-ABC News poll last week, only half of those interviewed said they felt they knew an adequate amount about the candidates' stands on specific issues. Voters split evenly on who would be the stronger leader, and they showed great uncertainty about which, if either, would be a safe choice for the White House.
...
That is why a pair of strategy decisions made in the past two weeks could prove troublesome for him. The first was Obama's turning down McCain's invitation to join him in a series of town hall meetings where they would appear together and answer questions from real voters -- without a formal agenda, press panel or professional interviewers.

Obama's manager initially called the idea "appealing," but nine days later, when David Plouffe got around to responding, he countered with something quite different from the 10 informal discussions McCain proposed holding before the late-summer nominating conventions. Plouffe said that in addition to the three traditional debates under official sponsorship later in the fall, there could be only two others -- one on economics on July 4 and another on foreign policy in August.

The McCain side said that few Americans would sacrifice their Independence Day holiday to watch a debate and reiterated its offer to meet Obama anywhere he wanted on any of the next 10 Thursdays.

At a news briefing last week, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs characterized that as a "take it or leave it" stance by the Republicans and suggested that discussions were finished.

At the same briefing, Gibbs and campaign counsel Bob Bauer defended Obama's decision to become the first presidential candidate since the Watergate reforms to decline public financing of his general election campaign.

Gibbs and Bauer in effect blamed McCain, saying repeatedly that he was "gaming the system" by pledging to accept public funds while saying he could not "referee" spending by outside independent groups if it occurred. In fact, McCain had been far more vocal in denouncing such groups on the GOP side than Obama was in criticizing their counterparts playing Democratic presidential politics -- even though Obama has claimed the mantle of campaign finance reformer that McCain has long enjoyed.
...
But it's also the case that the multiple joint town meetings McCain proposed would be a real service to the public and that suspending the dollar chase for the duration of the campaign, as McCain but not Obama will do, would be a major step toward establishing the credibility of the election process.

By refusing to join McCain in these initiatives in order to protect his own interests, Obama raises an important question: Has he built sufficient trust so that his motives will be accepted by the voters who are only now starting to figure out what makes him tick?
Here's the "anywhere, anytime" video:

Thinking of David Broder's question above: Who would vote for a candidate who would cut and run from debates but would go and talk to Iran's leaders without preconditions? Is John McCain, speaking on his own without a teleprompter a bigger threat to Obama than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quarterly Iraq Progress Report Documents More Good News

Don't expect to hear about it on the "news!"

Here's a link to the entire report.

Full size image here or see page 20 of the report (PDF page 28).

Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq
Dept. of Defense
June 2008

This report to Congress, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, is submitted pursuant to Section 9010 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2007, Public Law 109-289 as amended by Section 1308 of Public Law 110-28 and Section 1224 of Public Law 110-181.1 The report includes specific performance indicators and measures of progress toward political, economic and security stability in Iraq, as directed in that legislation. This is the twelfth in a series of quarterly reports on this subject.

The strategic goal of the United States in Iraq remains a unified, democratic and federal Iraq that can govern, defend and sustain itself and is an ally in the war on terror. The United States is pursuing this goal along political, security, economic and diplomatic lines of operation. This report measures progress toward achieving this goal during the reporting period (March through May 2008) and highlights challenges to Iraqi and Coalition efforts to achieve their mutual objectives.

The security environment in Iraq continues to improve, with all major violence indicators reduced between 40 to 80% from pre-surge levels. Total security incidents have fallen to their lowest level in over four years. Coalition and Iraqi forces’ operations against al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) have degraded its ability to attack and terrorize the population. Although AQI remains a major threat and is still capable of high-profile attacks, the lack of violence linked to AQI in recent weeks demonstrates the effect these operations have had on its network.

Equally important, the government’s success in Basrah and Baghdad’s Sadr City against militias, particularly Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) and the Iranian-supported Special Groups, has reinforced a greater public rejection of militias. This rejection, while still developing, is potentially as significant for Iraq as the Sunni rejection of AQI’s indiscriminate violence and extremist ideology. Overall, the communal struggle for power and resources is becoming less violent. Many Iraqis are now settling their differences through debate and the political process rather than open conflict. Other factors that have contributed to a reduction in violence include the revitalization of sectors of the Iraqi economy and local reconciliation measures.

Although the number of civilian deaths in April 2008 increased slightly from February and March 2008, in May 2008 civilian deaths declined to levels not seen since January 2006, when the Coalition began tracking this data. Both Iraqi and Coalition forces reported that civilian deaths are 75% lower than July 2007 levels and 82% lower than the peak number of monthly deaths that occurred in November of 2006 at the height of sectarian violence. Periodic high-profile car and suicide vest bombings continued throughout the period and were largely responsible for the increased civilian deaths in April 2008. However, the trends of decreasing violence suggest the failure of these high-profile attacks to rekindle the self-reinforcing cycle of ethno-sectarian violence that began in 2006.

The emergence of Sons of Iraq (SoIs) to help secure local communities has been one of the most significant developments in the past 18 months in Iraq. These volunteers help protect their neighborhoods, secure key infrastructure and roads and locate extremists among the population. What began primarily as a Sunni effort, now appears to have taken hold in several Shi’a and mixed communities. Today there are 103,000 SoIs contributing to local security in partnership with Coalition and Iraqi forces. AQI’s continued targeting of SoIs demonstrates AQI’s recognition of the importance and effectiveness of SoI initiatives.
The Good News in Graphic Form:

Is the above what you would expect if Iraq was mired in a "civil war?" Have any of the media or defeatists who used that phrase issued a correction?

Notice the huge upward trend in discovery of weapons caches used by terrorists. Much of this improvement relies on tips from Iraqi citizens who are now confident enough to turn in the bad guys.

More:

  • The majority of the remaining violence occurs in just a handful of provinces. These are the areas that the Iraqi forces are now concentrating their efforts and meeting with considerable success.
  • Progress in building Iraqi security forces is clearly evident. But, the graph also shows that much work needs to be done before U.S. combat forces can leave.

Is it time to say it?

Get this widget Track details eSnips Social DNA

Even Libya's Qaddafi Knows Obama Lies

Following are excerpts from a public address by Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qaddafi marking the anniversary of the U.S. air raid on Libya. The address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008.
Middle East Media Research Center

QADDAFI: “There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama.

All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.”

“Our African Kenyan Brother [Obama]… Made Statements [About Jerusalem] That Shocked All His Supporters In The Arab World, In Africa, And In The Islamic World”

“But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan brother [Obama], who is an American national, made statements that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the Islamic world.

“We hope that this is merely an elections ‘clearance sale,’ as they say in Egypt - in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce of elections - a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote for him, and afterwards, when they say to him, ‘You promised this and that,’ he says: ‘No, this was just elections propaganda.’ This is the farce of democracy for you. He says: ‘This was propaganda, and you thought I was being serious. I was fooling you to get your votes.’

“Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda. Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis. This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics, and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict.”

The You Tube Video version is here.
Thanks to Tillery Lake Lady for the link!

Another Obama Lie

Obama Backtracks
Brit Hume's Political Grapevine
June 24, 2008

Barack Obama says he backtracked on a pledge to take public financing for the general election partly because he needs funds to counter those 527 committees that may attack him from the right. And he argues John McCain will do nothing to "stop the smears."

But Cybercast News Service reports that Democratic 527s have raised three times as much as their Republican counterparts: $87 million to $24 million.

The director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute says that Obama "wasn't complaining when he went to the American Federation of State and Municipal Employees Union this week, which ran an ad paid for by its 527 to attack John McCain."


As one Obamaton apologist said "so what?" Who cares if Obama lied in his pledge to accept public financing? Who cares if he lied in justifying his actions by pointing to GOP oriented 527s?

Who cares if Obama is a liar who will do or say anything to gain power?

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Obama Lies

Obama: Misleading, slick, inexperienced, naive......

Padding Obama
By Yuval Levin
The Corner (National Review)
June 23, 2008

Barack Obama released his first general election ad on Friday, which seems aimed above all to answer some early concerns about his biography and experience. It’s a well made ad, but it also offers an example of the kind of brazen padding of the resume that Obama will inevitably need to engage in, and which will carry serious risks for him.

About 46 seconds into the ad, we are told that Obama “passed laws” that “extended healthcare for wounded troops who’d been neglected,” and in the usual manner of these political commercials we are given a little citation at the bottom. The citation reads “Public Law 110-181 1/28/08”. That law is the only federal legislation cited in the ad — the other two items mentioned were from the Illinois legislature and referred to other issues raised in the ad.

Public Law 110-181 was the 2008 defense authorization bill. It passed the Senate by 91 to 3 in January, with six Senators not voting. Among those six absentees was Barack Obama. So he cites a bill he didn’t even vote for. Did he contribute to it in some way that might be reasonably referred to as extending healthcare for wounded troops who’d been neglected? It certainly doesn’t seem that way, as even Obama supporters at the Daily Kos discovered when they tried to answer some of the bloggers who pointed to Obama’s citation of the bill. They found that Obama had tried to insert an amendment that had to do with screenings for service members returning from deployments, and one that would ease the discharge of service members found to have personality disorders, but neither amendment passed. Another part of the bill, calling for inspector general reports about hospital facilities, had come from a different bill Obama had sponsored.

Even under the most generous reading imaginable could any of that count as passing legislation that extended health care for wounded troops? The Chicago Tribune noted the problem on its blog last week but defended Obama by pointing out that John McCain didn’t vote for the bill either. That would be an interesting piece of information if John McCain had cited this bill as among his chief legislative accomplishments.

The Obama team’s desire to pad the resume is understandable — it’s awfully slim after all. But this kind of dishonesty will catch up with them…or at least it should.
We're dealing with a candidate who will say ANYTHING and count on the "news" media not to question him. Maybe the Dems have nominated a Clinton after all.

Wordsmith Back on the Job... FINALLY!

Still dealing with technical difficulties, our buddy Wordsmith managed to crank out some good stuff this weekend. Go give him heck for being such a slacker lately!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Will Obama Be the Last Liberal to Lie For Defeat?

Even the NY Times gets the good news from Iraq. But Would Obama throw it all away?

Baghdad residents in Abu Niwas Street park on the Tigris River. Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004, but the improvements are fragile

Big Gains for Iraq Security, but Questions Linger
By STEPHEN FARRELL and RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
NY Times
June 21, 2008

BAGHDAD — What’s going right? And can it last?

Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004. The two largest cities, Baghdad and Basra, are calmer than they have been for years. The third largest, Mosul, is in the midst of a major security operation. On Thursday, Iraqi forces swept unopposed through the southern city of Amara, which has been controlled by Shiite militias. There is a sense that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government has more political traction than any of its predecessors.

Consider the latest caricatures of Mr. Maliki put up on posters by the followers of Moktada al-Sadr, the fiery cleric who commands deep loyalty among poor Shiites. They show the prime minister’s face split in two — half his own, half Saddam Hussein’s. The comparison is, of course, intended as a searing criticism. But only three months ago the same Sadr City pamphleteers were lampooning Mr. Maliki as half-man, half-parrot, merely echoing the words of his more powerful Shiite and American backers. It is a notable swing from mocking an opponent perceived to be weak to denouncing one feared to be strong.

For Hatem al-Bachary, a Basra businessman, the turnabout has been “a miracle,” the first tentative signs of a normal life.

“I don’t think the militias have disappeared, and maybe there are sleeper cells which will try to revive themselves again,” he said. “But the first time they try to come back they will have to show themselves, and the government, army and police are doing very well.”

While the increase in American troops and their support behind the scenes in the recent operations has helped tamp down the violence, there are signs that both the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government are making strides. There are simply more Iraqi troops for the government to deploy, partly because fewer are needed to fight the Sunni insurgents, who have defected to the Sunni Awakening movement. They are paid to keep the peace.

Mr. Maliki’s moves against Shiite militias have built some trust with wary Sunnis, offering the potential for political reconciliation. High oil prices are filling Iraqi government coffers. But even these successes contain the seeds of vulnerability. The government victories in Basra, Sadr City and Amara were essentially negotiated, so the militias are lying low but undefeated and seething with resentment. Mr. Maliki may be raising expectations among Sunnis that he cannot fulfill, and the Sunni Awakening forces in many cases are loyal to their American paymasters, not the Shiite government. Restive Iraqis want to see the government spend money to improve services. Attacks like the bombing that killed 63 people in Baghdad’s Huriya neighborhood on Tuesday showed that opponents can continue to inflict carnage.

Perhaps most worrisome, more than five years after the American invasion, which knocked Mr. Hussein from power but set off great chaos, Iraq still lacks the formal rules to divide the power and spoils of an oil-rich nation among ethnic, religious and tribal groups and unite them under one stable idea of Iraq. The improvements are fragile.

The changes are already affecting Iraq’s complicated relationship with America. In the presidential campaign, a debate is rising about whether the quiet means American soldiers can leave.

Iraqi Officials Gain Confidence

American military commanders are seeing a new confidence among Iraqi leaders. They said they believed that the success of the recent military operations had played a role in the Iraqi government’s firm rebuff of American negotiators over a new long-term security pact to govern the United States military presence after the end of this year.

“They are feeling very strong right now, after Basra, Mosul and Sadr City,” said one senior American official.

The most obvious but often overlooked reason for the recent military success has been an increase in the number of trained Iraqi troops.

The quality of the recruits and leadership has often been poor, even in recent months. In Baghdad’s Sadr City, one Iraqi company abandoned its position in April, forcing American and Iraqi commanders to fill the gap with hastily summoned reinforcements. In Basra, more than 1,000 recently qualified soldiers deserted rather than obey orders to fight against Mr. Sadr’s Mahdi Army. One senior Iraqi government official conceded that the deserters simply “felt that the other side was too strong.”

But sheer numbers have helped to overcome the shortcomings. After the embarrassing setback in Basra, Mr. Maliki was able to pull units from elsewhere to provide reinforcements and saturate the city with checkpoints and patrols, restoring a measure of order after years of domination by Islamist militias and oil-smuggling mafias.

American officials said 50,000 members of Iraqi security forces took part in the Basra campaign, 45,000 in Mosul, and 10,000 in Sadr City — troops that would not have been available to Mr. Maliki’s predecessors. The Iraqis had by far the largest numbers of troops, although American and other coalition troops provided crucial air power, reconnaissance, logistics, medical support and even expertise in psychological operations.
...
Despite their newfound confidence, some senior Iraqi officials close to Mr. Maliki said that without an American military safety net they are vulnerable to threats from outside and inside their borders.
Obama's Troop Withdrawal Disaster

The progress in Iraq is irrefutable. But so is the danger that it could all be undone by a naive and disastrous policy change on the part of the United States. Even the New York Times gets that basic truth. However, on Barack Obama's web site, he still touts his desire to bring all U.S. combat troops home within 16 months. And he brags about a plan he introduced in the U.S. Senate in January 2007 that if passed, would have achieved this withdrawal by March of this year.

Here's a short video (two minutes, twenty eight seconds) that intersperses the testimony of General Petraeus on the danger of premature withdrawal and compares it to the statements of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton demanding immediate withdrawal.

The consequences of Obama's plan would have meant disaster and death for innocent Iraqis and humiliation for the United States and an emboldened Al Queda revived and ready to take the United States in new areas of conflict.

Instead, under the leadership of President Bush and General Petraeus the opposite has happened. Every American should consider how invested in defeat the Democrats have consistently been and how they have attempted to derail success in Iraq as a political tool to acquire power.

The question voters need to ask is: Would they rather vote for a candidate who will cut and run at the first sign of trouble in the most dangerous and difficult tasks? Is that what a leader would do? And would they consider a candidate who deliberately encourages defeat of his own country to be worthy of their vote? Your chance to hold Democrats at every level who pandered for defeat accountable comes in 134 days.

What will you do?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

President Bush Hits Gas Prices and Democrats in Radio Address

Special Photo Report: President Bush's Effort to foster petroleum alternatives!

With Obama's latest utterings taking up the headline portion of the daily news, readers may have overlooked President Bush's efforts to encourage Congress to open vast federal lands and offshore sites to oil exploration and recovery.

In his radio address on Saturday (full text here), The President reiterated the four main points he discussed on Wednesday:
  1. Again, he asked Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling. " Experts believe that the OCS could produce enough oil to match America's current production for almost ten years."
  2. Congress should remove the ban on leasing federal lands for oil shale production. "One major deposit in the Rocky Mountain West alone would equal current annual oil imports for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development."
  3. Drill in ANWR. "Scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach this oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife. With a drilling footprint that covers just a tiny fraction of this vast terrain, America could produce an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. That is roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. "
  4. Expand refining capacity. "Lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American families and drivers. It deprives American workers of good jobs. "

For years, congressional opposition has prevented the safe, economical recovery of U.S. petroleum resources that might have prevented this current crisis. Only Congress can fix the problem by acting NOW before the situation gets far worse.

Special Photo Report: President Bush Highlights Energy Alternatives!

Please visit Flopping Aces for the photo report, then return here to comment if you like.

More Information

There is a great deal of substance that accompanies these photo-ops and demonstrations. The White House has several key documents and presidential speeches with the details of an energy plan for America's future.

The time to act is NOW! Further delay means nothing but needless financial strain on every American family!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama Dumps Public Financing of Campaign Pledge

Another example of principle yielding to the pursuit of power!

Here's what Obama said about public financing of campaigns in November 2007, long before anyone thought he could win the Democrat nomination for President:

“In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election….If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”
-- Barack Obama, November 2007
But after Obama secured the nomination with an early start from big money political action committees and bundling as well as dubious methods of getting around financing limits, he changed his mind and decided to go back on his pledge to accept the very campaign finance limits he was encouraging other candidates to accept.

After all, principles on issues are only worth something if they make it easier to win political power. Not the other way around. Right?

Good government watchdogs like Democracy 21 are rightfully concerned about how damaging Obama's actions will be to the system of public financing of campaigns that the group and many others have long supported.

Again, this raises the question of what Obama does actually believe in other than himself and his grasping for power?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bush to Congress: Drill Offshore Oil

Dems to Bush: Drop Dead!

As U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne looks on, President George W. Bush delivers a statement on energy Wednesday, June 18, 2008, in the Rose Garden of the White House. Calling on Congress to expand domestic oil production, the President said, "For many Americans, there is no more pressing concern than the price of gasoline. Truckers and farmers and small business owners have been hit especially hard. Every American who drives to work, purchases food, or ships a product has felt the effect. And families across our country are looking to Washington for a response." White House photo by Luke Sharrett

President Bush Discusses Energy
White House Transcript
June 18, 2008

...In the long run, the solution is to reduce demand for oil by promoting alternative energy technologies. My administration has worked with Congress to invest in gas-saving technologies like advanced batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. We've mandated a large expansion in the use of alternative fuels. We've raised fuel efficiency standards to ambitious new levels. With all these steps, we are bringing America closer to the day when we can end our addiction to oil, which will allow us to become better stewards of the environment.

In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil. And that means we need to increase supply, especially here at home. So my administration has repeatedly called on Congress to expand domestic oil production. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal -- and now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction. Congress must face a hard reality: Unless Members are willing to accept gas prices at today's painful levels -- or even higher -- our nation must produce more oil. And we must start now. So this morning, I ask Democratic Congressional leaders to move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production.

First, we should expand American oil production by increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Experts believe that the OCS could produce about 18 billion barrels of oil. That would be enough to match America's current oil production for almost ten years. The problem is that Congress has restricted access to key parts of the OCS since the early 1980s. Since then, advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the OCS that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills. With these advances -- and a dramatic increase in oil prices -- congressional restrictions on OCS exploration have become outdated and counterproductive.
...
Second, we should expand oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale. Oil shale is a type of rock that can produce oil when exposed to heat or other process[es]. In one major deposit -- the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming -- there lies the equivalent of about 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That's more than three times larger than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. And it can be fully recovered -- and if it can be fully recovered it would be equal to more than a century's worth of currently projected oil imports.
...
Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development. In last year's omnibus spending bill, Democratic leaders inserted a provision blocking oil shale leasing on federal lands. That provision can be taken out as easily as it was slipped in -- and Congress should do so immediately.

Third, we should expand American oil production by permitting exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. When ANWR was created in 1980, Congress specifically reserved a portion for energy development. In 1995, Congress passed legislation allowing oil production in this small fraction of ANWR's 19 million acres. With a drilling footprint of less than 2,000 acres -- less than one-tenth of 1 percent of this distant Alaskan terrain -- America could produce an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. That is roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. Yet my predecessor vetoed this bill.

In the years since, the price of oil has increased seven-fold, and the price of American gasoline has more than tripled. Meanwhile, scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach ANWR's oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife. I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.

And finally, we need to expand and enhance our refining capacity. Refineries are the critical link between crude oil and the gasoline and diesel fuel that drivers put in their tanks. With recent changes in the makeup of our fuel supply, upgrades in our refining capacity are urgently needed. Yet it has been nearly 30 years since our nation built a new refinery, and lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully-refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American consumers. It deprives American workers of good jobs. And it needs to change.
...
I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the 4th of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act. And Americans will rightly ask how high oil -- how high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it.
Democrats to America: Pay More for Gas, We Don't Care!

The response from Democrats was typical. They trashed the President's ideas and then went on to spin away the benefits of drilling. The latest canard in their quiver is that we have already leased 68 million acres of offshore sites and the oil companies are not drilling there.

Well, guess what? That's because the oil companies haven't found any oil on those leased acres. One would think that companies earning tens of billions in profit would be only too happy to add more to their bank account if they found the oil.

If you don't think that the congressional ban on offshore drilling has had much impact compare this chart from the Institute for Energy Research showing how the 1982 law impacted oil exploration with this table from the Energy Information Administration (U.S. Dept. of Energy) which shows a sharp decline in U.S. crude oil production.

Democrats response to President Bush's call for new refineries was typical of the neosocialist approach they bravely trumpet these days. Some Congressional Dems went so far as to call for the nationalization of oil refineries. Does anyone really believe that our energy problems will be solved by a government takeover of refineries?

Newt's New Ad
The battle over high gas prices will be a key part of the political debate this year. Newt Gingrich and his American Solutions outfit is at the forefront with their latest ad:



Al "Guzzler" Gore Goes Green and His Energy Use Goes UP!

But he's going to make SURE the rest of us use less!

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month -- Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations
Tennesee Center for Policy Research
June 17, 2008

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.”

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household.

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria.

“Actions speak louder than words, and Gore’s actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity,” Johnson said. “Gore is exploiting the public’s concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Bounce for Obama!

Hillary leaving the race didn't help!

Obama's advisers expected that after Hillary exited the presidential race on June 7 Obama would get a 10 point bounce in national polls over McCain.

Well, he didn't. If anything, his lead over McCain shrank in most polls.

It seems that the Hillary voters aren't ready to forgive what Obama did to their girl and they don't think Obama has the gravitas to be President of the United States. There may be a lot more Harriet Christian's out there than Obama first thought!


Graphic found at Indigo Red.

Monday, June 16, 2008

President Bush's 2008 European Tour: A Pictorial of the Trip

So many opportunities to work with our allies to solve problems!

President Bush's European tour didn't get much coverage. But it was an important trip. It gave the President to meet one on one with a number of our key friends and allies as well as participate in the EU-US Summit and other events.

Aside from the pomp of a Presidential tour, there was much substance as our allies are converging on the question of how to deal with Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment and to review the progress and challenges ahead in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like any great trip to Europe, the story is best told in photographs....

President George W. Bush speaks to the media before departing the South Lawn of the White House for Andrews Air Force Base en route to Europe for a weeklong visit during which he will address a variety of issues with counterparts in Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, France and the United Kingdom. Said the President, "The U.S. economy has continued to grow in the face of unprecedented challenges. We got to keep our economies flexible; both the U.S. economy and European economies need to be flexible in order to deal with today's challenges. I'm looking forward to my trip..." White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

To save space I have posted the remaining photographs (there are many) at Flopping Aces. But please come back here to comment.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Obama Campaigning in Church AGAIN!

Separation of Church and State is ONLY to be applied to Republicans!

CHICAGO - JUNE 15: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) gives a speech about fatherhood at Apostolic Church of God June 15, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama spoke about the importance of fathers being involved in the raising of their children. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Barack Hussein Obama was in Church. Not the Trinity Church which he recently quit, but Chicago's Apostolic Church of God. While there, Obama delivered a sermon speech on fatherhood. How lovely! No word on whether he plagiarized any of Rev. Wright's famous phrases like "God Damn America" or "U.S. of K.K.K.A."

Obama's got quite a history of using the church pulpit to campaign. Few can forget that he used his sermon speech at the historic church in Selma, Alabama (he had to prove he was down for the struggle) in a campaign handout.

I have nothing against Obama going to church. I hope that the minister stressed the need for honesty while he had Obama visiting. And I don't have a problem with Obama campaigning inside a church.

I do however have a problem with liberals who think Obama in a church is just peachy, yet the same lefties froth at the mouth like demons possessed if any Republican even mentions God. Remember all the grief Republican candidate Huckabee got for the white "cross" in his Christmas message?

So next time the Christian haters trash any Republican for expressing faith, just print this post out and .....

Iran Rejects "Carrot" of Six Nation Incentives to Stop Uranium Enrichment

If the carrot didn't work, will our allies and partners be willing to try the stick?

Some good news... France is now on our side.

Bush, French president united against Iran
By JENNIFER LOVEN
Associated Press
Jun 14,2008

PARIS (AP) - Iran rejected a six-nation offer of incentives to stop enriching uranium on Saturday, prompting President Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to jointly warn Tehran anew against proceeding toward a nuclear bomb.

"Our allies understand that a nuclear-armed Iran is incredibly destabilizing, and they understand that it would be a major blow to world peace," Bush said at a news conference with Sarkozy at Elysee Palace.

The quickly unfolding series of events began in Tehran, where European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana played the role of messenger for the offer from the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.

Solana presented the plan - a refreshed version of a 2006 package that Iran ignored - to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and its top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. There were no plans for Solana to see Iran's hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Even before Solana's meetings, however, Iran gave its pre-emptive judgment of the deal that holds out the promise of economic, technological, educational and political rewards: dead on arrival, assuming the offer is conditioned on Iran halting its uranium enrichment, which it is.

"If suspension is included in the package, it won't be considered at all," the official IRNA news agency quoted Iran's government spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, as saying Saturday. "The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is clear. Preconditions can't be raised for any halt or suspension."

Notice use of the word "preconditions?" Coincidence with the controversy of Obama's decision to meet "without preconditions" with Iran's leaders? Not likely.

And in the coming campaign, if some Dem tries to sell the soap that we don't work with our allies and partners around the world, just print this story out and.....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Obama Threatening Gun Violence or Going for the Pro Gun Vote?

If he'd said the following in a public school he would have been expelled:



Barack Obama is warning supporters that the general election fight between him and John McCain may get ugly, but the Illinois senator is vowing not to back down.


"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said at a fundraiser in Philadelphia Friday, according to pool reports.


And they call Bush a cowboy?

Gun owners may wonder just what kind of heat Obama will be packing? Will it be a handgun or will he equip an army of supporters with something heavier?

Does it strike readers as somewhat odd that the Dems who screech at the very mention of the word gun would be backing a candidate who threatens to use one in a fight?

McCain Fights Back?

Well, no matter. John McCain has promised to conduct a civil campaign. No threats of knife fights from him. And If Obama does cause trouble, we're sure that John McCain can count on a few of his religious backers to help him out:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flag Day: June 14

We honor the flag because we are honored to be Americans!

The story of how Rick Monday came to save the flag from being burned in Dodger Stadium April 25, 1976:

The flag is a central part of our American way of life:


Photo by Mike's America

It's a central theme in our political discourse:

Most of us honor it:

It stands as a symbol for our freedom and the sacrifice of so many who have died for our right to live free:





The flag is a visible reminder of the greatness of this country and who we are as a people:



Happy Flag Day!

TV Interviewer Tim Russert Dead at 58

Tim Russert of NBC News dropped dead today of an apparent heart attack at the age of 58.

Russert was the host of NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday program as well as the moderator of NBC sponsored debates with 2008 Presidential candidates.

Whatever you want to say about the liberal media, or Tim Russert's performance in that environment, his passing is a sad milestone and he will be missed.

I recall particularly his interview with Barack Hussein Obama where Obama says "There's not much difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush's:"


Tim Russert's "Straight Talk" will be missed!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 1987: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall"

The 21st anniversary of the speech that later brought real change and peace to a scarred and divided Europe!


52 second excerpt

Ronald Reagan has been in the news again lately. Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama has attempted to redefine the Regan legacy to suit his foolish idea of direct presidential negotiations with the Iranians and other tyrants without preconditions.

So, on this 21st anniversary of the speech where Reagan laid out his vision for peace with justice and freedom in Europe it's worthwhile to reflect on the true legacy Reagan left and how it can be a roadmap for the future.

The Story Behind "Tear Down This Wall"

In 1978, two years before he was elected President, Ronald Reagan was visiting Berlin. Along with him was Richard V. Allen, who would later serve as President Reagan's first National Security Advisor (1981-1982). Allen tells of driving to the Berlin Wall along with Reagan and his wife Nancy. Looking out over the wall, Reagan turned to Allen and said: "You know, Dick, we've got to find a way to knock this thing down."

Throughout his life and throughout his presidency Reagan was determined that the Iron Curtain, which Josef Stalin drew over Central and Eastern Europe at the end of World War II, was an injustice that could not be accepted if real peace was to reign in Europe. Unlike the left of Reagan's day and today, Reagan understood that peace was more than the absence of conflict. And the tyranny of a Soviet imposed captivity on half of Europe was a threat to peace. The status quo was not acceptable.

Common themes on the power of freedom, a strong U.S. military and a thriving U.S. economy were central to Reagan's vision to change the world for the better and leave behind a legacy of real peace, not stalemate and injustice.

Writing in How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, Peter Robinson, a thirtysomething speechwriter assigned to write the speech describes a trip he took to Berlin to get a feel for what people there thought was important to say and hear:

In April 1987, when I was assigned to write the Brandenburg Gate address, I spent a day in Berlin with the White House advance team, the logistical experts, Secret Service agents, and press officials who went to the site of every presidential visit to make arrangements. In the evening, I broke away from the advance team to join a dozen Berliners for dinner. Our hosts were Dieter and Ingeborg Elz, who, after Dieter completed his career at the World Bank in Washington, had retired to Berlin. Although we had never met, we had friends in common, and the Elzes had offered to put on this dinner party to give me a feel for their city. They had invited Berliners of different walks of life and political outlooks—businessmen, academics, students, homemakers.

We chatted for awhile. Then I explained that, earlier in the day, the ranking American diplomat in West Berlin had told me that over the years Berliners had made a kind of accommodation with the wall. “Is it true?” I asked. “Have you gotten used to it?”

The Elzes and their guests glanced at each other uneasily. Then one man raised an arm and pointed. “My sister lives twenty miles in that direction,” he said. “I haven’t seen her in more than two decades. Do you think I can get used to that?” Another man spoke. As he walked to work each morning, he explained, a soldier in a guard tower peered down at him through binoculars. “That soldier and I speak the same language. We share the same history. But one of us is a zookeeper and the other is an animal, and I am never certain which is which.”

Our hostess broke in. A gracious woman, Ingeborg Elz had suddenly grown angry. Her face was red. She made a fist with one hand and pounded it into the palm of the other. “If this man Gorbachev is serious with his talk of glasnost and perestroika,” she said, “he can prove it. He can get rid of this wall.”
Robinson returned to the White House and wrote a draft of the speech that included the memorable phrase "tear down this wall." Important foreign speeches by the President are always reviewed by many departments throughout the government and this was no exception. Soon after Robinson circulated his draft it seemed that most of the Washington foreign policy and national security establishment, including Secretary of State Schultz, White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker and Asst. National Security Advisor Colin Powell wanted to remove that line.

Throughout the drafting process alternative drafts, perhaps seven in total, were submitted with the now famous phrase omitted. But Reagan persisted. He finally told Deputy Chief of Staff Duberstein he would leave it in because "it’s the right thing to do."

At the time, no one thought much about the speech. Or, if they did, they thought the famous line was just a stunt without any meaning. But those critics did not wish to understand how powerful the symbolic value was of having President Reagan say those words in that place at that time in concert with all the other moves he had and was taking to give America a position of strength upon which to force change in the mindset of those who would have happily left half of Europe enslaved.

Years later, Secretary Schultz reflected on the matter this way:


"I guess the point I'm making here is that ideas matter a lot, the underlying ideas that stand behind policies. When you don't have ideas, your policies are flip-flopping all over the place. When you do have ideas, you have more consistency. And when you have the right ideas — then you can get somewhere."
Reagan had the right ideas and he had a clear unwavering vision based not on polls but a lifelong understanding of what was "the right thing to do." And he achieved that vision through a patient policy that combined economic and military strength with diplomacy.

That is the lesson which some today forget.

Resources:
  • Full text of the speech. Reagan Library.
  • Reagan’s Address at the Brandenburg Gate—A Retrospective Look 20 Years Later,
    The Miller Center for Public Affairs (Univ. of Virginia).
  • Ronald Reagan Library photos from the Berlin Wall speech.
  • Time Magazine interview with former Secretary of State George Schultz. Jun 11, 2007.
  • Reagan's famous line nearly clipped from Berlin speech, The Washington Times.

Obama Just Fine With High Gas Prices

More money for his Muslim friends and relatives?


Vice President Cheney on High Gas Prices

Vice President's Remarks to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
White House transcript
June 11, 2008

...With crude oil already over 130 dollars a barrel and gas at four dollars, everyone in elected office ought to explain what solutions they have in mind for bringing the cost down, or at least slowing the trend. And if they're honest about it, they'll end up talking about increasing supply.

Twenty, forty, or fifty years from now, I'm pretty sure this country will have energy sources that are more diverse and environmentally sound than many of us can even imagine today. A good deal of credit will belong to President Bush for giving unprecedented support to developing alternative and renewable fuels, and the engine technology to use those fuels with high efficiency. These are tremendously promising fields. And the United States, driven by a combination of market forces, concern for the environment, and our own native ingenuity, has chosen to lead the way.

I'm also confident that our nation will find sensible ways to address long-term concerns about carbon emissions. President Bush has outlined the principles for a solution - an approach that offers reasonable incentives and gives strong support to technology research. The cap-and-tax legislation, however, that was debated in the Senate last week was exactly the wrong way to address carbon emissions.

That bill would have effectively increased taxes by about a trillion dollars over ten years, raised the price of gas and electricity, and killed manufacturing jobs, and all of this while having no significant effect on the climate. No fewer than ten Democratic senators wrote to their leaders to make clear they could not support final passage of the bill. On the Republican side, Senator Jim Inhofe and others rightfully insisted that the bill be debated in full. That was enough to put the bill on the path to defeat - and for that, I think all Americans can be grateful.

Meanwhile, in the here and now, we are an economy that runs on petroleum - some 20 million barrels of it a day. That can and will change over time, but it will be a very long time. It will not change overnight. We'd be doing the whole country a favor if more of that oil were produced here at home, with the money going into American pockets and supporting American jobs. Yet on Capitol Hill, many have ignored the obvious and have stood in the way of more domestic energy production. You can't even call them shortsighted, because they fail to see the immediate, day-to-day needs of the economy.

It's my own view that we should be drilling in ANWR in an environmentally responsible way, which could increase our daily domestic oil production by as much as a million barrels a day. As for other locations, George Will pointed out in his column the other day that oil is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. But we're not doing it, the Chinese are, in cooperation with the Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply.

Yet Congress has said no to drilling in ANWR, no to drilling off the East Coast, no to drilling off the West Coast, no to drilling off Florida. Given the high prices Americans are now paying, we should hear no more complaining from politicians who've stood in the way of increasing energy production inside this country. They are part of the problem.

And it's not just crude oil or natural gas production that's being held up. We also have to import ever larger amounts of refined gasoline, because we don't have enough refining capacity to satisfy our own demands. We haven't built a new refinery in the United States in three decades. It's high time we did so. There's not a reason in the world that our gasoline should not be made right here in the United States, at American refineries, by American workers.

More Evidence the War on Terror is Being WON!

Experts See Gains Against Asian Terror Networks
By ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times
June 9, 2008

SINGAPORE — The deadliest terrorist networks in Southeast Asia have suffered significant setbacks in the past three years, weakened by aggressive policing, improved intelligence, enhanced military operations and an erosion of public support, government officials and counterterrorism specialists say.

Security officials met recently in Singapore. Three years after the region’s last major strike — the attacks on three restaurants in Bali that killed three suicide bombers and 19 other people — American and Asian intelligence analysts say financial and logistical support from Al Qaeda to other groups in the region has long dried up, and the most lethal are scrambling for survival.

In Indonesia, since 2005 authorities have arrested more than 200 members of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic group with ties to Al Qaeda. In the Philippines, an American-backed military campaign has the Abu Sayyaf Group, an Islamic extremist organization with links to Jemaah Islamiyah, clinging to footholds in the jungles of a handful of southern islands, officials said.

Indonesia and the Philippines, which have faced the most serious terrorist threat in the region, have taken sharply different approaches to combat it. Each has achieved some success, offering lessons to American and allied counterterrorism efforts worldwide.
...
The United States and Australia, in particular, have played major roles in helping Southeast Asian countries combat terrorist threats in the region.

More than 500 American personnel, including experts from the military Special Operations Forces, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Agency for International Development, are training and working with Philippine counterterrorism forces from a base in Zamboanga, a city in Mindanao.

The Pentagon recently awarded the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia a total of $27 million in coastal surveillance stations equipped with special radar, heat-detecting cameras and computers to help disrupt terrorists plying the Sulawesi sea lanes, according to documents sent to Congress. The Philippines also received nearly $6 million in night-vision goggles, body armor, helmets and radios.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Are Republicans Doing About High Gas Prices?

Our Representatives in Congress have many fine solutions. But Dems are blocking votes on every bill the GOP proposes!

You never know what you might learn watching C-Span that you're never going to learn if you watch the liberal news media.

For instance, have any readers seen reporting that describes the steps Republicans have proposed to deal with high energy prices? Probably not.

So, when I saw Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK)give a speech Tuesday evening on the House Floor describing GOP plans to address the issue, I decided I'd better pass it along as I doubt too many people would have heard about it.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
Congressional Record
June 10, 2008

But let me talk a little if I can about what the current state of play is in energy prices. Today as you have had up on your sign, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $4.04. That is something I never thought I would live to see, and frankly, no American should have ever lived to see. You can now buy a barrel of light sweet crude for July delivery at $131.31, a nice round number, nice even alliterative number. Currently in my State, Oklahoma's price at the pump, and we are producers, in some ways we will we feel it even worse because we have been producing for over 100 years much more than we consume and exporting it to the rest of the country. And we are delighted to do that. But it is pretty tough when people in Oklahoma, a producing State that sacrificed, that frankly are delighted to have exploration and production, but they are paying $3.83 a gallon.

In January of 2007 when this majority, this Democrat majority took office, the price per gallon was $2.08 a gallon. That is a rise of $1.75, an increase of over 80 percent.

The country as a whole has experienced very much the same thing. The average price since the Democratic majority has come into power has gone up $1.67, an increase of 71 percent.

Now, that is not what our friends on the other side of the aisle expected to happen at all. As a matter of fact, let me read you a few quotes of what they told America as they came into the majority our energy future would be.

Our distinguished Speaker, Speaker Pelosi, said on April 18, 2006, ``Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down the skyrocketing gas prices.'' She said a few days later, ``The Democrats have a plan to lower gas prices.''

Our distinguished Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on the 4th of April, 2005, ``Democrats believe that we can do more for the American people who are struggling to deal with high gas prices.'' I would love to ``struggle'' to pay $2.08 a gallon. It would be a nice fight to have.

Our good friend and distinguished whip of the majority party, JIM CLYBURN, said, ``House Democrats have a plan to help curb rising prices.'' That is on the 26th of July, 2006. If this is the plan, we want them to go back to the drawing board and reconsider where they are at.

Four times since they have taken the majority they have voted to increase energy taxes; to increase energy taxes. Now, even people that don't like the energy industry can usually say, well, gosh, if you increase the tax, won't they pass that along to us in the price? It is an incredible record.

Now, every single energy bill the majority wants to reach the floor has reached the floor. Most of them have passed this body. Some of them have gone all the way to the President and been signed. As I recall, I don't remember anybody who actually vetoed any energy legislation that has actually reached the President's desk. So what we are seeing really is the product of the majority's legislative agenda.

What haven't they let come to the floor? What commonsense solutions that most Americans support haven't come to the floor? I am just going to list a few of them, because, as my colleague knows, there are many of them.

Our colleague from Texas, MAC THORNBERRY, has a wonderful bill, the No More Excuses Energy Act, H.R. 3089, that literally covers the gambit of things we ought to be doing. Not just oil and gas, but nuclear, solar and wind. It incentivizes production. That is the lesson that our friends on the other side have forgotten, that supply is really important to cost. They simply seem to have no conception of that.

There is a wonderful bill by Mr. Pitts of Pennsylvania, H.R. 2279, that will expedite the construction of new refining capacity on closed military installations in the United States. These are installations that have been set aside. They are safe. They are secure. Why in the world wouldn't we want to refine the product? If we have to import it, we at least ought to get the value-added portion of refining it. It is a crime that we should ever import a refined product.

Our good friend Mr. Blunt, H.R. 2493, has legislation that removes the fuel blend requirements and government mandates that contribute to unaffordable gas prices. We shouldn't have dozens and dozens of blends of gasoline. A few is enough.

Our good friend Mrs. Myrick has H.R. 6108, Outer Continental Shelf Exploration, which grants coastal states the authority to grant exploration up to 100 miles from their coastlines and allows States to share in that revenue. A commonsense solution.

None of this legislation, and dozens more, have been allowed to come to the floor. My friends on the other side love to blame Republicans, President Bush and the energy industry for these kinds of problems.

I just want to conclude quickly with a story. I do represent a district that is one of the top 20 energy producers in the United States, so we are more than doing our part. I convened about a year ago, actually before this extraordinary rise in prices, a group of independent energy people that have spent a lifetime trying to provide energy to this country.

I asked them, ``Give me your suggestions. What can we do to increase the supply and stabilize and hopefully lower the price of a gallon of gasoline or heating fuel or electricity?'' They thought, and they had a lot of great solutions.

They said, ``Let's go drill in ANWR, in Alaska. That would be a wonderful thing.'' By the way, my good friend Mr. Young has a superb piece of legislation on that, H.R. 6107, that would actually allow us to drill there and invest some of the severance revenue in alternative energy supplies so we could both meet an immediate need and start looking for alternatives.

But they suggested that. I said, ``Well, you know, I am for that. I voted for that. The Republican majority passed it four times in the House and couldn't get it through the Senate because of Democratic obstruction, so we probably can't get it done.''

Then they said, ``Let's do more exploration and production offshore. We have seen Katrina. That has worked well in terms of no spillage. We know we had 25 percent of our supply in the Gulf of Mexico. We could do more.'' I said, ``Well, I am for that, but we can't do that either.''

Then they asked about additional refining capacity, and they asked about expedited permitting on non-park Federal lands. They just went through a litany of things. Alternative energy. Each one I would say yes, I am for that, but we can't get that through, particularly a Democratic Congress.

Finally at the end of this in frustration, one of my good friends said, ``Well, why don't you go back and ask those other Members of Congress who are opposing these measures just how rich they want foreign countries to be? Just how much they want to pay the people overseas that we are importing this petroleum from, or this gas, when we could actually do the production here? Because they are exporting thousands of jobs, billions of dollars, and they are jeopardizing our security.''

Then the guy added in fairness, he said, ``By the way, we are all here giving you suggestions about how to lower the price of the product that we produce.''

We have had a shameful exercise, in my opinion, in the last several days, particularly on the Senate side, where people that work to solve America's energy problems are brought in and interrogated as if they are the source of the problems, and the only frankly justification for that is the high prices. But when those people respond, they say, ``If you would just do the things we have asked you to do year after year after year, we could solve this problem.''
Democrats have been very successful politically by groaning about high gas prices and the impact that has on all Americans, particularly the poor and middle class. Yet, they NEVER take any responsibility for the very mess THEY have created.

It's time to tell the truth to the American people over and over and over again. Tell the truth as often as Dems continue to tell the big lie that big oil or the Republicans are to blame for high gas prices.

Our guys in Congress are doing their part to get the message out. We must do our part too!


Can We Afford the Democrats?

The poor are hardest hit by Democrat policies which have resulted in soaring prices!

full size graphic here.


full size graphic here.


full size graphic here.

Fill up your tank with "Pelosi Premium" if you can afford it!



“Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices"
--Nancy Pelosi, April 24, 2006

What is the Democrats plan? So far, none of their energy legislation has added one ounce of oil to supply the needs of Americans. However, they have had plenty of ideas to RAISE gas taxes (here, here and here) and gas prices even higher.

Republicans HAVE a plan that would loser gas prices. But thus far, House Democrats have refused to allow the "No More Excuses Energy Act" to come to the floor for a vote.

What are Democrats afraid of?

You won't have much "change" left by the time Democrats are through!

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