"Beat the rookie with the Veteran"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the self-indulgence of the baby boomers...

personal responsibility is making a comeback, and it should be led by someone who sacrificed and served.

Leading by example is an important personal precedent, and asking for wholesale government solutions without personal sacrifice is not the answer.

UPDATE: On the self-indulgence master scale is this museum to Woodstock which the Democrats (including, specifically Hillary) helped to fund with federal tax dollars. As Sen. McCain said earlier in the campaign, "I was tied up at the time":

Duke Devlin, the "hippie who came to Woodstock and never left" is a signature of this self-indulgence (these are the type of boomers who believe Obama is the new messiah):

“Is it over yet?” he asked. “We’re still here talking. We’ve now got this wonderful museum, but I don’t call it a museum, I call it a time capsule. And without me getting too political, a lot of the same ingredients are still the same — we’ve got a war, we have civil rights, we have women’s issues. Back then, we got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don’t know if this can be recreated, but something like it can happen again. We’re back in the ’50s, man. The reason we’re all here is because we’re not all there.”

Don't listen to the "establishment" Senator...

listen to your gut, and stay accessible to the people and the media. Make this about your love for country, and love for the opinions of the people. Embrace the debate! Embrace the town halls! Embrace a trip to Iraq with Sen. Obama (and if he goes without you, go at the same time and tell him he missed all the important spots)!

The Republican establishment seems to want you to run a Bush style top-down corporate campaign. Run your own style of bottom-up campaign. We're all here watching... we did it for you in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, and we'll do it for you in the general. Reach out to the local moderates and concerned Americans, and we'll bring you home. My favorite quote from the Time article linked above:

For other candidates, such wounds might be mortal, but McCain has defied conventional wisdom and won in the past. His approval rating among independents and some Democrats remains strong, and he is tied with Obama in national surveys. A senior Republican adviser to one of McCain's former rivals appraised the situation this way: "Not raising money, still no excitement, can't seem to get his footing, the Bush brand is toxic, and yet it still looks like he can win," the adviser said. "All that is so John McCain."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sen. McCain has invited Sen. Obama to visit the troops in Iraq, and Gen. Petraeus...

he's saying no to that invite (and calling it posturing... I think the posturing is the refusal to recognize the changes/successes in Iraq to pander to the anti-war left).

He is willing to meet with Ahmedinejad, though, in his first year in office. Interesting priorities.

Here's the full video:

Slate on the McCain campaign...

or "Why Sen. McCain is at his best when times are challenging"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tom Harkin should be ashamed...

these statements are un-American, and show how ugly the Democrats plan to be during this election.

According to liberal Democratic senators, military service is a bad thing. We should all fear the day that someone with that type of view becomes President and we need to defend ourselves.

UPDATE: More from Don Surber, with some history of the Democratic shift from marginally pro-military to openly anti-military.

UPDATE #2: Hotair provides another example, and a roundup of the pattern of criticism of Sen. McCain's military service. Apparently, beyond reproach is not a term the Democrats are familiar with (and their being "appalled" at the "Swift-boating" was only because they didn't think of it first).

Monday, May 26, 2008

A new greatest generation...

we should all remember for at least a few moments today. There are five who have earned the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should all know their names. They are:

Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y

Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, 33, of Tampa, Fla.

Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, 22, of Scio, N.Y.,

Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif.

Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis, 19, of Knox, Pa.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Charles Krauthammer on Obama's growing gaffe...

on making a mistake, and then making it the centerpiece of your foreign policy.

This is the kind of inexperience we can't afford in the White House, especially if that inexperience would compound by allowing our enemies to destroy the prestige and interests of the US and her allies in harebrained summits.

What exactly does "highly educated" mean?

and what are our "elite" institutions teaching anyway?

Sen. McCain's health is great...

Here's the AP story.

From San Francisco...

it's a concerted effort... and it's led by Moveon.org, the same organization that tried to smear General Petraeus as a traitor.

If you're a public figure and the New York Times and Moveon.org are trying to smear you, you should wear it as a badge of honor (or a lapel pin of honor, if you like).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moving toward troop reductions in Iraq...

Sens. McCain, Lieberman and Graham deserve substantial historical recognition for holding the line here.

We're reaching toward stability and an Iraqi nation that can defend itself and control nearly all of its territory (Mosul is the only remaining area where the government has not yet completely asserted its mandate). The front lines are now substantially manned by Iraqi soldiers, with American and British forces providing air cover and support.

As Sen. Mccain said yesterday about Sen. Obama, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi's "retreat and defeat" approach: "They were wrong"...

Obama and McCain spar on "care for veterans"...

Sen. Obama accuses McCain of "partisan posturing" on those currently serving in Iraq on the GI Bill. Sen. Obama seems to forget that Sen. McCain has a son in Iraq. Sen. McCain responded forcefully:


"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. . ."

* * *

"Both Senator Webb and I are united in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election."

Instapundit hits the nail...

squarely on the head.

Another piece of advice from history...

Negotiation -- when not set with the proper "pre-conditions" -- can prove disastrous, as this op-ed in today's New York Times points out...

We nearly lost the Cold War in that single -- not very well planned -- summit meeting.

UPDATE: More analysis of this article: "In his campaign, Obama plays on his supposed resemblance to JFK, and his supporters respond to it. But it’s not so good to emulate the flaws of the man. See whether any of this sounds familiar."

Apparently Sen. Obama is now a veteran... he's been in "foxholes"...

Interesting cover story in the New York Times today about Jewish voters (esp. in Florida) and their doubts about Sen. Obama's qualification for the office of President of the United States. Less relevant to that story, but relevant to Sen. Obama's penchant for exaggeration and painting himself "patriotic" is this gem:

“I’ve been in the foxhole with my Jewish friends, so when I find on the national level my commitment being questioned, it’s curious,” he said recently in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on theatlantic.com.

Wow... really? You were in trenches, with machine gun fire going over your head? Next he'll tell us about his relationship to pillboxes, and he doesn't mean his wife's woman's hat collection. This is really overcompensation for no military service and no foreign policy experience.

From the campaign...

Received this yesterday (sorry, away from the computer all day). This is the highest level foreign policy debate the United States has witnessed since Reagan.


For Immediate Release

Contact: Press Office

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement:

"After Senator Obama's own advisors and supporters backtracked from his stated desire to hold summit meetings with the leaders of the world's worst regimes, Senator Obama himself has begun to reinterpret his stand. He now claims that some 'fear' to 'negotiate' with the likes of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who has called Israel a 'stinking corpse' or Ayatollah Khamenei, who called Israel a 'cancerous tumor.' I have news for Senator Obama: I have met some very bad people before in my life. It is not fear that drives my opposition to unconditional meetings with Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, Kim Jong Il, and Raul Castro; rather it is my clear understanding that such a course will fail to eliminate the threat posed by these rogue regimes. I don't fear to negotiate. Instead I have the knowledge and experience to understand the dangerous consequences of a naive approach to Presidential summits based entirely on emotion.

"The question before the American people is which candidate is best able to secure the peace for the next generation of Americans, a peace that will keep our nation safe, prosperous and free. Senator Obama's desire to meet unconditionally in his first year at the presidential level with Iranian leaders is reckless, and demonstrates poor judgment that will make the world more dangerous. With respect to Cuba, it is not America that needs to make unilateral concessions to the Castros -- a 'gesture of good faith' as Senator Obama said yesterday -- it is the Castro brothers who must allow the freedom they have so long denied to the Cuban people. Free the political prisoners, open the media, allow people to worship, schedule free and fair elections, and the United States will be happy to meet and talk. Until then, we cannot compromise our principles.

"Senator Obama has consistently offered his judgment on Iraq, and he has been consistently wrong. He said that General Petraeus' new strategy would not reduce sectarian violence, but would worsen it. He was wrong. He said the dynamics in Iraq would not change as a result of the 'surge.' He was wrong. One year ago, he voted to cut off all funds for our forces fighting extremists in Iraq. He was wrong. Sectarian violence has been dramatically reduced, Sunnis in Anbar province and throughout Iraq are cooperating in fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, and Shi'ite extremist militias no longer control Basra -- the Maliki government and its forces do. British and Iraqi forces now move freely in areas that were controlled by Iranian-backed militias. The fight against al Qaeda in Mosul is succeeding in further weakening that deadly terrorist group, and many key leaders have been killed or captured. As General Petraeus said last month, 'As we combat AQI we must r emember that doing so not only reduces a major source of instability in Iraq, it also weakens an organization that Al Qaeda's senior leaders view as a tool to spread its influence and foment regional instability.' Iraqi forces have moved unopposed into Sadr City, a development the New York Times characterized today as a 'dramatic turnaround' as the government of Prime Minister Maliki 'advanced its goal of establishing sovereignty and curtailing the powers of the militias.'

"We continue to face challenges in Iraq, and we have a lot of work ahead. Yet the American people must ask whether we are more or less likely to succeed there if Senator Obama has his way. Each of these positive developments in Iraq is the direct result of the new strategy that Senator Obama opposed. Senator Obama consistently predicted the new strategy would fail, and at every step events have demonstrated his judgment was consistently wrong. He now says that he intends to withdraw combat troops from Iraq -- one to two brigades per month until they are all removed -- regardless of the conditions in Iraq, irrespective of the consequences for our national security, and despite the best advice of our commanders on the ground. He is wrong again, and the American people deserve a President who has the strength, judgment and experience to keep our country safe and secure."


The next American Idol is...

I gotta give props to my fellow Blue Springs, MO native and winner of American Idol last night, David Cook.

In the Presidential race, I think John McCain is the David Cook of the finals and Barack Obama is the David Archuleta. Archuleta was loved by the judges (the media), had a great voice and zero life experience. Ultimately the voters chose the hard-working, true artist, with a bit more life experience (three years as a bartender in Oklahoma).

I'm sure Blue Springs is proud today...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Interesting anecdote on the Democratic split...

this makes two former Democratic Vice-Presidential candidates who will not be voting for Obama...

Barack Obama dons a cardigan... while living in the lap of luxury...

From Oregon this weekend: ""We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.


Can you keep your Gulfstream at 72? And how's the inflight catering?

UPDATE: Roger is on board as well. Haven't we already done Jimmy Carter??

Barack Obama... from day-to-day...

Is Iran a threat or not? It depends on the day, apparently, with Sen. Obama:

MONDAY: "Iran is a grave threat. It has an illicit nuclear program.”

SUNDAY: “They [Iran, Cuba, Venezuela] don’t pose a serious threat to us …”

More hypocrisy from Sen. Obama... and the Obama/media axis

Sen. Obama: "Lay off my wife"

New York Times on the same day: "Mrs. McCain's Money"

Are New York Times editors in on Sen. Obama's campaign planning meetings??

From the campaign: On McCain v. Obama on "dealing with" Iran...

I just received this from the campaign (Patrick Hynes, the official blogger). It is so complete, I won't put my own take on it. Sen. Obama truly is a rookie law professor running for President. I'll take the veteran over the rookie seven days a week...


All: At the top of his speech in Chicago this morning, Sen. McCain made the following remarks on Sen. Obama’s comments yesterday downplaying the threat of Iran:

“Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse,” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but “tiny.”

“Senator Obama has declared, and repeatedly reaffirmed his intention to meet the President of Iran without any preconditions, likening it to meetings between former American Presidents and the leaders of the Soviet Union. Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment. Those are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess. An ill conceived meeting between the President of the United States and the President of Iran, and the massive world media coverage it would attract, would increase the prestige of an implacable foe of the United States, and reinforce his confidence that Iran’s dedication to acquiring nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and destroying the State of Israel had succeeded in winning concessions from the most powerful nation on earth. And he is unlikely to abandon the dangerous ambitions that will have given him a prominent role on the world stage.

“This is not to suggest that the United States should not communicate with Iran our concerns about their behavior. Those communications have already occurred at an appropriate level, which the Iranians recently suspended. But a summit meeting with the President of the United States, which is what Senator Obama proposes, is the most prestigious card we have to play in international diplomacy. It is not a card to be played lightly. Summit meetings must be much more than personal get-acquainted sessions. They must be designed to advance American interests. An unconditional summit meeting with the next American president would confer both international legitimacy on the Iranian president and could strengthen him domestically when he is unpopular among the Iranian people. It is likely such a meeting would not only fail to persuade him to abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions; its support of terrorists and commitment to Israel’s extinction, it could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next President ought to understand such basic realities of international relations.”

FACT CHECK: Yesterday Evening In Oregon, Sen. Obama Downplayed Threat Of Iran (Video Here... unlike Jamie Rubin, we won't mislead you...)

Senator Obama: "Strong countries and strong Presidents talk to their adversaries. That's what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That's what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That's what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the
Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying we're going to wipe you off the planet. And ultimately that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall. Now, that has to be the kind of approach that we take.

"You know, Iran, they spend one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks, Pendelton, OR, 5/19/08)


“Wow. Where to begin with this silliness?”
--Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
JENNIFER RUBIN: This remarkable bit of footage from Barack Obama’s appearance in Oregon last night is now floating around on YouTube. It might be useful as an undergraduate course exam: how many errors can you spot? Obama apparently believes that Iran and other rogues states (he lists Iran, Cuba and Venezuela) “don’t pose a serious threat to the U.S.” Iran, specifically, he tells us spends so little on defense relative to us that if Iran “tried to pose a serious threat to us they wouldn’t . . . they wouldn’t stand a chance.” … So, taken literally, he seems not much concerned about Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, its sponsorship of terrorist organizations, its commitment to eradicate Israel, its current actions in supplying weapons that have killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq, and its role in eroding Lebanon’s sovereignty through its client Hezbollah. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/6801

HUGH HEWITT: Obama expects people to take his support for Israel's security seriously, and then declares that Iran isn't a serious threat? … This is indeed full-throated appeasement, the refusal to face facts about malign forces in the world and the repeated attempt to negotiate with powers that do not want anything except additional domination and which cannot be satisfied with other than conflict. http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/0e67f6fe-ea1a-4088-9bfd-4ad1d5863840

ERICK ERICKSON: Barack Obama is stupid or willfully ignorant. Iran will never attack us directly. They cannot. But they will attack us with a thousand cuts through many shadowy surrogates hoping we bleed to death. … And if Obama is our President, we probably will. http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/barack_obama_is_either_stupid_or_willfully_ignorant

ED MORRISSEY: Listen to Obama talk about the “common interests” supposedly shared between the US and the Iranian mullahcracy. What interests would those be? The destruction of Israel, the denial of the Holocaust, the financial and military support of Hamas and Hezbollah, or the killing of American soldiers in Iraq? http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/19/iran-not-a-serious-threat/

DEAN BARNETT: Can it be that the presumptive Democratic nominee missed all that talk about asymmetrical forces and the threats they pose earlier in the decade? If so, perhaps he still noticed 9/11. Al Qaeda spent a lot less than “1/100th of what we spend” on what could be called military operations, and yet most people concluded after the World Trade Center Towers crumbled that even with a relatively lean budget, Al Qaeda did in fact pose a “serious threat” to us. http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/05/obama_ignorance_watch.asp

SOREN DAYTON: I guess that he doesn't get that whole nexus of nuclear weapons and terrorism thing. Even John Kerry thought that the greatest threat to the United States was nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. And in Iran we have a country that is funding the collapse of Lebanon and putting troops on the Israeli border. We have a country that has called for the eradication of Israel. And we have a country that is engaged in nuclear activity and has the terrorist distribution networks to really do damage when they get them. http://www.redstate.com/blogs/soren_dayton/2008/may/19/obama_iran_not_a_threat

Meanwhile, while Obama follows the French example...

does McCain follow, or Americanize a British one?? In the British/French dichotomy, I'll take a British ally every time...

Apparently a President Obama would follow the French example...

If the "appeasement" shoe fits... We all know the French have historically been really tough negotiators. Just ask the Germans.

McCain Exceptionalism...

and on the same morning, Bill Kristol writes some encouraging words for Sen. McCain in the New York Times. I like his logic.

How stupid does the New York Times think you are?

pretty stupid.

Nancy "Abandon, don't Finish the Iraq Project" Pelosi is Poorly received in Iraq...

Madame Speaker was largely ignored by the major elected leaders of Iraq this weekend. This report from Time magazine provides the story. An excerpt:

Pelosi is something of a nonentity to average Iraqis. If they know who she is at all, she is generally seen as an antiwar caricature figure, someone whose views on U.S. troop withdrawals are widely considered unrealistic. Pelosi has said she wants to see most U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the 2008, a time frame virtually no Iraqi political leader sees as feasible. Not even Mahdi Army militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, the fiercest advocate of a U.S. withdrawal on the scene, has called for such a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces. Rather, Sadr contends that the Americans should simply announce a reasonable timetable for the departure of U.S. forces.

The lack of popularity of Pelosi's views was evident in the fact that her first day on the ground Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not make an effort to see her. Maliki is currently in the northern city of Mosul overseeing a crackdown on insurgent networks there. But the city has been largely quiet in recent days, and there was no obvious pressing reason for the prime minister to skip Pelosi's arrival.

Pelosi may not get much more warmth from the American military leaders she plans to meet either. Pelosi argued against sending additional surge forces to Iraq, a plan overseen by Gen. David Petraeus that is now widely credited with reducing the levels of violence in Iraq. Moreover, Pelosi made waves on Capitol Hill in November by saying U.S. troops were torturing detainees - an accusation generally not taken well by men and women in uniform of any rank.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An American covenant...

The New York Sun has this editorial, which I believe shows what a substantial portion of the New York Jewish community thinks of President Bush's speech at the Knesset:

Bush’s Covenant

As far as political reactions go, it was a weird one. President Bush gave a beautiful and moving speech in the capital of Israel to give voice to America’s solidarity with the Jewish state. He reached back to Herzl and beyond, declaring that the establishment of the State of Israel was, as the president put it, “the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David — a homeland for the chosen people ...” “Israel’s population,” Mr. Bush said, “may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you.”

So how did the Democrats react? They seized on one fragment of Mr. Bush’s speech — “Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.” And the Democrats took that language as a personal affront.

The speed with which Democrats recognized themselves in that particular paragraph is telling. The president later said he wasn’t talking about them, but they insisted he was. “It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack,” Senator Obama said. “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”

In fact Senator Obama has promised to meet with the leaders of Iran, who are terrorists, and with the leader of North Korea, which is on the State Department’s terrorist list and which provided nuclear assistance to the terror-sponsoring state of Syria. If Mr. Obama doesn’t think the leaders of Iran are terrorists, he’s really not ready to answer that 3 a.m. phone call in the White House. To his credit Mr. Obama has said he won’t meet with Hamas, but his promise to meet with Hamas’s masters in Tehran undermines that position, as both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton have pointed out.

In any event, it was a moving thing for many of us to hear Mr. Bush speak so clearly and eloquently and to speak so affectionately of the man, in Ariel Sharon, with whom he once exchanged pointed words about the meaning of Munich. That was days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when Mr. Sharon, then prime minister, warned that Israel “will not be Czechoslovakia.” At the time, Mr. Bush took it as an insult and was hurt, but he embraced the lesson of Munich in a way that has rarely been matched.

This is something to think about on the eve of our own election. Painful though it may have been for Mr. Obama to sense himself as the object of Mr. Bush’s remarks, no one need rule out the possibility that, should the Democrat gain the White House, he will also gain an appreciation of what Mr. Bush has comprehended so clearly and of the nature of the covenant of which the president gave such an eloquent expression.

UPDATED: JAMIE RUBIN LIED: The Obama/media axis continues at Obama 2008 Online...

UPDATE #4: Skynews has just released the complete video of the interview. Jamie Rubin lied, and the Washington Post provided him the megaphone. Please write Fred Hiatt’s at the Washington Post and demand demand a full retraction: hiattf@washpost.com

UPDATE #3: And, finally, new video definitively shows Sen. McCain's position was not to negotiate with Hamas without preconditions, which is Sen. Obama's approach. The full quote to CNN on the same day in Davos: “Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process. It’s very, very important though that they renounce this commitment.” Jamie Rubin should not be invited to appear on respected news shows or write op-eds anymore in 2008, without this lie being raised by the reporter/moderator.

UPDATE #2: Jim Geraghty provides even more context. The Washington Post should be ashamed of itself today...

UPDATE: Ed Morrisey at HotAir walks through all of the context on this story. This is must reading (and watching... the whole video conversation on the subject is here) for anyone interested in all of the facts... sadly, many in what were formerly respected news organizations (Washington Post, I'm talking to you...) are not really interested in the facts.

The Huffington Post (or as I like to call them: Obama 2008 online) is attempting to sell the following tripe: McCain Was For Talking To Hamas Before He Was Against It... (I'd invite you to go to this site and watch Sen. McCain in the video... it's fundamentally clear in the video that he's talking just after Hamas is elected and saying 'now that they've won the election, we're going to have to respect democracy in one way or another', but also holding out hope that Hamas as a governing body will learn compromise and change their ridiculous position on the destruction of Israel).

You may recall that a few months after this statement Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel, and then started a civil war in Gaza and murdered and ran out the other Palestinian party Fatah... they proved they weren't serious about peace, and so they've removed themselves as an honest player in the process. Of course, former President Carter still sat down with this terrorist organization last month... so much for incentives for good behavior.

Sen. McCain's position on talking with Hamas is similar to his position on talking with Iran. The difference between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama is that Sen. Obama has promised to sit down with anyone as President of the United States without preconditions.

Sen. McCain will sit down with Iran -- very likely in a regional summit situation with Europe and the other Middle East powers at the table -- after the following conditions are met: They renounce their statements about the destruction of the State of Israel and they halt nuclear enrichment activities.

The McCain campaign just sent out the following response to this misleading story at Obama 2008 Online:

“There should be no confusion, John McCain has always believed that serious engagement would require mandatory conditions and Hamas must change itself fundamentally – renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept a two state solution. John McCain’s position is clear and has always been clear, the President of the United States should not unconditionally meet with leaders of Iran, Hamas or Hezbollah. Barack Obama has made his position equally clear, and has pledged to meet unconditionally with Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leaders of other rogue regimes, which shows incredibly dangerous and weak judgment.” ---Tucker Bounds, spokesman John McCain 2008

After The Palestinian Election, John McCain Said In A Statement That "Hamas Is Not A Partner For Peace So Long As They Advocate The Overthrow Of Israel." "In the wake of yesterday's Palestinian elections, Hamas must change itself fundamentally - renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept the two-state solution. These elections are evidence that democracy is indeed spreading in the Middle East, but Hamas is not a partner for peace so long as they advocate the overthrow of Israel." (Office Of U.S. Senator John McCain, "Sen. McCain Reacts To Palestinian Election," Press Release, 1/26/06)

From Davos, John McCain Says Hamas Must Renounce Its Commitment To The Extinction Of The State Of Israel. CNN'S BETTY NGUYEN: " All right, let's shift over to the global front. The Bush administration is reviewing all aspects of U.S. aid to the Palestinians now that Hamas has won the elections. And I do have to quote you here. A State Department spokesman did say this: 'To be very clear' – and I'm quoting now – 'we do not provide money to terrorist organizations.' What does this do to the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians?" MCCAIN: "Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process." (CNN's "Saturday Morning News," 1/28/06)

· CNN's Suzanne Malveaux: "Straight Talk For Hamas By U.S. Senator John McCain." SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: "Hopefully that Hamas, now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the State of Israel. Then we can do business again." CNN'S SUZANNE MALVEAUX: "Straight talk for Hamas by U.S. Senator John McCain." (CNN's "Live Saturday," 1/28/06)

New polls... going in, this thing is gonna be close...

Gallup Tracking
05/11 - 05/15
4366 RV
McCain +2.0

Rasmussen Tracking
05/12 - 05/15
1600 LV

Kansas: McCain vs. Obama
McCain 55, Obama 34
McCain +21.0

Washington: McCain vs. Obama
McCain 40, Obama 51
Obama +11.0

Iowa: McCain vs. Obama
McCain 42, Obama 44
Obama +2.0

Georgia: McCain vs. Obama
Strategic Vision (R)
McCain 54, Obama 40
McCain +14.0

More on "the attack that never was"

The White House is flabbergasted at Sen. Obama's full bore attack on Pres. Bush over the last two days. While over in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia today) top White House press officials said they absolutely did not have Sen. Obama in mind when they made the speech and, in fact scrubbed the speech a bit so that it did not refer to Pres. Carter's trip, which including meeting with Hamas.

If Sen. McCain is going to be tied directly to Pres. Bush and all statements he makes, Sen. Obama should have to answer for Pres. Carter's trip to meet with Hamas at the same time rockets continue to be shot on a regular basis from Gaza at civilians in Israel.

Newt weighs in on the Obama campaign's reaction as a study in guilt, which this episode raises like a Rorschach test:

The Washington Times on McCain's blogger outreach...

I can't believe he promised to meet with bloggers every two weeks as President. That would be ground-breaking!

Quick... someone get a chair. Our old friend David Brooks is swooning...

David Brooks column on Sen. Obama's statements and potential foreign policy is an example, inside of a single column, where a media player is set swooning by a meeting with Sen. Obama.

At the beginning of the column, after reading Sen. Obama's campaign statements he's comparing Sen. Obama to Noam Chomsky:

Hezbollah is one of the world’s most radical terrorist organizations. Over the last week or so, it has staged an armed assault on the democratic government of Lebanon.

Barack Obama issued a statement in response. He called on “all those who have influence with Hezbollah” to “press them to stand down.” Then he declared, “It’s time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.”

That sentence has the whiff of what President Bush described yesterday as appeasement. Is Obama na├»ve enough to think that an extremist ideological organization like Hezbollah can be mollified with a less corrupt patronage system and some electoral reform? Does he really believe that Hezbollah is a normal social welfare agency seeking more government services for its followers? Does Obama believe that even the most intractable enemies can be pacified with diplomacy? What “Lebanese consensus” can Hezbollah possibly be a part of?

If Obama believes all this, he’s not just a Jimmy Carter-style liberal. He’s off in Noam Chomskyland.
After being granted an interview with the Hon. Obama, with a few statements about H.W. Bush and "realism", Brooks forgets completely about what the campaign said earlier, and Sen. Obama is now Jim Baker:

“This is not an argument between Democrats and Republicans,” he [Obama] concluded. “It’s an argument between ideology and foreign policy realism. I have enormous sympathy for the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush. I don’t have a lot of complaints about their handling of Desert Storm. I don’t have a lot of complaints with their handling of the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

In the early 1990s, the Democrats and the first Bush administration had a series of arguments — about humanitarian interventions, whether to get involved in the former Yugoslavia, and so on. In his heart, Obama talks like the Democrats of that era, viewing foreign policy from the ground up. But in his head, he aligns himself with the realist dealmaking of the first Bush. Apparently, he’s part Harry Hopkins and part James Baker.

I think the Obama campaign thinks they can fool the American people with this one-two punch (super liberal/appeasement-type statements from the campaign... moderate/realist/soothing statements from St. Obama), and no one will be the wiser. David, I thought you were better than that...

Meanwhile... off the campaign trail...

This is awesome...

Who is Tom Roeser?

I'm sure some people in Chicago and the midwest are familiar with this political reporter and the Chicago Daily Observer. I love his description of Sen. McCain's speech yesterday as "easily the finest in recent times, equaling the greatest Republican campaign speech made in the 20th century, Ronald Reagan’s 1976 address to the Republican convention in Kansas City that nominated Gerald Ford."

Also, because his statement that all combat troops would be home by 2012/Jan 2013 sucked up all of the headlines the media missed this: "Question Time": “I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both Houses to take questions and address criticism, much the same as the prime minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons.” This would be potentially riveting, and could change the relationship between the President and Congress to a more open-ended "get things done" approach.

The dream at 60...

Charles Krauthammer on Israel's 60th Birthday. My favorite portion:

Six months before Israel's birth, the U.N. had decided by a two-thirds majority that the only just solution to the British departure from Palestine would be the establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state side by side. The undeniable fact remains: The Jews accepted that compromise; the Arabs rejected it.

With a vengeance. On the day the British pulled down their flag, Israel was invaded by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Iraq -- 650,000 Jews against 40 million Arabs.

Israel prevailed, another miracle. But at a very high cost -- not just to the Palestinians displaced as a result of a war designed to extinguish Israel at birth, but also to the Israelis, whose war losses were staggering: 6,373 dead. One percent of the population. In American terms, it would take thirty-five Vietnam memorials to encompass such a monumental loss of life.

You rarely hear about Israel's terrible suffering in that 1948-49 war. You hear only the Palestinian side. Today, in the same vein, you hear that Israeli settlements and checkpoints and occupation are the continuing root causes of terrorism and instability in the region.

But in 1948, there were no "occupied territories." Nor in 1967 when Egypt, Syria and Jordan joined together in a second war of annihilation against Israel.

Look at Gaza today. No Israeli occupation, no settlements, not a single Jew left. The Palestinian response? Unremitting rocket fire killing and maiming Israeli civilians. The declared casus belli of the Palestinian government in Gaza behind these rockets? The very existence of a Jewish state.

Israel's crime is not its policies but its insistence on living. On the day the Arabs -- and the Palestinians in particular -- make a collective decision to accept the Jewish state, there will be peace, as Israel proved with its treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Until that day, there will be nothing but war. And every "peace process," however cynical or well-meaning, will come to nothing.

"Just talking about change is not enough."

This line in a lead editorial from a major news organization is -- in a vacuum -- correct.

If I then told you that the quote is about the Presidential election, you'd think this was a quote from the Clinton campaign discussing Sen. Obama's empty rhetorical approach -- with very little experience or track record to show how he would govern or change. Nope! Wrong!!

This is in today's New York Times editorial criticising Sen. McCain's speech from yesterday. Are you guys joking? Should I be chuckling at the flimsy logic and irony here? Or should I be angry at the rank hypocrisy and open campaigning for a candidate they didn't even endorse. I just checked, and this website is available: http://nyforobama.blogspot.com/ I think the New York Times website should link their editorials to this site.

Here's a larger excerpt:

Mr. McCain won some improvements in the bill’s provisions on the treatment of prisoners, but acquiesced to an appallingly cynical deal that exempted the intelligence agencies from a ban on the torture, abuse and humiliation of detainees.

Just talking about change is not enough. Look at the Republican Party’s witless attempt to repackage itself with a new Barack Obama-like sound bite, only to find that “The Change You Deserve” was the ad slogan for an antidepressant. (my emphasis)

I love that the Times editorial board still spreads the lie that Sen. McCain is responsible for the Bush administration's "torture" policy even though he just last week told Bill O'Reilly that he would follow the Geneva conventions and close Guantanamo. The left is following the communist communications approach -- attributed to both Lenin and Goebbels -- that a lie told often enough becomes the truth.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blogger Conference Call summary...

Today, Senator McCain completed his first blogger conference call in May (and first call with a nearly presumptive general election opponent). The call lasted roughly 30 minutes and he took about 7 questions from bloggers. The highlights:

  • He recapped his brilliant general election speech from earlier today on a vision of where America will stand at the end of President McCain's first term in office in 2012/January 2013, including: "We will have won in Iraq" by the Iraqi military standing up, all American troops will generally be out of harm's way and we will have a Korea-style security arrangement with the elected government.

  • Further in Iraq, he said "the surge is working", and by the end of the year 2008 the surge will have definitively worked.

  • He said "America is fed up with partisanship" and he promised to sit down, across all party and ideological lines and focus on "what's doable in America" and getting things done pragmatically. In that vein, he promised to appoint Democrats to important posts in his Administration.

  • In response to a question about Lebanon and Iran, he said Iran is substantially responsible for what Hezbollah is doing. In response to a question about Sen. Obama promising to sit down without preconditions with Ahmedinejad of Iran he said "I'd ask Sen. Obama, what does he plan to talk about with Ahmedinejad when he sits down with him?" Sen. McCain reminded the listeners that Ahmedinejad had, just this week, referred to Israel as "a stinking corpse", and has promised to "wipe them off the map". Sen. McCain said he would not talk to Ahmedinejad until he retracted those statements and until the Iranians made binding and verifiable promises to stop development of nuclear weapons. Finally, he stated that it is "naive to talk about sitting down with Iran" without preconditions.

  • Sen. McCain promised, as President, that he would have bi-weekly conference calls with bloggers. ED NOTE: If this happens, I may have to continue to blog after the election!

  • In response to a question about his environmental and energy plans, he promised to pursue all clean alternatives, including specifically mentioning: Nuclear, Plug-in Hybrids and Clean Coal. He also said he's in favor of government support for "pure" R&D, and said our labs are the best in the world and a greater national resource.

Hope you enjoyed the recap. Please let me know if you have suggestions on questions I should ask in the next conference call...

More from the Matt Bai Times article...

This thing really has some good parts. You can't go wrong with letting McCain talk at length and listening closely:

It’s clear, though, that on the continuum that separates realists from idealists, McCain sits much closer to the idealist perspective. McCain has long been chairman of the International Republican Institute, run by Craner, which exists to promote democratic reforms in closed societies. He makes a point of meeting with dissidents when he visits countries like Georgia and Uzbekistan and has championed the cause of Aung San Suu Kyi, the imprisoned leader of the Burmese resistance. Most important, as he made clear in his preamble to our interview, McCain considers national values, and not strategic interests, to be the guiding force in foreign policy. America exists, in McCain’s view, not simply to safeguard the prosperity and safety of those who live in it but also to spread democratic values and human rights to other parts of the planet.

McCain argues that his brand of idealism is actually more pragmatic in a post-9/11 world than the hard realism of the cold war. He rejects as outdated, for instance, a basic proposition of cold-war realists like Kissinger and Baker: that stability is always found in the relationship between states. Realists have long presumed that the country’s security is defined by the stability of its alliances with the governments of other countries, even if those governments are odious; by this thinking, your interests can sometimes be served by befriending leaders who share none of your democratic values. McCain, by contrast, maintains that in a world where oppressive governments can produce fertile ground for rogue groups like Al Qaeda to recruit and prosper, forging bonds with tyrannical regimes is often more likely to harm American interests than to help them.

As we spoke in Tampa, I asked McCain if it was true, as his friend Joe Lieberman and others suggested to me, that he had been brought to a more idealist way of thinking partly by the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica. “I think so, I think so,” he said, nodding. “And Darfur today. I feel strongly about Darfur, and yet, and this is where the realist side comes in, how do we effectively stop the genocide in Darfur?” He seemed to be genuinely wrestling with the question. “You know the complications with a place that’s bigger, I guess, than the size of Texas, and it’s hard to know who the Janjaweed is, who are the killers, who are the victims. It’s all jumbled up.

“So I’ve always tried to make a case for the realist side,” he continued. “And I think it was pretty clear that in Kosovo, we could probably benefit the situation fairly effectively and fairly quickly. And yet I look at Darfur, and I still look at Rwanda, to some degree, and think, How could we have gone in there and stopped that slaughter?”

McCain is known for being a gut thinker, averse to overarching doctrines or theory. But as we talked, I tried to draw out of him some template for knowing when military intervention made sense — an answer, essentially, to the question that has plagued policy makers confronting international crises for the last 20 years. McCain has said that the invasion of Iraq was justified, even absent the weapons of mass destruction he believed were there, because of Hussein’s affront to basic human values. Why then, I asked McCain, shouldn’t we go into Zimbabwe, where, according to that morning’s paper, allies of the despotic president, Robert Mugabe, were rounding up his political opponents and preparing to subvert the results of the country’s recent national election? How about sending soldiers into Myanmar, formerly Burma, where Aung San Suu Kyi remained under house arrest by a military junta?

“I think in the case of Zimbabwe, it’s because of our history in Africa,” McCain said thoughtfully. “Not so much the United States but the Europeans, the colonialist history in Africa. The government of South Africa has obviously not been effective, to say the least, in trying to affect the situation in Zimbabwe, and one reason is that they don’t want to be tarred with the brush of modern colonialism. So that’s a problem I think we will continue to have on the continent of Africa. If you send in Western military forces, then you risk the backlash from the people, from the legacy that was left in Africa because of the era of colonialism.”

The United States faced a similar obstacle in Myanmar, McCain went on, shaking his head sadly. “First of all, you’d have to gauge the opinion of the people over time, whether you’d be greeted as liberators or as occupiers,” McCain said. “I would be concerned about the possibility that if it were mishandled, we might see an insurgent movement.” He talked a bit about Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he called “one of the great figures of the 20th century,” but then wondered aloud if the American public would support a military intervention.

“It goes back to the Vietnam thing,” McCain told me. “I’m just not sure the American people would support a military engagement in Burma, no matter how justified the cause. And I can’t tell you exactly when it would be over. And I can’t tell you exactly what the reaction of the people there would be.”

Can anyone find a Presidential candidate in the last century with this much foreign policy and military background, and this ability to speak from the cuff?? Eisenhower maybe (not a good off-the-cuff speaker)? McCain's hero TR??

Hold on one second, Sweetie...

Wow... as my blogging hero Instapundit said "will he call Ahmedinejad sweetie?"

The clip that is creating so much controversy...

Some on the left (out with all that patriotism BS sort of people, and support of Israel and what it stands for) may find this clip offensive... and certainly President Bush has made substantial mistakes over the course of his 8 years in office.

but I find this clip moving...

Most troops home by 2013, says Sen. McCain...

Peace through strength.

It's always been the way... Peace through appeasement doesn't work (ask the British)...

The dispute over Middle East policy just went global...

The New York Times has this from the Obama campaign. The line from Obama I'm focusing on is this one:

George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.

Does anyone remember this exchange? The Obama campaign seriously has a low opinion of the American people, and their ability to follow an argument. He must think we've entirely forgotten about all of the things he said in the primary campaign over the last three months already (engage with terrorists, eliminate free trade, double the capital gains tax rate, eliminate the social security payroll tax cap, bring the top income tax rate to 39.6%).

Sen. Obama, you're not running for the state senate of Illinois (although I'm sure that's a recent memory), you're running for President of the United States. Not only are all of us here in America watching, but the folks around the world are paying attention too. "Our stalwart ally Israel" is getting a little scared of the prospect of a President Obama.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Post should honestly just admit that most of their reporters are Obama supporters (and probably donors)...

This looks like an unsolicited donation...

While we're gushing about "international followings," how about following up on this?

Or this??

Or, maybe this one???

Or, finally... Castro??

I wonder what Admedinejad thinks? Maybe Sen. Obama could send Jimmy Carter to negotiate with Iran before the election and get his endorsement...

The New York Times on McCain...

OK, OK, I haven't had a chance to read this yet (just printed it, and it's 13 pages long), but Matt Bai has a lengthy article on Sen. McCain that will be in Sunday's NY Times magazine. Let the reading and analysis begin...

UPDATE: My God! This is the front page mention of the story in the Times now! What sort of trash is that "The Wars Within Him"... are they subtly attacking his sanity... you guys are trash! Here's the picture and headline. I think the reporter Matt Bai is a decent enough guy, but the editors just libeled Sen. McCain:

Magazine Preview
The Wars Within Him
Senator John McCain’s support for the war in Iraq, informed by his past, is lonely but unwavering.

Tom Friedman on the new Cold War...

Not sure we want a leftist "Carter-type" Democrat in the office when we inevitably have to face up to Iran or risk losing all leverage in the region...

The next President wants to send all of the Arabic speakers to Afghanistan...

Maybe we could send all of our Russian speakers there too... I'm sure they'd like that... at least it seemed like they did when I watched Charlie Wilson's War.

The only thing we have to fear... is a massive crisis of confidence...

A news story and an op-ed from today's WSJ provide an important reality check for all Americans today, I believe:

First, the news item, under the headline: "Recession? Not so Fast, Say Some... Despite Pain, Economists begin Dialing back Dire Forecasts" (subscription still required) some excerpts:

A funny thing happened to the economy on its way to recession: It's taken a detour.

That, at least, is the view of a growing number of economists -- including some who not long ago were saying a recession was all but inevitable. They note that stock and credit markets have steadily improved since the Federal Reserve intervened to keep Bear Stearns Cos. from bankruptcy in early March, while a series of economic reports have been stronger than expected.

* * *

"A couple months ago it seemed like we were on the abyss," said Jay Bryson, global economist with Wachovia Corp., referring to the seizing up of credit markets and the collapse of Bear Stearns. "Things have changed....The numbers we've seen recently haven't been as bad as we were led to believe just a few months ago."

Wachovia now puts the odds of recession at 45%, down from 90% in April, and expects growth in gross domestic product of 0.6% at an annual rate in the first and second quarters of this year, followed by 1.2% growth in the third and fourth quarters. While he doesn't expect a recession, he says growth will be very weak through next year.
Second, the op-ed, from Zachary Karabell of River Twice Research under the headline: "Who Stole the American Spirit":

This picture is appropriate, over the caption: "What really bad times look like":
There is no denying that the current financial morass is deep and painful. But taking the long view, there is something both startling and disturbing about the gloom that has settled over Wall Street and the country in general. In fact, looking back over the past century, it would be a stretch to rank the current problems as especially notable or dramatic. Something else is going on – namely a cultural rut of pessimism that is draining our collective energy, blinding us to possibilities, and eroding our position in the world.

Right now we have an unemployment rate of 5% and headline inflation topping 4%. We have economic growth of 0.6%, extremely low consumer confidence and weakening consumer spending, small business optimism at a 28-year low, and of course a housing market that is showing declines in excess of 20% in some parts of the country.

These are hardly statistics to celebrate, but they are a far cry from the crises of the 20th century. Next time someone compares the present to the Great Depression, stop them. Between 1929 and 1932, the Dow Jones index went to 41.22 from 380.33, a decline of 89%. Today's hang-wringing about a 20% decline in the major indices (much of it since recouped) doesn't come close.

The unemployment rate in 1933 was 24.9%; seven years later, after the intensive efforts of the New Deal, it stood at 14.6%. Even adjusting for changed methodology since then, today's jobless situation hardly compares. While the recent collapse of Bear Stearns shocked Wall Street, in 1933 alone 4,000 banks failed, and millions not only lost their homes but were rendered homeless.

It is also common today to hear comparisons to the stagflation and grim economy of the 1970s. Here too perspective is in order.

For all the present talk of volatility, in 1973 and 1974 the economy expanded 10% in the first quarter of 1973, contracted 2.1% in the third quarter, went up 3.9% in the fourth quarter, went down 3.4% in the first quarter of 1974, then up 1.2% in the second quarter – continuing like a bouncing ball for another year.

The unemployment rate went from 4.9% in 1973 to 8.5% in 1977, and then nearly broke 10% in 1982. Meanwhile the stock market went from 1067 in January 1973 to 570 in December 1974, a drop of 46%. And there was double-digit inflation and a sharp rise in the price of oil, which represented a higher percentage of consumer spending than today.

West Virginia is looking good for McCain...

and, as many pundits said last night, no Democrat has taken the White House w/o WV since 1918.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Obama's rules...

from Rich Lowry at National Review. My favorite excerpt:

After his blowout win in North Carolina last week, Obama turned to framing the rules of the general election ahead, warning in his victory speech of “efforts to distract us.” The chief distracter happens
to be the man standing between Obama and the White House, John McCain, who will “use the very same playbook that his side has used time after time in election after election.”

Ah, yes, the famous distractions with which Republicans fool unwitting Americans. Ronald Reagan distracted them with the Iranian hostage crisis, high inflation and unemployment, gas lines, and the loss of American prestige abroad. Then, the first George Bush distracted them with the notion of a third Reagan term, as well as the issues of taxes, crime, and volunteerism. After a brief interlude of national focus during two Clinton terms, another Bush arrived wielding the dark art of distraction.

Forget “bitter”; Obama must believe that most Americans suffer from an attention-deficit disorder so crippling that they can’t concentrate on their own interests or values.

Barack Obama takes a page from the Huckabee Christmas ad...

These flyers are going out to voters in Kentucky...

Doug Forrester at Race42008 was in an Obama office in Kentucky and describes the scene... will the folks in San Francisco think he's clingy??

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Obama/media axis continues...

AFP caption: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president (L) pledges funds to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas.

Powerline is all over this... here is the most recent post in its entirety:

Running interference for Obama, part 2
Last night John Hinderaker noted the really outrageous misrepresentations in the New York Times story by Larry Rohter taking John McCain to task for pointing out that Hamas has expressed support for Obama. John prefaced the substance of his post with the observation that the media are in the tank for Obama. Examples of media interference for Obama already abound and will multiply like the fruit fly.

As the Newsweek cover story by Richard Wolffe and Obama demonstrates, it would be absurd to think that the Times story will come close to the worst that the mainstream media will serve up in the course of the campaign. It may nevertheless not be too soon to speculate that the Newsweek cover story will be a contender for the title. Mark Salter eloquently responds to the story here.

Like Rohter's Times story, the Newsweek story also covers for Obama on Hamas's expression of support for him. Jim Geraghty notes that Newsweek forgets to inform readers "what prompted McCain's campaign to suggest that Obama is the candidate of Hamas." Geraghty cruelly adds that "one of [Obama's] advisers, Rob Malley, was holding meetings with Hamas, and Obama's promised to hold unconditional face-to-face presidential summits with the guy who's funding and encouraging Hamas." Geraghty also weighs in on the Newsweek story here.

Commenting on the distinction that Obama vehemently observes between Iran and Hamas, Geraghty is unconstrained by the norms that Newsweek seeks to impose: "Obama contends a face-to-face summit with the guy on the left is long overdue; a face-to-face summit with the guy on the right is crazy talk."

Jake Tapper of ABC News on Sen. Obama's inability to hire competent staff...

The buck stops with the staff in Sen. Obama's campaign...

The first national election map...

This type of analysis is now becoming available and very important...

More on the media/Obama axis...

Looks like the old-line liberal media is running active interference for the Obama campaign. Facts be damned!

Monday Media Swooning Alert...

Someone grab the smelling salts...

In this Newsweek article (which, paired with this New York Times front page Sunday article should qualify as paid advertisements for Obama) the reporters have whole-heartedly purchased Sen. Obama's bill of goods on the "Republican attack machine".

UPDATE: A bit more on the "soft-focus" that the New York Times always gives liberal politicians. Seriously, maybe Sen. Obama should just have a staffer read this story at the Democratic Convention.

Sen. McCain's campaign (through chief spokesman Mark Salter) has already responded in a letter to Newsweek editor Jon Meacham:

Dear Jon,

A useful way to read the piece would be to try to imagine you were a Republican reading it. The characterization of Republican presidential campaigns as nothing more than attack machines that use 527s and other means to smear opponents strikes us as pretty offensive. Is that how Ronald Reagan won two terms? Do they really think other Republican presidential candidates were elected because they ran dirtier campaigns than their opponents? Or could it be that they were better candidates or ran better campaigns or maybe more voters agreed with their position on important issues?

From the beginning of their article, Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe offered a biased implication that Republicans have won elections and will try to win this one simply by tearing down through disreputable means their opponents. You can see why many Republicans and voters and our campaign might take issue with that.

Suggesting that that we can expect a whispering campaign from the McCain campaign or the Republican Party about Senator Obama’s race and the false charge that he is a Muslim is scurrilous. Has John McCain ever campaigned that way? On the contrary, he has on numerous occasions denounced tactics offensive tactics from campaigns, 527s and others, both Democratic and Republican. By the way, which party had more 527 and other independent expenditure ads made on its behalf in 2004? It wasn’t us.

By accepting the Obama campaign construct as if it were objective, Evan and Richard framed this race exactly as Senator Obama wants it to be framed – every issue that raises doubts about his policy views and judgment is part of a smear campaign intended to distract voters from the real issues at stake in the election, and, thus, illegitimate. And even if Senator McCain might not be inclined to support such advertising, if he can’t stop them from occurring then he will have succumbed to the temptation to put ambition before principle. How this notion could appear credible after MoveOn, the AFL-CIO and the DNC launched negative ad campaigns weeks ago, and after leaks from the Obama campaign that they would soon start running negative ads against McCain, is mystifying. When a conservative talk show host emphasized Senator Obama’s middle name, Senator McCain immediately denounced it himself in the strongest possible terms. When a left wing radio host called Senator McCain a “warmonger;” when Senator Rockefeller disparaged Senator McCain’s war record; and when Howard Dean consistently accused Senator McCain of corruption, dishonesty and various other smears, the response from the Obama campaign has been either silence or a spokesperson releases an anodyne statement saying they don’t agree with the characterization.

To see how completely Evan and Richard have accepted the Obama campaign spin look at the example of an illegitimate smear they cite: Senator McCain raising the Hamas spokesman’s comments welcoming Obama’s election. The Senator has never said that Senator Obama shares Hamas’ goals or values or proposed a relationship with Hamas different than the one he would propose. On the contrary, he publicly acknowledged that he doesn’t believe Senator Obama. He did note that there must be something about Obama’s positions, particularly his repeated insistence that he would meet with the President of Iran (Hamas’s chief state sponsor), that was welcomed by Hamas. Imagine if a right wing death squad spokesman announced that they welcomed McCain’s election. Would Evan or Richard treat that as an illegitimate issue or would they examine which of McCain’s stated positions might have found favor with the terrorists? That seems obvious on its face to me. Rather than argue that his position on Iran is the right one and has no bearing on how Hamas views him, Senator Obama makes a false charge that we accused him of advocating a different relationship with Hamas than Senator McCain’s supports. His false characterization of Senator McCain’s statement was accepted uncritically by Evan and Richard.

Democratic Party allied third parties have announced negative ad campaigns, which distort McCain’s statements and positions, in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are already running them. Senator Obama himself and Democrats generally have taken out of context and distorted Senator McCain’s statements on a post war military presence in Iraq and his views on the economy. Our townhalls are now routinely salted with Obama supporters who are there to raise embarrassing questions for the Senator (we don’t screen people at our events). An Obama supporter asked him in Iowa if he called his wife a very vulgar name.

When the North Carolina party prepared to run an ad raising the Reverend Wright issue, Senator McCain again denounced it in the strongest possible terms, and was sharply criticized by conservative radio and pundits for doing so. And when the North Carolina party refused to withdraw it, the Obama campaign, Howard Dean and others charged that he was either being disingenuous or ineffective. I understand why they might employ that tactic, but isn’t it the job of reporters to ponder its implications to see if it is fair?

Senator McCain is not going to referee ads run by groups outside our control. The other side has no intention of reciprocating and has shown every inclination to tolerate and even encourage such attacks against us. Of course, he will denounce any use of race or calumnies against his opponent by anyone. But he won’t play traffic cop anymore. The other side uses the same tactics, with no opposition from the Obama campaign that I have seen. Also, were he to do so and be unable to discourage independent expenditures run by people who have no relationship with him or our campaign, (and, in some cases, had previously run attacks against him) the Obama campaign will denounce him as a phony or weak. If Evan and Richard’s piece represents a general attitude among their colleagues, the press will agree.

Evan and Richard noted, ominously, that our campaign includes Steve Schmidt and Charlie Black, characterizing them basically as noted Republican attack specialists. The Obama senior staffers were described as idealists and decent sorts, and jujitso experts who could use Republican Party smears and deceitful tactics against their authors. I’m sure both David Plouffle and David Axelrod are fine, upstanding citizens. But the former ran a campaign for Senator Torricelli and the latter worked on the campaigns of Mayor Daley.

I don’t remember those campaigns being notable for their delicate courtesy and softball tactics toward their opponents.Without a trace of skepticism, your reporters embraced the primary communications strategy the Obama campaign intends to follow: any criticism of their candidate is a below the belt, Republican attack machine distortion that should discredit the authors. And any attempt by our campaign to counter that suggestion will be dismissed as a rant. The other day, Senator Obama noted that Representative DeFazio’s accusation that Senator McCain was up to his neck in the Keating 5 scandal was a legitimate line of attack, despite the fact the Senator was largely exonerated by the Senate Ethics Committee, whose special counsel declared he had been kept in the investigation only because of his party affiliation. Were we to raise the Rezko matter, their campaign would accuse us of distracting voters with a low blow by making more of a “flimsy relationship” than the facts warranted. Evan and Richard, I feel certain, would agree.

The McCain campaign will keep to the high standards of political debate Senator McCain demands of us. The Senator will not tolerate unfair attacks by anyone on our campaign. We won’t, however, abide by rules imposed on us by our opponents, and which pertain only to our campaign and not theirs, even if they manage to get reporters to call the deal fair.

Thanks for hearing me out.

The liberal smear machine...

I'm fearful that the liberal 527s have been lying in wait since 2004 and are loaded for bear. A couple of their warm-up acts in the last year have been:

While the "betray us" ad is such a disgusting smear it speaks for itself, the Soros statement (and similar statements from such avowed liberal/political economists as Paul Krugman at the New York Times) is more insidious. It is designed to sow fear in the economy and the electorate at the beginning of a Presidential election year (see the date of Soros' release: January 2008).

A crisis of confidence, which was exacerbated by this sort of Soros press release from January, has substantially passed in the financial community (but thousands of Bear Stearns, Citigroup and Bank of America employees who are now unemployed certainly know it was not a spring without job losses).

While -- as Sen. McCain has stated -- many people are hurting across the country as we recover from the dual crises of: 1) massive housing price increases which are reverting to the mean and 2) a related financial crisis of credit confidence that is causing some contraction of available credit, there is a substantial counter-argument that this is not approaching the "worst crisis in 60 years".

Unemployment nationally in the US is 5% (it was higher during the supposed "best economy ever" in the mid and late 1990s). Home ownership in the US is at its highest % in US history. The US is at its most educated in national history. Life expectancy has continued to rise in the country throughout the past 25 years. Technology continues to explode in usefulness and increase Americans' quality of life. So, in full, the naysayers and the "sky is falling" crowd should chill a little. And the naysayers and "sky is falling" crowd that are creating a crisis of confidence for political purposes should be ashamed of themselves.

Happy Mother's Day to all...

Below is a new feature called McCain TV. These videos will change throughout the campaign, so check back. For now it's a nice ad with Sen. McCain and his mother Roberta.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The fall campaign begins to take shape...

The New York Times has a solid analysis of the fall campaigns coming together... This has been a dream of mine for a while, and it looks like it may happen:

In a sign of what could be an extremely unusual fall campaign, the two sides said Saturday that they would be open to holding joint forums or unmoderated debates across the country in front of voters through the summer. Mr. Obama, campaigning in Oregon, said that the proposal, floated by Mr. McCain’s advisers, was “a great idea.”

McCain and tolerance...

This is the type of administration that John McCain would run... (hattip to NH for McCain)...

John McCain on foreign policy...

Sen. McCain takes on Bill O'Reilly on Geneva conventions...

Also, an interesting discussion on Israel, Iran, Iraq, etc...

More videos like this please, for two reasons:
  1. The issue of torture and the "mishandling of Iraq" statement shows clearly that John McCain is not George Bush; and
  2. The discussion of foreign policy -- the Commander in Chief issue -- shows Sen. McCain is the most qualified candidate in my lifetime.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sen. Obama shows "New Politics" of "Hope" and "Change" are substantially like "Old Politics" of subtle smears...

Sen. Obama decided yesterday to say "John McCain was 'losing his bearings' for repeatedly suggesting the Islamic terrorist group Hamas preferred Obama for president."

The Democrats -- including surrogates such as Howard Dean -- have already repeatedly raised Sen. McCain's age as a central issue in the general election. I would contend that this is on par with raising Sen. Obama's race. Age and race may be an issue to some people, but it is completely beneath a respectful campaign for official surrogates (and absolutely/completely below the candidate themselves) to raise this, subtly or directly.

I call on all Obama supporters and all Democrats to reject this sort of old school Chicago-style gutter politics. Sen. Obama should apologize today for this sort of rookie stunt... and he should do it in person.

This is the letter Mark Salter released in response. This kind of business (the issues of age and race) should be left to comedians and late night talk show hosts, and should not be the topic of conversation of national elected officials, the Chair of the DNC or Sen. Obama himself.

Shame on them...

Back to blogging...

After a brief semi-hiatus, I'm back to blogging in full force...

I met with some of the key parts of our NYC volunteer team last night, and we're all getting re-energized for the general (which, for all intents and purposes, started Wednesday).

A few of things I've been reading this morning that are interesting:

  • The WSJ on the end of the Clinton era (as they call it "The Clinton Divorce"). If Hillary continues to fight and attack Obama at this point, she is more seriously cynical than any national politician since Nixon.

  • A WSJ news article about McCain's setting the stage for the fall... It is interesting to me that the campaign has released an ad aimed at women voters (and families) featuring Sen. McCain's mom Roberta... (btw: I attended an event honoring Roberta last week, and she was awesome... spoke from the heart for about five minutes in a 250 or so person crowd). I love the "I'm John McCain and I approved this message... and my mom does too." (See the full ad above on the new feature "McCain TV". Just press the > Arrow in the middle of the black screen).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Patrick's new site...

Patrick Hynes is one of the "official" McCain bloggers at johnmccain.com.

He is part of a new site called "Now! Hampshire"... check it out.